Nathan Resnick is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Sourcify, a marketplace of the world's top manufacturers. Previously, he founded www.YesManWatches.com and www.CorkSupplyCo.com. Nathan has been a part of major projects on Kickstarter that have raised over one-million dollars in funding, Nathan prides himself on his ability to swiftly turn ideas into realities.
1. What are some challenges you faced when developing your venture? Was there any point when you thought it was over? That you were going to fail?
I started my first venture, Yes Man Watches, not knowing anything about business or entrepreneurship. Everything was a challenge, but that motivated me even more. One of the hardest hurdles when trying to bring a physical product to life is finding the right manufacturer. It literally took us over six months to find a manufacturer we trusted. During that process, I wasn’t sure we’d ever actually bring anything to life. The day our first watch prototype came has been one of the best days of my life.
2. As an entrepreneur how important has flexibility been in developing your venture?
If you aren’t flexible as an entrepreneur, I’d bet against you. What you started out to create, probably isn’t going to be your finished product. If you aren’t willing to adapt your designs, business model, or marketing strategies, chances are you will fail. Entrepreneurs that are successful focus on the data and results.
3. What was your spark, where did it come from?
My first real 9-5 job was a sales internship my freshman year of college where I made an endless amount of cold calls. Within a week I became the employee with the highest converting outbound calls and I was just an intern. That job taught me to work hard but I wasn’t satisfied—I felt like I was creating someone else’s dream.
After the internship, I read the Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. This book has literally become my entrepreneurship bible. It made me realize how easy it is to start a business. Though not all aspects are true across industries and it is now a bit updated, I’d still recommend the book to anyone looking to start a business.
Surround yourself with those who will push your limits—whether it be in life or in business. I’ve gotten convinced to jump off 50 foot cliffs in the Italian Amalfi coast because two girls went before me and I didn’t want to be a woos. In business, I surround myself with other entrepreneurs who turn their ideas into realities. Your environment will have a big difference on who you become.
For some reason this makes me think of a time in Vegas with a few friends—we needed a knife to cut a lime for our drinks. My friends had called room service requesting one but because we didn’t order any food, the knife didn’t come. I told them I’ll take care of it—so I called room service, told them I had an $80 steak sitting here getting cold because they hadn’t brought me a steak knife. Within two minutes we had a knife to cut our lime. I believe in life you need to know how to ask questions in the right way to get the best results.
To be honest, delegation used to be my biggest weakness as an entrepreneur. I’ll take this back to when Yes Man Watches was on the way to hitting six figures in sales during our first year. I felt this business was my baby and I wanted to do everything—I micromanaged and pretty much reviewed everything before it went anywhere. I rarely slept, as I was way too hands on with my business and didn’t really let any of my team members do anything.
The big shift came after a meeting with a fellow entrepreneur, Will Caldwell—Will told me I needed to trust my team. Without trust, you can’t grow. When I started to trust my team I was amazed to see the actual work they were able to get done. When you’re managing people and let them be responsible for their own work while instilling trust in them you’ll be amazed to see how talented some people are.
7. What is your best tip for entrepreneurs?
Stop talking and start doing. I think one of the biggest setbacks for an entrepreneur is thinking too much—you’ll think about ideas you want to pursue, try to network with others, and go back and forth with yourself about a business. The fact of the matter is no work happens during this phase. If you actually want to create a business as an entrepreneur, you need to actually do something.
I want to be clear that I’m not saying to never talk, but what I am saying is that when you’re talking, you’re not working.