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Meet Ken Conklin of Gravel to Castle Accelerator in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ken Conklin.

Ken, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I moved to San Diego after deciding to leave Hawaii and get back to living on the mainland. I had recently started an online marketing business after leaving my job as the Marketing Director of a major student housing company (which I remember like it was yesterday).

It was a random Friday when I literally ran home, packed a few bags, and booked a one-way ticket to live the “tropical life.” But as I said, I was ready to switch things up again. I was ready to get back to living a fast-paced life. I could only handle going around the island on my moped so many times…

When I first moved to San Diego, I didn’t know anyone. I was just getting my business off the ground, so I figured that networking would be the best use of my time. And let me tell you, it did so much for me.

People underestimate the power of meeting the right people at the right place and time. Ranging from extremely powerful individuals (who may then become my clients) to those who were incredibly well-connected and could introduce me to the people I really wanted to meet, living in San Diego has done so much for me.

I currently get asked to speak at a number of events each month (some in San Diego, some throughout California), and my business has really taken off since first moving to this beautiful city.

For anyone who is looking to see growth in their life business, I would highly recommend you put yourself out there and just give the “networking life” a shot.

Whether it be going to local meet-ups or simply a little get-together that your buddy invites you to, you never know who you are going to meet. Just one introduction could be the one thing that you’ve been looking for all this time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Business (and life) can be very difficult at times, especially if you are letting fear get in the way of what you really want most. Before I started speaking on stages, I was incredibly scared to do anything along those lines. It wasn’t until I started attending local Toastmasters events that I started to get comfortable speaking in front of others.

If you know that there is something that you need to do in order to get to where you want to go, but you are afraid of doing it, just do it. The fastest way to get what you want is to head straight towards it, and if there is an obstacle in the way then you just have to overcome it. It’s as simple as that.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gravel to Castle Accelerator – what should we know?
Gravel to Castle Accelerator helps entrepreneurs turn their hustle into well-oiled marketing machines. We have a training program that we sell to entrepreneurs to educate them on the latest marketing and brand positioning strategies, and we have an agency model side of the business that offers done-for-you marketing services.

What separates us from other marketing businesses is that we are more focused on serving others than we are on making a sale. I’ve noticed that a lot of marketing businesses ask themselves, “How can we onboard a few new clients this week?” instead of “Who can we bring tremendous value to and build a longterm relationship with?”

I believe business is about building trust and offering tremendous amounts of value upfront. While we still have a long ways to go before we’ve hit the levels of success that we are looking to hit, we have discovered after working with clients in over twenty different industries that the statement above is very true. Live by that philosophy, and I believe you’ll be on the right track for sure.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Integrity, perseverance, and a true desire to help others is extremely crucial to achieve success in anything. Without those three qualities, nothing worth having will ever come to you. I’ve seen many businesses succeed and many businesses fail, and it’s the ones who have those characteristics that stay around for the long run.

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