Today's Entrepreneur: Tony Schmidt

David McGee · May 30, 2011 · Short URL:

No. 1 Mistake: Entering business for the wrong reasons

Tony Schmidt and Mayor GrayEntrepreneurs often choose the path of innovation, without realizing the kind of lifestyle that comes with it.  
They will often live unstable lives. But as they courageously take risks, they'll make several mistakes which become valuable lessons for the rest of us.

They have their ups and downs. But at the end of the day, these creative daredevils are the ones who are changing the world.

Within our community you will find a number of talented innovators.

This year, we created new profiles for our Vator members to share their story.

So if you are a first-time, serial, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.

Today's entrepreneur is Tony Schmidt, founder of,, and ManageYour.Org.

According to his VEQ (Vator's entrepreneur self-assessment test), Tony is a marketing manager, and is good at project development and product management.

Tony created software to help manage his community service organization during his undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky.  His solution quickly spreak to other colleges in the area.  A short year later he had started his first company: In the first year, the company grew to over 80 college campuses.  Meanwhile Tony was brought into what he says was, "[an] entirely new world".  That world that he'd never heard of was the world of entrepreneurship.

Tony had never taken a business class, but picked up the trade quickly.  He appeared in several pitch contests and quickly guided his business to profitability.  Winning 5 Across in Lexington put him on a path to Vator Spash, where he appeared in February 2011.  Since my success with APOonline he has released the popular software for all greek organizations at and all non-greek organizations at ManageYour.Org.  

You are a(n):


Name companies you've founded or co-founded:,, ManageYour.Org

Name startups you worked for:

Sfenity, APAX Software, Book Exchange

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

Excitement and adventure around every corner

List your favorite startups:


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

You have to love your idea, and I mean really love it with a passion to enter the entrepreneurial world because it can be brutal at times. But the if you truly love your idea, every small success becomes an Olympic gold medal. The excitement and adventure around every corner is unbelievable and to watch your scrap paper idea become a full-blown company is simply amazing.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Enter business for the wrong reasons. You have to be completely behind the cause of your company before you should ever think about entrepreneurship. Ask yourself, do you care enough about your company's services to work for it for an entire year without pay? If you answered yes, you're ready.

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

1) Take every opportunity you get, you never know what it may bring. 
2) Be flexible, very very flexible. You should be able to change the direction of company in a moments notice. 
3) Speak with passion and confidence.

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Joined Vator on is an online organization management solution for Greek fraternities and sororities but also works with any organization. Manage your membership, events, budget, meetings, and much more with!


Tony Schmidt

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