Freedom, Permission, & Motivation: Three people who helped me start BONUS!

I would be remiss if I didn’t write a blog about a person who embodies the freedom, permission, and motivation that Seth Gary and Dave have given me. This person has been with me since day one of the business and has allowed me to thrive as an entrepreneur. That person, of course, is my wife Renae.

Those of you that have met her, know she is awesome. But knowing what I know now about starting a business, a supporting spouse if critical. If your spouse was not supportive, it’s easy to see how entrepreneurship could lead to some serious marital troubles.

Sure, Renae was nervous when I told her I wanted to quit my job and start this business. There have been times where it was stressful. There are many Saturday mornings that I am not around because I am working or evenings I am not available to watch TV with but she has soldiered on.

We had to change our lifestyle when the business started, nary a word was spoken from Renae. We have had good weeks and bad months of the business but through it all, she has maintained her support. Never having to worry about coming home to a spouse who was angry about working a lot because of the business or a slow month is hard to place a value on.

When I talk to soon to be entrepreneurs, I usually tell them: Bring the boat close to the dock, the trough of sorrows is real, and that especially early on, the answer is yes to clients. But I need to add, “Make sure your spouse is all in, or you will be in trouble.”

Thank you, Renae, for making this challenging thing easier!

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of this series.


Freedom, Permission, & Motivation: Three people who helped me start Pt. 3

The last personality that I want to give a shout out to is Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the hardest working people in marketing and documents it every day with his DailyVee video blog. That is why I have named him the motivation in this three part series. Regularly watching DailyVee shows me and reminds me that it takes a lot to start and grow a business.

I mean, I know it takes a lot to start a business, I live it every day. But it’s easy to get lax in the effort. Watching DailyVee reminds me that someone who has found success like Gary still can work like crazy and make progress.

It’s not just that Gary works, it’s how long he is able to keep it up. All day ever day.

I also want to say, that I do not want to be Gary.

I want to be able to go home and see my wife and kids for dinner. But what watching Gary does challenge me to do is work like a madman during the day. I watch Gary Vee during my lunch break to get me psyched up to work again all afternoon.

Gary Vee helps me with motivation to keep working on the business and you can check out DailyVee here.

Freedom, Permission, & Motivation: Three people who helped me start Pt. 2

One of my favorite phrases about being an entrepreneur came from reading Seth Godin’s last book: What to do when it’s your turn, and it’s always your turn.

“I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes.” – Leonard Bernstein

This quote is stark on a bright yellow page shortly after starting the book. This is the kind of thinking that makes me love Seth. Seth is one of the most prolific minds in marketing in our age. He started email marketing as we know it today. His book permission marketing is one of the seminal texts in how marketing works in the 21st century.  His DAILY blog is always insightful and challenging. 

But most of all he gave me permission to go and do.

One of the things that Seth harps on, in a good way, is that you no longer need permission to do things. The internet has destroyed the gatekeepers. The internet is the great equalizer. Because that is gone, we no longer need permission to do our best work or the work we want. We just have to go and get it.

After months of reading Seth’s books and even doing a program called “Krypton Community College”, GO NARWHALS!, I realized the only person standing between me and doing good work was me. This belief in my freedom, or permission to do it, played a big role in the mind shift that allowed me to quit my job.

Believing that you can is half of the jump to starting self-employment. I am honestly not sure if I would have had the courage to make the jump if it had not been for the permission that Seth Godin gave me.


Part 1 here. 



Seth Godin

Social Media Win: Wendys Twitter

It’s a jungle out there on social media. Between countless United meme’s to even beloved celebrities getting called out for seemingly innocent remarks, it can be a minefield for big companies navigating the social jungle. But one company has recently been killing it on social: Wendys.

Two imparticular instances recently:

  1. Street fight with Hardees.
    Wendy’s has really started to own the brand of being a fast food chain in this era. They have fun social media and are not afraid to step on a few toes. In the below altercation, a Wendy’s fan and a Hardees fan have a little beef on twitter. The offical Hardee’s and Wendy’s accounts get in on it. Wendy’s starts off with just a little shade and Hardee’s trys to take it up a notch. Bad move. Wendy’s rebuttals well and really cap it off with the ‘lol they blocked us’ comment.
  2. #NuggsforCarter
    The internet is fun for a lot of reasons. One of which is that it removes gate keepers and brings everyone on to the same playing field. 20 years ago if some random guy asked Wendy’s what it would take to get a year of free nuggets, whatever store manager he was talking to would have just starred at him like a crazy person. Today, with a fun twitter account, a brand can interface with someone like Carter and have a bunch of free social media coverage from all over the world.

Some big brands have tried to give Carter a push for his nugs:

This a great example of how to handle a fun brand on social media today! Wendy’s is winning!



Freedom, Permission, & Motivation: Three people who helped me start Pt. 1

I owe a lot of people for helping me get the point I am today. But over time it has come clear to me that at least a few personalities helped shape my path more than others. One who provided freedom, one who provided permission, and one who provided motivation. This week we are going to look at freedom.

 free freedom braveheart GIF

Of course, I mean William Wallace (or Mel Gibson). Just kidding!

I mean Dave Ramsey. My wife and I did not start out our marriage as a Dave Ramsey couple, but sometime in the first year, I started listening. Originally I had always thought Dave was just an arrogant talk radio guy and was just always yelling to get ratings.  But during an Entreleadership live broadcast at my then workplace I heard Dave’s heart about what he does and I gave him another try.

From there Renae and I got on the program and started working toward financial freedom. We worked hard and creatively to pay off our student loans and live within our means. We lived in a crappy apartment for the first 3 years of marriage and saved up a big downpayment on a house. We continued to live within our means as we got better jobs and raises.

Something you might not expect from someone who started his own business is: I am actually risk adverse. But this financial freedom, having no debt except the house and living within our means, severely lessened the risk of striking it out on my own.

It allowed us to continue to live on my wife’s salary and the cash from a part-time job I took on when I launched the business. This gave me the mental freedom to not be stressed under the weight of starting a new business all the time. I was able to quit that job 8 months in! Because I was focusing on building the business instead of making quick cash to survive, it also gave me the freedom to make long-term decisions instead of short-term decisions.

Long-term decision making is always better than short-term. 

When I am talking with people who are thinking of starting their own business one of the things I bring up is how much debt they have. If they can minimize that debt before they jump ship, they will be in a much better place to start. Those additional monthly expenses make it much hard to survive when starting out. That burden will make prematurely returning to a ‘real’ job, before you really have the time and work invested to see if your business is going work out, to likely.

Thank you, Dave, for helping us find financial freedom! It is allowing us to do great things!