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Every year, August 21 is the WED: World Entrepreneurs’ Day. The purpose of the World Entrepreneurs’ Day is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. WED is the a day to celebrate the people who starts a business alone.

In order to celebrate WED, Dynamic Business had a chat to four founders about their experiences being an entrepreneur.

John Saadie, Founder, Order Up!:

Why/ how did you become an entrepreneur?

From an early age, I never thought of anything else I wanted to do, other than start and run my own business. So that’s what I did.

The road to what has led me to the success of Order Up! Was because of sheer determination, hard work and no shortage of blood, sweat and tears. To truly innovate the food space, I immersed myself and my whole life into the digital space first.

In 2003, I launched my first business venture from my kitchen table – a digital marketing agency specialising in website development – a bold and entrepreneurial move in the early days of the web.  It was during this time I developed my digital skills and built a thorough understanding of the way the back-end of websites and ordering systems operate. By the time the web was taking off for food retail, I was well ahead of the game and in 2010 the first seeds of what would become Order Up! were sewn.

Order Up! is an online ordering platform that enables restaurants and other food businesses to sell their products online via their own branded website.

Our platform is an end-to-end solution for food retailers so they can manage their own online ordering, payments and delivery. We also provide in-depth reporting to help our customers grow their online business.

Top 3 lessons you have learnt in your entrepreneurial journey?

  1. NEVER GIVE UP!  If something doesn’t work, just try again and look for new ways to make it a success. Be confident in what you’re doing and always believe in it.
  2. Know your own weaknesses and employ people with the skills you need.
  3. Have a strategy and plan in place before you start so you can measure your success.

Top 3 pitching tips?

The formula is simple…

  1. Be confident and passionate about your business
  2. Know the background of who you are pitching too. Do your research before your pitch.
  3. Keep your pitch as direct and to the point as possible. Investors like bullet points and key metrics.

Natasha Munasinghe, Founder, The FRANK Team:

Why/ how did you become an entrepreneur?

I didn’t actually see myself as an entrepreneur initially. I just wanted to run a company and master my own time. It’s something I’d wanted to do since I was 4 years old! After I graduated as a solicitor, and had been in the workforce for a few years – I learnt that someone I know in my network was selling their company (and it was a company I was familiar with). I took 1 week to think about it and then decided to jump in and buy the majority shareholding in that business. And that was it. I learnt about business by ‘doing business’ and working extremely hard and long hours in the beginning – learning everything from scratch!

Why is World Entrepreneur important for you?

World Entrepreneur Day is about people who have the courage to follow through on their ideas and dreams. It’s about celebrating the road less travelled. It’s about people who take charge of their own lives and decide to carve out their own destiny.

How did you overcome your biggest hurdle? (and what was it?)

The biggest hurdle was to become OK with the rollercoaster ride that is entrepreneurship – where things can change daily, where money can be scarce at times and important decisions still need to be made. It took me about 3 years after I bought my company to actually understand and accept this constant cycle of change and instabillty and to be mentally resilient and know that whatever comes my way, I will be able to not only survive, but thrive. When you run a business – change will always be a constant and you need to find out ways to be friends with this.

Emma Barr, Founder, iLEADS:

Why/ how did you become an entrepreneur?

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur but it wasn’t until I got married that I realised that if I wanted the freedom and the flexibility to run a business from wherever I was and to be able to stay at home with my children I would need to take that leap ASAP! The journey has not been easy and I have had ideas that never got off the ground but when you find your niche and combine what you love and what you are good at then the transition from employee to entrepreneur is easy.

Why is World Entrepreneur Day important for you?

The world of an entrepreneur can often be very lonely, so celebrating it alongside others who know exactly what you are going through is a very powerful thing. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey I have met some incredible people who I continue to support in business today and that is what makes this day so special. Supporting and celebrating alongside your peers!

Top 3 lessons you have learnt in your entrepreneurial journey?

You will learn from EVERY failure, and their will be many!

Listen to everyone that you meet, often there are some great ideas out their, however, only take them with a grain of salt.

Always keep evolving as the business world changes so quickly you will find that your business will too and you need to be able to keep up!

Biggest milestone so far?

Seeing the business grow over 150% in the past year has been incredible. But going from a business where we were constantly trying to get in the door of new clients to almost exclusively a referral based business and seeing more and more organic clients come our way has been amazing.

Ben Webster, Founder, Insured By US:

Why / how did you become an entrepreneur?

I was working for a large digital agency when I realised both the culture and the business model were toxic. This followed a pattern I had seen in businesses where I had been an employee… the mythology never matched reality. Put simply, the owners, directors and management team, did not walk the walk.

Once this realisation crystallised, I started freelancing and then started hiring people. I knew there was a better way and I wanted to design that better way for myself and for my team.

I also knew I wanted to have kids and wanted to be a dad that was present. To achieve this requires flexibility.

Having worked for large companies and on campaigns for some of Australia’s largest brands, I had never seen an organisation provide the kind of flexibility I was after. I knew I had to create it for myself.

Why is World Entrepreneur Day important for you?

It has taken a while for me to understand that, for a wide range of reasons, not everyone is built to be an entrepreneur. It can also be rather lonely as an entrepreneur, even if you have a cofounder.

It’s good to celebrate those that are willing to take this hard and often lonely road. What they can add to the world and what they add to people’s lives.

Top 3 lessons you have learnt in your entrepreneurial journey?

  1. Sometimes persistence and hanging in there is what makes the difference.
  2. You have to clearly outline your vision to your team and bring them along for the journey. You cannot do it without them.
  3. Be careful of alliances and partnerships with large companies and people who don’t share your vision. They will have different objectives to you and will often slow you down.

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Gali Blacher

Gali Blacher

Gali Blacher, editor, Dynamic Business

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