I’m an entrepreneur, which means I’m free. I’m free to wake up when I want to wake up, work when I want to work, and play when I want to play. I do what I want to do, not what I have to do. That’s why I’m an entrepreneur.
I’ve launched and successfully exited two startups. Currently, I’m working on startup number three, Checkli.
I graduated from Illinois State University in 2002 and immediately moved 2 hours north to Chicago, IL. There I started my first and last corporate job at CareerBuilder, an online job board. I was one of the first 30 people in the company and quickly rose to be one of the top sales people in the company. I made more money than I ever made in my life and met a couple of life-long friends.
…I hated it.
I hated waking up at 5am. I hated sitting in an hour of traffic on the way there. I hated sitting in two hours of traffic on the way home. I hated the office politics. I hated the fact that my manager once told me, “If I ignore you, it means you’re doing a good job.” So after six short months, I quit.
The Ocean Agency
After leaving CareerBuilder, I opened up the phone book and started calling any business without a website address. I didn’t have a business card or even a website of my own. But I had dabbled in web design while I was in college. Literally, within a few minutes, I had my first customer.
So I made a few more calls, and a few more people said yes. I was in business. I launched The Ocean Agency, a digital marketing agency, from my kitchen, in my two-bedroom apartment in Chicago.
Fast forward a couple years; I opened a 6,000 square foot office on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the business district, and I was working with some of the biggest brands in the world. I even signed CareeBuilder as a client. That was a great day.
In 2014, The Ocean Agency had become so successful, it was acquired from me by a much larger agency, Logical Media Group.
My first acquisition helped me launch my second startup. MySiteAuditor is a SaaS that allows digital marketing agencies to easily white-label and embed a website audit tool on their agency’s website so they can capture way more leads and sales. It got really, really popular.
I had MySiteAuditor built by a developer overseas. But now I needed a tech partner ASAP. I partnered with a brilliant tech co-founder, Brock Ferguson, to help take the company to the next level. With in 24 months MySiteAuditor was being used by digital marketing agencies in 20 languages around the world.
In June of 2016, MySiteAuditor was successfully acquired in a 7-figure deal.
I’m on top of the world.
Now, I’m working on my passion project, Checkli. Checkli is a simple way for people to create checklists. It’s also a simple way for businesses to create and share valuable content in the form of checklists.
So far 50,000+ people have signup to use Checkli from all over the world… and I haven’t spent one dime on marketing.
To be continued.
I’m married to the sweetest and most beautiful girl in the world, Kelly. No kids…. yet. Just a mini aussie shepard, Bella and 4lb little cat, Gracie. Life is good.
If you’re ever in Chicago, you can find me bouncing around from coffee shop to coffee shop, where I do most of my work. But be quick, I can’t stay in one place too long.