Monday, November 18, 2013

Entrepreneur Profile - Matt Cheuvront from Proof

Today's profile is of Matt Cheuvront from Proof.  You can follow him on twitter at @mattchevy.  His website is  Thank you, Matt!!

1. Please provide a 2 sentence biography for yourself and/or mission statement.

Matt Cheuvront is the founder of Proof - a full service branding house based in Nashville, TN. A self-made entrepreneur, writer, thinker, and craft-beer-drinker, Matt has helped countless brands companies, organizations, and individuals build their brands and effectively tell their stories.

2. Describe your business and why you started it.  What is it that differentiates your business model from others?

Proof is a full-service branding firm. This means that while we do creative and strategic work including logo/identity design, website design and development, print design, video production, and marketing strategy - we do all of these things through the lens of branding, ensuring we have a solid understanding of every brand we work with, and providing clarity and positioning for each and every client we partner with. Our distinction is both our commitment to a holistic branding process, and in the clients we work with - folks who are doing meaningful work. As we call them: Purposeful, passionate brands.

3. What is one example of success you have experienced in your business and what characteristic helped you achieve it?

The success of Proof lies in remaining deliberately focused on our WHY. We are intentional about what we say “yes” to - and more importantly, when we choose to say “no”. Growing WELL in favor of growing FAST has led us to do more meaningful, quality work. It certainly isn’t the quickest path to fame and fortune, but it is, without a doubt, the clear path toward personal and professional fulfillment.

4. Which entrepreneur inspires you and why?  What industry do they work in and what accomplishment is unique to them?

That’s a great question. I certainly can’t point to just one - but I do look up to other branding shops like Matchstic, Foundry, and Grain & Mortar. What stands out about these companies is, again, their commitment to the craft. They’ve grown well and remained intentional about the work they do and clients they take on. They present themselves very well, and just as we strive for, they’re focused on creating an overall experience for each client - moving away from the standard, traditional “transactional” model of a formal agency.

5. What is one development you foresee in your industry in the next 10 years?

I think people will start to “get it” - and by that I mean, more and more folks are starting to understand and appreciate the value of overall BRANDING - how all the pieces come together (logo, web, print, etc.) - and are accepting to firms who take that more holistic approach, as opposed to cherry-picking services. We’ve gone through the period of style trumping substance - but now we’re really moving into a more intentional space where substance is paramount. Simple design with bold, effective, engaging copy - that’s one example of the way I believe we’re moving. In short, the public is getting wiser - and with education as to any product or service at their fingertips ala the good old fashioned information superhighway, it’s that much more important that we’re getting wiser with them.

6. What trait is most important to succeeding in entrepreneurship?
Show up. Every single day. Entrepreneurs see opportunity when others see obstacle. The most important thing you can do as a business-owner is to keep showing up. Even when it’s incredibly challenging - and when it might be easier to take the easier, more complacent route - keep showing up. Bring your “A” game and keep trying - tinkering - experimenting - asking - and hustling. The most successful entrepreneurs are doing what they love, which inspires them to show up every single day.

7.  What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering starting a business?
Do it. Seriously. I know that sounds lame but if you WANT to start a business, the only thing you have left to do is to actually do it. ACTION is the only thing that separates dreamers from doers. In a more tangible sense, write down, tangibly, what you need to get there. What kind of support do you need? Where do you need to be financially? What staffing will you need to get started? Can you get started on developing a product? Define where you want to go (and pick a goal date to be there) - and then clearly articulate all the steps it will take to get there. Pick one, and get to work. Take things one at a time and just start moving!

8. What if your favorite book on entrepreneurship and one lesson you learned?

Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is a huge inspiration to me. In everything we do, we always - ALWAYS - seek to start with why - understanding every brand’s story and building from there is the essence of what we do. Others that have recently inspired me and/or I’m currently reading: Steal Like an Artist, Rework, Designing Brand Identity, and Die Empty. All excellent.

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