January 29, 2023

Business Company

Reuters Business

He Built A $2 Million Business Around His Passion For Home Movie Theaters. Now He’s Helping Entrepreneurs With Disabilities Reach New Heights.

Gustavo Serafini has created a aspiration enterprise around get the job done he enjoys. He is co-founder of Pure Audio Movie, a reseller of high-stop household theater products primarily based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The motion picture buff and his co-founder and brother Marcelo make elaborate property enjoyment activities for men and women who adore technologies, films and audio. Serafini doubles as host of the Enabled Disabled Podcast, which aims to shift the narrative all-around incapacity and empower people via realistic suggestions and tales.

Pure Audio Video clip, launched in 2005, has developed to about $2 million in yearly income, and now has nine workers, placing the duo in the small cohort of business owners whose compact businesses access $1 million in annual income or much more.

Serafini has constructed his business though living with a incapacity. He was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a uncommon, non-hereditary issue which results in a shortening of the femur, for which he wears a tailored prosthetic he is also missing his right arm. (He is amid many entrepreneurs who will be speaking at a cost-free group celebration at the New York Community Library on business people and incapacity this coming Thursday, July 28, at noon EST [on Zoom] I’ll be moderating.)

What has spurred Serafini through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is a perception in “choosing yourself”—as in “This is what I want my lifetime to be. This is the path I’m inclined to acquire. These are the sacrifices I’m ready to make,” he clarifies. “If we do not have the courage to choose ourselves, nothing at all is likely to happen.”

Serafini adopted this mindset at an early age. “The to start with time I remember genuinely likely out on a limb and picking out myself was when I played basketball,” he claims. “I determined to try out for the 8th grade staff. I was shorter than every person [who was trying out] and slower. Every person was light and was telling me, in essence, ‘Gustavo you’re not heading to make it. I really do not think it’s the greatest plan you have at any time experienced.’ My reaction was that it does not issue if I make it or not. I want to check myself. I want to see what I’m capable of executing.”

He did make the team, which was undefeated. Though, as a pre-teenager boy, he in no way asked his coach why he was decided on for the workforce, he intuited that the mentor experienced two reasons: to inspire other folks on the group to function harder and to rating points like every person else.

“The mentor changed his offensive technique when I performed,” he remembers. “It did not make a difference if we were being up by 20 details 30 points, 50 points—if I didn’t carry out, he pulled me, suitable absent. I was presented the prospect to make myself and him glimpse fantastic. If I didn’t do it, I bought taken out of the activity like most people else.”

That encounter was highly motivating for Serafini. “I understood for the initial time that whatever constraints I considered I had were wrong,” he claims. “The genuine boundaries ended up much, significantly further more absent and a lot murkier than I realized. Just to have that entire world expand in front of me was existence transforming.”

What playing on the group finally instructed him, he states, was, “I can make it in the globe. I may possibly have to do the job tougher. But persons are going to give me the opportunity to do a thing.”

That practical experience led him to provide as a coach at a basketball camp, wherever the head mentor noticed that he experienced a complete understanding of the sport. “That was an additional gorgeous encounter,” he says. “I acquired a ton about about motivating myself, main a group and camaraderie. All of these matters led into entrepreneurship.”

Past that, coaching was an opportunity for individual growth. “There was always a enjoyment and inspiration in defying anticipations,” he suggests. “If somebody informed me ‘You just cannot do this, I took on that challenge of proving them completely wrong.’”

Serafini attended faculty at the College of Chicago—inspired by an English trainer who desired him to become a author and liked the English method there—and then went on to the George Washington College School of Regulation. He discovered he didn’t have a enthusiasm for regulation as a career—“I was profoundly allergic to it,” he says—but trapped it out. Even so, when it arrived time to apply for careers just after faculty, felt the phone of entrepreneurship. Inquiring himself, “What can I do to just take regulate of my lifetime and the issues I’m intrigued in?” he concluded, “I should really possess my individual organization.”

His brother Marcelo shared a very similar drive. “We beloved the motion picture tunes encounter,” he claims. They did some investigate and a yr and half later, made a decision to start Pure Audio Video—and hardly ever seemed again. They originally started promoting their company to audiophiles, then refined their company product. Over and above working with buyers to plan the theaters and marketing the audio and online video programs, the company also does the related electrical perform and cyber security. About time, they concentrated their consideration on serving severe audiophiles with property theaters.

“This was an work out in endurance, soul exploring, figuring out who we preferred to serve and who we were being for,” he states. “We realized we wished to move into the higher-finish, luxurious customized dwelling market place, which is seriously difficult to break into. The builders regulate a ton of that perform.”

They did all of the networking they could to discover their first shoppers, and the business commenced taking off in 2007. But by 2009, the state was in a economic downturn. “We had that second of not knowing if we ended up heading to make it,” he recalls. “We determined we were being likely to go large-end or close.”

Last but not least, a builder they knew gave them an possibility to bid on a job at an NFL player’s dwelling. They received the bid, and the builder held a barbeque to rejoice the offer. “Once men and women realized we labored on that position and he was satisfied and ready to convey to persons, the alternatives begun,” states Serafini. By taking every venture to the maximum amount they could, they constructed beneficial word-of-mouth that aided the enterprise increase.

“The inventive things we do with pure audio/video is definitely in honor of the artists,” he claims. “When you create a cinema room that exceeds the anticipations of the people in the marketplace, that tells you you are accomplishing some thing correct. Individually, I just like sitting down in a good theater with buddies and observing some thing I know is as shut as achievable to how the artist supposed it to be. Hundreds of men and women perform on a major price range motion picture. How typically can we enjoy those people nuances and particular consequences? In the ideal scenario, it is transformative.”

He and Marcelo now aim to make the corporation to $4 million to $6 million in annual revenue. “I undoubtedly see the rewards of doubling or tripling in dimension,” he says. “But we do not want to sacrifice the expertise of working with us. We really don’t want to really feel corporate.”

For Serafini, a large portion of the pleasure of building the business enterprise has been the understanding procedure. “That idea of mastering anything and spending a actually extensive time of performing it for its personal sake for the satisfaction of observing what you can do is enormously motivating to me,” suggests Serafini. “What am I able of if I apply myself to this?”

A little over a 12 months in the past, he commenced his podcast. Due to the fact then, he has turn into considerably extra comfortable opening up and chatting about his disability, he states. On a single celebration, he worked with an aged pair, in which the gentleman discovered his incapacity and requested him, “What happened?” When Serafini told his story, the man’s wife shared their individual tale of dropping two youngsters. “There was a profound human relationship and belief designed up,” he claims. “If I hadn’t been open up to staying vulnerable, that wouldn’t have transpired.”

Serafini has uncovered that although incapacity is section of his id, every person is shaped by a lot of different encounters, and diverse ones arrive into play in diverse scenarios, both in his enterprise and lifetime outside of it.

“Disability is section of us,” he says. “Sometimes that element can dominate the relaxation. Sometimes it’s there in the background. It depends on exactly where you are and what you are executing in lifestyle.”