Matt Stanley is the CEO of Oasis Interactive. Matt is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Matt provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Oasis Interactive. Matt Stanley joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Matt join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Matt, thank you so much for taking the timea out of your busy day to answer our questions about leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Matt, please tell us about Oasis Interactive. What is the elevator pitch?
Oasis Interactive is a marketing agency that exists to help small to medium sized businesses realize their fullest potential. We do that by crafting marketing plans and strategies that are custom-tailored to each client, and designed to get amazing results. We collaborate with our customers to help them tell their own unique story in a fresh and compelling way that achieves a strong response in the marketplace. The end result of this synergistic partnership is greater brand awareness for each client, increased revenue, and long-lasting relationships not only between us and them, but also between them and their customers. We’re not just after the quick sale, or short-term transaction. We want a relationship that lasts a long time, and we work hard to help our clients secure that same kind of brand loyalty with their customers as well.
2. What is the one thing that makes Oasis Interactive great?
Our passion for serving people with unwavering integrity and excellence. I founded Oasis Interactive in December of 2006, and running the company became my full-time career in July of 2008. Over the last 11 years I’ve had countless opportunities to take advantage of people who really don’t understand the technology behind what we do. And besides that, they often have no idea what kind of investment a good marketing campaign will really require. I’ll turn away business before I accept anyone’s money if I can tell that the prospect– after interviewing them – isn’t prepared to take the “long view” approach to our work together. I have a firm commitment to being transparent, delivering exceptional value on every project (no matter the size), and doing everything in my power to ensure that our clients are treated like a member of our family.
3. Please tell us what is the key to being a great entrepreneur?
That is a terrific question, and it’s probably the easiest one for me to answer: Aligning yourself with the very best talent there is.
I’ve been in the marketing business for more than two decades now, and I’ve learned a lot about how to effectively promote products and services during that time. I also know my own limitations, however. I recognize that if you want to be the leader in your industry, you have to hire specialists. People who are even more skilled in specific, niche disciplines of your area of expertise than you are. People who will challenge you, disagree with you, and even question how you run the company, because they see things from a different perspective that can be incredibly insightful. I have learned the most about building a thriving business through adversity, trials, and interacting with very difficult people. I try to remain flexible and forever teachable, because it is my opinion that when you stop learning you plateau. Learning to trust others and delegating things to them is crucial to any entrepreneur’s success, and it’s a lot easier to do that when you know you have an awesome team behind you.
4. What is the best advice can you give to a young entrepreneur just starting out with a new venture?
Don’t be afraid to fail, make mistakes, or take risks. And be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge. Never stop learning, never stop growing, and never get too big for your britches. You have to remain humble, and recognize that life’s greatest teachers are often the most difficult to receive wisdom from because they care enough about your success to call you out on your weaknesses.
5. What is the one thing that you, as a person, want to be known for?
Love. Not the mushy, gooey, Valentine’s Day kind of love portrayed on a Hallmark card that makes little kids say, “Gross!” and think of cooties. The kind of love that is selfless, others-centered, and serves people even when it’s a real sacrifice. I seek to live my life that way, run my business that way, and with every human interaction I’m blessed to experience, serve my fellow man that way. My goal at the end of my life is to live in such a way that this kind of amazing love is my legacy, and that it leaves an indelible mark on humanity.
6. When building a business, what is the one most important thing to keep in mind at all times?
Don’t ever let fear (“False Evidence Appearing Real”) cause you to make foolish mistakes which compromise your vision. You MUST have a vision that drives everything you do, and though setbacks and disappointments will bring discouragement along the way, always be pursuing that vision with everything you have. Remain focused on that vision and do everything in your power to see it manifest in your life through your business, but stay flexible. Be fluid enough in your daily, weekly, monthly rhythm that you can pivot and adjust as needed to unexpected challenges, but NEVER take your eyes off of that vision.
I have always maintained an attitude and personal conviction as the founder and president of my company that could be put into words as follows: “I’ll die before I quit.” That tenacity, and unwavering commitment to our corporate vision has carried me and my company through some incredibly tough times.
7. When hiring employees, what is the one most important thing you look for?
Their alignment with our corporate culture and values, and personal compatibility with the existing team. You can always get someone training to enhance their technical skills, and invest in newer technology, better tools, and more efficient systems to help them be most effective at doing the work. Finding really solid people who are committed to your corporate vision and buy in whole-heartedly, however, can be a real challenge. We only hire people who are so excited about what we’re already doing that they want to be a part of it, and their unique gifts will further enhance it.
8. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning?
To serve people with everything I have and to be a blessing to everyone I interact with. That’s really it; I don’t have anything else to say about it that wouldn’t dilute my answer.
9. What is the one thing that makes a great company?
I’d say it’s listening to your customers. REALLY listening. And not just listening to make a better product, service, or offering, either. Listening to hear the heart of your customer. What makes them tick; what makes them laugh; what makes them cry. What drives them. When you really, thoroughly understand your target market (as represented by those already doing business with you), then you will be the very best in your field. Apple is an amazing example of this very thing. They are so in touch with their customer that they anticipate what the marketplace wants before anyone else is even working on those ideas. They are trend-setters, and lead their industry through innovation and technological breakthroughs that were previously thought of as science fiction. And their incredible profits are a reflection of that attunement to their customer.
10. What is the one thing that makes a great leader?
Matt Stanley, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and 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 Oasis Interactive, nothing but the best.