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.
Answer: Growth Technics is a digital marketing company. We offer all the standard fare in the field, but we strive to make our services as targeted, transparent and affordable as possible. In fact, we might be accused of undercharging for our services, but it is our #1 goal to provide maximum value and professionalism for the most affordable prices. We’d rather have a lot of happy customers getting outstanding value for their money than a smaller client base who feel pinched each month while we make exorbitant profit margins.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Answer: I hold a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors and a Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University. For over 10 years I owned, built and operated a Hazardous Waste Management Company in Southern California that grew from zero to serving over 200 local businesses. I am a decorated US Army veteran of the Vietnam Era.
Q. 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?
Answer: When I got out of the hazardous waste business, I began searching for a new venture. I had some success in network marketing and email marketing, but became disillusioned with those businesses after several bad experiences that gave me pause. I knew I wanted to have my own business again, but this time it would be something I could believe in. I happened on an ad online that caught my interest. The more research I did on digital marketing, the surer I became that this was a solid, legitimate business that would genuinely help small business owners such as me. With a highly reputable team, I was sure I could really make a difference.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
- Pick a business you can feel passionate about.
- Learn everything you can about it, and what it takes to succeed.
- Don’t concern yourself about getting rich; just strive to be a valuable service to others.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Communication. If you’re not articulate and able to explain things in a clear, convincing manner, or if you are not a good listener, it’s harder to gain trust and cooperation. Entrepreneurs are leaders first.
- Organization. You have to be able to organize and systematize your priorities, goals and functions. Value your time, and stay focused.
- Planning/problem solving. Without a plan, you’re lost. But no plan anticipates everything, so problems are inevitable.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Answer: 8. ”There’s more to life than work.”
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
Answer: Persistence. There are always obstacles to be overcome.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Answer: No Answer.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Answer: I am funding this venture on my own.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Answer: Offer something needed, find the people who need it, and always provide the best possible solution at a reasonable cost.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Answer: Amazon, They’ve done an incredible job of creating a marketplace that people can trust, a vast array of products they need or want, a feedback system, ultra-fast, free shipping, outstanding customer service, and a host of creative ancillary services.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
Answer: I don’t have employees. I have partners.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Answer: Until I become convinced through research and experience that the idea isn’t good for me.
Q. What motivates you?
Answer: Being of service and being appreciated. (Like everyone else, I think.)
Q. What are your ideals?
Answer: Above all, I value truth. Nothing works right without it. I also value caring about others, integrity, faithfulness, fortitude, service, and ethics.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Answer: I consider the ideas of others on certain topics, and I try to keep an open, non-judgmental mind. I’ll also focus on a particular problem or goal for a period of time, then let it “simmer” a while before going back to it.
Q. How do you define success?
Answer: Success is feeling fulfilled, happy and free of guilt or indebtedness. Loving and being loved. Appreciating what a blessing it is to be alive.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Answer: You have to have a marketing plan with goals and a budget for it. You have to have the right team in an environment of trust, enthusiasm and respect. Your organization must be structured and programmed to run efficiently and in the client’s best interests. Most importantly, you need value laden products/services.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Answer: The satisfaction of getting the job done right, and earning the respect of those you serve.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Answer: Getting the job done right.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Answer: I was once told I had a “resentment of authority”. I wouldn’t call it that. I just want to be my own authority. I think that independence is at the heart of entrepreneurship. I won’t judge those who work for someone else.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Answer: Mutual respect is absolutely key in my organization. I strive for an atmosphere of openness, fairness, and fun. When people feel a part of something bigger than themselves, they’re happier and more productive. I believe happiness has to be rewarded as much as productivity.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Answer: I don’t know that I’d do anything differently, except in those cases where I didn’t follow my values for one reason or another.
Q. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Answer: Sometimes it’s hard. When I get too focused on my work, I lose track of time and that can interfere with my family life. My previous business was less demanding, so I had more time for family affairs.
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Answer: I fear failure more than anything else. I manage it by finding solutions or an alternate path.
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Answer: No Answer.
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Answer: No Answer.
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Answer: I think it would be Martin Luther. He took on the Catholic Church in a time when it was considered heretical to contradict Catholic doctrine. He was incredibly honest and dedicated in a very difficult time.
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Answer: Og Mandino.
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Answer: The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Answer: My biggest mistake was getting too big for my britches. It got me in a lot of trouble.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Answer: The best way is through group participation and reviews. Collaboration solves problems.
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Answer: I love movies and going out to eat with my wife. We plan to take another vacation soon.
Q. What makes you happy?
Answer: My dog, Darla makes me happy. Being appreciated by anyone makes me ecstatic.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Answer: I don’t do sacrifice. I give to what is needed at the time. I don’t see it as a sacrifice. That seems too much like feeling sorry for myself.
Q. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Answer: I think I’d ask if anything ever seemed too hard to do, but you somehow did it anyway.