How one single dad built a business and a life that changed his whole family tree

Major news about the entrepreneur retreat center


All Teevee ever wanted was to raise his daughters to KNOW their worth, their gifts, their voices. 

It wasn’t the upbringing he’d had. But he was determined to make his branch in the family tree one that reached for the sun. 

But at the moment, it wasn’t going so great. He’d gotten divorced, had a small exit from an info marketing business (one we jokingly call Magic Tricks to Pick Up Chicks - it was early in the PUA niche), also exited a blossoming career in grocery store management, and then… 

Well, times had gotten tough. The kind of tough where you move back home, pay your parents $100 a month to live and do freelance work in their garage, and eat ramen… on a “today we’re eating” day. The kind of tough where your crying mom begs you to stop this silliness and just go get a job.

It wasn’t a bitter life. 

The times he had with his young daughters were everything to him. 

Parenting is such a strange thing. It’s been said that the days are slow and the decades are fast. If you want to make the parent of a grown kid cry, just send them this poem:

The Last Time Poem

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …

There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

(Sheesh, that gets me Every. Single. Time.)

For most parents, that sucker’s a brutal heart-stab. Oh, the things we would have done differently. If we’d only known. No, believed the truth - that our days with our little children are precious. Fleeting. Tragically irretrievable.

But not for Teevee.

He knew. He knew and believed. And he put everything - everything, everything - on the line to be the kind of father who’d never shed a single tear of regret for not making the most of his time with them. Teevee is Intentional (that capital I isn’t a typo).

What he did next changed everything. It started by heading out of Dallas, turning right on Rt. 30, and driving until he hit the woods.

In this week’s edition of Entrepreneurs Gone Wild, I am incredibly proud and honored to introduce you to my friend Teevee Aguirre. Today marks the 15 year anniversary of the day his entrepreneur journey began. It’s also possibly the 14 year anniversary of the first time I interviewed him. What follows is the kind of story that’ll hit you in the heart and add steely resolve to your own dreams. 

I’ve also got big news to share about Idyllwild Woods Retreat Center.

But first…

Watch as two email pros debunk the myth of slow perfection, sharing secrets that tweaked templates into gold mines. It's fast, it's furious, it' crafting? Greg and Ben share exactly how they write money-making emails FAST. Click, learn, conquer. 

Now, where were we?

Dallas, Texas. It’s hot and humid. 110 in the shade. Same in Teevee’s beater. Not so bad with the windows down, a must, since his air conditioner is non-op.

It’s his weekend with the girls. He went to bed hungry some nights this week so he could feed them. 

They’re driving, windows down, singing their hearts out, telling stories. His radio, also non-op. The road noise was something else. But Teevee knew something that would have had him rolling those windows down even if his A/C was ice cold. He knew his daughters would one day grow up and be out in the world themselves. A noisy world. A world in which they’d have a huge advantage if they could find, own, and use their voices. These air-cooled car rides gave them space to practice making themselves heard.

Teevee knew how many days he’d have them under his roof. How many weekends. How many summers. Never enough, but they’d have to be. Somehow.

They talked about everything. The kind of conversations where, as an observer with kids a few years older, I was like, “Ahh. That’s brilliant. Man, I wish I’d watched this conversation play out years ago. This is exactly how I would love to have done it.” (You’ve got people like that in your life, right? The kind who awe you with their peopling and parenting skills.)

Teevee got them into spoken word poetry. They wrote. They danced. They learned improv and public speaking. Teevee taught them about NLP. He served as PTA president. Turned them loose with art supplies and let them create with him (he’s an extremely talented artist). These girls, out of anyone else on the planet, would own their voices.

He started this while he was broke as a joke. Not a funny one.

His intention was to leave his daughters with no doubt that they were loved, worthy, and capable of creating a fulfilling life they love. He knew he could just

say the word and get multiple offers to come run grocery stores all over Dallas. But the grocery business demands long, long hours - hours that would cut into his precious time with his girls.

Plus, he’d caught the entrepreneurial bug. He believed the promises of time freedom, financial freedom. If he built his own thing, he’d have more to invest in his daughters.

That’s why Teevee headed into the woods.


Way back in 2010, the online business world was different, smaller, harder in some ways and easier in others. Information and affiliate marketing were the thing. Make a course, sell other people’s courses, that was the gist of things. (You have no idea how hard it was to even do something simple like accept a customer’s payment back then!) 

Kevin Wilke of Nitro Marketing was doing big things to help entrepreneurs build something epic from scratch. He held a series of in-person events that walked new online entrepreneurs through their startup. Find a niche. Build a site. Sell a course, maybe be an affiliate for other courses and products. It was a business model that was pretty new at the time. 

Kevin realized something about his student base. We had some mental trash that needed taking out. 

So, he made an event. Out in the woods somewhere in East Texas. 

25 of us attended the very first Journey event. 25 lives were changed forever. Well, that and the team who ran the event.

We did amazing feats of daring-do. Walked on fire. Walked on broken glass. Broke wooden arrows with the soft flesh of our throats. Rode horses. Rode mountain bikes. Flew through the air on a high ropes course. 

And those were the easy parts.

They were physical. The human body will usually cooperate with crazy demands like we made during that retreat. It’s the mind and the heart that squawk the loudest as all the crap therein gets stirred up and exposed.

Chief Robert TallTree and his beautiful bride Terri did a segment that revealed why, when asked to rate your life and happiness from 1-10, most people will give a number between 6-8. (There are tribal norms that seem dangerous to stray from in either direction.)

Another guy (who actually drove us all crazy because he would not STFU while we were processing the very ideas he’d presented) ran us through an exercise where we arrived at our “soul purpose” - just a couple of words that describe exactly what we’re about. (Mine was “connect with passion.”)

We journaled. We cried. We competed as teams. We coached and challenged each other. There were hugs. There was yoga. There was a lot of walking around the lake, walking through the woods, sitting alone and contemplating. We did battle with our mental crap. That stuff makes you hungry… we ate well.

The physical challenges were relentless. We had no idea what would happen next. Each one gave us the opportunity to have a visceral experience that would be seared on our hearts. We’d go from, “Oh man, there is no way I can do this” to “Hmph. How ‘bout that? I did it.”

For Teevee, the biggest dragon waiting to be slain was imposter syndrome. His team was calling him into a leadership role, but he’d been hesitant. “Who am I to…?” Well, who hasn’t asked that question before? On a retreat, people have time to help each other process.

He can point to a conversation that opened a whole new level in life. Ellis Hackler (RIP), a leader of men in ministry, revealed his own journey of stepping into life as a leader. Years into his path, with multiple degrees under his belt, Ellis confessed he still felt like an imposter. (Note: I may have somewhat ungently called Teevee to cut the crap and step into his own freaking greatness for Pete’s sake.)

This was the missing piece for Teevee. He did battle, cried, maybe even barfed a little. But by the end, he was ready to take his place in the world, to take his place as a servant leader, to stand with a whole new boldness.

He took that stuff home with him. See, unlike going to a motivational talk (is that even still a thing?) this experience changed us for good. 

When he got back to Dallas, Teevee focused on a business model that was new at the time: local business marketing. (In fact, Nitro Marketing was the first training company that taught how to do this stuff. People called Kevin the Godfather of Local Marketing.)

This is where it all came together.

Teevee became highly skilled at running Facebook and Google ads for local businesses. He specialized in a legal niche. Dude got results. 

All the skills he’d learned: design, SEO, PPC, speaking, improv, even dancing - he combined them all, and they pushed him to the top of the food chain. Word spread. Clients knocked down his door. They pay him well.

Meanwhile, his girls grew. They did well at school, but the real learning was what they picked up during their time with their dad. 

One thing he’s taught them - by example, of course - is the power of being outdoors. As busy as he is, he makes a point of heading outside and down the street a spell to his local park. There’s a little cove by the creek, a shady and quiet spot. There, he takes his shoes off and plants his bare feet in the grass to feel the tingle that comes with grounding. No phone. No talking. Just being, thinking, letting his creative mind romp a little.

And now… 

Teevee’s found the love of his life, Carla. They dance and travel and love the life they’re building. One daughter’s off at college. The other made him an abuelo - and moved into the same beautiful highrise where Teevee lives. Because she wanted to be near her dad, wanted his grandson to know him.

In keeping with being Intentional, now

Teevee’s writing, drawing, and shooting videos especially for this grandbaby and any others who come along later. He wants these babies to know him, hear his stories, learn his lessons. His grandkids will know their moms weren’t making stuff up - their dad was really like this: a dad who forever changed this branch of their family tree. Maybe they’ll dance. Maybe they’ll draw or act or write. But for sure, they will know their grandfather loved them with all he’s got.

If you love Teevee’s story, you’ll really love his podcast and his blog. I do, too.


EEEEEEEEE! It’s happening!!!!

This week, after nearly a year on the market, we finally got a good offer on our house (and accompanying 6,000 sq. ft. shop space - a killer man cave). 

We’re scheduled to close fast - March 29th. (Thankfully, we’ve been packing all along.) Typing that is still surreal.

As soon as we leave the closing, we’ll drive ourselves, four dogs, and two cats up to the beautiful 35-acre property where the retreat center will be.

Right now, there’s just a barn. 

Our plan is to buy a used camper (boy, would an old Airstream be cool!) and move ourselves in - the barn will house all our stuff and construction equipment and supplies. 

Still sorting out an order of operations, but here’s a list of cool stuff we’ll do there:

  • Plant the gardens (when you come visit, you can get your hands dirty if you’d like - and enjoy fresh fruit, veggies, and flowers)

  • Forest management (there are some trees that need to come out to help prevent forest fires)

  • Saw milling stuff (we’ll eventually make decking and furniture once the wood cures)

  • Deck building (later we’ll aim to put in fancy guest accommodations - geodesic domes is my plan right now… but first, we’ll have tents)

  • Off-grid stuff (hubby’s engineer mind has spent the past year figuring out things I don’t really understand yet… except this one: wood fired hot tub!)

  • Have I mentioned alpacas and highland cows? 

Some of you have said you’d like to learn stuff like this. Many others have said they’d love to be some of the first to come for a (rustic) retreat. 

It’s happening. Stay tuned for updates and invites. 

Right here, I want to again publicly thank the amazing angel investors who saw this dream hatch two years ago and helped us get this far. Angel is the absolute correct word.

I cannot wait for some campfire time with you.


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