Handley . Entrepreneur
I’ve pretty much been an entrepreneur my entire life. Starting with lemonade stands and moving up to making mail-order jewelry in my early teens and founding an organic bakery my first year in college, figuring out how to make businesses work is in my blood.
In 1999 I found the need to be able to make a living while traveling, and I taught myself how to design websites. During this time one of the very early “Internet Marketing Gurus” hired me as a freelancer to write a book on how to make sales online. I did my research and wrote a book that went on to sell over a million copies, and all I took home at the end of the day was one time $2000 paycheck. That got my wheels turning.
From that point on I was hooked on the Internet marketing game, and I have run a series of agencies over the last 20 years with varying degrees of success. The stories and sequence of those companies are listed below.
1999 – 2009
Over the course of a decade, I worked for hundreds of clients under the guise of Narasopa Media, my first company. During this time, I got to participate in a couple of very cool projects.
- I joined forces with a company that bought websites with potential and fixed them up to create passive income streams. I helped purchase and optimize over 30 websites and created a passive income portfolio that generated over 100% return for the investors of the company.
- I teamed up with a copywriter who had a great book idea but knew nothing about internet marketing, and starting as his first employee, I created an online sales and marketing system and helped hire and train the first 14 employees of what would become a $6 million a year business in just 3 years.
- I worked with a programming team on the creation and marketing of an early virtual world that exploded to almost half a million users overnight because of a solidly thought out market position.
- And, I built a programming team that kicked out some seriously amazing projects and let me create cool graphics to stick on our website like this one:
2009 – 2011
Somewhere along the way, a client of mine who had hired my company many times over the years to build landing pages and write copy started a new venture, and reached out and asked me if I wanted on board. With permission from Jay Conrad Levinson to use the Guerrilla Marketing brand, she started a company called Local Guerrilla Marketing that sold digital marketing services to locally based businesses (i.e. small businesses with storefronts – doctors, dentists, restaurants, retail, etc)
She built a 300 strong sales team using her background as a recruiter for multi-level marketing, and I trained them on how to understand and sell the technology that enabled us to get people on to page one in Google almost overnight (yep, can’t do that anymore). Over a bit more than a year we had run events in Las Vegas and Orlando training a growing sales team and had built a company that did 1.5 million per
2011 – 2014
Long story short, she got stressed out and decided she really just wanted to be a salesperson, which is what she was amazing at, and not really a CEO. The company was passed on, and I decided to take the model and try to run it myself. I built the 4D Media Lab, and at one point we had over 270 creatives on our freelance Rolodex that we called on to do all sorts of projects. While we did OK, my heart wasn’t really in it. I had been building passive income systems for other people for almost 15 years, and I kept wondering to myself, why am I still doing this for other people? What else could I be doing? So, while I kept this company operating at a level that paid the bills, I also venture into training.
2014 – Present
At some point in here, I moved to Puerto Rico, and in doing so left behind a couple of business partners that I’d been working on for the 4D Media project, and re-incorporated as Web Mission Control. This mostly became a parent company for several other ventures. Of the three companies listed below, all started as DBAs of Web Mission Control, Inc. Right now, this is still our main corporation, however, we recently officially incorporated Pirate & Fox, and are about to Incorporate ManagedWP.Rocks, and as soon as that is done, we’ll be shutting the doors on Web Mission Control as a parent corporation. Back to the story, though – at this point, I wanted to do more live training.
2014 – 2016
The Freedom Model was my first venture into the training and info product arena. I had a lot of fun with it. I shot an entire video marketing series using just my phone in single takes. I kept it real and built up a base of consulting clients as well. After the fast pace of managing tech projects, I found being able to create training in my own time, and do low pressure consulting calls with clients every now and again a refreshing change of pace. But, the idea of a completely scalable agency was still jiggling away in the back of my mind. I thought about what had made it so much work the last couple of times we’d approached it, and decided that it was the lack of appropriate management systems for such a huge volume of work. After 15 years messing about with code on a low level, I started to teach myself how to write serious code so I could create the solution.
2014 – Present
In doing the Freedom Model training, it became apparent to me that I also wanted to serve a higher level of clients – those with serious growing businesses, not just those getting started online, and the ‘Freedom’ angle wasn’t the right messaging for this group. Thus was born Pirate & Fox, a high-level consulting agency. In combination with my new programming skills, we ended up doing some great custom projects, including building a complete CRM for a virtual events company, building a web and mobile app solution for a networking company that fully integrated with Infusionsoft, and doing several other high-level automation and software integrations. Pirate & Fox is currently running full force as a business growth and automation consultancy.
2014 – Present
As Pirate & Fox took on the high end consulting clients, it became clear that I had a huge backlog of clients from my years in business that would never become high end consulting clients. These were small business owners who for one reason or another were happy where they were, and weren’t that interested in achieving huge growth, but did still want little ongoing support. With my time tied up in bigger projects, I didn’t have the time to personally manage all of these projects, and so ManagedWP.Rocks