Matt Dallas: Positively Impacting Gilbert, AZ

Matt Dallas with his family.

For Matt, the idea that “you're building something for yourself versus building something for somebody else” was the ultimate motivator.

Before joining The N2 Company and publishing his Stroll magazines, Matt Dallas spent 10 “really formative” years in the corporate sales world, which made one thing especially clear: He really wanted to work for himself and invest in his future. After seeing former colleagues become N2 Area Directors, Matt took the leap himself in 2014. The transition was both “scary” and “liberating,” but the idea that “you're building something for yourself versus building something for somebody else” was the ultimate motivator.

Today Matt runs two publications in Gilbert, Arizona: Stroll Agritopia and Stroll Val Vista Lakes. Since Matt came on board, a lot has changed both at the N2 Company and in his franchise businesses. “I handle the ups and downs better than I did before,” he acknowledged, citing a “higher belief” in his ability to tackle challenges.

Owning It

“The thing I love about [my role] is you can kind of make it your own to a certain degree,” Matt reflected.

He continued, “For me to come up with my vision and core focus, it took a really long time. But when I did that, it really helped.” And just what is Matt’s core focus? Simply put, it’s “to make a positive impact in Gilbert,” more specifically in his two neighborhoods of Val Vista Lakes and Agritopia. To accomplish that, his time and efforts are dedicated to connecting residents, introducing businesses to the communities, and supporting local nonprofits.

Matt noted, “My business really encompasses all three of those things. With everything we do, we’re trying to incorporate that focus, and what’s happened is when you live that out, it attracts people – it attracts people in the neighborhood, it attracts new businesses, and it helps retain the right ones. People that appreciate that stick around and those are the people I want to work with.”

Fear? What Fear?

When the COVID-19 pandemic introduced uncertainty into the marketplace, Matt said, “I went back to that core focus: How can I make a positive impact? How can we continue to connect neighbors, introduce businesses, and look for ways to give back? How can we execute on those three things in the current environment?”

That meant “digging in with people in the neighborhoods to come up with the highest-quality content during all this,” having a “finger on the pulse of what’s actually happening” in the Gilbert communities during stay-at-home orders, and figuring out “who are the most important businesses” to “take care of” during this difficult time. Matt called all of his clients, shared updates on Instagram, and even sent pizzas to grocery store workers.

Matt’s perseverance – and his refusal to let the coronavirus slow him down – comes from lessons learned through a serious health battle he faced due to Stevens-Johnson syndrome in 2001, during which he was hospitalized for three weeks. He had another medical emergency, a hemorrhage in his lung, a decade ago. “I decided at the beginning of this whole [pandemic] that I’m not going to live in fear of getting sick,” he said, pointing out the danger of fear-induced stress. “That’s going to have a negative effect on everything, including my health.”

The ultimate comfort comes from his family: wife Nicole, daughters Maddie and Brie, dogs Caesar and Aurei, and new addition Princess Whiskers, a bunny rabbit.

The Giving AD

On his LinkedIn page, Matt describes himself as a connector, marketer, and giver. Asked about the “giver” part, he cited the book Give and Take, which argues you get the most out of life by being a giver. Shared Matt, “I really identified with being a giver and wanting to give first versus take first. So in everything I do, I look for opportunities to give, whether that’s in the sales process or in the content process.”

“It doesn't always come back to you directly from that same person, but you always get paid back for what you give. I’ve never been able to out-give myself.”

That’s a mentality we should all adopt.