My name is Levi Leyba. I’m the founder of StartABiz.org. In addition to being a father of two boys and a husband who listens to his wife, I am a serial-entrepreneur-turned-impact-entrepreneur, an author, an artist, a college professor, and a guy who enjoys a good craft beer after running trails. I’ve had my share of awards as an entrepreneur and a community leader, in addition to being blessed with a loving family that supports all my often crazy ideas. To explain why I created Start A Biz, let me give some background. My life as an entrepreneur started in the creative industry.
Having obtained an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design back in 2001, the obvious way to earn some extra cash outside of my 9-5 was to do side work nights and on the weekends. When this started to bring in enough to pay the bills, and when my 9-5 job had me traveling too much to China, launching my first company was a no brainer. This was when my wife and I took the gamble to move from So Cal to Arizona, where you’ll never have a reason for not having enough vitamin D.
Eventually, that one business led to me starting many, many more. After having launched many of these, I was the go-to-person for questions on how to start a business. This was because I knew how to do it fast and for less than what is typical. After a few months of these questions, I got the feeling it was time to write a book. This is when I wrote 142 Small Businesses You Can Start on the Weekend or On Your Spare Time. Being that I wanted to have the necessary forms included to start a business, I created the book in 8.5×11 format so those who purchased the book can either rip out any of the 284 pages or make copies and have them be the appropriate size. This was in 2007. After that, a lot changed, including having to deal with the economy taking a plunge with the housing market crash. But I survived. I survived because I was my own boss. I knew how to hustle and get down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to survival.
In 2012, I decided to go back to school knowing my wife was about to give birth to our first son. But just going back to school to obtain my Bachelor’s was not going to be challenging enough (enter some satire here). Knowing that I already had a 2-year Associate’s degree and that to obtain a Bachelor’s degree was going to be another 2 years, I decided to see if it would be possible to get this Bachelor’s in 1 year. Boy, did I have to convince some higher ups in order to make this work. Not only that, but by asking to get my Bachelors in 1 year, my name was on the Deans radar’s and I really needed to keep high grades each term. After 12 long and sleepless months, I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Communications with a 3.97 GPA.
Thinking I was done with school, I was at a networking gala and by chance I was seated at the table with the Chair of the Business Programs for Wilkes University, a University with it’s roots in Pennsylvania that was establishing a physical presence in Arizona. After some conversation with not only the University, but with most importantly my family, I was given the opportunity to go back to school yet again. This time to earn my Masters in Business Administration (MBA). That was in 2015. And because I kicked ass earning my Bachelor’s degree, my GPA was high enough to be granted a 50% scholarship to Wilkes University. Not too shabby. Thinking that this was not challenging enough (again), my wife and I decided to have another son. I graduated December of 2016 with my MBA and a 3.84 GPA.
One of my businesses is to buy and sell domains. In fact, I buy and sell domains so much that I became a domain (and hosting) reseller just so I can purchase domains at the lowest possible price. Go to SquareDick.com to get your domains and easy set-up WordPress hosting (shameless plug). I’ve been wanting to update my book on how to start a business for many, many moons. And doing so, I wanted to do it differently than I originally did back in 2007. This time, knowing what I know now, I wanted to get firsthand experience with those I want to write for. This is when I came across the availability of StartABiz.org. This domain says it all and it’s easy to remember.
So here I was, building this site so that it is as scalable as I am and by doing so, I was offered an opportunity to teach a MGT253 class titled Starting & Operating a Small Business to college students at Mesa Community College – Red Mountain Campus. After two terms, I have new insight with what students and more especially, future entrepreneurs are looking for when starting a business. I intend to update my 2007 book on Starting a Business with the feedback I’ve received being a professor to entrepreneurs.
And yes, I am in the process of updating my book, which more of this will come later. If there’s anything that I can answer or if you would like to see something on this site, feel free to shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till next time Biz Army…
Levi Leyba, MBA