2015 has been a great year. Every day I’m grateful. In turn, here at LouderWithCrowder.com we’ve been able to bless others. Not only you, the reader/viewer/listener with free content, but the team of people who I now gainfully employ. Yes, we are now officially part of the “evil 1%” with a grand total of four employees. You may not know them, but I’d like for you to meet them.
My first full-time hire. You know him as “Not Gay Jared” on the radio show/podcast, my in-house producer. He’s the one who shoots, edits and produces my videos along with assisting in radio production for the “Louder With Crowder” program. Before coming to work with me full-time, he was an incredible, untapped talent pushing a salt-truck in the dead of midwestern winter. When I offered him a meager salary, only guaranteed for a couple months to help me launch this site full-time, he immediately quit his job and went to work. It’s a risk not many people would take, and one for which I’m forever grateful. Month-over-month, I’ve increased his salary as possible to the point that he’s now earning approximately triple what he was last January. He still deserves more, and hopefully we can make that happen. Sometimes he frustrates me so badly that I want to murder a small animal, as he can be less then perfectly organized. But the frustration only stems from the fact that I don’t think he even understands his true potential. When in his wheelhouse, the kid is brilliant. Brilliant.
If you listen to the radio show/program, you’re likely familiar with Courtney’s soothing voice. Dry, deadpan but unbelievably passionate behind the scenes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a harder worker. She’s the most recent hire here at LwC, but she’s become the glue that holds the site together. She writes many an original column. When I can’t write-up a piece or make the proper edits, she steps in. When I have an idea for a column but can’t get to a computer, she frames it and we co-write together. She’s not only able to “play with the boys,” she’s flat out better than. She’s simply the best writer I’ve ever met (yes, that includes all of the award-winning, syndicated columnists I’ve hosted on my program), and walking proof that women can be funny.
John Brodigan, affectionally (albeit offensively) referred to as “McBrodie”, you’ve heard him on the show multiple times. Arguably the most mysterious man I know. To be honest, I rarely deal with McBrodie on a personal level. Not because he’s a part-timer, but because he is so steady in his workflow, I never even need to check in. McBrodie assists not only with writing, but he’s the single best pitch-man on the internet. I don’t mean “kind of,” I mean emphatically, number one with a bullet. I know, that without fail, when I wake up in the morning, McBrodie has combed the web to assist in finding stories/inspiration for us to write about. Even on mornings where I know for a fact that he’s hungover, it changes his output precisely zero. He is so reliable in fact, it’s almost boring. The dude’s a rock, and he rocks an awesome beard.
Krystal was the first intern I ever had. As I decided to work for myself and start LouderWithCrowder.com, I simply needed some interns to aggregate all of my previous content and make it searchable on the site. Hundreds of videos, columns and posts that were spread across the web needed to be brought under one roof before I could do anything else. I hired a handful of interns to do the job. Instead, Krystal did it herself. Within one weekend. Just because she could. I told her that I couldn’t pay her what she was worth, but I could pay her as much as I could. She took the job and assisted in getting us off the ground for the very first few months, even booking marquee-name guests for me on the show. I’ve grown to love her as a sister. She’s since taken a job managing a radio station out west (of which I was unhappy but understood) and is no longer with the team, but she knows that as we grow, the door is always open and that we miss her already.
Yep, my brother. Unlike other members here, he’s very much a part-timer. He’s so busy with other film-projects, there wouldn’t be any other way for him to work with me. But as an award-winning filmmaker, Jordan helps polish up production for us both in audio and video. More importantly, many of the regular characters you hear in rotation on the podcast are performed by Jordan himself. Most of you had no clue, but now you know.
My faithful steed. Even though I leave him unbothered, allowing him to sleep in, he makes his way into the studio by 5:00AM every Friday morning to assist in production of LwC, ensuring not only smoothness of operation, but that squirrels never find their way into the studio. Outside of my wife and pops, truly the best friend I’ve ever had.
All of these people have been as much of a blessing to me as I hope I’ve been to them. More importantly, all of them took a chance on this site, and still do, when few others are willing to take the risk. Some have even been offered more money by other “Conservative” sites (you know, the ones that simply plagiarize in the name of “hat-tipping”) in an attempt to poach them and steal the momentum we’ve generated. Heck, some of these sites have plagiarized LouderWithCrowder.com directly, simply to prove to us that we can either work for them, or they can profit from our content regardless. I don’t blame those sites, and I wouldn’t blame any of my team-members for taking the job.
But they never have. Like I’ve said, I try to pay my team as much as possible, but I know it’ll never be what they’re worth. I also have no doubt that every single person listed above is going to be immeasurably successful in life, whether it’s with continued growth at LwC, or they venture off on their own. Not just because of their work, but because of their willingness to take risks, and above all else… their character.
Happy New Year!