It’s every outdoor lover’s dream to find a job that gets them outside as much as possible. The job itself could be done outdoors or have flexible hours, allowing employees to slip off into the woods as desired. Some companies encourage their workforce to be active by providing ski passes or extra days off to do that multi-stage ultramarathon.
For some employees, even these options just can’t provide enough fresh air and direct sunlight. Folks like this often need to break out on their own.
Tyler Moebius is one of those people. He’s the founder and CEO of FastG8, a digital advertising company based in Carbondale, a town of about 6,500 people in the mountains of Colorado.
Moebius, who grew up in Lake Tahoe, California, as an avid skier, feels a powerful connection with the outdoors. He went to college at Fort Lewis College in Durango because he said it was the "closest college to a ski mountain in the United States." After graduating from college in 1998, Moebius started on a career path working with Internet advertising startups–including one in Seattle, then one of his which he launched in Munich, Germany (to be near the Alps, of course), before he returned to Colorado.
He and his wife, Rebecca, traveled around a bit first, living in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, and then Costa Rica, before landing in Munich (where the first of their four children was born). One of the reasons they settled in Colorado was to raise their children to appreciate the outdoors as they do.
Another reason was to be near great ski hills. "I’ve made most of my life decisions with skiing in mind," Moebius admits.
But there are plenty of places around the world with snow and a small town feel. Why Colorado? "I think Colorado represents the perfect balance of work and play. Particularly in the tech world," Moebius says.
The money has followed tech startup employees there, too. According to Built in Colorado’s 2015 Annual Report, 95 startups in the state raised over $683 million last year. And they aren’t just in Boulder and Denver—18 other Colorado companies raised $105 million, an increase of $92.5 million than in 2014. Colorado continues to grow as a startup-friendly state, particularly for marketing and advertising companies like FastG8.
Moebius and his family live on a farm in Carbondale. Besides FastG8, he owns Crystal River Meats, where they have grass-fed cows, sheep, goats, chickens, bees, and horses. All that means mornings start early for the whole family. "Early to bed, early to rise," Moebius says. “There are lots of chores to do.”
After starting the day on the farm, Moebius heads to the office to start the day with his FastG8 team. After building a large global brand in Munich, Moebius wanted to "build a team out of one office."
"I had different goals with my previous company," he continues. “It was global—we wanted to work with the largest digital brands. The vision of the company was to work with Fortune 5000 clients.”
When they came back to the United States from Germany, Moebius and his wife initially lived in Santa Monica, California. After a couple years there, they came back to Colorado; first to Aspen.
"I flew out on a Monday (for work), and flew back on a Thursday," Moebius recalls. But that got old quick. The couple decided it would be better to settle down in one place and create a business with a single office there.
FastG8, the fourth company Moebius has started, is a digital advertising company that "supports conscious outdoor active lifestyle brands to promote the outdoors."It naturally brings together his tech skills and passion for the outdoors.
His mornings at FastG8 have an "external, client focus—responding to emails, working on reports," Moebius says. “We also analyze data so we can make recommendations, and meet with clients.”
Outdoor team building
Building a strong company culture is something that is very important at FastG8, he says. To that end, at lunchtime his employees all go out for what Moebius calls "team exercise." Depending on the season, the team might go for a road bike ride, a mountain bike ride, or hit a couple ski runs. Moebius says his team recently rode 28 miles over four passes buried under a foot of snow. He jokes that their motto is “a team that suffers together stays together.”
"Afternoons are more internal," Moebius explains. “We work on strategy and have breakout sessions about how we can grow as a company.”
Finding a work-life balance like this can be difficult for some people, especially entrepreneurs. But Moebius is adamant that weekends are family time. After all, Moebius and his wife moved back to Colorado for the quality of life they could give their own kids. They wouldn’t want to prevent anyone from enjoying that.
So, between farm work and weekend adventuring, there’s always something to do outside for Moebius’ family. It’s that the CEO can share his love of the natural world during the week that makes his Colorado-based startup unique and just where it needs to be.
Originally written for Colorado.