Dush Ramachandran is Business Tranformation Coach for The Net Momentum. He has built, grown and sold two of his own companies and most recently served at Vice President of Sales and Business Development at ClickBank where he was instrumental in growing the company’s revenues nearly 500% in five years. Dush is the host of the ‘Entrepreneur Effect’ radio show and is the author of an upcoming book on entrepreneurial success.
What are you working on right now?
After starting, building, and selling several companies of my own and after growing divisions of large corporations, I felt that I needed to give back to the entrepreneurial community. I left my corporate job as VP of Business Development at ClickBank, the largest online marketplace of digital products, to start coaching entrepreneurs on building their businesses and taking them to the next level. It’s a rewarding venture and I love being able to help other entrepreneurs reach success.
Where did the idea for The Net Momentum come from?
The Net Momentum actually was born out of a conversation with one of my current clients. We were having a drink together, and he pointed out how many entrepreneurs struggle with various issues because they don’t have the right experience or skill set required. My client said, “You’ve seen this type of thing a hundred times before and know exactly what to do. It would be great if you could give entrepreneurs the benefit of your experience and skills.” I realized what a great idea it was to be able to genuinely help people. Teaching other entrepreneurs would also give me insights into a lot of different businesses. Almost immediately after that conversation, I quit my job and jumped into coaching full-time.
What does your typical day look like?
I usually like to begin my day coaching over the phone or Skype with clients, and writing my blog update. I then line up guests and do recordings for my radio show, “Entrepreneur Effect.” I always like to do a follow-up on behalf of my coaching clients for various things. In addition, I take time to prepare for my speaking engagements. Finally, I make as much progress as possible on my upcoming book, which is sometimes difficult with all the things on my plate!
How do you bring ideas to life?
I usually get my ideas from talking to other people. My fiancée is my muse. I am lucky that she is in the business of information marketing and is an entrepreneur herself. I get my best ideas when we’re chatting over a glass of wine. Then it’s headlong into the middle of the storm to take the idea to fruition. Every entrepreneur knows what it’s like during those first few months of developing a new idea.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
What is truly exciting to me is the recent democratization of media. If you wanted to attain media reach even 15 years ago, you would have had to own a T.V. station, a radio station, a newspaper, or a film production company. Today with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Pinterest (and some interesting content), you could easily gain worldwide reach with a large number of followers. These platforms have leveled the playing field for entrepreneurs. They can now have an online presence similar to that of multi-billion-dollar corporations, with some effort and very little money. Now that’s exciting!
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Even though I have held jobs where I didn’t feel fulfilled, I have learned something from every job I have had. I guess my worst job experience was selling advertising space on outdoor billboards to local businesses. I held this position to put myself through school when I was 21 years old. That job taught me the value of personal contact with people. I saw how you could achieve so much more by reaching out to someone through the phone, or in person, than you could through a letter (we didn’t have email in those days!). Today, I take that lesson with me and try to build a personal relationship with the people I work with, instead of relying on email.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
That’s an interesting question. I honestly don’t think I would do anything differently. We are all the product of our unique experiences and our environment. Every experience I have had, including the unpleasant ones, has helped provide me with the skills and knowledge that makes me the person I am today. I am grateful for all of my experiences and I wouldn’t change a thing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Every entrepreneur should make a plan. No matter how small the endeavor or how easy a project, I always start with a plan, even if it is sketched out on a scrap of paper. I remember sketching the plan for a $200 million deal I did for one of my companies on a beer coaster in a pub in Germany. The terms for the sale of one of my companies was written up on a sheet of lined paper and exchanged with the buyers. I’ve realized that simply writing things down can make a plan so much clearer. I’m always telling my Net Momentum clients to write down their plans, no matter how simple they may appear.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
With the Baby Boomer generation growing older, the largest generation ever is now settling down and changing our very concept of aging. This generation has participated in incredible wealth creation. More wealth has been created in the last 60 years than in all of history before that time. Opportunities to serve this demographic are huge. Any idea that gives Boomers greater convenience and control over their lives will be hugely successful.
Tell us a secret.
I still love comic books. My dad used to travel a lot when I was a kid, and he used to bring me comic books whenever he came back from a business trip. The thrill of getting my hands on a new comic book has never left me.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
Google Trends tells us what people are searching for and where searches for each of these terms originate. You can even compare search volumes for two similar terms (e.g., BMW vs. Mercedes) and the impact of a news item on the search. There is nothing that pinpoints our zeitgeist like this tool. Flipboard is my favorite app on my iPad. It presents all my social media, blogs, and news items in a magazine format and allows me to retweet anything that I find interesting with just one tap. Google Earth/Google Maps is the most amazing tool for getting an aerial view and street view of an address. It’s incredibly useful in a strange city because it can provide a picture of what your destination looks like before you even arrive.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I really recommend Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It is a great book on the forces that shape the decisions we make, and shows how even the most rational people are under the influence of these forces when making buying decisions.
What’s on your playlist?
I have a lot of jazz, electronic, and alternative music on my iPod. I could be switching from Fattburger to Miles Davis to Owl City to Imogen Heap in one listening session. I have very eclectic taste in music.
If you weren’t working on The Net Momentum, what would you be doing?
I would be a professional photographer. I am a very visual person and very passionate about expressing thoughts visually. Photography appeals to me enormously.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Brendon Burchard, because he is one of the most ethical marketers out there.
Guy Kawasaki for his trenchant views on the venture capital industry.
Will Ferrell because he’s one of the funniest comedians of our generation.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Just this morning I laughed as my fiancée and I were talking about the Austin Powers movies. We often quote snippets of dialogue from various funny movies to one another, oftentimes crumbling with laughter.
Who is your hero?
Brendon Burchard is my hero. He has genuinely made a difference in the lives of so many entrepreneurs while building a successful personal brand and business for himself. He is truly inspirational for what he has been able to achieve in such a short time.
What excites you about your life?
I am truly blessed; there are so many things that excite me about my life that I can’t even count them all. I live in the most wonderful small city, Boulder, Colorado, in the most wonderful country in the world, engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world, and helping some of the brightest entrepreneurs multiply their businesses tenfold in the next year! I think I am running out of superlatives: I’d better stop now!
What is something not many people know about you?
I am an avid motorcyclist. There is nothing that helps me better unwind and think creatively than taking my Harley out for a ride through the mountain canyons of Colorado. I try to do that as often as I can.