I was born in 1980 in a little town in south central Kansas, Arkansas City, The starting point of the Oklahoma land rush. My father was a career Army grunt then officer, he devoted his whole career to the Army. We moved a lot during my youth. Every 4-5 years I would have to learn how to make new friends because of that. A skill which I still utilize today.
It was difficult to readjust to the changes between those moves. As the youngest of six and my mother as a homemaker we didn't have much to live on. I remember my parents constantly being behind on credit card payments as they stretched to give us simple things like shoes and jackets. I later learned that my dad also aspired towards business and entrepreneurial things which did help my business spirt and computer skills growing up.
I spent my elementary years in Northern Virginia, my middle school years in St Louis and High School back in Kansas. Moving to Kansas for high school was a challenge. I'd spent most of my youth in larger cities with lots of stuff to do and found myself without friends (again) and unable to GET anywhere because we lived in a little old house my grandfather built by hand. I turned to two things to fill the time. Computers and the great outdoors. I used to split time between them about 50/50 until the internet finally made it's way to my little town in 1997. When I got access to it, I quickly devoured as much information as I could.
I taught myself HTML and some simple programming, I built my own computers, played lots of video games and learned the intricacies of MSDOS and how to change the config.sys and autoexec.bat so I could get video games like DOOM working. I won several high school competitions within the state for my knowledge of computers.
I went to college in Denver, got a degree in Media Art and Animation. My first job after college was working on the FAA.gov's website which only lasted a half a year. I met my first mentor and still great friend and business partner Marc Overman at a Rich Dad Poor Dad, Cashflow 101 game and quickly turned my attention to flipping homes. I worked two jobs at that time, commuting into Washington DC and then knocking on doors to buy homes. Through his mentoring and working on my interpersonal skills, I refined my introverted nature and explored the world of door to door sales. Over that time I bought and sold 75 properties - over $50 million in real estate.
When the real estate market crashed, I lost my business and a career. I spent several years as a freelance consultant to the same banks that I was working on when I was flipping homes. I learned a ton about project management and also learned I'm a great relationship manager.
I reentered the entrepreneurial world in 2011 (my second time). I invested in a risk-free trial campaign manager (I didn't know what I was getting into). At first, it was great, then it sucked, I spent the next 6 years learning and growing my understanding of the industry and forming friendships and alliances.
In 2017 I launched a men's grooming brand - Beard Czar. In 2016 it was the largest men's grooming brand in the world. As any business venture it came with many challenges and setbacks.
I really found my passion in 2017 where I continued the trade show ADSUM for it's second year and launched a mastermind (ECOM LEGENDS) where Ecommerce Entrepreneurs grow together instead of "going it alone." I love connecting, teaching and helping others grow their businesses and found a real passion in ADSUM and ECOM LEGENDS.
Are you involved in Ecommerce? Shoot me a message below, I'd love to hear your story.