We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Petek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andy, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Although I hate the phrase, I’m what people call a ‘serial entrepreneur.’ My focus changes with the wind and my team chases opportunities to make change as they present themselves. The common denominator is all of my companies service the small business community. Over the past 10 years, I’ve taken more risks than I could explain in 10 hours. I’ve seen very high highs and multiple rock bottoms. I’ll never stop chasing my dreams and when I discovered my core dream and calling is to help others realize theirs, it was full steam ahead. My marketing agency, KingMaker Protocol, does product and business development for craft food and beverage companies. I used to work in big beverage wholesale and later owned a small brewery. At the time I consulted with several other producers to subsidize my startup and that ended up becoming this agency that now helps dozens of businesses each year. In 2020, we started discount, scholarship, and investment programs to support the ‘farmer’s market’-sized companies that we service in Colorado and around the United States. I also have a production business in Seattle that puts on small beer and wine tasting events to promote the smallest and most unique producers by curating lineups in different product themes throughout the year. We took a year off with the pandemic, but when events can resume, we’ll be providing these consumer engaging events in Seattle and Denver. In the past few years, these events have helped build small businesses and grown ‘tribes’ around some of the most interesting micro and nano-sized producers with the festivals, media projects, competitions, and more. In 2020, my main project became a startup media company called Daydreamer Media. We’ve developed an online network that is dedicated to changing the future of digital storytelling, mainly with podcasts. In addition, we’re developing video channels, streaming systems, blogging, and traditional publishing projects. We empower unique storytellers from around the country to share their stories and expertise for the growing podcast and YouTube consumer communities. I expect this project to reach millions of people in 2021 and beyond with uplifting content for education and social change. Finally, in 2021, I’m building a non-profit that is focused on mental health among entrepreneurs and small business owners. A lot of research exists around mental health in high-stress occupations like medical professionals, public officials, police and firefighters. Although the community of self-employed Americans is exploding, very little data exists around their mental health. Private health insurance is very expensive and more small business owners than ever are foregoing medical insurance for financial reasons. Even if they do shell out the money, most of these plans don’t cover mental health. We’re setting out to produce; 1.) Media – podcasts and documentary video, 2.) Research – a database of metrics from in-person and virtual interviews about mindset, relationships, finances, family, and health, and 3.) Events – public workshops and seminars to aid this community. We hope to influence the community, local policymakers, and some health service providers for development of resources for small business owners. Everything I do is in service of young entrepreneurs and small business owners. I do a lot of mentoring and coaching. My mission is to help as many people as possible bring their dreams to life. Our motto at the marketing agency is “farm-to-table and idea-to-commerce.” I believe in dream-to-reality for everyone.
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?
My path has not been easy. From ‘liberating’ from a huge corporate job with the salary and the 401k to starving days, months, and years of going without paying myself in efforts to grow my business. I’ve consistently re-invested in my projects and far more of them have failed than succeeded. In the past 10 years, I’ve built over 20 small businesses for myself, partners, and others. These include service and products-based ventures in virtual and traditional commerce channels. For a long time my motto was “Throw 10 Darts, One Might Stick.” Like many, I wanted to find a ‘unicorn’ that was going to be the next big thing. Beyond searching for ideas and opportunities it’s equally as important to know when to cut off and move on, even if you’re doing something you love at some point life and money do matter. The part that hurts is this can often happen for reasons that don’t have to do with the project or its potential. Life happens…relationships, finances, health, family…all of these things can be the end of a business. Seasons of life come and go and sometimes it’s the right idea at the wrong time. I’m the kind of guy that knows I could borrow $20,000 and turn it into $100,000 in a year, but when you don’t have ANY startup cash and everything comes from digging in and getting dirty, it doesn’t always work. I’ve seen businesses with bad ideas will them into existence with money. I’ve seen (and made) businesses with great ideas that fizzled out because of the lack of capital or exposure. I also learned on my meandering path that if you monetize your passions, you’re kind of never working and kind of always working. I made money riding bikes when I owned a cycling team and later started a mountain bike company. I’ve made money traveling and doing photography in various projects, I’ve made money skiing, making art, and most of all…drinking! When you sell (or make) booze for a living, you have to be ready to do a lot of sampling. I’ve worked for distributors and retailers, owned multiple products, and served in marketing and sales roles for wineries, breweries, kombucha and coffee companies. Although this may sound awesome to some, work-life balance can be difficult in any industry. It excites my students and clients to hear about the different businesses I’ve started and the adventures I’ve had, but I’ve also dealt with clinical depression and anxiety, divorce, financial ruin, health issues and relationship problems. Being your own boss is sexy and I’ll never work for someone else full-time again. I’m on a mission to help young entrepreneurs and small business owners regardless where it takes me personally. Not everyone has the stomach for the risk and the unknown. Fundamentally, everyone defines success differently. I’m proud of myself when I’m able to make change for someone each and every day. From giving a compliment to closing a big deal on their behalf, I live to give to others and the appreciation of the people I’m able to affect is my fuel.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the Colorado beer community. Downtown Prost and Denver Beer Co. are musts for the beer and the atmosphers. I like coffeeshops a lot. My favorites are Carbon and Steam. If someone was visiting, Red Rocks is the biggest necessity. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was very fortunate to grow up with two parents in the advertising industry. From as young as I can remember, I was being drug to photoshoots, design meetings, and on-location projects with companies of all kinds. I was encouraged to pursue creative arts and learned programs like Photoshop in its first interactions on early Macintosh computers. My parents inspire me every day and have both aided in the growth of my businesses. I also have to shout out my little brother. Although we grew up in exactly the same environment, he became an academic prodigy and is now a cardiologist at one of the best hospitals on the planet. Through his research and service, he’s changing the world every day and I work hard to do the same with my own different skills and resources.
Instagram: @daydreampreneur + @daydreamernetwork