[quote style=”boxed”]My favorite quote is by Corey Rudl: “Failure doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision.”[/quote]
Brock Stechman is a brand builder, serial entrepreneur, and dad of two amazing little boys. His days are filled with a substantial amount of coffee and the thrill of working with amazing clients and an incredibly talented group of people. He has a unique mix of creativity and business acumen, which has helped him build and lead dynamic teams and successful businesses.
Brock is the co-founder of DivvyHQ, a planning and production software application that’s pioneering the content marketing industry. Prior to co-creating DivvyHQ, Brock built a trailblazing digital agency specializing in content marketing, branding, and website and custom product development.
Brock has been recognized with numerous entrepreneurial and creative awards. Over the past decade, Brock has worked with more than 150 companies, ranging from small businesses to some of the most recognizable brands in the country to mold and elevate their brands and help them excite and engage with their audiences in innovative ways.
Some of these clients include H&R Block, Hallmark, YMCA, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, University of Missouri, University of Kansas, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Mr. Goodcents, Commerce Bank, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Allegiant Travel Company.
Brock studied graphic communications at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, where he graduated with honors.
When Brock isn’t at work, he’s helping his boys learn essential life lessons like how to throw a football, how to start a campfire, and the names of all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Where did the idea for DivvyHQ come from?
My co-founder and I come from the digital agency world and have been long-time marketers and entrepreneurs. In 2005, we both founded our own agencies. We’ve worked with a lot of companies, ranging from small businesses to some of the most recognizable brands in the country.
With the explosion of digital marketing and social media, we noticed our clients were consistently challenged with creating high-quality content and implementing new content-planning and production processes that these initiatives require.
Certainly part of this was due to resource and organizational challenges, but another major failure was due to the generic, antiquated tools that most marketers were accustomed to using (e.g., spreadsheets for managing editorial schedules/calendars). We quickly realized this was a much bigger problem that companies across the globe were facing. So in 2011, we designed, built, and launched the first version of DivvyHQ.
Since that time, DivvyHQ has been embraced not only by big brands and enterprise-level companies, but also by the global marketing industry.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
I usually roll out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to be at the gym by 6 a.m. I typically get to the office by 8 a.m.
As soon as I get to my desk, I plan and prioritize my day. I focus on the major items on my to-do list that I have to get accomplished. After that, I filter through emails as quickly as possible. If there’s an email that will require more time to address and respond to, I flag it to focus on later in the day or that night when I have more time.
I’m most creative and inspired in the morning, so I try to use this time to focus on high-level projects. I don’t want to waste this time writing emails.
Every day at 9:30 a.m., I have a 15-minute stand-up meeting with our sales team. This meeting is meant to be very productive in a short amount of time. I work very closely with our sales team to explore new opportunities and strategize on new deals.
I’m also very involved in our financials and usually meet a few times each day with our CFO to forecast and discuss our projections and capital fundraising strategies.
Overall, the majority of my activities involve pitching and selling — pitching to current and potential investors; pitching clients on the value of our platform; pitching to current and prospective employees about our company’s direction, vision, and objectives; and pitching to the media, analysts, and industry influencers.
My co-founder and I communicate frequently throughout the day, discussing plans on how we can continue to enhance our platform, HR-related items, and other areas where we can improve our company.
I usually head home between 5:30 and 6:30 to have dinner and hang out with my wife and kids. Then I log back in to tackle emails after the kids go to bed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s essential to have a good team to help bring ideas to life. I’m fortunate that we have an exceptionally hard-working, talented, and innovative team. Our team members have unique backgrounds and experiences, and most importantly, they know how to execute.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
One trend that really excites me is how companies are utilizing content marketing to build inbound leads (rather than relying on traditional sales and marketing tactics).
The way brands are becoming better storytellers and connecting with their audiences is amazing. Companies are starting to realize that they can build trust with prospective buyers like never before by publishing targeted content that provides a high level of value.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Coffee. Our office is located directly above one of Kansas City’s best roasters. I spend too much money there, but coffee keeps me energized and productive.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
I’ve had a lot of bad jobs — or as I like to call them, “character building” jobs. By far the worst job I had was selling vacuums my freshman year in college. However, that job taught me how to sell. The company I worked for had a disciplined, step-by-step sales process. It was tried and tested, and it worked if executed properly. I learned that a little charisma and a fine-tuned sales process could be a powerful combination. I learned how to show value and sell a product nobody thought they wanted to buy.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I were to start again, I would try to have a better work-life balance. Early on, I spent a ridiculous number of hours working on my business. I worked all day, all night, and throughout the weekend. It’s easy to get burnt out, which affects your productivity and overall health.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My favorite quote is by Corey Rudl: “Failure doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision.”
Building and running a business is incredibly hard and constantly tests your confidence and resolve. It’s important to believe in yourself and your capabilities. Persevere through the difficult times, and stay focused and determined to hit your goals. Don’t lose your drive. Keep fighting.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My entire career, I’ve made it a top priority to build my network. Networking has been critical to my business. I rely on my network to find new employees, partners, vendors, advisors, and clients through the relationships I’ve built over the years. My network is one of the most valuable assets I have.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As a young and inexperienced entrepreneur, I didn’t always recognize and take advantage of opportunities. I would hesitate and overthink how I should handle the opportunity, which resulted in some missed chances. Now I’m better at recognizing opportunities and acting quickly to take advantage of them.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I’m a huge fan of documentaries and watch them often. I think documentary filmmaking is a unique art form that can be very creative and inspiring. It’s a pure form of storytelling. Back in the day, I wanted to be a filmmaker.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
DivvyHQ: Of course, I use DivvyHQ to manage our content planning and production activities.
Wunderlist: Wunderlist is an extremely easy-to-use application to manage my general to-do list.
Infusionsoft: This is our marketing automation and CRM tool. It’s very robust and allows us to effectively manage our marketing and sales activities.
Adobe Creative Cloud: I really like the Adobe Creative Cloud and its suite of applications, primarily Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. I use those for presentations, pitch decks, marketing materials, and branding and design projects.
Noisli: When you want to get in the zone and have some good background noise that helps you focus, this tool is it. It’s brilliant and so simple. I wish I’d thought of it!
Quora: I use Quora all the time to get answers and find solutions.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership” by Bill Walsh. The leadership lessons in that book are incredible. Walsh’s leadership philosophy was cutting-edge then and still is today.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Mark Suster: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/
Brad Feld: http://feld.com/
Rand Fishkin: http://moz.com/rand/
Robert Rose: http://about.me/robertrose
Jay Baer: http://jaybaer.com/
Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Brock Stechman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brockstechman
Brock Stechmanon Twitter: @brockstechman
DivvyHQ on Instagram: http://instagram.com/divvyhq
DivvyHQ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/divvyhq
DivvyHQ on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DivvyHQ