Work hard. Find your purpose. Step out of your comfort zone. These are the three main lessons that Harry Sanders, founder and director of StudioHawk, a Google Marketing Specialist SEO company, learned in his experience as a businessman. Harry established his company during his teens, and he found that the entrepreneurial journey is full of challenges. Yet, the hardships moulded and strengthened him to be what he has become today.
Resilience is the biggest factor that enabled him to move forward and continue on the journey. “I knew that it was a make-or-break situation, either I would find a way to make the business work or I was going to remain where I was. There was no fallback or backup plan. During the journey, however, I faltered many times, wondering what I was doing and even wanting to give up on it all. In the end, what got me through is the resilience to keep going when every part of my body wanted me to stop. I recovered by persevering and crushing it for the clients that I had, which generated mass referrals,” Harry recounted.
Three major lessons on the journey
The challenges and milestones that Harry faced since he decided to hit the entrepreneurial road have brought him many lessons that he will always carry in life. He shares three major learnings that he got out of his experience.
Hard work. Harry found that there is no substitute for hard work as there is no “get rich quick” formula to a successful entrepreneurial journey. One has to work hard and for a long time to reach one’s goals and take them further towards bigger goals.
A deeper purpose. “If you are in this just to make money or hoping to strike it big quickly, you will need to dig deeper to find your purpose. Mine was to provide opportunities to others. Find out why you do what you do other than for money,” Harry said. Most businesses are born out of a particular need, and their products and services provide solutions to such necessities.
Stepping up and stepping out. “Be uncomfortable. Step up. Do that speaking job. Do that thing that you’re not sure if you are ready for it. The most consistent success that I have seen has been when I stepped outside of my comfort zone,” he remarked. Becoming an entrepreneur is not just creating a product or making an idea into reality. It also calls one to become a leader, a motivator, a mentor, a marketer, a sales specialist, and so much more. Someone who wants to enter the entrepreneurial world must be ready to take in as many roles as possible to achieve his mission and goals.
Two core values to keep the business running
For Harry, he found that these couple of core values have done well for him in managing his business and facing the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Passion. When things get tough, passion is the fire that fuels one’s drive to brave the difficulties. According to Harry, “Always be passionate about what you do. If you are not passionate about it find out what makes you passionate and pivot accordingly.”
He also advised that other tasks in the business that you do not have the expertise or drive to do, such as administrative work, should be delegated to other team members to maximise your time for the most efficient areas of the business.
Win-Wins. Coming up with solutions that are mutually beneficial to your business and your clients can contribute to the longevity of your venture. “Every relationship that we have, whether it be with a client or a partner, needs to be a win-win. Anything that isn't geared towards that will be temporary at best and can be detrimental to your reputation at worst. We also find ways to make sure that the other party benefits from anything that we do, something that was taught to me very early on in the business,” Harry imparted.
One goal of SEO
To demonstrate domain expertise and knowledge is the key goal of SEO, according to Harry. It is what gets brands to the top, not to put keywords on pages or acquire tons of backlinks.
He further states, “SEO is a simple thing that a lot of people make complex. Essentially you want to make sure that you have:
Strong technical SEO as how Google perceives the website and which issues it can see like broken links, poor structure, among many others;
A good backlink profile with strong, niche-relevant websites referring to you. For example, having a gym talk about your SEO business is not niche-relevant. So, even if it's from a massive gym brand, it will still not help;
Good search intent. Make sure that you are answering that query that users are looking for and that the answer is structured in an easily digestible way. This could be through your services pages, or often through a blog and content.”
Becoming part of EO Melbourne
The hardships of the entrepreneurial journey become bearable when you take it with like-minded individuals who can support you along the way. As an entrepreneur, Harry found many additional knowledge, insights and learnings in EO Melbourne.
“It's been a great experience, meeting up and connecting with other successful business owners. Understanding through the activities helps further things that we could be doing as a company to push the envelope and innovate,” he quipped. Harry may be young, and there are still more things ahead on his journey, yet he has acquired so much wisdom through the years. Even so, he continues to learn and develop himself to serve his business and clients in the best way he can.