Our Story

Meet Zack & Nicolle

Hi, we’re Zack & Nicolle Long. Big city loving, Nashville living entrepreneurs who from childhood had the entrepreneurial bug... But it took us 7 years of hard work and grit to get to where we are now.

We didn’t always run our businesses, our 7 Figure agency, our courses, our consulting practice with high earning entrepreneurs & businesses, our eCommerce brands.

When we first married in 2013, I (Zack) was working my regular corporate 9 - 5, and Nicolle was told she couldn’t work because she immigrated here from Canada. That’s a long story, we’ll tell you about it sometime.
But from the moment we met, we connected on our ambitions to leave the corporate grind, and own our destiny.
So for 2 years we struggled until we finally were able to leave corporate and run our own freelancing business!
We learned a lot about managing clients and growing our own service business.
We learned how to deliver an amazing service and how to only promise what we can do.
We were having fun, but we weren't fulfilled. And it took us another 2 years before we had our first epiphany.

Our first epiphany.

We were proud of what we were doing, but we just wanted more. We needed more to reach our personal goals and vision. We needed to find something that we could grow beyond our freelancing business.
We were starting a family, and we needed to secure our future.
So, while we were running our social media consulting business, we partnered on a startup Skin Care Brand.
We knew nothing, but we jumped in and figure dit out as we went. 🤦 After a year, savings drained and A LOT of trial and error with Facebook Ads, Influencers and everything in-bewteen, we started to slowly get sales with our skin care business.
Then we got more, and more and more. It was SO exciting! It felt like overnight we grew our first eCommerce brand from nothing to over $200,000 per month in sales. Even though it was 1.5 years in the making.
This was a game changer for us. We were finally building a future for our family doing something we loved.
We were learning so much about the operations of eCommerce, Marketing, brand building, brand growth, and how to treat our customers to keep them coming back for more.
But something we didn't expect to happen, started to brew...

Other brands took notice...

We had other brands asking us who was running our marketing, and we said... “We are.” They were floored, and asked if they could pay us to help them do the same thing. We thought it sounded fun! So we replicated what we were doing with our own business.

And it worked! The first brand we consulted went from basically nothing to over $200,000 / month in sales within 6 months. So the word spread and we ended up doing this for a bunch of other brands. And from that, we just kept learning…

We learned how to build brands in virtually every niche.

We learned what to put on websites to get people to pretty much every product.

We learned how to sell things online without being cheesy or sleazy.

We learned how to set up and run VERY successful Facebook & Instagram ad campaigns for products in pretty much every niche and industry.

And we learned how to operate and run every aspect of a physical product eCommerce business.

We were growing at every level. Personally with running two 7 figure businesses at the same time, one service and one eCommerce. We were growing professionally developing skills for our brands, and others. Learning at such a rapid pace, we were becoming real founders.

Our second epiphany.

Our eCommerce Marketing Agency turned into a serious business. Within a year we grew to a team of 8 and were bringing in over 7 Figures per year in revenue.

Nicolle and I weren’t doing as much of the in-the-trenches work, and had to learn a whole new set of skills.

We had to become experts at systemizing a team, leading the team, delivering an amazing service, and delivering amazing products. All while helping 40 other businesses grow at a rapid pace.
As you can see, there was a LOT of learning on this journey. Learning that took blood sweat and tears. Literal tears, no joke.

Learning that cost us a lot of money. We wasted money on products that would never sell. Apps that never did anything. Ads that moved the brand backwards instead of forwards. Website design that made conversions worse, not better.

Learning that cost us a lot of time. We wasted a stupid amount of time testing things we never should have tested. Creating things we never should have created. Hiring people and agencies we never should have hired.
And now we feel it's our mission to teach Founders how to grow businesses by cutting to the front of the lean and learning the hard lessons from us so they don't have to.

The Smart Founder Was Born

We are on a mission.

There are thousands of people out there offering online training, and something many of them have in common is they haven’t actually built their own successful businesses.
Some of the most successful course creators out there created a course on starting a business, but have never actually done it themselves (except for the course they are selling).
In addition to that, they are selling a lot of fluff in long, drawn out courses only stringing people along. Never really teaching them and helping them. That’s not how we are running The Smart Founder.
We want to give people everything they need to legitimately succeed in one place, where they know the price up front, and if they follow through and put the work in, they will succeed.
Nothing makes us happier than seeing other people change their lives for the better. People aren’t just stuck with the way things are.
We all can build ourselves, and a life into whatever we want it to be. Our students and community are our friends, and we celebrate with them at every stage of the journey.
Our personal journey began as a struggle, it turned into an idea, which transitioned to businesses that are producing a movement.
The Smart Founder revolution is here, and we’d love for you to join us!