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R.I.P. Rizzo Tees (2008 – 2014)

I Hate Pants Forever

Hi everyone. This is going to be a weird blog post, perhaps too little too late, but I’ll do my best to make it interesting, understandable, and fun.

Today, October 30, 2014, on the 6th anniversary of the birth of Rizzo Tees, I announce its death. Happy 6th birthday, old friend, and I hope you don’t mind being shut down! Today is your official last day.

This is not meant to be dramatic, and at this point, how could it be? To anyone observing, it has been readily apparent for at least two years that the business was no longer getting my attention. I haven’t debuted a new tee design in years. There are probably some steps I should have taken earlier to make something great happen with the business – either ramp it up, or sell it. I got so busy with transitioning to a new career, with trying to learn to be a great ad agency salesman, with trying to write a book, with finding a publisher, with actually writing a book, and now with trying to sell a book … there was no time for Rizzo Tees.

And really no desire either. For the first few years, I loved concepting tee designs, working with amazing tee designers to bring them to life, and I loved debuting the designs. Some sold amazingly well. Some barely sold. I quickly learned what success and failure felt like. But that list of stuff I mentioned in the last paragraph – especially the book – captured my imagination and didn’t let go.

I’ve had several people ask me if I wanted to sell Rizzo Tees. I don’t know … whatchoo got? I sheepishly told several interested parties that I don’t even have time to sell it right now. All of my energy is going into my current job, and my book marketing efforts. I have no cranial capacity to think about selling the business. I don’t feel like dickering over price, and don’t want to be told it’s not worth what I think it is, or whatever.

Anyway, the death of this business is OK with me. Even with a mixed record, I can say I accomplished everything I wanted to with it. I learned so much, met all of you, and left my old CPA career. Knowing that a career change was the goal from day one, I say “Mission Accomplished.” For any of you who have known me since 2007-2008, you know that’s what I wanted to see happen. I even made this video outlining my dream of leaving accounting by July 1, 2011. I beat that date big time, and I’m proud of that.

And now a new mission has begun. This book of mine, Happywork, seems infinitely more important than the tee biz ever did. I know that’s not true, that my feelings are being temporally affected. But yes, let’s just run with it – the message of this book is important to me now, and now is now, so it’s the most important thing going on in my life. I think my message of happiness at work is going to be my number one priority for years to come. We’ll see where life takes me.

Gary Vaynerchuk Props to my TweepsEpic Meal Time

To all the people who bought shirts, especially the bacon ones – after all, I was once known as the Baron of Bacon (TY Shelley Niemeier for that moniker) – THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. It was a joy to make you fun shirts. It was a thrill to see the Epic Meal Time guys and Gary Vaynerchuk wear them in their videos. Mostly, it was just fun making things. There is glory in making stuff (and I draw a direct distinction between this and being a “social media guru”). When I talk to my two young daughters about their future, I tell them to never shy away from making things. Making food (chef), making living spaces (interior designer), making coffee (barista), making art (artist), making clothing (fashion designer), making buildings (architect), or making stories (author). Whatever you do, I tell them, please make something for the world. I’m happy that I did that with Rizzo Tees, and I think the greatest chapter to come will be written by my first and hopefully not last book.

Thank you everyone for being a friend of mine. In 2015 and beyond, let’s make great things happen.



This sort of thing makes it fun to be in business. I mean, how cool is this?

Happywork TV Episode 1: Don’t Make Rules You Can’t Follow Yourself

In Episode 1 of Happywork TV, I discuss the first of 46 commitments featured in my upcoming book “Happywork – A Business Parable About the Journey to Teamwork, Profit, and Purpose.”

Number 1 is this: “I will not ask my employees to do anything I would not be willing to do myself. And I will not create rules that I cannot follow myself. I realize that acting in such a way destroys employee morale.”

We’ve all had bosses like this. They can dish out the rules (like “be on time”) but then can’t seem to follow their own edicts. Yes, they have the literal power to do whatever they want, as they run the show. Maybe that’s our cue to shut up. But we all know it’s not good for morale to act this way. People don’t like to be told what to do, but they do appreciate when you take the time to explain to them why they’re being asked to do something. And they love seeing management and ownership jumping in and getting their hands dirty.

Mostly, it’s about creating great working relationships, and inspiring employees to greatness. Don’t make rules you can’t follow yourself.

REMINDER: Please consider subscribing to I’m going to set up a feed that will deliver these posts to your email. Please subscribe for a brother!

Marketers Ruin Everything

Gary is right about three things:

1. Marketers take tactics and abuse the hell out of them until they’re ruined.
2. The greatest marketers are all storytellers.
3. There are things like Google Glass about which we say, “No WAY am I ever going to wear that,” but we will.

Books I’m Recommending Tomorrow at My United Way Seminar

Chris Reimer book recommendations

Tomorrow I’m conducting a social media seminar and Q&A at the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Attendees from United Way-funded organizations will hear me speak about social media, and then will fire several hours of questions at me.

One thing I’ll be recommending off the bat is self-education. When working to understand social media, I have found that practice does make perfect. One hundred and ten thousand tweets later, I do have experience I didn’t before have. However, backing up one step, I’ll want the attendees to be in the right mindset before using social media to say what they have to say.

The books above will be getting a shout out, and I do hope the attendees give these works a chance. I’ve learned so much by taking to heart the messages these authors offered to the world.

Spreecast Provides Great Customer Service

Garyvee on Spreecast

Gary Vaynerchuk tweeted and Facebooked about his first live appearance on Spreecast, a social video platform similar to Ustream. He used to hold Ustream chats and was excited to reconnect with fans. During the live Spreecast, he said that he’s been advising the firm, and this became obvious as he struggled to get the service to work. Spreecast hustled.

When I first jumped on, I couldn’t log in, couldn’t hear Gary, and couldn’t type anything in the chat window. Apparently no one had sound. At 7pm EST, Spreecast called Gary’s mobile to help him work out the problem. With their help, he got it working and almost 200 people joined the get-together.

Gary then brought me on to chat, and we were experiencing echoes. We weren’t sure how to fix it, and Spreecast again called (pic below). After they told him that I needed headphones to make the audio work, he gave me the royal boot. I made a sad face.

Gary Vaynerchuk on Spreecast

Once the technology was worked out, it was a pretty cool platform. It is possible that they would not (be able to) provide the same personal customer service to lesser-known users, but I was nonetheless impressed. Not long after the Spreecast ended, I received an email that said “This Spreecast has been archived and is ready for viewing.” I was then able to not only embed it below, but grab the screenshots you see above (I wasn’t fast enough when we were on live.)

I look forward to holding my own Spreecast sometime soon.


Three of My Favorite Books

And yet I still have not read Hsieh’s book! It’s on my shelf, waiting for me. I suppose I shouldn’t say it’s a favorite of mine then.

New Books

Amazon affiliate links to each book:

The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know, Revised and Updated Edition

The Thank You Economy

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Great LinkedIn Tips By Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes is the preeminent authority on LinkedIn. So instead of trying to provide you my best LinkedIn tips, just watch the master in action. The video is a few years old, but still quite relevant.

Gary Vaynerchuk In a Seminal Performance at the 2011 Inc 500 Conference

And now a YouTube version for those of you on Apple mobile devices

(WARNING: the above video contains lots of foul language. You should not watch this video if such language offends you)

Apologies in advance, but I’m a brown-nosing Vayniac. I’ll get that out in the open right now. However, I have learned a ton from this guy, have watched dozens of his speeches, was sitting in the front row of this presentation, actually got mentioned in the speech between 33:00 and 33:30, and can tell you that this talk was one of his best ever. Watch this presentation.

I speculate that he really brought his A-Game because he was amongst peers. The room was filled with 1,000 (?) of the best entrepreneurs in the world, and that’s who he is. Even though most of the attendees are not doing social well, or not doing it at all, Gary and these folks still share much of the same DNA. They build businesses. I think Gary felt like he was talking to a different crowd here than one he might address at Big Omaha or SXSW, and that this required something different. All I can say is…. watch the whole thing, including the last question he takes during Q&A. He brought the house down!

And Gary, thanks for the hug afterwards.



Thank you to both Gary Vaynerchuk and Robert Scoble (via Mike Stenger) for rebroadcasting this for me. Needless to say, my blog has seen some traffic in the past few days. By the way, I had a few people say I was lucky to get the attention of these guys. As Harvey Mackay recently said in his Chris Brogan interview, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Basically, I do stuff. Lots of stuff. Some of it “hits the big time,” whatever that means. So….. Blog. Post. Comment. Reshare. Listen. Interview. Videotape. Write. Sit in the front row. Do stuff!

Inc 500 Conference crowd for Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk Chris Reimer Rizzo Tees Inc 500 Conference


Gary Vaynerchuk at Big Omaha 2010

Yet another awesome @garyvee video. Enjoy!

David Siteman Garland on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Sirius XM Radio Show

The Rise To The Top on GaryVee

David Siteman Garland, numero uno at The Rise To The Top, was on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Sirius radio show tonight. It was the first time I had listened to Gary’s show. It’s a pretty good show – a fun listen for sure. Gary seems to forget the “Siteman” part when he plugs David. Gary, do not diss on the Siteman! David’s long-tail keyword name is ruined if you don’t say Siteman.

For some reason, I just enjoyed hearing Gary plug David’s website. Hear the last 30 seconds of David’s appearance here:

>>> <<<

Quotable Gary: “, baby…” Congrats to David for being on Gary’s show!