36ºN member Ryan Redding is the founder of DP Marketing Strategies, a full-service digital marketing agency for home service companies, plumbers and HVAC technicians.
How, where and when do you get your best ideas?
I think the best ideas happen in "space." The best ideas, for me, rarely happen during brainstorming sessions or white-boarding. Typically, it's when I'm doing something completely unrelated to the task: smoking a rack of ribs or mowing the lawn, for instance. It's after the initial ideation has had time to percolate that the best ideas happen.
What's a work tool or ritual that you couldn't live without?
A work tool? Dang, that's tough. Let me give the lame answer and say "the interwebs." Nearly 100% of my workflow is cloud-based, which allows me to work wherever I am on a variety of hardware. Without the internet, everything I do would screech to an embarrassing halt. Not sure about "ritual," but perhaps "rhythm": having a structured rhythm is very important for me. Rhythm provides the boundaries for margin to exist to invest in family, friends, intellectual pursuits, faith and quality Scotch.
What skill would you like to master?
Extroversion. (I'm an archetypical INTJ.)
What advice would you give to someone seeking to launch or grow a business?
I hate giving "advice," but if I did…
#1: Fail fast. Fail cheap. Fail often.
#2: There's a massive difference between baking a cake and running a bakery. Learn to pull yourself out of the business, rather than begin buried in it.
What's a big "win" you experienced in the past year?
The past year has been crazy. Our growth has outpaced our proformas by about 4 years, and the challenge has been to not let the rate of growth impact the quality of service. Perhaps the most never-thought-that'd-happen-in-my-lifetime experience: I published a book in November 2018 that's available on Amazon. It's really surreal to see one's name on the cover of an actual book that people actually pay money for.
What are you most looking forward to in the year to come?
Since publishing the book, I've been invited to speak at several conferences and trade shows around the country. I think anyone who wants to pay money to hear me drone on about strategic decision making or developments on Google algorithm updates is crazy- but I'm humbled for the opportunity.
Why 36 Degrees North?
36ºN provides a great hub to connect with people who are in a similar trajectory with their own organizations and are eager to take their projects to the next level. The symbiosis of government, NPO and for-profit industries is really fantastic.
Do you want to give any shoutouts?