inquito’s year in review – Guest Post
It’s December! The month of presents, holiday cheer and Santa Claus. But because Romanians love their traditions, before even thinking about Christmas, we have another special celebration: Saint Nicholas’ Day. As a patron saint, he’s celebrated on December 5th by kids who usually leave a boot on their windowsill and await treats from Saint Nicholas.
Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s imagine the boot awaiting treats is social media, and St. Nicholas is me: Diana Vranău. As a gift towards inquito, I’m sharing their year in review and how it inspired me to develop my entrepreneurial side.
What happened in 2018?
2018 was big, from all points of view. The year started off with the so-called ‘end of the Castro era’ in Cuba, continued with the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which Facebook was involved, THE royal wedding everyone was waiting for and the #MeToo hashtag that spread like wildfire and shed some light onto the sexual misconduct women are exposed to, every day, in every industry. This is what happened in the world. But what about inquito? How was their year, what did they do and most importantly, from where?
The most successful article
Wanna guess which one was it? Not to brag, but what you guys enjoyed most this year was my other guest post, on inquito’s 3 year anniversary. You’ve managed to learn how the entrepreneurial life changes you and what are the biggest DON’Ts in the beginning. With this post, we’ve reached, 2.1k of you loyal readers and managed to keep the engagement quite high. For that we thank you!
inquito in numbers
Numbers and statistics are important, right? So I decided to dig a little and find out how 2018 did from this point of view. Between January 1st and December 1st, inquito managed to reach no less than 14.8k people, with 111 posts this year, obtaining over 1.1k engagements from users in 53 different countries around the world. Moreover, so far they’ve convinced 800 of you folks to follow and stay tuned to their content – I’m guessing 2019 will come with the 1k milestone. Quite impressive for just 11 months, isn’t it?
inquito around Europe
If there is something you can expect from entrepreneurship, that is definitely the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere you want, whenever you want. That is if your line of business is only dependable on a laptop and half-decent internet connection. Now, you should know something about inquito’s founder, Miruna: she travels. A lot! And on that note, I asked her to share her impressions on some of the spots she’s worked from this year.
Great wines, a colourful Ribeira (the river bank) to stroll on, an inspirational art district and the multitude of coffee shops and cosy places to work from. That’s Porto – Miruna’s home for over a year, as well as the place where she started rebranding inquito and shifting the focus from marketing for big companies to NGOs and startups. Proof of that are the 2 Lisbon-based startups which she helped, pro-bono, during her stay there: Lettuce Grow & Re:Fresh.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? At least until you take into consideration the fact that their internet connection is not as speedy as Romanians would expect – according to statistics, Portugal ranked 23rd in the world, in 2018, for average internet speed, whereas Romania is 4th. A bit of a difference I’d say – and I can vouch for that since I’ve experienced it myself during my stay there. Nonetheless, what Portugal lacks in internet speed, it makes up for in landscapes, culture, gastronomy and sun.
The cradle of Western civilisation, the birthplace of democracy, literature, drama and the Olympic Games. This is Greece. And Miruna spent a week there this summer, taking in all the sun and the inspiration she could get, in order to finish her PhD application for fall. So did the influences of Socrates, Aristotle or Homer help her in any way? She’s a PhD student now, so most probably yes. Bottom line: go to Athens when in doubt or in need of inspiration. If it doesn’t actually help, at least you will have had an amazing vacation in the mythical land of gods.
Onto more ‘exotic’ places now. Last, but not least, on the list is Iceland. You’d imagine cold and dark and all things horror that come with that during this time of year. But as surprising as it might be, Iceland in November was warmer than Romania. The sun was rising around 10 in the morning, so till then, Miruna had plenty of time to reply to emails, write content or check social media. With great Wi-Fi and plenty of places to work from, this was by far a favourite place to work from.
New Year’s resolution?
Ok, but enough about 2018 now. A year in review is meant to make you reflect on what you want for the next one as well. Therefore, I got curious and asked Miruna about her 2019 resolution. Her wish for inquito in the new year is to take it to another continent. Sounds daring, doesn’t it? Rest assured, she’s still far from a global takeover. Nonetheless, she’d like to work from another continent for a while, all whilst keeping her Bucharest branch active. So where will inquito go next? Can you guess?
How does my year in review look like?
Now that you’ve seen how inquito did, let’s see how my 2018 went down. It was a whirlwind, I’ll tell you that: I left the corporate environment back in August of this year, to pursue this crazy idea of entrepreneurship. It’s already been 4 months since then. I guess time really flies, doesn’t it?! Now, after starting this collaboration with inquito and having had an amazing experience in Porto, I’m even more determined to go down this path.
I’ve learned and grown, developed skills I didn’t know I can, met inspiring people and done things I thought were out of my league.
- One of the most important things I’ve discovered is that I’m my worst enemy. There is nothing stopping me (or you) from doing something, except for my own judgements, pre-conceived ideas and fears. Once I understood that everything got better. Worry not, I’m not some superstar featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 (yet) after this realisation. Nonetheless, it helps a lot when I overthink and start sabotaging myself.
- Another very relevant thing learned was how I evaluate my work and time. Before Portugal and inquito happened, I used to help out a lot with content writing, proofreading and things like that. For free. I don’t regret it, don’t get me wrong. However, I’ve learned my time and work are valuable, only if I make them so. No one will come and appreciate what I do, and reward it if I don’t start doing it myself.
- The power of mentorship. I wanted to learn and have a hands-on experience of running a business. So I thought, why not? Since I’m already surrounded by people with a lot more expertise at running a business than what I could possibly read myself, I might as well make the most of it. That’s how I discovered mentorship is a two-way street, it’s about receiving, as well as giving and it’s important to have a fresh, objective and qualified perspective over your work.
If you ask my friends, they’ll all say that 2018 was my best year: left the corporate life, enjoyed unemployment, moved away, really started working on my own projects and ideas. Nevertheless, if you ask me, I think this was just the beginning, the year when I took the jump. 2019 will be bigger, better, brighter. So bring it on!