Find a “right-hand man or woman” you can trust and who shares your level of care, drive, and determination in growing your business. Game Changer!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Hong.
Brian Hong, founder and CEO of New Orleans-based digital marketing agency, Infintech Designs, has more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing search engine optimization techniques and designing high-performing websites.
When he’s not finessing digital marketing campaigns or putting the finishing touches on a website, he enjoys a down-to-earth lifestyle of laughs, travel, and family time. You can either find him getting his swoll on at Crossfit, or hanging out with his furry friend, Galbi (Korean for “short rib”).
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
In 2001, I was a broke college student who bought a car I could not afford (2001 VW Jetta — Wolfsburg Edition). I was working two jobs (insurance during the week, waiter on the weekends) while going to college part time and barely making ends meet. I was motivated to find another revenue stream that allowed me to make money from home in between my jobs and school.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Pfizer sent me a cease and desist letter because the websites I optimized ranked better for their Viagra brand than their own website.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
Success has been a roller coaster for me in this career.
It came once I learned how to delegate and create standard operating procedures (SOPs), which allowed me to scale my activities and systemize and productize what I do.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The NFL sent me a cease and desist letter because I owned BlackAndGoldSuperBowl.com, and they stated I was NOT allowed to use the word Superbowl in my domain. I acted quickly and rebranded the company name to BlackAndGoldSuperbOwl.com and changed the logo to an Owl Mascot. I learned how to adapt quickly and adjust on the fly.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m working on building a CBD Brand. In a time when the pandemic is creating a new pandemic in mental health, anxiety, and depression, Panda CBD helps alleviate this by providing a lab-tested, organically-cultivated, Full Spectrum CBD tincture to bring relief to individuals.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Document and create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) early on. Create a process that can be learned and replicated.
- Find a “right-hand man or woman” you can trust and who shares your level of care, drive, and determination in growing your business. Game Changer!
- You will feel every bump in the road. When things are good, they are great. When things are bad, they are terrible.
- Repurpose your skills to diversify your revenue streams
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Find your passion, learn how to monetize it, and the burn out is less likely to happen.
None of us is able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My parents planted the seeds/skills I needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. They taught me persistence, perseverance, and relentless work ethic.
If it were easy, everyone would do it. My parents came to America without knowing the language or having any money. But they learned to adapt and create a life for themselves. They saw every experience as a stepping stone to get one step closer to their goals. My father’s first job was a ditch digger for a cemetery. He used that job to support himself in getting a college degree in mechanical engineering as well as paying for each family member to come to the USA and share this dream as well. My parents eventually married and opened their first business together, a shoe repair store. This was their side hustle and the job my father would join my mother in running after his day job.
He taught me that success is about sacrifices.
Sometimes you have to do what makes money now to get one step closer to doing what you love. Money is a vehicle that creates opportunities, choices, and freedom when used correctly.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!
Outside of work, I’m passionate about health and wellness. As a former obese person, I learned how life changing it can be to take control of my health and wellness and how it impacted growth in my career and life as well.
If I could offer one piece of personal advice, it would be to make health and wellness an on-going priority because it will improve nearly all areas of your life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?