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: Ramon Ray, the energetic entrepreneur and technology evangelist at SmallBizTechnology.com. Ramon is a writer and speaker and authored the best-selling Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing. Ramon shares his passion for helping small businesses grow through technology at Infusionsoft.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Ramon Ray: FBI agent then; now, a Secret Service agent (part of the Presidential protective detail or counterassault team).
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Ray: The love of educating others, but I’ve always had some “side hustle” going at one time or another.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Ray: Yes, about 10 to 15 years ago, when Inc. and Black Enterprise magazines asked me to write for them over. Up til then, I didn’t know there was such a thing as “freelance writing.” Then Inc. asked me to speak at the Inc. 500 conference. I didn’t know folks paid you to speak!
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Ray: Ask smart people lots of questions; be very (strategically) persistent; and build your own personal brand (people want to be around “rock stars”).
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Ray: Discipline yourself to focus on the growth of your business, and learn to delegate and follow up.
Lesonsky: Do you have a 2014 small business prediction?
Ray: The gulf between those who succeed and those who fail in business will widen.
Lesonsky: Do you have a favorite book?
Ray: I try to read the Bible daily. I really enjoy books that focus on business growth stories–Built to Last, Good to Great, Outliers and others from my Infusionsoft reading list.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Ray: Life is a journey. —Ramon Ray