We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan & Lindsay Longenecker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan & Lindsay, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We chose to start our own business while we were pregnant with our daughter Lucy. Ryan was working at a job that paid well, but he was miserable. After a year of working there and searching for another job, Ryan decided to leave and start the business full time in May of 2018. We decided happiness was far more important than income. Ryan opened Collective Mind Technologies in November 2017, working on the business in his free time and offering free tech support at coworking spaces. After Lucy was born, Lindsay decided to leave her job in February 2019 and join Ryan in running the business. Once Lindsay joined, we were able to expand our video production side of the business. Ultimately, we really wanted to have more time with our daughter and not be tied to a job, working 40+ hours a week away from our family. Also, we both have always been entrepreneurial minded and working for ourselves felt like the right fit. We definitely had to hustle to build our business so we were able to support our family, but we are so happy we took the leap into running our business full time.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Collective Mind Technologies offers a variety of services. We started out as on site Apple tech support. Our services organically grew over time to incorporate all of our collective skills. We offer video production, wedding videography, NetSuite support, and photography. We primarily work with small businesses, entrepreneurs and schools. We provide high quality, personalized services for our clients. Since we are a small business, everything is personal for us. Many of our clients have met our daughter Lucy. She’ll tag along on a site tour or meeting before a shoot or when she was really little, she came on a few shoots with us! Our brand is really personal and authentic to us, combining Ryan and Lindsay’s main talents – technical expertise and creativity. We definitely had a lot of challenges growing our business and it definitely wasn’t easy. We started our business while also starting our family. As a married couple who worked in offices 40 hours a week, we suddenly found ourselves together non stop and with new shared responsibilities of parenthood and owning a business together. We were also under a lot of financial stress since we were building our business. We were able to grow our business significantly and were needing to hire help by December 2019. Before we were able to implement our growth plan, Covid-19 hit and we got hit really hard. It felt like we were right back where we started. Luckily, we didn’t have employees to pay or any office rent to pay. We were able to make it through some really tough times. We were very lucky Ryan was able to find a great job he loves in August 2020 to support our family financially. He has also been able to support the business in his free time and we have been able to hire a contractor to help with our tech support. We will see what the future holds, but after the past few years, we have really learned to take things one day at a time and be very flexible in our plans.
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.
– Red Rocks is one of our favorite places. It’s where Ryan and Lindsay met in 2009. That’s a must see, especially for a concert if possible! – Estes Park is a great day trip from Denver, beautiful and historic! – Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs – we love relaxing in the hot springs when we can get away from the city! – Taki Sushi is our favorite sushi restaurant! So delicious and love the casual neighborhood feel. – Kaos Pizza on South Pearl Street in Denver is so good! South Pearl Street is a great area to walk around, check out other restaurants and breweries and they have a farmers market in the summer months! – Illegal Pete’s is a longtime favorite with locations all over the city. So tasty and a great place to hang with friends. – Levitt Pavillion is a great spot for outdoor concerts in the summer. It’s great and family friendly too! Can’t wait to enjoy all these places again once it is Covid safe!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thrive Workplace was an integral part in growing our business. We actually got married at Thrive in 2016! Ryan originally started Collective Mind Technologies as a tech support based company, as an alternative to going into the Apple store. Our target market for tech support was small businesses and entrepreneurs that don’t have a hired tech support staff member. Lindsay thought of the idea to work with coworking spaces to market our services. Since we had gotten married at Thrive, we started there. Ryan partnered with Thrive to offer free tech support which helped us get our first loyal clients. They’ve continued to partner with us over the years! Also, our good friend Nick Dolan who works with Desert Peak Marketing, connected us with the Colorado School Nutrition Association which led to growing our video production clients significantly. And of course, we wouldn’t be here without the support of our friends and family who have encouraged us along the way through all the ups and downs.
Collective Mind Technologies