So obviously my blog has taken a backseat the last few months to some other ventures. In short – I’ve been busy! But I’ve gained a ton of experience to share! So some good posts will be coming shortly. To summarize what’s been keeping me busy –
My roofing sales business had its best month ever in June and we have already done more sales to date than all of last year. This has been due to a combination of reasons including the manufacturer broadening our product base and 2 large projects that I’ve worked on for 3+ years coming to fruition. Roofing material sales has a very long sales cycle at times but it’s awesome when hard work from the past is finally rewarded.
I’m also part of a very exciting beverage startup based in Austin, Texas. The business is a 4 way venture with one of my best friends and 2 of his high school friends. At this point it’s still too early to reveal the exact product but we’re hopeful to have trademarks done within the next 60 days. My goal is to dedicate a lot of future blog posts to the formation, marketing, and production aspects of the business.
And I’m dabbling in 2 other startups currently. Another beverage company and a commercial real estate venture.
Lastly I’m halfway through my last accounting class needed to finally get my degree. Yes that’s right like most entrepreneurs I had way too many ideas to actually make it all the way through college. But finishing is a goal I’ve had for a very long time. Although it’s been a struggle to make time for it I’m very happy to be finishing this class.
So that’s whats going on with me — what’s going on with you? What ventures are you excited about starting?
Some of you may be wondering what happened to DJR. It isn’t gone! We’re just on hiatus pending getting through a very busy spring which has included 2 major hail storms (our other business involves roofing) moving into a new house, and quite a bit of traveling. As a result Dream Job Radio has been on the back burner. The good news is we are returning May 5th IN VIDEO! We have a fabulous new studio ready to roll. So be sure to catch up on all our past shows by visiting http://www.dreamjobradio.tv/
Last weekend we went to Indianapolis for my parent’s 50th Anniversary. It is a pretty amazing accomplishment! The older I get the more I realize how much effort my parents put into staying to together and raising our family. Please enjoy this slideshow of photos we put together for the party.
One of the most critical yet hardest things to do as an entrepreneur is delegate. But delegating isn’t regulated to just large tasks like hiring someone to answer phones. Delegating can show up even in small things. For instance many times I receive phone calls while in akward situations like climbing a ladder or driving. I recently started asking people to email me whatever they’re asking for on the phone. The email will be seen by my assistant and many times it’s something they can handle for me anyway. Plus I have all the contact information for the person that called without having to write anything down.
Another way to delegate is through online virtual assistant forums. Recently we started using both Fiverr and ODesk for everything from link building, SEO and web design to designing logos and business cards. These sites are perfect for startups and entrepreneurs that may not have the cash flow to hire someone full time to help out.
Now I know lots of entrepreneurs that are afraid to hire someone to help. Either they feel the person will leave later to start their own company or somehow defraud their business. Although these are both valid concerns I feel the benefits of hiring great people outweigh these outcomes.
Do you believe in delegation? How are you delegating in your day to day business?
Recently I started on a journey to develop one of my inventions into a full fledged product. It’s been fun so far with some snags along the way. I wanted to offer some advice to entrepreneurs looking to take their products to market based on my experiences. First off I spent a couple months asking friends about the idea to “test market” and developing my business plan. Then I began searching for a great prototype company to find out if the idea will really work I interviewed 4 local companies. The quotes I received went from $1,000 up to $100,000+ just to get started on a beginning prototype. Even the steps varied. Some wanted me to find an engineer and bring in CAD drawings. Others felt I could go straight to make a dye. And a couple just seemed downright shady.
All in all I was lucky enough to find RPM (Reed Prototype & Model). Not only are they reasonably priced but they also went out of their way to provide outstanding advice at every step. I’m extremely happy with my first prototype although I did find a design flaw. But that’s what prototyping is all about. So we’re on to design #2.
I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on the future of the product!
Today I had to put my less than 1 year old Macbook Pro into the shop for warranty repairs to the graphics card. I’d been having a yellow screen issue for a while and finally it was starting to not play videos at all. Like usual they’ll have it for 5+ days. That leaves me without a computer for a full work week. I travel almost every week and having information at my fingertips is the entire basis of my business. Being without a computer is something I simply can’t do. For the first time today I was told about the new Apple Business Joint Venture loaner program. It would have been nice if I’d gotten an email or something on this as we’ve spent thousands with Apple through the years and have been business members the entire time. But they’re busy people so I guess it’s understandable. The problem with the program is no one from business is available on the weekends and I can’t retro-activate it to get the loaner for this repair. So I had to buy a new computer. My wife has been wanting to trade out her 2+ year old iMac for a Macbook Air and utilize the system I do hooking it up to a 22″ monitor and using a bluetooth keyboard/mouse while in the office. I opted for the 11″ $1,199 model as the $999 model only had 2 gb of ram making it just barely qualifying to run the new Lion ios.
Thoughts: It’s barely bigger than an iPad! I can’t wait to travel with this little guy. It easily slides beneath my monitor and works perfectly as a desktop replacement when hooked up. Right now I’m watching the Saints game typing away on the perfectly sized keyboard. It’s almost too light as I feel it sliding backwards a bit in my lap. All I can think so far is why didn’t I get one of these earlier. Before picking up an iPad I HIGHLY recommend considering the Air. For a little more money you can get something much more functional.
I had a great meeting this week with Matt Holman of Inca Boots. This is a fantastic up and coming product line with beautiful unique designs. Hopefully he’ll be joining us soon on Dream Job Radio to share the adventures he’s had co-launching this successful startup. Check out Inca Boots and pick up a pair…it’s never too hot out to be stylish!
The new version of “30 Careers Before 30: Finding Your Dream Job Faster Than I Did” is now available on your Kindle digital device! This is an updated version featuring beautiful illustrations and added content to aid in your job search. The perfect graduation gift for college or high school seniors now “30 Careers” is easier to access. And at a discounted rate of $8.99 it’s a can’t miss! Click the new book cover below to be taken to the Kindle download site.
Please check out my video submission for a break out session at the upcoming SES Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Fransisco. If you like what you see please vote for me! If I win I’ll receive all expenses paid trip to the event, passes, and a chance to sit on the panel about the topic I suggested which is podcast marketing.