Q.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. We are the next evolution in the Marketplace or Aggregator economy/industry where the revenue and profits of the product and services sold are shared with the members of the network. We then teach those individuals how to use those savings and earnings to generate passive income for themselves, with a goal of helping people achieve a better quality of life and financial freedom. We believe by taking this action we can affect many people’s lives and ultimately have a broad Macro Economic effect.
◦ We use the word network because we have built a group of individual, which we view as a buying consortium, we leverage that buying power to create savings and earnings for members of the network. All purchases are accessed through a marketplace environment (ecommerce aggregator). Each person can come in as a FANN (customer) or Charter Member. Charter Members earn based on referring people to the network through a network marketing structure which is mechanism to understand how the revenue and profits should be shared. These CMs range from people that are looking for a few hundred dollars a month to people that have made a career out of building very large businesses and earning substantial income. FANNs merely take advantage of the discounts and exclusive products/services, but do not earn any income.
◦ Our Products and Services offer an array of personal shoppers that help people get the best deals in specific sectors like auto, mortgage, and mobile. They are industry experts that actually work for and on behalf of the rNetwork members, so their focus is on the buyer not purchaser. We have financial education platform(s) that help educate people on personal finance, providing them live expert guidance on how to generate income through capital markets. We have health & fitness products and typical retail products. Our products and service continue to grow and evolve, but that’s a broad spectrum of the categories they fit into. [Insert Verticals]
Q.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. ◦ Education:
▪ Bachelor’s in communication studies (heavy focus on identity creation) and business
▪ Post Graduate Studies in Corporate Finance and Accounting
▪ Six Sigma Certified
◦ 17+ years in Financial Operations and FinTech, working with and for some of the largest technology companies, including Google.
◦ Founder and CEO of FinTech company looking at intelligent money movement and automation/efficiency software in the financial operations space, with a successful exit
◦ Publicly referred to as a payment expert in multiple press releases including The Wall Street Journal
◦ Global structure design and experience. CEO Focused on process control, innovation, market strategy, talent acquisition and business culture.
Q.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. ◦ All 5 founders recognize and share 4 similar views on a few things…1.) A lopsided balance where individuals did not have the buying power or same earning potential as big business and 2.) A growing culture of overspending and lack of savings which long term has negative impacts on overall economic health, 3.) An industry(ies) ripe for disruption/evolution with a better way to conduct business, and 4.) the growing gig economy. We are heavily driven we like the spirit of startups and have a desire to serve and disrupt. These things came together and created an opportunity that we saw as too good and important to overlook.
Q.4 What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans. ◦ Find your guiding principles and north star. If the actions you are performing are taking you closer to that north star (it won’t be a straight line) feel confident and use it as a focus point in all your decisions and don’t lose sight of it.
◦ Don’t be afraid of mistakes but quickly learn from them, adjust course and move on.
◦ Make decisions based on data but for God sakes make a decision.
◦ Surround yourself with good people and get your key leadership team in place early and incentivize them properly. They will guide the future of the organization.
Q.5 What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans. ◦ Flexibility – Ability to take in additional information and adjust.
◦ Driven – A willingness to work whatever hours necessary.
◦ A wide and general business acumen.
◦ Communication and ability to inspire.
Q.6 How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans. 15 to 17
Q.7 To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans. ◦ Being focused on actions and the results of those actions.
◦ Building a plan that achieves the business objections and working the plan while focusing on the actions knowing the results will come.
◦ Being stubborn and not liking to not “know” or quit or be told “no”.
◦ Holding to my guiding prin sudo apt-get install network-manager-l2tp-gnomeciples that have nothing to do with money.
◦ Balance: Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically
Q.8 How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans. We use several forms of marketing (social media, email campaigns, text etc.), but based on the nature of our business the biggest form of marketing is word of mouth and putting the tools and content in the hands of the Charter Members so they can share easily
Q.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. Traditionally in the past I’ve raised capital through typical avenues (VCs or High Net Worth Private Investors). This company has been primarily self-funded by the founders and became cash flow positive very early. I have taken only a small amount of capital through high net worth individuals. We plan on going into a fund-raising cycle purely to scale operations as an assurance that we keep up with the explosive growth we are having
Q.10 What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans. ◦ Continue to improve, which is one of our core values.
◦ Looking down the road to identify market & industry trends so we are not on the back side of the curve.
◦ Ensure you have worked your vision and mission so you can operate within that vision and mission for years to come but shift with market movement.
◦ Stay relevant through engagement and evolution as an organization.
◦ Don’t try to get their too fast…Create the plan and work the plan.
Q.11 Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans.◦ Doing the same thing we are doing today. Evolving our product offerings based on the things people need and want in their life. Finding ways to disrupt the dynamic between consumer, business, and where that money flows. We hope we are the largest network of individuals earning and savings based on their engagement. We just plan on doing this at a much larger scale
◦ We have specific goals internally for each Charter Member in earnings, average savings per member, revenue, etc., but I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.
Q.12 Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans. ◦ I am probably a bit biased in my first answer but also having seen the organization from the inside out I believe Googles’ model is one I would hope to follow for so many reasons; 1.) The culture of the organization is one that drives people to do better and be better 2.) Their hiring, management, and governance is incredible, (The amount of effort they put into employee development is incredible), 3.) I admire their culture of accountability with freedom because it is a hard thing to get right, 4.) They continue to innovate and drive forward “big ideas”, and finally they are hyper collaborative across the organization and with partners.
◦ There’s a long list of organizations out their focused on really improving people’s lives through technology, economics’, or in other ways.
▪ Be My Eyes – Is an organization focused on connecting blind people with sighted ones who can help them with tasks that are difficult – reading labels in a grocery store, in real-time using the camera on their phone
▪ Medical advancement companies like ReWalk whose founder was paralyzed in an accident and took that accident to focus his attention on inventing an exoskeleton to help people with paralysis to stand and walk, again.
▪ Tom Shoes who solved a real-world problem through a shared economy of scale and efficient manufacturing.
▪ Organization like GoFundMe who understood that there are financial discrepancies between people, and they provide a mechanism to allow the human sprint to help fix the problem, without legislating the solution. I truly believe when given the choice and option to do the right thing we help each other, most of us will make the decision to do what we can. We just need to trust the human sprint that is in most people.
Q.13 How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans. This is obviously one of my keys to success. I had a very early mentor of mine sit down with me and ask me what my biggest issues in my business were. After, I created a long list he said to me “no, Trent, you have a people problem. Go find the right people, go find talent and give them accountability at latitude and the problems will get fixed”
Q.14 How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans. This is a big question. An idea that is either the entire company or at the core been a long time in the making, we/I make adjustments. If it’s an individual idea within about a specific area of the business, we monitor data (we are data geeks) and trash it quickly or typically just adjusts course slightly based on the information. When something is not working you need to be willing to call it a failure and move on.
Q.15 What motivates you?
Ans.◦ The people
◦ The commitments I have made to those around me and myself.
◦ The struggle and the fight.
◦ The idea that things can always get better for me and all those around me
◦ Improvement for an individual, our business, and the world is out there somewhere we just need to find it and move it forward.
◦ I want to leave a damn mark before my time here is done.
Q.16 What are your ideals?
Ans. ◦ Integrity
◦ Toughness – I want to be able to look at myself and my children and truly know that I refused to quit on anything, that I gave everything I could for as long as I could for the people in my life who put their trust in me and our organization (charter members, shareholders, etc). I have a sense of duty.
Q.17 How do you generate new ideas?
Ans. ◦ Debates and discussions with the other founders, executives, members, of the team, friends. Hyper-collaboration
◦ Data and Information – Research and continuing to seek information on behavior.
◦ Based on my early studies observation & analysis. I spend way more time than I should deconstructing everything in my life examining myself and my actions.
Q.18 How do you define success?
Ans. ◦ I think everyone defines success through money, which I do as well. However, it is very much (at least for me) about what I do with that money and not the accumulation of wealth for wealth sake.
◦ Freedom, because it represents all the founders/executive’s barometer for success, and its company value.
Q.19 How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans. Through doing what we say and saying what we do. We try the hardest to hold to our commitments and we are transparent where we fall short. A high level of engagement and customer service.
Q.20 What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans. ◦ Being able to operate across multiple plans of business and multiple areas. Feeling like you are never in a box or confined in anyway.
◦ Creation, watching an idea take shape and then take on a life of its own. It’s like raising a kid, as they mature you influence their lives in many different ways and you get to watch the core fundamentals you laid in the beginning continue to drive the behavior of the company.
Q.21 What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans. Launching each company live. When the first customer/member joins and you know you are now a real company. Hitting the moment in the company where we finally felt we were in control and the structure began to drive pure alignment.
Q.22 What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans. Risk, tolerance, and all of us are a bit insane.
Q.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.◦ The culture is focused on objective achievement and not time put in.
◦ Collective mind mentality
◦ There is strong governance, but we are pretty flat.
◦ The work environment is pretty relaxed, which is possible when you make people accountable for objectives and hire the right people. The team is full of incredible people
Q.24 In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
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