It was a pleasure to sit with Yogita Lall, a seasoned project manager, who after a number of years in the corporate word, realised there was a need for a service that helped people present themselves in a professional manner. She then took this inspiration and founded Get Promoted, a boutique consultancy firm that gives business people, professionals and graduates alike the tools to gain an unfair advantage in the workplace. Key takeaways included:
- Starting your journey as a Founder: Yogita, inspired by her desire to help solve her country’s unemployment problem, decided to use what she had at her disposal, namely her education, skills and experience, to address what she saw as a market need by creating GetPromoted. The lesson here, similar to previous episodes, is the importance of combining your passion with your skills and experience to meet a market need.
- Key Challenge: Changing key aspects of her business model based on customer feedback (pivoting) was Yogita’s key challenge at the beginning. Because it (the business model) was her ‘baby’, pivoting was personally uncomfortable to Yogita. She did pivot, but slowly and painfully, which she subsequently regretted. The lesson here is that one must not be afraid to fail, in fact, one must ‘fail-fast’ – seek negative feedback and quickly adjust one’s business model accordingly.
- A Failure: Yogita felt that she gave in to self-doubt, especially at the lowest points of her entrepreneurial journey. What helped her overcome this was having a support system in place and having outlets, such as meditation and exercise, that helped her re-energise herself spiritually and physically. The lesson here is that, in the often-lonely and difficult entrepreneurial journey, it is important to have a support network and to take good care of oneself.
- Key quote: “First you’ve got to start with being comfortable with being uncomfortable”
- Tips she would give herself knowing what she knows now: 1. Use practical business tools like the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Start-up model, quickly! 2. Be careful, surround yourself with ‘do-ers’ not ‘talkers’. 3. For budding entrepreneurs who are currently corporate employees, please prepare a financial cushion for when you take the leap, to tide you over for the lean period experienced by most start-ups.