John Deutsch is not your typical restless entrepreneur—from his early beginnings as a medical consultant, to current CEO of New Wave Enterprises, a thriving online marketing solutions company for the medical and legal fields, he’s kept the entrepreneurial ball rolling by opening… a bar?
Johnny (as most know him) was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about the challenges of running a business abroad, lifestyle upkeep, and the differences between the “dry” medical industry and a dry martini.
Right, so tell us about the inspiration for New Wave Web And Marketing.
Honestly, it wasn’t all that inspiring. I started the company really to support my lifestyle. The medical industry is a lucrative one with lots of opportunity, but it’s also a complicated and dry industry to work in, so it takes a lot of tolerance.
It can be frustrating at times, but so long as you can sustain it, you’ll be successful.
How big is the team now?
I started the company in 2003 with one business partner doing medical consultancy. We then split it into two- I took the marketing side of it and he took the software development.
We now have around 40 employees and we’re maintaining our growth.
You’re headquartered in San Diego with a regional office in Buenos Aires. What are the challenges with running a business abroad?
So, our Buenos Aires office has become very American as a result of our clients, which is excellent, but it poses a lot of challenges in terms of running the business abroad.
Business and legal issues are the hardest given that sometimes they are just completely foreign to what we’re used to in the United States. Argentina is unique as it’s rated 114 out of 182 in terms of ease of doing business. Lots of hoops and really expensive and unfair tax laws that make it nearly impossible to run a legit business. Other than that, it’s great! Haha.
How about the biggest challenge you’ve had as an entrepreneur?
I think the biggest challenge is that at some point you have to wear all three hats: worker, manager and entrepreneur. The challenge is having to eventually hand over the trust to someone else and just become the entrepreneur; this is the only way to grow and be successful.
The second challenge is staying motivated. As time goes on it gets harder because you always want to do something new and exciting. My suggestion- start paying yourself a salary so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
At some point the company has to be something that I love and I am interested in.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur?
I would say for me the most rewarding thing is the community of staff and team that we’ve built. I particularly enjoy helping staff reach their goals.
Also, the freedom to take the company in any direction I envision.
I was lucky enough to discover your bar, Magdalena’s Party (where we’re currently conducting this interview over cold Corona’s, of course). Tell us about the difference between running a bar and running an online company.
I started the bar because I was getting bored with my business. It was a way to venture into something completely different and keep things interesting.
My online business is much more challenging because in order to take it to the next level, it requires me to do things I don’t like to do like HR, finances and boring administrative stuff.
The bar has totally different business challenges. You have to abide by even more rules like safety regulations, complaining neighbors, etc., associated with running a business open to the public in one of the busiest areas of Buenos Aires. The positive is that I get an incredible amount of enjoyment from hanging out with people there, seeing hilarious things happen, and cooking when I want to.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
We’re creating a TripAdvisor for medical. I’ll leave it at that.
Oh top secret, eh? Sounds pretty interesting.
Yeah, I’m trying not to get too excited about it yet. It’s going live in about two months.
Fun questions! What would you do with $500,000 and a year off?
It would involve me doing things I haven’t been able to do in the last ten years of being an entrepreneur, like more reading, getting in touch with my creative side, having more cultural experiences, etc. Basically live a slower pace of life.
I would also love to write sort of a travel memoir cookbook. That would be amazing.
What’s your favorite music-streaming site and what’s currently playing?
Any tips, advice or final words for our entrepreneur newbies and wannabies?
Things don’t have to be that complicated; if you have a good idea that is financially feasible, is a profitable concept and has staying power, then it’s easy and it’ll be successful. Just make it happen.
Thanks Johnny! From online marketing guru to cocktail shaker– a fine example of serial entrepreneurialism! Check out New Wave Web and Marketing for all your online marketing, design and programming needs. And, if you’re ever in Buenos Aires, stop by Magdalena’s Party and make sure Johnny’s sister Sarah mixes up a sweet adult concoction for your tasting pleasure.
Oh yes, and tell them Holly sent you.