|Interview with StartUpBirmingham|
Recently we caught up with Brandon Morgado and Chase Wright, co-founders of StartUpBirmingham, a new web-based company that brings people and resources together in one place for entrepreneurs, and well, start up companies. While focusing mainly on the Birmingham area, Brandon and Chase's dreams are broadening fast. Read what they had to tell us about life as a start up entrepreneur.
IEM : Who are you (and your partner) and what are your roles with Startup Birmingham?
Brandon Morgado and Chase Wright. We are the founders of Startup Birmingham, a Birmingham business blog about startup's and small businesses.
IEM : Where do you work? (location)
Chase & Brandon: Anywhere we want. Since we run a web company, we have the privilege of working remotely, so long as we have an Internet connections and cell phone. Thanks to software tools like Skype, we can do most of our work remotely.
IEM: What services/products does your company provide?
Chase & Brandon: Startup Birmingham provides a media outlet for startups and small businesses. Since most startups and small businesses have smaller budget's compared to big businesses, we provide a free advertising outlet for them. In return, a reader of the blog can learn about the startup's and small business within their local network.
IEM: Where did you get the idea of Startup Birmingham?
Chase & Brandon: We both wanted to learn more about how to start a company. We went out and started interviewing founders of these businesses, and the idea sparked from there. We thought it would be a great idea to share the founder's stories [with other entrpreneurs with similar interests].
Brandon: Specifically, I was inspired by the idea of "reverse interviews" that Dale Callahan encouraged us to do. In a reverse interview, you sit down and talk with someone that is currently in a place you'd like to be at some point in the future. Asking them questions about what they do and how they got to where they are today can be extremely informative as well as inspirational. I just knew that other people would like to hear some of the stories from people we [met through that process].
IEM : What was the biggest fear you had to overcome to get where you are right now?
Chase: Failing. The "what if" scenario.....what happens if this happens, etc.
Brandon: Just getting out of my comfort zone is tough. Putting a product out there is always risky, no matter what it is.
IEM: Are you concerned at all that your venture will not work somewhere down the road?
Chase & Brandon: We are just having fun with learning how to run a business. Either way, we will have learned a great lesson that not to many people will ever attempt, and I think that says a lot in itself. We simply wanted to give it a shot, and see how well we could execute.
IEM: Do you think other business-startup hopefuls need to have a backup planfor their ideas, or just dive right in?
Chase: I personally always think you should have some sort of backup plan. It doesn't have to be a solid plan, but the idea definitely needs to be there, because Plan A will never work out.
Brandon: Dive right in! I agree with Chase that Plan A probably won't work out exactly the way you may have expected, but following your passions is always worth doing.
IEM: What's the greatest benefit to starting your own company?
Chase: The learning process. We both have seen how different business is from the founders point of view.
Brandon: The people I've met through this have been incredible. There are so many interesting stories behind every business.
IEM: What's the biggest hurdle?
Chase: Execution. We have so many ideas of where we would like to see the blog go in the future, yet we have not executed the ideas as well as we would have liked to right now.
Brandon: 100% agree. Time is hard to come by.
IEM: The "buzz book" right now at IEM is Dale Callahan's "Resumes are Worthless" in that book Dale says that fear and a certain "comfort zone" are the main reasons why people find themselves "Cemented" into their desk jobs.Do you feel that description is accurate? What about you? Did you escape your own pair of the proverbial corporate concrete shoes when you chose to start your own business?
Chase: I absolutely agree with Dale. By nature, people tend to stay in their comfort zone. The question is "How far are you willing to step outside your comfort zone to achieve your dream job?"
Brandon: I think this was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome.
IEM: Are there negatives to being in business for yourself, what are they?
Chase: Of course. You sleep less, work more, and you never caught up with what needs to be done today...(insert chuckle here)
Brandon: The line between worktime and freetime is much harder to distinguish when you are trying to start something new while maintaining a full time job.
IEM: What is your advice for others who are wanting to start a business as well?
Chase: Make sure you are really committed to the business. If you want to run a successful business, you have to be 100% committed.
Brandon: expect to work more and sleep less than you anticipated. Also execute well.
IEM: What role did IEM play in starting your company?
Chase: A big role. The IEM program gives you many resources to help find what you love doing, or at least a good idea of what you do not want to do. The IEM program has taught me to think like a business-owner, speak professionally, and see the big picture.
Brandon: I have a much stronger desire to pursue my passions [as a result of IEM]. Before, I barely even knew what I wanted to do. Now, I have much more confidence to go out and start working for it.
IEM: Do you think you would have taken this route with your career without what you learned at IEM?
Chase: Yes, but the IEM program made it happen faster and helped educate me to think more strategically, something I would not have done on my own.
Brandon: Doubtful. I would have still been interested in startups but I'd have simply no idea of were to even start making the contacts necessary for something like this.
We hope you enjoyed meeting StartUpBirmingham! Don't forget to check out their website,
and Check out the special episode of IEM CloseUp featuring StartUpBirmingham