Bringing ideas to life is all about doing.
David Gasparyan is the founder and president of Phonexa, a SaaS company that gives businesses all the tools they need to run and optimize their marketing campaigns. With an advanced cloud-based platform that combines multiple technologies under one roof, Phonexa stands as a robust solution for companies looking to make data-driven decisions and optimize their ROI.
David has a formal education in marketing and first started working in the digital marketing space over fifteen years ago, at a time when Google was only a search engine, Facebook didn’t exist, and the internet’s full potential had yet to be realized. Seizing on the opportunity of new digital frontiers, David was a leader in the founding of two companies that experienced outstanding growth during his tenure. During this time, he pioneered new methods of lead generation and distribution. He also envisioned and oversaw the creation of revolutionary technology that optimized digital marketing practices.
David tapped into his significant experience to found Phonexa—the company that would stake a claim as the only digital marketing platform to offer call tracking, lead distribution, email marketing, and integrated accounting in one intuitive package. He has continued to drive the passion, vision, and growth of the company since that time.
Where did the idea for Phonexa come from?
Before Phonexa, I had already been working in digital marketing and lead generation for over a decade. I was fortunate to achieve significant success while running two different companies over that period of time. During that time, it quickly became apparent that an all-in-one marketing platform would be a tremendous resource to other businesses. After a great deal of development and hard work, we were able to develop the Phonexa platform. Since then, we have been off like a rocket ship.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I begin my days very early. I’m usually in the office hours before anyone else, mapping out my day and taking stock of everything that demands my focus. It also gives me an opportunity to talk to international partners while they are still in the middle of their days. Once the traditional workday gets started it is a nonstop mix of meetings, calls, and always staying connected with email. I think it is very important for me to have that time at the beginning of the day because it gives me a chance to set my priorities for the day. As the day progresses, I can always check back in with what I went over that morning to make sure that the most important issues are being handled.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The answer is simple and yet difficult to execute: you just need to take action. Bringing ideas to life is all about doing. Yes, you need to have great ideas and plan for them but at a certain point if all you do is talk then that’s all you’ll end up with: just talk. So when I need to bring ideas to life, I assemble my team and ask them: “What actions do we take to make this a reality?” Then I give them the resources they need to make it happen. Whether it is creating innovative software, developing a partner program, or adding a new team member, the key step I take is discerning what we need to do… and doing it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I continue to be very excited by how technology has opened up the entrepreneur economy by giving anybody with the drive and the technical ability to create a world-class business. The walls that used to “protect” bigger companies from competition have all but disintegrated, especially in the SaaS space. It is this trend that has allowed our company to stand on equal footing with some of the biggest names in the industry in just a few years’ time. Technology creates a more competitive environment. This is something that benefits companies like Phonexa—and, of course, it also benefits the consumer.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
To be a successful entrepreneur you have to always be curious and engaged. So I suppose one of my habits is to ask questions. I ask questions of everybody: my developers, my business development team, my marketing department. By asking questions I begin a conversation, the kind that can lead to new ideas, surprising strategies, or a more efficient workflow. I also ask questions of everyone I know outside my company, because that lets me stay up to date on the latest trends and tech developments.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I have always been very motivated and eager—I still am. I would tell my younger self to be a little more patient and trust yourself. I would say: “You are hungry. You are focused. That’s good. Keep working and know that good things will come.” I offer that same advice to young people today.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Something that I believe very strongly is the value of multi-functionality—it is something that is the cornerstone of Phonexa’s all-in-one platform. It’s not that nobody agrees with me, I just know there are many who question the need to have so much in one platform. But I know the value of having so much functionality in one place. We are increasingly a society that focuses on convenience: so why not have a marketing platform that makes life more convenient for its users?
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What I have consistently done, and press everyone on our team to do as well, is to never settle and always go the extra mile. There is a tremendous gap between those who are always happy with being just “satisfactory” and those who push for excellence. As an entrepreneur, or as an employee or a Fortune 500 CEO, going that extra mile and aggressively pushing yourself to be the best is one of the most productive habits you can form.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
You have to always be looking and thinking ahead. I began in the digital marketing space more than fifteen years ago: Facebook was just on college campuses and Google was a new search engine. The iPhone only existed in an Apple research lab. In that time, I had to look ahead, to see what the internet could become. You need to think about where the future is headed—and consider how your company will fit into that future.
That is what occurred with Phonexa: it was becoming clearer to me that the mobile revolution meant there would be far more people researching and seeing ads on their smartphones. These people would then start calling businesses direct from the ads—companies would need to know which ads are generating the most calls. Looking ahead allowed us to become a powerful force in the call tracking industry.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
With every success comes failure because if you aren’t trying new things then you aren’t innovating. There have been times when expected initiatives did not pan out as I wanted. The key is simply that you do overcome your failures without losing your incentive to keep trying new things. That is how you overcome it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think it would be very useful for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have access to a for-hire concierge service that can help plan and organize events and initiatives that are good for team building and company culture. I know many small businesses who are so focused on the work that they don’t have time to sufficiently plan the fun and valuable non-work events that are important for creating bonds within a company. If someone were to do that I think they would find success.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A few weeks ago the company paid for movie tickets for anyone in the company who wanted to go see Avengers: Endgame as a group. We have a few superfans in the office who had already been to late-night screenings and some other employees who attended and brought their kids. It was a nice group activity that everyone enjoyed—any opportunity to show our employees that they are appreciated is money well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
It’s a simple response but I use Gmail with greater regularity than anything else. I am really attached to it from sunrise to sunset. It is imperative that I stay connected and in communication with so many different people throughout the day. Gmail is a perfectly simple and wonderful tool that allows you to keep different chains and correspondences organized.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A personal favorite of mine is the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is not just a fascinating personal story of a man but it also offers a treasure trove of valuable information about business and innovation. Jobs was a visionary: he would stick to his instincts, push people past their expectations, and he literally changed our world. He also suffered some big failures and spent much of his life working on his many personal flaws. It is an amazing book about what we can achieve and how we can hope to be better to others.
What is your favorite quote?
I have two. They are displayed prominently in the Phonexa lobby:
“We want to hire people who make the best things in the world.” – Steve Jobs
“I could either watch it happen or be a part of it.” – Elon Musk
• Never settle and always be willing to go the extra mile. There is a huge gap between those who are always happy with being just “satisfactory” and those who always push for excellence.
• Stay hungry, stay focused, work hard, and be patient—success will inevitably follow.
• Yes, make a plan, but don’t get bogged down in too much talk. Take action: you’ll learn so much more that way.
• Always keep an eye on the future. You won’t always accurately predict what’s coming, but you’ll be better prepared for whatever challenges arise.
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.