Whiskey. Maximum security prisons. Shooting wild boar out of a helicopter in Texas. Hanging out with famous people. It’s amazing what your life can turn into when you leave corporate America.
Two years ago I was working in a corporate sales position with strict HR guidelines, awful hours, and not much opportunity. I was miserable. Flash forward to now. I actually look forward to going to work each morning.
On any given day I could be interviewing prospective booty models, shooting guns, filming with babies (not at the same time as the guns, obviously), bartending, taste testing cookies, or even hopping behind the camera to film.
I run the operations at a marketing agency … but not just any marketing agency … I work for The Silent Partner Marketing, with the not so silent Kyle Reyes as our CEO.
Now, I should have known that this wouldn’t be your typical job when I walked into my interview to massive bean bag chairs, a 20-foot bar (yes, fully stocked), and a CEO in jeans and a t-shirt (I think it said I Lube my Guns with Liberal Tears).
“I’d love to hang out and chat but my schedule is INSANE,” he said. “Here’s all I care about. You CRUSHED the snowflake test. You’ll rarely see me and you’ll get work-related texts from me at all hours of the day and night that I don’t expect you to respond to until you wake up. Any questions?”
Any question I could have asked probably would not have had an answer that prepared me for this job. I never would have imagined the places this job would take me and the things that I would learn.
Technically my title is “Director of Operations”… but somehow I think that most people with that title would have far different tasks from mine. I’ve learned to just answer requests with “if it’s what the client wants …”
Here’s a glimpse at just some of the things I’ve been tasked with since last year, and trust me, I swear there is a somewhat reasonable explanation for all of this:
1. Buy deodorant for Kyle. This was for the benefit of our client, who would be locked in a hot car with Kyle to warn people of the dangers of leaving children and animals in a hot car.
2. Be a stand-in in countless videos. Perhaps you’ve seen my hands in a well-known supplement commercial?
3. Buy 100 boxes of crayons, wrangle dozens of veterans, and coax my dog into being an animal star for a shoot.
4. Go to the Daytona 500 to film and stay in a trailer with total strangers for a weekend.
5. Taste test for our personal caterer.
6. Be put through a grueling workout from our personal trainer.
7. Travel to Florida, Vegas, Texas, Rhode Island, Boston, New York, New Hampshire – all in a week.
8. Show up at the office at 2:30 a.m. to go to New York City to appear on Fox and Friends. (If you didn’t know all ready from my mom telling everyone she comes into contact with “My daughter was on Fox”)
9. Interview booty models.
10. Learn to shoot guns (yes safely).
As I said this is just a glimpse as to what I’ve been up to. I’ve also learned A LOT. About business, about the real world, about myself. You know, the type of stuff you won’t learn in any book or from any school. I’ve had the pleasure of offering jobs to people and have the unfortunate experience of having to let employees go. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, and always have a Plan B, and Plan C for that matter.
About the CEO ….
Kyle runs the kind of agency that defies logic and conventional wisdom. As a matter of fact, he will be the first to tell you that the politically correct will say he should have been out of business years ago.
But just the opposite has happened.
Kyle, at the helm of The Silent Partner Marketing, has grown the agency by triple digits year after year after year.
The company is a full-service agency. We’ve got a team of cinematographers turning hundreds of videos per month, a team of graphic designers, a web development team, media buyers, social media experts, and more. But that’s no different from many agencies.
What’s insanely different is how much Kyle and the rest of the team care – or, in many cases – do NOT care.
He has a difficult time saying no. An INSANELY difficult time. Which means that this husband and father of two is frequently traveling across the country to meet with clients in 48 different states. He does it because, as he says, each of those businesses provides for countless families and he wants to help them to do that.
Now, many may think they know Kyle based on his social media content. I’ve watched over the past year as he has built a following of over 100,000. I’ve also watched as he has pissed off many who disagree with his beliefs. If you haven’t seen how he handles the Internet trolls who disagree with him, I suggest you grab some popcorn and spend some time scrolling through his Facebook page. For instance, when certain people didn’t like that he was donating over $250,000 in services to police and first responders, he doubled down and upped the donation to $500,000.
I have friends that say to me “Wow do you agree with EVERYTHING Kyle says online?” The truth is sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, and that’s totally fine. You may think that the entire staff here has to agree with all of Kyle’s views, political or otherwise, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Our team members have all different views and Kyle couldn’t appreciate that more.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about Kyle. There is so much that you won’t get from just following him on social media. You don’t see the endless amount of personal messages we’ve received about how they appreciate his support for our military and first responders, or the community organizations that he donates time and services to, or the business owners that he has helped, wanting nothing in exchange.
Just last week I was on the phone with someone who told me that Kyle inspired her to start her own business. On several occasions I have seen him anonymously pay for people’s meals at restaurants. He also truly cares about his employees and their families. These are things that you would never know, because Kyle would never brag.
Love him or hate him, he’s an extremely intelligent and driven business owner and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to learn from him.
Now Kyle doesn’t know I’m writing this, and I’m not going to run it by him. So if I get fired for this, it has been a great run. (But hopefully the previous sentence will get me a promotion, wink wink.)