Shay Berman Applied His Experiences at ComArtSci and From His Childhood Business to Become the Founder and CEO of Digital Resource
Starting a company at the age of 13 is not a feat everyone can say they have accomplished -- but Shay Berman, MSU advertising alumnus, has done this and more.
The founder of Digital Resource and a startup landscape construction company he has since sold, Berman is a veteran in running successful businesses. He uses Youtube to connect with the company’s 500+ clients. His company has over 50 full-time employees. He wakes up before dawn and doesn’t stop grinding until well after dusk. Berman is the definition of a hardworking man.
Mowing the Green for Some Green
While the CEO of Digital Resource started the digital marketing agency after graduating, Berman has always been an entrepreneur. Selling school supplies inspired him to dip his toes into the business realm. With continued success came new innovation as Berman transformed his lawn startup into a full-scale landscape construction company at the age of 13. His desire to grow and build himself up allowed him to completely define himself as an individual and professional.
“I’ve never actually had a real job. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid selling gum and mechanical pencils, to starting my landscape construction company at 13 years old and selling it at 21. Just starting a company from scratch and figuring it out on my own is what I was used to,” said Berman.
Berman explored what it meant to be an entrepreneur at Michigan State and ComArtSci. While at the college, Berman studied advertising and digital marketing. The concepts he learned in the classroom mirrored his experiences with his landscaping company. The professors and courses empowered him to dive into marketing and start his own agency versus joining an existing one as an associate. He felt he understood marketing not just from an academic standpoint, but from applying what he learned to his business as well.
A new media driver’s license seminar course, in particular, gave direction to his entrepreneurial path. The online course met twice a semester and contained around 500 students. In it, the students competed for glory by offering up digital marketing solutions for notable companies. Berman won the competition by drafting a digital marketing strategy for Apple.
After graduation, Berman set out for Florida — ready to build his own marketing agency.
Digital Beginnings for Digital Resource
Berman built the foundation for Digital Resource out of determination and a will to succeed.
Upon arriving in Florida, Berman attempted door-to-door sales. While he did well in the position, he knew he wanted to venture into digital marketing. Digital Resource, in fact, started as a side project he completely ran from the cushions of his couch.
He hired a part-time employee. He started using those acquired skills to grow. He realized that maybe this idea could be something great. That’s when he hired on that part-time employee as a full-time associate and dove headfirst into Digital Resource.
To truly expand on his vision for the company, he knew he had to find his strengths and fill in any gaps with talented and hardworking individuals. Above all, he wanted Digital Resource to become a resource for people everywhere.
“I didn’t want something that could be put into a box, I wanted something general that could fit any business that wasn’t offputting to anyone. I don’t really like the whole hipster type creative firms that are out there, so I wanted it to be very modern,” said Berman. I also wanted something that represented everything that’s possible, knowing that digital marketing will change in the future. I didn’t want to be an SEO company or a social media company. I wanted to be a digital marketing company.”
Despite this initial worry, the company gained clients and employees at an almost exponential rate. The agency provides a multitude of services related to digital marketing that Berman said can be used by any company in need of additional support.
“Literally, we’ve grown over the last five years to 54 full-time team members and to over 500 clients nationwide. We’re growing faster than ever here in 2020, and we should keep growing faster and faster,” said Berman.
Berman now works to constantly improve and innovate within the space of Digital Resource and at home. Waking between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., his day begins by addressing any email concerns that popped up overnight and planning out his day. Berman then jumps into taking sales calls and filling his day with company meetings. These meetings don’t end until 8 p.m., and the CEO doesn’t stop working until after midnight.
However, the digital marketing guru still manages to find time for himself, taking select weekends out of the month to explore the world.
Reflecting and Advising for the Future
Having taught himself the ropes of building a company at a young age, while also honing communication skills at ComArtSci, Berman has gained a lot of experience and wisdom.
“I’ve learned that it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes will always be evaluating the decisions that you make. Always be willing to take a decision to move back to where you were before and go forward in a better way,” said Berman. “Always listen to your people. People are definitely your most important asset.”
Digital Resource has ambitious plans to continue its success and growth. Berman said he wants to take this company as high as he possibly can. He doesn’t see a limit to the things that Digital Resource can accomplish through hard work and dedication.
By John Castro