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Interview with Matt McCormick, Founder of Tech Unwreck

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Interview with Matt McCormick, Founder of Tech Unwreck

Matt McCormick’s 8th grade algebra teacher, Mr. Eisenreich, told him that someone who likes math should, “Become an engineer.” So that’s what he did.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1996 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and took a job selling automation equipment in Minneapolis. He hated it but wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Every engineer should spend time as a salesperson.

In 1998 he took a C programming class for fun. This became his gateway drug to programming, and by the fall of 1999 the UW’s computer science department had a new TA with a degree in engineering – not computer science. It all worked out. After getting a Master’s Degree, the computer science department asked him to lecture on operating systems for a year. Then it was off to Seattle to be a software developer for Microsoft.

After four years as a cog in a giant wheel, he quit to freelance as a software developer for small businesses. Through a variety of random events, he ended up starting a small side-business fixing broken cell phones. At the end of 2008, a friend convinced him this should be a real business.

By early 2022 that small side-business the business had 3 retail locations and another division doing mail-in repairs for K-12 schools. There were over 20 employees and about $3.2 million a year in sales. But starting in early 2022 Mr. McCormick decided to sell the retail stores and focus exclusively on the K-12 mail-in business.

Today the company has 8 employees and fixes iPads, Chromebooks, and PC laptops for over 500 schools all over the United States and is expected to do $1.2 million in sales – and growing.

In addition to running a successful business since 2008, Matt has gotten married, had two boys, and now lives in Madison, WI.

Where did the idea for Tech Unwreck come from?

I broke my own phone twice in 3 weeks back in mid-2007. The first time I paid $350 to get it replaced (I was told it couldn’t be fixed) and the next time I figured out how to fix it myself for 1/3 of the price. Figuring other people must have this problem, I put my programming skills to work and built a small website offering cell phone repair and took out some Google Adwords. Within weeks, people from all over the country started mailing me their phones to be fixed.

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

At the moment, a good chunk of my day is spent on marketing. We have a great service but not enough people know about it so I currently spend my days emailing customers, prospects, and even vendors looking for people to interview on our podcast (and then doing all the prep work to make those podcasts happen).

Besides that, my days are split into 2 parts: boring administrative work (yes, not every part of a job is fun) and doing meetings with my staff to make sure they know what’s expected of them and that they have the things they need to succeed.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Focus and support. You can’t try to do 3 or more things at the same time. You’ll do them all poorly to average and that won’t cut it. Better to do 1 thing really well. For example, right now I’m focused on building a solid catalogue of interesting interviews and blog posts for K-12 technology administrators. I have to carve out time each week to do that.

In addition, we need to explore some other marketing areas so I have a consultant and a long-time employee that I meet with once or twice a week to talk strategy, create a list of weekly todos, and then review that list each week (and set up new tasks for the next week). I give these people a lot of leeway in how they get things done and try not to interfere (for that will take away my focus on my tasks), but it is important to give guidance, support, and accountability.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The fact that 50 million K-12 students all over the country have pretty much gone 1-to-1 (a device for each student). The world was trending this way pre-pandemic but the pandemic basically made 10 years worth of technological advancement in K-12 schools happen in less than a year. While I wish the pandemic had never happened, that trend has been very good for our business.

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

I start each week writing down the 2-3 major things I want to accomplish that week and then each day I write down the 3-5 smaller tasks to accomplish that day in service of those major goals (and those major goals should be in service to large, longer term goal).

What advice would you give your younger self?

My biggest regret was that I did not network enough in college. I should have spent more time in professors’ office hours, joined more clubs, and met more people. The same goes for my first job at a big company (Microsoft) – I should have joined a mentor program and spent more time getting to know more people on a professional level.

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

Retirement accounts with a vesting schedule (or pensions based on years of service) are a bad form of employee retention. If you can’t keep your employees happy, engaged, and hard working without the “golden handcuffs” then you have a more fundamental problem. Do you really want someone sticking around just for the payout in the future and not because they believe in doing good work? Don’t get me wrong, I think a retirement plan for your employees is critical, I just disagree with vesting schedules because it is a lazy way to retain employees.

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

Stop trying to complete your todo list – you’ll never do it. Trying to get everything done just causes a lot of stress and often pulls you away from doing the really important things. This is much easier said than done, but it is important to realize.

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

Building my business in a rapidly growing industry. Seriously, our company started out fixing iPhones with the release of the second version (the iPhone 3G) and that industry exploded over the next 10 years. As the market has saturated with independent repair shops, we’ve switched gears to working with K-12 schools where 50 millions students are being supplied with devices. It’s a huge market and lots of room still for growth.

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

We moved one of our stores to a new location thinking it would be no big deal. The business for that store was cut in half over night as a result. This story does not have a happy ending because, in the end, we had to close that store. That was a really painful lesson – we had a successful retail store and we should have stayed put.

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

I’d like to see someone build a good identity verification system with a rating for each person that could then be used by other services. For example, you would verify a person is who they say they are and they would get a base rating. As they interact with social media or ecommerce sites or other things, their rating would go up or down based on behavior.

I know, this sounds a little bit too much like Black Mirror but a lot of the problems in today’s online world come from a lack of accountability (or trust). For example, imagine Craigslist used such a system and I wanted to buy a bicycle from someone. Seeing they had a good digital reputation would give me a lot more faith in buying from them (this is basically what eBay does with seller/buyer ratings but spread out to the entire web).

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

I recently spent about $100 on a good, waterproof backpack from Fjallraven. I absolutely love it and considering I had my last backpack for about 20 years, I think it’s worth the investment.

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

I actually love a small service called FollowUpThen.com. It allows you to forward (or BCC) an email to a time related email address and then have it bounce back to you at that time. For example, if I ask one of my employees to check on something via email, I can BCC and then archive the email (get it out of my inbox). Then exactly 2 days later that email bounces back into my inbox and I can make sure the task got done. Since I use my inbox as a todo list, this small tool has been fantastic in keeping things clean and organized.

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

I’m going to give two recommendations. The first is Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. It is definitely dated but the fundamental theory and advice in the book is incredible – even timeless.

For a fun read that is also inspiring, read The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner. It is the story of Bell Labs and how they basically invented the world we live in today – from the semi-conductor to fiber optics to cellular networks and much more. I had not idea what a huge impact that organization had on our world.

What is your favorite quote?

A slight modification to an Emerson quote: “Everyone is my superior in some way and therefore worthy of my respect.” I think we often forget this in our interactions with people, and if you doubt me, just take a well educated white-collar worker to a Walmart in rural America and watch their disdain for the patrons. It’s a bit eye opening.

Key Learnings:

  • Stay focused on the most important issue facing your business. Not issues, but single issue. If you have other big issues, get other people focused on those.
  • Build your business in a growing sector because the sector’s growth will help you recover from the inevitable mistakes you’ll make and allow your business to keep growing.
  • If you’re at a large organization (whether it’s a university or a company), spend time networking and learning from people that know more than you – because everyone knows more than you about something.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.

Interviews

Interview with Dmytro Serhiiev, Co-Founder of PDFLiner

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Interview with Dmytro Serhiiev, Co-Founder of PDFLiner

Dmytro Serhiiev is the co-founder and CEO of PDFLiner, the most easy-to-use document management tool to fill out, sign, and share documents online. Under his leadership, PDFLiner facilitated over $500K ARR in transactions to date and empowered over 100K customers, taxpayers, real estate agents, and sole individuals across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. Dmytro earned communication networks and information security engineering degree from the Telecommunications Academy. Dmytro also worked as a SaaS marketing consultant (setting goals and creating project marketing teams). During that period, he has also been teaching Marketing and SEO in IT schools. In addition to that, Dmytro created an affiliate site network for Amazon and was an Amazon seller before launching PDFLiner.

Yet, PDFLiner is trusted by over 100,000 users, and it also earned a 5/5 rating on G2Crowd, which puts PDFLiner in the top-5 highest-rated PDF software according to reviews on g2.com

Where did the idea for PDFLiner come from?

While working with contractors, partners, and other departments, my colleagues from Tonti Laguna Group and I looked at the world of document management services and found a problem – an existing PDF ‘bloatware’ was far from user-friendly. Almost every industry technology solution was outdated and overpriced software (some didn’t even have free plans or trials). And I got hooked on creating an online platform to work and manage PDF documents, providing accessible, online editing ability to customers (no software, no installation, no downloads needed). PDFLiner’s goal is to provide customers with electronic document management (creating and editing files, adding electronic signatures, filling out forms, PDF conversions) and a security-sharing documents system (document sharing, locking and unlocking PDFs, cloud storage).

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

Every day is different from others. Basically, I start my work day at 9 AM by reading the news to be updated with what’s going on in the market. Also, I regularly catch up on emails, calls, and meetings. I like to pop into meetings happening around to get a sense of what’s being worked on and connect with the PDFLiner employees.
For a lunch break at 2 PM, I’m often out meeting with different CEOs and founders of other SaaS solutions to discuss business strategies or just share the pros and cons that happened lately. After lunch, I’ll meet with various members of my executive team to discuss new horizons.
I try to head home around 6 PM at the latest to spend time with my family and spend time on hobbies, after which time I’ll log back on to finish up my work from the day.
This schedule gives me time to enjoy some of my hobbies and just relax after a long day. I have found that I am more productive and creative when I structure my time and tasks.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Collaboration and cooperation. When I have an idea, I pitch it to my team to brainstorm and discuss the opportunity. We grow quickly at PDFLiner – if someone has a good idea, I give the green light to that idea to start testing the hypothesis for successful results and see how we can make it into action quickly. I’m passionate about creating an environment where the best idea always wins. Healthy debate is welcome, but once we make a decision, we are committed to a common goal.

What’s one trend that excites you?

It’s exciting to watch industries revolutionize with new technology. Especially how people are going from the “Age of Digital Transformation” to the “Age of AI”. It’s really great how companies understand true AI and start using it to improve the performance and processes within SMEs and large global corporates. We in PDFLiner are using AI technology as well!

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

Self-education is the one habit you need to cultivate because it drives productivity, pushes you to new heights, and lights a fire underneath your feet as you carve your own path. That commitment to continuous learning leads you to everything else. Here are five why this habit leads to success as an entrepreneur:
1) It saves time and money
2) It gives confidence
3) It opens opportunities
4) It brings joy
5) It level-ups your gray matter to be better at business

What advice would you give your younger self?

Relationships are everything. People you talk to and engage with matter a lot. Surrounding yourself with good people is one of the main factors to your success in life. Connect with those who share your values, have similar mindsets, and want to succeed. You can learn something new from everyone, and you should treat everyone with the utmost respect.

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

I’m going to be the most successful man in the World, all other achievements would pale before mine. Someone disagrees with me, but it’s true.

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

Start sharing your journey with the public. It might seem strange, but it will lead you up and open new doors for your business, from finding clients to getting new partnerships or investors. I spend my days making new connections to learn from conversations with unique points of view.

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

Testing hypotheses and scaling up those ideas that showed success during testing. We always do a lot of research and tests to find new ways of growth or recruit new customers and raise awareness. And we spend a ton of time trying different marketing tactics until we figure out what works best, and then we run with it. Once we drive customers to our site, we focus on it. And this happens to all ideas. We test and drop away if the results are bad, and we try and implement if it shows promising results.

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

Hiring the wrong people. The people who lack experience in the hope that I can grow them, or people who don’t meet the PDFLiner’s culture. Today, I spend more time interviewing and drilling down into the qualities and knowledge we’re looking for with anyone new we hire. I want to make sure people believe in our product and want to grow with PDFLiner and are in it for the long term. Employees are everything.

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

Bookkeeping service is a direction that is always in demand and is now gaining momentum. If you are an accountant or bookkeeper (or know how to hire them) who wants the freedom and autonomy of running your own business, take advantage of modern technology to start your own online bookkeeping service. And PDFLiner can help with going paperless by keeping your invoices, contracts, tax forms in one place.
This also extends to online legal services – a great niche to start a business.

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

As you know, Ukraine is struggling with rashists (russian troops) for its freedom and democracy, so since the war began, I have donated to Ukraine’s defenders regularly. And the best $100 I recently spent also was to support Ukraine.

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

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are always open on my laptop. I like them. They show the actual state of affairs with site traffic and transactions, which allows you to gain valuable insights, and find growth points, or vice versa – fix something if there was a drawdown.

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

In my top books, I put ‘The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement‘ by Eliyahu Goldratt and ‘Who: Solve Your #1 Problem’ by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. These two books are the perfect match, as you’ll figure out what to do and hire someone to do the job right.

What is your favorite quote?

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

Key Learnings:

  • Ideas, both good and bad, are the basis for Growth. Test all hypotheses over and over again, and implement everything that works best.
  • Surround yourself with good people that share your values. The relationship is the key.
  • Success is a goal, and the process of getting there is a learning experience. Never stop self-educating.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interview with Kent Krabill, Lawyer

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Interview with Kent Krabill, Lawyer

Kent Krabill is a highly regarded trial lawyer representing clients in a variety of complex commercial, environmental, real estate, and others.

Kent graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington while working full-time. After graduation, Kent became a teacher and taught children with disabilities and 6th graders for two years while starting a family of his own. To pursue a childhood dream, he moved to California with his family and became a lawyer. This led to a successful academic career with graduation honors of magna cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law. While at Pepperdine, Kent served as a law review editor and writing instructor and excelled in moot courts and mock trials. He subsequently clerked for Chief Judge Edith Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Kent’s exceptional work has earned him the admiration and esteem of his peers, having been selected as a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters from 2010-2015 and as a Texas Super Lawyer for 2020-2022. He is also a driving force behind the firm of Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann, LLP. That firm has been ranked amongst the elite Commercial Litigation Firms in Texas by Chambers and Partners.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I always dreamed when I was a kid about being a lawyer, but always a criminal defense attorney. I was really attracted to defending. I don’t know why I was always drawn to that. But I have no background of education in my family at all. I’m the first one to go to college, so there was nobody I knew that was a lawyer or anything like that, especially in a criminal defense situation.

I kind of had that in my mind growing up as a kid watching TV shows — I guess Perry Mason, and I loved Atticus Finch [from the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird] because who doesn’t love Atticus Finch? I always thought that was cool, but as I got going in school, I was really good at math and science, so I kind of got filtered toward the sciences and engineering. And I was a good football player, so I was going to play football in college.

My senior year in college, I got hurt playing football and so I had no more scholarship opportunities. I started in engineering, but I didn’t go back to school until I was 26 because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I worked construction until I was 26. When I was 26, I went back to college.

While I was going to school, I flirted with either medical school or law school. But my wife and I had been married for quite some time. I was a little bit older and I thought, “Ah, I don’t want to go to school. I’m too old to go to law school or medical school.”

Then we had our first baby and my wife wanted to stay home. And so that’s how it happened. There’s nothing magical about it. She wanted to stay home. I need to figure out a way to make money. I thought: Maybe I’ll go to law school.

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

At any given time, I have 20 to 30 cases going on. So I don’t think I have a typical day. You have your cases at all different phases. My typical day is, I look at my phone and computer and go.

I have associates who do the work for me. Let’s say the beginning of a case, pre-suit. A client calls me up and says, “I have this problem.” Sometimes the problem is they got sued and we dive right into it, but let me give you the pre-suit. The client has to tell us the story and give us all the documents and I’ll call an associate in and we analyze it. We get through the documents, we interview people, we put it together.

Now we’re going to file suit, we’re going to send a demand letter. Usually it’s a demand letter you send to the bad guys, you’re like, “Hey, you’re doing this. This is wrong. You need to pay us back or stop doing it or we’re going to sue you.”

Once that happens, I review and revise the demand letter. I might have a follow-up, a call with the client and say, “Is this really what you want? Is this what you like?”

Then we sue. I send off that letter, the opposing attorney calls me and negotiates, “This is all B.S. It’s not true. Blah blah blah.” Or, “You’re right. We’re going to stop.” That’s part of my day too, those calls with opposing counsel.
Then we file suit, but you have to draft petitions, you’ve got to have motions, you have discovery, depositions happen. My day is filled with setting up, preparing for depositions, preparing for hearings, and reviewing and revising motions. People are in and out of my office all day — associates, paralegals — because we have teams that do it all.

You have mediation that happens with every case. We prepare for mediation, where we go try to solve the problem with a mediator without having the court’s involvement. That usually fails. Sometimes it settles, but it usually fails. Then you have your motion practice and eventually you have a trial. Our trials are usually three days to three weeks, sometimes they’re longer. I’ve been in five-week trials — that’s my longest one.

Then you’re in trial and trying to juggle all the other cases and survive while you’re in trial. Because obviously you’re paying attention to one case during that time. A lot of time in the evenings, I’ll spend an hour or two while I’m in trial on my other matters, call back clients, email them back. I always let them know we’re in trial so they know.

Every day is different and I love that because I’m driven to distraction anyway. I’m an ADHD child and I love having all those balls in the air all at once. For somebody like me, that’s awesome. It keeps my brain occupied and I have systems to not get lost. Since I’m 55, I know how to stay on task even though my brain likes to bounce around to a lot of different things.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Discovery is insane. It’s gotten so voluminous because of the way every single communication is saved by companies, by individuals. The exciting part of that is there’s artificial intelligence involved with reviewing documents now, and we’re starting to see that. That helps, and I hope AI eventually saves clients money. A huge amount of money and litigation is being spent on discovery needlessly.

The one exciting thing is over the years, the federal rules — and now we’ve seen the Texas rules — start to adapt where there’s more transparency in the process, and you just have to give the other side everything that’s relevant.
However, there are big battles over that: what’s relevant, what’s related to the case, what’s not. There’s millions of dollars spent on these large cases that, I think, for nothing because the reality is we know the key docs at the beginning or the bad guys have the key docs within a few weeks or months. Everybody knows there are a few documents that are really, really important to the case. Everything else is just kind of noise.

Then we spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, on cases fighting over all the noise, all the other stuff that might be there. Maybe there’s a smoking gun.

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

I am an incredibly disciplined person. In law school, I left my house early every day and ended late. I’d come home and eat with the kids, go for a walk with the kids, put the kids — they were babies — put them down and then work.

I did that basically until I became a partner at the law firm. I use a lot of spreadsheets. I have a spreadsheet for every case that has the full life of the case. It has all the rules and it has everything that has to be done. It’s got boxes to check and assign who it needs to be assigned to.

I think organization’s a big key because nothing in a case ever goes as you think it’s going to go. You have to have the road map of where you think it’s going so that you can adjust.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Just relax. Just relax and take it as it comes rather than always being so worried about everything. It’s hard, because part of the worrying is what makes me good at what I do, but it doesn’t make me a good human and it doesn’t make me healthy. I’ve had to balance that and I’m not the best at that. But COVID has been really helpful to me, because it forced me to break my routine and stay at home. And I’m an office person; I never liked working from home, ever.

Maybe the advice is, “Kent, if you’re going to get into this career that’s in constant conflict, go do yoga first. Go learn yoga, learn mindfulness first.” Maybe that’s my advice. I wish I would’ve been like my son. I wish there would’ve been COVID when I was in college and I could have figured this out before I jumped in.

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

I don’t believe humans have free will. Most people do [believe it]; I don’t. I’m a scientist and I believe in determinism and I don’t believe we have free will at all. That’d probably be one. Well, I wouldn’t say most, but I would say a lot of people don’t agree with me.

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

A long time ago I read in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I’m not recommending, but he did say in there that there’s the gift that’s space between the stimulus and the response.
At the time I thought it was profound. The good part about meditation or yoga is, when you practice it, you actually see that. You actually have the tools with the breath and mindfulness to allow that space between the stimulus and response to be productive. Whereas I spent my entire life training my mind where my reactive mind just reacted, react, react, react. And that’s just a really bad place to live.

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

Our firm has tried to recruit out of the big firms after someone’s had a year or two experience because they’re really good at identifying talented people and paying them a lot of money out of law school. Those people, if they’re our type of lawyers, won’t last at the big firm. They’re just too hungry. They’re first chair. They’re the ones who are going to fly the plane. They’re going to drive the bus.

People like us don’t take orders from other people very well. We’re the hired gun, we’re the horse in the gate ready to be let go, but we need somebody to flick it, let us go, and then we’re going to run. But if you want to be a part of a huge meandering inefficient team, big firms are great at that. If you want to be strategic, like special forces, and go in and win the case and lean with a lean team, that’s us.

That resonated with me. I’m a first-chair trial lawyer. I’m a type A personality. I’m never going to be a good follower. I’m a leader and I will solve other people’s problems. That was my mentality and it was a perfect fit for me.
It’s not a fit for a lot of people at our firm. We don’t have all the safety rails and wires to keep you safe. We fly without wires. We’re flying without the net. It’s lean, it’s efficient, and it’s fun. So negative recruiting really works well.

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

It’s hard because I don’t have a lot of failures. I may have losses, but I’m thinking of a big failure to overcome. I would just say the biggest failure in my life was quitting college my freshman year. That delay of eight years of returning to college, it always puts you on another track. You’re always the old guy in college. We waited to have kids, [then] you’re the older person with kids. You’re the older person in your law school. You’re the older person starting at your law firm and your group.

I think I turned all that into advantages because I used those years to work hard and learn and then realize when I was sitting in class like this is actually beneficial and it’s for me. But when I was 18, I didn’t know that. So I think that’s the biggest failure, not being able to take a breath and refocus and figure out how I can do it.

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

It’s called The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality, by Robert Lanza, Matej Pavsic, and Bob Berman.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” It’s been attributed to writer George Eliot.

Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interviews

Interview with Miroslaw Mioduszewski, Digital Marketer

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Interview with Miroslaw Mioduszewski, Digital Marketer

Miroslaw Mioduszewski is an entrepreneur based out of Passaic, New Jersey. After graduating high school at sixteen, he attended the University of Buffalo, where he studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Management Information Systems. Following graduation he accepted a position at a local marketing firm where he further enhanced his professional skill set.

Wanting to gain some independence, Miroslaw decided to invest in his own business venture. As the founder of an online marketing agency, he is committed to helping his clients grow through digital marketing techniques including; SEO, PPC, social media advertising, and website design and development. As an industry leader, Miroslaw and his team of professionals are primarily focused on start-up tech companies and are helping businesses thrive by creating meaningful online content.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I’ve always had a passion for the technology space, so I knew I wanted to enter the landscape somehow. However, at the same time, I enjoy the creative side of business. I attended the University of Buffalo unsure of my career path until I ended up taking a marketing course that ultimately shifted my perspective. I know then that I would be able to combine my interest in technology and business by helping companies promote their products and services.

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

As the CEO of a digital marketing firm my role is very collaborative and client-facing. I spend the majority of my day interacting with clients while trying to understand their vision and goals. From there, I form a team that I believe would be best suited to bringing their ideas to life. Our job is to create comprehensive strategies that will garner loyal customers. We help our clients develop effective campaigns that are reflective of their branding and company image.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As I stated previously my role is very collaborative and I heavily rely on my colleagues on a daily basis. We work together to ensure the client is happy and the campaign produces positive results. Typically if I have a new idea for a project or strategy I will run it by the team before pitching it to the client. It’s important to confirm that we have the tools and resources needed to properly execute the idea before presenting it to the client. When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of moving pieces so I need to make sure that everyone is 100 percent on board.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think that one of the most effective marketing trends is live streaming. I think that is a way to really connect with an online audience in a way we haven’t seen before. Individuals can sign on to the platform and ask questions directly. To me, it helps legitimize your business and creates a sense of community but also transparency.

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

I firmly believe that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. I am a very active person and I think that regular physical activity is an important part of looking after oneself. I also think that taking the time to go to the gym or walk outside is essential to improving your productivity.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to not spend so much time worrying about the future. The truth is, there will always be roadblocks. All you can do is learn how to navigate them and try to learn something from negative experiences.

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

That it is okay to change your career at any age. So many of the companies that we serve have been founded by individuals who have made a major career shift. They decided to go with their idea and take the ultimate risk. It’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

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

Make self reflection a daily habit. It’s important to recognize your weaknesses and do your best to overcome challenges.

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

I’d have to say that our most effective strategy has been through Instagram. We often do Instagram lives and do our best to connect with potential customers on a daily basis.

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

Early on in my career I learnt the importance of working with the right people. It’s essential to have a comprehensive onboarding process to make sure that they will work well as a team. Education is important but attitude for me is the number one determining factor.

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

This isn’t so much an idea but working in the technology space, I see a lot of companies struggling with consumer questions. I think that producing video product tutorials would be a great way to interact with consumers while also demonstrating how the product works.

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

I recently subscribed to a tech magazine. I think reading is essential to understand the latest industry trends.

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

We just recently started using Monday to organize our daily tasks.

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

Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years by Paul B. Caroll, it provides a really interesting take on what exactly is required to run a successful company.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” — Anthony Volodkin

Key Learnings:

  • Make self reflection a daily habit
  • It’s okay to change your career direction
  • Don’t spend too much time worrying about the future
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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