1. What made you to decide to start a company focused on helping people repair their reputation online?
The reason I started a reputation management firm was based upon my personal experience of being smeared online by an anonymous person. I looked myself up online in 2007 and did not like what I saw; at the time I did not think of it as a business, but rather a personal issue. When I first started talking to people about the core business model, most could not understand the importance of what I was saying. They did not get why reputation management was needed. At the time, the phrase "reputation management" did not exist. "Image" enhancement, damage control, and other names were thrown around. It was not until 2011 that people started even using the term reputation management and begining to understand the importance of the services we offer. Now, everyone understands the importance of this work, and the market is growing beyond my wildest dreams.
2. In the process of starting your company, what did you find the most fun, and what was the most challenging?
In the process of starting my own company, I think the hardest part in many ways was trying to convince the people around me that I was not crazy, that the countless hours, money, and energy I was spending on this idea made sense to me, but not necessarily the people around me. I was working out of my apartment, a one bedroom I rented in a house; it was hard work, and I ran through a lot of my savings. The best part has always been setting my own hours, and not reporting to anyone else. It does not make life easier, and you have to only work harder, but it is rewarding to feel a sense of personal satisfaction with every positive step forward.
3. Based on your own experience, why is it important for entrepreneurs to take the time to participate in nonprofit organizations?
A non-profit business is one of the fundamental tools to self-improvement and self-growth. As you grow, you need to feel a sense of value beyond the riches and fame; I think the only thing that helps me stay balanced is my ability to leverage what I do now and give my time to others who may be less fortunate than myself. I have always been involved with non-profits and think in many ways your success as a person lies in your ability to share your strengths with people with less fortunate as you. Without that, you have nothing!
4. What would your advice be to others who want to start their own companies?
My only advice to someone wanting to start your own company is expect a long road, believe in yourself as many of our greatest minds met some of the greatest opposition, and be ready to work seven days a week. Most of all, dream great dreams dreams propelled by controlled madness.
5. How do you see your company--and your own career--developing over the next few years?
Right now Repair Bad Reputation is growing at a rate beyond expectations. We currently have twenty-three full-time employees and posted a 400% growth this quarter. In the next several years, I would like to see this business grow out, hiring people better than myself to do the jobs I could not do. I want to expand and open up several other companies, so I am currently reading about how one can leverage this spirit to expand in many directions.