We had the opportunity to sit down with EO Birmingham member Jason Lovoy to talk about what being an entrepreneur means to him. Keep reading for Jason’s insight, as well as an inside look into what it’s like being a member of our organization.
What’s the Best Part of Being an Entrepreneur?
The reason someone decides to go out on their own is because all of the good parts of being an entrepreneur are really great, even if the tough parts are really challenging. When you think about it from the standpoint of setting goals and being able to accomplish them, it’s a lot like sports—you enjoy the sport, but most folks in sports aren’t just trying to maintain, they’re trying to get better.
Entrepreneurs are always trying to improve because, more than ever, you can’t be sitting still. If you’re doing the same thing as you were 10 years ago, you’re going to get left behind. There are slow adapters, and there are some who adapt too quickly. The middle is the best place to be—it takes discernment to know what’s worth pursuing and what’s not. You’ve got to be more aware, and you have to stay sharp.
What’s the Worst Part of Being an Entrepreneur?
Pretty much the same answer. You’ve got to constantly be innovating and sometimes that’s difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to change or shake things up because you’ve gotten comfortable. Sometimes you know you’re getting diminishing returns, but you’re afraid to change. That’s what people have to be willing to do—take a little risk and move forward, try something new. Part of your effort in entrepreneurship has to be exploring the next thing.
What Advice Would You Give to New Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship can be very lonely—you have to surround yourself with accountability, or even a business coach. Maybe do an accelerator program. I highly recommend a business coach that helps you think through things and holds you accountable. If you don’t strategize and plan, you’ll get caught in a hamster wheel. What business owners have you met that tell you they aren’t busy? If you don’t plan and set goals, you’ll never reach them. You have to have that person who helps you stick to your plan.
The EO Accelerator program walks you through the fundamentals of owning a business—cash flow, sales, hiring the right people, and you get the benefit of being around other entrepreneurs. Being part of a group like EO is great. We all have the same issues—family in the business, personal issues, cash flow problems, collections or insurance problems, etc. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if we’re manufacturing something, installing AV equipment, or doing digital marketing. We all have the same problems.
What Advice Would You Give to Entrepreneurs Here in the Digital Age?
It’s easy for me to say this, but you’ve got to be thinking creatively about how to keep your company out in front and top of mind. If you’re not doing that, you’ll get lost in the mix. Whether that means making sure your Google My Business is up to date, getting reviews online, doing some kind of digital marketing, or having a social media strategy—you have to have a strategy, and you have to measure the results.
We do Lunch & Learns at Infomedia where we invite members of the community to come learn about a specific topic with us—I don’t necessarily see a return on that, but I’m committed to it because it’s our way to give back to the community and stay top of mind. You just always have to think about how to be an expert in your field.
For more information about our organization, our members, and for more entrepreneurial advice, contact EO Birmingham today.