Ben J. Ligeri Bio
My first job was a drive through coffee shop. I was the only non-female employee and my tips from the flirtatious Harley biker crew paled in comparison to my coed employees. I later joined the United States Navy looking to become a Fleet Admiral but only became an Aviation Airman before finding my exit point. I finished top in my class in aviation electronics in Pensacola, Florida and then also in Aerial Refueling in Jacksonville, Florida. Once onboarding the USS Abraham Lincoln, I had never become so bored in my life and I bore easily. The only exciting thing was the length of my shift which was 6am to midnight.
When I left the Navy, I took the 126 hour work week with me. I spent my twenties trying to prove to the world that Andy Warhol and Michaelangelo were but footnotes to me as an artist and Shakespeare but a dog with fleas next to me as a writer. But we live in a world where pointless reboots of Spiderman mingled with propaganda for diabetes and Orwellian group think were more important than spirtually elevating sonnets. My #1 YouTube show was considered some of the best satire of all time and my screenplays were beyond the greatest films that would never see the light of day — ask any thinking, feeling person in the mid 2000’s to confirm that ascertion. Failure to make any revenue of any kind in such pursuits and anxious to be independent led me into the business world, a slave existence I still maintain today. Creating Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Online takeout, automated drive through’s, and many other major inventions you take for granted today was also met with a lack of success and revenue for myself and so I started to aim lower. I studied the nonsense that made businesses great and began to apply it to the family business of retail.
I’ve always hated retail as a business. My mind works best focused on one thing not billions of moving parts and that’s what retail is. It also sucks that you always have to have four times your valuation in the form of valueless trinkets at any time in order to sustain a sales cycle. But yes, I went into the industry that was the opposite of most suitable to me. Prior to that I had opened a Retirement Company with offices in Seekonk, MA and Seattle, WA specializing in fixed rate annuities as risk-proof investment vehicles. And then my family sucked me in. Our background is yard sales and flea markets for the most part. I saw a sibling selling wigs and wig caps and Michael Jackson Thriller jackets on eBay and began to run an Amazon business around his product selection proclivities. He would do stuff like order 10,000 baby strollers from Jakk’s Pacific and I would be fighting with DOT and the FBI as the largest semi truck in the world strolled into a residential cul de sac. I would also be hiring dozens of workers on Craigslist and running massive all night crews to the chagrin of our simple neighbors looking to get sleep and not have strobe lights on them all night. And then my sibling would sell all the strollers out at a loss because he didn’t understand profit.
It was during these times I realized I would need to take a tighter reign on things if I were to turn raw and pointless sales into a profitable and meaningful business. Once I got serious in that pursuit and read enough business philosophy books, I would become a CEO of an Inc. 500 company I created and of course my sibling would take credit for and steal my identity. That CEO-ship would ultimately gain me the number one fastest growing retail company in 2012. Once I took control of Yagoozon, it went from a family yard sale mentality to a 500k, 4 MIL, then 30 MIL a year company overnight. I took my profits and went back into the artistic world only to succeed beyond measure but completely fail financially. I then returned to the retail world to see another group of family members struggling to make a buck for 6 years on Amazon. I took over that company when it had a warehouse the size of a Starbucks bathroom and did the Yagoozon routine again.
This time, not just business management and development, but also product development and branding as well. After becoming CEO, it would be a few short years before it would become another fastest-growing business in RI. 2MIL. 4MIL. 8MIL. 16MIL. type annual growth. This time, the family member who never showed up to the office but somehow had the business in their name, decided to show up on year 5 and kick me out on the street. Me, the only non warehouse employee working 120 hours a week on every single layer of the company and just beginning to see my success.
That was 3 months ago, almost to the day, and that company is now down roughly 60% in daily revenue and crashing hard without its sole employee. Instead of getting outed by another family member with delusional beliefs of his/her success, I have decided to go it alone this time. I am now 2 months into my new business and it is already on track for a 10 to 20 million dollar year 3. Year 1 is never fun. Year 2 is not much fun either. Year 3 ends up being a lot of fun. I don’t have a plan to do a certain dollar figure. My plan is to be full scale and do the best possible. I have already spent a quarter million starting up, I have over 100 products and more in development, approximately 70 CBM on the water at present from China and Greece, a staff of 5 and a no BS attitude. I’m reading The High Velocity Edge which I picked up from the Polaris book club and I’m onboarding a wraparound software and using every Quickbooks plugin available for full scale operations. I am looking to nail it this time, 20 years past my goal of doing so at 21 but still reasonable to be there in the 40’s. I would like to take this business to the billion dollar market cap and use my income from it to make next generation television shows and music products and finally prove the claim to the world that I am the greatest living artist of all time. Business is just one expression of that art.