Christian Ries .Founder & CEO . Jonny On It . Dior Men

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“It’s easy to take a shortcut but if you constantly put your customer and their needs first then they become your spokesperson and champion. Offering continous value to our customers is what drives me.“

Christian Ries

Founder & CEO . Jonny On It : Dior Men
Cape Town, South Africa . Columbus State University .  Business Marketing . Passion City  

Who are your biggest influencers and mentors personally & professionally and explain why?

Kriss Cloninger, Former President of Aflac Inc. has been my mentor for the past 10 years. He’s taught me that it’s extremely important to give back, help others grow and if you need help, ask our Heavenly Father for divine wisdom and the courage to act upon it.     

My wife, Kirsty is also a major influencer for me.  She’s constantly pushing and encouraging me through the ebbs and flows of starting a business.  To watch her be a wife, mom and a professional all at once is remarkable.

3 things that we should know about you? I adore my wife. Kristy has been my anchor and rock and is the motivation behind me taking a leap of faith and starting Jonny On It.   My two boys, Daniel and Jude are young and enthusiastic.  I’m proud of their development and growth. I’m highly competitive. I played professional golf until an injury prevented me from pursuing my dream as a PGA Tour professional.

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What fuels your drive? Value.  We have to offer value to our customers.  I’ve noticed that for many companies, they are in it for a quick profit.  I believe that, at the end of the day, providing value to our customers will result in a profitable company.  It’s easy to take a shortcut but if you constantly put your customer and their needs first then they become your spokesperson and champion. Offering continous value to our customers is what drives me. 

What exciting project are you working on?
We put our MVP into the market and asked our clients for their honest feedback.  We listened, made the changes and tweaks, and launched the new Jonny On It mobile app which connects Realtors and Homeowners to the service industry, in real-time.  We will be driving this value to more customers in the fall and into 2019.  Exciting times at Jonny On It.

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What's been your most successful approach in building business relationships? My philosophy is always,What can I do for you?”  The major shift in building my business relationships started when I made the conscious decision to put others and their interests first.  Sure, we all have our own agenda but being cognizant of the fact that everyone is busy and customer’s don’t remember what you do as much as they remember how you made them feel. Be kind and help.

What are the lessons you've gained that profoundly shifted your direction in business? Being an entrepreneur is tough. You are responsible for everything and many people depend on you.  Having said that; there are times when you need help, having the humility and acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers, and asking for help is important. It’s pivotal to your success for long term sustainability.  You can’t do it alone. 

The other lesson I learned is that building your business can be lonely.  Surround yourself with people who can help the business grow, and more importantly, make sure that they’re nice and you truly like to hang out with them.

Favorite spots to frequent for business connections in Atlanta/National/International and why?
Biltong Bar in Ponce City Market.  I’m a South African and they have the most delicious jerky called “Biltong.” Atlanta Tech Village is a great place, high energy environment and everyone is always willing to help. Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West, South Africa.  The beautiful backdrop of vineyards in the mountains makes for a spectacular view.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?
My two boys, Daniel and Jude. 

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Interviewed by: Maryan Aiken. Publisher. Founder. CEO. CityBox Media . Listening to Spotify. It’s Enough. Lenny Kravitz. It’s Enough

The Dior Men are the trail blazers, the movers and shakers.  It's the perfect blend of entrepreneurs, business owners, and business professionals throughout Atlanta known for their business engagements, sense of style, community & philanthropic activities.

Every month CityBox Media celebrates and honor an exciting & dynamic group of Dior Men starting June through November 2018

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