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 developed a aspiration organization about do the job he enjoys. He is co-founder of Pure Audio Movie, a reseller of substantial-finish property theater machines dependent in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The movie buff and his co-founder and brother Marcelo create elaborate residence enjoyment experiences for persons who appreciate technologies, movies and songs. Serafini doubles as host of the Enabled Disabled Podcast, which aims to change the narrative close to disability and empower people as a result of sensible suggestions and stories.

Pure Audio Movie, founded in 2005, has developed to about $2 million in once-a-year gross sales, and presently has nine workforce, placing the duo in the tiny cohort of business owners whose smaller enterprises reach $1 million in once-a-year earnings or more.

Serafini has created his organization even though living with a disability. He was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a scarce, non-hereditary ailment which benefits in a shortening of the femur, for which he wears a personalized prosthetic he is also missing his correct arm. (He is among the a number of entrepreneurs who will be talking at a totally free group occasion at the New York General public Library on business people and disability this coming Thursday, July 28, at midday EST [on Zoom] I’ll be moderating.)

What has spurred Serafini by the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is a perception in “choosing yourself”—as in “This is what I want my life to be. This is the route I’m keen to acquire. These are the sacrifices I’m willing to make,” he explains. “If we do not have the bravery to decide on ourselves, nothing is going to occur.”

Serafini adopted this mentality at an early age. “The initially time I keep in mind definitely likely out on a limb and deciding upon myself was when I played basketball,” he claims. “I determined to try out out for the 8th quality workforce. I was shorter than every person [who was trying out] and slower. Anyone was gentle and was telling me, in essence, ‘Gustavo you are not heading to make it. I don’t assume it’s the best notion you have ever had.’ My response was that it does not subject if I make it or not. I want to take a look at myself. I want to see what I’m capable of accomplishing.”

He did make the group, which was undefeated. Despite the fact that, as a pre-teen boy, he hardly ever requested his mentor why he was preferred for the staff, he intuited that the coach experienced two explanations: to encourage other people on the team to perform harder and to score points like anyone else.

“The mentor transformed his offensive system when I played,” he remembers. “It didn’t make any difference if we were up by 20 factors 30 details, 50 points—if I did not complete, he pulled me, right absent. I was presented the prospect to make myself and him seem good. If I didn’t do it, I received taken out of the activity like everybody else.”

That expertise was extremely motivating for Serafini. “I recognized for the first time that whichever limits I considered I had were being false,” he states. “The real limitations were a great deal, a lot even further away and a lot murkier than I understood. Just to have that environment grow in front of me was life altering.”

What taking part in on the staff in the end explained to him, he claims, was, “I can make it in the world. I may well have to get the job done more difficult. But folks are going to give me the prospect to do a little something.”

That practical experience led him to serve as a coach at a basketball camp, where by the head coach saw that he had a complete being familiar with of the activity. “That was one more gorgeous experience,” he suggests. “I figured out a large amount about about motivating myself, major a team and camaraderie. All of these things led into entrepreneurship.”

Outside of that, coaching was an opportunity for individual expansion. “There was often a satisfaction and determination in defying expectations,” he suggests. “If a person explained to me ‘You cannot do this, I took on that challenge of proving them incorrect.’”

Serafini attended college or university at the University of Chicago—inspired by an English teacher who needed him to come to be a author and loved the English system there—and then went on to the George Washington University University of Law. He uncovered he did not have a passion for regulation as a career—“I was profoundly allergic to it,” he says—but caught it out. Nevertheless, when it arrived time to utilize for work following faculty, felt the phone of entrepreneurship. Inquiring himself, “What can I do to get manage of my life and the items I’m fascinated in?” he concluded, “I need to have my personal small business.”

His brother Marcelo shared a related motivation. “We liked the movie songs working experience,” he states. They did some investigate and a calendar year and half afterwards, resolved to get started Pure Audio Video—and hardly ever appeared back again. They at first started marketing their assistance to audiophiles, then refined their company design. Past working with prospects to strategy the theaters and marketing the audio and movie techniques, the corporation also does the connected electrical do the job and cyber security. Over time, they focused their consideration on serving serious audiophiles with dwelling theaters.

“This was an exercise in persistence, soul hunting, figuring out who we wished to serve and who we were for,” he claims. “We realized we needed to go into the substantial-stop, luxurious tailor made dwelling market place, which is really challenging to crack into. The builders command a ton of that operate.”

They did all of the networking they could to obtain their first consumers, and the organization began getting off in 2007. But by 2009, the state was in a recession. “We experienced that instant of not realizing if we have been likely to make it,” he recalls. “We resolved we were likely to go higher-end or near.”

Finally, a builder they understood gave them an chance to bid on a task at an NFL player’s residence. They received the bid, and the builder held a barbeque to celebrate the offer. “Once folks realized we labored on that career and he was satisfied and inclined to tell people, the chances started off,” says Serafini. By having each and every project to the maximum degree they could, they created optimistic word-of-mouth that assisted the enterprise increase.

“The creative stuff we do with pure audio/video is truly in honor of the artists,” he states. “When you create a cinema home that exceeds the expectations of the individuals in the market, that tells you you’re undertaking a little something appropriate. Personally, I just appreciate sitting down in a fantastic theater with friends and watching anything I know is as shut as probable to how the artist supposed it to be. Countless numbers of persons do the job on a major spending plan movie. How typically can we appreciate these nuances and distinctive outcomes? In the finest situation, it is transformative.”

He and Marcelo now goal to establish the company to $4 million to $6 million in once-a-year profits. “I definitely see the added benefits of doubling or tripling in dimensions,” he states. “But we do not want to sacrifice the experience of functioning with us. We don’t want to come to feel corporate.”

For Serafini, a significant part of the pleasure of developing the organization has been the understanding course of action. “That notion of mastering anything and paying a definitely long time of accomplishing it for its very own sake for the satisfaction of seeing what you can do is enormously motivating to me,” suggests Serafini. “What am I able of if I apply myself to this?”

A tiny above a year ago, he started off his podcast. Considering the fact that then, he has develop into a great deal more relaxed opening up and speaking about his incapacity, he suggests. On one particular occasion, he labored with an aged couple, in which the guy found his disability and questioned him, “What occurred?” When Serafini instructed his story, the man’s spouse shared their individual story of dropping two youngsters. “There was a profound human relationship and have confidence in built up,” he suggests. “If I hadn’t been open to currently being vulnerable, that would not have took place.”

Serafini has uncovered that when incapacity is component of his identity, every person is formed by many unique experiences, and diverse ones arrive into participate in in unique predicaments, both equally in his small business and daily life outdoors of it.

“Disability is portion of us,” he says. “Sometimes that aspect can dominate the rest. At times it is there in the history. It depends on the place you are and what you are doing in daily life.”


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