Entrepreneur by The Oracles 

In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Nathan Mummert, CEO of Wildfire Marketing Secrets, a lead-generation agency with a focus on paid media. It was condensed by The Oracles.

Who are you? 
Nathan Mummert: I’m a husband, father, and serial entrepreneur. In the last decade, I’ve been an integral part of seven online startups, including two that sold for six figures within three years.

After years of marketing my own businesses, I realized that I really enjoyed marketing and had become quite good at it. So in 2018, my brother, Jordan, and I started a marketing agency that focuses on generating leads through paid media.

What is one of your proudest moments? 
Nathan Mummert: My proudest moment was the day I sold my first company, TasteofInk.com, just three years after launching it. I remember posting hundreds of ads on Craigslist in the beginning, offering free business card designs to anyone who would print their business cards with us. Surprisingly, it actually worked, and we got a handful of clients that way. Soon afterward, we learned how to set ourselves apart by being unique and the best in our field.

What excites you the most about your business right now?
Nathan Mummert: We absolutely love what we do. Hearing our clients’ success stories is extremely rewarding, and we cherish the influence we have in their lives.

The competition is steep in our industry. There are thousands of companies that offer lead generation. But we’ve found that very few focus on quality and tailor their services to their clients’ needs. We are excited to be a breath of fresh air for our clients by being different, showing them we care, and actually getting tangible results.

What’s your favorite quote? 
Nathan Mummert: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” I live by this quote. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are so deathly afraid to fail that they never take action. I’ve had a handful of successes in business, but I’ve also had more failures than I can count. The quicker you fail, the quicker you succeed.

What was your biggest, most painful failure?
Nathan Mummert: My greatest failure and biggest learning opportunity was a lifestyle-based social network that I tried to launch after selling TasteofInk.com. It had great potential, but it never got off the ground.

I invested more than $100,000 of my own money, lost my business partner and best friend of over 20 years, and went through half a dozen web developers in three years. At that point, I decided to cut my losses and move on. I spent way too much time and money on the project and just didn’t see it launching. After that, I promised myself I would never go “all in” on a big project like that again.

How do you define great leadership?
Nathan Mummert: A great leader gives their team the tools, direction, and motivation to be successful and love their job. I learned early in my career that employees need to feel appreciated. I also believe that an employee’s success rests largely on the leader’s ability to give them the right processes and systems.

How do you identify a good business partner?
Nathan Mummert: The biggest determining factor when I decide to partner with someone is how they handle conflict and confrontation. Anyone can smile and act a certain way when things are going well — but what happens when business gets tough and hard decisions have to be made?

Which single habit gives you 80 percent of your results?
Nathan Mummert: Selling during selling hours. I learned this concept from a mentor of mine, Nik Robbins, who owns a large, successful marketing agency. He talks about using business hours to your advantage and not focusing on mundane, administrative work during this time.

I’ve taken this to heart and always come back to it. It seems so simple, but it’s been a highly effective strategy and routine for our agency.

What are you working on right now?
Nathan Mummert: This is my favorite question! I’m always interested to learn where entrepreneurs are headed, which tells me about what they’ve learned from the past.

Right now, our agency is trimming the fat. We’re studying our largest, most successful clients and going after more partnerships like those. It’s easy to get distracted and take on every project that comes our way, but we believe that in order to truly grow, we need to take our best clients and focus all our attention on working with more companies like them.

What are a few things on your bucket list?
Nathan Mummert: Traveling the world is number one. My wife and I daydream about exploring other countries all the time.

My dream is to become a venture capitalist. Business is my hobby but I also love to gamble. Someday, I’d like to be in a position to hear others’ ideas and roll the dice with them.

This article first appeared in Entrepreneur.