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Cowgirl Power with Gay Gaddis, Founder and CEO of T3

By The Mission

Gay Gaddis is Founder and CEO of T3, an advertising agency dedicated to helping clients build useful brands and create meaningful relationships with their customers. T3 is now one of the largest, female owned advertising agencies serving the Fortune 200, but it wasn’t always this way... In the late 1980’s when the economy was suffering badly, Gay was working for an advertising agency and saw that things needed to be done differently. In order to save her job and the company, she decided to write a business plan that she was confident would lead them down the right path. However, when she tried to move forward with her plan, she met opposition from her boss. She was faced with a critical decision: stay with her current job or go someplace else. “When I went home that evening, I realized that someplace else was going to have to be my place.” It was a critical decision for her as she withdrew a $16,000 check from her IRA to start what would become T3. Gay and her husband had 3 kids at the time and were strapped financially, so failure was not an option. Gay was determined to make the company work and quickly went to work securing new clients. To this day, Gay has never borrowed any money for T3 and has bootstrapped the entire business. Fast forward to 1992, Gay and the team at T3 were working with Dell, who at the time was still a fairly small sized company. T3 and Dell grew up together in the coming of the Internet age and worked on their first online marketing campaigns together. “We had been a results driven agency from day one. That was my business plan, to measure everything we did. My concept was to get the great results but also do really wonderful, creative work that would delight people, excite people, and create those emotional connections.” Her ability to marry both the data and metrics with creative and innovate ideas is what has continued to prove successful for T3. Gay recently finished her first book, Cowgirl Power, to share her story as a woman in business. Gay grew up on a ranch, horseback riding as a young girl, and her book tells stories of women with grit and power living in the Old West, a traditionally male-dominated time. In this episode, Chad and Gay discuss T3’s founding story, the sacrifices Gay had to make along way to ensure the companies’ success, and how her cowgirl upbringing has helped her manage risk in business. – Mission Daily and all of our podcasts are created with love by our team at We own and operate a network of podcasts, and brand story studio designed to accelerate learning. Our clients include companies like Salesforce, Twilio, and Katerra who work with us because we produce results. To learn more and get our case studies, check out If you’re tired of media and news that promotes fear, uncertainty, and doubt and want an antidote, you’ll want to subscribe to our daily newsletter at When you do, you’ll receive a mission-driven newsletter every morning that will help you start your day off right!

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