June 30, 2008


NOTE: This is a letter that I wrote to National Car Rental following a recent trip to Colorado. Being an entrepreneur, on the cusp of turning a "crazy" idea into a viable business, I had to write this letter. You'll understand.

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To Whom it May Concern:

I have a love affair with solid customer service. I firmly believe it’s the most important component of any business – it has the potential to define a company or destroy it.

Based on an experience I recently had with National Car Rental at Denver’s International Airport, I wanted to send this letter and let your company know that you have a customer for life.

I recently read that quality customer service can be achieved by applying this simple formula:
Take the customers’ expectations, meet those expectations with a genuine smile, and then proceed to blow those expectations out of the water.

That’s exactly what National Car Rental did on my recent trip to the Denver area.

Here is a quick snippet of my incredible experience with your company (FYI: It doesn’t start very flattering for National, but it finishes with a defining bang):

I rented a mid-sized SUV through your Emerald Club program on a Thursday morning. The vehicle had an unusual smell – nothing too bad, but it was definitely pungent enough to catch your attention. When I noticed the odor, my luggage was already loaded in the back, so I decided to “deal with it.”

It was more than 24 hours later, when I was taking some friends back to the airport to pick up their own rental car, that the source of the smell was discovered. Someone had gotten sick on the back of the passenger-side seat.

My friends encouraged me to take the car back to National. Even though I was pressed for time and, strangely enough, used to the aroma, I decided to take their advice.

I pulled into the Return Car area, and flagged down the first National employee that I saw. (I didn’t catch the gentlemen’s name – which I hate – but he’s the one that took my expectations and proceeded to crush them.)

I simply asked him if I could have the “problem” cleaned up – maybe a little squirt of air freshener. I also told him that didn’t have a lot of time.

He said: “Get in the backseat. I’m driving.” (My wife was sitting in the passenger seat, a little confused at this point.)

He put the vehicle in reverse, jumped the curb, dodged the National/Alamo buses, and headed straight to the Emerald Club lot. “Pick the one you want,” he said. (Whether he knew I was an Emerald Club Member or not is irrelevant to me. I will say this…he didn’t ask.)

After picking out a much nicer vehicle (based on
his encouragement and recommendation), he backed right up to it, allowing me to move my luggage all of eight feet.

He told me what to tell the gentleman at the check-out booth, and I was off.

From the time I asked this gentlmen if someone could clean up a little vomit, to the time I was driving off the lot in a VERY nice SUV, it was less than five minutes.

My expectations were shattered.

Being an owner of my own business, I will share this story with every one of my employees. I hope you will do the same. National Car Rental should be VERY proud of its customer service.

In my eyes, National clearly differentiated itself from other rental car companies, and like I said before, your company now has a customer for life.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Drew Myers
President / CEO
e-Partners in Giving, LLC

June 18, 2008

The Inc. Life

I love reading business magazines. Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc. are some of my favorites. Each one has a standard feature or column that I especially enjoy, too. They're just fun, easy reads – most of them short snippets from an entrepreneur who "made it." Every time I read one, I think to myself, "One day they're going to write about me!"

I thought it would be fun to beat them to the punch.

This is a light-hearted feature that runs in every issue of Inc. magazine: "Things I Can't Live Without." 

It was fun to ask myself that question and put together my list. It's important that you know and understand that this feature is totally materialistic. The reason I bring that up . . . when I was putting together my list of "things," my wife came into the room and asked what I was working on.

TANYA (wife): <reading over my shoulder> What's this?

DREW: Something for my blog – things I can't live without.

TANYA: <smiling with a hint of anticipation and affection>

DREW: What's that look for?

TANYA: <rhetorically smirking> Did I make the list?

DREW: <snapping my eyes back to my computer monitor> Not that kind of list.

I wasn't being mean, but like I said before, this is strictly material items. If I wanted to change Inc.'s concept and make it more sentimental, the "Things I Truly Can't Live Without" would include:
• Tanya
• My family
• My friends
• My faith
• Captain Augustus McCrae (my dog)

I decided to stay the course, though, and keep the format the same. (BTW: Inc. runs a sidebar to this feature, "...and What I Covet." That's when materialistic meets ridiculous. I played this game, too.)

To help the editors at Inc. magazine, I went the whole seven yards – I gathered up the photos and quotes, but I DIDN'T write the article itself. (I started to, but it felt kind of weird.) I'll let them do that once we "make it."

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Things I Can't Live Without

President and CEO, e-Partners in Giving
Drew Myers

(to see a larger version, simply click on the image)

Texas Rangers Truck Driver Hat, $22
“There is nothing like a great hat – that fits your head perfectly. It also allows me to support my boys in a stylish manner.”

Bodum French Press, $55
“It definitely doesn’t offer any added convenience when it comes to making coffee, but the rich, bold taste is worth it.”

Fiorentina Writing Journal, $23
“This is where e-Partners in Giving was born. A lot has changed since those first few entries, but this has evolved as a road map to this wild and crazy entrepreneurial adventure.”

Red Wing Boots, $154
“I could go running in these boots – I’m not talking about a couple of blocks, either. I could tackle some serious mileage.”

Garmin Forerunner 301, $200
“I asked for this GPS watch to help me figure my milage. I was tired of driving the same route that I just ran in order to do that. That was 1,515 miles ago.”

...and What I Covet

Ski-in and Ski-out, 4-Story Home in Park Cities, Utah, $6.9 million
“I was told when you dream, dream big. That’s exactly what this house is. Being in Park Cities is a bonus – it’s like the mountains and luxury collided to create perfection.”

Range Rover, $79,000
“This vehicle screams class – inside and out. Its off-road roots add to its mystique and charm.”

June 9, 2008


I can't remember when it hit me, but when it did ... it definitely left a mark.

Since the concept of e-Partners in Giving came to me, I've been talking about "giving back." I've been preaching to people that this is their chance to do just that.

I actually wrote this verbiage for our web site:
"At e-Partners in Giving, we believe that the impact of our wake has the potential to be much more significant than the actual splash we make in our lives. That is why it is our privilege to help with this self-sacrificing opportunity. We want to provide you the necessary tools so you can firmly place the emphasis on a person, event, or organization you hold close to your heart."

Wow! That's good stuff.

The only problem ... I wasn't walking the walk. It was just a bunch of talk. I personally wasn't "giving back" like I should.

(Cue a big slap across the face)

Sure, I spent time at a local homeless shelter on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve last year, but I didn't dedicate to being there every Thursday night, serving dinner or passing out toiletry items that most of us take for granted.

(Slap! Slap!)

At church, Tanya and I try to put an offering in the collection plate every Sunday, but that's only when one of us is actually carrying cash. (Which isn't very often.)

(Slap with an Amen!)

If I had a friend running or walking for a cause, I might donate a few bucks, but I wouldn't roll out of bed at 4 o'clock in the morning and help mix-up powdered Gatorade.

(Cue another slap AND add a punch to the gut.)

Even if e-Partners in Giving stumbles and falls (again ... we don't like talking like that, but it helps to make a solid point), I have already received a tremendous wake up call.

It's time for me to start giving back.

Here is a list of things that I have done over the last couple of weeks:
(NOTE: The following items are just the tip of the iceberg. I plan on taking "my giving" to a whole new level.)

• I filled out my application to be a Big Brother for Big Brother Big Sisters. (The next step is the interview process.)

• I decided to be a regular volunteer at the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth. Every Tuesday night – starting this week (June 10th) – I will serve dinner at Safe Haven, the mentally ill shelter, for one hour. Then I will volunteer for one hour at the Shelter Dispensary, helping distribute those before-mentioned toiletry items.

• I submitted my application to produce the monthly newsletter for the American Red Cross Southwest Blood Services Region. (I have not heard back from them.)

• I encouraged my staff to choose a charity or charities that "tug at their heart strings." We will list these on our web site with our bios, along with a brief description why they're important to us. (We will focus on these non-profit organizations when we match donations for a designated event, or we market our services by making donations on behalf of e-Partners in Giving.)

NOTE: I'm still working on my charities, but here are the ones I am leaning towards:

Jonathan's Place (Takes care of the Metroplex's youngest victims of abuse.)

Finding Grace Homeless Initiative ("An emerging coalition of individuals and organizations aiming to increase awareness and raise money for homeless organizations." Interest raised by the book "Finding Grace: The Face of America's Homeless")

Marathon Kids (Targets children most vulnerable to sedentary lives and encourages running to combat childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes.)

One World Running ("An international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world.")

Run for Congo Women (Giving women in the Congo "hope for life in this country torn by war." The passion of founder Lisa Shannon is contagious and made me aware and intrigued by this "nightmare" in Africa.)

I will probably pick four or five non-profits that "run the gauntlet" – one that focuses on children, one that focuses on the homeless, an environmental cause, and an international effort. Literacy is also important to me, as well as domestic abuse. (As you can tell from my list, I'm kind of drawn towards organizations that focus on running, too.)

If you have a charity that you hold close to your heart. I would love to hear about it. (Why does it tug at your heart strings?) Just like Lisa Shannon, it's the people and their passion for an organization or cause, that really differentiates one charity from another. (EXAMPLE: Tanya is heavily involved with CASA in Tarrant County, which "serves as voice for abused and neglected children when they go to court." This will definitely be one that makes "the list.")

As I continue to research these organizations, it reminds me how many people in this world need EVERYONE to be giving back.

I will probably never say this again, but I'm glad I got slapped across the face. Hopefully this blog has a similar impact on you ... SLAP!

June 2, 2008


We are working on content for the e-Partners in Giving web site, and there is one page that allows us to tell "Our Story." This is the first draft of this feature. I thought I would share it on this blog:

“How” and “Wow” – that is the question and the reaction we get when we talk to people about e-Partners in Giving.

The “How” is pretty standard: “How did you come up with that idea?”

It’s the “Wow” that takes off in a hundred different directions:
• Some people say….“Wow! That is a great idea.”
• That’s usually followed up with….“Wow! I could never do anything like that!”

• Some other responses….“Wow! Didn’t you (Drew Myers, President/CEO) used to be a football coach?”

• Or…. “Wow! How many business classes did you (Drew Myers, President/CEO) actually take in college? I thought you were a journalism major.”

• We get A LOT of…”Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?” (That’s personally our favorite.)


This is definitely a crazy adventure for every member of the e-Partners in Giving Family, but once you step back and look at the whole picture, it doesn’t seem that “crazy” at all.

The concept of e-Partners in Giving is simple: Give people a safe and easy way to give back through charitable donations. Recently, we have taken that mission statement and made it genuinely radical: We want to help change the world – one donation at a time.

We truly feel like we have developed a business model that has the potential to have a profound social impact.

The “Wow” aspect – specifically the tremendous risk taken by some members of the e-Partners Family – is fairly easy to wrap your mind around as well.

When you discover a niche/opportunity in the market place – and believe in it as strongly as we do – taking the radical leap of faith is easy. (Whether that leap is quitting your job, investing your life savings, or simply saying, “I want to be a part of that.”)

It’s our passion about e-Partners in Giving that drives us and makes us unique.

Another part of the “Wow” aspect has been the conscious decision to take control of our lives – making a radical career change in order to do something that fuels the fire of our inner soul.

We didn’t want to be like so many people who hate their job, but refuse to do anything about it. (That statement might not apply to you, but we’re sure you know a handful of people who live this way.)

This excerpt from the book “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakuer captures exactly what we’re referring to: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

Our “adventurous spirit” is currently riding an amazing roller coaster – one that has the potential of touching many different lives in many different ways.

We know that’s not much of a “story,” but if you would like to read more about the “How” – where the idea for e-Partners in Giving came from – stay tuned. 

BLOG NOTE: I've actually written the second part of "Our Story," but it's a wide-open peek behind the e-Partners' curtain. NOT that anyone besides my close family and friends are going to read this, but you NEVER know.

So you can e-mail me and I'll e-mail it back to you OR you can just wait until the site goes live.

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