Interview with Matthew Potter

I am a son of a great entrepreneur who inspired me to start my own companies throughout my life. I have learned so much about business through starting my own companies. I started my first company at 14 years old. I went to Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village and from there went to Arizona State University and then transferred to Boise State to be with my brother who is currently playing football for the boise state broncos. From my company at 14 I worked for my dads company learning more and more about business. I then worked for Dream Span a young innovative company that puts out more patents a year then any other company. Dream Span really gave me the courage and knowledge to fuel my entrepreneur spirit. I was apart of several different online startups and have helped a lot of people with there companies I am currently working diligently on my next online start up and doing marketing consulting for several different companies.


How did you become an entrepreneur? When did you get started?

I became and entrepreneur at 14 when I taught myself how to dj and I started my own DJ company called Innovations In Sound. The experience of dealing with clients and people in my business was invaluable and I draw a lot from that experience.


What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Being my own boss and picking my own hours and being able to make the tough decisions. Winners always want the ball when the game is on the line and being a entrepreneur put the ball in your court and the ability to win or lose is your choice alone.


What is the top skill (or skills) needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

People ask me this all the time. How did you get started? or What do I need to do to start my own company? The main thing I would say is eliminate the fear, yes the fear. I believe the number one reason people don’t become entrepreneurs is fear of failure. Don’t sell yourself short do the research put the time and effort in and don’t be afraid to fail. When you do fail cause you will not all the time but look at your failure as a learning experiencing not a embarrassment.


How do you generate new ideas (business ideas or ideas for those businesses)?

How I generate new ideas is I take a walk and this maybe a little unorthadox but I like to walk by the beach or in homedepot, walmart, or bestbuy. I have gotten some of my best ideas walking through those places just going aisle to aisle looking at every item thinking how someone had to invent each of these things and I can do it too.


As a serial entrepreneur, how long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Depends on the idea the market its in and so forth ,but if I feel like I have exhausted every available resource to make it work and it doesn’t then I will put more time in. This question reminds me of Thomas Edison quote on failure Thomas said “Many of life's failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”


How did you go about recruiting the right people into your business?

This is one of the most integral parts of your business is the people you recruit to work for you. The people you pick to work for you are a direct representation of yourself and your business. They sometimes are on the front lines talking to potential clients, referrals and past clients. Picking the right people is more then half the battle. If you walk up the person and they are fun full of energy and people like being around them as well as they are trustworthy and easily motivated these are the people I want working for me.


How did you finance your business?

There are lots of ways to finance your business either with investors, loans or sell shares of the company to people who are helping you. The best way in this current economy depending on your business model is to ask your friends and family. I got investors from asking friends and family but when I asked them I asked if they new of 2 other people that would be interested and I got there contact info and called them using there friend to generate the warm lead.


How did you get investors for your venture? Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs who are going after investors?

Make sure you are invested in your company and you fully believe in its success this will come off to would be investors and you will find like minded people willing to invest.


How do you define success?

Success to me is having the love of your friends and family. If you can balance your business venture and your life without losing yourself in your work to me that is success cause in the end how much money you make does not define you. My fourth grade teacher once asked our class if you died and people were asked who you were and had to explain to someone who didn’t know you, what would they say? Maybe its just me but I wouldn’t want to hear loaner workaholic come out of anybodies mouth.


Henry Kravis once said that "A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath them." What are your thoughts on that quote?

I believe this goes back to when I said the biggest thing holding entrepreneurs back is fear. I know not everyone reading this is religious but in everything I do I bring God with me. I use this verse when I am afraid or do not know what to do. Joshua 1.9 Have I not commanded you be strong and courages. Do not be terrified, Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.


Donald Trump once said “Confidence can get you where you want to go, and getting there is a daily process. It’s so much easier when you feel good about yourself, your abilities and talents.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

Confidence is the greatest quality one could have when talking to clients investors and your employees. Not everyone has a good day every day. Most people wake up not feeling so great. To exude confidence is to make your clients and your employees proud to work and do business with someone who knows they will be successful and who exudes this to everyone they know.


Michael Gerber once said that “The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

The hardest thing for me is to not have to many ideas. Ideas are what get people in trouble. You need to make things happen not just have ideas. Don’t get me wrong ideas are great but making them happen is what sets you apart from the guy next to you who works a 9 to 5 in a cubicle. Don’t be and idea person be a creator.


Benjamin Disraeli once said "The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes." What are your thoughts on that quote?

Oprah once said when asked about her success whats the secret. She said no secret just hard work. If you put in the hard work and opportunity comes knocking at the door then you will be ready to answer with full confidence that you are more prepared then anyone else for the task at hand.


What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is just starting out?

Do not be afraid. Use failure as a tool to success. Research, research, research and when your done with that write it all down. Then you will be half way to half way done.


Company Description:

My company that I started with my business partner Will Grewal is a marketing contact company focusing on the american salesman. We want to help the older generation of salesmen who are in the workforce keep up with the younger generation. It also appeals to the younger generation by how easy it is to use the simplicity and its a proven business format that is priced extremely well for what it is able to do.

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