Entrepreneurship is a term that evokes excitement, fear, and hope all at once. It is a path that demands everything from you but offers the opportunity to create something that can change the world. As the world evolves, entrepreneurship has become an attractive choice for many, a lifestyle that offers the freedom to pursue one’s passion and dreams, but let’s face it, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart; it’s fraught with risk, uncertainty, and failure. Yet, despite all the challenges, there are individuals who dare to take the leap of faith and leave their mark on the world with a legacy of helping others achieve their highest selves. These entrepreneurs are the ones who soar through the seismic shifts of life.
Frankie Russo is one such entrepreneur. Hailing from Louisiana, Russo’s mother and father laid the foundation for helping others and building a community by running various homeless shelters and nonprofit organizations. As the son of missionaries, Russo has always been drawn to serving others and making a positive impact on those around him. This passion has led him to spend much of his early life volunteering at a local homeless shelter, where he has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by underserved communities.
After completing his education, Russo started his first venture as a mortgage broker, which he turned into a full-time career. However, fate had other plans, causing a seismic shift in his career with the 2008 mortgage crisis that dealt a fatal blow to his business, but Russo didn’t give up. He had already founded Potenza Inc., a branding company, with his younger brother. His entire focus shifted towards this brand, and what a wise decision that turned out to be! Potenza Inc. became a force to be reckoned with in the advertising and marketing world, serving clients ranging from auto dealers to national food chains. Their innovative branding and advertising strategies earned them recognition as one of America’s fastest-growing privately held firms, a title they held for six consecutive years.
In 2015, Russo faced another seismic shift that forced him into the software technology industry. Out of this shift, 360 Intelligent Automation (360ia) was established, a software technology company specializing in business intelligence and intelligent automation for the marketing industry. By adapting and innovating in the daunting world of original technology, 360 was able to thrive and scale at a staggering pace and in 2020, 360ia earned the title of the fastest-growing privately owned company in Louisiana by Inc. Magazine with skyrocketing 60X growth.
The following year, he also founded The School of WHY, a community for entrepreneurs, artists, professionals, musicians, athletes, and anyone seeking to connect with their real purpose and passion to empower them to soar through the seismic shifts of life with authenticity. This new endeavor led Russo on a path to what has become his primary purpose; helping others find their ‘Why’. Moreover, Russo is also an incredible author and has published two best-seller books as of yet; titles include The Art of WHY and Breaking WHY. The Art of WHY, released in 2016, is a guide to help individuals discover and master their purpose. Breaking WHY, published in 2022, focuses on hacking and rebuilding strategic emotions to allow for transformational growth and authentic success. As a keynote speaker, Russo shares his expertise on purpose-driven leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation at speaking engagements and book tours across the United States.
After the success of Potenza Inc. and 360ia, Russo continued to explore opportunities to expand his impact on the business world. In 2018, he founded Russo Capital, a private equity firm. Through Russo Capital, he invests in a variety of sectors, including sports, technology, advertising, media, marketing, automotive, agriculture, and more. Russo states, “I believe that when authentic leadership and a clear purpose are instilled, you can uncover new opportunities, innovative ideas, and untapped potential. With the right guidance, those treasures can be harnessed and used to fuel massive growth and authentic success.” Throughout his career, Russo has received numerous accolades and recognition for his achievements. He was named ABIZ Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011, Top 20 Under 40 Honoree by the Daily Advertiser in 2014, and Founders to Watch in 2019 by Startup Weekly. In addition, he has been featured in several media outlets, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Times, and Inc. magazines. He has also earned many Addy and Telly awards for his work at Potenza, Inc.
Yet, despite all of his successes, Russo remains humble and grounded, always striving to learn and grow. He has spoken openly about his recovery from drugs and alcohol, his failures and setbacks, and how they have helped him become a more authentic leader and entrepreneur. “I believe giving back to the community and being personally involved in philanthropic initiatives is a non-negotiable for authentic success”, adds Russo. “Success goes way beyond achieving financial gain. I believe making a positive impact on the world and the people around us is the higher calling for all of us. It’s our common WHY as humans.” Undoubtedly, Russo’s vision is truly an inspiration for many to come, to help others lay their foundation and to leave their own legacy by embracing their true, authentic selves in order to soar through the seismic shifts of life.