Quentin Pain of ProofMEDIA shares with us the importance of communication, his lessons learned from his six businesses, and how important a certain sportswear slogan is for success in business.
There are only two reasons we do things: a) because we're forced, or b) because we're inspired. Both of those things involve communication. The simple truth is communication matters. But communication in business without proof that it works is no good, so I created ProofMEDIA to help people communicate better messages and get proof it works.
Creating the right message for the right audience. Every word matters. Get it wrong and the message will be misunderstood. Send it to the wrong audience and it gets lost.
This is my sixth business. The first I sold and made enough to buy a house and start a string of other businesses. I learned quickly that the only thing people care about is solving their most pressing problem as fast and as economically as possible.
The ability to communicate clearly is my mantra. Every day I work on that one thing. And I pass that knowledge along to my clients. Everyone wins.
Successful completion of a project and a happy client. When I'm writing, I enter a different world. Time goes so fast I don't notice until I'm done. That might be 1 hour or 4 hours. Either way, I'm at my best when I'm in that zone.
I play an online game called Forged Alliance Forever. It's a strategy game, and helps my thinking. I also read everything I can and watch box sets to give me ideas on storylines.
Do it. Nothing works better or is more satisfying than doing something. Read books, attend seminars, work through online courses by all means, but none of that will get you anywhere without doing something about it, even if that something fails. Every step matters. Never be frightened of taking them.
This changes constantly. I've come to the conclusion that the only person who really matters is yourself. We are the people who get things done. That is the culture of every successful entrepreneur. Whatever worked spectacularly for one person does not always work for another. So I take things on board, remembering that the person I listened to had a different set of circumstances, and that I can and should expect a different result if I use their ideas. My first ever major influence was Dale Carnegie. The person who has influenced me the most is Werner Erhard.
I mostly serve my local community and as with every business, word of mouth and reputation serves me well. However, I also use social media to grow audiences and fan bases, and this helps fuel different aspects of my business.
My first rule of business is "expect nothing". My second is to ask "how does this help my customer?". And my third is "just do it" (thank you Nike for coining the most important phrase in business and life).
Quentin Pain started his first business in 1979. It was a courier company that grew exceptionally fast. He sold it 4 years later and started a string of other businesses from the proceeds.
One of those was British software company Accountz, which at one point was second only to Sage for boxed accounting software sales in the UK. Quentin took that business from zero to 36,000 customers over 6 years.
He became a business mentor after joining the Mentors Me program set up by the charity SFEDI. In 2013 he won the IAB's Small Business Mentor of the Year Award at a celebration at the House of Commons and now helps business owners get clarity and direction.
His current company, ProofMEDIA was set up in 2014 to help people get more from their online presence. He says "Most people I meet are not getting the results they expected from their websites, ProofMEDIA exists to improve that situation by writing content that the search engines understand, and that their customers love. This helps position them as number one in their market. Why let an asset as important as your website let you down?".
Quentin runs a number of online groups helping people learn more about writing great copy. You can find one of those on Facebook. It's called the Science of Copywriting.
Quentin is the author of 4 books including a Dummies title, and he's also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Quentin lives in Peterborough.