It's been a little over a year now since I decided to give entrepreneurship the old college try. A lot of people ask me how the heck I even got into what I am doing now. They ask what inspired me to start, what keeps inspiring me and what are the businesses that I work with currently. The biggest question I have received as of late though is how I am in Tai Lopez's 300!? Short of writing a book on this, I will give you a brief summary of the past year.
In June of 2017, I was playing college football and I decided I was going to be my own boss and the idea of working under someone's pay roll for $12 an hour just upset me for some reason. Call it pride or just recognition of ability, I just didn't want to do it. I was a college quarterback at the time and was barely affording school. So, I decided to start a business and at the time I literally had no clue as what a consultant even was, I thought marketers just boosted posts, and I thought building a site was easy. I contacted everyone I knew and told them I was a marketer and expert consultant and was excited when I got a skeleton of a site on the web. I decided to pitch a friends' family business on marketing, saying I would increase profits only to come and realize the operator was extremely talented, and took the family business from making barely $90,000 a year to increasing the revenue ten fold and spending over $190,000 in one year alone. Realizing how little I knew of Facebook, branding, Google, SEO, PPC, web design, and business, I decided to work with the man as he mentored me in the field. I wore the strangest clothing trying to look perfect for business. I laugh a lot now looking back on it.
After a couple months of doing that, I went off on my own thinking I was ready. I partnered up with a gentleman named Isaac, who eventually became my best friend and we started Inertial Media Group, added on two more people on the partnership and went out to get clients. Never, and I mean never split the business four ways equally between people. We had what we thought was a good dynamic- one person for web design, another for drone footage and videography, another for sales, and me for branding and advertising. Little did I know at the time that the only reason I went in on splitting the company four ways was because I wasn't comfortable taking ownership of the company. It was my first one and something I have come to find out is you don't really need a bunch of business partners.
Our first client was a nightmare, a site was delivered late, no contract was signed, and the roles within our business weren't established. We had a few people in the pipeline but never reached out and we chased a client that was a friend who wan't anywhere close to ready for business. This is where Tai Lopez comes in.
Tai Lopez is a founder, philanthropist, keynote speaker, and investor in over 20 multi-million dollar companies. He went from rags to riches, owned a nightclub in Hollywood, went on to become a Financial planner, then became the most viewed man on YouTube. His Ted Talk alone here Tai Lopez Ted Talk has over 9 million views and that's outside of business. He is seen as the biggest self made entrepreneur on social media and consults millionaires and billionaires.
Down in Los Angeles, Tai was having a conference for $100 and the option to have a $700 private lunch with him and his staff was something I was really interested in. We had been making money but after it all being split, costs of the business, and poor decision on what to do with the money, I was barely surviving. I knew I had to be down there at that conference and I bought tickets to the conference and lunch. I paid $1,600 - the last of the money I had for me and Isaac to go to the conference for four hours and eat a small plate of food! Now, to be fair, I also thought we were going to sign a contract with a prospect for $30,000 because we were led to believe that and I networked with Tai's team and got to meet mentors there, but still. We didn't sign the contract and we didn't know what to do. Isaac, with no money at all and the rest of the team already back in Humboldt, slept in the streets of LA. It was a scary feeling not knowing what to do.
The team dynamic was horrible and ultimately after threats of a lawsuit from the first client, the team disbanded. No hard feelings whatsoever, but I was left on an island when my best friend left the business, moved to Texas and the other two signed the company over to me. A lot of people would have quit but I knew there was an opportunity. The company was mine again and I could use what I learned to re-brand Inertial Media Group and help businesses.
I did just that. I took a step back to get all of my ducks in a row and focused on growth and learning the industry. I gave my first Ted Talk on the subject of failure, which is in this link Tex Keith Ted Talk and I decided to go back and play football after taking a season off to get the business up and running.
Soon after the Ted Talk I started Millennial Prodigy® to show kids my age their potential, we partnered with Nike and Adidas on that project. I started helping more businesses with growth, continued to learn more and more about people and how they work and things started to click.
Then comes in a close friend of mine, Antony Schreurs.
Antony had started off as my assistant, doing work extremely cheap and just learning the ropes of the business. Originally I hated him in college because he was that kid in class that always had to ask a question. Most kids hate that type of person, but something I realized is how valuable that is and how wrong everyone is for disliking that nature. Question everything, I promise you'll start to make headway in your business. I can't count how many times Antony questions me even if he agrees, but it's crucial.
Antony is the youngest person ever to be on the advertising account for Volkswagen, the second largest car company in the world, worth $67 billion dollars. His experience in sales and people is the reason I brought him on the team and his drive landed him a stake in the company. He's been the top salesman for a make-up company and in selling cologne in the country. That's value!
We have been able to work with clients together and launch a couple businesses on the side like Millennial Prodigy, OakVera Realty, PortCharger, and Hoyt Enterprise (with my best friend and a great man, Harley Hoyt). My business partner in San Diego, Harley is one of the hardest workers I know. He gave me hope when i was in a tough spot and I will forever be of service to my great friend. The main business is Inertial Media Group where we pride ourselves now being Business Mavens not just marketers. We help with business development from the concept to execution, to advertising and everything online.We are in charge of a coffee company's brand, Caffe Maresca which is a global coffee company. We drove 17 hours for a single pot for the bakers of a restaurant we are consulting. No one else does that. The idea of helping another company and local business drive revenue and help their families is the best feeling in the world to me. I get to work in all sorts of industries and learn true business practices and was even asked to be co own a restaurant.
Due to all of this and the success we have had, I was accepted into the exclusive group of Tai Lopez's, the 300. I hung up the cleats after accomplishing a dream to play college quarterback to be in this group. This is a group of his top students from the thousands he has. I look up to every single student in the group and it's surreal thinking knowing I have the honor and privilege to be in it when just a year ago I would have never even imagined being surrounded by such phenomenal people. They are all CEOs, they all come from different backgrounds, ages, parts of the world, some are from across the world and some are here in the United States. They all grew from ground zero up. A buddy of mine who is my age is in charge of a political campaign worth $500 million dollars. Just over a year ago, I had never made so much as $500 in a month! It's a very humbling experience and a blessing to be in the group. I have dozens of people reach out to me a day asking what it's like being in business and if I am in the group.
I am adding a unique business model to Inertial Media Group, something that literally hasn't been done yet. We are also coining the term Business Maven, I have been nominated for the Forbes under 30, another Ted Talk is in the works, and we are getting our office locally in Humboldt County. I feel it's my responsibility to come back to Humboldt County and change the culture for the better and be part of the legacy my family's ranch has. It's an insane feeling when a random person walks up to you and asks if you're running for city council and goes to show the reputation I have and leadership that needs to taken. I am looking forward to this next year and what we will accomplish and I hope you are too and remember, anyone can have a great or horrible start. I remember the extremely difficult times when no one thought I would amount to anything. I remember being called white trash, not having too much growing up, seeing my dad work his ass off for the family and inspiring the hell out of me to give him and my mom everything one day. As my dad would say- all that matters is what consistency are you going to live up to, growth or complacency?