Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A. Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto) started in 1997 out of Southern California and was largely a short publication for local KLR dual-sport riders. Over the years it evolved to “Dual Sport News” then to “Adventure Motorcycle” in the early 2000’s. In 2010 we acquired the title, rebranded it and also updated the name to “ADVMoto.”
Our mission is to serve the stories of adventure and dual-sport riders from North America and around the world. The focus is not just on the bikes, hardware and gear, but the amazing diversity and spectrum of people who like to explore the world both at home and abroad.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself.
A. Like many people in the quickly growing Adventure market, my professional background comes from a wide variety of experiences. I spent many years working IT, with some teaching and a short stint as a government contractor. Life has afforded me the chance to do many amazing things, which I won’t list here.
Q. What inspired you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
A. Just like anything else, most of it is being in the right place at the right time and willing to do the work for nothing. When the opportunity arose to take over the title, I decided to do it for many of the reasons which frustrated me in dealing with the mainstream motorcycle media of the times.
After being part of the Adventure Motorcycle community, it seemed odd to me that nearly all of the mainstream motorcycle media didn’t consider adventure riding stories as content people would be interested in. The sacrifice many adventure riders made to achieve their goals was extraordinary. Some of their experiences were near mythological and deserved to be National Geographic specials. That fact that no one would publish these stories in America seemed both short sighted and absurd.
ADVMoto set out to do something about that. We played an important part in bring creativity and standards back to a media industry which was fundamentally overly formulaic and failing. The formula is not difficult but for some reason easy to overlook…especially in a large organizations.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. This is a great question! First I would say, Respect your customers and don’t treat them like they’re stupid. Ask them what they like or don’t like and listen to them. Make the necessary changes where appropriate, keep communicating and evolving your product on a pro-active basis.
Second, budget your time and priorities well. Being successful is doing that last 5% that no one else does, and doing it for a long time. Anyone thinking success is an overnight quest is wrong or already comes from a lot of resources. For the rest of us, the name of the game is planning a life which allows you do what you love and hopefully earn a living from it.
Last but not least, be aware of yourself as much as possible. Fresh entrepreneurs and small businesses face a full gamut of challenges with only a couple people to overcome all of them.
We can’t all be good at everything so knowing when you’re a bottle neck in your organization is very important. No one can slow or wreck a company faster than the people making decisions, so step back from time to time and make a basic evaluation. Am I the right person for this job or could someone else do it better? Freeing yourself up to do what it is you’re best at is an important part of developing an effective business.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. 1 – Learn some web development – It’s nearly impossible to be any kind of business now without a website. Finding a good and affordable web developer is nearly impossible on a small budget. I went through a dozen developers and lost years of productivity as the “website gold rush” created a million small companies of less-than-professional web developers.
As such, I had to learn to build sites myself. Thanks to CMS systems, this has never been easier but it’s not as “drag and drop” as some people like to think it is. If you don’t want a cookie-cutter website you’ll have to learn some CSS and HTML. If you don’t mind doing a little code, the power to craft your site and how it brands you is amazing… and can even be fun.
2 – Endurance wins – Don’t just look at this month’s figures or today’s sales. Look years down the line. Envision where you want to be and create a plan to get you there. It may not go 100% according to plan, but you can make adjustments along the way. Having a direction, and being able to communicate it is critical to success.
3 – Do the extra 5% – Back to this again! Lots of people are willing to work hard to become successful in a competitive field. Those who aren’t will either get lucky or eventually fail. The best chance to succeed it to do the last 5% that no one else is willing to do. Yes, it adds stress and extra responsibility that would be easy to rationalize away.
“Why should I do it when no one else is?” This is a great attitude if you want to fail. Most of the magic is in that list 5% where you differentiate yourself from others, innovate and build quality lasting relationship between your industry partners and customers.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
A. One nice thing about doing what you love is the line between work and play is rather blurred. You can expect to put in at least a regular work day after your first few years of survival. Until then though, it’s not uncommon to put 10-12 hours a day into developing your company on a shoe-string. Get used to it! Don’t complain….just get it done.
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. By far the answer to this is loving what I do and the people I work with. When you’re motivate to work you’re invest yourself into it more. From and employer or employee’s standpoint, investing in yourself is critical to any level of success. Doing enough to get by is not enough, but that’s easier said than done.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. Media and marketing are very similar in many aspects. Both are the propagation of ideas…whether that’s product oriented or a lifestyle message with a philosophical twist. Promoting the products, services and stories people produce is a great way to get yourself out there and for media, “content is King.”
That said, in the digital marketing era you have to do a bit of everything and the current demand for small business to cast even wider nets through a hug variety of new channels is ever daunting.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. I admire any company that follows a dream and believes in both a community and what they offer. Large or small, product or service, business is about building and maintaining relationships.
This is not an easy task since we are in the process of evolution as individuals and market. Companies that maintain standards of ethics and treat everyone they can equally always get a “like” in my book!
Q. What motivates you?
A. I like to wake up in the morning and look forward to my day. Whether that’s work or family, it’s nice to find something to appreciate about who and where you are in life at this moment.
Ultimately though, the answer came to me from the Muppets Movie. I want to see millions of people happy. If you want to have a successful business, make people happy. If you want to have a successful family, be sure they are happy. If you want to have a successful life, make sure you are also happy!
Surrounding yourself with happy and growing people is one of the most important things you can ever do. Take it seriously.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. New ideas are often generated as a response to some sort of question. This can sometimes happen to me in personal brainstorming sessions, but the best way to generate new ideas is to simply ask people. Ask customers what they think about this or that. Ask employees for insight on this program or that idea. You don’t, and can’t, do all of them but there are great chances you’ll learn something from the process.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A. Seeing sales numbers and market growth is nice but the best moment comes when you know you’re impacting people’s lives. From emails to meeting people in person, it’s great when they say ADVMoto got them to try something new, or we’ve helped them make a decision to follow a dream. Even better is when they come back a changed person after doing it!
One of the side effects and benefits of real adventure is how much it changes a person emotionally, mentally and practically. You develop new skills and confidence you never thought you had. Moreover, you’re able to not take things in life for granted and earn a respect for people as a whole.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. The law of opportunity cost applies to everything when you account time as a limited resources. It would always be better to spend more time travelling with family or friends instead of doing “work”, but when you can work and travel with family and friends, it doesn’t seem so bad.
I would say that the biggest loss on a personal level has been lack of saddle/riding time. Working in an industry often makes it difficult to do what you once did as a hobby, but there’s a time and place for everything and you have to understand your role in a market.
At the end of the day, one nice thing about doing what you love is none of the sacrifices are unwilling. Sometimes you have to eat the responsibilities of your decisions, but that’s not really a sacrifice…just being a good person.
Have a vision, point in a direction and get there like a freight train! Maybe you can’t do everything but if you can look back and say, “I would do this all over again.” you’ve gotten closer to happiness and a life of fulfillment.
For more information visit us at https://adventuremotorcycle.com/
Adventure Motorcycle Magazine
232 Robinson Road
14506 Lee Rd. Suite G
Zip Code: 20151
Tel No.: 5714852910
Toll Free No: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Business Hours: Mon – Fri (10.00pm – 05.00pm)
Sat – Sun (Closed)