Quite a few friends have always wanted me to write about our entrepreneurial journey. I always kept pushing it because I had no time. I write this now, not because I have the time; I work from 3 PM until 4 AM (I mean, I am physically present in my office for 13 hours every-single-day) So technically, I am busier than I ever was in the last 5 years of being an entrepreneur, 2017 has been a year of continuous learning, changing perspectives, challenging goals, never ending struggle and continuous pushing of limits. And it does make sense to share things when they happen, so don’t forget our struggles and others learn from it.
I feel more like an entrepreneur than I ever felt before. Extremely shrewd and beyond control (in the right way). A couple of my friends always asked me to work with my brain because according to them I worked with my heart, and that according to them was not the right way to work especially as an entrepreneur. And I must admit that this has been one of the most valuable advises someone has given me and I’d be eternally thankful to these people. I don’t take shit too personally anymore and IT WORKS!
I am going to avoid using names for business/personal reasons. But the ones that are closer will identify themselves, and that’s kind of the whole point.
Started 2017 with a #hustleharder hashtag! Fuck!!! What a journey it has been!! I always identified myself as a customer service person, thought I wouldn’t do well in Sales, assumed that I’d fail if I tried.
Kind of lost everything we had at Einfach. YES, EVERYTHING! And it was Do or Die time for Einfach. And Einfach has been our dream for years and We’ve given up a lot personally and professionally for Einfach that we won’t let it die. EVER! So we had to act and act immediately, we made so many changes in the business with in a very short time (no, we did not lay off a single team member this time). We set up something new with just one client. ONE CLIENT. (We = Pratap and I)
Traveled to the US during the end of January, stayed there for a month. For some reason, I thought I should try to sell (actually Pratap pushed me, I think), so I picked up the phone and started pitching… Thanks to the gentleman who taught me to sell and made me watch movies like the boiler room. It helped and it helped a lot! I learned not to give up. There is a lot we could learn from Seth Godin. Such Genius!
Initially, I kind of had a tough time, and then I got desperate to generate revenue, so it got easy. Lead generation. Inside Sales. Getting your pitches out. Follow up like 100 times. Thus, I entered the addictive world of selling and it’s been one awesome ride. As of today, we have over 25 clients processing over 2000 transactions per month. This is way more than what we used to do per month in the last 4 years.
So I wondered, what we did differently. The answer was quite Simple. EVERYTHING!!!
Before – We (Pratap and I) had other people run our business with very less or support from our side, and considering we have a phenomenal team. The team took care of everything while we focussed on new stuff and eventually lost sight of our core business.
Now - With the challenges we faced, we actually had someone working against us. So it gave us that urge to succeed or may be it was the just survival instinct.
We got more hands on. Pratap still has an eye on every email that comes into some 7 mailboxes and considering we are processing 1000s of transactions, you can imagine how crazy it could get. But we had to get our hands dirty, and we did. Thankfully Pratap and I have similar personalities when it comes to work, so there is lesser (Actually no) conflict.
While we were setting one business vertical, the others fell through the cracks! Head Cook decides to walk out of his job, staff go on leave at one stretch and we are left with the question, are we going to be able to keep our restaurant open? And for some reason, we decided to keep the show going. We came up with a shorter version of the menu, the stuff we know to prepare pretty damn well. And eventually we fixed the staffing issue and we are slowly restoring normalcy.
And our digital marketing business wasn’t doing very well for various reasons and we had to work on a complete reorg of the business, And as I type this blog, we are working on a massive overhaul and a very aggressive plan, practically working on the whole business from scratch. What can be more exciting than going back to the drawing board all way for the 2nd time in a year? But now, we have learned to deal with it and to an extent, we enjoy that stress.
Some great lessons have been learned this year, though.
· Never lose sight of the things that keep you in business
· It’s completely Ok to be shrewd in business
· It is absolutely Ok to fail and start all over again and again and again.
· Always have a backup plan!
· Never give up! Giving up is never an option!
If you’re a wanna be an entrepreneur here are some important tips!
· If any of you out there wants to become an entrepreneur because you think it is cool, sorry. It is not.
· You will not work lesser hours, hell no.
· You can work whenever you want, you can take off whenever you want. By this, I mean; you will work all the time.
· Be hands-on, while it’s great to delegate, you should have the balls to replace anyone at any given time.
· As long as you take responsibility for your shit, you will always find a way to make things work
· Becoming an entrepreneur does NOT give you horns, so don’t be a dick.
· People are always going to talk behind your back, learn to ignore them.
· Learn to take feedback with the right spirit, do not give excuses
· Find new ways to connect with your customers, keep them happy!!
· Control! Control! Control!
As I wrap up this long story with an almost abrupt end, I hope to write more often, if not for others, just for myself. I enjoy writing and sharing stuff.
If you got till here... thank you for reading my blog, please leave your comments as it means a lot to me that you’ve read and enjoyed it (or slept half way through..)
Truth be told, we feel that our entreprenuerial journey has just began… so fasten your seat belts, let’s all enjoy this ride..