How two former sales pros turned their big idea into a seven-figure business

Abram Liverio and Todd St. Louis were frustrated. As sales representatives for the medical technology company Stryker, they had to obtain schedules from 73 hospitals one by one, to ensure that operating room instruments and other devices were delivered on time. They knew there had to be a better way.

But there were none at that time in 2013, and they spotted an opportunity. Dreaming of creating a cloud-based database for real-time planning, they liquidated their 401(k) to hire a developer, left behind their six-figure jobs and launched OR TRAX, a startup based in Tampa Bay.

“We took a chance,” said Liverio, 39.

With no corporate jobs to support them, they were determined to make it work. “It was at the time The 4 hour work week came out,” Liverio recalled. “One of the things that Tim Ferriss pointed out was if you’re going to start your own business. start in an industry that you know. That makes perfect sense with what we’re doing. It pushed me to take the leap, to take the leap. this step.

Their network of professional contacts helped them get off to a promising start. Their first client was a small surgery center in Tampa. By the second year, they had reached about $12,000 in annual income. “At the end of the second year, I had $11 less in my bank account,” jokes Liverio, who sold his collection of watches and refinanced his car to get them over the line.

Six months later, OR TRAX landed a big client, which led to more accounts. “We’re so specialized that we don’t do any marketing,” says Liverio. “We don’t advertise. Everything is organic. Hospitals want to know what other hospitals are doing.

When Covid hit, the company saw an increase in demand for its technology from hospitals. “They wanted to clarify who was in the establishment and started reaching out,” Liverio says. Some facilities have used the company’s product to track vaccinations

Liverio kept a business diary for three years — an idea he learned from the late motivational speaker and entrepreneur Jim Rohn — keeping it at his desk to remember the early days. “It was funny watching my thought process,” he says.

Today, the nine-year-old company generates $2.4 million in annual revenue, with a team of four, according to Liverio. Most of his income comes from three- or four-year contracts.

Liverio’s advice to other budding entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business? Choose one that excites you. “Unless you’re obsessed with it, I don’t think it’s going to be successful,” he says. “It takes creativity, discipline and perseverance to succeed. Motivation goes away. What replaces motivation is discipline.

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