Building strong relationships. This happens by listening a lot, learning continuously, and delivering value to your ecosystem without the expectation of anything in return.
Sean Ring is co-founder and chief revenue officer at Fulcrum, a San Diego-based talent cloud platform that empowers enterprises to unleash the power of the gig economy. Sean lives with an unbridled mentality of abundance and a strong sense of gratitude, and he is passionate about revolutionizing the future of work. He was named to SIA’s “40 Under 40” list in 2016 and was selected as San Diego’s disruptor of the year in 2017.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The idea for Fulcrum came through an organized effort over an 18-month period by Trevor Foster and myself. We wanted to understand why the adoption rate for online talent marketplaces was completely flat over a three-year period even when the largest companies in the world were interested in these solutions. We built the framework for the Fulcrum solution after completing advanced certifications in enterprise contingent workforce management, doing a number of customer interviews, poring over niche industry research reports, and talking directly to talent marketplace suppliers about their extreme pain in trying and failing to work with big enterprises.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with a 30- to 45-minute morning routine that includes a large mug of hot lemon water and a custom compilation of stretching, yoga, push-ups, and core exercises. I then spend 30 minutes playing with my 5-month-old son, which charges up my soul before I shower, kiss my wife, and get out the door to take on the world. That gives me a solid foundation to get my day off to a productive and energy-filled start. When work mode kicks in, my day is usually heavy on scheduled phone calls with partners, prospects, and clients. There are typically a few strategy meetings on tap to keep the Fulcrum founding team aligned, and then there are all of the elements of planning and executing a marketing strategy sprinkled throughout the day. What’s crazy right now is that I’m very productive every single day (because everyone is running a mile a minute), so the trick for me is not figuring out how to be productive but rather how to prioritize everything to make sure I’m creating the most efficient pathway for our customers, partners, and key stakeholders.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe in myself and have the courage to act. Ideas have been free-flowing for me for many years. The trouble was that I would only sometimes have the guts to go from ideation and strategic thought into real action. That’s a vulnerable place and is always accompanied by those big, scary words: hard work.
With Fulcrum, we’ve already taken the leap and gone all in on our biggest dreams and visions. That’s incredibly powerful, and while this is still a vulnerable place, it’s a place where ideas are flowing more than ever and we’re committed to action. Don’t talk about it; be about it!
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The future of work. This topic is incredibly interesting. There are so many variations and nuances to this subject no matter what the narrative focuses on: AI, blockchain, robots, automation, the gig economy, VR, holographic collaboration between remote teams — it’s all fascinating, and it’s impossible to be wrong because we’re talking about the future. How cool is that?
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My morning routine.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Any morning routine. You can do whatever that looks like for your unique lifestyle, but I think everyone should design something that they do almost every day.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building strong relationships. This happens by listening a lot, learning continuously, and delivering value to your ecosystem without the expectation of anything in return. My No. 1 goal in life is to surround myself with the most amazing people possible at all times, and if I continually get better at that, I can also continue to release my need for control and just let the universe do its thing. Control is an illusion anyway.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I fail every single day. Most of them are small failures, but even when I’ve made a potentially high-impact mistake, it’s truly all about the ability to have a short-term memory. Learn a lesson, process the situation, and keep moving forward relentlessly. Resilience is a mandatory trait for successful entrepreneurs.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An Uber-type model for a waterless mobile car wash. It would be a mobile app that hosts a marketplace of washers and can pair them with users who can have a waterless car wash done in 30 minutes while they’re stopped at the store or sitting in their office. This could be subscription-based or pay-by-use.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
Om Lion’s Mane. It’s an organic mushroom powder that I put in my coffee. It touts benefits such as increased focus and better memory.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Slack is probably my favorite software platform that I’ve started using in the past decade. If you don’t use Slack, you should. If you do use Slack, you already know what I’m talking about. This is the beginning of the death of email. And if email doesn’t die, it might end up being the death of me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read?
“Bold” by Peter Diamandis. It’s all about taking moonshots, and it provides a model for actually doing it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost no one agrees with you on?
I literally can’t think of anything. I typically find some common ground with all humans. (Or maybe I’m a badass who’s just right most of the time?)
What advice would you give your younger self?
Start networking intentionally as early as possible. Deep relationships with great people are the key to happiness and success, however one chooses to define those things.
What is your favorite quote?
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
- Deep, authentic relationships are the key to everything in life and business. Give tons of value to the world, especially to those people who amaze you.
- Take moonshots and try to change the world instead of just making things incrementally better. Imagine how cool it will be when one of those moonshots works out.
- Develop a morning routine and stick to it every day.
- Spend more time talking to people and less time on email.
- Read “Bold” by Peter Diamandis.
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