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Trevor Benko – CEO

HOW I BECAME CEO OF TGB SUPPLEMENTS

It is kind of a long story how I became a Supplement store owner. I was always into bodybuilding and training MMA growing up. I competed in bodybuilding at the ages of 17 and 19 in the NPC teen class and jiu-jitsu a few times in my late teens and early twenties as well. I grew up with little money and had to work for everything I had. At the age of 10 I started working. I used to cut lawns and got my first job working at a little gun club in my neighborhood. As I grew older and could get legitimate jobs I did. I remember working at a restaurant, delivering pizzas and running a pool hall all while in high school. Needless to say, I didn’t have much time for school or anything else. I still did very well in school though. I even took college credited classes in high school and always maintained at least a B average. I always thought if I was going to do something I might as well do it to the best of my ability even if I didn’t like what I was doing. When I graduated High School, I planned on going to college. I applied for financial aid which should have been no problem since I lived with my single mom who made little to no money at all. That was not the case. It turns out since I had been working for so long almost full time, my income was considered too high for financial aid. This was a devastating blow for me. I tried going to a small school instead of the university I planned on going to originally but it ended up being too difficult to try to maintain the costs. I didn’t feel good going deeply in debt so I dropped out in the first semester instead of wasting anymore money. I felt betrayed by the system. I needed to work to have the nice things I wanted and live a normal lifestyle like the other kids I knew but working hard actually hurt me when it came time for me to get help with financial support for school. I was lucky enough to find a good job at Frito Lay (the potato chip company) at the age of 18. I slowly worked into a full time position. I hated my job at Frito but I had to pay my bills I had been living on my own in an apartment since I was 17. When I was 22 yrs. my old girlfriend and I found out we were having a baby boy so I decided I needed to get us out of the apartment we had been living in and buy a house so my son could have a real home. I bought a house and it took everything I had to make the down payment on the house. At first they said 10% down and we would be fine but with one week left till closing they changed it to 20%. I had to sell nearly all of my valuables to come up with the money for the down payment on the house. I moved everything into the new house by myself because I hate asking for help and I didn’t have many friends cause all I did was work. Finally, I got us moved in at the end of June. On 8-15-10 my old girlfriend felt like something was wrong with the baby because he wasn’t moving around as much as normal, at this time she was 8 months (32wks) pregnant. She went to the hospital and they told her that our son had a prolapsed cord and that he was gone. He was 8 months along in the pregnancy and up until this point perfectly healthy. All of a sudden he was gone and everything came crashing down in my world. I didn’t realize pain like this existed. We had to go through the birth, which was most horrific thing I have ever experienced. I was numb to everything. I didn’t sleep, didn’t talk, I was just empty. I was off work for about a week or so due to my loss. Up until this point, I never missed a day of work since I started. I had my own route and they really didn’t have anyone that could cover my route so it was hard on them to give me time off but in this situation I didn’t care. Finally, I had to go back to work and I knew I wasn’t in the right state of mind yet so I tried to call my boss that weekend to tell him I wasn’t ready but he ignored my phone calls. I got in there at about 5am Monday morning and it was like 10 degrees. My truck was frozen on the inside and everything was a wreck. I knew I had at least a 16 hr day ahead of me by myself in the cold. My boss walks by at 7am, I am still loading my truck and thinking about what I had going on. He just passes by doesn’t say anything. I stood there and had an epiphany at that moment. I thought about working there for another 20 years and realized I couldn’t do this for the rest of my life. I knew I would have been miserable and I wouldn’t make it. This took about 10 min of thinking just standing there freezing in the cold. My hands were so cold I thought I had frost bite. It was weird like something came over me. When I came to, I went to find my boss in his office and asked him why he ignored my phone calls over the weekend. He started stuttering around for an explanation. I threw him my keys to the truck and told him to have fun that I was done and would never be back. I walked out and that was it. I had nothing set up except for a little money I had saved and what was in my retirement 401k which I withdrew. I knew that from that day on I wanted to do something I was passionate about. I was tired of doing something I didn’t believe in. Tired of working a job I hated every day. I started helping out on the bodybuilding forums because I had time and it was something I enjoyed. Well they took notice and asked me to be a mod on a forum. This was my favorite forum at the time. I was honored. I started helping guys all day every day. I was working with bodybuilders and pro fighters on diets, cycles, and supplementation. Things were going great but I had zero money coming in. A guy I met on the board owned a supplement company so I asked how he got into it and where he started. He gave me a little info. I started looking into it and found out how to start a business. I thought about starting a supplement store since it was something I love and I was knowledgeable in. I had always been into reading Muscular development and Flex magazine all through my childhood. I always enjoyed the Supplements and Performance enhancing drugs part of the industry. I stayed up late one night got my business registered which would enable me to start working with a distributor. They gave me a rep which helped me get in contact with the company that built my website. It took literally every dollar I had to build the site. I wanted it to be a good professional site. I had just enough money to buy about one shelf full of product for locals and to buy any products needed if I had a customer order. I had less than $500 left to my name. Things started slow but all the guys from the forum that I had helped while being a mod gave me a chance and ordered from us. I started telling everyone locally but some were skeptical and didn’t think it was serious. Like I was just doing this on the side. I guess you will always have doubters but I believed in it and that is what mattered. The first month I barely paid my bills because I was at the end of my rope. Slowly it got better and better. I started building. Before long I found out we were having another baby. We didn’t plan for it that’s for sure. I started to get myself ready and I worked all day and night on building my business and helping my customers. My daughter was born on August 11, 2011 she was due on the same day we lost our son a year later but she came a little early. I got to be with her every day and while I worked from home on the website and at night I would run deliveries locally. It got to the point my girlfriend at the time had to quit her job as a dental receptionist to work with me on the business. We continued growing, before long my house was full of supplements. Finally, I found a building that was between the two gyms where we did most business. We grew a lot once we got in there. Things really flourished. We have a good team of people working for us that believe in our company as much as I do. Every one of my employees loves this business as much as I do. They want to help others and I couldn’t be luckier to have them. My Daughter is now 4 years old and I am the luckiest father in the world to have her. She is my main motivation for continuing to further my business. I want to be able to provide her with the things I never had growing up and give her a future in whatever she wants to pursue. I have a tattoo of a prayer on my arm from my son’s funeral called Don’t Quit (attached below) that inspires me. It is very motivational and keeps me going. I have to be the best man I can for my daughter and my son. It is hard to complain about life when my son didn’t even get to live one day on this earth. I would have given my life for my son and would for my daughter. I try to be thankful for everything that I have today. Providing my daughter with a good life and teaching her what I have learned about life thus far is my number one priority. Money doesn’t buy happiness. You have to find that within yourself. If you do what you love you will succeed, and if you don’t you try again until you do. If you believe in what you are doing 100% nothing can stop you! I am thankful for everyday that I am alive and healthy. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my daughter and if it wasn’t for my son I wouldn’t have ever started my business. I hope that one day I will inspire others to be the best they can be. Thank you for reading my story and if you are a customer of TGB Supplements we are truly grateful to have your support!

Don’t Quit (prayer from my son’s funeral)

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill when the funds are low and the debts are high and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit…. Rest you must but don’t you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns and many a failure turns about, when he might have won if he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow you may succeed with another blow.
Success if failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt, and you never can tell how close you are. It may be near when it seems afar. So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit, that you mustn’t quit.