I spend the mornings on creative, afternoons on management and evenings on business development.
James Wong has developed Branding and Marketing Strategies for corporate clients like the Past VP of Product Marketing at Facebook, the CEO of Panda Express, the Past CEO of Giorgio Beverly Hills and Fredrick’s of Hollywood, Keller Williams International, and about 175 other business leaders and creative entrepreneurs. His clientele only grows because he’s not shy when it comes to getting his clients attention. James’ goal as a Branding consultant is to reposition, reinvent, and reinvigorate companies in culture creating influence and connection.
Where did the idea for Verge Collective come from?
Verge Collective came from this idea that great results come from people who push their work to the far edge. We call it “Verge Work” – which is solving problems through design thinking that innovates across all avenues. The Collective comes from not being run by only one person, but a Collective of creative people that have teamed up to provide amazing quality of creative work in regards to branding and strategies.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have my calendars color coded in 3 different colors – 1 calendar is broken down into creative work, the other management, and lastly is business development. I spend the mornings on creative, afternoons on management and evenings on business development. We focus on 3 things; becoming a better agency, having better projects and having a better client experience.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Collaboration. We first do a deep dive client analyst. We dig out the leadership that is behind the brand, what they value, what they believe in, and what they promise to the world. We then take their ideas and develop consistent creative ideas and solutions behind their creative personalities.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Public Identity excites me for sure! You can become a public figure now with all the help from social media platforms. Any brand has the opportunity to become famous. Platforms are helping clients and people by showcasing and sharing their gifts with the world through utilizing the platforms.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Personal development. I have a habit of reading personal development books and seminars to develop myself so that way when I execute something, I can do it with philosophy. Another habit is I live my life based off of my calendar. I have a very organized and detailed calendar. There’s not a chance to waste time with something that I am doing that isn’t productive.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve never had a job. Verge Collective is the 7th business I’ve started. I never liked jobs because there wasn’t enough upward potential, because with a regular job your limited. When you’re an entrepreneur the sky is the limit for success and money.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d have a 6 and 12-month marketing schedule that could be handed off to another team member so I knew when and how we were marketing this month exactly. 90% of businesses don’t have a marketing calendar and this is why some businesses can’t raise awareness more effectively.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Create power partnerships, develop a strong foundation of partnerships with your team and business colleagues so you build a tribe of people who want you to be successful that way you’re also always a part of people’s success.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I have a legit calendar for business development specifically called “2 a day.” Another strategy is building more power partnerships and making sure I make 2 contacts a day. With this “2 a day”, the partnerships you build creates a team and network and in those partnerships your business can survive and flourish.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not fulfilling on a creative project with a major client – letting people down. Having a mentor has really helped me beyond words. I love to use my mentor as a de-brief of what worked within the project and what didn’t work.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Develop an online course. They are digital products which can scale and you don’t necessarily have to literally be there for your $$ to increase. It is packaging and monetizing your personal expertise into a 6 or 12-week course so people can get value, learn from you …plus your fans are willing to pay.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I bought a juicer. One of my most recent clients is a celebrity fitness guru so I’ve been on a health kick. It’s amazing, delicious and gives me the energy I need to go about my day. My girlfriend will freeze a couple at a time for later. Quick, easy and efficient.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
My favorite is Asana. It’s such a great project management software. It’s very effective and keeps all our team members on the cutting edge of what is going on without projects. I also think the unicorn when a task is completed is super 90’s and clever.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Dip” by Seth Godin. It teaches you that anything you do, you want to be the best in the world at it. If you want to be the best in the world at it, you have to practice and leverage your opportunities to become the best in the world at it and to not get distracted.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I believe in Werner Erhard. He is such a genius and has inspired me throughout my entire career and life.
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.