Marketing, Business, and Life Lessons

OUTdrive Episode 100: Marketing, Business, and Life Lessons

OUTdrive Episode 100 with Cliff Callis

Happy 100th Episode! We’re celebrating the big 1-0-0 with a very special episode of OUTdrive. This week, we’re turning the mic around to interview our host, the founder and CEO of Callis, Cliff Callis. In this episode, we take an in-depth look at Cliff’s story, the origins of Callis, and life lessons from 35 years of business.

Cliff has over 35 years of experience and expertise in marketing, advertising and public relations. He grew up in the retail business, working alongside his father and brother, where he first learned about the customer experience. Today, he oversees a full-service marketing and advertising agency that specializes in marketing to rural America. Cliff focuses his efforts on client, employee and public relations and working with clients to help them strategically grow their business. He is also president of the Board of Directors for the Center for Human Services. Cliff is a graduate and former trustee of Missouri Valley College, where he studied business, economics and communications and competed in intercollegiate tennis. Cliff and his family reside outside Sedalia, Missouri, where he enjoys outdoor sports, travel and the inspiration of life’s experiences.

Tune in to help us celebrate our 100th episode of OUTdrive and hear Cliff’s thoughts on marketing, life achievements, and 35 years of business.


  • 3:30 – Cliff shares what his childhood was like growing up outside of Sedalia in the 1960’s
  • 4:30 – Cliff describes what it was like growing up in a family business
  • 5:45 – Cliff describes his experience as a high school kid in Sedalia during the Ozark Music Festival
  • 9:20 – Cliff outlines how his career path changed from when he was in high school to the time he graduated from Missouri Valley College
  • 14:15 – Cliff shares why he decided to step away from retail and start his own agency
  • 16:45 – Cliff talks through his roles in the agency throughout the years and the way the business evolved
  • 22:50 – Cliff shares the details behind his morning routine and how it came to be a staple in his day
  • 26:30 – Cliff talks about his favorite part of being in the marketing industry, which centered around taking the agency through the digital revolution
  • 31:20 – Cliff discusses the benefits of joining a peer network and how it has helped the agency stay on top of industry and business trends and best practices
  • 36:00 – Cliff shares the biggest lesson he has learned from being in business for over 35 years
  • 39:30 – Cliff shares what advice he would tell his younger self
  • 40:45 – Cliff shares his favorite marketing books
  • 42:45 – Cliff talks about how the saying “you never know” became one of his go-to quotes
  • 44:20 – Cliff describes what rural America means to him
  • 46:25 – Ivy takes Cliff through a rapid-fire bonus round of questions from Callis employees