Eric Ritter, President, Digital Neighbor, Inc.
Eric Ritter is the President & Founder of Digital Neighbor and took some time out to talk with The Industry Leaders and provide some golden rules for business owners in 2023
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
Eric graduated from the University of Florida with a M.A. in Advertising and a B.S. in Communications from the Florida Institute of Technology. He lives in sunny Tampa, Florida, where he enjoys being outdoors with his son and active in his growing community. He employs his business acumen for a handful of non-profit organizations, such as serving as the Manager of Social Media, Web Analytics, and Search at John Hopkins Medicine.
Eric has dubbed himself the SEO Sommelier as a creative way to make trying search engine marketing more digestible. He is passionate about teaching sustainable SEO strategies that are a win-win for you and the searcher.
What does an average day look like for you?
Eric Ritter typically starts his day by checking his emails and catching up on any urgent matters that may have come up overnight. He then reviews his daily schedule and prioritizes his tasks based on their importance and deadlines.
As the President and Founder of Digital Neighbor - SEO Agency, Eric's day typically involves a mix of client meetings, project management, and strategy development. He works closely with his team to ensure that all projects are on track and that clients are receiving the best possible service and results.
Throughout the day, Eric is also busy networking and building relationships with other professionals in the industry. He attends conferences, participates in webinars and podcasts, and engages with his followers on social media.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Eric also makes time for personal growth and development. He reads industry publications, attends workshops and training sessions, and stays up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing and SEO.
Overall, Eric's average day is dynamic, fast-paced, and focused on providing the highest level of service to his clients while also staying at the forefront of the industry.
How do you balance the needs of your business with the needs of your personal life?
Eric Ritter believes that achieving a work-life balance is essential to both personal and professional success. To balance the needs of his business with the needs of his personal life, Eric follows a few key strategies:
Prioritization: Eric prioritizes his tasks and responsibilities based on their level of urgency and importance. He focuses on completing the most critical tasks first and delegates non-essential tasks to his team members.
Time management: Eric manages his time effectively to ensure that he can dedicate time to both his business and personal life. He schedules his appointments and meetings in advance, sets realistic deadlines, and avoids overcommitting himself.
Delegation: Eric believes in delegating tasks to his team members and empowering them to take ownership of their work. This allows him to focus on higher-level tasks and frees up time for personal pursuits.
Boundaries: Eric sets clear boundaries between his work and personal life. He avoids working on weekends and makes time for family, friends, and hobbies.
Self-care: Eric prioritizes self-care and makes time for exercise, healthy eating, and stress management. This helps him maintain his physical and mental well-being and enhances his productivity and creativity.
Overall, Eric believes that achieving a work-life balance is a continuous process that requires planning, discipline, and commitment. By following these strategies, he can effectively manage his business while also leading a fulfilling personal life.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
The best advice Eric Ritter has ever received on his journey in business is to "focus on the things that matter most". This advice was given to him by a mentor early in his career, and it has shaped his approach to business ever since.
For Eric, focusing on the things that matter most means prioritizing the needs of his clients and delivering results that make a real impact on their business. It means staying true to his values and principles, even in the face of challenges or adversity. And it means constantly seeking out new opportunities for growth and improvement, both personally and professionally.
This advice has helped Eric stay focused and grounded, even as he has navigated the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. It has allowed him to build a successful business while also staying true to his vision and values. And it has given him a sense of purpose and direction as he continues to grow and evolve in his career.
Overall, Eric believes that focusing on the things that matter most is the key to success in business and in life. It allows you to stay true to your values, prioritize your goals, and achieve the outcomes that matter most to you and your clients.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
The hardest part about the path Eric Ritter has taken in his career is dealing with the inevitable setbacks and failures that come with entrepreneurship. Starting and growing a business is never easy, and there are always obstacles and challenges to overcome along the way.
To overcome these challenges, Eric believes in the power of resilience and perseverance. He advises anyone facing a similar situation to stay focused on their goals, stay positive, and never give up.
Here are some specific strategies that Eric recommends:
Develop a growth mindset: Embrace the challenges and failures as opportunities for growth and learning. Instead of viewing setbacks as roadblocks, see them as stepping stones to success.
Build a support system: Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who believe in your vision and encourage you to keep going.
Stay focused on your goals: Stay true to your vision and values, and keep your goals in mind even in the face of adversity. This will help you stay motivated and on track.
Take care of yourself: Prioritize self-care and wellness, and make time for hobbies and interests outside of work. This will help you maintain your physical and mental well-being and give you the energy and resilience you need to overcome challenges.
Learn from others: Seek out mentors, advisors, and peers who have experience in your industry and can offer guidance and support. This can help you avoid common pitfalls and learn from the experiences of others.
Overall, Eric believes that resilience, perseverance, and a growth mindset are the keys to overcoming the challenges of entrepreneurship and achieving success in business. By staying focused on your goals, building a support system, and prioritizing your well-being, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your dreams.
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
"How I Built This" with Guy Raz: This podcast features interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, exploring their journeys and offering insights into the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship.
"Entrepreneur on Fire" with John Lee Dumas: This podcast features interviews with entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, offering practical tips and advice for building a successful business
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful business owner or executive to have?
Visionary: Successful business owners and executives have a clear vision of where they want to take their organization and can articulate that vision to others. They are able to inspire and motivate their team to work towards a shared goal.
Strategic thinking: Business owners and executives need to be able to think strategically and make decisions based on data, market trends, and other relevant factors. They should be able to anticipate potential challenges and opportunities and adjust their strategy accordingly.
Adaptability: Business owners and executives need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and stay agile in the face of uncertainty. They should be able to pivot quickly and make decisions based on new information or changing market conditions.
Strong leadership skills: Successful business owners and executives are able to lead and motivate their team, creating a positive and productive work environment. They should be able to delegate effectively and provide guidance and support to their team.
Financial acumen: Business owners and executives should have a strong understanding of financial management, including budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow management. They should be able to make sound financial decisions that support the long-term growth and success of their organization.
Strong communication skills: Business owners and executives need to be able to communicate effectively with their team, customers, investors, and other stakeholders. They should be able to articulate their vision, share information, and build relationships based on trust and transparency.
Overall, successful business owners and executives possess a range of qualities that allow them to navigate challenges, inspire their team, and drive long-term growth and success for their organization. By cultivating these qualities, entrepreneurs and executives can position themselves for success in the ever-changing world of business.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a business owner?
Here are some key tips to consider:
Do your research: Before starting a business, it's important to do your research to understand the market, competition, and potential challenges you may face. This will help you develop a strong business plan and strategy.
Focus on solving a problem: Successful businesses often solve a problem or meet a need in the market. Focus on identifying a problem or gap in the market and developing a solution that meets the needs of your target customers.
Build a strong team: As a business owner, you can't do everything yourself. Build a strong team of employees, advisors, and mentors who can provide support and guidance as you grow your business.
Be flexible and adaptable: Starting a business is a journey with many ups and downs. Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and pivot your strategy as needed to stay competitive and meet the needs of your customers.
Stay focused on your goals: It's easy to get distracted or discouraged when starting a business. Stay focused on your goals and stay true to your values and vision. This will help you stay motivated and on track even in the face of challenges.
Be patient and persistent: Building a successful business takes time, hard work, and persistence. Be patient and don't give up too soon. Keep pushing forward and learning from your mistakes along the way.
Overall, starting a business is an exciting but challenging journey. By doing your research, focusing on solving a problem, building a strong team, being adaptable, staying focused on your goals, and being patient and persistent, you can position yourself for success as a business owner.
What are the top three things you think are essential for business success?
Strong leadership: Successful businesses are often led by individuals who possess strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and motivate their team, communicate effectively, and make tough decisions.
Clear vision and strategy: Businesses that have a clear sense of their vision and strategy are better able to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Having a strong sense of purpose and direction allows a business to stay focused on its goals and priorities.
Customer focus: Businesses that prioritize the needs and wants of their customers are more likely to succeed. By understanding and anticipating the needs of their target market, businesses can develop products and services that meet those needs and build a loyal customer base.
Do you think someone can be a great business owner without having many years of experience first?
Yes, it is possible for someone to be a great business owner without having many years of experience first. While experience can be valuable in developing skills, knowledge, and intuition, there are many other factors that contribute to success in entrepreneurship.
Some of these factors include:
1. Passion and drive: Having a deep sense of purpose and motivation to succeed can be a powerful force in entrepreneurship. This can help an inexperienced business owner stay focused, resilient, and motivated even in the face of challenges.
2. Creativity and innovation: Thinking outside the box and finding new solutions to problems can be a valuable asset in entrepreneurship. This can help an inexperienced business owner identify new opportunities, develop unique value propositions, and stand out in a crowded market.
3. Adaptability and agility: The ability to pivot, adjust, and respond quickly to changing circumstances can be critical in entrepreneurship. This can help an inexperienced business owner navigate unforeseen challenges and capitalize on emerging trends.
4. Collaboration and networking: Building strong relationships with mentors, advisors, peers, and customers can be an important part of entrepreneurship. This can help an inexperienced business owner learn from others, access new resources and opportunities, and build a loyal customer base.
Overall, while experience can be helpful in entrepreneurship, it is not the only factor that determines success. By cultivating other skills and qualities such as passion, creativity, adaptability, and collaboration, an inexperienced business owner can still be a great success in the world of entrepreneurship.
In general, do you think the world is producing better business owners in 2023 than it was fifty years ago?
It is difficult to make a definitive statement on this topic, as the quality of business owners can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including economic conditions, technological advancements, education and training, and cultural norms.
However, it could be argued that in some respects, the world may be producing better business owners today than in prior years. For example:
Access to information and resources: Today's business owners have access to an unprecedented amount of information and resources to help them start and grow their businesses. From online courses and webinars to mentorship programs and networking events, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and access resources that were not available in prior years.
Technological advancements: Technology has revolutionized the way we do business, allowing entrepreneurs to reach customers and operate their businesses in new and innovative ways. From e-commerce platforms to social media marketing to cloud computing, technology has opened up new possibilities for businesses to grow and thrive.
Changing attitudes towards entrepreneurship: In many cultures, entrepreneurship is now seen as a viable and even desirable career path, with more resources and support available to help aspiring entrepreneurs get started. This has led to a growing number of businesses being started, many of which are innovative and socially responsible.
Overall, while it is difficult to make broad generalizations about the quality of business owners today versus in prior years, there are certainly many positive trends that suggest that the world may be producing better business owners today than ever before.