So, as I am about to hopefully start doing some exclusive interviews of special entrepreneurs, artist, travelers and digital nomads, I decided I should start it off with my own interview.
I was asked these questions for a new entrepreneur website in Bermuda back in 2015, but was never posted as the site for some reason has not posted any updates since then.
So instead of having this interview go completely to waste, I thought it would be a great idea to finally post it and take a look back in my thoughts back when it was only one year after the start of my entrepreneur journey.
What inspired you to start your new venture?
We were mostly inspired by “Humans of New York” and the #Bermuda hashtag…let me explain..
After taking a break from the 9-5 world last January I had a lot of free time but I wanted to stay busy. The recession steered my immediate family in developing an entrepreneurial spirit, my mother started her own online business DMG Design Flair and needed my help developing her web presence, which sparked my old creative spirit again (I initially achieved a Bachelor’s of Arts degree before I got my Computer Science degree). Working with DMG naturally led to me wanting to create my own online company, I knew I wanted to do something Bermuda related, as Bermuda is a jewel of a place and the potential is endless.
I once thought there was nothing to do in Bermuda and that I had seen it all but, after living overseas for 10 years I grew to appreciate just how special Bermuda was. Then I found something special on social media…the #Bermuda hashtag. Even though I lived in Bermuda and know quite a few people, I was shocked at how much people I did not know or have never seen and just seeing how happy people were just to be here. In addition, activities that were done that I, as a long time resident, have still yet to do and, large and small events going on that I would not have been aware of if I did not use the #Bermuda hashtag.
It seemed to be a time in Bermuda where people wanted to be heard and seen more than ever on different opinions on very important events that were happening around us. However, it seemed like there were limited places where these voices could be heard. I thought of creating an unbiased space where people of any background who wanted to share ideas, opinions or their stories about anything relating to Bermuda.
After sitting down with my brother to mash ideas together, he mentioned he had also wanted to start something in Bermuda akin to Humans of New York. All of our ideas snowballed into We Are Bermuda.
What distinct challenges and successes did you face when starting the company?
The initial challenge was coming up with the idea. We knew we wanted to do something different but also be useful and entertaining.
The next challenge was taking these ideas from paper to reality and figure out how to create and collect content and secure investment and capital to sustain the business.
The hardest challenge for me was returning to a 9-5 and finding the time and energy to keep We Are Bermuda going. But what I’ve learned is if you are passionate about something…you definitely figure out how to put the time in and in the end it never really “feels” like work.
Success to me was getting tons of feedback from locals and visitors of what a great job and idea we were doing with We Are Bermuda. Seeing people participate in our vision having people submit blogs, photos and videos to us and collaborating with great people inspires me to keep going and to keep making We Are Bermuda better!
Can you share 3 tips for new entrepreneurs in Bermuda?
1/ If you think you have a great idea…work on bringing it to life NOW. Do not wait for tomorrow, because if your idea is any good..someone else will think of it as well at some point and you may have missed the boat.
2/ Being an entrepreneur is NOT easy but it can be the most fun you’ve ever had “working”. But to be successful, you do have to put in the work to keep it alive and to make it viable for you. This means do not spend hours surfing the web or on Facebook, playing video games etc..unless it pertains to your business. Until your business gets off the ground and you are making all the money you can dream of..you should spend 90% of your free time on your ideas. Don’t get me wrong though..you should spend time unwinding and taking time off to relax..collect your thoughts, free your mind then get back to work refreshed. Taking a run on the beach is one of my favorite things to do to unwind and I tend to always come back re-energized and inspired.
3/ Do not be afraid to fail. This is an important one…as you may tend to second guess your idea a lot during your process and especially before you hit that GO button. Just remember that some of your ideas will fall flat for whatever reason. It may look awesome on paper but in reality it may just not work, but if you never put it out there or wait for it to be “perfect” you will never find out and you would have wasted a lot of time on a unsuccessful idea because nothing is perfect. As an Entrepreneur you are constantly learning and the best way to learn is to put your idea out there and see what the feedback is. That feedback will always keep you on the right track and allow you to rework your idea into what best suits your target audience.
What does next year look like for We Are Bermuda?
We are currently reworking our websites to allow us to showcase more of our content and events and services throughout the island of Bermuda. We have a lot of ideas, don’t want to give too much away, but what I am most excited about is working with some local programmers to bring some useful Bermuda related apps to the market. We want to show that Bermuda has a lot to offer, from its local businesses, social events and mostly importantly it’s people, from locals, visitors and also Bermudians living abroad. There is a lot going on in Bermuda so we expect to be keeping very busy so keep an eye on us!
I think my 2015 self would be quite happy with what we have accomplished since then and the way things have progressed in 2017 🙂