Back in 1988 I boarded a Greyhound Bus in the parking lot of our local auto parts store in my small, hometown of Cushing, OK — headed for the big city lights of Springfield, MO.
Barely 18 and fresh off a miserable, two-year failed attempt at Christian Rock Stardom — the biggest disappointment of my life — I strutted to the back of the bus… bass guitar in hand… and scared to death.
The plan was to attend Bible College, talk a pretty girl into marrying me and spend the rest of our lives working in the ministry.
Everything was going according to plan for the first 10-15 years, but then the church I helped start with my father-in-law went belly-up. I put everything into that church… my youth, my hopes, my future… and now it was over.
Devastated and depressed after the church we helped pioneer finally collapsed, my wife and I walked away from our dream for the last time in late October 2004.
Roofing sales and telemarketing were all I knew outside of church work — jobs I took while supporting my ministry dream.
Since I was never, ever, never going back into telemarketing, we packed up the Jeep and moved to Pensacola, Florida.
Broke and desperate, we figured our best chance of survival was to sell roofs in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. Almost every roof up and down the gulf coast had just been blown off.
If we couldn’t make it there, we weren’t going to make it anywhere.
We didn’t make it!
After six miserable weeks that included almost every imaginable fiasco, my pregnant wife finally cried, “I want to go home!”
It was the best decision we ever made. We went home and focused on our own business — a roofing company that was marketed using a simple two page sales letter, a basic website and a little door-to-door hustle.
Years of hard work, failure and desperation sprung to life overnight.
Apparently, a few of the marketing tips I picked up while struggling in the ministry all those years were paying off. Family and friends started calling with their business challenges.
It’s like I turned into a marketing prophet — able to clearly see the future — and the money got real easy, real fast.
Eventually I was hired to manage an online marketing group responsible for thousands of small to medium sized businesses at a Fortune 500 company. After a brief stint stuck in the corporate cube, I went back full-time to the serial entrepreneur life.
Today, I would describe myself as an self-employed marketing junkie, sales trainer, author, agent, husband, and sentimental family man.
You’re about to read some of the tips, tricks and strategies I’ve used to help me build other people’s businesses. I’m not shy about sharing my marketing stories. I hope you’ll return the favor and leave your comments too: