Watch This Before You Start A Business

Shama Hyder:

I always hear about passion and people talking about how important passion is. I also think that’s a little misleading, because I think for a business you have to find where passion meets market demand. That’s where you get a business. Otherwise, it’s a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to find that intersection of both. I’ll tell you when I first started my company … I’m a serial entrepreneur. I run a social media marketing agency. In fact, it’s probably arguably one of the first social media agencies in the world, because it really didn’t exist when I started my company about eight years ago, I did my thesis on Twitter when it had like 2000 users. So, hence, if you’re wondering how I got my first name as a Twitter handle, that’s kind of what you had to do is just be one of the first 2000 users, and you, too, could have your first name as a Twitter handle.

Shama Hyder:

I remember reading all these books and thinking about like starting a company, and all of them said, “Start with your passion. What do you love to do?” I remember looking at my list and it was so laughable, because it had things like chocolate, and playing with my dogs, and reading. I was like, “This is so pathetic. What am I ever going to do with like these things?” It’s funny because what I do today, in retrospect I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed these things, communication, technology, journalism,” like these are subjects that I excelled at and I really loved. So it’s funny, because what I do really is a meshing of what I love but also where there’s market demand. So, I think to say, “How do you start making money online?” I think you have to find that sweet spot.

Shama Hyder:

when I was starting my company, and I had no clients, like literally 22 years old, $1,500 in my business account. I started my company with that. I had my dog as my assistant, Snoopy. He’s still around. He eats better treats, but that’s really the big difference. Snoops wasn’t very helpful, great moral encouragement, though. Part of what, as I was starting the company, I realized what did I have to offer? You have to bring value to the table. How was I going to prove that I knew what I was talking about? Well, luckily there’s a thing called blogs.

Shama Hyder:

One of the first things I actually did was I started a marketing blog and I thought, what am I going to write about? I don’t feel like I know enough. This is something you guys may feel a lot, Where do I start? I’m not an expert at this. So, one of the things that I actually started doing was I would read marketing books and put summaries of those books. That was like my very basic, and people loved it. They were like, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to read this forever. Thanks for the cliff notes,” because the one thing I was good at was taking notes. School had gotten that down for me.

Shama Hyder:

In fact, I would go to conferences, and some of the ways I got my first clients was I would take notes at the conference, the session, and then afterwards I’d be like, “Does anybody want my like amazing 15-page notes?” They’d be like, “Yeah, great. Give me your business card.” I’ll send you my notes. So, like pure hustle, pure hustle to be able to share stuff and be able to … It was great, it was like the skillset I had, because I was like, “I’m really good at taking notes. I can summarize the heck out of this thing.”

Shama Hyder:

Here’s the crazy thing, I think, also about leadership that’s changing. What it meant to be a leader was that you had authority, and it was really hard to get in touch with you. The harder it was to get access to you, the more important you were. Candace says, True. If you have to go through six assistants, like man, you’re really important, you have six assistants that you have to go through. Today leadership is very different. The more important you are the more accessible you have to be to people.

Shama Hyder:

I’ll give you the perfect example. The other day I was on LinkedIn and all of a sudden this video pops up and it’s Justin Trudeau, who’s the prime minister of Canada, and he was like, “Hey guys, thanks so much for helping us reach a million people on LinkedIn.” It was the coolest thing. He’s like, “Let me know what Canada can do for you.” I was like, “This is awesome. You’re really cool.” To me it is, that is the execution of leadership, I think, in terms of how technology is changing, and what we expect of our leaders, not just to be responsible, and accountable, but to be accessible.

Shama Hyder:

Think about all the people you can pretty much Tweet and get a response from. I’m not saying it’s going to be a great response, but I’m saying you can get a response. It’s crazy, but it’s also awesome that we live in that world now. Part of that is curation. So, especially when you start out and you’re building your professional brand, don’t worry about so much about what am I going to come up with out of this head, think about how you can be better curators of information.