Ben is the founder of truefees.com. It is a finance startup that helps consumers start a better bank relationship by focusing on fee transparency. The end goal of TrueFees is to make it easier for consumers to connect with their next financial institution through the use of technology and transparency.
After working most of his professional career in various banking roles, Ben was driven to create a service that helps others avoid financial missteps. Working in the banking industry during the recession of 2008-2009 had a direct impact on his decision to start TrueFees. He witnessed firsthand the negative effects that financial fees cause for so many consumers on a personal level, and decided to create a solution. His solution not only benefits the consumer, but it also benefits those financial institutions that offer truly affordable accounts and are committed to improving the lives of their customers.
He is currently focused on developing TrueFees into a well known financial marketing brand that consumers can turn to for their banking needs.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Ben considers himself a practical mid-western guy. He values time spent with family and friends and being outdoors (when it’s warm enough). He holds a B.S. degree in Communications from Illinois State University.
Where did the idea for TrueFees come from?
The idea for truefees was born after working several years in the banking industry. I saw firsthand how customers with lower account balances were routinely targeted by fees with little to no warning. I wanted to create a service that the consumer could use to find a bank account that is truly affordable by using upfront transparency.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Right now a typical day is spent proactively bringing more exposure to truefees. If I’m not reaching out to media outlets, then I’m reaching out to prospective clients (banks and credit unions) or potential partners that share a similar mission.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Having ideas is one thing, but bringing them to life takes research, collaboration, and teamwork.
What’s one trend that excites you?
An exciting trend I’m seeing is the emergence of more digital banks in the U.S. most of which offer low-cost accounts, which is great for consumers and truefees.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I like setting short-term goals that can be accomplishable on a daily or weekly basis. It helps me stay productive and keeps me from stressing about long-term goals that seem unreachable.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s going to happen a lot. Learn from it and move on.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It will be a long time before traditional brick and mortar banks are completely replaced by digital banks.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur one thing you should do over and over is expose your idea, product, or service. No one will ever try or care about your business if they don’t know about it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Creating partnerships is a strategy I use to grow my business. My service benefits financial institutions. There happens to be a lot of other businesses providing similar solutions. I am constantly connecting with other founders to see if collaboration makes sense.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Failure is inevitable as an entrepreneur. I have had my fair share. You have to be able to accept it and learn from it before you can overcome it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As a sports fan my business idea is a mobile application that allows the consumer to “officiate” the big game from their couch, by giving them a chance to make the call while the play on the field is under review.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A gift for my wife. The saying “happy wife happy life” is so true.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
SimilarWeb is an online service that provides a range of benefits. It’s helped me research the competition and understand how to reach a larger online audience.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recently read, Building a Story Brand, by Donald Miller. It provided actionable steps to simplify your brand’s message that I think any type of business can benefit from.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you confuse, you will lose” This quote is referring to keeping a simple and direct brand message for your business.
- Trust others to help bring your idea to life.
- Always consider a partnership. They can open so many doors.
- Keep your brand’s message simple even if it’s not.
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.