Posts tagged startup
Shifting gears & embracing change — with John Robinson

"There were seeds being planted suggesting 'maybe I'm not living the life I'm supposed to be living.' But I didn't know at that time what it was or how I was going to do it... and so I found myself in that rut again."  

 JOHN ROBINSON, Founder                   Johnny Velo Bikes 

When you're a top performer in your industry, you don't think much about making significant career changes. That is until you find you're spending too much time from home, or realize that your performance alone can't save your job.

John takes us through a bumpy ride from the mountaintop peaks and through deep valleys of his life in corporate banking, revealing just how hard things can get before admitting some sort of change needs to happen. It's a story we believe will resonate with many.  

By the time John fights back the tears at the end of the podcast, hearing his decision to start Johnny Velo Bikes seems obvious and evident. His connection to bikes, cancer (as a survivor himself), community, and the surprise opportunity to finally become an entrepreneur are tailor-made for this story. But to seize it, to fully own it, he had live it out. And that's the hard part.

In retrospect, John just might tell you this was the most challenging ride he's ever been on — but also the one he was meant to travel.  

Johnny Velo Bikes  |  The Purple TuTu Society

Pouring into people & purpose — with Kenny Sipes

"A lot of people think I'm crazy and they're like 'I don't get it, I don't understand why it's working' and I tell them it's because I got out of the way. My favorite saying that an old guy taught me years and years ago is -- if you want to be happy, forget yourself." 

KENNY SIPES, Founder, The Roosevelt Coffeehouse 

Talk to anyone who frequents The Roosevelt Coffeeshop in Columbus, Ohio and they'll tell you what a great guy Kenny Sipes is and how they love the mission of his shop. His nonprofit coffeehouse has become a magnetic hub for people looking for community, good coffee and to do a little good in the process. The Roosevelt is fueled to give back by supporting three human-centered, justice-driven issues: providing clean water, fighting hunger and abolishing human trafficking. 

Kenny's story continues to gain coffee clout and the Roosevelt has become a community darling in the social enterprise space. That reality is a far cry from the 40-day stint he spent in rehab as a teenager, the years growing an urban record store, and his beloved service as a youth pastor to middle school kids. Even as he employed the hard work and discipline he first saw his father model, he also recognized his gift of being a connector of people. For Kenny, an ideal way to be faithful to what he was being called to do was open a communal space centered around coffee so he could pour into people and purpose in life-changing ways.  

Kenny is an open book on this episode, sharing his unconventional road to entrepreneurship as well as his next moves with The Roosevelt -- including one rather lofty aspiration (we hope you're listing Jeremy Cowart).

The Roosevelt Coffeehouse

The adventure & advantages of never growing up — with Greg Walter
 

“We’re trying to do something that appeals more to the child in everyone. We want to invite people to bond with a brand and have fun together rather than just being impressed by it.”

GREG WALTER, Bossman, 2Tall Animation Studio

Greg is a like a lovable kid in a tall man's body — a 2Tall one to be exact. To view his work today, it’s seems rather obvious this self-proclaimed expert daydreamer was destined to make animation videos for Sesame Street Studios and turn otherwise mundane content on its head. But finding his stride hasn’t been easy. After a 2,400-mile move from Seattle to Columbus, getting laid off and essentially starting from scratch, Greg plumbed his inner, optimistic child and found his voice...while being chased by wolves, no less. For a man who claims he’s “barely qualified to run a lemonade stand let alone an animation studio,” it’s clear he's taken his lemons and made lemonade.

Whether it’s laugh-out-loud ridiculous or surprisingly heartwarming, his trademark style of animation is always joyful and infectious. We talk with Greg about the “rock cycle” from our middle school days in science class; monsters and yetis; where his inspiration comes from; and the fine line between comfort and doubt in creating his line of work.        

www.2tall.tv