SE: You come from a large family. What role did they play in your decision to start your own business?
WC: There are eight of us (4boys and 4 girls). I believe it began with my father who was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. With no formal education at all he was left very little choice but to seek opportunities and go with them as they came along. He went from starting a video rental store in Spain, to a cologne business, to a farming business in Costa Rica and Miami.
He always instilled the value of working for yourself, the beauty of dreaming, and working hard. This is the gift he left me. Being the second to youngest in the family and youngest boy, I grew up hearing about my older brothers' experiences about running their businesses and I always wanted to be like them. So this inspired me tremendously as well, since I'd say I am pretty competitive.
I also have to say my mom taught me a lot as well. When times were tough, she would seek out opportunities with her produce delivery and catering business and do whatever it took to earn money. I think sometimes entrepreneurs are born out of necessity, but in my family this necessity served as a great learning tool for myself as to why I wanted to be a self starter.
SE: What makes Revo Payments different from all the other payment processing companies?
WC: Revo is unique in the sense that we build e-payments software for very focused vertical markets where paper payments are still the primary method to pay. We serve the real estate, non-profit, academic, and b to b verticals right now. Our mission is to deliver the simplest way to make and receive payments in the world.
SE: Your brother is your partner and we all know the challenges of working with family. What are the positives that you takeaway?
WC: My brother Mike is awesome. He's an inspiration to anyone who's been told that something is impossible. Mike is a US Navy veteran, lawyer and Harvard MBA, and yet he dropped out of high school and holds only a GED. He definitely is a mentor to me in many aspects of life. The biggest positive I have is trust. People say you can't work with friends and family, but I believe that is a stereotype. If you have trust, defined roles, respect, and discipline, you can make it work. And what's more you can talk about business 24/7! There are certainly very challenging moments, but I am happy and proud to say I am partnered with my brother. Ps- my other older brother Joe also works for Revo as of 2 and a half years ago, and my best friend from college Kurt Stange. It is great to share in a dream together.
SE: What has been your biggest challenge thus far and how have you overcome it?
WC: FOCUS and execution. As an entrepreneur we are many times guilty of having another great idea, and you limit yourself to executing on the initial ideas you laid out. This has definitely been one of my biggest challenges at Revo. There are so many challenges I must say, but they all roll up to execution of a focused idea. Whether its sales, project management, operations, or simply managing people focus and execution are the biggest challenges I have encountered.
I've improved a lot here by coming to grips that no matter what size our company is, we will have to make tough decisions on what takes priority. Knowing and learning how to prioritize is key to having focus and executing on a plan. Trust me- there is no finish line to this challenge, it is still my biggest challenge.
SE: What non-business book do you recommend to other entrepreneurs?
WC: I recently read the Tragedy of the Essex, a book Mike recommended to me. It is the true the story behind the inspiration to Moby Dick. It's about a group of whale hunters that get rammed by a whale out at sea in the pacific and how only a few of them survived after being lost at sea for months. A great book on leadership and life in general. Incredible story about survival.
SE: What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
WC: DREAMING! And dreaming big. No amount of money can replace the simple concept that I am the beholder of my own destiny and only I am responsible for accomplishing those dreams. I enjoy coming up with crazy thoughts and ideas and dreaming how I can impact the world in a small or big way, either big or small it still feels great. Your dreams are what you are meant to be, you are what you settle for! The reward of building something greater than yourself is very inspiring to me, because so many people work so hard for our company and knowing that this combination of people and ideas contribute to the better good is very very cool to me and what makes entrepreneurship so fun.