This week, meet Skyler Irvine, the Founder & CEO of RenzlerMedia, a full-service digital agency based in Phoenix. Skyler is a creative mind who’s journey is one of finding opportunity in everything he does. Read more about Skyler Irvine…
First job: My first real job where I was on an official Payroll was Jamba Juice. A friend of mine worked there and got me the job. After about 8 months I was named a manager, which essentially made me his boss.
Now this friend was a year older than me and also got me this job, so it created quite the awkward relationship at a rather young age. Getting used to uncomfortable situations is a great skill to develop early, and at 16 years old this was a very interesting dynamic to deal with.
Favorite AZ restaurant: Very hard to pick just one restaurant, but my choice would be The Vig in Arcadia. Great food with an amazing atmosphere. When my wife and I first moved to the Arcadia area, we would walk to The Vig with our daughter almost every Sunday. She would dance for hours straight to the live music and the neighborhood atmosphere was ever-present long before Arcadia became the popular neighborhood it is today.
Person who has impacted your life the most: Without a doubt my Father. He travelled so much when I was a kid and I was always so fascinated with his various businesses and global ventures. Although he was gone a lot, I felt very blessed that I got to witness someone close to me earn money for their family without relying on a paycheck from an employer. He (I think unknowingly) taught me that there are a myriad of ways to make money for yourself, as long as you are able to create value for others. And there are so many ways to create values for others in any and all situations, but some happen to be more valuable than others.
Additionally, a pivotal point in my life occurred after I was laid off during the recession in 2008 or 2009, and moved back in with my parents for a while. I felt like a failure and was so lost and confused by my situation.
I told my parents I wanted to go to Law School (mostly because I was ashamed of getting laid off and wanted to buy myself some time by going to more school).
However, my dad told me “NO WAY. That’s a dumb idea.”
I don’t think he had ever told me no before. And I was caught off guard because most parents I knew would love to be able to brag to their friends that their kids were in law school.
But he was right. A couple months later I started my first company buying of foreclosures and flipping them to investors. I still smile every time I think about the idea of me trying to get through law school with even more student loans.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: Getting laid off during the recession. Some might not consider this an accomplishment but I think its something everyone should experience. It allowed me to realize how much I hated what I was doing, but was too big of a coward to do anything about it. Having my hand forced for me allowed me to reevaluate what I wanted out of my time on this planet.
It could also have been an opportunity for me to double down, train myself, and become a better employee and reenter the workforce. This is why I think an experience like this is something everyone should go through. Its only when something is taken away from you do you realize whether or not you even wanted it in the first place. If you do want, then go back and get it. If not, than suck it up and move on.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: None. I am the luckiest person I have ever known. Despite all my dumb mistakes, I have made an incredible life for myself because I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people.
I have had great business partners, I come from a loving and supportive family, I have been blessed to have some very special and caring employees, and I married the most ridiculously perfect person possible.
I work very hard and spend a lot of time on my personal development. But there is no avoiding the simple fact that the level of success I have achieved is directly correlated to the people around me and the opportunities they have provided.
Someone who inspires you: Benjamin Franklin. Rarely has an individual achieved such a high level of success in so many different areas of life. The Benjamin Franklin Biography written by Walter Isaacson is a must read. He had so many interests throughout his life and never stopped learning new things. His story would inspire anyone.
Favorite quote: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” This was attributed to Michelangelo but who really knows if he said it or if this was the actual wording. In reality, it doesn’t even matter. It’s a great quote nonetheless. Another version would be: “Reach for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud…” – Kanye West
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Get started right now. Start putting out content for yourself, and for others. Like a rookie quarterback in the NFL, you need to get your reps. Volunteer for a charity organization and do all the jobs no one wants to do. This is a free way to get real life experiences.
I joined the Scottsdale Active 20/30, which is an organization that raises money for local children’s charities, and have had so many opportunities to develop new skills that I never would have been able to on my own.
I became a board member in my second year as the Secretary, skills of which I had none of, because I knew it would force me to develop these skills that would be helpful for me later in life and business.
I have volunteered countless hours since joining, and in the last fiscal year we raised over $900,000 together! But I still feel like I get more out of this organization than I give, so I keep going after bigger and bigger roles.
What makes someone fabulous: The ability to clearly define what ‘success’ means to you and then going after it while ignoring all the exterior noise. If a young woman wants to forgo marriage and kids to chase her dreams in the business world then I think thats fantastic. Vice versa, if she wants to stay home and start a family then bravo to her as well.
Additionally, I think too much weight has been given to the start up entrepreneur over the last decade which ignores the fact that some people make great employees, and even thrive in this role.
I not only failed in the corporate world, but I was terrible at it every step of the way. For me to stay on this path would have been a poor choice. No promotion would have ever made me successful if I wasn’t happy.
At about 24 years old, I figured out how much money I needed to generate each month in order to leave my parent’s house and not have to go work for someone else. Soon after achieving this, I became addicted to the feeling, which was helpful because not long after I was married with 2 kids and that number I needed each month just kept growing!
If you can define what success means to your personally, then go after it, and never judge others through your own lens, then I think that makes you fabulous.