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Art Fyvolent: When Working For Others Just Doesn't Work For You

Art Fyvolent gave it his everything in trying to work for others. He had a very successful ad agency career but he knew he was meant for more and meant to work for himself. One day he broke away to start his own agency, was very successful - sold it years later, then took a year off to recharge and reset his life. He came back and became an idea machine and 'multipreneur'. Now Art has Squirrel Ventures which is a collection of all his startups at various points of growth and development. At this stage of his entrepreneurial life, Art gets to engage in multiple ventures at once while also championing society-improving projects that ultimately put a 'ripple in the universe' and leave a legacy of helping others.

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Full Episode (YouTube):

0:30 Art starts by saying he identifies with Allen’s new book “Quit to Start” because he has been all 3 types of entrepreneur - Type A, Type B, and Type C. And a good laugh at how Allen and Art are wearing the same shirt for this interview.

2:10 Art is a 'Multipreneur.' - many different startups at various stages. He created Squirrel Ventures to hold everything - and sometimes just domain hoarding.

3:40 Is Multipreneurship a gift or a curse? Art enjoys switching brains from one thing to another. He likes to build up a team, hand it off, which frees him up to pursue other ventures.

7:30 Art was an early adopter of Internet marketing. He built a successful agency, building online presence for some of the biggest brands in the U.S.

9:30 Starting out you need to focus on one thing. Later, with experience and connections, you can do more.

11:05 Discussion on two lanes of motivation for entrepreneurship - be your own boss or create something big. Art adds a third that can come later, helping others.

12:15 Art’s great-grandfather was a street entrepreneur selling fruits and vegetables. His grandfather came out of law school and directly started his own practice. His father went out on his own also. So Art feels that it's in his DNA, it’s what he's supposed to do.

14:30 Allen asks if while Art was working for others, did he feel something was off and that he should be working for himself - Art emphatically says yes. Even in college, he started his own side marketing company.

16:00 Art took his shot working for an ad agency in Atlanta, was doing quite well but realized he couldn't climb the ladder all the way to NYC - so he moved back to Florida and went to work for an agency in Tampa Bay, took business classes by night at USF.

19:14 Art then moved up to a bigger firm in the area - but he had an 'independent streak' and one day talked back to the boss and got fired. He went to work for a competitor for several years. But he just couldn't take it anymore.

20:00 He went home one day to his pregnant wife (and their home in mid-renovation) and said that he had quit his job and was starting his own company. Allen shares his first epic quit which was similar - he and wife had just moved into their first starter home and had a brand new baby.

22:40 Art's first client stiffed him for $6K. That was grocery money, baby money, everything money. He got help from a supplier to cover this.

24:00 Discussion on the generosity from people during the early stages of business. Clients, suppliers, and partners will recognize your drive and will want to help you.

25:55 Art landed one of the largest accounts in Tampa Bay while working out of his home, they took a chance on him. That put his small business on the map and gave other large companies the confidence to sign with him. He went on to grow and sell the business years later - and then took a year off.

29:20 Founders need time to detox and re-energize after selling their business. Art came back with a different mindset.

35:40 Fun discussion on domain hoarding - at one point Art owned 1,600 domains. It's one of the best ways to capture a business idea.

38:40 Art has several active ventures such as iGrew - security-first parent portal to capture and safely share your child's life; Smiling Dog CBD for Pets; Redneck Jobs for blue collar jobs; and more.

43:50 You can’t pursue multiple ventures without an income base - a few of Art's ventures are generating the income he needs to do this.

46:00 Art stresses that entrepreneurship for him has never been about the money.

48:50 He likes to put a 'ripple in the universe' and contributing to society. Art discusses his passion for pit bull rescue and a local refuge facility for large dogs.

55:10 Being a successful entrepreneur allows you to one day work on issues important to you. Art wants to leave a legacy of helping others - including animals.

57:00 Entrepreneurship is maybe the only path to create the significant time, money, and resources needed to make a really big difference in the world - put a ripple in the universe!

Squirrel Ventures:

Full Episode (YouTube):


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