Peter Shankman, the founder of HARO (Help A Reporter Out), is also an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector known for creative marketing and public relations strategies. Peter currently runs ShankMinds, a worldwide Business MasterMind Series, Co-owns Shankman|Honig, a Customer Service consultancy, and is the co-host of The Mistake Podcast. I recently caught up with Peter to hear about his new mastermind series and his entrepreneurial journey.


What is the real value and benefit of joining or participating in a mastermind?

“Everyone, but especially entrepreneurs and small-business owners need to bust out of their “usual” once in a while. Think about it – if you’re an entrepreneur, or if you own a business, who do you talk to? Not your employees, heck, even your partner or spouse doesn’t get what you’re going through, unless they’re doing the same thing. A mastermind designed for exactly these types of people is a great way to get advice, unload your issues, learn from others in your “world,” and best of all, realize you’re not the only one who has the same fears. When I attended my first entrepreneur mastermind several years ago, I actually cried when I realized I was sitting at a table with six other people who had the same fears, goals, expectations, and problems that I did as an entrepreneur. It was life-changing for me. That’s when I knew I had to do this for others in the same place.”


What challenges do you see most entrepreneurs encounter when building a business?

“How do you know who to trust? How do you know that if you hire someone, they have your best interest top of mind, and not just theirs? These are the kinds of questions you rarely get answered, and you run your business without the guidelines you need. I’ve done it. We all have. Masterminds can help relieve the majority of those issues – you’re asking questions of people who’ve been there, or are currently there. That’s how the magic happens, and that’s how you grow your business.”


What do you consider your biggest entrepreneurial success and why?

“When I launched HARO, (a platform that connects reporters with sources) I did it to help a few friends. A few years later, I learned that doing things out of kindness can pay off big-time. :)”


How has HARO changed the way businesses get exposed to media?

“When HARO launched, it was the first time that anyone, any company, any business could get the same media leads as the “big companies” who could afford to pay for it. Even after selling it four years ago, I’m thrilled every day that over a quarter-million people get media leads from HARO, every single business day.”


What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a company?

“1) Trust your gut over everything else.

2) Hire people who do the crap you’re not good. Hire people in those areas who are better than you. (accountants, etc.)

3) If you don’t have haters, you’re not doing enough to change the status quo.” (Click to Tweet!) 


If you could tell your 20-year-old self something what would it be?

“Don’t wait until 30 to start running/working out, and you have something that in a few years will be called “ADHD,” but you’re using it to your advantage and always will, so don’t worry.”


Peter will be leading a ShankMinds: Small Business Masterminds for entrepreneurs in Denver on Feb. 19. Limited spots are available! Sign up here.