What’s it been? 34 years since we talked?
I just wanted to show you something I made. It’s a company called Your Fly Guys and we are killing it! Killing it is a good thing, so you know.
I finally feel like I’m becoming the son you could be proud of.
Not that you wouldn’t have been proud of me either way, but let’s face it; You left some big shoes to fill. Bigger than I ever thought I could.
Your legacy in your 26 years of life casts a shadow that most men, in their full life, could never measure up to.
I have the pressure of being your only son. The son of Sergeant First Class Thomas Michael Womack. A man respected and revered by his peers.
It seems like a daunting task to even attempt to live up to that reputation. So, up until now I haven’t even tried. Left with a life feeling less than adequate because your amazing father set a bar that, without instruction and training, would never be met. I know you would have made me great if you had the life to dedicate to me. Unfortunately, cancer took you so soon.
I was three. How could you prepare me for this life at that age?
You did what you could. You tasked several great men with staying in touch with me. Delivering the message of who you are and your expectations of what kind of man you wanted me to be.
They have, too. I got your guns, and army gear, your letters, and a general idea of the man you were and expected me to be.
All found in your long casting shadow.
I built you something, though. I call it Your Fly Guys. We do aerial photography and we do it better than anyone.
Sometimes when I get really close to the edge of the sky I feel like you are close to me again. Like you aren’t looking down on me, but that we are on the same plane.
I hope that is true, because all I’ve ever wanted was your approval. Without you here I’m left to having to make up both sides of the conversation. It doesn’t always end with your approval. Yet, it motivates me all the same.
I miss, you Dad. I’m glad I got three years with you and they are tattooed on my very existence.
If I’m honest, I know what being a man, a success, a self-actualized entrepreneur is, not by what you could have taught me, but what what I want to strive to be…and will be because you are my Dad.
Just wanted you to know that I will make you proud. Thanks for your patience and expectations…
Your Fly Guys is, by every definition, exists as an emaciated skeleton of a company.
We are limited in resources and cash. What we have as currency is time, drive, and fear of failure. All of this can be far more threatening than investments and collateral, in the right hands.
So, it may come as a surprise that we have hired our first employee: Silvia.
She just so happens to be a beautiful woman, as well.
It feels great to have a girl in the office.
She provides balance to the sometimes unbridled and irresponsible tendencies that come with working alongside a gamer nerd with a propensity for wild hair and a completely insane owner with an unadulterated stream of verbalized consciousness.
She sorta ties the room together.
Testosterone can fool, even the providers of it, a false sense of drive sprinkled, with self-motivated and ‘acceptable-enough’ know how.
We needed a touch that only a woman can provide.
We did not interview many candidates. In fact, I feel like she found us and, despite our newness and squirrelly demeanor, she saw something in us and wanted to be a part of it.
*Cue the documentary footage, “ of her first day or even better, the moment she finds out that we operate from a makeshift office that is actually a bedroom converted into workspace, complete with a futon we call Jeoffrey and a bad-ass processing computer.
*Please refer to the aforementioned, maybe overlooked, comment about our CTO James being a nerd.*
Nerd is a compliment reserved for the big thinkers, the risk takers, the motivators. All of which describe our CTO, James. I look forward to to the day I’m allowed to wear this badge as proudly as he does.
Now this is where things take an unconventional turn….
I’m about to describe our newest employee in a way that could perhaps offend and discriminate, but, I want to say what I want to say about our proud first hire.
I also figure that full-disclosure in our inception is better that waiting until we are huge and raising the collective eyebrows.
She is smoking hot!
Dark skin. Hard Body, Slender legs.
She does what you ask of her with no beef. In fact, she prefers to be bossed around.
Did I mention her body? Your dad wouldn’t be mad at you bringing her around.
She knows you’re checking her out, but she doesn’t make a big deal out of it.
She knows she’s hot.
She is approachable, but proud. Distinguished enough to know what she has, but humble enough to be coy.
There are weaknesses. Her work day is limited by your ability to feed her energy, but don't get discouraged. She has very little needs beyond our ability to keep her assimilated and safe.
Do these things and she can show you the world.
Perhaps this is not the best way to discuss our newest employee, but we have never pretended to be the best, nor most tactful enough to dodge the inevitable insults that come with having a lady on staff.
She is steady and ready. She never complains. Actually, hardly talks, at all.
She simply does what we tell her with a prowess normally reserved for the big cats of the Savanna.
She is a lot like your dad. Refuses to ask for directions, but always finds her way home.
Wanna meet her?
Meet the illusive Silvia:
It’s a strange thing to start a business with little to no collateral. From what I’ve read, we are supposed to fuel our ambition with good-old-fashioned elbow grease and hope for a dash of a dash of luck.
I am a server and my business partner is in retail. We are not the guys you expect to explode on the scene with an over-abundance of experience or know-how. In fact, without a consistent reminder of an over-priced education and the support of our ivy league colleagues, we are destined for failure.
I refuse this preconceived notion as a real world application!
Just to give a little insight: We recently had to make a very hard call on what UA (unmanned aircraft, or drone) to use for our company. We purchased our first drone with a hefty investment of $1000. Within the week of that buy, we discovered that the company was essentially dissolving and taking a new direction away from developing any more UAs.
This was not good.
So the very thing our whole operation hinged on was about to have no more support or replacement parts?!
We made a tough call and decided to send it back and wait for the return to use for our next drone. Even with upcoming commitments looming in the near future.
Left with no ability to fly, to do the very thing we were trying to sell and promote, we discovered what we did have: Time.
Time to bolster all the other moving parts of our company. Build the website, make contacts, and promote ourselves as the premier aerial photographers of Tulsa (without a single way to take a picture from the sky).
So in a way, not having a drone to distract us from working on the business actually helped us.
We refused to let this discourage us. We re-assembled and planned a new attack using the assets at our fingertips.
We are smart. We are fun. Above all we have nothing to lose.
We are who you want want to consider fearing.
This is not to say that we have anything short of everything to learn. We just want to get on the map.
Our dukes are up and we want a fight. Not, with the competition, but with the life that we have been convinced that we are able to have.
It is our collective whimsy that makes us vulnerable to failure, but also available for the success the universe provides for the few that take the chance.
Although, we have no right and are certainly not qualified to provide any advice to anyone currently working towards their goals, we do feel that we can provide the encouragement for the “big dreamers” to get off the couch and give your gifts a shot.
Your dreams deserve it and so do you!
About a month ago, I shaved a my beard down to a Fu Manchu. I wouldn’t think it would be a surprise to anyone given that I am always experimenting with my facial hair like a hairdresser with but one canvas to practice.
Never has my face gotten more attention. It was a quite polarizing experience.
I received everything from a 'thumbs up' to an, “ I can’t even look at you.”
It evolved into a fairly intriguing social experiment.
People placed themselves into two distinct categories just by their reaction to my Fu Manchu: Those that can appreciate someone that takes a risk, and those that are far too concerned with perception, beauty, and their fear of taking a chance .
I would like to confirm that I didn’t do this to make myself more handsome or socially acceptable. Really, unless I was a cattle rancher in Wyoming or a Late 70’s Pornographer, how could I think anyone would find me more attractive with this on my face?
I sported the facial faux pas for far longer than I expected.
It genuinely caused an emotional reaction in everyone! Go figure. A mustache.
I have always struggled with making my dreams and ambitions a reality. I was scared of what people would say. I was terrified of the person who’s opinion I value most completely mocking me. I didn’t feel strong enough to rebound from these insults like most successful entrepreneurs on their way to success.
Your Fly Guys is my Fu Manchu. Although, we are small and still find ourselves in the initial stages of development, we are excited and driven.Since it’s soft reveal I have experienced something all too familiar. The same critics of my facial hair giving me sideways glances and asked me questions about the business with a facetious undertone.
Then, there were the dreamers, the creators, the chance-takers. They loved that I was branching out on my own. They could appreciate a person not satisfied with their current situation.
The same one’s that liked my Fu Manchu….
What did I gain from this?
In order for me to succeed and feel successful, I would need to embrace those that thought differently. Those that thought like me.
In turn, I would need to shut out the Naysayers. Ignore those that are more interested in questioning my ambition than encouraging me. Simply, shut them out.
I am infinitely stoked about the possibilities of the budding market of aerial photography and filmography. I have much to learn and look forward to sharing James and I’s experiences with you along the way.
Enjoy the ride.
For anyone that has known me for more than a couple minutes, you wouldn't think that I would be someone to want to get into the field of Aerial Drone Photography. But in the past few years of my life, the direction that I have taken with my efforts have changed so much that I can't even begin to describe them without boring you to death. All you need to know is, it only takes so much for a person to be fed up with how their life is going, and all it takes is a little push to get them up on their feet to change it.
I'm sitting right now writing this in one of my favorite places in Tulsa, Chimera coffee house. Although that really isn't pertinent information, I just wanted you to know that. But anyway. I have changed gears a lot in my life, and I've had so many plans for my future; I wanted to be a doctor, to teach Spanish, to be a manager of a computer electronics store, to be a computer programmer, etc. But the one thing above all that I've wanted to be is successful. I have always been driven by wanting to be able to afford to gaze off into the distance while filling up my gas tank, to be able to swipe my card at a shop or restaurant and not get nervous when it takes more than a second to go through, or even to be able to afford non-generic brand maple syrup. You know, the simple stuff.
Which brings me to why I am going into the business of ADP. Some years ago I was given a GoPro for my birthday, and I loved it. I got all the accessories, I took it with me on trips, put it through the gauntlet. But I began to realize that my life wasn't quite as extreme as I thought it was. So over time the little camera got used less and less. Until I met my partner in crime, Seth. Together we had this idea. To take people's view of their worlds to new heights. To give people something that previously wasn't possible. To have a camera on a little flying machine and pilot it through the air like we're Han Solo and Chewie (I'm totally Han.).
So Your Fly Guys was born. Being roommates made it a lot easier for us to collaborate and share ideas, and motivate each other to get work done. We put our heads together and something awesome happened, so now here we are. Two guys with pretty much nothing to lose but our time, out to give people something they don't see every day, and to have fun while doing it.
I realize that for something that's written in a coffee shop this blog post is a little long, but I'm excited about this new adventure we're embarking on, and I hope that you guys get excited about it too, because there's really nowhere to go but up.