A couple of weeks ago we met Robert Reed, Founder and CEO of Expose Your Biz Online, at the Women Entrepreneurs Small Business Bootcamp in Phoenix, AZ. The odd twist to this chance networking tale is that we didn’t actually meet him face-to-face. Robert’s personality as we’ve found, and you will find after perusing his social channels and website, glows on a bit of a different level than most.
In a brief conversation over the event’s hashtag, #womenbizbootcamp, we were able to sense Robert’s shared small-biz-cheer-squad pep, and connect with him once the team returned back to our LA digs. We hope you enjoy this story in his own words about finding his niche, his money-to-mainstreet, and building his business as much as we did. And Robert, we can’t wait to meet you in person in just a few short weeks at Access to Capital: Phoenix!
[DandB] Prior to founding Expose Your Biz Online (EYBO) in early 2010, what was the catapulting event or slice of media that led you to pursue new media engagement and training for your path as a business owner?
[RR] Wow! That is a great question and a story I love to tell. I had been trying to figure out what inspired me for about 3 years. I had been in the corporate world and could never hold a 9-5 too long. I had the passion to work for myself but not the guts. So, after the universe once again reminded me that I was not cut out for the 9-5…in 2008 I founded an online Sports Radio show called the “Atypical Sports Show”.
We had utilized Social Media to create over 7,000 downloads a month by connecting through Twitter and Facebook, asking our target audience what they wanted to talk about, and put our “Atypical” spin on it. We used Social Media to garner interviews with sports personalities like Gary Payton, Bomani Jones, Jemele Hill and Pau Gasol. The radio show was a perfect release for me for two reasons: I was able to communicate about everything except sports. It also created a venue where I could connect to people on a daily basis. Unfortunately – it was not enough to create a stable income.
During this time my wife and I separated. Moving in to my parent’s mobile home, riding the bus and having 3 kids at home, not being able to be there every day was more like a medieval catapult – but I needed it. It sent me going full force in to creating a business behind a measurable strategy and process. Social Media was a perfect vehicle for me. It fits right in to what we do today. Connecting businesses to their client while engaging and providing relevant content that makes a difference for them.
Today, we are back together, happily married and life is great.
[DandB] Taking it back, what were your first steps towards funding your new business strategy? What were your biggest fears and conflicts associated with getting started, financially?
[RR] My first steps were to get clear about what my goals were and how I was going to attain them.
My biggest fears associated with getting started were
- Am I wasting my time?
- What if it doesn’t work and I have lost all this money?
- How will I know how much money I need?
[DandB] It’s clear to us that your business is thriving and you are learning new things everyday with an open mind, while exploring new media. (Otherwise we wouldn’t have met on a Tweet thread!) If you could take a DeLorean (stylin’ of course) back in time, would you have gone about your startup finance options any differently? And why?
[RR] I think what I would have done is more research on what my options were.
When you are starting a business we are conditioned to work on the business and whatever is associated with the business, but I would have sought out experts in the finance industry instead of assuming my options were limited. My DeLorean would be charcoal grey by the way…
If you can’t join us at Access to Capital: Phoenix [VIP code for you dear readers: a2ccat] please join us in this same conversation with Robert and talk to us about your fears, challenges, celebrations, questions, and advice when it comes to gaining access to capital for building and growing your company! Whether it’s public in the comments below or you want to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (she loves the attention) we would love to hear from you!