Here’s the full story.
Saturday January 11th (11 is my luck number by the way) my boss and I (aka my big brother Trevor), chatted about him firing me so I can pursue my dreams, or me ditching my dreams and getting hired as the head of marketing at his company OnCarrot.com…
Yeah, my brother is going to fire me April 1st of this year people, so I may possibly need a couch to crash on soon.
Anyways, anybody that knows me knows I’m not afraid to pass on amazing and guaranteed opportunities to risk the reward of something potentially better but not guaranteed. Just look back at me transferring senior year of high school (when I believed we were guaranteed a state title in baseball) to another school, in hopes that playing at a higher level would up my chances of getting a big college scholarship… Or look back at me leaving the opportunity to play at the school of my dreams to take a chance of possibly getting drafted or getting a bigger scholarship… Or look back at me dropping out of college senior year in hopes that I can take that money I would spend on a years tuition and invest it into a startup of my own… Or look back at me getting offered my dream job at a major sports marketing company and saying no because I wanted to be my own boss someday… Or look back at me ditching my dream of playing pro baseball while I had a contract to play professionally sitting in front of me, pen in hand, so that I can pursue my new dream of helping change peoples lives… and now my most recent is passing on an amazing job opportunity, to work for one of my biggest role models in a company that is sure to boom in the next 3 years so that I can start my own company for my own reasons. Don’t worry, every one of those big choices ended up working out the way I hoped… so far.
I. AM. AN. IDIOT…. Or so you may be thinking.
Today I could own my own house, have a brand new car, all of the toys I want, and be building my savings to live the American dream of wealth and prosperity… Instead I passed on all of the glitz and glammor to get what actually means something to me. To challenge myself in hopes of making a bigger impact on the world. Because in the end when our lives are said and done… all of the money, and cars, and homes really don’t matter. The state championships, the marketing gigs, the strikeouts, the college degrees… the money… it all doesn’t matter in the end.
What you did with your life, and the way you impacted the world is what gets remembered. Making a lasting impact that will continue to help make the world a better place long after you’re dead and gone is what I believe people should truly strive for. That is my definition of success.
Back to the GoDaddy story.
So, 10 pm January 12th, the day after Trevor said he was firing me in April, I got a random email from the director of the commercial shoot that GoDaddy was putting on. His email stated that GoDaddy was running a contest that had up to a $50k grand prize, they’d fund my business for 6 months, and I’d have to quit my day job, and must be available to travel January 18th-21st… oh and not be afraid of roller coasters… I never entered any contest… had I known about the contest, heck yeah I would have entered!
So obviously I was intrigued.
I responded to the random email and we set up a next day Skype interview. Little did I know I was talking to the director of the whole production during that interview. That next day interview lead to a Thursday interview… which lead to an email at 10:30 pm that same night that said I was picked as one of 5 finalists in the contest and would be flying to an unknown location Saturday morning to pitch my small business to a GoDaddy representative. Yes, an unknown location. I was excited… confused… but none the less, excited. So, they flew me and my brother Trevor out Saturday morning to Charlotte, North Carolina and put us up in a hotel in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.
The whole production was pretty nuts. We picked what flight we wanted to take. Got picked up in town cars. Stayed at a nice hotel. And had the coolest makeup lady on the planet to hang out with. She mentioned that she had just done President Obama’s makeup recently in the same chair I was sitting in and… well this probably isn’t the place for political jokes 😉
Anyways… Sunday I was told to be ready to practice my pitch and do an interview at 2:30 pm. I was the last one to go… Just as I was the last one selected to be in the contest. I never prepared a pitch. I never prepare speeches. I like to talk with passion, so I hate scripts. Actually, I fail with scripts. Anyways, I went into the room and this is the moment that I realized that this was a really big deal. I’ve seen my fair share of video shoots, and this setup was top notch. Instead of being nervous, I got excited. I got so excited, I started telling my story before the director was even ready to start filming.
Every great athlete dreams of the big shot.
Whether it’s having bases loaded, down by 3 in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs… or nailing that buzzer beating 3 pointer for the national championship. The best athletes thrive under pressure. This opportunity was something like that. This was being thrown behind a camera and told you are about to share your dream with America, and this is your one big shot to let America know why your company is so special. This was a 1-2 curveball on the outside corner I had to hit out of the park. Putting the ball in play wouldn’t suffice.
So, for about an hour, I chatted with the director under a spotlight, cameras all around me, and about 15 people in the room watching me… I never once got nervous. I was so excited to finally get to share with the world something that literally means the world to me. My company is something that I believe every single person on this planet can benefit from in some way… We don’t only do certain charities… We do charities that our athletes choose and they range from cancer, to wounded warriors, to helping kids get off the streets and more. This is something that excites me to get to share. If 100 million people were standing in that room, I would have said the same exact things, and felt the same exact way I believe.
So, I did the interview, did my “practice” pitch, and went out to dinner and got to meet the other contestants later that night.
First night out was a success.
This part was awesome. Every contestant is such a genuinely good person. GoDaddy did great job in picking these people for the contest. I believe that we all want to win incredibly bad, but at the same time, we all know that if somebody else wins, then they deserve it. All of us deserve this for different reasons. Shoot, I still talk on a daily basis with Jamie and Anne. Very cool people. We all had wine, some good italian food, and got to hang out with the coolest crew on the planet between the Anthem, HYFN and GoDaddy teams there with us. They treated us good.
The next day was another big day of mystery. I knew that we were pitching our business to a GoDaddy rep, but they wouldn’t tell us where, when, or to who it was.
About 9 am a van picked me and my brother up to take us to this top secret location. We were the last ones to show up to this place of all of the contestants. This top secret location turned out to be Charlotte Motor Speedway. This place is MASSIVE. Holy cow it’d be a thrill to race at that place. The van pulled up to the entrance of the track and there were cameras and a beautiful host awaiting us. I was finally nervous, and at a loss for words. I got out of the van, she introduced me to the track, and left me once again… with no information about what the heck we were doing here!
So this whole keeping us in the dark thing was getting old. We were at the race track, and they were so adamant about not telling us what we’re doing, so for sure I thought that the GoDaddy rep was Danica Patrick.
All of us contestants sat in the media room at the track for hours… this gave us a lot of time to joke around about what might happen. Some said we’d pitch on the track to Danica. Then the guesses started to get outrageous. Kenny said we’d pitch from the roof of the GoDaddy car to Danica. I said we’d sit in the passenger seat and pitch to Danica while driving around the track… little did I know that that outrageous statement was about to bite me in the butt.
One by one, all of the contestants were leaving the room… never to return (well we returned later in the day for lunch). Finally, it was my turn. I got mic’d up, hopped in a golf cart with my bro and my 50 pound bag of product and banners… and drove out to the race track.
We pulled up to cameras, a table, and a whole lot of people. I got out of the cart and the cameras were already rolling. The host said a few words, then said heart sinking words of “okay, you have 2 minutes to setup your pitch area… starting now.”
That 20 minute setup I planned on, just got turned into 2 minutes. Trevor scrambled to unzip the bag and start organizing shirts all over, and bags, and stickers, and wallets… while I… well… I spent 2 minutes trying to setup a stinkin’ standup banner. I really wanted to show America that we do have a backing since Mike Trout, CJ Wilson, and Howie Kendrick were on my banner holding our #Belief tee by Brandon Barnes.
Yes, as said in Trevor’s blog post, I really did hug Danica Patrick.
The 2 minutes were up, and we got it all finished with a buzzer beater. The host now said she’d like to bring out the GoDaddy rep we’re pitching to. With the sound of a rev, a screech, and the view of a green and orange race car drifting out of the pits onto the track them speeding toward me… the screech of the wheels gripping the pavement to stop preceded Danica Patrick stepping out in slow motion, hair blowing in the wind, and reaching out to me for a hug… okay maybe not.
Danica got out of the car, and my instincts built from sports to take advantage of the moment and never have regrets kicked in. My first thought was, “this is Danica freakin’ Patrick! I’m not going to be reserved, drawn back, or nervous in this once in a lifetime chance.” Okay, I didn’t think that at all. Actually, I didn’t think at all. The truth is, I acted on instinct, and when she went in for the hand shake as she had done 4 times before me, I said screw this, I’m hugging her. Yeah, I’m a hugger. I feel like a hug when you meet somebody makes an instant lasting memory and connection. Hugs are powerful… or they can be suicidal and completely creep the other person out. It’s all how you approach it 😉 In this case, Danica went with it, and fully embraced it before making a wise crack. I definitely made an impression and threw her off a bit.
The host walked up and explained what is about to happen. She litereally, word for word explained what I was joking about in the media room earlier that day. She said I have 4 laps to pitch my small business from the passenger seat of Danica’s car… to Danica Patrick. I instantly thought they had cameras on us in the media room and were pulling my leg until I was handed a fire suit to put on.
She said grab whatever I can fit on my lap, and get in the car. I wanted that dang 6 foot tall banner that took 2 minutes to setup, but I settled with the bag full of hats and clothes Trevor tossed me instead. With my heart rate still off the charts because of having to setup that pitch area in 2 minutes, I got in the car, snapped my seat belt on, and said unscripted in a true marketers fashion, “it’s go time.”
We were off.
Danica took no time at all to go from 0 to 125. As soon as my buckle snapped on, she hit the gas, and said, go. My first words out of my mouth are the only thing I regret about the entire thing. I said “Athletes Brand is the worlds foremost off field apparel” brand… Obviously this is not true. My instinct to impress acted over my knowledge of my pitch. My entire pitch was out the window that moment, and I couldn’t take it back. So, I adjusted, free styled my pitch, and just had a conversation explaining what we do with Danica Patrick for 4 laps and why this contest is bigger than me. I wanted to focus on the real reason of the company. Raising money and awareness for charities. So, I missed a chance to explain about what amazing products we produce. I’m okay with that. The point of the company is not to be the best clothing line in the world… though I plan to be ;)… it’s to take advantage of being the best clothing line and using that platform to help athletes use their influence to make a difference in our world.
It was 4 laps of lost memory. I rambled, spoke with heart, and after that first line I screwed up on, I relaxed to be sure I didn’t mess up my moment. As we finished the final turn, Danica relaxed, and completely changed her attitude. She smiled, asked personable questions, and seemed genuinely interested in how she could be involved with my company, Athletes Brand. This in itself was an incredible opportunity. Of course I gave her a business card, and was the only contestant to do this as well haha.
That was all the weekend of January 18th. Today we are now in the heat of the contest. The winner gets $40,000 for a six month salary, and support from GoDaddy for the 6 months.
The GoDaddy Difference.
We’ve already been given a ton of free products for the year from GoDaddy. Our website is 100% hosted on GoDaddy servers, we use GoDaddy booking and GoDaddy domain registration. It all rocks!
Last year our website was on cPanel Hostgator and the AthletesBrand.com site crashed multiple times in the middle of significant charity campaigns with Cody Decker and Brandon Barnes. Having our website crash and go offline for even 1 minute takes money away from the charities we’re supporting. Every second the site isn’t live, is a sale lost, and a sale lost is a donation to the charity lost. Having our websites on secure servers is as important as it gets.
Since being on GoDaddy hosting now during the biggest traffic days of our existence, the website has had zero issues. It runs faster then ever and has never crashed. GoDaddy, you guys rock. And it has nothing to do with the fact that you put me in a race car with Danica Patrick. It’s 100% that you guys gave me a product that can help my company impact our athletes favorite charities uninterrupted.
Why I need your vote.
The winner of this contest is picked by the public. Yes, YOU are the public. Everyone in this world, including me, is the public. Whoever gets the most votes, takes home this life changing prize. GoDaddy is giving away somebodies answered prayer. But, I won’t win without you.
Why this is so important to me.
Winning is important to me not because I get the money, or get to have my own business… I could care less anymore about having my own business. Winning this is important to me because it will allow me to help the athletes that have invested their time into my company, Athletes Brand. Winning this will allow me to put my full attention into helping athletes impact countless charities around the world. Winning this is bigger than me… it’s about allowing my business to make a difference for generations to come. This is my shot. This is my businesses shot. This is my athletes shot. Together, this is our shot to create something awesome. And YOU are the deciding factor in helping us make this difference.
You can vote once per day now until end of the day March 2nd. Every vote I get is huge. I’m not going to beg for your vote though. Please watch all of the contestants videos. Every contestant is a rock star and deserves to have their dreams come true just as equally as me. So vote for the business that you like the best. Just vote. I hope it’s for me 🙂
*Be on the lookout starting February 17th – March 2nd for GoDaddy’s 30 second commercial on national tv starring me and the other 4 contestants
Please share this link everywhere you can: www.GoDaddy.com/Kyle
Video links to share
My bio and my story in words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRGJP0pd0hY
My pitch to Danica Patrick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqPy6zXg6CQ
Thank you so much, and I can’t wait to see who America believes in the most.