If you are working in this business you have to have dreams. You have to have big goals no matter how unattainable they may seem.
Patrick Mackaronis is an entrepreneur and startup business expert. He founded his first marketing company from his dorm room at the age of 19 which advertised events, businesses, and products to his University community. He eventually expanded the company nationwide before shifting his focus to the entertainment industry. Patrick has engaged in a broad array of entrepreneurial endeavours but these days he dedicates his expertise to Brabble, the social network technology company he co-founded in 2013. Brabble provides innovative ways for network investors to reap rewards immediately and has received millions of dollars in investment from dozens of equity firms, venture capitalists, and angel investors.
Where did the idea for Brabble come from?
I worked in marketing and sales for many years and we produced a lot of live events that we would market through social media. We would then try to drive sales and cross-promote events throughout the network. We used social media for the majority of our marketing campaigns but where we saw a lot of shortfalls within the industry was that it was hard to execute actual product sales through a lot of the networks that we were using. We could drive followers and visibility about brands or events online, but to actually make a sale or sell a product is where we thought there was a very a big void in these networks. So we developed Brabble, which has our patented e-commerce component called Star Tags, that allows you to actually sell products through different social networks and e-commerce marketplaces.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
On a typical day I’m up early. I live by the calendar on my phone and try to be as organized as possible. I start the day by going through all of my emails and I try to get my replies out for the morning. Then I’ll start my meetings and phone calls. I usually spend the first half of each day working on raising money as we are currently in a capital raise and then the second half of my day is usually dedicated to out-of-office meetings and technology initiatives.
How do you bring ideas to life?
At this stage Brabble is pretty much established – we are a live and built network. The main focus for us now is driving partnerships and revenue. It’s now all about going out and creating relationships with e-commerce retailers or social networks and figuring how to get deals through these people, who to meet, and who to present to, and driving those relationships and showing our value to these partners.
What’s one trend that excites you?
In this industry, things are changing. Its very fast paced but it’s always good to see what works and doesn’t work on other networks. Brabble has evolved from a social network to more of a technology company where we are able to outsource our technology directly to other companies. So, while we do have a social network, we have changed our vision and I would say that we are transitioning to be more of a technology-based company that uses social media, rather than a social media network on its own.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am extremely persistent. It is important to set goals and figure out how to achieve them. It’s not easy, this business is pretty tough, but by being persistent, working hard everyday, and not taking a no for an answer you can get there.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could go back in time I would be a little more cautious about which people I was involved with early on. I think that choosing the right partners and people to be in business with out of the gate is very important. You really need to do your research and take things slow, plan things out properly, and make sure you know who you are getting involved with at the beginning.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
If you are working in this business you have to have dreams. You have to have big goals no matter how unattainable they may seem. If it wasn’t for people like that there will be no startups. In my case it’s Brabble. I feel strongly that we can take this very far and, I don’t want to say that no one agrees with me on that, but you definitely need to make people see your vision and show them your progress along the way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I think that persistence and being organized are two key components to success.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
You need to have the right team. You can’t do everything on your own. We have done a lot here at Brabble – we have undergone a lot of changes and restructuring and trying different people out for different roles. I think that as a technology company, or whatever niche you’re in, you need to focus on that niche. For example, I created a tech company and we need a very strong technology partner. We finally obtained that partnership over the last 12 months and that is what has really started to move things along for us. Rather than wasting money and effort and time on say, marketing and different areas of the business, you need to really be good at what you are creating and the rest of the business will grow around it.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
A failure I experienced early on was having the wrong partner who turned out to have a lot of baggage from previous companies that he was involved with. That shed some negative light on Brabble for a little while but I overcame that by removing him from our business, restructuring, and really putting in the work to get the company back on track to move forward. It took a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of hard work, and a lot of good people’s support but you have to dedicate yourself to that, which I did, and we have slowly moved past it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think that if you are going to start a business or startup as entrepreneur then you need to have a very clear plan out of the gate. Sit down, take your time developing it, don’t rush into anything, and plan out your strategy from start to finish. A lot of people jump into things too quickly and say, “Oh, this is a great idea, I could sell this for hundreds of millions or billions of dollars one day.” But you need a really strategic and detailed plan out of the gate and to know how you’re going to get from A to B.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 that I spent recently was probably at happy hour blowing off steam so I could stay sane after a long week.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
For us its data dashboards – tracking data and metrics of our growth to see what works and what doesn’t work. These services are invaluable and they save you a lot of money. Although you may have an upfront expense to pay for these on a monthly basis, it’s worth it. You can see what expense is working and what isn’t, as well as marketing budgets or development or user-based growth.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
People may have a bad reaction to this but, completely unpolitically attached before his presidency, about 12 or 13 years ago I read “The Art of the Deal” by Donald Trump which was really an entrepreneurial deal making-based business book. I read that book when I was very young and it really had an impact on my future.
What is your favorite quote?
There is a quote that we have on a wall at the office that says something along the lines of “Push yourself out of your comfort zone and that’s when you get to see your real potential”.
- Be persistent and work hard. These are the keys to success.
- Focus on your specific niche and what you are trying to accomplish and create.
- Surround yourself with talented people so that you can effectively outsource what you do not specialize in and focus on what you are creating.
- Stay organized, track your progress, and learn from your mistakes.
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.