Entrepreneurs of The Month: Cole & Sanja Hatter

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“No matter how much money you make, no matter how many cars you drive, no matter how big your home is, no one is going to care. At our funerals no one is going to stand around talking about our cars, homes or vacations. They are going to talk about the impact we made on the world.”

This quote is from the inspired couple that started Thrive, a speaker conference that is centered around teaching entrepreneurs how to start a “for purpose business.” Cole Hatter has always had the entrepreneurial fire lit inside of him. From a young age he would take mistletoe off Christmas trees and sell it to his neighbors. As he grew older his businesses grew, too. In high school, Cole started his own clothing company and found his entrepreneurial spirit.

From a young age Cole dreamed of becoming a firefighter. He realized his dream but, sadly, a car accident put him in a wheelchair, which put his career on hold. At that moment, he didn’t know if his body would physically recover enough to be a firefighter again. That is when his entrepreneurial journey began. His body did fully recover, but he never went back to firefighting. Instead, he found a real passion for entrepreneurship.

Although Cole and Sanja knew each other in high school, their relationship didn’t start until Cole sat down to have a drink one day and Sanja was his bartender.

Initially Sanja didn’t want to venture into entrepreneurship. Having obtained her bachelors of science in criminal justice with a minor in psychology, Sanja craved the stability of a job. It did not take long, however, for her to change her tune. Sanja says that she would come home and see Cole working from home. He had the opportunity to go out and work from where he wanted and truly enjoy his life.

Now Cole and Sanja run a digital marketing agency and are deeply involved in real estate, run a mastermind group, and are even starting a champagne company! Now each of their businesses is for-purpose and they believe the model of helping people is the best way to model your business.

The idea of a purposeful business started after Cole had misfortune in business. He ended up losing a lot of money, so he moved to Mexico. While in Mexico he devoted his life to others. Cole lived as a full-time philanthropist; he helped take care of homeless families, and even helped start an orphanage. While he was there, he realized how far his money was going, and how many more lives he could impact if he made more.

From there on out Cole and Sanja’s businesses were built around positively impacting the world. This is how the Thrive conference started. They initially thought it was going to be a one-off event, something that happened only once. However, teaching others how to start a for-purpose business had such a positive impact on so many lives that people named themselves the Thrive Tribe. From the first event, Sanja and Cole realized how impactful this conference would be. Even though it is an immense amount of work, Sanja says it is worth it with all the emails and calls they get saying how many lives Thrive has changed.

With all the success they have experienced, it comes with hardship and failures, creating amazing advice! Cole reminds us that often as entrepreneurs we get so excited about our ideas that we forget how much time it is going to take to get there. “It is going to cost more, take more time, and make less money.” Cole tells us that the payoff is so much more than they could have imagined.

Sanja’s first piece of advice comes from her believing in the stability and comfort of a job. She would have told herself to dream bigger because you can only go as far as you dream. This piece of advice is tried and true! The more you dream, and the more you believe in yourself, so many more doors will open! Sanja knows that if she would have dreamed bigger from the start, she could have created a massive impact in the world earlier.

The advice doesn’t stop there, though! This power couple tells us not to chase the wealth, but to instead chase the impact that wealth can create by creating a business that impacts others around you, lifts up not only you and your network, but also strangers, families, and those who need it the most.

Moving forward, Cole and Sanja hope that more people will adopt this way of running a business and work towards creating a better world.

This fantastic power couple has impacted so many lives around the world and continues to live a life of inspiration for others. Creating massive success for themselves and those around them through good intentions and hard work is what they specialize in. We at Life By Design can’t wait to see what they do next!


Interviewed by: Stephen Dela Cruz

Written by: Kristen Crooks