Apr 10, 2022
In Kick Flips
How Contently co-founder Shane Snow built a content empire to get back into freelance writing. The small town in Idaho isn't exactly a hotbed of entrepreneurship. That didn't hold Shane Snow back. As "one of the few truly nerdy people" who grew up in his small town in Idaho, Snow first forayed into the world of internet startups as a teenager. These early experiences laid the foundation for a lifelong fascination with entrepreneurship, which led to the 2010 founding of content marketing giant Contently. Not only is Contently the only unified content marketing platform for the world's biggest enterprise brands, but it's also a tremendous source of income for freelance creatives. By Snow's best estimate, Contently has paid out over $46 million (and counting) to freelancers around the world. Offering work to freelancers is a cause close to his heart, since he started his own career as a freelance journalist. Now, even as Contently continues to employee email database grow, Snow has made the unusual decision to return to his writing roots. He took a step back from the business to which he devoted the last eight years of his life. Now the overall founder of Contently, Snow has once again turned to writing. He is the author of Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking , co-author of The Storytelling Edge , and author of the new book Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart . "This job I'm doing now...it's kind of a weird cross between self-employment and unemployment," Snow says. “This cycle of going from [being] alone to this huge journey with hundreds of employees and all these users back to being alone. …I came back a bit to my starting point, but I learned a lot. It's almost like a hero's journey in a way. Here's how Shane Snow caught up and got over the entrepreneurial bump to rediscover himself on the other side. A story of two passions From a young age, Snow pursued two main passions: journalism and entrepreneurship. As a teenager in a small town, Snow started a greeting card site in the early days of the internet. He made enough money in high school for his parents to notice, but not in a good way. They had him shut down the website for legal reasons and because they wanted Snow to learn the value of hard work instead of getting rich quick. So Snow took a job with the local gas company and his parents' plans quickly backfired. A brief stint digging trenches, spray painting gas meters and “doing this horrible manual labor” only furthered Snow's interest in entrepreneurship.