Andy Karuza is the CEO of brandbuddee.com and a long-time social media consultant with experience in Enterprise, Startup, and local small business. Portfolio includes Google, Microsoft, BMC, Ducati, LA Fitness, & more. Also an active nightlife, fashion, entrepreneur, and charity community member. brandbuddee is his third company that has been in preparation for 2 years. Learn more at www.linkedin.com/in/andykaruza/. Follow him @andykaruza.
Who is your hero?
My friends, family, and co-workers.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
Everything is a lot simpler than it may appear. To get the answers you're looking for, always ask the question, "Why?"
There is a cause and effect to everything, but so many people get caught up in abstract ideas or generalities instead. By getting to the root of the issue you really begin to understand how things work -- or how they don't.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Crede sed proba. It's easy to get caught up in glamor, fantastic stories, or things that appear to sound good. What I've found is that anything that sounds too good to be true, usually is. Don't count anything until it's a done deal, and don't rely on any one person too much until you've gone through an open, yet long process of building trust.
To some degree, you have to trust everyone as much as you can, and allow people a chance, but don't give them the keys to the car.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I respond to emails while I'm in my bed. That way, I get a jump on business for the day. While I'm getting ready and heading to the office, my emails are hopefully going to be the first order of business for those on the receiving end. Honestly, my business is the first thing on my mind in the morning.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Don't be afraid to spend money, but spend it on the right things. For instance, there are many ways to cut costs, including with marketing. For one, if you don't have enough money to advertise, you better be spending time on social media building relationships and making connections. Everything is a trade-off, and until you can afford to delegate the task or pay for it to be handled some other way, you should be prepared to pick up that task and make it happen.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Build the right team and put the right people around you. At the end of the day, there are people better than you at so many things. You should be able to wear several hats, but focus more on sharing the spotlight with team members that can do something better than you can. Get the right types of people with the right mix of skills and attributes around you.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.