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The SuccessLab Podcast: Where Entrepreneurs Collaborate for Success

Oct 28, 2014

Welcome to episode 23 of the SuccessLab Podcast. In this episode I’m in the lab with Sean Tierney, founder of Grid 7 and co-founder of Artilage. We talk about about shifting gears when something isn’t quite fitting, and marketing automation, which Sean is a genius with.

  1. Can you tell us a bit about your journey (this will be more your entrepreneurial endeavors)?
    • The first entrepreneurial endeavor goes back to 8th grade. I took my parents video camera to a play and recorded it. Then snuck a flyer into the program and started selling VHS tapes of the play to the parents who were in attendance. I got 100 orders. I made $1000 on that first play. That’s a big chunk of money for an 8th grader. The whole experience was incredible. That really turned me on to entrepreneurship. Since then, I’ve done several things. I took a 40-foot city bus, gutted it, and put night club style floors and seats, and fiber optic lights. We drove that around for a while doing pub crawls and such.
    • JumpBox is probably the business I’m most known for. Basically I created a class of software called virtual appliances and became the largest provide for Amazon DM ware and parallels. Just have done a lot of stuff.
    • Also covered in the podcast: how Sean discovered marketing and business process automation through real estate.
  2. Recently you sort of took a hiatus from some of this to get back to your core, can you tell us about that and what you’ve discovered?
    • Basically one of my companies, JumpBox, kind of burned me out. So I was still working and consulting, but it was a hiatus from the products company. So I went to the Dominican Republic, read a bunch of books, learned kite surfing, and tried to unplug for a while.
    • I arrived at a point, where I’m really happy where I’m at now.
  3. Shifting gears, I know you are passionate about helping startups. In working with them, what are some common missteps or mistakes you see them make?
    • With startups the most common mistake I see is being attached to your idea. It’s your perception of what you think the solution is rather than going in and seeing what your customer wants.
    • In the show, Sean talks about customer development and Four Steps to the Epiphany.
  4. You work with a lot of businesses on automation, being everywhere, and getting more leads in the funnel more efficiently. What are some of the primary things you recommend businesses automate?
    • One of the most important concepts is lifecycle marketing. It’s the idea that in business there’s a lifecycle. It’s the continuum of increasing engagement with you (or your business) that you can systematically move people through, and marketing automation is how you do that.
    • It depends on what they need and where they’re at, but basically you want to shoot for the things that are going to create more revenue - typically that’s client acquisition. So that’s where we start.
    • In the show we also talk about how to “be everywhere.”
  5. What tools do you recommend for automation?
    • Check out for a list of tools Sean uses to generate results
    • Active Campaign, even Boomerang for Gmail, If This Then That, Zapier, there’s a bunch of tools.
  6. How do you recommend entrepreneurs go about systemizing their businesses?
    • When you start out do everything manually. Flinstone it.
  7. You talk about being everywhere, obviously a challenge for busy entrepreneurs, how can they do this efficiently?
    • It can be a mix of automation and delegation, but it’s on a case by case basis. See what’s going to move the needle then start in on that. The 80/20 rule.
  8. Do you have a tip, tool or even a book you can share? Something you’re loving right now?
    • Check out Sean’s blog for reviews of his latest reads (there will be 20 of them).

Connect with Sean:

Twitter:  @ScrollinOnDubs


This week’s Biz Hack: Where to distribute your awesome press release.

Action Items: Somewhat related to the Biz Hack, this week’s action item continues with the media outreach theme... 

Quote of the week: Another great quote on decision making: “Make a decision. It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.” ~ Seth Godin

Next week we’re in The Lab with Hugh Stephens, he is the founder of Dialogue Consulting in Australia. I first learned of Hugh when I came across a tool he developed called Schedugram, which allows you to schedule Instagtram posts. I started researching him a bit, and he is one impressive guy. We talk about what it’s like to operate multiple businesses and how he has handled growth. Be sure to tune! Hugh gives a lot of really great nuggets for entrepreneurs.