Reagan Pugh

Speaker, Founder of Assemble


Please provide a personal bio for other members to get to know you

Education is probably the theme that's run through my professional life. 

After teaching 10th grade English on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota with TFA, I developed leadership courses for college students and ran a non-profit. That evolved into working for the non-profit's largest benefactor who founded the management consulting firm, Kalypso. I spent five years at Kalypso where I served as Chief Storyteller and built a video production capability for the firm. I was also responsible for all on-boarding of new employees and soon found myself creating curriculum and experiences for members of the firm and started a weekly newsletter celebrating our culture. 

I lived in Austin while working at Kalypso but traveled so much it didn't feel like it. I wanted to feel more grounded and build a community. So I left Kalypso to help a friend grow his college non-profit, PelotonU, by creating the coaching practices they'd codify to support the adults in their program working to finally earn their college degree. 

During that time, on nights and weekends me and two friends were busy creating workshops and storytelling experiences for our friend group because we were interested in the magic of collaboration. Slowly we realized we could create a consultancy based on our practices. We founded Assemble in 2016 and I soon left PelotonU to focus 100% on building programs and selling work. Shortly after I fully committed, one of the three co-founders got into a PhD program and shifted to an advisory role. Two of us spent a year developing some great offerings and selling enough to live. I had a huge case of impostor syndrome, though, and was following the lead of my co-founder. As fate would have it, his wife got pregnant and he needed to take a job with benefits. 

And then there was me. In 2018 I ran Assemble by myself and thankfully went through Unreal at the same time - which focused me and pushed me through the nasty feelings of impostor syndrome. I was able to sell a few small projects, but things finally took off when I landed Impact Hub Austin, a co-working space who wanted me to create an accelerator for them and run it. 

With Impact Hub as our client, Assemble ran two accelerators with 20 ventures in 2018 and it was the most formative work I've done in years. But as many of us realize - we sometimes like to hide once we start to feel comfortable. I realized it would be easy for me to run more accelerators in 2019 for Impact Hub. It pays enough for me to live (but not my true value), and is about 50% administrative - which is safe and allows me to blame the lack of risks I'm taking on the fact that I have programatic tasks to complete. 

So - two weeks ago I thanked Impact Hub and said I could no longer serve them and am back out in the wild.

Please provide an overview of the project(s) you'll be focusing on for the next 12 weeks as part of Unreal Collective.

I've been hiding as a public speaker. It's all I've ever really wanted to do. Throughout my career I've been able to find lots of stage time, but I've never had the courage to say, "This is what I do, I believe I have something meaningful to say that can serve others - will you hire me?"

In 12 weeks I'd like to have made significant growth and progress in the way I market myself, the products I sell, the content I'm producing, my relationship-building practices, my sales funnel, my back-end organization, and my revenue from public speaking.