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Zach McArthur is a personal branding consultant at Influence Tree and a contributor to Influencive. Today, Zach explains why it will always be a no (unless you do something about it).

Successes at a glance:

Zach’s big why:

  • Zach was born and raised in rural Wisconsin in a town of 2000 people. Zach describes it as a great place to grow up, very protected but one where most of its people stay and never leave. From a young age, Zach had a bigger vision that didn’t include staying within the confines of his hometown. After college and with $300 in his pocket and a lot of student loan debt, Zach packed up his car and moved to California, where he knew absolutely no one. The only thing Zach knew was that he was searching for something bigger and better. During the first 8 months, Zach experienced homesickness and turnover with a lot of jobs.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • After struggling to find a job, Zach ended up at a winery as its marketing manager. But since it was a small winery there wasn’t a need for a fulltime marketer and the wine business wasn’t really what Zach wanted to do. After 3 months, they mutually parted ways and soon after, Zach found himself broke and with no leads. Zach also lost his apartment which was set up thru the winery. Zach was nearly homeless and had to consider whether to move back home. However, Zach knew that there was something special there for him. That kept Zach going and thankfully, he had a supportive family and a girlfriend to provide a great support system. Zach found the courage to persevere and not give up on his dream.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • Zach failed at two jobs and tried to bootstrap a small e-commerce business with no success. At this point, Zach had been going thru an 8-month slog, trying to find his way and his path out in California. The aha moment came with two individuals that Zach had been following on social media and long admired thru their stories of perseverance and success: Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland. Zach started reaching out and offering to work for them, doing whatever it took to learn and grow. Within a couple of days, they responded to Zach and following a phone call, Zach joined the Influence Tree team. Zach went from the darkest moment in his life to a shining light at the end of the tunnel. None of this would have happened had he not taken a chance and put himself out there. As Zach shares “the answer will always be no” unless you take action.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Resource or cultural experience that inspired Zach to move forward:
    • Marathon by Hal Higdon: This book inspired Zach by framing life as a marathon rather than a sprint; to look at what you’re building up rather than dwell on life’s momentary setbacks or frustrations.
  • Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
    • Workflow hack: when Zach comes up with an idea, he writes it down in the notes app on his phone.
      • Write down the idea
      • Step away from it
      • Take the time to noodle on it
      • See if you’re still excited about it
  • How Zach recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • Go to the coast and hang out. Early on, Zach fell in love with the coast out in California and today, he makes it a practice to spend time there, reflect, and re-center himself. During these breaks, he asks himself an important question: “is this still what I want?”

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • Zach would visit his middle school and high school days and tell his younger self that “learning is not lame!” He would encourage himself to read more books.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “With will comes skill.”

Connect with Zach: