My path to starting marketing consulting and founding a modern branding agency wasn't a straight one. From commercial painter to Zipfizz salesman at Costco, aspiring police officer to advertisement sales to real estate agent, I've used every experience as a springboard to my ultimate goal. I wish I had known that it would all turn out alright. But that wasn't a luxury I could claim.
I had a comfortable childhood, growing up in Woodinville, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. But things didn't go smoothly for long. My parents divorced when I was 13. I lived with my mom, who went bankrupt supporting my brother and I. In high school, I partied, smoked weed, the whole deal. I even moved in with a friend. When high school ended, I started community college out of town, but hated it. It was more of the same: partying with no goals for the future. After just one quarter, I moved back in with my dad, and something clicked. My mother went bankrupt, and my dad was unable to be there financially to support me (unlike a lot of my childhood friends).
I had to break the cycle.
I wanted something big for my life. Create my own legacy.I dipped my toe in marketing. I sold Zipfizz at a booth in Costco and eventually started working my way up at ATG Stores as a customer service rep and eventually in business development. At age 20, managing employees who were way older than me. I realized I was business-minded and loved marketing. Thanks to a CEO friend of mine, Gary Rubens, I realized there was a TON of potential in the business world. At this time, I was working toward my AA in college to eventually be a police officer. But that had to go. I was hooked on marketing.
I got an opportunity selling advertising at KING 5, a major TV station in Seattle. I consulted with businesses on marketing strategies. I was making six figures. But eventually, I realized I could apply what I was teaching these companies to a business of my own.
So I quit my six-figure job, moved out of my "cool" Seattle apartment, and started in real estate. I had zero income for five months. But I treated it as a startup. I incorporated modern business marketing techniques with video, blogging, and social media. I started to get noticed.I had $12 million in real estate sales that first year, was awarded 30 under 30 by 425 business magazine, appeared on the news, and several other large media outlets. More important, I got noticed as the "disruptor" in the local real estate marketing community.
Realtors and even other businesses started reaching out to me, asking how I do marketing. I took on a client and realized I loved it. That's where my current marketing agency Brandtegic came from.
It was the natural "next step" in my progression from marketing to helping others market themselves. I love seeing other brands -- especially Realtors, lenders, and service-based industries -- get traction with my strategies.
But I'm not done yet. I'm working toward building online courses, and ebooks to help other brands succeed, that can’t afford to hire a full time marketing director or agency. I appreciate the grind that a solo entrepreneur and real estate agents, lenders, etc face.
But branding isn't all I do. My faith is important to me, which inspires me to be a true help to others whether it's branding or life in general. I am a board member for the Boys and Girls club of Kirkland, and try to be involved in my church. I love personal development, staying in shape, and playing a round of golf when I get the chance.
So, what about you? If you're interested in chatting about marketing, personal or business branding, or anything else, give me a shout. I'd love to hear your story..