My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

An entrepreneur learns coming back as CEO requires thinking about business in a new way.
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Don't say "You can't go home again" to Brett Shockley, co-founder of Minneapolis-based Spanlink Communications, whose early product, Webcall, let online shoppers click an icon to connect to a call center-a novel idea back in 1995. In 2000, Cisco Systems took a minority interest in the company, and Shockley, 46, got an offer he couldn't refuse: to become vice president and general manager of Cisco's customer contact business unit.

In January 2002, however, Shockley returned to Spanlink as CEO. Time away gave him confidence to make tough decisions, such as trimming Spanlink's staff, which had grown 60 percent in his absence.

The second time around required a new mind-set. "It was about building the company in a whole new direction," he says. Last year, Spanlink nearly doubled its number of employees and boasted sales over $40 million. Says Shockley, "I'm just focused on growing the business as fast as we possibly can."

More from Entrepreneur

Brittney's a Certified Financial Planner who can help you manage your business and personal finances and navigate the ups and downs of starting a business.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur