Derailed is one book of many right now that i’m reading that reviews incredible leadership failures. I hope not to follow this well-worn path.
Coffee or Tea?
Best Business Purchase?
My Macbook Air: I LOVE THIS THING.
What’s the first think you do at work each day?
Take a nap.
Resource or website you use every day?
Favorite Phone App?
The native camera.
Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living John aka Tent Blogger?
I am a full-time entrepreneur where I explore and execute on opportunities for myself and the companies that I manage. I also spend time advising other companies and coaching professionals and other leaders on their business practices.
Most of what I do can be found here: http://tentblogger.com/about/ but in short, as of 2/2/2013, I work with my team at 8BIT and I spend time editing and writing for WP Daily. I am actively leading vision and business for Action & Influence, Inc. as well.
So how did you get started in all that you have shared above?
It’s been an incredibly long process of exploration and experimentation which I continue to do every single day. I can’t tell you when exactly I got started but I can tell you that I’ve had some incredible opportunities earlier in life to see the potential and possibility of working for yourself.
But it did start with programming and video games as I began to create small video games in BASIC. I then continued to create modifications for Doom, Unreal, and Quake. This grew into a fascination with how you could create alternative realities for not just myself but for others. I was hooked.
Was there ever a point, experience, or something now looking back that played a huge role into getting you to the next level?
There were many things that played a significant role but one of the first that comes to mind is when a friend of the family said that he believed in me enough to “fund” my first startup when I was a freshman in High School. An entrepreneur himself (with his software company being acquired by Microsoft) he helped me setup my first web host and register my first domain name.
I recently read that your company has moved into a new space. Could you share with my readers what’s your envision for this new space?
It’s going to be the combination of the four partners and our collective vision to create a space that all of us have wanted to work in. We all dream of having the perfect work environment but none of us have every really had that and we hope to craft that experience so that we enjoy the space as much as we enjoy each other and our work.
But we have bigger plans than to just serve ourselves – we want to open it up to others to work there as well! We have plans to also hold workshops, seminars, meetups, and educational events for our customers and friends. We want to give back what we’ve received to other people and the space will help facilitate that.
I have noticed that you blog on Tentblogger I think every single day and post an awesome picture with every single blog. How do you accomplish this?
Mostly by sheer force-of-will. I have been blogging since 2001 and I have written something every single day. It’s not habit though – I just know that it’s helpful for me in terms of how I process information and meditate on the days’ events and circumstances. It forces me to slow down and walk through my thoughts in an organized and structured manner.
Can you remember the first time you made your $1 online and if so, could you walk me through that experience?
I got my first Adsense check in 2005 and marveled that you could actually do that. Funny enough, I didn’t take it seriously until much, much later. I was simply experimenting. At that point the official adsense program had only been around for a few years, 2003 I believe, so it was still very much an experiment for Google as well.
How much does content and content marketing play a role in business? And how do you use them to leverage the most success for your business or brand?
I’m not a marketer and would never call myself that formally. All I know is that Google really likes original content and loves it when you create it consistently. If you can do this for yourself or for your business then you’re doing an incredible job. There are experts out there who know much more than I do about all of this stuff!
What I do is create the content and help people understand more about what we’re doing and who we are. Establish some sort of dialogue and let them take a look into our growing story. Not all of it is glamorous, but it’s our stories and it’s ours to tell.
Do you have any blogging secrets that you could “snitch on” that you could share with the readers of Snitch IM blog?
There is no secret to what I do but if there is a fundamental strategy it is this: I simply do not quit. The marathon game is everything in startups, entrepreneurship, and blogging. Most people will give up way before they ever see a payoff. This is too bad as there’s something foundational about surviving longer than your competitors.
But, in terms of actually writing… if you don’t enjoy it, just quit. Don’t waste your time. Go do something much more interesting. Not everyone was born to be a writer. That’s fine. You were created to do something else.
Do you see any new trends within promoting or marketing?
Not really. There are new implementations of old strategies but I don’t see anything new right now that causes me to really pause and think critically. It’s time for something dramatic to happen.
What advice would you give to my readers trying to stick out of the crowd and be different among so many other sites and blogs?
Your attempts in and of themselves can be just enough to make you stand out. Success is more about “shipping” then financially profiting, especially in the very beginning (and for a very long time). What this means is that you must continue to execute upon your ideas and move the ball forward.
Would you recommend any Books or Courses that you found to be of great value to business?
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky is fantastic. Start there.
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
As I mentioned before, I ship product. I build. I worry about all the other things later.
But another major factor in my success is that I have incredible partners who I love to work with and an incredible family and wife who support me. Without my friends and my wife I’d be a wreck.
What has been your biggest factor in building relationships rather it be with clients, business partners, networking, etc? And you recently meet with the Mayor of Atlanta could you share how that evolved and what that experience was like?
Meeting the Mayor of Atlanta wasn’t that big of a deal in so far as it was me being in the right place at the right time. He is a big deal in Atlanta, obviously, and a great guy!
Building relationships is a complex process and one that I’m not incredibly good at. In fact, I’d much rather be alone than meet with the hordes of people that I end up meeting with. But, I do know that good listening skills is vital. My goal is to quickly understand the other person’s needs as comprehensively as I possibly can before I do any talking.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding your business?
Be unafraid to fail.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
My father gave me three pieces of advice which has carried me most of the way:
1. Don’t ever give up.
2. It never hurts to ask.
3. Always have options.
I share more here: http://tentblogger.com/dad/
Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
8BIT is looking to build a very unique publishing and hosting solution for our customers over at eve… it’s still very much under wraps.
Anything else you would like to share?
I like sushi. If you ever want to get me out to lunch, take me to sushi.