My name is Brendan Hufford and I’m a regular guy.
I’m a dad.
I’m a husband.
I work full-time.
And I have a pretty rad side business.
I had more, but I sold both of them in the summer of 2016. I also podcast.
My business is my Hustle and my family is my Heart.
(You can see what I’m up to RIGHT NOW here.)
A little disclaimer: I say what I like to say. I’ve tried to do that all my life.
The truth: I shouldn’t be here.
You shouldn’t be listening to me.
I’m not a guru.
I didn’t make $745,867 in 24 hours on my first product launch.
I have no credentials.
No professional accolades.
Never won an award (actually, incorrect. I won a 2015 Up and Coming Entrepreneur Award from Fizzle and a Blog of the Year award a while back.)
Don’t have a book to sell. Yet.
I like to wear cuffed hipster pants when I’m working at home.
I also talk fast. It’s not because I *want* to sound like a used car salesman. I just get excited and passionate about things like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins. I get excited and talk really fast. I also type exactly how I talk.
I hear that’s terrible for podcasting and blogging. I don’t care.
1984 – I’m born in upstate New York.
1985 – My parents get divorced. I proceed to move around a LOT. I have every demographic for being a failure: single parent, low income, transient, etc. My mom changed jobs a lot. I had no idea we were poor. My possessions included a dresser, a bed, and 1 small basket of toys. If you’ve ever been on “looking trips” to the toy store, you know what I’m talking about.
1995 – My mom moves us to Indiana for a job. She had to show me where it was on a map.
In high school, I was not cool. I wore the same sweatshirt every day. I played a lot of Warhammer and Everquest.
2002 – I went to Ithaca College because my dad was teaching there. I proceeded to rack up a ton of college loan debt for no reason.
2006 – Like a good Midwesterner, I come back home to become a teacher. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, however, so I start working at The Buckle. Word of advice: A great way to figure out your passion is to take a job doing work you hate. Pushing clothing on kids with their parents credit cards (we worked on commission) is still one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had.
My girlfiend (now wife), calls me and tells me to move up to Chicago with her family and become a teacher.
I move outside of Chicago. Really, Indiana, but mainly Chicago. Like your friend who lives in Jersey but tells everybody he lives in Philly because it’s easier.
I learn to hustle.
I’m working 80 hours a week as a teacher’s assistant, a Borders book store clerk, and a before and after-school teacher.
2010 – I discover Pat Flynn. It’s not romantic. I have no idea how I found him but holy shit did I. I went all in. I read every post he had ever written.
I start blogging.
2011 – Start my first big site – I end up being featured on episode 49 of Pat’s podcast.
I read Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk. I decide I want to make my own way.
2012 – Start my own company as a one-man hustle show.
Become equally obsessed with business, marketing, branding, etc. I go all out. All the way out to make sure my brand gives the most amazing experience you’ve ever had buying a jiujitsu gi.
2014 – Fast-forward two years and I am rocking the hell out of that.
I decide I want my brand to be more than just gis. I start doing Reader Challenges (30 days of Minimalism). I start asking people what I can help them with in their lives. I invest SERIOUS time into building a 1-on-1 personal relationship with everybody that I can.
I collect and donate a ton of uniforms to kids in favelas (ghettos) in Rio de Janeiro.
I raise over $2,000 to support a rad bjj cancer charity called ‘Tap Cancer Out.’
August 2014 – I get an iPad for work. I find the Podcast App and I get lost in the world of podcasts.
Side Note: Are you still reading? If so, we just became best friends. This is going pretty good so far, right? I can’t tell. I’ve probably had too much coffee.
That’s my M.O. though. I don’t go get a cup of coffee. I brew and drink 20 cups of it a day. Because it’s amazing. I don’t just listen to podcasts. I make one. I’m literally seeing how long my body/mind will last putting the pedal to the metal.
July 2015 – I decide to start writing about two of my greatest loves: my business (hustle) and my family (heart). The Hustle & Heart Blog is born.
June 2016 – After six months of work closing a deal, I sell my Jiu Jitsu apparel company and my Jiu Jitsu blog to two separate buyers. I stop coaching clients. I stop doing everything except for focusing on my new business.
January 2017 – I close down the Hustle & Heart Blog and redirect everything here, to my home base. I put together a 1-year plan to get my new business to full-time status.
June 2017 – I decided my one-year plan to go full-time on my side hustle was stupid. With uncertain futures looming for our national healthcare system in the USA, it didn’t make sense. What did make sense was a gradual move over the course of a longer timeframe. Thus, I quit my job as a teacher and accepted a position as an SEO team lead for an incredible web / marketing agency in Chicago. And you know what? I love it.
January 2020 – I quit my dream job to pursue leading the SEO team at a search marketing agency that works primarily with software companies like Cisco, Samsung, Betterment, Sumo Logic, Web.com and Bill.com. Creating and leading strategy for all accounts is amazing, including for clients outside of software, like Allstate.
Today – I now keep a page of exactly what I’m working on right now, at this very moment. For a current update of my projects, business ventures, and the awesome things I’m making just for you, click here.
It means the world to me if you’ve read all this. If you’re like me, and looking for a way to build something that matters without getting lost along the way, join the SEO for the Rest of Us newsletter. Click here to join us,