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Interview with Rebekah Louisa Smith, Founder of The Film Festival Doctor

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Interview with Rebekah Louisa Smith, Founder of The Film Festival Doctor

Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, is an Award Winning Film Festival Strategist Published Author and Founder of The Film Festival Doctor. Her work surrounds developing targeted film festival strategies for filmmakers in order to get their films seen by audiences around the world. By developing targeted strategies for her clients, who include filmmakers around the world, she has been able to get their films seen by audiences globally. Rebekah and her team have helped their clients win over 1,000 awards and have secured hundreds of festival screenings including the Sundance, Tribeca, Palm Springs, Locarno, Cinequest, Nashville and BFI London Film Festivals.

Where did the idea for The Film Festival Doctor come from?

Becoming The Film Festival Doctor all happened by accident, and it was a beautiful happy accident. I found studying for my PhD to be quite an isolating and solitary process. My dear friend Gaz Bailey who created the awesome Abertoir Horror Festival had just launched this festival and he asked if I would like to come on board and co-produce the festival with his team. I said yes as I figured it would be a pleasant distraction from the PhD and it turned out that happy distraction was in fact a huge wake-up call showing me that what I really wanted to do for my career was not to work within the world of academia but rather the film industry, specifically within the film festival sector.

When I began working for the Abertoir festival I was in my element, and I loved the energy of film festivals and what brilliant and abundant events they were. I began asking filmmakers who were attending Abertoir what they liked and disliked about film festivals. The most frequently reoccurring answers were that they all loved attending film festivals and seeing their films on the big screen, winning awards, networking, drinking and parties. However, what they disliked was that there appeared to be nobody available who they could consult with, to help them get their films seen in festivals and create a festival strategy for them.

After doing my own research, they were right – there were very few festival strategists so I decided to take a huge leap of faith; I knew deep down that I could do a good job as a festival strategist as I knew a lot about the festival circuit and how it worked shortly after I started working for Abertoir and attending other festivals. Shortly after I made this decision, in August 2010 my brand The Film Festival Doctor was born.

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

My days are full on and tend not to calm down until 6pm CST time! I have staff in the UK and USA. Upon waking I’ll have lots of emails, Facebook, what’s app & text messages from my UK team a they’re 6 hours behind. The morning will revolve around responding to them and having meetings with clients whilst they’re still in the office. This will continue for up until 2pm CST, then part 2 of the day begins with USA staff and clients. I do love my morning route as the energy and pace flows really well and I also love waking up to lots of exciting messages as often there are lots of opportunities presented for my business and my clients. I have a great skill of filtering out very quickly what is important, what is not important, what needs to be delegated and what can be deleted.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have a team that share and believe in my vision so I get creative and think of all of the ‘outside the box’ ways to achieve our goals and ultimately create a successful festival strategy for our client’s film that will get it seen on the festival circuit. Each time I create a films festival strategy for my clients, I like to step outside of my comfort zone and take risks, specifically including festivals within the strategy which might be harder to get into but the films strengths could get it selected.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Instagram and Pinterest – I get a ton of ideas and inspiration from these 2 platforms. I love scrolling through Instagram and seeing how other business owners are promoting themselves though video content and posts. I love content creation and finding new ways to present my brand to my industry and ensuring that it is as always unique and stands out in a crowded market. I also love Pinterest as it gives me lots of ideas for my personal branding and how to ensure that I stand out as a business owner when I present myself when I am attending film festivals by wearing the right type of eye-catching outfits, dresses and clothing colors that will elevate myself and my brand.

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

Discipline. I am extremely disciplined. I work every day and stick to my routine in the mornings by completing all emails, setting daily goals and that we are on schedule to meet all of our deadlines. I always follow things through as well as follow up every meeting that I have had with an email and text message to keep building up good relationships.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Delegate, delegate and delegate. When I first started up my company, I did EVERYTHING myself and I refused to delegate as I didn’t think that anyone else could do a better job than myself. I realized after delegating to other people that they could do the job better than me! And as a team we create magic for our clients.

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

FOUR ROOMS is an amazing film which is Quentin Tarantino’s most underrated film. However, it appears that I am on my own with this belief as I’m yet to find anyone else who likes this film!

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

Put together a sales pipeline and check your pipeline every day. A sales pipeline is an organized, visual way of tracking multiple potential buyers as they progress through different stages in the purchasing process. It is a way to keep a record of the amount of business a company expects to receive in the coming weeks, months or years. Typically, it is used when companies have multiple leads to show when these leads become either confirmed sales or lost opportunities. You’ll find that you will more than likely tweak this pipeline with updating the status of a prospective client and their decision, a new lead, a new client and more than likely a new opportunity for your business.

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

Without a doubt manifestation, specifically setting very detailed and focused intents. I used to say manifestations which were very general such as ‘I am a strong business leader’ and ‘I am building a brand.’ When I recited those manifestations to my business consultant Nand Harjani, he said they were lacking in specificity, clarity, and focus and that this was the reason why the outcomes were very general, confusing and not as successful as I wanted them to be. He told me I needed to introduce more detail and change the wording as that would change the energy behind my intentions. After doing this and figuring out exactly what I wanted things started to change and come together which hadn’t done so previously.

My short and sweet “I believe and trust the Universe” manifestation changed to “It is my intent to have no fear and self-doubt within me and to completely trust the direction the Universe is guiding me through for the sake of continuously enchanting and growing my relationships, my business and myself.” And that works all the time!

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

This is something that I discuss in detail in my book; BORN TO DO IT in the chapter ‘HOW AN EPIC FAIL CAN BECOME ONE OF YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL SERVICES’ As I previously mentioned I never used to be good at delegating. I thought I had found a way to resolve a persistent and frequently occurring problem for my filmmaker clientele. In addition to getting their films seen in festivals filmmakers also wanted to get their films sold to distribution companies (such as Netflix etc.) so they could make money on their film and/or pay back their investors.

Despite having no previous experience with film sales and selling films I decided that I would take on the task of helping them sell their film and become a sales agent. Little did I know how horrific this was going to be. It taught me a lesson that when a job you are doing feels like horrendously hard work and you are not enjoying it to the point where it is becoming a problem to your wellbeing, stop and go back to what you should be doing – what you’re good at.

As I was trying to sell films, I realized I had no idea how to close a sales deal and absolutely no experience within this area of the film business whatsoever. The more time I spent within this world, the more I learnt that it was a very tricky part of the industry to navigate. There were no hard and fast rules; you just needed a lot of experience of negotiation and closing deals to get a decent one. I had no idea what you needed to be careful of or what the process involved from start to finish.

It wasn’t until a few years later at the Berlin Film Festival that I came to realize the value of that epic fail. Although it was stressful, the experience helped me to identify another gap in the market and, simultaneously, solve the problem I was trying to resolve several years earlier outlined above. I met a sales consultant named Billy who helps filmmakers find the right sales agent for their film. He had over 30 years worth of film sales experience behind him, and knew exactly how the sales arena worked – he was in fact the missing piece of my business puzzle! When a client of mine wanted to find a sales agent to sell their film instead of me trying to sell the film for them Billy could find the right type of sales agent for them! He’s been doing this for my clients now since 2016 and always finds them the right type of agent to sell their film.

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

I think there should be a Film Festival App which in my eyes would be an encyclopedic directory of the key film festivals around the world which filmmakers can research to get all of the key statistics of each festival that they’re interested in, including for example how long it has been running for, audience numbers, previous films they’ve screened and the type of films that they look for and how to submit their films.

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

It cost $100.00 for an introductory session with a chiropractor who was recommended to me to help untangle my nervous system and Vegas nerve which had been severely damaged due to PTSD. I was very skeptical about this treatment as I had no idea how a chiropractor was going to do this since I was under the impression that these types of therapists clicked your body back into place. However, when I met the awesome Dr Levi he told me he’d be using a different form of chiropractor methods and wow after 1 session I was impressed – I’ve been going back there frequently ever since and my nervous system is now so much better.

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

The Calm meditation app – I love this app I try to use it as often as possible before I go to bed to meditate productively as it offers brilliant guided meditations – there are all sorts of types of meditations on this app for example rising rituals and even managing anxiety. It helps me be productive in terms of my overall wellbeing and staying grounded.

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

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This was the first book which helped me to learn to never take things personally. The whole book pin points the root cause of so many common self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. I lived my life for many years when I was at High School dwelling on these self-sabotaging issues and when a friend of mine recommended this book to me it provoked several ‘ah-ha’ moments and helped me on the road to recovery.

What is your favorite quote?

A quitter never wins and a winner never quits – this was actually a lyric from a song by Pharrell Williams! As soon as I heard it which was around 4 years ago it has stuck in my mind ever since and this is so spot on. It always pops into my head and I meditate on it.

Key Learnings:

  • Always delegate
  • Create a sales pipeline to successfully operate & grow your business
  • Try something new that you had a limiting belief about
  • Open your mind to the abundant world of manifestation
Stefan Junge

Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.

Originally published on IdeaMensch.

Interviews

Interview with Sara Sheehan, Founder of Sara Sheehan Consulting

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Interview with Sara Sheehan, Founder of Sara Sheehan Consulting

Sara Sheehan, PCC, is a consultant and Executive Coach who works with C-Level executive leaders in designing organizations, developing business strategies, managing change, optimizing talent and leadership development, and solving complex human performance problems. Through executive coaching, Sara helps leaders sprint their way up the corporate ladder and increase their performance.

During Sara’s 25+ years in business, she has worked with leaders, teams, and organizations in Fortune 100 companies and individuals. Sara specializes in change management, talent and leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design. As a collaborative, results-orientated coach, Sara provides support and practical feedback to help clients effectively navigate change and address business challenges. She also integrates coaching techniques, methods, and approaches to help her clients develop change capabilities and learn to apply them right away. With a servant leadership mindset, she supports her clients in building new skills and customizes frameworks to her client’s project needs. Sara works with clients based on her network, referrals, and appointment.

Sara has been featured both nationally and internationally on podcasts as an expert on topics of change management, talent and leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

The idea for Sara Sheehan Consulting is based on almost 30 years in management consulting and executive coaching. Through business consulting, I help businesses through complex business transformations from a human capital perspective. Through executive coaching, I help busy executives sprint their way up the corporate ladder by setting goals, increasing their performance, resolving conflict, and setting up an advisory team so they are even more successful in their current role or their next one if they are in transition.

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

It’s a combination of time blocking for specific purposes like business development, market research conversations, reaching out to ideal clients or close contacts that can refer me to ideal clients, scheduled current client meetings, a wide variety of marketing activities, and time for things that feed me like exercise, cooking, or other interests like spending time with friends and family. I am innately extremely productive so when I am at my best I am in a positive flow.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have a lot of creative ideas so bringing them to life is not a chore. Typically, writing is the first step to bringing new ideas to life, then it may spread across my marketing mix into videos, presentations, new offerings, or marketing research conversations to test market viability. Once an idea has filtered through these touchpoints, I am able to put more structure around it. Two ideas that I am formalizing right now: a paid membership community on Mighty Networks called The Center for Change Leadership and a chapter in a collaborative book.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love progression and innovation in technology that helps us be more productive at the least possible cost. To provide a little more context, I love the current trend in software that allows users to get started on a web platform at a low cost and you can increase your plan as you need to if the services fit your needs. These pay-as-you-go plans and the ability to play with new tools are fantastic. Specifically, I have a project team that uses Monday.com and it serves as a tremendous productivity hack.

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

I know that I am not supposed to do everything, nor should I if I want to scale a successful business. To this end, I am working with the best expert vendors that are aligned with me to amplify my business and my message.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The advice I would give my younger self is that it’s ok to start thinking about how you want to use your craft as an entrepreneur. I’d express to younger me that thinking about offerings and solutions that can be commercialized is going to benefit you. You can start planning now, frame it up, and test your assumptions in market research conversations. You may find that it manifests differently than you expect and that it’s important to be open to the gifts it brings.

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

One of the offerings I have done a lot of market research conversations on is my Mastering Change Management Course. The course can be delivered live via Zoom to a cohort or through self-study via Kajabi. I have had no opposition to the course to date, and I have also not found the right pilot group yet. Based on the conversations I have had, the right pilot group is out there! I understand that this is such a different way to deliver consulting work that people may not be open to it just yet. People that disagree with my approach are more likely to engage a consultant based on the project timeline, although this option will require more time with the client and be more costly. The differentiator for the course is that I am seeking qualified education provider status with the Association of Change Management Professionals so that anyone that takes the course could apply the credits toward the Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) exam or credential renewals.

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

The one thing I would do time and time again would be market research conversations on programs, solutions, and offerings. This is the best way to validate that a new offering is viable in the market, and it provides opportunities to uncover ideal clients or get referred to your ideal clients.

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

One strategy that has helped me grow my business significantly has been increasing my visibility through engaging a professional marketing agency and a publicist. I was already active on LinkedIn through posting, writing, and videos weekly, however, engaging a marketing agency to support me has allowed me to get strategic in planning on a quarterly basis, as well as executing a broader plan. They also created my branding and collaborated on my website design so everything I produce visually supports my message and purpose. Engaging a publicist that I am aligned with has magically connected me with the right opportunities for increased visibility. Both my marketing team and my publicist are trusted advisors and I am looking forward to seeing how these advisors will continue to grow my business.

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

It took me longer to attract my ideal client than I’d hoped since I spent so many years working for other firms. It’s not surprising or unexpected, it’s just a fact that it takes time to be known for your expertise. Additionally, I should have engaged a marketing agency and publicist sooner than I did on both fronts. To be honest, it took a little bit of time to come into contact with the right people to work with. I also think the patience and time allowed me to work on my own mindset which is invaluable.

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

When I see questions like this one I immediately think of Peanuts, Lucy, and Charlie Brown at an advice booth with a sign that reads “Advice 5 Cents” with a dixie cup next to it. What’s the quickest way to start a business that can serve a wide customer base? Marketing and business development are two things that every entrepreneur needs to focus on to scale. If you can fit in that space and speak directly to the pain points of a differentiated ideal client, things should manifest fairly quickly.

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

Definitely reconnecting with friends, family, and clients over a shared meal. You can’t replace being in person and truly connecting with others following such an isolating two-year period.

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

The top three online tools and resources that I am currently using to grow my business are Google Workspace, Slack, QBO, and Quickbooks Online. All three tools make work easy, support me in what I am doing, streamline all of my efforts, and keep me focused on what’s most important.

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

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller: I believe the Story Brand is absolutely essential for entrepreneurs to incorporate as they build their business.

What is your favorite quote?

I have so many favorite quotes! Here’s one that is on my mind and heart right now: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch

Key Learnings:

  • If you want to grow and/or scale your business, it’s important to know that you can’t do everything alone
  • Working with the best expert vendors that are aligned with you and your business will amplify your business and message
  • Strategic partner progression and the right innovation in technology can help entrepreneurs and businesses be more productive at the least possible cost
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interview with Blake Kohler, CEO of Pulse For Good

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Interview with Blake Kohler, CEO of Pulse For Good

Blake is passionate about, well, everything! As the CEO of Pulse For Good, he uses that passion to help nonprofits worldwide gather feedback from vulnerable individuals more effectively. With his background in technology, Blake is helping to bring business-class survey tooling to organizations ran on shoe-string budgets.

As someone who likes to talk, he knows how hard it can be to listen, and along with the Pulse For Good team, he’s working towards building a more empathetic future.

Where did the idea for Pulse For Good come from?

Pulse For Good emerged from an early pilot of a partnership with the city of Seattle. The various city offices were trying to figure out how best to facilitate gathering feedback from the youth homeless population in Seattle, and our early solution, which was designed to gather employee feedback, was suggested. We quickly found that traditional survey methods left a lot to be desired when gathering feedback from vulnerable populations and set out to build something that better fits the unique concerns of serving vulnerable groups.

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

As a small startup, our typical days are full of adventure. Some days are dedicated to sales, other days we spend doing support, some days we are working on marketing, and other days we’re trying to improve our operations.

We find that using an agile model works well for our team. We utilize Kanban boards and team standups to keep track of everything from development tasks to customer onboarding.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As a team, we tend to be very visual-focused, so often, our ideas begin to emerge onto whiteboards before they become something a little more tangible.

Once they’ve been thoroughly debated and diagramed on a whiteboard, they make it onto one of our tasks on our kanban boards.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Our team is excited about the combination of technology and social impact. More groups are looking to do good in the world instead of maximizing profit. It is fantastic to see people use their time and talents to help those around them.

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

One of our core values is a default to action, which has proven time and time again to be the primary driver of our productivity. Too often, we spend hours debating something, and nothing gets done. By defaulting to act, we might at times cause some headaches, but those headaches are often quickly fixed, and the value we gain from the constant action greatly diminishes any headaches we’ve created.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Spend less time worrying about what others think of you and more time worrying about how you think of others.

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

Pain can be good for you. It’s a form of feedback, and the more you experience it, the more opportunities you have to make a change.

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

We’ve had tremendous success posting on Linkedin. We try and do it every day, and it’s been an incredibly valuable part of our growth.

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

Very early on, we developed an advisory board of industry experts. This helped us gain a considerable amount of credibility and allowed us to develop tools, relationships, and techniques far beyond our abilities as just a founding team.

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

One failure we had coming out of the pandemic was a communication breakdown amongst our founding team. Previously, we had conducted in-person meetings, but with the world changing, we switched to a more remote first attitude. Over time, our perceptions and goals changed without getting together.

We had to have some serious heart-to-heart conversations and institute more formality in our processes to help bridge the gaps that this lack of communication caused us.

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

We’ve always thought there would be an opportunity for a crowd-sourced travel agency. We believe you could utilize people’s passion for planning vacations and natural competitiveness to offer tailored vacation plans to the masses without the expense of full-time travel agents.

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

We recently conducted a series of case studies with our customers, and we paid each person who participated $100. These case studies are invaluable to us, and it is one thing for us to share how our system can help an organization. It’s entirely different for a peer of those organizations to share how we help. Case studies are worth their weight in gold.

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

Slack – we use it for all of our communication, and as a remote team, it helps us all stay connected and on the same page.

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

The Outward Mindset – changing the way we think and feel about others helps all aspects of your life

What is your favorite quote?

“Listening is the first act of love.” – Paul Tilch

Key Learnings:

  • Defaulting towards action drives productivity
  • Pain can be good for you
  • The best $100 spent is the one that makes your next $1000
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interview with Dayana Doncheva, Founder of EcardForest Group Ecards

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Interview with Dayana Doncheva, Founder of EcardForest Group Ecards

Dayana Doncheva is the founder of EcardForest Group Ecards – a company for greeting cards that can be signed by many people online and sent digitally. Their ecard collection includes all key occasions and features birthday, farewell, baby, wedding and many more cards. EcardForest is highly invested in environmental protection and engages in tree planting around the world.

Where did the idea for EcardForest come from?

EcardForest was inspired by a personal use case. I was about to organize a leaving card for my colleague in early 2021 and looked for options online that would allow group signing so that the full team can share their goodbye wishes. I didn’t like the available options and realized that this could be a business idea. After doing my research and checking the competitors, I embraced my entrepreneurial spirit and thought I can give it a go.

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

There is not a typical-day concept for us yet. We are growing fast and our routine changes very quickly, allowing us to navigate between new feature integrations, the creation and release of new greeting card designs, as well as support tasks. Of course, every team member has devoted tasks, but we work in an agile setup and adapt quickly based on the priorities.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The process is quite funny actually. We dare to dream and think out of the box. Most of our ideas come to life as funny suggestions. If some of those suggestions still keep us wondering a couple of days later, we put them to a sense-check and see what comes out. We do proper research and talk to a couple of external people to verify the idea before putting it into our backlog.

As a next step, we deep dive into the execution. Once we launch a new feature on EcardForest.com we make sure to monitor it closely. Is everything fine? Does it work as expected? Does it generate added value for our consumers and us? If not, we remove it.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Hybrid working. Naturally, that drives our business since our online greeting cards experience higher demand when people around the globe work in a hybrid setup.

Hybrid working is an interesting trend to us in general too. We experienced first-hand how easy working in a global model could be. Our team is spread around Europe and when needed we involve freelancers from around the world, which allows us to work with the best talents no matter the location.

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

People often tell me that I appear to be very well organized. In fact, I am not, and I enjoy the creative mess to the fullest. It nurtures my imagination. It’s contra intuitive but working in a messy environment has proven to help me become more productive in the long run.

If I need to focus on a bigger analytical task though, I try to get a fresh mind by going on a short walk before I start. That helps a great deal.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be braver! Today, I love to challenge myself, even though I know that some things won’t work out. I take it as a learning and grow from there. But a couple of years ago I was still quite hesitant and tended to lean towards safe bets.

Looking back, I am not sure when I changed to become braver, but I can’t help but wonder where I would have been today if I would have done it earlier.

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

There is always more to learn. The schedule of an entrepreneur is usually terribly busy and that’s no different in the corporate world. Often times people feel quite comfortable after completing a task or a project and turning a new page to handle the next one. I see great value in reviewing decisions and processes based on new learnings. In my mind, the “good enough” solution can always become a better one, powered up by new learnings.

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

Do research. I trust in data and have learned to appreciate its value a lot. Doing your research not only saves a lot of potentially unnecessary work but also helps you focus on what’s important.

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

Investing in advertising has certainly helped us grow EcardForest. We make sure to capture the available demand as much as possible.

When starting a business, thinking about advertising costs might be scary but advertising is usually what kickstarts your business, once the product is ready. Being brave, spending some money but also monitoring the success closely can go a long way.

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

Before starting EcardForest I was working on another startup. It was focused on financial investment data and most importantly it was a B2B product. That turned out to be incredibly hard to market and required a lot of sales and support efforts. Soon afterward I discovered that the idea was not worth the effort, and it was not going to work out as expected.

I learned two valuable lessons: First, bringing a B2C product to life is easier. Second, holding on to an unsuccessful business idea for too long doesn’t bring you anywhere.

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

Circular economy products. I am a big fan of renting and reselling and it’s great for the environment. This is applicable to so many product types – from tools to equipment, mobility, etc. Just find a new niche.

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

As part of our sustainability efforts, we donate some of our revenue to tree planting organizations around the globe. Just recently we onboarded a new partner – Ecologi that allows us to not only plant trees but also offset carbon emissions by contributing to additional projects like wind power development.

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

We use Github for our backlog and task management. The project section is a perfect solution for agile teams like ours and keeps us focused on important and urgent tasks. It certainly increases our productivity, and I can’t recommend that enough.

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

Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger is a great resource for any digital business or any website for that matter. It provides an understanding and best practices of website design, UI, colors, fonts, visual hierarchies, etc.

What is your favorite quote?

A single tree doesn’t make a forest. I just came up with that one, but the key message is that even the best entrepreneur or the most knowledgeable person can only go so far on their own. Building a strong team around you is what will bring you further.

Key Learnings:

  • First, do your research before you invest too much time and resources in an idea
  • Be open to exploring and learning more
  • Invest in bringing a strong team together to drive your idea further
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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