Austin Rotter is a strategic digital marketing and media relations strategist with over a decade of experience working with a number of clients ranging from Fortune 100 brands to hyper growth companies.
He helps innovators, disruptors and radicals that are challenging the status quo increase their media profile and brand awareness through creative, strategic and results-driven campaigns.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Since I could remember, I have always loved entertainment and technology. I knew at a young age, I wanted to find a career that brings those two passions together.
After reading Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, a lightbulb went off and that is what really pushed me into the marketing world. I haven’t looked back since.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
That’s the beauty of this industry – every single day looks totally different. Between strategy and brainstorm sessions, putting out client fires to big initiatives being launched, there is always something time sensitive grabbing you one way or another.
I usually try to get up by 6AM so I can check emails from overnight and then see if there’s any breaking news on Twitter or CNBC that might impact the day.
From there, my daughter is usually up by around 7AM which gives us some great quality time to bond and play in the morning before she is off to school. Once we drop her off for school, it’s off to the races.
To stay productive, time management is mission critical. I’m a huge fan of daily lists and checking my calendar every 60 minutes to make sure deadlines aren’t missed and that there’s enough time to tackle important tasks between calls or meetings throughout the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Seeing things visually is very important for me. I often like to first brainstorm or think to myself on daily walks after I log off for the day to unwind. If I love the idea and think it has legs, I write it down and whiteboard it out to really see it (also so I don’t forget) and then work against that to bring it to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The evolution of hybrid work models excites me. What COVID has shown everyone, in almost every industry is that the notion of an office and being glued to your desk 5 days a week is dead, even more so now than ever with the great resignation.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a huge fan of the inbox zero club. I try to respond to emails in real-time to keep conversations, ideas and projects moving. I don’t want to be the reason for slowing something down or be the bottleneck causing a delay for any reason.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It’s okay to fail. Actually, it’s good to fail. Failing is how you grow and learn.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There is beauty in everything. You just need to know where to look.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Celebrate the little victories and small wins. Everyone wants to go from 0-100, but that takes time and a lot of hurdles and roadblocks along the way. Those little wins, while they might not be significant or move the needle, they all add up in a big way and get you to that real goal you’re chasing over time.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Networking. No other way around it.
Trust me, I get it, a lot of people fear it and try to avoid it. That’s because networking can be so forced and met with an agenda or motive before going in — people go right into sell mode when they think of networking. That’s totally the wrong way to network and will limit so many future opportunities.
Think of networking like meeting a new friend or going on a date. It’s all about having an interesting conversation with someone you didn’t know before. Listening to them is key!
How can you help them? What problem are they looking to solve? What headache keeps them up at night about their business? These are all important things to keep notes of to see what intros you can make or solutions you might be able to provide.
At the end of the day, this builds long-term relations vs. just a business card you picked up at an event. You might not see results right away, but in the long term, it will be so impactful for everything else you do in your career and life.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s almost impossible to focus in on one specific failure because like everyone else, I’m human and it’s a running list. What I think is more important is what you learn from that failure and build from it moving forward.
That’s where real growth happens.
You need to bounce back and keep going. Not giving up is half the battle really.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As a recent first-time parent, I love the idea of an online marketplace where people can borrow and rent certain baby items (cribs, car seats, strollers, etc.). Think of it like AirBnB for baby gear.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
That would have to be on music classes for our daughter. She LOVES music at such an early age, so seeing how happy that makes her is truly priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Slack. As someone who is obsessed about being at inbox zero, Slack really helps lower the back and forth, less important email clutter that usually jams up your inbox.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of my favorite books and a must read for anyone in business is Bob Iger’s Ride of a Lifetime. He has a fascinating approach and mindset to leadership. His own personal journey is truly remarkable and inspiring.
What is your favorite quote?
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. -Babe Ruth
- Always bet on yourself
- Showing up puts you in the game and gives you more opportunities
- Learn from failure
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.