If you are on good terms with yourself first, your whole environment begins to improve.
Eric Jayden Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1983. As a teenager, he enjoyed deep reading of philosophy books, oriental knowledge, self-help, and personal coaching. He did an instructorate in yoga while he was in high school and is still a morning practitioner.
He was always interested in topics such as personal development and general improvement of institutions. This led him to study the degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and to specialize with a master’s degree in Human Resources Management. He also took several coaching and leadership courses to complement and expand his professional training.
He worked at several reputable companies such as Barnes & Noble Inc. and even Google for a couple of years. It was then when he decided to start an online Financial Services business: CalculatorBuddy.com along with other entrepreneurs. He is currently in charge of the human resources area and serves as his Organizational Development Manager. Today, it has more than 21,500,000 users and is expanding in the United States, South Africa, Europe, and South America.
In his free time, he is usually invited to different spaces to teach courses on development, effective marketing techniques, and productivity, as well as improving relations between boss-employees and their working conditions.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
It’s a very funny story actually. It was not an individual idea, I had it with a group of coworkers. One of them always complains about everything. We can never have a good time in which he does not find fault with something. That day, we were in a bar and he began to tell a misunderstanding with an investment in the bank. Tired of listening to him, I asked him: how would you improve it? And he remained silent for a while. We change the topic of conversation and keep talking. The next week, I received a call from him. With a very enthusiastic tone, he told me: now I know how to improve it! That information should be in one place, maybe in a newsletter or something!. Then I had the idea that it could be an online service, and that there was nothing like it in the market. We got to work immediately.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Usually, I get up early, go running or practice some yoga and then I go to the office. I evaluate the constants of the company, the strategies deployed, the clients, and reflect on their viability together with a team of professionals. We also hold meetings with the rest of the team of bosses and employees, to clarify the objectives and determine how we will achieve them.
After work, I return to my home to share time with my wife and my child. I spend a couple of hours reading and finally, before going to sleep, I plan the next day and check my schedule.
For my day to be more productive I use the following technique: first I look at the list of things to do, and write a letter next to each thing according to its importance: A, B or C. I select the most important and prepare everything necessary to execute it as best as possible. Having everything ready, the next step is to work. Do not think too much, just get to work. Once you finish with A, you cross off A from the list and continue with the others one by one.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In my daily schedule, there is a space of “creative time” when I am in the office. It consists of taking a few moments for reflection, reading innovative blogs and chatting with the team! Then I do a brainstorming and write everything down on paper. It is very useful, it opens my imagination and develops the creative potential of the team.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am fascinated by the new strategies of online marketing. The public outreach of social networks is unique and unmatched. They can not be compared to the marketing methods used 10 years ago. It evolves very quickly and I like to be aware of what is happening, so I try to keep myself constantly informed.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Using my calendar and my alarm clock! Without them, it would be a total disaster. Basically, my professional life depends on them. On my agenda are all the most important things that I must do in the day or week, as well as the objectives I intend to achieve. It helps me a lot to take a few minutes to check it before going to sleep and a few minutes after getting up.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be reflective, look at things from a broader point of view. It is very difficult to realize the opportunities that appear to us, often in front of our noses. I would say that it is necessary to stop for a moment and evaluate the possibilities not only according to economic terms but also taking into account how you would feel better. This has helped me to find much more happiness in my days and to take better advantage of my time doing more things that make me feel better.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
If you are on good terms with yourself first, your whole environment begins to improve.
Having a positive and friendly attitude is very important for your whole life, not only in the workplace. There is a very established thought in society in which if you are working, you have to be serious and moody and get to home tired and complaining. That if you hold a position of authority you have to treat your employees badly, constantly showing your superior position. Let me tell you that it can be otherwise, your work can be as fun as playing with your young children if that is the attitude with which you take it. You just have to find a way to do it without losing professional ethics.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I’m always informed about the latest in business. As well as the software, we also have to check out the updated versions of the company regularly! It is very helpful to talk with my colleagues, ask them if they have seen something interesting out there, or something that has caught their attention. Isolated we can not have all the answers, it is impossible. Every second a lot of information is produced, and what we get to know is very small. As everyone has something different, new and innovative, talking is one of the best ways to bring it up.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Public Relationship tactics! One strategy that worked for us was to contact the press through notes, articles, and publications in influential media. This helped us to have a little more prestige and reach the general public. It was also very useful to communicate with the most important banks so that we can have the data updated and always available to users!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest mistake was to isolate myself. We can not do everything, sometimes, it is necessary to ask for help. When we started with the startup, we discovered that there were many things we did not know how to do, such as the design of the website, and things related to the programming language. We seek to do everything on our own and we get frustrated too quickly. We almost abandoned the business. It was then that it occurred to me to ask a friend if he knew someone who could do these things and could help us. It was one of the best things I could have done. We got an excellent software programmer who is still one of the most valuable members of the company.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Well, online services are having great relevance. It could be a web or application that works as a database of the most sold products and their prices in different places, physical or virtual, with discounts and vouchers. In this way, many businesses and companies specialized products would be announced, those with the best prices would be more sought after, and prices, in general, would be increasingly low for their competitiveness, which represents, in the long run, great savings for all consumers.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a magnetic whiteboard for my office. It is very useful because I can write all the notes that result from my brainstorming and make my work simpler when evaluating statistics and graphics of the company. On the other hand, I can also post notices and things that I do not want to forget.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
In order to be more productive and learn to focus on the things that are really important, I use an app called Quality Time. It does an analysis of those mobile apps with which you spend more time and how much time. It also allows you to make scheduled breaks, and alert you when you exceed the time of use or the frequency of unlocks. I discovered, for example, that I got to use my social networks for more than four hours a day, which I found abusive. Now, I only do it when it is more necessary or for a few minutes a day, which allows me to perform better in my work and to use my time better.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter,” by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh. Because it is a book that shows you how to create a network of significant professional relationships, at the same time that it shows you all the things that you could improve yourself to achieve it. On the other hand, it teaches you the value of being in the present moment when you connect with a person and to be a little more human in your relationships. Having this social capital is what allows your company to climb faster in the business world and to have access to certain exclusive opportunities that only a relationship with certain people or companies makes possible.
What is your favorite quote?
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”— Viktor Frankl
• Make a list of the things you have to do. Assign a letter to each one in order of importance. Get yourself ready and prepare your space for action. Eliminate distractions and start doing it without giving it much thought. Make the most difficult and important first, so the others will be like taking a walk in the park.
• Give yourself time to be OK with yourself. As long as you feel well, that feeling will extrapolate around you. Enjoy time in the office and do not make work a big burden, on the contrary, look for strategies to have the best time possible.
• Take time to learn about the things that are in vogue, the latest marketing strategies, ways of doing business, apps, work software and best-selling products, etc. A good way to do this is by reading specialized blogs and sharing conversations with your coworkers on related topics.
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.