Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur

John Jackson: Risks, Regrets and Rewards: Hard Lessons from a 14-Year Cybersecurity Entrepreneur

January 11, 2024 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 17
John Jackson: Risks, Regrets and Rewards: Hard Lessons from a 14-Year Cybersecurity Entrepreneur
Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
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Never Been Promoted | Unleash Your Entrepreneur
John Jackson: Risks, Regrets and Rewards: Hard Lessons from a 14-Year Cybersecurity Entrepreneur
Jan 11, 2024 Season 1 Episode 17
Thomas Helfrich

Send us a Text Message.

Join John Jackson, a successful entrepreneur in the cybersecurity industry, as he shares his hiring and management strategies, future business plans, and favorite business books. But as he faces a sudden challenge, will he be able to navigate the complexities of running a business in a rapidly evolving industry? Tune in to find out.

About John Jackson:
John Jackson is a seasoned IT veteran with nearly 15 years of hands-on industry experience. In 2009, he founded Bytagig, an award-winning IT and cybersecurity firm, driven by the mission to bridge the gap between technology and small businesses.

In this episode, Thomas and John Jackson discuss how to:

  • Boost your cybersecurity and IT solutions expertise.
  • Master the art of risk tolerance in cybersecurity.
  • Stay ahead by adapting to market needs.
  • Revamp your hiring strategies for success.
  • Elevate customer experience through effective communication.


 Key Takeaways:

  • Uncover key hiring strategies

John Jackson's insights illuminate the importance of quick, decisive action when dealing with underperforming employees and avoiding what he called "charity case hires." 

  • Master customer experience enhancement

John Jackson exemplifies this through his ambitious 2024 plans for Bytegig, which focused on streamlining customer interactions and broadening service reach with increased efficiency. 

  • Explore risk tolerance importance

John Jackson's experiences underscore the significance of risk assessment, especially in transformative decisions to secure a venture's long-term stability—particularly relevant for the cybersecurity industry.

“You can't get very far in the business world if you don't know how to promote yourself." —  John Jackson

CONNECT WITH JOHN JACKSON:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnjacksonbytagig/
Website: https://www.bytagig.com/ 

About his company, BYTAGIG:
Is your business ready to withstand a cyberattack? In an era of increasing data breaches and cyberattacks, safeguarding your business assets is non-negotiable. Bytagig's Cyber Security Risk Assessment thoroughly examines your digital infrastructure, identifying potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It also aids in protecting your reputation and ensuring compliance with industry standards. Don't wait until it's too late – ensure your business's cybersecurity posture today! 

Learn more here: www.bytagig.com/risk 

Get a chance to win a FREE APPLE WATCH when you schedule a free consultation on the website bytagig.com (https://www.bytagig.com/)   

CONNECT WITH THOMAS:
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Website
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LinkedIn
Email: t@instantlyrelevant.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Join John Jackson, a successful entrepreneur in the cybersecurity industry, as he shares his hiring and management strategies, future business plans, and favorite business books. But as he faces a sudden challenge, will he be able to navigate the complexities of running a business in a rapidly evolving industry? Tune in to find out.

About John Jackson:
John Jackson is a seasoned IT veteran with nearly 15 years of hands-on industry experience. In 2009, he founded Bytagig, an award-winning IT and cybersecurity firm, driven by the mission to bridge the gap between technology and small businesses.

In this episode, Thomas and John Jackson discuss how to:

  • Boost your cybersecurity and IT solutions expertise.
  • Master the art of risk tolerance in cybersecurity.
  • Stay ahead by adapting to market needs.
  • Revamp your hiring strategies for success.
  • Elevate customer experience through effective communication.


 Key Takeaways:

  • Uncover key hiring strategies

John Jackson's insights illuminate the importance of quick, decisive action when dealing with underperforming employees and avoiding what he called "charity case hires." 

  • Master customer experience enhancement

John Jackson exemplifies this through his ambitious 2024 plans for Bytegig, which focused on streamlining customer interactions and broadening service reach with increased efficiency. 

  • Explore risk tolerance importance

John Jackson's experiences underscore the significance of risk assessment, especially in transformative decisions to secure a venture's long-term stability—particularly relevant for the cybersecurity industry.

“You can't get very far in the business world if you don't know how to promote yourself." —  John Jackson

CONNECT WITH JOHN JACKSON:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnjacksonbytagig/
Website: https://www.bytagig.com/ 

About his company, BYTAGIG:
Is your business ready to withstand a cyberattack? In an era of increasing data breaches and cyberattacks, safeguarding your business assets is non-negotiable. Bytagig's Cyber Security Risk Assessment thoroughly examines your digital infrastructure, identifying potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It also aids in protecting your reputation and ensuring compliance with industry standards. Don't wait until it's too late – ensure your business's cybersecurity posture today! 

Learn more here: www.bytagig.com/risk 

Get a chance to win a FREE APPLE WATCH when you schedule a free consultation on the website bytagig.com (https://www.bytagig.com/)   

CONNECT WITH THOMAS:
X (Twitter)
Facebook
Website
Instagram
YouTube
LinkedIn
Email: t@instantlyrelevant.com

InstantlyRelevant.com

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Ins

Support the Show.

Serious about LinkedIn Lead Generation? Stop Guessing what to do on LinkedIn and ignite revenue from relevance with Instantly Relevant Lead System

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Never Been Promoted podcast with Thomas Helfrick. Get ready for a thrilling adventure as we uncover entrepreneurial journeys and life-changing business insights every week. And now your host, Thomas.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another episode of Never Been Promoted, where we are trying to help you unleash your entrepreneur. Hello, I'm Thomas Helfrick, your host, and today I'm joined by John Jackson, who's the founder and CEO of BIDIGIG and I think I said that right where there's cybersecurity and IT company doing all kinds of cool stuff that he is going to tell you about because I would butcher it if I tried. John, how are you doing today?

Speaker 3:

Hey, thanks, thomas, and you did it just right, so it is pronounced BIDIGIG doing great, and thanks for having me on today.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate you taking the time out of your week to do this. I know you're very busy, as most founders and CEOs are, but in this world where cybersecurity, IT it's only growing the needs and the problems that are around it. You've formed a company around it and we're going to talk a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey through that. But let's kind of set the stage, clean the table or set the table I'm not sure which one it would be. Talk about you a little bit, your history, a little bit how you take us from kind of your early beginnings and how you got to the company you're currently founder of.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So I think kind of my earliest memories of wanting to get into technology was, you know, my dad had bought a couple computers at home. You know, this is back during the age when not everybody had computers in their house, right? So I enjoyed playing games and things like that on it. But he would, you know, we would encounter computer issues and technical issues and not know how to solve them between the two of us Two of us, he and I both and he's always been, you know, easy to learn this stuff and he picks it up pretty quick too.

Speaker 3:

But I was like you know, I really enjoy like being able to solve problems, even if it's just fixing a small computer issue or glitch or something like that. So and I knew that you know, this was the future of the world that we were going to live in. So when I was going into college I studied business and computers because I wanted to have a little bit of business background. I wasn't really interested in programming, I was more interested in integrating and making technology work. So that's kind of how I got started was going into school of business at Portland State University with a specialization in management information systems.

Speaker 1:

And it took you on an interesting journey, right? Talk about how you kind of gotten to cybersecurity a bit as well in the context of you at school and such, but tell me about how cybersecurity became part of your life.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So when I went to college, cybersecurity wasn't really a I mean, I'm making myself sound at old. It was only 20 years ago, okay, but 20 years ago, when I was in college, cybersecurity wasn't a huge concern like it is now. And so you know, obviously, focusing like at the time, it was mostly focusing on managing an IT department how do you coordinate things like developers and servers and databases and all of that? So fast forward to really 2019, 2020. And just as the business was growing, which we started in 2009, I started in 2009, as I say we, but it's really just me 2009 is going to be evolving the business to 2019 and 2020. We've already gotten to manage services and now we're looking at and talking to a lot of people in the industry and saying, like cybersecurity is really where we need to be heading next, and so that's kind of we just kind of adopt that as a cybersecurity mindset and model, especially heading into COVID. That was really when this took off and we really started being able to sell cybersecurity services and solutions to our customers.

Speaker 1:

In how long did your company at the business point in 2023?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we started the company. I started the company 2009. So it's 14 years old. We just celebrated our 14 year birthday in November.

Speaker 1:

And I think you think back through that right. So you, I think the kind of the entrepreneurial take away I always try to give these out as we go is you looked at a market and something emerging into a big growing market technology, computers, it and you read it right. I mean like that was the right time to do it and I think, as entrepreneurs look at what they might want to do with their lines, that you look at a couple of tracks right, look back at what you were and studied, experienced and look at where it's going and where there's a growing market, people who need these things, and can you plan it and you do that really well. And maybe talk about the early days and I mean two parts to kind of covers how you got your first customers, which is always like a new entrepreneurs how am I going to get my customers? And second, like any very significant pivotal moments during that journey that allowed you to continue to grow or avoid closure or what have you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I love talking about this. Like my first couple of customers were just people coming to me who were like hey, we understand you work on computers, can you help me fix this computer issue? So I got into it that way. Just a few opportunities fell into my lap that way, just by means of people knowing what I do and word of mouth. So that kind of got me what drew me into it and then really, like it was as a side hustle for several years, what really started happening in 2018, I was just educating myself more on business and entrepreneurship and really wanting to just start off on my own, because at the time, I was working as a technical program manager for a large enterprise and so I was like well, I think what I think I want to do is I want to just start off, go off on my own and become like an IT consultant, and I'm really glad I did not stick in that lane.

Speaker 3:

So I think one of the things, as you're saying, is like the ability to pivot quickly is very important and I think we're going to continue to need to be able to pivot quickly, even as as our business has grown, but like being able to pivot from being an IT consultant, which is a very general, vague industry, right and then saying I was advised by somebody. I'm very great. This advice you need to set up yourself to be a managed service provider with monthly recurring revenue contracts. You cannot build a business without that monthly recurring revenue. So we started offering that to clients and many of them took us up on that, and many others who are already familiar with that model. We're happy to sign up for it as well. So that's kind of how it helped us be able to survive financially through 2019, 2020. Until now is we have a very strong base of monthly recurring revenue service contracts.

Speaker 1:

So when you're looking about your business, you architect in a way that you wouldn't be in this endless hunt and hunt kill kind of cycle eat right. Even if you had gone consulting around, you probably would have solved that by hiring other consultants underneath you to help you do work, because that becomes your recurring revenue model in a consultant model.

Speaker 3:

You know as going as a consultant. Yes, but the problem with that is that consulting practices are generally like okay, you have a six month engagement with a client, for example, right, but you don't know what's going to happen after that six month. You may have a renewal or you may not have anything. So instead, you know we're typically operating on three to five year agreements with our customers, and so we can cash flow and plan out, like, okay, every single month, we know for the next 36 months we sign up a customer, that we're going to have a strong financial base to be able to support that customer as well, as you know, be able to eat and not have to be worrying about what's going to happen in month seven, month eight.

Speaker 1:

Well, and in your journey, right. So it's one thing maybe now you fast forwarded here. You know several years, right? You look back. What's maybe one thing of advice you wish you would have known when you were first beginning, or early stage even?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think knowing like entrepreneurship is full of risks, right, and knowing and understanding the risk game and your risk tolerance, hi, because I there's some risks that I took that I'm super glad I did and that we're very good risk that I took, and there are other risks that I took. I'm like man, what a dumb mistake. That was right. So you know, when it comes to, for example, hiring risks, there was some things I wish that I could have.

Speaker 3:

One thing for sure really burnt us really bad was in 2021, I believe it was. We hired an employee that we we did not have a good productive relationship with and I held on to them for way longer than I should have and I did not like and he was kind of a charity case. So you know, my heart went out to when it came to the reasons why he wasn't being productive, but at the at the same time, I wasn't financially ready to take on the risk of having a charity case. We just cannot support that. And so we spent a lot of time going around and cleaning up after this employee and it was just it was costing us more money than it was bringing in, and so it was very frustrating with something I wish we could have asked him. After 90 days going back, I would say that was probably one of our biggest, my biggest learning experiences.

Speaker 1:

Well then you answered one of the other questions what biggest regret and I think it ties to a bigger concept of when you hire, or you even pick teams or partners do it deeply, meaning really have purpose, know what they're supposed to be doing, especially early stage. You just can't afford inefficiencies and you can't, certainly can't, add anchors right. You can have people, can kind of help a little bit, but if they're slowing you down or really, or even worse, costing you money and you just can't and it is an entrepreneur should you think about it yeah, you just pick your partners, pick your employees, but really hire deeply, with purpose and be ready to make hard, fast decisions when it's not working.

Speaker 3:

Yep, and that was to that point. That was one of those things where you know somebody can talk a good game, and we've had several, several more instances like this, but they've quickly turned out, shall we say, where somebody talks a really good game in the interview process and they just do not live up to what they've promised, unfortunately, and so but we've had other folks where they came to us, they found us on our website, they came to us and we've just attracted some really good team members who are still with us, you know, three years later, which you know isn't a total, which isn't a terribly long about a time to be with a company, but at the same time, there's a lot of folks nowadays who are with companies for a year or less and again, for where we're at as a business, we just can't sustain high turnover insurance. So we've just worked to really build a good, strong team who wants to stay here, which just makes makes our model up, financial, financially viable. And then also our customers like having people that they've worked with for a long time as well, having the same folks. They don't have to repeat the same thing 10 times because you know there's a high turnover with their technician staff.

Speaker 3:

So it just that's. You know, I've that's. The other thing I've found is like I've taken risks on other people. That it's. It's turned out wonderfully. You know, making those, making those risks a lot more with a lot more experience. Now those choices on risk has been one of my greatest learning experiences.

Speaker 1:

And if you look back right and this will kind of take us some kind of the questions I typically ask later but you're in time zero. Now, what are you doing to mitigate, because you still have to take risk and there's some things you're probably like should, I, should not, and you're learning from that. What are you doing now to be better prepared? I mean, it's mentoring me, it's education and coaching is a framework used. What are you doing now to mitigate the future risk here at time zero for you?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So we've got a lot more of a structured hiring process now, where we, you know, have some more technical types of questions that we ask as well as behavioral questions to help hopefully see if somebody is hungry and willing to grow and learning willing to learn, or do they think they know everything? That's one of the biggest differentiations that we've seen when it comes to successful, you know, employee relations is is it somebody who's willing, who's open to learning and has an open mind, or do they think they already know everything? That's probably one of the biggest decision points that we've found out in hiring. And then Having a better onboarding structure, really going through and making sure that we have a very thought, well thought out and well planned first 30, 60, 90 day process for new employees so that they can be successful as soon as possible, or we find out as soon as possible that they're not going to be successful and then we can part ways.

Speaker 1:

You make a good point there. So I know in our organization we certify all our engagement specialists to people working on our teams. We don't use the model of a lot of places to do like VA right, Because they come on and you just kind of tell them something to do. We actually take people through a whole certification piece, test them out the same way. Your 90 days is very generous. You'll see quickly in 30 days if the work ethic and the propensity to learn is there, and if it's not, we go faster than that, I mean. So I applaud you for being patient, but I would tell you you could eat more at rest if you see the signs of tingly and late Best work doesn't show it gone. This isn't working, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we just recently experienced a situation where we had somebody quit after 30 days. But it was very much a mutual part of the ways, because we were putting so much pressure on them intentionally, because we could see a lot of problems that were about to happen if they didn't fix their ways.

Speaker 1:

Well, no doubt right, and you see it quickly. And I think the advice to give entrepreneurs is sometimes you got to make I wouldn't do charity case hires, actually ever. You can work with people who have shown loyalty, I believe. And then we've had this where like, listen, just take a couple of weeks for yourself. Well, we got backups for you.

Speaker 1:

Whatever it is the new people, I, just you just not in this position typically to take that on. And I think you learned it and I would recommend not hiring friends unless they're very qualified. I definitely wouldn't work with family members, right, it's just you're setting yourself up for I guess maybe I'd say it this way you're not setting yourself up poorly. What it is, I think, early. A lot of entrepreneurs I see have an idea why would someone want to work for me and they hired who says yes, versus people want to work for you because they'll believe in you and they'll get behind you on what you're doing, so you can go to the market and find a really good people if you have the you know, telling offer. And sometimes it's more about the vision and who you are, more in the environment, more so than the money sometimes.

Speaker 3:

So have you seen the behaviors with that as well.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So I'm going to say probably one of our most successful hires recently. He started about at the beginning of this year and he had zero technical experience. Now he had technical knowledge but he didn't have work experience. But he wanted to get into the field. So we looked again at like is he hungry, Is he willing to learn? Does he think he knows everything? Absolutely, he doesn't think he knows everything. That's why he's trying to get into this. We said we're going to put you on as a temporary. You're going to have 90 days and then we'll make a decision. After the first 90 days he demonstrated so much willingness to learn, hard work ethic, like everything that we were looking for, and he is a solid week. So we converted him to full-time permanent and he has been a solid asset on the team ever since then.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's. I mean, that's great and that's it. That's a really interesting piece too. Sometimes you don't need someone who has direct experience. You just need somebody who has a passion to learn it and the capabilities and to be enabled, and I think that's a hard decision to make when you're trying to grow.

Speaker 1:

I know personally we've done that with people where we've interviewed them for one thing and then interview they're talking about you know you ask the questions to see where they'll come up with it. Right, you know we're not working, what you like to do, and they're talking about oh, I love to create videos and this, and like would you be interested in doing that for work. It's like you hear what their passion and what they really love to do when they're not working and like well, why don't you? Just you want to do that instead. And they're like well, yeah, and you iron for something different because they're, and so maybe in your world it's not quite the same piece, but I think ask people those questions, right, when you're going through this process of building your teams, of what does he really love to do, when passion meets capability in learning. You got the right person right there because it'll be happy.

Speaker 3:

And there's nothing more rewarding and fulfilling as a business owner than having people doing things that they are feeling passionate and fulfilled about and watching them enjoy working, not just working for a paycheck.

Speaker 1:

Exactly and you also, then you're somewhat protecting your. You know they're not out there trying to build a side hustle, right. They're not out there being destroyed by what they really want to go do. They're out there giving you their best time and knowing that I really enjoy what I did and I made money from it and that, and then that's a. Yeah, no doubt I love that, so that's a. That's a great takeaway. Guys, find people who have passion, who are behind the idea. I think the recent you know the exiting in the opening, you know CEO board saying, hey, get ready, sam, you're out. They go from three CEOs in like two days and go back because the entire employees are like no, we're here because of Sam and the idea, not your idea, and I think, and, by the way, you're board of directors, you're fired, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Did they fire the board at this point? I even know in this story.

Speaker 3:

I know they've replaced at the time of this recording they've replaced at least three.

Speaker 1:

And I love that. I love that they've that the employees got behind and say, hey, this is one of the greatest technologies ever. We are here for that reason and they that's a great story, you know look into kind of like, you know kind of moving the kind of conversation kind of forward. Right, but when you're, when you're moving forward, you talk about a couple of pivotal moments, right, but talk about a couple of your. You know, maybe your biggest regret and it could be business or personal, because these things are very tired as an entrepreneur and maybe one of your happiest moments.

Speaker 3:

Well, like I said, I think my biggest regret is holding onto that charity case for a year, which was way too long. And you know, my service manager and been warning me all along, which I was like, I know, I know I'm trying to do this and let's do this, try to remediate it this way, Like I was, I wasn't just ignoring the issue, we were trying to address it, but at the same time, issues just keep coming up. So, and you know, we parted on good ways and still have, you know, a good friendship there, but the it just did not work out. We were not ready to absorb that kind of inefficiency with our team Like we really need, we really strain for like 75 to 85% utilization on tickets and and what much more. We were having a lot of quality issues we had to go back and fix. So that was just a drain on the rest of the team. That was biggest regret, I would say. And what was the other second?

Speaker 1:

part of that question. No, just wait, where's the happiest moment? Just like in life or whatever else is? You've been on this long journey of your own kind of boss, right, of being a company. We've been like you know an example of mine, right, Like some of mine would be, like I'm picking up a kid at, you know, from chess and I'm not asking anyone just like I can be in that moment, right then. That something small, like it's just those little happy moments that have man, I'm an entrepreneur, I can do, I'm here right now and no one told me otherwise. I chose to be something like this.

Speaker 3:

I think happiest moments as an entrepreneur like I enjoy going to events and networking with people and learning new things, and it may not even be technology related, it might be just more of like general business, sales, marketing, things like that, and and I so I just that that kind of a energy like when you go to a business conference or something like that really drives me, and I, plus, I just enjoy traveling, so it's kind of like my excuse to get to travel, so that I would say some of my happiest moments just been what I want. I've been able, now that I'm, now that I'm a full-time business owner before it was a lot harder when I was trying to juggle that with a full-time job, but now that I'm completely on my own and have a team managing things for me, I don't have to worry about the day-to-day operations as much. It's really rewarding to be able to go, enjoy those conferences, network with people, meet people, and there's always all kinds of great relationships that happen because of that too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's, and I love that, because those little environments like that really, you know they all have plenty of challenging ones being an entrepreneur, but they do matter so much because it makes things enjoyable in life for sure. What are you doing now for the future? So I think we talked about this Do you seek you know coaching? Do you seek what are you doing to prepare for the next kind of you know chapter or a you know season of your life?

Speaker 3:

Great question.

Speaker 3:

So we are working on several initiatives right now for the next chapter in our business, as we were prepared for 2024.

Speaker 3:

And the top things that I want to see happen in 2024 is for our customer experience to really become not just average but exceptional, and we have an exceptional team, and everybody who works with our team, you know, says how great and easy they are to work with whenever they have a help desk ticket or whatever they're doing.

Speaker 3:

But we really want to put some systems in place that make it super easy for them to reach out to the team and be able to contact them.

Speaker 3:

You know, right now, average is, you know, being able to send an email to a ticketing system or pick up the phone and call our help desk. We want to work on some tools that are out there that would allow for somebody to, for example, to do a live chat session with a technician or a live screen interaction or something like that, where they can instantly connect with a technician and they can remote into their computer and help them out. So like that's my goal for 2024, because I feel like that's really going to help set us, set us apart from the competition the other thing we're working on as well is developing a national field technician database of texts that are trained on our ways and they're are fully vetted and available so that we can instantly be anywhere we need to be in the country with these field technicians, so if a customer comes to us that is 2000 miles away from us, we will have them covered with our field technician network Awesome.

Speaker 1:

Listen, before we kind of go in this kind of hot seat, kind of you know what, you're using technology to kind of enable your business and other things to help entrepreneurs. You travel back to. You know your self-willing out of college, right? What do you tell yourself?

Speaker 3:

When I was fresh out of college, I was very much in the mindset that I was just going to work for a large enterprise. I would have started my entrepreneurial journey much sooner. In preparing for this moment that I'm in now, I wish, because I've learned so much more than I ever did in college and then I ever did in the large enterprise, being an entrepreneur and being off my own so not necessarily splitting off and leaving my day job any sooner than I did, but certainly educating myself and getting more exposure to the small business world, medium enterprise and entrepreneurship in general. I wish I would have started that journey much earlier.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, anybody who's gone down an entrepreneurial journey and found any level of success almost always says that Wish I would have just trusted myself earlier and learned more. But tell me, listen before we kind of move, kind of the hot seat of just kind of questions. Tell me your ideal customer profile is and who should get a hold of you and how should they get a hold of you.

Speaker 3:

Great question. So we have a wide swath of customer industries that we support right now and I would say, if we could wave a wand and bring in any customers that we want, we really like some more customers that have 20 to 100 employees and that are industries like biotechnology, life sciences, legal and financial industries. Those customers are probably the ones that we are able to serve the best, and then the best way to do, you know, to reach out to us. Our website is bytigigcom and it's spelled B-Y-T-A-G-I-G and, by the way, the origins of that name, bytigig. It's just essentially taking the word gigabyte and switching it around, so that's how we arrived at that name.

Speaker 1:

It's like the dyslexic cybersecurity company just flipped.

Speaker 3:

Now I need to figure out a dyslexic way to take the word cybersecurity or related word and convert that.

Speaker 1:

Exactly this is where my creativity turns to AI to help. There we go For sure. Now, here, a little hot seat for you, okay? So I've asked these questions jokingly because you know I'm collecting data for future sponsors, but also it does help other entrepreneurs understand what kind of technologies you're using and things you're doing to help improve your just your world. The first question what is your favorite calendar scheduling technology?

Speaker 3:

I really like clockwise and if you're not familiar with what it is, it's very similar to Calendly. But it also helps you manage your own priorities and goals when it comes to things like focus time or other floating things that you want to get done at some point in time in the day or in the week, and it will move those things around based on other events happening in your calendar. So let's say, for example, you say I want to spend two hours a day on self-improvement. You put that in there and you can mark it as a flexible time and it will move it around based on each and every day and the schedule accordingly.

Speaker 1:

That's actually interesting because I think like personally I do that I walk off Wednesdays to do what I want and usually it'll become a podcast day for me to film and record, or I'll learn to learn day, and so I put the ideas to you of no expectation email. So I think a calendar that can help you dynamically do that and say hey, you have two hours of focus time coming up. That's a I've never heard of that before.

Speaker 3:

That's something I'm going to check out and then, when you create a scheduling link for each type of event that you want to send to somebody to schedule something with you, you can program that link to say, do I want it to override my focus time or do I want to preserve my focus time? And you can set up all kinds of parameters as to which time of the day, what part of the day, which day of the week this link works. So I really like it, because I used to use Calamity and then I would want to have blocks of time like what you're describing, and then things would just fill up. So it just it works a lot better, I think.

Speaker 1:

Now that's actually interesting because I'll have to look at this. But you know, part of this next question is, you know it's also some integrations of like how many technologies do I really want? What about your CRM? What do you like? What do you like this for your company?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we really like HubSpot. It's not the cheapest solution out there, but it is very robust and it does have a lot of integrations with many of the other systems we use. So that is that is the reason why we chose that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a popular answer. I'm looking at it. We use, very simply, you know, like we don't really use one right now because I'm looking at where I can simplify scheduling plus CRM, plus some other things, without it being too cumbersome, right? And so so HubSpot, if you have a budget, I think that's like the enterprise go-to standard, right, and especially start going down the road of content and email marketing and other things. So, a very popular answer for sure, probably not one I'd start with, because they do get you on the little crack cocaine very cheap for first year and then it gets very expensive after. But so so proceed with caution, robust, but know that you might need an individual lined up to any CRM to make it work. Well, say it that way, someone's got to kind of be responsible for it.

Speaker 3:

I think HubSpot has been pretty easy and intuitive for me, but I come from a technology background to not have to have an higher an expert to manage it for me. But at the same time, we're not using it nearly as much as we should be.

Speaker 1:

So that's that's right, so that's what it's. So if you're, if you're not using the full capability of it, of any CRM, you have to look at why you have the CRM. And then there's and that, that that we have a whole show about that, but it is a good place if you, if you can align a resource who knows HubSpot well to get the most out of it, you will get a lot out of it. Say it that way, Because there's automations and other things you can do to really kind of drive your needle for additional sales and closing deals and things like that. What's your favorite?

Speaker 3:

business book? It's a great question. I really have found a lot of valuable business principles in the Bible and I think there's still one of the greatest things that you can ever view as a business is treat customers the way that they would want to be treated, and that is a biblical principle, or the way that you would want to be treated, and that is a biblical principle law in itself, as well as other things like honesty and such Other besides the Bible there are. There is a really good book called Traction by Gina Wickman that I wish I had read 10 years ago, and I'm just really working through going through the process of implementing the EOS system that Traction talks about right now.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a that's. I mean, the Bible isn't very interesting and I know the in our company we, we idea the is around, everything's around altruism, right and service of others. In particular, your profile, one like your customer. So I'm a, I'm in agreement with you that that isn't, you know, outside of the other things that are it's not in there not a bad place to base some of the stuff you do on serving others, helping others. You know, humility, things like that, so I agreed on that. On LinkedIn specifically, who do you like to follow? Either you can be up and coming, they can be established, but who's kind of a person you kind of go to to get inspiration or just read content?

Speaker 3:

So Wes Spencer is somebody who is specifically aligned with the cybersecurity industry and he is phenomenal. I've met him in person at a conference, I talked to him regularly via LinkedIn and he produces some great content for people in our industry, and so I really, I really enjoy following his stuff, and we're actually just landed our own podcast interview with him. That's gonna be a live webinar actually in the second week of December.

Speaker 1:

Oh, nice, congratulations. That's very good. And since, like I'm sure that'll be a very exciting we got a fulfilled episode for you just personally. Yeah, it's a dream come true, so, yeah, awesome. So we'll have to share some links to that one so we get this out as well. You know you have a podcast that started up as well. What's kind of your? You know, I'll ask you out of these together favorite podcasting, mic and streaming technology.

Speaker 3:

I'm using a Zoom called a Zoom P4 mixing system and I don't remember which. I think it's a sure mic that I have connected with it, but I don't know off the top and I don't have it with me here today.

Speaker 1:

Well, your mic sounds great, so we can give a sure credit for that, but it's actually well, you can think Apple, then really good quality of the microphone today. There you go and you are using an instrument, technology.

Speaker 3:

Not really. We're just getting started, so we aren't. We're trying not to get too perfectionist about this right now. So another big takeaway that I've learned is like you can sit and plan for years If you just have to get started. So we've just been, you know, recording the calls on a Zoom conference call for the podcast and just birding that rolling with it.

Speaker 1:

It works great and you know, if you're wildly successful you can upgrade to higher definition audio and all those fun things later. Most people don't care what's your favorite bank as an entrepreneur.

Speaker 3:

Goodness, I think your local credit union, wherever you're at, is a great one. We use I don't know if I should say this on the air being cyber security, but we use one that's based here in the county that we live in in the Portland Oregon area. I'll just put it that way.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha, yes, as a cyber security, you don't want to give out any rotting numbers right now or anything else. Thank you, it's fun.

Speaker 3:

Thank you too much more personal than that, Tomels.

Speaker 1:

Right, exactly, Don't be diving in now. What is the last word? Your social and your mother's maiden name? No, don't answer that please. Most important entrepreneurial trait.

Speaker 3:

I would say it's what's the word that I'm looking for, but it's the never quit mentality, Kind of like Navy SEALs going through boot camp and Bud's training right, you just can't. You can't quit.

Speaker 1:

You can't quit is the number one answer for sure. Grit, persistence, resilience I throw all those kind of in there and I'm gonna make sure, see.

Speaker 3:

that's why I rely on people like you, who can think of the right word at the right time.

Speaker 1:

I just heard it more often than you, it's all. I make up words if I don't know. So I did a gift to this by other smart.

Speaker 3:

My dad calls it stick it to activity.

Speaker 1:

Stick it to activity. Please explain that.

Speaker 3:

Stick it to activity, just stick into it. Oh, stick into it.

Speaker 1:

That, even get it, just stick to it. You gotta show up, and that's the thing. So, in the entrepreneurs that are still joining us now for this part of the show, I know there are days in my journey and I'm not on it as long as you have been that I've been like I just need to go find a job. I'm tired of it. I don't want to work today, but I keep showing up and some of those days are the best days, where you get a new customer, you have a new epiphany or you work on something that you just gotta show up and keep plugging away at it and it does. That is the hallmark trade I think of an entrepreneur is just show up, get it done, yeah. Final question for you.

Speaker 3:

We've had some really, really, really bad days in our business, and those are some definite moments where you're like is this really worth it? Yes, but I'm glad I didn't quit, though.

Speaker 1:

There you go, and you'll have to get through them to make it. That's kind of a risk reward. I have one final question for you. It's a big one. Have you ever been promoted? Yes, I have. Oh, we can't. You can't join the club. Sorry, this has never been promoted podcast. Thanks for attending. Have a great day. No kidding, when was you promoted?

Speaker 3:

Well, it depends on how you define promote. I mean, when I was in a regular job, they promoted me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that definitely counts. That's the one we're talking about. Okay, I just hope myself.

Speaker 3:

but it did. I mean it's been promoted via marketing and things like that. You know here and there, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Well, you've got a real job promotion, which you somehow have struck the balance of taking it on, you know, being promoted and becoming an entrepreneur that's successful. So congratulations to you. I would definitely anyone listening here. I would listen to him. He knows what he's doing. But I really appreciate your time today, by the way you know, with me and helping other entrepreneurs on your journey. Maybe, as we kind of you know, exit and end our time together. How does someone get a hold of you? Who should get a hold of you? You know, why should they get a hold of you? Take a couple minutes to do like a? You know, just a shameless plug for yourself in your business.

Speaker 3:

Great, I know how to do that. Yeah, I guess when you say, have you ever been promoted, you know if you promote yourself, which is what I'm about to do, then I guess I have been promoted that way too, and you don't get very far in the business world if you don't know how to promote yourself. So business owners who don't have a full-time IT staff or don't have enough full-time IT staff Many people don't have an IT department Think of us as your outsourced IT department at a fraction of the cost, and we'll help handle everything from your emails to your computers, to your servers, to your networks, and manage all that for you proactively, and we'll also work to secure it from hackers. So the best way to start that relationship with us is to go to biotechcom and reach out to us on our website there and we will be happy to do a cybersecurity risk assessment. And that's one of the ways that we first begin our relationship with our clients showing them where they're at risk of being hacked and work to reduce that risk with them.

Speaker 1:

Very important, no doubt. Thank you, by the way, so much for taking the time to join me. John, listen, if you are going to be an entrepreneur, you have to learn from other people. You have to take the time to listen and truly don't try to solve it all your own, like. You know, don't know it all. You know I don't know about you, john, but if I was as smart as I was in my 20s, I'd gotten dumber through the years. Otherwise, how little I know. So, try to be curious, learn from others, and that's what we serve to do. But, john, thank you so much for coming today on the Never Been Promoted podcast.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for having me, thomas, it's been very enjoyable.

Speaker 1:

It's been my pleasure and anybody still listening. By the way, thank you for still listening to this point, as we try to help you unleash your entrepreneurs and your abilities. You're just taking where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. That's what we're trying to help through the voice and knowledge of other entrepreneurs. Thanks again for listening to the Never Been Promoted podcast and I will see you on the next episode.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to Never Been Promoted with Thomas Hellfrey. Make sure to check the show notes for our guest contact information and any relevant links. Connect with Thomas personally at NeverBenPromotedcom.

Starting a Cybersecurity Company and Entrepreneurship
Mitigating Risk and Hiring Strategies
Entrepreneurship, Future Plans, and Ideal Customers
Favorite Calendar Scheduling Technology and CRM
Unleashing Entrepreneurial Abilities