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Today, we are joined by Cole Barger, who has followed a unique journey from a full-time corporate job to starting a motorcycle company to working directly with founders to bring their ideas to life.

While studying marketing at Penn State University, Cole interned at General Motors in Detroit. This experience led him to accepting a full-time role at Stanley Black & Decker after graduation. Between raises, promotions, and managing a team of employees, Cole spent 7 years working his way up the corporate ladder. The higher he rose, the less he was working directly with the end customer. Cole felt like he was hitting a point of diminishing return on the direct impact he could have. He also was traveling 20 days of the month and working long hours. He no longer liked the person he needed to be at work and he wanted to prioritize his relationships with his spouse, family, and friends.

Cole always had entrepreneurial goals and viewed that as a way to be able to leave the corporate environment. He always had passion for dirt bikes and motorcycles. He initially wanted to build a mobile application to protect motorcyclists. Eventually this pivoted into building an online community of motorcyclists by finding events and local riders in your area called BikeMeets. Cole was so passionate about the idea that he took the leap and quit his full-time job to work on this venture.

Cole was growing the user base on the platform and was working with a Founders Approach to continue adding new features based on feedback from his users. Around this time, he needed part-time jobs to cover his monthly expenses. He used his experiences from BikeMeets to start working as a part-time project manager for Founders Approach.

Fast forward three years, Cole, Dave Phelan, and Phil DiMuro continue to grow Founders Approach together by helping startups and small businesses to bring their mobile app and website ideas to life. Also, stay tuned for new ideas and additional businesses they have in the works!

Check out the conversation as we dive into the following:

  • How rising up the corporate ladder did not translate to happiness
  • Why the conversation of quitting with his boss was so hard
  • What was the expectation versus reality in the first year of entrepreneurship
  • How personal relationships with his spouse, family, and friends is his most important priority
  • How starting multiple motorcycle ventures led him down a path of helping other founders start their own businesses

Listen to Cole share his story and get inspired with his amazing advice to people thinking about following a similar path. Check out the full conversation on YouTube or Spotify by clicking the links below.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Know someone who should be on Why I Quit? We’re looking for all types of stories and people to feature at the top of the show. To nominate yourself or someone else, email dave@foundersapproach.com and tell us your name, where you’re from and what you want to talk about.