A shared love for dogs & watches helped discover this windy city Adventurer & Planner

Editor’s Note: This is the third in an eleven-part blog series sharing some behind-the-scenes moments with each of the profiles in the book, Dare Mighty Things: A Field Guide for Millennial Entrepreneurs!

I first learned of Chase Fancher and the Oak & Oscar Watch Co. because of our shared love for dogs and timepieces. Just about two years ago, I landed on his website while sitting on my couch looking for a way to pay tribute to our dog Carter, who had recently left us after more than 15 years of companionship. Because I use watches to commemorate important events, I was looking for a new one, and Chase’s site caught my eye with these words: 

Chase has always had a soft spot for dogs - heck, his first word was his dog's name!  The furry beasts are so important to him that he's dedicated a portion of his profits to One Tail at a Time, a local Chicago rescue group dedicated to dogs in need.”

With that, I placed an order for my first Oak & Oscar watch, The Burnham. Several weeks later I found myself in downtown Chicago with a group of like-minded watch fans, attending the inaugural event to distribute The Burnham to those who were adventurous enough to pre-order, sight unseen, and from a first time watchmaker.  I was wearing an amazing new watch, holding a bourbon and chatting with this incredibly interesting guy who had just quit his job to become a watchmaker.

  The Jackson is the third edition of Oak & Oscar series is now available!

The Jackson is the third edition of Oak & Oscar series is now available!

Today, when I’m asked to speak about what millennial entrepreneurs can do in today’s world, I love highlighting Chase’s story as a perfect example of someone who discovered his passion to living his dream. Here’s a guy who was well on his way to a lucrative real estate career, earning regular promotions, but kept finding himself doodling watch faces in the margins of his notebooks. Chase was a regular guy committed to daring a bit more, and making no little plans!

As it relates to the book, Dare Mighty Things: A Field Guide for Millennial Entrepreneurs, Chase holds a very special place in my heart.  You see, Chase’s story continued to resonate with me years after our first meeting.  Eventually, I realized this was a story that others might also appreciate.  He became the first interview.  In fact, he was the test interview.

Inside the field guide you’ll read how Chase and I met inside a fancy eatery in New York City. Chase was in the process of promoting the release of his second watch, The Sandford, and I was in the process of figuring out if I could weave together a book from a series of interviews. I was nervous as hell.  I was convinced Chase was going to see me for the fraud I feared I was, toss a beer in my face and storm out.  Instead, the conversation led to the chapter which led to the publisher which led to the green light for the book.  So, yeah Chase has earned a very unique spot.

We had a great chat that evening. We shared stories, drank beer and I listened to him tell me again how he put his plan in place over the course of five years.  The thing I remember most about the interview, was realizing how extensive the research and planning were that went into his business.  I was surprised and impressed by the deliberate process that went alongside the willingness to take a risk.  It was during this interview that the concept of the personas appeared and I realized they were the key to interpreting the interviews in the book. But, you really need to read the whole story on Chase to get the full picture.  

This past weekend, I purchased my third Oak & Oscar limited edition watch – The Jackson. Instead of keeping this one for my collection, I’m giving it away to a lucky book buyer who seeks to Dare Mighty Things like Chase and I.  

Starting today, through October 30, 2017, if you order a copy of Dare Mighty Things from www.tm-smith.com. When you do, be sure to enter the code: JACKSON when checking out.  Each book purchased will earn one entry in a raffle to win this amazing, limited edition, third installment from Oak & Oscar.  

On October 31, 2017, I’ll pick one lucky person to receive this amazing watch for you to wear as a tangible, daily reminder to dare mighty things and achieve your own entrepreneurial dream.  

If you just can’t wait or you don’t like the odds, I’m sure that Chase will be glad to take a preorder on his site. (oak and oscar website).  The first two editions of the Oak & Oscar watches have sold out, and I have no doubt this one will sell out as well, which demonstrates the accomplishments Chase has made over the past five years.

Put in the code PINKBIKE when you order it so he knows you’re a fellow daredevil!

PS: Today I proudly wear my Burnham in memory of Carter, but Colleen and I have since brought a new companion into our house. Below is Max, the adopted/rescued black lab who helps us stay on our toes.


I’m Inspired by an LA native, who speaks the Detroit Made talk and walks the ‘Dare Mighty Things’ walk!

Editor’s Note: This is the second in an eleven-part blog series sharing some behind-the-scenes moments with each of the profiles from, Dare Mighty Things: A Field Guide for Millennial Entrepreneurs!

When I first met Sekou Andrews, he was speaking in Atlanta. I traveled there to specifically watch him perform and chat him up. Experiencing him on stage for the first time that day, he blew my mind with his performance and his unique style. But he also impressed me afterward during our two-hour long conversation in the hotel lobby with his perspective and adventurer attitude.

 Sekou stands on stage  outside Little Caesars Arena, inspiring the audience with an inspiring Detroit Made message!

Sekou stands on stage  outside Little Caesars Arena, inspiring the audience with an inspiring Detroit Made message!

The second meeting with Sekou was just last week when he walked on stage with an inspiring performance at the ribbon cutting for the brand new Little Caesars Arena. Again, he and I spoke afterward and I continue to be amazed and inspired by both his story and his ability to really be a rulebreaker and by reinventing an entire speaking category.

Watching Sekou perform in front of a Detroit audience was a great reminder on how “Dare Mighty Things” serves as a touch-point for all things that appear to be impossible on the surface, but are almost always possible with the right attitude. When naysayers claim a goal can’t be achieved, I point to the Teddy Roosevelt quote and remind them that it’s only impossible if they believe it is. For those select few who are willing to dare — the impossible can, and does, happen! (As a personal note, it often seems that Detroiters are much more likely to embrace the DMT concept.)

This realization hit me hard as I listened to Sekou during the ceremony and his words struck a chord. Sekou was not born or raised in Detroit. He spent most of his time growing up and attending school near Los Angeles. After college he worked as a law clerk, a high school teacher and a part-time wanna-be rapper before he found his footing as a spoken-word performance artist. What became very clear to me is that he understands the Detroit attitude, and last week he embodied the spirit of a Detroiter. He spoke about the risktakers, rulebreakers and visionaries who were responsible for making the Detroit resurgence possible. Spending plenty of time highlighting one of our cities’ most courageous DMT’ers — Mike Ilitch.

Part of his performance included the line:

“I find myself inspired by your city, even when this is not the city a person calls home fighting for what we all love … it’s in that space where we find our oneness….. You heard the words: It was not supposed to be possible. But here in Detroit, you all made it possible.”

Sekou mesmerized the audience with his message of hope and pride that should resonate with the Detroiter in all of us. In just about 15 minutes, Sekou captured the spirit of Mr. I his love for Detroit, and the original DMT attitude he has demonstrated since the 1950’s. Sekou also reminded us that inclusion beats exclusion. Love beats hate. Tolerance beats bias.

As I sat there, I found myself irrationally swelling with pride that I might have had even a small part in helping bring this talented man to Detroit. After the event, as I chatted with him near the stage, he commented on how visiting here helped him better understand how a Detroiter might be motivated to write a book about risk-takers and daredevils and rulebreakers — because the city was clearly build on the backs of those types of people. People with last names like Ilitch and Gilbert and Pasky. But also, names like Scott and Clark and Price and Vermiglio. Yesterday’s risk-takers like Parks and Gordy Jr., and new thinkers like O’Dell & Hoff from Floyd’s.

Yes, sir! This is Detroit and these are people — from yesterday, today and tomorrow — who know the meaning of Dare Mighty Things!


You can read more about Sekou and risk-takers just like him, including plenty from Detroit in my book: Dare Mighty Things: A Field Guide for Millennial Entrepreneurs. And if you hit the buy button and use the code PINKBIKE you will get a bonus surprise!