August 27, 2021

Quick Take:

In this episode of Burning the Boats, Oscar interviews entrepreneur Chris L. Davis about his journey from artistic kid to corporate engineer to highly successful entrepreneurial risk-taker. They swap stories about what it takes to launch a successful venture (sometimes it involves getting fired) and lessons learned along the way. Chris, who is a master of digital marketing, reflects on the importance of having straight-talking mentors and loved ones who surround you with a feeling of support and faith. Since founding Automation Bridge, Chris has brought his many strengths together in a powerful mentorship platform that positions small businesses for rapid growth.


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Show Value Bombs:

  1. Knowing how to leverage systems is a powerful tool – whether in an artistic, entrepreneurial or corporate context.
  2. Striking out on an entrepreneurial path is a long-term, day-by-day proposition that requires support and faith.
  3. The two core systems for any scalable business are highly functional marketing and sales operations embedded with the right technology.

Show Notes:

Today on The OMG! Show: Burning the Boats with Special Guest Chris Davis of Automation Bridge.

:55 – Oscar welcomes Chris and they jump into his early life and talents.

  • All through childhood and college, Chris always made money “outside the norm.”
  • Chris’s first love was art but engineering became a way to make a living and have a life.
  • He secured a great engineering job but found that it wasn’t the right path or temperamental fit.

5:45 – Oscar asks Chris about what it meant to become an engineer even though his heart was that of a creative.

  • Chris used his art to make the engineering and college track less tedious – and it got him through those early years at Lockheed Martin.
  • It was his escape.
  • “Art held me through some of the toughest times.”

8:25 – Oscar asks Chris about how he managed his high-octane engineering job at Lockheed Martin.

  • Chris fell back on systems to figure out how to “crack the code” and keep up with the rock stars at his tier-one job.
  • He found a differentiator and a value-add in his ability to connect with others.
  • Chris was suddenly the go-to presenter, thriving in but not enjoying the corporate vibe.

10:53 – Oscar asks Chris about how he figured out his identity and where to put his energy and focus – outside the corporate sphere.

  • Once Chris discovered it, Tim Ferriss’s “Four-Hour Work Week” proved a turning point.
  • The next step was embracing the transformational power of technology.
  • He was hooked on the prospect of harnessing the internet for profit and freedom.

15:00 – Oscar asks how Chris arrived at the decision to leave his prestigious job at Lockheed Martin and strike out in a new direction.

  • When his wife was laid off, Chris saw it as an opportunity to restructure their lives.
  • He started taking courses to figure out how to make the leap out of corporate life.
  • The time was right to make a move and Chris felt guided to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. But he wasn’t expecting to be fired – right after his third child was born.
  • That was a moment when pain burned the boat and nothing would be the same.

18:34 – Oscar asks Chris about his support system during transition.

  • His faith community and spiritual mentor were critical to keeping Chris on track.
  • Chris relied on a wife who truly supported him even when she was going on faith.

21:40 – Oscar asks Chris to share one of the key pieces of advice he received from a spiritual mentor.

  • Although he was working hard as a freelancer, Chris wasn’t yet making money – which his mentor pointed out made his business more akin to a hobby.
  • It was a bombshell that changed everything: Reality had slapped Chris in the face.
  • Chris woke up to the hard truth: He was a great engineer but terrible with marketing and business development.

24:42 – Oscar asks about how it was that Chris got real about his entrepreneurial venture and where it was going.

  • Chris was now determined to find other routes to living his entrepreneurial dream.
  • By taking on a “fake it ‘til you make it” attitude, Chris lucked into consulting gigs.
  • Just when he and his family were getting back on track financially, Chris lost a consulting gig but that opened the door to a tech meetup that changed everything.
  • Even though she wasn’t smiling much, Chris’s wife remained loyal and supportive.
  • Once again, pitching himself with confidence, Chris connected with LeadPages and it changed everything!

32:58 – Oscar asks Chris to delve deeper into his decision to risk a safe bet consulting with Wells Fargo for a bigger vision.

  • You have to know the “why” – why you’re in a place to step out of a safe situation.
  • Just because an opportunity seems right doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
  • Being able to say no to the safe bet requires faith and vision.
  • When Chris moved to Lead Pages he had a hunger and readiness like never before.
  • For the first time Chris was leveraging his technical skills to master a software that became his super power.
  • Chris finally found the sweet spot between his technical prowess and his ability to connect and communicate in the realm of marketing.

37:28 – Oscar asks about the period of time required for Chris to make his transition from Lockheed Market to Lead Pages and his new trajectory.

  • Chris approached LeadPages as an employee and not an entrepreneur.
  • He was fully immersed into automation and an entirely new area of expertise.
  • It took a little while for Chris to recognize the role he was playing in making LeadPages the success that it was.
  • Chris started to take note of what was and wasn’t working for small businesses, which lit a fire under him because he finally “got” the customer journey both front and back ends.
  • He figured out that strong automation was the key to marketing success.

44:00 – Oscar asks Chris about the evolution of Automation Bridge.

  • Chris’s blog has been key to shaping his entire entrepreneurial venture, including connecting with key early stake-holders.
  • ActiveCampaign opened the door for Chris to speak to C-level executives, develop his expertise and expand his base.

49:40 – Oscar asks Chris to share an update on Automation Bridge today.

  • Chris developed his automated system while working full-time at ActiveCampaign.
  • He kept putting bricks in place and ultimately built a six-figure income as a side hustle.
  • This time, when he lost his job, he had independent income and was ready to go all in!
  • Chris recognized the disjointedness between digital marketing and marketing automation – they were too synonymous – and figured out how to distinguish.
  • Coining the term “automation service provider” was a gamechanger and enabled Chris to replicate his skills and mentorship.

55:30 – Oscar asks about how Chris is building out Automation Bridge as a trusted partner with applicable standards.

  • Brands might sound nice but they don’t guarantee quality or standards.
  • Chris is implementing a methodology that will map to quality and consistency within the digital marketing space.
  • There’s a synergy and excitement that comes from marrying all Chris’s skills, talents and entrepreneurial vision.
  • Chris is all about the operational systems whose cornerstone is marketing and sales.

About Chris L. Davis:

As the #1 educator in marketing automation, Chris is passionate about business growth. With over 12 years of experience in automation, he brings a meticulous and unique approach to building out marketing and sales systems for businesses and organizations to leverage for rapid growth.

Further Resources:

For a five-point automation checklist:
Chris @LinkedIn
You can find Chris’s All Systems Go podcast here

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About the Author Oscar Garcia

Oscar Garcia is a sought-after consultant, coach, and speaker specializing in online marketing and host of the highly rated podcast, "The OMG! Show,"

After pulling out his 401K and diving head first into muddy waters, he quickly built a half-million dollar business in only eight months. Over the past few years, he's dedicated himself to growing businesses through proven systems and sound strategies that produce conversion rates of 70%+ and ROI's of 200% or more. When he's not focused profitable paid traffic funnels, you can find him traveling the country or sipping on a nice refreshing mojito.

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