The intern asked me,“What’s your best career advice?”

“Ask yourself frequently,” I replied, “what work am I advancing right now that I’m willing to bet my job on. If you don’t have a good answer, you’re working on the wrong stuff.”

I connect consumers to brands. However, I approach it as a business portfolio question, not a marketing activity.

I believe you should build profit driving business models that also deeply connect your brand to your present and future customer base- creating a stronger more diversified business.

Let’s say you’re a rising chef, instead of merely running campaign ads about your restaurant, let’s start a foodie-focused travel company. One that focuses on the regions that inspire your cuisine. Together we will build a new business that will create a rockstar halo around you and your restaurant, generate exciting new forms of media attention, bring in partners that add value and deliver new customers, tap into an amazing content creation platform, and generate profits in the process.

How I Work

Executive for Hire | Advisor | Mentor

My working models flex to best meet the unique needs of this moment in your growth trajectory.

I bring with me, as needed, a proven network of supporting agencies, creatives, thinkers, and doers- creating a project engagement that is tailored to your specific need and budget.

Executive for Hire

I bring an enormous depth of experience to the opportunities you face in your business. I’ve led large established enterprises to small start-ups, both have strengths and advantages that can be brought to bare when addressing a business issue. My unique experience allows me to see opportunities, or just outright problems, from a variety off perspectives. I can then draw on the most relevant and helpful experiences to accelerate your strategic process and push initiatives forward.

Experiential brand engagement can come in many forms. Every business need is different and my diverse background allows me to treat them that way. What makes me unique in the branding and consumer engagement spaces is my executive leadership and general management background. I promise innovative concepts, but more importantly, ones that are feasible and practical to execute. My goal is to benefit your business holistically, not just in a single vertical function.

Based on the needs of the engagement, you will have a specific amount of my time dedicated to your business. I prefer to work as a member of the team, not an outside consultant, though that isn’t always necessary.

Examples of companies I’ve worked with:

  • Snow Peak Japan

  • Moment Travel

  • CVS Pharmacy


I’ve advised companies on single initiatives and serve as a long-term advisor to several businesses’ leadership and/or board of directors.

I will help cement your strategies around an initiative and put the infrastructure in place to ensure success. My strategic leadership will get you from a white sheet of paper to formed concepts and objectives. My experience comes into play as we encounter adversity or obstacles along the path.

I advise start-ups on general business strategy and growth tactics, as well as operations in the later stages. Early stage companies are a passion of mine and I work as an advisor with several accelerators in the Pacific Northwest.

I also advise private equity and venture firms on consumer and industry trends to better inform decisions on acquisition and investment opportunities.

Examples of companies I’ve worked with:

  • Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)

  • The Outbound Collective

  • Gerson Lehrman Group

  • RuffWear


I’ll sit down with any young entrepreneur for the price of a cup of coffee. I feed off the enthusiasm and optimism they bring into the world. Occasionally, you meet one that just might change the world.

I also help leaders transition into larger more impactful roles as their company grows or they grow within the company.

I’m definetly not a Life Coach. I can however, share 25 years of experience and help you think through the big challenges you face when developing a team and growing your business.

Examples of people and organizations I’ve worked with:

  • Joe’s Chocolate

  • Seattle Strong Coffee and Cold Brew

  • Bend Outdoor Worx Incubator Alumni

  • Jones+Foster Accelerator

  • University of Washington Center for Entrepreneurship

See some of my work.

copyright © John Sheppard, LLC. 2017-2019