Interview with Carrie Richardson, Co-Founder at Richardson and Richardson
Carrie Richardson is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in helping technology companies introduce new products and services into the North American reseller partner network. Her client list includes Cisco, Datto, Huntress and Sophos. She is a partner at Richardson & Richardson Consulting, a consulting firm that will change the world by helping 1000 entrepreneurs achieve and realize their visions.
She has bootstrapped and sold two outbound sales development agencies, and supports new entrepreneurs through mentorship and microlending.
Carrie is an advocate for workforce re-entry, creating sales training systems that support reskilling and upskilling non-traditional job candidates for technology sales development roles. She shares this system with agencies that are focused on government subsidized on the job training programs, and helps companies implement her program.
Her next volunteer project includes co-founding “2 Seats”, a volunteer-led community that will amplify the authority of women in technology by connecting influential technology marketers with female speakers and content creators.
Carrie has two amazing daughters. She and her husband Ian live part time in their off-grid stealth camper, “Penny The Van”. Her goal is to never be cold, which is hard to accomplish living in Michigan.
You can learn more about Carrie online at https://randr.consulting, and connect with her on Linkedin in at https://linkedin.com/in/tinfoilhat2
Where did the idea for Richardson and Richardson come from?
My husband and I both owned and operated small businesses before we founded our consulting practice. He owned an IT consulting firm, and I owned an outsourced business development agency. Both of us worked with hundreds of small business owners. Most struggled with sales, marketing, and strategy. They made expensive errors; delegating or outsourcing things well before they understood them. Richardson & Richardson was built around the idea that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself – but you don’t have to do it by yourself. We want to help 1000 entrepreneurs build their vision and change the world.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day begins around 4 A.M. I’m not a keener, I’m an insomniac.
I read, write, hit the gym, walk the dog and start my “real work day” around 8 or 9.
I keep my days productive by keeping all phone notifications disabled and blocking off my calendar to external access on Mondays or Fridays. If I’m buried, those are catch up days. If I’m ahead, they become long weekends.
Most of my days are very predictable, everything in our business is processed out, so I have tasks and activities that I am responsible for and checking them off of the list is quite satisfying: that magic list keeps me on track. As a visionary, I could spend my whole day in “what if” fantasyland – a checklist keeps me focused.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I used to overwhelm my team with ideas. Eventually, they figured out that if they demanded an implementation plan along with the idea, I would only put forward the ideas that were important enough to me that I would follow a structured process to evaluate and present them. I learned a pretty great opportunity evaluation process through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Entrepreneurs program – each new idea starts with identifying the characteristics of the opportunity – for me, I consider:
- Does it solve a customer pain?
- Is it a new product or service we’ll offer to our current market?
- Is it a current product or service, but targeting a new market?
- How does it build on an existing competitive advantage?
- Does it have the potential to be profitable?
- Does it fit in our current strategic road map, or is it something to purse later?
Then I take the ideas that fit to my leadership team, and they decide which ones I should spend more time evaluating.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m excited that employees are refusing to work with companies that don’t value them, and hopeful that trend leads to more entrepreneurs. There are so many programs available to people who are interested in building a business now – incubators, accelerators, economic development agencies offering grants, programming, and mentors – there’s never been a better time to start a business in the US!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit I’ve developed that makes me more productive as an entrepreneur is the “two minute rule” – If it is going to take me two minutes or less, I do it immediately instead of pushing it off until later.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I’d give my younger self is prioritize what I think about my choices over what “other people” will think about them.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Unpopular opinion: we’ve created an entire ecosystem that encourages the goal of building big businesses with no regard to profitability as fast as they possibly can using other peoples’ money. We aren’t rewarding people for building innovative products, or quality services; we’re encouraging people to copy things that already exist with the sole purpose of an “exit” to the company they copied.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I call people every day. I think everyone else should, too. Real phone calls to real people. Phone calls are great for asking for advice, generating referrals, or for establishing a relationship that will earn you the right to ask someone for their business. If you count up the amount of time you spend “researching” before you try to interact with someone, I think you’ll find you’re wasting more than ¼ of your day just messing around on social media with no actual KPIs to determine if that time is being well spent or not.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Data hygiene is the cornerstone of our business success. Early on, we made asking the same three key questions mandatory on every call we made, regardless of what kind of client we called for. We incentivized our employees to gather those data points. Now, creating targeted marketing campaigns is simple and sales forecasts are incredibly accurate.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had as an entrepreneur was a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude with my team. They had to follow process, but I did whatever I wanted. I realized a few years in that your employees take their cues from your actions, not your words. If it’s not important enough to me to follow the process, should it be important to them?
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If I was going to start a business right now, I would start something with no, or very little capital investment that I could do as a sole provider from my home first. I think to be an industry leader in your city for most services you’d really only need to show up on time and do what you’ve promised to do in order to run circles around most human-powered businesses – I’d SEO it aggressively against the dozens of gig-economy platforms that don’t seem to have any quality control or issue resolution. Here are a couple off the top of my head:
• pet-related services (boarding, walking, grooming, house-sitting)
• home companion services for busy adults with aging parents (wellness and support visits that didn’t require dispensing medication, but did include support with housekeeping, meal prep, guided physical activity, and any other errands that could relieve the burden of people who are already stretched thin caring for their kids AND their ageing parents!)
• lawn care and seasonal yard clean up
• housekeeping or commercial cleaning services
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Personally, the best $100 I’ve spent recently was on microfiber towels for our off-grid conversion van. When we travel we shower at at 24 hour gym, and they’re amazing – they dry fast, they don’t leave lint on you, and they came with carrying cases – they fold down super small and are easy to pack. Professionally, the best $100 I’ve spent was on branded laptop stickers that I include with any thank-you card I send. People post them online after receiving them – they cost so little and people love them!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of using all of the features of any software we’re already paying for – and Microsoft Office365 has a ton of features that are overlooked for productivity – bookings, for example – it’s free with your o365 license, and it replaces paid solutions like Calendly. We use it to allow people to self-schedule meetings, but we can also put qualifying questions right into the form that provides data to help us determine how the meeting should go.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Atomic Habits, by James Clear changed how I approached achieving goals! I used to be a “I’m going to do everything differently…starting next Monday” kind of person. Now I focus on making small, incremental changes immediately that build towards larger goals. For example, I wanted to focus on getting fitter this year, but I was having difficulty getting to the gym every morning at 5. Not because I don’t like going to the gym, but because I had to many barriers to getting there. The first habit I built wasn’t “get up at 5”, it was “don’t keep your phone near the bed so you don’t check your email first thing”. Then it was “make sure your gym clothes are ready the night before so you don’t get frustrated and waste your workout time looking for matching socks and clean shorts” and then it was “have coffee when you get back, not before you leave.” I recommend it to anyone who has tried any feast and famine approaches to behavior modification.
What is your favorite quote?
I stole this from my first mentor, and I use it a lot – I think about it as it pertains to employees AND clients:
“FIFO” (fit in or f off)
- Routine and process is the key to productivity
- Your cell phone is a tool that should be used for your convenience, not to facilitate convenience for others.
- Data is your most valuable asset.
- Connecting with other people “live” is essential to growing your business – using the phone will improve your communication skills.
- New habits are easier to form with incremental improvements instead of big sweeping cold turkey changes
- There are profitable businesses that can be started by anyone at any age with zero capital investment.
Interview with Adrian Tobey, Founder of Groundhogg: Insights on Entrepreneurship and Marketing Automation
Table of Contents
- What inspired you to start Groundhogg?
- What makes Groundhogg different from other marketing automation tools?
- How do you think marketing automation will evolve in the next few years?
- What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
- What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?
- How do you balance your personal life and work as an entrepreneur?
- What are your future plans for Groundhogg?
- Closing Thoughts
Adrian Tobey is a marketing automation expert and the founder of Groundhogg, a WordPress plugin that allows businesses to automate their marketing and sales processes. With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, Adrian has helped numerous businesses grow and scale their operations through automation. In this interview, Adrian shares his insights on entrepreneurship, marketing automation, and the future of digital marketing.
What inspired you to start Groundhogg?
I’ve always been passionate about digital marketing and helping businesses grow through automation. When I saw how expensive and complex some of the existing marketing automation tools were, I realized that there was an opportunity to create a more affordable and user-friendly solution that would be accessible to businesses of all sizes. That’s what inspired me to start Groundhogg.
What makes Groundhogg different from other marketing automation tools?
Groundhogg is unique in that it’s a WordPress plugin, which means it’s seamlessly integrated with the WordPress platform. This makes it easy for businesses to use and manage their marketing and sales processes without having to switch between multiple tools. Additionally, we’ve focused on creating a user-friendly interface that doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise, making it accessible to a wider range of businesses.
How do you think marketing automation will evolve in the next few years?
I think we’ll see a greater emphasis on personalization and segmentation in marketing automation. Businesses will need to tailor their messaging and communications to specific segments of their audience in order to stand out and engage with their customers. Additionally, we’ll see more automation tools that are specifically designed for smaller businesses, as these businesses become increasingly reliant on automation to manage their operations.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
My advice would be to focus on creating value for your customers. Don’t get too caught up in the latest trends or try to replicate the success of others. Instead, focus on creating a product or service that solves a real problem for your customers and provides them with tangible value. If you can do that, success will come.
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as an entrepreneur is managing my time effectively. There are always so many things that need to be done, and it can be difficult to prioritize and stay focused. To overcome this, I’ve had to develop strong time management skills and learn how to delegate tasks effectively. I’ve also learned to say no to things that don’t align with my goals and priorities, in order to stay focused on what’s most important.
How do you balance your personal life and work as an entrepreneur?
Balancing personal life and work as an entrepreneur can be a challenge, but it’s important to make time for both. I make sure to schedule in time for my family and personal hobbies. I also prioritize my work tasks based on their level of urgency and importance. I’ve found that setting boundaries and being intentional about how I spend my time has been key to achieving a healthy work-life balance.
What are your future plans for Groundhogg?
We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand Groundhogg. In the near future, we’re planning on releasing a range of new features and integrations that will make the platform even more powerful and user-friendly. We’re also looking to expand our team and grow our customer base, in order to continue providing value to businesses of all sizes.
Adrian Tobey is a true expert in the field of marketing automation, and his passion for helping businesses grow is evident in everything he does. If you’re interested in learning more about Adrian Tobey and Groundhogg, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Alex Malebranche
Interview with Alex Malebranche, Insights on Entrepreneurship in the Aviation Industry
Table of Contents
- What inspired you to start PlaneAhead?
- How did you validate the business idea and find your first customers?
- What challenges have you faced as a founder, and how have you overcome them?
- How do you differentiate your services from private jet charter industry competitors?
- What is your vision for the future of PlaneAhead, and how do you plan to achieve it?
- What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the aviation industry?
- How do you balance your work and personal life as a founder and CEO?
- Closing Paragraph
Alex Malebranche is the founder and CEO of PlaneAhead, a company that provides private jet charter services. He has a degree in finance and marketing from the University of Miami and started his career in the financial sector before transitioning to the aviation industry. The passion of Alex Malebranche for aviation and entrepreneurship has led him to build a successful business that caters to a high-end clientele. In this interview, he shares his journey as a founder, the challenges he’s faced, and his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What inspired you to start PlaneAhead?
My love for aviation and entrepreneurship inspired me to start PlaneAhead. I’ve been passionate about airplanes and flying since I was a child. I started flying lessons when I was 16 and got my private pilot’s license at 18. After working in finance for a few years, I realized that my true calling was in aviation. I saw an opportunity to combine my passion with my business skills and create a company that provides a better experience for private jet travelers.
How did you validate the business idea and find your first customers?
To validate the business idea, I conducted extensive market research and engaged in conversations with prospective customers. I attended aviation industry events and trade shows to network and get feedback on my concept. I also reached out to existing private jet charter companies and learned about their operations and customer needs. Once I felt confident that there was a demand for my service. I started reaching out to potential customers through my personal network and online advertising. Our first customers were primarily referrals from friends and family. But as we grew, we started getting more business from corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals.
What challenges have you faced as a founder, and how have you overcome them?
As a founder, I’ve faced many challenges, including raising capital, building a team, and navigating regulatory hurdles. One of the biggest challenges was building a brand and establishing credibility in a competitive industry. To overcome this, I focused on providing exceptional customer service and building relationships with customers and industry partners. I also invested in marketing and PR to raise awareness of our brand and services. Another challenge was managing growth and scaling the business without sacrificing quality. We overcame this by hiring experienced professionals and implementing processes and systems to streamline our operations.
How do you differentiate your services from private jet charter industry competitors?
We differentiate ourselves from competitors by offering a personalized and customized experience for our clients. We take the time to understand their needs and preferences and tailor our services to meet their specific requirements. Our investment in technology and data analytics enables us to offer our customers real-time information and valuable insights. Additionally, we have a network of industry partners and suppliers that allows us to offer unique amenities and services, such as in-flight catering and ground transportation.
What is your vision for the future of PlaneAhead, and how do you plan to achieve it?
Our vision for PlaneAhead is to become the leading provider of private jet charter services globally. We plan to achieve this by expanding our network of aircraft and destinations, investing in technology to enhance the customer experience, and building strong relationships with our clients and industry partners. We also plan to focus on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint by investing in eco-friendly technology and initiatives.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the aviation industry?
My advice would be to gain as much knowledge and experience in the industry as possible before starting a business. This could include working for an aviation company, getting a pilot’s license, or attending industry events and conferences. It’s also important to do your research and understand the market and competition. Finally, you should be prepared to work hard and be persistent, as building a successful business takes time and effort.
How do you balance your work and personal life as a founder and CEO?
Balancing work and personal life can be a challenge as a founder and CEO, but it’s important to prioritize self-care and time with loved ones. I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting boundaries and delegating tasks to my team. I also make time for hobbies and activities that help me relax and recharge, such as traveling and flying.
Alex Malebranche’s passion for aviation and entrepreneurship has led him to build a successful business that provides exceptional private jet charter services. His journey as a founder has not been without its challenges. Still, his dedication to building a strong brand and providing personalized service has set PlaneAhead apart from competitors in the industry. Aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from his experience and commitment to excellence. You can follow Alex Malebranche on his LinkedIn profile or visit PlaneAhead’s website to learn more about their services.
Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Omer Molad
Interview with Omer Molad: Insights on Building a Startup, the Future of Hiring, and Staying Creative
Table of Contents
- What inspired you to start Vervoe?
- How does Vervoe differentiate itself from other hiring platforms?
- Can you tell us about a significant challenge you faced while building Vervoe and how you overcame it?
- What advice do you have for other startup founders?
- What is your vision for the future of the hiring process?
- Can you share a project or initiative that you’re currently working on that excites you?
- What do you do outside of work to recharge and stay creative?
- Closing Paragraph
Omer Molad is the co-founder of Vervoe, an AI-powered hiring platform that helps employers hire the best candidates for their open positions. Prior to starting Vervoe, Omer Molad worked in marketing and analytics for various tech companies, including Waze and Google. He has also served as a mentor and advisor for several startups.
In this interview, Omer Molad shares insights about his experience as a startup founder and his vision for the future of the hiring process.
What inspired you to start Vervoe?
My co-founder David Weinberg and I were both frustrated with the traditional hiring process, which often relies heavily on resumes and subjective evaluations. We wanted to create a more objective and efficient way for employers to assess candidates, and we saw an opportunity to do that with AI. Our vision was to build a platform that could evaluate candidates’ skills and abilities through real-world simulations, rather than relying solely on their past experience or education. That’s how Vervoe was born.
How does Vervoe differentiate itself from other hiring platforms?
One of the key ways we differentiate ourselves is by using AI to automate the hiring process as much as possible. Our platform can evaluate candidates’ skills and abilities in real-time, which means employers can get a more accurate and objective assessment of their capabilities. Additionally, we provide a library of customizable assessments that are tailored to specific job roles, so employers can ensure they’re evaluating the right skills for each position. Finally, we provide a candidate management system that streamlines the entire hiring process from start to finish, which saves employers time and resources.
Can you tell us about a significant challenge you faced while building Vervoe and how you overcame it?
One of the biggest challenges we faced early on was getting the word out about Vervoe and convincing employers to try our platform. We knew we had a great product, but it was difficult to break through the noise and get noticed. To overcome this, we focused on building relationships with potential customers and showcasing our product through demos and case studies. We also leveraged content marketing and social media to raise awareness about Vervoe and the benefits of our platform. Over time, we were able to build a strong customer base and grow the business.
What advice do you have for other startup founders?
My advice would be to stay focused on your vision and don’t get sidetracked by distractions or noise from the outside world. Building a startup is hard, and there will be many ups and downs along the way. But if you believe in what you’re doing and stay committed to your goals, you’ll be able to weather any storm. It’s also important to be adaptable and open to feedback from customers and the market. Listen to what people are telling you, and be willing to pivot your strategy if necessary. Finally, surround yourself with a strong team of people who share your vision and are committed to helping you succeed.
What is your vision for the future of the hiring process?
Our vision is to make the hiring process more objective, efficient, and fair for everyone involved. We believe that AI has the potential to revolutionize hiring by providing a more accurate assessment of candidates’ skills and abilities. We also think that the traditional resume-based approach will eventually become obsolete and that employers will rely more on real-world simulations and other objective measures to evaluate candidates. Ultimately, our goal is to create a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to showcase their skills and get hired based on merit, not just their credentials.
Can you share a project or initiative that you’re currently working on that excites you?
We’re currently working on a project to integrate Vervoe with other HR technology platforms, such as applicant tracking systems and video interviewing tools. This will allow us to offer a more seamless and integrated experience for our customers and their candidates. We’re also exploring ways to use machine learning to analyze candidate data and provide insights that can help employers make better hiring decisions. I’m excited about the potential of these projects to make a real impact in the hiring industry.
What do you do outside of work to recharge and stay creative?
I’m a big believer in the power of exercise and mindfulness to recharge and stay creative. I try to work out regularly and make time for activities like hiking and yoga. I also make a point of disconnecting from work and technology for a few hours each day, whether it’s by reading a book or spending time with family and friends. Finally, I find that travel is a great way to gain new perspectives and stay inspired, so I try to take at least one big trip each year.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, Omer. Where can our readers learn more about you and Vervoe?
You can learn more about Vervoe and Omer Molad. You can also follow me on LinkedIn at for updates on our latest projects and initiatives.
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