Featured Contributor Stories
We’re proud to feature an incredible array of amazing original stories from expert contributors mentioned in our book Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition. These are original stories written by the incredible, self-started entrepreneurs and thought leaders below that will seriously motivate your journey forward. Click Read More to read the full stories. Read, be inspired, and then share with a friend! Want to be featured? We welcome authentic thought leaders and entrepreneurs to tell their story and help inspire our next generation. Fill out this interview form, and we’ll be in touch regarding publishing your story.
Seth Godin is an influential and innovative marketer who has been writing, educating, and dreaming in the space for over 30 years. He runs a massively popular blog; has written 19 books on topics like marketing, creativity, leadership, and standing out in a sea of …
Neil Patel is a globally renowned marketer with a wildly popular blog presence (that sees over four million visitors per month). He has started four multi-million dollar companies, worked for clients like Google, eBay, Microsoft, and General Motors, and is a New York Times bestselling author.
Ravi Abuvala is a law school dropout who pivoted and made his name as a profitable entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Scaling with Systems, which helps B2B businesses scale to seven figures with systems, processes, and virtual assistants. He’s been featured by ABC News, Inc., Yahoo! Finance, and more.
Brennan Agranoff started his first company, HoopSwagg, in 2013 at the age of 13. He grew it to $1 million in annual sales by the time he was 17. One year later, in 2018, he launched his most recent brand, PetParty. Combined, Brennan’s brands achieved $2.4 million in sales in 2019. He has been featured in Forbes, People Magazine, CNN, Fox, Entrepreneur, and more.
Zee Ali is the founder behind Zswag.com. A first-generation American, he worked his way up from busboy to dishwasher to culinary school student until he discovered his love of marketing and branding. Today, Zswag is a full-service merchandising company that fulfills orders for brands around the world.
Amanda Bond is a Facebook ads expert and founder of The Ad Strategist. She has served over 73 million ad impressions on Facebook, and her ads have generated over $10 million in revenue.
Chris Bryant is the founder of Empire Studios, a video production agency that handles any and all aspects of video marketing, from ideation to distribution online. Since its birth in 2005, it has grown into a six-figure business with consistent year-over-year growth.
Rich Carr is the founder and mind behind Carr Knowledge, a consultancy for professional learning, development, and information delivery. He’s the author of Brain-centric Design: The Surprising Neuroscience Behind Learning with Deep Understanding. Using the Brain-centric Design model, Carr and his team work with everyone from fortune brands to instructional designers to help them present and deliver information with deep understanding and acceptance on the receiving end.
Jeff Deutsch originally made $$$$ as a black hat marketer. Eventually, he flipped the script, came to the light, and grew a legit business as a power-player growth marketer. Today he spends his time building and leading marketing teams, guiding tech companies to mega-growth with digital marketing, and blogging about what he knows.
Marcin Drozdz was recruited into the private equity space in his early 20s. The focus was on real estate acquisitions, including apartment buildings, development, and land assembly. Since then, he’s broken off on his own to work with entrepreneurs to help them access over $100,000 in growth funding to scale businesses in finance, real estate, and consumer services.
Henneke Duistermaat is the brains and pen behind Enchanting Marketing. Aspiring copywriters flock to Henneke’s blog and online training for unique and creative advice in her warm, signature style (including hand-drawn comics and infographics featuring her alter-ego, Henrietta)
Angela Fehr is a watercolor artist who took her passion online and turned it into a thriving business. She teaches students worldwide through her online courses. By 2021, she’ll soar past $1 million in revenue thanks to the passionate, “heart-led” watercolor instruction she’s offered to thousands of students.
William Hall is a prime example of where hard work can land you. He’s the Vice President of Taylor Insurance Services. He has been with his firm for 25 years. He’s generated more than $10 million in sales in the last five years alone, and has made an income of more than $1.5 million. He never went to college.
Marisa Hamamoto is a professional dancer and stroke survivor who was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down while a college student. She founded Infinite Flow, Los Angeles-based nonprofit and professional dance company composed of dancers with and without disabilities using dance to promote inclusion and innovation.
Brittany Harris is the published author of The Truth About Lies, a handbook for confronting negative thoughts and reframing them through the truth of God’s Word. She’s also the Senior Digital Strategist for a PR agency, a blogger, and an ordained minister.
April Hill is the founder and owner of Yoga Studio 90, a hot yoga studio located in Baton Rouge, LA. Her passion for yoga bloomed into a thriving business now celebrating its 10th year. To date, April and her team have helped thousands of people get results, get in shape, get strong, or recover from illness or injury.
Jeff Hunter is the founder of VAStaffer, a virtual assistant staffing agency with over 80 employees. He’s also a digital marketer, the host of the Savage Marketer Podcast, and the founder of BrandedMedia.io, a branding agency that helps CEOs and founders become influencers.
Benji Hyam is the co-founder of Grow and Convert, a content marketing agency focused on delivering measurable results, which crossed $1 million in revenue in 2019. He’s the mastermind behind the growth of multiple start-ups and blogs, and is a blog writer himself,
Jeremy Knauff is a digital marketing expert with over 20 years under his belt. He’s also the founder of Spartan Media, which offers web design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and more. He’s been featured in Forbes and Entrepreneur.
Jacob McMillen is a successful freelance copywriter who actually got a college degree – but not for writing. He flipped from accounting and sales to copywriting, where he maxed his earnings at $20K/month with a flair for words and business.
Tami McVay is a coach and mentor for professionals and entrepreneurs ready to step up to the plate and take a big swing. She started her business after a successful career spanning 20 years in IT and a run serving in the Marine Corps.
Clay Mosley was fired from almost every job he had until 2012, when he went freelance and started a digital marketing agency offering website design, SEO, social media management, and video production. By 2018, his agency was staffing over 20 people and earning $1 million in annual revenue.
Robert Nickell is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Station, a leading provider of outsourced staffing and process management in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. He has been featured in Forbes, Grit Daily, and Search Engine Journal.
Kris Olivo is a college dropout who is a perfect example of where following your passions (and obsessions) can get you. He’s the co-founder of Almost Magical Marketing, which has broken multiple six figures since its start.
Jordan Paris is a podcast host (notably, Growth Mindset University, where he interviewed thought leaders and influential entrepreneurs, and the evolution of that show, The Jordan Paris Show) as well as an entrepreneur and author. He also founded Trend Up Media, a podcast production and marketing agency.
Gene Petrov is the founder of LDRBRND, an online leadership, teaching, and coaching business geared towards marketers. He has over two decades of experience in leadership. He has worked in a mom and pop shop, corporate retail, and served in the U.S. Air Force. He also gets to experience and teach leadership as the dad to adopted triplets.
Ryan Robinson teaches 500,000+ monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable online business. He also runs a blog-based education business that generates around $500,000 in annual revenue from a combination of online courses, sponsorships, affiliate partnerships, consulting and speaking.
Shay Rowbottom is an entrepreneur and the founder of Shay Rowbottom Marketing, a video marketing agency that specializes in helping business owners attract their target audience and pull in more clients with organic video content on LinkedIn. In 2020, she’s on track to pull in her first seven figures at just 28 years old.
Tyler Samani-Sprunk is a partner at a B2B content marketing agency called Simple Strat. Prior to that, he helped start and manage an agency called Forgelight Creative that primarily worked with local startup companies.
Jeanie Sanchez started her career by chance, when a hiring manager gave her a shot at a rental assistant job despite her inexperience in the apartment industry. From those humble beginnings, Jeanie has grown in the industry and now runs and owns a compliance firm,
Troy Sandidge is the founder and Marketing Strategy Executive of FindTroy Marketing Solutions, a marketing strategy consulting agency as well as a Chief Strategy Officer of a national brand agency. He has partnered with brands and worked on projects for national organizations that have cumulatively generated millions of dollars in revenue and counting.
Justin Staples is a small business owner with over 15 years of progressively increasing experience in multiple facets of internet development, SEO, and digital marketing.
Lori Stead is the founder of Wet Silver, LLC – the company for her local photography studio, Wet Silver Photography and Wet Silver Boudoir. This year, despite COVID, she’ll creep up on her first six-figure gross income year.
Ryan Stewart has started half a dozen online companies that have generated over $10 million in sales over the last three years. Most recently, he’s the mind behind The Blueprint Training, which teaches SEO practices how to scale their business.
Alexander Strate is a serial entrepreneur, a habit that started back when he was 17. After dipping his toe into various business ventures, including digital marketing, he now runs his own insurance agency, which has grown to include over 50 agents across the country, exceeding $3.5 million in sales in 2020.
Josiah Town is a self-made success. He’s a realtor, entrepreneur, and leader in his Missouri community. He’s also on track to become a multi-millionaire before the age of 30… all without a college degree, or even a high school diploma.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski quit her job at 29, at the peak of her corporate career and success, to essentially start over. After a year-long sabbatical, she discovered her love for speaking, consulting, and coaching. She founded Think Natalia and is an expert on “coachsulting” people who, like herself, left corporate jobs to do their own thing and find their own path.
Sebastian Rusk is a podcast launch specialist, digital storyteller, author, speaker, and online personality.
He founded the PodcastLaunchLab.com in 2016 as a quick podcast launch solution for marketers and entrepreneurs wanting to dive in. He’s on a mission to help people tell their stories by starting their own podcasts.
Valerie Young is an internationally-known expert and TedX speaker on impostor syndrome, the founder of impostorsyndrome.com. She’s also the author of award-winning book The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (Crown Business/Random House), available in five languages.
Julian Espinosa is a growth-hacking marketer and the founder of Papi Digital and Leaving the Nest, a workshop that aims to teach high school students the skills they need to start their careers.
Leaving the Nest was founded when Julian’s team began working out of a co-working space called Hub101, which hosts people from across the spectrum, from students to faculty, entrepreneurs to retired executives. While there, Julian’s company was approached to mentor students, which led to internships.
Alexandra Marshall is a digital marketer and the President of SEO.com, a marketing firm that has created campaigns for brands like Dell, Mary Kay, and Mrs. Fields. She got her start in marketing at the age of 18 when she was hired on the spot for a role at Whole Foods – with no college degree.
Erick Pettersen is an entrepreneur and business owner who ghostwrites articles and other content for coaches, speakers, and those who want more online exposure. He’s also a survivor – at the age of 7, he fell into a coma after suffering a brain aneurism, but miraculously recovered.
Owen Video is a YouTube and livestream coach and producer with his business, The Video Marketing School, which generates multi-six-figures each year. He helps brands and businesses scale their visibility, authority, and profitability with YouTube and livestream content. He also speaks on the impact of video content for business owners at conferences like VidSummit Los Angeles, Video Marketing World: Dallas, and Power of Video: Belfast.
Rich Reutti is a corporate sales veteran with 34 years under his belt. He’s held every position in sales, including leadership and marketing roles in corporations large and small. He has helped multiple companies build millions of dollars in sales in just 12-24 months. Today, he’s passionate about sharing his sales and career knowledge with the next generation.
Zach Snyder is a college drop-out who started freelance video editing for creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses in 2018. He’s worked on various online content platforms in industries ranging from entrepreneurship to gaming, to health & wellness and cooking.
Cadi Jordan is a marketer who specializes in connecting people and businesses – in her words, she’s a “connectorpreneur.” Her clients have included global brands on the NASDAQ and Forbes. Her work has appeared in various wellness publications. In 2021, she’s on track to reach six figures with her business, Jordan Consulting.