Q&A With Paul Conant, President/CEO of Gizoom Marketing

Tell us a bit about Gizoom Marketing.

Gizoom is more than just a cool name. Originally I started it as a branding and marketing agency. After several years I added business consulting to the core of Gizoom. What we found was most clients coming to us lacked a plan and wanted tactics but needed a strategy. Our goal is to look at what we can do to help a business become profitable by structuring not only the marketing but the systems and processes within the organization. We work with small to medium-sized companies that are serious and committed to their growth and success. I will occasionally tale on a start up but it needs to have a unique place in the industry it is going to compete in.

What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?

I started my first business at 15 years old and since then people would always ask me how I did it and if I could help them with their business. In the beginning the discussions would always start with their passion for what they do. (Lawn care, Food, Health) then once we established what they were going to bring to market we would start with the message and branding. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that the real work was in the competencies of running that business. That is where they needed more help. From there Gizoom was born!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing is also the most frustrating one. It’s helping people see the problems they are stepping over each day. Once they see the issues and understand why they have a problem, progress begins to happen. Business owners invariably get stuck in the day-to-day operations of the business which don’t build them wealth from their investments. It just provides them with a job.

What are your keys to making yourself productive?

I sum up being productive as producing in a positive manner for the organization and your family. If you are not producing and consistently improving the processes, then you need to reconsider what you are doing. Too many entrepreneurs find a groove and rest on their laurels. Yes, some rest is good, but too much rest is unproductive.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

I would like to create a leadership and financial course for students that makes them question the standards that are taught to them. Too many kids have no real understanding on our financial system only to get caught up in working to retire and scrimping and saving only to end up broke by age 65. The 401K’s they were told to put money in are riddled with taxes, fees and losses they should have never been involved in. I truly believe there is a better way.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Ask questions and investigate! Never assume the person in front of you is smarter than you. All too often they are just a better talker. Also, I have learned just because you have an idea for a company, it doesn’t mean you can execute a plan. When I was younger people would come to me with ideas and concepts for a company. We would start the process only to find myself caring more about the project then the owner. What I have learned is that a lot of people like the concept of owning a business but don’t want to go through the process of pain to get to the goal. That’s when the idea dies. If I care more about your business then you, it won’t work.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

Read at the very least 3 books each month. There are so many lessons in books if you allow them to teach you. I could have saved myself countless first hand life lessons if I just started this earlier in my life. Books allow the author to share their lessons and mistakes so you can either learn from them or avoid them.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

Read, travel and spend time with my family. Rest is also an important equation to success. The key is to use that time to reflect on problems and solutions as well as to keep you ready for the problems life has to dish out at you.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson. Garrett and his team are doing great things at his company, the Wealth Factory. Also Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. That was the first book that made me rethink government. I was active for years in politics only to learn that politics is 50% ego and 50% pandering. Ayn’s message was a bit campy at times in the book but years ahead on the message.