4 min read

💎 After running a consulting startup, here's my journey to making $15,000 in six days

Why I choose Entrepreneurship

To sum up the answer to this question in one word: self-expression.

During my high school years, I was outgoing but afraid.

I was open to learning more about other people, subjects at school, or the communication skills of successful speakers through speech and debate. I was open to putting my best foot forward in all my classes, studying as hard as I can, and positioning myself for a successful college and early career experience.

I was open to almost everything – except my own systems and ideas.

In school, there was a guaranteed formula for solving a mathematical equation. A guaranteed answer to every test question. In debate, I tried to look for a guaranteed style of speaking that would provide me with competitive success.

I was drawn to certainty, conformity, and comfort.

All this time, I didn’t realize that chasing a strong GPA, a list of extracurricular accomplishments, or prestigious internships, hid the fact that I was always following the rules, systems, and ideas of someone else.

When was the last time I actually created something new? Something unique? Something valuable for someone else? Something that wasn’t guaranteed to have a correct answer?

That’s the reason why running my own business appealed to me.

I desperately wanted to leave my own mark – especially in a world that has always told me when I need to get up and work, what I need to work on, and when I’m allowed to rest.

Although I still strongly value going to college, finding quality internship experience, and obtaining a stable, well-paying job, supplementing my life with entrepreneurship restores a sense of autonomy that I feel has been lost in my current educational experience.

However, I do want to clarify that this shift in perspective didn’t happen overnight. It was all thanks to one of the most genuine and well-wishing friends I’ve met in my entire life.

Growing up as neighbors for virtually our whole life, we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses on the back of our hands. In particular, he knew how scared I was to get out of my comfort zone and explore activities that I’m not familiar with. While we went on a walk that lasted for hours but felt like minutes, it was one particular conversation that stuck out to me.

“If you follow the same structures as everyone else, how are you going to discover what makes you different? Getting out of your comfort zone may be scary, but if you keep playing small, you will always win small.”

This perspective was one of the main catalysts for me developing a  default bias for calculated risk-taking, implementing my own creativity, and falling in love with swimming in waters of uncertainty.

There are obviously more nuances and consistent efforts I made to develop this new attitude toward risk-taking, but these events encapsulate the most defining moments of my personal development.

If I visited myself back in time just a year ago, I don’t think the younger version of me could ever imagine creating this newsletter, building my own website, or running a college consulting company.

But here I am now, all thanks to a very good friend.

The people you surround yourself with can immensely change the trajectory of your entire life – choose wisely :)

My #1 Lesson for Generating Revenue

Become a genuine service.

Too often, people view business as a zero-sum game – a cut-throat, merciless system that has little room for empathy and human consideration.

If that’s the case, then wouldn’t you stand out if you were one of the only people that genuinely cared about your clients?

I’m not talking about just being nice to your customers because you know they will buy your service. In that sense, they are seen as just chess pieces that are strategically moved to advance your goals.

People can smell it from a mile away.

If you want to implement this successfully, start asking better questions.

Start asking questions that aren’t focused on what the world can provide you – focus on what you can do for the people around you based on your unique knowledge, ability, and skillset.

Start asking questions that are fueled by empathy, and answered by consistent execution.

What do other people want? Why are you the best service that they can have?

This framework led my team to develop a free trial system, where we provided an abundance of upfront value for multiple weeks – completely free of charge. Countless hours were spent on organizing parent meetings, offering free personal branding services, offering them our unique value propositions, and practicing pitch decks for our paid consulting packages.

After assisting with almost 400 applications in my first semester of college alone, almost 80% of these clients never converted.

Pretty anti-climactic right? Maybe this idea was a complete waste of time.

Although we developed a unique approach to differentiate ourselves from the other services in our industry, the lack of ethos was the largest obstacle we encountered.

We didn’t notice the momentum build up until the start of my next semester.

The first thing we noticed is that a lot of the clients we worked with ended up getting into prestigious internships and universities – boosting the credibility of our distinct approach to consulting. However, the most critical factor for achieving our growth was demonstrating a vested interest in our client’s career development, regardless of whether they paid or not.

We were always a text away if they needed any advice. We wanted the best for them in every zoom call, meeting, or conversation. We treated them like they were human.

Through families spreading our name, we generated more client leads. More importantly, our clients unexpectedly did most of the marketing for us by spreading the credibility of our business through word of mouth.

Forging genuine trust, care, and value is just as important as the innovative aspect of business.

Hence, why I live by my personal slogan: “Care and Create”.

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