I sat down with Chris Fagan, CEO and Co-Founder of Mobestream Media and creator of the Key Ring App. We discussed how he started Mobestream Media and Key Ring, and he gives you tips to show you how to start your own business.
Interview key points:
1. You went from employee to entrepreneur – what got you that point? (:53)
- It wasn’t an exact three step process; it happened over an evolution of several years.
2. How did you start? (1:26)
- There isn’t an easy path; there are no short cuts. You may have seen successes of an entrepreneur, but you haven’t seen the failures that lead to those successes
- (1:57) Most important thing is to be prepared; I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur
- (2:07) I did things in life to prepare me, lived a very frugal lifestyle, put a lot of money into savings; when I was ready to make that commitment, I had a back up plan. You have to go into it with the expectation that you’re not going to have any revenue for 12-18 months
3. I’ve had tons of great business ideas, but none of them have come to life (2:42)
- Biggest misconception about entrepreneurship is it takes a great idea to build a great company. It doesn’t. What it takes is a good idea and phenomenal execution. If you have an idea, just start working on it. You can do it on your nights and weekends while you have a full time job.
- (3:30) When you’ve done enough research, you’ll be able to see if this is a big enough opportunity to make money on, or if you shouldn’t pursue it.
4. What’s the magic formula for being and entrepreneur (3:34)
- I don’t think there’s a magic formula, but I think there are certain characteristics you can draw from certain people that lead to entrepreneurship.
- (4:05) From the time I was big enough to work and have someone to pay me for it, I would do it. I started paying taxes when I was 11 years old.
- (5:06) All of those (jobs) have given me perspective in life, and I always approach it with an ambitious spirit and want to learn about with those things; and with all of those experiences I can use it to help in my business today. All of these things are needed as an entrepreneur
- (5:45) I would recommend to any young person to go out there and put themselves out there; go and do these jobs, because you’re going to build the skill sets necessary to run a business
5. What are some other tips to help me be successful? (5:53)
- (6:23) I did a ton of research. I went to the library and checked out every book on entrepreneurship and starting a business.
- Chris’ recommendations: (1,000 Dollars & An Idea, How come that Idiot’s Rich and I’m not?, The Tipping Point)
6. Can you talk a little bit about the challenges of starting your business? (6:45)
- (7:23) If someone says they can help you, always do it but you have to build up an “entrepreneur BS filter” to quickly assess the situation and figure out if they can help you or not; and if you can help them.
7. What steps can we take today to become an entrepreneur? (7:52)
- (8:05) The first step I would take is to get out. Go out and start interaction with your community; participate in forums/networks with areas you’re interested in.
8. You’ve had a lot of challenges, what keeps you going? (8:50)
- I think it’s worth it. Even if you go and put everything into this and it’s not financially successful, you as a person have grown exponentially. You know more about yourself, and a specific subject area.
9. You’ve gone from employee to entrepreneur, if you had a chance to do it all again, would you? (9:30)
- I will continue to do businesses like this because it’s the way I operate; it’s fun and exciting, and I could never see myself going into a big bureaucratic company and try to climb my way up.
10. Chris has built something great, but he still has big plans for Mobestream Media (9:52)