Hey, I’m Matthew Fenton, the guy behind Winning Solo. Thanks for being here.
Here’s my life story (abridged):
I started my one-man strategy consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, from the second bedroom of my Cincinnati condo back in 1997. I run it from the second bedroom of our Chicago condo today. Progress!
Along the way, I’ve reached some high highs, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Mostly, though, being a soloist has made possible all of the good things in my life:
- I’ve met many fantastic people (and one fantastic wife).
- I can largely shape my schedule, including several vacations a year.
- I’ve earned the financial security to choose the work that I take on.
- I maintain the fitness level of a guy about half my age.
- I rarely work more than 40 hours a week.
- I was able to be at my mother’s side as she was dying.
I’ve also spent seven years as a client-side marketing leader. Fun facts: I developed and launched White Mystery Airheads. And I’ve been the VP-Marketing of what was, at the time, the nation’s fourth-largest confectioner, with over $600 million in revenue, and brands like Brach’s and Trolli in my portfolio.
In that time, I hired dozens of partners, from very large agencies to freelancers and soloists. My experience on “the other side of the desk” has been beneficial for my consulting career, and it gives me perspective that helps me to serve other soloists.
Who I’m Not
Importantly, I’m not one of those “influencers” who like to share pictures of themselves leaning on a Ferrari that they may or may not own. I very much do not like those guys.
Instead, I’m a Midwestern guy who has earned 94% of my consulting revenue from repeat & referral. That includes multiple top-level engagements with brands like Fidelity Investments, P&G and Wrigley, as well as several regional and niche leaders.
I’m not going to claim that I have some “secret” that will triple your sales by Thursday. And I’m not going to pitch you on 10-minute workdays in beach-front condos while money magically appears in your bank account. Leave that nonsense to the scammers in your spam folder.
Why I Started Winning Solo
What I promise you is to share everything I’ve learned – the good, the bad and the counter-intuitive – so that you may apply it to your own work and life as you see fit. Like all the important things in life, it will require some effort on your part.
Freelancing, consulting, knowledge work, self-employment, soloism – whatever you wish to call it, it’s best viewed as an exercise in lifestyle design. It’s a chance to create the life of your dreams.
Of course, your dreams aren’t the same as mine – and that’s exactly the point. I want you to enjoy the freedom and balance to live life on your terms.
I’m here to help you however I can.
Outside of work, I enjoy:
- Travel (favorite city: Copenhagen)
- A full wine fridge
- My music collection (if you need ambient music for those “deep work” days, I’m your guy)
- Soccer (former player, current rabid fan, mostly of Arsenal and the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams)
- Reading anything I can get my hands on
Other fun facts: I’ve competed in the World Series of Poker and am a graduate of the Second City Improvisation Program.
I live in Chicago’s thriving Fulton Market District with my wife, Kara, and Dylan and McTavish, our internationally famous, Zoom-bombing cats.