Being an entrepreneur can mean different things for many people. At its core, an entrepreneur creates something out of an idea that eventually surpasses its original vision. There isn't a specific catch-all formula, but there are common denominators essential to a business’s success. For instance, you cannot grow your business to its full potential without innovation. Sustainability and scalability are also crucial factors.
In this episode, Tim talks to Patrick Bryant, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of CODE/+/TRUST. He talks about his background and how his passion for startups has turned into a lifelong career. Patrick also discusses the importance of knowing your skills to start your company and achieve great things with your team.
Don’t miss this episode if you want to elevate your skills in digital entrepreneurship.
3 Reasons to Listen:
- Find out how Patrick creates growth in his companies.
- Discover how to find the right idea and the right team to grow a startup.
- Learn how to achieve sustainability and scalability in your business.
- Business Growth Score from CODE/+/TRUST
- Harbor Accelerator from The Harbor Entrepreneur Center
- Connect with Patrick: LinkedIn | CodeandTrust
Patrick Bryant is an entrepreneur and leader of startups. He is the CEO and partner in CODE/+/TRUST, a software development company with offices in Charleston, SC, and Washington, DC. He is also the founder and lead mentor in The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, a non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs enhance their skills and start their companies.
If you'd like to reach out to Patrick, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
[03:56] Defining What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur
- An entrepreneur is any person who starts an enterprise. There are different scales to being an entrepreneur.
- For Patrick, reaching sustainability in the market is the most impressive achievement an entrepreneur can do.
- Entrepreneurship can start change, from startups to nonprofits and ministries.
- We can also consider political campaigns as startups because they create movements.
[05:14] “I believe that entrepreneurship is the number one change agent in the world. And I think that that can happen as fluidly as it does in enterprise.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[08:23] The Overused Nature of the Word “Entrepreneurship”
- Being an entrepreneur can mean many things. Some people overuse it, but most use the word as it fits them.
- Scalability and sustainability are crucial factors for Patrick when he talks to other entrepreneurs.
- You can create more impact than when you started by scaling up.
- The Harbor Entrepreneur Center helps entrepreneurs who want to increase the impact they have in the world.
[12:09] How Patrick Started
- Patrick’s father started a newspaper as he was retiring. At 15, he helped his father and was very involved with the process.
- However, Patrick’s personal life imploded at 17 after they filed for bankruptcy and his parent’s divorce.
- He didn’t stop learning despite hitting rock bottom. Patrick started a desktop publishing design firm with the lessons and skills he gained from his first failed business.
[17:29] Tech and Business
- It was the technology in the 80s that convinced Patrick to get into business.
- He could start his business because of his software development knowledge. He then ventured into other technological fields.
- Technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
- If you have the skills to help amid this fragmented stage in tech, you can eventually win in business.
- Software development is the easiest place to start if you aim to take your career forward. The same goes for programming, UX/UI development, or machine learning.
[22:48] “[Programming] to me is a big short circuit right now for young people, they can really get into a career that’s important in changing the world in good ways and have a lot of headroom for them to go on and do other things.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[23:29] Patrick’s Businesses
- Code and Trust started three years ago. It focuses on helping people start their software companies.
- Teamphoria is an HR software platform while Event.Gives does nonprofit software events. All of his companies have had moments leaping forward, but Event.Gives has seen growth because of the pandemic and the need for online events.
- Shine rolling papers took off in the hip-hop space.
- Go to Team, his original company in the broadcast television space, is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
[29:47] To Success: Team vs. The Idea
[31:30] “Ideas are important and the business model is important and where you’re going and the innovation and the perfectibility of the innovation — all those things are important too. But I put them after people because really good people will find the innovation. Really good entrepreneurs know how to scale anything.” - Click Here To Tweet This
- Ideas and models are important, but it’s people that truly drive a business forward.
- Make sure that your team has the values and skills you look for in a successful company.
- Good entrepreneurs have the vision and the right people around them to execute it.
- Find people whose expertise and skills work well with your business idea, your values, and the skills you don’t have.
- Basic markers to look for are honesty and integrity.
[33:48] “Good quality entrepreneurs have the ability to see vision that other people can’t see. And that they have faith in themselves and the people they’ve surrounded themselves with to go and run forward on that idea.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[36:53] Patrick’s Involvement in His Companies
- Patrick sees his startups as movie scripts. He is the executive producer.
- He makes sure operations run smoothly and tries to solve problems before they arise.
- If the company is doing exceptionally bad, Patrick steps in. If the company is doing exceptionally well, he helps it achieve its best revenue.
[41:20] Patrick’s Business Ideals
- Patrick thinks of his companies the same way he does stock market companies.
- An exit strategy and allowing others to accelerate your startup with a business plan are great for the business.
- Holding on to a growing company and helping the employees to make more revenue is also a strategic move.
- However, prioritizing shareholder value over product or service innovation can go very wrong for any company.
[46:14] Scalability and Sustainability
- Every company needs innovation, scalability, and the ability to execute in order to grow.
- If your business is scalable, you can repeat the business process anywhere.
- Innovation drives us toward patents and IPs. These keep other people from doing what you’re doing.
- Patrick is always eager to talk about how to scale and innovate someone’s company and help them see the way forward.
[54:44] Final Message from Patrick
- Entrepreneurship is a contact sport. You have to learn from every client and figure out what product or service best fits their needs.
- Determine your skills and market them.
- Start and find success in your business, then move up to the next level.
[57:03] “I could not be where I am without that start. So I just try to get people to get going and start where they can start, and find success there and move their way to the next level.” - Click Here To Tweet This
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