Interview With Entrepreneur Frank

Hear from Generation Y Internet Entrepreneur Frank Paul who is a proficient SEO and lead generator. Read about Frank’s remote working from Wales.

Frank Paul is not your usual sugar coated internet entrepreneur he’s actually the REAL deal.

Not only is Frank a proficient SEO but he also has skills in lead generation and of course not forgetting his true expertise Domaining. Frank owns some of the most incredible domains you can think of. How about Underwear.co.uk for a lingerie business or Latte.co.uk for a coffee shop? Frank really does have some of the best domains you can get your hands on. From what I have seen, heard and read Frank has a business to be proud of and a passion for the web not many can say they have. Not only this but Frank is a decent bloke, doting husband and an incredible father.

Frank makes this all happen from the comfort of his own home office. He truly defines working from home and making a success from it. To find out more about Frank’s domains you can check out his trophy domain 34.co.uk or alternatively his personal blog Fwitter. I recommend you do both and follow him through his social profiles today to be inspired. An absolute fantastic read.

Q: Hi Frank tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now?

Frank enjoying some family time.

Frank enjoying some family time.

Hi Ryan, I am 34 years old and I am an internet entrepreneur from Swansea, and I love everything to do with business, making money, dance music, clubbing, US tv shows (especially Breaking Bad, Dexter and True Blood) and I am also a big fan of supercars. I am a very driven person and I love meeting and interacting with like minded people (this sounds a bit like a dating profile now !) . I have lived in Swansea all of my life and I find it quite a nice place to live and we are fortunate that we are also close to the Gower Peninsula too (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gower_Peninsula) I am a strong believer in work hard – play hard and that is how I choose to live my life.

Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organisation?

not applicable to me 🙂

Q: You talk about time you spent as a Child working on the market stalls with your parents. Do you think this was the catalyst behind your move into self employment?

Yes I think this played a huge part in my self employment path. I have been an entrepreneur from a young age and I was always the kid trying to make extra money by selling things to friends for a profit, or buying crisps in bulk from the cash and carry and splitting them up to sell in school. I have always had a knack for business and making money, and I decided at the age of 26 that I wanted to make myself rich instead of my boss. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in life to date.

Q: Your skills seem to be in Domain name trading, Lead Generation & SEO. Do you want to give the readers a background in what you do in these areas?

Domain name investment is my main interest and what gives me my main buzz, I have invested in lots of premium domain names over the years and some of my best ones can be seen at www.34.co.uk. Each domain name investment is different for me and some of these I will trade for a profit, others I will lease out on monthly deals, a handful I work on joint ventures and then some I turn into real businesses primarily via e-commerce or lead generation. Domain name trading is no different to any other type of business. You buy for one price and you sell for another price, making a profit inbetween. I have been involved both personally and on behalf of others, in a handful of 6 figure domain name sales in the last few years and those type of deals are the ones which really give you a buzz.

With regards to SEO, the best type of traffic for any website is search engine traffic and this is predominantly achieved using SEO methods, however SEO is getting much harder all the time and I am a firm believer in traffic diversification when trying to promote any website and anyone that does not adopt this practise is foolish.

Lead generation is another very rewarding aspect of my business as you are actually generating real customers for companies. It can be as simple as finding someone who is looking for someone who can hire a bouncy castle for £50 their childrens birthday party and pairing them up with Joe bloggs who does that in his spare time or working with national companies and introducing them to people who are looking to spend £50,000 on an attic conversion done. Naturally the amount you get paid for each lead is different, but it is still rewarding knowing you have matched two people up together so well.

Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home? i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2 hour lunch breaks etc.

Frank and his family

Frank and his family

This was a major issue in my early days when I left my office and started working from home. The things that used to annoy me was when both friends and family would either ring me in the middle of the day ‘for a chat’ or would just turn up unannounced asking me to go and do something with them. I used to get the usual “Don’t be silly you are not working, you are just sitting around watching TV all day” sort of jibes but then it slowly become apparent to them after a few stern words, that I am actually working and then when I said I was going to start to turn up at their place of work unannounced to try and get them to leave their work with me, the penny actually dropped ! People are too quick to stereotype in most situations and I find the best way to deal with it is reverse it on them and then watch how their opinion quickly changes !

Q: What is the most challenging part about home working and how do you overcome this?

The most challenging part is being disciplined. It is very easy to take an hour off here and there, or leave tasks until later in the day, but you soon realise it is counterproductive and just hinders your long term progress. I overcame this by categorising tasks into three sections – 1. Needs to be done ASAP 2. Needs to be done today 3. Needs to be done by the end of this working week. Since applying those three simple principles, I have found my productivity and motivation has increased probably 5 times what it previously was. Try it and I think you will be surprised at how much it helps.

Q: What are the main positives in working from home full time?

The main positive for me personally is freedom. Freedom to schedule my work around my day and my own life and not the other way around, which is typically what happens with everyone else I know who doesn’t work from home or isn’t self employed. Naturally if there are certain tasks which need prioritising then they do happen first but I love the fact that I can do my work when I choose to do it as long as it gets done.

Q: Are you an advocate of work/life balance and how do you try and balance both?

I am an advocate of work/life balance but it is very hard when running your own business AND from working from home as it is all to easy to ‘check my email’ or do other work related tasks, when I am not supposed to be working. I have got better with this by actually turning my computer off by at a certain of the day and also leaving my iPhone in my office to stop me straying off course !

Q: What’s a typical day for Frank? Realistically….start to finish

This is a tough one to answer as no two days are exactly the same for me. I suppose if I was to describe a ‘typical’ day (with no fun stuff added) it would be something along the lines of this – Wake up in the morning around 7.30am, switch my computers on and briefly check through my email and Twitter accounts. I will then do the school run and get back in my office around 9am. I will then make a list of tasks which need to be done that day and work on the most urgent ones first. I then proceed to check in with my workers / partners again via email and Twitter (sometimes MSN also) to see how things are going and if everything is running smoothly. I will then work through my list to complete as many tasks as possible by midday, and then sit down for lunch with my wife. We usually then take a break from our offices to get some fresh air and take our dogs for a walk. I then get back to my office around 1pm ish and proceed to work through my daily work list. At around 3pm my wife usually does the school run and my structured working day is coming to an end. Once my kids arrive home they usually watch some TV or do their homework whilst I carry on with with less important things that need to be done and stuff that doesn’t need me to concentrate as much. We then all sit down for food around 5pm and then my structured working day comes to an end. Sometimes I will go back on my PC for a couple more hours to do some bits and bobs and catch up with friends or do some shopping etc (I love online shopping) What I just described was a typical day for me, however other days I may be in Starbucks in the morning, shopping late morning and then out for a nice lunch and walk down the Gower with my wife, then spend the afternoon doing things I want to do. This is the beauty of being your own boss and having the freedom to pick and choose when your work gets done.

Q: Do you have a dedicated office space and what is the importance of having this?

Yes I have a dedicated office and I feel this is vitally important for productivity and concentration when working from home. When I first left my office and decided to work from home, my first dedicated office space was half of the kitchen table and it soon become apparent that it wasn’t working for me as there were too many distractions going on around me coupled with a lack of space. We proceeded to have a garage conversion to make up for the lack of space, but we wanted something better. When we bought a new house, my wife (who also works from home) and I decided that one of the major factors the new house must have was enough rooms for a dedicated office each, and since then it has worked wonders and our productivity and organisation have sky rocketed as a result of that.

Q: Any pictures of your Office?

Franks cool, minimal office space.

Franks cool, minimal office space.

Chill out area

Chill out area

and another...

and another…

Q: How important do you feel family support is for home workers?

It is very important for a number of reasons. They have to realise that when you are in the house, you are actually working and not just ‘in the house’. They also have to realise that working from home is very different to working in an office and you have to be much more disciplined and you work in a slightly different way to most people.

Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers?

The only tools I truly believe you need is a notepad and a pen. Write a list of tasks you need to complete that day, and cross each one off as you do them – it is amazing how much your productivity will increase just by seeing those tasks being crossed off one by one.

Q: Do you believe more organisations should allow those with web based roles to work remotely? If so..how come?

Yes I think they should. It makes sense for both the employee and employer for lots of reasons. There would be no commuting, so there is no time or money spent on this pointless part for someone working in a web based role. This in turn aids the employee to feel more positive about their job as they know they don’t have to spend part of their wages on actually getting to an office, and then they don’t get stressed and annoyed about the daily commute to and from work everyday either. Every person I employ currently works from home and the quality of work is second to none and also deadlines are never missed and there is zero feeling of resentment towards their job either.

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.

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