Got Skills, Get Myzoox

MyzooxAlthough my condo renovation has been a bit of a nightmare, it has also served as a source of many interesting findings. One such finding is that there is a lot of money to be saved if I only had connections with people who did things on the side. Not only could I save money, but these individuals in turn could pocket more money by not having to deal with a ‘middle man’ resulting in a win-win situation for all. For example, I spent $900 to have a company remove the ‘popcorn’ ceiling from my condo when it turns out that the guys who showed up would’ve done the job on the side for only $500 had I prior knowledge of them.

So what if there was a place where there wasn’t a middle man, and individuals like myself could find people looking to make some extra money on the side? Well such a place exists, and it’s called myzoox. Myzoox cofounders Aaron Paul and Jimmy Smith envisioned a place where individuals could be given the opportunity to market themselves as their own entity and independent contractors. It differs from other sites because it is absolutely free to use, ads last 200 days, and 10% of the gross revenue – not profit – goes to a philanthropic organization of their choice.

Myzoox was launched on January 24th, and there are already 500 members contributing to the site. Jimmy, Aaron, and site developer James Moore have been hard at work spreading news of the site through a network of friends and word of mouth. I thought I would do my part by bringing their story to the closet blog so without further ado, I bring you my March 17th interview with myzoox’s cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer, Aaron Paul.

Aaron Paul on the Early Days of Myzoox

Jimmy Smith and I were fraternity brothers at Georgia Tech. We both have parents who are business owners and we’ve discussed business ideas for years, so it’s natural that we went into business together. Jimmy has a Bachelors of Science in Economics, and I majored in History, Technology, and Society with a minor in Spanish Business Language in Technology. Since I knew I was going into business on my own, I didn’t necessarily learn about business or economics when I was in college. Instead, my approach to college was to study what would be most interesting, and once I decided on a career, I would figure out what I needed to learn at that time.

Myzoox initially grew out of ideas and discussions we had. Jimmy initially had the idea, and I liked it, so we discussed it and did some research on the internet to see if we could learn from what other companies were doing. We also talked to my father, and then figured out exactly what we wanted to do.

Becoming Self Determinant through Myzoox

There are a lot of sites that are close to doing what we’re doing, but not truly hitting the nail on the head when it comes to giving the individual the opportunity to market themselves as their own entity and independent contractor

Myzoox follows our personal philosophy in life. We want to be self determinant, and we don’t want anyone else to determine how we spend our time. And although money is a big part of becoming self determinant, we’re not looking to make a ton of money. We all have day jobs, and we just want something to be able to maintain our lifestyle without having to answer to anyone else’s demands.

Yet we’re not the only ones who feel a strong desire to be self determinant. Looking around at today’s society, things are evolving in such a way to help empower the individual. Globalization and the internet has been a big part of that. Sites like eBay allow people to view their items as assets and present themselves as individual businesses, and we wanted to take that a step forward. What people need to understand is that their knowledge and skills are their real value, and sharing their knowledge and skill set with individuals in need is a way to empowerment and getting out of the daily grind.

The site has allowed us to be autonomous in our daily lives, and we want to enable everyone to be able to do the same for themselves.

Aaron Paul on Bootstrapping

Jimmy and I had pretty good business minds, but we were not web developers. The first step was finding someone to do web development, and I knew that if I could find somebody who could share our vision and our passion, we could get them excited about the site. We had a friend who was a web developer and was good at artwork and web advertising, so we talked to him about it and once he got excited about the site, he was all for it.

I also talked to an acquaintance that was an international student in business. The professor in her class started a company every semester, and he’s a big proponent of bootstrapping so I picked up a lot of info from his lectures. One of the things he talked about was how some new companies spent a lot of money trying to make a big splash, but ultimately couldn’t get out of the debt hole they created. He felt that this was a big pitfall for companies that were starting out. He felt that it was much better to grow a company organically through bootstrapping.

Myzoox and Advertising

Up until this point, we’ve been concentrating on a two-fold business plan. In order for site to be really useful, there needs to be plenty of people with service offerings. We realized that the biggest problem we have is the burden of educating the market place and informing people on what myzoox can do for them. On sites like eBay, if someone wants to sell a lampshade, they can just mail it to you. Yet if someone’s going to find an individual service provider, they need someone who is going to be near by.

So the first thing we’re doing is finding people to get on the site and list their services. One thing we did was email every friend we had and encouraged them to sign up and list some services. We really feel that everyone can offer at least something, and when you think about it, there’s probably a bunch of stuff you can offer. So far we’ve relied mainly on word of mouth, posting on websites, and communication through email.

Once we have enough people on the site, we will then shift our focus towards advertising the site as a place where people can come and find services.

Aaron Paul’s Advice for Closet Entrepreneurs

The most important thing is if you know there’s something you want to do, you have to do it as soon as you possibly can. Life has a way as time goes on where more and more responsibilities begin to pile on, and it becomes harder and harder to make changes.

And if you know there’s something you want to do then get out there and do it; money cannot be an obstacle. Passion is absolutely your greatest asset, not money. If you have passion, it can be contagious and catch on with other people who might share your passion and your vision, but money cannot be an obstacle.

Also, when you’re a true closet entrepreneur, you’re never not working. When you’re at your day job and come home, you’re immediately on your night job – on the computer, calling people, meeting up.

Aaron Paul on Empowering the Individual and Helping the World Community

We really feel that through globalization and the internet, this is the first time in human history where the individual has the power to get their voice out and have their ideas heard, and as a tool myzoox is great. Most people find that the limiting factor on their life is finances, so we wanted to create a site that not only let’s people share ideas and knowledge, but also empowers individuals to get out of the financial limitations on their life.

We also feel that we’re very blessed to be in a country where people have the ability to empower themselves in this way, so if we’re going to do something that will help people empower themselves, then we also want to do something that can help people assist others. That’s why we’re committed to pledging at least 10% of our yearly gross revenue to a philanthropic organization, and this year we have decided to give to the ONE campaign which is doing a lot of work to fight global poverty and AIDS. We want people to know that this is something we believe in as a worthy cause, and we want people to get behind the site since it is more than just a corporate thing – we feel it’s a movement. We want the site to be a movement and we want to revolutionize the way individuals think about themselves and the value they provide to the world.

-Aaron Paul
Chief Marketing Officer of

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