NetWorks Small Business Profile – Intelligent Ethos

The NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile is a brief vignette that provides a closer look at companies founded by individuals who have been involved in the sports industry at some point in their career.  These business owners will share their journey as an entrepreneur as well as insight for those of you interested in starting your own venture.

NetWorks Small Business Profile on Intelligent Ethos and its founder, Dana Winbush

Name: Dana Winbush

Title: CEO & Chief Strategist

Company Name: Intelligent Ethos, Inc.

Company Website: www.intelligentethos.com

Blog/Twitter/Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Intelligent.Ethos


 

When did you start your company and what was your inspiration for starting it?
Intelligent Ethos was officially incorporated in May 2010.  I am very passionate about entrepreneurship, and I had been trying to find my place along this path for some time.  After a long career in the workplace, with many ups and downs, I finally concluded that launching my own business was the only option that was acceptable for me.  I am equally passionate about seeing other entrepreneurs find success, and my company is designed to do just that.

What’s your Elevator Pitch?
Intelligent Ethos is a proven and efficient resource that substantially impacts short-term success and long-term growth of small businesses by generating steady and consistent revenue for you. Exhibiting the highest standards of excellence, we create tangible results in the form of business relationships and contracts.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
My favorite part of owning a business is having the freedom and flexibility to execute my vision every day and to conduct business with people that I choose.

Tell us about your career before you became your own boss.
After beginning my career in account management for national and global telecommunications companies, I transitioned into business development and sales for small businesses in 2002. Representing a human resources outsourcing firm and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, I have cultivated extensive relationships in the small business community, federal government contracting market, and the professional and trade association sector.

Were you previously involved in the sports industry?  If so, what capacity?
My sports history includes being the Head Manager for the Vanderbilt University Women’s College Basketball Program in 1994-1998 under Head Coach Jim Foster. During that time, we achieved one SEC Tournament Championship, one Elite Eight, and two Sweet Sixteens. I was also a team manager for the USA Basketball Training Camp for the World University Games and the Jones Cup in 1997.

What was your goal when starting the company?  Has that changed?  What is your long-term vision for your company?
When I started the company, my purpose was to help small businesses generate revenue so that they could survive, grow, and stabilize their businesses. The intent is to do this by building and managing customer relationships. At this time, in order for my own company to stabilize quickly, I need to work with more established companies. So, my current offering is more ideal for companies that have been in business at least 3-5 years instead of start-up companies. My long-term vision is to be able to support both types of companies.

What is it like running your own company?  Give us a “day in the life.”
I absolutely love running my own company. I love it! It’s all mine. I choose what I do every day. I work harder and I am more focused than ever. Each day, these are the things that I am focused on:

- Client Services and Client Satisfaction
- Positioning for Growth
- Financial Responsibility
- Investing in Relationships
- Building Solid Infrastructure

What are the greatest challenges of owning your own business?
The challenge of owning a business is that it’s a never-ending juggling act. You must review your priorities each and every day. There is no such thing as ‘coasting’. It’s always a grind.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve had in being an entrepreneur/business owner?
One of the biggest surprises I’ve had in being a business owner is my feeling guilty or uncomfortable about taking ‘breaks’.  For the first couple of weeks, I literally would rush through meals because I was so anxious to get back to work.  I have now created mechanisms to make sure I take care of my physical health, not letting the business run me down.

What are the greatest rewards of entrepreneurship & business ownership?
The greatest rewards of owning my own business are freedom of creativity and business strategy, flexibility to change direction or priorities at any time, and choosing and controlling my work environment.

Is there a mentor (or mentors) that has helped you along the way?
I have many, many mentors that have helped and continued to help me along the way. The majority of these mentors are business owners or CEOs of large and small companies and non-profits. I have learned about their styles, and I know which mentor to talk with based on the particular need I have at any time. These mentors have greatly accelerated my professional growth, they have helped to shape my ability to make strong decisions, and they inspire me to continuously move forward and to aim for very big goals.

Please share any advice for readers who are considering starting their own business.
If you are considering starting a business, these are my three recommendations for you:
- Start sharing your business ideas & plans with potential customers as soon as possible. Knowing that you can get customers right away boosts your confidence in making the jump into entrepreneurship.
- Set-up your basic business infrastructure well in-advance of providing services or selling products. Infrastructure includes your business entity (Corp, LLC, etc), Federal Identification Number, Bank Account, Corporate Credit, and other related things. 
- Set-aside and stockpile as much CASH as you possibly can. Cash flow is King (or Queen) in early business survival. 
- Study pricing to make sure that you set your pricing appropriately. You do not want to undervalue what you do or what you are selling.

Favorite Book: The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

Hobbies: Cooking and Swimming

Favorite Place to Vacation: Beaches in the Caribbean or Mexico

What’s playing on your iPod: I don’t have one. :) Otherwise, Pink

Android or iPhone:

Mac or PC: PC

Favorite TV Show: Criminal Minds

Favorite Restaurant: Oyamel in Washington, DC

Favorite Quote: Carpe Diem

 

For more information on Dana, log on to www.intelligentethos.com

Sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!


NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile: Black Sheep Consulting

The NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile is a brief vignette that provides a closer look at companies founded by individuals who have been involved in the sports industry at some point in their career.  These business owners will share their journey as an entrepreneur as well as insight for those of you interested in starting your own venture.

NetWorks Small Business Profile on Black Sheep Consulting and its Founder, Jay Mayes

Jay Mayes, President of Black Sheep Consulting

Name: Jay Mayes

Title: President

Company Name: Black Sheep Consulting

Company Website: www.thebettersheep.com

Blog/Twitter/Facebook: http://www.twitter.com/JaysBetter

 

 

When did you start your company and what was your inspiration for starting it?
I started Black Sheep Consulting in late 2010 after what I like to explain as my “Jerry Maguire Monument”. After over 7 years working on the business side of professional sports and moving across the country 3 times to work my way from a part-time intern with an NFL team to a Corporate Executive with a NBA franchise I suddenly, became underwhelmed with the direction of the professional sports industry and specifically with my role in professional sports. Over my years working in the sports industry, I had become pretty good at creating programs that helped my clients sell their “stuff” to fans and consumers. Many of the programs I created focused on ways to generate more revenue for my clients.

I woke up one day and decided, “I wanted to invest my time and skills in people”. Instead of creating those programs to just generate revenue I wanted to create programs that would help to generate change.

So I went in search of a role that allowed me to use my skill sets and experience in Sports and Entertainment, but also would allow my to help others. I would probably still be looking for that job if it wasn’t for a friend who suggested that I write out the description of my perfect job that might help me narrow my search, so, I did. I sat down one day and wrote exactly what I wanted in a role… Sports Marketing + Cause Marketing.

But instead of continuing my search, I decided to start a firm that did just that.

What’s your Elevator Pitch?
As more organizations begin to focus on Cause Marketing, it is our mission to create programs and partnerships that bring together what we call the “Big Three” causes/non-profits, companies and athletes into integrated programs that achieve real results and the create real change in the lives of the people they touch.

What’s the company’s Mission Statement?
We Aim to be industry innovators; we will continually work to challenge the “status quo” by building partnerships based on innovation, trust, and common goals. We will create uniquely customized programs, ideas, and partnerships that work to do GOOD and yield measurable and meaningful results for our clients.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
Here are my 7 favorite aspects of running Black Sheep Consulting:

1) Creating my own work schedule…. there’s nothing like it!
2) Doing conference calls in my PJ’s
3) Being able to do what I love all the time!
4) Working with GREAT people (I love my team) #teamblksheep
5) Watching the morning edition of Sports Center twice as I do my morning calls and emails
6) Not having to wear a suit everyday
7) Knowing that what I am doing is going to make a difference in someone’s life!!

Tell us about your career before you became your own boss.
My career before becoming my own boss was great, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing people across various levels of sports. I have been able to work with and learn from some of the best in the industry. I have also had the opportunity to travel the county, learn, and sell for an eclectic group of sports properties, and sports agencies. I have learned the importance of teamwork, communication, honesty, dedication, and passion in your life’s work. And I have also learned that if you love what you do, it never feels like work!

Were you previously involved in the sports industry?  If so, what capacity?
My career has given me experience both on the agency side and team side of professional sports, which has provided a great foundation and vision for Black Sheep Consulting. My experience includes NFL, NBA, WNBA, NLL, MLL, WPGA, Motorsports and Professional Horse Racing. While Mayes’s agency work includes a stint with A. Bright Idea Sports Marketing, and consulting relationships with Clutch Media, Hands On Sports & Entertainment, Networks Sports and TOAW Modern Marketing. I have learned many lessons of the course of my career that I believe have prepared me for this next career challenge.

What was your goal when starting the company?  Has that changed?  What is your long-term vision for your company?
From the outset, I wanted to start a company that I was proud of. I wanted to be able to wake up and do something that I loved every day. My goal was to use my gifts and talents to do good in the community, build meaningful Cause Marketing partnerships and programs that linked companies, causes, and athletics in a way that accomplishes specific goals and objectives for each. Our long term goals included becoming leaders in the cause marketing industry. To create innovative cause marketing + sports marketing programs and partnerships that work to help make real change in the lives of others.

What is it like running your own company?  Give us a “day in the life.”
It’s the most fun I have ever had, but it’s also the biggest challenge that I have had professionally. Every day is different, but I have learned over the last 10 months that building a structured day and week is critical in staying on task and making sure that projects are completed on time. My day typically begins early with emails, research and catching up on the “biz”, this includes reading articles on causes, athletes, and trends within the sports marketing + cause marketing industry. Many of my weeks are set around pushing particular projects forward, Sunday nights are my time to lay out my weekly plan around each project. From there I prioritize need actions and place them in the appropriate order. After my morning emails and research, I dive into each day’s plan, which might include, meetings, phone calls, program generation, presentations, and business development for the company. My late afternoon is reserved as “ME” time, this is my time to relax, workout, reconnect with friends or run some personal errands. I think it’s important to do something for yourself every day. I think sometimes we get some caught up in taking care of everything and everybody else that we forget to do what makes us happy. After dinner, I typically do a few more hours of proposal work or research on the couch or outside on the deck (weather permitting) before bed.

What are the greatest challenges of owning your own business?
One of the biggest challenges in owning your own business is realizing that you may not be able to do it all. I have learned that we all are good at something, but no one is good at everything. So I decided that I was going to stick to doing what I do best and surround myself with great talent in those other areas and that is what I have done. This has truly allowed me to work to move projects forward while letting my team do what they do best.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve had in being an entrepreneur/business owner?
How a small team of dedicated people can pull off a great program and change peoples lives!

What are the greatest rewards of entrepreneurship & business ownership?
Doing great work with great people!

Is there a mentor (or mentors) who has helped you along the way?
I have many mentors.

Please share any advice for readers who are considering starting their own business.
My advice for anyone who is considering starting their own business is DO IT!

Create a great plan and stick with it!

Surround yourself with great people!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Learn from the mistakes of others.

Favorite Book: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball – By Kevin Carroll

Favorite Movie: Love Actually

Hobbies: Lacrosse, Fishing, People Watching

What’s playing on your iPod: Drake, Little Wayne, Kanya, Kid Cudi, Wiz

Android or iPhone: Android

Mac or PC: Mac

Favorite TV Show: Always Sunny

Favorite Restaurant: I prefer to grill at home!

Favorite Quote: “While everyone is trying to make a dollar, we are trying to make a difference”

 

For more information on Jay Mayes & Black Sheep Consulting, log on to www.thebettersheep.com

To find out about other small businesses, sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

Follow NetWorks Sports Consulting on Twitter at @NetWorks_Sports


NetWorks Small Business Profile – Black Sheep Consulting (@JaysBetter)

The NetWorks Sports Small Business Profile is a brief vignette that provides a closer look at companies founded by individuals who have been involved in the sports industry at some point in their career.  These business owners will share their journey as an entrepreneur as well as insight for those of you interested in starting your own venture.

NetWorks Small Business Profile on Black Sheep Consulting and its Founder, Jay Mayes

Jay Mayes, President of Black Sheep Consulting

Name: Jay Mayes

Title: President

Company Name: Black Sheep Consulting

Company Website: www.thebettersheep.com

Blog/Twitter/Facebook: http://www.twitter.com/JaysBetter

 

 

When did you start your company and what was your inspiration for starting it?
I started Black Sheep Consulting in late 2010 after what I like to explain as my “Jerry Maguire Monument”. After over 7 years working on the business side of professional sports and moving across the country 3 times to work my way from a part-time intern with an NFL team to a Corporate Executive with a NBA franchise I suddenly, became underwhelmed with the direction of the professional sports industry and specifically with my role in professional sports. Over my years working in the sports industry, I had become pretty good at creating programs that helped my clients sell their “stuff” to fans and consumers. Many of the programs I created focused on ways to generate more revenue for my clients.

I woke up one day and decided, “I wanted to invest my time and skills in people”. Instead of creating those programs to just generate revenue I wanted to create programs that would help to generate change.

So I went in search of a role that allowed me to use my skill sets and experience in Sports and Entertainment, but also would allow my to help others. I would probably still be looking for that job if it wasn’t for a friend who suggested that I write out the description of my perfect job that might help me narrow my search, so, I did. I sat down one day and wrote exactly what I wanted in a role… Sports Marketing + Cause Marketing.

But instead of continuing my search, I decided to start a firm that did just that.

What’s your Elevator Pitch?
As more organizations begin to focus on Cause Marketing, it is our mission to create programs and partnerships that bring together what we call the “Big Three” causes/non-profits, companies and athletes into integrated programs that achieve real results and the create real change in the lives of the people they touch.

What’s the company’s Mission Statement?
We Aim to be industry innovators; we will continually work to challenge the “status quo” by building partnerships based on innovation, trust, and common goals. We will create uniquely customized programs, ideas, and partnerships that work to do GOOD and yield measurable and meaningful results for our clients.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
Here are my 7 favorite aspects of running Black Sheep Consulting:

1) Creating my own work schedule…. there’s nothing like it!
2) Doing conference calls in my PJ’s
3) Being able to do what I love all the time!
4) Working with GREAT people (I love my team) #teamblksheep
5) Watching the morning edition of Sports Center twice as I do my morning calls and emails
6) Not having to wear a suit everyday
7) Knowing that what I am doing is going to make a difference in someone’s life!!

Tell us about your career before you became your own boss.
My career before becoming my own boss was great, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing people across various levels of sports. I have been able to work with and learn from some of the best in the industry. I have also had the opportunity to travel the county, learn, and sell for an eclectic group of sports properties, and sports agencies. I have learned the importance of teamwork, communication, honesty, dedication, and passion in your life’s work. And I have also learned that if you love what you do, it never feels like work!

Were you previously involved in the sports industry?  If so, what capacity?
My career has given me experience both on the agency side and team side of professional sports, which has provided a great foundation and vision for Black Sheep Consulting. My experience includes NFL, NBA, WNBA, NLL, MLL, WPGA, Motorsports and Professional Horse Racing. While Mayes’s agency work includes a stint with A. Bright Idea Sports Marketing, and consulting relationships with Clutch Media, Hands On Sports & Entertainment, Networks Sports and TOAW Modern Marketing. I have learned many lessons of the course of my career that I believe have prepared me for this next career challenge.

What was your goal when starting the company?  Has that changed?  What is your long-term vision for your company?
From the outset, I wanted to start a company that I was proud of. I wanted to be able to wake up and do something that I loved every day. My goal was to use my gifts and talents to do good in the community, build meaningful Cause Marketing partnerships and programs that linked companies, causes, and athletics in a way that accomplishes specific goals and objectives for each. Our long term goals included becoming leaders in the cause marketing industry. To create innovative cause marketing + sports marketing programs and partnerships that work to help make real change in the lives of others.

What is it like running your own company?  Give us a “day in the life.”
It’s the most fun I have ever had, but it’s also the biggest challenge that I have had professionally. Every day is different, but I have learned over the last 10 months that building a structured day and week is critical in staying on task and making sure that projects are completed on time. My day typically begins early with emails, research and catching up on the “biz”, this includes reading articles on causes, athletes, and trends within the sports marketing + cause marketing industry. Many of my weeks are set around pushing particular projects forward, Sunday nights are my time to lay out my weekly plan around each project. From there I prioritize need actions and place them in the appropriate order. After my morning emails and research, I dive into each day’s plan, which might include, meetings, phone calls, program generation, presentations, and business development for the company. My late afternoon is reserved as “ME” time, this is my time to relax, workout, reconnect with friends or run some personal errands. I think it’s important to do something for yourself every day. I think sometimes we get some caught up in taking care of everything and everybody else that we forget to do what makes us happy. After dinner, I typically do a few more hours of proposal work or research on the couch or outside on the deck (weather permitting) before bed.

What are the greatest challenges of owning your own business?
One of the biggest challenges in owning your own business is realizing that you may not be able to do it all. I have learned that we all are good at something, but no one is good at everything. So I decided that I was going to stick to doing what I do best and surround myself with great talent in those other areas and that is what I have done. This has truly allowed me to work to move projects forward while letting my team do what they do best.

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve had in being an entrepreneur/business owner?
How a small team of dedicated people can pull off a great program and change peoples lives!

What are the greatest rewards of entrepreneurship & business ownership?
Doing great work with great people!

Is there a mentor (or mentors) who has helped you along the way?
I have many mentors.

Please share any advice for readers who are considering starting their own business.
My advice for anyone who is considering starting their own business is DO IT!

Create a great plan and stick with it!

Surround yourself with great people!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Learn from the mistakes of others.

Favorite Book: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball – By Kevin Carroll

Favorite Movie: Love Actually

Hobbies: Lacrosse, Fishing, People Watching

What’s playing on your iPod: Drake, Little Wayne, Kanya, Kid Cudi, Wiz

Android or iPhone: Android

Mac or PC: Mac

Favorite TV Show: Always Sunny

Favorite Restaurant: I prefer to grill at home!

Favorite Quote: “While everyone is trying to make a dollar, we are trying to make a difference”

 

For more information on Jay Mayes & Black Sheep Consulting, log on to www.thebettersheep.com

To find out about other small businesses, sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

Follow NetWorks Sports Consulting on Twitter at @NetWorks_Sports