Today we’d like to introduce you to Luke Lorick.
Luke, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It started as a teenager and going to my first college football game. The tailgating experience hooked me. From the friends, fun, food and football I couldn’t get enough. I grew up in South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina. This is where the love of tailgating continued to grow as I pursued my Business Administration degree. After graduating I continued tailgating at every game I could attend. Then after being moved to Atlanta I had a vision one night to make a company up to harness the business background and love of tailgating, together. On a night in October in 2012 Tailgating Challenge was born.
The main thought was that it would be a fun side project to hopefully get some cool products in to use and review, some 400 product reviews later that reality was accomplished, but what happened along the journey is where Tailgating Challenge started to become more of a business and not just a fun way to get the coolest products on the market.
From 2012 to 2016 I worked to spread the word about Tailgating Challenge to anyone that would listen and no surprise the first couple of years it was tough to get fans attracted to the site, but with time and perseverance it continued to grow.
In 2014 I then moved again to my current home in Waxahachie, TX. Once here I started to check out National Days as I always like something to celebrate. That is when I realized that there was not a National Tailgating Day. I worked with the registrar at National Day Calendar and in 2016 I was granted National Tailgating Day. This is an annual day that is now celebrated the first Saturday of each September. This coincides directly with college football kickoff.
I continue to maintain my corporate job that I commute from Waxahachie to Richardson on from Monday-Friday. I wake up early to work on the social media posts each day, respond to Tailgating Challenge emails on lunch breaks and then work in the evening further. On the weekends I schedule video shoots to review and have fun showing off the many products that arrive at my door on a weekly basis.
I’m still surprised and humbled by the following that Tailgating Challenge has gained that stretches across America and even overseas. The company continues to grow a little more each year, but until it reaches its full potential I work my other job, so as to have no financial worries.
If people take anything away from this story it’s that success does not come overnight and you will have to work daily to earn everything that you get. There are many challenges on the road to entrepreneurship and if you let any of them stop you then you’ll never achieve the amazing vision that so many entrepreneurs have.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If there is an entrepreneur that says it’s been a smooth road I’d say they are lying to you. The fun thing about it is that you continue to hit roadblocks, but you then have the opportunity to pivot to find the new path to get to the same goal.
A few of the bigger challenges I faced:
-Working another job that also has a long commute (on average total round trip is 3 hours driving each day)
-Social media algorithm changes that limit the viewers you have worked hard to earn over the years
-starting out and trying to get people to believe in your vision and work with your brand.
I’ve been blessed to have an amazing wife and friend /family support who have helped support me the last six years. Without having those you care about support a dream then it will be hard to make both your dream and your family work.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tailgating Challenge story. Tell us more about the business.
Tailgating Challenge is essentially a company that markets and shows of new products for both tailgating and outdoor enthusiasts. I get hundreds of products sent to me to get my professional opinion on and then we give lots of them away to our fans.
I founded National Tailgating day in 2016 and this will be an annual celebration each year.
I’m most proud of the National Tailgating Day as that is something that will help bring tailgaters together well past the time I’m walking this earth. Everyone wants to make a mark and do something that will be remembered. I just hope that it brings people together to interact and form the special relationships that tailgating did for me.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not a huge believer in ‘luck’ I do believe that everything, good and bad, happens for a reason. The good is awesome and fun, while the bad can really suck. I look at the bad as a way to learn and get better at what I do, vs letting it bring me down. Ok it brings me down for a moment, but it won’t hold me down.
I believe more that the harder work you do the ‘luckier’ you become.
- Website: www.tailgating-challenge.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/tailgatingchallenge
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/tailgatingchallenge
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/tailgatingchall
- Other: www.youtube.com/tailgatingchallenge
The main image on Riding Cooler was taken on photo shoot for Waxahachie NOW magazine. All other pics are mine.