Who is your hero?
My mom. She taught me a lot that affects how I approach my business. She’s a tennis champion and athlete, and I use a lot of her techniques to win and get through all the challenges and opportunities you face building a company. My mother has taught me many lessons I still use today.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Be very specific about the type of people you bring into your business. People are everything in your business as you grow. Some people have the right motivations that align with yours. Some people don’t. You hear “people are everything,” but as an entrepreneur you quickly learn just how true that is. Be critical and look for people who are a good fit. Make changes when you need to. The people you bring in will define your culture, so be very intentional about hiring.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
I learned early on that it’s important you have to have the right people around you. If even one team member isn’t aligned culturally, or doesn’t sync with what you’re trying to do in the market, your business can suffer. Building a great team is a foundation for success. As your team grows, it’s the people who will make or break your chances of winning in the market.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Every day I spend time prioritizing and thinking about how I can have the greatest impact. A trick I use to work on the most important things first is to color code my calendar. Important meetings with customers, partners or investors are in red. Off-site meetings or visitors are in green. Internal meetings are in blue. Keeping my calendar organized helps me clearly see every day’s priorities.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Entrepreneurs have to be sales people. You should always have your sales hat on. An early advisor helped me become a better salesperson. He taught me the sales skill set and showed me that at the end of the day, sales is just about a specific mentality and common sense. If you have the desire to learn how to sell, you’re already ahead of most people.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Talk to customers, always. You can improve your product and company by talking to your customers. If you have a friendly customer who knows the market, ask for their input and ideas. Talk to your customers about your story, the business pain you’re solving, the market opportunity and how your team is going to address it. A customer can give you great advice and feedback on whether you’re articulating your value in a way that’s easy for other customers or stakeholders to understand.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
My definition of success: Hearing from customers that they value the solution and service we provide. I feel like I’m succeeding every time new customers signs up and we’re able to help them become more revenue-driven marketers. Everyone on the Allocadia team is motivated by seeing organizations use our software to plan, budget and analyze their marketing performance. I will feel ultimate success when we’ve helped create a market where our solution is the standard for marketers all over the world.