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February 17, 2022
Our friend and partner John Allen is a badass. Yeah, he was a Navy SEAL, but that’s not why he embodies the Black Buffalo spirit. “Charge Ahead” is about being you, doing you. Having the courage to pursue something you believe in. There might not always be a clear path. Create your own lane, boss.
When John retired from the teams, he asked himself, “What’s next?” Naturally selfless, he Co-Founded a nonprofit, Elite Meet. Their mission is to help SOF operators transition into the private sector. Black Buffalo was proud to support.
But something else was calling John - an English major, gamer, storyteller, and tech enthusiast. There were no jobs requiring this with a warrior’s background. Challenge accepted.
Late nights and early mornings, John went into strategy mode. Computer, pen and paper, whiteboards. He formed a plan. How could he captivate an audience with something unique and effectively cut through the noise of the internet? Answer: dark, mysterious, and strange stories.
John learned how to edit videos. Researched tales he found interesting. Studied engagement techniques. His new moniker “MrBallen” was created and had a purpose. As the world was ignoring TikTok, John saw the future of it. While many of us were simply watching YouTube, he was mastering it.
If you build it, they will come. John started organically posting videos. Not of the heroic war stories he was part of, but content that just about anybody would find fascinating. Alien encounters, evil child stars, mind blowing Halloween tales all started amassing millions of views. They also garnered the attention of some serendipitous fans.
John grew up listening to Blink 182. When the trio’s guitarist, Tom DeLonge, reached out to John as a supporter of the channel, he screamed and ran to his wife to show her the message. Tom hosted John at an Angels & Airwaves show and shouted him out on stage. They clicked and have plans to work together in the future. With authenticity, life comes full circle.
Since starting his channels in 2015, John has risen to the top of content creator elites. With 8M+ fans on TikTok, 5M+ subscribers on YouTube, and hundreds of millions of views, MrBallen has manifested his own destiny. It led to brand partnerships and opportunities that weren’t even part of the plan, but arose out of sheer belief. Calculated and strategic, John dropped his first podcast on his own time this past week and it immediately spiked up to the top 10 in the United States (yeah, the entire country).
Badasses badass. Bosses boss. Charge Ahead.