Fred Walton is the founder of The Art of Being Freed, a publishing company that focuses on bringing imagination to life through illustrious designs and illustrations. With a unique sales background, Fred aka Freed has worked with some of the world's greatest sales leaders, including Grant Cardone.
Taking his unique experiences of working in sales, Fred has produced a comic called “Call Center”, which focuses on the life of a Call Center agent looking to make it to the top while dealing with the struggles of working in the corporate world versus pursuing a life of an entrepreneur.
In this interview with Startup Savant, Fred shares his experience working as a call center agent while having the tremendous need to break free. He also shares how he started his business, which was driven by passion to bring visuals to life while evoking emotions in the most exaggerated way!
Freddie's advice to anyone wanting to start a business:
The best place to start is right where you stand. There are so many resources around you. Find a minimum of 3 influencers who are playing the game at a high level in the field you want to play in, and follow their every move. Track what they’ve done and what they’re doing.
How did you get the idea for ‘The Art of Being Freed’? Is there something you wanted to do different or better than your competitors?
The Art of Being Freed is an entity that embraces individuality through creative forces. We strive to present an image that taps deep into one's imagination and brings these visuals to life in the most exaggerated way possible!
I never truly considered competition when I thought up The Art of Being Freed. I make it a goal not to compete with others. It's us vs. our potential.
What are your visions for your business? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?
What we create will impact the lives and imaginations of millions. To be a globally recognized artist is the absolute vision. When I started CallCenterTV (A cartoon based on my experiences in sales and working in call centers), our tagline was “Imagination Lives Here”.
As a child, I was exposed to art at a young age. I’ve always been fascinated by the ability to create. The Art of Being Freed strives to provide the type of art that evokes emotion upon viewing. Whether it be nostalgic or otherwise. We want to capture imaginations and move them toward the thought that you don't need to compete, just create!
Our ultimate vision is to reach the masses and leave a legacy. We strive to create memories for our viewers that are everlasting. With “Call Center”, we’d love to see this become a popular web toon with the ultimate goal of reaching network television (Netflix would be perfect!).
Did you have a hard time starting your business? How did you handle time and resources constraints?
The hardest part to starting the business was truly making the decision to start. I’d have these ideas in my head and would never really take action on them. I always conformed. I’d been pretty decent in the corporate world and liked the comfort, but hated the restraints of being me, being free. The transition from a salaried employee to running your own business, especially in the creative world, is a daunting task that requires absolute discipline and definiteness of decision.
Mastering the art of time management is always an ongoing exercise in discipline and growth. In order to be successful working on my business, it was critical for me to map out how I used my time. Initially, I’d wake up in the morning and map out my day. I did my best to map it out in blocks.
Then, I began to find it more effective to map out my days and even weeks ahead of time. Getting up before the sun has been crucial to making the business work. This method especially works for those who are still on the 9-5 W2 grind and are trying to get out. Control your day or it will control you!
What attitude/habits helped make you successful while starting ‘The Art of Being Freed’?
Each morning, I do my best to practice gratitude, writing down everything I’m thankful for. I aim to fill out a page of a large notebook. This allows me to get in a positive mindset. When I focus on what I do have, I don't covet what others have. I put what’s important first, while working toward my vision.
Did you write a business plan? If so, would you recommend using a template or planning software to help new entrepreneurs?
I took a shot at business plans a while back, when I opened my first business (a call center) and didn't take much action toward it. I found it better as I focused on a growth mindset to focus on an actual Action Plan. With that, I was able to take small steps each day toward finally launching my business.
What was your biggest business mistake and how did you come out stronger at the end of the day?
My biggest business mistake was waiting. Not taking action and just thinking “If I build it, they will come”. That vision of dropping a piece of content and then having it go viral was always something I thought would naturally happen.
Also, thinking I could do it all by myself was a big mistake. I made strides with what I was learning, but once I got around people who were playing the game at a higher level than myself, I was able to really advance forward and experience true progress.
What makes ‘The Art of Being Freed’ unique from others? How did you find your competitive advantage?
What makes “The Art of Being Freed” unique is our ability to combine visually stunning images with inspirational messaging. We’re able to really simplify our message while turning heads and capturing eyes at the same time. We strive to capture imaginations through our art!
How do you stay focused on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a key motivator that keeps you going and fighting the good fight?
Well, I’m a father first. I get up super early in the morning thankful for a chance to fight the good fight for my family. Even during those moments when you’re in the desert of despair, you still have to be thankful that you are here in the now with the ability to fight through the storm. Persistence keeps me going. Knowing that I’ll experience a defeat, but that its only temporary really gets me in that mindset to keep at it.
We’re huge believers of every entrepreneur keeping their business’ finances under control. How do you keep ‘The Art of Being Freed’ books in check?
We track everything, down to the penny. It all adds up! A lot of sacrifices had to be made throughout the process of getting the business up and running. I remember reading back in the day, livestock was currency. So, I think of money like sheep. What am I trading my sheep in for? Will it advance our goals or set us back? Everything we spend is carefully put into consideration.
It's similar to what I put into my body. I always think, will this cleanse me or clog me?
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in Arizona? Where should they start?
The best place to start is right where you stand. A book I recommend is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. You’ll be tested but once you make the decision to start, do it and don't wait!
There are so many resources around you. I would find a minimum of 3 influencers who are playing the game at a high level in the field you want to play in, and follow their every move.
Track what they’ve done and what they’re doing. There is a wealth of knowledge online, so limit yourself to no more than 5 resources at a time to prevent being overwhelmed.