Home Interviews Jesse Willms: The Value in Understanding Your “Why”

Jesse Willms: The Value in Understanding Your “Why”

by Olufisayo
Jesse Willms Interview

In this interview, we sit down with Jesse Willms, one of the most prolific internet entrepreneurs of the past two decades. In his incredibly successful career, Willms has gone on to earn over half a billion dollars in product sales across his ventures, applying his expert business acumen and implementing cutting-edge marketing strategies to attract his customers.

Jesse Willms believes one of the main factors that significantly influence business success is continually striving to deliver value for your customers while fully understanding the purpose or the mission behind your company.

Let’s hear what he had to say in the interview.

How did you first get into business?

From a very young age, I always had a strong interest in business and how people trade with each other. I read books on famous investors, which made me very curious about their thought processes and the main drivers behind their success.

However, my first real experience with entrepreneurship was when I started to sell the books I had already read. For a profit, of course!

Once I got a taste for the entrepreneurial life, I started my first company, eDirect, which mainly focused on selling computer software that I marketed through platforms like Amazon Marketplace and Google AdWords. Fortunately, this turned out to be a great success for me at the time, and eDirect went on to generate over $50m in revenue.

As an entrepreneur, how do you set yourself apart from your competition?

The business world changes day by day, and it’s essential to do what you can to keep up with the times. Many businesses that are successful today will start to lose their position as soon as they stop innovating and looking to embrace information technology to keep their operational wheels turning.

For me, I do what I can to remain as flexible and agile as possible so I can react quickly to new situations. Of course, this has proved very useful during the global pandemic as I shifted my business processes to meet the shifting consumer demands. This gives us an advantage over more rigid business models and ensures we do not lose any of our market share to our competitors.

What helps you keep motivated after you have already had so much success?

The main thing that keeps me hungry every day is my unfinished goals. I really believe there is a high value in setting yourself both long-term and short-term goals that you can continually work towards, whether for your business or personal life.

You need to always make sure that you’re moving in the right direction and that each day you push yourself just one step closer to where you want to be. It helps me know that there are still many things I would like to accomplish in my life, both personally and professionally, which is why every day, I create a checklist of to-do items that will help get me closer to my ultimate goals.

How do you deal with failure and rejection?

I think the fear of rejection and failure is one of the biggest obstacles most people face when starting their businesses. Many people refuse to attempt something just because they fear they might fail, which is crazy! If we all gave up at the first sign of failure, there might not be any entrepreneurs out there.

The trick is being able to bounce back when something doesn’t go your way. I have made many mistakes throughout my career, but I have never let them define me. Instead, I acknowledge that an error was made and try to learn from it.

You should view rejection as an opportunity to grow, develop a thicker skin, or improve important skills.

Given your digital marketing expertise, do you have any marketing tips to share with us?

Marketing is all about creating value for consumers and then using the right tools to deliver information about your offer in the most effective format. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell before you know if your product is any good or not. Remember, add value first and sell later. Just following that one piece of advice will set you apart from the majority of your competition.

Another great tip is to learn how to embrace customer feedback. It’s by far your most important asset. Rather than ignore it or try to justify your methods with faulty logic, listen to your consumers, take negative criticism on board, and adapt effectively. Most of your decision-making should stem from listening to their feedback and fulfilling their needs.

Lastly, do you have any advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs?

The best advice I could give to anyone is to understand your why. What are the things that are most important to you? What values do you stand for, and most importantly, what are your biggest areas of interest? When I was younger, I never asked myself any of these questions, which is why I tried to look for the best business opportunities that could make me the most money. However, that’s not the best way to do it.

As a car lover, I have to say that I have enjoyed running my current company far more than any other in the past. It sounds like a cliche, but try to look for opportunities in the industries you are actively interested in. Not only will you stay motivated for longer, but you will have a much higher chance of success in the long run if you enjoy what you’re doing.

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