The next step is efficiency: basically, ‘here’s what we need to do to make it happen, now how can we make it the best product it can be?’
While many know Bob Reina to have quite a sense of humor, it’s no joke when he says: “In order to be successful, it takes commitment over a period of years, and I mean a lot of them.” Self-discipline helped him remain farsighted in a career that had many bumps as well as forks in the road. Bob juggled several jobs while completing his coursework at the University of South Florida, and he eventually went on to graduate number one in his police academy class. Anyone recognizing his picture might be having a flashback of Bob pulling them over during his patrol days. In response to an entrepreneurial itch, however, Bob began using good old-fashion desire and sweat to make it as a part-time associate in direct selling. His passion for marketing led to boldly giving-up a steady paycheck. Family and friends called him crazy, but he had a clear-cut vision for success. In a recent survey, “Bob‘s vision” was actually the reoccurring reason that Talk Fusion’s marketing and technology experts joined his team. He brings insight and dedication to work, and he also brings family pets to the office each day. Therefore, it is no surprise that much of Bob‘s free time goes to actively supporting non-profit groups to help animals.
Where did the idea for Talk Fusion come from?
In 2004, I was touring a house in North Carolina and took a video of my potential new home. I opened AOL email on my phone and tried to attach the short 10-second clip and send it to my family for their opinion… but AOL said it couldn’t be done. I wondered why something as simple as sending a video in an email was so impossible for a company as big as AOL, and then it hit me: what if I could find a way to place video into email, and then market this innovation through the very direct selling model that had changed my own life? It had never been done before but the potential was huge. Think about it: no physical products to stock up on, a business that could be shared from virtually anywhere, and – very importantly – the opportunity to redefine the way companies across the globe connect with their customers.
I called my longtime friend and IT genius Dr. Jonathan Chen and told him about my idea. It wouldn’t be easy, but Jonathan knew it could be done. That was the birth of Talk Fusion and our flagship product, Video Email – which eventually evolved into the world’s first all-in-one Video Marketing Solution.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up early – at about 5:30 a.m. – and start checking my emails and getting priorities in order for the day. This helps me give our corporate team a running start: by the time we’re all together at the office at 8:30, everyone knows what they need to do, where our latest big idea is taking us next, and how to turn the company vision into reality.
From collaborating with our IT and marketing experts to sharing my own direct selling expertise with Talk Fusion’s core leadership, it’s safe to say I have a full schedule from sunrise to sunset and even after the fact.
I never slow down. I continue looking ahead. And I believe I lead by example in that respect. That’s why we move at such a fast pace at Talk Fusion, actually. Our entire team is on the fast track all day, every day; they see how passionate I am and they become very passionate and diligent as well.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First, I find a need, then I fill the need. I share my ideas with our product developers over in Dallas, then they start brainstorming how to turn that concept into a solution. The next step is efficiency: basically, ‘here’s what we need to do to make it happen, now how can we make it the best product it can be?’
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Online video; it’s completely changed the way people connect around the world. I saw its potential over a decade ago and it’s crazy to see how far we’ve come, especially when it comes to real-time communications (WebRTC) technology. You can literally be anywhere at any time. The next best thing would be the ability to transport somewhere else in the blink of an eye.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Consistency… and being persistent. I’m strong-willed, I’m thorough, and I set clear expectations and deadlines so nothing ever slips through the cracks.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve never really had a bad job. Besides, I view everything as a positive learning experience.
I loved being a police officer, and building my own home-based business for 20 years took my work ethic and drive to succeed to new heights.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
You know what… I don’t think I’d change a thing. I love where I am, what I’ve accomplished, and the thousands of people I’ve helped along the way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am very vocal about my ideas and my dreams, which is extremely important. If you don’t share your thoughts with others, how can they translate into results or influence others? Simply put: they can’t.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We’ve been able to grow Talk Fusion because we’ve never been one-dimensional. We have always worked hard to introduce new marketing solutions that customers really need and that benefit the masses. That’s why our video products cater to any business, no matter what product or service they offer or where they’re located around the world. It’s what we’ve always known: every business needs customers; every business needs marketing. That’s why every business needs Talk Fusion.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s not a failure, really, but it’s a challenge that I always have to face: finding the right balance between work time and personal time. When you love what you do as much as I do, you always want to spend more time helping the business grow and become more successful. I’ve had to learn to be more efficient with my time and set boundaries. Sometimes that means getting up earlier to get my work out of the way before doing something that I want to do personally. That’s just what you have to do.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve got a lot of good ones. I don’t want to give away the best ideas, but here’s a winner: if someone could just come up with cellphone screens that don’t smudge, that’s a multi-million dollar business right there. I’d buy one, so if they just invent that, they already have their first sale.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The first thing that comes to mind happened last night, actually. I was waiting in line at Walgreens. There was an older woman ahead of me at the register. You could tell she was struggling and didn’t have much. To make matters worse, her credit card was declined. I watched as she started removing items one by one so she could afford the bill. Instead, I paid for her. That’s the best money that I’ve ever spent.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We develop and own all of our product technology here at Talk Fusion, so naturally those are my go-to web services. I love reaching out to others using our Video Email product, hosting live broadcasts to our Associates in 140+ countries across the globe using our Live Meetings platform, and connecting with leaders in Indonesia using Video Chat. The quality is impeccable and it makes the world seem so much smaller and interconnected.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Eight Steps to Seven Figures by Charles Carlson. It’s a great book that interviews hundreds of everyday people who made smart investments that turned them into millionaires. You can find it in bookstores or online, but it gives you a look at how successful people think, how they spend their money and strategies they use to invest wisely and change their lifestyles.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
There is a big list of people who I admire. I am always thinking about people and organizations I have helped through charitable efforts, but honestly, it’s Talk Fusion Associates who most influence my thinking and really inspire me to work harder, think bigger, and do more. They have a lot of drive and I want to help them succeed.
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.