How we Work Play Buy and Sell with Jon Ferrara

In This Episode

Scroll down for the detailed show notes and links to resources

Want to continue the conversation?

Join The Authentic Accountant Podcast Facebook Group

What it was like

Jon Ferrara joined us on a hot 114 degree Friday and he STILL found the silver lining – no humidity.

You can’t change the world around you, but you can change the way you look at it! – In the first 3 minutes Jon gives us a GREAT takeaway.

Jon grew up in “gifted” classes but didn’t fit in.

He was placed in a program where they teach children more like college students.

It empowered Jon to seek out his own destiny – he credits the teachers he had. One of them was a Holocaust survivor who really inspired him.

Life just didn’t happen to Jon. He showed us a photo of himself as a kid. He either looked like Eddie Van Halen or Jesus. We differed in opinions.

This was when Jon was 18. He was bright, but not your typical academic headed for college and a career.

This was 1978.

He cut his hair off and bought an Apple 2E.

Cost was $3,600.

Had 16K Ram and cassette drive.

9” screen

And no software for it.

Jon was basically a geek.

Went to pierce community college.

Worked at a computer store.

Learned everything he could about software for businesses.

Jon sold the first 300,000 computers to So Cal Corporations.

This is how he learned how technology resellers sell.

He learned how corps buy, and he made $70K per year part time while going to college!

Jon did not want to be a salesman.

He wanted to be an astronaut.

Wound up getting a computer science degree.

Jon took a job next with Hughes Technology – he learned how technology companies put computers to use in corporations.

Jon figured out how to connect the systems to build computers from several different locations.

The moral of the story is even a job that you’re doing that you think sucks, like where jon was struggling to manage his contacts in these different locations..

If Jon didn’t have all of these experiences, he never would have invented Goldmine to solve his own problems.

Jon designed the concept of Goldmine, and his roomate wrote the code, while Jon built the boxes. It was too much work to get it sold on his own.

The answer was to find a way to get it into the hands of people who work with the people who are going to use your product.

He got Novell resellers to use it, and they started to resell it.

Goldmine was started with $5,000. By the time they sold it, they were making about $100 million a year.

Jon’s Dad inspired the name “Goldmine.”

Email and calendar weren’t connected to the sales process. Jon invented CRM, contact management, and sales and marketing automation.

Goldmine was sold in 1999.

What happened

After selling Goldmine, jon started working out and taking care of his health.

One summer while vacationing and working out he was feeling weak. A doctor in Turkey thought he had strep throat. A doctor back in the states confirmed, but then it seemed something else was going on.

The doctor said maybe it was something else.

At this point Jon took matters into his own hands and saw an ENT specialist who said Jon needed to get an MRI.

It was serious. They needed to take a biopsy.

It was cancer – an aggressive form.

Tip – You need to take ownership of your own health and be your own advocate.

He talked to experts at many places before doing anything.

UCLA had a procedure and they cured it.

When you come close to dying, you evaluate life.

Jon used both western and eastern medicine, and this included spiritual growth.

Through this process Jon learned a new philosophy on life:

That we are on this planet to grow our souls by helping other people grow theirs.

All you leave on this planet are the vibrations of the moments you’ve been connected to another human being.

Our purpose is to be present and aware enough to listen and learn to find ways to give value.

Mine and Jon’s relationship is not about QuickBooks or Nimble. It’s adding value to each other. We teach and learn from each other.

Around 2006 when Jon started using social media and he saw the writing on the wall. That social media was going to change how we work, play, buy, and sell.

Jon was managing all of these conversations in all of these different places, and none of them were connected to “contacts.”

There were no contact managers that integrated social.

Contact management was broken.

Email, contact, and calendar were all separate with no history of interactions. There was no easy way to see the history of your interaction with an individual while you were talking to them.

CRM = Customer Relation Management.

It SHOULD be Customer Reporting Management

We have applications for different departments – CRM, Accounting, Marketing, Customer Service, Social Media.

Everyone in these departments has their own contact database.

Jon saw an opportunity to unify this.

That was Nimble.

When Nimble was started people didn’t understand how these social networks were or could be used.

They thought…

Facebook was a great place to hook up with a High School Sweetheart

Linkedin was a place to get a job.

Twitter was a place where a bunch of propeller heads told each other when they were going to the bathroom.

Nowadays I use Zapier to gather client info from Airtable and create a new customer in QuickBooks Online, as well as create my contact in Nimble.

Once the client is in Nimble, I can see all of the correspondence whether it was between Erica and them or myself.

Next we want to look at how to get our product or service into the right hands.

Jon built Nimble the same way he built Goldmine.

When you bring up a record you have context.

Now we’re all on the same page.

It’s not just prospects we have to connect with.


  • Editors
  • Analysts
  • Bloggers
  • Influencers
  • 3rd Party Developers
  • Investors
  • Advisors
  • Prospects and
  • Customers

And THEIR influencers.

If you’re going to scale a business you need to identify the key influencers of your core constituency in and around the areas of your product.

How Jon got the nimble brand outside of his garage.

People didn’t know what social selling was.

He figured out who were the influencers in sales, marketing, and social media.

He shared their content in order to attract people who wanted to become better, faster, smarter at social sales and marketing, and he hashtagged #Sales #Marketing #Social.

This lead to conversations with the influencers and turned them into friends.

This strategy can be applied by ANYONE listening today.

And if you listened here – Jon said he never had to spend a dime on marketing. It was ALL organic, and based on building relationships.

The strategy of getting the product to market is perhaps the most valuable thing business owners can learn from this.

Your network is your net worth – your personal brand will help you achieve your goals in life, and your goal should be helping others.

If you manage your relationships with the intent to listen and learn how you can help others, you can create a “Goldmine.” Jon knows. He did it!

And when you do this, and genuinely help others… THAT’S Authentic (and of course we love that).

Next add storytelling as an ingredient. If you can do a good job of telling stories as the means by which you teach and help others, then nothing will stop you from achieving your goals.

If I tell you how to do something you’re going to forget about it, but if I tell you a story, you’ll remember.

Go into a room. Listen to a conversation. Learn about what they are discussing. Then you interject with helpful information that has to do with your area of expertise. Then people recognize that you know a lot about [fill in your niche] and THAT’s where you get the opportunity to tell them about what you do.

That’s a program of attraction, rather than promotion!

What it’s like today

Creating Nimble was not planned.

Remember Shawshank Redemption? Remember when he was crawling through the “shit pipe?” That’s what being an entrepreneur is.

Great musicians hear notes in their head.

It starts with a couple of notes, and then it evolves.

Same idea here.

Jon believes that we’re here to help people grow.

Goldmine was a layer on top of Novell.

Nimble was on top of Gmail / G Suite (which was the Novell of the era).

Nimble aligned with Google and went to market with them and their customers.

Microsoft then came knocking.

Jon believes that Office 365 has now eaten Gmail / G suite.

Now he’s partnering with Microsoft in some go to market strategies. People now buy Nimble from the same portal where they buy Microsoft Office 365.

Now he’s partnering with all kinds of other services.

Imagine getting a hosting company to partner with you as their “preferred accounting service?”

Listen to what Jon is describing in this part. Think about your version. How can you partner with companies who can put YOUR product or service in their portal to help you leverage traffic and drive it over to you?

Remember to think in terms of how you can add value to THEM!

The future of Nimble is that your whole team builds the context around a contact, because the more your team interacts with a contact, the more you build context for that contact.

Nimble Promo Code:


40% off for the first three months!


Share this post
EmailFacebookFacebook MessengerTwitterPinterestLinkedInShare

Show Sponsor
  • Billbeez – Finance Made Simple

  • Sponsor an Episode!

Add new comment