Paul Semanski | Member Tales

An artisanal strategy

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

The who:

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

Our identify is a tackle the phrase “trailblazer,” which speaks to motion, exploration and threat 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 optimistic suggestions on the identify and the way effectively it displays our distinctive worth proposition.

What’s your bodily location?

I work from my dwelling in West Hartford, CT, USA. Throughout spring, summer time, and fall my outdoors deck is my main workplace. My spouse is a grasp gardener, so I’ve received one of the best workplace view I’ve ever had in my complete profession.

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

Early on, we had some purchasers the place bodily proximity was essential. As expertise has advanced and definitely with COVID, speaking and collaborating remotely has develop into the norm vs the exception.

How would you describe your skilled expertise and background?

I started my profession with a widely 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 points of my accounts, working intently with Fortune 1000 CFOs and Danger 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 sorts and sizes. Because it was a brand new territory for my firm, my life to start with was primarily 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 clients and prospects was wonderful. They ranged from Fortune 500 producers to small entrepreneurs assembling excessive tech {hardware} out of their storage. As I received to know the smaller enterprise house owners, I developed a deep appreciation for the way arduous they labored and the sacrifices they made, and that has all the time 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 threat) insurance coverage, and surety. Inside 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 primary 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 nice, the unhealthy and the ugly.

May you describe the scope of your operation?

The scope is all the time 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 strategy to the enterprise.

What do you imply by an “artisanal” strategy?

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

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

Whereas we take a look at knowledge/algorithms, AI, and expertise, they aren’t the drivers however merely components that we deliver into the combo. On the finish of the day, delivering profitable advertising and marketing and alter administration options to our purchasers remains 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 fingers. May you describe any of these moments you’ve had?

My “aha” second was truly 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 until I used to be keen to relocate.

Since transferring was not an possibility, I started to significantly take into consideration beginning my very own agency. And the query that stored 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 and products {the marketplace} wants and innovates as buyer wants change, that’s indication the venture will likely be difficult and enjoyable – and it normally is.

May you describe your typical consumer (when you’ve got a typical consumer)?

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

Along with their entrepreneurial background, my purchasers 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 appear like for you, and the way do you handle them?

If it seems a buyer will not be going to be fulfilling to work with, that’s an enormous purple flag. Or if they provide services and products that aren’t in keeping with their market, and usually are not keen to maintain tempo with what their clients are demanding, they might in all probability be higher off with a extra formulaic advertising and marketing options agency. My strategy 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 all the time essential, however generally we’ve to pay shut consideration to worth as effectively. How do you place GoDaddy services and products in your purchasers?

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 purchasers that GoDaddy’s state-of-the-art venture administration instruments permit 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 clients have develop into extremely conscious of the model and the best way they’ve advanced through the years, 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 simply 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 ideal buyer and a whole lot of enjoyable to work with. They’re dedicated to constructing a way of life model and a group that’s keen about spending significant moments with their canine.

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 in a position to shortly reply to the wants of their clients in a really troublesome time. I’m joyful to say that the longer term seems to be very vivid for this dynamic begin up, and I’m deeply honored to be a part of their journey.

Additionally they present me with a number of free samples, so my family and friends members and their canine are very joyful.

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 charge is for an engagement. If the going charge is greater than you’ll be able to cost for the venture, you continue to could wish to take the engagement. Listed below are some concerns:

  • Will this be a trial venture that will 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 study a brand new expertise or software program platform?
  • Do I want the income to maintain the lights on? Typically it’s possible you’ll 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 suggest any methods to get essentially 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, sources and tasks in a single dashboard that’s organized in a clear, intuitive format.

The Hub makes even essentially the most advanced tasks a lot simpler to handle and maintain monitor of.

When it comes to seeing what GoDaddy Professional can do for newbies, I’d 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 the majority of us will simply see the worth of the GoDaddy Professional platform.

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

Maintain onto your religion, and lean into your family and friends members for assist. Notice that troublesome occasions include the territory, however when you’ve got the proper mindset, they’ll construct character and create new alternatives that you could pursue.

And all the time, all the time 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, strategy the fixed change that’s going throughout us with an open thoughts and mental curiosity.

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

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