Build a business that you can not only make money from, but create an asset with.
Ryan Bukevicz is an online ad tech and internet marketing entrepreneur. Ryan sold his first tech company, The Bevo Media Exchange, in 2015 to a Silicon Valley private equity firm. He has been doing online marketing since he was 14 years old. Ryan’s focus now is in the eCommerce space where he is actively investing and
advising several different companies.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Bevo Media actually started as central dashboard for affiliate marketers to manage their day to day revenue calculations in one platform. We launched it at Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas in 2010. Once we started having active users on our interface, we started pivoting towards the functionality that was in the highest demand, which at the time, was a comprehensive keyword and campaign tracking platform. Later on in the companies timeline, we expanded into launching an ad network that sold display, pop, and intext inventory.
Before I launched the company, I was an affiliate marketer myself. It was taking me 40 minutes everyday to calculate my daily earnings. I searched relentlessly for a solution and couldn’t find anything to accomplish what I needed. That is what sparked my initial vision for Bevo Media. It turned into a much bigger project than I ever anticipated, but was one of the most rewarding experiences I could have had.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am more of a night owl, so tend to go to bed late and wake up later in the morning.
My typical day starts around 10am, I’ll eat the same breakfast everyday. I jump online around 10:30am and do a quick run through to see what urgent issues need to be taken care of first. I then take the remainder of the morning and early afternoon to do my daily phone calls and talk with my project managers for the various projects I am involved in.
I normally eat lunch around 3:30pm, and take an hour break to give my brain a little rest. I will then check in with my developers around 4:30 to see the days progress, and talk about the upcoming days work.
At around 5:30-6pm, I head to the gym for an hour or two. I make it a point to get to the gym 4 days a week, as I feel it really helps keep my focus sharp throughout the week.
I get back from the gym around 8pm and have a big dinner. Depending on the day, I wind down for a few hours until about 11pm.
At 11pm until about 3-4am, is when I do my critical thinking work. This is the time where I map out my ideas and plans for my developers, and also focus on my daily progress towards my long term goals for each project. I find that working late at night is best for me as I am the most creative during this time and it’s also a time when I am most likely distraction free.
How do you bring ideas to life?
There are very few things in life I enjoy more than taking a thought and breaking it down into a way to commercialize and monetize it. I typically talk it through with a few people, before I start sketching wire frames for my designers. I like to get my products and platforms designed before I bring it to the developers. This way, the developers can see my vision and work with me to bring it to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Without a doubt, it is ecommerce. There are so many different products and marketing angles, that you can launch new products and brands indefinitely.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Every Sunday night, I make sure to take 30 minutes to an hour to self reflect on my long term goals. I always jokingly refer to this time as “prodigy mode” with my friends, however, this is a very important component to keeping my productivity rate high. This time helps me prepare for whatever problems may arise that week that I might have to dig deep into solving.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To focus more on the big picture and less on the details at the start of a project. Let your customers tell you what they want and build what is in the biggest demand.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I am humble.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend allocating about 5 hours a week to research. This can be about your project, your company, your target market, or new and interesting ideas. I feel it is very important to always have your finger on the pulse of both feedback and also new and upcoming trends. This is vital for a businesses success, as you should have at least 2 viable pivots as a backup plan in case your first swing misses with your target market.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Do favors for people free early on. This builds your trust and helps establish credibility. More often than not, if you truly helped someone, they will go above and beyond to help you anyway they can in the future.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Passing on really good partnership opportunities. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is that more projects does not mean more money. Every project requires a certain level of attention for it to work. This requires time, and a ton of thought. What I’ve found is that if you do not put this extra “thought” into each project, you tend to forget about the details. The details are what makes your project work. Being said, the more projects you are working on, the higher likelihood you are making LESS overall. I always say, you have enough time in the week to have 2 projects going on and a hobby. If you take on more, you are likely leaving money on the table because of your lack of focus.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a chatbot for F.A.Q.’s
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Jing – it is an instant screen recording tool, that allows me to easily document any bug or suggestions
I find with my projects. I use it many times a day and it is the main tool I use to work with my
developers on improving my projects and implementing ideas.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Jing/Screencast – I use it 10x a day. It is unbelievably more efficient than typing a long email or typing up a long feature description. Best $10/month investment I ever made.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Outliers – this book perfectly demonstrates that most “success” is just a combination of preparation and timing. It goes into depth explaining how guys like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are just as much a product of timing as they are brilliant.
What is your favorite quote?
A truly determined person is almost completely impossible to stop.
- Build a business that you can not only make money from, but create an asset with.
- Prioritize goal setting, both business related and personally. Reflect on your progress towards those goals often.
- Be a genuinely good person, who helps people as much as they can, whether it is a potential client or a potential acquirer of your business. People want to work with good business partners.