We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Guillen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’m a terrible employee. There are a lot of people in the world who work well in that type of environment, but I thrive in an environment where the onus is on me, every day, to produce quality work for my clients. As an employee, it was simply too easy for me to do the minimum required, get annoyed, become bored, and eventually leave within 6-8 months. It’s now been two years from the time I became an business owner, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
True Fan Marketing started from a freelancer’s point-of-view. In fact, the company name is derived from the Kevin Kelly post 1000 True Fans, which was a huge inspiration for me as an entrepreneur. If you aren’t familiar with it, I highly recommend reading it. What makes my company different is that it’s not about scale; I’m not trying to build a multi-million-dollar marketing firm. I don’t have any employees. Any additional help I need is supplied by freelancers and contractors who I happily refer to clients who need their specializations, like graphic design. It doesn’t even take 1000 clients to have a successful business. If you have a marketable skill, and can make the same living as a sole proprietor while working fewer hours and on your own schedule with just a handful of clients that truly values what you have to offer, that’s the type of client I’m looking for. As is the case with most things in life, this journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s the most rewarding professional venture I’ve had to date. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s never too late to learn a new skill as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. Ultimately, it is my goal to guide an inspire would-be entrepreneurs and small business proprietors to take those steps to achieve a life of financial freedom and happiness.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming they arrived on the First Friday of the month, we would start with a day exploring Roosevelt Row and the Art Walk. Saturday would be the perfect day to explore Old Town Scottsdale and Fashion Square, while Sunday (assuming it was during NFL season) would be spent at Santisi Brothers in North Phoenix. A light rail commute to the heart of Mesa would ease the trip in on Monday, with a visit to my favorite coffee shop, Jarrod’s. Tuesday would be spent playing golf at Troon North, followed by a meal at Spiga Cucina Italiana. Wednesday would require a trip to the West Valley and all of the fun at Westgate, and the final day of the trip would be spent where it started in Downtown Phoenix.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My best friend and business partner Allen Foreman, as well as his family, have been an incredible support system, especially in the days of being nothing more than a broke golf writer. The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on our Spring 2020 plans, but between my marketing company, and his production company (OTF Productions), we look forward to creating some incredible visuals for clients. Last but not least, my lovely fiance Sarah has shown me a love that I have never known. She has a heart of gold, and I am incredibly excited for a future of love and happiness with her. Sarah now has her own company as well, and her dedication to helping children with special needs is one of the many ways her compassion for others shines.
True Fan Marketing, LLC