Behind every successful business is a person who faced every obstacle head-on and stayed determined enough to convert their vision into reality.
Building a sustainable business is not an easy feat; it requires years of patience, hard work, and consistency.
An entrepreneur wears many hats in their company; from being the CEO to keeping a 360-degree view of the company’s growth and work towards business intelligence for continuous success. They’re always working and evolving. Thus, 21st August is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship makes you aware of the beautiful reality of what you are capable to achieve and how it can positively impact your life. Thus, to draw inspiration, I reached out to a few entrepreneurs and asked them five simple questions.
Now, the beauty of this article lies in how you’ll find different and inspiring responses to the same five questions. Each entrepreneur has had a unique journey to reach where they are right now. So if you’re about to take a leap and build a business, this article can be that much-needed boost for you!
So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and look at what these entrepreneurs have to share with us!
I saw a major shift in search caused by Rankbrain’s introduction in 2016. Beyond keywords, search engines could now understand the meaning behind the words and measure user intent with quality signals to close the loop.
I realized how these changes could create major opportunities for content creators. My immediate thought was: How can we help content creators stay on top of a quickly evolving industry so that their target audiences can find their content, engage with it, and convert because of it? How do we help writers tie their efforts to ROI? In answering these questions, the idea for the INK company and our AI SEO software was born.
There was a clear need for a tool like INK, but nothing like it…yet. Our mission became helping content creators put their energy into content that performs: is found, is engaging, and converts! After we refined what worked, it was time to build the technology to help content creators win on the web. We went to work building the INK software and the revolutionary AI that powers it.
As a fast-growing start-up, there were a few challenges. The way we solved these challenges was to contemplate the idea, listen to our users, and iterate until we achieved that ideal. The first one was to understand how the heck Google ranks content.
That’s definitely a big challenge. Related to this is the fact that “off-the-shelf” AIs just didn’t make the cut. You can’t build a product like INK using off-the-shelf AI products. We had to design this from the ground up. Very early on we had a discussion asking ourselves if we would create an enterprise version and charge for it or would we make this free?
And very early on, we decided that we wanted to make the core of INK free for everyone, with later the addition of pro and business features. To think of a way to approach that goal in a way that is not going to bankrupt you and how to make it so efficient that it would be possible to offer a version for free AND scale, was probably the biggest challenge
“Do or do not, there is no try.” — Yoda
Choose company values early on, and use them as a guiding force for building your team. For example, our values empower everyone who works with us to be Innovative, Driven, Passionate, and Elevating in every aspect of their work.
These values are the glue that binds our remote team together, sets a clear standard, and keeps everyone rowing in the same direction toward a shared goal. They are also instrumental in hiring new talent and measuring performance.
Whatever your powerful secret sauce is — focus on that. There might be other products and solutions out there, but what makes yours better? Why should anyone use it over that of your competitors? Have a clearly defined purpose: Know what problem you are solving and who you are solving it for.
My key driving force has always been the desire to be better. The fact that I could expand my knowledge and improve my skills meant that I could be of better service to those around me. This drive has never left me. Even today, more than 17 years since I started my first business, it’s still what keeps me up at night and gets me out of bed every morning.
First, there was the fact that I was in a new place with new rules. I’d started several businesses in Europe but none in the U.S. Apart from being in such a different entrepreneurial space, getting ZeroBounce in shape was no walk in the park.
We wanted a secure, efficient, and fast email validation platform, and we worked countless days and nights to accomplish that.
Finally, finding the right people to complete our team was a challenge. You don’t always find that perfect match from the beginning, so it took us a while. Now I have the best team I can imagine.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” It’s attributed to Winston Churchill
The only formula I’ve relied on is hard work – and even that is not full-proof. I know many people who worked hard and still didn’t reach the success level they were hoping for. However, if you want to be an entrepreneur, be ready to put in the work and also, stay alert. There are incredible opportunities around you. Try not to miss them.
Study your market long before you launch so you can see how your product is going to be different. Also, start working on a marketing and PR plan early on and then execute it correctly. Your startup doesn’t exist if you don’t spread the word about it.
Co-Founder & CEO, GR0
My father was/is an entrepreneur, so that journey was something I became accustomed to at a young age. He showed me the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and instilled in me the value of freedom of time.
The pandemic created challenges on both a personal and business level for us. At the same time, being in the digital space helped us propel and find ways to help business owners get through shutdowns and create an online presence during the pandemic.
Winston Churchill said that “success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Over the years, I have kept this in mind. Sometimes projects fail, but you keep pushing forward and take what you have learned to make it better.
No, I don’t think there is any full-proof formula or even a concrete blueprint of traits for becoming an entrepreneur. However, I do believe that if you treat people well, are relentlessly curious, and have an insatiable appetite to continue to grow and improve, you will have a solid start.
Constantly seek feedback and strive to be better tomorrow. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. My personal goal is to be 1% better every day. Also, I believe you treat others the way you would want to be treated. That has been instilled in me since I was a child and I believe it has made a significant difference in business.
The key driving force behind becoming an entrepreneur for me was because I had come to a point in my career where I was highly trained and experienced. I wanted the challenge of creating a business whilst using the skills I had built over years of implementing digital marketing and Google Analytics. I felt it was time to innovate in my own way and lead other marketers and analysts to successful careers too.
One of the challenges we faced and like most new businesses face, is getting a brand name out there. Fortunately, I had a lot of contacts and experience working with enterprise clients as a freelancer so had a great portfolio to help things move forward a bit quicker.
A quote I lead my agency by is ‘be nice’. I’ve really found that you do get the most out of people by having a genuine interest in their wellbeing and improvement. At my agency, I put a focus on upskilling my employees and provide yearly training budgets to everyone. I’ve found that being good to your staff really reciprocates in the quality of work they produce and most importantly want to continue to produce.
I don’t think that there’s a fool-proof formula for becoming an entrepreneur as I think part of being an entrepreneur is innovating and doing things your own way. I do think, however, some important tips would be to:
By following these three tips you’ll provide a unique service through innovation, supported by happy workers willing to experiment and have a network of peers open to helping you when you need it the most.
To bring new technologies into the market, make lives easier for our customers.
Finding the right talent who can envisage and deliver a solution in the shortest time.
Try to learn from other’s experiences, because if you rely only on your own, one lifetime won’t be enough.
Not at all, every journey is unique, every successful path self-navigated, do what you think is best for your product or service.
Focus on becoming profitable and remove your cash burn at the earliest, very few people get funding for growth on negative cash flows.
Founder. Prime Plus Mortgages
Like most entrepreneurs, I had a vision and wanted to see it come to life. I have always been extremely driven and wanting to build something on my own from scratch seemed like the perfect challenge.
In my first company, I was more focused on the technicalities more so than the sales and marketing of the product. If you don’t have customers, you won’t have a business!
” If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” It s a great reminder of how hard work and determination will take you further than luck or chance ever will.
There is no formula for success, but knowledge will open a lot of doors for your business. If you focus on learning as much as you can, it will help you have a better business and make better decisions.
Don’t let failure hold you back. A lot of entrepreneurs fail in some way or another so learning how to bounce back and learn from it can make a huge difference for your future.
CEO, Klint Marketing
My key drive was being my own boss and having the opportunity to work on the projects that I wanted.
I love being challenged and being involved in a variety of different sectors, and this is a real draw of being an entrepreneur.
Cash flow! It’s really difficult to set up a business with limited funds. Another issue I had was my current company was set up just before the pandemic.
Risk management was really something that I underestimated as there were significant unanticipated costs.
I really love this quote by Zig Zigler: “The chief cause of unhappiness is giving up what you want the most for what you want at the time.”.
It really speaks to me and drives me when I’m at my lowest points in business.
Personally, I’d say no. I think there are attributes that help individuals to become an entrepreneur, like dedication, commitment, and creativity.
That said, I think everyone’s journey is different, and achieving success is sometimes about being in the right place at the right time.
Look for ways that you can automate processes. People spend so much time redoing things that could be automated, it’s a real-time sink.
I’d also say that you have to live your business, at least for the first few years. It’s got to be the number one focus of your life in order to achieve success.
CEO, Rockstar Marketing
I got sick of working in corporate, and couldn’t imagine myself sitting at the same desk for the next 35 years. I also wanted to travel the world, and couldn’t see myself doing that whilst working. But more than anything, I wasn’t learning enough. The amazing thing about being an entrepreneur is learning. Just when you think you have a topic nailed, you find something else. Every day is like this.
Being OK with earning less money than you’ve ever earned before. Cutting down costs drastically. Working long hours. Not having a boss to tell you that you’re doing things well. And being in a world where you have no limits, no structure, or no organization. This is crazy but amazing!
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.“
You will fail, many times. Get over it quickly and wake up the next day, stronger than ever. Resilience is key in business.
Consistency. It doesn’t matter where you start from, how much money you start with, what your business is. Be consistent. It doesn’t matter how hard things get. Wake up, and do your work. Nothing beats consistency because it means you’re always improving.
Be prepared for a crazy but amazing journey. Cut down your costs, and be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. But… enjoy it. You’re literally creating your own future. Your own legacy. How amazing is this?
On this day, let us salute people who made their vision into a mission and gave a shape of success in reality. if you are an aspirant that wants to achieve something big. I hope this blog will ignite that passion in you to get it done!
Happy Entrepreneur’s Day.