134: Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel on the Power of Starting Before You Are Ready, Solving the Right Problems, and Embracing Unexpected Opportunity



Many people dream of starting a business, solving a problem, or launching their dream, but most people wait for permission. On this episode of the Executive Minds podcast, Kevin Jennings sits down with two entrepreneurs that decided to not wait for the right time. When Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel met at Belmont University, both were already crazy about live music. It wasn’t long before the two Music Business majors were organizing everything from large house parties to small festivals. The music and people part was really fun. The messy details and paperwork, not so much. It was from this problem, the messy paperwork and finding good music, that EVAmore was born.

The two entrepreneurs were on to something, but, in this episode, the duo dives into what they did not count on: their business would change and so would they. Tune in to hear them talk about sifting through good advice, pivoting your business for a better product-market fit, and assessing your team’s motivators plus so much more.

Welcome to episode 134 of the Executive Minds Podcast.

Links + Resources:

Channing Moreland: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Email

Makenzie Stokel: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Email


Project Music Nashville’s Music Tech Accelerator

Tony Robbins’s DISC Assessment

Article: “15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People”

Book: Like A Virgin by Richard Branson

Three Takeaways:

Don t stay still, move forward, and find your pivot. Mackenzie and Channing launched a successful idea, but it needed to grow into a scalable business. It is a scary thing to move away from something that is working to find a greater level of success, but that is exactly what happened with EVAmore. Despite having funding that was given to solve a problem in the college space, the founders of EVAmore decided to focus on the corporate space instead. During this episode, Mackenzie and Channing discuss at length the idea that you have to keep moving, keep innovating, and keep refining who your target customer is. In that pursuit, you will find success for your business.

Understand your customer, and also understand what motivates your team. As Mackenzie and Channing grew EVAmore they went from a start-up business to fast-growing small business. In their success, they had to solve a new problem motivating their employees. This is a common problem all growing businesses face, and the answer is not always a promotion or more money. Channing and Mackenzie discovered that time with family was a huge motivator for key team members and something they needed to build into their work environment to help their team stay engaged and motivated to grow EVAmore.

Don t wait for permission. Start. There is never an easy time to start something new. This was the lesson that Mackenzie and Channing took to heart as they began EVAmore. The duo was still in college when they launched their company and were forced to choose only early and late classes so that they could attend the accelerator they had been accepted to. The two women were also considered too young and too inexperienced, but that did not stop them. They believed that they saw a problem that needed to be solved, and they were brave enough to set out to solve it. If we wait for permission to start, we will probably be watching someone else answer the very problem we identified.


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