Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Daniel J. Cohen who is the Founder and Lead Writer of RedShift Writers, Houston’s fastest growing content writing company. Cohen and RedShift provide businesses with high quality content that helps achieve specific business objectives, particularly exposure and sales.
D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?
I envision a world where learning is a goal for everyone. Education is so essential to everything that I do. If learning and teaching were our focus, we would be learned and well-taught; peace, dedication and resilience would reign over hatred and struggle. Fear would fade. Love would prosper. That is my dream.
So far, I have brought a small piece of that to world. I would love to continue to do everything I can to contribute more.
E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?
My formal education is an undergraduate degree in political science from American University and a Master’s Degree in Communication with a PR focus from the University of Houston. Just as importantly, I have extensive career education based on experience. Just shy of 30 years old, I have had more than 15 jobs in ten different fields. Every job brought something to light for me. My job at the movie theater when I was in high school taught me character. My job in fast food taught me humility. My jobs in telemarketing taught me to sell. My jobs in marketing firms taught me to move quickly. My jobs teaching bilingual education and test prep taught me to teach others.
Each day, I use my ability to learn and my ability to teach to my advantage. I train 100% of my staff in-house and keep an eye out for the latest tools and technologies that I can use to my advantage. I believe in the power of education, of learning for self-improvement, of teaching others to be successful and find their own success. I do this with my clients too, showing them the best possible path to achieve their own goals by explaining what it’s going to take to conquer the market they want to conquer.
R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?
First and foremost, I and my team are excellent writers. We craft language that positions companies to succeed in the open market. We message for businesses in unique ways that cannot be found in the standard firm or in the toolkit of the standard consultant. Our writers are capable of creating PROLIFIC amounts of well-organized content in a short period of time, and doing so with excellent service. We also provide high level messaging related to the name, slogan and category of companies.
Simply put, we are excellent wordsmiths.
R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?
About six months into my last job, I realized I was working far too any hours to not own a company. I was a lead content writer by day for the corporate marketing arm of a classifieds company and a fast-paced free lancer by night. I began to realize the need there was in the market for good writers. The only available options were independent free lance writers and marketing firms, and both had major drawbacks. The power of a content writing stable is that you can find a writer that works for you but still has the backing of a company infrastructure.
I made plans to exit the company and start my own immediately upon that realization.
I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?
There are plenty of names I could give here. John Whaley, host of FM 92.1’s Executive Entrepreneur Hour probably knows as much or more about the economy as anyone I have ever met. Michele “@prosperitygal” Price is the queen of building an audience. But if I had to answer this question with the first name that came to mind, that would be Marc Nathan. Marc is probably the best networker I have ever met. Everyone can make a valuable business contact with Marc because everyone can make a valuable business contact through Marc. His business insight is also generally fantastic. Great person to know.
C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?
I am very fortunate not to have what most people would call a major disease or injury. My challenges have come down to many of the standard service challenges companies face: late payments from clients, collection issues, problems with time, and more.
One thing that has been difficult for me is hiring the right people. However, I have recently brought in some great talent on a contract basis and hired one full-time staffer who has been wonderful. I still have the standard scalability issue most entrepreneurs have, and would love to figure out how to package my products to sell them better. We do fairly well overall, though.
K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?
1) Be nice to everyone. You don’t have to be a pushover in a bid or leave yourself vulnerable. But when it comes to your general public outreach, be warm with everyone in every room you enter. Your competitors are in your industry; be nice to them. The strangers you meet are potential clients, friends, family, lovers, etc. Be nice to them, too.
2) Educate yourself. Learn. Aim to teach. Leave others with something lasting and valuable.
3) Pursue fearlessness. Fearlessness is like world peace in that you can strive for it every day but you may never achieve it. Strive for it anyway. It’s worth it.
Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?
Writing is an amazing skill that can bring great clarity to what you do. Try it. You may just like it. And if you need a professional content writer for your business, RedShift Writers is the company for you.
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