We’ve launched Secrets of Success, a new weekly interview series here at the Web.com’s Small Business Forum. I’ve asked some of the smartest, innovative, successful people I know to share their insights and success secrets.
Meet: John Jantsch, the bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. John’s also a speaker, marketing consultant and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
John Jantsch: No clue—I’m still not sure! I did, however, have a father who essentially owned his own business as an independent sales rep, and I knew there was something about that way of working that I wanted to do.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Jantsch: [To escape the] insatiable boredom that comes with doing one thing over and over again without fully understanding why you’re doing it.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Jantsch: I’m still on my way every day, but yes, I got called before a Grand Jury as one of my clients was participating in some not-so-legal activities. Did I know it and ignore it? Perhaps, but it was then that I vowed never to work with anyone I didn’t fully respect.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Jantsch: Michael Gerber [of E-Myth fame] told me I had a finishing problem. I was great at starting and bad at finishing. Actually, we were talking about building furniture at the time, but it made me realize I needed to surround myself with finishers in order to spend my time creating new stuff.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Jantsch: Do less! That’s right, pick three priorities and see them through. Forget all the stuff that is screaming at you and do fewer things amazingly.
Lesonsky: Do you have a 2014 small business prediction?
Jantsch: I know it’s been coming for a while, particularly in the Silicon Valley world, but I think remote and virtual workforces will finally become the majority in the small business world.
Lesonsky: Do you have a favorite book?
Jantsch: The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker. It’s really a marketing book, but nobody realizes that!
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Jantsch: Fix the problem, not the blame.—Japanese Proverb