Action vs. Inaction | Launch That Podcast!

Launch Wagon

Very excited to announce the launch of the Startup Soirée Podcast! We've had this project in the works for a few months and I'm excited to say that it's finally come to fruition. We did a soft-launch a few weeks ago so we could test the waters and make sure we understood how things were working and so far we've had a pretty great response.

The Startup Soirée Podcast will be waiting for you every Monday morning; eager to bring you the most awesome founder chats this side of Kentucky. The format for our podcast is short and sweet; a one-on-one stream of Q&A's by a founder (yours truly) to a founder (maybe you?) with the sole purpose of capturing a snap-shot of what makes us tick. tick. tick. 


We've predicated the entire concept of Startup Soirée on the understanding that we as founders deal in a secret language; one that is expressed and articulated by challenges unique to our set. At Pixilated we meet with amazing business owners everyday and it's always the best part of my day. Those conversations are inspiring, re-affirming and fun and that's exactly what we're aiming to bring you with the Startup Soirée Podcast.


Who the Hell is Whom?

The first three SoiréeCasts (as I like to call 'em) were guested by three diverse founders from our Baltimore community so when you head over to the iTunes store and SUBSCRIBE you're gonna have three excellent episodes waiting for you. Then you'll have something to binge on. Your welcome! Wait, you wanna know whom? Ok, ok, ok.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 001 | Marc DeLeonibus | QuotePie

Marc DeLeonibus is the Founder and CEO of QuotePie and a Graduate of the Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business B.S. Finance. Before starting QuotePie in December 2013 he spent over 4.5 years in the commercial insurance industry on the broker side.  During that time Marc realized that the process that a business has to go through to buy insurance for their business was terribly inefficient and confusing. Marc knew that this process could be drastically improved, and that is how QuotePie came to be.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 002 | Lee Morton | Clickspark | Mozell

Owner and Chief Storyteller at Clickspark & Mozell. Winner of international competitions, featured expert in Baltimore Bride magazine, and awarded #1 wedding cinematographer in the DC/MD/VA market. Regularly speaks at local colleges and universities. Leads a passionate and collaborative team of 4 associate cinematographers and editors. Dreamer and creative at heart inspired by family, strong coffee, and great stories.

Startup Soirée Podcast Episode No. 003 | Max Sobol | Idea Evolver

Max is "Passionate about startups: getting them built, staffed, supported, optimized, growing and then some. He is a twenty year industry veteran and progressive thinker with extensive experience leading Internet technology companies from startup mode to more efficient and profitable operations.”


Show Notes, Extras and Add-Ons

Alright homies, you get the idea, here are the rest of the details. You can SUBSCRIBE to our podcast currently in the iTunes store or by using that fresh little Podcast app Apple graciously places amongst your IOS devices out there. We'll also be live on Stitcher, BB and the other major Podcasting platforms soon. 


You can also find a secondary blog on that our podcasts will publish to called, wait for it, wait for it, Podcast! There you'll also be able to check out any show notes or cool tools we refer to in each episode as well as all of the pertinent contact info for our wicked awesome guests.

SUBSCRIBE, Don't Make Me Yell!

When you SUBSCRIBE you do a ton for our efforts when you take a moment to go and leave us a REVIEW you make a unicorn smile, a baby laugh and the stars twinkle. How's that for ROI? No seriously, if you like what you hear let us know!. If you have questions you want asked, let us know! If you wanna get on this thang and chat, you get it right?

Alright folks, until next time...

Follow me @PatrickRife for Info, Hugs and PhotoBooths...




Next month, my business partner and I will be celebrating a huge milestone in our business. In February of last year, we both left our corporate jobs to pursue our passion to build an event management company full time as entrepreneurs.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost an entire year already. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how I felt this time last year. Feelings of excitement, anxiousness, and enthusiasm were constantly running through me. Although most of my emotions were positive, I remember being a little scared of the unknown – which I laugh about now because that never really stops.


As an Event Planner I’m constantly told that I’m extremely Type A. I always have a plan A, B, and C for everything and rarely do I fly by the seat of my pants without thoroughly thinking things through. When you’re an entrepreneur you absolutely should have a plan, but it’s important to know that things are going to change…a lot.

Taking the leap from corporate employee to entrepreneur is no easy feat. It takes a lot of self-awareness, dedication and hustle to succeed.


Over this past year I have learned many, many lessons as a businesswoman and as a person that I wish I would have known as I was starting out.  Here are some of them from me to you:



Entrepreneurs are very passionate people. We love what we do and it shows in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to always have “why you started” at the forefront of your mind.

There are going to be times when you are scared, or you are unsure of what to do, or you’re insanely frustrated…that’s OK! No one said it was going to be easy. And if it was, everyone would work for themselves.


I didn’t start out as an entrepreneur right away. I worked in Corporate America straight out of college for several years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I learned SO much working for a large company. I gained insight on what it was like to run a successful company. I learned what to do and what not to do, which I’m very thankful for.

When I first entered the startup community in Baltimore, I was afraid of coming off as too corporate. But now this is something I embrace. It is important to me to have a certain level of professionalism and it has ultimately helped our business grow.


I knew working for myself was not going to be a walk in the park. Growing up, I saw my parents busting their asses running their own businesses. This is something I always admired in them.

The fact is you need to be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life. You are building something from fabulous; it’s going to take time and lots of elbow grease.

If you thought entrepreneurship was going to fit inside a typical “9-5” schedule, you’re wrong. The hours will be long, the work will be tough, you may miss out on some social events with friends from time to time, but it will all be worth it.



Even the best business leaders seek guidance. All entrepreneurs should at some point seek out a business mentor. It’s important to have someone who can provide first hand experience and knowledge and act as a true sounding board while you’re building your business.

I’m so fortunate to have many mentors in my life. I value their opinions and seek out their advice and guidance and it’s been a true eye-opening experience. You aren’t going to know everything starting out.


I realized that over the past year I cannot and will not become a great leader in my company and community with out the ability to empower others. Whether it’s a peer, an employee, an industry partner, or an intern make sure you take time to help others reach their goals and grow. We will all benefit from this.

FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 



What Motivates All Entrepreneurs

Have you ever been woken up by your alarm, and all you wanted to do was hit the snooze button and take the day off? Have you ever had a meeting scheduled that you wanted to just blow off? Or have you had a huge project that you let sit untouched until it was too late?


We’ve all been there at some point in our professional lives right? No matter how you label it – whether it is procrastination, laziness or downright exhaustion…entrepreneurs don’t have time for that.

Luckily for us, we as entrepreneurs all possess a special phenomenon deep inside that keeps us going. A feeling that continuously feeds our passion from within and fuels the drive to accomplish our goals each and everyday.

This beautiful thing is called intrinsic motivation.


When my business partner and I first started our event management company, many people thought we were crazy and were pretty vocal about it too. We were often asked how we were going to make it on our own and how could we leave Corporate America; giving up a consistent paycheck with benefits. 

I always thought it was interesting that everyone seemed so concerned about our financial security. They didn’t seem to understand what was truly driving us to go follow our passion.


We all have things that motivate us throughout life. Some are motivated by money, some are motivated by gratification and approval from others, some are motivated by power, and the list goes on and on.



I absolutely love what I do for a living. I get up every morning excited for new challenges, eager to meet new people and continuously find ways to build my business. Wanting to produce great work and to help people is what motivates me.

A lot of people ask me “Why did you name your company Intrinsic Events?”

It’s simple.

My business partner and I follow a simple belief that motivation from within produces extraordinary results and success. We also believe and agree with entrepreneur extraordinaire Steve Jobs, that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”


Since going off on my own as an entrepreneur, I have had the privilege to meet so many inspirational business owners. I’m always so wowed by the level of intelligence, extreme drive and amount of passion each one possesses.

Every entrepreneur is different in the sense of what he or she brings to the table and how they go about running their own business. But the one common link we as entrepreneurs all have, is that we love what we do and are passionate about our work.


I’ve said it before; starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears but if you are intrinsically motivated from within I promise it will evolve much easier.

Don’t worry about the money, the fame, and the power that comes from owning a successful business. Never lose site on why you started in the first place. Focus on that passion that led you to where you are now and the rest will fall into place naturally.

FOLLOW ME @intrinsicrach and Intrinsic Events @IntrinsicEvents 


Blood, Sweat and Tears

Nicolas China

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Startup On A Shoestring - Part 2 of 6

For your startup business to survive, you need to give it everything you’ve got.  Let me reiterate… Everything. You've. Got.

My first and most important tip in 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget is:  “Pour blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Starting a business can be daunting and isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you can muster up the courage to dive in to entrepreneurship, you’d better do so head first! And if you’re bootstrapping, you’re business will not survive without blood, sweat and tears.

Blood is thicker than water.

Your support system is integral throughout the life of your business, but it’s completely essential for survival in the early stages of launching your business. Whether it’s your family or a tight-knit group of friends, make sure everyone is on board.

Let them know your goals. Talk about your aspirations and ideas. The people who love you are the ones who will support you. They’ll have your back through thick and thin. These people want you to succeed as much as you do (or in my Mom’s case, even more!)


Most importantly, your close friends and family will give you a sounding board. So if you have a strong support system in place already, heed their advice! It will help you “see the forest for the trees”.

No goal was ever met without a little sweat.

This one seems a little obvious, but I’ll say it nonetheless. Without action and effort, nothing will happen! Acting with a purpose and giving your business 100% effort all the time is not easy, but it is crucial. 

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”

Not only will constant action and effort propel your startup, you’ll also find that you’ll gain irreplaceable experience along the way. Learn the game, practice the game, and then master the game. Never quit.

A tear is made up of 1% water and 99% feelings.

Passion is immeasurable. It’s a feeling.  A fire that burns deep. 

Although you can’t quantify it, it is absolutely necessary. If you don’t love what you’re doing or the direction that you’re headed, stop now! Refocus. Figure out what motivates you and ride the wave.


For true success, you must love what you do. Not just what you do in business, but in totality.

Go ahead! Pour blood sweat and tears into it!


Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks!


This article, Blood, Sweat and Tears is part two of my six part Startup On A Shoestring series. 

Part one, 5 Tips To Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget can be found HERE.

Part three, Lean, Mean Cash Flow Machine can be found HERE.

Part four, Master Social FREE-dia can be found HERE.

Part five, Lean Startup Founders: The MacGyvers of Business can be found HERE.

Part six, The Startup Scene Is The New Wild West. Be A Gunslinger can be found HERE.

For more tips, follow Nicolas China on Twitter @Nico_C7.

Nicolas China is Co-founder and owner of Pixilated (@PixilatedPhoto) & Startup Soiree (@StartupSoiree).

Action vs. Inaction: Turn Off the Naysayer

Patrick Rife


[foo l-kruh m, fuhl-]

nounplural fulcrums, fulcra 



Turn off the Naysayer

Just edit the podcast. "I really need to show my editing chops!" Just edit the podcast. "I have to record the most Incredible voice-over stuff" Just edit the podcast. "I have to write the most compelling questions." Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just …..

I know, right? Wait. Huh? Here we are again.


The Fulcrum

I'd allowed a project I was helming to become much bigger than was necessary. This lesson goes to show that sometimes our biggest natural talents; talents we know (or think we know) to be our best, can be the greatest hurdles we have to overcome.

In my pre-business life, I was a fount of musical production. Like Rachmoninoff with a stack of Stooges records. I spent all of my time filling up cassette tapes and mini-discs; later piles of hard-drives with tons of musical compositions. In short, I love making music.

For me creating music and producing audio has always come easily; a gift I don't take for granted. But sometimes you get stuck. Or you get away from your confidence. It becomes easy to forget that feeling. That natural confidence that comes from being so in-tune with your efforts that the lines of division disappear.  

You with me? 

What it is

So what's the deal? I don't know really. You find one thing after another that hangs you up. An excuse to delay. First it's the music. Then it's the process. Then the Intro and Exit tracks. Really it's the approval. I get nervous.

Anyway, I love making music right? And I've said so more than enough around PixilatedHQ. You know, that music is my thing. (in jaded cool guy voice) But….I've never really shared that stuff with my Pixilated family. So, you know, the jitters. Approval jitters.

I recently watched a Ted Talk with Dr. Laura Trice speaking about asking for what we need and not being scared of showing vulnerability in doing so. I thought her POV was eloquent and insightful.

It reminded me of a pact I've made with myself. To use humility as an opportunity to grow when it's easy but also when it's difficult; always. A pact to not be shy about needing to feel the support of those around me; and maybe more so, to not shy away from asking for it.

I'm not brave enough to carry myself that openly out of the gate but I'm going to try. If for nothing more than to place my faith in the taking of action, not inaction.


Salvation in Entrepreneurship

One of the things that entrepreneurship provides me is the opportunity to change direction any moment I choose; a trait I will fine tune as my businesses begin to grow and prosper.

We pride ourselves on agility, on taking things into our own hands, on persevering regardless the challenges that need be overcome. In short, Temerity. Find that hunch, now turn it up.

See you soon, now get to work.

FOLLOW me @PatrickRife on Twitter and Instagram for more incredible Tips, Tricks and Hustle 


Believe It To Become It

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson


From as far back as I can remember that is what I liked to do. Growing up I was always creating things. I danced and choreographed countless routines, played business owner in a make believe store, taught school to make believe students, and lived by my own rules in my make believe world.

Both my parents were entrepreneurs who worked hard and lived the lives they wanted. I wanted to grow up to be just like them – I know, so cliché.

I always thought this was the way my life would be. I’d grow up, go to college, have my own business, have my own office, have my own rules. I imagined all the projects I’d create and the meaningful work I would do.



Before I knew it, I was graduating from college, without a business, without an office and unsure where my path would lead.

I wish I knew then what I know now: “Getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you are meant to be on.” – Robin Sharma, Speaker and Author of Lead Without a Title.  Back then, that’s exactly how I felt. I was out of school and at a loss as to what to do next. 

So I did what most newly college grads do, I began the job search. After a few stressful weeks and a number of interviews, I landed my first real job! I was excited about my career path – the chance to create, contribute and do something meaningful.


But soon that excitement wore off. I found myself sitting in a cube working day in and day out. I didn’t have an office, I didn’t make my own schedule, but worse, my creativity was hindered. The reality was I was forced to follow a manual and color within the lines; creativity was not part of my job description. I started to feel boxed in.

Growing up, creativity was at the heart of everything I did.  I was always encouraged to follow my heart’s desire.  So that’s what I did.

I moved on to a new job. I was excited for new challenges and the chance to be creative again. I was part of a team where creating and collaborating was part of my job description. But I still felt hindered by the box someone else had defined.

Don’t get me wrong, day-to-day I really enjoyed what I was doing. However it wasn’t long before I felt the same familiar feeling of wanting more in my professional life.

And that’s when it happened. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I left Corporate America and started Intrinsic Events.



Today, I’ve come to realize I was never really lost.  Each step along the way was leading me to where I was meant to be. I believed at a young age, I was born to be an entrepreneur and now I am.

Was it scary to leave Corporate America and start my own business? Oh yeah. But at some point, it became scarier not to.  Was it the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets? Not one.

No matter where you are on your path, it’s important to remember “we all need to lead where we are planted and shine where we find ourselves.” – Robin Sharma, Speaker and Author of Lead Without a Title.

Great advice.

Listen to your heart. Embrace the twists and turns on your path, even when you’re feeling lost. Trust you are being led to where you are meant to be. It worked for me and it will work for you too. 

FOLLOW my company @EventsIntrinsic updates & upcoming events. FOLLOW me at @intrinsicrach


Work Smarter, Not Harder.

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Been Given.

This is the worst advice I’ve ever been given as an entrepreneur. The last two years of my life have been nothing but hard work. Physical, emotional, and mental hard work. I thought I must be doing something wrong. The words of my restaurant boss in college kept coming to me in my sleep, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

What does this even mean? To work smart, you must first work hard, bottom line. You must first go through trial and error and a little pain before you realize what the “smart” way even is.  

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” - Chuck Close, American Painter and Photographer

For the last month, I’ve been waiting, dreaming, and listening for anything that could maybe give me some inspiration to write my first Startup Soiree blog post.

A topic that would be so interesting and inspirational to all of you potential soiree-ees out there who may or may not read my blog. A topic that would define my credibility as a founder of StartUp Soiree.


I was looking for a way to “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, by reading endless blogs, by listening to podcasts and You-Tubing commencement speeches given by the great Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs, and Charlie Day.

I thought to myself, “Ugh, this blog writing thing is HARD.” And then it hit me, I was working hard to work smart. Stop searching for inspiration and get to work. Pick up a pen and paper (because I’m old school like that) and just get to work on this blog. And that’s when the inspiration “came to me”.

Lessons in Hard Work

Luckily for me, I learned the art of hard work at a young age from my Dad.

My Dad is no entrepreneur. He is a 30-year Electrician, Union Member, Blue-Collar, Trade-School Graduate, Home-Owner, Happily Married for 30 Years, and an Inspiration of Hard Work to three awesome Gignac kids.  

As the oldest child, I was bossy, impatient, and a know-it-all. I remember becoming so frustrated by my Dad in so many ways growing up. For example,

Thanksgiving Morning Breakfast:

Every year as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would start at 9:00 a.m., my Dad would ask, “Who wants breakfast?” It was immediately met with Yes! From everyone – family, friends, boyfriends - but me. Why you might wonder?  Because it was never breakfast, it was ALWAYS a way too big and ridiculous Thanksgiving Lunch. But, my Dad would go for it because he LOVED doing it, he LOVED the joy is brought everyone around him, and he LOVED the outcome of his hard work.

DIY Home Projects:

My Dad was the biggest early adopter of the DIY craze. I don’t remember a single month in my childhood that our home was not under some construction or project. Drywall, Wall Paper, Fancy Lighting, Sound Systems, Retaining Walls, Sheds, you name it. My Dad did them all, he did them himself, and at the young age of 16, I finally had my own room!  


It was frustrating and tough and annoying, but you know what, all of my friends and family still RAVE about my Dad’s Thanksgiving Day Breakfast/Lunch and our family home is now valued at three times the amount they paid.  

In my eyes, my Dad’s hard work paid off. He used to always tell me – when I was complaining – “If you’re not going to do it the right way and with pride and enjoyment, then what’s the point?”

So with everything I have accomplished in my adult life, I credit it to hard work and these lessons from my Dad. I have been so inspired by my Dad’s ability to work hard everything he did and continues to do, even if it’s in the most simplest of tasks.  

My Advice to You: Just Work Hard.

If there is one piece of advice I can offer any of you after my two years in business, it is this.

Just Work Hard. Starting your own company is hard work. Just when you think you’ve accomplished something difficult like finding investors or landing your first huge client, something else that’s hard comes along – like blog writing.

But you can’t avoid it, you can’t wait for inspiration, and as a startup you can’t always outsource it right away. You have to get to work and work hard.


To this day every BIG moment that has happened to Intrinsic Events and every great opportunity has come out of our hard work itself.  

Success and inspiration do not magically appear. They come to us from a story of a time when someone else worked hard and it paid off. And it will continue to be just that until we are able to get out there, do the hard work, and become an inspiration for ourselves, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us.

FOLLOW my company @EventsIntrinsic for updates & upcoming events.


Action vs. Inaction: The Beginning

Action vs. Inaction: The Beginning by: Patrick Rife

The Beginning

The place where you begin. Or don’t. The invisible barrier to starting can be so difficult to break through because for many it’s hard to pin down exactly what it means.

Creating a vision from scratch can be a daunting process, but if you put a plan in place and take things one step at a time, anything is possible. 
Daydream Believer

I’m a daydreamer, and that means in a large sense that I’ve spent more of my time thinking of hundreds of incredible things I COULD be doing than actually DOING even one of those incredible things.

For whatever reason, it didn't occur to me that I never made it to the next step of asking myself the “how to," you know? 


Voices Carry

My internal monologue should have gone something like this… “Ok Patrick, this is a wicked good idea (song, painting, concept, business plan, religious cult), what are your next steps to make this thing actually happen?”

Instead it went something more like “Dude! (to self) That song you wrote is SO GOOD! No doubt the great Musician Finder Satellite will hover over your apartment building in Baltimore and see how many great tunes are on your hard-drives! So stoked I don’t actually have to make an effort.” (insert self-inflicted face punch here)

Blame Game

Maybe it was Catholic School, maybe it was my Dad’s fault. Who knows? Who cares? (I’m looking at you Coach) The point is, I definitely had barriers to overcome but once I was willing to actually look at the writing on the wall they weren’t anywhere near as difficult as I made them out to be.


 Conclusion: Go forth and thrash

The battle is so difficult because it’s a fight we’re waging within. We have to learn to manage doubt and fear; summon forth our internal power, break free of the negative. Take the first step.

The good news is that you have the power to silence the noise. Take your fate in your own hands and create your vision. All you have to do is start. Take action. Take ONE step. You’re getting closer.

FOLLOW me @PatrickRife for Daily Tips and Tricks