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Building While Flying

May 6, 2021

What is modern fatherhood? How do you build an authentic brand, and remain true to it over time? How do you pitch a show to Food Network? Is being in reality TV worth it? All these and more are answered in this week’s episode of Building While Flying—so buckle up, it’s gonna be a ride!

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by the Sasha Group. We’re the small-to-medium-sized business arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding, media, and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Ryan Fey and his best friend Mark Anderson are redefining what it means to be modern dads.

After growing up in rural Ohio, Ryan Fey moved to New York City after college to start his career in PR and advertising. When burnout hit, Fey and his friend and work partner Mark Anderson turned to their creative side hustle, a pilot for a series about defining California barbecue. A whirlwind crowdfunding campaign and off-the-cuff email to a Food Network producer later, they met with Guy Fieri and landed a spot on Guy’s Big Project to bring their show Grill Dads to life. Several years later, the Grill Dads brand is stronger than ever—and there’s more where that came from! 

In this week’s episode, Mickey and Ryan dig into each step of Ryan’s career, and how it led him to the next. From PR agencies in New York to Thanksgiving in the back yard with 60 friends in California, each step brought him closer to his goal of building a lifestyle he knew he would be happy living. Ryan breaks down each intentional phase of building Grill Dads into a platform to bring levity to others through food: from their Food Network days to exciting new developments coming later this year. Most importantly, though, Ryan says their mission of reinventing what it means to be a modern dad is what drives them and keeps their brand strong. Staying true to your brand (and yourself) isn’t always easy, but when you’re strong in your mission and vision, the results speak for themselves.

Other in-flight topics:

  • Starting a career in New York City
  • Pitching a show idea to Food Network
  • Authenticity and staying true to your brand
  • Importance of intellectual property (IP)
  • Reinventing the modern dad
  • Doing business with your best friend