Welcome to Execepreneur

execepreneur or executive ?What do you do if you’re a corporate executive in your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond, have kids, a mortgage - and have this undeniable desire to start a company? Execepreneur navigates the winding journey from successful corporate executive to entrepreneur and intelligently covers the path of building and growing your company.

After working at Microsoft, McKinsey & Co., HSBC and Bridgewater in various senior roles, I left the corporate world to start my own firm and built a multi-million dollar company in two years.  By sharing my lessons learned in launching and growing a business after a succesful corporate career, as well as covering the journey of others who have done it, I'd like to help you make that transition and build your business.
inderpal singh

 

Featured Posts + Podcasts

Our Top 5 Episodes from Season 1

As we prepare for Season 2, we paused to take a look back on the top episodes over the past several months.



[Episode 20] How to Use a Relationship Map to Create a $4 Million Company

Episode 20 Tamara Nall

This week I interviewed Tamara Nall, Founder of The Leading Niche, a global consulting firm that offers strategic and operational consulting to large companies and the federal government.

Nall shared with us the secrets of why and how she started The Leading Niche 4 years after getting an MBA from Harvard Business School, and how she has grown her company to over $4 million in revenue using a “Relationship Map”.

 

This week’s question:

What has been the key to your success in growing The Leading Niche to $4 million in revenue?

..So what I did, in particular, was to create a relationship map. And if you can think about a 2 x 2 matrix if you will, it’s really simple: who were my strongest contacts, and where was the greatest need?…You can have the best product, the best service, but if you don’t have a customer to sell that product and service to, it does not matter.

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[Episode 19] A customer acquisition strategy to grow from 2 to 27 employees

Episode 19 banner Randy Rayess
Randy Rayess is co-founder of VenturePact, a technology services firm that matches companies with talented application development teams from around the globe.  He has also written in publications such as Forbes, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.
In our conversation today, Randy describes in detail how to acquire customers through online advertising, including VenturePact’s strategic use of dynamic landing pages.  He also describes his approach to growing the company from 2 to 27 people in 3 short years.

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[Episode 18] How to systematize and productize a services business

Episode 18 banner Rachel Rodgers
​Rachel Rodgers started the Rodgers Collective, a cool, innovative take on a law firm.  She has grown the company over the past 5 years or so, and has lot to share, including a great way to think about protection as an entrepreneur.

This week’s question:

How and why did you systematize your business?
….The goal was to automate as much as humanly possible, because the more that you automate the less human capital you need to do the job.

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[Episode 17] The Rand Fishkin Case Study on How to Build an Online Presence

Episode 17 banner Rand Fishkin Case Study On How to Build an Online Presence

We continue our conversation with Rand Fishkin this week and dive into the details of how to build an online presence – even if you’re starting from scratch. We started with search engine strategy and ended the conversation with a case study to bring it all home.

We asked Rand – if someone starting a new professional services firm (lawyers, accountants, consultants) came to you and said “I’m building a firm to last me a couple of decades, and I’m willing to commit 5 to 7K / month building out an online presence, how would you guide them?”

This week’s question:

Teach me the details of building out an online presence?

“That piece of content you created?  It has to be phenomenal.  It has to be worthy of sharing and earning re-amplification”

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[Episode 16] Rand Fishkin on how to focus your online marketing efforts

Episode 16 Rand Fishkin on how to focus your internet marketing

Rand is known as the Wizard of Moz – the godfather of SEO and all around highly respected online marketing thought leader. He’s the founder of Moz, a suite of popular tools to help build and manage your online presence.

The episode covers the six different channels to market your business online, and talks about how to focus your activities on what’s most relevant for your business. The Venn diagram Rand mentions is certainly a game-changer if you’ve been wading through tactics (vs. strategy) to build your online presence.

This week’s question:

How do you focus your efforts when building an online presence?

“Think of a Venn diagram – three overlapping circles.  Circle Number 1 – where your audience is and where your audiences influencers are.  Circle Number 2 – what you are particularly good at and passionate about, and Circle 3 is where you can have a measurable positive return on investment”

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[Episode 15] How to build a business that lands $725,000 on Shark Tank

Episode 15 Brittany Hodak ZinePak

Brittany Hodak is co-founder of ZinePak, a company that creates custom, interactive publications for super-fans.  They partner with top brands and entertainers (e.g., Taylor Swift) to elevate regular consumer promotions (e.g., CD in a store) into an interesting and memorable experience.

Several months ago, they were invited by Shark Tank Producers to pitch their company, and walked away with an offer of $725,000 from Robert and Lori.

This week’s question:

What has been key to the growth of ZinePak over the past 4+ years?

“We took about 2 months where we said we’re not going to say Yes to any new business.  We’re going to turn away anything that comes in… we took the time to create a plan and figure out who to hire and started hiring a team.”

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[Episode 14] – Engineering a New Fashion Category with Ministry of Supply

Episode 14 Aman Advani Ministry of Supply Banner

Aman Advani co-founded Ministry of Supply while at business school at MIT. He helped define the performance professional category – business professional attire that’s actually comfortable.

You can see from the way they run themselves that they’re engineers solving problems in  the fashion space. A Fast Company piece on them put it this way “its conception, its design process, and how it interacts with customers, Ministry of Supply arguably has more in common with the likes of Apple and Google than with J. Crew”

So that’s why we wanted to talk to Aman – to understand how they’ve applied that hypothesis driven testing approach to the fashion space, and how you can leverage testing to benefit your business.

This week’s question:

How have engineers created a new clothing category?

“We think with our engineering hats on more than we do with our fashion opinions or ideas. It’s a deeply rooted customer insight-based focus on how can we create a new category that is not just creating a slightly better pair of socks – but a truly rethought pair of socks or rethought undershirt”

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[Episode 13] The Path to 1 Million Users. Twice.

Theban Ganesh North Forward Consulting Episode 13

Theban Ganesh has built and sold two different businesses that have attracted over 1 million users.  In today’s conversation, we cover the rise and exit of his two startups, why he chose to go back to corporate after his first, how to choose a co-founder, and most importantly, his advice to companies that are struggling to gain traction with their products.

Learn how Theban would start his next company in our bonus episode at www.launchandlead.com/tgstart

 

This week’s question:

What’s the most important part of building product?

“You have sometimes in less than a minute in today’s world to get the person to that a-ha moment.  The most important thing is to first define that a-ha moment and then determine what retains users the longest”

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[Episode 12] Growing oDesk to become the market leader in online work (Part II with Gary Swart)

Episode 12 banner GARY SWART

Gary Swart joined oDesk in 2005 as CEO and led the company for over 8 years, turning into the market leader in the online work industry. It was the first workplace to reach $1 billion in work, and has over 5 million freelancers and thousands of jobs posted daily. Gary led the company through a merger with #2 player eLance before leaving to join Polaris.

In this Episode, Part II of our conversation, he shares with us the importance of focus in a company, iterating quickly, why he thinks being an execepreneur is a good idea – and why he’s ok being hit by a pitch.

This week’s question:

My question for Gary this week? Having been involved with large corporations like IBM, and a number of startups, what motivates you to help grow small to large and what’s your advice for execepreneurs?

“I remember flying home from Seattle in a small Alaska Airlines plane and I got claustrophobic… I said I don’t want to wake up 15 years from now saying I didn’t step up to the plate.  That wasn’t going to be good enough for me.  Even if I didn’t hit the ball I wanted to stand at the plate”

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