the technology field, I make myself available to advise anyone who needs it, walk them through new technologies, or show them how to get traffic to their Website.”
With the birth of his daughter, Océane, in September, Hall is scaling back his business operations to focus on family and spend time at home with wife, Sylvie, a former Oracle employee who now works with him. He wouldn’t be able to do that if he were an employee of someone else’s company. While Hall continues to look for lucrative high-tech projects, he can afford to be selective and hire additional consultants for assignments in faraway places such as Europe or the Far East. But he always makes time to help others pursue business ownership.
Why is he so adamant about people pursuing entrepreneurship? “I like having my own way, having the ability to make decisions, instead of someone else determining my fate,” Hall explains. “There’s no one to blame but me if things go wrong. There are painful lessons, but it’s all worth it. I love having control over my life.”
Hall has three tenets for entrepreneurial success:
Personality counts. “It’s not enough to be good at what you do. People must like you,” says Hall. “If I don’t like you, I won’t give you my business. You can be competent, but there are many others who are competent. In the end, the one who is liked gets the business. And not only that, the new client will open doors for you because they will introduce you to others.”
Form strategic relationships. In business, it really is who you know. Hall says that when starting a business, one of your first tasks will be building relationships with associations, groups, individuals, and companies. “You want to look for relationships where you can get work done for free or at reduced costs,” explains Hall. Be sure, however, that it’s a two-way street, that you are quick to lend a hand, exchange services, and offer discounts, too. “I have relationships with book distributors all over the world,” says Hall. “We are able to get partners without physically going to Europe or Asia.”
Set goals. Don’t try to run a business without a business plan or strategic planning. Winging it won’t work. Every five years Hall sets new goals. “You can get almost nothing done in a year, but you can achieve almost anything in a five-year period,” Hall says. The first time he set a five-year goal, he doubled his revenues every year for the next four years. Says Hall, “Go for the amazing.”