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Benjamin Yee – Interview with the CEO of EMERGE App

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin Yee, CEO and founder of EMERGE App, a cloud-based inventory management system for small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

Thanks for having me here, too. It’s a funny thing that you asked me that because how I got here was totally unscripted and improvised. I’ve always been a bit of a restless and wanderlust type since high school. So I started a custom t-shirt printing business.

I was just itching to make money so that I could travel and have fun. Well, it turned out that sales of corporate t-shirts really took off. But I was struggling with my inventory that was stocked with every possible size, colour and material. It became clear that I had to invest in software as spreadsheets didn’t scale with my business.

Nothing in the market at that time suited my small business, so I wrote my own inventory management software. I then saw that other SMBs like me were having issues managing their stock with affordable software. So after a year or so in development, I launched my in-house software as the solution you see today.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

That would have to be the setting up of my software development office in Saigon. Vietnam is an awesome country with lots of young, talented adults that are hungry for success and lifelong learning. As with any new office, there was a lot of activity with new furniture and new faces, all while managing the software development lifecycle.

As you might expect, my days were incredibly long and fuelled by coffee. So I took to bringing a sleeping bag to the office to catch up with sleep. I don’t do it anymore but my staff joke that, as part of an initiation rite, new hires should bring a sleeping bag and spend their first week staying at the company’s office.

So what does your app do?

My app is a web-based application handles orders, purchases and inventory inside a typical small and medium-sized business. Think of it as inventory management software that goes well beyond managing your stock with spreadsheets. It has built-in smarts to automate many things that were once done manually by employees.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I’d like to think that we’ve helped a lot of SMBs around the world achieve personal and business success using our software. We’ve helped a diverse customer pool of jewellers, herbalists, chocolatiers and medical suppliers with their inventory issues so that they can truly focus on their trade and craft.

But the one story that stands out is a seed research company from South America. This is probably the most novel use of our software to date! They’re using our software as a central data repository for the importation and distribution of seeds. They also do a fair bit of work with plant genetics as well. So I’m proud to have a part in helping to advance research in the biotechnology space.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I’m fortunate to fall into the hip category of a digital nomad. My software business means that I can work anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an Internet connection. This pretty much extends to each and every one of my employees too. Only time zones divide us as all communication is done by chat and video calls.

So I mix business and travel readily. With this job I’ve been to places that I would only dream about if I had a corporate desk job. Some cities and towns are so remote that you need days to reach them by various modes of transport, including motorbike, ferries and buses. This way I work hard and play hard at the same time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There’s a mentor and investor that I was grateful to have in the very early days of starting my software company. She found considerable success herself by co-founding a web support platform that was subsequently sold to a larger player. She told me plainly that finding success with your business means looking for your “ah ha” moment.

This isn’t the Norwegian pop group from the 1980s. She meant finding enlightenment or a light-bulb moment that will distinguish you in the market from your competitors. Her “ah ha” moment was putting a simple prompt in the window of her chat support software: “How can we help you today?”. Customers from both sides loved it! This prompt, in one way or another, is now commonly found in all chat support windows.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each. ‘

  1. Sometimes life hands you a new opportunity on a plate when you least expect it.

I didn’t set out from the start to build a software technology company. This was far from my mind when I was battling workflow issues with my t-shirt printing company. But somehow that problem became an opportunity and I seized it.

  1. Look far and wide for talent and funding.

Don’t just limit yourself to finding investors and talent in your local market. If you’re spending too much time selling the idea of your company to uncertain investors or unsure employees, then quickly move on and find those that trly get it.

  1. Don’t hire new talent immediately.

As you know, interviews in person or online can go really well. But it’s another matter when they start working for you and interacting with the rest of their team. For me, it’s not the CV that matters but what can you contribute to the team and the company? I now put new hires through a paid probation period before hiring them officially. It makes it much easier when you have to ask people to leave.

  1. Always ask customers for a commitment upfront before you build something for them.

The customer is certainly king (or queen) but make sure that you’re not holding the short end of the stick. I built custom features for keen users in the early days. I didn’t ask for any commitment upfront but when it came to demonstrating their custom features and asking for a paid subscription in return, they simply disappeared!

  1. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.

I admit that we’ve been flying under the radar for far too long. We have over 1,000 users from 40 countries spread over 5 continents. That’s a pretty far reach for a small software company that most people haven’t heard of. I guess I was so focused on building a better product with each software release that I lost sight of PR and marketing work. So when you have a solid, proven product, don’t be afraid to show it off.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.

There is one person that I would very much like to meet but he’s no longer with us now. I’ve always admired the late Steve Jobs. His relationship with the company that he founded had a rocky history but what he did in the last few decades of his life really inspired me in my youth.

You might remember the “Think Different” campaign that Apple launched in the late 1990s. It’s no longer used today but it featured notable names from the 20th century. The slogan is just as relevant today: our products empower you to Think Different from the rest.

I’d like to say that’s what we’re trying to do with EMERGE App. We’re empowering SMBs around the world to think differently about how they’re managing their inventory, thus not only saving money and increasing productivity but also making more time in your life for the things that truly matter.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my life experiences so far with you.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow my LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-yee-a0370b2a/

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Interviews

How to build healthy relationships and stronger marriages with Spirit Led Ministries

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Spirit Led Ministries is on a mission to help Men, Women & Couples Understand, Embrace & Implement God’s Truths In Their Marriage & Relationships. We got the opportunity to sit down with them to talk about how people can build healthy long lasting relationships and stronger marriage. If you are looking to become a power couple and build a legacy you are not going to want to miss this.

What is a healthy relationship?

One that is conducive for growth, where there is mutual respect and a common goal.

What makes a good marriage?

When the atmosphere of the relationship has mutual respect, growth, love, concern for the other, where you can help each other meet goals. There is a mutual understanding that there will be good times and tough times, that you support each other through the sicknesses. When you are committed to the relationship and each other physically, understanding that you are in a covenant relationship with this person and God.

What are the signs of a relationship in trouble?

When one or both people are disengaged in the care of the relationship, meaning they are no longer desiring to deal with issues in the marriage or grow in the marriage.

When everything results into an argument which is a sign that you are not listening and receiving what each other is saying.

When you are desiring to share issues about your marriage with someone of the opposite sex, spending quality time with this person and sharing personal thoughts that you feel that you cannot share with your spouse.

How do we know if we need marriage help?

You know that you need help when your have tried to work through your issues together, but no change or resolve has developed from your efforts.

What are things people can do to improve their marriage relationships right now?

We must be able to come together and have a relationship checkup just as you go to the doctor and get regular checkups for your physical health.

Toshia and I have regular meetings to discuss concerns, plans, goals, finances and family matters. Also, it is important to have a regular schedule date night to maintain and grow intimacy in the relationship.

Your spiritual foundation should be strong meaning that you are able to discuss the word of God and worship together.

How you got into this field?

After experiencing turmoil in the first six years of our marriage, we received healing, restoration and a new vision for our marriage and family. We would often share our testimony as we felt led, but in March of 2017, the Lord gave us a mandate to officially help other couples. We began to realize that God had started preparing us years ago through our education and person experience.

What is the mission of Spirit Led Ministries and how do you help couples save their relationships?

The mission of Spirit Led Ministries is to help men, women and couples understand, embrace and implement God’s truths in their marriage and relationships.

We help couples to understand that they must renew their mind from the superficial values and customs of the world. We help them to embrace what God has said about marriage and relationships in the word of God focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes. We help them to identify where the transformation is needed to be implemented in their marriage and relationships so that they can live out God’s plan and purpose for themselves.

Where can people find you?

You can find us at www.officialspiritledministries.com.
On the website, you can join our mailing list, request a free consultation, request us for speaking engagements and purchase our book “Spirit Led Marriage, Our Journey”.
Facebook: officialspiritledministries page.
Instagram: officialspiritledministries
Twitter: @LedMinistries (officialSpiritledMinistires)

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Interviews

Interview with DJ Bad Gyrl

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How did you get started?

I started my first business when I was 22 years old.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur? To be honest, I was never a good employee, I knew from a young age and after getting fired a few times, that a 9-5 wasn’t my thing at all. I’ll keep 100% honest I was in a terrible position in life at 22-years old that I had to do something quickly. Being broke is what inspired me to become my own boss.

What gave you the courage to start a company, speak out, become a public figure?

I never intended on becoming a public figure, but it just happened. I had an opportunity to do radio, and I loved it, and now I run a radio station that oversees 35+ personalities.

What is one of your greatest accomplishment to date? Tell us about something that you are most proud of?
My most significant accomplishments to date has nothing to do with business at all. Raising an amazing daughter as a single parent is my greatest accomplishment. I am proud to have given my kid her first job with my franchise that I owned at the time. I am proud I was able to teach her responsibility and structure.

What was one of your most challenging moments and how did you overcome it?

To be honest, I still have challenging moments in business every day is different it’s never the same challenge. I overcome it by staying calm and thinking of a Plan B, C, D, E, F…I never stick to just one plan I think about six months ahead of where I am at the moment.

Does your family support you in your efforts?

My mother does and always has. She has always been more than willing to support me in anything I’ve ever done.

Who are your favorite people or role models, both business and personal?

To be honest, I have a few favorite people in business. The mentor that I have had for a long time now Bruce Commander Garrett he’s just a good guy and always willing to give me the advice I need regarding radio. My uncle Cris who is a vet in this radio business is only a force to be wrecking with I look up to him and his talent. My role models would be my parents for sure they have always kept me grounded. I have a very special girl that I love very much, and she inspires me , and she’s def one of my favorite people. Lastly, my takeover team is all my favorite people they are what keeps me going.

What message would you send to inspire all the other entrepreneurs out there who look up to you?

Listen, if you choose to become an entrepreneur be sure you are willing to sacrifice it all. You will endure a lot of challenges and a lot of rewards, but you have to keep going. You are only as good as your latest work. You need to realize owning your own business it’s a 24-hour grind. Your thoughts breed reality. I am no different the next female I am just relentless, I have a drive like a steam train I cannot be stopped.

What do you understand about your industry that other people don’t understand?
I have been lucky enough to have some great successful guys that have been in this radio business for over 30 years so I’m fortunate to know what I should and shouldn’t be doing. People need to understand I am not the one to be doubted. I am out to change the radio industry one way or another. Everything I have ever spoken into existence has come to fruition. I am all about that action. I am 6 months ahead of the curve I don’t do shit irrationally, I am a very calculated mastermind to everything I do. I know this game like the back of my hand. I am here to leave my legacy, and I am creating my own lane; I don’t need to fit anywhere else.

What’s next for you in your career/business?

To be honest, I love radio but at some point in the next ten years I want to create a protege to take over my spot, and I get to watch them grow. I want to eventually move into Real Estate in more than just selling I want to get into development. When I reach my 60s, 70s I’d like to become a motivational speaker to the youth and give them my testimony. I would like to leave this planet giving those the knowledge they need and inspire those to do better than I did. This is a journey, and I look forward to aging gracefully and becoming wiser.

What does Disrupt mean to you?

Disrupt to me means to interfere with my flow! Lol, Don’t disrupt me while I’m building my baby empire. Go have a seat if you’re not going to add to it.
Thank you for coming on the show. 

Instagram: djbadgyrlvegas

Website: www.223takeovervegasradio.com

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Interviews

Interview with Andy Jacob

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Good morning, we are very excited to have one of America’s leading business consultants join us. Andy Jacob specializes in the customer sales cycle, online monetization, and startup business consulting. Andy Jacob is the CEO of the Jacob Group, the author of The Beautiful StartUp Quiz, and the founder of numerous multi million dollar companies throughout his career. Andy has become known for his one hour business consulting, where gets to the bottom of both simple and complex business problems very quickly. Andy uses a series of specialized questions for each company he works with that he has developed through his 30 years of business experience. Today, we are going to put Andy through a speed round of questions, and just for fun, limit his answers to one sentence. Andy is known for his ability to break things down very quickly, so we are going to also use a timer, and make sure he answers in one sentence, and in less than 5 seconds for each answer. This should be enlightening for our readers, so let’s go.

What’s the most important thing a startup must think about in raising money?
They need to think about how they are going to make paying customers happy.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur yourself?

It all started in 1970 when a neighbor gave me $3 to shovel her driveway after a Michigan snowstorm.

What gave you the courage to start multiple successful companies, speak out, and become a public figure? 
Sometimes it’s better to not know any better.

What is one of your greatest accomplishment to date? 
Getting my wife to say yes when I proposed to her .

Tell us about something in business that you are most proud of? 
I’m most proud of the fact that I still talk to all the partners I have ever had in business, and we are still friends.

What was your most embarrassing moment in business?
I once did an important phone interview for a national radio show from home, and could not get my Labrador retriever from barking at squirrels in the background.

What message would you send to inspire all the other entrepreneurs out there who look up to you?
Everyone skins their knees on the pavement, and the more bloody they get, the better the story of rising up it becomes.

What do you understand about your industry that other people don’t understand? 
Entrepreneurs and startup founders need solid questions so they can see the competitive landscape clearly.

What’s next for you in your career?
Finishing what I started, and starting new ideas that I plan on finishing.

What does Disrupt mean to you?
It means figuring out how to make paying customers more engaged and happy than anyone else has ever done before.

What’s the one thing most startup entrepreneurs forget about?
They forget about their customers.

What is the one thing startup entrepreneurs spend too much time on in the first three months of their idea? 
The name of the company.

In one word, what is the single most important idea that a startup entrepreneur should think about at 2 AM?

Their customers.
What is the one thing from sports that an entrepreneur can learn to be successful.
Outperform and be humble.

Andy, thank you so much. If anyone would like to speak to Mr. Jacob directly, you can contract him at the following. Thank you again for your time.
www.AndyJacob.com
www.ScottsdaleAngels.com
www.BeautifulStartup.com

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