Clear your mind before you go to sleep, make a list of what’s left to do and say good night. Get up early and crush it…the world waits for no one.

 

With 25 plus years of experience building, designing and implementing strategic marketing programs, Rob has worked with a long list of companies in the technology, consumer product, hospitality and entertainment sectors. His resume reads like an action adventure novel that has taken him around the world and back with all kinds of amazing plot twists and encounters. Through all of this, his passion has always remained event marketing and the power events have to connect people.

Where did the idea for Aisle Planner come from?

My wife (and co-founder) was a planner for over 15 years and during that time planned and produced hundreds of incredible weddings. She built the company from a one women shop into one of the most recognized brands in the destination wedding market in Hawaii. What started with friends and family weddings quickly became celebrities, business titans and international heads of state. I got introduced to the market through her and was amazed at despite the MASSIVE size of the industry, there were almost no options for industry specific software solutions that helped her run her business, collaborate with clients, plan events and manage the day of activities…We began mapping out what this “platform” would need to include and the list was daunting…but would be amazing and would be something that not just wedding planners but every event professional would be able to use.

We decided to take the leap into actually doing something about our vision when, serendipitously, a few weeks later we were approached about selling her company. The buyer and the deal were the perfect fit and within in a month we had formed Aisle Planner and started building out our first of many features.

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

My day starts around 5:30 AM every morning and ends around 10:00 PM. I try to compartmentalize my day to focus on certain areas of our business without interruption and give it 100% of my attention. I am a list maker, I like to take big things and break them into bite sized tasks and nibble at them till they are done.

Early mornings and late afternoons are reserved for personal initiatives, I make sure to get some kind of exercise everyday where I am completely unplugged and free to get lost in the moment. Lately it’s been yoga or surfing. It’s a great way to recharge the soul without having to derail your life every couple of weeks.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I write myself a note about whatever it might be and why I think it is a good idea (I always have a notebook with me). I sit on for a few days and revisit after about a week. If it still excites me I share with my inner circle, if it passes with them, I move it into a feasibility vs reality stress test with our team.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m excited to see that the industry is beginning to recognize tech outside of the “Valley” and that there are big deals happening all over the country now.

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

Clear your mind before you go to sleep, make a list of what’s left to do and say good night. Get up early and crush it…the world waits for no one.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t listen to those who don’t believe in you and trust yourself, you are right.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on:

I believe you’re always capable of more. We always talk about giving it our “all” I believe there is always a little more in the tank and its that last bit of “it” that is the most powerful and is the difference between good and great.

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

Try new things, I know it sounds like a cliché’ but if you’re not trying and not failing as an entrepreneur, you’re not experiencing anything new and you’re not learning.

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

Become an expert on your space, know your audience and your customer (sometimes they are not the same) and become an advocate for your customer…

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

One of my biggest regrets was allowing my first company to fail slowly. I was taking input from too many outside of our team and not listening to our customers or our market. I lost site of the original purpose of the business and in return lost control. The net result was a messy, disorganized operation that ultimately failed. It was stupid, I’ll even say selfish and a very painful (as well as costly) lesson.
I’m not sure I ever overcame it, but I did learn from it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think there is a huge opportunity around the AirBNB and VRBO space to create provide ancillary services to the renters…for example if you are renting a beach house for spring break, being able to book surflessons, SUP rentals and other experiences as part of property rental…My idea would be to create a network marketplace that would connect those experiences with the renters.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We took the entire company (all 9 of us) out for happy hour the other day…the first round, the toast to the last release, our team and life…followed by the smiles and laughter. I cannot think of a better way to spend a $100.

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

AislePlanner of course (ha ha). I actually love GUSTO, using it to manage our HR/Benefits and all the related taxes is a god send. I also just recently started to play with Profitwell a bit to track consumer behavior on our platform, really digging their interface and data tracking tools.

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

Venture Deals“: by Brad Feld Whether or not you decide to raise outside funding, knowing the lingo is key to working through the options and this book does a good job of breaking it down in layman’s terms.

What is your favorite quote?

It’s source is kind of cheesy but it do love it. “There are two kinds of people in this world, the workers and the hustlers. Hustlers never work and the workers never hustle” Hate to admit it is from Cocktail the movie but it does well to summarize the difference between entrepreneurs (hustlers) and workers (employees)…Build your team with hustlers and always be hustling…

Key Learnings:

• Get an early start on the day and break it into chunks making sure to make time for yourself along the way.
• Got an idea…Write it down
• Try new things, get outside your comfort zone and don’t be afraid learn.
• If you only had a $100 buy your team a drink and say thanks
• You are capable of more, don’t be afraid to push yourself.
• The movie “Cocktail” actually has some great quotes

Connect:

Rob Farrow on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robfarrow/