Brennan Agranoff, Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO, HoopSwagg & PetParty: “Learn to Learn”
Brennan Agranoff started his first company, HoopSwagg, in 2013 at the age of 13. He grew it to $1 million in annual sales by the time he was 17. One year later, in 2018, he launched his most recent brand, PetParty. Combined, Brennan’s brands achieved $2.4 million in sales in 2019. He has been featured in Forbes, People Magazine, CNN, Fox, Entrepreneur, and more.
Brennan’s Original Story: “Learn to Learn”
I was born and raised 20 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon. At 20, I still feel like I’m growing up, but looking back through my childhood years, I am so grateful for the support I was given by my parents. In no way was the path I went down forced, but rather supported. They supported me to make my own decisions and would always support whatever the outcome was. In my case, I ended up growing my company while going to school. When I was even younger I sold stuff on eBay, flipped things at garage sales, and many more – just playing around online, learning how the internet and e-commerce works. I think a lot of the foundation for my success today came from the concept of “learning to learn,” which my parents encouraged. They would never do stuff for me and my brother but rather encouraged us to attempt first, and then offer help if we needed it.
I still don’t know if I’ve had that specific realization of “This is what I love to do.” More so, running my own business gives me freedom to always try new things in search of what that love is, because for me it’s ever-changing.
I never pursued a college degree, and I think it was the best decision I made in terms of personal progress. It has forced me to find new ways to get social interaction and keeps my mind free and open to new ideas and people.
One thing that has been challenging is marching into the unknown – often there are no people who have done exactly what you are doing. The risk is high (but so is the reward) and it can be terrifying having no idea what to expect or how to react in situations.This forces you to think critically which at the end of day is all your business is – just solving problems creatively. I think one of the best ways to overcome them is to always be willing to take a step back and think, “Is this life or death?” A lot of the time, it is not, and by taking that moment to step back you can return to that same issue with a new frame of mind and new potential solutions.
If I could leave you with any lesson, it’s this: Learn to learn. I live by this. I think by teaching yourself how to learn things you make yourself unstoppable. There will never be anything you can’t go out and learn if you need, and if you are able to do this effectively you will be amazed at the different connections you make by learning things across multiple areas.