Steve Gumm | Launching a Business on 9/11, Bouncing Back from Bankruptcy and What’s Working Now in Lead Generation

Steve Gumm is the Founder and President of Gummio. He is a serial entrepreneur who has worked with brands like Sony, Life is Good, Harry Caray’s, and the Survivor Show. He is a marketing and brand consultant who is currently on a mission to build the most creative, inspiring, effective outbound sales and lead generation agency, Gummio. 

Steve is also the VP of Growth and Marketing at AssociaDirect, a management consulting firm that helps associations grow through authentic connections. Prior to Gummio, he was the Founder and President of 18 Stories. He holds a degree in Marketing from Illinois State University.

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran is joined by Steve Gumm, Founder and President of Gummio, to talk about his entrepreneurial journey. They discuss what it was like to start a business right before the 9/11 tragedy, the lessons Steve learned from a failed real estate business, and what he wishes he did before selling his business, and what Gummio does for their clients.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Steve Gumm talks about starting a painting business right after college and how he got his first customers.
  • Steve shares what it was like to launch a direct mail business right before the 9/11 tragedy and the challenges that came with hiring a team.
  • Steve explains how he got involved in real estate, the loss he incurred from the business, and what he would have done differently with his business.
  • What happened after Steve filed for bankruptcy and what he wishes he had done before selling his business.
  • How Gummio came about and what the company does for their clients.
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Steve’s company and his clients’ companies.
  • The people Steve acknowledges for his achievements and success.
  • Where to learn more about Steve Gumm and Gummio.

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here, I am the host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast. And as you know which week I get to talk to CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies and organizations from YPO to EO, Activision Blizzard, Lending tree, FreshBooks, Open Table, X Software and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25 where we help to connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And I want to give a shout out to my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, host of the INspired INsider Podcast, who’s been good friends with our guests this week and talk to him all the time, but I don’t get to talk to him as frequently as he does. So that’s why I decided to invite him on the podcast. He’s also got a wealth of entrepreneurial experience. He’s been in a lot of different types of businesses. So it’ll be fun to dive into his story, but his name is Steve Gumm. He’s a serial entrepreneur since the start of his career, which means he’s partially insane. And he’s also a glutton for punishment. It says that in his official bio, he’s worked with brands like Sony. Life is good. Harry Caray’s Survivor show and he’s been a marketing and brand consultant. He’s also currently on a mission to build the most creative, inspiring, effective outbound sales and lead generation agency, Gummio. Okay, it’s a play on the last name. I’m so glad to have him here. 

First, before we get into that conversation. This episode is brought to you by Rise25 media, which helps a b2b businesses, the clients referrals and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing, you’re listening to a podcast right now. And so therefore, you should also have your own podcast, it’s not enough to just listen, consume them, but you should have your own, as well as one of the best things that I’ve done. Both for me personally and professionally, I continue to enjoy it. And I continue to do it even though I have four kids at home, because I know it’s the highest and best use of my time. So want to learn more about why it can be the highest and best use of your time, go to Or you can email us at [email protected]. All right. So Steve, excited to have you here, my friend. We’ve worked together and collaborated on various different projects over the years, but I’ve never had an opportunity to dive into your backstory and learn more about it. We were just unpacking that beforehand, before this episode, and you know, even an entrepreneur from the get go. You had a painting business shortly after college and you’ve had a number of businesses since then. How you know, I’m always curious about people who graduate from college and then go and start a business. I had no business, there’s no, if I’d started a business at age 22, I would have been bankrupt probably within six months. So how did you start a painting business shortly after college during college?

Steve Gumm  3:21  

I mean, I’ll never forget it right. So I was doing painting work. I was just basically a lever, right for a guy in Chicago. And I literally when I was assigned to a house, you know, whatever they deploy you in the morning, and I went out and we finished this project. And I was a foreman, which is hilarious as it was. But as a foreman is why

John Corcoran  3:42  

you’re also getting a Bachelor’s in marketing at the same time. You’re just paying the bills, I guess.

Steve Gumm  3:48  

True. Yeah. And paint. Yeah, yeah. But I’ll never forget, I went to the guest door to sign off. And he was an NFL player. I don’t remember who he was. But at any rate, and we had a fence on there on the contract that we did not do. And it was for you know, good. Buck was more than I was making in a couple of weeks. And I just asked him, why are we doing this on the fence and he said it was too expensive. And so I was like, you know, I’ll do it for half of that. And there was like more than I was making in you know, a couple of weeks is nuts. So I went out there on the weekend and it took me like two days to knock it out. And that’s a wrap I called my buddy who I mentioned to you earlier still runs that paint company at Illinois precision painting. Go ahead and hire him. But um, yeah, from that day forward, I left there that weekend. We pulled together some money, got a real crappy little van printed off some flyers and man we ran that thing for years and like I said, He’s still running that company to this day is it over? Gosh, 25 years

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