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7 Years, 7 Lessons: This is our Business Journey

It’s hard to believe NOW that we started this journey seven years ago. No one can prepare you for starting a business from the ground up. It’s a journey, an adventure and a personal growth challenge like nothing you’ll ever experience. We’d be lying if we said it was all sunshine and roses. We’ve cried. We’ve struggled. We’ve celebrated. There have been times that we questioned why we’d allow ourselves to be put through this, but at the end of the day we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. As an entrepreneur, you have to make connections, solve problems, and create new things that no one has thought of before. Our thought to achieve that ultimate goal always inspired us. There were times too when we inspired each other through those tough times when our families were looking for our better future prospects. Moreover, the support from our families throughout this journey has been remarkable; it won’t have been possible without them. Along these seven-year and-counting journeys, we’ve learned seven major lessons (and many others on a daily basis) that we think can apply to everyone in their lives:

Lesson No. 1: The best way to silence the doubters is with success!

It’s important to put negative experiences behind and move ahead in a positive manner toward your vision.

So, we made the decision to fight through different tough times and continue to succeed. Every passing day, the vision and zeal to achieve that success became crystal clear to us. We promised to ourselves to protect our company from all negativity. In fact, we wanted to use any sort of negativity as a motivation to work harder, inspire others, and never allow anyone to affect the company’s ultimate goal: Success.

 Lesson No. 2: You have to learn to say “NO”

“If you want to fly high, you have to give up the stuff that weighs you down”

“When you say yes to something, you’re really saying no to something else.” We owe so much of our precious time to this very quote. We’ve learned to take on only clients whose mission that we truly believe in and know that we can personally work on their account to reach their ultimate goals. This has helped us to build deeper relationships, strategies and longer client retention, which equals more repeat, referral business. Your ability to trust and believe in yourself will show your confidence. Trusting in your own skills will also take some of the pain of uncertainty out, when you feel uncertain; remember how much experience and knowledge you have. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it or turning to a mentor for advice, but you also have to learn to trust yourself and your own judgments without input from others.

Lesson No. 3: Get Gritty

“Grit is perseverance. Grit is the ability to keep working when everyone tells you that you should give up”

Honestly, without hard work and perseverance, you’re not going anywhere in the entrepreneurial world. The human body’s natural reaction to a difficult situation is fight or flight.  When a problem arises, some choose to hide from the problem. A great company will instead take that problem head on and not be afraid to make a change. A great lesson learned from Good to Great is that the great companies were not afraid to listen to the data and to what their consumers were telling them. Once they were aware of a problem or a growing consumer trend, they acted quickly and were willing to pivot the company to better fit their customers’ needs. Don’t be afraid to experience the unknown. Fear can hinder growth and failure can drive success. Even though we’ve fallen on our faces more than once we’ve learned and we’ve grown each and every time. We’ve learned to stretch ourselves and take on new projects we never thought possible. We remember the first time we were asked to take on a client that had an international presence; we were excited but scared too at the same time. We slowly learned to silence the haters and naysayers, reminding ourselves that the further we pushed ourselves, the further they would be in our rear-view mirror to success. Don’t ever stop learning, growing, working, and soaking up everything around you.

Lesson No. 4: Understand the power of relationships

Relationships will always be more powerful than marketing.

Meet as many people as you can. You can’t form a network without a relationship. Spend quality time learning from every soul that you encounter and make sure to stay in contact with as many people as you can. Every unique person who crosses your path can lead to a road of opportunity. There is nothing more satisfying than sharing success. We’ve had the privilege of meeting some pretty amazing people and tried to soak up every bit of knowledge we could. Some of our best memories and mentors have come from attending meetings and conferences.  A lot of our new business friendships have started from a random “seize the moment” conversation and our new clients have almost come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Our business journey is part of our DNA now. We love each day more than the last and we can’t wait to see what our next seven years will bring as we are planning to launch few more effective and penetrating products & concepts in the market.

Lesson No. 5: Believe in Teamwork

Teamwork is going to be catalyst in successful business.

You have to learn and build a team around you that is smarter than you, better than you at the things you’re not good with. One way to get out of your comfort zone is to change up your process if it’s not working. If you get too comfortable, you’re not growing. Everyone knows that leadership is important, but they don't necessarily know what makes a great leader. There are many different types of leaders, but what makes a leader truly effective is their ability to look for solutions instead of blaming others. When problems arise in the company, many will look for someone to blame and will focus on that particular person rather than the problem itself. A great company will first make sure they have the right people on their team before even creating the strategic direction of the company, and then it will determine if the employees are in the right position, If an employee isn't succeeding in their role, the problem may not be that they are a bad fit for the company. Instead, it could be that their role doesn’t play to their strengths and they are simply in the wrong seat.  We all have a great team and support network behind us. Fill your team with people who have great character and you’re well on your way to success. Your attitude, beliefs, and morals set the tone for the rest of your company and culture. Set a positive company culture from day one and you’ll be more likely to work with people you enjoy and who inspire you as well as attract great customers. It’s important to set and know what you want your company culture to look like.

Lesson No. 6: Visualize Goals

To visualize the goals, we don’t intend to close their eyes and see the goal in front of them. What we want you to do to visualize your goal is to define it so clearly that it’s real and tangible. You can tell someone, such as a friend or business partner, or take photographs that represent your goal. Go with your strengths. When you ask a successful entrepreneur what their goal is, they can tell you in great detail what it is that they’re working to achieve.

Lesson No. 7: Listen to complaints

This is one of the tips that we think is the most important, your customer’s complaints are how you identify your business’s weaknesses. Similarly, to the last tip, without customers, you can’t have a successful business. There’s another possible scenario, though. You might have customers who are interested in your product or service, but if you don’t listen to their complaints, you soon will have no customers. Take your customers seriously, treat their complaints with respect, and listen. You might think you’re giving them value, but they may not agree. Your customers know what they want, and they’re going to tell you what they think. We are listening to those complaints and use that information to fix the business’s weaknesses. When your company delivers a great product or service, you’ll build customer loyalty faster than you can say.

Conclusion

Succeeding in business doesn’t require overnight success. In fact, that’s largely a myth. As we’ve experienced this thought in these seven long years that you have to take a long-term strategy and build it in baby steps until it becomes a success. You can do it, but only if you’re aware of the potential pitfalls and ready to fail. Finding success as an entrepreneur is no easy task, but with these simple tips, we hope it becomes just a little bit easier. Remember, our biggest challenge to all of you entrepreneurs out there is to take some time off and listen to complaints.

 "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

-- Albert Schweitzer

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