Modern Professional Becomes VENTEUR
Many people have asked me why Modern Professional (MP) became VENTEUR. The change was sudden, and everything changed overnight. To address this, it’s important to consider why MP was founded.
I launched MP as a means through which to tell some of the most incredible entrepreneurial stories out there. I’m talking about the ones many publishers won’t touch for one reason or another. Being an entrepreneur is great. However, while incredibly rewarding, the entrepreneurial journey is challenging. It challenges founders on every level and, sadly, breaks those who can’t keep up.
As a founder, I’ve had businesses fail. I’ve also had businesses succeed. I’ve been doing the startup game long enough to know when I’ve hit a stride, or it’s time to pivot…but this hasn’t always been the case. Too often, I’ve become emotionally involved with what I'm doing. I’ve let my emotions cloud my judgment and dove head-first into the idea of creating something of value.
Sadly, this happened with MP.
VENTEUR is, in every way, MP. The only thing that changed is the name.
But what is a name?
Naming the publication MP was a flaw on my part in so many ways. Not only did it go against my legal instincts, but it was also basic and limiting. I had an idea, LOVED it, and swung for the fences. MP was an instant hit, and all was well for about a year.
Then, there was a tag on IG…
This tag gave me anxiety…
It was to a man in front of a step-and-repeat with the “MP” logo. Yes, I have a legal background, but that doesn’t make this any easier. This was emotional. I investigated a bit and saw a company using the MP logo.
Well, that’s not good.
I hired a trusted freelancer to develop the MP logo, and here we are…
The idea that MP was using a logo resembling another company’s logo made me sick. I thrive on originality and knew it wasn’t the right move for the company's vision. After speaking with attorneys and discovering other companies with similar marks (maybe my respected freelancer got around?), I knew a name change was in order.
This was a hard pill to swallow. I spent a lot of time developing our presence across several continents. We’re not a multibillion-dollar company yet, and we don’t have the funds to execute robust campaigns to clarify the name change to MP’s readers.
Nevertheless, the clock was ticking. Even though we could have technically continued using MP, it wasn’t the right thing to do for the company. So, I sat down with a trusted advisor and began ideating potential names. This was a rough day.
Name after name, we considered many that didn’t lend themselves to being branded. Then, VENTEUR came to us. The name VENTEUR, in our opinion, represents everything MP stood for plus the limitless potential of founders. It is the possibility of creation and the desire to do things how one believes they should be done.
We knew VENTEUR was the future from the moment it came to us.
As for the logo, I wanted something simple and bold. Rather than work with someone on the logo, I designed it myself with my advisor's input.
Why does VENTEUR’s website change often?
Commitment is tough.
I hold myself to the same standard as everyone else. Can I reasonably expect others to be satisfied with VENTEUR’s website if I’m unsatisfied with VENTEUR’s website? I don’t think so, which is why things constantly change.
I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to present VENTEUR’s content. Sometimes I’ll get an idea and love it, then realize it doesn’t make sense a month later. I try to find a balance between simplicity and robustness. There are times when I succeed and others when I fail. The only way to know the outcome is to try though, right?
Changes will keep happening to the website. I’d be foolish to say they’ll stop. Once a design is settled on, I’ll be adding additional features. There’s a lot planned for 2023, and I’m taking a step back from working in the business to work on it and see that it is all realized.
Burnout Is Real
October and November were rough months for me. I serve as a director for a brand aggregator outside VENTEUR and primarily operate VENTEUR late at night and on weekends. VENTEUR took off, and I thought I could balance the two. I couldn’t.
Burnout is real, and it’ll kill every ounce of ability you have if you’re not careful. Things were humming along for a while. I was rocking it as a director and publishing over 100 articles monthly on VENTEUR. That’s not bad for an almost one-man band.
But superhuman abilities only last so long…
Skipping meals, sleeping less, and doing nothing other than work-related tasks took a toll on me.
Between my aggregator commitments, VENTEUR’s publishing schedule, and VENTEUR’s upcoming issue (December 2022), I lost it…
I went on a downward spiral.
I hated waking up.
I didn’t want to look at my inbox.
I didn’t want to chase PR reps down for releases.
I didn’t know what to do….
So I kept going…
and then I realized I had lost sight of everything as a founder.
I spent my time working in the business rather than on the business. My work on the business list kept growing while I only completed work in the business tasks. My lists were disorganized. My temper was short. My health took a sharp decline.
I’ve read every Founder’s Journey and leadership article on VENTEUR and should have seen the signs. I should have seen the burnout coming. I was burning the candle at both ends, and I thought it would never reach the center.
I decided to step away completely and focus on my mental health in December. While reflecting on everything I put myself through, I realized grinding day after day wasn’t the right move. At the time, it seemed like the only option.
It seemed as though all of VENTEUR’s success up to that point would disappear if I slowed down.
I held myself to a wildly unrealistic standard.
Being able to do something and do it well does not mean you can (or should) do it more than your body and mind can handle. I learned this the hard way, but I hope you can see burnout creeping up before it’s too late.
VENTEUR Cares About the Environment
I’ve always been obsessed with print magazines. The look, feel, and smell truly add to one’s experience. I remember sitting in the back of my parents’ car in the supermarket parking lot and thumbing through magazines as a kid. It was truly an experience.
I wanted my experience to transfer through to MP’s readers. We printed and sold ultra high quality copies of each issue. However, something wasn’t right. We were using the Earth’s resources and not giving much back. So, I decided to partner with One Tree Planted to offset our paper usage. We plant one tree through One Tree Planted for every physical issue sold. And while that goes above and beyond our usage, it still doesn’t feel right.
The decision to stop selling print copies of VENTEUR isn’t one I enjoy. However, I want the publication to do as much good and as little harm as possible. Effective immediately, VENTEUR will no longer offer most issues in print.
VENTEUR will continue to plant one tree through One Tree Planted for every digital issue sold, and will continue to donate 1% of all revenue to carbon removal as a Stripe Climate member.
VENTEUR runs largely on complex automations that take some time to build. After all, it’s a lot to do almost everything on my own with a day job. These automations were built quick and dirty to serve a purpose, and they were quite effective. However, they lacked personalization.
One thing I realized while evaluating everything in December is the need for personalization. I knew this before, but, as we saw above, lost sight of the importance of working on the business rather than just working in it. Little things like names, details from submissions, and taking the time to craft meaningful personalized experiences at scale go a long way in developing healthy relationships.
I spent some time in December revamping all of VENTEUR’s business-to-business automations. Hyper-personalized, detailed, and complete, these automations now give recipients clear instructions on what they can expect, what they must do, and VENTEUR’s timeline if applicable.
Moving fast is an effective way to test a set of automations. You must be willing to watch how they are received, understand how they can be improved, and constantly make adjustments like I did. Doing so will better position your automations and business for success.