How Jun Loayza’s Laser-Like Focus Could Lead To A Multi-Million Dollar Exit

by Tim Jahn on August 3, 2010

Jun Loayza recently quit his corporate job to pursue his startup full time.  A familiar story in these parts.  But Jun’s different than most of us in that he’s insanely focused on what matters to him.

He doesn’t believe in multi-tasking but instead prefers to stay devoted to his personal and professional goals.  Right now, he’s looking to get his company a successful exit in the next 3 to 5 years.  But Jun’s not just doing it for the money – he wants to simply accomplish it.

I chatted with Jun about his background as a creative entrepreneur and how his focus allows him to accomplish great things.

Transcript

Jun Loayza:
I am Jun Loayza and I’m the chief marketing officer of Viralogy Inc.

Viralogy was started in the end of 2008 and it was supposed to be a social media rank where we rank the top influencers online based on their blog.  You could find the top fashion blogger or the top personal finance blogger all ranked.

It was difficult for us to find a business model with that because I think at the time, agencies hadn’t yet caught up to the fact that, hey maybe we could sponsor bloggers or maybe we can do this.  So we actually came out around the same time as Klout and Klout is actually doing really well now because they were able to find VC funding.

In 2009, it was – I would call it the darker years.

Tim Jahn:
For you personally or for your company?

Jun Loayza:
I think for both because a lot of the team went their own way in a sense.  Eventually we found our way back to each other.  We couldn’t really find a business model, there wasn’t funding at the time, and also at the time, my mom lost her job, was laid off, so then I had to go get a full time job to help pay the mortgage.

And hence, I found myself in an agency called Social Media Marketing, which I worked for for a year and now I recently left last month to go again full time with Viralogy.

And so for the past year, I’ve been building an agency full time and getting paid a good salary, which was really good for me.  I paid off my student loans, I have some savings.  And then at the same time, trying to find a tangible business model with Viralogy.

We seem to have found it now as a personalization engine for ecommerce stores and helping them increase their revenue by understanding who’s on their store, and having them either Facebook Connect or through some other social driven metric and showing them products that they’re most likely to purchase.

We just launched last month, hence I was able to leave my agency.  We have paying clients and now we’re looking to raise 350K in the next 30 to 60 days, which is looking pretty promising.

Tim Jahn:
I was reading your recent blog post about that, about how you moved from the agency and you’re going to be working full time on Viralogy now.  Something caught my eye – you said that you can now follow your heart and not the money.

You had the two decisions where you could make a ton of money and stay at the agency or go follow your heart and do this Viralogy for, I would imagine, a little bit less money.  But then the sentence after that, you said that now your one goal for the company is to get a successful exit with a startup.

And to me, that totally contradicted, because from what I understand a successful exit is all about the money.  Could you explain what you meant when you said that?

Jun Loayza:
Yeah, when you have a successful exit, usually you have, hopefully, a multi-million dollar exit, which is excellent and it’s something I definitely want.  But more than that, I do want to have the satisfaction of being able to have that successful exit.  And I don’t know whether it’s pride or just understanding that I’ve hit a certain milestone in my life, where very few people in this world can build a startup and have a successful multi-million dollar exit.

And that’s something I want to accomplish with my team.  And just hitting that point – even if I don’t make – let’s say we sell for $20 million and I only wind up making like $5 million of that, because investors and the team has to make that as well.  Just having that successful exit makes it so much easier to build another startup or raise another round of funding for a future startup.

Or having the credibility to actually now build a startup that I, maybe on my own, or with the same team, and something that I really really absolutely love.  Because now I have the credibility in terms of investors saying hey, this guy has an exit, I feel confident in funding him.

I have the experience then, so other people feel like oh, this guy has experience.  I will join his team because he will most likely exit again.  So it’s part pride, part reaching a certain milestone in my life and having that satisfaction, and of course having the successful exit with a multi million dollar exit wouldn’t be so bad.

Tim Jahn:
Yeah, your focus seems just laser, laser accurate here.  Like you really – you know, I was reading your blog post about it and you have it all laid out, you have it all in writing, which I guess probably helps you stick to it, when you have it publicly accountable.

How does that focus drive you?  Is that what drives you, that focus?  I mean, you have no doubt that you’re going to accomplish that in 5 years because of this focus?

Jun Loayza:
Man, I hope so!  I don’t know.  You know, a lot of people ask, how did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur or why did you decide to leave your corporate job and all these things.

I think every person has to, like Gary Vaynerchuk says, be honest with their DNA.   And myself – I love to be creative in a sense, and have that satisfaction of building a product or building something, and seeing other people use it and benefit from it.

It’s kind of egotistical but the ability to say, I built that, or we built that, the team and I.  And then also with, in a corporate setting, I don’t really do well with taking orders.  This is a little bit in the lower level, but yeah, I don’t do well with taking orders or getting told what to do.  That’s just not my personality type, so that’s just how I work best.

Tim Jahn:
The part about you that fascinates me is your absolute focus, it seems.  I mean, you seem like such a focused individual and I imagine it extends beyond just business.  I’m just curious, where does that focus come from?

Was there a point in your life where you were really sporadic and just kind of not sure what you wanted to do and one day it all hit you and then you focused in and haven’t looked back, or have you always been like that?

Jun Loayza:
I can be pretty sporadic in terms of my emotions.  In terms of this particular business, I am now really focused because I’ve stepped away from my agency.  I’ve also stepped aside from Untemplater and now Monica and Norcross are pretty much running that, allowing me to focus now on what I have to focus on.

I used to be of the philosophy that an entrepreneur can do multiple projects at once.  I’ve switched now and I really, truly believe that it has to be focused on one project, in order to have that laser like focus.

As far as my personal life, I focus on only one girl, my girlfriend.  If she’s watching this, I love you.  [laughs]  I don’t know if she watches my videos, sometimes she does.

And the way I work – actually, you’re right, it’s pretty unique, that way I work.  If you compare me to my CEO Yu-kai, I work in a way where I have a list – I don’t know where my list is – but I have a list of things to do, and then I will completely focus on one project at a time and not multi-task until I’m done with it.

And Yu-kai is a little bit different because he works on several things at once and he has the ability to do that, so we’re a little bit different in that sense.

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  • Newbrandmedia

    When people refer to a “corporate job,” they usually mean a job where the employer is a business enterprise with a multi-tier management structure . The typical employee in a “corporate job” reports to a manager, who in turn reports to his manager, who reports to his manager