Tom Lotrecchiano and Joe Schmidt have been business colleagues for more than 15 years, first working together for companies owned by others, and then becoming entrepreneurial partners early in their careers.
It didn’t take long for them to see the synergy of their collective talents. Together their creativity, commitment, and dogged determination served them well as they charted new and unpredictable paths. They shared an eagerness to jump in, take risks, bear the consequences, and learn from their mistakes. At times, they stood on the brink of failure; at times, they achieved unexpected success. They launched, built, sold, and closed businesses. They directed some of the largest e-commerce companies on the globe. And in the end, they profess to having had an absolute ball doing it together!
“We continue to gain knowledge all along the way!” Tom explains. “We have learned to be hard-hitting, hell-bent, and tough when necessary. But we also learned that there are things far more important than a successful business. We came to care deeply about our customers and our staff, and discovered that doing well for ourselves happens when we are doing good for others.”
And it worked. Their flagship company, Canvas on Demand, was selected as an Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and went on to appear on the prestigious INC 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies. Joe adds: “We never give up. When the pace is full-speed and the stress is mind-boggling; when we have to make critical decisions with no time to pause and plan; when we don’t know what step to take next… we just keep building the plane in the air.”
Tom and Joe find great joy in sharing their journey. They have delighted thousands during their public presentations, stories about their business adventures which range from hilarious to heart-wrenching. They refer to their shrewd (and sometimes outrageously unconventional) wisdom gained from a combination of education and real-life experiences as Entremanureship!
What started as a philosophy about how to do business became a program called Entremanureship. We actually started the show to force ourselves to remember all the valuable lessons we’ve learned over the past 15 years…but it has become so much more than just that.
Our vlog at www.entremanureship.com is a place where we talk to fellow entremanures, share our hard-learned lessons, and revel in the joys and pitfalls of being a business owner. Come on over and check it out:
Excerpt from the book:
In the pause before launching into the things we would embrace, the things we would change, I realized that there wasn’t much we needed to discuss. Joe and I were working as a team at Art.com, so we met and talked everyday. We thoughtfully considered decisions on how we ran our team, whom we hired, and what we measured. We tried as much as we could to run it as our own business within the larger organization. It didn’t matter if the rest of the organization was super intense and on edge–we kept our team loose, did great work, and had fun everyday. When things got tense, we would point to the picture of Seinfeld’s Kramer in my office and remind everyone that we sold posters; it should be fun!
We’ve had our successes…but we’ve also had our failures. One of our greatest pleasures is to share those two sides of our journey. It is our goal to help others benefit from what we’ve learned through both our education and our real-life experiences. Our presentations focus on the circumstances and challenges and opportunities that face people who desire to grow a thriving organization. In any business, it is, indeed, important to know how to plant the seeds and how to pull the weeds! But we go beyond that. We believe the real secret to success is choosing the best fertilizers to make your ideas germinate! We believe that shrewd common sense coupled with sometimes outrageous and unconventional wisdom, a concept we call EntreMANUREship, can enrich and supplement the soil in which your business will grow.
Business Innovation & Growth (BIG) is a membership non-profit organization aiming to create an intimate community of like-minded, high potential entrepreneurs and provide rewarding peer-to-peer exchange.
Durham, NC – Keynote Speakers
The 2014 Bronto Summit is filled with great sessions, innovative ideas and insightful conversations, all designed to appeal to the world of online marketers.
Atlanta GA – Keynote Speakers
The Retail Traffic Summit will focus entirely on smart tactics for driving more and better traffic to your website. The two days will feature fourteen exciting sessions planned with eighteen conference and keynote speakers.
Our entrepreneurs have been overheard retelling the funny and endearing stories such as “Find your Megan”, “Let’s do some business before we do some business” and the “At least We Failed Fast” lessons. We have a tough audience to impress and get reactions from. There was nothing but praise for this business education event that was standing room only.
Tom and Joe send out great energy and humor matched only by their keen understanding of all things marketing, media and entrepreneurship.
We spend 2-3 days with you to become intimately knowledgeable about your business. Then we will meet weekly to develop strategies and tactics to achieve your dreams.
Working with Tom and Joe was literally a dream come true! Ever since catching the entrepreneurial bug, we have been on our own, working day after day on our business, with no previous business experience. Needless to say, our minds and ideas were scattered all over the map. Afer 3 years and $2 million in sales later, we finally have a clear vision of our goals, a clear path to follow, and a wealth of knowledge gained from only a day and a half with Tom and Joe. I can honestly say it is the best investment made so far for our business, our future, and our family.
Our 2-day session with Tom and Joe was worth every penny and has our highest recommendation. Tom and Joe hit the ground running, asking focused questions to understand us, our goals, and our business. They eagerly shared their knowledge, experiences, and what had been successful for them as they helped us plan what opportunities we should tackle next. After our 2-day session, we came away with a fresh perspective on our business model, how we were going to take on the competition, and together we built a roadmap that we are excited to start executing.
We take an equity position in your business. We look for customer centric, ecommerce concepts where we can have a profound impact based on our knowledge and experience.
We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing companies over the years. Here are our current projects we’re involved with as both investors and advisors:
Sylvain Dufour’s brainchild, FotoSwipe, enables anyone to instantly share photos across multiple devices (iPhone, Droid, iPad, etc.) with the swipe of your finger. Patented FotoSwipe technology allows you to select up to 10 photos, swipe them toward the intended device and swipe them in. It’s like magic, no more texting or emailing photos to each other.
FilterEasy.com: We are a subscription service for your home air filters; It’s as simple as that! Just tell us what size filters you have and how often you want them to show up, and we will ship them directly to your door when they need to be replaced. When your FilterEasy delivery arrives, all you have to do is change your air filters! This great service for a better price than your local hardware store.
Southtree.com: Southtree is about preserving outdated memories – tapes, film, photos, and audio – into digital keepsakes that are both usable and safe for future generations. We are led by the desire to find simple, technology and design-driven ways to reconnect people with things that matter most, but that are being lost or overlooked.
Ice.com: Ice.com was one of the first companies to sell jewelry online and since 1999 millions have enjoyed our fun, easy, secure and hassle-free site. We pride ourselves on delighting them every single day. Besides our loyal customers, we have a few other admirers. Internet Retailer lists us as one of the top shopping sites online, while media giants like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CBS’ The Early Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show have all cheered us on.