One man going for broke, founds GopherLittle.com - KMSP-TV

One man going for broke, founds GopherLittle.com

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On Monday, Labor Day is a holiday celebrating workers. But, for many people, it's a reminder that sometimes, work doesn't last.

Five years ago, with the crash of the housing market, one man says he found himself without a job – or, way to support his family. That's when he says he decided it was time to take the wheel.

Wayne Rowan says he's the first to admit that he had a good life, made good money and probably wouldn't have changed anything. But, when life changed lanes on him, Rowan says getting creative was the only option.

With just a short walk outside and  a quick turn of the key, Rowan is at his office. Call it a cubicle on wheels. Or, in the case of his cargo, "This is a driving billboard."

But, just five years ago, Rowan says he wasn't even thinking about driving his own business. He was coasting in a career and headed for a collision.

"I was construction sales for about 17 years with Williams Brothers lumber company, and during the 2008-2009 home crash...lost my job," he said.

With life and income at a red light, Rowan says he dreamed up a new career; one that would take him speeding down the information highway.

He said, "What would a good web site be if you were trying to find an event that's really local to you?"

That led to GopherLittle.com. It's a kind of community calendar, where events are carefully organized and always tight budget-friendly.

Building the web site was work, but Rowan says building a business and brand is a lifestyle.

"I get up at 4:45, leave the house at 5...get back at 8, eat dinner, go to bed, and repeat," Rowan said.

But, as drivers along I-285 can tell you, Rowan is making it work.

That big billboard in the mirror? It's al his. Something that could only be built when life made an unexpected turn.

He said, "Instead of going, ‘Those were the days. Those were the days,' you wanna make things happen.  Make a memory."

Rowan says the best advice he got when starting a business was don't quit your day job. For him that meant getting a job at Lowe's so that he had some income while creating his new career. He also says research is key. And, being open to changes in your business plan based on feedback from others.

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