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Peter Schroeder


Peter Schroeder

@0:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Hello everyone and welcome to the Shades of Entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Peter Schroeder in one of the coolest, coolest backgrounds I have seen.

Is this virtual or is this really your background?

@0:24 - Peter Rank Schroeder

What do you think?

@0:25 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Oh man, I'm struggling.

@0:27 - Peter Rank Schroeder

It looks real. It looks pretty real. I'm going to go like, I don't know.

@0:33 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

is just, oh man, Peter, I love it already. Now, Peter's here with Telzio.

@0:38 - Peter Rank Schroeder

I've got pronounced it correctly. That's right.

@0:40 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah. right, so we're going to be talking a little bit about that before we get into all that.

@0:45 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Peter, would love for you to introduce yourself. Who is Peter Schroeder? Wow.

@0:49 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That a loaded question.

@0:52 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Here we go. started. Peter Schroeder is a guy from Denmark to LA about 10 years ago. Has a background in your story.

sick and tech kind of simultaneously my whole life. And running a tech company right now, officially never stopped being in music.

Just kind of happened to not do it right now.

@1:15 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So tell us, tell me a little bit about your music career, because you mentioned your in tech, but you're also a DJ, if that's correct.

@1:23 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Yeah, yeah. I was, I think, 15 years professionally playing all over the world. All kinds of different things from from a small nightclubs to big festivals.

@1:35 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Wow. How did how did that kind of get into the music world?

@1:38 - Peter Rank Schroeder

How do you how do you get into being a DJ? Well, I mean, my parents are musicians. So it probably starts there.

My dad was out on gigs in my whole childhood every weekend and my one was a pianist. And so it's in the family.

But I think when I was in maybe third grade or something like that, saw a DJ at a school dance and it's like that is so cool how he can just play.

Yes, and people are having a good time because of what he puts on.

@2:03 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That's really cool So I just got a couple of ghetto blasters and started playing at my friends birthday parties and you know from there on Eventually I was old enough to to get a gig at a nightclub and and yeah, then I just kind of did it from there Wow, so I really love that inspiring sort because you know music in my family's very big You know my dad actually grew up as a musician for lots of pretty much over there in Texas So folks that if you if you lived around that era, you know back in the 80s You probably had saw my dad playing but I would love to hear now What is what is your current adventure?

@2:35 - Peter Rank Schroeder

us about what your current entrepreneurial venture? You're doing? What does it do? So tell us you it's if you really boil it down a phone service provider a phone company We provide the business phone service.

So we build our own platform. a software service thing So it's in the cloud Build a platform where you can kind of manage everything online and then take and receive calls anywhere in the world with your cell phone or a Desk phone or computer

So that means that you have employees anywhere in the world. You can have employees anywhere in the world and they can take the calls just as if they were in your office.

There's no hardware to install or anything like that. And then we just built a lot of cool features around that and if anything you would really expect from business or service.

@3:16 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And I feel like that is something that is drastically needed in the healthcare world because there are a lot of working from home professionals.

But more importantly, having that security, right? Having that secure conversation that has these safeguards around it so the conversation doesn't get out.

@3:38 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Exactly. that's where HIPAA and all that kind of stuff is very important. one of the things we've spent most time on over the past couple of years is really the security because we see all our competitors getting hacked and we definitely don't want to become one of those guys.

So we take that kind of seriously.

@3:55 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah. So can you take me back to the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, what motivated you to take the leap and start your own business?

@4:05 - Peter Rank Schroeder

I've kind of always done that and it's never really been a conscious thing for me to start businesses per se.

It's more, it just happens to be what you do when you do what I do. So, like when I was 14, I started their website and that became the biggest artist community.

I guess social media before social media even existed for artists in Scandinavia and eventually got acquired when I was 18 and that happened to become company because you have expenses and you have some revenue and then you have a company, right?

Later on I started a record label and that was really just out of interest but also because I had a band and I saw what the label that we were assigned to what they did and I was like, I can't do that.

@4:54 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

mean, I was just side note, have major ADD so that's a very important story.

@5:00 - Peter Rank Schroeder

But yeah, I just see what they can do and I like that. Yeah, I can do that. And then I had a record label started signing other artists, right?

And when I started this company company, it was really just because I needed the phone system for another project I was working on.

And I couldn't find anything out of the box that was good and I could afford and had the features.

I'm like, okay, I'll just build it myself. And all of a sudden I had a lot of fun with it.

And all of a sudden I had this little product that, you know, could actually be used from other people and then let's put it online and see if someone wants to sign up and now it's been 10 years.

@5:38 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Man, it's a lot of the stories because it's like people, think, I kind of feel like these ideas and big businesses populate overnight, but it takes a lot of time and different iterations and pivots and things of that nature.

Now, with that said, what was the biggest challenge you face as a new entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?

@5:58 - Peter Rank Schroeder

So I think when I should. first started out, if we skipped the first company, where I was just a teenager, but when I had my record label, I hadn't, first, first of all, I hadn't gotten diagnosis IDD.

So I didn't know as much about what that means as I do today. But I also didn't know as much about myself back then.

And I thought I could do everything. And I wanted to do everything because everything was fascinating. And it's exciting.

And I wanted to be part of it. And I wanted to help everyone. I'm a member. before anything. would definitely do it.

And I just got too much on my plate. And eventually I started, you know, burning bridges because one thing that's worse than saying no to someone asking you about something is saying yes, and then not doing it, right?

It's way worse than just saying no in the first place. And I didn't know that. So, you know, I burned some bridges and I just got too much on my plate.

And eventually my booking agent back then said, said to me, should put me aside and said, hey, you got to fix this.

There's there's Well, this is not you. And she facilitated the sale of my label. And I basically did a reset for a few months where I didn't do anything.

@7:10 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And it's interesting, because I think starting a new business has its rewarding moments at times. And then it has a lot of its challenges.

But let's talk about the rewards first. What are some of the aspects that you found relatively easy or enjoyable during that early stage of our entrepreneurial journey?

@7:29 - Peter Rank Schroeder

I think just doing a little bit of everything. I think one thing that really benefited me was because we didn't have any money and we didn't raise money.

We tried in the beginning. We can talk about that separately. But the whole thing about having to do everything yourself is kind of exciting.

And that really gave me some understanding, especially because I did customer support, tech support, and sales. It gave me an understanding of what is it that our customers want?

What is the need? What is the that they don't even know that they want or need. know, so it allowed me to not only build the product, but build a better product than our competitors, because I had some insights that these people that run those companies just don't.

I mean, I think it's important that the CEO should really just sit down and do tech support for a few days a year.

It's the best way to get in touch with your customers.

@8:25 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, I feel like entrepreneurs, business owners, you kind of have to be the jack of all trade master of none.

And you have to be willing as a leader and a CEO and a founder of the organization. If you're going to ask one of your employees to get down on hands and knees and scrub the floors, as a true leader, you have to be willing to get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor with that individual, because I think that shows a few things.

One, it allows you as a leader to kind of understand what your employees go through on a daily basis.

So when they come to you with issues and concerns, You now have practical sense of what that looks like, right?

Because you've gone through it as well, so you're able to relate to it. But more importantly, the relatability piece is also huge, right?

There's when you're a leader of an organization, you know, retaining employees is a very valuable thing because hiring and recruiting and training is expensive.

And so when you get a good employee, you want to retain them. And if you're a leader that is disconnected from your, your frontline employees, it's very difficult to retain those individuals.

so that relatability is really important. Making sure you're getting in there, you know, asking the questions, maybe doing a round, you know, what do I mean by rounding is actually going out to the different departments and rounding on them, having conversations with them, seeing what's working, what's not working because truthfully, some of the best thoughts and ideas might come from those individuals that are working your frontline.

@9:52 - Peter Rank Schroeder

100% 100% and just just keep that thing in mind. Nothing is above you. Nothing is below you. for you everywhere.

And it's true, like you literally get the best ideas. got all the features that we built first that our competitors copied later on.

I got those from our customers. it was not necessarily that they said they wanted certain things, but it was really just, I heard what their pain points were.

I heard what we're struggling with, what is it that they're trying to do? And then you start thinking, okay, how can I fix that for them?

What can I build an event for them that will fix this thing? would never have known those things without talking to them.

@10:30 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, and one the things you mentioned too is under promise over deliver. Right? Is one thing, it's really important folks for understanding this is really, the under promise over deliver is really a self tactic, right?

And what I mean by that and saying, hey, I can actually do this project in two weeks and then you have it done in a week.

that's over delivering. Under promising is saying, hey, I can give you, I can give you these two for sure.

I'm these two tools tools. two software tactics that can give you and then you present them with three. Again, you don't want to overstate what you're able to do it.

And again, the greatest form of a compliment is somebody mimicking what you do.

@11:14 - Peter Rank Schroeder

can't exactly exact phrase, but so when your competitors are out there doing exactly what you're doing, I mean, that's a great form of flattering.

Thank you. I appreciate it. It really is. I don't take it personally. don't get upset. It is upsetting to see when someone that copies it one to one and then makes more money on it than you do.

That can be a little, but at the end of the day, you made something good that's working and that just validates it.

So I don't really take it personally.

@11:43 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes, I think it's the greatest form of flattery is intimidation or yes, you guys know tell them to imitate somebody imitate.

You're tripping over my words. It's getting late, folks. I'm telling you. So now let's talk about, you know, we talked about some of the fun stuff, some of the easy things, right?

Let's talk about some of the harder things. What would you say, what were some of the biggest mistakes you made in your career?

@12:08 - Peter Rank Schroeder

What did you learn from them? I would say, in this current company, not hiring a sales director or something like that first.

That was my mistake. I'm not revenue driven in my mind at all. I'm very much a product and I just want to build something that's great for the user.

But at the end of the day, we are running a company and I have a responsibility to force my employees and customers as well that we keep growing and that we do do well so we can keep making a good product.

And people can get their paycheck and take care of their families. So obviously, I have to think about that and we could have grown a lot faster if we had done that from the beginning.

Like I said, we had 10 years in and we took the long route. One thing is we didn't take funding and we also never paid for advertising.

We literally just took the longest road you could possibly think of in an industry that's dominated by huge multi-billion dollar international corporations.

Those are the kinds of people we go up against. having someone that is revenue driven, just like General Mindset, would probably have been something that I should have done earlier on than what I did.

@13:27 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I feel like that's, I asked this question often to guests and I think that's the thing that they talk about often is outsourcing the things that they're not good at.

We're making sure they find an expert in that field. And I'm the same way. I'm kind of like, okay, need to start outsourcing a lot of this SEO, media stuff because I can do it, but it's super time consuming and I think there's somebody better that can do it for me.


@13:54 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Yeah, that's the thing because, and to go back to the ADT thing, that's even more pronounced

@15:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

last year, spent a lot in 2024, been going through a lot. so I went and decided to, you know, seek some professional help from the council, and I'm hey, been getting going through this, uh, feeling really dumb my entire life will be completely transparent.

folks, if you go back and listen to my individual episode that I recorded for myself, while I talk about my, you know, I was in the individual education program in school and talking about, I just really didn't feel adequate.

Well, sure enough, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. And it made a lot of sense. And for the first time in my life, again, 40 years, I kind of don't feel dumb anymore.

I felt like all of these things I was going through were validated because again, to your point, you know, Peter, when you're going down these rabbit holes, if I'm not interested in it, it's going to take me a long time to complete it.

However, I noticed if I'm interested in something, my focus on that project is razor thin, like I'm on it, right?

And it's interesting because sometimes I'll be in a conversation, you know, a senior leader, executive of the healthcare institution, having a conversation.

@16:07 - Peter Rank Schroeder

And then my mind will wander on to something completely different.

@16:10 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And then I'll come back to the conversation, but I'm like, holy crap, I don't know what the heck they just said the last two minutes at all.

@16:17 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Like, it's not intentional.

@16:19 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

It's like your ears.

@16:20 - Peter Rank Schroeder

It's like, it's like all of sudden, everything's white noise and you really can't help it.

@16:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And, and again, for the first time, and again, for the only reason I'm saying this, because one, don't be afraid to talk about mental health.

Don't don't be afraid because I was always afraid to talk about this. And I found out that it's actually not me.

actually something I actually have that I could be corrected as well. And so that was actually reassuring. But again, just like entrepreneurship, you have to talk about your ideas.

You have to talk about your thoughts and your emotions because there are help. There's people out there that have advice that can help you be better.

And so I'm very thankful for my counselor for, for kind of highlighting this issue for me. Because Peter, man, I'm telling you.

@17:00 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Yeah, you go down this rabbit hole with this disease and if it is not of interest to you, I'm I'm Yeah, no, it's spot on everything you said right there is so accurate I can I can recognize everything you know, and especially the thing about your mind wondering I can do that when I read a book so I can read three pages of a book and then yes wait What did I just read totally all the time?

@17:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

It's weird it's totally weird and it's funny like I tell people like I hate phone numbers. I absolutely Because you know, you'll give me your area code and I'll remember five oh three.

Okay, but after that My my once you start naming more than like four numbers my mind It's like my short term memory is just shot It just doesn't work the way that most people's do and that that's okay because I'm starting to realize that however my entire life I've been trying to you know Figure it out in other ways by like reading even more like going back and having to read the book twice However to Peter's point if if I'm gonna

fantasy book like a book that I'm interested in it is like tunnel vision on that book I am like my mind is not anywhere else but inside that world of fantasies and dragons and elves you have folks I'm a nerd.

@18:11 - Peter Rank Schroeder

I don't care I love to read about the dragons But it's interesting because you can just narrow down on that really really quickly Yeah, it's a fascinating thing and you know what it's I don't see it as a diagnosis like like a bad thing Like I said, it's a superpower If you understand it and if you can you know to turn it to your advantage, right?

So then because of superpower and and there's a lot of people that have it to some degree I mean, I'm surprised how many of my friends to some Granted, I have been in the music industry for a long time and most people there have it So so but but I'm surprised how many people actually have it and I think it's they say five to seven percent of adults To some degree have have ADD or ADHD Yeah, and then again folks I I never know this until last week I finally sought professional help and did this you know questionnaire and shared

@19:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

But, you know, Peter kind of says, it's a superpower. And kind of like Spiderman says, you know, the great Peter Parker, no pun intended here, with great power comes great responsibility.

And that is also the form of a leader. we talked about leadership. How do you define leadership and what qualities do you think are essential to being a great leader?

@19:23 - Peter Rank Schroeder

So I think, first of all, I think there's a common misconception between leaders and managers, you know, people, people seem to, to, to confuse those two.

So first of all, I want to say I'm an horrible manager. I hate telling people what to do and I'm really bad at following up with it, making sure that they actually did it, which a manager should do.

So for that same reason, our staff or hit count in this company is probably 10% of our competitors with the same amount of customers.

And that's really just because I don't want a lot of people. I just want something that are really good and can.

just pick out the things of my brain that I want to do and without me even saying it. So I've been able to find those over the years, but that's, know, managers are the ones that tell people what to do and make sure that it's done and runs things.

A leader to me is really someone who has some kind of vision and can get people on board with it, get people excited about that same vision and get them to follow and not only follow, but maybe even go in front of you and do it better than what you could do, but just get that common vision spread out throughout your organization and get everyone on board with it so that everyone works towards the same goal and everyone being excited about doing it because you can't get good stuff done if people are not excited about what they do and they need freedom to do that.

So a good leader is someone who can inspire others to know, to the same goal.

@20:57 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, no, that's a great point. In fact, it takes me back to that. meme of a manager is an individual that's pushing the employees from the back up the hill, and then a leader is a person that's in front of everybody leaving them up the hill.

And that's kind of the difference. Because again, to your point, you have to create inspiration. And I talk about this also in other episodes about creating that value proposition.

What do consumers feel like when they work with you? What's that feeling like? They want to feel cared for and about.

They want that concierge service. They really want personalized value. And they wanted to feel like it's catered to them specifically.

@21:35 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Yeah. you know, that is a good point. Because one of the things that I learned early on when I was doing tech support was that, and this comes from other companies that I saw a few others that do this.

If you talk to your customers, the same way as you talk to your friends, don't put on a customer service hat.

Don't talk with different words. Use the same words as you do with your friends. You talk to them like that.

It's going to give you two things. One thing is, It's gonna show the customer that you have so much extra energy and so you're so in control of your product and you know everything about it that you don't have to pretend like you're your customer.

So you're not going by some kind of script. And the other thing is your customers are gonna just give you so much more bandwidth to do your job better because they believe that you're good and you're the expert.

But they don't sit around and wait for you to transfer them to a third line health desk or something like that.

No, they believe, oh, I got the big cheese here. This guy knows what I'm talking about. So just be completely normal.

Don't put on that, you know, the sir hat and talk to people with different words. use the same. That is an important thing.

@22:47 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes, I agree. In fact, the way I kind of gauge intelligence is if you're able to explain something to me in a way a kindergarten could understand it, then I know you.

@23:00 - Peter Rank Schroeder

understand your product.

@23:01 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Exactly. You're using like the box bullets, it's like hitting the key phrases. I'm kind of like, are you a sales person?

Because a sales person hits the bullets. Founder, the person who knows their product will explain it easy enough that it can regard and can understand it.

@23:15 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Exactly. And that's actually a good point as well. know, the founders will always be the ones that can sell the product the best.

And that's because they don't really have to sell it. They just believe so much in what they're building and know so much about it that no one else, you know, all the little benefits and the reasons why certain things are built in a certain way.

And that's hard to teach someone, you know, it just takes time. Which again is also why I like having just a very, very small staff and some really experts on it.

If you go read our text support, or sorry, our reviews on our company online, they all mention our text support.

And how good it is because, well, there's just three guys doing it. And, you know, normally you say that I think it's $7,000 users that I

to support us, you'll be able to handle, you know, like generally, I want to sell over 100,000 there. So yeah, it's really just because product is solid, right?

But they know their stuff so they don't really have to spend a long time on each one.

@24:16 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

You know, and it's interesting, like, to that point, you know, it's crazy how we're talking about leadership and we're talking about the importance of that.

When a founder goes out and they talk about their product and the reason you mentioned that they don't really have to sell anything is because they have that passion for it.

Being a leader, right, and engaging your employees will create that same passion within them so they can also go help you build that brand.

So that's again, this is very organic conversation, but it's all come in full circle for you folks. I hope you understand it.

The importance of leadership, the importance of engaging your employees, importance of getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing with them and learn the ins and outs.

Because again, you're as the founder, you're not going to be able to being every cell's room, right? But you still want your passion and your message to be conveyed to the point that it makes a cell, right?

And that's learned from the founders.

@25:10 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Yes, well, and you know what? I think one really important thing to add to that is you need to give your employees room to do what they want to do and what they feel is the right thing.

Also, when you think or know that this is going to fail, if there's a product or a project they want to run with and you just already know, well, it's going to fail because of this and this and this, just let them do it.

Because if they're allowed to do things on their terms and then they have this autonomy that creates the passion that they need to do even better things that you know it's going to work, right?

I think it's called, there's a book about this on Netflix. I think it's called No Rules Rule and I really recommend reading that because I was surprised that

And how many parallels there are in terms of how they run Netflix and the culture there and how I've been doing Teljio for the past 10 years.

For me, I've never went to school for this and I never really studied it. But it reassured me that we are doing something right because we're doing a lot of things differently than everyone else.

But it turns out that it's not completely wrong. And that book is really, really good on that particular topic.

@26:24 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

This is very true. In fact, I mean, you look at Google, the Google search bar was created by an executive at Google, right?

then a Frito-Layz Red Hot Cheeto was created by the gentleman who was actually a housekeeper at Frito-Layz for a while.

Now he's in a VP at Frito-Layz. again, creating these spaces for employees to explore their own imaginations and visionary kind of entrepreneurial endeavors is very important.

Because I think it's actually not talked about enough. In fact, it seems like at a very young age, you know, once you get in the middle school, hey, stop joking around, stop being imaginary, stop being

You know, playing with no, never stop imagining never stop innovating. Always keep inspiring to do something different. That's why I'm saying, hey, dragons and Ls.

So getting it, get into all sorts of crazy things because you will start to find ideas and places you never through ideas came from.

Traveling is a great way to find ideas and look at Starbucks, right? Starbucks was created because they visited Europe and it's like, hey, I want to bring this to the States.

Now we have Starbucks in every single corner, right? so just you having that experience now, what would you say?

You know, we're talking about experimental. We're talking about leadership. But you also talking about some of these traits as being an entrepreneur.

What three traits you think are critical for an entrepreneurial success?

@27:40 - Peter Rank Schroeder

And how do they help you? Well, I can only talk to mine, obviously, but, I think you almost touched on it.

I'm going to go. Nativity and stubbornness.

@27:53 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Those are, and I don't say persistence. I say stubbornness.

@27:56 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Very, very specifically. So, so, so, now activity is really important. You have to have this playful explorer, explorer gene in you to go out and build something great.

If you think about how irrational it was for me to start a phone company, I mean, who does that?

And, you know, think you can go up against AT&C with 401k that you cashed out, or your wife's 401k that you cashed out $16,000, and think you can compete against AT&T and Verizon.

That makes no sense. But I knew I had a good product and I knew I had something that I could sell to the few people.

didn't think about, hey, I'm gonna compete with these people. I'm gonna, I'm just gonna carve out my little own corner over here and then get some people to buy this product.

So this negativity that you can actually make it in an industry, that's important. And then stubbornness is really, this thing is that...

@29:00 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Really drives me most is when people tell me no, if you don't want to see me succeed, don't ever tell me that I can't do something.

Oh, man.

@29:07 - Peter Rank Schroeder


@29:08 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

That's the fire that throws throw some gasoline on the fire because now you just pissed me off and I'm gonna make sure I do it.

@29:13 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Exactly. And I'm gonna show the whole world to that you were wrong. So I'm very stubborn and my wife will definitely testament to that.

But you know, it's one of those things that really drive me. I think it's important. And I don't even know what to say for the third.

I think those two are just like so, so incredibly important. And maybe if it was to say a third thing is really understand yourself and understand your weaknesses.

probably it.

@29:38 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

But yeah. Yeah, it's a great point. I'm a folks. I'm a I'll be completely transparent here. I had a family member when I was younger and I remember this to this day.

I'm not going to say who it was. I'm not gonna call any names, but I do have a family member that specifically said looked at me at the dinner table and said, you'll never go to college.

Guess what, folks? I graduated from Portland State and then I got my undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. And every time I thought about it, I thought about that person.

And I remember seeing that person's face and I remember like big middle thing on the air. Tell me what else I can do so I can prove it to you.

And I agree. I agree. Prove. I will prove you one 110%. If you tell me no, if you can't say me, I can't count out ever with the bike on my back.

@30:18 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Should I put two bikes on it just to prove you wrong? You know, I saw I saw a car with one of those custom number plates license plates the other day.

I think it was the biggest I saw. A while ago, I said, told you and I was just, yes.

@30:34 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes. Right.

@30:35 - Peter Rank Schroeder

It was a big mentally or something like that.

@30:37 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

know, I told you again and again, folks, like I think I don't mean this in a malice way, but the person that hates on you the most is probably someone you already know, to be honest with you.

Most of its people that, you know, they grew up to school with their brown, they don't want to see it succeed.

And those are your biggest, your biggest supporter right now is somebody you probably have never met. So I want you to go out there.

for network and meet with people. Now, one of the things you also mentioned, Peter, was like having to compete against the AT&T and T-Mobile's The World.

What sets your company apart from competitors in the market?

@31:11 - Peter Rank Schroeder

So, besides the fact that we have not been down since 2016, which is completely unheard of, our competitors are state like, oh, we have 99.999% uptime.

Well, that compares to eight hours of downtime a year. That's pretty bad. But we haven't been down since 2016.

That's one thing. We have a good product. But I think the main thing is really my Danish background by mentality.

One thing that I really hate that doesn't sit well with me is companies that have these plans that you have a startup plan and a business plan and then you have an enterprise plan.

to get all the really good features, you have to buy the enterprise plan. I can't that. So, why is it that the enterprises that have already made it and that are making less money, have to, they get to get all the important things that will set you apart and that will accelerate your business.

And the other ones don't. That just, it doesn't compute. So one thing that I, in front of beginning with the companies, we did a different building model than, and in the beginning it was really hard to actually explain this to people how wide it was better because 10 years ago this was pretty much on her up.

But instead of having a user plan where you pay a fixed fee per user and then you get unlimited calling and all that, we just charge you for the minutes and the you send.

And then you get all the features from beginning. So you get the same features as Samsung and Facebook, all our biggest customers.

you're a company with two employees, you get the exact same things and you pay the same milligrate, granted you can get a better minute rate if you sign a contract or if you buy a lot of minutes, we will give you a little bit of discount, but not too much.

We don't want to set people apart. And that way, it's fair for Everyone has the same playing field from beginning.

But another thing that's interesting is, it works for us because at a scale. So, all of a sudden, we can reappealing to a large wide range of customers because if you're a two-person employee, well, then you probably don't talk as much as a company with 5,000 employees, right?

So it scales and on top of that, you just get customers that will stick with you for a long time and kind of grow with us.

I love that approach and I've seen it really spread not just with telecom, but all kinds of businesses, it's stripe for payment processors do the same thing and AWS actually, Amazon Web Services, they're doing it the same way as well now, or they have been.

But so many different companies are starting to do this now, but not 10 years ago.

@33:45 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yeah, you hear that sales force, so many companies are doing that. That content sells force, you can stop trying to nickel and dime me my goodness.

To your point, you know, I'm working on a nonprofit healthcare institution and every time I work with CRM's, like, here's this phenomenal product.

How do we have for you? Oh, you're nonprofit. this is actually the bucket over here for you. But if you want to pay the additional, you know, $1,500, we can get you in that Bentley that has the tolls you.

@34:09 - Peter Rank Schroeder

So, you know, license plate drive around Vegas, right? But you know, then until then, it actually pisses me off because it is some gatekeeping, right?

It's preventing the smaller ones to, to, know, make be successful, really. And for us, because we are such a sensitive kind of company, know, we have to, you know, we store really important information for our customers, voicemails and text and stuff like that.

And we have to have our security completely in the top. So one of the things that is just a non-negotiable for any service that we buy is single sign on that we can, know, log on and we can log a customer, a user account from an employee down if we need to.

And then we don't forget to cancel users in different platforms. It's super important for us. And for some reason,

That feature seems to be only for enterprises. Don't get it.

@35:04 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Yes, it does baffle me in the packages and deals. It's like, it's kind of like the old saying goes, you have to have money to make money.

And it kind of thing, right? Now, what would you say, you know, going through your career, what would you say is something that you went through that helped you be successful today?

@35:20 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Well, I think I've always had to fight for everything. And it probably also comes with the ADD thing and not understanding what that was.

But I've never been that good-looking kid that's placed the guitar and is really good at football and, you know, that all the bells want.

And I've not been the funny guy either. You know, and I've never been a natural at anything good, but I will put in the most hours, there's no doubt about that.

So it will become the best eventually. But that's definitely been throughout my whole life. As far back as I can remember, I've always had to kind of fight for everything.

I've never had a mentor. I wish I had one that could just give me the shortcuts. Tell me the little things that you don't learn from reading a book or coding to school, or giving you the context to speak to the right people and the caveats and all that stuff.

I think that's really, really, really important. I've started to understand that later on that I should probably actively have looked for one.

It's really hard to find a mentor because to me a mentor is not just someone who you just get on board and talk.

Someone who is invested in whatever you're doing as you are and wants to see you succeed as much as you do.

Without that, it's just a person that will tell you a little bit of you in there. If you have that one person in your corner that has done this before and has this knowledge and likes you and wants you to succeed, then it's super, super important.

It's super, super powerful. I've seen some of my colleagues or friends have that. I've really enwied. Yeah, I think.

My whole life has been this thing. And I'm just like one of those little toys that just like tip over and you can not go over and just like flips back up and bong, know, like, so, so I'll keep going.

But yeah, I definitely had quite a bit of that.

@37:13 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

And, you know, I think the purpose on mentors, I think is really important. I've had a mentor kind of in a transition, a new mentor as I kind of do a different career path, right?

But, you know, with that said, folks, I hope this podcast, I hope you can use it as kind of a mentoring.

Because as you know, Peter mentioned, I really want to expose and bring to light some of those things that aren't in the book, right?

The things that the entrepreneurs do go through that. really want you to succeed in learning about an addition of that.

You know, you can this great time to plug the newsletter. You can actually subscribe to the Shades of Entrepreneurship newsletter at the shades of

Again, this comes out every Wednesday. A lot of great entrepreneurial nuggets. In fact, you can also stream this show because Peter said he's not a good looking guitar place.

I will detest. He's a guy. I'm looking guy right here in this hair. I have good hair. Maculant, maculant hair.

So what I want to do, folks, go ahead and subscribe to the YouTube channel so you can actually watch this podcast as well as stream it.

Or if you're so inclined to, you can join our Patreon page. It's a fan page is $5 a month.

@38:18 - Peter Rank Schroeder

And you'll actually receive this video a week before it airs a audio edition. You'll have access to our book that I wrote as well as some other valuable assets.

Now, Peter, before we go, what advice would you have for an aspiring entrepreneur that's looking into getting into the business and looking into jumping in the entrepreneurial pool?

Be ready for the perpetual roller coaster. It's never going to end. You think it's going to end? It's never going to end.

It ups and downs a lot and you really have to have the stomach for it. But it's also incredibly rewarding if you go through with this and if it's for you, for me, it's not about the money.

It's about the fact that I can do whatever I want whenever I But I can't. There's no way I can.

But the thing in the back of your head that I could go down right now and go to a store and buy something that, you know, without having to ask for to leave my office, that feeling is worth everything.

And I think that's really, if you go to prison, that's the whole what that's all about. It's about taking that away.

You know, you free will to do. So being an entrepreneur is the exact opposite of that. work towards, you know, you're willing to work 80 hours a week to work to do not work 40 hours a week, right?

But it's worth everything.

@39:34 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Every part of it. Yeah. It's true. I put this meme on my Instagram account. So folks, if you like memes, put when it's the Star Wars, you know, when young Skywalker, right, he's getting married and he's like, it's like, it's like, oh, you took the day off, right?

It's like, I'm not, I took the day off and then it's the wife she's not working, right? then it's the guy like looking at him like, I didn't say I wasn't working.

And it just took the day off because again, with entrepreneurship, there really are no days off. mean, I'm not.

I feel like I'm cracking away and I'm middle of the beach and still doing something, but that's just how it goes.

@40:04 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Oh yeah.

@40:06 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

So Peter doesn't feel like work. No, it doesn't feel like work. Not if you love it. Not at all.

Peter, thank you again so much for your time. Last question.

@40:13 - Peter Rank Schroeder

Folks are interested in getting contact with you. Maybe they want to follow you on the social sites. How can they get in contact with you? is my website. There's all the social media stuff and email if you want to get in touch with me.

Please do. love getting actual people reaching out to me instead of sales bots.

@40:30 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

I get a lot of sales bots. Love it.

@40:32 - Peter Rank Schroeder

So do that., there's also links to tells you and all that stuff.

@40:36 - Gabriel Flores (The Shades of Entrepreneurship)

Perfect. So again, If you forget that, you can also subscribe to the newsletter on the shades of, which will have Peter's information the week before the episode airs, the week, the episode airs.

And the week after the episode airs, you can also subscribe to Apple or Spotify podcast. You can follow us on the social sites, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Again, very important. You have YouTube. You can also watch these videos now. I really appreciate it. Peter, thank you again so much for your time.

I really do appreciate you coming out here in the Evans conversation. Super insightful, very educational, really good talk. Folks at listening at home, please take care of yourself.

Thank you and have a great night. 

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