Introduction and Interview by David Wagstaff
This interview is the first in a series of articles from entrepreneurs, that I’m compiling with the goal to provide other business owners, and soon-to-be business owners with a realistic view of what it takes to run a business, and some of the challenges commonly faced.
As I was reviewing applications for membership in the Entrepreneur’s Network (about 55,000 members as of January 2019), what caught my attention about Tom Broschinsky’s profile was that he is a fairly new business owner. He started his digital marketing business about four months ago in 2018. And I liked that his goal was to help other business owners succeed.
What I love about the story I received from Tom is that it’s authentic, and interestingly, he didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. I suspect that while that’s not true for all, it will be true for many. I like that he discusses unexpected events that helped form his story. And while it was different from the advice that I was expecting to hear from entrepreneurs, I liked that his tip is how to balance and find time to ground yourself.
I’m hoping that as a community, we can learn from each other and even support each other in various ways. I hope these stories will be raw and real, not polished TV productions about entrepreneurship.
These will be stories about the challenges we face.
1) What led you to become an entrepreneur?
I would consider myself an “accidental entrepreneur.” I never really had the desire or ambition to start a business. But in 2018, I was sitting at a conference listening to a speaker talk about their business and how they operate. I realized that they had just described my skill set. It was then that I had a paradigm shift of how I looked at my skills and the need for them in the digital marketing industry.
Walking away from that conference, I had a fire lit within to learn as much as I could, connect with whoever I could, listen to podcasts, and grow. Just over a year later, I am working with various clients in different industries and helping them in a very real way.
2) A brief description of your business and what are your aspirations for it?
After spending years in the digital marketing and e-commerce space, I have realized that there are businesses and solopreneuers out there that want to grow and scale, but can’t quite connect the dots. That is where I can step in and find the dots to connect social, e-commerce, email, and influencer marketing. My greatest satisfaction is knowing I can help others scale their businesses to meet their goals.
3) What have you done with your business that you are proud of or that has worked really well?
I think one of the coolest things that I’ve been able to do is help others get their brand and messaging out there. Right now, videos on social media, particularly Facebook, are so inexpensive to advertise with. With a bit of the right targeting, optimization, and creativity, you can get a message out to the masses for almost pennies.
4) What were some of your biggest challenges along the way?
One of my biggest challenges is ensuring I spend the right amount of time with my family. I have three young kids and a fourth on the way. Everything I do is for them and what I want to build for them. Making sure that what I am doing doesn’t take away from quality time with them is one of the hardest things I do. Another one for me has been my health.
In 2018 I was admitted to the ER twice for the same health issue. It really came down to poor diet and lack of exercise. I realized, as I was laying on a hospital bed in the ER, that I had to change something. I can hustle all I want, but if I’m not there to enjoy it with those I love, what is the point?
5) Have you overcome the challenges? If so how?
With my family, I make a daily effort to not be on my phone when I’m with them. I choose to live in the moment and focus on human connections in real life. Not on the digital connections.
As far as health, each night I take 10-15 minutes to listen to calming music and stretch. Nothing fancy but taking that time to focus on myself has already paid dividends. Combining that with better food choices, I’ve already started to lose weight and work towards a healthier “me” that can truly enjoy life with my wife and kids.
6) What have you learned and what would you like to share with other entrepreneurs?
There is no success without struggle, and that it can manifest in many ways. The only way to get past those struggles is to face them head-on. Even if you fall flat on your face, you get back up, and you keep on trying. At the end of the day, the issue may not be resolved, but you tried something hard, you learned, and you can try a different way tomorrow.