Be Passion Driven. Find something your passionate about so it is not just a “resume builder” or ways to impress and gain the approval of others. Anyone can label themselves as founder or entrepreneur etc. If you build something you feel strongly about/interested in your more likely to stay disciplined.
As a part of our series called “My Life as a Twentysomething Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Larney , Founder & CEO of Wildchat Sports.
Kevin Larney is a senior at the University of New Hampshire who created a startup digital media company that provides ECommerce, ESports, Podcasting and Social Media management services for top personalities within the sports & entertainment industry. His ultimate goal is to merge these two industries into one singular environment by marketing celebrities as athletes and athletes as celebrities to help talent make a smooth transition post career.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Growing up, I loved watching sports and movies and have always wanted to work within the entertainment space, which was the inspiration behind Wildchat Sports. I am currently a senior at the University of New Hampshire.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Wildchat Sports started as a blog I created to build a portfolio for myself and other students interested in pursuing a career in sports. My goal was to always work in the sports industry or at the very least get my foot in the door post-graduation. So, I felt like building a blog and posting my pieces of work on social channels was a good start. At the time I created a site, I didn’t know what to name it so I decided to name the platform after the radio segment I was a part of at the University of New Hampshire, called “Wildchats”. I felt like it was a fitting name at the time and I was eager to grow something that had a story behind it. We would traditionally air show during school year but when summer came around, I wanted to find other ways where we can air shows on consistent basis and engage with audience more effectively…which is what then led me to start podcasts. One year later and we’ve had for opportunity to work/chat with some cool names over these past few months(Floyd Mayweather, Shooter McGavin, Mike Eruzione, Christopher Lloyd, Zach King and more.) However, the best part is that all the work displayed has been coordinated and created by other students like me. It has been awesome team effort.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company? What lessons or takeaways you take out of that story?
I find it funny I am talking to people I looked to growing up from my room. If you told me I was going to be talking to some of these names I would have envisioned meeting them at some fancy event. Not my dorm room/bedroom haha. Just goes to show the opportunities that internet can provide to people.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’ve always had an extremely strong support system that I will always be thankful for. They say surround yourself with successful people if you want to achieve your goals and I feel like I was raised into that with great friends and family. Outside of that circle, I dedicate most of my day to reaching out to business owners, entrepreneurs, and podcasters. Along the way, I have talked to some pretty remarkable entrepreneurs and leaders who have all helped mentor me so its cool hearing their stories from a business perspective as well. Andrew Gardner is our lead writer and has also been huge help in leading rest of the team.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
More merchandise partnerships with stars and podcasts coming soon!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m not sure, I guess you’re going to have ask someone else whose met me haha. I’m still in my early 20’s, I feel I have a lot to learn and I’m excited for it.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
Reading is not a typically a hobby or interest of mine but if I had to pick it would be the Millionaire Next Door.
Can you share 5 of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of being a “TwentySomething founder”. Please share an example or story for each
- Be Passion Driven. Find something your passionate about so it is not just a “resume builder” or ways to impress and gain the approval of others. Anyone can label themselves as founder or entrepreneur etc. If you build something you feel strongly about/interested in your more likely to stay disciplined.
- Put ego aside. A lot of people I know want to start a business because they love the idea of having full creative control on decisions by doing the minimal amount of work. At least the best leaders I have met never stop networking or learning. So if you find yourself in a similar position, try best to stay curious and keep finding ways to surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like.
- Investing in yourself is best investment.
- Learn from mistakes(you made or your peers). Learning from past mistakes makes you one step closer to goal, don’t be discouraged and think positively.
- Being Disciplined & Persistent. Think long term. I do not believe in defining moments, stay levelheaded as much as possible.
What are the main takeaways that you would advise a twenty year old who is looking to found a business?
Find something you feel extremely passionate about, and if you cannot seem to find anything that draws your interest create something that will. I’m still figuring it out myself but one thing I learned from others I spoke to is if you try your best to stay curious, persistent and consistent in everything you do… there is no limit for success. I believe one who practice’s this and focuses on building something their passionate about is unstoppable in whatever career path they may choose.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Hmmm. Maybe Tom Brady? He’s been my favorite player growing up and seeing the strides he’s making towards growing TB12 brand is really awesome.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
@kplarney, @wildchatsports, www.wildchatsports.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!