Web Craft Masters: From Tech Businesses to Bootstrapping Happiness
Today, we are excited to share with you the next interview in our series, featuring David Henzel, ex-MaxCDN, and current entrepreneur consultant. He is one of those rare people who are not afraid of making big changes in their lives. With a huge entrepreneurial flair, he co-founded the popular tech company MaxCDN, moved from Europe to the US to develop and grow his business and after selling it in 2016, decided to make another significant move – to settle in Bodrum and start a radically new project.
At Managing Happiness David teaches entrepreneurs to apply business practices to their personal life. He also hosts an amazing podcast, recently featuring SiteGround’s own CEO Tenko Nikolov. Read our interview for David’s tips on how to live and do business with more meaning.
David, as a serial entrepreneur, you have bootstrapped several successful tech businesses. The most popular is undoubtedly MaxCDN which you sold in 2016. Now, when you reflect on this, would you say there’s a special recipe for success and what is yours?
David: It is tough to sum this up in a short paragraph and especially only in one “recipe”. But if I would have to pick just one thing, I would say that it is all about delivering value. I always think about how I can create as much value as possible for everybody that I engage with.Money is always an afterthought. In fact, I believe that money is a side effect of providing value. If you figure out how you can create a ton of value for a lot of people, you will end up as the wealthiest person around.
From managing a successful tech company and living in LA, you decided to make a huge change. You now live in Bodrum, Turkey and you’re working on a totally new project. Why did you decide to make that big change and start a new entrepreneurial journey?
David: It was a very personal experience which has sent me down this path. My wife Yurda was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. Knock on wood, today she is doing great!! This experience has led me to reevaluate everything. I visualized myself laying on my deathbed, looking back at my life. I wanted to make sure I spend the time that I have on something that will have a positive impact in the world (as cheesy as this sounds). I currently work on several projects. All of them are in line with my mission, which is: Helping businesses and entrepreneurs reach the next level.
At Managing Happiness you teach entrepreneurs how to live a balanced life by applying business practices to their personal relationships. Could you give a quick example of a business principle that busy people can try?
David: The one that had the most significant impact on my marriage was writing down our roles and responsibilities in our household. Discussing this with my wife took away 80% of all the friction we ever had in our relationship.
In your talks, you mention how important it is for entrepreneurs and businesses to have a clear vision, mission, and well thought-out marketing strategy. What are the key principles in Managing Happiness’ marketing strategy?
David: Since Managing Happiness is a passion project and not something that has to feed me or others, my marketing strategy is straightforward. I get exposure by being interviewed on popular podcasts, and I have my Managing Happiness podcast as well. Aside from this affiliate marketing works pretty well too.
You define yourself as a “recovering introvert”. What would you advise fellow introverted entrepreneurs and business owners who strive to grow their companies?
David: Make sure you get comfortable with “extrovert activities” as soon as possible! Being introverted held me back a lot in the early years of my entrepreneurial career. I found that exposure therapy worked best for me. These three things made the difference for me: I went to two networking events per week and talked to as many strangers as possible. I joined toastmasters.org (the best way to become a confident public speaker). And I started speaking at events.
Would you share what are the future plans for your new projects? We know you’re working on a book, what else can you reveal?
David: I do not like to talk about unlaid eggs. I have three super exciting projects in the pipeline. I will give you an update as soon as we are live! I did not plan on doing it, but I dove full speed back into the business world.