John Monarch – CEO & Direct Outbound Services

I would advise a younger me to create a “Stop Doing” list.

John Monarch is a well-known entrepreneur, writer, Blockchain expert and advisor. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Outbound Services, which provides logistics and fulfillment services. The company is one of the fastest growing in the sector. Monarch graduated from the Clemson University with a major in Physics and Computer Science. He is based in Greenville, South Carolina.

John shares his in-depth knowledge on various aspects of business, particularly logistics with many aspiring entrepreneurs. This has enabled a significant number of startups to become more efficient and boost profitability.

In his spare time, John enjoys playing recreation softball with friends, going to Clemson football games and hanging out with his two dogs, Hana and Baron.

Where did the idea for Direct Outbound come from?

I decided to start Direct Outbound after discovering a gap in the market. I combined this knowledge with my previous working experience to create a viable venture. Initially, I worked from a home office before opening new premises.

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

Typically, I spend a considerable amount of time meeting clients and other entrepreneurs. My daily routine involves traveling to meet people and I also spend time in the office planning and supervising staff or attending internal meetings.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When I discover a viable opportunity, I engage in lengthy brainstorming sessions before formulating a business or working plan – sometimes, staying up all night.

What’s one trend in business that you find exciting?

The ever-increasing adoption of blockchain technology in logistics and fulfillment services is exciting. This trend enables industry players and other stakeholders to leverage higher levels of trust and efficiency in the area of logistics. As an entrepreneur, I value the technology’s contribution to the success of my business.

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

Over the years, I have gotten accustomed to reserving the first hour of the working day to focus on activities that provide the highest value. I make an effort to avoid checking email during this period. I am convinced that spending this precious time on non-critical tasks spoils the rest of the day. I maximize the day’s potential by investing time to tasks that make a difference.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would advise a younger me to create a “Stop Doing” list. This is crucial in business and everyday life because it helps individuals become more effective by eliminating obstacles. Knowing what not to do is as vital as grasping what to do.

Tell us something that’s true but still disagree with you on?

I have discovered that when I tell people that in school most of us learn to fail rather than how to make the most of our blunders nobody agrees with me. I use the example of a child learning to walk via trial and error.

This demonstrates that failure is a positive thing. Yet, educators teach us that it is a negative thing by branding it with the letter “F.” Most people never recover from this dilemma.

Failing is a part of success and is a valuable learning experience.

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

I think I’m exceptionally courageous even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This is something I recommend to anyone, especially aspiring entrepreneurs.

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

I place a lot of emphasis on networking. I attend many events just to meet with potential clients and my efforts have helped generate new business.

I’m a big proponent of community groups and business meetups.

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

Things were tough in the early days. The company was barely making a profit and we had to devise innovative strategies to turn the corner. Eventually, we gained traction on the market and our efforts started bearing fruit.

What is one business idea that you recommend?

I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to dive into blockchain technology. You don’t have to be technical to understand the underlying value of decentralized software and businesses. There are many sectors of business where blockchain tech can solve very much needed problems.

Often, the business models we use today are still operating the same way they were in the 1950s and I think in some cases, there’s room for an overhaul to create more efficiency. From logistics to the restaurant business, blockchain technology can cut down on wastefulness, speed up businesses, and validate transactions and orders faster than ever before.

If you see an industry with too many middlemen, that’s what I would try to revolutionize.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

Deciding to buy Bitcoin is undoubtedly one of the best purchasing decisions I have ever made. It’s been on my radar ever since my college days and I’ve been purchasing and using Bitcoin ever since.

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

Wunderlist has been a secret weapon of mine for a while now. The older I get, the busier I become it seems and I always have to keep reminders and appointments in check. Wunderlist makes it very easy to organize recurring meetings, important events and deadlines. Not to mention it syncs up perfectly with iOS and Mac devices.

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

“Originals” by Adam Grant is an awesome read that helped me avoid groupthink and become more innovative.

What is your favorite quote?

“Have an ocean of knowledge, an inch deep.”

Key Learnings:

• Knowing what not to do is as vital as grasping what to do.
• Reserve the first hour of the working day to focus on activities that provide the highest value.
• Have an ocean of knowledge, an inch deep.


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