About this project
Check us out! We are in the news!
We have some big-name media outlets who are excited to hear the stories of the entrepreneurs we meet on the tour and are going to provide great coverage over the summer. (Names coming soon!) Jasen Lee at the Deseret News wrote a great story about us. Check it out! http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865602837/Utahns-embarking-on-cross-country-bike-trip-highlighting-entrepreneurship.html?pg=all
Here is another great article by Ty Kiisel at Lendio: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865603550/Crossing-the-United-States-by-bicycle-2-one-small-business-at-a-time.html?pg=all
We've had some amazing companies come on board to support the tour! Check them out and let's keep this thing going!
What Is This?
Our project is to write a new book and produce a new documentary film series that we affectionately call, “Living the Dream on Main Street America: A 4,000 Mile Journey to Find Our Best Small-Town Entrepreneurs.”
This summer we are packing up the motorhome and heading to the beach with our film crew. However, this trip will be anything but relaxing. Starting from the beach in Florence, Oregon, we are going to saddle up our road bikes and ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean to interview, film and document the stories of America’s very best small town entrepreneurs. We will visit more than 100 cities and interview 100 small business owners. We will use their stories to produce our book and film series about starting your own company and creating your own job. We need your help to pay for the publishing costs for the book and the production costs for the documentary film series.
Why Small-Town Entrepreneurs?
We have met and interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world. Some of the coolest companies we have discovered have been in small-town America. These small-town entrepreneurs move to places they want to live, and then find something they love doing to earn a living. There are thousands of entrepreneurs living in small cities who have started their own businesses, created their own jobs, and are living amazing lifestyles.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is this relevant to me?” Great question! There is a looming employment challenge happening in our country. Studies show that technology is eliminating more jobs than it is creating in nearly every industry, and that corporations need fewer people to produce more revenue. The research suggests that jobs of the future may consist of part-time, short-term and contract work; and that four out of five of us may face significant periods of unemployment during our careers.
We believe there is a better option that will give us more control over this problem than the studies suggest – creating our own job in our own business. We are choosing to focus on small-town entrepreneurs because they are the perfect role models for creating value in communities where there are not a lot of jobs. They have figured out how to make it on their own without relying on someone else to provide them a living.
Don’t get us wrong, building a business is definitely easier said than done. But it is also an awesome and exhilarating experience. Luckily, you don’t need to go at it alone. Our new book and documentary series will provide hundreds of examples and key lessons from entrepreneurs who have taken the leap and are thriving as business owners. You will see that nothing is more satisfying than discovering a need, creating a product or service, and having customers love what you do for them. Self-employment is a very viable career option and should be considered by everyone who questions his or her future employment. If you are going to spend 40 to 50 hours a week working for someone else, why not invest that same time in to your own new venture?
Why Are We Doing This Through Kickstarter?
We have been amazed and inspired by the thousands of aspiring business builders who have taken the entrepreneurial leap and are fighting to make their dreams a reality through Kickstarter. This process allows entrepreneurs to see if anyone wants to buy their unique products before they are created. It also allows imaginative people with big dreams to bypass the industry roadblocks and gatekeepers that keep great products from entering the market. Kickstarter is the perfect place for the innovative entrepreneur and potential customer to work collaboratively, hand-in-hand to create something great.
As we began evaluating our options for funding this project, we quickly realized that Kickstarter is the perfect avenue. We have always believed it is absolutely essential to work intimately with our customers when creating new products and services. So rather than go the traditional route of finding an agent, selling the book to a large publisher, and using a film producer, we want to bypass the controlling industry mechanisms and work directly with you. We want to create an amazing product that will inspire, instruct and motivate you, the entrepreneurs of the world, to take control of your futures. We are beyond passionate about this project and will give it everything we have to produce a book and film series that we can all be proud of. We need your support and humbly ask you to please help us make this project happen.
Why Should You Contribute?
By supporting our project you will have the opportunity to get early access to the book and exclusive access to our website to view the film series. The stories we collect from thriving entrepreneurs from across the country will show you how they:
- Find somewhere attractive to live and create new opportunities
- Ignite their passion, tenacity and endurance to start a company
- Get out of the 9 to 5 grind and stop living paycheck to paycheck
- Do what they love doing to support themselves and their families
- Raise their income and increase their financial security
- Create a secure and sustainable future for themselves
We have some sweet swag, products and services to reward you for supporting our project. In addition to the new book and film series, you can meet up with us along the tour and be in some of our videos. Not to mention, you get to support the coolest freaking modern day “Forrest Gump” story ever! So here are the details about our rewards. Check them out and see what package is right for you.
Get Your Name Printed in the Book and On Our Website
As a way of saying “Thank You” for your contribution, we will recognize you personally as a supporter of the tour by printing your name in the “Acknowledgments” section of the book, and by also listing you on our website. Woohoo!
Our Cool Stickers
Our One-Of-A-Kind Book
We are going to write an awesome, unique, and most important, fun business book – one that will read like an engaging novel you cannot put down. The book will contain the remarkable stories of the people we meet who have created amazing businesses and lifestyles in places they want to live – the New American Dream. These stories will unfold against the picturesque, adventure-filled backdrop of a crazy 4,000-mile bike ride across America. The book will have lessons about passion, tenacity, suffering, endurance, teamwork and service. Most of all, it will identify the keys to building a successful new enterprise.
Our First Class Videos
We love cycling and we’d be lying if we said that we weren’t excited to ride our bikes across the country. However, there is a bigger reason for doing this. Seeing America by bike allows us to slow down and take our time. This will give us a chance to interact with people, get to know them better, and to learn about their companies. Everyday throughout this tour we will post a daily video journal from the road that highlights that day’s adventures. We imagine it is going to be a lot of sweating, probably a little swearing, scenic vistas, vast open spaces, mountain ranges, rural communities, bike wrecks, eating, sleeping, nice people, mean people, but most important, a glimpse into the lives of amazing entrepreneurs from across the country. We will create documentary films about the most exciting entrepreneurs we meet throughout the tour. These will be featured on our website along with the videos we have already produced of highly successful business builders from around the globe. Check out some of our stuff:
Our Awesome T Shirt
Our Distinctive Hoodie
Our Exclusive Consulting Services
We have worked with hundreds of startup companies as well as large corporations. We usually don’t like to toot our own horns, but we have worked with some of the big boys like eBay, Associated Foods, The Boeing Company, Department of Workforce Services, Esso of Inter-America, Harmon Music Group, and USANA Health Sciences. We have a lot of experience under our belts and a vast network of contacts to help you succeed. We will work with you one-on-one to help you take your business to the next level.
Our Amazing Sponsorships
As a tour sponsor, we can provide awesome exposure for you and your company. We can use your products personally or give them away to tour participants through social media contests, and at the “Meet Up” events we will hold in various cities during the tour: Eugene Oregon, Missoula Montana, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Pueblo Colorado, Newton Kansas, Carbondale Illinois, Berea Kentucky, and Charlottesville Virginia.
Our Personal Expertise
We are entrepreneurs. We love finding problems and creating solutions. We love building new ventures. And we love helping other people launch and grow their own successful companies.
Mike should be renamed “Mr. Entrepreneur.” He has built successful ventures in the retail, wholesale, consulting and educational industries. He has consulted with hundreds of startup companies and large corporations. Mike has written two top selling books on entrepreneurship: Glorious Accidents and The Business of Heart. Earlier in his career he toured Europe in a band and recorded an album on vinyl, which his kids call “that big black CD thing.” Mike is currently the Executive Director of the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. When he is not in his office, he is riding his bike in the spectacular mountains of Utah, playing a mean banjo, reading books, hanging out with his wife Mary, and eating sushi with his five sons.
Shawn is a project manager extraordinaire. He can keep dozens of balls in the air at the same time. He has always worked in his own businesses. He has created successful companies in the logistics, transportation and educational industries. He has interviewed highly successful entrepreneurs across the country, and has a unique perspective on building businesses. He has consulted with many startup companies and teaches classes on entrepreneurship. When Shawn is not building his own businesses, he is trying to stay on his bike on rollers in his basement, spending time with his wife Cherie, coaching soccer, and trying to keep up with his two beautiful daughters.
Jay is our creative genius. His passions are videography and music. He has filmed more than 100 successful entrepreneurs around the world. He also has broad experience with new ventures in the music industry. Having planned, promoted and managed hundreds of concerts across the United States, Jay is no stranger to fun. He is a founding member of two national touring bands and has created, marketed, and sold thousands of event-related products. He has extensive experience with street teams, radio, print, and social media. When Jay is not creating cool films, he is out riding his bike, playing music, traveling, and hanging with his friends.
Our Spectacular Route
We are going to ride the Trans America Bicycle Trail across the country. It begins on the Pacific Ocean in Florence, Oregon and ends at the Atlantic Ocean in Yorktown, Virginia. The trail was created in 1976 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. It was purposely design to avoid large cities, and it features some of our country’s most beautiful scenery. It crosses 10 states through the heart of America: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia. In 1976 a group of more than 2,000 cyclists completed this journey to experience the communities of Main Street America. The trail is now part of Adventure Cycling’s network of bicycle routes (www.adventurecycling.org).
Risks and challenges
Every project has risks – there are no guarantees in this world. Our tour motorhome might break down. We might encounter a giant rockslide while biking through the Rocky Mountains. We might encounter an angry troll who won’t let us ride across his bridge without the secret password. (Wait…seriously?) Anything could happen. But aside from a life-changing event that stops us in our tracks, we are 100% committed to making this project happen. We have already published several popular books, we have interviewed countless entrepreneurs, and we have created hundreds of high-quality videos telling the stories of business builders the world over. We have the fire. We have the tenacity. We have the team. And we truly want to write a book and produce a film series that will inspire you to take the entrepreneurial leap and create your own job in your own company. If you support us, you will not be disappointed in the outcomes. Thanks so much for supporting our project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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