(At StartupNation's request, the following words of advice were provided by Andy Tabar, a winner in the 2008 StartupNation Dorm-Based 20.)
Early on, I knew that it was time to get my hands dirty. The .com boom came and went. I learned, and sometimes laughed from all the successes and failures in the tech world. My approach started to evolve from a web development shop into Bizooki, a business platform for managing global work teams in order to complete projects in IT, design and strategy more efficiently.
I started to focus on common behaviors of the customers. When I was immersed with too many projects, I started making phone calls to India, Wales, and Indonesia to spread the workload. After becoming too productive, I realized how many other companies were not. My business was re-invented and we have experienced significant growth year-after-year as a result. But, it all started with one thing – questioning the norm.
I never considered myself "too cool for school." I packed my bags for Nashville, where I set up my first office at Belmont and picked up entrepreneurship as my major. Experiences in the classroom have been directly applicable to the business – managing growth, business planning, reaching out to investors, and balancing work with life. I've surrounded myself with a community of entrepreneurs – a peer group that is invested in each other’s successes.
It's all too easy to be too comfortable in life. The moment you can take control of the hourglass and to create an approach of your own is when sparks start to fly. My #1 goal to continue this growth is to be disruptive to "comfortable" business practices, as we know them today. And to apply my building blocks for success: attitude > opportunity > approach > hard work.
The business world is far too comfortable. That’s what makes me uncomfortable, and it drives my growth as a result.