Ask The Pros At ExpertBooth
If you’re curious about what the advantages of being a bootstrapping entrepreneur are compared to working as an IT Consultant, Founder CJ Singh might be the man you need to track down for a conversation. He carried out IT duties for Fortune 500 companies such as United Airlines and JPMorgan Chase before deciding to trek alone.
Singh’s startup is ExpertBooth. ExpertBooth.com is a website that aims to connect people in need of trustworthy advice with qualified experts quickly, conveniently, and at lower rates than offered by in-person appointments. Receive advice on creative matters, legal issues, home improvement, health and much more. Fees range from $0.15 to $5.00 a minute, with answers available online through video chat, via phone, or text. Singh stepped away from the hectic days of launching his company to answer some KillerStartup questions. Free of charge!
How long have you been involved with the internet? What were your first steps? What was your first computer? How old were you?
My story is a bit different than most internet entrepreneurs’. I saw a colored computer screen for the first time just 12 years ago when I moved to US from India to study Computer Science in college. Before that, I thought that computers still had a black screen with green cryptic letters on them. I couldn’t even tell the difference between hardware and software. Needless to say, since then I have spent almost every waking hour around a computer to get to where I am. I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop and used it through college. I remember that the screen hinge broke after 1 year. I used to put a pillow or a stack of books behind the screen to keep it upright. I made it work like this until I graduated. And now I am an apple fan, and I own every apple product made in the last 4 years.
What time do you usually start work each day?
I am a night owl, so I start work pretty late. I also like working till pretty late because it helps me overlap my working hours with my team back in India.
Do you have an office or work at home?
I work from home. Most of my team here in the US are freelancers who also work from home. But I am moving into an office now due to the growth needs of ExpertBooth.
What’s the first thing you do when you leave the office at the end of the day?
Play with my son; it’s the best part of the day.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? After working for 16 hours?
In the shower. Someone needs to invent a shower desk.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
I spend my day in my home office or at the local coffee shop. Here is what’s on my desk: Apple cinema display, Macbook Pro, Todo Lists (lists of lists of todo lists), latest issue of Inc. magazine, and a mousepad with my name on it and the word “believe” (keeps me motivated).
Favorite book? Author?
I am not a big reader. But I have really come to believe in the power of positing thinking from reading “The Secret.”
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
My contempt for the corporate IT life that I was a part of for a few years before venturing on my own. I was an IT consultant for a few years for some Fortune 500 companies. I want to have control on my own life, and there is no better way to do it than being an entrepreneur or a swami (which is Plan B).
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
Don’t be afraid to change direction as often as needed or start over completely. Consistency and “being right the first time” are overrated. Never give up on your goal, but be prepared to give up on the steps you employ to reach that goal.
And make this your desktop wallpaper.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader throughout this process?
My wife. It’s hard to be married to an internet entrepreneur, but she makes it look so easy.
3 people you recommend we follow on Twitter, and why?
Brad Feld (great investor), Ycombinator (best startups), Justin Bieber (stay jealous)
We also love to know the fact and figures. Any details that you’d care to share with us?
We just launched this year and don’t have official numbers to release yet. We have a team of 7 people in both the US and India.
Where can our readers get a hold of you?