[quote style=”boxed”]If it seems viable, we put a team together and we get to work. We move quickly. We test and learn.[/quote]
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on expanding our products and offerings around B-Corporations. These are corporations that have both a public benefit purpose and the ability to make a profit – a combination between a non-profit and a for-profit corporation.
Where did the idea for MyCorporation come from?
MyCorporation was formed around the notion of providing a low-cost, excellent customer experience around the business start-up process. The alternatives were ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions or leveraging the expertise of an attorney. An online incorporation provider is a great alternative for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
How do you make money?
We make money via the SaaS format – software as a service. We also focus on annuity revenue and opportunities for ongoing business services for the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that we have helped to get started.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up early and exercise. It helps to clear my mind before I get my boys ready for school. We eat breakfast as a family and then off we go – it’s always a whirlwind in the morning! I get to work and say hello to everyone in the company. I think it sets the right tone for the day. Sometimes that takes 5 minutes, but other times, we engage in longer discussions – which is often quite helpful. I work on my emails, work with my teams (sales, finance, marketing) and attend meetings. We focus on short, organized meetings that make the most of everyone’s time. After work, I pick up my sons from school or the days’ sporting event. We love to stay active. I often end the day by doing one last email check and brainstorming with my husband before making my list of ‘to-do’s for the next day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I talk with those whom I respect. I brainstorm, noodle on ideas, and open up for feedback. If it seems viable, we put a team together and we get to work. We move quickly. We test and learn. That is what we do best.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The trend towards social entrepreneurship really excites me. Young people have great, socially beneficial ideas and bringing them to life and looking into their potential is extremely exciting.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I had one job during the practice of law where my boss was a real stinker. I learned that one should not settle. If you are not happy where you’re working, move on. I also learned to really appreciate great leaders and to value jobs and positions that are wonderful. Sometimes a crummy job can help you learn what you want and what you do not want.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I were to start again, in addition to getting my law & business degrees, I would get a degree in computer sciences. At the very least, I think it’s incredibly important for business owners to avail themselves of the technology that runs their businesses.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Work hard and have fun. Engage with your employees and make sure they understand the initiatives of the business. Encourage hard work, focus and feedback – and then enjoy each other and the time you spend together.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have sometimes been too quick to hire. I have learned the importance of due diligence and making sure that the right hires are made. The wrong people can really have a negative impact on the business – just like the right people can have a great impact. Take your time when hiring!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business/software that trains young, aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses and engage with the right contacts is a great way to capture business leaders at the beginning of their business lives.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
As cliché as it sounds, I would engender in people a better acceptance of others – as they are and who they are. Everyone is different and it’s okay. I would love it if people learned from diverse opinions rather than criticized.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I have only had 2 careers in my life – the first was as an aerobics instructor; and the second as a lawyer/business owner.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
I love Facebook because it gives me a chance to stop thinking of the business, Wordle which is a visual tool to display data with, and WordPress which is a great tool for blogging (simple and easy to use).
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Onward by Howard Schultz. It sends a great message of change, reflection and adjustment in business.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Arianna Huffington: A female entrepreneur with interesting things to say and a strong perspective on business
Marissa Mayer: A business leader and mom who has seen great, inspirational success
Pete Cashmore: A leader in social media
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
My sons (7 & 9) make me laugh every day. They play together and engage with each other in a way that makes me laugh. My husband is also clever/funny. I love that!
Who is your hero, and why?
My mom! She is incredible. She is patient, supportive, smart and has an unending belief in me. I hope to be that to my children!
How did you buy a division out of Intuit?
I believe that through mutual respect, honesty and business rigor, we were able to buy the MyCorporation division out of Intuit. We are a good example of how entrepreneurial endeavors can succeed better outside of a large corporate environment.
What is your favorite way to spend free time?
I love to travel with my family – whether it’s skiing, a Disney cruise or a soccer tournament. We are happiest when we are together!
MyCorporation on Twitter: @MyCorporation
Deborah Sweeney on Twitter: @deborahsweeney
Deborah Sweeney on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/deborah-sweeney/2/564/565
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.