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 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 Brian Matthews

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?
Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews
Photo credit: Brian Matthews

What is your job role?
I’m the Founder and CEO of BizText

Tell us about your company?
We help businesses increase their customer relationships and boost their bottom line with a unique SMS-based service. Consumers would prefer to send a text when they need to talk to someone in business — for example, if they need customer service or want to schedule an appointment. However, most companies (particularly SMBs) lack the ability to accept texts.

As a result, consumers are forced to leave messages and play phone tag, which is inconvenient for both the consumer and the company.

BizText provides a business number which companies can use to send and receive texts from their phone, or from any device via an online portal. Customers can also receive voicemails and calls, and set automated text replies, such as “Out of Office” notifications. This helps businesses be more responsive, which leads to better customer relationships and more revenue.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being my own boss and setting my own hours. We are a remote team, so it’s great to work from home and wear what I want while I’m on my PC. I’ll admit, I’m in my pajamas a lot!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are building something of great value, leaving something important behind and doing things in new and ingenious ways.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
With their creativity in solving problems and the ability to see things in unique and different ways. No matter how smart you are, cumulatively, the people around you will be more intelligent and know more. You need them to be genuinely successful.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Fun? What’s that? We try and go out for dinner and drinks now and then, where we mostly talk about work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every great effort requires a lot of work and commitment. Startup life is like moving a mountain. You better be motivated for a long fight, because you’re not going to get this done in a day or even a few months of hard work. It’s one shovel at a time, and you need to be ready for doing that over and over again for a long time.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Release things in stages, don’t wait for big releases and shoot for perfection. Getting your product out there is what gives you an opportunity to learn what’s important.

Most of the time, you’re not going to nail it regarding market fit the first time. It’s important to treat your releases a chance to learn and get feedback from customers or users, even if you don’t get it exactly right.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
No matter how good your idea, selling it is going to be the hardest part. Startups often fall in love with their features and how their product or service is going to improve the world and focus exclusively on building something great. When their friends, family and initial users praise their product, they feel their priorities are validated.

But even if your idea is every bit as good as you think it is, you still need to put your greatest effort into getting people to sign up or buy it. The central question for any startup should be: how are we going to get users? Don’t let yourself fall so deeply in love with your idea that you assume it will sell itself!

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:
Biztextsolutions.com

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 Celia Faye Meisel

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?
Celia Faye Meisel

Celia Faye Meisel
Photo credit: Celia Faye Meisel

What is your job role?
Sales and Monetization Coach and Trainer

Tell us about your company?
We work with online coaches, practitioners, and local businesses to optimize their offers, refine their sales processes, and increase conversions with new and existing leads. 90% of our clients report having their highest grossing income months during our work together. We take a unique approach, not just focusing on business strategies alone. We work with energy through the use of meditation and energy shifting tools, as well as mindset techniques that change unconscious thought patterns to create new and different actions, and these approaches lead our clients to those highest income months mentioned before.

What do you love most about your job?
Connecting with business owners from across the world who run unique niche-based businesses. My clients are always passion-driven, they possess the training, skills, and experience to get results for themselves and their clients while being extremely passionate about their businesses. I enjoy learning more about them through the journey and witnessing how many lives are positively impacted through their sales and delivery.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Online business keeps me on my toes! There is so much to learn and to implement. I love that my business is revolved around expressing myself, creating for & delivering to my clients and audience, and continued learning. All of these pieces make for a dynamic work experience that continuously inspires me.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They are dedicated to giving a high level of service and always care about satisfaction. When everyone on a team is moving in the direction of a common vision momentum is gained. I recognize how much they care about the results and client experience which excites me to think about growing our team with more members who carry the same level of dedication.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
My team, my clients, and all I work remotely. To have fun from my home office, I’ll take dance party breaks, put on fun bright lip glosses to spruce up my look, and go on live streams with a playful attitude. To connect with my team, I consistently send them messages of encouragement and appreciation while also taking the time to send my clients and team members gifts in the mail.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
My business is highly dependent on my creativity. If I am not feeling creatively inspired, I can get concerned about it going on too long or whether or not my visibility will be impacted. I’ve found that those are just thoughts and that in the age of social media it is easy to be fooled into thinking that you can only be successful if your life is happy all of the time. I have found that those challenging times are the ones of the most significant growth, especially when I am visible and share my personal story with my clients and audience. Being in sales and online coaching also has its own set of challenges because you are responsible for attracting clients and closing deals. Sometimes deals fall through, and you’ve always got to be ready to assess your process and grow from the experience, showing up better the next time. I have learned to be fully responsible for myself and my business which helps me handle challenges wisely.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
When I came into this business, I knew to have my client agreement and contract sent and signed immediately. The few times I was relaxed on sending my contract over, it came back to get me, resulting in a lost deal or cancellation. On the other hand, my contract has saved the day as well, with clearly defined terms that backed the offering.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My first piece of advice is not to give up when challenges arise. Focus on your niche and a marketing strategy for 90 days than six months without making significant changes because you think things are moving too slowly. Often you are too close to your business to recognize the progress. Start early off with a robust sales system that you can track and convert leads with, often so many new online business owners are focused only on marketing and visibility with sales getting lost in the mix. Learn sales, and you can guarantee an income that way!

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://celiafayemeisel.com
https://www.facebook.com/CeliaFayeMeisell
https://www.instagram.com/celiafayemeisel1234/

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 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 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 Victoria Brodsky

Surround yourself with people who are in this industry for the right reasons.

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?
Victoria Brodsky

Victoria Brodsky
Photo credit: Victoria Brodsky

What is your job role?
COO

Tell us about your company?
BlockchainBTM is a Bitcoin/LiteCoin ATM operator. We operate a network of these machines in California, Nevada, Texas – and soon, Illinois! We are a group of blockchain enthusiasts who believe access to crypto should be simple.

Victoria Brodsky

What do you love most about your job?
Working with really smart professionals in this space, and learning from them.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are a start-up, so our working days are not “normal” – but I’m motivated by our mission, and by the new projects we’re taking on this year (keep up-to-date with us on Twitter)…

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We are a very random group with varying backgrounds (just see our team page). Their work-ethic inspires me, and their passion for space and to make this company grow inspires me.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
The guys are always teasing each other, and us girls just roll our eyes. We’re always laughing.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I am not a technical person, nor is this my only job, so staying on top of all the latest happenings in this new industry is a challenge.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Keep it simple. Our President is always telling us to keep it simple – focus on our goals, and do the tasks that will get us there. Running a start-up business is inherently challenging, so it’s essential to not complicate anything along the way.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Surround yourself with people who are in this industry for the right reasons.

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.blockchainbtm.com/
@blockchainbtm

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 Baljit Kaur Gill

I genuinely see each day as a gift and some days will be great, and others may suck, but you can always learn & evolve whilst having fun!

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?
Baljit Kaur Gill

Baljit Kaur Gill
Photo credit: Baljit Kaur Gill

What is your job role?
Managing Director / Founder at SYLO Communications

Tell us about your company?
SYLO Communications is a consultancy firm that offers PR, communications & social services. We also provide event & activation management for lifestyle, FMCG & beauty brands.

We have been up and running for over three years and have gone strength to strength building up our portfolio and using our expertise to help our clients WIN BIG!

What do you love most about your job?
I love that I don’t consider my job a job. I work around the clock not because I have to but because I want too. I want to help brands grow, connect with consumers & be the talk of the town. Nothing gives me more joy than when a plan comes together, and the results are significant, creating immense success for my clients.

There is no routine in my working days as every day is so different! I love the diversity my working day offers from connecting with journalists, working on strategies to generating stories for media titles. By working in such a creative industry, the world is our oyster when mocking up plans.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I have a pure passion for the marketing landscape currently and that is what motivates me to get up every day and go to work.

I love that the advertising landscape is rapidly evolving. Digital is growing and is unlocking some fantastic elements of advertising allowing brands to connect with the consumer at a more deeper, emotive level.

I also as a female business owner want to make a difference. I thrive to motivate those around me and those who depend on me. I want to drive confidence in my team and have them learn from me as well as me learning from them.

I genuinely see each day as a gift and some days will be great, and others may suck, but you can always learn & evolve whilst having fun!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers inspire me in so many ways which are why SYLO communications are where it is today!

The team consists of people who look at the world differently, we all approach tasks differently. Someone’s essential skill may be another team members learning area, which is why it works so well.

As a small startup, I don’t always have the answers, we may not be as evolved as other consultancy firms, but my team gets stuck in, they share the vision, they push the vision further, and that is what inspires me. They don’t stop until they have the results we set out to achieve for our clients.

Not only do they work hard, but they also practise a healthy work-life balance by pushing themselves in other areas.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We try to have fun by having a relaxed, open work environment. We try to have lunch together every day where we step away from our desks to talk about our lives, daily life dramas we may be having & talk TV shows / Netflix shows.

We often have work nights out which I feel is fundamental. Everyone gets to unwind, and after one too many cocktails our dance moves take over making us feel like we are the ultimate girl group (some may disagree), but I think laughing together helps us be ourselves in and out the office, making it more fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
There is always something I can be doing which is what I find most challenging about my job. There is never an endpoint which is what I love but sometimes makes it difficult to switch off. It’s hard to find the right balance between being a first-time mum & running my own business.

As a start-up, I often have to make difficult decisions on how to best spend/save. What is the right next move, when is the right best time – there are so many decisions to make that I have to trust myself and believe in myself. I may not always make the right move, but I always ensure I am learning.

The PR service industry is very cluttered so it is a forever thing to ensure we are ahead of the curve, ahead of other competitors who are very challenging at times.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Ahhhh I could write a book on what I’ve learnt from past projects!

I pride myself on being open and honest with clients. If a campaign isn’t going to plan, communicate that to your client early on to make changes to see if you can make a success out of it! DO NOT wing it, DO NOT hope for the best as sometimes and most often this way doesn’t deliver results.

Always under promise and over deliver. That way you won’t add additional pressure to yourself when executing an approved plan for your client. There is also no better feeling than when you email your client with more significant results than you initially set out to achieve – if you could bottle up that feeling I would buy it!

Time management is critical – we always work in advance after learning to leave things to the last minute often means things get rushed and overlook. We’ve all been there, but as I gain more experience, it is something I do not do anymore. I lie to myself about the deadline, that way it is always done in advance.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be you! Be proud of yourself and the skills you bring to the table. They may not be the same skills as the person sat next to you, but you still add value which will help benefit the company you work for.

Network with everyone you can – I cannot stress this enough! Get to know everyone around you in the office & the industry. Find out about their journey, their successes their fails, their background, and their passions. It will open your eyes and show you how there is no one right route. It will also help you become a better, stronger team player who is one essential skill that cant be taught.

Try getting involved in what you can / on offer to you to help build your skill-set. You will soon see what you excel at vs. what you don’t find interesting / not so great at. It will help map out your route as well as what you could land into.

Lastly, have fun! Nothing lasts forever so enjoy the moment and give it you’re all.

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.sylocommunications.com

https://www.instagram.com/sylo_communications/?hl=en

Pop Quiz, Monday with Uwe Jacobs

We are a supplier of ICF & environmentally sustainable building products, that have developed a bespoke building system, leading to healthy & sustainable homes that are very cost effective.

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?
Uwe Jacobs

Uwe Jacobs
Photo credit: Uwe Jacobs

What is your job role?
Director Durisol Vic/Tas

Tell us about your company?
We are a supplier of ICF & environmentally sustainable building products, that have developed a bespoke building system, leading to healthy & sustainable homes that are very cost effective.

What do you love most about your job?
The change in the building industry that we are driving.
Time to stop building crap houses for the incredibly low benefit

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Greatly, the owner of Durisol Australia is a visionary

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
easy & all day

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Getting our product and system launched into the Victorian and Tasmanian market with a little history, branding and know how about Durisol

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Have enough capital behind you to survive for two years.
Launch BIG
Ensure you know your competitors and arrange for strategic alliances

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://durisol.com.au/
https://www.instagram.com/durisolaus/
https://www.facebook.com/DurisolAustralia/

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 Gary Hargraves

There is not a prescriptive formula for consulting services, but experience matters. Find someone in a role that you want to be in the coming years and have that person mentor you. Then keep in touch.

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 Hargraves

Gary Hargraves

What is your job role?
Digital Services Consultant

Tell us about your company?
I work for Wipro technologies and help oil and gas companies modernize their business using the most recent emerging technologies such as machine learning, internet of things and blockchain. I also recently started a digital community called “Wall Hangers” for people interested in sharing stories about hunting and fishing. I use a mobile app called Mighty Networks to enable the digital community. Finally, I’m writing my first book, which is focused on helping people as they enter the consulting business.

What do you love most about your job?
I’m usually working on an industry first type project by leveraging a new technology to solve complex issues. For example, I’ve helped improve customer loyalty using mobile technology, enabled connected cars using the internet of things and, developed predictive maintenance solutions using advanced analytics in the past year. I’ve also helped with a number of blockchain projects focused on the supply chain. Recently I’ve been helping fortune 500 companies use crowdsourcing to address digital skill gaps and accelerate the number of digital projects they can work.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Being in the emerging digital technology business, I learn something new each day. By working with fortune 500 companies, I’m able to use those learnings to help solve enormously large problems.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I’ve worked for HP, IBM and now Wipro. These companies represent a combined 250+ years of innovation. My co-workers ooze innovation and inspire our clients and me to tackle some of the world’s largest business challenges and transformations. Together we are all riding the 4th industrial wave – the digitization of everything.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
By keeping a sense of humor about as many things as possible.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Change tends to make people uncomfortable. Digital change is especially uncomfortable because the skills required to keep pace are changing faster than ever and at an exponential rate. Digital technology has flattened the world more than ever, brought in a new cross-pollination of industries and pierced through traditional, national borders. So making sure my clients understand the reasons for change because of the complex digital wave we are living, yet keeping the change message simple enough to prevent paralysis by analysis is a challenge I face every day.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve been around long enough to know there will always be the next best technology, methodology, and new way of working…but whether working a small or large project, the successful projects all have a focus on the team members success, recurring communication and set and meet the right level of expectations with stakeholders.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
There is not a prescriptive formula for consulting services, but experience matters. Find someone in a role that you want to be in the coming years and have that person mentor you. Then keep in touch.

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.wipro.com/en-US/oil-and-gas/

https://www.mightynetworks.com/ then search “Wall Hangers.”

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 Simon Hall

I love the power of networking. I believe the connections we make both personally and professionally can impact our careers for years on end. You never know who you’ll meet and the impact they could have on your life.

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?
Simon Hall

Simon Hall
Photo credit: Simon Hall

What is your job role?
General Manager, Kafnu Alexandria

Tell us about your company?
Kafnu is a lifestyle space for innovators and creators to meet, connect and collaborate. We provide the infrastructure, facilities, and community so that our members have all they need to succeed in their careers and passion projects.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the power of networking. I believe the connections we make both personally and professionally can impact our careers for years on end. You never know who you’ll meet and the impact they could have on your life. That’s what I love about the concept of Kafnu. The model of the business revolves around the community that space creates and its members. That’s what makes us different from other companies.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My team and our business culture, definitely motivates me to get up and go every morning, Everyday is different and my role as it allows me to interact with all areas of the business. I believe, if you can really relate to what your business is trying to achieve, it makes coming to work every day exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I think it’s important to learn and take in information from everyone around you no matter, their level. I feel like I learn something new every day from the most unexpected areas of our business, and that’s what I love. We have a group of very talented people working to run Kafnu on a day to day basis, so it’s easy to be inspired.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Play is very important at work. In my past roles, we have adopted the FISH philosophy which I’m looking to bring to Kafnu in the future. The steps for FISH are all about being present, creative and making sure that your team takes time to have a little fun in the office. Whether it’s stopping work for brainstorms or catching up for a laugh on a Friday afternoon, it’s important to make sure that your team enjoys coming to work every day.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I was self-employed for almost ten years previously, so moving back to a corporate structure has been an adjustment. The hotel sector is also a new sector for me, but I’ve enjoyed learning and getting to know something new.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Network network network, search out the leaders, mentors and the connected leaders in the industry and learn from them.

Grow your network, so you have someone to turn to for referrals, recommendation, and support.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Approach the right people. An email or phone call to the right person could mean a big step in your career or creating a connection that could be very useful in the future.

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.kafnu.com/alexandria
https://www.instagram.com/kafnualexandria/ https://www.facebook.com/kafnualexandria/

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

Pop Quiz, Monday with Abhishek Talwar

Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

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?
Abhishek Talwar

Abhishek Talwar
Photo credit: Abhishek Talwar

What is your job role?
Founder

Tell us about your company?
We connect commuters travelling in a similar direction to share a ride, reduce pollution and metal on the road while building a real-world network

What do you love most about your job?
Connecting people, building the world’s most authentic real-world network

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am a problem solver, so if there is a challenge be it technical or non-technical, I would want to solve it.

This and the mere fact that two strangers get to know each other over an hour-long drive to their office, connecting people while reducing carbon footprint does the job for me

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Inspiration can come from any walk of life.

We like to play some house music in the background. If someone comes up with a piece of good music, then it could also be a piece of inspiration

Besides the work we talk about life, friends, sports, love, drugs. This comes with a bundle of inspirational and motivational topics.

Lastly, anyone who comes up with a better coding design pattern in any of the projects does spark a neural connection and does inspire us to move ahead in the right direction

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We go trekking

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I have a small team, so I am involved in all domains

  1. Technical
    Code review is a must for me, as we can not afford good quality coders. So we have to train coders and then make sure they are adhering to the standards
  2. Business
    Proper analytical analysis to figure out the way to provide the best service worth user’s time and money. This is a complex process and a journey which gets beautiful while acknowledging failure

Team Building
For any side to win, you need loyal and intelligent soldiers. Team building is by far the most crucial and challenging door.

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

For Poolmyride we bought two hatchback commercial vehicles to provide shared office commute to employees. Within a month we started to feel that this work is not for us for various reasons.

We should have rented out a car and seen if it works.

Last but not least, Make sure your team consists of highly motivated and self-starter individuals. Hiring is a crucial role which should be done right

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Focus on the first ten customers. You probably don’t need an app right now. Just start providing services without any technical interface.

Otherwise, app maintenance would be extra overhead.

Also, discuss your ideas with all the friends and family to check their opinion. You might have so much energy and must be an optimist that you may ignore all ground realities and that’s where you want someone else to break the truth to you

Don’t forget to have fun during all this.

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.poolmyride.com
www.yantha.com

https://www.facebook.com/PoolMyRide/
https://twitter.com/poolmyride

Pop Quiz, Monday with John Siegman

You’re going to have to pivot and be willing to do so. We’ve had two significant pivots since launching our business.

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?
John Siegman

John Siegman
Photo credit: John Siegman

What is your job role?
Founder & CCA

Tell us about your company?
HazardHub is the first third-generation geospatial hazard data company. We’re designed to overcome the typical barriers of expensive, hard to use, third-party data in the P&C insurance decision space.

What do you love most about your job?
We’re always making something new. We don’t worry about whether or not a data set is going to make money. We figure that if it solves a problem for one customer, it’s most likely going to solve a similar problem for another customer.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Just finding out what new problem we get to solve. We love what we do, and we love who we do it for. It doesn’t get better than that.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work with the most brilliant people in the business. By their very nature, they force me to work harder just to keep up with them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have fun looking at the oddities of what we do. For example, we’ve built the only locational database of hydrants in the U.S. You wouldn’t think that hydrants are all that fun, but there are people who collect them, make art out of them, and try and hide them. We have fun seeing who can top each other for the weirdest hydrant display.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I think that getting recognized by the industry is probably the toughest challenge. We primarily sell to the insurance industry and companies that support them. Insurers tend to be risk-averse. That makes sales cycles longer.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
You’re going to have to pivot and be willing to do so. We’ve had two significant pivots since launching our business. We moved from lead generation to be a data provider, and we moved from shapefile data delivery to API. We could have continued down both paths, but we would not have been as successful.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
We’re in the insurtech space. I think that a lot of the companies in that space have brilliant, creative, ideas and applications, but don’t understand that insurance has been around for 150 years without them and can go another 150 years without them. It’s an evolutionary business not a revolutionary business.

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.hazardhub.com
www.freehomerisk.com
api.hazardhub.com
@HazardHubUSA
https://www.linkedin.com/company/hazardhub/