July 20, 2011
Today’s post by Tech Cocktail contributor Samantha Strauss (@SFSam22) is the second of a collection of interviews with some heavy-weight social media industry personalities with a goal to highlight the entrepreneur in all of us. Read the previous post: Share, Learn, Grow! An Interview With Twitter’s Famed @CharityIdeas
We all have the potential to be great. Those who seize the day and grab hold of the opportunities that present themselves succeed. Now, thanks to social media, entrepreneurs have the ability to reach a broader audience in a shorter amount of time and create our own online empires. As 1 of the 50 Most ReTweeted People in the World, Blair Semenoff, aka @Flipbooks, has grabbed the reigns and taken control of his destiny. Since May of 2009, Blair has provided his now over 50,000 Twitter followers with “24/7 News, Random Information and Inspiration.” He is the epitome of a Social Media Entrepreneur.
Starting in high school, Blair learned about distribution while working at his local grocery store, from there he worked construction and created a wide range of small companies including a “pimped out” snow removal business. In addition to being a “Twitter celebrity,” Blair is now the CEO of TruAction Flix Inc., “the only company in the world with a patented flipbook featuring four separate five-second clips with the addition of tear off coupons, numerous advertising spaces, as well as the ability to add scent and temporary tattoos for marketing campaigns. He is also a man on a mission to raise capital for what he’s referring to as a system that will “bring more value to the web for everyone.”
“I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was born,” Blair jokes.
We had a chance to chat with Blair about what he thinks makes a successful entrepreneur and how to succeed with social media. Here’s what he had to say:
TC: What should all entrepreneurs know?
Blair: Every day is a new day, a chance to do better.
TC: Why is social media important to you?
Blair: It creates a platform for like-minded people to meet and gives our communities a chance to get organized.
TC: Which key social media tools should entrepreneurs and startups use to build their business?
Blair: Start with a smartphone-friendly website and start blogging. No use doing anything else till you have that in play.
TC: What would you say to a budding entrepreneur?
Blair: I’d ask them if they are someone with a great idea or are they an entrepreneur with a great idea? The two are completely different. Anybody can have a great idea, but only an entrepreneur will see it through to the end.
TC: What makes starting a business hard and how do you overcome the challenge?
Blair: Money. Money is always an issue. Keep looking for the right investor(s) who will finally listen….
TC: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
TC: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Blair: Never stop learning and hire people smarter than me.
TC: Is there a guiding principle that you wish you knew when you started that you know now?
Blair: Nobody will appreciate your time as much as you do.
TC: How would you describe yourself in three words?
Blair: Congruent, enthusiastic and stubborn.
TC: What do you want to be remembered for?
Blair: As someone who made a monumental shift in the way people think, act and conduct business.
TC: Who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
Blair: Napoleon Hill.
The Obligatory Twitter Questions
TC: What’s your key to building a great following?
Blair: Quality and consistency
TC: Do you un-follow people? Is there a rule about who to follow?
Blair: I don’t just un-follow people, I block someone daily. Everyone should be helping out to get rid of spammers.
TC: Do you thank every person that RTs you? Why or Why not?
Blair: Hahhaha, not anymore, I get about 2,000 ReTweets per day. But I think everyone should until they get about 100 ReTweets per day or supplement with reciprocating.
TC: What’s your Twitter mantra?
Blair: If you ain’t ReTweeting, you ain’t Tweeting.
A Fun Way to End
TC: If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Blair: Fly like Superman! (Without the tights.)
TC: If you could meet anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Blair: I need funding, so it would be someone who’s alive… @RichardBranson. He thinks outside the box, he is a genius, and I feel he also looks at the “big picture” when getting involved in a project.
TC: What’s your favorite motivational quote/saying?
Blair: “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~Jack Kerouac
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