Pop Quiz, Monday with Sarah Cross

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Sarah Cross

What is your job role?
Creator and Owner for the Creative Product Institute. I’m a Product Growth Strategist for creative females who have product-driven businesses they want to scale to million dollar enterprises.

Tell us about your company?
It’s an Institute 12mth program that educates, supports and mentors Creative Product driven business owners who are 2-3yrs into their business and helps them build Million dollar businesses.

What do you love most about your job?
Working with talented, creative designers and artists. I love their energy, positivity, and zest for life and business.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I love being surrounded by creative entrepreneurs. I love working with creatives who design, create and sell amazing homeware and lifestyle products.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I employ a team of virtual experts who help me to scale my business some based in the USA, and Australia. They are the best of the best freelancers.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I have a studio within a warehouse full of other creative business owners, so there is excellent energy at work. Friday night drinks are always fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I need more hours in the day. Wearing too many hats and juggling parenting and business owner responsibilities can be tricky.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Trust your gut instincts and make sure you do your due diligence before making big decisions. Build a tribe of strong business connections – they are ones you want to lean on when you need support in your business.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Do your research. Start small so you can test and measure than scale. Engage an expert mentor in your industry even if you think you can’t afford too it will save you money, time and make you more money if you go it alone.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.sarahjcross.com
www.instagram.com/sarahjcross_official
www.facebook.com/sarahjcrosscoach

Pop Quiz, Monday with Kim Perell

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kim Perell

What is your job role?
CEO

Tell us about your company?
Amobee is an advertising technology company fueling the next generation of advertising. We work with brands, agencies, and broadcasters. Our technology unifies advertising across TV, digital and social, which is a first in the advertising industry. This streamlined approach allows advertisers to maximize their impact.

Great people make great companies, and our team is what makes Amobee successful. Together, we’ve cultivated an award-winning culture and have been able to serve as a great partner to our clients.

What do you love most about your job?
It’s a historic time in tech and advertising as we are in the midst of a transformation.

As CEO, the work that I do on a daily basis is very rewarding because of the world-class team that I have the pleasure of working with. My passion is people, and I strive to create an environment where everyone feels empowered to do their best work.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I love my job, and I love working in digital advertising. It’s dynamic and competitive, and the future is yet to be determined, which is what creates so much opportunity.

Working in a creative and dynamic environment inspires and motivates me always to keep learning and striving for results. It’s very rewarding working in an industry that is growing so quickly and requires constant innovation to be successful. The only real constant is change – and I think that is true for many of the industries we see today. Disruption is the standard. The question is will you be disrupted, or will you be the disruptor? When I first started, social media and programmatic advertising didn’t exist, and as a company, we’ve continued to innovate and acquired leading technologies, and now we are poised to take on the next frontier – TV.

My passion for the work that we are doing is what motivates me. It is a passion that gives me the energy and determination to stay committed – even when it’s at its most challenging.

Passion is not only what you love, but it’s about what you would willingly suffer for. The word passion comes from Latin root pati, meaning suffering or enduring. What do you love so much you would suffer and sacrifice for? I love what I do every day, that is why I take calls at 6 am to talk to the UK and at midnight to talk to Singapore and spend much of my time on a plane. My passion for what I do is what makes me successful. What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve?

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The passion and drive of my team inspire me. Everyone goes above and beyond, and there is an atmosphere of collaboration. The caring and friendships are real. The team is committed to one another and the clients. I also appreciate how different everyone is, and how each person brings individual strengths, talents, and passions.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
The culture we cultivate at Amobee is one of both hard work and fun. It’s important to have a balance, and I’m really proud of my company’s work ethic and drive for success and ability to celebrate successes–as a team. As a company, we set quarterly goals and celebrate when we achieve them. These goals are intended to empower employees to support the overall growth and direction of the company and understand if they are successful.

Our team is also passionate about giving back to our local communities, and we host volunteer events across the globe every year. Volunteering is a great way to have team-bonding while helping amazing causes and making a difference.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The adtech industry is very fast paced and dynamic–change is the only real constant. As an angel investor, I’ve seen the ways that changing market conditions can impact a company firsthand–and it can be challenging. It’s very competitive and dynamic.

The greatest challenges are ultimately your greatest opportunities. We’ve continued to capitalize on the opportunities before us and invest in technology and people, and we’ve made multiple strategic acquisitions. As consumers move seamlessly across screens and devices, advertising is converging. Advertisers are looking to work with fewer partners to create a more efficient and seamless experience, and Amobee’s comprehensive technology stack empowers advertisers with an end-to-end campaign and portfolio management across TV, digital and social.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve done numerous acquisitions throughout my career, and I’ve learned many lessons on successful integrations. The main component I focus on is finding companies with complementary capabilities, whether that is in technology, markets served, or domain expertise. This ensures you are able to realize the greatest commercial value and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The other critical component is focusing on the people and ensuring both companies have complementary cultures. “Culture clash” is cited by executives the number one reason for an M&A deal failing to achieve promised value, and in my experience, I have seen this is the case as well. We make unifying culture and values and people a top priority and component of every acquisition and integration.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Over the course of my career as an entrepreneur, tech CEO, and angel investor in over 70 startups with 15 successful exits, I’ve found the skill needed to be successful in execution. It’s what I attribute my own success too, and I believe execution is a skill that can be learned. Success isn’t dependent on having a great idea, and ideas are a dime a dozen. It isn’t about intelligence or education either or even about hard work. You can be really busy and hard-working, but it doesn’t mean you are working on the right things. We all know smart, educated people and hard-working people who are not very successful.

The difference between success and failure is execution. Execution is the ability to do and get results, to keep moving forward to achieve your vision and goals despite the obstacles that lay ahead. Execution is the difference between success and failure. I believe so strongly in the power of execution. I wrote a book, The Execution Factor, The One Skill That Drives Success that teaches the skill of execution broken down into five traits: Vision, Passion, Action, Resilience, and Relationships. In order to be successful and master execution, they must have these five traits. The traits are interdependent, not independent, and in the balance as you need them all to be successful.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.kimperell.com/
www.amobee.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimperell/
https://www.instagram.com/kimperell/
https://twitter.com/KimPerell

Pop Quiz, Monday with Tamara Alaveras

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Tamara Alaveras

What is your job role?
Co-Founder and Managing Director of 3 Phase Marketing

Tell us about your company?
3 Phase Marketing is a data-driven digital marketing agency that was created with the goal of helping companies discover their competitive advantage. Today, 3PM is a Google Partner, Facebook Certified and has a diverse range of clients, including well-known brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Toyota, Audi dealerships and OBrien Real Estate. We deliver strategic integrated marketing solutions with our services that include in-house creative, website development, SEM, programmatic, paid social, social media content management, media buying, account management, and data analysis.

What do you love most about your job?
How could I narrow it down to just one thing? I love everything about it. I am obsessed with it all. I love working with my team and delivering campaigns and strategies that get our clients results. Work-wise; it doesn’t get better than that.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I’m motivated every day by being able to see the impact of our work. Seeing the problems our clients have been solved by our marketing solutions is such a driving factor to keep going. It’s an addictive feeling.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My team is amazing. I’m continually inspired by their passion and dedication to their work. Every day their ideas and drive motivate and impress me.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We laugh, and we dance – a lot. And sometimes there are afternoon snacks involved.

Plus, we’re a fast travelling team so we can’t afford to dwell on the small things, we just keep moving. We don’t bog ourselves down in any negativity and embrace all the positivity.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge for me is keeping the team happy and engaged. They’re the lifeblood of the agency and their enjoyment in their roles is imperative to our agency.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve learnt a lot from all of our past projects: each campaign we work on, each client, each problem and each solution has given us valuable lessons.

A big one for me, in particular, would be that I’ve learnt how to manage client expectations and just to keep moving forward no matter what.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
You need to be resilient. You need to be prepared for the unexpected and be able to go with the flow. You can’t afford to let things get under your skin too easily. Always be moving forward and just get on with it.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://3phasemarketing.com.au/

https://www.instagram.com/3phasemarketing/?hl=en

https://au.linkedin.com/company/3-phase-marketing

Pop Quiz, Monday with Emily Hamilton

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Emily Hamilton

What is your job role?
Co-Founder of Supernova

Tell us about your company?
I guess the best way to explain our company is to think of us as the ‘Shark Tank’ of the e-commerce world. Through Supernova and the power of the internet, we have created a formula, which allows us to fast-forward the brand building process. We’re now approaching our third year of business, with four global brands under our belt: Coco & Eve, Sky & Sand, Body Boss, and Skinny Mint, with more in the pipeline for 2019.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the challenge to build products and brands that have never been seen before. To bring something new and exciting to consumers in this extremely competitive market space.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am so passionate about our existing brands, and the products and brands in the works, so motivation is something that comes naturally. Don’t get me wrong there are the odd days where I’d love to stay at home on the couch, but even then I find myself reaching for my laptop!

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Culture is something that is really important to us. Since day dot we’ve wanted to create a company where our staff would love coming to work. We are invested in our team, and try to go out of our way to make sure they’re relaxed, laughing and enjoying life! We promote living a healthy lifestyle, so a gym membership is included in our employment contracts. Getting a change of scenery is vital, so, going out for lunch, walks, or afternoon drinks are always plotted into our calendar! At Supernova, we all have the travel bug. We encourage our staff to take up international job transfers within the company, so they can get their travel fix while working with Supernova.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The main and most important challenge we have to tackle is compliance. We are currently shipping to over 70 countries across the globe, and it’s crucial that our products adhere to each and every compliance law. The rules and regulations are constantly changing, so this is something that we are cross-checking on a daily basis.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. We’re all aware that it allows us to market directly to a global audience and reach new customers, but think of it as your most essential market research tool. Thought of a new product concept? Why not put it out to your social media ‘panel’ and see what they think! Social media is such an affordable and excessive way to interact with consumers, so think big when it comes to your social media strategy.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Go work at a company that is doing great things in your industry. Find a job, boss or mentor you can learn from. After learning and achieving something in the industry then you can start to plan where you can personally make an impact, how to build something new and innovative.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.supernova.xyz

Pop Quiz, Monday with Bec Derrington at SourceBottle

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Bec Derrington

Bec Derrington
Photo credit: Bec Derrington

What is your job role?
I’m the founder of two online businesses – SourceBottle.com and InfluencerHUB.com The best way I can describe what I do, via both platforms, is help people (and their brands) amplify their stories via influencers. Technology is an enabler, so it’s just the vehicle that makes what I do easier.

Tell us about your company?
Put simply, SourceBottle connects journalists and bloggers with expert sources; and Influencer HUB is a SaaS platform that makes it easy (and fun) for brand fans to co-create and share your content. I founded both companies, and just have a virtual team to do all the leg work, as well as a very talented independent developer whose team builds and manages both platforms for me.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the outcomes both platforms produce. I still get an incredible kick out of learning that a SourceBottle subscriber has landed some fantastic media coverage – even nearly ten years on. And I also love that Influencer HUB demystifies the whole influencer marketing space and takes users back to authentic grass-roots marketing tactics.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I really love what I do but am keenly aware that I need to continue innovating to keep up with the expectations of both clients and subscribers. Likewise, I still feel I have plenty of milestones I need to reach before I can take my foot off the pedal.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I don’t really have co-workers, but I’m regularly inspired by my husband (for his determination and tirelessness), and my female peers and friends, who regularly tackle mountainous hurdles and overcome them with grace.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I dance (on the inside) when I get a great win for a client. And I’m learning to get joy from a lot of little things each day – mini-victories that I might once have overlooked.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I think the biggest challenge to my job is getting creative inspiration when I’m working in isolation. I also need to remind myself not to take those less savoury (read: raging) emails we get from time to time personally. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, but I’m getting there.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned with both my startups is to be nimble in the business’ execution while staying focused on the platform’s objective. For example, I originally envisioned the Influencer HUB platform to perform in a particular way and be suitable to certain types of businesses, but soon found out it proved just as effective (if not more so) for smaller businesses with a smaller team. It was actually an easier path to tread, so hallelujah!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

  1. Prepare for setbacks. If you go in prepared, you’ll find it easier to manage those inevitable challenges.
  2. Overestimate how long things will take and how much things will cost … and you’ll be about right. 😉
  3. Don’t take on a partner, a co-founder or staff unless or until you have to. In the current gig economy, there’s a sea of business that proves you can run a very profitable enterprise without having large team and overheads. Just read Elaine Pofeldt’s: “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business” for inspiration.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.sourcebottle.com/
https://influencerhub.com/
https://twitter.com/SourceBottle
https://www.linkedin.com/in/becderrington/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Roshni Govindaraj

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Roshni Govindaraj

Roshni Govindaraj
Photo credit: Roshni Govindaraj

What is your job role?
Founder & Designer

Tell us about your company?
At Issara we create minimalist, luxury leather goods that are fairly priced and ethically made. Our pieces can be personalised with your initials and embedded with a bluetooth tracker for peace of mind when traveling.

What do you love most about your job?
Seeing my sketches come to life, receiving glowing emails from delighted customers and getting to work with passionate and talented craftspeople. I’m surrounded by art and noise (hammering, stitching, etc) all day long and it is just perfect.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that we are overturning an industry of mass production and planned obsolescence while bringing our skilled artisans’ work to the world stage. We believe that happy people make quality products, and commerce can result in significant positive impact for communities. Issara is living proof of that.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They are incredibly skilled and committed to their craft. Each Issara piece is hand drafted, cut, sewn and burnished by artisans with decades of experience. Witnessing the delicate care and attention to detail put into each product is incredibly inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We’re all huge chai drinkers – consuming 4-6 small cups a day. The time taken to enjoy a cup of sweet, spiced tea is cherished each day. Having grown up in Australia, I love hearing the diversity of India in our little workshop. Each of us are from a different state or country (we represent Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Nepal and Australia at current count) and hearing the artisans riling each other up throughout the day in their own languages is fantastic.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Each piece is handcrafted to order, which comes with challenges of producing on a small scale, ensuring we have the correct amount of raw materials on hand and dealing with logistics (customs in some countries is a nightmare). We also have the occasional difficult customer, but 99% of them are amazing and love our product and values.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

  1. Mentors – go find people with skills that you lack. Organise a coffee or Skype chat and school yourself. This has saved me so many times. I’ve got some fantastic mentors (from c-suite at McDonalds, Zalora, World Vision, Shoes of Prey) and most of them I either met at conferences or I’ve cold-emailed via LinkedIn with a personalised, genuine message. Most of these people, despite being very busy want to give back and help the newbie. You just need to ask for what you want and be respectful of their time (i.e. have questions ready, take notes during meetings, be authentic). If any of my lovely mentors are reading this – thank you so so much for giving your time and advice generously. I promise to pass it on to anyone who approaches me.
  2. Business in Asia – is entirely different from doing business in the west. I thought that because I had worked in Indonesia and have Indian heritage that I would have no cultural issues. Not true. Indonesia, in particular, Java, was a challenge as messaging is nuanced and subliminal. What is said is not necessarily what people mean, and you really need to read between the lines. Also, personal relationships are crucial. Take the time to ask them about their family, their kids. It’s not a matter of fly in, sign contract, fly out. You need to spend time with them and show that you respect the culture and traditions (e.g. pay attention to dress codes, read up on local culture and customs). Be understanding when things go wrong ( things always go wrong). Saving face is a fundamental concept in Asia. When things go wrong, getting visibly upset/emotional won’t help and enforcing accountability won’t work. You need to remain calm, get your best poker face on and deploy the criticism sandwich. For example, when I received orders that were 80% wrong (wrong colour, dimensions, type of leather used), instead of flipping out (tried this, didn’t work), I had to point out the good things first and then gently suggest the changes to be made.
  3. Things take 3x longer than expected – plan accordingly then just go with the flow. Follow up frequently and in writing (while still being respectful and not too annoying). Also, remember that just because you work every day, doesn’t mean your partners do – Sundays are family days so save the messages for week days.
  4. Have a bias toward action – Apply Pareto’s law to pretty much everything, i.e. 80% of gains come from 20% of the effort. The remainder will work out through sheer will and hard work. I’m my own worst critic, and it’s in my nature to perfect everything. This won’t serve you in a fast-paced environment where a bias toward action is key. It’s a constant battle to push things out before they’re “perfect”. You’re never going to be “ready,” and if you feel that you are, it’s likely you are too late to the game.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Few things are irreversible. Just go for it – do your research, seek mentoring, and get plugged into the startup scene. But ultimately, just start. If it doesn’t work, you’ve learnt a lot, and can always go back to your “safe” option.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.issara.co
https://instagram.com/issarahq/
https://www.facebook.com/issarahq

Pop Quiz, Monday with Gary C Woodhead

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Gary C Woodhead

Gary C Woodhead
Photo credit: Gary C Woodhead

What is your job role?
Wearer of many hats!

AKA founder/CEO

Tell us about your company?
CurveBlock is a Real Estate Development Company, which generates lifetime passive income for its community of token holders, developments are registered against smart contract staking wallets listed on the CurveBlock exchange, the community simply stake their tokens against the projects they want a share of the profits from and Blockchain simply tracks the dividends.

The traditional version of CurveBlock would be deemed as a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) which is typically the playground of the rich, CurveBlock, however, allows the masses to collectively partake in such an industry where usually most individuals wouldn’t be able to afford to be involved at a singular level.

CurveBlock is also 100% liquid and no longer requires traditional means of funding such as Banks etc., such a model allows CurveBlock the ability to develop real estate in both boom and bust markets with a sustainably viable business model.

CurveBlock also donates 5% of every real estate development profits to charity, and the community chooses the charity via their native token voting rights, all underpinned and fully transparent using Blockchain technology.

What do you love most about your job?
I am watching the project go from concept to its endless possibilities.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My “Why” is primarily my family, followed by my passion for Real Estate & Blockchain along with being involved in its Philanthropy aspect.

Thinking about CurveBlock helping the masses to earn passive income and potentially break free from the 9 to 5 rat race, along with CurveBlock possibly becoming the biggest real estate development donator to charities around the world places such a spring in my motivational step every single day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They’re all such amazing people, all with their own stories to tell but what I admire the most is they’re all very grounded people.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
A sense of humour is probably our largest avenue of fun behind the CurveBlock curtain.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Kissing Fogs & Funding

Kissing Frogs: Sadly over recent years many scammers have stepped into such networking spaces such as Linkedin, making various avenues to reach out potentially a difficult area to navigate, I’d personally like to see Linkedin a KYC based platform, so there are fewer frogs to kiss when looking for the Prince of marketing/advising/partnerships etc. (so to speak)

Funding: It’s such a smoke & mirrors avenue for startups, more frogs to kiss such as, “we can connect you to X who funds millions of dollars into startups but give us $5000 to do so” !!!!, I’ve lost count of how many of these I’ve personally seen, I feel you shouldn’t think too hard about funding/money, just keep building out and strengthening your projects team and the money should find you eventually.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Never think what you have can’t be improved, I’ve personally found that this mindset ensures constant improvements more often than not executed via business pivots, here’s an example, BlockBuster thought what they had was perfect and couldn’t be improved, they failed to pivot into the digital market, bye bye BlockBuster, hello NetFlix 😉

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Never give up, Fail Forward and keep going.

Read or even listen on Audible to one book per week.

Then we have the “Sixth Rule,” hang around five negative people you’ll become the 6th, hang around five drunks you’ll become the 6th, i chose to associate with successful business people, it is incredible how much you can learn and benefit from such a basic action

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://curveblock.io/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/curveblockio/
https://twitter.com/CurveBlockIO

Pop Quiz, Monday with Vladislav Podolyako

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Vladislav Podolyako

Vladislav Podolyako
Photo credit: Vladislav Podolyako

What is your job role?
CEO

Tell us about your company?
Belkins is the most in-depth way to accelerate Outbound Sales. We provide a dedicated sales team, whose primal goal is to target your prospects, design account-based sales campaigns and convert pre-qualified prospects into qualified Sales Appointments. We deliver a Predictable Sales Funnel Solution and support it with a detailed campaign statistic.

Our outsourced KPI-driven Sales Ninjas are supervised by experienced sales experts, quickly adopt any company culture, efficiently utilize the latest sales tools and maximize the effectiveness of any sales strategy. Belkins Sale Team allows companies to reach sales goals quicker and reduce Customer Acquisition Costs at the same time.

At the heart of our work, we are a sales partner who is deeply embedded in the sales culture, connecting businesses with excellent products, with those companies who need them.

What do you love most about your job?
Challenges and experience

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Drive the process and results for our customers.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Every team member in my team inspires me because those people are changing the world 🙂

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Weekly meetings with the team for inspiration.
We play board games like Scythe, Mafia, etc.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Responsibilities

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Do or die 🙂

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I wish a bit luck for everyone who will start to work in the marketing and sales industry. Most competitive niche ever 🙂

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.belkins.io/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/belkins/
https://twitter.com/Belkinsio
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/belkins-io
https://www.facebook.com/belkins.io/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Kobhi Nanthakumaran

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kobhi Nanthakumaran

Kobhi Nanthakumaran
Photo credit: Kobhi Nanthakumaran

What is your job role?
Founder/CTO

Tell us about your company?
Founder and CTO of both Blockchain Fortress and R3TRUST

Blockchain Fortress (BCF) is a professional services company focusing on Security Tokens Offerings (STOs), DApps and Smart Contracts. We have a team of experienced individuals who specialize in the application of blockchain technology. Blockchain Fortress is the successor behind $100million + projects such as BRED (blockchain real estate development), and Peblik.

R3trust is a product-focused company that has several products on its roadmap. Currently, R3trust has a crypto purchase platform (buyplatform.com), a software wallet (Sphinx) for iOS and Android, as well as a prototype hardware wallet concept that behaves as your go-to crypto safe cold storage.

What do you love most about your job?
I am a firm believer in doing what is right for the world and our future generations. There are several socioeconomic issues in the world that Blockchain technology and bring drastic improvements to. First on that list is banking for everyone everywhere.

As an early adopter of cryptocurrencies; I have been able to watch the developments and progression in the blockchain space. Using my core background in cybersecurity, I can provide companies and startups with a unique perspective on their application of blockchain technology.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I work with industry leaders in several verticals to take advantage of blockchain technology. From Stock exchanges, money remittance, banking, real estate, and compliance; there is never a dull moment!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I chose very carefully who I spend my time with outside of work – same rule applies for who I work with!

My co-workers are key individuals I can rely on to fill roles I cannot take on. We all share the same visions and ideologies making for a well informed and uniform decision for all projects I work on.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Pranks! Game & Beer nights (lan games), Off-site team building workshops. I work with a fun bunch!

Most of us are also 420 friendly 😉

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are still at an infant stage in its life. Therefore, regulations and compliance rules are not clearly defined. There are several definitions in the space that are up for dispute.

All of this ends up becoming a challenge when it comes time to execute specific tasks. It is definitely not for the faint hearted – we face several roadblocks and work closely with rules makers and lawyers to always find a way to make things work.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Always play in a new space with due diligence and be ready to take corrective actions. When spearheading a new space with multiple parties involved; there are going to be boundaries you will hit and need to adjust your course. Be ready and willing to adjust your sails! You’ll need a good crew with you.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
There is a lot to learn, paths to pave and a ton of amazing people to meet. Be ready to hit the ground running.

On a more specific note:
-Learn all the basics of how blockchain works
-Look at your current industry or industry of interest and see if there is an application
-Bounce your ideas off people in the industry
-Take part in community events
-Be ready to learn on the go.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
https://www.vnkconsultinggroup.com/about-us/
www.blockchainfortress.com
www.r3trust.com
https://www.instagram.com/kobhi09

Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Wolfe

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Wolfe

Craig Wolfe
Photo credit: Craig Wolfe

What is your job role?
100% owner of the company

Tell us about your company?
We had this unusual idea to a whole line of celebrity rubber ducks……I know, sounds crazy….but wait….it worked. They were voted one of the top 100 Gifts by Entertainment Weekly, featured on The Tonight Show, Conan, and hundreds and hundreds of media outlet. With their detail and intricacy, they are now considered the finest rubber ducks on the market. Oh and now we are also the top custom duck manufacturer in the world creating ducks for everyone from The New York Yankees to SeaWorld, and Harley-Davidson.

What do you love most about your job?
Spending all day coming up with fun parodies of celebrities and creating some of the coolest rubber ducks on the market is a complete hoot! We really enjoy our time here. Plus owning the company means I can pretty much do whatever inspires me.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I think it’s the endless creativity that we enjoy every day with each other. People love rubber ducks. And with our innovative and whimsical content of doing celebrity rubber ducks, playtime never ends here.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are the heart and soul of the company. I feel so fortunate to work with some of the funniest and most creative people imaginable. The company would never be where it is today without them…..so smart, so funny and just as important, so enjoyable to be around.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Well, you know either we are sitting around in the same room or on speaker phone with our remote folks and just throwing one crazy idea out after another. Some “float” so to speak and some don’t, but at the heart of it all is knowing that everything is allowable and there are no wrong answers so spontaneity and having fun is at the heart of all our communications with one another. We are not just co-workers….it feels like one big family where anything goes.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
You would never believe how hard it is to make one duck. I had no idea…much more intricate that one could ever imagine with the sculpting, molds, floating concerns, painting, spray masking, and hand-painting…I could go on and on. We never tried to compete with overseas by making a cheaper product. That was one of our biggest initial concerns. However, we knew the way to succeed would be to make our products intricate and spend so much money on each character that no-one would even attempt to duplicate what we were doing….and it worked! It’s not easy working with your partner’s thousands of miles away, but after over twenty years, it is like one big family.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Let me give you a project that was the most challenging thing we ever attempted. First, know that the rubber duck was an American icon that was invented here. Then the whole industry went overseas until not one duck is produced here anymore. I had this idea to return the industry back to the USA and be the only one making at least part of our line here once again. It was the most stressful thing I ever went through in my life. I had no idea of the skill sets that were lost here, and no-one had any idea how to make them here anymore.

The level of detail in our ducks was especially demanding. But we did make it work and now are the only ones making any ducks in the USA. But then we went one step further and thought it would be great to make the world’s safest rubber ducks for babies to teethe on out of food and medical grade materials which had never really been done before. Wow, was that hard? The molds alone cost a fortune, and the materials were so hard to work with. But in the end, we are now making them 100% in the USA, and they are PVC Free, Phthalate free, BPA free.

It has been amazing, and babies love them. But it was so much work trying to figure out how to make them correctly and then finding people who could work with us on this project. I am happy that in the end, it was successful, but like with anything, there is always a learning curve…just never realized how hard it would be!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I would give this advice to anyone in any business as so often people have a great idea, but in the end, that is never enough. It’s all about execution and surrounding yourself with the right people. Also, it’s so easy to lose your shirt before your idea takes off….which is why I say that it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep. Excessive overhead can bring down any business no matter how much you make. Lean and mean is the key to survival especially in the beginning before business gains traction.

Also, it’s really important to refine your concept and not to try and be all things to all people, or you become nothing to anyone……focus like a laser on your niche and be really clear on what you stand for. There are always endless variations you can come up with that are extensions to your core products. But just really focus on your core product first….and spend years doing it if need be….for us it was always about the ducks!

You also have to be sure to reflect your core brand ethics and quality in every marketing communication to the public. Don’t ever forget your uniqueness and what makes you different or you’ll get lost in the crowd. So it’s very important to define what actually makes you unique and make sure that stands out in everything you put out to the public.

Finally, I can tell you this: compete on the cheap end, and someone can always make it for less…..Quality like the tortoise will ultimately win out or as I like to say, “live by the penny, die by the penny. Don’t compete on price alone! Quality is the hardest thing to knock off….and that has led to all our success.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.CelebriDucks.com
www.facebook.com/celebriducks

Pop Quiz, Monday with Mohammed Tayeb

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Mohammed Tayeb

Mohammed Tayeb
Photo credit: Mohammed Tayeb

What is your job role?
Co-Founder and COO

Tell us about your company?
MedicalChain is an organization using blockchain technology to create products and services that enable patient-centric, borderless healthcare. Its mission is to empower patients to take greater control of their health by transforming how they communicate and connect with healthcare practitioners.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that we are experimenting with and developing new technology that can empower people and save lives.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My creative mind usually is working in the middle of the night. I often wake up and write things down then go back to sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I am motivated to go to work and test out new ideas.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I am lucky to be surrounded by some brilliant people. New ideas always inspire me. Developers are like artists. Everyone has a different solution to a problem. It’s encouraging to hear them and agreeing on one.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I am a big foodie, so I enjoy taking colleagues out to discover new restaurants to eat in. Our last team building exercise was when we took everyone go-karting. That was a lot of fun. We’ve recently got a TV in the office with a view of running some Mario Kart tournaments.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We are working with nascent technology so often finding the right people is a challenge, but we have done well to take on bright engineers and train them. The other major problem is working in a regulated and often political space. Let’s just say things in healthcare tend to move slowly, and we are trying to improve that!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

  1. If you are new to an industry, don’t make assumptions. Try to work with experts/ veterans as quickly as possible to realise where you can fit.
  2. Don’t spend a long time working on your product. Get an MVP (minimum viable product) out as soon as possible, or at least get it tested with friends, family, and those experts I mentioned above.
  3. If you are on your own, find yourself a co-founder with complementary skills. For example, worrying about the tech, hiring, financing, regulatory hurdles and sales can be overwhelming for someone by themselves. Splitting these challenges between two or three co-founders helps maintain focus.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The healthcare industry is generally complicated with government and private stakeholders. Navigating it is a challenge no matter which country you are in. Having said that, Healthtech as an industry is attracting a lot of new talent which is great. There are so many improvements to be made, and the bar is pretty low right now. However, so as not to waste time, I would highly recommend you join an established organisation at first that will help you learn the ropes of who is responsible for what. Let’s say you want to develop an app to help people quit smoking. Your users are the general public, but your customers (the organisations paying you) might be the insurers. Figuring that out is often challenging.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://medicalchain.com/
https://twitter.com/medical_chain

Pop Quiz, Monday with Pamela Gupta

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Pamela Gupta

Pamela Gupta
Photo credit: Pamela Gupta

What is your job role?
Senior Cybersecurity Strategist

Tell us about your company?
OutSecure, Inc is a cybersecurity strategy creation company with a security technology offering.

We are assisting clients to create a holistic strategic security roadmap and mitigation approach based on Policies, People, Process and Technology.

We can help you build and ship secure products by discovering security vulnerabilities early in the development cycle and guiding you on resolving them effectively.

Identify your Crown Jewels and Critical asset risks and exposure – this requires excellent expertise and experience, and our senior security strategists are par none.

We have a video surveillance drone product with alerting capability leveraging Artificial Intelligence that makes it a seamless integration into physical security strategy.

What do you love most about your job?
Identifying risks for companies and ways to mitigate – it’s like solving a puzzle because each company is different even in the same vertical.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I wish there were ten more hours in a day to accomplish everything I need to do. Cybersecurity is a complex area, and as a practitioner and strategist, I am working and continuously learning.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I am a fortune to be surrounded by some brilliant and technical people. I love to learn new approaches from them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Nintendo Switch Console is an office favorite.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge is clients are still struggling with implementing holistic cybersecurity risk remediation for data protection but to make it even harder new threats are coming in at a blinding rate from new and emerging technology.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We try new innovative ways of security education such as using gaming which has always been very well received and effective. Security education is vital for any security strategy.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Work with a mentor, cybersecurity is a vast and complex area with many opportunities – technical and non-technical. It is a very dynamic field so be prepared to have the time of your life.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
http://www.outsecure.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Kevin MacCauley

The best way to have fun at work is by instilling a fantastic company culture that allows employees to wake up every morning excited and driven to come to work. And this starts at the hiring process.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kevin MacCauley

Kevin MacCauley
Photo credit: Kevin MacCauley

What is your job role?
CEO & Founder

Tell us about your company?
Upper Hand provides a comprehensive business management platform designed specifically for businesses, facilities, and franchises in industries such as sports, recreation, and fitness. It removes the back-end processes that negatively impact business and allows owners to escape the administrative vortex while maximizing operational efficiencies.

Upper Hand’s cloud-based software houses a suite of online tools to help businesses of all sizes stay relevant in the rapidly-advancing online world. Our focus on innovation allows us to outmatch competitors, which has enabled Upper Hand to grow by nearly 200 percent over the last year.

What do you love most about your job?
Through our work, Upper Hand can provide a singular focus of eliminating obstacles to profitability and providing a comprehensive platform to run a sports and fitness business. Our software, for instance, saves our customers up to 18 hours per week in administrative work and more than $5,000 in annual software fee. With the time and money saved, businesses owners can focus that time on growing their business while training and developing the next generation of athletes.

This makes our work not only meaningful but necessary. With Upper Hand, our customers can live out their dreams while building the next foundation of success. And serving as a driving factor of that success is extremely worthwhile.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Continuously seeing the success of our customers as a result from our software is extremely motivating. For instance, one customer who has been using our software was able to grow their business by more than 2,000 percent and revenue by 30 percent. Another was able to double their total revenue. Hearing these success stories propels our work further by delivering a solution that grows businesses in the sports industry.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
This goes back to the hiring phase. By having employees who embody the core values of your business, they will inspire you every day with their passion, grit, and ambition. This helps keep morale high and pushes everyone to work harder and accomplish business goals. As a result, we truly believe this has allowed us to be so successful, and we hope to continue that growth at an even faster pace in the coming years.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
The best way to have fun at work is by instilling a fantastic company culture that allows employees to wake up every morning excited and driven to come to work. And this starts at the hiring process.

Since the Upper Hand office is the epitome of high-energy and high-performance, we hire people who possess the same core values as our company, which includes: having a passion and aspiration for technology and sports while bringing competitive, selfless, humble and coachable. More importantly, this all needs to be done while having fun.

Following this process allows our culture to be truly one-of-a-kind, and helps us remain driven to make an incredible impact on the way sport, recreation and fitness organizations conduct business.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Innovation is the cornerstone of Upper Hand, so it is challenging to remind myself that innovation is driven by customers needs consistently. Many entrepreneurs become infatuated with being the early creator of new technology and disrupting the playing field. But, if it does not solve a critical customer problem, then your innovation will likely fail. In the end, understanding the customer problem will dramatically improve your odds of successful innovation.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
My background is in building a company, from conception to achieving profitability. Through the process, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that time is the enemy. It’s the one variable you cannot change. So, when building a company from the ground up, you don’t have an abundance of seconds, minutes or hours to ponder wrong decisions. Sometimes, decisions have to be made based on what is best for the future of the company.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be all in, all the time. It’s vital to always give 100 percent as a leader because that mentality will reflect the work of your employees and team members. Furthermore, it is also essential to eliminate toxic work personalities who are not as motivated or driven to help accomplish the company’s goals and to do so without ever looking back.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.getupperhand.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/upper-hand/
https://www.facebook.com/GetUpperHand/
https://www.instagram.com/upperhandsoftware/
https://twitter.com/getupperhand

Pop Quiz, Monday with Sharifah Hardie

We have a lot of fun at work because we get to be creative. We get to create ideas, stories, projects and just let loose. How hard can it be to make television?

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Sharifah Hardie

Sharifah Hardie
Photo credit: Sharifah Hardie

What is your job role?
CEO

Tell us about your company?
X Roads TV is a content aggregator. We produce content to license to the major networks.

What do you love most about your job?
I love bringing projects to life. I love working with people and being able to live a life that I love.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I get up and go to work every day to motivate others. I want to be a shining example for my children and for entrepreneurs of what is possible after being laid off, after losing everything and after just living life. You take it one day at a time and keep going!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My coworkers inspire me by keeping me sane. I am known for having these way out ideas that I want to do. I am the creator. My coworkers value my ideas but assist me in bringing those ideas to life in a realistic fashion.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have a lot of fun at work because we get to be creative. We get to create ideas, stories, projects and just let loose. How hard can it be to make television?

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge is always being able to find funding. It takes a lot of revenue for us to be able to create the projects that we want to create.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of my main lessons is never to give up. A project may not turn out the way you expect it to, but don’t give up. Keep trying. Today’s loss may turn into tomorrow’s win.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will never win if you never try. Nobody learns how to swim from the side of the pool. You have to jump in, give it your all and don’t be afraid of failing, afraid of losing your job or afraid of success, because success is actually right on the other side of failure.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

xroadstv.com
Instagram: @sharifahhardie
Facebook: facebook.com/ILikeSharifah

Pop Quiz, Monday with Gaby Roman

The best advice I can give is to learn as much as you possibly can about the industry, and then make your primary goal to help people.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Gaby Roman

Gaby Roman
Photo credit: Gaby Roman

What is your job role?
I’m the Co-Founder of Coaching No Code Apps. I co-manage the company, create course and membership content, and perform high-level application development and consulting.

Tell us about your company?
Coaching No Code Apps is a place for founders, startups, and business owners to learn and build fully functioning apps and software with no coding required. Courses, consulting, and in-depth lessons teach students how to effectively use no-code tools to build, grow, or start their business.

Regarding services, the company offers high-level consulting and development help to startups and founders building web and mobile applications — most of whom are creating industry-wide solutions, like software for hospitals or dentists, for example. They’re working on pitching to investors and scaling their applications, and Coaching No Code Apps plays an integral role in that.

From a products standpoint, the company offers courses, ebooks, video lessons, and even a membership to founders who want to learn how to build their app on their own, at their own pace, and without having to rely on a development team for the life of the project.

What do you love most about your job?
I constantly find myself getting sucked into the most difficult questions or issues during the development of an application. Much of the process is like solving a puzzle, and while it can get frustrating at times when you feel like you’ve gone around and around in circles, I absolutely love the feeling of finally getting to a solution. It’s incredibly gratifying to know a vital element of a client or customer’s app will be able to function without fault.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs these days. They’re building their own businesses and creating revolutionary solutions to massive industry-wide problems. Knowing I’m fortunate enough to play a crucial role in thousands of people being helped is hugely motivating for me. So many people have software or tech-related ideas but don’t have the background to create those ideas. Helping them bring their visions to life is more than enough to get me out of bed every morning.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Seeing their drive to keep pushing the company outside its comfort zone motivates me to do the same. It’s easy to get comfortable in your day-to-day routine, but when things get comfortable, it usually means you’ve stopped progressing. I love seeing co-workers push the limits and try new things because it keeps the business fresh and forward-thinking.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Coaching No Code Apps is run remotely, which means we get to be flexible with our locations and working hours. We keep things fun by playing the work-day by ear. Sometimes, we’ll start work and not come up for breath for 10 hours when we’re feeling especially productive. Other times, we’ll take the day on with a slower pace, grab a coffee, and go out for lunch. The flexibility is what keeps things fun at work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Each client and customer we work with has their own specific project with their own unique needs, wants, and criteria. Because of the constant progression of technology and software, the process of running this business also requires continuous learning and keeping our ears to the ground on new trends and practices. A challenge is keeping up with everything to provide the high-level help startups, and founders are looking for. That being said, it’s also one of the most fun parts of the job.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned has been to say no when my company isn’t the absolute right fit for a particular client or customer. In the past, I’ve tried to help anyone and everyone, even if I might not have been the best resource for them. I’ve learned that sometimes, saying no (even though it feels like I’m turning someone away who needs my help) is more valuable in the long run than trying to mold my business to fit their needs.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The best advice I can give is to learn as much as you possibly can about the industry, and then make your primary goal to help people. My main focus has been to provide the most valuable help possible, and I can tell you first hand, customers appreciate knowing you care about them. So, to put it simply, know the trade, and then focus purely on helping people.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.coachingnocodeapps.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTL_mXO3qsgFc_3s2T5wlWg

Pop Quiz, Monday with Seth Wiener

I love many things about my job, however, helping underserved markets obtain technologies to transform their enterprise stokes my fire.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Seth Wiener

Seth Wiener
Photo credit: Seth Wiener

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder

Tell us about your company?
AmigoDATA solves business continuity issues for markets frequently targeted by criminals looking for personal information. The platform works with any enterprise facing these challenges. However, we launched focusing on two underserved markets, Universities and Healthcare Providers. Our first product LITE is an on-premises backup data platform.LITE consists of biometrics for securing network access points, software for data management, and an ECO. Flash Array for data storage. The solution is unmatched when it comes to offering seamless data continuity in the event of a hack or breach.

What do you love most about your job?
I love many things about my job, however, helping underserved markets obtain technologies to transform their enterprise stokes my fire. The reason we built a data continuity solution for Universities and Health Providers was they are two of the most frequently hacked markets who face similar challenges and constraints. By helping them regain control of their data, we provide them with an opportunity to save money spent on technology while they improving storage and security capabilities. It does not get much better for a company to earn money while helping others.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Plain and simple for me it’s technology innovation. The rate with which new technology gets created and existing applications are improved is exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Each person is multi-talented and experts in areas I am not. They are selfless with their time and always willing to share their insights and perspective. The information that’s shared helps me become more skilled and proficient in every aspect of the business. I am grateful for each team member and think they are all amazing people.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our team has a policy we never work with a client or person the team does not respect. In business respecting whom you work is important So the theme of respect is further solidified outside of work. As a close-knit group, with shared passions such as surfing, mountain biking, and sailing, our free time outside the office is spent bonding over activities we are passionate about Our shared interests or hobbies have helped further strengthen the team.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The challenges I encounter seem to change often. As a Founder of AmigoDATA, I have had to learn to let go and allow my co-founders and team a chance to provide feedback and input. This adjustment to the way I was running the company was crucial to success. A significant challenge I deal with is learning is to use my two eyes, two ears, and one mouth accordingly.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
1) Never stop fundraising activities.

2) Become immune to naysayers.

3) On average you need to speak with 130+ potential investors before you find your first.

4) The most crucial concept I can share is become impervious to criticism.

5) Make sure you continuously maintain your SWOT and PEST reports.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
1) Get Comfortable With the Unknown

2) It’s not just about you

3) Know When to Let Go

4) Find the Balance

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

http://amigodata.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Stani Kulechov

The primary challenge is never to stop believing: if you fall, you raise, and you work harder. This could be true for every startup, but it is even more real for a blockchain fintech startup these days.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Stani Kulechov

Stani Kulechov
Photo credit: Stani Kulechov

What is your job role?
CEO & founder

Tell us about your company?
“Aave” is a Finnish word which translates to “ghost” in English. We create financial products based on blockchain which aims at enabling the next generation of users to enjoy their free time without having to feel the omnipresence of technology. Our main product is a decentralized lending platform where users can borrow liquidity using their cryptocurrency as collateral (www.ethlend.io)

What do you love most about your job?
I always have the chance to build and learn about topics in which I have always been interested. I love seeing ideas taking shape and growing, also making some mistakes on the way 🙂

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My job is my passion: I wouldn’t say I “go to work,” because I use to work also in my free time.

I feel we are making the difference and that is what motivates me the most.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My teammates are passionate like me, and they are not scared of giving opinions and ideas. All of us is different but we are all driving in the same direction, and this is what makes the team work well.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We use to organize dinners, and after a long busy day during the afternoon at the office it is beer-o’clock!

Last summer we also moved the office to the seaside for a whole week to enjoy a different air.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The primary challenge is never to stop believing: if you fall, you raise, and you work harder. This could be true for every startup, but it is even more real for a blockchain fintech startup these days.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
From my previous past, I have learned that taking risks is all about opportunities. I used to hate taking risks or tried to operate within my comfort zone. Once reached out from my comfort zone I was able to take new opportunities and ideas, which lead to the person I am today.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I would recommend everyone that is interested in blockchain or fintech to follow their own passion. That is the most important thing that drives us every day to change finance at Aave.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.ethlend.io
Twitter: @aaveaave
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aaveaave/
Facebook: Aave

Pop Quiz, Monday with Mahboob Bolandi

I always tell people who want to start their own business that they should be prepared emotionally. Being an entrepreneur means 24/7 processing of their CPU, and if they are a person of 9-5, all they need to do is to consider asking for a promotion in their current job and stick to that.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Mahboob Bolandi

Mahboob Bolandi
Photo credit: Mahboob Bolandi

What is your job role?
Founder and President

Tell us about your company?
Karafarin Canada is a community-driven entrepreneurship network in Canada that aims to connect, inspire and advance professional relationships in the ​community. Karafarin includes founders, executives, investors, engineers, business/financial professionals and others aspiring to be a part of this dynamic network.

Karafarin acts as a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators, who wish to connect with other professionals in the community and take their entrepreneurship journey to the next level. Our Entrepreneur Coaching program will assist inspired individuals and startups seeking effective strategies for their business growth. We work closely with high profile Investors who wish to help entrepreneurs and support their unique ideas through Karafarin.

Except of Toronto, Karafarin is planning to organize professional/social events in major cities across Canada on a regular base. These events will play a key role in connecting people. Karafarin aims to shape valuable and long-lasting relationships that will help grow your business and develop your career at the same time. The participants will have the opportunity to get to know hundreds of motivated professionals who may then become their business contacts or friends.

Our signature event in Toronto is the Annual Entrepreneurship Expo/ Conference that is a place for learning, sharing and networking with other entrepreneurs and investors. This expo has been held at the Ontario Science Centre in 2017 and 2018 and is a day-long Celebration of Entrepreneurship and brings together Entrepreneurs and Business leaders from across the province.

What do you love most about your job?
I have a great passion for entrepreneurship, and community activities, therefore I love to make new acquaintances, connect people and help them grow in their social and professional life.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The desire to help those individuals who wish to follow their passion and start their own/dream business and the willingness to face new challenges and entrepreneurial adventures produce enough Adrenaline in my body to get up and work.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Their commitment and passion for the work they are doing, and bringing innovative ideas to the table inspire me.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I am a man of a sense of humor. We at say funny thing and laugh a lot at Karafarin. We very often hold our meetings in a very casual way while dining or at a tea party.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Entrepreneurship world is all about challenges and adventures at the same time. Our job always involves ups and downs, and the art is to not being stuck in “down” conditions, rise up again and go forward.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
“Nothing is really over, until the moment you stop trying.”

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I always tell people who want to start their own business that they should be prepared emotionally. Being an entrepreneur means 24/7 processing of their CPU, and if they are a person of 9-5, all they need to do is to consider asking for a promotion in their current job and stick to that.

On the other hand, I encourage passionate people to work on their ideas and by getting help from Karafarin and using other available resources to start their own venture.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Web: https://karafarin.ca

facebook.com/Karafarin.ca
instagram.com/Karafarin.ca
twitter.com/KarafarinCanada
linkedin.com/company/Karafarin-Canada
youtube.com/channel/UCKKtaI_3Jjy8gtRQT6pl8SA

Pop Quiz, Monday with Scarlett Hyde

Network as much as you possibly can and get to know the ins and outs of the industry as you will be able to serve your clients more efficiently!!

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Scarlett Hyde

Scarlett Hyde
Photo credit: Scarlett Hyde

What is your job role?
Founder and Director

Tell us about your company?
White Glove Services is an International Lifestyle Management Agency. We specialise in assisting HNW, VIP, Royal, Celebrity & Executive families. Services we provide include Nannies, Governesses, Maternity Nurses, Personal Assistants, Butlers, Personal Chefs, Personal Stylists, as well as Aviation and Boating Crew.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that it doesn’t feel like a grind to go to work because I genuinely love my job. White Glove Services assists in the smooth running of our clients’ everyday lives which allows our clients to focus and create even more success in their careers.

The diversity of our clients’ requirements means we never get bored or feel like its groundhog day, and every day is different as every enquiry that comes through is unique. We are assisting the family, or the individual rather than the corporate side of our clients and I love that aspect.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I think to be a successful entrepreneur you must love what you do. I work long hours, 6/7 days a week, not because I have to, but because I want to. The lives of our clients’ arent Monday – Friday 9 – 5, so neither is mine.

I want to make a difference in peoples lives, and I also want to motivate my team and lead by example.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Most of my co-workers have worked in this industry in their previous careers, they know and understand first hand our clients’ needs and how important it is to be that reliable support. We all share the same passion for the industry, and it’s also refreshing to work with people who are as motivated as I am.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
White Glove Services hosts seminars and training for all of our staff, not just our immediate office staff. So if we are hosting a training session for our nannies, we channel our inner child – yes, that means everyone is hands-on with new games, songs, dances, educational activities, and other industry trends, it’s hilarious!

We have a very relaxed workspace, and I think employing people who share the same vision makes every day enjoyable.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
White Glove Services receives some unique requests from our clients, often very last minute requests, such as, “we need someone within the hour.”

Often sometimes this means getting up and jumping on the computer and phone at 2 or 3 am and ensuring achieve seamless coordination of the clients’ requirements.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
It’s OK to say “no.” As a business owner, we want to take on every opportunity. In some cases, this can be more damaging to the brand. Learning to say “no” was hard, but it was one of the best lessons yet.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
You’re not going to get it right every time but when mistakes are made, don’t dwell, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to do things differently and keep going.

Network as much as you possibly can and get to know the ins and outs of the industry as you will be able to serve your clients more efficiently!!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.whitegloveservicesaustralia.com
https://www.instagram.com/whitegloveservices/
https://www.facebook.com/WhiteGloveServices1/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Biren Gandhi

Speak to IoT provides a simple, secure platform to connect smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices to all intelligent voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Our vision is to connect everything through voice by leveraging the combination of Voice, IoT, and AI.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Biren Gandhi

Biren Gandhi
Photo credit: Biren Gandhi

What is your job role?
Founder & CEO, Speak to IoT

Tell us about your company?
Speak to IoT provides a simple, secure platform to connect smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices to all intelligent voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Our vision is to connect everything through voice by leveraging the combination of Voice, IoT, and AI.

What do you love most about your job?
We are solving customers’ problems in optimal ways by using cutting edge technologies. Seeing the smile on the faces of users of the technology we help build.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am using all of my intellectual abilities, the network of super-talented individuals, and purpose-driven passion for making the world a better place. The universe is a giant amplifier – what we wish for others, comes back to us manifold.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The diversity of thought process, their individual personalities, and problem-solving approaches radiate super-creative energy everyday inspiring me to learn and grow while staying humble constantly.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
No superficial activities can beat the deep inner satisfaction we gain while focusing and solving some of the toughest problems we encounter. For a geographically distributed team working across different time zones, beating the challenges thrown at us is the common feeling we all share and cherish every day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
On the customer/partner front, convincing them of the multiplier value they can claim in the market by using advanced disruptive technologies like Voice, IoT, and AI despite the short-term expenses attached with deploying them. On the personal front, the biggest challenge is to stay focused amid the constant chaos outside.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Understand the difference between a hobby and a business. We might be passionate about many things, but it’s always a good idea to put those items into perspective. For a viable business, it must do one or more of these three things for your customers: (1) Improve their top-line revenues, (2) Reduce their bottom-line cost, (3) Radically improve their stakeholder experience.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Stay hungry, stay foolish. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on the big picture. Find your niche and create value for others.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://speaktoiot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SpeakToIoT
https://twitter.com/speaktoiot
https://www.linkedin.com/company/speak-to-iot
https://www.instagram.com/speaktoiot

Pop Quiz, Monday with Paul Sullivan

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan
Photo credit: Paul Sullivan

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder, but I win the business for the business

Tell us about your company?
Bias Digital effectively represents everything that I believe. I am biased, I 100% think your business does not succeed without a comprehensive, multilevel online strategy.

Not merely an inbound marketing strategy, but a combined Research, Inbound Marketing, Inbound/Outbound Sales Strategy and a Business Development plan.

We use this approach with all our clients to continued success.

What do you love most about your job?
I love working with different companies, putting the strategy together, bringing new processes and methodology to workplaces and seeing businesses flourish.

It sounds cliche, but I am selective about with whom I work as I need to feel inspired continuously and there is no better feeling than seeing a fellow entrepreneur see success in their business.

I’m a constant learner, so I develop new skills and understanding of new technologies on an ongoing basis, so I broaden my mind. That stimulates me intensely.

Recently, I put together two of my clients and pitched them on how if they joined forces and created a new business, they each would increase market share and profitability. That’s the kind of reward I get, by seeing things grow and develop and helping business owners see things they hadn’t considered previously.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Work!

If I weren’t in a relationship, I would literally be married to my work, if it were possible. My girlfriend travels a lot for work, and she often asks, “What are you doing this weekend (whilst I’m away)?” and before I respond she’ll roll her eyes and say “Work right?”

So I’m a workaholic, but I have three awards for my work in the past two years, so maybe that’s my passion and I am good at it, who knows???!!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work with smarter people with different skill sets, that inspires and develops my broader understanding. The adage of no I in team is absolutely correct.

I allow my team to develop and encourage them to take responsibility and apply their influence as much as possible.

I also hire entrepreneurs, I want them to continually challenge me and the status quo, giving us an edge over our competitors with our “Big Picture Approach.”

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I think the most memorable thing I did was tell the team to meet me for a pitch in London and I had actually purchased tickets for the new James Bond Movie which went down a storm.

We also do other things like crazy golf, bowling and we are currently considering an escape room, that would be really cool.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Some of the significant challenges of my job are getting CMO’s, CEO’s or business owners (tech startups) to see a different perspective.

Allowing what was originally a marketing agency (us) to become a consulting and delivery partner who can deliver innovation and education programs as well as marketing and sales strategies.

Also, I appeared on the UK version of The Apprentice, and I probably came across less well in the edit, although it has hugely opened doors too.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Projects give you continual lessons, and we try to be transparent with our case studies on our website. But a recent engagement with an Insurance Tech startup really hasn’t gone too well from our perspective.

We were hired in as consultants to fill a head of marketing and sales role temporarily. The challenge to set a go to inbound market strategy, client acquisition strategy, build commercial partnerships and generally help build a team and culture.

We ran buyer persona workshops, did the keyword research, created the content strategy and hired a marketing assistant for the company and some interns.

Through my own network, I got them a deal to be the official recommended provider of insurance for small businesses and freelancers for a large chamber of commerce.

The company failed to follow through on the strategy we set, pitched as an AI company when they weren’t using AI, which we said was a false representation and the relationship soon became untenable.

As an individual my work is personal, if you criticise it, its personal, if you cheerlead it, it’s personal. I am wholly invested in my client’s success. So to part company without a project seen through to success is always disheartening although we did win another award this year for our Inbound Marketing Services, as best in the UK 2019.

Another recent deal we tried to facilitate also didn’t work out. This one really frustrated us at Bias Digital.

We are working in an Accelerator program, and one of the startups is using AI to tell large chain supermarkets how much in perishable goods to stock based on historical sales and a number of other social data points.

I got it straight away and asked the startup if they would like introductions to two of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, Tesco, and Sainsbury.

We could make the intro and help secure the deal, but our fee would be 5%, and we always have a clause that if an intro invests, we get a percentage of the investment funds. Obviously, we take no upfront fees, so this is a success based business deal.

The startup was interested, and we set the two meetings up, but then they didn’t want to agree on terms. We tried to explain the enormous impact this could have for the success of their business, but they completely disagreed.

Accepting their response is natural, comprehending that response was not so easy. As such, when I get asked to speak at events, I often tell this story, and it always gets us interest from other more commercially minded businesses.

So the lessons learned are simple, there are always lessons to be learned, and you must always look to stay ambiguous to situations to find the lesson and then move on.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
My advice would be NOT to be a “full service” agency. More and more we are collaborating with niche service partners who are winning business on their core strengths.

When you niche and become an expert on a particular subject matter, you can have unlimited earning potential.

Why are we so diverse? Because we bring 20 years plus marketing, sales and business consulting experience to bear.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.biasdigital.com
https://twitter.com/whatsyourbias
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulsullivan6/
https://www.instagram.com/whatsyourbias/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jon Trask

Blockchain Guru is a Consulting & Training firm that focuses on applying Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and IoT Devices to solving business challenges.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jon Trask

Jon Trask
Photo credit: Jon Trask

What is your job role?
I am Chief Guru and CEO of a Blockchain Training and Consulting company.

Tell us about your company?
Blockchain Guru is a Consulting & Training firm that focuses on applying Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and IoT Devices to solving business challenges.

We are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax and will be expanding into the US and Latin American markets in 2019.

We have strategic partnerships with:

  • Blockchain Training Alliance to deliver the leading certifications and training in the industry.
  • UiPath Robotic Process Automation to deliver game-changing automation to corporations nationwide.

Our geographic footprint allows us to effectively market some of the top products and services to the entire Canadian market.

What do you love most about your job?
I genuinely love applying new technology to solve the challenges that companies face.

The advances in technology that have come about in the past few years allow us to add value in ways that we couldn’t in the past.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Everything about my job is motivating. I am part of the best team in the industry. They are out talking to company’s who want to make an impact, who want to apply these new technologies to save themselves money, to gain visibility or to disrupt their industry.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
The group of people that I work with are all excited to be working in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. Their passion for what they do is contagious.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
The work itself is fun. We work remotely and are located across the country, we can joke with each other on the phone or online, but the excitement of a new project keeps us motivated.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The blockchain industry changes rapidly, it takes an effort to remain current, market intelligence is vital. To overcome this challenge we have established Vertical Leaders who research particular Blockchain Verticals and keep the rest of us abreast of the trends that are affecting the industry. For example, we have a vertical Lead named Adev Ahluwalia who is our Real Estate lead. He knows more about Blockchain for the Real Estate industry than anyone. Adev was a real estate broker, who is better suited to apply blockchain to real estate than a real estate professional.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
People and planning are the keys to successful projects. Our project methodology at Blockchain Guru is proven over time. Robust methods, however, has to be supported by Great People! Hire great people and business life is fun and much easier.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Take a blockchain course. Get involved in your local Blockchain community. Volunteer for a company to gain some experience. Challenge the status quo.

The Blockchain is a great community, join us.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.blockchainguru.ca

https://www.linkedin.com/company/blockchain-guru/

https://twitter.com/@blockchainguru_

Pop Quiz, Monday with Henry Chow

Dynamic is the right word to describe IT. Things need to be updated on the fly due to the nature of technology and business. Customer requirements gathering is the most critical phase in any IT projects. My advice is to spend a bit more time in ensuring that your team fully understand your customers’ requirements before starting any projects.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Henry Chow

Henry Chow
Photo credit: Henry Chow

What is your job role?
I am the Managing Director of Motionwave Technologies Pty Ltd

Tell us about your company?
Motionwave is a one-stop-shop IT solution for businesses. We aim to provide a dedicated IT department for small and medium businesses that they can rely on for all their technology needs such as purchasing computer hardware, technology strategy, IT security, Business website development, IT policies, business continuity, and business process automation. We want to be a single point of contact for business owners so they can focus on running their business not on fixing their technology issues.

What do you love most about your job?
I love listening to people’s issues with their businesses and then addressing them with technology. It feels good when you can make people life much more easier with technology solutions.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Family, staff, and customers are my primary motivation to get up every day. You do not always have solutions to all problems, but I can at least point people in the right direction by referring them to other people in my circle.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Their positive attitudes and commitments at work inspire me to work harder. We work as a team, and there is no way I can run this company without my co-workers.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have team building lunch and beer o’clock on a regular basis. This will give me an opportunity to get some feedback about my co-workers’ week.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The nature of technology is one of the challenges of my job. It changes rapidly, so I always have to keep up with the latest technology. Human resource is another challenge. I need to motivate all our staff to keep them interested in their roles.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Dynamic is the right word to describe IT. Things need to be updated on the fly due to the nature of technology and business. Customer requirements gathering is the most critical phase in any IT projects. My advice is to spend a bit more time in ensuring that your team fully understand your customers’ requirements before starting any projects. Your project will be completed faster when you have a clear understanding of what your customers need.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice is to have clear procedures and processes in your business. IT People tend to forget things when you do not have processes that they can follow. The most significant cost for the IT industry is to fix problems caused by incomplete tasks.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://motionwave.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/Motionwave/
https://au.linkedin.com/company/motionwave-technologies
https://twitter.com/motionwavetech

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jon Vlachogiannis

We help people manage their money more efficiently and have access to sophisticated financial products by using Machine Learning.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Jon Vlachogiannis but it is way easier just to call me Jon V,

What is your job role?
CEO and Founder at AgentRisk

Jon Vlachogiannis
Photo credit: Jon Vlachogiannis

Tell us about your company?
We help people manage their money more efficiently and have access to sophisticated financial products by using Machine Learning.

What do you love most about your job?
How a smart “Machine” makes people’s (financial) life soooo much better. We are living in the future!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that we help people achieve their goals and focus on their passion.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By being dedicated to our cause and putting our customers above their sleep 😀

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Let’s say that you should never leave your laptop unlocked 😉

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Understanding that not every product is for every customer (and visa versa). It is impossible to create something that everyone loves but super easy to create something that everyone hates. You need to know to settle with “most customers love it, some just like it”

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
At my previous Startup that got acquired, I learnt that the most important thing is not funding but having a team with 100% aligned goals. It is best for everyone to know that the road is always going to be rocky and no amount of funding can change that.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Don’t do it 🙂 Just kidding! Make sure that you have compliance nailed down and a solid customer acquisition plan.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Our website: www.agentrisk.com