If you wake up early, you can have time for everything.
Sean Brown is an Orange County, California based entrepreneur and investor most known for being the CEO of GO VC. His venture capital firm GO VC, empowers businesses by offering more than just capital. Sean is known for investing himself personally in all the projects they fund, bringing his instincts, marketing expertise, and software automation principles to the world of early stage funding. He is a natural born leader, currently leading a team made up of ad-buying masterminds and senior executives who thrive on guiding their partners every step of the way. Sean Brown is an expert in growth strategy, hiring principles, and proper management skills.
Sean Brown began his career in 2004, and since then built numerous industry leading companies that specialize in proprietary web technology, mobile and social marketing, as well as business development and strategic planning. After investing in a wide range of online and offline companies, Brown started GO VC, an early stage venture capital firm that provides startups with both capital and top-tier digital marketing services. Through GO VC, he works closely with startups from all industries to incubate ideas, test market response, and promote sustainable growth.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I created a company that I had always wished existed when I was starting out my early companies. Most entrepreneurs are very passionate people who want to focus on their product or idea, and not deal with the more noble day to day administrative tasks of supporting and running a business. Venture capital groups typically just invest in several companies hoping to hit a home run, but do not necessarily personally invest themselves into the projects or support them in any way. With GO VC, I wanted to offer entrepreneurs more than money. Besides providing capital, which is important, I wanted to create a venture capital firm that was a true partner, and took all the weight of back end administration off of creators so they could invest themselves fully into their ideas, and scale successfully without worry of legal, accounting, human resources, or other issues arising that they are not experienced in dealing with. GO VC gives them the resources to scale in every capacity, in every department, so our partners can submit themselves fully into bringing their innovations to life successfully.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day revolves around my wife and kids. I go to the office as well as work from my home office.
Many entrepreneurs here have said there is no such thing as a typical day, and that is true of many entrepreneurs. But this multiplies when you are an entrepreneur, and also a parent. My two children and my wife are my whole world. I get up as early as possible every day to be able to spend time and make memories with them before going to my office in Irvine, CA. Many times I also work from home. I try to get in as much exercise as possible, but that can be hard being an entrepreneur, husband and parent. One rule I have is that everyday I completely disconnect at 8PM, and spend quality time with my wife.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I put my head down and get to work. The only difference between ideas, and ideas that come to life, is that an idea that came to life had money, time and energy invested in it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial Intelligence is the technological trend that most excites, and scares me. Leveraging machine learning to process data and analytics in marketing has been one of the specific assets that has helped GO VC create consistent streams of new customers for our partners. As advanced as A.I. currently is, I believe that it is still in its infancy and there is tremendous innovation and opportunity in our future.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I wake up at 5AM everyday, even on weekends. Waking up early allows me to conquer the entire day, and still balance making my children and wife my priority, while also leaving plenty of time to accomplish goals. Getting up at 5AM makes sure I always feel ahead of the game, instead of constantly racing to catch up.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to take more risks, but more importantly, focus more on the timing of things. Having and exercising patience is still something I struggle with, but the difference between a deal going great and a deal going sour can sometimes be completely based on the timing alone.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Cash is still king.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I read as much as I possibly can, even when I don’t have the time. In fact, when I do not have the time, that is when I force myself to make the time to read. It is not only important to read to constantly learn new ideas and perspectives, but it is also a way for entrepreneurs to meditate and disconnect from the constant mental pressure of running a business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Surrounding myself with the right people is the most important thing that has helped me grow GO VC. A company that has the best systems, the most financial investments, the most real estate, can still fail if it does not have the right people. Human capital is the most important capital, and the hardest capital to come across.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When the market crashed in 2008 I was highly over leveraged and lost almost everything. That was another reason I started GO VC. It was important to be intelligently diversified.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start a personal branding company. Everyone knows that reputation is everything, but most old school business people know nothing about establishing reputation in the digital age. There is a huge opportunity to help a great generation of business people get their legacy embedded in the digital universe.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on a great bottle of wine among great friends. The best money is spent on anything that brings good people together. As they say, people won’t remember how much money you spent on them, but they will remember how you made them feel.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A few years ago, we had one of our developers build a custom dashboard that shows me all of my important stats and financial figures for all my investments in one place. It makes my business, and my life, so much more
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Art of not giving a F*ck, it will teach you how to roll with the punches and not stress about the little things. You can not run a business focusing too much on the small battles. You have to focus on the broader picture and win the war to succeed. This book puts a lot of that into perspective to people who might struggle with that.
What is your favorite quote?
“What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail.” It makes me put put my fears into perspective and bring my real goals to the top.
If you wake up early, you can have time for everything.
Read as much as possible.
Surround yourself with the best people you can.
Don’t just invest in profits, invest in people.
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.