Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Brian Raney

No. 1 mistake: Lack of focus

Innovation series by Meliza Solan Surdi
January 17, 2011
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Our community is made up of trend-setting entrepreneurs, who deserve to be recognized.

We've recently created new profiles, specifically for innovators to express themselves by sharing their interests, lessons learned, as well as bits and pieces of their roller-coaster journey.

So if you are an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or even an aspiring entreprenener, we'd like to hear your story.

Today's Entrepreneur is Brian Raney, from Lexington, KY, and founder of Awesome Inc. and Apax Software.

Out of the three biggest lessons the 29-year old entrepreneur has learned, two of them emphasize the importance of having the right team. "As soon as I was able to train up 20 solid employees at Apax Software, I was able to focus on the bigger picture," he said. "I like to use sports analogies. So for example, if I was playing in a basketball tournament and my teamates were Michael Jordan, Shaq, Kobe Bryant, and myself, I would not have to worry about playing every position in the game. I would totally trust my team. This relates to building a business. You have to have the right employees." 

Raney would know about growing a team when it comes to business as well as sports because during his free time he coaches a soccer team of 11-year-old boys, where he emphasizes growing together as a team.

Being a serial entrepreneur keeps him extremely busy, but at the end of the day, it's all about giving back. 

Here's more from Raney, based on his Vator profile:

I am: an Entrepreneur

Name companies you've founded or co-founded:, APAX Software, Awesome Inc

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to change the world.

List your favorite startups:


What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Just like anything else, the most frustrating thing to me about entrepreneurship is losing / failing. It can be a major blow to your confidence when someone passes you or beats you in a sale, contest, or other competition. The most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur is seeing someone use your product and knowing that if it wasn't for you, the product wouldn't have been created. I remember starting my first business ( to help students buy/sell textbooks directly to each other. The first semester I launched it I was blown away and became addicted to the feeling of having customers use my service.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Lack of focus

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1. Fire fast
2. The team with the most best players wins (it's less about the idea, more about the team)
3. Don't hesitate. Develop a quick short term plan and then start acting. Take some time to think long term occasionally, but spend most of your time executing / acting on your short term plan.

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Awesome Inc
Description: Awesome Inc is a seed stage startup accelerator program in Lexington, KY. We offer a 3 month program, up to $20k in funding, access to 60...
Apax Software
Description: We are a Lexington, KY-based software development that specializes in designing custom web based and mobile application solutions. You kn...
Bio: CEO at APAX Software. Founder at Awesome Inc. MS in Economics, BS in Computer Science from University of KY. I also coach socce...

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