Part I What being an entrepreneur REALLY means.

Between passion, pride, stubbornness, what keeps YOU going? Valuable lessons learnt from successful entrepreneurs.

Tip! Rule no. 1 learn when, what to, and especially to who to say NO to.

A few weeks ago, one of our readers said they would love to hear stories of other entrepreneurs and what keeps them going. Working among so many entrepreneurs, we decided to take interviews of them and share with you their success stories.

The first story we’re sharing with you belongs to Darren Guest. Darren is the CEO of Vivi Media, a Digital Agency and Media Company which specialises in services for small to medium size businesses. They have their own lifestyle app, they do websites, apps, and social media. Darren had the company since 2014, and today he’s taking us on his journey.

We hope you enjoy it and you’ll find it inspiring. We sure did:) 

Q.1. What would you say to someone who is at the start of their career as an entrepreneur?

D: “Go for it and make the most of the opportunities. At different stages in my career I had lots and lots of money, and lots of success, and I just spent it on villas abroad, flashy cars, a big house. And then what happens is, something that you weren’t expecting like crashing stock market, and all of a sudden it goes the other way and all of that money goes. 

I’m not trying to say be sensible and JUST save it, but you have to take advantage of all the opportunities: 

  • learn what you can learn
  • speak to as many people as you can speak to
  • mentors are good. I didn’t even thought about mentors originally, you just think you know best, but it’s not always true.”

Q.2. Was there a time when you felt you want to give up? What did you do? What kept you going?

D: “Lots of times! But being an entrepreneur is like a snowball, it keeps rolling and at some point, you’re in it too deep. So, either you cut all your losses, have a lot of debt and find a job that pays that, or you try to overcome it. I have a problem where I can’t really work for people.

I don’t think having your own business is for everyone, lots of people like the structure of a job. 

I went into business because I thought I would be a millionaire and have yachts and a plane. But I don’t think that’s what it is. I think people go into business because they have ideas. You gotta be a bit creative, so you sort of think you can do something better than it’s already there. That’s the reason that keeps you going!”

Q.3. Have you ever experienced self-doubt regarding your business and yourself?  

D: “Lots of times! Even yesterday… You just do, don’t you…?! Because you just wake up one day and you say I can’t believe I gotta go in today…where’s my chauffeur, how these other people making lots of money?!”

Q.4. Does the passion play a big part in overcoming the self-doubts thoughts and keeps you going?

D: “It’s not in my instance. I know some people are passionate, but even the people that I know of and have successful businesses, I don’t think it’s the passion that drives them. 

I think it comes down to that creativity, you think that you’ve got an idea and then you’re too stubborn to admit it’s not gonna work, and so therefore you’re trying to prove everyone wrong!

One thing that doesn’t work is people that tell you “You got this!” and “I got faith in you!”. I don’t think that works. You gotta feel it! 

As a rule, the difference between an entrepreneur and the other people: it’s the spark and the faith that what you’re doing is a gap in the market, or you can do better than what is already there. Think about football: natural ability is important, but the real key is what drives a person to do something, for example, staying from 6 am to 2am working, but of course, you can only do it for so long. It’s extremely important to find the balance, and to take care of yourself. 

Tip!: taking breaks is crucial!

D: “Do you ever envy people who have a light heart? The ones that can just relax, even if they have their own business which are passionate about, or they have a job and they don’t want a bigger house, they just feel comfortable. Their life is quite enjoyable. Whereas mine, it doesn’t matter the occasion, is a constant stress and thinking about things. You do have to work a lot.

I think women in top positions are more powerful than men: they’re much more ruthless and strong.

Tip! That’s why it’s important to live in the present, don’t stress about things that may not even happen.

Tip! Do you ever find yourself talking about something amazing that you’ve done and then coming up with an “excuse” of “how easy it was to do”, or “how is not a big deal”?

If your answer is yes, let us assure you you’re not the only one! It’s quite a common thing to do. 

Next time you find yourself in this situation, try to do this:

list your achievements without them being followed by qualifiers i.e. “buts”. 

Don’t compare yourself to others. Be inspired by them, but follow YOUR journey and YOUR timescale. There are no rules on when you are “supposed” to do anything in life.

“A big cog in my anxiety generator has been the habit of comparing myself with others perceived as more successful, creative, happier, productive, famous. Try not to do this.

Everyone’s success is unique. You never know the full story of their struggles, mistakes, and strokes of luck. Believe me it is always a lot messier and contingent than it looks!”- Liam Black

“Insist on yourself,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Never imitate.”

Enjoy the journey and be grateful every day for what you’re doing!

Thank you, Darren, for taking us on your journey today! And to our amazing readers, thank you for your time and please share your thoughts with us!

Author: Ingrid Constantin

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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