[quote style=”boxed”]”You are the product of your aggregate experiences and that directly contributes to your success in business.”[/quote]
Kyle Sanders is an eCommerce and small business SEO consultant on a mission to help online businesses improve their web presence, business strategy, and topline revenue. Presently, Kyle is the CEO of Complete Web Resources, a full-service digital marketing refinery and SEO agency with offices in Denver, CO and Austin, TX. Additionally, he’s also the co-founder of ClinicVitamins.com, a national, online vitamin dispensary dealing exclusively in professional-grade health supplements. After getting tired of the arduous employee grind, he set out to develop his own network of online businesses and ended falling into the (never ending) rabbit hole of SEO along the way.
A writer by interest and academic training, Kyle has been published on hundreds of industry-leading small business, marketing, and search engine optimization blogs. When he’s not hustlin’, writing for the web, or brainstorming new product ideas over a cold brew, he enjoys submission wrestling, swinging kettlebells, and whitewater kayaking.
What are you working on right now?
Everything. If I’m not finding ways to improve existing systems, I’m incredibly bored. I’m also working on developing a line of physical products, and expanding our agency’s service offerings
Where did the idea for Complete Web Resources come from?
I’ve been in eCommerce for a long time. As an employee and entrepreneur in the space, I’ve seen and experienced the lack of results from SEO firms and had to figure it out myself. I realized I could deliver more value than most firms and maintain a substantially lower attribution rate. Eventually, my partner and I decided we needed to be running a firm.
How do You Make Money?
Our main stream of revenue comes from agency billings—which is primarily SEO—that said, we do well in the physical business too. I also run an online vitamin dispensary at the national level.
What does your typical day look like?
Wake up, eat, review my to-do list, swing kettlebells, work for most of the day, go to Catch Wrestling or kickboxing, eat, work a tad more, stretch, read, watch a documentary, sleep. Repeat.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Workflowy (great tool) and my whiteboard. I use both daily. Sometimes I put it in my car. My neighbors probably think it’s weird, but they only get two weeks of vacation per year.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The ability to learn virtually any skill you want, from any location you want, for free. We live in incredible times.
What’s the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
There’s a company called Clear Water Transportation, Ltd. They’re the Dollar/Thrifty car rental franchise in the Austin airport. Never rent from them. Ever. As an employee, I was required to tack on at least $5/day to the rental quote. Since they’re a franchise, unless the quote comes from Dollar or Thrifty, it doesn’t have to match. I lost a bit of my soul working at that place.
The takeaway? Upon quitting, I knew I needed to live by my own rules, no matter what. Initially, it was just based upon the lack of ethics, until I saw the light. I also learned that customer/client service is a major key in differentiating yourself, especially when you’re dealing with people online.
If you were to start again, what would you differently?
Nothing. You are the product of your aggregate experiences and that directly contributes to your success in business. Every terrible job I ever had impacted me in a unique way.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first business “failure” was a website that sold tactical gear/military supplies via dropshipping. The time and money I invested into it was obscene and the margins were embarrassing, to say the least. I worked hard, beat some odds, but in the end it was a terrible market if you weren’t stocking inventory. What I thought was a total failure ended up being a priceless lesson in business, humility, and market evaluation.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to readers?
If I’m willing to give it away, it’s probably not good. The fraternity and sorority markets are huge. Good luck with the licensing requirements.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Every kid on Earth should have a laptop. Closing a few military bases will cover that, easily.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I used to be obsessed with professional wrestling. By the transitive property, I am naturally a UFC and K1 Kickboxing fanatic.
What are your three favorite online tools/resources and what do you love about them?
1. Workflowy – Incredibly simple, free, cloud-based way to throw down ideas. You can share what you need to and keep the rest private.
2. Google docs – If you need an explanation, you’re lagging.
3. Songza – I love music. Letting someone else select the playlist based on day/time is priceless. Maybe not a tool, but it’s helpful for shredding the to-do list.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Book of Five Rings”, written by Miyamoto Musashi in 1645. It applies to every aspect of being human and lends itself well to business.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Why? If you’re not already following them, you’re probably missing out. Also, Twitter is great for the right now, but there are substantially better social platforms for anyone following an industry leader.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Right now. This question.
Before that? I was recently in Seattle and caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in twelve years. We reminisced about the night we stole a Penthouse from a friend’s dad and looked at it in a tent (age 11).
Who is your hero?
My parents and grandparents, easily. They came from humble beginnings and are incredibly successful in business and life in general.
A professional quotation of your choice?
“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain