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“It was my first ever business venture, everything looked good on paper but I lacked the proper execution skills. Nevertheless, it was my first taste of business – a thrilling learning experience. So much so that even after it failed, I decided to continue with another business.” – Haris Baloch, a 16-year old entrepreneur from Pakistan, explains his first experience with business.
Haris Baloch was born in Kharan, Balochistan to a family with humble means. He was 13 years old when the desire to be independent, financially as well as mentally, was the initial driving factor in his life. Today his struggles have paid off and with his businesses running smoothly, Haris has now become a source of inspiration for youngsters all over the country.
We sat down with Haris and asked him a few questions which once again proved that age is really just a number and real maturity comes from within. So without further ado:
What is your definition of success?
“Success for me is when I am able to give my family and loved ones the standard of living they deserve. I believe success is a result of happiness and not the other way around.”
How have you changed/grown since you started your business?
“I was thirteen when I started my first venture, and a lot has changed in the past three years. The most prominent change I see is that I have become more responsible when it comes to expenses and budgeting. Initially, I struggled with keeping cash flow in check, So I learned bookkeeping and money management techniques to curb this habit.”
How do you push through your worst times?
“Perseverance and consistency are the two most important factors that can help anyone achieve their goals and ambitions. What I’ve learned from experience is that if you believe that your idea will work, then it most certainly will. When I am going through a particularly upsetting phase in my life, I go into introspection and analyze myself first. Then I rationally understand the situation and try to figure out the most productive solution to the problem.”
“Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up”?
“I felt very let down after my second business venture failed because the team I had put together was constantly struggling to perform as I had imagined. Initially, I was depressed and blamed the team’s inability to succeed for the failure. Thankfully, I soon realized that as a leader it is my responsibility to put my team-mates in a position to succeed – Playing by their strengths and helping them overcome their personal challenges individually. So instead of giving up, I started working on my communication skills and made an effort to understand my team on a deeper level. I am very glad to say that I still have the same team working with me on my current projects.”
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
1. Recruitment – I wish someone had told me to set boundaries and accountability systems for my employees. I also made the classic mistake of hiring close-friends/family. Most of them showed up with a sense of entitlement and never really seemed to be working as hard as other team members. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to hire/partner-with a relative or friend, just make sure that the person you’re recruiting knows that professional life and personal life are two separate things.
2. Contracts/Agreements – All I’d say is no matter how pure and sincere your intentions are towards the world, there will always be someone willing to take advantage of you. When it comes to business and my professional life, I take things very seriously and now I make sure that I have a written document-form of every collaboration/project I take on. This eliminates the possibility of anyone backing down from their commitments without a proper protocol.
3. A proper mindset – This is one thing I was mind-blown by when I learned about it. The power of the human brain is very great and we often fail to grasp the concept of manifestation. What you believe is what you get. If you truly and completely believe that you can achieve something, and if you put in the effort and sacrifice required, you will most definitely achieve that goal. I am a living example of this and there are countless others who have tapped in on their brain to use it to their advantage and avoid distractions.”
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