Being productive is more complicated than it seems. It’s not just about getting stuff done, it’s about having what to do…I’m a big believer in snowballing, which is all about completing small tasks and building momentum until you feel unstoppable.
Nate Masterson is the CEO for Maple Holistics, a company dedicated to cruelty-free and natural personal care products. After traveling the world and seeing first-hand how damaging manufacturing processes are to the environment, Nate knew there was only one way to make a real change.
This led to the creation of Maple Holistics, a company dedicated to proving that sustainability is indeed viable. He believed that consumers would be interested in sustainable health and beauty products as long as they were offered at competitive prices and were high-quality. Since then, Maple Holistics has grown exponentially and has garnered a dedicated fan-base of men and women of all ages. Maple’s expanded collection now includes several shampoos and conditioners, essential oils, massage oils, and moisturizing creams.
Before his time at Maple Holistics, Nate was involved in commercial real estate while educating himself in digital marketing and SEO. Nate has also worked extensively with several startups, serving as marketing manager, financial consultant, and even tried his hand at running an HR department. Nowadays, he can be found traveling the globe looking for innovative ways to perfect sustainable manufacturing techniques.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
We came up with the name Maple Holistics out of the belief that the mind and body are intimately interconnected. As a result, holistic well-being necessitates a deep care for health and beauty. Instead of relying on artificial ingredients, we wanted to provide consumers the means to utilize nature’s very own components to achieve a comprehensive state of being.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day begins with informal meetings with each team to assess prior progress and set short-term goals. For instance, I will meet with the marketing team to review our social media engagement for the previous day and discuss the necessary steps to improving our SEO moving forward. After these meetings, I usually write down the day’s goals so that I can monitor my own productivity. I’ve found that working towards deadlines and being able to visualize my tasks is a great way to stay focused and determined.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’ve discovered that the best way to bring ideas into fruition is to maximize team meetings. Knowing that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, we encourage full participation at all our meetings, so each team member understands that their opinion is valued. If company leaders can effectively communicate this sentiment and create a culture where workers feel heard, they can expect to hear more fresh ideas and an overall increase in employee enthusiasm to make them happen.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Procurement Management Systems are going to completely alter the way companies interact with their suppliers. Having trustworthy and efficient automation in the procurement department will free up your employees, giving them the ability to focus on more pressing tasks. This new software helps businesses automate orders based on stock availability or preset time markers, automate invoice sending, monitor and track deliveries, and set trackers to help create a better workflow during the value analysis process. Additionally, these innovative systems are expected to revolutionize contract management by incorporating pre-approved clause libraries, automated renewal capabilities, and even locate contract deviations.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being productive is more complicated than it seems. It’s not just about getting stuff done, it’s about having what to do. It’s about organizing your goals in such a way that they can actually get done. I’m a big believer in snowballing, which is all about completing small tasks and building momentum until you feel unstoppable. As an entrepreneur, my day is filled with countless tasks and being able to check them off definitely helps me get in the groove.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to be better prepared for the future. The business world is constantly changing so you have to make sure your business is future-proof by implementing technologically and culturally relevant strategies today.
This means taking advantage of social media, emerging AR, voice assistant-tech, and establishing a brand to go along with your products and/or services. Today’s consumer expects more from companies in that brand-recognition and a true message go a long way towards winning the business of your target market. Make sure your branding is on point in order to prepare for a future in which this trend only continues to build. It’s far too easy to focus on today’s market and lose sight of the future. Therefore. it’s necessary to track market trends and effectively predict potential changes that can give you an edge on the competition.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most people argue with me about my erratic sleep schedule. I’m a big believer in riding out a hot streak, even if it means working through the night and sleeping the next day. I see no reason to stick with the traditional 9-5 workday, especially if I do some of my best work at two in the morning.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Check in with my employees. There are few things as detrimental to a business as a tangible divide between the staff members and upper management. I do my best to consistently check up on projects and create a workplace environment where everybody feels like an essential component. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get wrapped up in business and forget to give your employees the respect they deserve. Because of this, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to show our employee recognition and appreciation. While we often do small things, like bringing in snacks, we also try to give our employees more flexibility and offer to pay for them to learn new skills.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
SEO – The search engine is the number one way by which businesses and their products become discovered by consumers. If your business isn’t optimized for search engines, you’re depriving yourself of arguably the most critical marketing tool at your disposal. We quickly realized that making a successful e-commerce company requires a team of marketing experts to maintain SEO standards. In addition to regularly publishing blog posts on a variety of health and wellness topics ranging from shampoo reviews to DIY bath bombs, we also focus on prioritizing link building and our mobile layout. Likewise, we work on the SEO tricks that encourage actual users to visit our site, including structured data, relevant keywords, and attractive meta descriptions.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs, so failure is often a natural outcome. We spent thousands of dollars and hours establishing a free sample program and it was nearly the end of Maple Holistics. We hoped that free samples would naturally convert into sales, but unfortunately, we were wrong. Many consumers are happy to take a free product but are never to be heard from again. Once we realized our efforts were going to bankrupt us, we quickly scrapped the program and switched our focus to influencer marketing. Although we were aware of the power of social media, we underestimated its influence on sales.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve always wanted to open a food truck business. Everybody needs to eat, which means there’s a lot of money to be made in the food service industry. Nevertheless, there’s never a shortage of restaurants, so startups need to find innovative ways to stay ahead of the tough competition. Food trucks are one of the safest and smartest ways to get into the industry because they avoid many of the downsides and dangers of opening a traditional restaurant. One of the biggest advantages of food trucks is their mobility and ability to cash in on big events such as concerts and sports games. Likewise, food trucks can easily take advantage of social media and technology by offering a location finder, membership programs, and online orders and payments.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently downloaded an app called Acorns, which is an innovative automated money-saving program. Acorns basically helps you turn your pocket change into significant sums by routinely re-investing in safe exchange-traded funds. The affordable micro-investing app monitors your credit and debit charges, rounds them up to the nearest dollar, and invests the change into convenient, pre-arranged portfolios. It also offers one-time investments and recurring deposits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Additionally, Acorns offers a selection of professional financial advice and tracks your potential earnings as your approach retirement.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Maple Holistics wouldn’t be where we are today without Ahrefs. Ahrefs is my go-to digital marketing tool that has proven to be an invaluable resource. The user-friendly service makes it easy to assess whether or not content marketing efforts are actually working. By providing comprehensive breakdowns of links to your website, mentions of your business, as well as keywords that your content may rank for, Ahrefs is necessary for companies that are looking to monitor and assess the success of their content marketing efforts and their hopefully growing digital reach.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is one of the most underappreciated self-help books which has the ability to drastically improve your personal and business lives. The non-conventional classic focuses on achieving the ultimate experience by taking a unique approach to living in a chaotic world. Flow is especially helpful for understanding the necessary steps in how balancer order and chaos through positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi indirectly provides business leaders with a refreshing take on management techniques through full immersion. He explains how to effectively face life’s challenges while maintaining a high level of awareness that is so crucial to making the most out of life.
What is your favorite quote?
“You either build your dreams, or someone will hire you to build theirs” – Being successful in the business world requires dedication and vigilance – You can’t just wait around hoping good things will come your way. I constantly remind myself of this quote whenever I’m struggling with my motivation. I’ve found that it helps me reassess my priorities and refocus my attention on my long-term goals.
• Create an office culture where all members feel heard. This will enhance your team’s overall productivity, create camaraderie, and drive employees to maximize their efforts.
• Don’t underestimate the value of a hot streak. Success often builds on itself, so be prepared to put in long work days.
• The global market is evolving faster than ever, forcing business leaders to implement failproof ideas to predict emerging trends and be properly equipped for the future.
• Don’t let one failure be the end of you. Success is about picking yourself up and using failed ventures as learning experiences to be better prepared for future adversity.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.