Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness

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Study Shows that Entrepreneurial Skills are Hereditary

This is a guest post by Stuart Draper, founder of Get Found First.  Stuart is the brother of my sister’s husband.  He’s my brother-in-law’s little brother.  Whichever way you want to say it he’s a great entrepreneur and runs a growing SEO/PPC/SEM company.   This is his post:Study Shows that Entrepreneurial Skills are HereditaryNormally, I blog about PPC Management on my website, but I’m excited to talk today about entrepreneurial matters and the relationship it may or may not have to family relationships.  About a week ago I was reading a blog post by Neil Patel, a young, successful entrepreneur who has created multi-million dollar businesses.  In his post, he tells his story, and mentions that his mom and dad, and other members of his extended family were entrepreneurial and that it “runs in the family” to be an entrepreneur.  It made me think about my entrepreneurial story, and where I got mine from.

My dad is a great man!  He has provided very well for 8 children (yes…really…I have 8 siblings), who are now all happily married.  He paid for all 8 sets of orthodontic braces, all of our annual family trips, all of our fun traditions like going boating and camping, and even paid for a percentage of every child’s college education.  He did that working for the man. In many ways he has an entrepreneurial spirit, but he has always worked for someone Else’s company.  I guess more than anything, he never ventured off on his own because the opportunity never presented itself. You have a lot of very big bills when you are the father of 8 kids, and the security of a set monthly income is hard to leave. Without going into as much detail with the rest. Take a look at this list of family members and their jobs:

Brother-In-Law (B.I.L) Mike Hadfield: Founder of Summit Northwest – Construction Company
B.I.L. Marcus Stones: Owner of Stones Family Dental – A Dentist in Salem Oregon
Brother Quinn Draper: Owner of  Draper Orthodontics – An Orthodonist in Woodland, WA
B.I.L. Ryan Pierce: VP of a Bank
B.I.L. Jason Bates: VP of Swift Transportation – The semi-trucks you see all over the country
Me: Stuart Draper: Founder of Multiple Businesses including, The Christmas Light Guys, Get Found First, and The One-Man Hitch
Brother Tyler Draper: College Student – Wants to be an EMT
Brother Travis Draper: College Student – Wants to be a Nurse Anesthetist

Grandpa Draper: Was a banker
Uncle Roland Ogden: Owns an OK Tire franchise
Uncle Dave Draper: Professor of Sports Medicine at BYU
Grandpa Jones: Was a banker and an insurance salesman
Uncle Craig Brady: Founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar printing business
Uncle Dave Jones: Sales Manager
Uncle Brent Jones: Works for Delta Airlines
Uncle Frank Prater: Founder of City 1st Mortgage in Salt Lake
Uncle Rod Jones: Founder and Broker of Idaho’s Real Estate

And on my wife’s side of the family:

Grandpa Webb: Was a high school teacher
Father-In-Law Richie Webb: Partner in Hemming Properties and Part-Owner of Multiple Five Guys Franchises
Uncle Chad Webb: Educator
Uncle Jeff Hemmingsen: Owner of Dunes Dental for Kids in South Dakota
Uncle Brad Unsicker: Founder of Wyn Medical, A successful medical supplies company
Uncle Keith Larson: Partner in Engineering Firm
Uncle Tom Oniki: Marketing for large tech company
Uncle Kurt Webb: Mall Manager for Simon
Uncle Ryan Webb: Educator
Uncle Levi: Military – Air Force

Grandpa Crandall: Founder of CPA Firm
Uncle Kent Oseen: Owner of CPA Firm
Uncle Steve Crandall: Owner of CPA Firm and Part-Owner of Multiple Five Guys Franchises
Uncle Mike: Self-Employed IT Guy
Uncle Rob Crandall: Partner of a CPA Firm
Uncle Alex Tavares: Part owner of multiple businesses in Brazil
B.I.L. Adam Morris: Partner in CPA Firm —His dad owns his own Probate Law Firm in Las Vegas
B.I.L. Nathan Webb: Student

My point in sharing all of this is to show you just how ridiculously large my family is!  Okay, not really. What I wanted to show was just how much of my immediate and extended family are entrepreneurial.  Here are the stats:

Of the four grandpas, 1 out of 4 were entrepreneurs.
Of my dad and father-in-law, 1 out of 2 are entrepreneurs.
Of my uncles, 12 out of 20 are entrepreneurs at some level.
Of my brothers, myself, and my brothers-in law, 5 out of 10 are entrepreneurs at some level.
Of all 36 men, 20 are entrepreneurs.

55% of the men in 3 generations of my family and my wife’s family are entrepreneurs.

Is it in my blood?  Is being an entrepreneur hereditary? Maybe.  Maybe not.  I am not going to jump to conclusions.  There are soooo many other factors that determine the makings of an entrepreneur.  I do not categorize my dad as an entrepreneur, but I definitely have developed a lot of the attributes of an entrepreneur that he has.  Sure my dad is not an entrepreneur because he has never started his own business, but he has a lot of the same traits of an entrepreneur.

Is it contagious.  I would argue no.  It takes a lot more than being around, and in some cases even living with, an entrepreneur to become one!  That said, for me, being around so many successful entrepreneurs has given me more hunger to have success building my own businesses.

Can it be developed?  Of this, I am certain.  Look at my family.  Dentists are scientists, yet a lot of them develop the necessary attributes to be outstanding entrepreneurs. Construction workers are handymen, but so many find a way to start their own businesses.  CPAs know how to crunch numbers and remember tax law, but they develop the necessary attributes to start their own business.  Remember, not all entrepreneurs seek out millions in VC funding to start their business.  Of all of my family that are entrepreneurs, only 2 of the 20 have received funding for their projects.

Maybe I have rambled a little.  Maybe this has been a little too personal, but I hope that you have found it to be insightful and eye opening.

So, what are the numbers for your family?  How many are entrepreneurs?  What type of entrepreneurs are they?

Stuart Draper
Founder, CEO
www.GetFoundFirst.Com

Office: (208) 991-3463

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/getfoundfirst
Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/studraper

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Dreamhost Coupon Codes

If you’ve read my tutorials on how to set up your own website (Vol 1 and Vol 2) you know that I use Dreamhost for a lot of my website hosting.  If you’re looking at signing up with Dreamhost here are some cool coupon codes that Dreamhost just sent me.   Update on 2/19/2011 the two codes crossed out have been redeemed.

Coupon Codes:

875859468480
522947537408
398785984443
193392240606
190259318882

… you will get all these super special advantages not available any other way:

* If you choose our one-year plan, they’ll get $15 off!
* If you choose our two-year plan, they’ll get $100 off!

(Each code is good for only ONE sweet DreamHostering referral!)

Enter the 12-digit code in the “Promo Code” field when they sign up at:

https://signup.dreamhost.com/

This isn’t a big deal if you’re not looking for this service, but if you are it’s like an extra $100 you can spend on google adwords.  Woot!

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Finding Yoda

In January of this year I read The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.  The book came into my life at a time when I was making some big decisions and has been influential and inspiring.  After each chapter the author challenges the reader to take action.  One challenge is called ‘Finding Yoda’ and the reader is supposed to track down a big player in their industry and ask them a question or two.  If possible to reader should also ask for permission to follow up via email.  This was one of the few exercises in the book that I didn’t do immediately.  It’s taken me a while to actually do it, although I did place a couple phone calls.

Turns out it may be easier to meet some people in person.  The pics below show me meeting three of my Yodas.  Picture one is with Meg Whitman, two is with THE Seth Godin and three is with Chris Brogan.

Meeting Seth was by far the most influential encounter I have had this year.  His direct questioning of my current projects and passions caught me off guard and forced me to think about where I was and where I wanted to be.  His main advice was to pick one project and work on it full force rather than split up your time over many projects.  Set a date and ship, you can always do a version 2.0 later.  Seth responded to an email I sent him and is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Meg Whitman was nice and earthy.  I found her taller than expected but grounded.  We discussed business in California and the need to make the State business friendly so we can keep industry growing and job creation possible.

Chris Brogan was a bit of a surprise.  I didn’t know a ton about him other than following @ChrisBrogan on Twitter.  He discussed business in the modern age with an amazing style of humor, candor and intellect that I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered before.  One major tip that I got from Chris was that your blog posts are a legacy that keeps working after you’ve done the typing.  He had a fancy analogy about commerce, jokes and exchange but the meat of it is that if your posts solve one persons problem there are most likely other people that have that problem and it can help them too.  Next time you get an email from somebody asking for advice in your field answer it in the form of a blog post and then send the person the link.  It’s like you’re messing with Karma because you’re putting all this good information out there and you know it’s going to come back to you someday.

I leave you with a quote from one of Godin’s recent posts titled Heroes and mentors:

“Like a custom made suit, a mentor is a fine thing to have if you can find or afford it. But for the rest of us, heroes will have to do.”

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Why I Became a Trojan

Since I’m self employed and have no plans to go back to corporate America or work for ‘the man’ ever again people seem to think that I would not have a need for an MBA.  Maybe they are right.  It would be easy for me to study the subjects covered in an MBA program on my own or with private tutors and for much less than what a University charges for tuition these days.  For me the education was the last of the 3 reasons I chose to get an MBA from USC.

Why I chose to get an MBA from USC:

1. The USC Family (Network)
2. The Credential
3. The Education

The Family

A couple of weekends ago I walked around Balboa Island with my wife and kids.  The weather was a bit chilly so I donned my USC sweatshirt that my wife had just bought me (isn’t she great!).  As we walked around the island it was like I was a celebrity.  I was stopped no less than 7 times within a couple of hours just so people could talk to me about USC.  I’ve never been a part of something like this but it was great to have an immediate connection to fellow Trojans.

Shortly after we got our USC emails and access to the alumni network I scoured the database looking for interesting alums that would be good for me to connect with.  There were a few CEO’s of local, but large, companies that had the experience and success I was looking for.  I reached out to them via email and received a response within hours.  I don’t think that would have happened had we not shared the USC bond.

The Credential

Although I plan on remaining self employed having solid credentials is never a bad thing.  The path before me is still unknown and bolstering up a resume is wise.  More than just being employable the MBA credential is important to me because as I do consulting and other business endeavors it adds credibility to my clients.  I am self employed but I still rely on other people to get paid.

The Education

When I first signed up this was pretty far down the list.  Now that the program is underway I am actually excited about learning.  The professors have been amazing and my classmates are top notch.  I get to learn from and with some of the brightest minds around and I’m loving it.

The thing that finally helped me chose to do the MBA was putting the choice to the ‘Rocking Chair Test’.  The test works like this: Imagine yourself at some far off future date relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch of your home.  You’re retired and enjoying the relaxation of this stage of life.  Sitting in the chair would your future self regret having done or not done the thing you are considering?

For me I knew that I would never regret getting an MBA from USC.  I also knew that if I didn’t do it I would always wonder ‘what if’?  That was it, it passed the rocking chair test and I applied.  Now, if you don’t mind I have some statistics questions to review.

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

I got a lot of really good responses to my last post on how to set up a website.  It included the basics of getting your host and securing a domain name.  Now that you have your host and own a domain let’s set up a professional looking website in less than 5 minutes.

Step 1. Log in to your Dreamhost account

Hopefully you remember your password.  Just login and you should be at the ‘Let’s Get Started!’ page with the toolbox and main menu on the left side.

Step 2. Install WordPress

WordPress is my website builder of choice because it is fully customizable and has a very big support network.  There are countless plugins that can make your WordPress site do anything you’d like.  I use it for eCommerce, blogs (like this one you are reading), real estate and more.  It’s a bit robust if you’re just building a splash page or 2 page test site, so I’ll cover site’s like Weebly in a different post.

1. In the Toolbox Click ‘One-Click Installs’
2. Click on ‘Install new website software - Advanced mode
3. A list of icons pop up, select WordPress and
4. Below the icons is an ‘Install to:’ option.  Select your site from the drop down menu and leave the part after the / blank.
5. Click ‘Install it for me now!’

Dreamhost will now install the latest version of WordPress to your site for you.  If you did everything right you will receive an email from Dreamhost in the next few minutes with the title “Success installing WordPress on your site!”

Step 3. Create a WordPress Admin account

1. Click on the link in your Success email that should look like this:  http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php
2. At the welcome screen add a Site Title (This is the ‘name’ of your site and can be changed later)
3.  Leave the Username as ‘admin’
4. Create a strong password that you can remember.
5. Enter your main free email account (so you can access password resets from anywhere).
6. Click on ‘Install WordPress’

If done right you will now be at a Success! screen.  Look how good you’re doing!

7.  Click ‘Log In’ and log in with your username and password you just created.

Step 4. Customize Your Site in Your Dashboard

1.  Click  ‘Settings’ in the left panel.  Usually the last option
2. Select ‘General’ in the sub menu
3. Change the Tagline.  By default it says ‘Just another WordPress site.  That’s not cool.  Be cool.
4. Change your time zone
5. Click ‘Save Changes’
6. Click ‘Permalinks’ in the left sub menu
7. Chose either ‘Day and Name’ or ‘Month and Name’ if this is going to be a blog.  This is much better for search engines and looks much better than having just a post number at the end of your URL for each post.
8. Click ‘Save Changes’
9. Click ‘Comments’ in the left Menu about half way up.  Delete the ‘Hi, this is a comment.’ comment by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.
10. Select ‘Posts’ towards the top of the left menu and then ‘Posts’ again in the sub menu.  Delete the ‘Hello World’ post
by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.

You’ve now cleaned up your site so you can make it yours.  Your site is actually already live but we want to make it pretty.  It’s time to pick a theme.

Step 5. Chose and Install a Custom WordPress Theme

1. Click ‘Appearance’ in the left menu
2. Click ‘Themes’ in the sub menu
3. There are about 42 themes  installed for you already.  There are thousands more online, but you should be able to find one here that will fit your needs while you get started.  Browse the available themes and when you find one you like click ‘activate’.

That’s it, you’ve now updated and completely changed the look of your site in three easy clicks.

Step 6.  Add content

If you’re moving blogspot/blogger blog then this is easy.  You can simply import all of your previous posts and comments.

1. Select ‘Tools’ in the left menu
2. Select ‘Import’ from the sub menu
3. Blogger is the first option (log in to your google account in a different window first) Click ‘Blogger’
4. Click ‘Authorize’
5. Click ‘Grant Access’
6. Select which blog to import and click the magic button ‘Import’.
7. Since Blogger and WordPress have different usernames, select the one on WordPress that you want to line up with your blogger account and click ‘Save Changes’.  At this point your blog will import itself.

Step 7. Add/Edit Pages

WordPress starts you off with an ‘About’ page.  I usually leave this page but edit it to actually be about the website I’m building.

1. Click ‘Pages’ from the left menu
2. Click ‘Pages’ from the sub menu
3. Hover over ‘About’ and click edit
4. Edit the content to be all about you or your site (add photos with the Upload/Insert option at the top)
5. Click ‘Update’ over on the right

Congratulations.  You have now entered the real world where you can run with the big dogs.  No more will your name be post scripted with some giant corporate entities greedy tagline.  You’re free and you’re ready to rule the world.

In Volume 3 we’ll add my must have plugins for WordPress and customize your site a bit more with a widget or two.  Isn’t this fun!?

Click here to go back to How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1

So, you’ve decided that you don’t want to rely on a blogspot domain or some other free service.  You want to roll deep and go big like the pros.  Good for you.  Here’s a step by step guide on how to set up your host and buy your first domain.

Getting your website host and domain.

Definitions:

Host – This is where the files, pictures, and actual website content is stored and accessed when people go to your website on their computer.  Sort of a digital warehouse where items are stored.

Domain – Also known as your URL or Uniform Resource Locater this is the website address that people will type in their browser to visit your site.  They cost about $10 per year for a .com domain, are as cheap as 89 cents for a .info domain and up to $45 for a .tv domain.  .com is the best and most used.

Step 1. Sign up for a hosting service

I use Dreamhost and am very happy with them.  It’s $97 per year for as many domains as you can store.  Click http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?248559 and enter coupon code tylerjorgenson and you’ll get $17 off.  If you use the Dreamhost coupon codes provided here I get credit and am able to help you should you get stuck.  Please use coupon code tylerjorgenson

Step 2. Buy a domain

If you’ve already determined your domain name then you need to buy it right away so it doesn’t get purchased by somebody else.  If you are still brainstorming use sites like www.makewords.com or www.godaddy.com to brainstorm but do not buy the domain there.  It is much easier if you buy it through your dreamhost account.

1. Log in to your Dreamhost account
2. Click ‘Domains’ in the left toolbar
3. Click ‘Registrations’
4. Type your desired domain into the ‘Domain to Register’ box and click ‘Check Availability’
5. On the registration page select ‘Use DreamHost’s free WHOIS privacy service‘, fill out the info and click continue
6. Select # of years, click continue (Note: Search engines take this into account when ranking your site.  More years registered gets better results)
7. Enter Credit Card info and click continue
8. Congratulations – you now own a domain.

Step 3. Add your domain to your host

It will take a few minutes for this to show up since the registration is taking place behind the scenes.  Go get a slurpee and come back to your dreamhost control panel in about an hour.

1. Log in to your Dreamhost account
2. Click ‘Domains’ in the left toolbar
3. Click ‘Manage Domains’
4. Your domain should appear under ‘Registered domains without hosting’ , click ‘Add Hosting’
5. Leave everything as is, fill in the visual captcha and click ‘fully host this domain now’

Wham Bam! You have a domain and a host.  In our next series we’ll give you a few more action items to get a website actually set up.

Click here for How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

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Eliminating Excess

extra shoes Earlier this year I read ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss and it’s been making ripples in my life ever since.  I’ve listened to the book on tape, read the 2nd edition and read the author’s blog.  I bought the book about a year and a half ago when a friend blogged about it, but it just got stacked on the pile of books to read.

Of the many bits of wisdom I got from the book one was to eliminate clutter and excess from our lives.  I talked about the concept of choice paralysis a while back.  I started in my closet and eliminated these 10 pairs of shoes.  Why did I have an extra 10 pairs of shoes?  Anybody wear a size 12 and need some gently worn kicks?

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Art Peddlers

Yesterday I was visited by door to door art peddlers.  A young man and a young woman rang my doorbell to see if I was interested in purchasing a hand painted, oil on canvas, genuine imitation.

They weren’t convincing salespeople, but maybe that was part of the ‘proof’ that they were artists.  A couple of the paintings were of nice settings, but I didn’t feel like I could trust them that these were original works and didn’t want to drop $100 for something so unoriginal.

I’m not an artist.  I can hardly draw stick people and I’m pretty sure my 5 year old daughter can draw a better landscape than me.  I’m not criticizing art, but I just don’t think this was art.  To me art is more than just being able to draw, it’s being able to make connections.  The art peddlers could have delivered a compelling story about how they were immigrants whose love for freedom of expression led them from their Eastern European home to the New World and that they sold their art door to door to reach people and touch their lives.  They didn’t.  They said, in a hushed voice, ‘we’re selling some oil paintings.’  Thanks.

Sometimes if you create something amazing just the fact that it exists will ensure success, but usually you need to be able to tell a story and explain why it’s amazing before people will let down their guard and embrace the new item/piece of art/software, etc.

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The Return of Awesomeness

If Justin Timberlake were to write a sequal to his ‘hit’ song I’m bringing sexy back it would have to be I’m bringing awesome back.  Awesome seems to be a word from the 90′s that just won’t go away.  For a while it was being used to describe things that weren’t all that great, it had just become a standard description.

I use google voice, and love it.  Google had a post called “Google Voice, Explained” and at the end of the first video they declared that Google voice provided ‘less annoyance, more awesomeness’ to telephony.

I agree Google Voice is awesome.

Google Voice became awesome by looking at a system that had evolved but hadn’t changed much much of it’s core in 20 years.  As cell phones went from science fair project, to rich man’s toy, to a must have for 4 year old children voicemail stayed the same.  Google voice changed that, and made it better.

When considering starting, or continuing even, a business are you going to copy another companies business model?  If so, is that model current and progressive.  I don’t think the market needs another video rental chain, or fake starbucks.

The market is begging for innovation.

The market wants awesomeness.

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Choice Paralysis

Have you ever stood at (or in many cases IN) your closet staring at your clothes unable to decide on what to wear?  Recently I was standing in front of my dress shirts trying to decide which one to wear.  I realized that I had a lot of choice so picking a nice one should be easy.  I counted and realized that at that moment I had over 50 clean dress shirts to chose from.  I was stuck there for a while, not able to decide on which one to wear.

In the video below Barry Schwartz explains two negative effects of having so much choice.

1. Paralysis instead of liberation
2. Lower satisfaction once a choice is made

We’ve all experienced the first effect. The closet question outlines how often this may happen every day. Standing there in front of my rack of 50 dress shirts I waste 5-10 minutes in the morning just trying to make a simple choice. Finally, I chose the blue shirt. The light blue shirt, french cuff, 100% cotton, classic straight point collar with custom monogramming. I insert my collar stays, that choice was easy. I reach for my cuff links and freeze another moment as I chose between the fancy ones or conservative ones. Finally, I’ dressed.

The second effect follows about a few minutes later. Walking out of the room I give myself a quick once over in the mirror and it hits me. What if I wore the white shirt. The white shirt, cotton/poly blend, designer texture, medium spread collar and normal cuffs without the monogram. Who doesn’t look good in white, I think to myself, but then a sound jogs me back to the reality that the 10 minutes I burned picking out a shirt have set me behind schedule and I must go as there are more choices to be unhappy about awaiting me.

“Opportunity costs subtract from the satisfaction of what we chose even when what we chose is terrific.” – Schwartz

Why this topic?

Think about whatever it is you’re working on.  When Henry Ford started selling the Model T he offered the car buyers a choice.  Said Ford, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  Sometimes, less is more.  I remember seeing a picture of a small coffee house that had added, over the years, a host of other services.  Soon it was Coffee, ATM, Lottery, Toys, Taxidermy and Nails.  I don’t think those were the actual services but the point is they were shooting for too big of a market, everybody.

Don’t sell to everybody.  Sell to somebody.  Pick a market and be ok with occasionally letting a customer pass by.  The same goes for my closet.  I’m getting rid of over 30 dress shirts this weekend, and the idea of fewer options already makes me smile.

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