Even when I have what I feel is the greatest idea, I always challenge myself on it.
Agam Berry is a seasoned digital entrepreneur who is all too familiar with the ins and outs of running a business. He regularly consults online companies to help them grow their presence and sales all while helping them seek out new business opportunities.
Berry is a familiar face who is highly sought out around the entrepreneurial realm for his strategic mentoring and consulting methods that have taken thousands of businesses light years ahead of their competition.
Located in New York City, Agam provides assistance to many companies: from start-ups looking to take their efforts to the next level all the way to individuals looking to break into the entrepreneur lifestyle. He provides need-to-know strategies that make sense and make dollars for any company in any industry.
What made you decide to consult digital entrepreneurs?
I have always loved learning and sharing that knowledge with others. Thinking back to the time when I was a budding entrepreneur, I remembered all the struggles I faced and challenges I overcame without anyone’s help or guidance. The pitfalls to successful entrepreneurship can be brutal, especially if you have no indication that they are coming.
So, having that in mind, I decided to provide others with the help that I never had so that they can endure less of a struggle and begin to enjoy the benefits of being an entrepreneur much faster than I did. I like to think of it as my way of “paying it forward”.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me begins with some research on the latest trends while I have my morning coffee. Then, depending on what I find that day, I may be able to craft some new strategies or tweak current ones to best help my existing clients. Research is really how I make my days productive and it is a major factor in how I do my job. Keeping up with the changing times is how I make my existing strategies better, craft new ones and think of potential business opportunities that my clients can take advantage of.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life through careful planning. If you have ever set foot in my office you would notice that there are tons of notebooks and lists scattered all around. When I become inspired or have a new idea I quickly jot it down and then build around it. I pretty much keep a notebook for every strategy I have created or idea I have thought of and I build upon it from there with lots of planning. I also like to see the progression and evolution of my ideas over time and all of my notes help me do that.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Live video/video content overall is one of my favorite technology trends right now that definitely makes communication seamless. I’m really loving Appear.in for video chats. Live video is a content marketing goldmine that allows entrepreneurs and marketers to feed the client or consumers need for instant gratification and personal connection.
Over the last few years, video content has become more popular than ever and even more recently, live video has stolen the show. It makes digital marketing seem a little less digital and more personal which really draws people in.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The one habit of mine that I feel makes me a more productive entrepreneur is managing myself. What I mean by this is – keeping track of deadlines, making lists, tracking progress and anticipating any setbacks that may arise when I am working with my clients. I treat the work I do as one giant project that I need to manage. Doing this keeps me on track with various client deadlines and it helps me stay on top of my game.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to learn the art of negotiation and learn it quickly. Not just learn it but practice it every time the opportunity presents itself – even in everyday life situations. Knowing how to successfully negotiate is an incredibly imperative trait that budding entrepreneurs and business people need to know. Not only can you land some of your best deals that way but you can also learn how to reason and find a middle ground that can make everyone happy. The best kind of deal is one where all parties come out of it feeling like and knowing that they gained something.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Nobody agrees with me when I stress the need to take a few days off to collect yourself and regain focus. Most new entrepreneurs that I have worked with have the “no days off” mentality. I simply don’t think this is true, while you can’t neglect your work and let clients fall to the wayside you need to set yourself up so that you can have days off simply just because, and not because you’ve hit a wall and need to take them. Time away is not only necessary but sometimes it helps you come up with some of your best ideas!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing I do over and over is challenge myself. Even when I have what I feel is the greatest idea, I always challenge myself on it. This might sound crazy but whenever I come up with what I feel is a great idea for a strategy I always ask myself “how could this be better?”. This is something I always do and I feel every entrepreneur should because it helps you stay one step ahead of the game. I may have a winning strategy that I created that works well for tons of my clients and every so often I go back and revisit that strategy to see how it can be improved because one thing that a successful entrepreneur always keeps in mind is the fact that there is always room for improvement especially with the ever changing market.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
One strategy that has helped me grow stems off of an earlier skill that I mentioned, negotiation. It has been an invaluable asset to me as an entrepreneur and it has really helped me attract and retain some of my best clientele. Negotiation is really an art that can help other business minded people make money and make sense of things especially within the digital marketing world.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Every entrepreneur fails along the way, it’s a part of the process and it helps you grow. One failure that I experienced early in my career was advising a client on a strategy that I hadn’t thoroughly researched first myself and I assumed if it worked for one business it should work for them all. It ended up leading to bad situation for the client but it taught me a valuable lesson which is why I now stress the importance of researching and being able to walk the walk – not just talk the talk.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea that I highly suggest is investing in your business as a whole. Starting brand new out the gate can be taxing and expensive but it’s worth every penny and can help grow your business. Many people are still reluctant to spend money on advertising but with the right strategy and targeting methods something as few as $5 a day can go a long way.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on a relaxing massage therapy session. Being your own boss is hard work and it’s not only taxing on the mind but on our bodies as well. While working hard and making money – we need to remember to take care of ourselves in the process. You can’t be a successful entrepreneur without an able body and mind, so I am all for taking a break to heal yourself and care for yourself whenever possible.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
One piece of software that I love to help me keep track of my daily tasks for multiple clients and projects it’s called Basecamp. It’s basically a powerful project management tool I use to save important documents, create to do lists and I even invite my clients to help give them clear insight on the work I am completing for them. It also provides a collaborative environment where I can chat/interact with my clients. It really helps me juggle multiple clients and tasks with ease!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book that I recommend is called The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. This book is one of my favorites because it motivated me to work harder at what I do and it has helped me learn to live more and work less without losing any of the quality. It is one I highly recommend for new or on the fence entrepreneurs because it helps you shake the traditional deferred-life plan mentality. It embraces those dreams of escaping the corporate rat race or experiencing world travel and it proves that they can be made a reality.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “work to live, not live to work” this is a classic and some might say it’s very cliche but it has always been a quote that’s resonated with me and really relates to my values and the key factors that led me to become the entrepreneur I am today. There’s so much more to life than just working a job and paying bills.
Negotiation is an imperative part of any successful business.
Spend the time and money to invest in your business, it is a passion after all.
You become an entrepreneur to live your life the way YOU want, not the way someone else wants you to.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.