Happy 3 years of inquito – Guest Post
Entrepreneurship – a concept considered scary by most. However, it’s still tempting enough to be tried out by millennials. I’m a millennial myself, so this is a story about me, obviously, and about my wannabe entrepreneurial path. After 3 years in the corporate environment, I finally decided to take the plunge and try an alternative way of living and working. I love the idea of entrepreneurship because it comes with a much sought-after creative freedom and flexibility.
Nonetheless, I’ll admit financial instability, failure, paperwork or lack of inspiration are scary. Despite all that, I believe the things that scare us the most are the ones we love more in the end. So I am willing to risk it all, develop ideas, fail at times, all with the ultimate purpose of getting the hang of this entrepreneurial lifestyle, millennials want so desperately.
As much as this is a story about this new path of mine, it is even more about Miruna and a 3 years success story with inquito – her disruptive digital marketing agency, as seen from my perspective. Got you curious already? Then let’s find out how becoming an entrepreneur changed her lifestyle, what’s her advice for newbies like me, and what inspires her.
Miruna lived for a full year in Portugal and she already got used to saying that Portugal and Portuguese people are amazing. Amazingly relaxed. Amazingly different, but still amazingly similar to Romanians. Looking back, she says:
Home is just a state of mind, the peace you find at the end of the day, the joy you rediscover when learning simple things again: how to greet people, how to interact in the supermarket, how to read a foreign website.
How does entrepreneurship change your lifestyle?
When founding a startup you have a core mission and vision, an idea worth working on, developing and sharing with others. That alone makes you more focused and gives you a special purpose. So the entrepreneurial life does change you! If you are told any different, I’m afraid it might be from a slightly misguided or inexperienced point of view.
The first thing I found out is that there’s a lot of misconception surrounding the topic. Yes, it can get messy, chaotic, crazy busy and you can get to burn out easily. Nonetheless, it can also be full of integrity, incredibly balanced and insanely liberating. Miruna’s been through it all; she still is, every day. However, after spending one year in Portugal she confesses:
I’ve learned one thing: to fight for myself, for my balance and my tranquillity.
She’s back to hectic Bucharest now, but all the calm and serenity ‘imported’ from Porto have made both her personal and professional life better.
The entrepreneur NOT TO DO list
I was curious, so I had to ask which are the big DON’Ts, from her point of view. A small note should be made on the fact that there are several types of entrepreneurs out there, so not everything might fit you like a glove. There are different drives and motives to start your own business, different approaches towards this lifestyle, different mindsets. Nonetheless, some of the things that you should not do when you’re an overachieving new entrepreneur:
- Don’t think there’s more than 24h in a day
This is the first thing she insisted on: starting her own business for the freedom and flexibility it gives her, she used to believe that a day can be extended past those 24 given hours. She quickly learned that once you put together the time spent working, attending different conferences, going out with some friends and doing sports, then you’re left with no time for basics: eat, sleep, take care of yourself.
- Never give up
It’ll be tempting after a while, especially when external and internal factors come into play. Ignore the people who don’t believe in you, the neverending paperwork or your own insecurities. Perseverance and cohesiveness are your best friends. If the first idea doesn’t work out as planned, find another one and another one till something truly sticks.
- Don’t underestimate yourself
When starting a business, your time and effort are the most valuable ones. Do not underestimate that. People can sometimes try to take advantage of all your knowledge; however, it is up to you how much of your time and energy you invest in their needs, in the detriment of yours.
- Don’t neglect your health and well-being
‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ – a healthy mind in a healthy body. This is one of the things you will tend to neglect in the beginning. You think you’re unbreakable. Well, shocker, you’re not. In Burnett and Evans’ book, Designing your life, there is a nice little dashboard on the balance between love, play, work, and health. Think about it; you’ll be surprised by what you can find out about yourself with a little introspection.
How can a place influence your work?
Before Portugal happened, inquito specialized in corporate marketing strategies mostly. However, once in Porto, Miruna decided to rebrand her business and shift the focus towards NGOs and startups. Because the city is basically 8 times smaller than Bucharest, with around a quarter of a million inhabitants, it was more difficult to penetrate the local market and make a stand, whilst big corporate marketing firms were around.
On the other hand, she believes Bucharest is much more diverse and open to initiatives from small businesses. She returned from Portugal with the same strategy in mind, focusing her energy on NGOs and startups willing to hire outside counsel for marketing matters. She’s succeeding so far!
How do I fit into this whole celebratory article?
Well, I’m just tagging along for the ride. In August 2018 I also moved to Portugal to pursue entrepreneurship. I want to learn, to grow and develop and to see first hand how it’s done. Luckily she’s my friend, and mentor now, so I get front row seats to her adventure, all whilst trying to forge my own path in this crazy world. These were the past 3 years of inquito, as seen by Diana Vranău (me), some insight into the future and tips & tricks that will hopefully help you in your own endeavors.