On a wild entrepreneurial rollercoaster ride since 2007, I realized an operating manual on how to handle all of the emotional ups and downs would go a long way to keeping me sane. In talking with some fellow entrepreneurs, I quickly learned I wasn’t alone. So I teamed up with my dad, a good guy who’s done some heavy-duty research and writing (see below).
Now we’re tackling the mental health of entrepreneurs straight on – the good, the bad and the ugly – and laying bare the realities. But the goal of this blog is not to be a downer; to the contrary, the goal is to offer shared experiences and the best practices to have you operating at an optimal level, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We’re doing this by digging deep into research and conducting interviews of fellow entrepreneurs and thought leaders in various related fields. We’re not talking about fluff and puff interviews with clever quotes by the bucket full. Instead, we focus on high quality interviews with peers and seasoned vets still doing battle in the trenches, because we’re looking for pragmatic, practical, and realistic solutions, as well as some compelling stories of course.
Think about it, regardless of what phase in the entrepreneurial journey you might be in, you absolutely need to be performing at an optimal level at all times to handle a massive workload with multiple tasks; to make important decisions, sometimes very quickly; and to deal with stressors and pressure points. This blog is also about sustaining meaning and purpose in your life in the face of the great uncertainties – the crux of existentialism.
Why The Existential Entrepreneur? Please take a couple minutes to find out.
He is a serial entrepreneur who founded an action sports film company at the age of 15; then an active wear clothing line; and is now a principal at a boutique private equity firm based in Easton, PA. For the film company, Krass put together comprehensive partnership deals with industry leading brands such as Salomon, Skull Candy and Electric Visual. Still not old enough to drive, he also traveled to Whistler, Canada, for a month long vide shoot, among other adventures.
In 2010, while a sophomore at Lehigh University, he founded Krass & Co., a high-end specialty active wear line of clothing. While still an undergrad, Krass was able to raise seed money from investors such as Richard Hayne, co-founder and CEO of URBN. To pursue his entrepreneurial interests full-time, Krass dropped out of Lehigh and subsequently bootstrapped Krass & Co. to $1M in annual sales in less than 18 months. Although he has now stepped away from the business, Krass & Co can still be found online and in specialty stores across the country.
In 2016, Easton, PA-based Worksite Ventures recruited Krass as its Director of Digital Innovation. Since then, Krass has focused on making investments in the consumer products space while overseeing marketing activities for Worksite Venture’s portfolio companies. This also led to a stint as interim Chief Marketing Officer of Mountain Creek Resort, a middle market four season resort in Vernon, NJ.
Through these experiences, it wasn’t long before Krass realized the realities of entrepreneurship don’t match up what you learn in the classroom or read about online. This combined with a colorful ten-year entrepreneurial journey is what motivated him to begin writing The Existential Entrepreneur. In his spare time Krass enjoys skiing, traveling and mentoring student entrepreneurs.
He has written and edited 12 books. Krass’s first biography Carnegie was selected by Library Journal as one of the best biography/business books for 2002; featured on C-Span’s Booknotes; and Barron’s cited the book as “the definitive Andrew Carnegie.” Krass’s other biography is Blood & Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel, the first ever biography of the flamboyant boy moonshiner turned whiskey baron in the tumultuous post-Civil War South. Blood & Whiskey was featured on NPR’s Marketplace, BBC Radio, C-Span’s BookTV, and was the subject of an Associated Press article reprinted widely across the United States.
In addition to his biography work, Krass was the creator of a successful series of books on business wisdom, which began with The Book of Business Wisdom: Classic Writings by the Legends of Commerce and Industry. The series also included The Book of Entrepreneurs’ Wisdom: Classic Writings by Legendary Entrepreneurs. He has written seven major white papers for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, beginning with Oil and Water: Business Opportunities to Fuel our Future (Winter 2008) and ending with New Forms of Organizing to Promote Collaboration (Spring 2014). In a prior life he also profiled past and present business icons for Investor’s Business Daily.
For more information, visit www.petekrass.com