My Story

Hi, I’m Lucas.

A serial entrepreneur, marketing strategist, and “practical” dreamer dedicated to helping you live to your fullest potential.

A born-and-raised Georgia boy with nothing more than ambition, a laptop and a dream, I’m proud to have built multiple businesses that have served others in their pursuit of a better life or business.

Many times when I meet someone new, like yourself, I get a few questions:

  • Are you really only 22? (Yes, I am.)
  • How did you get to be where you are in your life? (Married, successful business, traveling the world, etc...)
  • How did you get started?
  • Why did you choose the path of entrepreneurship?
  • What's your story?


We'll come back to those questions in a moment, but first I have to say this:

The truth is, I'm not that successful. Statistically-speaking anyway...

There are plenty of people with more wealth, free time, impressive degrees, and other symbols of success than me.

I'm not a some crazy genius. I'm not a whiz-kid. I'm not any more "lucky" than most people. Nor did I grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth...

I don't say any of this to humble-brag or diminish the things I have achieved.

I share this instead to impress upon you, that no matter where you are in your life right now - you can CHOOSE the life (or business, or both) you want.

No matter your current knowledge or circumstance, your dreams are within reach. Your maximum potential has still yet to be discovered.

Please keep this in mind as I share my story with you.

Now back to those questions:

 

How did you get where you are?

Well, it's much longer and more mundane of a story than I'd like to share or you'd like to read. However, there are a few key transformative experiences that each "sparked" an evolution of sorts... I'll skip to the 'moment that sparked it all.'

 

Spark #1 - My first love

Around the time that I turned 10 years old I received my very first computer. I think it was a Dell Dimension 2400. This bad boy right here...

You couldn't imagine my excitement...

I had waited "my whole life" for this moment!

So, what did I do first?

I took it apart. 100%. Motherboard, power supply, heat-sink, graphics, processor, RAM, USB ports, you name it...

It was lying in bits and pieces all over my bedroom floor.

Then, of course, my mom walks in and nearly has a heart attack...

When she returned about an hour later, it was back in its original form.

This was the moment that sparked my fascination in, no, LOVE of technology.

 

Spark #2 - My silly nickname

From that day forward I continued to pursue learning about computers, hardware and software, mostly through my best friend at the time, Google.

Fast-forward about two years or so - I'm known amongst friends and family as "The Techie." One of my teachers even gave me a "Techie" t-shirt when I volunteered to be the light/sound producer during a school production. 

As a result, anytime a piece of technology didn't function as expected, needed repair or setup, or someone just had a question... I was their guy.

Over time I started to charge $10, $20, $50, $100... Depending on the service, of course. :)

Eventually, I had saturated my "warm market." (Friends, family, etc.)

So I thought to myself, "How would a modern business get new customers?"

Naturally my next thought was, "Google!"

I then Googled how to get to the top of Google. (Pun intended!)

 

Spark #3 - My 'unfair' advantage

I should mention at this point that I did have an advantage...

I was not very popular at school. I was bullied, sometimes badly, and became a very introspective, self-aware, and lonely person.

I battled with depression, desperately looking for new ways to escape thinking about school and my social environment.

You might be thinking, "How is this an advantage?"

Truthfully, I didn't realize it was an advantage at the time.

In my pursuit of escaping less-than-ideal thoughts, I spent HOURS and hours consuming content - blogs, videos, and more - from all over the web about how to grow a business online.

Entrepreneurship, business, marketing, and technology became my outlet.

I taught myself Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click advertising, and even common coding languages like HTML, CSS, and limited Javascript and PHP.

The process of learning about growing a business through online marketing or e-marketing, as it was sometimes called back then, FASCINATED me.

Within months I had built my own website where I marketed my IT services to locals in my then hometown of Boone, North Carolina. (Hey, y'all!)

With my newfound love of SEO I quickly surpassed local tech shops' rankings in Google and found myself competing with legitimate brick-and-mortar businesses.

Some of my past clients, mostly friends' parents, took notice of my quick growth and started to ask if I could also build or re-build their company's website and help them outrank their competitors too.

This time they offered me $500, $1,000, or more to help them grow their businesses.

As a self-proclaimed businessperson, the change in compensation for the same amount of time caught my attention. :)

Thus why I eventually created a new brand that offered digital marketing to small businesses, SEO PRO.

 

Spark #4 - My life-changing commitment

Fast-forward to The Great Recession. (I'm 14-15 here.)

Despite being very happy with my progress up to this point, serving small businesses with done-for-you marketing solutions from my bedroom, it was still just a pastime or hobby for me. I took it seriously, but my focus still laid heavily on school and video games... (I see you. I was still a kid, ok? :D)

Then, one day changed everything.


-- Pause --

My parents have never heard me tell this story.

Mom, Dad, if you're reading, I love you. Thank you for all you did/do for us.

-- Resume --

My parents came to me to explain that the recession had hit us hard.

My dad had been working in construction and some real-estate for the last few years and that work had dried up. Between the mortgage, credit cards, and the responsibility of 3 kids, it was enough to force my parents to sell their recently completed dream home, pack up, and head back to Savannah, GA.

So, we moved in with my aunt and uncle for about 6 months.

Imagine, 4 adults, 5 kids (pic below), and 3 dogs in a 3-bedroom home in the south in the middle of summer... With a faulty air conditioning.


-- Pause again --

Now, I really, really want you to know that I could not be more grateful to my parents or to my aunt and uncle for all that they sacrificed to keep us kids happy and well taken care of. There are many more people who've had it much worse than I ever did... If you're one of them and you're still trucking along, kudos. It really takes something to not succumb to self doubt, stereotypes, etc.

-- Resume --

NOTE: This pic is of myself, my twin sisters, and my cousins a few years before we moved back to Savannah.

That said...

It was this experience that pushed me to really COMMIT to entrepreneurship. My family was in need, and I saw a way to help.

Truthfully, I didn't make enough money to make the impact I wanted at the time, but this period was transformative for me and it inspired me to seek the independence, financial freedom, and personal growth that comes with running your own business.

That ^^ is why I chose entrepreneurship.

It's not for everyone and it's really not that easy. Certainly not as easy as I naively thought it would be, then.

 

Spark #5 - My internship-turned-partnership
(The last spark for now!) 

In October 2010, my uncle invited me to visit him for the following summer in New York City. It had always been my dream to live in a big city so I quickly accepted.

Not long after that, my uncle shared that there was an opportunity to intern for a friend's company while I spent the summer with him in NYC. (They had met through an LGBTQ non-profit that they both volunteered for.)

The friend's name is Jim and we would eventually become business partners and roommates.

Yes, business partners and roommates...

More on that in a sec. I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, again, I accepted my uncle's offer.

Within the first 2 weeks of working at Jim's design agency, CPS Creative, I brought in a new SEO retainer client worth several thousand dollars.

Jim always describes this as the moment I stopped being his intern. LOL!

Over the next two years we continued to work together. Jim passed marketing work to me ("SEO PRO"), I passed a little design work to him.

Halfway through my senior year of high school, I had a crisis.

I had only a few weeks left to complete my Eagle project for Boy Scouts, I was coming dangerously close to flunking out of school, and it was becoming clearer to me by the minute that I had no aspirations of going to college.

After a screaming match with my parents that ended in my choosing to run a company over going to college, I gave Jim a call and made a proposal.


-- Pause --

I should tell you that by now Jim had co-founded a new startup, a video production marketplace for business, and no longer had time to dedicate the attention necessary to manage CPS Creative.

-- Resume --


My proposal went something like this...

"Your company, CPS Creative, has great design chops. My company is great at marketing. They're very complimentary. Seeing as you're no longer able to manage CPS full-time, how about we 'merge' our two companies, make it a full-service marketing agency, and I take over as CEO? What do you think of the name Visify?"

To my surprise, after assuring him I had decided that I didn't want to pursue college and had arrived at that decision 100% on my own, he accepted.

That is how Visify was born. :)

Then, I mustered up all the money I had left to buy an extra expensive SAV > LGA flight with multiple checked bags and moved to the Big Apple. (Corny, I know.)

Jim and I were roommates for the following 2.5 years, as we bootstrapped Visify to where it is today. A growing agency serving clients worldwide.

Along the way:

--> I came out as gay... (surprise!)


--> Hired a professional designer to help us re-brand...


--> Got hitched, woohoo!... (Love you, Leven!)


--> Traveled the world...

    

--> This crazy guy got elected, sort of... (Not a real photo, I think. LOL.)


--> Got a trademark...


--> Spoke on many stages and once on a cruise... (Does that make me an international speaker? I think so. Heh...)


--> Joined a few "fancy" masterminds...


...amongst other things.

And now I want to share my experiences and advice with you.

Remember what I said earlier?

No matter where you are in your life right now - you can CHOOSE the life (or business, or both) you want.

No matter your current knowledge or circumstance, your dreams are within reach. Your maximum potential has still yet to be discovered.

That inspires me. The journey. The process of exploring and activating potential in myself and others.

Are you with me?


Best wishes,
Lucas


P.S. - If you made it through all that, then we NEED to be friends. :)

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P.P.S. - I wanted to weave a few inspirational quotes into my story, but honestly I forgot. Whoops!

So I'll leave them here for you like an "inspiration stack" that gets you all fired up. I sort of like it better that way, anyway. :)

"If you are still breathing, you have a second chance." - Oprah Winfrey

"No matter how small you start, start something that matters." - Brendon Burchard


"Do. Or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda (Yup, Star Wars fan.)


"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
- Chinese proverb


"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
- Henry Ford


“Always deliver more than expected.”
- Larry Page


“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
- Howard Schultz


"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."
- Confucius

--> I hope this message has inspired you today.

Don't forget to subscribe, join me on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and reach out to me at [email protected] if you need anything.


P.P.P.S. - I like PSs... They're fun. :)

Enjoy your day!

 
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