Take time to sit and think. Let your mind wander. You may unlock a connection that gets you to your destination faster — or you may find that your destination has changed.

 

Jason Reposa is the co-founder and CEO of MyBankTracker.com, an independent financial comparison site that educates consumers on personal finance to help them make smarter banking and financial decisions. Aside from being a personal finance expert, his background includes software engineer, adjunct professor, director of technology and chief technology officer.

Jason’s passion for educating consumers and his next-generation-technology leadership for 20+ years drives his team’s success.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

We started MyBankTracker.com at a time when many banks were failing at the height of the recession. Our goal was to bring ownership back to consumers and the information they had access to. We compiled an extensive list and settled on MyBankTracker.com – it was a good fit since the company tracks banks and their rates for consumers.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every morning, I like to start the day with a workout – it helps clear my head and gets my brain moving. I settle in and get to inbox zero as quickly as possible. Then I turn my attention to my to-do lists for the next 30 minutes to an hour. The rest of the morning is spent working on high-level, big-picture ideas. This includes researching trends and brainstorming for improvements on how we can connect with our ideal visitors.

After lunch I’ll get to inbox zero again and work on operational items, such as reconciling our books or checking our cash flow; I prefer to be hands-on in my role.

Our company operates on a fully-remote basis, so we have communication channels open all day like Slack. We also use Skype, Zoom and other platforms to remain in constant communication. That means I could get a call from anyone throughout the day. I tend to schedule more conversational calls after lunch to allow for more time.

Every two weeks, I hold a deep-dive call with each leadership team member, but we frequently have shorter calls in between to catch up on active projects and issues.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m a big believer in completing an in-depth exploration of any idea before bringing it to life. I like to thoroughly examine and understand all angles. Once an idea is largely formed in my head, I deliver the key points to the leadership team in segments depending on his or her role. As the idea becomes more fleshed out and I have buy-in from the leadership team, I announce the idea to the entire team. After it’s announced, I hand it off to my director of operations to fully execute the idea. I check on the progress week-over-week.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People are getting smarter at managing their finances, but there is still a long way to go to educate them. The term “Emergency Fund” has been around for a long time, but anecdotally it’s been discussed more frequently over the last few years at conferences like FinCon. The term FIRE is also relatively newly-discovered and has the potential to change many lives.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My to-do list software. Whenever I find myself with free time or my thoughts are wandering, I’ll look at my to-do list. Working through an item on it tends to ground my thoughts, clear my head and sharpen my focus back to work.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Simple – start saving sooner!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Retirement isn’t the end goal. You have to be happy with yourself and your life (know who you are, what you like, your relationship with your spouse/partner, etc.) throughout your working years, otherwise retirement may be miserable. Think about lottery winners. Money doesn’t provide happiness. You have to find what drives you as a person so you have desires post-retirement. Sitting around, watching TV and playing video games gets old, and if you retire early your schedule will be much different than your friends.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take time to sit and think. Let your mind wander. You may unlock a connection that gets you to your destination faster — or you may find that your destination has changed.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Hiring experts in their specific fields. When we first started the company, we didn’t necessarily hire the most experienced and top-paid staff, but those we did hire were young, talented and motivated; many of whom have gone onto successful careers. However, this approach at that time somewhat led to a lack of expertise and strategic focus needed to propel the business forward in key moments. Now, taking the time to hire the right people is key.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We took our leadership position in the industry for granted and gave up ground to our competitors. The team lost sight of the importance of growing organic traffic to the site and relied on paid-marketing channels. Now, we are playing catch-up with competitors in the space. It’s much harder to gain traction than it was to lose it. We’re making good progress while constantly keeping an eye on our competitors to see how they are responding to market changes.

Overall, we look at the growing number of financial education sites and blogs as a positive trend – it means more and more consumers are educating themselves on personal finance.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I have a long list but they’re simply ideas – nothing is fully fleshed out. How about an app that allows you to do a “reverse” ebay? An app that is strictly for ISO requests with a price range they’re willing to pay.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Most recent is my Amazon Kindle. It has a lit screen so you can read at night without a nightlight and it doesn’t mess with your night vision like the blue light emitted from a cell phone. Always read fiction before bed, not non-fiction.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Wunderlist – my to-do list software. I use it to “brain-dump” all my ideas and as a checklist of things that need addressed, before I forget. Some things never get checked off, but they are interesting to think about occasionally, while other items get done quickly.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

We give every new team member and intern “Your Money or Your Life” – although not perfect, it hits the major points of how you trade your time for money — time you can’t get back.

What is your favorite quote?

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now” – every so often I look back at all the times my intuition was correct, but failed to act. Sometimes when I’m deep in thought I think of this quote as a way to “wrap up” the thoughts in my head and just act.

Key Learnings:

  • You have to be happy with yourself while employed, because once you retire that’s all you have – yourself.
  • When you have the chance, hire people who are experts in their respective field.
  • Take time to think through the issue, but don’t wait too long to act.
  • Keep an eye on what your competitors are launching.

Connect:

https://www.facebook.com/mybanktracker/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/mybanktracker-com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonreposa/
https://www.instagram.com/mybanktracker_/
https://twitter.com/mybanktracker
https://www.mybanktracker.com

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