The Agile Entrepreneurship Podcast

Ramesh Dontha

The Agile Entrepreneurship podcast is where the most successful entrepreneurs share their entrepreneurial journey. Ramesh Dontha interviews these successful business owners on why they started their businesses, what helped them succeed and what mistakes they made that they don’t want you to make.Ramesh Dontha is an entrepreneur, author and a blogger. He also shares his experiences of starting and building 4 successful companies.

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Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​Brian Meert Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:09Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneurial video cast and podcast. And today I'm really excited to introduce a gentleman who is a CEO and founder of www. AdvertiseMint.com and it's a clever play of the word advertisement. So he took the E out and they put an AdvertiseMint. So the cleverness and then the creativity is, as you can see, it's coming right with starting with the name itself. And his name is Brian Meert and I happen to run into him in Los Angeles. And this gentleman, so Brian, welcome. So I’ll introduce you in a much more personal way in a second.00:48Brian: Oh, I love it. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to talk about business and marketing today.00:56Ramesh: Great. So Brian is the founder of AdvertiseMint. and AdvertiseMint. is an advertising agency for digital media, right? So they focus extensively on Facebook, but of course they also have other platforms and Amazon tik tok you know, Pinterest and all of them of course, which is really, really hot right now. So, and then secondly, I found out that Brian comes from the same town that where I live in Sacramento. Fantastic. Yes. Yes. Okay, so tell us a little bit about your company AdvertiseMint.,01:28Brian: Man. So, I mean, we're an advertising agency. We specialize in digital. We worked a lot with Facebook advertising is what we're really known for. A lot of people come to approach us because of that. And we're very robust. But we work with other platforms like tik tok, which is really hot right now. YouTube ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, or Amazon ads. So there's a lot of other platforms that we work within. Basically, you know, companies that need help either they're growing and they're like, we need someone to help us in this area. Or we've worked with big teams like Viacom that have 20 people in their marketing department, and they're like, we need an expert to handle this one aspect for certain events or shows. So we need you guys to take care of it. So, you know, we work with a range of different clients, but basically, we're helping businesses grow every single day.02:20Ramesh: Okay. So is it fair to say that your focus is much more on the paid advertisement space or do you also in the broad social media presence, you look at the entire picture for the companies, Hey, you know, what do you need to do from a social media presence and then advertisement is one piece of it.02:38Brian: Oh, it's great. It's a great question. We work a lot on the paid side. So, you know, companies come, goes with ad dollars and they're like, we need to have this objective met, you know, a certain number of people come to an event, certain number of sales and we work with them and say, here are the best platforms and outlets to be able to reach your goals. So we very much work on that. We have partners that we work with on the social side. But there's so much changing within the ecosystem of just digital ads. It keeps us very busy with just that.03:10Ramesh: Okay, fantastic. So then, how did you get into this space? And actually first let me start, when did you start your company?03:17Brian: Man this was about 2013, 2014 when Facebook launched ads manager. I'd been a digital marketing manager and I was a vice president of a financial company overseeing all their digital media spends. When Facebook's ad platform came out when they launched ad manager. And you know, back then it was very quiet. No one was really paying attention to it. And I was managing millions of dollars a month for this company. And so we, I just like, Oh, let's try this out. And once I started to see the targeting capabilities that they had,

Oct 2020

27 min 48 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​Becky Beach Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today we'll be talking to an entrepreneur who has weathered through tough times before she made a very successful business by herself. Her name is Becky Beach, and by the way, I love the name Becky Beach, Becky Beach is a mompreneur who was in debt up to $150,000 before she started her online boutique. She was actually living from month to month and was barely making ends meet before her business. After the online boutique though she was debt free. So Becky nowadays helps other moms start their own businesses, save money, and live from home through her blog www.mombeach.com That's another interesting name there. So Becky, welcome.00:59Becky: Oh, thank you. I'm really excited to be here.01:03Ramesh: Fantastic. So Becky, so let's get straight to it. What were you, what was the work that you were doing when you were in that much of a debt around $150,000 if you could explain how you, not necessarily how you got into it, but essentially what were you doing? And what was the transformation?01:23Becky: Well, I was working for a small pain and injury clinic as a web developer. Like that's what I was doing, and they weren't paying very much. Like I was probably making like $20 an hour or less, you know, those weren't paying that much, you know, so I was like scraping by and I’ll work like 60-hour week. Sometimes it was just a lot of stress. Then I got pregnant with my little child, you know, when I just couldn't, it just was really so much stress, you know, and hard to deal with, you know. They just weren't paying very much at all, you know.01:51Ramesh: So then what happens? You are in debt and then the work, you're not enjoying it. It's stressful. Then how did that switch come on that Hey, no, I need to start something else. I need to do something else.02:04Becky: Well, I got pregnant with like, we had a child, my husband, and I just said, I just can't go back to work. I don't think I could work 60-hour days you know in this condition, you know, when I was, I had a little child that I was taking a daycare. It was after three months he has already gone to daycare, you know, that's just too short, you know, and I was just worried about him all day. I couldn't focus on my work, you know, because I just had a little baby that I wanted to be with. So I said, cause I got to do something. So like one day I went in, I was watching YouTube and I was like saying, oh gosh, I heard this, trying to unwind. And then this video came on for how to drop ship. And it was really interesting. So then I started watching it and I was like, you know what, I could do that, you know, there's no money up front, because I had no money, you know. Yeah. So I thought I could do this, you know, and it seems pretty easy.02:56Ramesh: And then what happened? Did you take any training course or how did you start your business? If you could just go through a step by step.03:05Becky: Oh, sure. The gentleman advertising was Kevin David and he had a course, so I decided to buy the course. It was like $997 and I used a credit card and it was probably almost maxed out. So I decided to go through his course, and I learned all I could, you know, he had so many videos. Like nowadays he talks mostly about how to make money other ways, but back then he was like all about drop shipping. So I got reallyinto his videos and other influencers on YouTube. They were talking about drop shipping as well. And I learned all I could. And then I started my own drop shipping website on Shopify.03:43Ramesh: So Becky, if I could ask you, how long ago was this? Which year was this?03:47Becky: Oh,

Oct 2020

24 min 49 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​Erin Shea Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:00Ramesh: Excited about you know, talking to Vistaprinting and of course you.00:04Erin: You too, I think it'll be great.00:06Ramesh: Yeah. So I think Adam and Erin, I would like to introduce Vistaprint as a leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. Is that fine or is there anything else you want me to do?00:20Erin: No, I think that's appropriate.00:22Ramesh: And then Erin, I think you as a marketing director for North America for Vistaprint.00:28Erin: Correct.00:29Ramesh: Okay. So good. All right, so we'll get started and then pretty much we will get into you know, the areas that you know, you really drive, which is the marketing for small businesses. And then we'll get into some of the study findings as well. And we want to take, you're welcome too. And [00:50 inaudible] you want to mention, okay. Thank you. Alright.00:59Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur video cast and podcast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today, I am especially excited to talk to Erin Shea, who is the North America marketing director for Vistaprint. For I think almost all of you know about Vistaprint. Vistaprint is the leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. And in full disclosure, I am a customer of Vistaprint. Every time I do my business cards routinely, I go there and then, so without thinking, so they gave me so much flexibility. So that's what I do. And then that's where I start as a customer andthen I go into some other areas as well. Erin, welcome.01:42Erin: Thank you. Thank you for having me.01:44Ramesh: I know I introduced Vistaprint, but in your own words what is Vistaprint do and then especially what you do for Vistaprint?01:53Erin: Sure. Vistaprint is a company that's been around for over 20 years now and we are so proud to say that we've helped over 17 million small businesses really live their small business dreams. We started out as a startup, a small business of our own, and then have kind of grown to an international company. But small businesses have always and will always be our full passion. And it's why we kind of come into workday in and day out. We did start with sort of business cards as our core product. And then as small businesses have evolved, and the customers' needs have evolved we have expanded our assortment into a number of different printed marketing materials. So everything from so, your flyers and your brochures, your signage, and then of course, into digital. So websites, search engine marketing, and then of course design services.02:50Ramesh: Oh, excellent Erin. So how long have you been with Vistaprint?02:54Erin: I have been with Vistaprint for a wonderful 10 years. And I find that you know, I'm so passionate about partnering with small businesses day in and day out.03:08Ramesh: So in the 10 years, I mean, I can't imagine, but you must have talked to so many small businesses. So if I could start off with one question in the small business marketing, what are the things as small business like a successful small businesses do versus a small business that don't do too well? so what different it makes.03:31Erin: Sure. So I am a big proponent of really focusing in on where the value is for your small business. And so I think we see this, we find this tendency to juggle all the balls in the air and to do a ton of different things. And what I think is really the difference between success and sort of feeling daunted around your small business is really kind of choosing those top two or three things that you think are most valuable for your business. And that could be anything. I think that could be from expanding your assortment. It could be from you know,

Oct 2020

23 min 16 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​William Roberts & John Holmes Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur video cast and podcast. And this is your host, Ramesh Dontha. Today, with the very first time I'm going to talk to two co-founders, John Holmes and Will Roberts. Both of them are co-founders and executive partners at www.weworked.com. It's an online timesheet software company. They have bootstrapped it built into a company that serves customers in what, 120 countries. That is phenomenal. All right guys, John and Will welcome.00:41Will: Thank you.00:41Ramesh: So, John, can you introduce the company please?00:46John: Sure. I'm a little bit about weworked, we started, weworked about nine years ago. My time may be off a year or so. It goes back pretty fast, but not years ago. When I started, weworked we both worked for small companies and weworked basically as a time sheet invoicing payroll/ leave tracking software that we developed with the focus of small business clients. And it's kind of morphed into something much bigger. But from the beginning, that was the initial focus.01:27Ramesh: Okay, great. So Will how about you, if you could introduce yourself and then the side of the business that you focus on as well?01:35Will: I am Will Roberts; I am a cofounder here at www.weworked.com. I've primarily focused on the technical support team, database architecture, database management and some marketing.01:53Ramesh: Fantastic. So all right guys, so welcome. And so let's talk about the nine years ago before, right. So that's when you guys started. And how did you decide to start a company? What were you guys doing before that? So let me start with Will. So what were you doing before you guys started www.weworked.com?02:14 Will: I actually was, I had started my own consulting firm, I think back in maybe2005. And I was, you know, pretty much serving as a contractor to the federal government.02:32Ramesh: I see. So John, how about you? What were you doing before that?02:36John: I was a software programmer for small businesses. And I did some government contracting work as well.02:47Ramesh: Okay. So then how did you guys meet up and then how did the thought of starting a company come, who started and then who followed up?02:57Will: Well, firstly we met on the job.03:02John: Yes, we both met probably back in 2000, 2001 we were both working for a smaller tech company that created software for the government on the department of transportation. And Will and I kicked it off right away from beginning. So years later after Will started his business and I was probably two jobs moved from where we met. I had reached out to Will regarding weworked. So its kind of, I kind of had the initial brainchild of it. I was out of work for a few months and sat around thinking about what I could do to kind of change the projection of you know, my future with respect to jobs and businesses. So having worked for small businesses most of the time, one thing that I noticed was none of the small businesses had in house Time sheet software. And it was a struggle for a lot of them back in the early two thousands, because a lot of the software was developed for large enterprises. So started working on it, developed a good starting point. And then realized I needed a lot of help to pull this thing off and went through my mental Rolodex who I could call upon and Will was the first guy. And that's how, that was in short. That's how it kicked off.04:50Ramesh: Fantastic. Okay. So let me ask you this guys. Whenever a software company like this gets formed and you have an idea for a product, the challenge is always you know, we build it, they will come, you know, they may not come. So that's an issue. So when you had this idea of this online time s...

Oct 2020

27 min 20 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​Lori Cheek Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:15Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast and video cast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today I have an exciting guest. Her name is Lori Cheek. She's a New York city based architect turned entrepreneur and she's the CEO and founder of Cheeked. It's a hyper speed Bluetooth enabled mobile dating app. I know what you guys are thinking and I'm also very, very curious to know more about Cheekd and Lori Cheek. Lori, welcome.00:50Lori: Hi.00:52Ramesh: All right, so now you picked our curiosity. So what is Cheekd hyper speed Bluetooth enabled mobile dating app. Can you please go over what Cheekd is?01:05Lori: Well, yes, we are an app that helps people connect in the real world. So we are leveraging technology to try to get people off their phones. So if you walk into a crowded bar, a gym, a cafe, and anyone else with the Cheekd app and their Bluetooth turned on, you'll get an immediate notification that that person is single and potentially ready to mingle in that moment. So you can either walk up to them and say hello, which is what people used to do back in the olden days and it seemed to work. Instead of swiping through strangers from the comfort of your home online, so you can spark a conversation face to face and hopefully take it from there.01:50 Ramesh: I see. And do these people need, both of them need to be on the Cheekd app for them to.01:56Lori: Yes. I mean, I'd love if there was a way to connect with people that weren't on the app, but that starts to get a tiny bit creepy.02:06Ramesh: Let's see how we could you know not get creepy, so and then people registered on Cheekd and then you'll find, it seems pretty, pretty exciting. So, Lori, let's say go through how could you, I mean, when did you think about this app?And so let's talk about the journey.02:27Lori: I mean, it's been a pretty long journey and Cheekd has been through several different iterations, but I was an architect in New York for 16 years. Just walking around thinking, how do you find love in a city of 8 million people? I mean, everybody in New York is like crossing each other's paths, but no one really speaks to each other. Like it was just so difficult for me to understand what was missing here. And one night I was out to dinner with a colleague and he slipped his business card to a woman and he'd written on the back of it, want to have dinner and he left with a date and I left with this idea of sort of handing notes to people. So I started this business soon after called Cheekd and it was dating cards and they had a code on them. And a funny pickup line and the recipient of that card could go to our website and type in the code and find that person's profile. So we called it online dating and reverse. So you actually saw the person and then you connected online. That's how it started.03:26Ramesh: Okay. So then, I mean how did you actually launch it? How did people come to know about it? You had a website and all that stuff. But then what happened?03:35Lori: Yeah. So I mean, I came up with that idea one night and I could not stop thinking about it, you know, just still running around the streets of New York city. I thought, I want these cards. You know, I realized it was something I was missing and really wished I'd had. So I just went around talking to everybody I could possibly talk to about it. I mean hundreds and hundreds of people and then, you know, weeks later some of these people were like, that's a great idea. There was some woman on the subway, I wish I'd had one of your cards that you told me about. So I decided there's one shot in life and I’ve always wanted to start my own business. So I took the leap and I found a couple of guys that help sta...

Oct 2020

25 min 7 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       SpotifyGuest: ​Vartika Manasvi Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast and of course the video cast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. So today we will talk about career. We're going to talk to a women entrepreneur with a fantastic background and her name is Vartika Manasvi and Vartika is the second time founder of a company called stack raft as a career hub company. And she's the first woman entrepreneur from the South Asia to be granted a startup visa in Canada and right. So she took a one-way ticket to Canada and to start a company in Canada. So let's find more about Vartikas' journey. So Vartika welcome.00:44Vartika: Thank you. Thank you, Ramesh, for having me.00:47Ramesh: Vartika let's start with your company stack raft. So what is it?00:52Vartika: So Stack Raft is you know, a shorter version of that is like LinkedIn for engineers and, but we're not LinkedIn where people spamming each other. We are what recruiters and stuff like that. So it's like a career accelerator for software engineers around the globe. Who are looking for meaningful jobs and better opportunities? So the problem that we found was that the talent is everywhere. There are so many talented people around the world. But getting that job you know, it takes on which country you are in, what time zone are you in. How do you look, how do you speak? So these are the things that comes in between of your skills and talents and that is a problem that we are solving.01:36Ramesh: So how do you solve? Is it a marketplace where the software engineers put their resumes up and the skills something like a guru or up work kind of stuff? Or is it different?01:45Vartika: No, it's not like a Upwork or a career guru kind of a thing. Yes, it's a marketplace where software engineers create a profile. They put their skills, their personality indicators, like what's important to them and who they are like, what’s their career intent. What as for them they want to be and what kind of stuff they want to build. Now based on that deeply challenges on our platform. And these are skill-based challenges and they get connected to senior mentors and senior developers, we call them as talent coaches, who give them concrete feedback on these challenges so that these engineers can be better engineers. I mean, even ifthey do not get a job or they do not get selected, they're getting concrete feedback. Now imagine for one job, like 250 people apply for that particular job. For one seat, right? And 20 people get a call, 10 get invited, and then finally one person is hired and rest of them get a standard emails. Sorry, we couldn't select your profile. That's a standard email. But it doesn't give a reason why. I mean, okay, do not select, but tell me why. So that I can at least improve myself. So this is where we come in, where we give concrete feedback to every single person which helps them self-learn and grow. There's so much content and information out there on the internet. Our objective is to give them a little guidance and give them a little back towards to how to think about certain things.03:19Ramesh: Okay. So this is primarily intended to improve you know, to help improve the software engineers with respect to how they can get a job. So then where is the money coming from?03:33Vartika: Well, the money comes in from the companies and you know, so my background is building social networks and communities and I really know how scores the attention of a user is in today's times. So you know, and recruitment, look, we are in the business of like three decades old problem. And we are completely flipping the whole business model. We are not a dev shop. You're not a recruitment agency.

Oct 2020

27 min 20 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​Nathan Miller ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:08Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast and video cast. So today I'm going to talk to a gentleman who is in the real estate industry. Both from a technology side as well as the investor in developer side. So Nathan Miller is the president and CEO of Rentec direct, a popular property management software that helps property managers and landlords with their day to day tasks. Nathan is also a real estate investor and developer and proud husband and father. So I'm very eager to meet Nate. Hey Nathan, do you go by Nate or Nathan?00:53Nathan: Nathan is great. Thank you.00:55Ramesh: Fantastic. Nathan, welcome to the agile entrepreneurial podcast.00:59Nathan: Thanks for having me.01:01Ramesh: Great. So I introduce you and Nathan, but if you could tell in your own words what is when tech direct and what do you do with that?01:10Nathan: Yeah, well Rentec direct is a, it's a project that I started as a more or less a hobby because I was a and still am a landlord and needed technology to help me be more efficient. As I started gaining properties and managing properties on my own, I realized there's a, there's a lot of stuff that goes into it. You have a lot of things to keep track of. Not just, you know, accounting records or taxes, but you got maintenance and you got, you know, who's late and you have tenant communication and all this stuff. Once I had five or six rentals, I was managing became a little, a little excessive, but it took a lot of brain power and the time to think about and to maintain. And I also had a full-time job. So part of my background is I'm a software developer and I'm self-taught and I understand how technology can help people be more efficient. So I went out on a journey to make my landlord activities more efficient through software and created an application to help me with all those tasks, anything that could be automated, I automate it. And that was the beginning of Rentec direct. It was not necessarily intended to be a business or what it turned into today, but what that ended up morphing into is asoftware application that now helps about 15,000 property managers and landlords. And we've added a lot of stuff in the last 10 years to make the life of property managers easy and kind of cool. Because you know, being a property manager isn't sound a that glamorous but we can provide them tools that make things better for their tenants and so your tenants can pay online so they can select the best tenants. So anyways, in a nutshell we provide software to property managers. It's you can kind of think of it like a we are the QuickBooks for the property management industry, but we add in all the various special stuff that property managers need in order to Excel in their market.03:28Ramesh: Excellent. Nathan. So now that we have a very good background about your company, so let's trace the journey of your company. So you were a landlord first, and then at what point did you actually take the first steps to write the application?03:47Nathan: This is, we're probably about 2007 when I did this and let's see I had, I believe about five of units I was managing and that's where it became too much work to do it on the side without help. So I had to at that point make a decision, you know, do I focus less on this or focus more on it? And it was right at that point where I decided that, you know what, I'm going to, I was actually very excited about the prospect of creating an application and I decided, you know, I'm just going to set my alarm early and I'm going to wake up early and I'm going to work on this before work. And I got so excited about the prospects of what this could become and how much it could help me in ...

Oct 2020

25 min 7 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Kyle Isaacson ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04  Ramesh: Hello everyone. This is Ramesh Dontha, the host of the podcast, the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This podcast is for any entrepreneur who, any person as a matter of fact, who wants to start their own business, or it could be an entrepreneur who started the business, but they would like to learn more from other entrepreneurs. So today I'm very, very excited to introduce a gentleman by name Kyle Isaacson, and he's got a very interesting background. He's founder of Ike scientific and on the side, depending on which way you look at it he's also doing his PhD in bioengineering at the university of UDA. Right, that's a full-time job, a business is a side gig or the businesses aside PhD is the main, so we'll find out more from Kyle. So, Kyle, welcome. 00:54  Kyle: I'm so glad to be here. Thank you for having me. Ramesh  00:58  Ramesh: So Kyle so can I call you Dr Isaacson yet or not?  01:02  Kyle: Not officially. You know, I do receive quite a few of spam emails addressing me as Dr Isaacson, but not quite yet. Not officially  01:10  Ramesh: Okay. So we'll wait until you a complete your PhD. So let's talk more about your business today. All right, so talk about Ike scientific. What does it do?  01:22  Kyle: Yeah, Ike scientific you know, I just barely started it, and founded April 1st of 2019 so just barely, you know, seven, eight months ago. And what Ike scientific does is we are a consulting firm, but instead of focusing on your traditional executive and business decisions, we focus and work directly with research and development teams to help with product development, to help find the scientific answers to help overcome specific hurdles that companies might be facing. And also to help a little bit with the manufacturing processes. And so as we do that, instead of, you know, taking the high executive angle on things, we work more on the hands-on level with companies.  02:12  Ramesh: Fantastic. So is your field where you're doing PhDs nanotechnology are there any specific areas that you're working in?  02:23  Kyle: Yes. So while my main focus is nanotechnology. I specifically work in a field of pharmaceutics called drug delivery. This involves a lot of chemical formulations, so you can think of, you know, creating sunscreens, lotions you know shampoos, all this sort of different formulations. And as you can imagine, there's quite a huge demand for some kind of contract consulting work in that area. And so Ike scientific is specifically focusing on these areas at this point, but I'm really hoping to bring on a few different scientists that might be a little bit entrepreneurial themselves to help expand our options and bringing in some new expertise.   03:12  Ramesh: Excellent Kyle. So, I mean, we know about the stories from the Silicon Valley, people who are doing, you know, research, whether it's Stanford or Berkeley or whatever they founded companies whilst they are still in college. So it looks like your story is similar to that, but how did you come up with it? I mean, did the university encourage you or can you talk a little bit about the start itself?   03:33  Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. So to answer one of the small questions in that, the university absolutely did not encourage me. In fact, I kind of took the route of hiding it from the university for quite some time. So the way that it really worked is, I'm a scientist, but I'm also fairly religious. I attended a religious class and they said, you know, take opportunities to find new ways to bring in some side finances. And I thought, well, what skills do I have? I'm a scientist. And I thought, well, actually every time that I’ve run into some business executives or other individuals,

Aug 2020

36 min 47 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Kyle Isaacson ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04  Ramesh: Hello everyone. This is Ramesh Dontha, the host of the podcast, the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This podcast is for any entrepreneur who, any person as a matter of fact, who wants to start their own business, or it could be an entrepreneur who started the business, but they would like to learn more from other entrepreneurs. So today I'm very, very excited to introduce a gentleman by name Kyle Isaacson, and he's got a very interesting background. He's founder of Ike scientific and on the side, depending on which way you look at it he's also doing his PhD in bioengineering at the university of UDA. Right, that's a full-time job, a business is a side gig or the businesses aside PhD is the main, so we'll find out more from Kyle. So, Kyle, welcome. 00:54  Kyle: I'm so glad to be here. Thank you for having me. Ramesh  00:58  Ramesh: So Kyle so can I call you Dr Isaacson yet or not?  01:02  Kyle: Not officially. You know, I do receive quite a few of spam emails addressing me as Dr Isaacson, but not quite yet. Not officially  01:10  Ramesh: Okay. So we'll wait until you a complete your PhD. So let's talk more about your business today. All right, so talk about Ike scientific. What does it do?  01:22  Kyle: Yeah, Ike scientific you know, I just barely started it, and founded April 1st of 2019 so just barely, you know, seven, eight months ago. And what Ike scientific does is we are a consulting firm, but instead of focusing on your traditional executive and business decisions, we focus and work directly with research and development teams to help with product development, to help find the scientific answers to help overcome specific hurdles that companies might be facing. And also to help a little bit with the manufacturing processes. And so as we do that, instead of, you know, taking the high executive angle on things, we work more on the hands-on level with companies.  02:12  Ramesh: Fantastic. So is your field where you're doing PhDs nanotechnology are there any specific areas that you're working in?  02:23  Kyle: Yes. So while my main focus is nanotechnology. I specifically work in a field of pharmaceutics called drug delivery. This involves a lot of chemical formulations, so you can think of, you know, creating sunscreens, lotions you know shampoos, all this sort of different formulations. And as you can imagine, there's quite a huge demand for some kind of contract consulting work in that area. And so Ike scientific is specifically focusing on these areas at this point, but I'm really hoping to bring on a few different scientists that might be a little bit entrepreneurial themselves to help expand our options and bringing in some new expertise.   03:12  Ramesh: Excellent Kyle. So, I mean, we know about the stories from the Silicon Valley, people who are doing, you know, research, whether it's Stanford or Berkeley or whatever they founded companies whilst they are still in college. So it looks like your story is similar to that, but how did you come up with it? I mean, did the university encourage you or can you talk a little bit about the start itself?   03:33  Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. So to answer one of the small questions in that, the university absolutely did not encourage me. In fact, I kind of took the route of hiding it from the university for quite some time. So the way that it really worked is, I'm a scientist, but I'm also fairly religious. I attended a religious class and they said, you know, take opportunities to find new ways to bring in some side finances. And I thought, well, what skills do I have? I'm a scientist. And I thought, well, actually every time that I’ve run into some business executives or other individuals,

Aug 2020

26 min 51 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Kyle Isaacson ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04  Ramesh: Hello everyone. This is Ramesh Dontha, the host of the podcast, the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This podcast is for any entrepreneur who, any person as a matter of fact, who wants to start their own business, or it could be an entrepreneur who started the business, but they would like to learn more from other entrepreneurs. So today I'm very, very excited to introduce a gentleman by name Kyle Isaacson, and he's got a very interesting background. He's founder of Ike scientific and on the side, depending on which way you look at it he's also doing his PhD in bioengineering at the university of UDA. Right, that's a full-time job, a business is a side gig or the businesses aside PhD is the main, so we'll find out more from Kyle. So, Kyle, welcome. 00:54  Kyle: I'm so glad to be here. Thank you for having me. Ramesh  00:58  Ramesh: So Kyle so can I call you Dr Isaacson yet or not?  01:02  Kyle: Not officially. You know, I do receive quite a few of spam emails addressing me as Dr Isaacson, but not quite yet. Not officially  01:10  Ramesh: Okay. So we'll wait until you a complete your PhD. So let's talk more about your business today. All right, so talk about Ike scientific. What does it do?  01:22  Kyle: Yeah, Ike scientific you know, I just barely started it, and founded April 1st of 2019 so just barely, you know, seven, eight months ago. And what Ike scientific does is we are a consulting firm, but instead of focusing on your traditional executive and business decisions, we focus and work directly with research and development teams to help with product development, to help find the scientific answers to help overcome specific hurdles that companies might be facing. And also to help a little bit with the manufacturing processes. And so as we do that, instead of, you know, taking the high executive angle on things, we work more on the hands-on level with companies.  02:12  Ramesh: Fantastic. So is your field where you're doing PhDs nanotechnology are there any specific areas that you're working in?  02:23  Kyle: Yes. So while my main focus is nanotechnology. I specifically work in a field of pharmaceutics called drug delivery. This involves a lot of chemical formulations, so you can think of, you know, creating sunscreens, lotions you know shampoos, all this sort of different formulations. And as you can imagine, there's quite a huge demand for some kind of contract consulting work in that area. And so Ike scientific is specifically focusing on these areas at this point, but I'm really hoping to bring on a few different scientists that might be a little bit entrepreneurial themselves to help expand our options and bringing in some new expertise.   03:12  Ramesh: Excellent Kyle. So, I mean, we know about the stories from the Silicon Valley, people who are doing, you know, research, whether it's Stanford or Berkeley or whatever they founded companies whilst they are still in college. So it looks like your story is similar to that, but how did you come up with it? I mean, did the university encourage you or can you talk a little bit about the start itself?   03:33  Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. So to answer one of the small questions in that, the university absolutely did not encourage me. In fact, I kind of took the route of hiding it from the university for quite some time. So the way that it really worked is, I'm a scientist, but I'm also fairly religious. I attended a religious class and they said, you know, take opportunities to find new ways to bring in some side finances. And I thought, well, what skills do I have? I'm a scientist. And I thought, well, actually every time that I’ve run into some business executives or other individuals,

Aug 2020

28 min 44 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Kyle Isaacson ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:07  Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dontha. Again, this is both a podcast as well as a video cast. That's what we are trying in 2020. So let's give it a try. And then today I'm very, very excited to introduce you to founder or owner of a company. So his name is Will Hankinson. So Will Hankinson is the owner of www.introcave.com. He is a YouTube intro maker he purchased in 2018. And the Will has a very interesting and diverse background. He's been building websites and video games since 2007. That's 13 years. His expedience ranges from 2% startups to running large Facebook games to working at a digital agency. He has participated in game jams, hackathons, shipped multiple flash and mobiles games, built websites. And believe it or not, he taught as an adjunct professor at Savannah college of arts and design. It's a very popular, a famous college in Georgia and of course in the country as well. And also, he has some investment stake in real estate as well. So as you can see, a very diverse background that it's going to be very interested in conversation. And so Will welcome.  01:28  Will: Thank you. Thank you, Ramesh.  01:31  Ramesh: So you're a big-time gamer.  01:31  Will: Yeah. I mean you can tell from giant gaming headset; apex legends is my current mega league vice.  01:42  Ramesh: Will what's your pop current game.  01:42  Will: Apex legends. It's a competitive Fortnite which you've probably heard of.  01:45  Ramesh: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So fantastic. So that's good. All right, so I have a gamer friend. I keep [01:50 inaudible] him like, man, what are doing? Just killing people in the game. So what fun you get out of it. But anyway, I don't know much about it, so I will not get into it. So let's talk about Intro Cave So you are the owner of www.introcave.com, so Will, why don't you introduce yourself in your own words and then about the business that you're running.  02:08  Will: Sure. So I sort of bounced back and forth my whole career from video games and web development. That's kind of where I got started. At the time I was in 2018 when I bought it. I was working at a mobile game studio here in Atlanta and I would sort of work on video games all day and then come home and keep working on either the same game or different games, smaller games. I felt like I needed a little bit more variety. I'm a big reader of like hacker news, in any hackers’ places like that. I'd read a couple of stories of people buying businesses. And that actually kind of just struck a nerve with me. And so I started Effie international is the one that I sort of basically just analyzing deals. So probably for like a, let's say like six months or a year. I was on their newsletter sort of just analyzing deals that came through.  02:55  Ramesh: Sorry for interrupting. So what you're saying is, it's not that you were thinking about starting a business for quite some time. I mean you're taking this course or that course, but you suddenly happened to see this newsletter called hacker news and then that lit a bulb, is that how it started?  03:12  Will: I mean I’ve always had side hustles even since I first started my career in 2007, back then it was me, back then I was working on the web and making flash games on the side. So now it's kind of a reversal of that where I was working in games and figured I should maybe work on the web on the side. So I’ve always had side hustles. I'd say that since I have a five-year-old and an eight-year-old, so since having kids, I'd say my time for working on side hustles as has gone down dramatically. So having read about some guys on a blog part post somewhere that they had bought their bus...

Aug 2020

31 min 45 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: Cory Minton​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:07Ramesh: Okay. Hey, hello everybody. This is Ramesh Dontha, the podcast host for the agile entrepreneur podcast. And this year 2020, this is my first podcast and also, we are also doing the video cast as well. So I'm very, very excited to introduce today our guests, Corey Minton, who is the editor in chief of Big Data Beard. So Corey, welcome.00:30Corey: Hey, thank you very much Ramesh. Glad to be on another podcast. It's pretty fun.00:35Ramesh: Yeah, this is going to be a video cast as well. So I came across your Big Data Beard and I met you in Las Vegas for the BrightTalk interview. Impressed with what you guys are doing and you talked a lot about Big Data Beard and then switching the direction. So why don't we take it from the beginning? So what is Big Data Beard and then how you got involved with it?00:57Corey: Absolutely. So Big Data Beard is a creative media company that's really focused on talking about the trends, technologies and the talented people that are really making big data a big deal. And big data is certainly evolved over the last few years, has becoming an in-vogue term that people didn't really understand completely. And it was exciting to now it's almost, it gets polarizing, right? But it really, what we try to focus on is finding those nuggets of wisdom with smart people and smart companies that are leveraging AI, Big data, machine learning, deep learning, IOT, this modern emerging technology landscape to really do something transformative. So whether that's, you know, talking with the founders and the CTOs at cool, interesting startup companies to talking with industry executives who are actually using these technologies to impact the quality of human life or their business. And so really, it's really a great way for myself and our other contributors and members of the podcast team to really get to talk to the best and the brightest in the industry. And we really, that's how we started. We really just wanted an excuse to talk to the best and the brightest so that we would constantly stay as educated as possible on these emerging trends. So that we can continue to be great technologists in a variety of ways.02:38Ramesh: Okay, fantastic. So that is fine, actually you're doing a very interesting thing Corey, one is that you're fully employed, but started Big Data Beard on the side as a side hustle I would say. So talk a little bit about the Corey not the big beard guy. What do you do?02:57Corey: Yeah, so not Big Data Beard, my job is, I'm a strategist for Splunk, which is a big data software company, a publicly traded company. Very interesting, cool software used really to help make machine generated data usable, accessible, and valuable to everyone. And so my job as a strategist is very much to help understand where is the industry going, where are organizations leveraging these technologies and helping our company understand how to bring the tools and technologies we have to market effectively and just make sure that we're conveying the message and we're solving meaningful problems in a repeatable and scalable way. So it's a really fun gig. My past was actually pretty new at Splunk. I've only been there about a month. Prior to that I was the principal engineer at Dell technologies responsible for a lot of the emerging technologies work that we did in terms of architecting hyperscale solutions for artificial intelligence, machine learning. In the past it was building large scale storage systems for things like Hadoop and spark. So really have been in the big data ecosystem for a number of years. And my day job actually was part of the reason why I felt like I needed to start Big Data Beard. It was because in my day job I am very much an engineer and a hand on, you know, a technologist. And a lot of times I do things, you know,

Aug 2020

27 min 40 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: Cory Minton​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:07Ramesh: Okay. Hey, hello everybody. This is Ramesh Dontha, the podcast host for the agile entrepreneur podcast. And this year 2020, this is my first podcast and also, we are also doing the video cast as well. So I'm very, very excited to introduce today our guests, Corey Minton, who is the editor in chief of Big Data Beard. So Corey, welcome.00:30Corey: Hey, thank you very much Ramesh. Glad to be on another podcast. It's pretty fun.00:35Ramesh: Yeah, this is going to be a video cast as well. So I came across your Big Data Beard and I met you in Las Vegas for the BrightTalk interview. Impressed with what you guys are doing and you talked a lot about Big Data Beard and then switching the direction. So why don't we take it from the beginning? So what is Big Data Beard and then how you got involved with it?00:57Corey: Absolutely. So Big Data Beard is a creative media company that's really focused on talking about the trends, technologies and the talented people that are really making big data a big deal. And big data is certainly evolved over the last few years, has becoming an in-vogue term that people didn't really understand completely. And it was exciting to now it's almost, it gets polarizing, right? But it really, what we try to focus on is finding those nuggets of wisdom with smart people and smart companies that are leveraging AI, Big data, machine learning, deep learning, IOT, this modern emerging technology landscape to really do something transformative. So whether that's, you know, talking with the founders and the CTOs at cool, interesting startup companies to talking with industry executives who are actually using these technologies to impact the quality of human life or their business. And so really, it's really a great way for myself and our other contributors and members of the podcast team to really get to talk to the best and the brightest in the industry. And we really, that's how we started. We really just wanted an excuse to talk to the best and the brightest so that we would constantly stay as educated as possible on these emerging trends. So that we can continue to be great technologists in a variety of ways.02:38Ramesh: Okay, fantastic. So that is fine, actually you're doing a very interesting thing Corey, one is that you're fully employed, but started Big Data Beard on the side as a side hustle I would say. So talk a little bit about the Corey not the big beard guy. What do you do?02:57Corey: Yeah, so not Big Data Beard, my job is, I'm a strategist for Splunk, which is a big data software company, a publicly traded company. Very interesting, cool software used really to help make machine generated data usable, accessible, and valuable to everyone. And so my job as a strategist is very much to help understand where is the industry going, where are organizations leveraging these technologies and helping our company understand how to bring the tools and technologies we have to market effectively and just make sure that we're conveying the message and we're solving meaningful problems in a repeatable and scalable way. So it's a really fun gig. My past was actually pretty new at Splunk. I've only been there about a month. Prior to that I was the principal engineer at Dell technologies responsible for a lot of the emerging technologies work that we did in terms of architecting hyperscale solutions for artificial intelligence, machine learning. In the past it was building large scale storage systems for things like Hadoop and spark. So really have been in the big data ecosystem for a number of years. And my day job actually was part of the reason why I felt like I needed to start Big Data Beard. It was because in my day job I am very much an engineer and a hand on, you know, a technologist. And a lot of times I do things, you know,

Aug 2020

25 min 25 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Darian Parker​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​Kadavy, Inc.Business web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ ​​​Dr. Darian Parker, Co-Owner of Epic Leisure Management. Darian has almost 20 years experience in the exercise industry as a corporate executive, personal trainer and education provider.​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:08Ramesh: Hello everybody. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is for people who want to start and build their own businesses with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today I have a guest in an industry where somehow, we end up in whether we like it or not. So I would like to introduce you to Dr Darian Parker. Dr Darian Parker is a co-owner of Epic leisure management. He has almost 20 years’ experience in the exercise industry as a corporate executive, personal trainer and an education provider. So Darian, welcome.00:55Darian: Thank you so much Ramesh. I appreciate you having me on. I'm looking forward to speaking with you.00:59Ramesh: Excellent. Excellent. So Dr Darien Parker. So what's your doctorate in Darian?01:05Darian: It is in sports education leadership. I got it from the university of Nevada, Las Vegas. And the emphasis of it is in behavior modification and sports and exercise settings.01:18Ramesh: Excellent. So it's interesting when I looked at your company's name, Epic leisure management, so that did not ring a balance. That's okay. So they are in the leisure management. Then I went and started reading more into it. You're in the exercise industry, you provide consultation to entities about health and wellness. So what's the leisure about it?01:42Darian: Well, most of the people we work with, they're in the leisure industry. Leisure, meaning that they're basically in the amenity business. So they have health and wellness amenities either in hotels like hotel gyms, spas, private residential communities where there's a private gym or a combination spa fitness facility or in kind of your corporate campus setting. And we're even working in kind of your high-end boutique fitness facilities as well.02:15Ramesh: So essentially, you're working with entities who don't have expertise in building these kinds of facilities, but you have the expertise, so you provide your expertise in terms of conservation. Is that how it works?02:28Darian: Yes. Yes, definitely. What's interesting is we're always kind of, you have to explain a lot about what you do when we're doing it because people go, well, you have a gym or you have a spa, you know, we just hire some people to run it. But generally what happens is these spas, these fitness facilities, boutique facilities, but primarily let's say your hotels, private residential facilities are owned by developers and the developer, their business is not health and wellness amenities. They just know that they need that in that facility. So often what happens is they just hire somebody that they think would fit that and they say, Hey, run this spa, run this fitness facility. And then generally what happens is they recognize that they weren't really understanding how to actually hire somebody to increase the revenue, provide really great customer service, because their area of expertise is hotel management or, and land sales or development. So we come in equations say, Hey, this is what we do. We actually specifically recruit, hire, consult space programs, audit pro formers, five-year business plans for that particular space, your health and wellness space.03:41Ramesh: Excellent. So, Darien, if I could ask you questions about your entrepreneurial journey, when did you guys start this company?03:49Darian: We actually very new, we launched last November, so we're coming up on a year. We launched it and really the, I would say my business partner and I,

Mar 2020

27 min 8 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​​​David Kadavy​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​Kadavy, Inc.Business web site​​​ | ​Link​​edIn​​ ​​| ​Twitter​​​​ ​David Kadavy is a creative entrepreneur, author, podcaster, speaker, and creative productivity expert. David believes that one of the biggest challenges we face in the age of AI is the ability for humans to tap into their innate creativity.Books/Tools/resourcesBook: The Heart To Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start CreatingBook: Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)Complete Transcript00:08Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This podcast is for people who are interested in starting a business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. And this is your host, Ramesh Dontha. Today I'm very excited to introduce a guest who I came across while I was writing and reading in medium. And then later on was referenced by many people about his work. His name is David Kadavy. So David is a creative entrepreneur, is a podcast host himself and a very accomplished writer and a bestselling author. And then we'll go more about his work you know, very soon. So David, welcome. 00:59David: Thank you so much for having me Ramesh it's great to be here.01:02Ramesh: So David, I know I introduced you and I probably short changed many things, but why don't you tell us what you do.01:11David: Yeah, well, I guess primarily I'm a writer and podcaster. I made the decision about four years ago to really double down on that. I was already had written a book and I just wanted to take the time to follow my curiosity and read what interested me, talk to the people who interested me and to share what I learned along the way. And so that's what I do in the form of books and a podcast and some courses and occasionally speaking as well.01:47Ramesh: So one thing David that I was struck by introduction on your blog, right, so you start off with I'm a creative entrepreneur, so that's what I really wanted to dig into a little bit. What creative entrepreneurship things have you been doing?02:04David: Yeah, so it's an interesting term, creative entrepreneur because, I guess when I first started on my own, my main mission was just to follow what I was curious about. And that was 12 years ago or so. And along the way I didn't really think of it like as a business so much, as much as I thought of it as an artistic journey of let's find what's interesting to me, let's create things and let's figure out some way along the way to make some money. And you know, I eventually learned that people who are the traditional entrepreneurs think a little bit more structured about running a business is that there's a product, here's some customers, here's the market that's addressable and here's your marketing. And there's a system to all of that. And in a way you're not that concerned with your own creative expression or your own personality. It is what does the market want and how can I get that and how can I make money doing it? And so it's a complex balance to be struck there because I’ve also learned that, while you can follow what you're curious about and create whatever comes to you, whatever intuitively you want to create, you, you still do need to think about products and customers and resources that you have and processes for creating the product. And you know, what are the costs of that and how can you make that sustainable. You know, I liked the Walt Disney quote. We don't make movies to make money. We make money to make movies and I’ve come to think of my work that way. I don't write to make money. I make money so I can write. And so that's what being a creative entrepreneur means to me.04:09Ramesh: Yeah. Because the reason it struck me is that when I came across your writing on medium, I never thought you were an entrepreneur, right.

Mar 2020

30 min

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​​Manuj Aggarwal​Company / Business name: ​​​​​TetraNoodle TechnologiesBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​Instagram​ | ​Twitter​​​​ ​​Manuj Aggrawal is the founder of Tetranoodle Technologies focused on Technology consulting, Training, and mentoring startups. Manuj is also the podcast host of a very successful business podcast. Manuj started his career working in a factory at age 15. He was earning $2/day for 12 hours shifts - 6 days a week. From there he went on to become CTO in multiple companies. He also overcame decades of depression, anxiety, and pessimism - when Manuj found the path of spirituality and meditation. Through his journey, Manuj has mended relationships with decades of bitterness.Show Notes:Manuj started his company in 2000 with a different name - Spider Communications – as a technology services company and had his first paying customers quickly from his network of contacts he made over the years. As 2008 was a tough year for many companies, Manu adjusted his company focus and additional streams of revenue.Manuj wanted to differentiate by doing couple of things (1) getting uptodate on the latest technologies (ex: Blockchain, Machine Learning etc.) (2) Being very focused on the target markets which in his case is early stage startups.Manuj made sure that his company filled the gaps between legacy technologies and latest technologies as companies struggled during that transition because of skillset gap etc.Regarding his personal journey, Manuj got his first break when a training institute opened in his home town. During this time, Manuj also turned to spirituality to overcome depression and anxiety. He realized that having the proper mindset is an absolute must to overcome challenges and make the breakthrough. Manuj advice is to (1) Learn about marketing and sales early on (2) Focus on longer term in addition to short term challenges (3) Be agile and nimble to adjust quickly. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest who comes from the same background that I came from, technology background, so I'm very familiar with that area. So, without much ado, let me introduce you to a Manuj Aggrawal. Manuj Aggrawal is the founder Tetra noodle company and Tetra noodle provide startups with technology consulting services and ongoing education on relevant technical issues. In addition to Tetra noodle, Manuj also hosts a very successful podcast as well. Hey Manuj, welcome.00:55Manuj: Thank you so much. So excited to be with you on this show.00:58Ramesh: Thank you. Thank you. So, let's get started actually with a podcast, what's the name of the podcast and then I think it's been, you started this year, but I’ve been quite successful with the podcast.01:10Manuj: Yeah, it's called bootstrapping your dream. I launched it in February, and we had a slow start as any sort of new venture does. And I started sort of getting noticed around May time frame. And since then it's been picking up consistently. So right now, it's among the top 200 podcasts in USA.01:32Ramesh: Oh, congratulations Manuj. Excellent.01:33Manuj: Thank you. Thank you.01:34Ramesh: In the same year you have done that. It's a fantastic accomplishment. All right, let's talk a little bit about the Tetra noodle. What does Tetra noodle do?01:44Manuj: Well as you mentioned earlier, so I work with the, especially with the tech startup founders, entrepreneurs. Anybody who needs help with the technology or they're thinking of launching a startup because what happens is, as you may be well aware, building technology is not a very straight forward. You know,

Mar 2020

25 min 14 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​Steve Folland​Company / Business name: ​​​​Being FreelanceBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​Instagram​ | ​Twitter​​​​ ​Steve Folland is a video and audio producer from the UK - building his business to work around looking after his kids. He's also behind long running 'Being Freelance' - the podcast, vlog and community, where freelancers from around the world share experiences, support, laughs and cookies. More recently he's launched the Doing It For The Kids podcast for freelancing parents.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​FreeAgent, Rev, MailChimp, Facebook, Ecamm Live, ZencastrShow Notes:Steve shared his story of starting a side-hustle video & audio production while working at a radio station. Steve shared his definition of ‘being free while freelancing’ is about having the freedom to choose what one can work on and being in control.Steve then started his ‘being freelance’ podcast to learn from other freelancers, teach others about freelancing, and also not to feel isolated while working as a freelancer. Steve interviewed about 200 other freelancers since he started his podcast and feels connected to them.Steve explains the freelancer journey as one where success comes from being good at whatever you do first, then finding a way to productize their services to switch from being a freelancer to an entrepreneur. Long term success is to be able to find multiple revenue streams.Steve also gives tips about getting first paying customers and the first stop is to tell friends and family about your freelancing. And connecting with people in multiple social media forums (but pick one or two that are most applicable for you), and building an email list. Few of the lessons Steve learned over the years are: (1) Push yourself forward so people can notice you as opposed to waiting for them to find you (2) Stay close to your finances and keep your overhead low (3) be clear about what lifestyle you are after so you can manage the growth. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have an exciting guest who has been at freelancing for quite some time. So, I'm very happy to introduce Steve Folland. Steve is a video on audio producer from the UK building his business to work around looking after his kids. He's also behind long running, being freelancer, the podcast we log and community where freelancers from around the world share experiences, support, laughs and cookies. Most recently he's launched the doing it for the kids podcast for freelancing parents. Hi Steve. Welcome.01:00Steve: Ramesh, thank you so much for having me.01:03Ramesh: So how do you guys share cookies while you are remotely podcasting?01:08Steve: Oh, well that's the best bit. You share them, but equally you can't lose any, like you said, you still get to eat them all to yourself. But now do you know one thing that we do is every Friday in the being freelance Facebook group, I do the non-employee of the week awards live as a Facebook live. So, people come and join all at the same time. And then I chat for a bit and then we basically celebrate one of the freelance communities from that week, you know, saying what they've been doing great. Sometimes they've been going for a rough patch, whatever it might be, but part of the main prize is a box of cookies or biscuits as we call them. And so, yeah, so they get posted out, they get mug and then everybody just sits there eating biscuits. Maybe it's a very British thing. We love our tea our biscuits and cookies. So yes, but I’ve ended up sending these cookies to the States, to Canada, Australia to Brazil. So yeah,

Dec 2019

29 min 1 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​Bob Burg​Company / Business name: ​​​Burg Communications IncBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​Instagram​ | ​Twitter​​ ​Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences sharing the platform with everyone from today’s business leaders and broadcast personalities to even a former U.S. President.Bob's Favorite  Books (Click on the links below to buy):* Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins,* Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar E-Myth by Michael GerberBob is the author of a number of books on sales, marketing and influence, with total book sales of well over a million copies. His book, The Go-Giver, coauthored with John David Mann, itself has sold over 850,000 copies and it has been translated into 28 languages. His and John’s newest parable in the Go-Giver Series is The Go-Giver Influencer.Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve. He is also an unapologetic animal fanatic, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch in his town of Jupiter, Florida.Tools / Resources mentioned Gmail, Xero for accounting, and Intercom as a CRMShow Notes:Bob started his journey as a news anchor but switched to Sales and later into speaking. His first realization to be a successful entrepreneur is to grow from inside which manifests in success outside.Bob’s entrepreneurial journey started with a side hustle of selling someone else’s audio cassette program and later his own cassette program. After his speaking engagements became paid engagements, Bob started venturing into writing books to establish himself as an expert.Bob then talked about his book ‘The Go-Giver Influencer’ which is about influencing people through pull as opposed to push. This type of influencing makes everybody a winner and longer-lasting.Bob talked about his philosophy of being ‘an advocate, supporter, and defender of the free enterprise’ and the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to the number of people they serve. Being entrepreneurial makes the capitalism work and capitalism serves the people far better than any other ‘ism.Bob’s advice to startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs is to place the interests of others first, build relationships, and follow through with human touch. Bob, based on his own experience, advises entrepreneurs to embrace change as change is inevitable whether you like it or not. Tells entrepreneurs that they don’t think they need to go alone and rely on mentors and having a system. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance on possibilities. Today I'm very, very honored to have a distinguished guest. His name is Bob Burg. You might already know about Bob. Bob is a very sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences, sharing the platform with everyone from today's business leaders and broadcast personalities to even a former us president, Bob is the author of number of books in sales and marketing and influence with total book sales of well over a million copies. Believe it or not, his book, the go giver coauthored with John David Mann. Its self has sold over 850,000 copies and it has been translated into 28 languages and is the latest in the Go-Giver series. John and Bob have worked on this book called the Go-Giver influencer. Bob, welcome.01:12Bob: Thank you Ramesh. It's so great to be with you. Thank you for having me.01:17Ramesh: Actually, I don't know where to start. I'll be very honest with you, but I think that this is,

Dec 2019

26 min 14 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​Paul Benson ​Company / Business name: ​Financial Autonomy ​PodcastBusiness web site​​​ |​​​ ​​​​Linkedin   | Twitter​​​Paul is a financial planner and owner of guidance financial services. He helps Australians plan and invest so they can gain the choices in life that they deserve. In addition to that, Paul also hosts a very successful podcast. His podcast is called financial autonomy podcast.Books/Tools/resources​Book: The Lean Startup by Eric RiesTools: Gmail, Xero for accounting, and Intercom as a CRMShow Notes: ​Financial Autonomy podcast has been going 2 years, however Paul has been a Financial Planner for 20 years, running his own practice since 2006. Started the Financial Autonomy podcast following the realization that the traditional work/life plan is far too narrow, but most people don't get the choice to do anything else.2008-2009 period was very challenging with share markets diving – Paul reduced his staffing, his wife came in to assist so that we could retain cash flow within the household, focused in on a particular retirement strategy that held some appeal during this period - just didn't quit!Paul’s advice to entrepreneurs? You don't have to go all in from day one - build and plan - real life is not like the movies. Work out your marketing plan at the outset. You likely know your stuff, but unless you have a way to let the world know about it, you wont succeed. Monitor your cash flow - it's no good making a profit at the end of the year if you cant pay your rent in month 3. Don't fall for the prescribed life of having to work until you're in your 60's and then having to retire - life can be far more varied than that.​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today I have a guest from across the world, the very first time from Australia. His name is Paul Benson. Paul is a financial planner and owner of guidance financial services. He helps Australians plan and invest so they can gain the choices in life that they deserve. In addition to that, Paul also hosts a very successful podcast. His podcast is called financial autonomy podcast. Hi Paul. Welcome.00:50Paul: Hello. Ramesh. Thanks for having me on. All right, so let's start with your podcast itself. You are a financial planner. Instead of just a having a financial services business, you wanted to start a podcast, why?01:08Paul: Well, initially the train of thought was a random marketing strategy. I guess the little bit of backstory there is, I’ve been a passionate podcast consumer for a long time now. You know, I had on runs and walks and that sort of stuff. I've have been enjoying listening to podcasts for a long time. And I guess, I know for your listeners it's about entrepreneurship and building up business. And I’ve been running my own business for a while and something that I’ve discovered that at least for myself and I think others too, is easy to underestimate, is how challenging it is to get a successful marketing strategy. Something that's repeatable and that generates a positive ROI. And so, I’ve tried all sorts of things over the years and I’ll have to say most of them haven't worked. And so along the journey decided, look, I love podcasts and how about we give that a go as a marketing Avenue and almost surprisingly, but it's actually worked. And I know that obviously you're a podcaster as well, so you've discovered a similar outcome. But yeah, it's one that's been successful for us as a marketing channel and something that we've expanded on in a few different areas since, which you could maybe touch on later, but certainly in terms of was start the podcast. It was about marketing to grow the financial plannin...

Dec 2019

24 min 26 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​​​Gene CaballeroCompany / Business name: ​​​Greenpal Inc.Business web site​​​ |​​​ ​​​Facebook   | Twitter​​Gene Caballero is the Co founder of GreenPal Inc. GreenPal has been described as Uber for lawn care. Saw a need for this type of service due to my background in landscaping. We started by going door-to-door to see if homeowners would use a product like this and once we had that positive reinforcement, we decided to move forward with a company to start building it.Books/Tools/resourcesBook: The Lean Startup by Eric RiesTools: Gmail, Xero for accounting, and Intercom as a CRMShow Notes: Greenpal is ‘Uber’ for lawncare connecting lawncare providers and landscaping professionals with consumers. Greenpal handles demand creation, scheduling, route optimization and payment processing. In return, Greenpal takes 5% commission. Gene and his co-founder Zach Hendrix started Greenpal in 2012. Gene has been taking care of lawncare since high school and when he saw Uber & Lyft take off, he saw a similar model for lawncare as well. Gene and Zach spent $125,000 for someone else to initially build a platform but after that company went broke, Gene decided to bring the development in-house and have a technical co-founder to take on this task. After 2 years or so, starting in 2014, Greenpal started accepting customers and have been profitable since 2016. Gene and Zach cashed out their 401K money to start the initial investment and took the risk. The initial risk started paying off in 2016 but initially it was like rolling the dice.Greenpal used Facebook creatively to start local FB groups to recruit homeowners and also used creative ways such as pet owners to grow affinity towards Greenpal. Greenpal is currently in 40 states in the US. Greenpak assesses the target markets based on local weather, landscaping habits etc. to decide if they should go after a market.Gene gives the following advice. There is never enough money and enough time. Best thing is to get started now. Be passionate about your ideas. And talk to strangers about your ideas and not your family or friends to get an unbiased opinion.​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a very exciting guest working in a very interesting business. His name is Gene Caballero. Gene is the co-founder of Green Pal Inc. And then the founders of Green Pal described the business Green Pal as the Uber for lawn care. I think now you get the picture hey Gene welcome.00:45Gene: Hey Ramesh, how are you? Glad to be on your podcast. Thank you so much.00:49Ramesh: So yeah, Green Pal just by the name, the way you guys described it, I think I clearly understand, but in your own words, we would like to know what Green Pal business all is about.01:01Gene: Yeah, so Green Pal has been described as Uber for lawn care and it's the easiest way for homeowners to find, schedule and pay their lawn guy. Also, we've kind of been coined as the first true operating system for landscaping professionals. So not only do we handle their demand creation, we also handle their scheduling, their route optimization and their payment processing.01:29Ramesh: So, if I understand your business correctly, that both the lawn care providers along with the customers, both of them will register on your platform. Is that right?01:40Gene: That is correct.01:42Ramesh: Okay. So, you're connecting them both and then in the process collecting some kind of accommodation or something like that?01:49Gene: Correct. Yes, we take 5% of everything that goes through the transaction. So, this industry is very antique when it comes to payment processing,

Dec 2019

25 min 46 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​​Nishant PantCompany / Business name: ​​NEO Local AgentBusiness web site​​​ |​​​ ​​​Facebook   | Twitter​Nishant Pant is a serial entrepreneur and his latest venture is NEO local agent, an application that connects real estate agents with customers using platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Prior to NEO local agent, Nishant built Trip Karma, a ‘uber’ like app for local carpools and vans. Nishant is an eternal optimist and passionate about technology.Show Notes:Nishant introduces his startup ‘Neo Local Agent’ which puts the real estate agents a voice command away from their clients by establishing a communication channel  via Amazon’s Alexa. With approximately 4,000 real estate agents already on the network, the NEO Local agent is gaining popularity.Nishant is a serial entrepreneur with his first startup built a knowledge base around local restaurants, parks etc. on iphones early on while the iphone platform was catching on. Even though that startup had 84,000 users and was catching on, Nishant couldn’t monetize it for various reasons. One reason was that competition caught on very quickly.Even though Nishant has been doing all his ventures as side hustles, he said time was never an issue as he was very passionate about all his ventures. Even though not all of his ventures did not take off, Nishant believes that his optimistic attitude carries him through. Secondly, he believes that success is nothing but a series of failures.Nishant talked about ideation and vetting initial ideas through some sort of customer adoption filter and secondly working to make sure that there is decent adoption by users. Even if there is no monetary exit, Nishant felt satisfied with user adoption like his app called trip karma which was a uber for local carppols and vans.Nishant worked extensively with media to get recognition for NEO local agent. He selected relevant real estate media and sent very customized messages to get his app recognized. After one breakthrough, 200 agents signed up for his app and that lifted his platform. Nishant gives few pieces of advice. (1) Entrepreneurship is hard so be very passionate about it (2) Always tell your story. Don’t think people will discover (3) ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hi Nishant welcome to the podcast.00:06Nishant: Hi Ramesh. Thank you for having me.00:09Ramesh: So Nishant, tell us what this agent Neo voice technology is all about.00:16Nishant: Sure. Yeah. So, you might be familiar with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant, right?00:23Ramesh: Correct, yes.00:25Nishant: Yeah. So, there are like hundred million Amazon echoes in US households right now. And although the capability right now is still evolving, like you can use it for reminders and you know, finding recipes and stuff like that. But more and more companies are getting creative about how you can use these virtual assistants, which are sitting in people's home waiting for the next command. So, what we have done with agent Neo is, if you are a real estate agent, you can sign up with us and then you get your own Alexa app, which you can give out to your clients and leads. And then from that point on, your clients can simply talk to Alexa for all the real estate needs. So, I’ll give you an example. So, let's say a client is looking for a home, they can just say, Alexa, find me a two-bedroom home in Seattle. So now you gave it two pieces of information. You need a two-bedroom home and you need the location in Seattle. So, what it will do is it will engage you in a quick conversation and it will ask like tell me what's your budget, how many bathrooms? So whatever information you give it in a natural language, it'll understand it and then it will ask you the missing pieces and then it will take that information and hand it to your agent and connect you over a phone call.

Dec 2019

24 min 44 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​​David Shriner-CahnCompany / Business name: ​Smashing The PlateauBusiness web site​​​ |​​​ ​​​Facebook   | Twitter | ​LinkedinDavid Shriner-Cahn is a recognized authority on entrepreneurship, leadership development, and the host of the business podcast Smashing the Plateau. After 28 years as a highly skilled employee, David Shriner-Cahn was told that his job was over. In spite of the immediate trauma and fear, he knew that as his next step, he’d rather work for himself and have more control over his destiny. That was in 2006.Today, David is a thriving entrepreneur, podcaster and speaker. He is guiding highly skilled professionals who are recovering from a late career job loss and who yearn to impact the world with their knowledge and creativity by becoming successful entrepreneurs.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Books: Mark Gerstein’s ‘Flirting with Disaster’Books: Gary Keller’s ‘The One Thing’.Show Notes:David Shriner-Cahn opens up about the time when he was let go after a long stint as a successful engineer and how that incident transformed him to start his solo consulting business. After seeing the trauma that other people went through, David wanted to focus on helping people transition into businesses after being let go.David accidentally stumbled into podcasting after starting a blog where he interviewed other business owners. Gradually, this transformed into ‘Smashing The Plateau’ podcast.With strengths in finance and operations, David started learning about marketing & promotions to grow his business. As a coach guiding people transition into business owners, David himself learnt about letting go of the fear of uncertainty and started embracing content marketing etc. to expand his reach.David emphasizes the importance of relationships and mentors. He had John Lee Dumas as a guest on his podcast and of course is a big name in podcasting with Entrepreneurs On Fire podcast. David talks about inspiring books such as Gary Keller’s 80-20 rule and Mark Gerstein’s Flirting with disaster. Finally, David gives advice to entrepreneurs to network and find mentors. BNI organization helped David a lot for networking. His advice is to have a cushion for first 6 months to one year of transition, choose a particular lane, and keep pursuing in that lane. One way to overcome adversity is to write down the answer to ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen’ and ask yourself what would you do if that worst thing were to happen. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today I have a guest who has been in business for quite some time and he's been advising other people who want to start their own business. A very interesting background, so his name is David Schreiner Khan, David, after 28 years as a highly skilled employee, was told that his job was over. In spite of the immediate trauma and fear. He knew that as his next step, he will rather work for himself and have more control over his destiny. That was back in 2006. Today David is a thriving entrepreneur, podcaster and speaker, he has a very successful podcast called the smashing plateau. Smashing the plateau. He is guiding highly skilled professionals who are recovering from a late career job loss and who you want to impact the world with the knowledge and creativity by becoming successful entrepreneurs. So welcome David.01:23David: Thanks, so much Ramesh, it’s great to be on.01:27Ramesh: Thank you. Thank you. With that introduction, I have to ask you, what were you doing for those 28 years?01:35David: Well, I started my career as an engineer in corporate. I did that for a few years and actually and I made a major shift.

Dec 2019

26 min 1 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​​Rio RocketCompany / Business name: RioRocket.ComBusiness web site​​​ |​​ ​Instagram​ | ​​​Vimeo​Rio Rocket is a multi-disciplined performer, voice-actor with exceptional vocal malleability, actor, presenter, motivational speaker and commercial model. Rio is also Official Speaker, Announcer, and VOG (Voice of God) for John Jay College’s Annual Commencement ceremony at Arthur Ashe Stadium. First and only motivational speaker ever hired for a production by Lowe’s Home Improvement. He is also a former competitive athlete, and highly-accomplished graphic artist, illustrator, designer, web developer, online marketer, and entrepreneur.Show Notes:Rio starts off with the story how he evolved into a voice-actor and actor and then expanded into other areas like Voice-Of-God etc.Rio’s entrepreneurial journey started off with a graphic design and Rio talks about how he used elance.com to snag the first paying customers. Rio talks about the importance of price, pitch, portfolio to get first customers.Rio’s evolution into so many disciplines is gradual and it happened over a period of 20 years. He kept learning all the adjacent areas like SEO, video marketing, and branding.Rio then goes into the mechanics of coordinating so many different things and how time-slicing is very important. As Rio is involved in many disparate things like acting and graphic design, he needs to make sure that that time management is critical.As a person, Rio says he can’t stand still. He needs to keep learning, doing many different things. But having clear priorities like making sure that basic necessities are taken care of is key. Rio’s advice is to learn as much as possible about a topic, absorb everything, ask questions, and find mentors. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today I'm excited to introduce a guest who transcends multiple disciplines. His name is Rio Rocket. Rio Rocket is a full service commercial graphic designer, web developer and branding expert. And needing a bigger mountain to climb Rio entered acting arena as a voice artist and has evolved to become a film and television actor. Hi Rio, welcome.00:49Rio: Hi Ramesh, thank you for having me.00:52Ramesh: Hey Rio, I have not come across a person yet on my podcast who has evolved so many domains. So, Rio in your own words tell me what you do now and, or where you're putting your focus on.01:05Rio: Well, currently I still am a full-service graphic artist, branding expert web developer. I still have you know, my business with digital marketing and online marketing. However, it also had, enables me and gives me the freedom and the time to branch out into becoming a more visual artists, using myself as the tool. So, film and television commercials, I’ve been able to successfully transition into that space without losing a step in my previous business.01:44 Ramesh: Okay, that's great. So just to give us a glimpse of the breadth of the voice and acting things you have done. Can you give us specific examples of in a way we can see you or hear you?02:02Rio: As far as acting well, the best place to see and hear me is my website www.riorocket.com. I'm pretty active on Instagram, primarily Instagram. Vimeo, I do like to upload videos of work I’ve done on Vimeo and you know, I kind of do it all. I'm spread out between film commercials and TV. I've just filmed a pilot for a new streaming series called altar boy, which is now moving forward. And I think we filmed it about a year, year and a half ago, which is now moving forward in production and we're pitching it to a few networks. There's also a cooking show that I have that I just filmed over the summer,

Oct 2019

21 min 34 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​​Tanya Fox​Company / Business name: ​​Fox Talks BusinessBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​Instagram​ | ​Twitter​​ | ​Youtube​​Speaker, Collaborator, Podcaster and Serial Entrepreneur, Tanya Fox has owned businesses from retail to service to franchise. She now spends her days helping others to discover the fun in business and how to retrain how they think about failures.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:Tanya’s entrepreneurial journey started at a young age of 11 with a lemonade stand and apart from a 2.5 year stint in the corporate world, it restarted with an accounting firm after college.Tanya talks about her specialization which is to look beyond the numbers. As an example, her keynote speeches focus on ‘firing  a bookkeeper who doesn’t ask business questions.”.Tanya expands on her journey with stints in a bread making company (along with her husband), a Taekwondo studio etc. At one point, they had 5 simultaneous businesses but they made sure that they never start 2 businesses at the same time.Tanya talks about one of her popular keynote speeches ‘I am Tanya, and I am a failure’. The genesis for this was her conversations with other business owners who focused on failure a lot and not enough on the learnings from these failures.Tanya talks about people who inspired her starting with her mom who started her own business in her sixties. Her social media coach for 10+ years, Ashley inspires her as well. Tanya also talked about the 5:00 AM club.Tanya talks about 3 major attributes of successful people she has seen over the years coaching. (1) They embrace their fears (2) They are willing to reach out to others with expertise (3) They have inner confidence in themselves. Tanya’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to collaborate (and look at that as competition) a lot and reach out for people with expertise that you don’t have. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. So today I have a guest who has a broad spectrum of experience. Her name is Tanya Fox. She is aSpeaker, collaborator, podcaster and serial entrepreneur, a lot of things. Tanya Fox has owned businesses from retail to service to franchise. She now spends her days helping others to discover the fun in business and how to retrain, how they think about failures. Tanya, welcome.00:51Tanya: Thank you so much for having me. It's such an honor to be on your show.00:56Ramesh: Thank you. And then I liked the way I mean I introduced you and then you want to be introduced to discover the fun in business. That is very, very true.01:06Tanya: It is. And I think it's one thing that as you get going in business, you know, after you're about a year in, you kind of sometimes get stuck in the day to day tasks and we forget that it's, this is supposed to be a fun experience. It's not supposed to feel like, you know, quote unquote work.01:25Ramesh: That's right. So when it gets started though, it doesn't seem like a fun at that time, but so please tell us your story. How did you get into the entrepreneurship? How did you become an entrepreneur?01:36Tanya: I think it probably started when I was really young when I didn't realize what was, what was happening, but I was about 11 and I started a lemonade stand in my neighborhood, which most kids do. And I had some other younger kids who kind of looked up to me because I was the oldest one in the neighborhood and they said they wanted to help. So I ended up opening like five more lemonade stands. And I didn't realize at the time that I was franchising my little lemonade stand of course, because I was just like, Ooh, free money, free labor.

Oct 2019

28 min 15 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​Millette Jones​Company / Business name: ​Cast Global MediaBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​InstagramMillette Jones is a podcaster, speaker, contributor at major publications, frequent podcast guest and the founder and CEO of Cast Global Media. Cast Global is a podcast consultancy helping organizations reduce customer acquisition costs and increase employee retention rates through strategic podcast marketing. Cast helps corporations utilize podcasting to support firm initiatives, transform employee downtime, build executive and corporate thought leadership and drive brand loyalty through podcast advertising, interview marketing, internal podcasting, and custom podcasts.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:Millette starts off by talking about the need for corporations, the brick and mortar type, to understand the importance of podcasts for their business and how Cast Global Media fills this need.Millette talks about how she got into this specialty business after starting as a career coach. As her partnership with another coach fell through, Millette got the opportunity to explore podcasting and selling it to entrepreneur and businesses.Millette got her first paying customers by working with entrepreneurs she had in her coaching business and she explains how she is trying to engage with large corporations and businesses as well.Millette’s focus is on helping businesses connect with their customer via podcasting, connect with their own employees as well, and connect with their stakeholders.Millette traces her personal journey where she started in route sales where she travelled extensively, started entrepreneurship with affiliate marketing, then extended into coaching.  She now extended her business into podcast marketing connecting her online expertise with brick and mortar businesses.Millette talks about one thing she could have done is instead of starting her entrepreneurship as a full blown affair, she should have started it as a side gig while still having a job. Her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to figure out what you are good at, where your talents lie, and exploit them. Whether you like writing or speaking or just hustling, just find them and start with those talents. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance on possibilities. Today I have a guest who he's also in the same business that we are doing right here, which is the podcasting, so Millette Jones. Millette Jones is the founder and CEO of cast global media. She's a podcaster, a speaker and contributor at major publications and she's been a frequent podcast guest, the cast global media, it’s a podcast consultancy helping organizations reduce customer acquisition costs and increase employee retention rates through strategic podcast marketing. Hi Millette, welcome.00:57Millette: Hello. Thank you so much for having me.00:59Ramesh: Wow, so case global media seems to be a very interesting space as a podcast themselves are growing in popularity, so you are working with companies to market themselves both internally and externally with podcasting. So if you could, in your own words, tell us what casts global media is about.01:18Millette: Really, we're just about helping corporations understand what podcasting is and what it can do for their business. It seems like most entrepreneurs, they kind of already get it, especially online entrepreneurs, but corporations really haven't jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet. And there's a lot of space for corporations to build their business, to gain customers, to really connect with millennial employees by jumping on the podcast bandwagon.

Oct 2019

23 min 48 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​Rin Gamache​Company / Business name: ​Bare and Beards – Skincare services & products for MenBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​InstagramRin Gamache, a licensed Skincare Hacker (Esthetician), is the founder of Bare and Beards. Rin chose to concentrate on the male demographic, and create a clinic and products specifically targeting men. The beauty industry is associated with femininity since everything is geared towards women. Rin believes men don't have the skincare conversation because they aren't included enough; therefore, the conversation isn't happening. Rin's desire is to help change the industry standards, and jump start that conversation among men, because men want nice skin too!​Rin has lived in Brooklyn, New York and Teaneck, New Jersey for a total of six years. She also lived abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Tianshui, China for a combined three years teaching English as a foreign language. Her interests include playing basketball, running, watching the Seattle Seahawks play, learning about different cultures, practicing her Spanish, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:Rin talks about why she chose to focus on male skincare and how she got motivated.Rin talks about the operations of her business and how she has a multipronged approach of her own clinic, barber schools education, and direct reach.Rin talks about her i=unique approach to get first paid customers by approaching men at malls to try out her product for free and tracking their progress over multiple weeks over social media.How to price your products and service? Rin goes into specific details on bundling products, free education to help increase customers’ revenues, and determining the profit margins.Rin talks about her own personal journey from journalism to media marketing to entrepreneurship. She goes into details on finding niches and defining customer personas.Rin’s advice to business owners: 1. Talk to other owners and signup mentors 2. Learn by trial and error 3. Be consistent and persistent 4. Keep building credibility. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest and her business definitely interests me. So I would like to know a little bit more about, her name is Rin Gamache. Rin Gamache is the founder, an esthetician of Baden beards, men's skin and wellness clinic located in San Diego. Hi, Rin, welcome.00:41Rin: Hi Ramesh. Thank you for having me.00:45Ramesh: All right. My very first question, what is aesthetician?00:49Rin: So an esthetician is a skin care specialist. So yes. So we provide preventative treatments to people who are trying to correct or maintain their skin. So I'm like dermatologist who prescribe. Diagnose and prescribe. We actually provide the maintenance to help present skin issues.01:19Ramesh: Okay, excellent. All right so now let's get into the business itself. So really, if you could tell us a little bit about your business. When did you start it? How did you start? Just your story.01:31Rin: So barren beards men's skin and wellness clinic, as well as Skin care products, we are a product line as well. So I started it back in 2018. I got the idea, obviously I’ve always had a love for skin care cause I had my own skin care issues growing up at the middle school and it was just through trial and error, I found out how to pretty much target an acne and to keep your skin in good shape and looking good in our products. I had gone through many dermatologists, prescriptions, bingo peroxide, salicylic acid, different jokes, you name it. I just didn't do Accutane.

Oct 2019

27 min 57 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​Vivek Kumar​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​​​QlicketBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​  | Facebook ​ | ​YoutubeVivek is the founder of Qlicket, an application platform that diagnoses the drivers of avoidable employee turnover and gets employees bought in to the best solutions to reduce the turnover. Vivek Kumar completed his MBA from University Of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and worked for couple of years in Management Consulting and couple more years in private equity. After 4 years in NY, Vivek had a calling that he has to make an impact in this world and decided that high tech industry is where he is going to make an impact. He moved to silicon valley and worked with a company that sold advertisements for free wireless in public places before his current venture.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:Why talent retention is a big problem and employee turnover is expensive for businesses and how Qlicket is helping solve that problem.Qlicket captures first-line feedback from employees about their concerns and addresses them as soon as possible to resolve issues.Vivek goes into details on how Qlicket pivoted and iterated many times before it found its current growth model. Key finding was that you don’t need a fully developed product but need working prototypes to drive customer discovery conversations.Vivek talks about the importance of resilience and how being resilient helped him from keeping the company afloat since 2011 before actually driving the growth they looked for in 2018.Vivek talks about his own journey from a business school to investment banking to consulting to silicon valley to India and back to the US. His key findings through all these churns are to fail fast, learn from stumbles in a non-emotional way, and relying on supporters & collaborators.Vivek goes into details on how he got first paying customers by targeting conference attendees, sending cold emails, following up with face-to-face meetings in a very targeted way. A combination of multiple strategies but in a targeted way.Vivek’s advice to entrepreneurs is to focus on customers want and not what you find interesting, assess failures objectively and learn, and keep focusing on growth. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today I have the CEO of Qlicket Vivek Kumar. So the Qlicket is an enterprise software service company that caters to companies that are experiencing high worker turnover environment. And Vivek himself has gone through many pivots in his life as a career and for his own company that he will talk about a very interesting background. And he has an MBA from the Wharton school as well. Vivek welcome.00:52Vivek: Thank you Ramesh.00:54Ramesh: Alright, Vivek I know I introduced Qlicket in my own way, so but why don't you explain what Qlicket does in your own words.01:03Vivek: Great. Qlicket is an enterprise SAS company that does talent retention for very high worker turnover environments.01:13 Ramesh: Okay. So a talent retention means what?01:16Vivek: Talent retention means that we help organizations, particularly large enterprises in fortune five hundreds keep more of their workforce, particularly those on the frontline in their job, than they may be, are currently able to do. So When we think about HR, there is the talent acquisition side, which is focused on nowadays technologies that do everything from having AI to help you find the most ideal candidates to improving scheduling options for maybe those more on the front line. But the area that may be often gets a little bit more overlooked is on the talent retention side,

Oct 2019

24 min 46 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Robyn MancellCompany / Business name: Girls Gone ForExBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ | ​Instagram | Facebook | ​​Twitter | ​YoutubeRobyn Mancell is the Co-Founder and Mindset Coach for Girls Gone Forex, an online trading academy that teaches women across the globe how to trade in the foreign exchange (Forex) market. Before the Forex business and the nonprofit, Robyn was self-employed for over twenty-five years in almost that many industries. After her divorce in 1990, she left corporate America, going from stable, salaried nine-to-five employee to a commission-only entrepreneur. All while raising her children as a single mom.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:What is ForEx business? Why is it interesting?How Robyn got into Foreign Exchange investing and how she met her co-founder.Details on how Robyn and her co-founder used Facebook to start a contest to recruit first 15 or so women out of hundreds of applications for their first course and used social media to track their progress.Robyn shares details on how started multiple businesses over a period of 25 years spanning from restaurant business to insurance sales to ladies fitness center.Robyn’s motivation of ‘being afraid of not doing new things’ as opposed to ‘being afraid of doing new things’.Robyn’s observations on characteristics of people who do well in her classes as well as life. #1 is mindset. People who can focus, persevering, and not quitting. People with a drive and purpose and not looking at failures as failures.Robyn’s reflections of things that she could have differently. 1. Connect with mentors early on 2. Be willing to listen to people with more experience. Final advice to aspiring entrepreneurs; 1. Just go for it. 2. Have a network of mentors, supporters, and collaborators. 3. Don’t look at failures as failures but as learning lessons. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest dabbling in a business or build a business that we don't come across that often. So I'm a very honored to have you know, a person from investing and trading side. Her name is Robyn Mancell. Robyn, welcome to the podcast.00:38Robyn: Thank you so much, Ramesh. I'm happy to be here.00:41Ramesh: Excellent. Let me first introduce your business and then we'll get into the discussion. Okay. Robyn Mancell is the Co-founder of a business called girls gone forex. Okay, we'll get into that business in a second. And she's also a mindset coach. So Robyn, very first I know you know, the name itself is pretty interesting. Just let's go over what your business is about.01:08Robyn: Okay. So girls gone forex is a company that was started to empower women to learn how to day trade. We specifically trade in the a foreign exchange or the forex market as it's been called. And that is a $5.3 trillion business a day. So girls gone forex is on online trading academy where we teach women all across the globe how to trade in the foreign exchange market and how to be profitable in that market.01:44Ramesh: So first I think it's very interesting that you chose a specific area. How did you get started with the forex business?01:53Robyn: Well, I actually had seen a lot of people talking about it on social media. I really didn't know anything about it even though my background had been in sales and insurance. I did not know anything about the foreign exchange market. I think most of us have heard of people day trading, typically stock options. And I ran into a woman who had been trading for 20 years. And one of the things that she said to me that got my attention was that all you need was a laptop and Internet access and anyone,...

Oct 2019

26 min 40 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​Desiree Crowley​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​TimeJump MediaBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ | ​Instagram | FacebookDesiree Crowley is a transformational coach, visibility strategist and speaker for women coaches ready to expand their exposure and scale to six figures in their online coaching business. She helps women create a stand out presence online so that they can bust their visibility fears, stand out as the premium expert in their field, and create six figures and beyond!Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: ​NoneShow Notes:Desiree Crowley starts off by explaining what a transformational coach does which is coaching entrepreneurs to transform their mindset to be more confident and be more visible. She also talks about certification programs in this space.Desiree’s entrepreneurial journey is a typical journey where she took the opportunity of being laid off to learn all about digital marketing , blogging etc. She finally believed in a coach and her program to invest $5,000 and spent all her spare time on her business.Desiree started a facebook group and ran a challenge ‘level up your beauty’ to encourage women to go on video. She built her mailing list to 500 but didn’t get any paying clients. She invested in another coach which finally resulted in $12K or so in few weeks.Even though Desiree’s entrepreneurial journey had ups and downs, she believes that every step that she took (even where she failed) was necessary for her to get to where she is now. She learned from each one of those steps.Desiree believes that being consistent is key to grow your personal brand. Even though her first lead magnet was a bust, Desiree learnt and improvided and continued to grow the list. Her business is about putting people in front of the camera with video. Desiree believes that being imperfect is OK. Success is all about the habits and rituals you do every day. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:05Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dantha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today we have an exciting guest. Her name is Desiree Crowley. Hi Desiree, welcome.00:30Desiree: Hello. Thanks for having me.00:33Ramesh: So let me introduce Desiree to you. Desiree is a transformational coach, visibility strategist and speaker for women coaches ready to expand their exposure and scale to six figures in their online coaching business. She helps women create a standout presence online so that they can bust their visibility of fears, stand out as a premium expert in their field and create six figures and beyond. So Desiree the way I look at you, you are a coach for coaches.01:06Desiree: Yes, I'm mostly specialize in coaches, but I’ve definitely worked with a lot of different business owners. But of course, you know, the mixing is important.01:16Ramesh: Excellent. So my very first question, well, what is a transformational coach?01:23Desiree: Transformational coach is basically, I guess to me, I don't know anyone else, but for me it definitely means it goes along with mindset. So a famous Tony Robbins quote is that success in business is 80% your mindset or your psychology and 20% is the strategy or the mechanics of what actually goes into it. And I just have fully seen that in my own life in my clients and in my business. And I was certified as a transformational coach and I decided to bring that in and to my previous background. And so I just kind of put that together and I have found that that's really what makes the difference for my clients is that they really do need both. And luckily I have been able to master specifically around my area of expertise, which is visibility and putting yourself out there in a bigger way and helping my clients to transform with it,

Sep 2019

25 min 22 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Dr. Nanette Miner​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​​The Training Doctor, LLCBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ | FacebookDr. Nanette Miner is a leadership development and workplace learning strategy consultant. She's the founder of and managing consultant for The Training Doctor, a South Carolina based consulting firm that helps its clients to prepare today for the organizational leadership they will need tomorrow.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: NoneDr. Nanette Miner starts the talk by talking about the leadership vacuum that will be there because of the bay boomers staying long in their leadership positions leaving millennials and Gen-Xers out of the loop. Dr. Miner believes that every employee should be trained as a leader from day 1.Nanette talks about starting her business 28 years ago as a customer service training in the hospitality industry. The initial challenges with that industry made her pivot her business to re-use material designed by other established training organizations and customize them for each company.Dr. Miner candidly talks about the current struggles about building a steady customer pipeline because of her recent shift to leadership training. As she is not known in the industry for leadership training, Nanette is focusing on establishing herself as a leadership trainer.Nanette talks about the downtimes in her journey and how she coped with them to continue to be self-employed. Even though she was on the verge of bankruptcy, Dr. Miner never thought of quitting. To some extent, she was inspired by her father who was self-employed.Nanette detailed her current strategies of acquiring customers by offering online workshops followed by in-person training. She also talks about the pros-cons of investing in leadership training and people leaving versus not investing.​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest from an industry where every business needs somebody to help them. That is a leadership development. Dr Nanette Miner. Dr Nanette Miner is a leadership development and workplace learning strategy consultant. She's the founder of and managing consultant for the training doctor, its South Carolina based consulting firm that helps its clients to prepare today for the organizational leadership they will need tomorrow. Hello, Dr Nanette.00:52Nanette: Hi Ramesh. Thanks for having me.00:56Ramesh: Thank you. Thank you. So finally, we are able to get together after some scheduling issues. Thank you.01:00Nanette: Yes, thank you as well.01:03Ramesh: All right, so let's get started with the leadership development company that you have. If you could just to tell us on the listeners what your organization is about.01:12Nanette: Okay. Well, I’ll give you a little back story first. So if you're familiar with training and HR publications there's a precipice coming I say. There's a 2030 precipice for business and that precipice is that all the boomers are going to be gone from the workplace. Millennials and Gen z are going to be the primary population in the workplace. And the problem that that creates for organizations is that generally boomers are who our leaders are in organizations these days generally is somebody in their mid fifties to, you know, mid seventies sometimes. They've had a long time in the workplace in general. They've had a long time in the companies in which they work. So they understand the culture and the values of the companies in which they work. And they've been in their leadership positions a long time as well. And one of the things that has happened is that they've basically kept gen x and the millennials out of the leadership p...

Sep 2019

27 min 49 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​Larissa Lowthorp​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​TimeJump MediaBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ | ​Instagram | Facebook​Larissa Lowthorp is the founder, president of time jump media, which is a full-service agency that works in the entertainment industry. She's a designer, technologist, a screenwriter, emerging director and producer.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Tools: Freelancer (Mac), Quickbooks, Canva, Pixabay, Pexels.ComShow Notes:Larissa Lowthorp started out as a consultant and freelancer offering her services to the entertainment industry in various roles as a screenwriter, designer, and technology and worked for 12+ years before she started a full-fledged business. Larissa talked about how she is building her current business by using referrals from her past life as a consultant. Larissa also talked about the challenges of switching from being a freelancer to a full fledged business with having to take decisions on type of corporation and number of sites needed.Larissa talks about the importance of mentors and in her case the huge role played by her mentor. Larissa also talked about the significance of life events which were up and down and how they motivated her to pursue her entrepreneurial path. Larissa also talked about her mother and sister being great supporters of her work.Larissa advises aspiring entrepreneurs to not have fear hold them back. Even though the overall entrepreneurial journey is overwhelming, takes it in bits and pieces.Larissa talks about some important tools: Freelance on Mac is a good project management tool. Quickbooks is great for accounting. Larissa also mentioned stock photo sites like pixabay and pexels.com that she uses.Larissa talks about some areas she’d have worked sooner. Being assertive and believing in herself much earlier than she did. Larissa is careful about  screening the customers and being firm when needed. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dantha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a very exciting guest works in an exciting industry, that's entertainment industry. So her name is Larissa Lowthorp. Larissa is the founder, president of time jump media, which is a full-service agency that works in the entertainment industry. Larissa is very, very talented. She's a designer, technologist, a screenwriter, emerging director and producer. Larissa welcome.00:49Larissa: Hi Ramesh, thank you so much for having me.00:51 Ramesh: So what is it that you cannot do? It looks like I talked about everything that you can do. Are there any things that you cannot do?01:00Larissa: Oh gosh, you are hitting it right away. I just come out and say it. I am dyslexic at math, so don't talk to me about math.01:12Ramesh: So let's talk about your business then now. What is time jump media?01:16Larissa: Time Jump media is a full-service agency. Working within the entertainment industry. We do work with all other types of industries, but we specialize in entertainment. We provide branding, digital strategy, web solutions, app development, video production. You name it, we do it.01:41Ramesh: Okay. So how long have you been in the business?01:44Larissa: Time jump was actually just incorporated this past October 2018 as a limited liability company, but it was founded about two years ago.01:59Ramesh: Okay. So what was going on between the two years when it was founded and then LLC of October 2018.02:07Larissa: You know, I have to be honest with you, I was a little bit scared. I've managed small businesses and online businesses for a number of years and time jump was, it was my idea to form an agency from a very long time ago, but I had a mental and emotional block towards starting it....

Sep 2019

25 min 28 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​Michael Rogers​Company / Business name: ​​​​​Chandler Properties, Sell Michael Your HouseBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn​​ | Facebook​Michael Rogers is the owner of Chandler Properties, a real estate investment portfolio that focuses on self storage and residential rentals in Cleveland, Tennessee market.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Resources: Dan Barrett Facebook Ads courseShow Notes:Michael shares his entrepreneurial journey from an accountant to real estate over a span of 20 years. He saw at least 2 real estate cycles of ups and downs.When he started with real estate, he used to buy to full price and do all the work himself and make some money when he sold for higher price. But Michael realized that he had to buy at value prices and possibly pay others to do services to really scale his business.We talked about financing and how relationship with local banks is key.Michael said his analytical background helped in this business. But Michael also talks about how real estate transactions are different because of all the emotional attachments above and beyond just financial transactions.Michael explained how digital marketing was a huge game changer and how he learned digital marketing (Dan Barrett classes) and did Facebook ads, retargeting all by himself.Michael talks about some of his learnings namely importance of value investing, knowing your circle of competence, and the importance of patience.His advice is to start with a side hustle, follow value investing principles, and the importance of value investing.​He is a huge fan of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (who is not). ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneurial podcast. This is your host, Ramesh Dantha. This podcast is about starting on building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance on possibilities. Today we have a guest who has branched out into an area we all somehow will participate in our lives. Michael Rogers. Michael Rogers is the owner of Chandler properties, a real estate investment portfolio that focuses on self storage and residential rentals in Cleveland, Tennessee Market. Hi Michael. Welcome.00:45 Michael: Hey, Ramesh. It's good to be here. Thank you.00:50Ramesh: All right. So I have to admit, I have seen your ads on Facebook and where ever I go the ads seems to be following me. So you are a prolific advertiser.00:59Michael: Yeah, yeah. So you've been on my website somewhere and I’ve cookied you and that's why you're, that's why you keep seeing me.01:07Ramesh: Very good. Very good. So that whenever I see that it's following me, that tells me that they're doing well, so that they are able to spend at advertising. Okay, excellent. So, Michael, so in your own words, what is your business about?01:20Michael: Well for the, I’ve kind of got two main things to do. One Chandler properties, like you mentioned there we've got self-storage. I got started in doing selling short probably eight or nine years ago. And then we also got some residential rental properties. And then I’ve got a website that I use also where you're probably seeing those, those Facebook where you're getting retargeted for some like your house.com where I'm looking for motivated sellers and I’ll buy houses and fix them up in rent them or I’ll wholesale them to somebody else and let them fix them up and flip them. But those are the kind of two big parts of my business. And my background is I'm a CPA. I sorted out, I graduated college in 2001 and went into public accounting, split out five years in public accounting. And then I went into corporate accounting for about 10 years doing internal audit, basically insurance companies. And the whole time I was doing that, I was on the side kind of as a side hustle, doing real estate, you know, buy a duplex,

Sep 2019

24 min 34 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​Alwi Suleiman​Company / Business name: ​​​​Content Market KingBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn | ​​Twitter​​Alwi Suleiman is the founder of contentmarketing.com. He specializes in content marketing for small businesses and has helped many small businesses become relevant to their audiences since 2009.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned: Tools: Google Analytics, SEMRushShow Notes:01:00 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Differentiation is key especially in competitive industries.Alwi introduces his company ContentMarketKing.Com and how it differentiates from other content agencies by making sure that his clients are relevant for their audiences. 06:05 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Getting the first customer is key. Try unique ways to snag that initial one.Alwi explains how he got his first customers in a unique way when he started his business. Alwi searched through job boards for available jobs and applied for a few. When the first company rejected him, he proposed to them that he could work as a freelancer. And the company accepted the proposal as they were growing very fast.11:14 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep chasing your dreams. They will come true.Alwi goes over his very unique background. Born in Mombasa, Kenya, Alwi worked as a cement mixer when he was 15, got that job full time at 21, bought a second hand car, bought a mud house and rented for extra cash. After a brief stopover in Dubai, Alwi ended up in Netherlands, went to college, and got a job to get started again. 16:10 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Extend your reach by networking.Alwi talks about how he runs a global company by networking with other freelancers across the globe. He also gives a glimpse of some tools he uses. Google Analytics and SEMRush. But more importantly Alwi teaches his clients how to be smart about the content and its objective.21:22 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing is an art. Keep iterating to find the right price for your business.Alwi explains how he prices his services. He starts by comparing to competition. Based on the additional value he is delivering, Alwi prices his services 10 to 15% higher and makes sure that exceptional value is delivered. 24:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start your business by doing adequate research.Alwi gives 3 pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. 1. Do your research. 2. Make sure that your vision and mission are aligned to your operations. 3. Learn operations like bookkeeping. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest who has traveled across the continent currently based in Netherlands, Alwi Suleiman. Alwi is the founder and CEO of content market king. Content market king is a company that focuses on content and content marketing and helps small businesses. So Alwi has been running this company for the last 10 years. Hey, Alwi welcome.00:48Alwi: Hi everybody. I'm really happy to be here. Really honored.00:53Ramesh: Hey, Alwi in your own words? Can you explain what your business is about?01:00Ramesh: My business is about helping small businesses become relevant to their target audience. The thing that I have noticed for the past years is a lot of content is being created by these businesses that is not being seen by the target audience. So it becomes a problem, because it's a safe that do not exist. And some of them have some really good products and services. But if a target audience doesn't see you, well, you become basically irrelevant to them. And what we do is make sure that this companies as they create a proper content that resonates with their target audience....

Sep 2019

25 min 48 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​​​Dan Salganik​Company / Business name: ​​​​​VisualFizz and CommootBusiness web site​​​ | ​LinkedIn ​​​Dan Salganik has been a serial entrepreneur since his sophomore year in college. He is currently the co-founder at VisualFizz, a digital marketing agency, and Commoot, a new billboard, and data company. He has managed hundreds of team members and run over 8 figures in marketing campaigns. Some notable campaigns include stakeholders such as former President Obama, Yoko Ono, and the Emperor of Japan. Dan has worked on a diverse set of projects/clients ranging from half million dollar web builds to helping mentor start-up founders that need a voice.Show Notes:01:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Differentiation is key especially in competitive industries.Dan introduces his company Visual Fizz, a digital marketing agency, and how it differentiates from other companies by establishing a relationship business from get go and conveys emotions in their campaigns. 06:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: With right network, getting first paying customers may not be that difficult.Dan talks about how he started VisualFizz after getting laid off from his previous company and he decided to chart his own path. He met his co-founder at a coffee shop and decided to work together. They started the company in less than $50, had first paying customer in 2 weeks and profitable in less than a month.10:02 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Balance cash flow with internal operations for initial survival.Dan explains how they built their company by hiring people who wanted the flexibility but also challenging work and how they operated by paying the employees with their initial clients payments. Secondly, Dan also talked about his second company Commut which is a truck advertising platform based on data analytics.14:50 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Marquee projects will help get eyeballs and name recognition.Dan goes into details on his favorite project where his work involved President Obama, Yoko Ono, and emperor of Japan. This involved New Age Phoenix Pavilion in Chicago which was meant to embody the US- Japan partnership. Dan’s work involved creating extensive video campaigns to be used for fundraising etc.22:35 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: When you have co-founders, focus on complimentary roles to grow the business.Dan talks about his co-founder and how they work together. With complimentary skills, Dan and Marissa focus on different areas of the business with Dan on Program management and strategy and Marissa on operations.25:46 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start slowly and do your home work before starting a business.Dan gives advice to other would be entrepreneurs. Do your home work. Don’t quit your job right away. Be authentic. Enjoy what you plan to do. Take time off regularly to rebalance your life. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur Podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today I'm excited to introduce a guest with a very fascinating background. His name is Dan Salganik. So Dan has been a serial entrepreneur since his sophomore year in college. He's currently the co-founder of visual fizz, a digital marketing agency and another company Commut, a new billboard on data company. He has managed hundreds of team members and run over eight figures in marketing campaigns. Some of the notable campaigns that he managed are for President Obama, Yoko Ono, and the emperor of Japan. I know what you guys are thinking, so we'll get into that later. So Dan has worked on a diverse set of projects and clients ranging from half a million-dollar web biz as well as people who are just starting ...

Sep 2019

25 min 11 sec

Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on       Google PlayListen on       ​SpotifyGuest: ​​​Ali Saif​Company / Business name: ​​​HighClickzBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook​ | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram​Ali Saif is a lifestyle entrepreneurial and digital nomad. He runs a digital marketing agency called Highclicks.com and helps businesses struggling with online sales and growth to reach their full potential by optimizing their conversions and revenue.Tools: Google Analytics, Click Funnels, Thrive Themes, Mailchimp, QucikbooksBooks: The 4 hour work-week by Tim FerrisShow Notes:01:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Have a dream. Keep working on that dream.Ali explains digital nomad life that he is after and talks about how his business High Clickz, started in 2008 with a focus on getting traffic via paid advertising, is results and conversion focused. With Google’s help, his company also flourished. 04:58 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be passionate. Your passion will open the doors to a desired life.Ali discusses his journey prior to his latest venture. His interest in computers and programming at a very early age led him into a freelancing career at the age of 17 taking care of billing and SW. Later on he branched out into gaming and supporting online gamers. 09:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Freelance sites like Freelancer.com, Upwork.com can be excellent to get started.Ali explains how he got his first paying customer for HighClikz. On freelancer.com, Ali saw a job posting for a sales page for a customer in customer who developed an e-book on how to talk to dogs. He thought it was interesting and worked with the customer to design the sales page and work with Clickbank to get him sales. And the first customer led him to more sales. 17:20 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be Keep defining your ideal customer and become an expert on their needs.Ali talks about building a customer pipeline and his focus is on authors and coaches who want to establish personal brand and be an authority. Most of his business is through referrals from his existing customers.19:43 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Expand your horizons to either technologist or business depending on where you started from.Ali talks about his growth from a pure technologist into a businessman. Initially, it started with knowing how much money he needs to survive and sustain his business.  Later, he was influenced by people like Tim Ferris (and the 4 hour work week book) and began outsourcing more to grow his business without sacrificing his lifestyle. 22:00 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing is an important element of the business. Be on top of it.Ali discusses his pricing strategies. Ali also has a product side of the business where he sells some products on Amazon. For products, his strategy is cost-plus pricing where he adds margin to his costs. For services, he prices based on the value he is delivering. The value is defined by customers.23:47 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on the most important tools for your business and not go overboard with them.Ali goes over some of the tools used in his business. Google Analytics to analyze traffic, Click funnels for creating funnels, Quickbooks for accounting and various email marketing products like mailchimp. 26:00 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Get started with your business and evolve as you learn.Ali closes the podcast by talking about trends which are mostly mobile consumption and applications. His advice for aspiring business owners is to not wait but get started. Outsource where you can and grow your business. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:01Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile Entrepreneur Podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities.

Aug 2019

25 min 9 sec

Guest: ​​Melisa Celikel​Company / Business name: ​​Make SHT Happen LLCBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook​ | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram​Melisa Celikel is the founder and CEO of a business and a business organization consultant of Let's get you organized. She has helped over 250 clients create amazing transformations in their homes, lives and businesses.Show Notes:01:42 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start somewhere but the most important thing is to start a business. You can evolve later.Melisa shares her background and how she worked with Fortune 100/200/500 companies in Bio-pharma industry for HR/Sales/Recruiting. She decided to start her own business journey and started with home organization which evolved into online courses and later expanded into business organization. 03:33 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on your strengths. What may be a disorder may actually be a talent.Melisa stalks about focusing on one’s strengths and not their weaknesses to find out what they should do. In Melisa’s case, she was diagnosed to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and decided to monetize that talent and started a home organization company.05:04 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: You don’t need a fancy website to get your first customer. Start somewhere and expand.Melisa talks about how she had put together a web site over a weekend, launched her social media profiles and was in business in few days. She advertised on Craigslist and got her first customer within a month. She used Yelp, Craigslist, Instagram, and Facebook to build her customer pipeline. 11:22 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Action trumps fear So Act.Melisa shares her experience of working with various entrepreneurs and individuals and the key characteristics that she believes are important for success. (1) Avoid analysis paralysis. (2) Action trumps fear so act (3) Perfectionism leads to paralysis so don’t try to be perfect.13:53 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Productized service is the holy grail. Find ways to productize your services.Melisa talks about how she adjusted her business model to make it a more productized service business. She hired organizers and trained them to manage the home organization business. Instead she focused on training and coaching to make it a productized service business. This way she can work from anywhere and enjoy the passive income stream.18:16 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on yourself and the path you believe is the right for you.Melisa talks about how she had to work hard to break the expectations that her parents had for her and she had to work hard to quiet the doubters and prove to them that the path she has taken with home organization and later the business organization is the right path for her. She also talks about hiring outside help sooner in her journey.22:19 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start somewhere but the most important thing is to start a business. You can evolve later.Melisa advises would be entrepreneurs to get off the fence. Start taking action. Don’t worry if it’s perfect. Be organized and prioritize your actions. Some of the tools she uses are: Quickbooks, Project management system, CRM system. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03 Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today our guest is Melisa Celikel. Melisa is the founder and CEO of a business and a business organization consultant of Let's get you organized. She has helped over 250 clients create amazing transformations in their homes, lives and businesses. Hi Melisa welcome.00:44 Melisa: Hey Ramesh, thank you so much for having me on.00:47 Ramesh: So let me get started with your business itself; let's get you organized, and you introduce yourself as an NLP certified business organization consultant.

Aug 2019

23 min 23 sec

Guest: ​Michelle Miller​Company / Business name: ​MM FITNESS LLCBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook​ | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram​Michelle Miller is the founder and CEO of MyFirstWorkout.Com (MM Fitness LLC) and has been a personal trainer and group exercise instructor in Tallahassee Florida for 20 years working with people of all different ages and fitness levels. She is a wife and mother of two boys ages 6 and 20 and my passion is children’s fitness.Show Notes:01:19 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: The gaps that you see in your own life could be the springboard for your own business.Michelle talks about her business which is about connecting children with their parents and caregivers with fitness via MyFrstWorkout.Com. She got the idea for her business while she was spending time with her fiver year old and when she checkout out competition, she couldn’t find any fitness products for children which are meaningful. 04:49 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Your passion can show you different ways to build your business quickly.Michelle talks about how she was able to design, procure, and brand her business from concept to launch in 6 months. Given that her business is about physical products, it has taken little longer but she was still able to do in a relatively short timeframe. Her launch and promotion went very well. 07:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Expand your business into adjacent markets as opposed to finding totally new markets.Michelle explains how she expanded her business to be mobile where she takes the fitness (equipment and all) to her clients workplaces, homes 9if needed), and how that expanded her business. She also caters to special population, pregnant women, and people with surgeries etc.12:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: If you believe in your idea, give your 100% so you don’t regret later.Michelle talks about how she used equity from their home to build her business. She also explains how she found her vendors in China. Michelle was serious about her business and invested $3,000 in getting the right domain and researched extensively on getting the right vendors.17:39 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning from your mistakes and make it a deliberate habit to journal so you can look back.Michelle talks about some of the challenges she faced. First is the additional cost she incurred in warehousing her products much earlier than needed. Second is that there is some stigma associated with kids and weight training and Michelle needed to help overcome some of that resistance by educating.21:29 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing is a very important aspect of the business. Keep iterating.Michelle talks about the challenge of pricing her products right. She explains how she came up with a price based on how much competition is charging and how much more value her products are delivering over competition. She is still tweaking her pricing.23:18 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning from people who have gone ahead of you.Michelle gives advice based on her entrepreneurial experience. (1) Be patient (2) Networking is key (3) Surround yourself with who believe in you ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today our guest is Michelle Miller, who has a very unique business. So Michelle Miller is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor in Tallahassee Florida and then she's been operating, she's been doing that for last 20 years or so working with the people of all different ages and the different levels. She's a wife and a mother of two boys and her passion is children's fitness. So you will soon know how this passion translated into her business and her business name is www.myfirstworkout.com,

Aug 2019

24 min 11 sec

Guest: ​​​​Jennifer McGinley​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​​JLM Strategic CommunicationsBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook​ | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram | ​Twitter​Jennifer McGinley is the CEO of JLM Strategic Communications, founded in October 2017 and based in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Her company specializes in Media Relations, Community Outreach and Reputation Management. As a public relations professional for 25 years, Jennifer has built a reputation based on integrity, professionalism, attention to details and consistency. Prior to founding her company, Jennifer worked in the healthcare industry in the Philadelphia area before moving to Baltimore where she worked at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy in public affairs, development and alumni relations.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Books: Giver by Bob BergTools: LinkedIn LocalShow Notes:01:10 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Find your passion and you’ll be surprised with the energy that brings in.Jennifer talks about how helping out a friend who has a startup with PR energized her and made her look into having a side hustle working with startups and small/medium businesses. 05:03 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing your services is key to a sustainable business.Jennifer discusses some of the challenges she faced while building her business of which pricing has been the most important one. As she was hesitant to talk about money, she gave lot of free services early on but she realized her mistake and hired a business coach to help her.06:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Knowing your strengths is key to success in businessJennifer talks about her strengths (listening, detail oriented), and her focus on healthcare industry that she loves. With her focus on individuals and small companies, Jennifer is much more focused on serving rather than selling.09:38 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep an open mind so you can pivot when necessary.Jennifer talks about how she accidentally got started with PR as her original love was broadcasting like Jane Pauley and Katie Curic. A stint with Montgomery hospital opened up PR opportunity and her mentors encouraged her to run with it.16:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: : LinkedIn can be a great B2B tool.Jennifer talks about how LinkedIn Local really helped her identify clients and build the pipeline. She walks the process of building your credibility and building relationships.18:08 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be cautious in starting a business and believe in yourself.Jennifer gives the following tips based on her experience. (1) Start with a side hustle (2) Have faith in yourself (3) Hire a business coach if you can (4) Network as much as you can.21:24 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Know your strengths but also know your weaknesses and complement them where necessary.Jennifer talks about her love for media relations, love for meeting people, and connecting with them. She also realizes her weaknesses in math / accounting etc. and she complements by hiring when needed. Ans she ends with a hashtag #BeYourself that she believes in.  ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02 Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today our guest is Jennifer McGinley. So Jennifer is the CEO of JLM strategic communications, founded in October 2017 and based in Hunt Valley Maryland. Her company specializes in media relations, community outreach and reputation management and Jennifer spent plenty of years like 25 years or so in public relations. So she's a veteran in this area. Hey Jennifer welcome. 00:51Jennifer: Thank you so much, it's lovely to be here. I appreciate it. 00:55 Ramesh: Thank you, so you are a public relations company and then you worked for public relations in...

Aug 2019

23 min 15 sec

Guest: ​​​Shirag Shemmassian​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​Shemmassian Academic ConsultingBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook​ | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram​Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is the founder of Shemmassian Academic Consulting. He and his team help high-achieving students get into America's top colleges, medical schools, and other graduate programs.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Books: ​Calendly, Skype; Mentors: Ramit SethiShow Notes:01:14 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep doing what you love to do and money will follow. Shirag starts off by explaining how a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology got into starting an academic consulting business. It’s primarily started off with Shirag helping friends and family for free which generated enough interest to become a profitable business. 03:04 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: All you need are paying customers to validate your business and the rest will fall in place.Shirag talks about how he started making money even before he formally organized or even had a web site. It all started as a side hustle and word of mouth. Then the referrals kept coming and Shirag could really sense that there is a viable business.05:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Don’t wait for that magical perfect price or perfect channels. Keep iterating.Shirag talks about the trial and error involved in finding the fair price for his services. He started off with a price that he thought was fair but as he kept realizing that the value delivered by him to help students to get into top colleges like Harvard and Stanford was much higher, he increased his prices. In the process, he also learnt about other aspects of the business like marketing and promotion.11:10 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be realistic about business challenges especially time management and growth management.Shirag talks about challenges of time management and quality control. Given that the academic consulting is still a side business (even though a very health one), time management has been a challenge but he has gotten better at it. Second challenge is maintaining quality with other coaches he has hired to support the growing business.17:36 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Outsource where necessary. Don’t try to be a superhero.Shirag talks about the operational aspects of his business. Shirag outsourced accounting and payroll. He uses Calendly for appointment scheduling, Skype and phone for coaching.19:06 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be a constant learner. Be curious. You never know where that will lead you.Shirag talks about his evolution from someone who wanted to become a physician and how his interest in mental health led him into clinical psychology. He also talks about his immigrant background and how that motivated him into keep driving himself. His natural curiosity led him into starting his business and he is now hooked.22:01 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep yourself surrounded by a positive group of people.Shirag talks about his drive which is to take care of his family for a comfortable life and also people like Ramit Sethi who inspired him. He also talks about his wife, family members, and friends who keep guiding him.24:25 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start now, pivot if you need to, learn from mistakes and keep going. Shirag gives some parting advice for would be entrepreneurs. (1) Figure out what you have to offer and see if there is a market for it (2) Don’t try to create a market which is very difficult to do (3) Don’t keep waiting for ‘perfect’ everything. Start now, learn from mistakes (4) Start, pivot, fix things, and enjoy what you do. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:06 Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today we have an exciting guest, his name is dr.

Aug 2019

25 min 19 sec

Guest: ​​Craig Hewitt​Company / Business name: ​​​​​Podcast MotorBusiness web site​ | ​Twitter​ ​Craig Hewitt is the Founder of PodcastMotor, a productized service which offers done-for-you podcast editing and production. Podcast Motor has a team of 15 remote members spread across 4 continents and are responsible for around 40 podcasts on a regular basis.Craig is also the founder of Castos podcast hosting and analytics with a to enable everyone to create their own podcast and share their voice with the world. Castos just celebrated it's 2nd birthday and more than 1,000 customers are on the platform.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:​Books: Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, Traction by Gino Wickman.Show Notes:01:32 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: If there is no solution for a problem you are facing, most likely other people are struggling too. Solve that problem and you have a business. Craig starts off by talking about how he stumbled his way into starting podcast motor when he actually started his own podcast but found it cumbersome to get it edited and published. He calls it ‘scratch your own itch’ way of starting a business where you solve your own problem and in the process build a business to start similar problems. 04:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Figure out your calling in life and focus on what you can accomplish. Craig calls himself a hopeless entrepreneur who is practically unemployable in a corporate world. Instead of spinning wheels in a corporate world, Craig really wanted to accomplish meaningful things by being on his own. Even though he started by selling capital equipment to hospitals, Craig is now in a 3rd iteration of his entrepreneurial journey.06:47 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be agile and nimble in starting your business.Craig is a big believer in productized service business and a prime example of get started quickly. He went from an idea to a paying customer in 3 weeks and a monthly revenue of $5,000 in 2 months. Start with a problem you can solve for customers and find a way to do it soup-to-nuts for them. Then you can keep pivoting from there.08:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: If there is no solution for a problem you are facing, most likely other people are struggling too. Solve that problem and you have a business. Craig gives examples of where his friend Justin McGill started a challenge to start a business in 24 hours and his SAS business lead fuse did exactly that. In this segment, Craig also talks about building a customer pipeline with a combination of organic traffic (70%) and paid traffic (30%).15:04 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: There are always multiple sources of motivation: personal and professional. Find yours.Craig talks about the motivation needed to build his business. (1) He wanted to quit his full-time job and the side business he started seemed like the path (2) And the pipeline of customers who needed him provided him the additional motivation.17:37 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Read the following books if you can: The Profit First and Traction.Craig mentions two books that were instrumental in shaping him and his business. The first is ‘Profit First’ by Mike Michalowicz which talks about paying yourself first from the profits. The second book is ‘Traction’ by Gino Wickman which is kind of a blueprint for running a business. Craig also mentions Dave Ramsey’s thinking on how you need to tell the money what to do.21:12 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: If there is no solution for a problem you are facing, most likely other people are struggling too. Solve that problem and you have a business. Craig gives few pieces of wisdom from his experience in this section. Even though Craig believes in everyone starting their own business, he says that a corporate experience is key for every would be entrepreneur to understand the inner workings of a business. Craig is a big believer in productized service busines...

Aug 2019

23 min 10 sec

Guest: ​Phil Strazzulla​Company / Business name: ​​​​Select Software ReviewsBusiness web site​ | ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin​ | ​BlogPhil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews where businesses can learn about the best software for their organization. Phil started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA at Harvard Business School.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned: Tools: Zoom, MixMax, Mailchimp, Google AnalyticsShow Notes:00:56 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be a trusted advisor for your customers. Phil starts off by explaining about his business which is to provide consumable information for businesses to make informed decisions on buying the right business software from the myriad options that are available for them. Phil’s company makes money by partnering with some of the vendors and with paid advertising on the web site. 04:28 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Always start by identifying an ideal customer. Delight that customer first. Phil talks about the ideal customer for his business and that is the HR manager of any business with employees between 100 and 1,000. Phil’s aspiration is that the beachhead of the HR customer will gradually lead to other functions in the org.08:31 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Business will evolve. Don’t sweat over trying to get it right the very first time. Phil talks about the origins of his business. His desire to start a company originated in college when he interned at a one-man company and realized the impact he could have. Phil talks about how his business evolved 7 or 8 times since inception and how each iteration made the company a better business.11:40 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: As an entrepreneur, be prepared to go though lean times. Find strength within. Phil talks about the exhilaration of signing up marquee customers in the beginning but how that excitement was worn off when they didn’t renew afterwards. He talks about the learnings such as the tracking the customer interest to get an idea of what is working and what is not. He talks about the pain of going through lean times and watching his classmates shutter their own businesses within 9 to 18 months of starting their businesses. He found strength within to keep going by staying lean.19:43 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: It’s always a better business model to do something that is already being done in the market faster, cheaper, and better. Phil talks about 2 key challenges he faced in running his business. (1) Time management (2) Prioritization. Phil reminisces about few things he could have done better. (1) Not trying to change the behavior of the customer (2) Instead focusing on helping something that is already being done better, faster, cheaper etc.23:07 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start with something you know and keep learning and building from there. Phil continues talking about the need to start a business in an area that you are familiar with and understanding the customer behavior. Phil learnt the the hard way about HR and how HR managers make buying decisions. Phile also gives inside scoop on few tools he uses: Zoom MixMax (for calendaring), Mailchimp. Phil’s company also relies on freelancers from Upwork and Fiverr.28:01 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning and iterating. Phil summarizes his learnings in this segment. (1) Try to find the market for your business (2) Keep iterating to find the right model (3) Start with something you know (4) Be realistic about your business journey. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02 Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today's guest is Phil Strazzulla. So Phil is the founder of select software reviews where businesses can learn about the best software for the organization.

Aug 2019

28 min 33 sec

Guest: Shel Horowitz​Company / Business name: ​​​Going Beyond Sustainability DOT COM.Business web site​ | ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin​ | Facebook | ​YouTubeFor over a decade, Shel Horowitz, “The Transformpreneur,” has shown businesses how to thrive by doing the right thing. Shel shows how not just to go green AND market green affordably and effectively--but how business can thrive by transforming society: turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. Shel is a consultant, international speaker and TEDx Talker, transformational business consultant, and the multiple-award-winning, bestselling author of ten books, most recently Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World (his second Guerrilla book with Guerrilla Marketing founder Jay Conrad Levinson). Show Notes:01:43 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Your passion leads the way to your business. Be passionate. Shel talks about the beginnings where he and his wife started a movement in their local rural community to stop a private developer from building a large development against environmentalists’ concerns. He used business principles and marketing to make the movement effective. 06:00 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Environmentally sustainable business and a profitable business don’t have to be separate things.Shel talks about how he coaches business owners to make money and save money while transforming their business into a sustainable business. He mentions some great examples like Patagonia, Ben & Jerrys, Rocky Mountain Institute which have been very successful in being a sustainable business while making profits. 10:00 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep growing your business by finding new growth areas. Always think of possibilities. Shel talks about how he started as a freelance magazine writer and started a term paper typing service which grew into resume prep service business. That business evolved into Press Releases and Marketing copy writing business.14:39 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Use variety of techniques to build your customer pipeline: Networking, blogging, speaking.Shel talks about the customer pipeline building process. He uses a combination of techniques such as a gratitude journal on Facebook, blog posts, speaking engagements etc. Many of his clients are either referrals or people who found him through organic google searches. Sometimes, he prospects by going to networking events.21:50 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be proactive about having a social impact with your business. Shel talks about being proactive to have a social impact with their business. He says it is just a matter of time that customers will ask about your business impact on the society, so be prepared. Shel also advises that it is not difficult to be profitable while having a wider social impact.27:56 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on costs while building a business. Prioritize customer engagement and interactions.Shel gives advice to would be entrepreneurs that they should have a razor focus on cost savings in startup mode. Also, outsource where it is possible economically so you can focus on priority items. Keep your customer engagements very personable and engage with them so they can be repeat customers. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone welcomes to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today I have a guest with a very interesting and inspiring bike background, Shel Horowitz. For over a decade Shel Horowitz, the transformpreneur has shown businesses how to thrive by doing the right thing. Shel is a consultant, international speaker and TEDx talker, transformational business consultant and the multiple award-winning best-selling author of 10 books most recently guerilla marketing to hea...

Jul 2019

28 min 43 sec

Guest: ​​Mark Viniello​Company / Business name: ​​OverActive Imaginations, Inc.Business web site​ | ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin​ | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram​Mark Viniello, professional Hollywood make-up effects artist turned Entrepreneur and author. Mark has worked on such films as: The Lord of the Rings, Avengers: Infinity War, Stranger Things and the upcoming Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.Show Notes:01:06 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Many times, a business idea starts with your passionate interests. Be passionate. Mark talks about his love of making monsters and how his work on Adam Sandler’s bedtime stories of making a mermaid tale started the whole thing. Initially, he made some mermaid tails for his four daughters and as the word spread around, Mark started making the mermaid kits for others. 4:55 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Deliver a complete immersive experience to differentiate your offering.Mark expands on how he grew that one mermaid sleeping bag idea into an entire kit where the customers get a complete experience with inspirational and educational books, a tote, and complete background on the mermaids.07:37 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning from people who have done similar things before. Your network can also be a huge help. Mark talks about how he learned from the likes of Jennifer Kepler, Sara Blakley, and Rowland who successfully navigated the journey from artists to becoming successful business people. Mark then relied on friends and family who are into various aspects of a business like licensing merchandise, tradeshows, and packaging to pick their brains.  13:38 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Ensure that price, promotion, and quality are in sync.Mark then talks about pricing and how iterated on coming up with pricing. Once he decided on a price, Mark relied on referrals and testimonials to build his business. Mark also made sure that the product quality is high and the customers could experience the quality of his offering so they feel that the price matches the quality.20:12 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Test different strategies like unbundling a product and customer segmentation. Mark further talks about different strategies like unbundling the product (sleeping bag, book etc.) so the overall price can be lowered without compromising the quality. He also mentioned segmenting the customers so he can provide younger adults with a different product as well. 22:48 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep you passion going. Most successful businesspeople kept investing initial profits into the business.Mark continues to invest the profit back into the business as he has been expanding his product line. He is not keen on overnight success and believes that the ‘overnight success’ comes from multiple years of hard work. The focus on entertaining and the exciting the kids will pay off.26:33 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning, keep momentum going for long term success Mark gives advice to would-be entrepreneurs as follows: (1) Learn by standing on the shoulders of the giants (2) Make little advances every day and keep the momentum going (3) Keep your journal (4) Keep asking yourself why started on this journey initially. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:00Ramesh: Hello everyone welcomes to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today our guest is Mark Viniello. Mark has a very interesting background and let me just go over this. Mark is a professional Hollywood makeup effects artist, turned entrepreneur and author. Mark has worked on such films as the Lord of the Rings, Avengers, infinity war, stranger things and the upcoming scary stories to tell in the dark. Hey Mark welcome. 00:48Mark: Hey Ramesh thank you.00:50Ramesh: I don't know where to get started with your ...

Jul 2019

29 min 23 sec

Guest: ​Drew Stevens​Company / Business name: ​Stevens Performance Group and Stevens CapitalBusiness web site​ | ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin​ | FacebookDrew Stevens is a world-renowned business turnaround and revenue expert. Drew works with business owners who struggle with revenue and transforms them into wealthy professionals.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: Dragon Fly Software, Dropbox, Google SuiteShow Notes:00:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start with focus on your skills, expertise, and personal attributes to identify business focus areas.Drew talks about the way started his company by assessing his strengths in sales and marketing and deciding to focus on companies always struggling in some way shape or form like they are either bankrupt, about to go through bankruptcy, just coming out of bankruptcy. 2:51 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Develop a multi-dimensional approach to building your brandDrew expands on his brand building journey where he started speaking professionally, writing articles, and books. Additionally, Drew also started providing capital in private equity placements for a 3 pronged approach to building his personal brand.06:54 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on fit, fun, and financial customers and learn to say no.Drew talks about the importance of saying no because entrepreneurship can be all consuming if you don’t. He also talks about the importance of selecting clients who are fit, fun, financial which means the ‘right fit’ for you, fun to work with, and financially strong to work with. 11:23 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Tough times are a reality in any business. Weather them with mentors, support network, and being astute.Drew talks about the challenging times and how he overcame them. He did 3 things (1) Relied on a small circle of mentors (2) have smart people around him to guide him (3) be shrewd about the work he selects and the operations of his company.15:12 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on building customer pipeline with multiple avenues (speaking, writing, networking etc.)Drew talks about customer pipeline and deal flow. Drew’s typical customer engagement is for 90 days or so and he has learned to manage deal flow so he is never overwhelmed or without customers. With a combination of writing, speaking, podcasting, networking, and referrals, Drew has managed to fill the customer pipeline steadily. 21:58 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start with your goal, amount of time you can put in, and the amount of money you can put in to get started with your business.Drew gives advice to would-be entrepreneurs along these lines. Expand on your dreams, vision, and goals. No need for extensive business plans. Ask yourself how many hours you can put in without complaining. Lastly, how much money you can put in without going broke. The answers to these questions will help you get started with a sound foundation.26:34 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start with focus on your skills, expertise, and personal attributes to identify business focus areas.Drew gives advice based on his journey. (1) Surround yourself with small team of smart people (2) Stop listening to every piece of advice (3) Keep chasing your dream even though there will be lot of naysayers (4) Don’t give up ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:01 Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Agile Entrepreneur Podcast, this is your host, Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting on building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today's guest is Dr. Drew Stevens, Drew Stevens is a world-renowned business turnaround and revenue expert. Drew works with business owners who struggle with revenue and transforms them into wealthy professionals. Hey Drew, welcome to the podcast. 00:37 ​Drew: Thank you for having me, Ramesh. I'm excited to be here 00:40  Ramesh: Thank you for your time. So, your company name, I mean,

Jun 2019

30 min 32 sec

Guest: ​​​​​​​​​​Kristie Jones​Company / Business name: ​Sales Acceleration GroupBusiness web site​ | ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin ​​​​Kristie Jones the founder of Sales Acceleration Group. Sales Acceleration Group helps tech start-up companies with sales strategy, process, hiring and coaching and training. Kristie has been a solopreneur since 2016 and grateful each day for the ability to do what she loves and help others at the same time!Show Notes:2:06 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Adversities could be the mother of opportunities. Grab them.Kristie talks about she started her company in 2016 when the venture-backed she was working for decided to put sales group under marketing and disbanded her team. Luckily, a prospective client asked her to train/consult with their sales team giving Kristie an opportunity to start on her own. 5:49 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Grow your network in a very disciplined manner to grow your businessKristie talks about the importance of networking and how she realized after some initial LinkedIn network analysis that she needed more local contacts and consciously grew that network. Her first customer as well as initial set of customers who funded her first year with consulting gigs were a direct result of her network.8:18 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing can be very challenging but agree on value delivered first before pricingKristie talks about the initial challenges especially regarding pricing her services. Her coach Mike Weinberg advised her to stay away from hourly pricing and instead focus on pricing for services and products. She gives us a step by step process of writing SOW, pricing the services at a later point of time and ensuring lining up mutual objectives.12:41 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Have a razor focus on the customer segments you want to serviceKristie talks about her focus on privately funded companies, venture capital companies, and tech / SAS companies instead of spreading all over. She also talks about her process for handling multiple clients simultaneously. Her secret is being super organized.14:51 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep on prospecting for new set of customers to fill the pipelineKristie gives advice on power prospecting to fill the top of her sales funnel by engaging in volunteer activities, speaking engagements, CRM system, email marketing.20:49 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Always have a mix of services and products to grow your businessKristie talks about packaging her services into some kind of a product (like training session, book etc.) to max her reach. She is working with a network of other entrepreneurs who have done this successfully. Still, Kristie says she enjoys the one-on-one engagements and the need to balance both.22:32 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Network, join meetups, rely on mentorsKristie gives advice to would be entrepreneurs to (1) first focus on building your network (2) join local meetups/entrepreneurial groups (3) find right mentors.24:57 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be organized in all aspects of your business like prospecting, operations, and staying in touch with your networkKristie emphasizes the need to stay engaged socially like volunteering, find good networks (in her case prosper for women), find good tools (like Hubspot CRM in her case, and finding support network. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:01Ramesh: Hello everyone welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. Today I am pleased to introduce our guest Kristie Jones. She runs companies sales acceleration group. Kristie started her company in 2016 and she's been added since then. So sales acceleration group helps tech startup companies with sales strategy, process, hiring and coaching and training.

Jun 2019

25 min 51 sec

Guest: ​​​​​​​​​Joellyn Sargent​Company / Business name: ​​​​​​Claravon Group LLCBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook | ​​YouTube |​ ​Twitter​ | ​​​​Linkedin | ​Instagram​​​Joellyn Sargent spent years as a marketing executive, building the life everyone said she “should” have. In spite of her success, it felt like something was missing. So in 2010 she left the rat race and followed her heart, helping passionate entrepreneurs succeed in business and in life. Joellyn is the author of Beyond the Launch: The Practical Guide to Building a Business that Thrives. Her latest adventure was a 7 months sabbatical in 2018, which she spent hiking 1800 miles of the Appalachian Trail.​Show Notes:2:46 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Never give up. Keep looking for the right opportunities.Joellyn talks about her entrepreneurial journey where she is now on her 3rd business having started her first business when she was 26. She has applied all her learnings from her first ventures along with her corporate experience in marketing. The mortgage industry meltdown few years ago provided her the needed motivation to start her 3rd venture. 5:45 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep investing into the business during its formative years.Joellyn explains the experience of getting her first customer from outside her network and how it gave her enough confidence to jump right in. She talks about the need to invest into the business and how she kept investing in mentors so she could expand her consulting business instead of just doing projects like website design etc.9:06 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Strategically quit projects when they are not working out to keep reinventing yourselfJoellyn talks about the first two years of roller coaster ride with her business and how she has weathered them. She talks about what she called ‘strategic quitting’ where one should entertain strategically quitting few projects or engagements if they are not working out.12:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Don’t be afraid to fire bad clientsJoellyn etalks about the need to find right customers and not any customer as bad clients ‘breed bad clients’. It is important to ensure that you are happy working with the right clients so the entrepreneurial journey is worthwhile.14:17 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Entrepreneurial journey is about personal growth and self-discovery and not just about freedom and income.Joellyn explains the characteristics of business owners who succeed. They are (1) introspective (2) open minded (3) desire to grow (4) indulge in self-reflection.17:29 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep refining your target customers to find your ideal set of customersJoellyn talks about the sweet spot customers who are business owners who either are starting out or on their second or third journey. She also wants to consult with business owners whose business may have been going well for some time but now has slowed down.22:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Reflect on what you want to do that customers will pay forJoellyn wants would-be entrepreneurs to think about 3 things on their way to a successful journey (1) Is this what you want to do? (2) Would customers pay for what you want to do? (3) Are you in this for the long term? The scariest part of your journey is when you quit your day job so you should be ready for that with these answers. 24:58 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Reflect on what you want to do that customers will pay forJoellyn reflects on her experience and gives advice to balance between brand building and revenue. As an example, her focus on speaking engagements (where she was not paid) were not a path to revenue in few cases and she says she should have cut down those kinds of engagements.  Joellyn talks about the amazing but scary journey of being an entrepreneur and encourages all to do it instead of sitting on the sidelines. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:01Rame...

Jun 2019

27 min 8 sec

Guest: ​​​​​​​​Stacy Verdick Case​Company / Business name: ​​​​​Peony Lane DesignsBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook | ​​YouTube |​ ​Twitter​ | ​​​Pinterest | ​Instagram​​​Stacy Verdick Case is owner of Peony Lane Designs where she sells vintage home decor online and also in a brick and mortar shop. She also takes viewers vintage hunting with her on her YouTube channel.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: Mailchimp, Wordpress, Canva​Books: Why We Buy by Paco Underhill; From Poop to Gold by Chris Jones; She Means Business by Carrie GreenShow Notes:2:05 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Build a business based on your interests and passionStacy explains about vintage home décor business and how she got started with the business which essentially grew from her personal interest in vintage furniture and her errands to thrift stores etc. 5:58 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be realistic about transition from salaried job to a business owner especially during the first yearStacy talks about her transition from an accountant to a business owner and how she has been learning from her husband’s own business as well as reading books, listening to podcasts etc. She also talks about her difficult first year in business and how she was the most stressed and also most happy at the same time.9:53 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Know where your customers buy and emphasize those channelsStacy talks about how she got her paying customers on Etsy and using social media platforms like Pinterest, twitter, and Facebook. She also talks about how these platforms complemented her personality as she is a shy person and wasn’t comfortable being in front of customers.12:07 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Identify your ideal customer base and keep learning more about their buying habitsStacy explains her ideal customers of millennials and also women between 35 and 45 years. She also talks about how she blends her own interests of colorful furniture in a vintage décor and how her clients have accepted her style.15:33 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Outsource where you can and keep the rest for better time managementStacy gives us more details about her first year where cash flow was a much bigger issue than time management. She also talks about how she involved her family in the business, so it didn’t affect work-life issues as much. She also was able to outsource areas where she was not good at but kept areas like web design that she is interested in.18:42 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Identify some key ways to validate your business: peer or customer validationStacy brings up peer validation as an important motivator in addition to customer validation. She talks about the importance of peer validation in her business much more than market or customer validation to keep her going.22:48 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Key tools will improve your productivityStacy talks about the key tools she uses in her business which are mailchimp for email marketing, Canva for design, and Wordpress for CMS.23:27 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep up with your reading to keep going.Stacy tells us few of the books she likes in her business. They are: ‘Why We Buy’, ‘Poop to Gold’, ‘She means Business’.25:41 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Key tools will improve your productivityStacy gives advice based on her experience. (1) Don’t overthink it (2) Find a support system especially during the first year. Lastly, many people quit when the success is just around the corner. Her advice is don’t quit. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)​00:02Ramesh: Hello everyone welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting on building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance and possibilities. I am very glad to introduce our guest Stacy Verdick Case. Stacy is the owner of Peony Lane designs,

Jun 2019

29 min 51 sec

Guest: ​​​​​​​Nicole Landau​Company / Business name: ​​​​Landau Consulting SolutionsBusiness web site​ | ​​Facebook | ​LinkedIn​​Nicole Landau, owner of Landau Consulting Solutions, specializes in helping construction business owners gain control over their finances by increasing profit margins and streamlining their accounting function. She also provides financial coaching to small businesses who want to gain clarity on their financial situation.Show Notes:2:09 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Rely on your network to find your first paying customersNicole talks about starting her business as a side hustle while working a full-time job and as the mother of a newborn to have a flexible life. She talks about relying on her network (a colleague) to find her first client and specializing in construction industry (which she has personal experience of having built couple of houses) to differentiate herself. 5:38 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Rely on your network to find your first paying customersNicole takes us on a step-by-step journey of her registering her company, getting her license etc. which took a very short time. She talks about defining her offering, figuring out marketing, marketing messages took little bit of extra time.7:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Extend your traditional offering to grow your business into new areas.Nicole details about the specialization of services in her business like complete payroll/accounting outsourcing for construction businesses and consulting / coaching for new businesses in financing & accounting to help them grow.10:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Find ways to connect to your customers on a personal level to earn their trust.Nicole has an interesting angle about establishing herself as a trusted advisor in what is typically a male-owned businesses. She says many of the wives handle the finances & accounting in these businesses and Nicole could relate to them and become a trusted adviser.14:03 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Tap into your local chamber of commerce network and/or create your own network to grow your business.Nicole talks about her motivation (which is her daughter and her family), her support network (coach identified by local chamber of commerce), and a specialist coach in her own accounting industry that helped her scale her business. She also talks about the network she built with other business-woman-moms.18:01 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Don’t procrastinate and start investing in networking.Nicole gives 3 tips to would be entrepreneurs (1) Just start doing it (2) Networking is huge (3) Take time to invest in sales and building a customer pipeline21:17 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep learning to grow your business and be an empathetic leader.Nicole talks about some key personality characteristics of successful business owners she works with. (1) They invest in themselves to learn from experts (2) Takes care of his employees (3) Repeat customers because they love working with him22:41 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Specialize in profitable areas and select good customers to work with.Nicole talks about some challenges such as specializing in profitable services and focusing on ideal customers as opposed to any customers. She mentions that it is key to let go off bad customers as they will be a drain on the business.24:42 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on cash flow.Nicole gives advice to entrepreneurs to focus on cash flow to survice in business.27:30 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Find a coach. Network. Start doing it.Nicole gives parting thoughts on finding the right coach in your own industry to grow the business, be hungry about networking, and not to be afraid to jump in. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:00 Ramesh: Hello everyone welcomes to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha.

Jun 2019

26 min 15 sec

Guest: ​​​​​​Kenzi Wood​Company / Business name: ​​​Kenzi WritesBusiness web site​ | ​Twitter | ​LinkedIn​​Kenzi Wood is a former marketer turned blogger and she writes content for marketing agencies, SEO agencies, Fortune 200 enterprises, as well as small mom-and pop shops. Her focus is on vanquishing the demons of content marketing—one blog at a time. Her mission is to stamp out flimsy copy and increase your reader engagement, boost website conversions, audience retention, and, best of all, the business bottom line, with content designed to win.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: Asana (task management), Google-Suite, Timeular (time management), Slack, Doodle, zoomBooks: ‘BadAssYourBrand’ by Pia SilvaShow Notes:1:08 minute mark:​Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Start doing what you enjoy and keep exploring possibilities to start a business.Kenzi starts off by talking about how she started to blog for fun in the personal finance space, realized that she can make money by writing as a side gig, and finally took the plunge to quit her corporate job and never looked back.2:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: ​Support network is key to continued successKenzi talks about how her husband saw the potential with her blog to start her own business and encouraged her start on her own. She also found moral support in her parents. Finally, she attended a personal finance bloggers conference and found her first customer.5:33 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Build customer pipeline by soliciting testimonials and building a portfolio.Kenzi gives tips on building a customer pipeline by (1) always requesting customer testimonials after each project (2) keeping a portfolio of your projects on your website. She also talks about weathering lean times by keeping personal finances in order and being financially secure.9:10 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be proactive about managing different aspects of business by outsourcing where necessary.Kenzi talks about dealing with the waves of solopreneur work by outsourcing work that someone else can do better (in her case it is customer outreach) and negotiating with customers on deadlines and as a last resort to refer other trustworthy freelancers.11:05 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Identifying key customer segments and their specific needs is essential to grow your business.Kenzi identified her sweet spot of customers as small and medium businesses where she can translate her large company experience and provide a white glove service for her clients. This focus helped her to get lot of customer referrals. 15:25 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Enhance your productivity by selecting proven tools.Kenzi talks about the tools that enhance her productivity. Asana for task management, G-suite for email & docs, Timeular for time management, slack/google chat for customer communication, doodle for schedules, and zoom for video communication.18:48 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing right is key as well as tracking time and expenses.Kenzi talks about few things that she could have done better. (1) Pricing right for her services. She thinks she underpriced her services initially. (2) having an accounting software to automate tracking and expenses.22:14 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: It’s equally important to find the right customers and not just any customers.Kenzi talks about the need to find the right customers to work with as she thinks it is very important to find the right chemistry. She has a check list that she goes through in selecting her customers.24:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Find a way to turn service business into product business that sells itself while you sleep.Kenzi is focusing on gradually turning her service business into a product business and she mentions a book by Pia Silva called Badass your brand that inspired her.24:59 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Confidence, Quality,

Jun 2019

25 min 59 sec

Guest: ​​​​​Janet Elie​Company / Business name: ​​Launch4Life LLCBusiness web site ​| ​Facebook | ​Twitter | ​LinkedIn | ​Instagram​​Launch4Life, started by two sisters Janet Elie and Gillian Whitney, helps small businesses learn to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for themselves. Janet has over 30 years in the Financial Services Industry in marketing and management, coupled with 5 years of intensive dedication to online marketing and social media applications. Janet has coached and trained small business owners on how to adapt to the social media world.Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: Camtasia, Mailchimp, Acuity (bookkeeping), Paypal, SEMrush, Asana (project management), zoomShow Notes:1:03 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Don’t be afraid to go against the tide to define your business.Janet introduces her business which trains small businesses to do search engine optimization (SEO) for themselves. It is an interesting concept because most other SEO businesses actually do the SEO. 4:02 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: First start your business and then iterate the business to find the right direction.Janet talks about the transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship. She wasn’t happy with her corporate life, attended a Tony Robbins conference, and decided to take control of her life. Even though she started with helping insurance agents find better prospects, she evolved her business to train business owners to do SEO for themselves.7:55 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Define your customer ‘Avatars’ with specific details on their pain points, dreams, and aspirations.Janet talks about her target customers who are little bit tech savvy, in their 40, 50 and may be 60s. Janet found that customers who are not tech savvy turned out to be nightmare clients.9:05 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Building a customer pipeline is key for a sustainable business.Janet talks about building customer pipeline by going to conferences, building an email list, and relying on referrals. The large conferences can be intimidating but help in building email list.10:29 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: It takes at least a year to get going so don’t expect overnight wonders.Janet talks about the first three years of her entrepreneurial journey where the first 6 months were about tweaking her web site. It took one year to stand on their feet and a good amount of 3 years to find a solid ground. During these 3 years, they kept tweaking business model and website design.13:16 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Finding a reason to stay motivated is very important.Janet talks about her motivation and drive to keep going. She thinks about the alternative of either being a couch potato or go back to work neither one is appealing.16:45 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Use tools sparingly and wisely to build and grow your business.Janet lists all the tools that they use in their business. The tools are listed at the top but Asana for project management, Acuity for bookkeeping are couple of new tools that were not mentioned on the show earlier.19:52 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Focus on knowing your customers, competitors, and marketing your offer.Janet gives 3 specific tips for prospective entrepreneurs. (1) Do your market research to find out if your idea is a viable business (2) Study your competitors to differentiate your offerings (3) Business is 20% product/service and 80% is marketing.23:02 minute mark:Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Email list is key. Quality over quantity for long term success.Janet talks about few things that she would right if she were restarting her business today. (1) Building an email list from day one (2) Focus on quality blog articles over quantity (3) Create some free online courses to give free value. ​Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:01 Ramesh: Hello everyone, welcome to the Agile Entrepreneur Podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha.

Jun 2019

28 min 34 sec