James Chittenden founded Triumph Business Communications which provides clients with a full range of public relations services. James was a Marine Corps officer before spending nearly a decade in business in securities and business banking. He is an experienced small business consultant and instructor. James graduated from Florida State University where he studied history and economics and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Boston University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Defense Information School in Ft. Meade, MD, where he studied journalism and public affairs.
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Table of Contents
Let’s start with a brief introduction first. Introduce yourself to our readers.
James Chittenden: I created One Click Advisor, which is for entrepreneurs what Expedia is for travelers.
Our audience is interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to become a CEO or was it something you were led to? Our readers would love to know your story!
James Chittenden: This business was born of a desire to solve problems encountered by owners of startups and small businesses. There is no one online location to find multiple solutions. The idea came to me while working as a business banker for one of the largest banks in the world. Helping business owners became more difficult when wrapped in corporate red tape.
“Selfmade” is a myth. We all received help, no doubt you love to show appreciation to those who supported you when the going got tough, who has been your most important professional inspiration?
James Chittenden: You know who you are. I am forever grateful and look forward to paying you back tenfold.
How did your journey lead you to become a CEO? What difficulties did you face along the way and what did you learn from them?
James Chittenden: The most substantial difficulty is gaining visibility on a crowded internet. The answer is the constant output of content that entrepreneurs need.
Tell us about your company. What does your business do and what are your responsibilities as a CEO?
James Chittenden: One Click Advisor helps you transition from employment to business ownership. We do that by connecting novice business owners with knowledge, tools, and the best providers of entrepreneurial help we can find.
What does CEO stand for? Beyond the dictionary definition, how would you define it?
James Chittenden: In the beginning, the CEO does it all! Later, the CEO is the top leader, responsible for all the business does or fails to do.
When you first became a CEO, how was it different from what you expected? What surprised you?
James Chittenden: The verbal support from friends, family, and associates rarely matches the sales, investment, or other commitment from them. Strangers, not friends become your customers.
There are many schools of thought as to what a CEO’s core roles and responsibilities are. Based on your experience, what are the main things a CEO should focus on? Explain and please share examples or stories to illustrate your vision.
James Chittenden: The CEO should combine big picture thinking with attention to detail. Why? The customers’ experience with your business is in the details. Your job is to remove pain from the life of a customer, not add to it with poor user experience. Examples are excessive reliance on automation to solve complex customer questions. Nobody likes phone menus that take them nowhere and fail to resolve a problem quickly. Nobody likes being required to remember a strong password they must use it every time they try to do business with you. Those are examples of details that make a customers’ experience painful. Companies that insist on such processes risk bad reviews and loss of customers.
How would you define success? Does it mean generating a certain amount of wealth, gaining a certain level of popularity, or helping a certain number of people?
James Chittenden: Any positive outcome that helps both your customer and you win meets the definition of success. Small victories add up to large victories.
Some leadership skills are innate while others can be learned. What leadership skills do you possess innately and what skills have you cultivated over the years as a CEO?
James Chittenden: Innately? Persistence and a tendency to fight back. Learned? I had to learn to not take things personally, whether rejections, setbacks or other adversity. Finding a silver lining and sometimes even humor in any situation helps turn problems into opportunities.
How did your role as a CEO help your business overcome challenges caused by the pandemic? Explain with practical examples.
James Chittenden: Millions of workers lost jobs as management laid them off as soon as they experienced coronavirus-related challenges. We used that to make an important point; that successful entrepreneurs aren’t dependent on a paycheck from someone else. Our message was successful, spiking traffic and business during those months of layoffs.
Do you have any advice for aspiring CEOs and future leaders? What advice would you give a CEO that is just starting out on their journey?
James Chittenden: Private triumph comes before the public triumph.
Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge with our readers! They would also like to know, what is one skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire but never really could?
James Chittenden: I would love to learn programming skills, but for now, I lean on a couple of trusted experts for that.
Before we finish things off, we have one final question for you. If you wrote a book about your life today, what would the title be?
James Chittenden: ‘You too can become a One Click Advisor’
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank James Chittenden for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with James Chittenden or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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