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Interview with Dal Sohi, Educator

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Interview with Dal Sohi, Educator

Originally published on IdeaMensch. Source

Dal Sohi is passionate about putting students at the center of all decision-making. He has been a teacher and school leader for over three decades spanning four countries. After 35 years of experience in education, Dal retired in June of 2021 to begin a new career that will continue to serve schools and students in a new role. He now shares his extensive experience and skills with schools around the world through his newly launched consulting agency, K-12 Education Solutions.

Dal was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, but now considers himself to be a global citizen. He speaks four languages (English, French, Punjabi and Mandarin) and has traveled to over 50 countries in his quest to understand and live the principles of international mindedness. In 2003, Dal embarked on a journey alongside his family to discover the world through his career in education. That journey took him from his position as a principal of a dual-language elementary school in British Columbia to Atlanta International School in Atlanta, Georgia, which was an International Baccalaureate School offering a bilingual program in four different languages. Dal remained there for seven years—first as the Head of Primary School, then as the Head of Curriculum and Professional Development K-12 —until he decided that he wanted to look abroad for a new adventure. He found his next position at the International School of Beijing as that institution’s Head of Elementary, where he spent three years. Following his time in China’s capital, Sohi was ready to seek out yet another new adventure and accepted the challenge of being Head of School at the Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Committed to keep learning and growing, he then moved to Dubai as the Head of School position at another IB school, Dar Al Marefa, before concluding a remarkable 35-year career at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California.

Dal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree in Education, and an Educational Specialist’s degree in Instructional Leadership. He has a comprehensive understanding of all educational and logistical elements of school operation through roles as a Head of School, Principal, and Head of Curriculum and Professional Development. Beyond the school level, his leadership experience includes three years as President of a 50 member Principals and Vice-Principals Association. During his years as a school leader, he has participated on accreditation teams in six countries and four continents. Under his leadership at Atlanta International School, the National Association of Independent Schools recognized the primary division for Innovation in Curriculum Design. After gaining a worldwide perspective of best educational practices, Dal is excited to share his training and experience with schools around the globe.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I have been fortunate to work with teachers from more than 30 countries around the world and experience education through multiple lenses. I have learned from each of them and have a vast array of strategies and perspectives that I have added to my ‘toolkit’ over the past 35 years. I have worked with curricula from around the world and my experience with accrediting schools has furthered my knowledge base. I felt that it was time for me to offer my skills and knowledge to schools that seek an external and unbiased view of their strengths and areas for growth.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day is highly varied, but I can break it down into three general categories. The first is that I continue to follow current research. I keep up with best practices, and make sure that I stay apprised of recent developments on the educational landscape. I have 35 years of experience, but that’s a foundation, not a substitute for staying current and growing my knowledge and skill base. Second, I’m always communicating with the schools that I work with, to make sure that their needs are being met. I don’t believe in ‘one-shot’ school improvement practices. School improvement is an ongoing process, so it’s important for me to stay involved and help them navigate any challenges they face. The third thing that I work on is developing a variety of topics for presentations that schools request. These are typically school specific, but some examples are Building Global Citizens, Navigating Parenting Challenges in a Changing World, and Meet Me in the Middle: Putting Students at the Center. I am very passionate about speaking in schools to audiences ranging from students to parents to teachers.

How do you bring ideas to life?

For me, it all starts with creating student-focused schools. We have to make sure that we understand how to create an ecosystem that supports learning, wellness, and connectedness. As the world has evolved around us, education hasn’t entirely kept pace. Many schools are still primarily teacher centered. Teachers talk, students listen, and there’s only one voice at a time for much of the lesson. For the most part, students are still required to be more focused on the teacher than on each other. I am working to help schools understand that students must be treated as partners in the learning process. There needs to be a balance of power and a co-constructing of knowledge and understanding. Student-focused schools ensure that there are multiple opportunities for students to engage with each other as well as the teacher. My job is to assist schools in creating protocols to help them evaluate how well they are progressing toward this goal.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’ve been in leadership positions at three bilingual schools. One of the most exciting aspects of my work is helping schools that want to make the transition to a dual-language education model. At the three bilingual schools I have worked at, students only learn in English half of the time. And yet, all three of those schools easily outperform peer schools where students learn in English 100% of the time. It surprises me how few schools take advantage of this huge ‘value added’ element. Bilingual education is unique in that it allows students to capture metacognitive benefits that simply can’t be replicated in single-language instruction.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Always keeping my eye on the ball and really paying attention to what matters most. What matters most, in my field, is the student experience. That includes their learning, their social wellbeing, and making sure that their mind, body, and heart are all being engaged in meaningful ways.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to be open to learning from every experience that comes your way, whether that experience is positive or negative, because every experience is a teachable moment. Never stop learning.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Learning is not linear. While most curricula are built in a linear fashion, today’s students are more questioning and want to be part of the learning process. They do not see learning as straight line; rather, they see a series of smaller learnings that eventually connect to the bigger educational outcome.
I’ll use an analogy to explain what I mean by that. Think about learning as a jigsaw puzzle. When I went to school, in a traditional learning environment, we were taught to find the corner and edge pieces of the puzzle first. You would form the frame first to get an idea of the overall shape and size of the puzzle, and then fill in the rest of the pieces from there. You worked from the outside in. Today’s learners don’t learn that way. To keep them engaged, we need to let them see the picture inside the picture. Start by trying to form the picture in the puzzle first, try to get an idea of what you’re building, and then build out from there toward the corner and the edge pieces. Today’s learners learn from the inside out. The beauty of this approach is that learning can expand beyond the borders if there are no preconceived limits in place.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take time for reflection. I think our deepest learning comes from reflection, but sometimes, in our busy daily lives, we don’t take the time we need. And it is in those quieter moments of reflection that we really consolidate our learning. I’m also a big believer that writing is an important part of reflection. If you think about it, listening and reading are passive activities, but speaking and writing are active behaviors that engage your brain more fully. So, in putting your thoughts down on paper, you are making sure that reflection happens in an active manner.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One of my strategies is that I’m focused not only on the US educational landscape, but on the worldwide landscape. One thing I’ve learned from my experience in international schools is that, when you have teachers from all over the world, they tend to bring in the best parts of their educational systems and create a sort of synergy. I have often had 20 to 30 countries represented in my schools, with each of those people having been trained in different pedagogies and having worked in different ways in their own countries. When you bring such a wide range of experiences together, it really shows that no one person can be fully equipped to fill in a complete picture. It allows everyone to challenge each other’s assumptions and helps them maintain their focus on the student experience. And, it really takes the learning to a different level. That’s the experience that I’m trying to bring to schools. I continue to stay current with what is happening globally, so I can bring the best strategies in the world to my practice. I want to help schools be the best they can be—not just the best schools in their state or country, but the best schools in the world.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Schools tend to have a lot of inertia. It can be difficult to convince a school to challenge the status quo, to understand that ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough anymore in our global, interconnected world. The first steps in building that momentum are the hardest, and it takes a lot of heavy lifting. That initial resistance can come from parents, or from the school board, or from teachers, and each scenario requires its own approach. Regardless, it’s important to overcome that resistance while keeping our focus on the students.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

We’re living in an increasingly interconnected world. If you can come up with a service or a product that capitalizes on global trends, that is the future.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I took a hockey lesson last week. I’ve been focusing on wellness and doing what I love, and with that in mind, I wanted to do something that’s going to impact my wellness into the foreseeable future. Ice hockey is something that I never got to play as a kid, so as an adult learner, it seemed like a good choice.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I can’t narrow it down to just one piece of software because it is important for me to use whichever platform my clients are most comfortable with, but I rely heavily on tools that allow me to reach out and collaborate with people across the world. Teleconferencing tools, like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, are common options. I believe that real-time communication and being able to hold a face-to-face conversation with people from around the world is essential.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I recommend The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan. This book was written by the founder of the renowned Khan Academy, which is basically an online training service housed on YouTube that provides free, world-class education and training sessions in almost any subject one can imagine. Among the many topics explored in the book is exactly how the traditional, top-down teacher lecturing model of education was conceived in Prussia centuries ago, then gradually adopted and put into widespread use around the world, and why that model is broken and no longer serving the best interests of students or teachers.

What is your favorite quote?

“We must educate people in what nobody knew yesterday, and prepare in our schools for what no one knows yet but for what people must know tomorrow.” — Margaret Mead

That’s the challenge we face as educators, isn’t it? We have to prepare students for their world, not ours, but we have no idea what that world will look like. A student entering kindergarten today probably won’t retire until somewhere around 2080. It’s no longer useful to focus on teaching discrete facts and skills—we can’t teach what they can easily look up on their phones and tablets. Instead, we have to teach those skills that transcend, that are trans-disciplinary, and engage them at a metacognitive level.

Key Learnings:

  • Never stop learning. Prior experience, no matter how extensive, is no substitute for continued education and working to remain current in your field.
  • Focus on strategies that will prepare students for the future, instead of getting stuck in strategies that worked in the past.
  • Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity to learn and to teach.

Interviews

Interview with Sara Sheehan, Founder of Sara Sheehan Consulting

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Interview with Sara Sheehan, Founder of Sara Sheehan Consulting

Sara Sheehan, PCC, is a consultant and Executive Coach who works with C-Level executive leaders in designing organizations, developing business strategies, managing change, optimizing talent and leadership development, and solving complex human performance problems. Through executive coaching, Sara helps leaders sprint their way up the corporate ladder and increase their performance.

During Sara’s 25+ years in business, she has worked with leaders, teams, and organizations in Fortune 100 companies and individuals. Sara specializes in change management, talent and leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design. As a collaborative, results-orientated coach, Sara provides support and practical feedback to help clients effectively navigate change and address business challenges. She also integrates coaching techniques, methods, and approaches to help her clients develop change capabilities and learn to apply them right away. With a servant leadership mindset, she supports her clients in building new skills and customizes frameworks to her client’s project needs. Sara works with clients based on her network, referrals, and appointment.

Sara has been featured both nationally and internationally on podcasts as an expert on topics of change management, talent and leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

The idea for Sara Sheehan Consulting is based on almost 30 years in management consulting and executive coaching. Through business consulting, I help businesses through complex business transformations from a human capital perspective. Through executive coaching, I help busy executives sprint their way up the corporate ladder by setting goals, increasing their performance, resolving conflict, and setting up an advisory team so they are even more successful in their current role or their next one if they are in transition.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

It’s a combination of time blocking for specific purposes like business development, market research conversations, reaching out to ideal clients or close contacts that can refer me to ideal clients, scheduled current client meetings, a wide variety of marketing activities, and time for things that feed me like exercise, cooking, or other interests like spending time with friends and family. I am innately extremely productive so when I am at my best I am in a positive flow.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have a lot of creative ideas so bringing them to life is not a chore. Typically, writing is the first step to bringing new ideas to life, then it may spread across my marketing mix into videos, presentations, new offerings, or marketing research conversations to test market viability. Once an idea has filtered through these touchpoints, I am able to put more structure around it. Two ideas that I am formalizing right now: a paid membership community on Mighty Networks called The Center for Change Leadership and a chapter in a collaborative book.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love progression and innovation in technology that helps us be more productive at the least possible cost. To provide a little more context, I love the current trend in software that allows users to get started on a web platform at a low cost and you can increase your plan as you need to if the services fit your needs. These pay-as-you-go plans and the ability to play with new tools are fantastic. Specifically, I have a project team that uses Monday.com and it serves as a tremendous productivity hack.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I know that I am not supposed to do everything, nor should I if I want to scale a successful business. To this end, I am working with the best expert vendors that are aligned with me to amplify my business and my message.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The advice I would give my younger self is that it’s ok to start thinking about how you want to use your craft as an entrepreneur. I’d express to younger me that thinking about offerings and solutions that can be commercialized is going to benefit you. You can start planning now, frame it up, and test your assumptions in market research conversations. You may find that it manifests differently than you expect and that it’s important to be open to the gifts it brings.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

One of the offerings I have done a lot of market research conversations on is my Mastering Change Management Course. The course can be delivered live via Zoom to a cohort or through self-study via Kajabi. I have had no opposition to the course to date, and I have also not found the right pilot group yet. Based on the conversations I have had, the right pilot group is out there! I understand that this is such a different way to deliver consulting work that people may not be open to it just yet. People that disagree with my approach are more likely to engage a consultant based on the project timeline, although this option will require more time with the client and be more costly. The differentiator for the course is that I am seeking qualified education provider status with the Association of Change Management Professionals so that anyone that takes the course could apply the credits toward the Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) exam or credential renewals.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

The one thing I would do time and time again would be market research conversations on programs, solutions, and offerings. This is the best way to validate that a new offering is viable in the market, and it provides opportunities to uncover ideal clients or get referred to your ideal clients.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One strategy that has helped me grow my business significantly has been increasing my visibility through engaging a professional marketing agency and a publicist. I was already active on LinkedIn through posting, writing, and videos weekly, however, engaging a marketing agency to support me has allowed me to get strategic in planning on a quarterly basis, as well as executing a broader plan. They also created my branding and collaborated on my website design so everything I produce visually supports my message and purpose. Engaging a publicist that I am aligned with has magically connected me with the right opportunities for increased visibility. Both my marketing team and my publicist are trusted advisors and I am looking forward to seeing how these advisors will continue to grow my business.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It took me longer to attract my ideal client than I’d hoped since I spent so many years working for other firms. It’s not surprising or unexpected, it’s just a fact that it takes time to be known for your expertise. Additionally, I should have engaged a marketing agency and publicist sooner than I did on both fronts. To be honest, it took a little bit of time to come into contact with the right people to work with. I also think the patience and time allowed me to work on my own mindset which is invaluable.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

When I see questions like this one I immediately think of Peanuts, Lucy, and Charlie Brown at an advice booth with a sign that reads “Advice 5 Cents” with a dixie cup next to it. What’s the quickest way to start a business that can serve a wide customer base? Marketing and business development are two things that every entrepreneur needs to focus on to scale. If you can fit in that space and speak directly to the pain points of a differentiated ideal client, things should manifest fairly quickly.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Definitely reconnecting with friends, family, and clients over a shared meal. You can’t replace being in person and truly connecting with others following such an isolating two-year period.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

The top three online tools and resources that I am currently using to grow my business are Google Workspace, Slack, QBO, and Quickbooks Online. All three tools make work easy, support me in what I am doing, streamline all of my efforts, and keep me focused on what’s most important.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller: I believe the Story Brand is absolutely essential for entrepreneurs to incorporate as they build their business.

What is your favorite quote?

I have so many favorite quotes! Here’s one that is on my mind and heart right now: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch

Key Learnings:

  • If you want to grow and/or scale your business, it’s important to know that you can’t do everything alone
  • Working with the best expert vendors that are aligned with you and your business will amplify your business and message
  • Strategic partner progression and the right innovation in technology can help entrepreneurs and businesses be more productive at the least possible cost
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interviews

Interview with Blake Kohler, CEO of Pulse For Good

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Interview with Blake Kohler, CEO of Pulse For Good

Blake is passionate about, well, everything! As the CEO of Pulse For Good, he uses that passion to help nonprofits worldwide gather feedback from vulnerable individuals more effectively. With his background in technology, Blake is helping to bring business-class survey tooling to organizations ran on shoe-string budgets.

As someone who likes to talk, he knows how hard it can be to listen, and along with the Pulse For Good team, he’s working towards building a more empathetic future.

Where did the idea for Pulse For Good come from?

Pulse For Good emerged from an early pilot of a partnership with the city of Seattle. The various city offices were trying to figure out how best to facilitate gathering feedback from the youth homeless population in Seattle, and our early solution, which was designed to gather employee feedback, was suggested. We quickly found that traditional survey methods left a lot to be desired when gathering feedback from vulnerable populations and set out to build something that better fits the unique concerns of serving vulnerable groups.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

As a small startup, our typical days are full of adventure. Some days are dedicated to sales, other days we spend doing support, some days we are working on marketing, and other days we’re trying to improve our operations.

We find that using an agile model works well for our team. We utilize Kanban boards and team standups to keep track of everything from development tasks to customer onboarding.

How do you bring ideas to life?

As a team, we tend to be very visual-focused, so often, our ideas begin to emerge onto whiteboards before they become something a little more tangible.

Once they’ve been thoroughly debated and diagramed on a whiteboard, they make it onto one of our tasks on our kanban boards.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Our team is excited about the combination of technology and social impact. More groups are looking to do good in the world instead of maximizing profit. It is fantastic to see people use their time and talents to help those around them.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

One of our core values is a default to action, which has proven time and time again to be the primary driver of our productivity. Too often, we spend hours debating something, and nothing gets done. By defaulting to act, we might at times cause some headaches, but those headaches are often quickly fixed, and the value we gain from the constant action greatly diminishes any headaches we’ve created.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Spend less time worrying about what others think of you and more time worrying about how you think of others.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Pain can be good for you. It’s a form of feedback, and the more you experience it, the more opportunities you have to make a change.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

We’ve had tremendous success posting on Linkedin. We try and do it every day, and it’s been an incredibly valuable part of our growth.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Very early on, we developed an advisory board of industry experts. This helped us gain a considerable amount of credibility and allowed us to develop tools, relationships, and techniques far beyond our abilities as just a founding team.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One failure we had coming out of the pandemic was a communication breakdown amongst our founding team. Previously, we had conducted in-person meetings, but with the world changing, we switched to a more remote first attitude. Over time, our perceptions and goals changed without getting together.

We had to have some serious heart-to-heart conversations and institute more formality in our processes to help bridge the gaps that this lack of communication caused us.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

We’ve always thought there would be an opportunity for a crowd-sourced travel agency. We believe you could utilize people’s passion for planning vacations and natural competitiveness to offer tailored vacation plans to the masses without the expense of full-time travel agents.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We recently conducted a series of case studies with our customers, and we paid each person who participated $100. These case studies are invaluable to us, and it is one thing for us to share how our system can help an organization. It’s entirely different for a peer of those organizations to share how we help. Case studies are worth their weight in gold.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Slack – we use it for all of our communication, and as a remote team, it helps us all stay connected and on the same page.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Outward Mindset – changing the way we think and feel about others helps all aspects of your life

What is your favorite quote?

“Listening is the first act of love.” – Paul Tilch

Key Learnings:

  • Defaulting towards action drives productivity
  • Pain can be good for you
  • The best $100 spent is the one that makes your next $1000
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interviews

Interview with Dayana Doncheva, Founder of EcardForest Group Ecards

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Interview with Dayana Doncheva, Founder of EcardForest Group Ecards

Dayana Doncheva is the founder of EcardForest Group Ecards – a company for greeting cards that can be signed by many people online and sent digitally. Their ecard collection includes all key occasions and features birthday, farewell, baby, wedding and many more cards. EcardForest is highly invested in environmental protection and engages in tree planting around the world.

Where did the idea for EcardForest come from?

EcardForest was inspired by a personal use case. I was about to organize a leaving card for my colleague in early 2021 and looked for options online that would allow group signing so that the full team can share their goodbye wishes. I didn’t like the available options and realized that this could be a business idea. After doing my research and checking the competitors, I embraced my entrepreneurial spirit and thought I can give it a go.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

There is not a typical-day concept for us yet. We are growing fast and our routine changes very quickly, allowing us to navigate between new feature integrations, the creation and release of new greeting card designs, as well as support tasks. Of course, every team member has devoted tasks, but we work in an agile setup and adapt quickly based on the priorities.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The process is quite funny actually. We dare to dream and think out of the box. Most of our ideas come to life as funny suggestions. If some of those suggestions still keep us wondering a couple of days later, we put them to a sense-check and see what comes out. We do proper research and talk to a couple of external people to verify the idea before putting it into our backlog.

As a next step, we deep dive into the execution. Once we launch a new feature on EcardForest.com we make sure to monitor it closely. Is everything fine? Does it work as expected? Does it generate added value for our consumers and us? If not, we remove it.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Hybrid working. Naturally, that drives our business since our online greeting cards experience higher demand when people around the globe work in a hybrid setup.

Hybrid working is an interesting trend to us in general too. We experienced first-hand how easy working in a global model could be. Our team is spread around Europe and when needed we involve freelancers from around the world, which allows us to work with the best talents no matter the location.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

People often tell me that I appear to be very well organized. In fact, I am not, and I enjoy the creative mess to the fullest. It nurtures my imagination. It’s contra intuitive but working in a messy environment has proven to help me become more productive in the long run.

If I need to focus on a bigger analytical task though, I try to get a fresh mind by going on a short walk before I start. That helps a great deal.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be braver! Today, I love to challenge myself, even though I know that some things won’t work out. I take it as a learning and grow from there. But a couple of years ago I was still quite hesitant and tended to lean towards safe bets.

Looking back, I am not sure when I changed to become braver, but I can’t help but wonder where I would have been today if I would have done it earlier.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

There is always more to learn. The schedule of an entrepreneur is usually terribly busy and that’s no different in the corporate world. Often times people feel quite comfortable after completing a task or a project and turning a new page to handle the next one. I see great value in reviewing decisions and processes based on new learnings. In my mind, the “good enough” solution can always become a better one, powered up by new learnings.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Do research. I trust in data and have learned to appreciate its value a lot. Doing your research not only saves a lot of potentially unnecessary work but also helps you focus on what’s important.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Investing in advertising has certainly helped us grow EcardForest. We make sure to capture the available demand as much as possible.

When starting a business, thinking about advertising costs might be scary but advertising is usually what kickstarts your business, once the product is ready. Being brave, spending some money but also monitoring the success closely can go a long way.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Before starting EcardForest I was working on another startup. It was focused on financial investment data and most importantly it was a B2B product. That turned out to be incredibly hard to market and required a lot of sales and support efforts. Soon afterward I discovered that the idea was not worth the effort, and it was not going to work out as expected.

I learned two valuable lessons: First, bringing a B2C product to life is easier. Second, holding on to an unsuccessful business idea for too long doesn’t bring you anywhere.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Circular economy products. I am a big fan of renting and reselling and it’s great for the environment. This is applicable to so many product types – from tools to equipment, mobility, etc. Just find a new niche.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

As part of our sustainability efforts, we donate some of our revenue to tree planting organizations around the globe. Just recently we onboarded a new partner – Ecologi that allows us to not only plant trees but also offset carbon emissions by contributing to additional projects like wind power development.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We use Github for our backlog and task management. The project section is a perfect solution for agile teams like ours and keeps us focused on important and urgent tasks. It certainly increases our productivity, and I can’t recommend that enough.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger is a great resource for any digital business or any website for that matter. It provides an understanding and best practices of website design, UI, colors, fonts, visual hierarchies, etc.

What is your favorite quote?

A single tree doesn’t make a forest. I just came up with that one, but the key message is that even the best entrepreneur or the most knowledgeable person can only go so far on their own. Building a strong team around you is what will bring you further.

Key Learnings:

  • First, do your research before you invest too much time and resources in an idea
  • Be open to exploring and learning more
  • Invest in bringing a strong team together to drive your idea further
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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