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Interview with Gboyega Adebayo, Co-Founder of Yencil



Interview with Gboyega Adebayo, Co-Founder of Yencil

Gboyega Adebayo is on a mission to demystify entrepreneurship and help every person start their dream side hustle or business. Gboyega is the CEO & Co-Founder of Yencil, a platform for knowledge professionals to sell templates online. They help working professionals passively sell what they know to small business owners and individuals needing their expertise.

Over a decade in industry and management consulting, Gboyega has supported organizations across the globe with Technology Business Management. But his dream of starting and running his own business never left him. While his best friend and cofounder, Les Ragsdale, developed the MVP of Yencil, Gboyega launched The Be Helpful Podcast. The Be Helpful Podcast (BHP) explores the stories of relatable business owners in hopes to demystify entrepreneurship for people wanting to pursue their dreams.

Where did the idea for Yencil come from?

With my professional work, I fell in love with Microsoft Excel and started managing my life within spreadsheets. I often would have friends and family ask for copy of my spreadsheets when they had similar problems to solve. As a consultant, I created PowerPoint decks for a living and would often share scrubbed examples or templates with team members. After another request from a family member for one of my spreadsheets, I thought, what if I could put this online and sell it, without having to build a website and drive traffic to the site.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

To maximize my productivity, I start the night before and organize and prioritize my to-do list for the next day. My morning starts with the family routine and the workday starts when I get to my coworking space. I eat breakfast as I catch up on emails and answer messages. Then I try and “eat the frog” by completing the most important and challenging tasks earmarked for the day. Before I pack it up and head home, I try to get a quick workout in-between completing the less intense tasks for the day. I block family time every evening and after my son goes down, I squeeze in a few more hours of work before bed.

How do you bring ideas to life?

First, I start with the end in mind and create a clear vision of my target outcome. Second, I back into the milestones and steps required to get there. And lastly, I obsess on completing the tasks to achieve the first milestone.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Side Hustles. Everyone seems to be starting something on the side for a little extra income. It challenges people to think about what brings them joy. I believe everyone can be their best selves when they pursue what they are passionate about and that leads to more autonomy over their time. I get excited about a world full of people professionally doing what they love rather than just doing what pays their bills.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Doing a weekly brain dump onto my to do list. Getting everything out of my head and into my productivity app allows me to sort, categorize, and prioritize everything.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Dedicate your after-work hours to genuinely explore your interests and things that energize you. And if you find something that makes sense to explore commercially, try and learn as much as you can when you’re still employed. Either get a job in the field, work atmosphere (e.g., startup), or good ol’ YouTube.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Voting in America should be mandatory and we should universally do rank-choice voting, ranking our preference rather than selecting a single candidate.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Talk to strangers or other entrepreneurs daily. Watch what you unexpectedly learn that somehow helps you and your business.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Joining local and online communities for the people my business aims to serve. This is not intended to selfishly and shamelessly plug my business, it’s to better understand who you want to serve. You have to consistently challenge your own assumptions or hypotheses about your target customer.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Thinking that if you build it, they will come. Completely revamp my go-to market strategy.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Marketing agencies that do not have cash flow challenges should offer a revenue-sharing model to serve solopreneurs and early-stage startups. This aligns incentives and allows agencies to have skin in the game. Solopreneurs spend way too much time learning how to do activities that should be commoditized. Right now, highly skilled professionals are too expensive, and cheaper professionals must learn how to guide a novice.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I rented a dedicated gym locker. I use my gym’s co-working space, and having a dedicated locker for everyday gym items is super helpful. My daily bag functions as a gym bag and a briefcase with a laptop compartment. So eliminated all excuses for not working out, and this allows me to maintain my physical health even on those mentally stressful workdays.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Todoist. I use it as my day-to-day task manager. I have a project for personal tasks and projects for my respective businesses. Each week I do a brain dump, and each night, I select the tasks I need to tackle the next day.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.
It helped me understand how the brain works and the habits we’ve formed. Achieving success in anything requires a heavy dose of discipline and consistency, and this book gave me principles for achieving this.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s only crazy until you do it” – Nike.

Key Learnings:

  • Write down your thoughts, don’t keep everything in your head.
  • Talk to strangers every day. As an entrepreneur, you get to use every experience you have for your business. New perspectives can make a surprising impact on how you think about your business.
  • Most of the battle is discipline and a consistent willingness to “figure it out”.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.


Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers: History, Tradition, and Innovation



Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers

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Jack Carlson is the founder and creative director of Rowing Blazers, a fashion brand that combines classic American style with a contemporary edge. Jack Carlson, a former national team rower, and scholar of history draw inspiration from vintage sportswear and traditional Ivy League fashion. His passion for design and fashion, combined with his unique background. Jack Carlson has resulted in the creation of a brand that stands out in the industry.

Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion?

I’ve always had a passion for fashion and design, even while pursuing my other interests. I grew up in Connecticut and started rowing at a young age, eventually competing at the national level. While studying history at Harvard, I became interested in the traditional clothing worn by rowers and began to collect vintage rowing blazers. This sparked my interest in fashion and led me to start designing my own clothing. After completing a Ph.D. in archaeology, I decided to pursue fashion full-time and founded Rowing Blazers in 2017.

What inspired you to start Rowing Blazers?

I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the rich history and tradition of American fashion, particularly the preppy style of the Ivy League. At the same time, I wanted to bring a contemporary edge to classic designs and challenge the boundaries of traditional fashion. I was inspired by the vintage rowing blazers that I collected and wanted to create my own versions that were both authentic and modern.

Can you walk us through the design process of creating a new collection?

The design process always starts with research and inspiration. I spend a lot of time looking at vintage clothing, archival photographs, and historical documents to get a sense of the styles and aesthetics of a particular time period or culture. From there, I sketch out ideas and work with my team to refine the designs and select fabrics. We always strive to balance classic elements with modern twists and unexpected details. It’s a collaborative process that involves a lot of trial and error, but we always end up with something that we’re proud of.

How do you stay true to your brand’s identity while also keeping up with current fashion trends?

For us, it’s not about following trends, but rather creating timeless pieces that will never go out of style. Although we draw inspiration from the past, we don’t limit ourselves to it. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and push boundaries while staying true to our brand’s core identity. We’re not interested in fast fashion or disposable clothing – our pieces are meant to last and be treasured for years to come.

Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced while growing Rowing Blazers and how you overcame it?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is scaling the business while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship that we’re known for. We’ve had to find the right partners and suppliers who share our values and are able to produce our garments to our high standards. We’ve also had to be very strategic about our growth, taking things one step at a time and not rushing into anything too quickly. It’s been a learning process, but we’ve been able to grow the business in a sustainable way that we’re proud of.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own fashion brand?

My advice would be to stay true to your vision and never compromise on quality. It’s also important to be strategic about your growth and not try to do everything at once. Start small and focus on doing one thing really well before expanding. And always be willing to learn and adapt – the fashion industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to be flexible and open to new ideas.

What’s next for Rowing Blazers?

We’re always working on new designs and collaborations, but we’re also focused on expanding our brand beyond just clothing. We want to create a lifestyle brand that encompasses all aspects of American style, from furniture to home decor to travel accessories. We’re excited to continue growing and evolving while staying true to our brand’s identity and values.

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Jack Carlson’s passion for fashion and history has resulted in the creation of a unique and innovative brand that stands out in the industry. His dedication to quality and craftsmanship, as well as his commitment to sustainability, sets Rowing Blazers apart from other fashion brands. To stay up to date with Jack Carlson and Rowing Blazers, you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Gracie Cedres

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Interview with Gracie Cedres: Insights on Entrepreneurship and Work-Life Balance



Interview with Gracie Cedres, Founder of G.R.A.C.E.

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Gracie Cedres is the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E., a company that provides virtual assistance and project management services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a degree in communications, Gracie has always been interested in helping others succeed in their businesses. Her passion for helping entrepreneurs led her to create G.R.A.C.E., which has been helping entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. In this interview, Gracie will share more about her journey as an entrepreneur and the success of G.R.A.C.E.

Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur?

Sure, my name is Gracie Cedres, and I am the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E. I have always been interested in helping others, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, succeed in their businesses. After completing my degree in communications, I worked as a virtual assistant for various entrepreneurs and realized that there was a need for high-quality virtual assistance and project management services. That’s how the idea for G.R.A.C.E. was born, and since then, I have been working hard to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals.

How did you come up with the idea for G.R.A.C.E.?

After working as a virtual assistant for several entrepreneurs, the idea for G.R.A.C.E. came to me. I realized that many entrepreneurs were struggling to manage their time effectively and needed high-quality virtual assistance and project management services to help them become more productive and profitable. I saw an opportunity to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing them with top-notch virtual assistance and project management services, and that’s how G.R.A.C.E. was born.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting and growing your business?

One of the biggest challenges I faced in starting and growing my business was finding the right team members. It’s important to have a team that shares your vision and is passionate about what they do. I also faced challenges in marketing my services and reaching out to potential clients. However, I overcame these challenges by networking, building relationships, and creating high-quality content that showcased the value of my services.

What is your vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years?

My vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years is to become the go-to virtual assistance and project management service provider for entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. I want to expand my team and services to be able to help more entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. I also want to continue building strong relationships with my clients and providing them with top-notch services.

Can you share with us some of your favorite success stories from working with your clients?

One of my favorite success stories is working with a small business owner who was struggling to manage their time effectively. By providing them with virtual assistance and project management services, we were able to help them increase their productivity, improve their marketing strategies, and ultimately grow their business. It’s always fulfilling to see my clients succeed and achieve their goals.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to educate themselves and never stop learning. It’s important to constantly learn new skills, stay up to date with industry trends, and seek out new opportunities. It’s also essential to have a strong work ethic, be persistent, and not be afraid to take risks. Don’t let failure discourage you, instead use it as a learning opportunity and keep pushing forward.

How do you maintain a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur?

Maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging as a busy entrepreneur, but it’s essential for your well-being and the success of your business. One of the things I do is prioritize my tasks and delegate when necessary. I also set aside time for self-care activities like exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. It’s also important to know when to disconnect from work and focus on other aspects of your life.

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Gracie Cedres is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. Her dedication to helping others and passion for entrepreneurship has led to the success of G.R.A.C.E. With a vision for continued growth and success, Gracie is sure to make an impact in the virtual assistance and project management industry. To learn more about Gracie Cedres and G.R.A.C.E., visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Evan Cagner

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Interview with Evan Cagner: Insights into the World of Tech and Entrepreneurship



Interview with Evan Cagner, CEO of TechBlue

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Evan Cagner is the founder and CEO of TechBlue, a company that provides managed IT services to businesses of all sizes. Evan has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry and has helped numerous businesses grow by leveraging technology. He is a thought leader and innovator in the IT industry, with a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies. In this interview, Evan Cagner shares his insights into the world of tech and entrepreneurship.

What inspired you to start TechBlue?

I’ve always been passionate about technology and how it can be used to solve business problems. I started my career working for a large IT consulting firm, and I quickly realized that there was a big gap in the market for managed IT services. Small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to keep up with the latest technology trends, and they don’t have the resources to hire full-time IT staff. That’s why I decided to start TechBlue – to help these businesses leverage technology to grow and succeed.

What sets TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies?

There are a few things that set TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies. First and foremost, we are incredibly focused on customer service. We believe that building strong relationships with our clients is the key to our success. Second, we have a team of highly skilled technicians who are constantly learning and staying up to date with the latest technologies. Finally, we are very flexible and can customize our services to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.

How do you stay on top of emerging trends in the tech industry?

I’m always reading and staying up to date with the latest news and trends in the tech industry. I attend conferences and meet with other thought leaders in the industry to discuss new technologies and how they can be used to solve business problems. I also encourage my team to stay up to date and share their knowledge with each other.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the IT industry?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the IT industry. With so many people working remotely, there has been a huge demand for cloud-based services and virtual private networks (VPNs). There has also been an increased focus on cybersecurity, as remote workers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital transformation and has highlighted the importance of having a reliable and secure IT infrastructure.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?

My advice would be to focus on building a strong team and never stop learning. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who have different skill sets. Be willing to take risks and make mistakes, but also be willing to learn from those mistakes. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other entrepreneurs who have been through it before.

What is your vision for the future of TechBlue?

My vision for TechBlue is to continue to grow and expand our services to meet the changing needs of our clients. I want to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and continue to be a thought leader in the industry. Ultimately, I want to help as many businesses as possible leverage technology to achieve their goals.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and staying active. I’m an avid runner and I also enjoy playing basketball and golf. I’m also a big fan of music and enjoy going to concerts and discovering new artists.

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Evan Cagner is a true leader and innovator in the IT industry. His passion for technology and customer service has helped TechBlue become one of the most respected managed IT services companies in the business. With his keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, Evan is sure to continue to make an impact in the industry for years to come. To learn more about Evan Cagner and TechBlue, you can visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Makayla Gordon

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