There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Dan Fox, the Managing Partner of Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media—publisher of Touring & Tasting magazine (which he cofounded), Touring & Tasting—Pacific Northwest magazine and www.TouringandTasting.com. He is also a frequent “guest host expert” for Discovery Channel and Travel Channel’s television series The World’s Best and for its radio show of the same name.
Prior to starting these businesses, Fox was immersed in the world of luxury hotels, resorts and global high-end tourism as the president and publisher of Resorts & Great Hotels—The Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best. He successfully converted Resorts & Great Hotels from a “coffee table guide publication” into a diverse, innovative, globally respected and highly profitable brand. He also was the Executive Director—Strategic Planning for Preferred Hotel & Resorts, which now has over 600 world renowned hotel members, and was the co-creator of Preferred Golf Club.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Dan Fox: A professional baseball player.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Fox: I liked the idea of putting my ideas and efforts toward something I could directly influence and ultimately benefit from being an owner.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Fox: A pivotal moment for me was learning right after I had graduated from college with a journalism degree that there was a local television access channel where I could go and create my own show and run it the way I wanted. I had some good concepts for a local television show, so I went out and recruited my team, implemented my show concepts and then sold the concept and advertising in order for it to succeed—and it did. It gave me a lot of much-needed confidence on several levels.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Fox: Spend your time and money on hiring good people; make sure your business continuously stays relevant; and lead by example.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Fox: Understand your niche and be creative in further owning it.
Lesonsky: Do you have a 2015 small business prediction?
Fox: 2015 will be a great year for small businesses. If you’re smart, this is the time to capitalize on the business relationships you’ve built because those businesses are feeling less pressure now and they will be the ones to open doors to expand your niche.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Fox: Moneyball by Michael Lewis.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Fox: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” –Teddy Roosevelt
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