For the past year I’ve had a front seat to Brandzooka’s rocket-like growth. It’s been nothing but incredible to witness, and I am honored that they are members of our community. As I write, Co-Founder and CEO Aquiles La Grave is sitting with inquiries about M&A’s from two publicly traded companies.
In July of this year, he was invited by one of the top 5 VCs in America for “talks”. Huh? Who gets invited by VCs to drop in for a chat and a ham sandwich?
Wait. It gets even better. It’s all happened in less than two years.
If you wake up every day intent on building a business that creates social value, here are 7 things I’ve learned from Aquiles that you should grab and run with immediately:
- Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to toss out a F-Bomb when necessary.
- Be relentless. Wake up. Kick ass. Do good. Repeat.
- Be open. Your initial idea might spark someone to come up with a better one.
- Surround yourself with brilliant people who you love. And acknowledge them frequently.
- It’s not about you. Build something people will use.
- Get help before your challenges become problems that you can’t solve.
- Adapt, Adapt, Adapt…and then adapt more, and faster.
Note that I didn’t populate my list with things like, “research,” or, “develop a rock-solid strategy,” or, “join 10 networking groups.” All that stuff is worthless unless you are coming from the right place, which is:
From the beginning, Aquiles and team set out to democratize advertising and make it possible for anyone with a dream and an idea to be seen on major channels that until now, were unreachable. Once their vision was clear they organized around it, and then set to make it a reality.
A bold vision to do something meaningful coupled with amazing talent and a smart approach to getting work done is the secret behind Brandzooka’s success. If you are a social entrepreneur, it’s not enough to just want to “do good”. Your desire to improve life on the planet has to burn like a piece of red-hot coal inside your belly. If you are conflicted with the notion of generating big revenues and scaling a company because it doesn’t match someone else’s small definition for “social business”, kick that nonsense to the curb. Those things are just evidence that you’ve been successful in attracting the resources needed to accomplish what you say you want to do in the world.
More importantly, never forget that the world needs you. Not one, or two of us. All of us need: you.
Just imagine if every social business was publicly owned business and took care of the planet and all the creatures on it.