Favorite Productivity Tool: Slack…my team stays connected across multiple offices and multiple flights. My favorite channel is #all_whereised.
Most Recommended App: WeightWatchers…it’s a great tool to make better eating choices and to know the cost of your choice. Everything in life is a trade-off— if I eat that cookie dough scoop from Batter, then I better be eating a healthy gusto! for dinner and waking up to a cycling class at Exhale the next morning.
Last Thing You Read: Currently reading Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas. Powerful Story. Powerful Path. Powerful Transparency.
Instagram Handle: @edhowie
Twitter Handle: @ed_howie
Tell us about your journey? My wife Kathryn and I live in San Antonio, Texas, and we are proud empty nesters. Our son is a freshman at Auburn and our daughter is a rising star at Collection Event Rentals in Atlanta. With offices in San Antonio, Austin, and Atlanta...and clients throughout the US…there’s lots of travel involved. Just recently bought a house on Lake Oconee, which is fast becoming one of my favorite places on Earth.
Grew up in Durham, North Carolina. Graduated University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism: Advertising in 1989. Had worked for Chick-fil-A at the mall for over 7 years and was asked to run a Chick-fil-A in Norman, Oklahoma- a $500,000 restaurant when I was 20 years old. It was the Summer before my Senior year and it lead to me getting asked to join Chick-fil-A Corporate in 1989. I started with Chick-fil-A before nuggets and waffle fries, let alone drive-thrus and milkshakes. I then was the first Director of Marketing at Atlanta Bread Company, before getting recruited away to be Director of Foodservice Marketing at H-E-B Grocery in San Antonio in 2000. In 2003, I leaned into my entrepreneur heart and launched my marketing firm. That’s the professional path.
What's your favorite part of your day? While I love, love, love to sleep, I truly love the feeling of walking into my first duty after a great workout before the sun rises. It sets the rest of the day on the right path.
When do you feel most successful? That’s evolved over the years. I am driven by exceeding expectations. I used to focus much more on other’s expectations of me…or worse, my perception of what I thought their expectations of me were. Today, I try to set clear expectations of myself…and nail them.
I also love being a part of enabling someone to do something amazing they thought they could never do.
What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? I find my breath. Whether it’s on a yoga mat or in the middle of a challenge, I have learned to pull back, pace my breath, and assess the reality of the moment. Then, just figure out the next right thing. I can be consumed by the anxiety of step 6 when I am still on step 3.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? Cash flow sucks! It’s a constancy. Insurance sucks more! So, you deal with both the best you can. Beyond that, I wish I had spent more time in the early years with other entrepreneurs. I was so busy building, running, and growing my enterprise that I did not invest enough time with other entrepreneurs. I joined Entrepreneurs Organization about four years ago. Could have really leveraged that community many years before.
How do you optimize your day? I print out my daily calendar from outlook every day, list all my key task/actions/decision, color code the day and task by type of commitment, urgency, importance and then attack the day. I still use my mac/phone calendars to stay on time…but I like seeing my day in my own handwriting and crossing out completed tasks as I go.
Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? This is a tough one. I have been overwhelmingly blessed with so many people who have enabled me to live into the fullness of my life. My friend, Kathy Socha, was a designer in Atlanta who first gave me a glimpse into the honorable and inspiring side of marketing firms/agencies. She set the inspiration for me owning my own firm. She also taught me the greatest life principle through design: “Remember, Ed, what the eye sees is contrast.” She passed away several years ago at too young of age. She was one of the many lights in my life. How cool, though, that because of this question, names and names and names of people that have inspired me to imagine more of me and of life have rolled through my brain. Hmmmmm..
What does imagining more mean to you and your story? Imagining more means not settling. Not settling for the first answer, or the first obstacle, or the first missed shot. This morning, my eyes opened with breath in my lungs and I thanked God. I try to claim every experience possible and connect with people with positive energy and light to share.
If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? I would eat. Seriously. I love food. I sweat to eat. I would have one more meal a day.
However, since that would be treacherous fit bod-wise, I would hug more people.
I turned 51 recently and I have firmly adopted a “Don’t F with Me (or others)” mentality.
I won’t tolerate you being an asshole to me or those around me.
Think we all need more hugs and less shrugs. Apathy and Snotiness is a cancer I am on a mission to eradicate.