This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Dan is a serial entrepreneur having built several multi-million dollar technology companies starting at the age of 17. He’s also an award-winning angel investor, having invested in companies like Intercom, Udemy, Hootsuite, Unbounce. Today he’s an executive coach focused exclusively on B2B SaaS working with the founders from ClickFunnels.com, Proposify.com, Carrot.com, and many others to help scale their businesses.
We hosted Dan in our live interview series. In this interview, he’s questioned by Amy Cosper, former Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine. He tells us about his journey through technology, some of the biggest lessons he has learned, and how he sees the eco-system in the current light of things.
Using his childhood as an example, Dan started by citing how entrepreneurship implies that you do not know what is going to happen. He discovered software when he stumbled on an old computer and a Java programming book. While he always had the entrepreneurial spirit in him. So far through his career, Dan has built 5 companies out of which he has exited 3, and also invested in 40+ other software companies.
Currently, a lot of entrepreneurs are feeling a huge lack of optimism due to the direct or indirect effects of the pandemic. Dan’s advice to these guys is that he has felt exactly that same way a number of times through his career, he cited one particular occasion where he had to talk to his team about pivoting.
On one of the occasions where there happened to be a major economic freeze. Dan’s team had to totally freeze their speed as well, which helped them cut expenses and new projects. They had to be careful to stay on the team’s original route and avoid veering off track.
One current lesson applicable to these times that Dan got from his 2001 – 2008 experience is that if you are strategic from now through to the next 16-18 months, you will definitely create more wealth than you will ever be able to. According to Dan, there is an opportunity for those that are willing. Being willing at this point means a few things including not complaining, having a structure and plan, doing everything you can to add value to your market, being generous with your time serving your customers, and deciding not to participate in the current downturn of events, but focusing on the positives.
Dan went on to mention that for 2-3 years of his career, he had to solely believe in his capabilities with no validation or encouragement from any external factors whatsoever. His belief and optimism that things were possible played a huge role in shaping his world today.
In summary, your ability to find a way to maximise the current situation of things and add value a much as you can until things get back to normal is likely to be your key to the biggest form of wealth creation you would experience in your entrepreneurial career.