In Other Words with Dave

What do you do at Back40? I used to get that question quite a bit when I was younger, not so much now. Apparently now I look more like an owner, founder and publisher. I blame years and years of “resting small business owner face.” So I was kind of surprised when that question came up at a recent event. I wanted to tell them…

I’m the guy that started a web design business in the dot com bust of 2000. I’m the guy who cleans out the agency fridge, takes out the garbage and buys the Coffee-mate when we run out. I’m the guy who provided internships for dozensof OSU, OU, UCO, OC and Francis Tuttle students. I’m the
guy who was once told by an IRS agent, “Some people just shouldn’t own businesses.” I’m the guy who’s never missed a payroll. I’m the guy who hired some amazingly talented people who have gone on to start businesses and run companies – and still stay in touch. The guy who is eternally grateful for the crew that kept the business going while I took care of my terminally ill wife and then years later when I got sick, did the same for me. The guy who invested in a building, remodeled it into a cool design studio, then made everyone remote when COVID-19 happened.

What did I tell them instead? I told them, when I’m at my best, I’m an encourager, a cheerleader, a mentor, a problem solver who brings his clients a unique perspective born of decades of design experience. I’m also the guy who’s been called a “friend-boss,” and that’s pretty cool.

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