Teresa Zobrist

Deep Work” by Cal Newport. You will learn the “Rules for Focus Success In a Distracted World”. If you ever feel that your world is run by emails, then you need to read this book.


Teresa Zobrist is President and CEO of Zobrist Consulting, a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in e-commerce. She has over 30 years of experience in IT and for the last 16 years, her company focuses on building e-commerce sites for retail, distribution and manufacturing. She fosters partnership between companies for innovative solution delivery and believes in achieving high efficiency through organization and planning.

Where did the idea for Mobiecom come from?

You can’t overstate the importance of making sure one’s payment information webpage loads quickly and accurately.  Mobile shoppers now outnumber regular desktop shoppers, buttressing this inescapable fact.  To ensure efficient payment page loading, we have introduced Mobiecom, a high-performance mobile-first e-commerce storefront for IBM Digital Commerce.  It is a single-page application and super-fast on mobile devices. Mobiecom turns window shoppers into customers by removing barriers preventing consumers from viewing shopping sites, buying products and checking out.

Mobiecom came to us one late night when we sat around the table pondering about a two-year-old project where we tried to optimize the website performance for a large client. We had been hitting a wall. No matter what we did, we never seemed to speed it up fast enough because the code was just too heavy and we were just making too many requests to the server. We decided that maybe we should start with a blank slate, and give ourselves a chance. We had to re-write the entire code base with new technology that would make it very light and fast.

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

Every day of the week is different for me because I set a purpose for each day, for example, Monday is Operations, Tuesday is Sales, Wednesday is Employees, Thursday is Social Media and Friday is Catch-Up. But I try to start out each day with a 20-minute meditation practice to give myself permission to breathe, to be calm and have compassion for every being, including myself. I end each day with an hour or two of exercise, doing yoga or playing tennis. I try to have something to look forward to at the end of each day. I am not as productive as I would like to be because I am easily distracted by emails and meetings. I am working to fix that by scheduling every hour of my day. It’s a challenge.

How do you bring your business idea to life?

I work together with my senior leadership team as I believe that together, we are much smarter than anyone of us alone. So, I challenge them with my business ideas and if we all agree, then we start with a proof-of-concept. If it works, then we try to sell it. If we have a buyer, then we move it to the productization step.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I am really excited about AI and machine-learning as I think we can outsource a lot of boring tasks to robots so we have time to work on more interesting things.

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

I am always asking myself “there’s got to be a better way of doing things” or “why are we doing this?”

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be aggressive and go after what you really want.

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

I think that LOL stands for Live On Love instead of Laugh Out Loud!

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

Read one book a week, there is so much to learn.

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

Have somebody challenge you that you cannot grow your business. Then you are really motivated at a personal level to prove that they are wrong. The conviction that you have is stronger than any monetary or power incentive.

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

I have so many failures that it’s hard of thinking about just one. I had a project that was getting out of control because it was a new knowledge domain and we didn’t have enough expertise to handle it. We overcame it by hiring the experts and fix everything the customer wanted. We lost a lot of money in that deal but we retained the trust and business of our customer.

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

I think there is an opportunity for someone to combine travel destinations and shopping. We live in a global world and yet, there is not a lot of commerce across borders. How many times do you travel and come across quality products you wish you could buy?

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

The best $100 I recently spent is a lunch with a friend and she told me about a book that really ignited my interest in management. I recommend reading “Get A Grip” by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton.

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

10000ft.com helps me schedule and manage the time available for each consultant. I need something that can give me visibility into each consultant’s availability.

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

Deep Work” by Cal Newport. You will learn the “Rules for Focus Success In a Distracted World”. If you ever feel that your world is run by emails, then you need to read this book.

What is your favorite quote?

How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?


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