Spending money on dumb things when you first start pursuing an idea is probably the worst mistake I ever made. When you boot strap a business you need to pick and choose your cash flow battles.
After attempting to start his own skateboard company when he was 12 years old, he knew that someday he would be running his own company helping others grow their brands. After graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, Maciej Fita went on to pursue a variety of positions an early graduate typically does until they find their footing in the big city. Maciej has always had a strong passion for branding and design. After spending many years as a nomad scuffing his shoes through the trenches of the business world he landed a position at a search engine marketing agency that would later end up being the catalyst triggering a new and exciting career in the search engine marketing space. After a few years of working as an SEO manager Brandignity.com was born. With the energy of a race horse and determination of a running bull he set out to hit the streets of the business community to help others spread their company message in the fast paced, dynamic landscape we call the i-n-t-e-r-n-e-t. (Sound it out)
What are you working on right now?
I am always working on something but my primary business is my search engine marketing company which aims at helping really anyone or any business spread their wings online. The internet is so insanely dynamic that most people just don’t have the energy to keep up with it; I like to think that’s where I come into the picture. I have a couple of other side projects but it is important for me to stay focused on my “bread & butter” for now. I will give you a hint; there is an awesome urban clothing brand on the back burner right now that will grace us with its presence very soon.
What does your typical day look like?
Walking the dog, client management, accounting, marketing, business development, legal junk, self-education and hosing down brush fires…then I pour my cup of coffee and get started with my day. I’m an early bird and I often times wake up in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning with an idea or think about something I forget to do the day before and I just hop up and get a nice fresh start on the day. I have managed to locate a nice balance between sleeping the least amount of time I can and still have my body function 100%. A full 40 minutes tends to keep me chipper & fresh.
3 trends that excite you?
Bell bottoms, afros and the chia pet! No with all honesty there is so much going on with the web & tech industry right now it is tough to pinpoint just a few trends. I recently came across a Kohler toilet that has a built in digital MP3 player and special mood lighting that is tied into a digital application you control from a handheld device. Let me tell you this got me pretty excited!
The ability for all of us to tap into communication lines to reach anyone on the planet within seconds is an amazing leap of technological advancement. I like to think the conditions are perfect and these sorts of advancements seem to just manifest from the computers of very talented developers and entrepreneurs all over the globe.
If I had to pin-point 3 it goes something like this:
1. Social B2B group commerce. (can’t wait for this one…it’s coming)
2. Portable cloud computing advancements.
3. Useful web based business apps. (Not games, I don’t care about raising a digital fish)
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have always been a do first pay the price later type of person. This meaning that if you plan too much you will plan yourself into retirement. I like to plan enough to get the ball of hay rolling and once I get a feel for how the movement might pan out I sleep very little and drink a boat load of coffee. I was taught business discipline at a very early age so I understand that you have to work as hard as you possibly can to get recognition and reward.
Having a paper route for 4 years when I was a little kid really taught me how to work hard. Deliver the service as promised and on time and people will be happy. Every Sunday for 4 years I would show up on my 50 or so customer’s front door step with my hand out verbally communicating the words “pay me”, they didn’t have a choice I busted my ass through rain and snow for them to have their news on time.
What inspires you?
I get inspired in the most awkward places sometimes. I could be in a truck stop bathroom and an idea for a mobile app will pop into my head just from looking at a cracked tile in the wall. Not that I frequent truck stop bathrooms but there are signs all around us every single day screaming at us with ideas and inspiration. The problem is some of us are so closed off to the world that they don’t even see them. I would love to say it is the 30 various blogs I enjoy reading but it goes much deeper than that. Personally I just want to see my name in bright lights someday. I really enjoy seeing the community of entrepreneurs out there pushing the envelope and trying to develop life changing applications and tools. When I see this happening I really get excited to learn more and be able to be a part of this ever changing community
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Spending money on dumb things when you first start pursuing an idea is probably the worst mistake I ever made. When you boot strap a business you need to pick and choose your cash flow battles. One thing I really like doing is trying to teach myself something so I don’t have to pay someone else to do. That doesn’t mean I’m going to attempt to do my own business taxes because that would be crazy but some things can easily be done yourself to save costs, you just have to believe in your ability to research & learn. Does it take longer sometimes? Sure! But when you lack start-up capital and funding from big fancy VC’s you have to do whatever it takes to keep things moving forward. Unfortunately, that sometimes requires visiting the “dummies guide” section of your local bookstore.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I once got my bike stolen and let me tell you…it sucked. I would love to see someone start up a company almost like an OnStar for bicycles but on steroids. Build a transmitter and go directly to the bicycle manufacturers and have it built into the frame of every single bike. You purchase a bicycle and you automatically have an account with online company XYZ where you can track the movement of your bike at all times. Not only can you track it for theft but you can now see where you kid is riding their bike, how many miles you or they have traveled, whether the bike your kid is riding just fell abruptly and if did how long it is taking the bike to get back up, etc… The possibilities are endless.
Imagine having an app on your phone letting you know that someone that weighs 50 pounds more than you is riding your bike? With oil prices going through the roof, more and more people are going to start peddling around town which means the need for safety and theft tracking devices is only going to increase. That big SUV that was cool a few years ago isn’t so cool anymore is it?
What do you read every day, and why?
Here is the list of blogs I read every day:
http://searchengineland.com/ - It is important to always keep your skills sharp and Search Engine Land typically has some of the fastest search engine news.
http://www.techcrunch.com – I like to know what is going on around me at all times and TechCrunch seems to be the best to be able to bring that information to me.
http://speckyboy.com/ - Being an online marketer you have to be in tune with the technical/design/development side of the web as well. Even if you do not know how to build a website you should understand what is going on in that industry.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
“The Richest Man In Babylon” by George S. Clason is a really amazing book to read if you are an entrepreneur of any kind. It really breaks down the fundamental mindset needed in order to be successful with money and commerce.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
Right now I am really loving TweetDeck. Between the few Twitter accounts I have of my own along with my clients accounts TweetDeck just makes things very easy and smooth to get done. I can monitor everything from one dashboard which is really nice and convenient.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
The guys who created ManPacks. Genius…pure genius.
How do you grow a business by yourself without losing your mind?
Not everyone has the ability to start a business with a group of people and tap into unlimited venture capitalists for funding. Some actually have to dig into the couch cushions and under the floor mats to find money and resources to allow things to grow. Many times people only have themselves to rely on and it is important to not lose your mind if you fall into this category. When the business eventually starts to grow there will be times when you want to bang your head against the wall…in a good way.
If you plan on starting a business by yourself you need to be prepared for the days where you sleep very little and work a great deal. I say this through experience because my company Brandignity.com is at this point. I started this business by myself. I have a fiancée that I bounce ideas off of and my dog has become an amazing listener. We grow a little more every day and I wear a great deal of hats 24-7. You have to be willing to visualize your day and plan accordingly when you hit this milestone. I call it a milestone because if you do get a business to this point it is only a matter of time before you hit the next logical step…your first employee. Bang out what needs to be done each day without exception and see what you have left for time to take care of the items that do not matter as much. Visualizing a daily plan and using reminders throughout the month will help you stay focused.
My favorite beer?
Gulden Draak…ohhhh yeah.