Over the last 20 years, I’ve been an agency owner, sales team leader, and new business director. I started a concert promotion and experiential marketing agency in high school and would grow it to over $10MM in sales. My passion is reinvigorating agency leaders and empowering them with greater confidence in their future.
How It All Started
I grew up in a Chicago working-class household. Dad immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine and played soccer for the U.S. National Team and professionally in the 1970s when sports salaries were not what they are today. After he retired, Dad worked as an airline chef.
Mom grew up at a time when women were discouraged from going to college. She struggled to find good work and waited tables to make ends meet.
We were a decidedly lower-middle-class family. Any extra money my parents did make went to making sure my sister and I had the necessities and a good education.
I told myself I didn’t want to live like that. I was entrepreneurial early, starting a lawn service at 12, and buying and selling baseball cards.
In high school in the late 1990s, I was hanging at juice bars that were still playing ’70s and ’80s music, just as house music was booming. I saw an opportunity, rented a banquet hall, booked “real” DJs, printed flyers, and went to promote at every school, shopping mall, and record store around. Over 1,000 tickets were sold, and a concert promotion business was born.
Things take off
Within a few years, my company, Global Adrenaline, was promoting and producing hundreds of events each year with Grammy Award-winning artists like Lady Gaga, T-Pain, and Pitbull and doing business with major hospitality groups like Starwood and Hilton.
Because of our in-house promotion and production capabilities, an experiential marketing approached us looking for help with an activation. We stepped in, the activation was a success, and shortly after we became the activation arm of the agency in the Midwest.
The partnership led us to work with other event marketing agencies and eventually to providing these services directly to brands. Experiential became half of my company’s revenue and we would go on to execute programs for brands like Disney, Toyota, Anheuser-Busch, and Red Bull.
Things fall apart
When the 2008 Great Recession happened, our business took a hit. Our experiential marketing business evaporated. I needed a system that landed new business opportunities predictably. I began reading books, taking courses, and even hired a sales consultant.
But the challenges kept mounting. We fought a frivolous lawsuit. I had a daughter and became estranged from her mother. I broke my ankle and leg in a sports injury. And then I lost my downtown condo in the subprime mortgage crisis.
Despite my efforts, it was too late, and the agency did not survive. My life felt like it was in chaos. My professional and personal lives were unraveling, and I was in a dark place. I had hit rock bottom.
A new beginning
Inspired by the sales strategies and tactics that I began to implement, I pivoted my career and landed a business development role with an experiential marketing agency.
I was later recruited to an outsourced lead generation firm for agencies and marketing service providers. There, I worked with over 60 agencies ranging from small independent shops to large network agencies across a diverse set of disciplines.
By refining and implementing the outbound business development process that I originally developed for Global Adrenaline, I soon became the company’s top sales performer and generated opportunities that led to $4MM in new business wins for my agency clients.
Within two years, I was promoted to Vice President.
Under my leadership, we exceeded the company’s revenue goal for client new business wins and grew client accounts 70% YOY. Of most satisfaction was recruiting, coaching, and inspiring our team of business development directors, which grew 140% during my time.
“Of most satisfaction was recruiting, coaching, and inspiring our team of business development directors, which grew 140% during my time.”
A New Calling
Most recently, I’ve been working at an IPG digital agency where I was recruited to build and lead an outbound sales program across the digital agency’s Boston, New York, and Chicago offices.
Determined not to make the same mistake I did with Global Adrenaline, I’ve been endlessly researching, experimenting, and optimizing a repeatable system that lands 6- and 7-figure opportunities predictably.
I’ve sought to uncover the keys to connect with decision-makers at enterprise organizations. I’ve seen immense success and prospected, pitched, or closed deals with companies like Kohl’s, Constellation Brands, and White Castle, to name a few.
Outside of work
I live a healthy and active lifestyle with a focus on mind, body, and spirit. I enjoy sharing amazing life experiences with my beautiful daughter, including embarking on a quest to see a Chicago Cubs game in every MLB ballpark in baseball. I was in Cleveland when the Cubs ended a 108-year drought and won the 2016 World Series.
“My lifelong goal is to live happy and healthy to 100 years old.”
Fast Forward to Today
The industry is crowded. Agencies are finding it harder and harder to replace lost clients and land new marquee clients. Referrals are unpredictable. Inbound marketing takes too much time and attracts the wrong types of clients. And networking events/conferences are over for the foreseeable future.
Most agencies find themselves in the “cobbler’s kids have no shoes” situation. Doing great work marketing their clients but a poor job selling themselves.
Which brings me to
I’m here to serve. I have had the unique opportunity to own an agency, work at agencies, and get under the hood to consult with many agencies.
That’s why rather than work for one agency as an individual contributor, I’ve decided to branch out on my own again so that I can help hundreds, maybe even thousands of agencies, land 6- and 7-figure opportunities predictably through my system.
You’re at the right place if
Whether you need to define your target market strategy for growth, improve your new business team’s prospecting, build an in-house lead generation system in your agency, or simply want to get meetings booked with decision-makers I can help.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. As a next step, check out my free masterclass, 3 Keys to Land 6- and 7-Figure Opportunities Predictably, to learn more.
Enjoy the journey,