Dreamers: “They told me It was impossible and I did it anyway” With Joshua Weiner & Philip Brossy of Oh, Shoot
Respect your physical and mental health. Never burn the candle at both ends. Eat right, work out and sleep well. Make time for yourself and your personal passions. I love to make art and the creative thought process plays a big part in my day to day as an entrepreneur.
As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joshua Weiner & Philip Brossy.
Josh Weiner is from an entrepreneur from Chicago. From a young age he loved taking things apart and putting them back together. As he got older, he dived into the world of technology and eventually learned to develop software professionally. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and doing art projects. Josh is currently an undergraduate student at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
Philip Brossy grew up in southern Connecticut and went to a boarding high school called Episcopal in DC. He grew up being an avid hiker and explores as much as possible. Philip has a textbook reselling business in high school where he would sell hundreds of textbooks a semester. Philip can be caught playing chess, tearing up the dance floor, sailing, and exploring as much as possible. Philip is currently an undergraduate student at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?
We were freshmen roommates at Tulane University. Oh, Shoot was founded out of our dorm room at the end of our freshman year just fixing phones in our spare time for their friends. We are both born entrepreneurial and often spent nights exchanging side hustle ideas. Philip was actually the one who thought of making an iPhone repair company for the college campus and Josh designed rinky dinky website and a logo. We quickly realized that there was a strong demand for high-quality repairs where the repairman came right to you on campus. At the start of our sophomore year, now a “come to you” iPhone repair company hired 10+ college students to fix phones on 8 college campuses.
Philip has been hustling his entire life, whether it be investing in stocks or buying and reselling textbooks giving him a “he just will get anything done” attitude. Contrastingly, Josh grew up designing websites for small businesses, later he attended a coding bootcamp and become a certified software developer after his sophomore year at Tulane. Coupling both young entrepreneurs’ skills, they spent night’s meeting with each other around the clock to expand Oh Shoot. In the beginning of their junior year, Oh Shoot released Tutoring and Cleaning services to Oh Shoot’s offerings employing over 55+ part time jobs for solely college students. Oh Shoot is soon to become the one stop shop for college students to book high quality services that come to you right on campus and employ thousands of part time college students in the process that can work in their free time.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Oh Shoot’s engineering team is developing an extremely robust back end with an emphasis on data analysis to allow Oh Shoot to become a more automated and efficient business. Moreover, our booking and scheduling will soon offer more services and be even easier to use. Oh Shoot is excited to keep on expanding to additional colleges in the upcoming semesters. Also, the Oh Shoot App will be released to the App store.
In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?
At the core of this business, Oh Shoot provides high-quality services for college students, yet allows college students to work in their free time earning above-average wages. There is a growing student debt crisis and with Oh Shoot, part-time workers can make as much as $40 an hour right on campus to pay off student debt or have spending money. Now, Oh Shoot has multiple student contractors earning over $1,000 a month working with Oh Shoot’s platform.
Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?
To build a business from scratch you have to an intense amount of self-belief. We have a lot of people who provide helpful, constructive criticism. We listen and centralize all of that — but if your saying no for the sake of saying no, we don’t pay attention.
Our own company advisers pushed heavily against our pivot we had this semester to add additional services. Our iPhone repair business was going well…yet we saw an opportunity to make a major pivot to add tutoring and cleaning services and mold Oh Shoot into a platform to have many services for college students. In response to the push-back from our advisors, we put our heads down and worked hard days… 12–14 hours every day for about 3 months to finally launch Oh Shoot’s platform this semester.
In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂
In the end, there will always be naysayers, people who don’t believe in your idea or people who are not supportive. Josh and I are here to keep on working and building Oh Shoot brick by brick for all the college students around us.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
We are grateful to everyone that has helped us. From our best friends understanding when we must make sacrifices in our social lives for the business to Tulane Business school professors providing us interesting perspectives on a difficult question. A few people really stand out, John Clarke, associate dean of the Freeman Graduate Business School, who is always available to take a call and help us out. Lydia and Marco, the founders of Rent Check, have offered great advice and shown us their expertise.
It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?
We come from hard-working families. My parents worked their way through school, working multiple jobs and both earned an advanced degree. Being hardworking in the Shawver / Weiner household is the expectation. I am also dyslexic, growing up school was always a challenge — I think those early days of struggling with learning disabilities helped cement my work ethic. It taught me to learn from failure. — Josh
When I was in 4th grade, my dad kicked me out of the house at the end of a snowstorm and handed me a shovel. He told me to go up and down the street asking people to shovel their walks for money. This taught me resilience from a young age. As a sophomore in high school, I ran a trail running marathon to raise money for Autism and a month later hiked 34 miles in a day in the mountains in Alaska in hypothermic conditions. I love resilience. — Philip
Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)
Josh’s 5 strategies
- Always believe in yourself, believe that you can do whatever it is you want to do. When you are building your business, you will be constantly entering the unknown, self-belief will help you dive in headfirst.
- Welcome failure with open arms. Loving failure will help you take risks that others won’t. I learn the most from failure and being the competitive person, it motivates me to keep learning.
- Be autodidactic. You must always be learning; having a wealth of knowledge will help you beat the competition. Whether it directly relates to your business or not. You never know when a snippet of information may prove itself useful.
- Respect your physical and mental health. Never burn the candle at both ends. Eat right, work out and sleep well. Make time for yourself and your personal passions. I love to make art and the creative thought process plays a big part in my day to day as an entrepreneur.
- Understand your weaknesses. For example, time management is something that does not come naturally, I use a calendar and a slew of productivity apps to help maximize my output.
Philip’s 5 Strategies
- No one owes you anything. If you want something, work the hardest to take it.
- Do every activity at 110%. If not, why waste the energy? When I am in my first or last reps at the gym, I will always think to myself that this needs to get 110% effort if I want to get my body where I want it.
- Drink 2 cups of 12oz water when you wake up. You are dehydrated after you sleep. This gets you going everyday like coffee.
- Make your bed after you wake up. This completes a task giving you a sense of satisfaction right after you wake up. I do this every day.
- Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work. I am not the smartest, but I will outwork you. A hard-working mindset is what I like having.
What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal it is the courage to continue that counts” — Winston Churchill
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The class disparity in the United States is very concerning. I think we must educate our most privileged country mates of the reality of poverty in order to make way for equal standards of living. How else do we expect to help our most disenfranchised Americans if our most fortunate are completely unaware of the difficult conditions many Americans go through every day
Can our readers follow you on social media?
Personal Instagram: @philipbrossy
Personal Instagram: @jshver
Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!
Dreamers: “They told me It was impossible and I did it anyway” With Joshua Weiner & Philip Brossy… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.