Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meet the Ladies(?) Who Are Changing the Face of Business - Professor Wordsearch

This is the last in my series of interviews with some of the brightest and most knowledgeable women in the world of home businesses. If you were ever considering starting a business of your own, I'm sure you have received enough information over the past few weeks to get you started on the right track. I've known some of these women for a while. Some of them I've only met while posting this series. But I have learned much from each of them and am grateful that they were willing to share their knowledge with me and my readers.

This last interview is a little different because my guest today is not a woman. I am pleased today to be able to introduce you to Professor Wordsearch. I first met the "Prof" on Ryze and though we responded to each other's posts a few times, didn't become that well acquainted. I admit, sometimes I was curious about what exactly it was that he did - but I never did ask. It was only after he learned of this series that he told me of his innovative advertising business. It is quite unique and I jumped at the chance to interview him for my blog for two reasons: Many of you will want to take advantage of his business. And it's a prime example of what kinds of creative businesses can be built with a very simple idea. So here he is - John Snyder aka Prof Wordsearch!

1. Tell us about yourself.
First of all Melodieann, Thank You for this tremendous opportunity. I hope that I can shed some insight and be an inspiration here. For those of you that have never been introduced to me, I am John Snyder, better known as Prof Wordsearch. I have been in Direct Sales nearly all of my adult life , I am 67 now, and I started my Advertising business, Ad-Vantage Advertising in 1992, developing my Dynamic Wordsearch Ads shortly thereafter. I was looking for a way back then to draw more attention to local advertising and provide affordable effective advertising for small merchants hard hit by recession. I distribute exclusively through non-profit groups. In short I help them raise much needed funds.

2. Tell us about your business.
The actual name for my company is Ad-Vantage Advertising and the product is Wordsearch Adz. I was looking for a way to spread the word about my Wordsearch Ads and perhaps open up new markets. Of course, some very knowledgeable people whom I am currently associated with saw the potential that this concept holds and encouraged me to expand my ideas. Then I saw the potential to help non-profit groups through fund raising.

3. Why did you start your own business?
As I said earlier, I started the Wordsearch Ads about 1992. I was in the midst of running a small advertising service delivering ad-sheets for local businesses, door-to-door. One day, as I was looking for a better way to get my ads noticed, I hit upon the idea of combining my hobby of making Word Searches with advertising. My first attempts were very crude and lacked the sophistication of my present day Wordsearch Ads, but from the reactions I was receiving, from customers and merchants alike, I knew that I was on to something really big.

4. What do you like most and least about being your own boss?
Are you kidding Melodieann? I like everything about being my own Boss, especially being able to market something that I created and watch it grow by leaps and bounds. It is like watching your child grow and mature.

5. What personality traits and skills are needed to run a business?
Perseverance and the belief that what you are doing, is something that you want to do. Then you have to have the determination to see it through . You have to devote to it whatever it takes to make it succeed. Sometimes it may even have to come before family and everything else. I know that sounds harsh, but if you want it badly enough, then you will do what it takes to make it so.

6. What has been the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
I would have to say, dealing with people who don’t understand. I am talking about family and friends who try to convince you that you are wasting your time. That only made me more determined, now I had other people to show that I was going to be successful.

7. Do you have any resources you have used to build your business that you would recommend?
The best resource you can have is your own brain. Think outside the box and come up with ways you can make what you are doing work for you. What makes you and your product (service) different, what makes it stand out? And Melodieann, you are right on target with your suggestion about RYZE, Networking can help you and suggest ways to market that you may never have thought of. Never, ever close your mind to suggestions. You may not be able to follow all advice given, but LISTEN.

8. Do you have any tips to share on promoting your business?
Always remember your business comes first, never forget that. Find your Niche.

9. What other advice do you have for someone starting their own business?
Find a business you can believe in, ask yourself, if you would use this product or service and how do you feel about recommending it to your family and friends. Talk it over with them first and get their feedback and HONEST Opinions. Take notes and develop ways to overcome all objections.

10. How can we contact you about your products and services?
I encourage everyone to visit my web site and print out the sample puzzles you find under “Pick-A-Puzzle”. This makes a Great Free Ebook of Wordsearch Adz. You will find puzzles done for many RYZERS. By the way, these are only a few of the thousands, I have done over the years, on all subjects.

The flag ship! This is a fully custom WordSearch puzzle about your business AND your own display ad at the bottom. This can be used anywhere, its all yours! The best of the best! See a Sample.
(Includes a FREE banner for 2 months on the explosive Ad-Network)

11. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Anyone can do what I did, if they want it badly enough. Just put your mind to it and do not let even on shred of doubt enter into the picture. Once you start doubting what you are doing, You might as well hang it up, because you will never regain the belief you need to succeed at the business. All I can say now is, I wish everyone the very best of luck and if there is ever anything I can do to help, do not hesitate to call on me. See you all at the Top!


Beverly Mahone said...

Oh gee!

I missed out on my opportunity. Oh well....

You did a wonderful job in profiling the various women and are to be commended for it. I learned some things about members within BDN that I didn't even know. :)

Eileen Williams said...

This is one of your best interviews to date. What an insightful and encouraging man. He's been there, gone through challenges, and come out the other side with huge success. I'm jazzed! Thank you both!

Kathie M. Thomas said...

Self-belief is so important in business. If you're going to really make it work you have to not only convince yourself you're doing the right thing you need to be able to convince others too. Belief goes a long way towards making that happen.

Karen O'Bannon said...

Really enjoyed reading that interview. Interesting concept and very encouraging advice. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia, NJBabyBoomer said...


First, I knew it was an interview, and looked first at the picture, and was so relieved when you said it wasn't an interview of a woman, phew! LOL!

Seriously, great interview, and thanks for what you've done for us!

Hugs, Claudia

Anonymous said...

Great interviews! I read the other blogs of the ladies as well. Very motivating to new women entrepreneurs starting up businesses!