[quote style=”boxed”]I spend half the work day trying to get people to buy my books all sorts of ways. The other half of my day is spent working on new books to put up for sale.[/quote]
Vince Stead was born in Pontiac Michigan, and had 4 older brothers and 2 older sisters. Vince’s mother passed away from cancer at the age of 37, and Vince was 18 months old at the time. Vince spent a little bit of time with other relatives, then was reunited with his father, who was a life long alcoholic, but was a nice father.
Vince’s father owned a string of bakeries, but there was never really any money, his father drank and spent it away most of the time. At a very early age, Vince would go with his father every day to work, where is father and helpers would make all the bakery products at one bakery, and deliver them to the other bakeries every morning, and Vince would ride in the delivery van with his father every day until he was old enough to go to school. Vince learned at an early age, that is father required him to pay for his stuff, like new school clothing and other stuff. Through out Vince’s whole childhood life, he worked weekends with his father in the middle of the night at his bakery, to earn money to buy clothes for school.
Vince got his first real job as a paperboy at the age of 11, and kept that job instead his was 13, when he got a better job washing dishes at the local Harvey’s Country Kettle Restaurant, where he would ride his bike to and from the restaurant several nights a week after school. Vince kept the dish washing job until he was 15 years old, and got a job a big grocery store in the next town over. Vince did not have a drivers license yet, but he really wanted to keep his job, so he would hitch hike after school to his grocery store job, and sometimes he would be picked up by his teacher, and she would give him a ride to work.
All of Vince’s brother’s and sisters we required to move out of the house before they turned 16 years old. Vince was able to talk his older friend into renting an apartment with him, that worked at the grocery store also. The manager was nice enough at the grocery store to let Vince work nights shining the grocery store isles with a machine, and working each Sunday, where the other employees were only allowed to work every other Sunday, because the grocery store paid over time, and Ron the manager, had a kind heart.
Vince joined the Navy when he was 18 and liked it very much. He spent 4 years on shore duty at an air squadron, and 4 years at sea duty, where he was stationed on a submarine tender, the USS Proteus, and a destroyer, the USS David R. Ray, and a short stint on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. While on the destroyer, the ship would escort Kuwaiti oil tankers full of oil destined for America, out to sea so they would not get attacked. They would put an American flag on their ship, and the destroyer Vince was stationed on would escort them out to sea and safety so everyone back in America could get cheap oil at the time.
Where did the idea for Fun2ReadBooks come from?
My ideas came to me, when I got hurt in a landscaping accident, my back got hurt, and I could not get out of bed for a week. When I was lying in bed, I was trying figure out what my job would be, because I owned a retail store at the time also, and now my back was hurt, and I thought it might be permanent. I was a typist in the office pool in the navy, so I knew how to type fast, so that is how I ended up writing books.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical work day consists of trying to advertising my books for sale, I spend half the work day trying to get people to buy my books all sorts of ways. The other half of my day is spent working on new books to put up for sale.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life when I take a notepad and pen to the bathtub, and sometimes I don’t come out of the bathtub for 2 or 3 hours until I have some new ideas that I want to work on.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The one trend that really excites me is that everyone these days has a smart phone or tablet to get on the internet pretty fast and I love thinking of ways to make stuff display better.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My one habit that makes me go, is if I get an idea at 1:am, I will be up working on it til 4:am if I think the idea is good enough.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I always worked for my dad in his bakeries from about 5 years old until I got my first job at a real restaurant at the age of 13 washing dishes and getting my first real paycheck. I had to ride my 10 speed bike about 4 miles each day to keep that job, rain or shine, and some of the cooks thought they owned the place, so they made it a little hard to work their when your only 13 years old.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I would to start again, I would hire a professional website builder right off the bat. I can make websites myself, but not that great looking. I’ve made www.VinceStead.com myself, but the one that is almost done I had made, and it won’t be done for about 3 more days, they have been working on it, get a professional website done, it’s a must! My new website will be www.Fun2ReadBooks.com
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I think I try to brainstorm by myself, I take a long bath and try to think of new ideas that I can do or come up with.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The one strategy that I use most of the time, is hiring people overseas to help me write books, make covers, do files, change things. Even Amazon’s kindle department called me and asked me questions about how I get programmers and more overseas, where do I get them, how do I get them, and how much do I pay, they are making a thing to offer people a place to have their typed up files made the right way for their platform, and that has not rolled out yet, but they told me they want to charge about $30, but it has not popped up on the site yet.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest failure was when I was in the retail business, and business was doing really good, because I was the first person in that town with that retail store idea, and then later, a store selling the exact same items as me, opened up 4 blocks down the street from me, and they were 3 times the size as me. Their grand opening day was the worst day in business for me, but I was lucky enough to see it coming, and I opened another store in a different town, before they opened up, so I was able to close my first store down when business got bad, and move it all to my bigger store I opened up, So that about gave me a heart attack when I first saw the “New Store Coming Soon sign”. I made a mad dash to open up another store before they opened up, because we sold the same exact products.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My idea of a fun business would be to make my own catalog of million dollar homes, and put them up for sale on my own website. I would target all the million dollar home real estate agents, and their brokers, and start my own million dollar listing. I would have folks posting ads all over the world in real estate sections. I would charge a good price for 30 days on my website, and postings all over the world to rich markets.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I pretty much had to raise myself. My mother died when I was just 1 year old, and my father was an alcoholic my whole life. I never really had any rules as a kid, no one cared what time you came home, or went to bed, and my father’s rule was you had to move out of the house before you turned 16, as all my older brothers and sisters would leave before then, and I was lucky enough to have a better job at 15 working in the grocery store, as a bagger and stock boy, and no one was allowed to work each Sunday at the grocery store, because they paid double time on Sundays, and everyone wanted to work, but you could not work every Sunday, but my manager knew I had to live on my own, and he was cool enough to let me work every Sunday so I would get the double time pay each week.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I usually have two laptops set up side by side, so I can work on both of them at the same time. I use every single book platform that I can find. I have books in paperback, digital and audio. I have 4 narrators that narrate my books into audios so you can hear them. I have 2 girls and 2 guys that do that for me, and they do a good job of it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I read mostly business books. I go to thrift stores and look thru their reference and business sections, to find whatever bathtub reading material I can find, and I usually have a good stack of books, I read all the time in the bath, if I’m not thinking in the bath, that is! One of the best books I ever read, and still have it put away, was about a barber who becomes a millionaire by putting his 10% of income away, and living off the rest, a regular man can become a millionaire if he plays his income right. It’s important to pay yourself 10% towards your life goal, and you can find a way to live off the other 90%!
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
For some reason I try to take advice from Millionaires and Billionaires for some reason. I love to watch the Shark Tank TV show to see how they operate, and frankly, the operate like me and you, just with more money at stake, but the same little things bother them that bother us. I get my best advice from Billionaires that make Youtube videos. You can learn a lot from Warren Buffets Youtube clips. Richard Branson, Bill Gates and others, it’s a great place to get wisdom for free!
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.