The Main Street Entrepreneur is a full length feature documentary detailing the choices made by ordinary people that have led to extraordinary outcomes, each building livelihoods doing what they love. Motivated and driven by personal aspirations, these individuals dared to take risks in pursuit of their dreams. Their journeys and the experiences they share will inspire and motivate you to choose a similar path, a path inviting you to follow your own dreams and live a life of fulfillment.
Mike and Jay Glauser have been interviewing entrepreneurs together, as father and son, for 6 years now. During the summer of 2014, with a team of 4, they embarked on a 4,000 mile bicycle adventure traveling from the west coast of Oregon to the east coast of Virginia. As technology replaces jobs, their mission was to interview 100 small town entrepreneurs in 100 cities to see how everyday Americans have found success doing what they love, where they want to live.
With no shortage of coverage in the media highlighting big corporations and successful multi mullion dollar tech companies, the smaller successful individuals and businesses in America are often overshadowed and overlooked. Not everyone can create the next Facebook or Google or eBay, but everyone can create businesses that fill needs in their communities.
The people they met and the stories of success they heard during their two month long journey along Main Street America is a something that they want to share with the world.
A book written by team member Dr. Mike Glauser titled "Main Street Entrepreneur" was recently released which details their cross country adventure as well as shares the keys to success that are being implemented by the entrepreneurs they interviewed. With so many inspiring stories and examples that each of us can learn from, the team wants to take this project one step further and release a full length feature documentary.
We've had the opportunity of interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs in different industries all across America, getting an intimate look into their lives and their stories. We’ve interviewed everyone from local blacksmiths, to coffee shop owners, to entrepreneurs who own biogas engineering plants, clothing and apparel businesses, waste management companies, and urban farming supply stores.
As diverse as these businesses are, we've found that their stories of success are very similar. The fear, uncertainty, struggles and setbacks that each of them have faced with starting a new venture and the perseverance to get to where they are today is something that each of us can learn from.
The following entrepreneurs are just a few of the hundreds that we've been able to interview
Marshall Miller - GoPro Bomb Squad
Marshall is a world-class paraglider pilot, ski BASE jumper, and PRO-rated skydiver. He travels the world in search of new and unique places to take to the skies. He picked up a paraglider for the first time in 1999 and discovered his life’s purpose: flying. As an aerial enthusiast with an infectious obsession with the sky, Marshall was determined to find a way to make a living with both feet off the ground. In 2008 he and several friends struck a deal with GoPro and cofounded the GoPro Bomb Squad allowing them to travel the world.
David Toledo & Caleb Light - Power Practical
How would it be if you were in the backcountry and your mp3 player had continual juice or you were able to charge other electronics whenever you wanted? Meet Power Practical, a company that created a product called the Power Pot that uses heat to charge usb devices. Just add water to the Power Pot, place it on a heat source and within seconds you can have your phone charging.
In order to get the funding for their initial product, Power Practical launched a Kickstarter campaign that was successfully funded. Since then, they have done an additional five other Kickstarter campaigns raising over $1.5 million. The producers of Shark Tank took note of their success and revolutionary product line and invited them to appear on the show where David and Caleb were able to land a deal with Mark Cuban who gave them $250,000 for 12 percent of the company. These young entrepreneurs show us that anybody can build a wildly successful business with a good idea that is properly executed.
Tonya Montalvo - Intervention Group
Tonya grew up feeling like a protector to her siblings. In her twenties, she got into private security as a dare. Proving her doubters wrong, her first patrol car was a used cab, which she bought for $200, and her first contract was with a local KFC. She is now the founder, a.k.a. "Chief", of Intervention Group, a private security firm based out of Oakland, CA. She currently has more than 20 employees and over 500 contracts around the Bay Area.
Justin Gold - Justin's Nut-Butter
Justin is a pioneer in the natural food industry. He started making homemade nut butters with a food processor in his home kitchen in 2004. His unique blends of peanut butter and natural flavorings were a huge hit at the Farmers Market in Boulder, Colorado. Today, Justin’s products are sold across North America and internationally in fine retailers including Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Safeway, Cost Plus World Market, HEB, Super Target, and Jewel-Osco. Justin is committed to making the finest organic and all-natural nut butters and peanut butter cups on the planet.
Nicole Campos - Bling Inc.
Nicole started selling purses and jewelry out of her basement with no idea her business would take off the way that it did. Within six months she opened her first store. She now has multiple retail locations throughout Kansas and sells products online.
Dan & Suzanne Marino - Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co.
From a young age, Dan Marino always wanted to live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The day after he graduated from high school he packed up his 1966 Mustang, drove to Jackson Hole and he's been there ever since. Dan and his wife Suzanne are the third owners of Jackson Hole Buffalo company and took the business from a local stage to a national one. Their company specializes in different cuts and preparation of buffalo and elk meat which they ship all over the nation. They are a perfect example of individuals creating a lifestyle for themselves, doing something they love in a place they love.
Chris Washburn - Fezzari Bicycles
Imagine leaving behind a successful career in corporate America in pursuit of finding greater satisfaction doing something you truly love! That's exactly what Chris Washburn did when he created Fezzari Bicycles. High demands of work travel causing him to miss out on family events and a desire to create and do something on his own is what led to this life-changing decision. Fezzari Bicycles is no ordinary bike shop. It's much more than that. Based on three important principles, the company offers 100% customized products to provide every user a perfect fit, guarantees top of the line quality that competes with any high-end bike manufacturer, and deals directly with the consumer to offer the best prices. Chris's story is a testament that greater happiness comes when you're doing something you are passionate about.
In order to understand our motivation behind this project and why we want to share it with you, it's important to talk about a few key points.
Small businesses play a vital role in our economy, they are the engines of job creation. There are 28 million of them in America and they provide 55% of all jobs, employing over 56 million people.
These businesses account for 54% of all US sales. Whether it's a local floral shop, or a small restaurant or bookstore, they contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the business is established. Main Street Businesses truly are the backbone of the economy.
Experts are projecting that nearly half of our occupations will become obsolete due to new technology and that four out of five of us will experience significant periods of unemployment during our careers. We don't want to sound like alarmists, but there is a huge employment shift on the horizon and we need to be ready to know how to handle it.
According to a recent Gallup pole, 2/3 of US employees are unengaged with their work. In other words, they aren't happy working jobs that take up 38% of their time during the week. When you don't like doing something, dedicating an hour to it is torture, let alone 40 hours per week!
Small businesses and entrepreneurship are key to the success and growth of our economy. The jobs that they create help to replace the ones that are lost to automation and small business owners around the country are spending their work week doing what they love. By sharing the success stories of dozens of these everyday Americans, we hope to educate, inspire, and motivate others to take control of their lives and spend their time doing something they love through entrepreneurship.
We are excited to offer a variety of rewards that will teach, motivate, and help you to become a Main Street Entrepreneur and part of the #MainStreetMovement. We have something for everyone, rewards for rookie entrepreneurs looking to get started all the way up to serial entrepreneurs who have already made their mark on Main Street. Take a look at the reward tiers below and let us know if there are other things that you would like to see offered.
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 previous 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.
Jay is our creative genius. His passions are videography and music. He has filmed more than 100 successful entrepreneurs around the world to create training programs and dozens of short videos about how people are making a living. 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 films, he is playing music, traveling, working on his house with his fiancé, Jael, and hanging with friends.
Andy also has a passion for film which has recently taken him to places like Guatemala and Peru. He made his debut in the world of entrepreneurship as a small business owner when he turned a passion into an opportunity to earn income. As an avid whitewater kayaker himself, Andy saw a need and high interest for instruction and in 2009, Rapid Progression Kayak School was born. Over the years he has had many unique opportunities broadening his experience in business. These opportunities range from managing and creating a YouTube sensation working with a blind pianist, to founding a social entrepreneurship venture in the highlands of Guatemala. Andy works at the Jeffery D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. He can also be found with his wife and two boys, traveling, eating out, and of course kayaking.
In order to get our project to it's current phase, we've pooled together our own personal resources. We've spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours traveling, interviewing and getting content for the documentary. Although we are close, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done which will still cost a good chunk of money. Your support of this project will help us do the following in order to get Main Street Entrepreneur to the finish line as a polished finish product, ready to share with you and the rest of the world:
- Additional Filming
- Storyboarding & planning
- Post production
- Assistant Editing
- Music licensing
- Legal fees
- Marketing and promotion
- Film festival registration fees
Risks and challenges
Our team is comprised of individuals who have experience working with and running successful crowdfunding campaigns. We know the amount of work that goes into a project and that one of the most important things to you as a backer is the timely delivery of the promised rewards. We take great pride in our work and realize that without your help and support this project would not be possible.
With that said, this is our first time putting together a full length feature documentary. It is going to be a huge undertaking but we feel confident that we can deliver you a superb final product with the team that we have in place. Not only do we have a stellar team, we also have an incredible support network of mentors who have been involved in projects of this nature and will be there to offer us insight and help along the way. We understand that there may be some unforeseen setbacks that we haven't anticipated and if anything happens to slow down our progress, we will be 100% transparent with you and constantly keep you updated.
Thanks again for your support, this would not be possible without each and every one of you. This documentary and its message is something that we can't wait to share with you and others all over the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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