We had the good fortune of connecting with Ernie Agbobock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ernie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I became self-employed the business required even more of my time than it did before. It came to a point for me where I would feel guilty if I was doing something other than building my business. Work nights became longer as things got busier. I started seeing less of my family and also noticed I had stopped doing things I enjoyed that tend to help me relax or relieve stress. Of course as an entrepreneur you learn to understand that in order to be successful you’ll have to sacrifice certain things, but you determine what and how much. Now, I consciously try to make an effort to dedicate a day for the family, not work too many late nights, and make sure I’m not 100% work and 0% play. Balance is still on my mind constantly. Ultimately, balance is what you make of it and will never be perfect. As long as you understand that sometimes work needs to be turned off in order to make time for other things. Whether that’s family time, personal time for yourself, watching Netflix, reading a book, playing a game, or whatever it is you do to unwind.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I pride myself on being myself. Being honest and genuinely wanting people to be more knowledgable and educated in the world of firearms is what I feel helps set me apart. I’m most excited about the future. I keep telling myself that I’m only just scratching the surface. There are so many ideas I just can’t wait to explore. I jumped in the business head first and although it wasn’t and still isn’t easy, I don’t think I would have done it any other way. It’s helped me learn a lot about myself and my character. One of the lessons I’ve learned along the way is to always bet on yourself. One of my fears is looking back when I get older and saying I wish I would’ve pursued that dream or idea I had. I think what I’m doing is pretty cool and very special and I don’t take it lightly. It’s not too often that you hear of an African American man owning a gun store. I always tell myself that it’s bigger than just me. I want the world to know that it isn’t just about making money but about creating something that will be a resource to my family and the community once it’s all said and done.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d have to start by going to the shooting range of course. There are plenty to choose from in Houston. Top Gun is one of the more popular indoor ranges in the city. I usually let the weather help me decide whether I’ll be at an indoor range or an outdoor range. I like to enjoy a good cigar every now and then so that would also have to be on the list. Sweet Lips Cigars in 3rd Ward, Stogies on Westheimer, and Davidoff Cigars Houston in River Oaks are just a few of my favorite lounges. There’s a new winery downtown called Pur Noire that’s a great place to have a chill night with a nice glass of wine and good people. Last but not least if you really want to be a tourist you have to check out the Johnson Space Center and the Houston Museum District.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So it took some convincing, but once I think she noticed my passion, my wife became my biggest supporter. My family and friends have also been very instrumental and supportive since I started this journey whether it’s offering up ideas or a helping hand. I’ve been fortunate enough to make connections and network with some great people within the firearms community. Members of my gun club who have helped promote my business and my brand have been amazing as well. Several other gun store owners who I’ve had the opportunity to meet have helped share invaluable knowledge and advice with me that I will forever be thankful for. I couldn’t thank everyone enough for their continued support. Thank you village!
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