My Story – “Nothing Can Take the Place of Persistence.” — Calvin Coolidge

Marketing and entrepreneurialism have been passions of mine since I was a teenager. When I was eighteen, I started my first business. You see, I love golf. It’s one of my passions in life.

After speaking with the manager at my local golf course’s clubhouse, an idea came to me…why not list golf equipment on eBay on his behalf and take advantage of eBay’s up-and-coming, money-making platform?

So that’s what we did.

At the time, it was a strange idea to sell goods online, but we started trying. It didn’t take long for me to realize that things would never be the same again.

One of the golf club members heard what I was doing on eBay. Well after his wife sadly passed away, he cleaned the house out and came across some golf equipment. He asked if I would help him sell it. I envisioned only a couple extra bags of golf clubs as I drove to his house. But to my surprise, I left his home with three truckloads of golf equipment!

Thankfully we agreed to split the sales revenue.

As you can imagine, I was shocked, especially since I was a young teenage college student. This was an incredible act of generosity and one I have never forgotten (I ended up making $60,000 from the golf equipment…not too shabby for a part-time gig).

Fast forward to today – mentoring young entrepreneurs is one of my core values. People took chances and invested in me at a young age, so I want to do the same for others.

Ups and Downs

It was a surreal experience to find so much success as a freshman in college. But the success didn’t last.

My next venture after selling golf clubs was to invest in the stock market. I invested $15,000 and watched it skyrocket to over $100,000. I was on top of the world and couldn’t be touched!

Can you guess what happened next?

I made some really bad investing decisions and things quickly went south. I received a phone call from my investment broker. He said, “Your account balance is down to $0.83. Would you like me to mail you a check?”

I was devastated to say the least. But I learned that the true key to success is not being lucky, but rather being persistent. I wasn’t about to give up on being an entrepreneur.

Calvin Coolidge said it this way,

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press On!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Persistence is also what got me through school. My grades were never great. Teachers would tell me, “You’ll never amount to anything.” But I pressed on and graduated from King’s College in Wilkes Barre, PA with a marketing degree. I looked forward to doing something big.

The Secret Service

My first job after college was to sell media for a local radio station. I didn’t love the job, but it gave me time and space to think, “What’s big? What do I want?”

When the Secret Service motorcade drove through town one day, I knew I found my “something big.” So I decided to apply, but sincerely doubted getting accepted once I learned about the highly competitive hiring process.

Joining the Secret Service was a true challenge and another test of persistence. The interview process took two full years and 13 steps. Eight thousand people applied with me, but only 24 people were selected.

I was one of them.

The Secret Service provided incredible opportunities. I traveled the world and performed work that truly mattered. I spent time in Mongolia, India, 44 states in America and developed many lifelong friendships. Now I have tons of intriguing stories to last a lifetime!

Despite this, I couldn’t shake my entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to start another business! But this time the stakes were much higher. I held a dream job, traveled the world, and got paid nicely. (If you have entrepreneurialism in your DNA and cannot park or silence the little voice, please know it’s 100% normal and you aren’t alone. It’s time to act on it. My hope is that my story inspires and motivates you enough to take action today.).

I was reading Success Principles by Jack Canfield when I came across the following statement, “If you don’t do it now, you never will.” “I will do it after my kids get to college.” Then it becomes, “I will do it after my kids graduate” and the list of excuses continues on. That scared me! It scared me enough to set down the book and commit to taking action.

It was like a bolt of lightning. If I didn’t start a business now, I would keep making excuses for the rest of my life. I submitted my notice with the Secret Service and moved to Atlanta…ready to start.

Launching Kettlebells

During my time with the Secret Service we did a lot of exercising with kettlebells. They provided an incredible workout, but they were nowhere to be found in the gyms or homes around America. The product existed for many years so there was no intellectual property to be attained. But that was okay with me; the world needed to see and feel this product and I was going to help make that happen.

I saw the opportunity clearly and got to work. I worked with manufacturers across the world to design and build kettlebells. I trained people on how to use them (for both in-home workouts and at fitness centers) and even self-published two books.

Kettlebells were heating up and I found myself working on a very specific niche. These workouts were so popular that gyms were charging their members a premium fee to join the kettlebell classes. To help build a lot of buzz and excitement about kettlebells, I helped gyms build their websites, created internet marketing plans, and offered weekly kettlebell events.

Providing these services allowed my love for marketing to blossom and that passion has carried me through to today.

A “KILLER” Marketing Business on the Rise

As a small business owner, I learned quickly that you have to wear a lot of hats. One of those hats for me was Chief Marketing Officer. I noticed the overarching theme throughout my entrepreneurial journey — a “Marketing Guy.”

The daily frustration of trying to find a great marketing vendor to help market my own business started to eat away at me. Why don’t the people do what they say they’re going to do? “That’s it,” I said, “I am going to start my own marketing business and my first client will be ME!”

So I did.

And it became a one million dollar business within the very first year, growing 100% by referrals. And the referrals continued the next year, and the next year, and the next decade!

40+ million dollars in marketing contracts later (as of 2022) and it was time to start marketing my own brand. “Let’s do for ourselves what we do for our clients” (I will let you know how that turns out in my next book!).

Killer Shark Websites turned 15 in 2022. We’ve designed, developed, and optimized thousands of websites. We continue helping small business owners stand out and dominate their competition.

One interesting fact — our average customer retention is 90 months (and growing). And never once did I have an annual contract. You can leave any time you want!


I love marketing, but it’s not my only passion!

My family is very important to me. I met my wife, Katie, when she was a personal trainer during my kettlebell years. We got married in 2009 and have three boys.

In 2011, I met with my brother to discuss business and I could tell his life had been transformed. He had joined a discipleship group at Perimeter Church and it had changed his life. I got plugged in at Perimeter myself and joined a discipleship group, as well. I learned things and received incredible guidance on life. Like my brother, my life was transformed. My faith continues to have a positive influence on everything I do.

I don’t sell golf clubs on eBay anymore, but I still love golf! I also love fishing, traveling with my family, and mentoring young entrepreneurs.

In 2020 I started a Facebook Group called “Attitude is Everything.” My goal for the group is to have a creative playground where my kids can help operate and grow it when they get older! And, of course, in the back of my mind it excites me that they would be exposed to positive attitude content every single day 🙂

(Want to learn even more about my story? Check out my TV interview presented by Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, a local public television program presented by WVIA.)