Kyle Goguen is the Founder of Pawstruck . The DotCom Magazine editorial team has awarded Pawstruck as an Impact Company of 2019, and we are delighted to have Kyle join us for our Leader Round Table Interview. The Pawstruck story is very interesting, and we are very excited to not only interview Kyle, but also put Kyle through our popular speed round as well!
Kyle, thank so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions about leadership, your vision, and your passion.
1. Can you describe what the “elevator pitch” for Pawstruck is?
We’re the only online company made up of dog lovers and owners that keep dogs happy, healthy, and safe with natural single ingredient chews that are sourced responsibly and designed to be affordable for all dogs.
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEO’s just starting out?
Giving up equity early on can be a big mistake. Finance your business in a different way and be confident in yourself that you’ll make your new business a success. Obviously, this advice varies depending on what type of business you are in and your goals, but for me, I can’t overstate how important this takeaway has been. I was warned that in giving up equity early, years later I would be kicking myself for giving up a portion of my business. I can’t speak to the road not taken, but I can say that I learned to be self-sufficient in my business and trust in my strengths. I learned to hustle and do whatever it takes to make my business work on my own. Now, I encourage that same attitude in all my employees- take ownership, hustle, make it work.
3. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as Pawstruck, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Find your “why”. Examples would include things like freedom, money, or even doing your part to change the world. The sooner you identify why you’re an entrepreneur the better. It doesn’t matter your reasoning, but having clarity will help you to refocus when the going gets tough. When you face a challenge, think back to your one reason and continue to remind yourself that the only way to hit that goal is moving forward.
4. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Pawstruck, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
At Pawstruck, the customer experience is our #1 concern. Everything we do is in some way related to this. The majority of our products are consumable meaning that we will do just about whatever it takes to leave our customers happy and wanting to shop with us again once their dog needs more treats or chews. To accomplish this, we do our very best to provide a fun and intuitive shopping experience and prices that are affordable. On top of that, we source the highest quality products and take every precaution possible to earn our customers’ trust.
5. What is the one thing Pawstruck does to have great communication with their customers?
We invite customer interaction. Whether it’s our newsletter welcome emails or our live chat, we regularly solicit customer feedback and communication. It’s our goal to get customers to reach out to us. We contact our customers urging them to email us questions. We want to be their personal advisors when it comes to their dog. Anytime we’re able to speak with our customers, it is a net positive. They leave satisfied and more loyal than ever.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, what do you do to keep up with the changes? What do you read to stay abreast of things?
Join an industry relevant networking group or smaller mastermind. Finding events or masterminds that fit you and your business well are key. Quality over quantity. Business and personal needs vary drastically from person to person.Strive to match yourself with equal or slightly higher caliber attendees. This ensures you continue to grow and network with those that can provide value. Find reviews or a past attendee list and compare yourself. Will you fit in? If so, then give it a try! These type of high level groups are the very best way to continue to improve your business. Technology and best practices change rapidly these days. if you don’t continue to innovate, you’ll be left behind.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Pawstruck?
My primary goal in life is freedom. Whether it’s the freedom to make my own schedule or financial freedom, everything I value stems from freedom. That goal is what keeps my motivated to continue to grow Pawstruck. Whenever I’m down, overwhelmed, or especially frustrated I take a second to appreciate the freedom that comes from Pawstruck and owning my own business. That helps to recharge my batteries and keeps me motivated.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber – This is a must-read for any business owner. While it’s useful for every stage of business, as someone just starting on you’re guaranteed to relate to many of the scenarios described by the author. This book taught me about working “on” my business rather than “in” it. It really speaks to how to scale from solopreneur or start-up to a self-sufficient business with opportunities for growth.
9. When communicating with your staff at Pawstruck, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at as the leader?
Hiring is the most important thing. Hire the right people that are both capable and eager to fill a specific role in your company. If someone isn’t a good fit culturally or skill-wise, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Assuming you’ve got the right team in place, then the most important thing for you to put in place is a piece of technology that allows you to assign, track, and document tasks. I use Asana but there are many other similar tools out there. Find the one that fits your style and business.
10. In one sentence, can you give some advice to fellow entrepreneurs wishing to build a company as exciting as Pawstruck?
Stop hesitating and making excuses–start your company now.
We would like to have some fun and do a “First Reaction” round with you!
We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only. Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Vision, execution, and delegation
2. Describe Pawstruck in one word?
3. Describe Pawstruck customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee for Pawstruck?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about Pawstruck?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Pawstruck?
A slow struggle
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?
Kyle Goguen, Thank you so much for sitting down with us at our DotCom Magazine Impact Player Round Table. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping others to learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We Kyle your interview helps our readers, and we wish you, your family, and of course Pawstruck , nothing but the best.