Matt Goodman knows how to create interesting websites that rise above the noise.
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We spent some time with him, asking about his new web publishing company, Bizhemia.
Matt, tell us about your business.
Bizhemia LLC started as a singular vision. The company was founded by two rather ordinary people - an "in the clouds" creative, and a "well-grounded" and logic-bearing accountant.
Together we defined and refined that vision. Today that vision remains the same. It has become bullet proof in its simplicity. Everyday that vision gets closer and closer to becoming a reality. Dreams do and will come true.
Our business is more than a business… It's a philosophy. "Bizhemia", as I have defined it, is a "community of businesses with artistic or literary tastes, whose business model is driven by CREATIVITY rather than the bottom line.
Basically "Bohemia for Businesses" -- It's a very "utopian" thought! We believe if you are passionate and creative, financial reward will follow.
Based on this mantra, we have founded more than a dozen Internet businesses. They include:
http://www.thingsmydogate.com - on online outlet for frustrated dog owners
http://www.naturecallsstudio.com - an online gallery that features art exclusively for the bathroom
http://www.songgriddle.com - a new model for distributing music online (hasn't launched yet)
http://www.larrysmaleescorts.com - a satirical look at the world of male escorting
When did you start the business and where is your business located?
We started in March, 2008.
We are located on the Internet (worldwide)…although my partners and I are located in Atlanta and Chicago (my 2 hometowns).
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was junior copywriter at an advertising agency. I was laid off and became an entrepreneur. Best thing that ever happened to me! And yes, this is my first business.
Where did you get the startup money?
We haven't spent more than a few hundred dollars to get our business up and running. The biggest investment has been TIME.
We're also not looking for financial investors. Instead we're looking for BELIEVERS… The commodity we trade in is "Creative Capital" - meaning we will trade our creative services for other services we need.
We're intentionally bucking the system.
That's a novel approach. So, who are your main competitors?
As far as we know, we have no competitors…we try to make each business so unique and creative that it looks nothing like anything in the current market.
We thrive on being BOLD and DIFFERENT. If one of our businesses fails to stir up controversy we actually look at that as a negative.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
Not really… I knew going in, it would be a roller coaster ride, and it's been exactly that... Maybe the first drop is longer and more breathtaking than I expected ;)
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Nothing…While I've made many rash and miscalculated decisions, I wouldn't take any of them back. I have learned from each and every one of them. It's gotten to the point where I like being wrong. It sounds crazy, but usually I gain INVALUABLE perspective which I couldn't have gotten anywhere else.
Well, it is true that you learn lessons best when you make mistakes. So, what have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
We have reached out to other frustrated talented creative people… I can't do it alone, and there are tons of hungry passionate people in the world… They just need an outlet for their passion and creativity… That is what I hope Bizhemia provides.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Go for it… Jump off that cliff. But surround yourself with passionate and talented people who will serve as your parachute. I did, and I'm falling slowly, smoothly and steadily back to the ground.
I like that parachute analogy. It definitely helps to have a good team when you start a new company. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, and good luck in growing your business.