Ep. 071 – An Interview with Brian Walker, Part 1: “Whitewater Growth” and Startup Priorities

Brian Walker

Brian Walker

After spending over a decade working at marketing and advertising agencies, Brian Walker had an epiphany. “Everyone is expendable.” In that moment, Brian decided that making others wealthy without even the promise of security wasn’t a sustainable life. In the middle of one of the worst economic climates in modern history, Brian struck out on his own, launching his own marketing firm from a walk-in closet turned office.

He’s done pretty well for himself. As the founder of the Chicago-based AE Marketing Group, Brian has overseen 18 straight quarters of profitability, and 200% growth. He’s also a Graduate of Goldman Sachs Small Business 10K Program. In this episode, host Tom Ryan and co-host Jason Pyles talk with Brian about his background, his company, and his mission.

• Introduction, and welcome to Brian

• Brian’s entrepreneurial story, and the “whitewater” growth phase of AE Marketing

• Risky timing for starting a new marketing company

• Profitability, and the importance of hustle

• Starting a business versus staying in business

• Success by putting revenue first, “shiny things” last

• Customer pushback on smaller scale capabilities

• Business doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game

• Sign off, and ways to contact the show

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