The entire world is made up of stories. Story leads everything. It’s food, then shelter, then story.
I have dreamt of being a creative business founder since I was 9 years old. While my friends played tag, I cut up magazines to make my own handmade editions I’d try to sell to my grandparents. When I got done with basketball practice, I’d go door to door to sell sponsorships to buy my team new jerseys.
I grew up around my father who seemed to have a new business every couple years. Some worked. Most didn’t. That meant my family shifted from well off one year to downsizing the next. From houses to apartments and back again a few times. To me, none of that mattered.
Somewhere along the way I got the idea that using my creativity and love of business to put myself in the situations in life I wanted to be in was the only way for me. No one was going to hand it to me. So I had to take it.
I moved from the east coast to Las Vegas with $500 to my name. I couldn’t afford heat or cable TV while living in my first apartment. I actually played poker to pay rent. I don’t advise using this strategy. After working for free and learning the ropes of marketing in the gaming industry, I spent a 4-year stint overseas that took me all over the world while working for the largest online gaming company in the world.
I moved back to start my own business.
When I started Artisans on Fire, an agency dedicated to helping brands in emerging markets overcome huge regulatory hurdles to market their company, most of my friends and family told me I was nuts. I had a good reputation on a career path that seemed safe and stable. I was moving up every 12-15 months and making more and having more people under my responsibility. Then I decided to start a company with zero money, in an industry that had politicians and the general public rallying against them. Add to it the fact that these hurdles left brands with limited options for where to market their products (no social networks, no Google ads, and at the time, limited billboards and ad restrictions that made the options smaller with every new law passed).
But I’d spent enough time playing it safe. I’ve always believed that taking risks and having your feet to the flame is what forces you to figure out how to put out the fire.
So after years marketing gamblers and gambling sites, I decided to finally bet on myself.
From online gaming unicorns, to casinos, to cannabis companies, online sportsbooks and others, these entrepreneurs that take risks in starting a new business in an emerging market do not get enough help and support growing their business, and they get even less support when growing their brands. That’s where my obsession meets their opportunity. Once I figured that out, I started my first company, Artisans on Fire, in my kitchen in 2015. I took $5k and turned it into $5M in under 5yrs. The rest is history.
I’ve spent the last 8 years turning nothing into something.
I did that by turning the stories of others into currency they can spend on attention.
I’m the Founder of creative companies Artisans on Fire, Timeless Motion, and HighRanking.com. For over 15 years, I’ve worked with cool companies like Twitch, CBS, Draftkings, Fanduel, Palms Resort & Casino, Planet 13 Dispensary, PokerStars, The Strat, Airo Brands and more. They’ve trusted me to help them tell their stories, differentiate their brand, and improve their return on marketing.
If you made it this far, and you felt something along the way while reading this, then I just proved to you how much stories matter and why I was born to tell them.