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On being a CEO of a new marketing company….

09/10/2013
Michigan Creative

On being a CEO, farmer, coach, father, and entrepreneur and laughing at yourself out loud.

Before I start, I don’t know if I am doing any of it right, but, one day maybe my mistakes, and my successes can be beneficial to someone…and hopefully I don’t break too many things on the way…

I posted on my Facebook the other day something that I thought was amusing. It of course was me laughing at myself, which if you don’t do, make it a priority. No, not laughing at me, at yourself. It must have been funny, it got 30 likes! How cool am I now?

I posted:

Meeting with client and going over Web design progress, and them loving it: $1800

Getting more work from client while there: $500

Noticing chicken feathers and goat shit on dress shoes half way through meeting: Priceless.

True story. Every morning before work I go out to the barn, feed the 23 chickens, and the two goats. It is a mad dash out of the barn to eat. It is like none of them have eaten for weeks. Most of the time I dress up for the job, I am a the CEO after all. I guess I could change the bylaws and make every day short shorts day. We don’t have any bylaws, and no one would get anything done if I came in short shorts. (I would look amazing of course.)

So everyone got fed, and I headed to the client meeting. Meeting went great. Half way through I look down and there was a huge mess of feathers and goat shit on my nice shinny black shoes. I laughed out loud. So I guess that rather than hide it, I told the client what I was laughing at, and they laughed, and talked about how they have talked about getting chickens. It worked out great. Maybe I should do that every time I meet with clients

I also coach 7th grade football. I have done that since Nathan was in Kindergarten. Running out of the office at 4:45 to get to practice is stressful. However, it is something I enjoy and helps keep me involved with young people and helping them grow and be good young men. But man, do they ask questions. Not anything to do with football skills. I probably get 100 questions a day. There is a comedian named Chad Daniels on Bob and Tom that has a great idea he does with his kids.

He rolls out a podium three times a day, holds his own press conference, and that is the only time his kids can ask him questions. Genius. I need to do that at practice.

“are we scrimmaging?”

“what time?”

“who are we playing”?

“Can I go in?”

“Can you fix my helmet?”

“where am I?”

“Why is there so much grey in your beard?”

“what time is it?”

“which way do I go?”

I figure if I can lead these guys, I can run a company…we are 4-0 and no one has scored on us. Maybe Michigan Creative should do the “bull in the ring” drill or “Gladiator”. I also think that if I can still sign deals and do good work, regardless on what is stuck on my shoe…we will be successful.

My own boys think I am building the next Apple or Google. In their eyes, I can do anything. It is great. I should have them come to work more and just say how cool I am and remind people that I am the boss and so on. Being your own boss, at times, has its family advantages. I am working harder than I ever have in my life, but it is paying off. I also can leave at 3 to pick them up at school when I need to. Sometimes I am on the phone as we drive, but I am there. I can volunteer in my younger sons class without asking for time off. But, I worry, and always have to make sure I am finding that next client so I have something to leave them.

I don’t know if I am an entrepreneur. People say that I am. The office that we are in is for entrepreneurs. Can a 40 year old be one? I am not doing anything that new. We do have big plans, and creative ideas. I did start a company in hopes of expanding to 200-300 strong company in the heart of Michigan. If making mistakes, having ideas that make it, and some that don’t, by trying to do things right, and different, by growing to a sizable marketing firm in the area in two years, and having chicken feathers and goat shit on your dress shoes makes you an entrepreneur, then well I am one. We are one.

Michigan Creative has big plans in the near future. They take time to develop. But they are coming. We are coming up with our message and who we are. We have a kids cooking class coming, and a MRE program as well. Good ideas…one of them will make some money.

What does any of this have to do with marketing you ask? Well, nothing. I guess if you are sitting there reading this and wondering if you good do what I did. Trust me, you could. It is just a matter of doing.

Good luck. You will need that too.