[Photograph by Maja Petric / Unsplash.com]
Until a little over two years ago, I was the Managing Editor at Forbes India. Circumstances conspired and I emerged in a new avatar as an entrepreneur. My designation sounds fancy - Co-founder and director at Founding Fuel Publishing. Truth is, the journey hasn't been easy. I learnt eight lessons worth a lifetime just a few days after taking this venture live. Since then, I've learnt two more and I think this as appropriate a time as any to share them.
The first is the value of money. After working in professional set ups for 20 odd years, I’d come to take certain things for granted. Take something as insignificant as a business card. Each time I ran out of it, I simply had to ask my assistant at work to place an order for 500 more. No questions asked, and it would be delivered without as much as a peep.
In setting up this entity up though, along with my co-founders, I had to look into the minutiae. That includes things like getting business cards designed and printed. After we’d settled on a design we thought good enough, it had to go to the printer. While cheaper options were available, for what we had in mind, each card cost Rs 3.50. Yes, it is bloody expensive.
That’s when it struck me I've exchanged cards by the thousands with people without giving it a thought. Inevitably, I’d store their co-ordinates if I thought them worth it on my phone and discard the card. Perhaps they did the same with my business card as well. That is why each time I extend my card; a voice in my head asks, "Is that bloke worth spending Rs 3.50 on?" If the answer is no, I simply say I’ve run out of cards and promise to email them my co-ordinates. Cheaper and more efficient!
As mundane as it may sound, fact is, it isn't. In running an organization, every penny matters. And every minute of your time as well! That is when it struck me I ought to perhaps I ought to start outsourcing significant parts of what I do on the mundane.
It didn't take me much to stumble across Fiverr. Practically all of the things I need to run an organization can be accomplished here for $5 a task. Consider for instance the following.
Hiring an assistant is expensive in a start up. Fiverr allows me hire virtual assistants to do whatever I want. I stumbled on a bloke called Finalpinka who will be at my beck and call for just about Rs 366 a day (at current exchange rates).
I need videos and post production done. No problem. Services are just a click away.
Incidentally, I think it's time I boost my rankings on social media. No problem. That can be done as well.
The success Fiverr accomplished led to a spate of sites trying to ape its success formula. A decent review of 20 such places and what you can hope to get accomplished is right here.
I think it mandatory every entrepreneur looks up these options because it frees up time to engage in higher order tasks for a remarkably cheap price. Your time is worth a lot more.
And because it is a weekend, I don't intend to bother Sveta with going over this for errors. Instead, before asking Achu to publish this, I’ll run this copy through Hemmingway App to check for errors, point mistakes, offer suggestions, and send it out.