As we near our OTA15: Bismarck event next week, we continue to spotlight and share the stories of creative community builders in the region. We have encountered so many passionate individuals during our time in North Dakota’s capital and are delighted to introduce to you Garrett Moon, the founder of TodayMade, a web-based software company in Bismarck, as well as CoSchedule, a social media editorial calendar for WordPress.
Name: Garrett Moon
How can people connect with you? (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Website):
Facebook (business): https://www.facebook.com/coschedule
Where do you live now? Where do you call home? Bismarck.
Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.
I like to get an early start to my day and usually make it a goal to be the first one in the office each morning. This allows me a few hours of quiet concentration to start the day. I am very task-oriented by nature, so I love checking off a few things before the day begins. As a father of three, this also helps me keep my laptop in my bag at night and avoid the customary late nights that come with owning a business.
What projects are you currently working on, both in your career as well as hobbies or passions?
I’m a little boring in that my work is my hobby. I love building and starting things. Currently, that’s CoSchedule (an Internet startup building blogging and social media software), Start Bismarck (a local group expanding the startup community in Bismarck) and Todaymade (a web-based software and design company).
What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?
Thinking small. I think we cut ourselves short in the Midwest all the time. There are so many things that tell us that we can’t do something big, great or interesting from the community that we live in. The reality, however, is that everyone thinks the same thing – no matter what community they come from. I’m not kidding. Go to Chicago, and they are all wishing they were in New York or the Silicon Valley. It’s a mindset, not reality.
The reality is that we are only limited by our own understanding of what is possible. It’s cliche, but we are usually our own worst enemy. In a small community, I think this challenge can be emphasized to an even greater degree unfortunately.
If you could do any job, what would you do and why?
I would most definitely do the one I am doing right now. I love running a fast-growing software company and can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and it’s the exact place where my career has been leading. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What’s your desert island album/book/TV show/movie (answer one or all)?:
Well, I would want a Bible. After that, maybe a Macbook and Wi-Fi if that’s no asking too much.
Since you live in one of the OTA states:
• Why do you choose to live here? Because I grew up here, and it’s the place that makes the most sense to me. I love raising my kids in North Dakota, and I have a hard time imagining myself anywhere else, even though it crosses my mind every once and awhile.
• What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the region when it comes to your career? I think we have a ton of undiscovered and untapped talent in North Dakota. As CoSchedule and Todaymade have grown, we have definitely found that to be the case. I love running a company that provides global opportunities for these home-grown rockstars.
• What’s one thing you would change about the OTA region? More art, fewer chain restaurants.
• What’s one thing that most people don’t know about the OTA region? We have a world champion yo-yo’er and rubik’s cube champion in our midst. Go ND!
Where do think good ideas come from?
Everywhere! Ideas are easy if you let your mind wander a little. Taking action is the hard part. Focus on action, not ideas.
What’s one current trend that you think will change the world?
We are watching a generation of people who believe that they CAN change the world. That’s a pretty cool thing, and they are definitely right. I just hope we change it in the right direction. That’s the risk, of course.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
It took me a long time to realize that you shouldn’t waste your time on a job you hate. Jobs are a dime a dozen, and I lost 5 years of my life on one that I hated. Of course, it is part of what made me who I am, and that’s great. But understanding that you should never feel locked-in by a job was a hard fought lesson for me. Once a realized that I could always just get another one, the world was at my finger tips. That was pretty cool, and I wish I would have learned it earlier.
Who is the most creative person in your life and why?
I know a lot of people who are super creative in different ways. My wife, Katie, is incredibly creative and is an amazing illustrator, artist and mom. I am always amazed by her ideas and creative touch. In the same way, I have a huge respect for my business partner, Justin, who is continually a creative problem solver and programmer. Between them, they are two totally different aspects of creativity, but that might just be what makes them so interesting to me.
Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?
I am a follower of Christ, and I would love for my legacy to ultimately reflect that in all ways. Right now, I know the work I am doing is in some way moving in that direction, I just don’t know how the story will end. Stay tuned.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
I once got fired from a perfectly fine job and started a brand new business that I had been sitting on the next day. I could have panicked but for some reason just ran with it. It was great and risky, although it just made perfect sense at the time.
What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
I could say that it was getting fired from a job, but I actually think the failure was in me staying for so long. It was an obvious conflict for me in many ways, and I struggled with the role for years. I was miserable, but I let myself feel scared of the unknown and that prevented me from leaving when I knew that leaving was the right (and better) thing to do.