[quote style=”boxed”]Many people believe that if they try and fail – that the party is over. But statistically, if there is a set number of ways to do something successfully, every time you try and fail you are actually closer to success. So, never give up.[/quote]
Liora Farkovitz is a Content Developer and Strategist who writes, narrates, publishes and promotes on behalf of professionals and subject matter experts. She is the founder of LioraFarkovitz.com, a content marketing and organic promotion company. With more than 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, she often writes on the topics of small business and product development strategies. Liora lives and works in New York City.
Where did the idea for your LioraFarkovitz.com come from? What does your typical day look like?
I’ve had a series of companies that, in retrospect, I realized were evolving along with the digital revolution. Twenty years ago I was focused on distributing “content” (software or music at that time) on diskettes and compact discs along with their packaging. Now, I focus on content creation and digital distribution methods.
For a long time I referred to myself as a “business and product development strategist” – and honestly I still do the exact same thing – but all of my clients believed that they were hiring “a writer” – because the tangible deliverable almost always is, or originates from something I write on their behalf. To them it’s all “writing” – but to us – we understand it’s a much more complex delivery.
My typical day begins with a review of available media queries, responding, and then I spend the rest of the day either writing, recording, or negotiating opportunities for myself or my clients to promote their expertise and related businesses.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think the simplest answer is through the use of strategy. Which is what? It is understanding a need and the most typical response to either pursuing or acquiring meeting that need.
I often “see” that play out like a video in my mind’s eye and it allows me to anticipate the array of potential responses, and design and plan ways to meet the various ways people will respond to what we are offering. Additionally, those different responses are likely to happen in a certain time frame and have related needs and responses as well. I can figure out what the sequence is likely to be, and what needs to happen within specific time periods.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I really love the trend of organic marketing – so that we are developing and distributing content that is meaningful, interesting, and creative.
For me, finding the new conduits to distribute the information is the most interesting right now.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think there is a difference between supervising employees and empowering them. There are nuances to be sure – sometimes I give someone too much rope – sometimes I take back an assignment when I really should let someone just try their wings. But I make it a priority to focus on the innate strengths of the people I work with and then give them an opportunity to grow in the direction of their strengths as much as possible.
I tend to think of our work as collaboration and to recognize that my company as a whole is not about “me” – even if it has my name on it. It is about what “we” do together to meet the needs of all the customers we represent.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked for a huge bank in my twenties that was actually the impetus for my becoming an entrepreneur. I transferred into their Network Control Center and I hated working there so much that when I finally left and people would ask me about that experience I would explain that I had been there 9 Months, 18 days and 12 hours before I made my escape! They micromanaged everything, and assigned tasks without any explanation or reasoning behind why we did things the way we did. They had double standards, a lack of ethics and were abusive to the people I worked with. I was always in this protective stance and instead of focusing on our productivity and making sure connectivity was impeccable, we were focused on the hierarchy and authority of a few small people.
I learned to ask the people actually doing a job to offer their ideas for improvement and logical work flow.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would probably choose my business partners differently.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Many people believe that if they try and fail – that the party is over. But statistically, if there is a set number of ways to do something successfully, every time you try and fail you are actually closer to success. So, never give up.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Joint Ventures can be a very powerful way of growing your business. It’s how I began to focus on developing product ideas and services with what we refer to as “subject matter experts”.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I wrote an entire chapter on this, titled “Surviving a Failure: Transforming an Ass Kicking into Kick-Ass Business Advice”, for “Insiders Know-How: Running Your Own Business”, which was published recently in May of 2014. I had my entrepreneurial butt handed to me in 2001 when the tech bubble burst and that evolved into a $4.2MM bankruptcy. It was very hard, but, it taught me a great deal of humility. If you’re not dead, you just have to get up every day and live. That’s how you get through difficult things. Just persevere, don’t give up, keep moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’m not exactly sure what to call it, but for me, I always seem to need more help on the home front with organizing papers, taking something to sell it, or give it away, cleaning something up – it’s different every week. More of the common man’s personal assistant.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
My retirement ambition is to buy a whale watching cruise in Cape Cod, and ride around on the boat every morning wearing a purple hippy dress and a red hat.
What software and web services do you use?
I was pleasantly surprised by oDesk – from the perspective of finding and managing people, but not in terms of finding new clients. For that, LinkedIn proved to be a better resource.
What do you love about them?
For oDesk, I like that I can (usually) find someone quickly to do a task for me, even if I need help at the last minute.
For LinkedIn, I like that it is global, and that I got opportunities to do things with people from other countries. I like that about oDesk too – I just think that I have been too isolated with an American world view for too much of my career. It’s better to open up and see how the whole world works and functions – and not be flooded with too many ideas that originate from home.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have a very simple recommendation- “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. It addresses how we sabotage ourselves by ignoring the obvious changes that surround us.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I discovered Peter Shankman, the founder of Help A Reporter Out, in 2009 and over the last five years, I’ve used the techniques and systems I learned through Peter increasingly. It’s literally half of my business today. There are many other people and resources that have also been helpful, but there is something about the verve and desire and energy that Peter puts behind his endeavors that really inspires me.
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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.