Welcome to episode 47 of Leader Talk! On this episode we spoke to the amazing Pratik Thakker.
Pratik is an Indian-born digital and tech entrepreneur based in Israel, who is also known as Israel’s tech ambassador to India. He has an incredible following on LinkedIn and other social channels with over 250K followers and 200+ million views.
As a Founder and CEO at Webzoly, he is helping global companies hire remote talent. He is also a Founder at Testlify, a leading talent assessment platform helping companies hire the best talent with AI and deep analysis that’s accurate, automated, and unbiased.
In this chat Pratik shares the 1000-day challenge and how your business can stand out from the competition.
Want to learn more? You can read or listen to our chat with Pratik Thakker on YouTube, Spotify, Listen Notes, or Player FM. It’s also available anywhere you listen to your favourite podcasts via Buzzsprout.
When it comes to turning an idea into a business, the difference between those that succeed and don’t, is one simple thing: action. You may know exactly what you need to do to build a successful business, but if you don’t put it into action, your ideas will stay and die in your mind. While many people have great ideas, only a courageous few actually take action. They can have 10 ideas and implement all of them and only two will work out, but that is two more than the person who never tried.
Self-doubt can hugely define whether or not one tries. A lot of people have a negative mindset when it comes to their careers, which is one of the reasons why only 8% of people actually achieve their goals. So many of us have ideas, yet only a minuscule amount are brave enough to execute them. Is it laziness or fear of failure?
That is why there is such an emphasis today on ‘finding what you’re passionate about’. If you’re not passionate about your idea, you will give up in a couple of months or a year. Conversely, if you do find something you’re passionate about, you have the drive to surpass the laziness and fear, and the chances of quitting prematurely are low.
One hour out of your day, every day, can make all the difference to an aspiring entrepreneur. Discover what things you need to start: a brand name, logo, website, and product itself. Then comes marketing in the form of social media, SEO, advertising and building networks. We, fortunately, live in a world where you can create a whole store online for merely $20 or $30. If you don’t know much about web development, Google and YouTube make information accessible at the touch of a button. There is no excuse for not starting a business other than self-doubt, which is why I believe carrying out the 1000-day challenge is all the more helpful.
The 1000-day challenge
To me, the formula for achieving success is in taking on the 1000-day challenge. For many of us, when we have an idea, we begin full of excitement and hope for it. Then once we encounter a few curveballs, we start to become dissuaded and lose motivation. We give up in a few weeks, months or years. However, any meaningful goal in your life should be expected to take at least two years to fulfil, whether you’re trying to improve your fitness or buy a house. By setting 1000-day goals, you’re forced to pursue the things that mean a lot to you, instead of the short-term, fleeting desires that lead to burnout. Why not bring that into building your business? Invest 1000 days into your idea and consider, if it doesn’t work after 1000 days, I’ll quit, but until then I have to work until I reach day 1000. When those inevitable challenges come your way, you’ll have that big picture in your mind to keep going.
When I first started my LinkedIn, I told myself I would post regularly for 1000 days. Rain, hail or shine my followers would see me posting on LinkedIn every single day. They were small steps to achieving the big reward of a network of partners and clientele. If you commit to working towards your business goal every single day for 1000 days, you’ll see the rewards.
We often overestimate what we can get done in a day, and underestimate what we can get done in a year. The 1000 day mindset ensures you make consistent progress towards your goal. You also have to optimise your work day-by-day, which is what I call ‘eating the frog’. Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. Your frog is your single most important task for the day, which is usually your hardest. You eat it at the beginning of your day to get it over and done with. Imagine, after 1000 days you would have completed 1000 big tasks!
As cliché as it may be, it is like planting a seed and watering it every day for 1000 days. You may not see it sprout in the first couple of weeks or even months, but after a year the fruits will come. That’s exactly how business works.
While everyone will tell you that running a small business takes following through with commitments, it’s easier said than done, right? The reality of small business owners is that they work tirelessly and non-stop. The problem is creating the discipline to do so. Ask yourself, how badly do you want it? To me, I feel I’m drowning and when I achieve my goal it feels like I’m finally coming up for air. I need success like I need air. It’s important to question whether what you’re chasing is something you’re ready to dedicate time to and compromise for it.
Standing out from the competition
When scaling your small business, think about what you can do differently. You have to create that noise in order to create a unique brand. Social media allows you to show a vast amount of people what difference you can make in their life, even if it is through one video every day that shows one of your processes or products. Give people a reason to buy what you’re offering.
To small business owners, I always recommend offering customers your products and services for free in exchange for testimonials. Send potential customers a free product, or fix their shower for free for the first time. You might be thinking this will only waste your time and money, but under the mindset of the 1000-day goal, you can see it’s a way to gain loyal customers that invest in your future. If you provide services for free the first time, then the next time they or their friend needs you, they’ll think of you because you provided a service beyond expectation. You’ve made yourself stand out. If you service one customer a day for free for one year, you’ll have basically built a customer base of 365 in one year.
When I first began my professional career, I was a web developer. I advertised my services in a Facebook group offering to build people’s websites for free in exchange for a one-minute video testimony. This led me to gain more and more business and eventually a full-time job.
I believe the customer should know what the service or product is like before paying anything. That is how you build trust and credibility – two vital things to a small business’s success. The customers will feel indebted to you because of your free service. They might put extra effort into making a more impressive testimonial, and that alone will separate you immensely from the competitors.
When it comes to business-to-business marketing, you have to learn where your audience is. If your target customer is reading emails at 10 am, schedule the email campaign for 10 am. If they’re on Twitter at 12 pm, show them an advertisement on Twitter at 12 pm. Map where your audience is and use that for outreach. Posting two to five times a day is optimal. Not only will the algorithm favour you, but people will see you every day and your brand will create itself. Why do we choose Coca-Cola or McDonald’s over other brands? It’s because they’ve hammered their brand into us daily. People should see you every day.
If you have heard all of this before and think you simply don’t have the time for it, then you do not have what it takes. If you don’t think social media is a worthy investment for your business today, close your business! You have to stand out, and in today’s world this involves being active on social media. Hire someone, schedule time for it, and find a way.
Much of the strategies I’ve discussed are not old news. While many people know what to do, not many go out and execute it. That is the difference between achievers and non-achievers. So, I implore you to ask yourself how badly you want your business to succeed, and go and make it happen, day by day.