Michael B. Shreeve started The No Pants Project in 2017. He has made it his mission to help creatives build businesses that provide them with both the financial and lifestyle freedom they desire.
By the time Mike was 18 he had moved 28 times. The perennial “new kid” he quickly discovered that empathy played a critical role in developing relationships quickly.
Growing up, he often spent summers in Arizona with his grandfather. The two had a special bond, and Mike decided he wanted to be a math and physics teacher, like his role model.
Mike did well in math, and after high school he completed a year of college in hopes of pursuing his degree. Unfortunately, he ran out of the necessary funds to complete his education. Shortly after his studies were halted, and through a series of poor life choices, he found himself homeless living in a tent in Washington Park near downtown Portland, Oregon.
In an act of desperation, Mike taught himself how to generate an income writing blog posts at his local library. Within 2 weeks time, with the gracious help of a kind librarian, he was able to generate enough money from his Freelance writing to get an apartment and leave the streets for ever.
18 months later he was earning 6-figures per year with his creative business serving clients from all over the world like SUCCESS Magazine, Mel Robbins, Russell Brunson, and more.
The No Pants Project Is Born
For a decade, Mike’s business flourished. He had graduated from writing mere copy and was coaching, marketing, and building the businesses of big name clients with multi-million dollar companies.
At this point, he considered leaving the industry altogether to retire early and live out the rest of his days as a minimalist in the woods. As luck would have it, a certain influencer in his life gave him a piece of advice that changed his direction. She told him that freelancing had given him much, and it was time to give back.
Mike agreed that in many ways freelancing had saved his life. Not only did it get him off of the streets, but it had also broken the cycle of the poverty mentality he had believed in growing up. When he was impoverished, it had been especially difficult to consider things like other people's needs, or his own personal growth. The pressing matters of food and shelter always took priority. It was with this realization that Mike decided to create a program that could teach people to live with freedom, abundance, and the ability to genuinely help the world. He knew that he could do more than just affect his own family, and he believed that to experience good, it was necessary to turn outward and help other people break this same limiting cycle over their own lives.
As Mike moved forward with The No Pants Project, he assumed his favorite part of the program would be donating funds to the charities that he cared about. His experience on the streets gave him a great empathy for children affected by homelessness, and for those unable to protect and fend for themselves. That’s why The No Pants Project consistently provides charitable donations to organizations like Charity Water, Nikela.org, The Rewind Institute, and more.
However, as the project gained momentum, Mike found his greatest reward was actually seeing his students’ wins. He also began to recognize some valuable attributes in the students who had the most success.
The most successful No Pants students were committed to staying the course no matter the road bumps that came their way. They readily pursued learning with honesty and grit. They had a sense of self awareness, and could recognize their limitations, but refused to be conquered by them. With this self awareness, was the ability to take action. The most successful people Mike observed never just tried to get by doing the bare minimum.
A challenge for some of the students in No Pants that Mike had not predicted, was how difficult overcoming their own limiting beliefs could be. Many people who have worked a traditional job are conditioned to have an “employee mindset.” Employees don’t necessarily have to apply themselves much beyond their comfort zone. They don’t even have to give their best efforts 100% of the time. Regardless of what they accomplish, they get paid for showing up.
As a business owner, that’s not an option. And the very mentality caused some to sabotage themselves.
And still, the successes and rewards of the program have outweighed the struggles, by far. The best moments for Mike have been seeing those “first wins” for new freelancers. The first time they realize who they want to serve, or the day they send their first client an invoice. Watching people see the payoff of what they have worked to apply, and seeing them truly believe that there's another way to earn a living, is a reward in itself. They are no longer a prisoner to a way of thinking and they begin to look at the corporate world through different eyes. They realize they can get paid the same to write a two-hour blog post as they used to make in an entire day. The world opens up.
And better still, after that initial first breakthrough, comes the realization that there’s actually no ceiling. Soon, the student raises their price, or lands a dream client, or gets their first retainer. Their life has gone from survival to abundance, and they know the sky's the limit.
Making The World A Better Place