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Gautam Sham

Young Entrepreneur

What it truly means to be “Self-Employed”

Let’s talk about Self-Employment, but, before I get into details I would like to share some feedback I got from sending out a Typeform to many of neighbors and family members (Both entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs) to learn about what they thought Self-Employment meant for them, here’s a little feedback of what I got:

“Be your own boss” – Marketing Manager @ CVS Caremark

“Make your own money to achieve financial independence” –   Marketing Manager @ AT&T

“Means you’re doing entrepreneurial stuff” – Student @ UPRRP

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This is just a couple of the many answers I got from the survey, we all know that this is definitely what it’s all about, being your own boss while making an earning to create financial independence. It is called being an entrepreneur, as we all know many business woman & men have taken on the duty to create innovative ideas to move the world. As Millennials, we’ve created a whole ecosystem driven to educate, expand & incubate cutting-edge ideas to make the world a better place. By collaborating with mentors, incubators and many others experienced in the field, young entrepreneurs are able to expand an idea they once had and turn it into a product with a lot less of the hassle (and money) it used to take earlier generations to do.

Nowadays there are many types of platforms where you can either market your idea, raise funds for it or just have someone talk to you about how you could make it better. Platforms like Antrocket & Kiva Zip who help you socially fund your idea with a very low fee or a 0% interest like Kiva Zip. Incubators like Piloto151 or Startups of Puerto Rico who dedicate their time to help and develop any idea. Finally online platforms like Puerto Rico Global who help you find the perfect teammate or the online resource to help one collaborate with others.

Because of the marketing and the social outcome these types of platforms can give any entrepreneur, we tend to glorify nowadays these young entrepreneurs with their successfulness and their ability to create a demand for a product or service that never existed before or socially innovate in an industry that definitely needed it. We all tend to applaud what these entrepreneurs are able to do, it takes dedication to spend all of your time in your “baby” and hope to see the best of it.

What very little people realize is the sacrifice and the trouble that most of these entrepreneurs seem to go through. We tend to applaud their final product, but no one congratulates them for going through the excruciating stress that the process takes. I don’t say these only because I’ve experienced it, I say this from the many entrepreneurs I’ve had the privilege to talk to and listen to their stories about how much shit they had to go through to reach the point they are today. If I mention my own experience, I remember the distance we had as a family when we started running our hotel, by this I don’t mean that we were never together, on the contrary, I think my mom and I spent more time together on our first 8 months of running than we ever had, but, as a complete family we barely saw each other. It took us a complete 8 months to actually sit on the dinner table and have our first meal as a complete family and not have to worry about the business. This doesn’t include the hell we all went through while we were in the process of construction, not only did we pull our hairs, there were nights where we were so stressed we couldn’t even sleep a minute, nights were we cried of frustration or had thoughts of giving up. Things like this are the process that entrepreneurs go through on a daily basis before they actually get to launch.

Recently I had the chance to be part of a panel of entrepreneurs talking about their experiences having their own businesses. From one of these, a very good friend of mine, Alan Taveras the Co-Founder of Brands Of Puerto Rico, talked about his experience before launching his e-commerce business and how the process of it was hard work and hell. How he had to present his idea to a million and one people before he could launch and how he failed a million of times before he could successfully launch one of the biggest e-commerce websites for the diaspora of Puerto Rico.

At the same time, I heard the story of the Founder of Suxess Clothing Apparel and how he literally started his business with his salary check from working as a sale clerk in Payless and how he struggled to pay his bills before he could design and launch his first product.

We have all seen the success stories from big entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs & Bill Gates, people who we hear about every day on the news, people who have shaped the technology industry and created a brand which talks for itself and creates its own demand. Many people don’t realize the struggles they both went through, both were dropouts, both of them got shit from their parents for taking that decision, Steve Jobs started out in a basement and when eventually established Apple he even got thrown out from his own business.

These are just a few stories from the millions I’ve heard about struggles, sleepless nights, frustrations and many other reasons to give up from many entrepreneurs including ones from my own family. But why does no one tend to realize these struggles. Is it because we are too blinded by the fame and success of others that we don’t realize that the starting entrepreneur probably gave it his all for his business?

We live in an era where the term “Self-Employment” has created a bigger impact than ever before.

But no one realizes what “Self-Employment” or being an entrepreneur really is, what they have overcome while trying to make their dream a reality.

Here’s a video I would like to show to conclude this post, it’s a 90-second video that gave me the perfect reason to write this, and gives the perfect example of a normal life of any entrepreneur.

The Life of an Entrepreneur in 90 Seconds by Patrick BetDavid

I do encourage all of you to watch this video, its the complete truth about being Self-Employed. If you’re not able to watch the video here is the visual version of it:

Most people only pay attention to the final product of a
successful entrepreneur.
They say things like, “ I can never be like them.”
What most don’t see, is what they’ve overcome.
All the struggles, the daily rejections, the heart aches,
the betrayals, the rumors, the criticism,
the empty bank account, and all those lonely nights while trying to make their vision a reality.
You see the only difference between the one who quits and the one who doesn’t is that
they showed up every day,
they worked hard every day,
they hustled every day,
they learned from a proven mentor every day,
they improved every day,
They did all this even though they felt like quitting every day.
And eventually,
they became who they are today.

By Patrick BetDavid

If you are an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur-in-process- let me know what your struggle was!? or what was the most difficult part of starting off?! Maybe your struggle could help someone else in the process!

6 Simple Steps to Maximize Productivity (Without it being too much of a hassle)

Don’t we all just love to hyperventilate?

Productive

     I remember when I was in high school, during my senior year; I loved leaving all my schoolwork for last-minute… or at least until I was really forced to do it. It wasn’t really on purpose; I just honestly thought I had a reason for it… I had more important things to do! I was in high school, on the varsity basketball team; there were events to attend to and parties to go to. I really had no time to do my work at all! It seemed like the easiest way to live; I could do whatever I wanted as long as I got my work done before it was due. What a deal! I was younger; I could stay up late doing my work and easily wake up the next morning to go to school. It looked like I had it all figured out! Once I graduated it was all a piece of cake. I got into college, started attending class, meeting new people and going out with friends. It seemed too good to be true, that was ↓

→Until my parents decided we were going to open a new business…

Damn! Getting shit done all of a sudden turned into a lot of work! I had gotten used to such a relaxed life and was so used to letting things pile up till last minute in exchange of being able to enjoy every little thing.
Until it hit me…I COULDN’T DO THAT ANYMORE!

I was so dumbfounded about how much I needed to change to be able to grow and have a successful business. It suddenly felt like too much work and it didn’t seem like I was prepared for it. After a few days, all of a sudden I found myself stressed out; panicking about my next day at work and the amount of energy I had to put into it. I knew all of this was because of my lack of organization, and after a few weeks I finally realized that because of this I needed to change my ways of dealing with things. I am too young and new to the business to feel this kind of stress.

Suddenly I started asking myself simple questions to change my habits and I realized these three were the most important ones:
1. Am I too young to be stressed?
2. Aren’t these suppose to be the best years to be working & growing my business?
3. What can I do so I can change my habits and be more productive at work and still be able to have time for other things?

Well, let me say, it wasn’t easy, but after asking myself these questions I realized I needed to change my habits to become more proactive. It took me a while to figure it out and it was a bit of a struggle but after putting some thought and effort into it, I managed to put together the perfect formula. I knew I needed to start with planning – find a way to create a habit where I could work responsibly and grow my business while still being able to be a full-time student and have a social life.

Throughout the many months, it took me to figure this one out, and the many breakdowns that came with it. I finally discovered a simple and easy 6 step planning process that I want to share with anyone who might be going through the same situation:

  1. STOP Trying To Overdue
         Let’s face it. As a business owner, we are never going to be able to accomplish all the work we want to in a 16-hour shift (I say 16-hour hoping we all sleep at least 8 hours). Even if you’re a small time business owner like me, the number of hours we can put into our companies is never going to be justifiable in one single day; it’s just not happening. As a business owner, we need tor realize that a successful outcome needs time and planning for it to go through. What can we do to NOT overdue it? Every morning simply think or make a list of the things you have in your head that you need to accomplish. From the list pinpoint the ones with the nearest due dates. Always remember, start with the hardest task, this way once you’re done with it hopefully all you’re missing to do are the quick ones. Don’t overdue it!
  2. Get Help!
    When my mom and I started our Bed & Breakfast (Dream Inn PR) it was all a piece of cake, my mom would do the hard work and I would do the simple stuff. I was happy with that at the beginning until I realized that the easy way out is not necessarily the best way. After realizing this, I felt like I was not doing much and that my mom seemed to be doing the hard work which consequently left me feeling useless, so I started asking her to give me any type of work to start off, every day I wanted to do something new and different, which with my mindset meant I would try to figure things out by myself. As a marketing major I decided I was going to run our social media campaigns on my own without asking for any help. That was my biggest mistake right there.I never actually realized what the definition of “Co” from “Co-Founder” actually stood for until I started trying to do things without anyone’s help. The word “Co” is a prefix, normally used as a form of “Joining” or “Mutual” which means that more than one person is a part of something. After this, I realized that when we join heads with another person (in this case my mom) we are able to create more ideas and be more productive.
    A few weeks ago I came across a quote that really stuck with me “One person cannot conquer the business world by themselves. But two? Two can take over an industry” When we joined heads we were able to help our business grow in an industry we know very little about. We found out, together, about ways to market and promote our business in a successful manner, how to really get out there and be known more, and eventually this trend transformed into us making decisions together. Joining heads is a great way to be more productive, not only do you get new ideas you’re also able to alleviate a little bit of your work with someone else.
  3. Be a Perfectionist
        Alright, so this one is a little bit controversial for most because many people see the term “perfectionist” in two ways: Negative & Positive. I recently read an article where it talked about how being a perfectionist is not productive at all (THIS is the negative side) and how perfectionist are normally wasting their time in daily affairs trying to do things perfectly while, when instead they should be getting things done quicker so they could get more work done in a single day.
    My way of seeing it is that being a perfectionist is the BEST way to maximize your productivity. Why might you ask? Well, because if we would NOT be a perfectionist, the work we would do on “speedy” terms, might eventually fail and have to be redone again. This is the reason why a perfectionist normally does his/her job so well that it barely has to be touched again or re-evaluated until a longer period of time has passed because it was done the right way.

  4. Calendarize (In a Small Scale)
    I find that this step is the one that helped the most! When I say calendarize I don’t mean you literally have to go tomorrow to your nearest CVS and buy a calendar, this term is simply trying to express that every entrepreneur should always have in mind the work that has to be done the next day. Meaning that every night we should sit and think:
    A.What did I leave today to finish tomorrow?
    B. What needs my urgent attention first thing tomorrow morning?
    Asking ourselves these questions helps us create a small mental calendar/diary of the task we need to complete the next day at work, that way when we start our day we don’t have to waste time trying to figure out where should we start.
  5. Learn To Say NO
    Alright, so this one might be a little tough. Every entrepreneur should have a very important word in their vocabulary, normally this one could get a strong reaction depending on how it is used. CAUTION USE WISELY. Learning to say “No” once in a while might actually help us be more productive. When we say no to a small favor or a business proposal that has nothing to do with us, we are maximizing our time to actually be able to concentrate on the work we already have. Saying no might create issues between coworker or a partner, but you need to give an explanation and let them know that you just have too many things on your plate right now to be able to take on more work. There’s a gentler way of doing this: tell them you will come back to them when you’re more available. Always ask yourself: why have someone else work on your shoulders when you already have your world in your hands?
  6. Rest & Meditate
    We all know that as an entrepreneur there’s no such thing as a 9 to 5 type of job for us. We are constantly working in our businesses to find ways to grow; whether it’s looking for a new way to market ourselves or trying to deal with the daily struggle of getting shit done. It always seems like a never ending deal! Because of this constant workload it seems like it’s a daily reminder of how stressful work can be and how much time consuming it is. Working 24/7 on your business will eventually take a toll on you and drain every single drop of energy you have. After a stressful week, 8-hours of sleep is just not enough. Sometimes you just simply have to kick back, lift your feet and rest. Whether it’s going out for drinks with your friends, a simple dinner with your family or just simply taking a night off to be at home and relax. While your resting always takes a moment or two to meditate and be thankful for everything you have in your life. This way you’ll get used to having a more relaxing and calm day every time you count your blessings. The rest you give your body will always give you excellent outcomes the next time you go to work.

After learning these few steps, I can actually say I learned to balance my work life. It was not easy to tell you that much. Eventually, these steps made me learn how much struggle work can be if we don’t take it day by day. We must all learn to take things easily and as they come, and always remember “Nothing happens from one day to another”

Thank You, everyone, if you like what you read please share on Facebook or Twitter and let other people know too! Thank You

Who am I as a millennial?

My name is Gautam Shamdasani, I’m 20 years old and I am a Millennial kid. That is why I’ve decided to write a blog.

A little about myself; I am the youngest son of a family of Indian immigrants who decided to move to Puerto Rico 35 years ago to look for a better future. Why come all they way from India to Puerto Rico you might ask?

BIG OPPORTUNITIES

Puerto Rico use to be the destination for many entrepreneurs from all parts of the world. It was considered the best island to invest in the 60s. Wondering why? Well, I can give you many reasons but there are three I would rather emphasize on: 1. We were considered the “virgin” island, one not having been touched by any U.S. corporate company. 2. WE HAD NO SALES TAX in Puerto Rico being the biggest reason ANYONE, I mean literally anyone with an idea would want to come and start a business on this island. 3. We had land, and cheap land it was!

Because of these reasons the generation we call “Baby Boomers” were literally all over the place, they had many ideas to create millions of business and jobs that it almost looked liked an endless opportunity. For many long years, these business men & woman ruled and did everything possible to take over anything they could set their hands on. They all thought they were impalpable (including my parents) and thought that no one would ever be able to bring them down of their throne… Until Now… Never did they realize we would eventually come to an era where we would have a new generation with new ideas that could beat and outgrow any of these so-called “Baby Boomers”; an era where any type of business had to reinvent its way of communicating with its audience or it would be known as its downfall. The reason for such a dramatic change of running a business has been known as what we like to call ourselves “Millennials”  We are the type of people any old timer would hate. I literally mean hate! We’re a group born between 1980 and 2000s that demographically OUTNUMBERS THE BABY BOOMERS by a large amount.

Before I say anything else, our large amount is the main reason why I think old timers are scared of us.

We came here to revolutionize what we once thought was going to be the future of our world, Business.

Who are we you say?

Well… We Millennia’s don’t need anyone’s help, because we have grown up with the intelligence of the internet at the palm of our hands for most of our lives we rarely rely on someone else to guide us through a path.
We are not scared to try new things, it honestly doesn’t frighten us when it comes to being an entrepreneur and wanting to create new start-ups and new ideas.
We got use to having everything at the palm of our hands, meaning that we want everything done quickly and at the moment, which is the reason why many entrepreneurs are defining the service industry over the past few years.
We are quickly learning how to network ourselves and like how a good friend of mine would say “Get Shit Done”

We are basically figuring out ways to become the new business leaders of the world, and show everyone how age is not a barrier anymore and we have no choice but to re-invent ideas because they don’t suit our way of working.

I’m a child of a baby boomer… and a entrepreneur of the millennial era… I am learning the best of both worlds.

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