We had the good fortune of connecting with Marshall Chiles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marshall, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
I have a big focus on teaching my children to be good people and entrepreneurs. As a business owner, I believe that my business is only as successful as the people running it. Many studies show that the average US employee is only engaged at work about 35% of the time. I have a big focus on building up my employees as people and this approach has my team fully engaged in the business and it shows. I treat all my employees like volunteers because I truly believe that ‘you can buy their hand, but they volunteer their heart.’ I once tried to tell them to go get better paying jobs and all of them came back to me saying they wanted to stay. I agreed as long as they continue to grow as people. Now they are looking at starting their own businesses and I am helping them do so. My kids know this goal of mine, and obviously as a parent, I work on building them as people as well. I continuously talk about the challenges of being an entrepreneur and how I handle them. During this quarantine, they have seen me fight fight fight to move forward. My ultimate goal during this quarantine is to come out better on the other side of it. When I do that, I can show my kids that no matter what the world throws at you, you can respond accordingly and still be a ‘success.’ I teach them “input + response = outcome”… you cannot control the input, but you can control the response, which therefore controls the outcome.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My main art is performing stand-up comedy. I started as a road comic while starting my relationship with my wife (then girlfriend). Over the first few years, we had several conversations where she did not want me to be away so much. So my goal was to build a life to be on stage and sleep in my own bed at night. I started Laughing Skull Lounge in February 2009 at the height of the great recession… and man, that was one of the hardest things I ever did. I stayed with it because I knew it would work and besides, what else was I going to do? My main skill set was stand-up and my love for comedy. I am a big believer in self-help so as my person grew, my comedy grew. Some of my most recent material was about my shadow self and dealing with my imposter syndrome. I am not a fan of jokes about commercials, drugs and other common amateur jokes. I have been in the business long enough to see that the comedians who ‘pop’ are the ones who are most honest and talk about the things that most people would hide from their therapist… when you shine a light on a dark place, it is no longer dark.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to Nine Mile Station at Ponce City Market for dinner. Then to The Laughing Skull Lounge for a show. Then stay at the Vortex Midtown for some after-party activities.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would greatly like to give a shout out to Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and especially their Accelerator program. EO is for business owners who generate $1M/yr revenue, but the Accelerator program is for businesses doing $250k-$999k with the goal of getting the business to $1M. I joined EO to grow up as a business person and the information I learned there, and friendships made, has been priceless. When looking at my entrepreneur journey, my joining EO Accelerator is the best thing I ever did. I HIGHLY recommend entrepreneurs to join EO if you want to grow your business and your person. www.EOAtlanta.com and www.EONetwork.com
none… all mine