The Cold Email That Changed Everything and What I Learned From It

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Three months ago I made a cold email that would radically change the next year of my life.

Alyssa and I decided we wanted to make our honeymoon an epic adventure. We came up with the idea of traveling to all 50 states and along the way I would work a different job in each state. We started planning away. Alyssa worked on our route, and I started buffing up my resume.

While researching jobs for my first gig in New Mexico, I found a company called Snagajob on the Google. They help hourly employees find part-time and full-time jobs. If I was a cartoon, this is where the light bulb would have went off.

What if Snagajob could help me find jobs along the trip? This way, I wouldn’t have to make fifty cold calls for every new city I land in.

One day I sent a cold email that landed us our first sponsorship and changed our lives.

It never hurts to ask, right?

I started writing the email. I shared my vision for the project and more importantly, why I was doing it. I told them I’m young and still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Part of this journey is my passion for wanting to explore different jobs and see what all opportunities are out there.

A few hours later I received a phone call from Snagajob, excited to hear about this 50 state road trip and 50 job extravaganza. Who was this crazy kid? A few days later, they flew me up to Virginia to meet the team. We had a similar vision for the impact we could make through this project. We both wanted to highlight hourly workers and find great stories. Plus, we both thought it would be epic for one person to do fifty jobs in seven months. So we came up with a plan that can be summarized in one sentence.

I would work a different job in all fifty states in order to learn from and share the life stories of hourly workers.

What did I learn from sending the email?

Dream Big

People respond to big requests. They can sense that you aren’t scared of failing. It’s infectious. The best way to go unnoticed is to land somewhere in the middle of the road. If you’re boring, nobody cares. Live outside of your comfort zone and people will take notice.

Sometimes it’s better to collaborate than go at it alone.

I’m an entrepreneur and sometimes that means I take too much pride in my work. I want to hog it all myself, but by partnering with Snagajob I’ve been able to bounce ideas off of them and ultimately our work has impacted way more people. Hourly America has already been so much more than I could have ever imagined and it would have never happened going at it alone.

You never know whose life you can change in the process.

I sent the cold email only thinking of myself. I was hoping they were willing to back my project. Little did I know this project would have a ripple that would affect other people’s lives.

My second job was in Prescott, AZ at Buffalo Wild Wings. I worked alongside a manager named Carlos who is currently in flight training school. Carlos is only 18 years old and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I told the team at Snagajob about Carlos and his dream of becoming a pilot.

Last week they flew from Richmond, Virginia to Prescott, AZ and surprised Carlos. They walked into a meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings and announced they were taking him off the clock for the day, handed him a back pack with RayBan aviators, a Citizen pilot’s watch, and then walked him outside where a pilot was waiting for him. They spent the day flying over the Grand Canyon and then handed him a $1,000 scholarship for pilot training school.

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Snagajob team with Carlos

I can’t take any credit for this, as Snagajob was the team that planned it all up. However, Hourly America was a small catalyst for Carlos receiving this incredible day.

It’s Your Turn

If there’s anything I’ve learned from sending a cold email it’s this:

The worst that can happen isn’t bad at all, and sometimes the best that can happen is better than you could have ever imagined.

There’s no reason to hold back. Take risks. Make the call.

20 Responses

  • Another awesome post, Heath. I love this story of dreaming big! Keep it up!

  • Each year I select three words to help direct my actions and develop character traits I want to hone. In 2013 one of my words was ‘Ask’. It was amazing the number of times I was amazed when I asked for something and got it. But, you gotta ask. Keep asking, keep growing.

    • I really love the thought of picking three key traits to develop. And yes, I’m constantly blown away by the capacity for people to say “yes” when you ask big questions. Thanks for reading Charles.

  • […] was in sales. I really didn’t like sales, but it was solid paying and I adored my colleagues. Leaving that job was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. However, I knew deep down that good is the enemy of great. If I allowed myself to settle, I would […]

  • […] then Heath sent an email, found us a sponsor, and two weeks later found the perfect RV for our first home. We created a […]

  • […] Sponsorship: $8, 171.35 GoFundMe: $4,175 Consulting (for author): $2,400 Guest Blogging: $756.88 […]

  • […] to have to keep our nose to the grindstone if we wanted to make enough money to fund our journey. Our sponsorship only covered 1/3 of our expenses and we were going to have to make the rest up on our own. It was […]

  • […] Best email I ever sent, see here for the blog I wrote about it. […]

  • I really don’t understand how this works. Who would hire you knowing you wouldn’t be staying long? What kind of jobs did you do? Could you provide more details? And where does the sponsorship come in?

    Thanks in advance, Karen

    • Karen,

      1. I didn’t get paid for any of these jobs. I worked them for one day, specifically as part of my Hourly America project. Most of these gigs I basically apprenticed employees to just get a small idea of what their typical day is like. I would also interview the employees to better understand how they liked what they did and what they’ve learned in their role… It was my way of just exploring different work opportunities, learning a lot along the way about myself and what I want to do. From an employer perspective, why would they hire me for the day? Well, I guess you could ask them. There is a complete list on places who hired me on my Hourly America page here on my site. I just told most of them what I was doing any asked if I could come work their for a day and they said yes. Simple enough, right?
      2. The sponsorship came in because I wanted an easier way to find the jobs than having to cold call tons of companies. I asked Snagajob (a big company) if they would leverage their big name brand with me, so that I could more easily find jobs. They said yes and helped me line up 25 of my 50 jobs for hourly America. I found the rest by calling and emailing companies on my own.

      I then wrote blogs for Snagajob about my work experiences across the country, they helped contribute to our gas fund and gave us film equipment to make a documentary.

      Hope that helps,


  • […] helped me find 50 jobs last year. Here I wrote a blog post about how we found that sponsorship and the cold email I wrote to get […]

  • […] Hourly America trip to all 50 states we were able to get sponsored through a cold email I sent out before we ever hit the road. That sponsorship was the initial spurt of funds that allowed us to go […]

  • Myself and my boyfriend have wanted this lifestyle for so long so myself and my boyfriend have been so inspired by your story. We are going on a 50 state road trip. With him getting a job in every state. We had been trying to come up with a way to make $ for the road.. After reading your story it was like light went off..Awesome.

  • I can’t stop reading your posts, It’s my “netflix binge” right now! I’m going through a divorce and moving into my RV full-time right now, but will be planning my cross-country road trip very shortly. Thank you for all the valuable information you have provided me, and keep truckin’!

  • […] little money our first year on the road (see our total income here). Since our only income was through sponsorship and it took until October before we started finding freelance clients on the road, paying $5 for […]

  • […] then Heath sent an email, found us a sponsor, and two weeks later found the perfect RV for our first home. We created a […]

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