Adrian Gandara, age 11, hails from a family that embraces entrepreneurial values. His father, Joel Gandara, is an Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) member in South Florida and CEO of Morro Capital who is focusing on a new venture, Freedom Experts, which helps fellow entrepreneurs optimize processes to reclaim entrepreneurial freedom. Joel and his wife believe there is huge value in learning about entrepreneurship early in life, so they're teaching their four children to bootstrap.
The values are taking root. Adrian's older brother, Ryan, 12, started his own business buying wholesale chocolate bars and selling them at a profit. Adrian and his 5-year-old sister, Reagan, also sell chocolate. In addition, Adrian's innate motivation has taken him a step―or rather, thousands of strides―further: He's running a 5k each day for six months to inspire others to get and stay fit. We asked Adrian and his father, Joel, about this goal. Here's what they shared.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.
Adrian/ I first started selling chocolate bars at age 7. I was inspired by my dad when he told me how he sold comics, candy bars and Garbage Pail Kids cards when he was little. He tells me that selling and earning money as a kid is the path to success as an adult.
From selling chocolates, toys and erasers, I found out that my brother and I are the only kids in our whole neighborhood who are interested in making money. While other kids are inside on their electronics, we're outside earning money.
My brother and I have a goal to get $50,000 each in our bank accounts by the time we turn 18.
Where did the idea to run a 5k a day for six months originate?
Adrian/ Dad took us to an EO event featuring James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy. He's a triathlete and Guinness World Record holder who has done some inspiring things like the 50-50-50: He completed 50 Ironman triathlons in 50 days in 50 different states.
Joel/ After hearing the Iron Cowboy speak, we ran a 5k with him as part of the event. Shortly after that, Adrian announced his big, hairy audacious goal to run a 5k every day for six months.
I see a strong connection between entrepreneurship and running: They both involve setting specific goals, executing on them and "hustling"―our family's secret to success.
On December 9, 2017, Adrian started his six-month running streak, and nothing has stopped him yet! He wakes up at 7 a.m. every morning, stretches and runs 3.1 miles. The thing about Adrian is that he never gives up.
What do you hope to accomplish with this goal, both personally and for your community?
Adrian/ I want to spread the running gospel to the whole world so that everyone can be fit and healthy and no one has to suffer from obesity or Type 2 Diabetes. My YouTube channel, Fit with Adrian, does not make any money but I feel like the experiences that I share with my subscribers about running, nutrition and staying healthy is a way to give back to people.
I set an additional goal to get 1,000 YouTube subscribers to my channel by June 1 in order to spread my message further.
Adrian, you ran the first of 180 daily 5ks on December 9 and are a little more than halfway to your goal on June 10. What's been the biggest difficulty to overcome?
Adrian/ Running while being sick was tough. At school there's always a cold or virus going around, so I can't usually go three months without being sick. There have been a few days when I've had a cold or a stomach ache, but not once did I even think about quitting. I thought, "How can I stop now? After all that I've done and that I've shared with the world already, I can't stop!"
I have this feeling inside that tells me that I have to finish what I started.
Joel, how did your son get a sponsor?
Joel/ Adrian is a member of the racing team for Runner's Depot, a local running store in South Florida. That happened when I casually asked the owner, Reneé Grant, how my son could get on their racing team. Since she knew he had run―and won―about 90 5k races by the age of 10, she immediately put him on the team. She gives Adrian shirts to wear, pays for many of his race entry fees and has even given him free shoes. It might come as a surprise to some, but at Adrian's pace, he goes through a pair of running shoes every couple of months.
Reneé notified the local NBC affiliate about Adrian's 5k streak, and they filmed a news story about him.
The result has been a lot of great community support. When friends and neighbors see him out running, they honk their horns and cheer him on from car windows and sidewalks. At local running events, people recognize him as the kid who's running six months' worth of 5ks. He's definitely enjoying all of the support and attention.
What's been the biggest surprise about this challenge? How will you celebrate when you achieve your goal?
Adrian/ The biggest surprise is that I'm actually doing this streak, and I'm more than halfway to my goal. My record of running consecutive 5ks before I started was just two, over a weekend. Now I've run more than 100 in a row.
When I finish my streak on June 10, I will go to Puerto Rico with 10 or 15 family members for two weeks and explore the island. I think it'll be a great way to celebrate!
I don't know what got into my mind when I decided to do this, but I said I was going to run a 5k every day for six months in a row, so that's what I'm doing. I doubted myself a little bit at first, but it turns out that I can do anything I decide to do, as long as I really want to.
You can read more about how the Gandara family instills entrepreneurial values in their children here.