The secrets of a successful life in business.

Talking with Winners™: Erik Proulx

From time to time, Winning at Business™ runs into winners at a multinational business conference and wants to interview them.

Winning at Business™ had the chance recently to sit down with Please Feed The Animals blogger and business owner Erik Proulx. Erik is an advertising copymaster. After getting laid off from his firm six months ago, he started blogging about his frustrations, originally to vent. Well, then he went and started a business from it. In our book, that spells Win.

W@B: First off, I am very excited about the new site, and can’t wait to see it all come together. When does it launch?

Proulx: My initial hope was to have it launched by April 15, which marks 6 months to the day that I got laid off. It’s also tax day and my son’s 5th birthday. Unfortunately, since everyone is doing this on their own time and dime, I can’t set a hard date. It’s looking more like the end of April.

W@B: As you’ve seen, I’m incredibly interested in the power of strategies, and less about the actual workings of business in general. Are you a strategies guy, or an actual workings of business guy?

Proulx: Why be an actual workings of business guy when you can strategize about business instead? I’m all about the big idea and less about the workings. Maybe that’s why I’m unemployed.

W@B: Let’s talk about searching for a job. What do you think is the single most important thing for anyone looking for a job to do especially in these tough economic times?

Proulx: To use your unemployment as an opportunity to prove that your former company were idiots for letting you go. Now is the time to execute all those ideas you said “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” There may have been a thousand hamstrings to your greatness in the corporate world. Now it’s just you. (Wait. Maybe I am an actual workings of business guy.)

W@B: Believing in yourself is hard for some people to do these days. Not for me of course, but what kind of things have you discovered we can all do to get ourselves up for the game?

Proulx: First, get yourself a copy of Winning at Business: The Textbook. It may single handedly put Tony Robbins out of work. Next, don’t be afraid to wallow for exactly 24 hours, during which time you spend 12 hours drunk and another 12 hours recovering. After that, get thee up to speed in 2.0. Write a blog, talk about it on Twitter, link to it on LinkedIn, then start a group by the same name on Facebook. Again, prove to your past employer what you could have been doing if you only still worked there.

W@B: How did you come up with the name Please Feed the Animals?

Proulx: Like any naming exercise, I wrote the first three things that I thought of and submitted them to my boss. He thought they were all brilliant.

W@B: Speaking of the name, I was initially surprised to see that your site is not actually about feeding actual animals. Have you gotten any unwanted traffic from people who are looking to actually feed animals with a robotic arm from the internet? Or, is any traffic, good traffic?

Proulx: Not yet. But you just gave me an idea for a launch promotion.

W@B: I have incorporated animals in a few of my strategies, whether it be eating jerky made from the endangered Bengal tiger, or something as small as renting a rather fierce (and vocal) hawk on company photo day, I think that an association with certain animals can be a great use in business today. If you were an animal, which one would you be? And what does that say about your approach to life/work?

Proulx: My friend Mark and I play this game: If any two animals from any species could mate and give birth to you, which would you pick? Mine is a Great White Shark and a Humming Bird. If I were a Great White Shark Hummingbird, I’d be able to kill any single living thing, and also have the ability to flee instantly from a group of attackers. I don’t think this can be beat. In the wild, or in business.

W@B: I know we were talking the other day about how much back hair I had, and how that was by design so people in the locker room at work would think that I might be an actual animal. Then, when they interact with me in normal business situations, they would, in turn, fear my animal tendencies. You felt like this might be missing the point. Why did you say that exactly?

Proulx: That conversation is very fuzzy. I am not at liberty to elaborate.

W@B: I have published many strategies, which one(s) have you used, and how great was it?

Proulx: As the only employee in my own business, I am always using my Shamelog™ to record discretions for later ammo against me.

W@B: How did you find Winning at Business?

Proulx: Your block-resistant spam emails.

Comments on: "Talking with Winners™: Erik Proulx" (0)

  1. Great interview, guys! Eric, you are a sure-fire winner. It would be kick-ass to work for your company. Although I have no advertising experience, I have owned over four dogs and cats through the course of my life and all of them have eaten well.

  2. Bo!

    You have an offer, site unseen, to open cans of dog and cat food for no money once we get dogs or cats. Thank you for your enthusiasm.


  3. hot4bidness said:

    wow. this is a real meeting of the minds. i would be interested and open to meeting either of you, or both of you at bennigan’s to pick your brains. can i get a ‘what what!’ for the taco/salad bar?! talk about a smart strategy!

    if i were an animal it would be a donkey-owl.

  4. I think that as a copymaster erik should do very well in his venture. I am a copy master myself. I see other peoples work, copy/improve and submit as my own. This has won me great accolades from my no-so-superior superiours, while cause my peers to fear me when i am in their office when……when they come back from whereever they were loafing. i say copy on erik!

  5. by the way i would be a hippotamus-pterodactyls

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