After graduating from Colorado State University in 2008 (the worst economy in 80 years), I slowly realized my college degree wasn’t going to make my career. After three months of struggling to land a job — spamming my resume to hundreds of companies I didn’t want to work for… and never hearing back — it was time to change my strategy.
I decided that I would only work on projects I actually cared about, with people I wanted to learn from. No one was hiring during the Great Recession anyway, so what was the worst that could happen? That’s when I started offering entrepreneurs, artists, and startups my services on a free trial basis.
The results: I went from unemployed and broke living in my parents’ basement, to landing dream job after dream job with world-class entrepreneurs (e.g. Tim Ferriss’ Director of Special Projects, Tucker Max’s movie tour videographer, Ramit Sethi’s book marketer, etc). At 23 years old, I found myself traveling around the United States, working alongside some of the most brilliant marketing minds in the world.
Over the past several years, I’ve had the good fortune of working on dozens of exciting projects: New York Times bestselling books, startups, product launches, apps, VIP events, online courses, films, and more. But the craziest part was what “free work” lead to: more job offers than I could handle.
Ever since then, I’ve believed in actively creating your own career. I’ve taught thousands of people all around the world how to leverage this “new way to work” and make themselves recession-proof. I believe everyone has work that makes them come alive; work that fills you with a sense of purpose and naturally brings out your inner joy. That’s the kind of work I focus on, while helping others find and create it for themselves.
These days, I’m working on speaking and another book. I released Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety in early-2o14. It was featured in Fast Company and called “The cure to your stress” by Tony Robbins. I’m also speaking and doing interactive workshops on entrepreneurship and preventing burnout. During my free time, I enjoy doing improv at the Hideout Theatre, playing basketball, cooking, and goofing off with friends.
Below are some of the projects I’ve worked on. Check them out, and if you’re an entrepreneur or an artist who’s trying to make the world a better place… feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment below.
Author, Play It Away
In May of 2013, I published a lengthy post called How I Cured My Anxiety. Within two weeks, the post was read and shared by tens of thousands of people. I received hundreds of messages from anxiety sufferers all over the world. The article shot up to the #1 position on Google for the search phrase “cure anxiety” – right above Oprah.com.
My post was honest, but it was incomplete. It didn’t contain everything that helped me; only my first major breakthrough. I wanted to share all of the techniques that put my life back on track and healed my pain. So I wrote a book called Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety (available in paperback, Kindle, iBooks, and PDF).
Editor/Marketer, The 4-Hour Body
For three years, I was Tim Ferriss’ protégé and “Director of Special Projects.” I had the good fortune of helping him edit and market The 4-Hour Body. The book went on to sell more than 775,000 copies in North America, it hit #1 on the New York Times and Amazon.com bestseller lists, and is still in the top 10 most highlighted books on Amazon.
For the pre-launch, I was the producer and strategist for The Land Rush campaign, which resulted in more than 15,000 copies of the book being sold in 72 hours. I was also the primary point of contact for more than 10,000 customers and dozens of sponsors.
At BookPop!, I worked with a small team to help authors launch their books. In December 2014, we decided to shut it down because it was time-intensive, we weren’t doing a great job, it didn’t make a lot of money, and the work wasn’t as fun or rewarding as we needed it to be to stay motivated. Good learning experience, though.
Author, Recession-Proof Graduate
In 2009, I wrote a 30-page guide called Recession-Proof Graduate. After landing a handful of dream gigs, I wanted to help other college graduates who were struggling to find meaningful work — or any work — during the recession.
The e-book has been downloaded more than 150,000 times since its release, helping countless people (young and old) land jobs and find direction in their careers. Here are some testimonials I’ve gathered over the years.
Speaker, TEDx Talks
The 17-minute talk at CMU about “The New Way to Work” has been viewed more than 80,000 times. The 18-minute talk at MSJHS about “The 4 Mistakes You’ll Make in College” has been viewed more than 3,500 times.
Guest Lecturer, American Dream U & Integrity Academy
I speak regularly on the topics of entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Every week, I teach Montessori students (ages 12-16) for an hour at the KhabeleStrong Incubator in Austin. I also speak a few times per year to soldiers and veterans, via American Dream U, on how to successfully transition into the workforce.
Improviser, A Penny Dreadful
In December 2014, I was a cast member in A Penny Dreadful: a 90-minute improvised gothic horror show at The Hideout Theatre in Austin. It was a ton of fun — all four shows sold out, as did our encore show. We were also on KEYE-TV (a local Austin news network), where I got to be strangled on live television.
Marketer, I Will Teach You to be Rich
In 2009, I helped Ramit Sethi create and execute the marketing strategy for his personal finance book I Will Teach You to be Rich. The book hit #1 on Amazon (displacing the Twilight series), and also hit the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
This was my first book launch, where I had the opportunity to manage a team, run webinars, set up email funnels, and create a book trailer.
Videographer, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell Tour
In 2009, I went on a nationwide 31-city movie tour with Tucker Max, shooting and editing funny videos to help promote the film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Every day, I got to work with high-end gear, edit footage in Final Cut Pro, and crack up at the one-liners Bill Dawes came up with on the fly. Easily one of most fun jobs I’ve ever had.
Event Planner, Opening The Kimono
In 2011, I was the producer and head event planner for “Opening the Kimono” — Tim Ferriss’ 3-day book marketing seminar in Napa Valley, with over 130 attendees. I managed a team alongside Susan Dupré. Prior to our event, Susan worked directly with Steve Jobs as Apple’s “Worldwide Event and New Product Producer” (she launched the original iPhone, for chrissakes!)
After several weeks of preparation, hammering out the broad strokes while accounting for all the minutiae, the event went off without a hitch and surpassed all expectations.
Director/Marketer, App Empire Course
In 2012, I was the director and marketing advisor for the App Empire course, which earned $2.6 million in revenue over the course of 10 days. I helped Chad Mureta plan the 2-day shoot, write the outline, direct the course, edit the footage, and launch the product.
The 7-disc course was purchased by 1,200 customers. I also created an email drip sequence to maximize retention and minimize refunds (8%).
Developer, Negotiate It iPhone App
I was the head developer for Negotiate It, an iPhone app I created alongside Ramit Sethi, which helps users save money on monthly bills and fees by using field-tested negotiation scripts. You can read exactly what I went through during the development process in this post.
Producer/Editor, The Slow-Carb Diet™ Cookbooks
I was the producer and editor for Volumes 1 and 2. Each book sold out of its limited run (1,000 copies) in 24 hours.
Videographer, Kiwi Kite LLC
The first business I started was a freelancing business back in college. I write, shoot, and edit videos — for authors, startups, comedians, and more. I’ve been editing videos and creating corporate presentations for nearly a decade. I started a video-editing business in 2004, making slideshows for weddings, banquets, family events, sports teams, etc. I’ve traveled around the United States shooting promotional videos, helped edit both low- and big-budget trailers for books, and directed multi-disc products.
I also studied videography for years: taking courses on narrative film, religion in film, contemporary television, Hitchcock, photo journalism, photography, and video editing throughout college and high school.
See some of my videos here.
Editor, Tim Ferriss’ Blog
While I was working for Tim, I often edited guest posts for his blog (which gets over 1 million readers per month). Here are some of the posts I’ve worked on.
My written and spoken content has also been featured in these online publications:
Virtual Intern, Seth Godin
In the summer of 2008, myself and a dozen other students across the globe took direction from the world’s greatest online marketer, helping him develop early content for Squidoo.com. I also co-created an online film school… which was a complete flop. Good learning experience, of course.
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Thanks for checking out my site! Hope to connect with you soon :)