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Entrepreneur: Web developer has 'passion for helping others grow'

"I'm a big believer that technology plus good design driven by smart strategy is one of the world's best tools for positive change." - Nate Nordstrom, founder and CEO of BrandHoot

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Nate Nordstrom, owner of BrandHoot in Rochester.
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Nate Nordstrom, BrandHoot

14 Fourth St. SW, Suite 201, Rochester // brandhoot.com // (507) 301-6695

Describe your business?

Custom web and mobile solutions that blend strong strategy, design and development skills from start to launch and growth.

What's your title?

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Founder and CEO

What drove you to launch your own business?

Passion for helping others grow and doing things right. Quality and service matter a lot to me. That, and I'm a big believer that technology plus good design driven by smart strategy is one of the world's best tools for positive change.

How many hours do you typically work in a week?

60? 70? 80? Does waking up with a business idea count as working?

How many employees?

10

When did you start your business?

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During Christmas break 2011, but more officially January 2012

If you left another job to start this business, what was it?

Yes, a daily deal startup like Groupon. I was blessed to be the first employee at that company and able to participate in growth and leadership around the Midwest. Learned a ton.

Do you work elsewhere in addition to the time you put in at your business?

No, I'm all in.

What sacrifices did you make to launch this business and to keep it running?

A lot. Hobbies and exercise don't really happen. Exercising more is one of my 2018 goals. Young and healthy doesn't last without effort. TV? Don't have service and rarely watch movies — as in, less than 10 a year. Family time and personal time balance is hard too, but I'm thankful for a great wife and kids who help keep me on track. Faith and the principles found in the Bible are also super important to me — it's the foundation of my life.

What is the best thing about owning a business?

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Flexibility, employing others to support their family, and seeing big smiles from the businesses and nonprofits we're impacting.

What is the hardest thing about owning a business?

Time, priorities, and stress management. It's a relentless battle.

What's your hope for your business in the next year?

We're launching a big new product and might also be announcing a radical new model later this year.

What inspires you to keep doing it?

Doing what I'm passionate about, working with a great team, and seeing the very real impact we're having on our clients.

Knowing what you know now, would you do anything different?

Hmm, this is a tough one. Often the best way to learn is by doing, and that means, sometimes you mess up. I've learned a lot and look forward to learning a lot more in the years ahead.

There have been lots of little lessons along the way, but maybe the biggest thing I'd say is a quote from my dad when I was in high school and he was literally hand-building our unique new family home (he's an architect) "Son, if you wait for the perfect weather, you will never get started." -- it was supposed to rain that day, and I didn't want to join him on the construction site. Guess what? The rain never came and he got at least two more bedrooms framed up.

Maybe another lesson is to know yourself. You're gonna need a lot of stamina and clarity to stay alive as an entrepreneur, and keeping yourself fueled and properly focused is essential.

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Nate Nordstrom, Brandhoot founder, left, and Matthew Wingren, Brandhoot chief systems architect

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