Welcome to Sky’s the Limit’s Limitless! Blog Series.
Read exclusive interviews with some of the most inspirational and motivating entrepreneurs and mentors around, featuring the stories of people who inspire us and encourage us to think differently and #BeLimitless every day. This month spotlights Founder Joshua Funches — we hope you enjoy his story.
And, if you’d like to hear more from Joshua be sure to join us for Episode 8 of the new live Web Series Limitless! Register Today!
Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
A: Every year I went to this event called the Youth Bike Summit (basically a 3-day conference) and from the name, you can tell, young people were the focus of the event. The idea was to see young people... displaying leadership, being decision makers or even being facilitators. When I think about the word inspired, I think about how my moments at this event shaped my perspective – because I used to be very shy and reserved.
I had the utmost amount of hope seeing things I had never seen before by people my age. I was inspired. To think that at some point all of the folks at the event had just hopped on a bike, and it led them here: to a platform we had never been given until that moment. Adiva, Noah and myself discovered more within ourselves when noticing progress in our peers.
The three of us felt hopeful and did something with that hope. We questioned what more could we discover if it was literally, just us? No adult interference. We were about 15-16 years old at the time we started the National Youth Bike Council which began as a group chat and it only grew from there as many people realized, it’s something that did not exist, that should have.
I kind of just look back saying...It was literally one of the most organic things I've ever experienced. And to think it all started with a bicycle! I can't wait to see what other creative ideas my peers have to offer and what role the organization will play in supporting youth development in the US.
Q: What keeps you motivated day-to-day to keep working on your business?
A: Three things:
1) Maybe one day, the great effects of my work will be tangible to my family.
2) It's a great personal journey of discovery and kind of to the last point, waking up to question what I can do or what difference I can make tomorrow by bettering my skills today?
3) The young people who are also a part of this work – I've seen some of our stories, I've lived it... they are a huge motivation for me, where they have come from, what they are doing, what they started, their potential and maybe how the Council can play a great part in it.
Q: How have mentors and other entrepreneurs played a role in moving your business forward?
A: Mentors from Sky's the Limit have served as a great support system for idea boards or strategic resources to help shape my perspective to help me lead my organization. Entrepreneurs on the platform enable me to refine my skills if I am the one teaching or improve my skills if I am the one observing.
Q: What’s the #1 challenge you’ve faced, and how’d you overcome it?
A: Feeling overwhelmed. The amount of times I've felt overwhelmed is countless. Being self aware and always being curious has led me to my answers for solving my problem of feeling overwhelmed. The advantage of being curious is that you’re always seeking new knowledge, and you have to determine for yourself if it’s useful. The advantage of being self aware is the ability to be able to identify a need for improvement or take yourself out of the moment to observe the situation.
Now, I manage my time in a way that has reduced this feeling of being overwhelmed.
Q: How did you approach funding for your business?
A: We are always actively looking for funding including improving the way we design cash flow (income and expenditures). Just like a for- profit business has to identify a way in which their edge exists in a world, so can a nonprofit and then finding ways to make money off of that, that distract as little as possible from the end goal of our work has been our approach.
Q: How do you manage your time between working on your business and other aspects of your life?
A: Here's what I do to manage my time:
1) I rarely procrastinate.
2) I stay ahead of the game by making sure I am taking care of myself.
3) I am intentional about my time, and I box off my time for specific hours of the day.
Q: Any words of wisdom or inspiration you’d give someone just starting out?
A: No need to rush your business. Ask, ask, ask. Think, think, think. Don't do anything without thinking and don't think you can't ask.