“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh
Hi [fname]. Welcome to Issue Fifteen of the Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle.
Table of Contents
1. News Update + 3 Broadwick Job Openings 2. Welcome to Issue Fifteen 3. Nine Leadership Lessons from a 19 Year Old CEO 4. Baltimore Sun Interview with Ryan Allis 5. Entrepreneurship Discussion Forum July Highlights 6. Free Content for Your Web Site 7. Recommended Book List for Entrepreneurs 8. Featured Organization of the Month: YDEF 9. Closing Notes 10. Products/Books by Ryan Allis
Broadwick Corp. reached a major milestone by passing 500 clients for its permission-based email marketing software IntelliContact Pro in July (see press release). Broadwick welcomes Internet.com, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, and EIT Solutions to its growing list of reseller partners. Today, August 1 Broadwick obtained its 530th customer as it continues to grow at an accelerating pace. Broadwick currently is looking to fill three job openings. Please see below for details.
Broadwick Job Openings We welcome interested subscribers to apply by sending resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a qualified candidate and the position remains open we will contact you to schedule either an in-person interview or teleconference interview.
1. Director of Marketing Seeking Director of Marketing to join dynamic and quickly growing software company in Chapel Hill. Position will involve improving market positioning of company’s IntelliContact Pro web-based email newsletter software, managing online advertising campaigns, and developing communications regarding both IntelliContact Pro and IntelliContact Enterprise. Salary: $30,500, Start: 2-4 weeks Learn More About Position
2. Perl/PHP/MySQL/Linux Developer Seeking second developer in firm to add specific features to web-based email newsletter software IntelliContact Pro. Position will involve working with Perl, PHP, Postfix, and MySQL in a Linux environment. Looking for someone who enjoys working hard in a dynamic entrepreneurial atmosphere. You’ll be the seventh employee in a rapidly growing firm, so there is significant potential for growth and leadership. Initially, you’ll work directly under Lead Developer and with marketing and support teams. Work-time will be spent fixing bugs within software, working on major components of large feature implementations, completing custom work for clients, and assisting support team with technical questions. Experience working with web-based software, experience in a multiple mail server environment, and a graduate degree are pluses, but not required. Salary: $42,500, Start: 2-5 weeks Learn More About Position
3. Salesperson Seeking motivated, persistent, professional salesperson(s) to represent the IntelliContact Enterprise product. Position will involve generating leads, making on-site presentations, bringing in new clients, and supporting existing clients. Regional areas available. Significant travel necessary. Salary: Base + high recurring commission, Start: October/November. For more information on position contact David Roth at email@example.com
Welcome to Issue Fourteen
July saw rapid growth for both Broadwick and Virante. Broadwick passed 500 customers and Virante continues to add clients for its web marketing and search engine optimization services. The highlight of the month for me had to be my speech in Washington D.C. on July 22 to 80 high school and middle school students with the Lead America Business & Entrepreneurship Conference (see picture below).
Lead America students in Washington D.C. pose with me after a speech and book signing, July 2004 (more photos here)
This month promises to be very interesting with a 9-day trip to Nigeria August 14-23, my 20th birthday on the 14th, and the first day of school on August 24 (yes, I’ve decided to return to UNC-Chapel Hill after being on leave for a year). I’ve been able to arrange it so I’ll be out of classes by 11am each morning, so I’ll still be able to be at the office 11:30-8 each day.
This issue begins with an excerpt from Zero to One Million entitled Nine Leadership Lessons from a 19 Year Old CEO. Our second section is an interview of myself completed bythe Baltimore Sun earlier this month. In our third section, we highlight posts from our Entrepreneurship Discussion Forum. Finally, we’ve once again listed our book recommendations for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or would like to contribute content to be published in the newsletter or online, I encourage you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do feel free to forward this newsletter on to your colleagues and associates. On behalf of the Zeromillion.com team I thank you for being a subscriber.
Ryan P. M. Allis, founder http://www.zeromillion.com The Top Entrepreneurship Resource Online Author: Zero to One Million: How to Build a Company to $1 Million in Sales
Over the past ten months as Broadwick and Virante have grown, I’ve learned a lot about managing people. A business is little without the people behind it. As I mentioned in the section on building a team, the two most important things I look for when hiring are initiative and work ethic. I cannot overestimate the importance of bringing on good people to the eventual success of your business. But once you have these good people, how do you manage them?
I would certainly submit that I have much left to learn about leadership and management, but here are a few tips I’ve learned that may be of some use.
Have a Vision and Communicate It. Make sure you clearly communicate your vision for the company. No one follows a leader who cannot communicate the way in which the company will succeed. Each employee’s future is tied closely to the success of your company. Make sure they believe in your company, what it stands for, and its products and services and make sure they know that the hard work they are putting in now will pay off.
Show Respect. Treat people, both your customers, suppliers, partners, and employees, with respect at all times.
Share Your Success. Make sure your employees share in the success of your company. As the company is able, provide additional benefits such as healthcare and dental coverage, a stock options plan, and a 401(k) plan. As an employee’s skills and abilities grow, reward them with fair compensation. Finally, consider incentivise your top employees and managers with ownership in the company. Few things can make a person work harder than a piece of the action.
Don’t Be Too Serious. Make the business environment fun at times. While being professional and taking things seriously is important, nothing can beat the effects of company-wide midnight round of bowling after it reaches an important milestone, a lunchtime pizza party once per month, or a spontaneous Nerf-dart duel.
Work With Your Employees. Make sure the employees see you there and working with them. No one likes to work hard for someone who doesn’t work hard themselves. Especially early on, be the first to arrive and the last to leave whenever possible.
Have Your Door Open. Whether or not you have your own office yet, have your ‘door’ open. Make sure your employees and managers know that you are approachable at any time about any problem they are having.
Listen. You have built a great team and are paying top dollar for it. Hold meetings with you management team least every other week, if not more often. Also have informal ad hoc discussions with your partners, managers, and employees often. Get their feedback, discuss the business and its strategy, and inquire every so often if there is anything that you can help with that is frustrating them. A few weeks ago I had a quick spur-of-the-moment meeting with my lead developer for Broadwick. After inquiring if anything was frustrating him, it came out that he felt he was working in an environment in which he became distracted too often. We quickly devised a solution in which he would work at home four hours per day until we could move into a larger office in which the development team could work in a separate room away from the distraction of the sales and support team. This small change has doubled our developer’s productivity.
Build Relationships. Without understanding at least the basics of what is occurring in an employee’s out-of-office life it can be hard to connect with him or her on a professional level. One tactic I’ve used successfully to get to know each employee personally is to take them and his or her significant other to dinner the first evening of their employment. It serves as a way to celebrate the occasion as well as learn a little bit about the employee that would not come out in interviews or through reading a resume.
Commend More Than You Criticize. Too many business owners (and I have been guilty of this as well) will only say something to an employee when he or she has done something wrong or something that has negatively affected the company. While constructive criticism and appropriate guidance has its place, if you seem to only condemn and never praise, your employees will quickly either dislike you or show apathy in their jobs. Continued properly placed praises can be as powerful to getting quality results out of an employee as a large raise. Many people thrive on peer and superior recognition just as much as money. Instituting both an employee of the month award as well as a quarterly performance review can be extremely valuable to your company.
As a manager and business owner, you gain an immense responsibility. You control the activity and purpose that your employees dedicate half of their waking hours to. Make it a meaningful purpose, communicate your vision, respect and praise your employees, and share your success. If you can succeed in building a team of highly motivated and happy employees that take initiative, have a bias toward action, respect you, and truly care for the business, you will have done much of the work in building a strong and quickly growing organization.
Ryan Allis, is the author of Zero to One Million: How to Build a Company to $1 Million in Sales. He is also CEO of Broadwick Corporation, a provider of permission-based email marketing and list management software IntelliContact Pro and CEO of Virante, Inc. a Chapel Hill, North Carolina based web marketing consulting firm. Ryan, who is 19, is on leave for a year from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is an economics major and Blanchard Scholar. Additional information on the author can be found at www.ryanallis.com.
This article may be republished online as long as the byline remains.
Baltimore Sun Interview with Ryan Allis
Interview with Ryan Allis for the Baltimore Sun Interviewer: Shruti Mathur July 18, 2004
Q. What do you feel made you the most successful and thrive in such a cutthroat competitive business world?
Continued effort over multiple years, keeping an ear to the marketplace, and listening to my customers. The business world isn’t really cutthroat as long as you choose to go after markets that have growing demand with a quality product. Choose the wrong industry or go in with a poor product and you can work your butt off for years for nothing but a good lesson.
Q. Which business savvy attribute or acquired skill do you think came in most handy?
Three things would tie for most important abilities. Being able to find a partner that complimented my skill-set, being able to build a quality team, and knowing how to properly position a product in the marketplace.
Q. What would be the biggest ‘real world from one young person to another’ advice you could give to other fledging young entrepreneurs? Give us the real deal.
So you want the real deal? Well, simply put there are four keys to becoming a successful and wealthy young entrepreneur.
Get experience. If you are not sure what you want to sell take a job with (or intern at) an entrepreneurial company for a short time. Working at an entrepreneurial company is the absolutely best way to see what other needs the marketplace has, build contacts, and learn the ropes of building a successful company. Having such an experience will significantly increase the chances that you will succeed in your own business. I worked in an entrepreneurial company my senior year in high school that went from zero to one million dollars in sales over the course of fourteen months. Without that experience I would have only half the knowledge and abilities I have today.
Have a bias toward action. I see so many aspiring entrepreneurs young and old alike who have a business idea but never get moving. They are afraid to get out there, stop planning, and start doing. Imagine that you are at your friend’s house and you want to drive to your house, which is four miles away. You’re paralyzed because you’re waiting until all the stop lights along the way are green before you start on your journey. It’s obvious you’re never going to reach your destination. While you would run into a few red lights and stop signs along they way you’ll get there a lot quickly than if you did not leave until all the lights were green. This is easily applied to the reality of an entrepreneurial firm. When I started my current company Broadwick two years ago I knew relatively little about the market, did not have any funds, did not know any of my current employees, and did not have any contacts in the industry. While it is important to do proper due diligence and planning, don’t do too much. Get started today and as you proceed you’ll gain new contacts and knowledge that will snowball you up the learning curve toward your eventual goal.
Know it won’t happen overnight. You must have a long-term viewpoint in everything that you do. Write down your goals and go after them. Just have a holistic understand that building a company to one million dollars in annual sales is going to take years of 80 hour weeks. You’ll have find a need in the marketplace, create a top-quality product or service that fills that need, position what you sell in the marketplace (often an overlooked step), and build a solid team. Even if you do all this it will take 3-5 years. I meet so many aspiring entrepreneurs that want to become a millionaire but refuse to make the contacts, gain the experience, and do the work needed to make this possible.
Know the principles of building wealth. While money is not the main motivation for many entrepreneurs, it certainly is a motivation for most. If you personally would like to make a significant amount of money you have to understand three things. First, don’t go into debt to buy personal pleasures (boats, nice cars, vacations). Second, if at all possible, before you get married and have children make sure your monthly passive income (income you’ll earn whether you work or not) is greater than your monthly expenses. Finally, build businesses and the n use the excess cash flow from your businesses and the capital gains from a liquidity event to invest in early stage private companies, ventures in emerging markets, and other cash producing assets such as real estate.
Q. Please give an example of what your daily routine must be like.
8am – Wake up 9am – Arrive at office 1am – Leave Office 2am – Go to Sleep
My day is usually spent managing my employees for Broadwick and Virante and making sure they have everything they need to do their jobs properly, in planning meetings, speaking with potential clients, overseeing work completed for clients, working to better position our products and services in the marketplace, reviewing financial reports, answering emails, and interviewing potential hires. I’ll get the majority of the proactive work I do each day done between 6pm and midnight. 9am to 6pm is spent as a manager.
Q. Do you get to do the fun college things or do you sometimes feel like you are 40 because of all the real world corporate stress?
I do sometimes feel like I am forty and not nineteen, but I wouldn’t say I’m missing out on a thing and would not say I’m stressed. I love what I do and was much more stressed in the college world than the business world. I certainly have done the ‘fun college things’ and still do occasionally. I’m having much more fun living the dynamic life of a CEO of a rapidly growing company. I feel that rather than limiting what I can do, being a business owner and the personal financial freedom that has come along with it has increased the fun I can have. Plus, I have a wonderful girlfriend who keeps me sane and young.
Q. How have you handled the stresses of term papers and corporate business at the same time–with a 3.7 GPA!
Well, my first year in college this was rather difficult. I simply had to make choices with respect to priorities. You can’t be running a business, be a full-time student, get good grades, have an active social life, sleep, and eat. I focused on the grades and the business, though it was a delicate balance. For some successful young entrepreneurs grades are less important and they can focus on the business. One of my goals, however, is to get a Masters in Development Economics at Oxford or Columbia, and thus I need to have very good grades. As such, I made a decision in May 2003 to take a year off of school while I built Broadwick and Virante. Now that the companies are established enough to have a good team behind them and we have proper procedures and systems in place I will be returning to school this August for my junior year (I had enough credits to ‘skip’ my sophomore year). I’ll be taking a 12 credit hour load this semester. All my classes will be 8am to 11am so I’ll still be able to be at the office most of the time and work 50-60 hours each week.
Entrepreneurship Discussion Forum July Highlights
Members Added in July: 21
Total Members: 395
Total Posts: 527
Each month in the Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle we will be featuring discussions from our Entrepreneurship Discussion forum at http://www.zeromillion.com/talk/. So far we have 395 registered members in the forum. Topics from July included:
If you have a web site that has to do with business, entrepreneurship, marketing, web marketing, ebusiness, personal development, or economics and would like high quality free content for your web site, you may syndicate the following articles from our web site. These articles are stored in zip format and can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate link. We simply ask that you keep the author byline at the bottom of each article per the instructions included with each zip file. If you choose to use any of the articles we ask that you notify us at email@example.com.
The following books are recommended for reading by aspiring and current entrepreneurs and business leaders. The books in bold are must reads. Please email any recommendations for additions to this list to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Globalization & Economics
The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas L. Friedman
The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw
Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal by Ball and Dagger
The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L Heilbroner
Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan
The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto
The Other Path by Hernando de Soto
Economics by Stanley and Brue
Macroeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw
Africa in Chaos by George B. N. Ayittey
Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy by Joseph A. Schumpeter
International Business by Charles W. H. Hill
Against the Dead Hand by Brink Lindsey
Zero to One Million by Ryan P. M. Allis
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert Kiyosaki
Start It Sell It And Make a Mint by Joe John Duran
New Venture Creation by Jeffrey Timmons
The Young Entrepreneurs’ Edge by Jennifer Kushnell
The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business by Steve Mariotti
The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by William D. Bygrave
Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker
At Work with Thomas Edison by Blain McCormick
Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen
On Entrepreneurship by Harvard Business Review
Entrepreneurship.com by Tim Burns
The Anatomy of Buzz by Emanuel Rosen
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Obtaining a #1 Ranking in the Search Engines by Ryan Allis
Building Thousands of Links to Your Site by Ryan Allis
Net Results 2 by Rick E. Bruner
Protégé Training Program by Jay Abraham
Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
Principles of Marketing by Kotler and Armstrong
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion by Napoleon Hill
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill
The Student Success Manifesto by Michael Simmons
Secrets of the Young & Successful Jennifer Kushnell
Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins
The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D
Highlighted Organization of the Month
The Youth Development & Entrepreneurship Foundation (YDEF) is an organization based in Lagos, Nigeria. Their mission is to empower the youths in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and build young entrepreneurs. YDEF will be holding its first annual Nigerian Youths ICT Entrepreneurship Conference August 18-20 in Lagos. To learn more about the organization or register for the conference visit www.ydef.org.
This concludes this issue of The Entrepreneurs’ Chronicle. We’ll see you September 1, 2004. If you are not subscribed and would like to subscribe, please visit http://www.zeromillion.com. If you would like to contribute content, become involved with the zeromillion.com team, make suggestions, or provide feedback please feel free to contact us at email@example.com. We encourage you to participate in our discussion forum at http://www.zeromillion.com/talk/.
IntelliContact Pro by Broadwick Corporation is web based software that enables you to send out permission-based email newsletters to your prospects, customers, and subscribers and track campai gn metrics such a
This Entrepreneurs Chronicle article was written by Ryan P Allis on 3/1/2005
Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of zeromillion.com. Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.