We're here to help you create better results, better relationships, and more opportunities. (Each feed each other well, don't you think?)
We do it by publishing our fresh, no-fluff messages and ideas in different ways – in books, booklets, and videos as well as on pocket cards, posters, and many other cool support items. The idea is to help people (you and your people) keep the good stuff top-of-mind so better things happen (with awareness, comes responsibility).
Our material is helping leaders at thousands of companies, organizations, and school systems get people excited, committed, and focused on what needs to be done.
It's also helping hundreds of thousands of people as individuals (even families) to live engaged lives of contribution and care.
We're real people here and we'd love to help you. Our office is located in Richmond, Virginia but our roots are from all over the United States. Our names ... Jim, Johnny, Bethany, Joe, Jessie, Collin, James, and Sam. We're here all week.
Thank you very much (say that like Elvis ... it's more fun).
Several years ago, we created a charitable program for our team called Smile & Give. It gives everyone at Give More four days each year to volunteer with the non-profit organizations of their choice.
Also, we contribute 1% of top line sales (1% of whatever comes in regardless of costs) to support causes focused on helping people. It was inspired by Yvon Chouinard's 1% for the Planet program (Chouinard founded Patagonia Inc.) that encourages companies to give 1% of top line sales to support environmental causes. We got the idea from one of the books we love, The Art of Power. It was in Appendix B (page 199) by Chouinard (appendices have good stuff sometimes).
Some of the groups we've worked with and supported (time and/ or money)...
I co-founded Give More Media with Jim in early 1998 after selling for more than a decade in several different industries – financial services, pharmaceuticals, joint replacements, office products, and software.
I've written most of the content you'll find at GiveMore.com & JustSell.com. I have a degree in business (marketing) from James Madison University (1987) and speak to groups about many of the topics in my books. I love thinking through ways to improve organizational cultures. I also love shining a light on those small things that can have the biggest impact on results... and good food ... and beer ... and my family & friends, of course ... and my co-workers ... and my customers.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area (grew up in Annandale, VA), I now live in Richmond, VA with my wife Jennifer (an artist), our three kids (although one is in and out of the house with college now ... oh my!) and an 85-pound dog named Sesto (it means sixth in Italian ... as in sixth member of the family ... he's very cool).
I frequently thank Jim for being the Master of Business Administration.
I co-founded GiveMore.com with Sam in early 1998. Before Give More, I was in sales and management for an international finance company (9 years) led by two terrific mentors (Thanks Otto & Jeanne). Working with them, I learned the value of developing people – they were incredibly generous in giving me their time and opportunities.
In 1995, while back in school, I caught the web bug and two years later I joined an online banking company (back when software came on floppy disks).
I co-authored SalesTough and have guest lectured to university classes on sales, entrepreneurship, and online marketing. I graduated from James Madison University (1988) with degrees in finance and international business and received a masters in business administration from George Mason University (1997).
I secretly wish Sam would become a master in business administration as well.
Before coming to Richmond in 2001, I lived and worked mostly in Washington D.C. with some brief stints in New York City and Atlanta. I met my wife, Lindsay at JMU and together we have three kids (and a dog that weighs 10% of Sam's dog, Sesto). I enjoy coming up with nick-names for Joe.
It's a good day when I:Let it be a good day.
Favorite song to sing along to:Anything by Bruce Springsteen.
As a kid, I:Almost got held back in kindergarten because I couldn't skip; I galloped.
Chipotle or Qdoba?Chipotle – no rice; both kinds of beans please!
I go by Joe, JoJo, Jilly, and most often Da Man. I'm the web developer, coder guy who makes all of our sites and emails work. I've been a part of the team for over five years and have loved every second of it.
I graduated in 2008 from James Madison University with a degree in Interactive Media and a minor in Computer Science.
My life outside of work revolves around my wife, Emily, our doggie, Moogie Boots, and our close group of friends and family. I enjoy wine, music, technology, and fancy food. So much so, that in the past three years, I've been to Napa twice, and France once ... don't hate.
Secret Talent:Whistling. I'm a three time champion.
What Inspires Me:Music, beautiful web design/development, and the perfectly placed, smallest details that make something extraordinary.
I don't tell everyone this, but:I still think the word "doo-doo" is funny.
It's a good day when I:Kick ass at work, go for a run, and eat a delicious dinner with an exceptional wine and great company.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, I moved to Richmond to go to Virginia Commonwealth University (go RAMS!). When I graduated in 2009 with a degree in Strategic Advertising, I began planting my own roots right here in RVA. I now live in Richmond's West End with my husband and our 2 dogs. We're expecting our first child this December.
Here at Give More, I've become known as the Master of Coordination ... need to know how a marketing campaign is going, when that sweet new product is arriving, or have our newest book edited? I'm your girl.
When I'm not keeping us buzzing behind the scenes, I like to pound the suburban pavement (I run), unleash my inner hash-slinger (I cook), and entertain my k-9 (a chocolate lab).
Favorite spot to eat:Water Coastal Kitchen's brunch (can't go wrong with Fried Green Tomato Eggs Benedict!).
Favorite song to sing along to:Love Shack by the B-52's.
When I grow up I want to be like:My mom ... she's the kindest, strongest, most amazing person I know.
It's a good day when I:Make someone smile.
Before moving to Richmond, I was originally a bona fide Texan (yeehaw, ya'll).
Beyond my contributions to keeping our customers happy and packages shipped (maybe even yours), I help people make good things happen by giving ideas, feedback, and answering any questions about our products, messages, and Sam's keynotes.
When I'm not being a badass at work, I run, keep up with my food blog, dabble in painting, and discover new indie music that eventually goes mainstream (sigh).
I don't tell everyone this, but:I love making grocery lists. A lot.
Favorite song to sing along to:Just Like Heaven by the Cure.
When I grow up, I want to be like:Me, only older.
Favorite Richmond activity:Watching live music outside with a local beer in my hand on a beautiful summer night.
Having worked on family and friend's projects from a very young age, I've always enjoyed work that is visual and creative. I started my journey out of Long Beach, CA and have spent most of my years traveling around the country, finally settling in Richmond city and finding Give More.
I have a background in art direction in advertising from VCU and love living in the river city. Standstills are a rarity, as I'm at my best when the gears are in motion and I'm working on new projects. I like to sample new flavors, whether it be food, music (especially bluegrass and the Grateful Dead), or culture. I love camping, exploring, long country motorcycle rides, and traveling as much as possible. The great outdoors are a must and the surf is always a pleasure.
Popular culture, science-fiction, and the oddities of life interest me.
What inspires me:An adventure outdoors - the more lost we are, the better.
As a kid, I:Learned to sprint before I could walk.
Favorite Richmond activity:A long, lazy day at the river.
Secret talent:Asking too many questions.
Air force brat for the first 1/3 of my life (Ohio, California, Texas, and Virginia), I moved to the Richmond area shortly before y2k. Relocated to the city in 2006 to study Graphic Design at VCU and have been within city limits since.
Outside of work, you will probably find me outside, either biking, running, camping, hiking or taking photos (film isn't dead!). I was an actor (being an extra is acting) in the Oscar-nominated Lincoln, and one of my scenes can be found in the trailer (under the E at 1:28). I have a lot of plants on my desk and fuel my day with a blend of R&B (Neo-Soul and PBR&B are favorites) and 99% invisible.
What inspires me:Good design, good music, good food.
Favorite spot to eat:Chicken Fiesta.
It's a good day when I:Can spend it outdoors, hiking or camping.
Who would play me in a movie:Ryan Gosling.
A Richmond native, I graduated from VCU (it's HAVOC you fear) with a degree in Mass Communications and minors in Mathematics and Chemistry. Yeah ... I'm not really sure how that educational combination happened. As the copywriter here, I toss pretty words together (a literary salad!) to help create GiveMore's inspirational messages. Pass the Ranch and spell check, please!
I loved playing soccer until my third ACL tear, which forced me to finally hang up the cleats. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I live in Church Hill and enjoy biking, thrift shopping, and being outside in good ol' RVA. Bethany and I compete to see who can find new indie bands first.
What inspires me:Learning new things about life and people.
When I grow up, I want to be like:Bob Goff.
Chipotle or Qdoba:CHIPOTLE. Is that even a question?
Who would play me in a movie:Adam Scott.
I'm Grant, the Give More office pup.
I'm a pretty shy guy who loves eating peanut butter and hanging out with my friends at the dog park. From my behind-the-scenes office chair throne, I make sure we're making good things happen.
What inspires me:Peanut butter. All the time.
It's a good day when:I go on an adventure. So far camping has been my favorite.
I don't tell everyone this, but:I'm a very dramatic stretcher.
How I give more:I'm here in the office, providing free pets and extra cuteness.
As told by Sam Parker (co-founder)
Jim & I meet at James Madison University as pledges of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. Despite it's central focus on business (which might appear a little less than cool to the outsider), there were parties ... it was coed ... it was fun. Everyone was a brother regardless of gender (Jim married one, in fact ... she's a lady).
Eventually, Jim led the fraternity while I sold people on joining it.
I graduate a year and a half early.
Wait. It was actually a semester late. I didn't know it at the time but my future wife was graduating in the row in front of me (we didn't connect until 3 years later). She wasn't a brother but she was (and is) a lady.
Jim graduates. On time. Of course.
Jim changes employers once in 9 years. I change employers 7 times.
Both of us were in Northern Virginia and we stayed in touch.
Jim and I meet every couple of weeks for early morning bagels before heading off to our respective jobs (very early).
During one of our discussions, I bring up an idea I'd had for many years called National Sales Radio ... a radio program for salespeople on the road (a group of which I'd been a part of for so many years). We both liked the idea but realized how difficult it might be to do something with it when neither of us had any radio experience.
Then Jim asks, "What if we did it on the web?" and the excitement began.
As we start thinking things through more formally in the following weeks, I whine about my current work situation to Jim. I tell him about a little interaction with the president of my company where I expressed an interest in taking over a vacant sales management role and my frustration with the response...
"Would you just sell, Sam? Would you please ... just sell?"
Jim smiles, "That's the name."
We purchase the JustSell.com domain for $90.
We break the budget on a copy of FrontPage 98 ($99) so I can start learning how to make a real website (please ... I was a sales guy ... the noblest of professions).
I start full-time (in my basement) while Jim works before work and when he gets home from work.
On Friday the 13th, to mock superstition (so young, so clever), we incorporate the company as MaxPitch Media Inc. We think the name has a sales ring to it but also implies we'll be working at a "maximum pitch."
Very quickly, we realize the name is difficult for people to say and remember so we focus more on the JustSell® brand when we talk about the company.
We think we'll make money selling things sales managers and salespeople need (travel, books, training and development material, etc.).
Family and friends make investments.
I start a journey of gaining 30 pounds and becoming incredibly unhealthy.
We publish JustSell® for the first time ... the web's resource for sales leaders.
Jim buys a copy of QuickBooks. I cringe at the thought of spending money on accounting details.
Jim starts full-time in his garage (a few days before his second child was born ... his wife had the baby and Jim visited a couple days later ... we were in the middle of a project).
I'm kidding about Jim visiting a couple days later. (Did I get you?) We worked hard but we weren't ... after all ... monsters. (Read that with a little drama ... maybe the way Zoolander describes The Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good.)
It becomes clear pretty quickly ... We weren't going to eat very well by selling things to the JustSell® community.
After a few sales training organizations ask to be listed on the site, we launch The Sales Bureau ... a site where businesses can find trainers and keynote speakers. We get paid for placements and real money (not real real money, you understand) sparks a path to viability.
We go after more investments and eventually find several angels (personal investors) who get involved. Venture capital money never felt the potential for the business was big enough ... a little demoralizing at the time, but in hindsight one of those good things (for everyone).
In September, we lease our first office space in Fairfax, VA (1700 square feet of industrial flex space on a dead end road ... not sexy, but it was real ... that's the building above ... we had two of those windows in the upper right corner and a few around the other sides).
In October and November, we hire the first two members of our team ... a technology person and a salesperson (both have since gone on to do many other good things ... one's a 212er ... that's his current license plate).
We grow to a team of 8 people and try many different routes to making money ... continuing to broker training and speaking, selling website and email newsletter advertising, building a sales recruitment website, and selling leads created from news profiles (eventually called Prospects Daily ... it was very cool). We even do a couple live and recorded SalesRadio.com shows (this is pre-iPhone, pre-tablet, pre-wifi, pre-everything).
I start my journey of losing 30 pounds.
One morning, after a bad Northern Virginia commute (and our office lease coming up for renewal), I blow into Jim's office...
"What the hell are we doing here? We could do this business from anywhere in the country."
We relocate the business (and ourselves) to Richmond, Virginia. (Wow. That was quick!)
We start downtown because we wanted to be cool.
Things get rough. We get down to a team of 4 people. Cash is frightening (the lack of it).
"We need to bet on something and focus on it exclusively," Jim said.
The decision is made ... Sell web and email advertising around the content we publish on JustSell.com.
Things get better.
As a personal project, I write and self-publish 212° the extra degree® as an ebook (and create the logo). A year later, I add more material and publish it as a paperback. My wife and I sell it online and ship the books from our house.
The team grows to 24 people ... sales joy is everywhere.
We build and publish several websites to support our sponsors/ advertisers (we call them
micro-sites ... here's one we've kept ... we're big fans of Lt. Rowan!).
To broaden our audience to all types of organizational leaders (rather than just those in sales), we create Bguides.com. In many ways, the content is similar to JustSell but without the sales flavor. (Did you know business came in flavors?) The B stood for business ... as in Business Guides.
All along, we get our lessons (in business, leadership, and life) ... some pleasant, some not so pleasant.
In January of 2004, we leave the city for suburbia (the West Endies ... not that there's anything wrong with it) and by July of 2007 we get some bigger space about a mile away. The road we're on gets backed up every morning with traffic so we put Smile & Move on the building instead of the company name (a little advertising). Unfortunately, people think we're a dance studio or a dentist office.
Probably a little earlier than May, we realize the advertising market that supported us so well since 2002 (with very nice growth) would soon be a fraction of what it was.
At the same time, after too many years of the company name (MaxPitch Media) being difficult to remember and say (and meaning absolutely nothing to our customers), the team develops our new name of Give More Media. The thinking ... "We create material that helps people and organizations be more effective. It's all about giving more and enjoying more."
In June, we launch GiveMore.com to serve the customers of our 212 products. We knew other messages were on the way.
We publish Smile & Move ... my follow-up message to 212. The title had been with me since the summer of 2006 after I told Jim a story about my then pre-teen daughter and niece being a little apathetic at a lemonade stand. At the end of a parental rant I kindly suggested the girls, "Smile & Move."
I waited much too long to get it into a book.
We create an online service that provides sales and business development leads based on events. It's called Prospects Daily. Imagine a timely news feed that provides sales and business development opportunities, where they are, who to contact, and how to reach them ... a news organization focused only on news that leads to sales. Like I said earlier, it was very cool.
We shut down Prospects Daily. People loved the service but not enough of them were willing to pay enough to make it viable (or maybe we didn't market or build it well enough).
We publish a video version of Smile & Move (a Smovie).
We publish SalesTough in it's current form ... the framework of which was first written for one of our JustSell email newsletters in February of 2006. In July of 2007, we published it as a book but with very little design ... very little.
I write Cross The Line and Love Your People as articles.
The Cross The Line concept comes to me at the end of one of my son's soccer practices. I was coaching and the boys just weren't into it that day (they wouldn't commit to go beyond mediocrity).
The Love Your People title was with us since 2007. It was originally something we came up with to pitch as an ad slogan (but never did). We made a logo for it and put it on some products (buttons, greeting cards, etc.). Then one day in April, it finally showed itself to me and I put it down in pixels (that's writer talk for "I'm trying to communicate like a deep artsy rockstar").
At this point, I tell Jim, "I think that's all I've got."
We publish Cross The Line as a booklet and create a fairly ugly first-version of the Cross The Line video.
We publish Love Your People as a booklet.
We start talking up the 'No Gomos. No D-grunts.' idea at the office. (gomo: a person who goes through the motions, d-grunt: one who's disgruntled)
We run several free online talks (webinars) about 'How leaders can help a team of people keep from going through the motions at work'. The 'Model. Connect. Involve.' framework is mentioned at the end of the talk. (Hmmmm.) I didn't know it at the time but that content would lead to our next book.
We polish and publish a new Cross The Line video.
After several requests for a video based on Love Your People, we make a run at it with Nic Askew. I bumped into his work a few months earlier and really liked it. So, we do an interview project where all of us here at Give More talk about what Love Your People means to each of us individually.
None of it was scripted. Nic shot it and then figured out which clips made it work best for the audience (you).
At the same time, I start feeling Lead Simply (deep artsy rockstar talk again) and get to writing.
After years of saying it around the office, we publish the ultimate mission statement ... "We're here to make good things happen for other people."
We publish the Love Your People video.
We publish Lead Simply and pretty quickly it looks like it might be as popular as 212. Both big and small companies are loving it ... school and healthcare systems too.
We start thinking, "Is there a Lead Simply video?" and hire Geoff Schultz to work with us. One of our team members here (Joe ... not your average Joe but rather your exceptional ... that's him above) saw his work several months earlier and recommended him. We liked what we saw and once we stumbled on his family video with the Dave Matthews track in the background, we knew he was our guy.
We publish the Lead Simply video.
Doing our best to make good things happen for other people.
Call us anytime. Really.