Adam Van Deusen is the CEO of Zealth. Adam is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Adam provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Zealth. Adam Van Deusen joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Adam join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Adam, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Adam, please tell us about Zealth. What is the elevator pitch?
Zealth is the evolution of an extensive freelancing career in which a group of like-minded thinkers joined together to share our passion and expertise. We work primarily with Chicagoland small businesses in developing and expanding their brand via the web. Why blend in when you can stand out?
2. What is the one thing that makes Zealth great?
Our small agency culture allows us to balance the line of providing the backbone of an established business with the personal touch often lost with larger firms. You know the names of everyone at the company and we are all involved throughout the process.
3. Please tell us what is the key to being a great entrepreneur?
Self motivation by a large margin is the biggest factor to success in my experience. Nobody is going to make it happen for you. You have to enjoy the process and challenges. Beyond that, the value of maintaining relationships cannot be understated. Never stop networking, and you’d be surprised how occasional follow-ups or a simple hello can produce results.
4. What is the best advice can you give to a young entrepreneur just starting out with a new venture?
Never stop learning. Learn from yourself, and learn from others. Have a well thought out plan, and don’t be afraid of altering from that plan. Be adaptable.
5. What is the one thing that you, as a person, want to be known for?
I pride myself in transparency and the dedication in finding solutions. If you don’t know how to do something, figure it out – or find someone who does. When courting a new client I’m selling myself just as much as I’m selling the business. They have to trust I will deliver.
6. When building a business, what is the one most important thing to keep in mind at all times?
Keep emotions out of your decision making. I often see people hang onto an idea that they themselves are convinced is the key to success regardless of what the evidence says to the contrary. Some fantastically skilled people go into business for themselves only to struggle because they ignore the fundamentals of business. Build a strong foundation first before you start decorating.
7. When hiring employees, what is the one most important thing you look for?
A deep understanding for the technology, and a compatible temperament. You can be a tech guru, but if you can’t play nice with others it won’t last long. Like-ability can go along way both within the company and with clients.
8. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning?
Honestly, growing a business can be an addiction. There is an excitement in watching it evolve. Every day is unique. There isn’t a dollar amount that would motivate me to switch to working for someone else. The freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship has a value beyond anything monetary. That’s not to say it’s all rainbows and sunshine. It’s an enormous risk, but it is something I think everyone should explore at some point in their life.
9. What is the one thing that makes a great company?
Profitability! Hiding behind motivational cliche’s is great when writing a tagline for a book, but at the core a good business is a business that creates a return. If it isn’t making money, I’d consider it a hobby, not a business.
10. What is the one thing that makes a great leader?
The ability to see beyond what’s directly in front of you. Forecasting the big picture allows you to attempt to stay ahead of the curve. Proactive rather than reactive if you will. I’m also a big proponent of servant leadership. Become a resource for your team and your customers.
Adam Van Deusen, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Zealth, nothing but the best.