1. 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.
Ans: Divine Bovine is a Gourmet Jerky company with an awesome product that is loved by people across all venues!
Divine Bovine Beef, Turkey and Pork Jerky is Gluten Free and Paleo friendly and we use only natural ingredients – no Nitrates or Nitrites. Our Beef Jerky is made from Wisconsin Steer Brisket of Beef that is dry-aged for 30 days, and all varieties are marinated for 24 hours in one of our amazing sauce blends, then cooked to perfection in our state of the art ovens.
Soft, Moist & Delicious – it’s truly the Best Jerky on the Planet!
Divine Bovine Enterprises is based in Palm Desert, CA
2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: Anthony Longo, President/CEO/Founder of Divine Bovine… I’ve always been an Entrepreneur. I have owned numerous successful businesses in the California Desert (Palm Springs/Palm Desert area), including two Bike Shops, a Sandwich Shop, an Irish Pub, a Restaurant and a Starbucks-type Coffee Shop.
Education: BS in Biology from Loma Linda University La Sierra
Major Achievements: Purchasing 1st Bike Shop at Age 21. Took the business from $300K per year to $1.2M per year within five years.
3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: Divine Bovine Enterprises started out of “peer pressure”. In the 1990’s I began “dabbling” with jerky at home. I tested all different cuts of meats with many different (homemade) marinades and found that for Beef Jerky, Steer Brisket of Beef was the most flavorful, most tender cut of meat – more expensive, yes, but the only cut I would use. During the 90’s, I sold my jerky in our Bike Shops and in my Irish pub – it was a HUGE hit with customers – all who tried said I needed to get into the “Jerky” business! Fast forward to 2001 and Divine Bovine was born!
4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
1. Do what you love – love what you do!
2. Invest in Yourself!
3. Customer Service is KEY!
5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
2. Good Manager (of time and people)
6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: 8 hours
7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: The strong work ethic taught to me by my parents
8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: A great product speaks for itself. That being said, hiring the right (passionate) people to get your product into stores, social media, word of mouth
9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: I started the business on my own and with my own funds
10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Do what you love – love what you do!
11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: Managing my business from The Bahamas!
12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: Marcus Lemonis Enterprises (Camping World, Gander Outdoors, Good Sam Enterprises, and more) – I truly admire the man!
Recommended Questions –
13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Good employees are ESSENTIAL – you can’t be all things to all people at all times
14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: Until I’ve proven it can’t be done or is financially “risky”
15. What motivates you?
Ans: I like to see my dreams turn into realities
16. What are your ideals?
Ans: To be success at what I choose to do in life and to love the process of doing it!
17. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: I’m a Type “A” – my brain never rests – there’s always ideas floating around in there!
18. How do you define success?
Ans: Fulfillment of personal / professional goals, while maintaining the utmost integrity
19. How do you build a successful customer base?
1. Deliver an EXCELLENT product
2. At a FAIR price, and
3. Provide the BEST customer service
20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Doing what you LOVE and earning a (good) living in the process
21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The first time seeing my products on store shelves!
22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: There’s a certain “hunger” in Entrepreneurs that (typically) doesn’t exist in those who work for another…
23. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: A “family” culture – I’m Italian… this is how we are and this is what we do!
24. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Nothing – its been a FANTASTIC ride thus far!
26. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: I have an amazing wife and 3 awesome kids who have been willing to jump in when needed, even at a moment’s notice – it’s been great!
27. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: No real “fears”
28. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: Kept it local – have lived in the California Desert (Palm Springs area) for 40 years
29. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Great concept / idea / opportunity
Develop game plan
Surround yourself with great mentors
Live “lean” until well after you can afford not to
30. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: Winston Churchill – he was one the World’s greatest and most influential world leaders
31. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My Father, Dr. Lawrence Longo, who was a distinguished professor of physiology, obstetrics and gynecology at Loma Linda University
32. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: The Art of the Deal
33. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: I don’t look at events as “mistakes” – everything we do or experience we learn from, and makes us the person we are today.
34. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Just do your best each and every day, in every situation you encounter
35. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: Sports: Tennis, Skiing, Boating…
36. What makes you happy?
37. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Time away from Family