The Young Entrepreneur Council, Proud Media Partner of CEO GOLF:
Chris Van Dusen is the CEO of Parcon Media, working with clients to concept, extend, implement and analyze ROI on their digital media campaigns.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
Entrepreneurs — they are who make this world amazing. Without people who dare to ask tough questions and propose alternative solutions, we wouldn’t have much of the world as we know it. I certainly wouldn’t be typing this answer on a computer.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Get a job in customer service or sales and shake as many people’s hands as possible. One of the best experiences you can have is a job where you interact with people from many walks of life with very different motivations. You will get to experience conflict resolution and success merchandising, and begin to understand why people make decisions and what can influence those decisions. This will help you be a better leader, manager and product creator.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Having co-founders. (I am sure they say the same about me.) If you decided to start a business with someone else, make sure you’re aligned. I don’t just mean on the company mission but life, family, work ethic, vision, goals, scale and everything else. And make sure you are continually checking in to stay aligned. Nothing creates resentment and tears a company apart faster than co-founders starting to run down their own paths with their own priorities.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Every morning, I get up and check my email to make sure there isn’t a huge fire that needs to be put out. I play with my two-year-old daughter and get ready to go to Jiu Jitsu. I find being active in the mornings sets a great tempo for the day.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Make sure you have created a good financial runway so you can make smart decisions, not desperate ones. Test everything before you invest in it.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Prioritize health — without that, you can’t do anything. This can mean going for a run, going to the gym, etc. Just make time for physical activity.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
The definition of success for me is freedom. The freedom to work on the projects I want with the people I want. The ability to provide opportunities for my family, friends and those that need it. I am successful if I can wake up each day with purpose and the ability to make an impact. As it relates to a company, I think success is measured in milestones, not a finite end.