BGBS 011: Aaron Houghton | iContact | What Will It Cost You to Be Successful?

BGBS 011: Aaron Houghton | iContact | What Will It Cost You to Be Successful?
August 16, 2021

BGBS Episode 011: What Will It Cost You to Be Successful?

In the late 1990s, Aaron Houghton was one of those kids who had an interest in computers and a new phenomenon known as the World Wide Web. When he was 17 years old, he turned his solution for emailing bed-and-breakfast guests into a $180-million-dollar email marketing powerhouse. Eventually, Aaron sold his company, iContact. Despite such success and being at the top of his career, Aaron’s world came crashing down. He discovered the importance of self care and not losing sight of what’s really important. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves and loved ones, then we won’t be around to share our successes. So, Aaron started to question what made him truly happy. What makes you happy? Make your own list!

You’ll Learn…

  • Aaron’s entrepreneurial spirit comes from desire to explore and be adventurous
  • Learn to communicate the value of what you do
  • Lack of confidence caused Aaron to consider himself less competent than others
  • Aaron created a solution that people were willing to pay for to solve a problem
  • Don’t scale bad problems, but scale brand names
  • What is the economic engine that can grow your business?
  • Keep feeding the beast and maintain cash efficiency
  • Running a business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, it’s a lot of hard work
  • Improve skills to avoid feeling intimidated, insignificant, and overwhelmed
  • Solution to being stressed out was to work harder and do everything at once
  • Metastatic thyroid cancer diagnosis forced Aaron to take time off/work less
  • Focus on the right priority and gain perspective – nothing else matters
  • Aaron made tons of money, but decided to keep working and became stressed out, again; stress comes with rewards and is addictive
  • Aaron blamed his business for his stress; turns out that traits and characteristics he adopted didn’t go away – takes time to break bad habits
  • What it costs to be successful: Time, physical health, mental health, and money
  • What makes Aaron happy? Simple things that he hadn’t done for years – “I’m happy to be the new me!”


Aaron Houghton’s Website

Aaron Houghton on Twitter




Vocus Communications

Dot-com bubble

Telecommunications Act of 1996


Good to Great


Quotes from Aaron Houghton:

“My dad must have planted a seed in my head at some point that this might be a better way to make money than mowing lawns.”

“I don’t think I had the confidence to think that I could…out solve everybody else.”

“I just felt like the wheels were falling off this thing. It wasn’t the business…it was me. I was just so in over my head.”

“Like a lot of entrepreneurs, when I felt the stress coming on, my solution was to work harder.”

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