TBL Episode 16: Manufacturing Urgency and How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur


From full-time online poker player to successful entrepreneur, Chris Sparks has led a life that greatly varies from his original intentions. In this episode of Today’s Business Leaders, Gabe of Business Marketing Engine and Chris of The Forcing Function chat about the choices that caused Chris to detour from his chosen path.

Best Laid Plans

Initially, Chris was not interested in being an entrepreneur. He wanted to make television commercials and was interested in marketing. All of the decisions he made throughout school lead him to a marketing position with Ford after college. Unfortunately, shortly before he was set to start his first post-college job, the auto industry fell apart. Chris entered a period he refers to as job purgatory.

Turn to What You Know

With his marketing career on hold, Chris turned to online poker. At this point, he had been playing poker for several years, and he even financed his way through college by playing poker. His days were very structured, and he treated online poker like a job. He was able to support himself and do very well playing poker.

Game Over

In 2011, online poker was effectively shut down in the U.S., and that ended Chris’s playing career. While he was figuring out what to do, Chris saw his friends creating and working for startups. He started identifying how to assist these friends and their businesses.

Chris got back to his marketing roots and began reviewing Google analytics and marketing strategies to help entrepreneurs. As he delved deeper into the entrepreneur world, Chris started to learn about how these businesses operated from the inside, and he figured out what to do next.

The Key to a Life of Productivity is Manufacturing Urgency

Today, Chris works one-on-one with entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses. Many of the skills that made him an excellent poker player continue to help him, and his clients, in his consulting business. A tool Chris created and uses to help his clients is the Expected Value Calculator. From shortening the feedback loop to the necessity of intrinsic motivation Chris is able to help guide fellow entrepreneurs to success.

Learn More

Get in touch with Chris either on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or email. Catch up on earlier episodes of Today’s Business Leaders to pick up some actionable advice from entrepreneurs or learn tips to better manage your time. Find the full rundown of solutions available from Business Marketing Engine.

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