Ben Walker is a CEO, entrepreneur and visionary leader who enjoys helping others become successful in business. Ben’s company, Transcription Outsourcing provides user-friendly and cost-effective transcription services for the medical, legal, law enforcement and financial industries for organizations all over the world. Ben is a sought-after thought leader and has made contributions to publications like Entrepreneur Magazine, Built in Colorado, CoBiz Magazine and LinkedIn. Follow him @datatranscriber.
What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
For me, it was that moment when I decided I was going all in. That was the point of no return. You can’t be successful as an entrepreneur with a half-hearted effort. Once I decided to give a go, there was no turning back.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
When you are employed, you can count on a paycheck that is usually a set amount every two weeks. When you are an entrepreneur, there are many more variables to worry about. The paychecks are not always on a set schedule like someone who is gainfully employed. Sometimes clients pay late, or in rare cases, not at all.
In my experience, the only way to overcome this is to continue hustling. The moment you let fear consume you is the time when you stop working hard and begin to make changes for the better. Never stop working hard, and the paychecks will start to come in eventually.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
Yes, there were doubters and those who told me to just get a regular job. When I told people of my plans to start a business I got many really strange looks and sarcastic “good luck with that” types of responses. I chose to ignore them because I knew in my heart that I would make it happen.
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
I’m not a PR or marketing specialist, and I naively thought I could handle that aspect of my business myself. My own company advocates for outsourcing the tasks that prevent entrepreneurs from engaging in the activities they are good at and make them money. Finally, after a chat with one of my mentors, I saw the light and realized that I needed to follow my own advice and outsource the marketing side of my business.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
Network using social media. I was a late adopter to using social media for my business. Thus, I’ve had to play catch up. Every day you wait to improve your social media marketing is another day you’ll fall further behind your competition in your marketing efforts.
How do you end each day and why?
I try to make sure my notes are all accurate and reflect everything I did that day. Then, I’ll start making lists for the things that need to get done the following day/week/month. Making lists keeps me organized and ensures I complete tasks on time.
What is your best PR/marketing tip for business just starting up?
Utilize Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and hire someone who knows what they’re doing. The PR world is different than marketing and advertising. It’s very important to start out with as much coverage as possible. As I mentioned above, I would tell anyone getting started to hire someone unless they are experts at it themselves.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there?
My ultimate goal is to get to an annual run rate of $8 million. I live in an older home in one of Denver’s historic neighborhoods, and would love to remodel parts of my home. However, I am holding off until I hit this revenue goal. I have a vision in my head of how I would like my home to look — it’s this vision that motivates me to hit my revenue goal.