Hi, I'm Chrys.

I’m glad curiosity brought you here.

Because I want to share something with you that will hopefully change your business forever.

I have placed it here instead of front and center on the Home page because it means that only people with an entrepreneur’s level of curiosity will find it. 

Entrepreneurs are my favorite people and the people I want to serve.

So here it is:

^^^ That is the formula that every business has used to achieve success. 

Not some of them. Not most of them. 

Every. Single. One. 

The erosion of the first step is what leads to failure, but that’s a different conversation. 

For now, here’s the instagram post version:

1. Decide what you stand for and infuse it in everything you do. Talk about it everywhere. Do not deviate.

2. Empower every person who works for you/does work for you/is involved in your business to own the culture you’ve created and own their part in it. Treat them well and care about what matters to them so they will care about what matters to you.

3. Cultivate the people who are interested in what you have to say. Treat them as though you are in a lifelong, and loving, committed relationship. Ask them questions, listen to them and build things to serve them and enhance their well being as often as you breathe. 

4. Endlessly repeat steps 1, 2, and 3.

And now, here is what I stand for:

I stand for unbreaking the creatives who fear that deep down what they’ve been taught to believe is right — their skills and talents aren’t valuable. The truth is, the world is desperate for you to become unlocked. It’s waiting for you to find exactly what you need to harness your unique creativity and to pay you – well – for it.

I stand for businesses whose focus is to serve and leave a legacy over looking for “quick wins” and finding ways to squeeze every last dime out of their customers and fans. 

I stand for breaking the bicycle parts. Building an infinite business takes everything you have and some you haven’t even developed yet. There’s no “quick fix” or 8 week program that’s going to teach you everything you need.

I stand for leaning into your own genius. Stop watching everyone else and execute on what you know you need to do.

I stand for shoe-tying entrepreneurs. Success is never a straight line and execution is key. You are going to get it wrong probably as many times as you failed at tying your shoes as a kid but once you’ve gotten it right, you will own it forever. 

My journey into digital marketing and brand building began in 2009 (although I’ve been a writer for what feels like my whole life).

If you’d like to know more, you can read my origin story below.

It involves a familiar top hat and a fairly insane gamble.

I love what I do.

My 7 year old self would be surprised and delighted with how much fun and freedom we’ve been able to create. 

I wake up every day, driven to help others build, level up, and optimize their businesses and their lives.

This work is my life. 

And I feel incredibly blessed to have found it.

You may be here because you’ve read something I’ve written on Medium and were curious. 

(If that’s you, hi!)

You may be here because you’re stuck and need some help breaking free. Great, maybe I’ve already built exactly what you need.

Or reach out to me directly and let’s start a conversation about helping you solve exactly what you need solving.

Or How I Gambled My Entire Career On 3 Emails

I could say that my story began when my mom, whose history included living in a hippie commune, met my dad, whose general philosophy was you get what you pay for…

…but it didn’t start there.

I could say that it began the day I found out my ex’s sobriety was a lie and I walked out the door with 3 children and $11 to my name…

…but it didn’t start there.

I could say that my story began when I risked everything by ditching my corporate job as a marketing & communications executive to strike out on my own…

…but it didn’t start there either.


It started with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 


How my exposure to that story would end up shaping my life I had no way of knowing — until one day in the summer of 2018 when it became crystal clear. 

I was Marketing & Culture manager for an innovative tech/ecomm startup. 

The view out the window was quintessential Asheville: A mixture of Gilded Age and revitalized industrial architecture with the majestic blue ridge mountains in the background.

Asheville was just as well known for its laid back nature-loving brewery culture as it was for the opulence of the Vanderbilts who made it their home. 

Living there doing exactly what I love doing best was a blessing.

But at the moment, my good fortune was the last thing on my mind. 

As a matter of fact, I was thinking it couldn’t get much worse. 

I was writing a promotion for a sale we had never even told anyone about. 

It would only be successful if the massive shift we made in our culture and our messaging was the right one. 

A shift that I had secretly based upon a movie from my childhood. 

And instead of creating some small split test no one would ever see, I was about to succeed or fail publicly. 

With everything riding on it.

But to understand why I’d be willing to make such a high stakes gamble, you would have had to have been there the day I left my corporate finance career – or rather the day it left me – and in the process discovered my calling.

Finding Light in the Flames of My "Safe" Job

As part of a career journey that would end up looking more like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride than Eat Pray Love, I was following the “safe” path working for a Fortune 100 company.

It checked all the boxes that I had been told many times an adult was supposed to check.

It made decent money. 

It was “stable.”

Things were predictable. 

In short, I hated it. 

I spent my days staring at spreadsheets and in endless meetings with people who hated their jobs as much as I did.

Ideas and innovation were frowned upon. 

So were questions of any kind. 

Without fail, I’d get into an elevator every Friday and someone would say “Thank GOD it’s Friday!” 

And someone else would reply with something along the lines of, “Too bad we have to come back on Monday.” 

This applied to every job title from the executives on down. 

I would silently listen and wonder if this was what most people resigned themselves to.

Meanwhile, I had a secret. 

Before my years in corporate finance began, I had worked in mental health and started an ecommerce business on the side selling used dvds. 

I quickly realized if I wrote snappier product descriptions with a little more personality, I could outsell my competitors and make a tidy profit. 

I bounced along enjoying my side business ride when the wider adoption of Netflix and the Great Recession happened. 

Suddenly my business was bleeding.

As I watched it sink, I was lucky enough to have a mentor who saw my penchant for systems and detecting patterns coupled with a background in psychology as an asset in the world of finance.

And so my “safe” career began.  

But I couldn’t give up the entrepreneurial bug. 

Using my spare time to learn everything I could about being an entrepreneur, I started multiple businesses and stumbled upon the wider discipline of digital marketing. 

It was like behavioral psychology with money attached, both things I knew how to work with. 

I was hooked. 

By day, I slogged through my corporate job, trying not to be disheartened by the excruciatingly slow pace and general pessimism. 

By night, I worked for clients in every industry I could find, testing my theories, honing my skills. 

Once I gained enough knowledge and positive results, I started teaching what I knew.

But regardless of the success I was experiencing, I was afraid to leave the shelter of my “safe” job. 

Deliverance came as it often does – in a form I never expected.

One day, I came into work to the unceremonious announcement that the entire finance department was being outsourced. 

I was ecstatic. 

In that moment, I truly understood the meaning of this one:

I felt like I had been given a golden ticket to my own freedom. 

I had given the “safe” career an honest try and not only proved it wasn’t for me, I had proved it wasn’t safe. 

There was no more ambiguity. 

The next thing I was going to do was going to be something I cared about. 

Because if everything is unsafe, why wouldn’t I commit my life to work I actually loved?

On the Path to the Secret of Startup Rocket Fuel

For the first time in my life, I decided that I was going to orient my work life in a way that I would like everything I did. 

I wanted to work for a company that had a mission, that cared about its employees where people were happy and there was a lot of potential for growth. 

So when I saw an ad for an office manager position at a unique tech/ecomm startup,

I did some research.

The passion and ethics of the founders intrigued me and I applied. 

With my background, I was extremely overqualified but I saw the opportunity for what it was.

They had an excellent customer culture but they weren’t talking about it anywhere.

Their “copy” read more like a textbook manual than anything that might compel a person to buy.

They had nothing in place to help them keep the conversation going with their audience.

And that was just scraping the surface. 

There were so many growth opportunities I saw that good marketing could make a reality. 

I accepted the interview invitation, got the highest salary they were offering and dug in. 

Within 3 days, I understood the layout of the company and how I could best support its growth.

I created some efficiencies in their financial processes and orchestrated a credit program rollout.  

All the while, I worked with the CEO on their marketing. 

Within 2 months, I had created a marketing and culture position for myself and hired my replacement. 

My repeated tactical successes made me think about the business as a whole.

I thought back to that pivotal golden ticket moment that changed my trajectory for good which made me reflect on my childhood hero, Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka. 

I didn’t quite know why but I felt the urge to rewatch the movie. 

Following that one tiny nudge changed my approach to business completely.

The Candyman Leaves Clues

*Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the 1971 version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, stop reading this page and go watch it. And no, the Johnny Depp version is not the same.

As I re-watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I laughed over the brilliant marketing campaign that had Wonka bars sold out all over the world. 

The woman who wasn’t sure she’d be willing to hand over her Wonka bars as ransom for her kidnapped husband.

The auction for a case of Wonka chocolate in which the Queen of England was the highest bidder.

The computer who refused to disclose the location of the golden tickets for ethical reasons.

But the inspiration for the nudge I felt wasn’t obvious until this moment (at 2:36 to be exact).

It was at that moment that everything clicked.

Willy Wonka was not just a story about good triumphing over not-so-good or to have faith in your dreams. 

It carried an insanely valuable message for business as well.

And the secret was right there in the moment that Charlie placed the Everlasting Gobstopper on Wonka’s desk. 

Why would he do that?

In Charlie’s mind, that Gobstopper signified food, shelter and a certain amount of cash for not just him but his whole family of ailing grandparents and a desperately overworked mother.

Why would he just leave it on Wonka’s desk?

It wasn’t for love, he’d only met Willy Wonka that day.

It wasn’t remorse for stealing Fizzy Lifting Drinks — Charlie protested that he had never seen any rules prohibiting it. 

It was only at the moment when Grandpa Joe declares he will ruin Willy Wonka by selling the Gobstopper to Slugworth that Charlie defies the person he loves most in the world and returns it.

So why?

Because there was no other choice for Charlie to make.

Wonka had created a world full of surprise, fascination and delight.

He employed an entire people who owned his vision as their own and executed every piece of it.

And he focused on only the people who shared his vision – and ignored everyone else.

This world was so special, so unique and so important to Charlie that he would rather give up the only treasure he had to preserve it. 

And when he did, both Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka gained everything. 

Or more simply put:

The next day I went to work ready to apply this exact system of belief into everything we did both in our internal culture and externally in our messaging. 

We started thinking about exactly how to intentionally shift things to match our new approach like:

What if we stopped being afraid of email because people might unsubscribe?

If they don’t like how we do business and prefer someone else, let’s bless and release them.

Better yet, instead of hiding our unsubscribe option in tiny letters at the bottom of our emails, let’s invite them to do it. 

For the people who stay, they get everything we’ve got. 

And we infused this in everything. 

From the top down, every employee and every customer we interacted with became our best friend from elementary school, our favorite cousin, our next door neighbor. 

And we talked to them that way. 

We treated them like they believe what we believe and they care about the same things we care about. 

We shot videos about our core beliefs, what progress we wanted to see in the world, and what we were doing to help get us all there. 

We thought of every question they might have and answered it on our website.

We cleaned house down to changing the phrase “unreasonable requests” to “future opportunities” in our phone system. 

Instead of “overcoming objections” in our sales messaging, we changed the focus to finding ways to surprise and delight. 

If a customer was unhappy, depending on the issue, either myself or the CEO or our Senior Developer would get on the phone with them and figure out not just how to solve their problem but make them feel like they were our only customer. 

We removed every Augustus Gloop from every pipeline we could find. 

The only thing we hadn’t done? 

Actually asked for the sale.

So Why Did I Choose to Run a Big Public Facing Promotion That Everyone Would See Instead of Some Tiny Split Test?

Because I believed: 

And I believed in the power of that Everlasting Gobstopper moment. 

Finally I could prove that this was the way. 

…or we would know without a doubt that it wasn’t. 

So on the fateful day that Willy Wonka changed my world, I hit send on the email sequence and got up to head home.

On my way out the door the CEO stopped me, 

“Sent?” he asked. 

“Yup,” I nodded, willing my outward appearance to exude the cool confidence I was in no way feeling. 

He smiled, “Okay, we’ll see.” 

I smiled back and walked out to my car with the knowledge that absolutely anyone in the company could log into the CRM and watch my test succeed or fail in real time. 

All I needed to keep my marketing experiment going was a few thousand in sales, I didn’t need much just some proof that people were listening.

I resolved not to open my laptop until Monday morning, when it would be decided, one way or the other. 


But that was not to be. 


As I was sitting out on my patio enjoying the view on Sunday morning, I received a Slack notification. 

Then another. 

And another. 

It was my CEO asking if I had seen the results yet.

I logged into the CRM and saw this: 



From 3 emails.


I felt like Charlie when he burst through the door of his home with the golden ticket. 

Now we knew without a doubt that the formula worked. 

I spent the next hour on the phone talking with the CEO about ways to amplify our message even more. 

I was promoted to head of Marketing & Communications and we doubled down on the system I created. 

As a result, we won a spot on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list and a Venture 15 Fastest Growing Startup distinction as well as other accolades and awards. 

Our marketing strategy was so unique that when giants like Google and Amazon entered our space, we didn’t just maintain our foothold, we continued to grow and increase revenue.

As our profile amplified, other business owners began to reach out directly, asking me to teach my methods in their companies. 

Once I felt my growth was at a ceiling at the startup, I left to turn my small side hustle into a full time gig, and that's how FastPassive Media was born.

My first week in business, I signed a contract that paid me more than I would have made in my marketing job for the entire rest of the year. 

I’ve now applied my methods to service providers, info products, coaches, sports franchises, live event tickets, ecommerce companies, subscription services and many other businesses. 

One of our clients integrated much of what I teach directly into his own powerhouse business and this is what happened:

He then engaged us to teach his entire team.

But you know what my favorite part of what we do is?

Teaching people to claim their freedom. 

So that’s the origin story.

There’s more, but I’ll write that another time.

– Chrys

 © 2024 FastPassive Media
 © 2024 FastPassive Media