[quote style=”boxed”]”Bringing ideas to life involves seeing patterns and applying what you’ve learned to a new situation.”[/quote]
John Boudreau is the COO and co-founder of Astonish Results, a digital marketing and consulting firm based in Rhode Island. He oversees the company growth and strives to achieve the mission and goals for Astonish.
Boudreau graduated from Gordon College in 1992 with a degree in chemistry. After beginning his career as an environmental analytical chemist, he started investing in real estate. John eventually started Ion Marketing Group before selling it to start Astonish Results in 2006 with co-founder Adam DeGraide.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently the co-founder and COO of Astonish. Astonish is the leader in providing digital marketing solutions for the insurance industry.
Where did the idea for Astonish Results come from?
Astonish started as a way to help mortgage companies and brokerages find, sell, and keep more customers profitably. In 2008, the mortgage crisis hit, and we were forced to pivot to another industry. We found that insurance agencies (a related industry) needed help when it comes to marketing and selling to the modern consumer.
What does your typical day look like?
I am responsible for the day-to-day operations at Astonish. My typical day involves meeting with our executive team and ensuring we’re making progress and executing on our strategic plan.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do a lot of reading. Bringing ideas to life involves seeing patterns and applying what you’ve learned to a new situation. Then you need to step out and try something — experiment.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Marketing and the way it’s being customized on a per-customer basis. As big data grows and the delivery mechanisms (e.g., mobile, geo-targeting) become more sophisticated, it will be very interesting to see what happens.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I really have not had any bad jobs. I liked pretty much everything I’ve done. But my first job as a chemist was probably my least favorite. I worked for a gentleman who didn’t really teach us anything. I love to learn, so it was pretty frustrating to be working with someone with a great deal of knowledge who didn’t want to share it with anyone.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would hire a CTO right away.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I have a daily feedback loop. At the end of the day, I ask myself three questions:
- Did I give today 100 percent?
- How was my attitude today?
- Was I teachable?
If you ask yourself these three questions each day, you cannot lose.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
It’s not much of a secret. Build something, give it away, then iterate. There are literally thousands of ideas; most people just give up too soon.
Tell us a secret.
I’m an INTJ. Look it up.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
I’ll give you two: Buffer and Feedly. I use Feedly to quickly scan and read my favorite blogs. It links up with Buffer, so I can choose to post what I want on social channels. I do this when I have five or 10 minutes to kill.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish. The habits I learned from that book have had a huge impact on my business.
What’s on your playlist?
Coldplay. King’s X. Rihanna.
If you weren’t working on Astonish Results, what would you be doing?
Getting my PhD in chemistry or physics.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I was watching Anchorman: “It works 60 percent of the time…every time.”
I see you have a degree in chemistry. How has this helped you?
Working as an analytical chemist early on in my career helped me solve complex problems quickly and develop a strong balance between data and intuition.
What do you do for fun?
I love to play music. I play the bass, guitar, and drums. I have a small recording studio, and I like to just play and record my ideas.