Young people can (and should) throw themselves 15 hours a week into any business they want. You can learn so much about an industry that way. Once you get into your 30s, you don’t get that time anymore. Take advantage of it while you can.
Ben Gerster, owner and CEO of Joybyte, is an Entrepreneur, Visionary, Creative Thinker and Problem Solver. His core focus is on helping enterprises improve operations by developing custom software solutions that improve efficiencies, enhance customer experience and streamline business processes. With a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Design and Visual Communications from Arizona State University, Ben is highly skilled in strategy, branding, UI/UX design, and web and mobile application development.
Where did the idea for Joybyte come from?
The idea to create Joybyte came from an intrinsic knowing that user experience and design could be leveraged to solve problems.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day has already been time-blocked before it starts. I have already preset my schedule and organized the time I’m going to spend. This keeps me focused on the highest value tasks to my business. My day is typically split between management tasks on projects, supporting my teams through any of the blockers that they face and creation tasks to grow my business.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First I set a strategic plan for an idea. That’s a white board session in the quiet of my own office by myself to mind map the idea – without parameter. Step 2 is to structure those thoughts into prioritized steps for execution. Then I go through the execution process and knock down the important steps that I’ve identified, either week by week or day by day.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The number of entrepreneurial ventures that are out there today. The market has opened up so much in the last few years. The barrier to entry to get something started has been so far reduced, we have so many fresh young businesses that are taking on new challenges every day. The whole market has been created through small business endeavors, whether it’s SaaS or solutions that help small businesses scale up faster without the infrastructure of an enterprise. That’s awesome.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Waking up and working out. It’s taking care of me personally in the morning before I come to work. I wake up at 4:45 am, exercise, meditate and journal every morning. That’s my fuel.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Add more structure to my creativity. I hate the term “goal setting” even though it’s an important concept. Creating a target, setting a plan and executing against it expedites your ability to grow as a person rather than wandering from one experience to the next and thinking that organic growth is the appropriate path. Structured, planned growth is always faster. Seek out experience in fields that are of interest, without fear. Young people can (and should) go and throw themselves 15 hours a week into any business they want. You can learn so much about an industry that way. Once you get into your 30s, you don’t get that time anymore. Take advantage of it while you can.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Working on the weekends is the secret to growing your economic status.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Self evaluate. I benchmark where I have underperformed and allow that to be a focus for future development.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We deliver a promise to our clients to be as dedicated to their business’ success as their own internal stakeholders. I demonstrate that with follow through with my customers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There have been lots of failures. I would say one of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting distracted by shiny opportunities that are outside your company’s core focus. As you get into entrepreneurship and you start networking, there will be a lot of exciting potential endeavors. I’ve jumped into multiple, invested time and money into things that ended up being nothing but distractions and wasted effort that had nothing to do with my core focus. I’ve learned to say no to those types of opportunities and stay focused on my primary goal. There’s no shortcut to getting where you want to get to. Stay strategic and on a very clear path. Don’t get distracted.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A great business idea is an application that would simplify complex industry jargon. For example: An interpreting tool for food label nutritional facts. Those are designed to confuse; no one can relate to what that means.
It would be great if there was some kind of app that simplifies barriers of knowledge, hidden behind jargon. This could also relate to legal language, things like terms and conditions. You could copy and paste the text into a tool that parses it out and helps people interpret it to make better buying decisions.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Branded Joybyte shirts for our team.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
OmniFocus. It’s a task list; I use it for quickly creating lists of items that need to be completed and assigning a date and a category to them.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber is all about growing a business from being a passion, beginning from that infant stage where it’s just you starting a business because you’re great at something. Then you create value by doing it, growing it to adolescence by hiring people. The book covers how to mature the business to the full stage of adulthood where it actually has the correct structure. It’s a wonderful book that explains how to take talent and turn it into a business.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you cannot risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot become your best. If you cannot become your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else matters?” – Dr. David Viscott
- There’s no shortcut to getting where you want to get to. Stay strategic and on a very clear path. Don’t get distracted.
- As an entrepreneur, it’s important to self evaluate. I benchmark where I have underperformed and allow that to be a focus for future development.
- My day has already been time-blocked before it starts. I have already preset my schedule and organized the time I’m going to spend. This keeps me focused on the highest value tasks to my business.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.