The Chris Weir Experience
Chris Weir is the Chairman and CEO of The Weirdo Group, and the active CEO of Two Second Media, a full-service media, marketing, and advertising agency focused on supporting small to medium scale businesses. For more than a decade, Chris has produced marketing and advertising campaigns for brands such as Nike, Yamaha, Chevrolet, Lonza, The Veteran’s Administration, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and countless local and regional corporations and brands.
In addition to Two Second Media, The Weirdo Group is growing to include Front Yard Marketing, which is a modern day real estate marketing firm, and Weirdo Talent, which represents musicians, performers, athletes, influencers, etc. Also, along with his wife Candace, Chris co-directs Wine Down Therapy, which promotes and sells award winning wines from vineyards around the world and produces a weekly tasting vlog on YouTube.
Chris and Candace live with their two daughters, Kylee and Ashlyn, in the Phoenix, AZ area. The family moved from the Chattanooga, TN area in 2015 and have fallen in love with desert living.
For many years, Chris has been called on to give presentations, keynotes, lectures, and training seminars for audiences of all sizes. Recognized as a talented and thought provoking orator, Chris has spoken for organizations and businesses, universities and local governments, and even hosted his own talk radio show from 2006 – 2007.
Over the past decade in the agency business, Chris has been awarded 3 Addy Awards, 6 Telly Awards, 4 Communicator Awards, and was named Ohio Businessman of the Year in 2005. Also, in 2005, he won a national advertising award from Mortgage Originator Magazine for Most Innovative Marketing Strategy in the mortgage industry.
Chris was born in 1979 in the small town of Cleveland, TN to a lower middle class family. He was one of 4 other siblings: an older sister and three younger brothers. What his parents could not provide financially, they made up for in attention and love. His dad coached his little league baseball teams and his mom never missed a game. Chris played baseball, football, and soccer in school, and played basketball in his church league.
Chris always gravitated toward leadership. He was a member of student government, section leader in band, captain on his sports teams, youth leader at church, he was promoted to a management position at his job at the age of 16, he started a non-profit organization at 17, and on and on. He was that guy that always ended up getting picked to lead or organize things.
In high school, Chris grew a strong interest in music. Before he was 18 years old, he had already written three pieces of music for orchestra and was ranked #2 in the state on the Euphonium. This was the time Chris really began developing his work ethic, as he would practice 4-8 hours per day and would perform at symposiums or concerts on the weekends. His band directors, Danny Coggin and Alan Hunt, were two of the most influential people in his lives. They were different than other teachers Chris had, as he recalls they used words like “intestinal fortitude” and taught the dangers of complacency. They used music to teach about life, and it made a big impact on Chris. It was estimated that he had practiced/performed between 6,000 – 7,000 hours before he graduated high school.
He was offered scholarships to multiple universities including Juliard, The University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, University of Southern California, and many other smaller universities across the country. However, they all wanted Chris to pursue music education, and he began questioning whether he wanted to pursue teaching music as a career. He was attracted to music because of the complexity of so many different parts and instruments coming together to create an experience and emotion – not the process of teaching fundamentals and dealing with kids just seeking an easy credit.
So, ignoring the advice from his parents and advisors, Chris decided to take his first semester of college off. Staying in his hometown, he got a job working for Charles Shirley, a successful custom home builder (and father of his girlfriend at that time). This proved to be one of the best decisions Chris ever made. Charles was a very intelligent and well-spoken business person (and still is). He had built a highly successful and profitable high-end residential construction business, plus, he had an unrelenting work ethic and was a natural leader. Chris says it was like he had lived his whole life as a dog, barking his way through; when suddenly he realized he was actually a lion. Meeting a fellow lion made him realize he had so many more capabilities than he even knew.
During those 6-7 months, Chris sucked Charles’s brain dry and grew a passion for business management. He loved the similarity between music and business – in music multiple instruments play different parts to form a song, while in business, multiple departments, processes, and people form a successful company. And it’s up to the conductor (CEO) to ensure they all perform in harmony.
By the spring semester, Chris had decided to pursue a degree in Business Administration and Marketing at Middle Tennessee State University. However, like many entrepreneurs, Chris found the classroom was too theoretical and impractical. So, he struggled through three semesters at MTSU, and decided to drop out to start his business career.
Chris talks frequently about how crazy his path to entrepreneurship was. What he thought was an interest in management, led him through many different jobs. While he was in college, he was a server and bartender at Applebees, and after a short time was promoted to a key hourly manager. Because of his food service experience, one of his good friends got him a job as a manager at an Arby’s fast food restaurant, and after a short time was promoted to a traveling manager and trouble shooter. This led him to a management position with a staffing company that worked onsite at M&M Mars where he managed as many as 100-115 employees on any given shift.
At M&M Mars, Chris met Candace (insert love song here). Five months later, they were married and expecting their first daughter. To better provide for his new family, Chris decided to take a much larger role with another staffing company to be the account director for an onsite account at Kraft Foods where he managed as many as 300-400 employees, 4 managers, 8 shift coordinators, and an office administrator. This was the first time he had really managed an entire office and made most of the decisions (instead of just enforcing someone else’s decisions).
After a couple of years, Chris and Candace were desperate for a change of scenery. Both had lived in the same small town their whole lives, and like so many, just wanted to explore. So, they made the ridiculous decision to move to northern Ohio near Candace’s sister and brother-in-law. Chris moved first to look for a job, while Candace and their one year old daughter, Kylee, followed a few weeks later.
Chris landed a job as a loan officer with a local mortgage brokerage. This was Chris’s first taste with 100% commission. He was obviously nervous about the possibility of making $0, but was confident in his ability to out hustle anyone. Turns out, he was right. In just his first few months, he became the highest producing loan officer in the company. And, as you would expect, he was promoted to Director of Sales in under 6 months. As Director of Sales he grew the company from around 10 loan officers and a single loan processor, to 45 loan officers, 3 loan processors, 3 sales coordinators, and nearly tripled revenue. This was Chris’s first six-figure income position.
After almost two years with that brokerage, the entrepreneurship bug bit. Chris decided to open his own mortgage brokerage in the small town of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. For the first five months, the business thrived. Chris was named Ohio Businessman of the year and he won a national award from Mortgage Originator Magazine for most innovative marketing strategy. Personally, Chris and Candace had purchased a new home, two new cars, and had their second daughter, Ashlyn. They were living the life.
However, in what Chris has called the “best and worst time of my life”, February of 2006 happened. This is when the housing market crashed in Ohio. In 2006, Cuyahoga County led the entire nation in foreclosures with more than 13,600 homes foreclosed on by lenders – up from 2,000 just a decade earlier. In the first 4 months of the year, a little over 60% of all brokerages closed their doors. With absolutely no warning, all income stopped.
Chris held on by the skin of his teeth until September of 2006, when they got news his younger brother, Sgt. David Weir, had been killed in action in Iraq. With more debt than they could pay, no end in sight for the economic crisis, and his family needing to come together more than ever, Chris and Candace made the impossible decision to file bankruptcy and move back to Cleveland, TN. This great life they had sewn, was very quickly coming unraveled.
Also, Chris’s heart had simply changed. He could not shake the desire to avenge his brother’s death and he knew he would have to join the Army or he would never find peace. However, the Army would not let him join so soon after his brother being KIA, to make sure he was joining for the right reasons. So, he had to wait until the summer of 2007.
During those 9-10 months of waiting, Chris was approached by a start-up media company who was developing one of the first online newspapers. They asked him to come on and help with securing initial capital, forming the company by-laws, policies, procedures, etc., and hiring and managing the first sales team. Also during this time, Chris got his own weekly radio talk show at one of the local radio stations, he hosted a daily online radio show, became a weekly columnist for the online newspaper, and began speaking at events for organizations and businesses.
Finally, Chris was able to join the Army in July of 2007 and shipped off to Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He then completed AIT at Fort Sam Houston, TX and Fort Lee, VA ultimately being stationed at Fort Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne Division, the same division as his brother. On December 26, 2008, Chris deployed to Iraq. His time in the military was no different than his time in business, as he was quickly promoted through the ranks and became his unit’s Supply Sergeant and Armorer.
After completing his enlistment in the military, he partnered with a good friend from high school and college, and from his living room, went on to form his first marketing company, Tabor Media Group.
Tabor Media Group was the culmination of Chris’s experience as a business leader and sales professional. He knew the struggles of small businesses as he was an actual practitioner of business. He didn’t come from a marketing background, although he employed many marketing strategies through the years, including winning a national award for innovative marketing strategies while in the mortgage business. He spoke the language of small business owners, and had a knack for finding marketing solutions to help their businesses grow.
Chris’s partner had years of experience in video production and design. He had connections at the local cable network which proved priceless in the first year of the business. They estimated that in the first 12-months of operation, they filmed approximately 100 local TV commercials, or around 2 per week. Their original plan was to be able to get an office at the end of their first year in business, however, they moved into their first office and studio after just 3 months.
Chris focused on sales and administration, while his partner focused on production. The pair saw constant and significant growth every year hitting their first $1M in revenue by year 3. They grew a staff, a second location, they had the most advanced equipment and software, and won countless awards every year for their work. However, the size and scope of the business grew beyond the interest of Chris’s partner, so he resigned in 2014.
Chris continued growing the company and in 2015 decided to open another office in Phoenix, AZ. This market was leading the nation in small business growth and seemed to be a perfect fit for the company. The ceiling in Chattanooga was relatively low, and he knew he needed to expand west to realize continued growth. So, Chris and his wife decided to make the move and open the new office themselves.
The first few months went exactly as planned, Chris landed a handful of new clients in Phoenix and even got a couple of new clients in Chattanooga. The business was growing just as Chris had forecasted. He had left the management of the Chattanooga market to a long-time employee who was an incredibly talented designer and videographer. However, as time went on, Chris began losing trust in the employee. Deadlines began getting missed, work was not getting completed, and Chris began feeling a coup was in the works. The universe decided it was time to teach Chris a few invaluable lessons on business.
- Lesson 213: Never assume your client accounts are secure, you have to earn them every day
- Lesson 214: Never assume your employees are doing the right thing – trust but verify
- Lesson 215: If your gut says to fire the son-of-a-bitch, quit stalling and fire him
Not only did the agency lose their largest client, the client left without paying multiple invoices. The employee had betrayed Chris and left the Chattanooga office completely unmanned. And then to compound the stress of the Chattanooga perils, there were the 3-4 clients that were always slow payers and another couple of projects that continued to get delayed because of client revisions. The revolving door of sales people had reached its pinnacle, unreliable production personnel were making everyday a growing headache, and Chris began asking himself a serious question: “Do I really want to be an entrepreneur”?
Just to regain some perspective, Chris decided to take a break from the agency side of marketing and move back to an in-house marketing role. Over the next year and a half, he took a couple of Director of Marketing roles helping both of the companies to grow their business exponentially. But more importantly, it was a time for him to realize the two most significant lessons as an entrepreneur:
- Lesson 001: Everything that happens with my company, is my fault
- Lesson 002: Love the process more than the reward
Chris says, “It wasn’t the employee, the clients, the projects or anything else. All of those were symptoms of my actions or lack of actions, which came about because I was chasing the reward (closed deals, awards, paid invoices, etc.) instead of remaining in love with the process”.
That year and a half break proved to be exactly what Chris needed to regain perspective on his purpose in life, both personally and professionally. Thus, came the birth of The Weirdo Group.
The Weirdo Group is the manifestation of Chris’s passion. It is the parent company for the following brands:
- The Chris Weir Experience
- Two Second Media
- Wine Down Therapy
- Front Yard Marketing
- Weirdo Talent
The Chris Weir Experience is an opportunity for Chris to share the many experiences he has learned through the years as a business leader and entrepreneur. With many successes, and just as many failures, Chris provides content that is relevant, actionable, and authentic. He is not a motivational speaker or life coach, he is an actual active entrepreneur – his content is not theoretical or learned second-hand. His content not only includes his past experience, but the experience he gains even today, and it is all practical and real.
Two Second Media is a full-service advertising agency. With over a decade of award winning marketing experience and expertise, Chris leads a team of highly talented professionals with one goal: helping businesses grow. Focusing on small to medium sized businesses, Two Second Media provides solutions in SEO, Social Media, Video Production, Website Design, Graphic Design, Print, and so much more.
Wine Down Therapy is a passion project for Chris and his wife Candace. Partnered with Traveling Vineyard as Independent Wine Guides, they promote the education and responsible enjoyment of wine. Through in-home wine tastings, online content, and MLM team building, Chris and Candace are building a team of wine professionals providing people with convenient online wine ordering, wine clubs, and income opportunities.
Front Yard Marketing is a real estate focused marketing company changing the way real estate professionals market properties. With increasing competition from online real estate firms, standing out to home sellers and buyers is more important than ever. This means, Realtors must adapt their marketing methods to remain relevant to home buyers and sellers. Chris expects to officially open Front Yard Marketing sometime in Q1 of 2019.
Weirdo Talent is focused on personal brands and talent (musicians, performers, athletes, influencers, etc.). It will provide planning, development, production, and distribution of content (video, audio, copy, collateral, etc.) intended to promote the individual. It will also house a database of these talented individuals and provide them with management and promotional support. Chris expects to officially open Weirdo Talent in Q4 of 2019.
At Two Second Media, we wake up every day focused on guiding our clients through the minefield of marketing, so they can accomplish their mission to make a difference in the lives of their customers. Our clients face increasing challenges and strong competition, and they need to ensure their brand stands out. They bring us in because they are frustrated with the exorbitant costs of low quality marketing or campaigns that simply do not produce results. Our clients want to grow their business, and they need the support to do so.
Two Second Media gives life to our clients’ voice through strategic, creative, and common sense marketing solutions that simply work. In everything we do, our starting and ending points are the goals set by our clients. We partner with our clients to help them understand, prioritize, and develop the most effective and efficient marketing solutions for their budget and we walk hand-in-hand with them to ensure their success continues.
Creative, social, seo, websites, eCommerce, analytics, graphic design, video production, photography, and more… all delivered with the highest standard of quality production and concierge level service; every client every time. We believe in the philosophy of selective consumption and strive for zero waste. We do this by managing our services all under one roof, giving our clients transparent, consistent, and efficient communication every single project.
You only have two seconds to capture your audience’s attention, trust Two Second Media to drive results that matter.
Have you ever wandered the wine aisle aimlessly wondering which bottle to buy? It’s time consuming, confusing, and in the end, you gamble. Chris and Candace Weir became Independent Wine Guides partnering with The Traveling Vineyard to help you find a better way to enjoy wine. In addition to their Wine Down Therapy Vlogs, Podcasts, and Blog, they offer free in home wine tastings, convenient online ordering, and amazing monthly wine club deals.
“I am not a motivational speaker. However, I would love for you to leave my talks motivated to get off your ass and make a difference in your personal and professional life”! -Chris Weir
Early in Chris’s career, he hosted his own weekly talk radio show called “Common Sense with Chris Weir”. He also hosted a daily online radio show (which we now call podcasts). He has spoken to companies, non-profits, local governments, universities, even high schools. Today, he discusses topics relating to business and marketing, leadership and entrepreneurship, and personal growth through professional success and planning. He delivers a thought provoking, “tell it like it is”, message. Audiences leave with relevant and actionable content to make a difference in their lives and companies.
Chris also provides private and customized coaching and training on marketing processes and procedures to create efficient and effective marketing teams that produce actual results for their companies.