You know, I’d have to say it’s to create income streams outside of your core business. I remember, very vaguely, a conversation I had with a friend four years ago. He said, “Why can’t you take your business online?” At the time, I was stubborn and said proudly, “We’re a client service business. You can’t take what we do and put it online.” Even as stubborn as I am, I let that idea germinate and I thought about it really carefully, but from a “how do we create income streams outside of billable hours?” Think about that. My friend Troy Claus says you should have seven income streams. Not necessarily seven businesses, but seven different ways you make money.
Gini Dietrich is founder and chief executive officer of Spin Sucks Pro, professional development for PR and marketing pros. She also is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an alternative to traditional integrated marketing communications. And she is the main author at Spin Sucks, an AdAge Power150 and Social Media Examiner top 10 blog.
What are you working on right now?
Right this second? Writing answers to your questions! My main focus right now is two-fold: 1) Getting Spin Sucks Pro launched and viable and 2) Growing Arment Dietrich.
What does your typical day look like?
I begin writing at 5 a.m. I write the blog post for Spin Sucks, do some writing for myself or our clients, and I review materials and guest blogs that require no interruption time. Then I get on my bike and ride a minimum of 20 miles. Then I go to the office. My days are full of meetings, calls, appointments, and mentoring/coaching staff. In between meetings I check Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the blog comments. I stop taking meetings at 4 p.m. so I can get three or four hours of work in before going home. I always read and comment on blogs after dinner.
3 trends that excite you?
1. I’m super excited about gaming right now. We’re learning a lot about it to incorporate it into Spin Sucks Pro. I’m extremely competitive so I love the aspect of bringing that into a business and creating a system that allows you to learn from other smart people while you try to beat them.
2. The trend of making my computer smaller and smaller is exciting to me. I haven’t gotten all the way to traveling solely with my iPad (mostly because it’s REALLY hard to blog from it), but I’m using it more and more in replace of my laptop.
3. Something interesting is happening in France right now: They’re not allowed to say Facebook or Twitter on the news, unless the story is about either company. I don’t know if that’s a trend starter, but it’s something I’m keeping a close eye on to see what happens.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a person who loves change and loves to see new ideas come to fruition. So, once I find something exciting, I work really hard with my team to bring them to life. I’m sure it drives them nuts sometimes, but you can never say we don’t innovate or that we’re stagnant.
What inspires you?
Oh jeez. A lot of things. Really well written and thoughtful blog posts. A really good fiction book. The way Mr. D looks at things so rationally and without emotion. My mom and her ability to become fast friends with anyone, anytime. My nieces and nephews and the crazy things they say. Small details in working relationships; the things no one else notices. Even the bad ways people manage their companies; I find inspiration in how not to do things.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Just one?! In 2006, a banker approached me and said he thought he could get us a line of credit to help me grow the business. I knew nothing about debt or financials or cash flow or anything back then. I took the money and I used it to invest in people. But we didn’t have the business to support them. I guess I thought the more people and expertise we had, the more clients we’d get. But then the economy tanked and I was using the line to make payroll and, well, you can imagine how that went. Now I’m a bit risk adverse when it comes to debt, but I sure did learn A LOT about managing money.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Hmmmm…you should ask Mr. D this. He always has business ideas. One business idea I’m willing to give away to your readers. You know, I’d have to say it’s to create income streams outside of your core business. I remember, very vaguely, a conversation I had with a friend four years ago. He said, “Why can’t you take your business online?” At the time, I was stubborn and said proudly, “We’re a client service business. You can’t take what we do and put it online.” Even as stubborn as I am, I let that idea germinate and I thought about it really carefully, but from a “how do we create income streams outside of billable hours?” Think about that. My friend Troy Claus says you should have seven income streams. Not necessarily seven businesses, but seven different ways you make money.
What do you read every day, and why?
I read blogs every day for two reasons: 1) I love giving back to the blogosphere community and 2) I get the best ideas from reading other people’s thoughts.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
What Would Google Do. It will help you think about how to get to seven different income streams.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
I freaking love my iPad. Like in a “I want to marry it” kind of way. I use it for everything except blogging.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
1. Ingrid Abboud (@nittygriddyblog) because she’s a freaking riot, she’s wicked smart, she’s NOT American, and she’s my virtual BFF.
2. Michael Schechter (@mschechter) because he writes some very funny and pithy tweets. He doesn’t know how funny he is. He has a very dry sense of humor that is very appealing.
3. Stacey Hood (@staceyhood) because he also is very funny, though I’m convinced half the stuff he says he’s found in an old comedian’s encyclopedia.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Danny Brown because he is one of the most creative people I know.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
Oh crap. I laugh out loud all the time. When I write LOL, I mean it. A few minutes ago, I was standing in the security line at O’Hare and I read a tweet from Schechter that said, “I’ve decided my sole purpose on Twitter is to make @ginidietrich laugh.” And, of course, that made me LOL. I’m an easy target. I find humor in everything.
Does social media belong to PR?
Absolutely not! Social media belongs to everyone. If social is done well, there will be a hub that serves as the first point of contact. That person (or people) might be a PR pro or it might be the janitor. He or she will have the passion to use the tools effectively, the confidence to not take things personally, and the drive to be approachable. Then each department should have at least one representative in the spokes of the hub – the people where things are sent for response.
But to assign it to one discipline is ludicrous.
You said your nieces and nephews inspire you. What’s one thing one of them has said that was the most inspirational?
When my niece Isabella was four (five years ago), she asked me why Jack Bauer (our dog) couldn’t come to Utah to visit her. I told her that he was too big to fly on the airplane. She looked me, tilted her head, looked at Uncle Kelly, looked back at me and said, “But they let Uncle Kelly get on the airplane.”
Yep. You’re right. They DO let Uncle Kelly get on the airplane.
That comment, while it makes me laugh every time I tell it, inspired me to think about things differently, as a four year old does.
Gini Dietrich on Twitter - http://twitter.com/ginidietrich
Gini Dietrich on LinkedIn - http://linkedin.com/in/ginidietrich