By Claire Salinas
“Success takes knowing that you will make more mistakes then you do things right. But you need to learn from your mistakes and make sure you don’t make them again.”
Paul Dietzel is a Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus who generated his business idea while working on several political campaigns. Dietzel, who recently completed a campaign of his own, noticed candidates spending exorbitant amounts of money to pay for the platforms used to raise campaign money, so he came up with a solution
“What I wanted to do,” he said, “was make a software that was simple, inexpensive and easy for anyone to use.”
Although there were a myriad of fundraising companies around at the time, many of them were either too expensive or too difficult to use, and, according to Dietzel, did not have their customer’s best interest in mind. So he created Anedot, a software service for raising money that won’t break the bank.
“You’ve got a lot of organizations out there that are charging nonprofits and political campaigns so much money to use their platform to raise money,” Dietzel said. “In my opinion they’re taking advantage of them. There are some that may have more features but are very complicated to use. We focus on the features customers need and make them great.
That’s why our customers love us, because Anedot is so intuitive and easy to use.”
Anedot serves a diverse set of clientele across many fields, according to Dietzel, in public, private, and non-profit sectors.
“We have governors, senators, congressmen and corporations that use our service,” he said. “We also serve churches, universities and alumni associations as part of our client base.”
With Anedot, Dietzel feels like he has put the time and energy into developing his business idea into something people can benefit from. It’s quick, cost efficient, and, unsurprisingly, it’s developed ample support from users.
“You can sign up within 60 seconds and start accepting donations to your website or mobile platform,” he said. “All of our advertising is word of mouth, our customers love our software, and they spread the word about us.”
Going into business on his own wasn’t an easy decision, which is why Dietzel’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to remember: “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to take risks, lose everything and push forward even if people tell you you’re crazy.”
He’s is no stranger to risk. At just 28 years old, he recently ran for Congress, finishing third in Louisiana’s sixth district race, behind Garret Graves and Edwin Edwards. Rather than dwelling on the loss, he’s focused on what he learned and how to apply those lessons moving forward.
“Now that I’m a former congressional candidate, I understand the day to day operations of running a campaign,” he said. “I raised more than $500,000 by myself, and I now know what needs to be improved, moved and added. We’re having meetings with the team and pushing forward to the future.”
Dietzel said in addition to having a willingness to take on risk, being successful as an entrepreneur also requires constant learning.
“I think one of the best things to do as an entrepreneur is to go out and know your subject matter,” he said. “When I started Anedot I studied the banking industry and electronic transactions. This gives me one more dimension of understanding that can help us grow the company.”
He also believes it’s important for entrepreneurs to be able to get up and dust themselves off after they make mistakes.
“Success takes knowing that you will make more mistakes then you do things right,” he said. “But you need to learn from your mistakes and make sure you don’t make them again.”