Classical Piano Performance: 10+ years
Started MLM That Developed Scented Candles
Started Composing & Recording Music in 2009
US ARMY: 4 years
Sold Antiques & Vintage Furniture Online
Started Building Websites & Internet Marketing in 1998
College: 3 Years
Family Offset Printing Business for many years
Currently Participating in a Christian Oriented Rock Band
Sold Insurance & Investments for 8+ years
Played With 2 Church Praise & Worship Teams
Born in Dallas because I don’t think Irving had a hospital at the time. I lived and grew up in Irving my entire childhood. My mother’s family has been in the Irving / Mid Cities area since about 1875 on my grandfather’s side and my grandmother’s family was from Canada. My father’s family was from Oklahoma, and his family originally migrated from South Carolina through the 1800’s. Most of both sides of my family were in this country Pre-Revolutionary War.
My father was an offset printer and had a business he ran out of the garage, so I spent many an hour helping him run the press and learn basic printing skills. I studied classical piano starting in the 3rd grade and progressed quickly. I had a natural talent for music it seemed, won more than one state competition, and even started college with a scholarship to study piano performance at TCU in Fort Worth. I ended up not pursuing music as a career and bounced around for 2 years not knowing what I would do next.
Eventually I joined the US Army for 4 years. My job was a combat arms job – a forward observer for artillery. I went through basic training at Ft Sill, Oklahoma, came home for a 45 day recruiter duty, then reported to Ft Hood in central Texas for 15 months. Then I was shipped off to Nuremberg Germany for the rest of my enlistment.
Post Army Life – Printing, Life Insurance and Candles
After I came home from the Army, I went to work with my father in his business. I also went back to college part time for 1 semester and decided I didn’t need a degree to be self employed. After about 2 years, I was invited to an AL Williams meeting. I joined the company and began to sell term life insurance and investments part time. During the next 3 years or so, I worked the early mornings at the family print shop and would finish up by noon or before, and then head out to work the insurance business. Eventually, I opened up my own office with 2 partners. I maintained the office for about 6 years. I had become disillusioned with what the company had become with it’s change to Primerica Financial Services, so I quit.
After a short period of time, I went back to working in the print shop part time and my old insurance partner introduced me to a scented candle that his cousin was manufacturing in West Texas. We could see a big potential in marketing this candle as an MLM company. We secured product and I built a database to handle sales tracking and started having “candle meetings” in my living room. It started to grow so fast that the cousin got scared that he was going to lose control of his business and stopped providing candles. So our 50 or so reps had no candles to sell. We researched the candle making process and decided we could perfect the same formula if we had the equipment and about 3 months to work out the formula. In 3 months we accomplished our goal of producing an even better candle. But as is with the case with MLM’s, once the momentum stops, it’s almost impossible to get it going again. We could never recover from the halt in sales, and most of the reps had gone direct to the cousin to purchase their candles.
Website Design and Internet Marketing, and Restarting My Music
With the candle business never getting going again, I eventually gave the business to my partner and decided to take the print shop and run it since my father was wanting to retire and go fishing everyday. It was during this time that I built my first website and started experimenting with internet marketing and website hosting. The print shop was not on good financial footing and the industry was shrinking quickly with the Internet growing at such a rapid pace. I closed down the print shop and moved some of the equipment to my garage and kept it running part time for another 2 years or so. I spent the rest of my time building small company websites and doing internet marketing for them.
It was during this time frame that I started playing the piano again in church and honing my skills leaning how to improvise and play accompaniment in a band.
Antiques on ebay, Car Sales and back to Internet Marketing and Websites
At one point, I shut down most of the website business to a part time business, to go into the antique and used furniture business online. Most sales were on ebay along with a few booths in local antique malls. The market for online antique sales slowed down so much that I was left with little to no income. Although I still had a few website customers, it was not enough to keep me going.
I tried to sell cars for 3 months only to discover that my consultative sales technique didn’t work well for selling cars. I took a contract job in Dallas for 6 months doing internet marketing for another business’s clients. I then took a full time job in San Antonio managing the online marketing for a $50 million dollar ecommerce / catalog company.
After 2.5 years, I had the opportunity to move back to Dallas and contract with another company offering internet marketing to their clients, and I converted the San Antonio job into a contract for another 2.5 years. During this time, I began to network myself and rebuilt my business to where it is today.
I also started composing music and working on various arrangements. After an introduction by a friend, I joined a non profit group called BYO. It was a group of business owners and C level executives that were musicians. We would get together once a month for jam sessions at a local bar and played for other non profits providing music to help out in their fundraising endeavors.
I joined with a Christian based rock band in Denton, TX for a short period of time. We played a mix of originals with a few covers, along with continuing the development of my personal music.
My focus with music is now the development of Eclectic Essence and my personal music.
Overview of Businesses and Experiences
- Internet, Web Design, Sales and Promotions
- Manufacturing – Scented Candles
- Graphic Arts Industry – all aspects
- Antiques / Reproductions / Vintage Sales – Retail and Internet
- Multi-Level Businesses – Both as Owner / Creator and Participant
- Agency / Brokerage – Insurance and Securities
- Sole Proprietor and Partnerships
- Ebay Sales
- Affiliate Sales
Experiences and Training
- Military Service – 4 years
- Sales – Products & Services
- Consulting – Business and Personal
- Computer Repair
- Printing and Forms
- Wholesale B2B
- MLM Products
- Antiques and Reproductions
- Web Design and Promotions
- Online internet Sales
- Ebay Auctions and Store Sales
- Automotive – New and Used
- Sporting Goods
- Insurance, Securities and Loan Sales
- Put together sales presentations & training and performed weekly meetings for years
- Cold call telemarketing
- Ability to research and report on most topics
- Visited most of the Continental US
- Lived in Europe 2+ years
- Traveled to Asia
- Developed a personal business referral network
- Offset Printing: Performed all duties from front desk, pre-press, pressman to bindery
- Developed within 3 months, with no prior knowledge, a candle manufacturing process that produced a scented candle that out performed 95% of all candles manufactured
- Auto sales – New & Used
- Set up, maintain and monitor web site hosting accounts and email
- Created many web site designs and layouts
- Coordinated web site development projects
- Developed, Implemented, Monitored and Reported:
- SEM – Pay Per Click Campaigns
- SEO – Natural Search Engine ranking strategies – Large Success Rates
- Managed Affiliate Marketing Campaigns – both Private and Commission Junction
- Monitored and provided Strategic Consulting for multiple Email Campaigns
- Managed and Implemented Third Party Sales Channel Platforms: Ebay, Amazon.com, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, etc.
- Provide Statistical Analysis and Reporting with Google Analytics, Urchin Analytics, WebTrends and CoreMetrics
- Web Site Development Projects
- Horse Shoeing School
- Auto Sales School
- Tom Hopkins Sales Champions University
- 10+ years of Classical Music Training