Struggling to meet your goals, start a business, or get it to take off to the next level? Eric helps you achieve that through unique and advanced strategies. Visit his LinkedIn profile for more details.
Here we sit down with Eric, to know a bit more about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur – how did you get started? What inspired you?
Eric: Well, I’ve always been interested as far back as I can remember in marketing and marketing communications. I actually started when I was in high school. And I was probably in a way following in my mother’s footsteps because she was a copywriter with some freelance clients before working from home as a stay-at-home mom.
So there definitely was that entrepreneurial spirit and an interest in marketing and communications that was instilled in me. In high school, a long, long time ago,I started my journey and education via Junior Achievement when you would actually start a company, typically associated with whatever real-world business was the sponsor. In my case, the sponsor was a local television station, and so it comes at no surprise that we produced a television show and I got involved with selling commercial airtime.
I’m the type of person who wants to learn absolutely everything, so I made sure I was prepared and had an adequate knowledge base before I made any appointments. I got really good at selling ad time and became one of the top salespeople worldwide in J.A., setting numerous all-time records over three years.
While still in high school, I started a public relations firm and had as my first client a nonprofit started by the founder of Manpower International. What’s important here is that despite my age and perceived inexperience, I was never afraid to deal with important people including well-established business and industry leaders, philanthropists, politicians and celebrities.
That process of learning and discovering continued in college. I probably spent more time in internships than in school! Some of those opportunities opened many including the opportunity to work at ABC News in Washington D.C. while attending graduate school.
Waiting around and being reactive to the events of the day, however, just wasn’t for me. Eventually, I found my way into live entertainment as a Regional Marketing Director a.k.a promoter with Feld Entertainment and their properties including Ringling Brothers Circus and Disney on Ice.
Around this same time, in 1984 I bought my first computer before heading off to graduate school. I was always somebody who seemed to be on the leading edge of innovation, especially where communication was concerned. In fact, while at Feld, I was the only one among some 40 in my department who automated my work with computerization. I was alone in my ability to get more work done in less time. I set standards in never missing deadlines, and at the same time earned the luxury of more time off to enjoy life. The benefits of improved productivity were clear from the beginning.
Eventually, in the days of MS-DOS, years before Microsoft created Windows, I returned to my hometown where I created a position with a small golf industry software company. There, I finalized a major deal with the PGA of America, and acted as the company’s legal representative in finalizing an intellectual property agreement against a team of high-priced lawyers Over time, that contract proved to be exactly what this small company needed.
By 1995, I started a software company and developed the first Windows-based system for managing upscale membership clubs. Our client base grew rapidly to include numerous Fortune 100 companies, corporate fitness centers, hospital-based fitness facilities, as well as some tennis, golf, dining and yacht clubs. It was here that I created my first web site and started to get into digital marketing and social media.
Eventually, I got tired of technology and sold off my interests. I re-entered the golf world initially as Marketing & Communications Director for the Oregon Golf Association, and eventually became the Executive Director of the Southern Nevada Golf Association. In these positions I was always front and center in helping these organizations implement digital marketing and technology solutions including leading an initiative to get the USGA (United States Golf Association) to implement a CRM solution for all its affiliated State & Regional Golf Associations.
But everything stopped dead in its tracks in 2014 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3/c colorectal cancer. Between chemo, radiation treatments and surgery, I became bedridden so it was no surprise that I stopped working completely. My health continued to deteriorate, and I wasn’t able to function physically or mentally in any working capacity for the next seven years.
Newfound treatments in 2021 gave me the opportunity to stage a possible comeback. Slowly I pondered what I might try next. A regular j-o-b was still not in the cards, so the best solution clearly was entrepreneurial.
Despite the gap in time, one thing seemed to never change. No matter how much technology had become a regular part of most people’s lives, from notebook computers to smart phones, there was a noticeable gap where the vast majority of businesses lacked the basic ability to maximize their productivity and revenue by implementing the right solutions.
More often than not, the real problem was that these businesses lacked the manual systems, processes, methods and procedures to even ponder automation. In fact, I found that many needed to start with the basics of cohesive branding and messaging before entertaining the next step that would be sure to come if they could get their act together.
The solution was clear to me. There was a distinct difference in the way market leaders operated, and why most others struggled. The “secret sauce” was apparent to me, and that is why I am now creating this business called MegaFluence.
Q. What are your long-term goals in business? Paint a vision for the future
Eric: If I was 20 years old, my goals would be different than it is today, but I think my mission or vision would be consistent.
The two primary goals I now have are: to create a great business that can scale rather quickly, and then in just maybe four to five years max, hand it off and give it to somebody else to run, reaping the rewards of what was created.
My mission is to create a business exemplifying my values regarding marketing and branding and to share that with as many as possible. It’s the concept of servant leadership, giving value to the people that we want to ultimately serve and help.
With that is my vision to assist and guide businesses in transitioning from our current Web 2.0 world into this new decentralized web 3.0 economy. Some people and businesses are still, quite frankly, not even operating efficiently in what would be considered a pre-web1.0 world, so that journey often begins with establishing the right foundation before leading them down more advanced options.
For example, I’ve been talking to a coach in Australia who has been a successful serial entrepreneur in numerous different types of businesses. He’s been successful because he implements the same basic duplicatable framework every time. His problem, though, is that he wants to jump into new things maybe a bit too fast because he doesn’t necessarily see how small incremental changes in his existing business can achieve the actual result he is seeking.
In other words, I see my role as identifying and understanding what transition actually needs to take place. I would rather tell a prospect, “Hey, you’re not ready for this, we have to deal with this other stuff first.”
It’s important to know how to swim before diving into the deep end of the pool. Implementing Web 3.0 isn’t just diving into the back end of the pool…it can be more like cliff diving! I certainly don’t want to have the clients I’m trying to help be in danger of drowning. I’d much rather help them discover how to float first so that they ultimately can succeed and thrive.
When it comes to business, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a virtual/digital or a physical/brick and mortar business. It’s simple things like, “what is your brand?” or “what is the promise you’re making to your customers?,” and “how are you communicating with your target audience?”
Are you messaging your stakeholders in a way that’ll give you the best chance to succeed and thrive, or is there a disconnect so that your message just is not resonating. Whenever there is a disconnect, you’re not able to maximize your revenue potential. Sometimes it’s as basic as that.
And technology is not even yet in the equation. You have to understand all of those basics and have the right foundation before you start automating and implementing any of these more advanced things.
I find that there’s too many people that want to start their own little business, and they’ll spend money on Facebook advertising before understanding the basics of social media and building relationships with people? Start with the basics.
One of the most difficult things for most people is the ability to see the issues in their own work. They are too close to everything and they need outsiders who are able to see things from a unique perspective. That’s essentially the role of an outside coach or consultant.
In the case of this particular Australian coach, he connected to discuss implementing an NFT program. My discovery process required understanding his existing business to see if it was a viable candidate to be a client. It was apparent from our discussions that he would likely see better results by making simple changes to what he was already doing. Instead of taking his money, I suggested he make those changes and a few others first, and maybe add a simple inexpensive readily available NFT-like solution from someone else.
When you’re into technology, it’s easy to see why many get overwhelmed and confused. They’re afraid of it or don’t really know the best solution(s). That’s why I find it is essential to ensure the right foundation is in place first. Sometimes you go back to the basics and figure out what is it that you’re trying to say or what is it that you want to accomplish? Start there and work back from that. Let’s make sure you communicate your message effectively, and then we’ll worry about all that technology stuff later.
Q. What motivates you?
Eric: As I mentioned earlier, my history includes being extremely sick with stage 3/c cancer, just one step below stage four. Then I ended up in a coma as a result of sepsis and was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. So just being alive is one motivating factor.
While sick, I was heavily dosed with opioids resulting in “brain fog” losing the ability to satisfy my voracious appetite for knowledge. A new pain doctor freed me from that mental prison, and once able to refocus, I could again help others.
What really motivates me on a daily basis, is the ability to help other people succeed in business where maybe they’re struggling. That idea of servant leadership gives me more satisfaction than anything else.
Money, itself, isn’t what motivates me. I can survive comfortably with what I have. Money is simply a result that validates my efforts.
Q. What business-related book has inspired you the most, or, what is your favourite book?
Eric: The most inspiring book has to be the classic from Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich.” Many other inspirational people have developed their own systems, processes, formulas, or methods from the basics that were taught by Hill.
In fact, I’ve had an opportunity to associate with some of the biggest names in the industry, and I’d venture to say it doesn’t really matter who I’m dealing with, as they all tend to model what they do from what is taught in that book.
Q. What strategies do you use to optimize your performance or mindset?
Eric: Surrounding myself with the right mentors is motivational just through their own actions. Even better is finding a community of like-minded people you can interact with on a regular basis.
Aside from my mother, my earliest mentor was a family friend, Martin Stein, an entrepreneur who started with a single pharmacy that grew it to a chain of 30 stores before being sold to Walgreens. Then he opened an Optical store chain and a mail-order medical supply business. He was a highly regarded philanthropist both locally and internationally and was beloved by people from all walks of life. No matter what he was up to, he always made time to meet with me and start me on the right path.
When I first decided to stage my “comeback,” I had lots to learn since the marketing landscape has undergone significant changes in my absence. Not knowing where to start anew, I began with MLSP (MyLeadSystemPro), and along with lots of educational resources, it had a great community of solopreneurs in network marketing, affiliate marketing, coaching, course creation, and consulting. Most of the mentors there are readily accessible, and generous and it’s motivational whenever you see a plethora of rags to riches examples.
I’ve also had a chance to work directly with industry notables Chad Nicely and Perry Belcher in their Growth Hacking Development venture. Perry’s regarded as “the godfather of digital marketing,” and Chad has been a pioneer in creating many digital marketing software solutions considered standards to this day. Chad has a loyal following and has a community you can interact with weekly.
One that I’m learning from right now, is Forbes Riley. As “the queen of the pitch,” she’s most definitely a mega influencer and she is also very much into the servant leadership model that is central to my philosophical approach. She has a phenomenal community that you can engage with on a regular basis, too.
When you surround yourself with those types of people, I don’t think you can help but be motivated by what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Q. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Eric: Well, I’m actually in the process of writing a book titled “MegaFluence.” It’s a metaphor that combines the words “mega” and “influence,” but it’s more than just having the largest kind of influence that you can have.
While the influencer industry defines a mega-influencer as someone with more than one million followers, size doesn’t matter when it comes to a person or business with MegaFluence. It’s more about being a market leader, regardless of niche or market.
In other words, it could be the most successful local realtor, restaurateur, plumber, or interior designer. What is it that makes them more successful and has more influence than their competitors? Often a simple analysis of their business practices will show you that they do, indeed, conduct their business in a far different way than everyone else. As a result, they don’t need to search for new business. Customers seek them out.
Any global or small community business can have MegaFluence. If everybody knows your name and responds to the things that you say and do, you’ve got MegaFluence.
And, by the way, mega has an additional meaning here. It’s also about the future and what is known as the Megaverse. This whole concept of Web3.0 includes metaverses which are virtual, augmented, and mixed reality places to interact with others. The Megaverse is a collection of disparate metaverses, much like the universe is a collection of different solar systems. The future technological goal is interoperability so that a person can easily go from one metaverse to the other. It’s actually something I am working on with my joint venture partners.
Q. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Eric: I think most people think about money and financial products when you ask about investments. But I believe the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. So, I guess my most worthwhile investment was joining Junior Achievement. It’s been the foundation of everything that I’ve done ever since.
Too many people don’t invest in themselves at all, or they suffer from shiny object syndrome and buy every program they can. Too often there’s this thinking that there is a “magic pill” you can take that’s going to lead you to the promised land.
The fact is, nearly every single guru has the same basic message at its core, albeit with slightly different approaches. I’m working with a person right now who’s a great collector of the teaching from every great influencer in the world of marketing. He definitely suffers from shiny object syndrome, but he hasn’t seen a return on his investment because he doesn’t know how to implement these concepts.
Sometimes it’s better to sit back, take it in, and just try your best to implement it first. If it doesn’t work, maybe it’s because you really don’t understand the concept and need someone to sit beside you to walk you thru the steps. That’s essentially why coaches like me exist.
Work on yourself first in implementing new programs, methods, or concepts before simply giving up and buying that next shiny object.
Q. Where do you see the future in your niche/industry 3-5 years from now?
Eric: My partners all approach things with the same mindset and have the same basic values, which is very, very important. I believe we have the knowledge, know-how, and skills to be among the leaders in this thing called Web 3.0.
As it exists today, Web 3.0 is just a generic term with different meanings to different people. Many toss out this term to make themselves sound good, but they really don’t understand much beyond that. It’s really a collective term that is addressing issues of both privacy and human interaction with new and innovative disruptive technologies ranging from the blockchain and decentralized data to futuristic concepts like metaverses.
The most exciting aspects to us are all-new ways to build a community and have human contact. This is especially important in today’s world where trust has eroded, and where powerful elites have restricted social interaction through authoritarian pandemic response actions or have implemented arcane censorship policies.
Social interaction is an essential component of mental health. Even if contact is different than the way we did it in the old days, there’s going to be ways with new technology such as synaptic devices in augmented reality places where we can feel less isolated and eliminate many of the mental health related issues that have arisen from lockdowns.
To have a business that has the potential to be a leader in that is really exciting.
Q. What is your ‘one-sentence’ piece of advice you’d like to give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur, coach, or business owner?
Eric: The most important thing that anybody can do, whatever it is that they do, is to provide value and serve your audience. You will be rewarded as a result of serving people better.
While I don’t necessarily believe in Karma, there most certainly is a consequence of how you behave, and how you react. Granted, there’s always going to be people who are going to try to screw you and stab you in the back, but hopefully those are few and far between. All you need is one or two great customers, where you’re serving them properly, and it’s going to pay off.
In fact, the 80/20 rule always applies. Almost every business finds that 80% of their business comes from 20% of their customers. So don’t worry about the other 80% that say no more than yes. Serve that 20% to the best of your abilities, and you’re going to be better off.
The secret sauce of market leaders is simply providing value. No matter what you do, if you provide value, people are eventually going to say, “Hey, I’ve learned a lot from this person, this person knows what they’re talking about. So I want to do business with them. Because I know I can’t do it by myself.”To keep up to date with Eric and his journey, connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.