SMALL BUSINESS/ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Start-up helps connect entrepreneurs to experts

 
 
Dan Martell
Dan Martell

More information

Name: Dan Martell

Job: Founder/CEO of Clarity, a service that connects entrepreneurs, who pay by the minute, to talk to experts over the phone

Age: 29

Birthplace: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada


Special to the Miami Herald

Dale Carnegie, the prolific American writer, once said “develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

Entrepreneur Dan Martell knows firsthand that Carnegie was right. As a young entrepreneur Martell, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, started several online business ventures that went nowhere.

“I started early,” said Martell, who created his first company when he was just a teenager. “I had a web hosting company and a few websites. They all failed, but I learned a lot and kept trying.”

Martell hit his stride in his early 20s thanks to the help of mentors and other successful entrepreneurs that gave him sound business advice. “I was a young kid growing up in Canada,” he said. “It’s not Silicon Valley, so access to people who can give you solid advice on how to grow your online business is pretty limited.”

So Martell moved to California to get closer to the action. Working with other successful online entrepreneurs he met in Silicon Valley, Martell founded a series of successful startups that were ultimately acquired by larger companies.

“I created a startup called Flow Town, which helped entrepreneurs market their businesses,” said Martell. “In 2011, I sold the company to Demandforce.”

Martell did not rest on his laurels, however. For his next startup venture, he created Clarity, a service that connects entrepreneurs with over 20,000 industry experts from around the world including venture capitalists, marketing professionals and social media savvy public relations people. The concept is simple – anyone in the world can set up a phone call with experienced Clarity experts who charge by the minute for their time. Most experts charge $1 to $3 per minute.

“I created Clarity because when I was just starting out, I didn’t have business people around me that could provide that mentoring experience,” said Martell. “This service gives entrepreneurs access to experts who are New York Times best-selling authors, Ivy Leaguers and people who’ve run multimillion dollar companies.”

The caliber of experts an entrepreneur can connect with on Clarity runs the gamut. Interested in talking to Mark Cuban? Yes, that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. At $166.67 per minute, a quick chat with Cuban will set you back a pretty penny. A call with Miami-based experts like Matthew Levy and Carl Garofalo, however, is a bit more economical. Levy, a business coach and CEO of Results Management Group, charges $5.57 per minute for his time. By comparison, Garofalo, who specializes in teaching businesses how to barter, charges $1.67 per minute.

Each expert listed on Clarity has a detailed profile indicating what subject matters they are most knowledgeable about. For example, Ryan Colby, a domain name broker and e-commerce acquisitions expert, has sold more than $12 million worth of domain names. He owns several domains valued at over $500K including Jerusalem.com. A session with Colby will cost $7.08 per minute.

According to founder Martell, Clarity generates revenue by taking 15 percent of each call that is made through the service.

Entrepreneurs can also post reviews of the expert they worked with. Generally, reviews for most experts are positive. Experts like Atlanta-based Jordan Hayles, who counsels entrepreneurs in public speaking, have several positive reviews posted by people they’ve worked with through Clarity.

“Reviews help entrepreneurs figure out what others had to say about working with a particular expert,” said Martell.

So if you’re an entrepreneur interested in Clarity, what’s your best course of action? First, log on to www.clarity.fm and register for free. You must register to get access to the profiles of experts. Then, search for the type of expert you want. When you’ve found one, it’s easy to schedule a call using a link on their profile.

“Once you’ve registered, you get direct access to that expert,” said Martell. “You arrange the date and time of the call and you decide how you want to work with a particular expert. It’s a very empowering experience.” He says that in the past 16 months, Clarity was used to connect over 30,000 entrepreneurs to expert advice.

To find out if Clarity can benefit you, log on to http://clarity.fm.

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