📝 About

Hi, I’m Isaac Jarnagin. I’m a podcaster, entrepreneur, and content creator that currently resides in Ames, Iowa!

I have always had the desire to run my own business, but I never really knew what that meant.

My childhood was filled with me pursuing ideas like selling water bottles to RAGBRAI participants, to selling cutting boards, and I’m sure I probably sold lemonade at some point too. Then middle school, I made my first big purchase, a laptop. This opened up so many new ideas to me. Back then I watched a lot of YouTube, and because of that it made me want to be a YouTuber myself. Even though the whole “YouTuber” thing didn’t last too long, I was still able to learn lots of valuable skills including how to edit footage, design eye-catching thumbnails, brainstorm content ideas, capture quality photos, record videos, and most importantly, pursue something I was passionate about. Getting that laptop really opened me up to the online world. I was able to learn whatever skill I wanted just by watching YouTube videos, and that opportunity made me so happy.

Mini-me giving my all for my first soccer team, the Green Beans.

Growing up in a small town was a challenge for me. I had high ambitions for myself, but it felt like in all the wrong areas. This caused lots of self-doubt and frustration in myself during middle school and early high school. I wanted to pursue my own desires but didn’t feel like I could. This all changed when I got my first A- in school. I was devastated because I had all A’s up until my sophomore year of high school! I didn’t know how life could go on! Little did I know that this would be one of my biggest lessons as a kid. I didn’t keep those high grades for me, I did it because it was expected of me. Which led to some key mindset changes.

“I asked my parents if I could take $300 out of my bank account to start a clothing brand, and they said ‘Go for it!'”

On January 24, 2019, I vividly remember telling myself that I was no longer going to live my life trying to satisfy other people. Instead, I was going to pursue my own visions in my head. It took me 16 years of my life to make that realization, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. From there I decided to do all the crazy things my mind wanted to do. I asked my parents if I could take $300 out of my bank account to start a clothing brand, and they said “Go for it!” So from there, I started selling shirts for what is now known as Forward Motive. Just like my YouTube channel, I was able to take on so many challenges and learn a ton in the process. I learned how to ship products, pick out supplies, leverage social media posts, create a website, run Facebook advertisements, and many more things!

One of my first photoshoots for my clothing brand. These Des Moines sweatshirts were a hit!

Had a float in my local parade. I threw out 50 free t-shirts with a bunch of friends – appreciate y’all!

Abass was my first international order. Seeing this order come through was a wild experience. I still think about it often. Thank you, Abass!

Running my own t-shirt company led me to look into other cool brands out there. What I noticed was that every brand had some outstanding photos taken, so I knew at that point that I needed to learn how to take photos. So, I talked with my cousin, Ben VanHorn, and bought his Canon 70D for $500. Ever since then, I have had a camera strapped to my side. I learned photography for the purpose of taking cool product photos, but in reality, I learned how much I loved photography in and of itself.

I invited my friend Parker over to record each other longboarding in my shirts. Still, this was one of my most fun shoots to this day.

I wanted to make a website video, so I had my friend record me at a construction site. I loved the visuals of the site and thought the final video was sick.

Photography opened up my opportunities big time! People started to know me as the camera kid, so I took people’s family photos, senior photos, and even for-fun photos. It was a whole other business opportunity I didn’t even know existed. I had enough photos for a nice-looking portfolio by the time I was 17 years old, so by the time college rolled around, I didn’t even know if I wanted to go!

After pondering senior year of high school if college was right for me or not, my parents encouraged me to try it out, and quite frankly, I was lost in life, so I agreed with them. From there I applied to one school, and that school was Iowa State University! I headed to Ames, Iowa ready to take on college. I didn’t know how the heck I would keep my clothing businesses going, or if I would get any photo or video opportunities. I was super nervous, but I knew I had to give it a try!

As you could’ve guessed, after a year and a half into college, I was not a fan! My entrepreneurship professors didn’t have any entrepreneurship experience, and I hated the idea of having to work solely for someone else. Since I had a client while I was in college, I was able to withdraw from school and hop right into being a full-time freelancer in the second half of 2022.

“I was able to withdraw from school and hop right into being a full-time freelancer in the second half of 2022.”

From that point on, I have been pursuing full force at doing my own thing. Even with all of the skills I have learned since middle school, I’m still learning more and more about myself, and what I love. As hard as this journey is, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love what I have going, and there’s no way I’m stopping now.

If you’ve read this far, I just would like to say thank you for taking the time to learn my story. I’m excited to keep impacting this world in the most positive way I can.

Photo by Josh Hild. I traveled north for 3 hours to hang out with some photographers that I have talked to for years over social media. One of my favorite photos of all time.