As creator of ezinearticles.com, Chris knows his stuff! I hope you enjoy more of Chris's interview in today's free network marketing information post.
An Interview with Internet Entrepreneur Christopher Knight
Top ezine and article marketing guru shares his entrepreneurial experience
From Scott Allen, for About.com, http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/interviews/a/chrisknight.htm
SA: Tell me about your entrepreneurial background – did you start young or later? What, if anything, in your upbringing led you to entrepreneurship?
CK: When I was in grade school, I bought bags of Kit Kats and sold them individually on the playground during recess. I saw a market need and filled it.
At age 16 I started a professional DJ service to spin music for proms, homecomings, weddings, sock hops, company picnics or any type of party event.
My father is a farmer / entrepreneur and, while I didn't join him in the farming family business, I did learn many lessons about how to work with customers, vendors, employees and eventually, banks or financial institutions.
I really think entrepreneurs are born and not made. It either comes naturally or it feels completely foreign to you. To me, I have a knowing of certainty that this is what I was meant to do, and I love it.
Who have been your role models, mentors, or other inspiration for you, both in your personal life and public figures?
Tony Robbins helped me get into massive intelligent action, Dr. Wayne Dyer helped me order and focus my intentions/thoughts, and Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan coached me on how to better organize my time.
Personally, I'm inspired by great athletes who rise to the top of their game. Too many to list here, but I track top athletes in business and in sports to better understand how to create even higher performance in my life.
What specifically led you to start your current business(es)?I really like the advertising-based revenue model and as I looked at all of the web properties I had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars acquiring between 1995-2001, I asked myself this question: "Which web property is succeeding the most despite no investments of time or effort on our part." When I identified that EzineArticles.com was that project, I organized a plan to invest tens of thousands of hours of attention to find out how big the project could become. I'm still working on figuring out where the ceiling is on this project.
SA: How has the business been funded? What has been the upside/downside of how you're funded?
CK: In 2002 I had sold SparkLIST, an email list hosting service provider business to Lyris, and upon the closing of that transaction, I concurrently bought out my VC partner on a failed advertising-based revenue project called List-Universe.
I was left with no money, no revenue, and a bunch of domain names or websites of near useless content. My pride was somewhat in tact as I did the right thing for my former customers and found an exit for my VC partner at the time that was amicable.
Borrowing against my home mortgage, I invested a few hundred thousand to get back in the game and hired a small team of former employees who helped forge the start of the current business we're in.
Upside of being self-funded is that I answer to no one externally for how profitable or not we are. This brings the responsibility to find a return on capital on myself. VC's have been knocking on our door, but they are going to need to bring something more than just capital to the table, such as key partnership relationships or exclusive long-term advertising deals.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Convincing my family to stick with me during the lean years.
I overcame this by ignoring any doubt they brought to my attention.
What motivates you every day when you go to work?
My life is on purpose. How much more excited can you be when you know you are doing exactly what you are suppose to be doing with your life and time!
I'm humbled at the expertise our collective author community brings to the table and honored to work with a very innovative team of web developers and highly efficient editors who take care of daily operations.
Further building our management team also motives me because they free my time up so that I can work on further innovations or creative marketing solutions to reach our goals faster.
What is the best advice you have for new or future entrepreneurs?
"Do it and stop talking about 'doing it." Get into massive action. Learn and read like mad every single day. Listen to your stakeholders and earn their respect by taking an enormous amount of action that proves you heard what they had to say. Create and design a business that allows you to step out of daily operations. If you are running your business, you are a manager and not an entrepreneur. Nothing wrong with being a manager or even an 'entrepreneurial-spirited manager', but true entrepreneurs in my mind unlock the creativity and innovation in market potential for their business and industry –they can only do this if they are not involved in daily operations of the business.
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