Shamus McNutt

Take chances and do not be afraid of failure, every failure is a learning lesson and one step closer to success. Those who don’t take risks disable themselves from growth.


A Colorado School of Mines graduate, Shamus built 2 e-commerce companies prior to launching FlowState Marketing in 2016 with co-founders Ben Thomson and Mark Grubbs. In his role as President, Shamus has played a pivotal role in growing FlowState to 5X revenue, and in the servicing of over 300 clients where he leads the FlowState team across Sales and Marketing, Apparel, Brand Development, Digital Media Marketing, and Website Design.

Where did the idea for FlowState come from?

FlowState Marketing was founded in January 2016 and is co-owned by myself and my 2 best friends. We graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with mechanical engineering degrees. With just $800 between us, we launched an apparel brand from our basement. Using our engineering degrees we modified our own fabric; it is comfortable, wrinkle resistant, durable and can be sublimated to embed graphics into the fibers themselves. This unique fabric soon began garnering attention at events from external companies who wanted their logo on quality apparel. Recognizing an opportunity for a marketing agency which custom designs premium apparel; FlowState Marketing was born.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day looks like the following: I wake-up around 6-7am. I typically filter my emails replying to those i can respond to on my phone. Once I crank through those, I typically hit the gym for 30min-45min. Then depending on the day, I head into our office of 20+ talented individuals and meet with clients as well as employees. Most days are full of meetings and helping put together inbound orders that our clients send us as well as work with employees on their professional development & their orders.

How do you bring ideas to life?

This is the easy part of what we do. We have 5 amazing creatives that can take inspiration and feedback from our clients to design fruition. From there, we’re able to bring those designs to physical fruition; whether it be custom branded apparel or promo goods such as shirts or insulated water bottles, right through to websites and digital marketing.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Wearable tech is very exciting to me and we hope to be on the cutting edge of this in order to offer it to our clients when it is fully operational! For example, an activewear hoodie that has a graphene screen on the wrist that tells you how fast you’re running, or how many feet of vert you’ve mountain-biked down)!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I like to schedule out my whole day on my gmail calendar religiously. Whether it’s prospecting, working out, client meetings, employee meetings, I try to segment every portion of my day to efficiency and productivity.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Take chances and do not be afraid of failure, every failure is a learning lesson and one step closer to success. Those who don’t take risks disable themselves from growth.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I find the whole experience of taking off and landing in a plane to be very relaxing.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Think about how your business can improve its lifestyle, efficiency, communication, etc (I do this at least 3x per day). Never become complacent… EVERY company has room for improvement and constantly striving for this is what allows companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook to crush their respective market segments.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Bootstrapping and learning the value of a dollar, as well as our hard work & loving what you do. We started our first company (Belong Designs) for $800 and were able to put all profit back into the company. From that $800, we did $100K in online clothing sales in our first full year. We took $1000 from Belong Designs and invested it into FlowState Marketing. In year 1, we turned $528,000 and $2.1M in year 2. Its now year 3, and we’re projecting $4.3M. Those numbers may sound impressive, but my point is that they didn’t come easy and if you boiled down the 3 founders hourly rate over the past 3 years, it’d be under $5/hr Our strategy has always been to invest in our future; long hours and countless late nights with 2 of my best friends who love the business’ as much as I do and are willing to work hard on a shoestring budget.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We’ve failed so many times its not even funny… One of our biggest was learning that not all clothing is sized the same. We put in a Purchase Order for $10,000 worth of clothing (a ton of money to us at the time) and received an order back for Belong Designs that had the wrong sizing… It was a BIG mistake. However, we learnt that we always need to create cut sheets and specific dimensions for sizing as well as material specs. From that harsh learning lesson, we’ve been able to become one of the premier Branding Agencies in Denver.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

3D scanning software that scans everyone’s unique bodies, uploads it to amazon, or an alike selling platform, and matches you with the most likely brands to fit well based on your size preferences (Ie baggy, tight, just right, etc).

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Best $100 I recently spent was in Phillipines on vacation after a manufacturing trip in China. I was with my business partners and $100 was able to get us an island hopping tour, 5 star pizza, a couple of beers each, and one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Prosperworks, Asana & Teamwork have been incredible for us to stay motivated, organized, and efficient. Prosperworks is a great CRM that our sales team uses. Asana is a project management suite that our production team uses, while Teamwork is a project management suite that our digital team uses.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Simon Sinek “Start with Why“. Incredible book that delves into the hidden psychology behind how great businesses market and position themselves for success.

What is your favorite quote?

Entrepreneur: someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down”- Reid Hoffman, co-founder LinkedIN

Key learnings:

  • By structuring your day into meeting blocks and dedicating time to specific tasks you’ll be able more productive by limiting distractions and remaining focussed.
  • It’s important to take time out of the work scenario with your business partners to reconnect.
  • Never become complacent, every company has room for improvement.
  • Failure isn’t failure if you learn something from that experience.


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