We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Nicoletti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
1. Knowing instead of thinking. Growing up, I was a hard worker who always had a job, but I didn’t take education seriously. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I read a book in its entirety. I have no academic training in business, marketing, or any other business I’m currently growing. Promising entrepreneurs use instinct and intuition to get by, but I know I need to expand my knowledge base to be a great entrepreneur. Before I invest any capital in a new venture, I invest my time in books about and around the opportunity. It’s the difference between confidently saying ” I know” instead of “I think.” I am at the point now where I read at least one book a week. There is a lot to know and a lot I am planning to accomplish ahead.
2. Get to the starting line first, everyday.
I’ve trained my body to wake around 4:30 am. I do my best and most meaningful work in the morning, alone while the world around me sleeps. My mind is the clearest, and nothing else is fighting for my attention except the objective in my head. There is something that makes me accomplished to get a head start on everyone else.
3. Learn that Fail isn’t a four-letter word
People are afraid to fail and will avoid it at all costs. Failure is what I have known my entire life. Sports, school, relationships, career….I succeed because I fail. At The University of Arizona, I was rejected from the design program and told to pick a different career because I didn’t have the talent to make it. A year after graduating, I was nominated as the top 100 designers in the country. Failure can be an anchor that holds you back or a sail that propels you forward; it’s a personal choice.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 2008, I started my first business (WHYFOR Design) to help businesses visually communicate their product and services. The financial crash of 2008 hit just as we opened up shop, which became a blessing in disguise. Brands were cutting budgets but still needed design work done. As a new business with little overhead, I was able to fill the gap left by bigger agencies. I was successful and fortunate to work with brands large and small through the economic collapse, and a byproduct of smaller budgets meant I was sitting at the table with executives and c-suite. To hold my own, I invested heavily in books about business, marketing, and operations. Within five years, we worked with brands in 22 different industries and 26 states on large and small projects. Two things became clear: 1. The most significant difference between success and failure for a brand is marketing. 2. Regardless of industry, product, geography, phase of business – EVERY business has the same six problems that, if solved, will lead to success and, if neglected, will end in failure. The six problems are: Recognition, Relationships, Reputation, Recruitment, Retention, and Revenue. This revelation was the fulcrum point for L.A.B.S.: a proprietary framework I created from my experiences and is in use today to build brands all over the United States. We have seen incredible success with L.A.B.S. and evolving it so every brand, every department, and every employee can “solve the six”.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A morning walk through the botanical gardens is a great way to start the day, followed by breakfast at Matt’s Big Breakfast, which typically leads to sitting poolside with a book to relax and enjoy the warm weather Arizona is known for. After a few hours, it’s time to jump on some e-bikes and head over to Old Town Scottsdale for a quick bite at chopped and touring the local galleries and shops.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutouts: Ritta Yee-Fagain for her continuous support day in and day out.
Jackson Boelts for providing me the opportunity to learn and grow.
Erin Barnes Photography