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The global brand of a young and adventurous lifestyle, with a complete line of clothing and accessories.


Josh Schmitz

Each time we post about taking on interns, a barrage hits us asking why we only offer UNPAID internships.

Being in business for over 10 years now, I admit I have a lot of crazy beliefs, but after talking through our intern process with my mentors and cabinet (people I trust with my life and to call me on my bullshit) they all agreed with me on this process, so I felt it was necessary to share my thoughts. 

Below are some of my collective thoughts on why unpaid internships are so valuable, and why I believe it is one of the most essential building blocks of learning, and the best path to real world skills and success.


I’m sorry college kid, but you are unprepared.

School is important, but it’s also become a massive crap shoot and profit generator for people who ARE NOT YOU. The class of 2013 graduated with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt and its only gotten worse sense.

Underemployment for grads is nearly 20%. College grads working minimum wage jobs is up 70% in the last decade. In other words, you just paid all that money and now it turns out that you’re not even qualified to start in the field you supposedly credentialed for.

In other words, school didn’t really teach you the shit you actually need (and this is true even if you’re a doctor).

The good news is that there are really smart people and companies out there, who have been where you’ve been and they can help. Internships are in many ways the solution to the mess we are in.

I find the lawsuits over unpaid internships complete crap, as do the court of appeals who just over-turned the rulings on "the black swan" case of 2013. To me, the kids who filed these lawsuits against the people they were interning under, made one of the following bad assumptions:

A) Because of your helicopter parents you’ve wrongly concluded that your time (as an untrained college student no less) is worth something in an economy where people with decades of experience and amazing work ethic are willing to accept entry level work again.

B) You think the point of an internship is a few dollars here and there (rather than skills, access, and real world job training in the field you supposedly want to spend the rest of your life in). Newsflash: If you’re not learning anything and applying it in real life - that’s YOUR fault.

Or C) Your vision for your own life is way too short-sided.

This type of outlook on life simply put - leads to fear. Believe me, I used to carry a lot of fear too. What if I lose this? Worse, I would be unsure of how to act in certain situations, whether to advance or maintain or do whatever else somebody asked me to do right away. I was petrified of anything that could be considered a step backwards. I think I even once wrote that I promised myself I’d never work on a wage-basis ever again. Now I’m starting to understand that this was foolish. It’s an attitude prevalent in fear. What internships do, is put you in a situation where you can begin to get a birds-eye view of the grand strategy. Like a chessboard, you can begin to identify instances where there was not only nothing shameful in taking a job like that but doing so would be the best possible move. It’s important because once you understand where you intend to finish in that distant, far off sense, you can take in, in perspective, how insignificant many individual decisions are. Left or right, what does it matter? Take this, leave that – knowing how you can turn either to a productive, contributive step means you’re less dependent on circumstance and less anxiety for you to carry.

Whether you choose this class or that one, work or travel, books or people, these are small, tactical decisions. You know that the standing order is to turn each into an interesting, engaging process; EVERYTHING is a challenge to examine and a chance for insight.

Hall of Famer and current coach of the super bowl champion New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, for instance, took his first NFL job as a gofer for the Colts for a mere $25 a week. And that’s the NFL! Not complaining or taking the opportunity lightly, he simply put his nose to the grindstone and worked and worked until his role and responsibilities grew. He valued the experience, learning, and opportunity over the money.  There is a reason that internships, or “apprenticeship” have been directly related with long term success for centuries. “Go directly to the seat of knowledge,” Marcus Aurelius famously said.

Also, Richard Branson is not going to mentor you or pay you to be an intern. Don’t pick [insert famous, incredibly wealthy, genius person or company] and swing for the fences. Because you will strike out and it will hurt. Work your way up.

If this career or field is something you actually see a future in - bring something to the table. Even if it’s just energy, even if it’s just thanks, even if its just showing up! You cannot ask and ask and not expect to give anything in return. The bigger the payoff you can offer, the longer they’ll take you under their wing and the higher chances of you actually landing a job will be. Figure out what you can offer - and then actually go give it.

How do you find the right company to intern under? Especially if its unpaid? Wait - You’re asking me this question? C’mon man, you have to know who the leaders and innovators and talented people in your chosen field are. If you don’t, then you’re not ready for a mentorship or internship yet. If you don’t know what your chosen field is, you’re not ready yet either.

Don’t get carried away with your own self worth either - Whatever you’re asking for, or think you're worth - it’s probably too much, so scale it back. Always remember that there is a reason they’ve had the success they’ve had and you haven’t, and let that dictate the terms.

Think about it – if we aren’t even publicly HIRING for our company, why in the world would we shell out money on someone who we aren’t even looking for? Never, and I repeat NEVER, act like the company is obligated to do anything; because they’re not.

You land an unpaid internship - Now What??

Well - They took a chance on you. So deliver. Have your shit together. Want it badly. Don’t be crazy. Spot new opportunities, add value, make their lives and their job easier, and WORK yourself into an irreplaceable role.

The point here is for the intern to make the best use of their time, access and the opportunities. A good internship elevates your learning and career path – you get invited to stuff you otherwise wouldn’t have, you meet people who you wouldn’t have otherwise, you get to work on projects that were previously out of your reach. Rack up as much of this as you can. It’s worth so much more than money.

The company that you are interning with cannot want this for you more than you want this for yourself. You better show up every day fucking hungry and dedicated and eager to learn.

The bottom line is what do you want to get out of this? What’s your grand vision? If you don’t have the answer to that question, it’s going to be hard to really get the most of this connection and opportunity you’ve gained access to.

In other words, the point of an internship is that you work for free and put in all this time and energy to learn real, actual, world skills. And then you’ve got to make use of it.

Also – sorry kiddos, but your personal life is pretty irrelevant. No one cares what’s going on with you, until they do. But before then, it’s on you to handle that shit by yourself, privately. (“If you need to cry, go outside,” etc. etc.)

Pay it forward. When a company or owner or manager takes you on as an intern and invests in your personal growth in any field, you pay them back by moving on and being successful (which reflects well on them) and then returning the favor to someone who is in the position you were once in.

Finally, if this all sounds like a lot of work … well, it is.

Happy Hunting;

The Anatomy Of Meaningful Work

Josh Schmitz

The Challenge: Sometimes finding meaningful work seems to be just a mix of luck and intuition.
The Science: A recent study reveals common components of fulfilling work.
The Solution: Use these gauges to find work that is meaningful for you! 


This week, I stumbled upon a fascinating article in the MIT Sloan Management Review written by Catherine Bailey and Adrian Madden. They interviewed 135 people from 10 different walks of life in order to find out what makes their work especially meaningful – and also, what destroys their job-related sense of meaningfulness. While I’ve read other articles that provide valuable syntheses of meaning in work in the past (see here, here, and here), this one is especially rich in context, providing in-depth personal accounts of peoples’ experiences. This makes the findings especially palpable.

Here are some takeaways:

  • Meaningfulness is not dependent on the type of work. A garbage collector can experience the same amount of meaning in work as a nurse or a doctor.
  • Bosses (and specific leadership behaviors) are typically not perceived as a source of meaningfulness. Yet, they can easily destroy the perception of meaning in work.
  • More generalized, the creation of meaning in work is an individual endeavor, while its dismantling is caused by others, or the organizational system as a whole.

Moreover, the researchers describe several crucial components of meaningful work. They’ve inspired me to create this infographic based on their findings. Share and enjoy!

I love you. I created you. I am proud of you. You are my beloved.

Josh Schmitz

I'm currently reading ABBA'S CHILD by Brennan Manning, and if you are at all a reader, I highly highly suggest picking it up. Its a simple read, but I find myself re-reading the same paragraph 10-12 times letting it truly soak in.

Ive recently been through some turmoil with business, life, relationships, you name it - I've messed it up over the past 12 months. One of my gifts is my self-awareness, but the shadow side of that gift is, I take even my slightest mishaps, mistakes, and failures to heart... and they eat me alive from the inside.

A few of my recent blunders left me not liking who I saw in the mirror in the morning. I didn't see a beloved child of God, or a guy just trying to do his best, all i saw was failure, guilt, shame, and all the other things that make me (in my head) unlovable.

But through reading this book, it's allowed me to rediscover, maybe for the first time, my true identity as a BELOVED child of God.

You see - in the hustle-and-bustle of the world, we lose sight of our calling, of our nature. We lose sight of the creator, and all the sudden we find ourselves chasing the things of the world that we think will bring us purpose. We lose sight of the longing to discover the identity of who we really are.

And I've come to realize we will never be satisfied by the things of this world. Our grasping and clawing for the acceptance and understanding of this world is the source of all our discontent. Instead, the TRUTH is, my identity, your identity, the identity of our world rests solely in one place: Gods relentless tenderness for us.

I try to do my best to live in this controlled frenzy, creating an illusion of a well-ordered and put-together existence, but it just doesn't work. I move from crisis to crisis, responding to whats "urgent" but at the same time, neglecting what is essential. I parade around with masks on, pretending like its all ok - but it just leaves me feeling like I am on one of those automated sidewalks at the airport.

In this existence, the fire in my heart dies out.

But here is the cool part - If I was perfect, and put-together, and neat, and clean, and well-ordered, I would have no need for God.

Its in that understanding where the power of Christ truly comes alive for me. It's in my brokenness, in my powerlessness, where He has made himself strong.

Its through my vulnerability, not my strength where He steps in and is able to shine. Its in my admittance that I am weak and in my doubting faith, that God has given me faith.

Its in my brokenness, where I am able to see and identify with the brokenness of others.

Ministry, Business, Life, is about sharing, not dominating, understanding, not theologizing, caring, not fixing.

I just keep hearing this voice saying "I love you. I created you. I am proud of you. You are my beloved." And for some strange reason that seems to be enough


Josh Schmitz

This year for the RUCKUS FAMILY CHRISTMAS Party, we welcomed in close to 300 PEOPLE for our annual holiday party. Held at our storefront in Denver, Colorado, this is our biggest party we throw each each and welcomed in friends, families, and celebs, from all over the planet, with special live performances from MANOS, TOMMY GREEN, DAN SMITH, and CRYWOLF, and appearances from McCauly Caulkin, The Broncos, Nuggets, and everyone inbetween. Check out the gallery below, and a HUGE THANK YOU to Bulleit Whiskey and REDBULL for their support.


Josh Schmitz

We are so stoked to announce our new line of Coffee!! We have exclusively partnered with a women-run farm in Las Nubes, located in the remote mountains between Matagalpa and Jinotega, Nicaragua. We help run and subsitize the farm and then bring the beans through direct trade home where they are roasted IN-HOUSE at our storefront in Denver, Colorado.

From farm to roast, we have taken tremendous pride in this venture, and are proud to introduce our first batch available HERE