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Derek Evans book title: Made to Change the World: How Ordinary People Are Called To Do Extraordinary Work, The Story of Project 615

Local Entrepreneur Shows How to Change the World

Derek Evans shows us how to change the world as a local entrepreneur. See how his t-shirt business makes a difference in Nashville and globally. Brought to you by FinancialFreedomTool.com.

Today on The BIGG Success Show today, we talk with Derek Evans, president and co-founder of Project 615, an apparel company on a mission to end homelessness and addiction. Over the last nine years, Project 615 has donated over $500,000 to worthy causes in Nashville and around the world.

He joins us today to talk about his book, Made to Change the World: How Ordinary People Are Called To Do Extraordinary Work, The Story of Project 615. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

It’s good to get laid off

Things seem to be going Derek’s way. Still in his early 20s, his career was falling into order. He got a promotion at the construction management firm he was working for.

But little did he know, trouble was brewing. The Great Recession was in full force. Just a few short months after getting the promotion, Derek’s boss delivered a brutal blow. He was the first employee to be laid off, as the company struggled to survive and, eventually, go under.

Derek says, “As soon as the boss handed me my small, little severance check, I said, ‘I’m moving to Nashville.’ And so six days later, I moved to Nashville.”

So getting laid off got him to Nashville, the place where he would start a business to change the world.

Not only does Derek think it was good to get laid off, he says he was FORTUNATE to be let go. To hear why, listen to the podcast. Simply click the PLAY button above.

Why Nashville?

Derek grew up in Indianapolis. He visited a friend in Nashville. Derek said he had always pictured Nashville as “this cowboy boots kind of town.”

But he saw something completely different. Young people. Musicians, of course. (Every bartender and barista’s a musician, he says.) Athletes. And entrepreneurs.

Nashville is the city of dreams. Derek was inspired by all the opportunities there.


This Podcast Episode is Sponsored by: FinancialFreedomTool.com

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Why start a t-shirt business?

It was 2008 – the height of the Great Recession – when Derek moved to Nashville. It was really hard to get a job and hold onto it.

During this time, he hung out a lot with a friend who was a graphic designer. When they got together to watch games or grab some wings, they would talk about their jobs and life.

At one point, Derek asked him what he thought of starting a business. He encouraged Derek to go for it.

Derek asked him what he thought of joining forces. As they thought about what business to start, they considered their respective strengths.

Derek says, “We both just kind of spit out the word ‘t-shirts’ one day.” So they started a t-shirt company to do cool t-shirts.

Derek says he launched his business in spite of being in a broken place. What motivated him to keep pushing forward? Click the PLAY button above to listen to the show and get the answer.

Derek found his calling on Skid Row in Los Angeles

Derek heard his church was planning a mission trip to Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. They went to feed the thousands of homeless people there.

Derek signed up. So did his college friend, Matt. They met people who were still homeless and people who had turned their lives around.

They were in their early 20s. They wondered how such a thing happens. And then, they got an idea…

They could help people with the money they made from their t-shirt business.

As entrepreneurs, they could do more good in the world.

After experiencing Skid Row, they found the mission of their business – giving profits away and partnering with non-profits around Nashville. In addition, they would hire people who are recovering from homelessness and addiction.

Since they launched their business, they have given away over $500,000 to worthy causes. Among other things, they invested $25,000 to build an orphanage for boys in Uganda.

Getting started

Derek says it takes five years: “If you’re not going to spend five years on this business idea, don’t spend five minutes on it. Because that’s literally how log it will take.”

They got back to Nashville and just started. If they made 50 cents, they put 25 cents in the bank. They reinvested in the business. And they paid themselves a little bit.

(Derek was still collecting unemployment. His friend, Matt – who became his business partner – had a full-time job as a graphic designer and worked with Derek in his spare time)

Derek adds it takes a lot of dedication. They were fortunate, though – they were both single and didn’t have many responsibilities yet. So they worked 60 – 70 hours a week.

But they didn’t have any investors. And they didn’t have any debt.

How did Derek finance his business?

They outsourced. They didn’t buy equipment to print t-shirts. They contracted with a firm to do it for them.

And they made sales. They called on churches, schools, and bands.

They landed a few major musicians. It was good money. They reinvested most of it.

They did “silly things that [they] really didn’t want to do,” says Derek Evans. Like selling t-shirts at youth softball tournaments. So they were on the road nearly every weekend for a few years. They didn’t really want to do it. They sacrificed their social lives. “But,” as Derek says, “that’s kind of part of a new business. You do have to certainly sacrifice a lot of your own time.”

An orphanage built with t-shirts

Derek’s dream was to help change the world, and his business has donated over $500,000 to worthy causes. When we asked Derek what stands out, you could quickly tell he wasn’t quite sure where to start.

Then he said they’re celebrating nine years in business. Every year, for their anniversary, Derek says, “We go to the very beginning. We tell our story, reengage with customers. We tell everybody who we are, where we’re from, and why we’re even in business.”

Last year, for their eighth anniversary, they funded the building of an orphanage in Uganda. Project 615 had it built with $25,000 of money raised from selling t-shirts. It houses 18 boys, who previously had no place to go. It’s thriving.

Derek says, “It’s part of our DNA that we wanted to start a business that helped people.”

Get the whole story

Derek has a lot more to say about the story of Project 615. We highly recommend his new book to you: Made to Change the World: How Ordinary People Are Called To Do Extraordinary Work, The Story of Project 615.

BIGG Lessons

– Opportunity often shows itself as adversity

– You don’t have to wait until you retire to live where you want

– You don’t have to have a lot of money to start a business

– Entrepreneurship is hard, but fulfilling

– Profit and philanthropy can go hand-in-hand

Here’s to your BIGG success!

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00986-081419.mp3

image of a person writing on a piece of paper with our blog title How to Get What YOu Want Out of Life in 3 Easy Steps

How to Get What You Want Out of Life in 3 Easy Steps

image of a person writing on a piece of paper with our blog title How to Get What YOu Want Out of Life in 3 Easy Steps

A practical process on how to get what you want out of life: clarify your priorities, set financial goals in line with them, and then watch your progress. Brought to you by FinancialFreedomTool.com.

We discuss how to get the most out of life on The BIGG Success Show today. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of BIGG success: money, time, growth, work, and play. Money and time are your two resources.

Want to know how to get what you want out of life?

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The Recipe for a Happy Life

Image of a recipe book with the title of the blog post: The recipe for a happy life

The recipe for a happy life consists of three ingredients. The ingredients are important, but so is how you mix them together. Brought to you by FinancialFreedomTool.com.

We discussed the recipe for a happy life on The BIGG Success Show today. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

This show was inspired by a research paper on the recipe for a happy life. We’ll talk about the three ingredients as well as instructions on living a full life and avoiding an empty life.

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image of people volunteering, along with the title of the blog post: 4 Values That Lead to Success

4 Values That Lead to Success

image of people volunteering, along with the title of the blog post: 4 Values That Lead to Success

A famous mom says the values you instill in your children are what lead to their success. We talk about that on The BIGG Success Show, brought to you by FinancialFreedomTool.com.

Here’s a summary of our discussion.

Esther Wojcicki is a proud mom. One of her daughters is the CEO of YouTube, another is a professor of pediatrics, and another is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. As you can imagine – parents ask her for advice all the time! So she wrote a book. “How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results.”*

Esther’s book talks about certain values that lead to success, and we’ll share some of those with you today.

The Value of Serving

Esther taught her daughters about the importance of serving the community, and she did that through action. She found ways to help and make a difference in her community, which showed her daughters what can be achieved when you truly care.

The Value of Volunteering

Esther cites studies that shows teens who volunteer better moods and stay out of trouble. She says there are too many kids these days who are focused only on themselves – what they want to buy, where they want to vacation, etc. Esther encourages parents to volunteer and fight for their communities. She says your actions can help children feel empowered to take on challenges and find a way to contribute.

The Value of Selflessness

Esther says people who think they are the center of the universe are unprepared to take on causes that could make the world a better place. Those who put money and possessions first are often unhappy and unfulfilled, because their goals turn them into narcissists. But those who put others first, are often happy and fulfilled because their goals create a life of meaning and purpose.

The Value of Community

Esther we are happiest, and most beneficial to society, when we are doing things to help others. Where can you help your community? How do you feel called to help? If you don’t know, volunteer for an hour for a local organization, go to a city council meeting, do some research on an issue that affects your neighborhood and help find a solution.

What Are Your Values?

BIGG success, for many people means more money. But it isn’t just about how much money you make, or how many vacations you take, or how many professional accolades you receive. Instead, it’s about the legacy of service that you leave. How are you helping others? How will you inspire others through your actions? How can you do more good? Focus on these things and money often follows. That’s BIGG success!

Here’s to your BIGG success!

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00983-071819.mp3

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A link with a * denotes an affiliate link. That means if you click that link and make a purchase, we will make a nominal fee for making the referral.

Give Yourself a Raise

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Many people don’t realize they don’t have to wait on their boss to get a pay raise. You can give yourself a raise by following three steps. Brought to you by FinancialFreedomTool.com.

We discussed pay raises on The BIGG Success Show today. You can do things which may increase your ability to get a pay raise, but you can’t control whether or not your boss gives you one. But you don’t have to rely on him or her. You can give yourself a raise. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

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