[quote style=”boxed”]Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. People who have ‘been there, done that’ and are willing to share the strategies and ideas that helped them grow successful businesses.[/quote]
Known as “The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Champion,” Charles E. Gaudet II offers more than just business and marketing advice – he helps entrepreneurs push beyond what is considered “ordinary” to build great companies. His advice has appeared in worldwide media such as Forbes, Inc. and Business Insider. He’s a writer, speaker, marketing consultant, business coach and publisher of the popular The Predictable Profits Insiders’ Club newsletter. Gaudet frequently shares marketing tips and strategies on his blog at http://www.PredictableProfits.com.
Where did the idea for Predictable Profits come from? What does your typical day look like?
Like many of us growing up, I was told if I wanted to get ahead, I had to work hard. So, I did just that…
Shortly after I graduated from college, I made the decision to set my alarm to 3:00am so I wouldn’t “oversleep” and worked every waking hour of everyday.
I didn’t discriminate my days either – weekends, holidays – you name it, I worked.
It wasn’t until I landed myself in the emergency room for stress that I had a wake up call and realized I was working as hard as I could and wasn’t getting ahead as fast as I needed to. Something needed to change.
Instead of working harder, I needed to work smarter.
So I invested over $500,000 traveling the world meeting and studying the distinctions separating billionaire and multi-millionaire entrepreneurs from those aspiring individuals who are wrought with struggle.
And I discovered nearly every great organization whether we’re talking about Apple, Nordstrom, Zappos, FedEx or Disney follows a stunningly similar formula. Surprisingly, it defies the principles followed by most entrepreneurs running businesses today.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Once I have an idea, before I develop it, I need to get a ‘yes’ to one of three questions:
#1 – Is this idea already proven? In other words, are people already buying something similar to what I’d like to offer the market that I could do better?
#2 – Has demand already been demonstrated with this idea? How many people are actively searching for my idea?
#3 – Is my idea desired by people other than me? Is there a market where people are asking for the benefit my idea provides but can’t find it?
Once I get a ‘yes’ to one of these questions, I begin by creating a vision for what a successful result would look like and re-engineer it backwards to see what I need to do to get it off the ground.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
With the innovation of the Internet, anyone could spend ten bucks, buy a domain, put up a website and call themselves an entrepreneur. With the low barrier to entry, it was attracting a lot of people who thought the purpose of business was solely to make money for themselves – often at the expense of the customers.
This stimulated accountability innovations – like product/service review sites and social media.
Now to compete today, you must deliver the greatest product possible! But even that’s not enough.
Consumers are demanding authenticity, trust and service. It’s forcing all entrepreneurs to step up their game and provide a better advantage and benefit to consumers. That’s how companies like Nordstrom, Apple and Amazon are thriving today while many others are struggling! I love it!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I hired a rock star assistant and got into the habit of delegating any activity that my assistant can handle (or delegate himself).
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Working as an electrical apprentice at a union factory for beer money while I was in college.
At the time, I didn’t know any of my coworkers so I thought, instead of taking an hour for lunch; I’d scarf down my sandwich and get right back to work.
One day, I jumped into the elevator and a union worker pulled me aside to tell me ‘heroes weren’t welcomed’ and threatened to turn the power on and ‘fry me’ if I tried to ‘show off’ by working harder than everyone else. Idiots.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Peter Drucker said it best: “marketing and innovation produce results. All the rest are costs.” I’d spend less time chasing the best idea and the best strategy and spend more time focusing in on time-tested marketing methods that worked. I’d master one before moving to another.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. People who have ‘been there, done that’ and are willing to share the strategies and ideas that helped them grow successful businesses.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I need to be the ‘obvious choice’ when dedicated entrepreneurs look for an expert to help them grow their business. And while many positioning strategies work, the one that’s made the biggest difference in my business has been writing a book (The Predictable Profits Playbook), creating valuable content that engages and provides value to the reader. When people are looking for a solution to their problem, I want to be everywhere they are looking and the guy providing the answers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’m not embarassed to admit I’ve had a lot of mud on my face and many failures – but most are not atypical to the life of an entrepreneur (such as: not identifying the correct target market, not using marketing effectively, etc.)
But the biggest failure was getting too comfortable. When the going is good, I had a tendency to kick back, relax and stop investing in the same aggressive marketing strategies I used to grow my company – but my competitors continued to bust their humps trying to attain a competitive advantage over us. And when I finally woke up, it cost me a lot more headaches and stress than if I remained consistent in strategizing and moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are places where you can individually find support an entrepreneur needs such as: technology providers, bookkeepers, accountants, assistants, content creators, etc.; however, it would be nice to have it all under one roof.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
My dad, who is also an entrepreneur, would come home after a stressful situation dealing with employees and tell me: “Hey kid, if you ever want to make something of yourself, you’ve got to start your own business.”
I guess it’s no wonder why I started my own business at 4 years old?
You could say I was trying to win over the approval of my dad. Either way, I feel I’m a better man for it.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I can’t imagine what life was like before Dropbox. I use it to share and back up files plus it allows my team and I access to our most important documents no matter where we are in the world!
Evernote allows me to keep all my thoughts and ideas in an organized format. It’s a tool I use every single day.
Infusionsoft is a linchpin in my organization providing automation, leverage, tracking and communication unavailable with most other affordable CRM-type programs. I use this in my own company and recommend it to all our clients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Predictable Profits Playbook: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Dominating Any Market and Staying on Top by yours truly (Charles E. Gaudet II)
Yes, I know it’s shameless self-promotion, but it took over two years to write and contains some of the very best information necessary to out-think, out-earn and out-market your competition. I’ve never read a book like this – and I’m confident this community will find it transformational for their business.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Robert Cialdini, Seth Godin, Dr. John DeMartini, Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, Jeff Bezos, Tony Hseih, Gary Halbert, Claude Hopkins and many others have influenced my thinking, but the most impactful has been Richard Branson.
Branson’s a guy who has created several hundred businesses, eight of which have an enterprise value exceeding $1 billion dollars. He doesn’t claim to be the smartest guy in the room or have any sort of extraordinary advantage – but he’s achieved great success by being bold, challenging the status quo and daring to be different.
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Charles Gaudet on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesgaudet