Categories
Leadership Marketing

Reflecting on my “why” of starting various businesses

Most other founders and CEOs might tell you that they grew up with this grand vision of changing the world in this way or that.
I didn’t. That wasn’t my “why”.
The first business I started wasn’t even a business (according to my definition anyway). All I was did back in 2010 was to resell professional services… and get paid for it. That’s it.
Back then, my “why” was just to have an additional stream of income.

I started my entrepreneurship journey in 2010. It has certainly been a roller coaster ride 🙂

These days, I find myself playing the role of a CEO coach for smaller businesses. I always ask the founders to answer “why” they founded the business.

Today I realized, I had never penned my own “why”.

Most other founders and CEOs might tell you that they grew up with this grand vision of changing the world in this way or that.

I didn’t. That wasn’t my “why”.

The first business I started wasn’t even a business (according to my definition anyway). All I was did back in 2010 was to resell professional services… and get paid for it. That’s it.

Back then, my “why” was just to have an additional stream of income.

The next version of my business was a SaaS company that helped with hyperlocal, geolocation based marketing problems.

I didn’t start it because I wanted to “revolutionize” the hyperlocal geotargeted marketing problem. Heck, I didn’t even know that was a problem until I was 6+ months into the sector.

I got my start because of a mid life crisis. I’d been in sales for a long time by 2012 and was getting really bored of the “same old”.

The “same old” sales pitch. The “same old” bake offs. The “same old” quotas. The “same old” song and dance.

Just different companies.

I wasn’t really making a difference. I was just a “feet on the street” guy. Sure, I was making a killing for myself, but it didn’t use even a quarter of what I could actually do (what I thought my potential to be).

Right around that time, I ran into a problem with finding free, street parking in NYC. So I decided to launch an App to solve my own problem.

I didn’t want to afford a team of developers… So I decided to start coding. Could I have hired a team? Sure!

Heck, I started coding after 10+ years because I wanted to prove to myself that “I’ve still got it”.

I wanted to test the app in various crowded cities, but I didn’t want to walk around NYC teasing my app. So I started a geolocation testing software.. to solve my own problem.

One things led to another.. and I ended up creating a geolocation based marketing solution.

I had a decent run with that company. Before we even launched the beta version of the software, I was doing outreach to folks, getting ideas and tweeting about it.

Fortunately enough, it got picked up by a reporter from twitter.

Even more fortunately, my LinkedIn colleagues started introducing me to others in their network.

I did guerrilla marketing for that. I created an animated PowerPoint and recorded that as a video. Looking back at it.. yeah, that was ghetto style.

But it worked. People started asking for demos.

Capgemini, AT&T Adwerks, Digi corporation, Deutsche Telekom… started the sales cycle with us.

It was fun.. even though I knew that these were all large enterprises and that the sales cycle was going to be incredibly long.

To be continued…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *