A rewarding part of being an entrepreneur is getting an opportunity to sit alongside, share a meal, or have a conversation with an entrepreneur that inspires you. Meeting people, you admire and surrounding yourself with inspiring people is a great way to fast track yourself to success.
I had an experience recently with Ashif Mawji right here in my hometown of Edmonton, Canada that inspired me to write about. Not only is he a serial entrepreneur that sold his previous company for over $20 million, but he’s someone that gives back to his community, and continues to build and advise amazing companies. A really inspirational leader.
The best part about meeting Mawji was learning about his new game-changing startup, Trust Science. Trust Science scours the web to find publicly available data on a person, business, or institution and uses various scientific algorithms, machine learning, deep learning and other techniques to calculate a contextual trustworthiness score. The score tells you what their trust level is. You might be thinking why would I ever need something like this?
The fact that the shared economy is blowing up tells me that Mawji’s solution Trust Science will play a valuable role in the decisions we make in the future.
After meeting Mawji, I walked away with valuable tips that have helped him build his previous and current businesses that I had to share with you, that have helped him on his journey of success.
1. Have Some Form of Mentorship
You’ve probably heard this before but it’s valuable to have a mentor. Someone you can look up to, or bounce an idea off of. It could totally just be someone you respect like your parents. I’m a firm believer in having a mentor because why not learn from someone who’s done what you are trying to do right now. You can learn from their successes and mistakes to help shape your future.
If you don’t have a mentor yet or, don’t know who could be your mentor. Think of someone you look up to, admire, or at times want to know more about. Those types of people are the ones that can become a possible mentor. It’s all up to you though because if you want a mentor, you need to initiate it. Remember, to be effective, you must offer the mentor something they need (e.g. learn from you, share experiences, demonstrating you are learning and getting better, etc.).
“At various stages I had different mentors. In the very early days, it was my parents and from a standpoint of how much they cared for the family and how they helped others even though they didn’t have the means (financially). Others like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been strong influences and I’ve learned from them,” said Mawji.
2. Do What You Enjoy
You always here these cliche stories about people following their passions and feeling like they barely work a day in their lives. That’s because they found something to do that they actually enjoy. By doing something you love, it just centers you on a whole other level. It doesn’t matter if you spend 5 hours or 15 hours a day doing it, it’s fun. This is important if you want to make a real impact on the world.
When you do something you enjoy, you put in that extra effort. When you’re mentally strong, it shows up in the work you do. Ultimately leading to a higher degree of success. So dive deep and find out what it is that you really enjoy and have a passion for.
“Do what you really, really enjoy. Focus on making it the best as it is a demonstration of what you can do when you do your best. I’ve never focused on the money aspect as I think if you’re doing something you really enjoy, you will be amazing at it, and the money will follow,” said Mawji.
3. Set Goals and Be Organized
Not every entrepreneur has a plan or idea of what their building from day one. One way to set yourself up for success is by staying organized. Yes, it’s easier said than done when you have a thousand tasks to do. The fact that Mawji has tasks going into 5 years from now is pretty crazy, but brilliant at the same time.
This shows he is someone you can rely on, but also that he has a plan.
A leader that has a plan or an idea of what they want to do, and by what time they want to accomplish it by, is setting themselves and company up for success. They anticipate the outcome or visualize where they want to be, and then pick a date to accomplish it by. This is powerful stuff.
Mawji knows this because he has achieved high levels of success before and wants to continue. Now this might not work for everyone but planning out 3 months, 2 years, and 5-year plans will help direct your energy towards what really matters. Sometimes being an entrepreneur we get led down paths focusing on tasks that we shouldn’t be doing. Instead, if we have a proper plan in place, we know what we should or shouldn’t be doing. Yet again increasing our chances of success.
“Use any task manager. I like to keep things organized and create tasks with end dates for everything. I have tasks going into 5 years from now, so I know what I need to do and when. I rarely miss commitments or obligations due to this,” said Mawji.
Next Steps to Success
Meeting people like Mawji is fascinating because they view the world differently. They deal with things as they come, but also anticipate the future. That’s a sign of greatness in my mind. This is why it’s not surprising to me that Mawji has been building a game-changing startup like Trust Science.
Think of it this way, the next time you want to take an Uber you can put the name of the driver into Trust Science and it will deliver you a trust score instantly (i.e. how trustworthy is that person to drive you from point A to point B?). Now that score could affect whether you choose that driver or wait for the next one because you find out he has a bad driving history.
I challenge you to implement at least one of the tips from Mawji into your routine.
Small concentrated steps in the right direction are better than taking on the whole world at once. Or not taking any steps at all.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.