Paul Semanski | Member Tales

An artisanal method

Paul Semanski operates ThoughtBlazers, an company primarily based in West Hartford, CT that gives companies together with advertising and marketing, communications, and alter administration. Comply with him on Fb and Instagram.

The who:

Given a enterprise identify is so central to a model, we are likely to put a variety of significance on it. How did you arrive at a reputation, and the way do you are feeling about it now that you just’ve been in enterprise some time?

Our identify is a tackle the phrase “trailblazer,” which speaks to motion, exploration and danger taking. We tweaked it to “ThoughtBlazers” so as to add technique, innovation and creativity into the combo. At ThoughtBlazers, we’re the fusion of creativeness and implementation.

After seven years, we nonetheless get constructive suggestions on the identify and the way nicely it displays our distinctive worth proposition.

What’s your bodily location?

I work from my house in West Hartford, CT, USA. Throughout spring, summer season, and fall my exterior deck is my main workplace. My spouse is a grasp gardener, so I’ve obtained the very best workplace view I’ve ever had in my total profession.

With some manufacturers, location is a key element. Is there something concerning the place you reside and work that’s formed your personal model?

Early on, we had some shoppers the place bodily proximity was essential. As expertise has advanced and positively with COVID, speaking and collaborating remotely has turn out to be the norm vs the exception.

How would you describe your skilled expertise and background?

I started my profession with a well known insurance coverage firm as an underwriter, and was then promoted to account govt. As an AE, I oversaw all of the underwriting and repair features of my accounts, working carefully with Fortune 1000 CFOs and Threat Managers.

After 5 years in insurance coverage, I took a break and have become an on-the-road salesperson for a producer of customized merchandise for producers of all kinds and sizes. Because it was a brand new territory for my firm, my life at first was basically phone cold-calling – this was pre-email!

As an introvert this was brutal, however I developed a really thick pores and skin!

The number of prospects and prospects was superb. They ranged from Fortune 500 producers to small entrepreneurs assembling excessive tech {hardware} out of their storage. As I obtained to know the smaller enterprise house owners, I developed a deep appreciation for a way onerous they labored and the sacrifices they made, and that has at all times stayed with me.

Imagine it or not, I missed insurance coverage, so I hopped again into the business, underwriting and advertising and marketing specialty (uncommon, excessive danger) insurance coverage, and surety. Throughout the insurance coverage world, I steadily gravitated into roles that had been extra round gross sales, advertising and marketing, and communications with a give attention to mergers & acquisitions, product launches, organizational redesign and alter administration. My fundamental instruments included digital media and inner/exterior web sites.

The longer I journey down my profession path, the extra I worth all of the experiences I’ve had from each job – the great, the unhealthy and the ugly.

May you describe the scope of your operation?

The scope is at all times evolving – and that’s what makes my work enjoyable and difficult!

Primarily, we offer advertising and marketing, communications, and alter administration options, and inside that scope we’ve been disrupting the established order advertising and marketing options by taking an artisanal method to the enterprise.

What do you imply by an “artisanal” method?

At ThoughtBlazers we’re like a craft brewery. My companions and I create extremely custom-made, seamless options, and because the “Grasp Craft Brewer,” I rigorously deliver my private expertise and experience to every consumer and answer we offer. I’m personally concerned with every part of the venture in the identical manner a grasp brewer thoughtfully and passionately oversees each step of the brewing course of.

Whereas I don’t micro-manage my workforce, you’ll discover my fingerprints all through the venture, so the standard and consistency is at all times there.

Whereas we have a look at information/algorithms, AI, and expertise, they aren’t the drivers however merely substances that we deliver into the combo. On the finish of the day, delivering profitable advertising and marketing and alter administration options to our shoppers continues to be an artwork in addition to a science.

Some entrepreneurs describe an aha! second, the moment they determined it was time to take issues into their very own arms. May you describe any of these moments you’ve had?

My “aha” second was really born out of an “oh no” second! Whereas trying to depart the corporate I used to be with for a greater alternative, I discovered that securing a brand new advertising and marketing/communications lead place was going to be a problem except I used to be keen to relocate.

Since shifting was not an choice, I started to noticeably take into consideration beginning my very own agency. And the query that saved arising in my thoughts was, “If not now, when?” That was the genesis of ThoughtBlazers.

The what:

What sort of tasks do you like to work on?

For me, it’s way more about the kind of consumer I work with. If my buyer offers the services {the marketplace} wants and innovates as buyer wants change, that’s indication the venture will probably be difficult and enjoyable – and it normally is.

May you describe your typical consumer (if in case you have a typical consumer)?

Most of my shoppers are genuine entrepreneurs, starting from startup tech-based service organizations to second era, family-owned manufacturing operations.

Along with their entrepreneurial background, my shoppers are all about innovation and are open to utilizing new and rising gross sales, advertising and marketing, and coaching instruments.

Typically we’re ready the place it’s needed to show down tasks. What do these conditions seem like for you, and the way do you handle them?

If it seems a buyer isn’t going to be fulfilling to work with, that’s an enormous crimson flag. Or if they provide services that aren’t in line with their market, and will not be keen to maintain tempo with what their prospects are demanding, they’d most likely be higher off with a extra formulaic advertising and marketing options agency. My method with a majority of these prospects is to refer them to a different agency that I do know will do job for them.

Efficiency is at all times necessary, however generally now we have to pay shut consideration to worth as nicely. How do you place GoDaddy services in your shoppers?

I place GoDaddy as a expertise and advertising and marketing accomplice that’s dedicated to offering the most recent in net, ecommerce, and digital advertising and marketing options, with extremely skilled and responsive customer support.

I emphasize with my shoppers that GoDaddy’s state-of-the-art venture administration instruments enable me to extra shortly and effectively handle their tasks, which is able to finally save them cash.

With all of the promoting and model constructing initiatives that GoDaddy has invested in, my prospects and prospects have turn out to be extremely conscious of the model and the way in which they’ve advanced over time, from a easy vendor of net domains to a number one full service net constructing and ecommerce enterprise. This makes it even simpler to promote the GoDaddy model.

May you describe a venture that you just really feel exemplifies you at your greatest?

Most of my time lately is spent working with a startup known as N-Gage Model, LLC. They make and promote canine toys – how enjoyable is that?! They’re an amazing buyer and a variety of enjoyable to work with. They’re dedicated to constructing a life-style model and a neighborhood that’s enthusiastic about spending significant moments with their canines.

N-Gage formally launched proper earlier than the pandemic hit in early 2020, which was tremendous difficult. However as an genuine entrepreneur, they had been capable of shortly reply to the wants of their prospects in a really tough time. I’m glad to say that the longer term seems very vibrant for this dynamic begin up, and I’m deeply honored to be a part of their journey.

In addition they present me with plenty of free samples, so my family and friends members and their canines are very glad.

The how:

An apparent metric for measuring our personal success is how a lot you bought paid versus how a lot time it took. In your expertise, what are the benefits and downsides right here?

Over time, you’ll get higher at understanding what the going fee is for an engagement. If the going fee is greater than you may cost for the venture, you continue to might wish to take the engagement. Listed below are some issues:

  • Will this be a trial venture that might result in extra worthwhile tasks with the identical consumer sooner or later?
  • Will this venture give me the chance to get into a brand new market section, business or sphere of affect?
  • Will this venture give me a chance to find out about a brand new expertise or software program platform?
  • Do I would like the income to maintain the lights on? Typically you could want the income to keep away from cashflow issues, however hopefully these conditions are few and much between.

How does GoDaddy Professional match into what you do? May you advocate any methods to get probably the most worth out of it — particularly to somebody simply beginning out?

What impresses me most about GoDaddy Professional and The Hub is that it permits me to view all of my domains, merchandise, assets and tasks in a single dashboard that’s organized in a clear, intuitive format.

The Hub makes even probably the most complicated tasks a lot simpler to handle and preserve observe of.

By way of seeing what GoDaddy Professional can do for newbies, I might encourage them to incorporate all of their net design and venture planning components in The Hub’s dashboard, whether or not or not the services or products had been bought from GoDaddy. I’m assured that almost all people will simply see the worth of the GoDaddy Professional platform.

Think about you possibly can journey again in a time machine to a degree the place you had been like, Neglect this. I’m executed! What recommendation would you give your self?

Maintain onto your religion, and lean into your family and friends members for help. Understand that tough instances include the territory, however if in case you have the appropriate mindset, they’ll construct character and create new alternatives that you would be able to pursue.

And at all times, at all times keep optimistic!

What’s your parting shot for individuals who wish to be such as you after they develop up?

First, by no means develop up! What I imply is, method the fixed change that’s going throughout us with an open thoughts and mental curiosity.

Second, align your self with modern companions like GoDaddy which might be continuously rising their portfolio of assets and need to construct a long-term relationship with you.

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