What inspired you to start a business?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it wasn’t uncommon for business ideas to be discussed around the dinner table from an early age. The most fascinating aspect for me was that creating a business from scratch needed to create value in a specific industry or solve an existing problem. All of the businesses I have launched have come with this common objective and Millennial 20/20 is no different. I genuinely believe that our event series focuses at a unique time in industry, where large and small businesses are dealing with a more-complex and ever-evolving & powerful consumer that requires them to think of innovation, disruption and technology as key components of their future. The Millennial 20/20 summit addresses exactly this like no other event series has done before.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
The greatest challenge is learning to manage your time effectively and stay focused on a clear goal and vision.
The greatest reward is seeing your hard work and vision come to fruition.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
Set your goals, write them down and work backwards from the end vision i.e. What is your overall 5 year vision/goal for your company and what are the monthly and annual goals you need to reach to achieve that.
Don’t be afraid to pivot your business model or change your vision along the way. Some of the most successful companies did not start with the same purpose as they exist today. Take Instagram as an example of that.
And finally don’t be afraid to fail. Failure offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to start again more successfully. Again, some of the most successful entrepreneurs took their greatest learning’s from failed businesses to create some of the most successful companies. Even when it comes to fundraising, investors will be happy to fund entrepreneurs who can identify why their previous business failed, what they learnt from it and how they will apply those lessons into their new business.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
Creating a work/life balance that enables enough time to achieve all the things you desire from your work life, while allowing quality time for yourself, your family and friends.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
Mentors are invaluable to entrepreneurs and I genuinely believe that all entrepreneurs should seek mentors within their respective industries. Our mentor Simon Berger has over 25 years experience in our industry and has since become our business partner and investor. He has been integral to the growth and success of Millennial 20/20.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
The best advice I ever received from a fellow entrepreneur was build your network before you need it.
The second piece of advice I’d give is don’t network with the sole purpose of taking. Be prepared to give to receive.
Thirdly, and particularly when you’re starting out, always accept an invitation; if you’re not there you will never know what you missed! And finally, keep your elevator pitch ready. When networking at events you have limited time to introduce what you do so ensure you can sum it up in two sentences.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
Again, start thinking about growth before you need to so you can be prepared for that time when it comes. For example, with Millennial 20/20’s launch into Dubai and Hong Kong in the coming year, we are slowly starting to put things in place and having those conversations from now.
Beware of growing to fast, a large percentage of businesses go under due to over trading. You must plan for sustainable and manageable growth.
What does the future hold for you?
Great question. From a business perspective, we believe that our event series is extremely unique and disruptive on many levels and we will be looking to take it to the Middle East and Asia in the coming year and grow a successful global event brand.
From a personal perspective, I want to continue to learn and grow. What I love about what I do is that I learn something new every day whether it’s through the people I meet, the experiences I encounter and the challenges I overcome. A day without a ‘learn’ is a day wasted.
Most importantly – continue to enjoy what I do and who I work with. That is the ultimate success for me.