The Newsletter Pro - October 2019


like many entrepreneurs, they began to realize they were missing an even bigger market.

business I bought, I also spend countless hours every week helping entrepreneurs across the country discover what empowers them. I’ve been the business owner who hated my business and was losing sales and struggling to get by. Through mastermind programs and my Scale Your Business Bootcamp, I offer my expertise and lessons to those who will listen. I’m by no means perfect, but I’ve been in the game long enough to know a few things. One of the biggest lessons of all has been the need to have passion for what I do every day. My buddy, Andy Macksenson, and his partner, Sean Kelly, were similarly catapulted into success when their compassion for others changed the landscape of office snacking. I’ve always known Andy as someone who is driven to help people. He moved up the ranks to become a United States Naval Officer, eventually leading a special forces boat team in the Iraq War. When his stint in the Navy ended, Andy earned his MBA from Stanford University. Meanwhile, Sean’s drive led him to Columbia University, where his ultimate goal was to save lives as a cardiothoracic surgeon. But, of course, Sean wanted to prevent his patients from even making it to the operating table. Sean and Andy met through a mutual friend who recognized similar traits in the pair. Both of them wanted to help others, and Together, Andy and Sean launched Helping Unite Mankind And Nutrition (HUMAN), which became America’s first healthy vending company and quickly grew in popularity. Andy and Sean were destined for something special with HUMAN, but, both were a little lost and looking for a funnel for the passion that fueled them. SnackNation feeds the U.S. with passion.

Anyone who’s heard a snippet of my back story knows I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Whether it was selling pagers in high school or running the dry-cleaning business that led me to newsletters, I have always thrived in situations where I am my own boss, running my own company and managing my career — until I didn’t. Early in my tenure as an entrepreneur, I bought an alcohol inventory auditing company. My main motivation was the money I thought I could make from the bar scene, but from day one, I knew I had made a mistake. That gut-wrenching feeling of regret didn’t leave for 10 months, at which point I sold the business for a loss. That was the resolve I needed to never do anything purely for the money again. After a few more bumps — albeit successful bumps — between a hot dog cart and a dry-cleaning business, I eventually found what fueled my desire: helping other small business owners through newsletter production. Today, The Newsletter Pro is a multimillion-dollar company that employs nearly 70 Idaho residents and continues to grow. I found my niche after years of running through entrepreneurship, celebrating my successes, and learning from my failures. It’s been a wonderful eight years, and I know we’re destined to continue growing.

The pair shifted their focus and, in 2014, launched SnackNation, a “tech-enabled snack delivery service and CPG insights platform” that delivered healthy snacks to medium- and small-sized businesses across the U.S. It was a decision that had their fellow entrepreneurs shaking their heads. I mean, I like a gutsy move, but even I would have been skeptical. SnackNation’s revenue grew tenfold in the first year, and today, they serve more than 6,000 offices and half a million consumers every month. Despite their success, Andy and Sean’s original desire to actually help people still hadn’t diminished. They also saw a need to help businesses grow and expand, and they knew their compassion for helping others could drive that aid. of their success to other food and nutrition businesses across the nation. Featuring case studies for research and guides to help brands grow and expand their original visions, SnackNation Insights gets healthy, prepackaged snacks into the hands of thousands of customers each day and offers data and research for dozens of corporations, including Hershey’s, Clif Bar, and Welch’s. Sure, helping the big companies was never the focus of SnackNation, but, by offering real consumer-focused data, SnackNation gives these companies a chance to change the scope of the food industry for the better. If they have proven anything, it’s that you can accomplish even more than you imagined when your passion and drive fuel your business. Finding your passion can be the difference between a 10-month loss and a rapid expansion that propels nationwide innovation across corporations. Bouncing off their success, the duo created SnackNation Insights as a way to offer samplings Everyone else was wrong.

But rather than bask in the success of the niche I stumbled into as a requirement of the laundromat





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