Quick Synopsis

Haven’t blogged in a while. Hot the worse ever writer’s block. So a quick round up to let you know what I have been up to.

Got a mention on Mashable. You can read it here:  http://mashable.com/2013/06/29/pakistan-woman-entrepreneur-2/ For a few hours, it was the HOTTEST story.

Whats Hot
Was invited to speak at Plan 9 for their Startup Series. That was fun. Speaking to a room full of techies about running a biz. I tried to do the potato trick I learned from Sharon Lechter during Project Artemis. Didn’t work too well. Will take industrial strength Mickey D straws next time.

The Potato Trick

Don’t you just love my editing skills!

With the incubatees ... and my kids.

With the incubatees … and my kids.

 

Was interviewed by a team of researchers from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and Harvard Kennedy School about “the constraints as well as opportunities women entrepreneurs face both culturally and systemically in Pakistan.” That was an interesting experience.

Got tons of CVs in my inbox for our internship program. That’s exciting but at the same time intimidating. I BADLY need an assistant. Anyone interested?

Ooh I almost forgot. Pulled off the first Google Business Group (GBG) Islamabad event in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was meant for women entrepreneurs but a bunch of guys showed up too.

GBG Islamabad
Am I enjoying all of this? Yeah. Sort of. Now when I tweet something a lot of times I actually get a response from other tweeples. Dunno really. Mixed feelings. Am grateful for sure – no doubt about that. I hope I am able to deliver now. Need tons of work for those tons of CVs. And I NEED CrowdFlower / MTurk. And what am I gonna do if the Paypal account I use gets blocked for whatever reason (it’s my friend’s)? What if all I am is a mere celebrity and nothing more?

At the Plan 9 Incubator I kept debating whether to go with a semi-formal presentation or just speak about my own experience – from the start. I went with the former. I mean what was I supposed to say – business just happens? One day you wake up and someone tells you you are a tech-preneur? You apply on the last day of a competition and you actually win it and are sent on the most inspiring, encouraging 3 weeks of your life? That every few months you decide to give up on your biz and just as you announce it to the world something huge comes along your way out of the blue? That if you are sincere and passionate things will just fall into place? That Mashable happened coz you don’t say no to free lunch and also out of curiosity to meet a guy you had no inkling about and just turned out he was buddies with Reid Hoffman and loved the way you used LinkedIn – so much so he mentioned you in his TedTalk? And of course who should be in attendance but a journalist from Mashable.

All of this is true but it’s too much of a fairy tale. Truth is I don’t know anything. I am not a techie person. I am not a business person either. But somehow here I am. How do you make that sound real and not utterly corny? Just that I have never cared enough about the fame or the success or the money although I can’t say I don’t enjoy it when it comes along.

OK now I am getting all confused again.

I leave you with this extract from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem, The Invitation:

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

 

OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Journey to Excellence

Dear All, You know I don’t post anything but the deepest, most profound technology and startup news, gossip, whining. But I do like keeping it fresh. Give my own spin on everything. When Sajjad Saab sent me this article, I just had to publish it. You may think, “Gardening? On a startup blog?” Yes, dudes and dudettes. Every person needs something to unwind. A hobby. A pass time. Something that keeps stress at bay. Kirmani Saab being as big a name as he is in the local IT scene has a passion for gardening that he uses to not only show his creative side but it also keeps him sane through the daily challenges of running a biz. So read on my pretties.

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Spring is the perfect time to rejoice and enjoy the beauty of nature; it is the time when beautiful flowers blossom and beautify the whole world around them with their delicate feel.”

With this feel in mind, I showcased an exquisite arrangement of flowers at my Spring Garden in DHA Lahore. Antirrhinum, Petunia, Verbena, Pansy, Gazania, Tulip, Dimorphotheca Calendula, Cineraria were some of the flower varieties lined up in an array of colorful settings. As the panel of judges for the Spring Flower Competition 2013 entered into this garden, one of them quipped “this certainly is much better than what we saw here last year” while another one commented “it’s always a great pleasure to visit your garden”.

My humble efforts spanning over last the 6 months paid off when my garden was rated as the best garden in DHA Lahore while INFOGISTIC office also got recognized as the Best Trend Setting Commercial Office in DHA.

We the tech-entrepreneurs always wonder if there is also a life away from offices and gadgets. With fresh colors and amazing flowers, nature brings to us a magnificent state of bliss and comfort. The scent, the colors, the budding and blossoming new life refreshes one’s mind.

Apparently, developing software and raising flowers appears to be two different areas, but when gelled together, it makes the environment 100% green and eco-friendly. From the award of Best Start-up Company by P@SHA to the Best Garden in DHA Lahore, the journey has been truly enriching for me and for my entire team who are putting their best efforts to create a world class facility.

Though primarily a tech-entrepreneur, I have a passion for gardening that I pursue this in my spare time. Gardening is not about planting flowers only; it teaches us that in order to excel and be good custodians of green environment, we need to learn patience and to take the right steps in the right order at the right time. Just like human beings, the plants also respond positively to the love, warmth and care we accord to them. Having intimate knowledge of your landscape is imperative; as seeding a beautiful plant in the wrong part of your garden lets you down when it enigmatically does not perform well. One must know if a plant likes sun or shade, part sun or part shade, dry soil, wet soil, or something in between.

Finally, no matter who you are, what you do, if you are contented and satisfied from the inside, only then life shines and blossoms through you. I hope you enjoy some of the shots published here and the rest you can catch up on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/spring.gardening or  @SpringGarden_ on Twitter.

About the Author

entrepreneurship in pakistanSajjad Kirmani is the Founder and CEO of INFOGISTIC (www.infogistic.com), an emerging IT company that focuses on providing information security, enterprise portals  and banking solutions to its customer across Pakistan and Middle East. INFOGISTIC was rated as the best Start up Company by P@SHA in 2012.

Sajjad holds a Master´s degree in Computer Sciences from University of London along with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from IBA. He is the President of IBA Alumni Association and has been the Vice President of Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA).

He showed us that age, gender or professional career cannot stop anyone from expressing oneself. Being an integral part of Software Industry, he introduces everyone to his Paradise.

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Networking – Don’t be Cold and Calculating

Came across a great quote the other day.

I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.
John Lennon

You can be “normal” and like everyone else. Merge and become one with everyone else so no ever loves you or hates your guts or talks about you or … you can do all the crazy things that your heart tells you are right and be FREAKINTASTIC. Let haters hate. Just means you are a strong enough personality to get to them. The lives you touch and the one genuine smile you bring to someone is the war more than half won.

Having said that …

My friends from GIST just completed their 2 week dream trip to the US where they went to Silicon Valley among other places. I was green like anything but at the same time am immensely proud of each and everyone of them. They worked incredibly hard and deserved to be there.

Speaking of Gist, my friends tell me the person who most benefited from GIST was me. I won’t say I benefited more than others but I did better than some. People attribute it to my “networking” skills. Not true. Networking is great but it needs to come with honesty and sincerity. A genuine interest in the other human being. While others network, I make friends.

Let me give you example from GIST …

At Abu Dhabi during the semi-finals we were asked to randomly pitch to a bunch of people around the room. While most were drawn to names from Google and Etisalat I went up to whoever was free at the mo. The young 20+ girl standing in a corner was my first choice. Not a big businesswoman … not at all. She was working on her startup. But more than giving her my pitch we just stood there and chatted about the challenges of running startups. I told her if she needed any help I was happy to assist since I had worked with several startups. After the trip, she wrote. She became my first client from the UAE.

I went around the 50+ startups in the hall (GIST + MITEF-PAN ARAB) and just spoke to them about what they were doing. Recorded short videos of everyone on GIST. In Dubai, for the finals, met co-founder of one of the Malaysian startups whom I had recorded. We had GREAT fun chatting, joking, sharing knowledge, exploring Dubai. He became my first client from Malaysia.

The shy young boy from Malaysia with a killer app for social media mapping and that I had great fun chatting with sent me another client from Malaysia. She runs one of the hottest startups in Malaysia and is coveted by Silicon Valley. (Did I say “Malaysia” enough times there?)

Yeah … none of these clients came to me coz I was looking for them. I wasn’t trying to impress and get them to give WDL business. They were just friends or people that I found interesting to chat with. It was these people that put their trust in WDL enough to not only work directly with me but also refer WDL to others.

I was sitting with Scott Gillespie, leader of the Jigsaw Group, which is a startup accelerator program. He is also a VC but above all he is just a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor. At lunch one day someone asked him, “Oh, you are a VC. You never said so”. And he replied, “Yes, ‘coz I am a human being too”. :) Those 2-3 days I met him, never once did either of us broach the subject of capital. We chatted about running a social enterprise, how he was involved with one called Yacht Aid Global, stories from his life and it was all fascinating.

Bottom line …

cold, hard, calculated networking never works. You can always tell when someone is after something. When you open up and take the other person as a human being with a life and challenges of her own (or his own) that’s when you make “relationships. And relationships are the real takeaway of life itself and not just business mixers.

OK BYeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Recipe for a Delicious Dinner

I am supposed to guest post once every two weeks but this was just too good to resist. Ladies, I met Sajjad Kirmani over email through a friend. And am I glad I did. He is definitely a great entrepreneur but more than that he is a wonderful human being who exudes a warmth and sincerity hard to find in people these days. I am so excited about this post. Without further ado … tuck in ;) 

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entrepreneurship in PakistanDefining successful entrepreneurship has always been a combination of many words. A few stress on focus and leadership, some preach motivation and aggressiveness, while some sell innovation and planning. We can always argue on the composition and percentage of all attributes discussed but one thing is for sure that successful entrepreneurs know how to cook the delicious dinner without bothering too much about the recipe, ingredients and their composition. What makes them special is that, while collecting all the praises for that “delicious dinner”, they always relate to the hardships and sufferings they faced in the kitchen and yet they are full of advices in case someone else wants them to share the recipe.

During my career of 28 years in information technology, I had heard a lot of such recipe, at times ingredients were easily available too, yet the decision to actually move in to the kitchen was a difficult one. In later part of 2011, I decided to get into entrepreneurship and finally launched “INFOGISTIC” in Feb, 2012. Since then, it has been an amazing ride, days full of excitement, nights full of thoughts, with the focus to strike that perfect balance to make my delicious dinner. The journey no doubt can be long, definitely tiring but I have learned how to overcome my fears, how to absorb pressures and still able to smile and innovate.  Believing in the people, faith in the ideas, I am moving on and in a short time have been able to create the “Appetizer” for my delicious dinner. The company that started with a small footprint in Pakistan is now able to attract a good customer base in Middle East competing with best of the best.

Besides focus, determination, leadership and innovation, belief has been the key component of our journey. For a start up like us, we had to ensure flexibility yet drawing the line between changing and spinning. With a notion to invest in the people, we have been able to develop a mature and scalable IT services model and with the willingness to invest in technology we are on our course to develop a cutting edge software product based on cloud paradigm.

Summing up, Technology entrepreneurship has its own flavor that does not require heavy machinery, massive labor, and huge capital. With the advent of technology and business transactions taking place over cyberspace, there are numerous opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Even in a developing country like Pakistan, there are platforms that facilitate entrepreneurs to convert their innovative ideas into their delicious dinner.

For me personally, it’s been a thoroughly fulfilling journey so far and most certainly one of the best decisions I have taken to setup my own kitchen.

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entrepreneurship in pakistanSajjad Kirmani is the Founder and CEO of INFOGISTIC, an emerging IT company that focuses on providing information security, enterprise portals  and banking solutions to its customer across Pakistan and Middle East. He has over 28 years of IT experience with several years of senior leadership experience in the IT industry. He won the CIO of the Year Award in 2010 for his outstanding work as Director IT & Operations at NetSol Technologies. During his 14 years tenure with NetSol, he was instrumental in carrying out several groundbreaking initiatives, including NetSol´s emergence as the leading IT exporter and the first CMMI Level 5 Company.

Sajjad holds a Master´s degree in Computer Sciences from University of London along with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from IBA. He is the President of IBA Alumni Association and has been the Vice President of Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA). He has a passion for gardening and maintains one of the best spring gardens in Lahore.

Social Enterprises – Disillusionment

Yes, your favorite entrepreneur is a little down. Disillusioned! Anyone who reads this blog (which isn’t very many people) know about my romance with social enterprises and with startups in general especially those related to the IT sector. But lately, things have been a little different …

Contrary to popular belief I am the MOST social person ever. I hate attending social gatherings. I don’t like visiting friends or family. Talking on the phone is torture. Even when I do meet people I am extremely awkward and do and say crazy stuff. People make me nervous. That’s why I love social media. I can stay in touch with everyone who matters and everyone who doesn’t matter at all but like to think otherwise.

But since May last year I have been pushing myself to go out there and meet people because it’s important for business. And people at the end of the day are just that, people. Humans! Which means, they are “humane” as well. Compassionate.

Sadly, I have started feeling like no one cares. I may be wrong of course but I don’t hear anyone talk about helping others. If you dare to do that they look at you like that kid in junior school who talks about becoming a doctor to help the ailing humanity. Stupid! Naive! Dumb! Value proposition means saving big bucks in the most innovative way. My biggest competitors are sitting in India and Philippines so I am asked, “We can get the same services at the same rates at the same quality from Gurgaon. Why you?” And I naively say, “Because WDL is a social enterprise. We do everything they can do for you but we also bring you personal gratification.” *Roll on Floor Laughing* right? No one cares. Maybe if I said, “They are doing it for $1/hr. I’ll do it for $0.50 which means these young women in some remote village will barely make enough to buy groceries but hey, you’ll save a tiny bit more for serving fancier wine at that dinner party for 50 you have been planning for 2 weeks now“. Now THAT will bring in the work, eh?

Also, I have meet “social entrepreneurs”. Online of course. You know what the common thread is? Marketing! Marketing black and yellow faces to white ones. Posting big website banners with smiling photos of people in non-western clothes sitting in front of computers saying to the world, “Look, I am the new monkey specie in the zoo … see how I can hold a banana and eat it almost like you would.

Here is what someone I have been following for a long time had to say on the whole social entrepreneurship thing:

To start, i have had a problem with the frame of “social entrepreneurship” as it is generally an elitist frame. “Cultural entrepreneurship” would seem to dig the hole deeper…. Who but the privileged? Do we not as humans all want to make a positive impact with our efforts? Lots of my colleagues living on less than $5 a day make a difference in their community with their enterprise, but wouldn’t be seen in this priviledged air. As this term has gained currency from funders, I find myself grudgingly in a growing market established itself around this “social entrepreneurship” frame. Secondly, as a change agent and an academic trained in cultural anthropology, the frame of “cultural entrepreneurship” as an innovation newly born in the context of capitalism is so disconnected from the many bodies of good work by practitioners in applied social sciences, that I don’t even want to get started.

Elitist! Feeding on others misery. Making money off it. Asking for their stories so they can manipulate them and do business. Make the next million for the VC breathing down their necks for return. If this is how I wanted to sell – telling sob-stories about my team – I’d be well on my way to making it into the Big League. BUT I AM NOT SELLING ANYONE’S DIGNITY FOR DOING BUSINESS! This is the whole idea behind WDL. Hire us because we are good at what we do. Not because of issues in our personal lives that you can milk for your next CSR campaign.

My way may not be the way taught by professors in universities. My way may also not be the fastest way. But I’ll get there and will keep my humanity intact as well.

For now, I go back to listening to soppy 80s songs and picking up online fights with random people over nothing.

Apply for the GSBI 2012

Yes, I promised a video of the UnConference. No, I did not throw up or cry or create any drama. Waiting for the CIO/PBA team to upload the snippets to their website … and then I’ll be happy to share y fabulous-ity with you.

With that being cleared, I received great news last night in my inbox. Besides the several weight-loss, foreign travel and luxury hotel deals newsletters I am subscribed to, I also happen to receive the Social Edge newsletter. Yeah, I am such a mixed bag – that’s what makes me awesome and keeps you average *hairflip. Downloaded 5 seasons of Gossip Girl and my meanness-meter is hitting an all time high. Will try and restrain myself …

The GSBI 2012 scholarship has been announced.

The Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™), a program developed by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, assists social entrepreneurs in developing business plans that enable their organizations to become financially sustainable and scalable.

It’s a $25,000 scholarship and has had participants from Indonesia, India, Bolivia, and Rwanda besides other countries. I strongly feel it’s about time Pakistan was represented here. What with initiatives like the PASHA Social Innovation Fund I don’t see why that should be a problem.

Some of you ask me what a social enterprise is. You can find info all over the Internet. Social Edge is a good place to begin and so is the Ashoka Social Innovators Fund website. If you are excited by the idea but want a cheat-sheet for areas where you could venture this place will help a bit. *grin However, in short, a social enterprise tackles a greater problem related to changing the very fabric of the society around and tackles the issue without waiting for the government to do something about it. For example, with WDL I am trying to break the barrier for women to go out of their homes to work and am bringing employment to them at their doorsteps. By providing them online work WDL aims to economically and emotionally empower Pakistani women enabling them to put their education to use and gain their lost or low sense of self-respect and dignity.

So, go on my wonderful peeps and make me proud. To infinity and beyond …

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

P.S. Anyone has a million rupees to help me build my web portal?

 

Business is Common Sense

The 25-yrs old does it again. Couple of days back I was whining to him about work and how I should do what my friends say and just get a job, and he says, “Business is common sense, Maria – perhaps you need to rethink your expectations”. Much as it pains me to admit it but that made sense. This blog is not about him so I’ll skip to what it actually is about. What is business really?

In her guest post on Women 2.0, Jennifer Toney, Founder and CEO of  WeMakeItSafer describes business beautifully (and I am a little jealous of her for being so eloquent).

“If I’m cursing, there is a business opportunity.” You know, every time you say, “@*#*! I hate it when that happens!” or “@*#*! Why in the world did they make it this way?!” …. if a problem is big enough and important enough that it makes you mad; if it evokes enough passion that you are writing about how stupid it is on your Facebook wall, or better yet, a three-page blog post; it just might be a problem worth solving. After all, if it irritates you, chances are good that it irritates others.”

I just LOVE the simplicity of this definition. I can relate to it when it comes to WDL. I was working as a teacher at a private school and hating every minute of it. I naturally quit though it took me three long years to reach that decision. While sitting at home, I kept thinking to myself there HAD to be a way around this problem. I couldn’t do anything but teach – no one would let me – but I am not one to give up easily …. :D I started looking around, found Rozee online. Wrote 200 essays for a lady in Multan for Rs. 15k. Found oDesk while shadowing her on the Internet (I am evil, I know), earned about $400 in the first month. Was approached by founder of a not-for-profit startup in SF, CA and became a full-fledged VA from a content writer. Heard about Women 2.0 Startup Competition, and became an entrepreneur. Ladies (GET OVER IT – I am a feminist), motive behind the brag? I had a problem and instead of sitting down crying about it and shouting at God for not  being fair to me, or having a sighing competitions with other women over who has had the hardest, saddest life and hence deserves a place among saints, I found a solution to the problem. I know, I am AWESOME! :P

You don’t have to start big, you can start with making beaded jewelry, or embroidered mobile pouches and selling them on Etsy or Folksy. Or you can start from your home designing clothes for friends and family, taking pics of all the dresses you made so far and putting them on a Facebook page, or you may want to start a cooking class for little girls. It doesn’t have to be a social enterprise. It doesn’t have to have a huge social impact changing people’s lives for the better. Look at Facebook, Evernote, Angry Birds. I don’t feel like a better person for using any but man is a social animal and wants to mingle with people, we all have our own crazy ways of unwinding, many of us have trouble keeping track of our ideas. These businesses banked on those needs. Look around you and see if you can identify a problem that you can solve, something you feel passionate about, something you can do better and differently, find out if there is a market for it. Start with friends and family, neighbors, the random people you have added to your FB list, twitter – and then stop contemplating and take the plunge. See where procrastination landed Hamlet? I always say, “I’ll never know unless I do it”.

Trust me, it has its pitfalls – there are days you want to commit murder – you curse yourself for refusing to get an easy 9-5 job at some huge multinational whose owner is best buddies with your uncle – but it’s fun. The adrenaline, the small conquests, the way the world unfolds before you gives you a high like nothing else. It’s the strongest addiction ever. Try it and let me know how it goes.

OK byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Men and Women in the Business World

I felt this was worthy of putting on my blog:

In the business world . . .
a successful man is aggressive a successful woman is pushy
he’s good on details she’s picky
he loses his temper because he’s so involved with his job she’s bitchy
when he’s depressed (or hangover) everyone tiptoes past his office she’s moody, so it must be her “Time of the month”
he follows through she doesn’t know when to quit
he stands firm she’s hard
he drinks because of the excessive job pressure she’s a lush
he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks she’s mouthy
he exercises authority diligently she’s power-crazy
he’s close-mouthed she’s secretive
he climbed the ladder of success she slept her way to the top
he’s a stern taskmaster she’s hard to work for

Social Enterprise as a Business Differentiator

So, I been thinking (I do that on certain rare occasions). Back in the US, during our presentation at the State Dept, Catherine Muther happened to be one of the panelists. Trust me, she intimidated me more than the idea of being inside the State Dept. I am a horrid public speaker. I get nervous, I twitch, worse of all, I GIGGLE, and I run away. So when I breezed through the presentation (thank you, Thunderbird) I was beaming with pride and was confident of receiving a “slow clap”. Of course, that wasn’t to be. All I saw on the faces of the panelists was mild amusement. Uh-oh! Q & A starts and Muther asks, “There are so many similar service providers available, especially in India and Philippines. Why would I invest in your company?” My heart in mouth, I blanked out for a moment. But only for a moment. Until that time I believed it was the fact that we were affordable, cost-effective, and all those boring words every business throws at you. But right at that moment I knew why Women’s Digital League was different. More or less, this is what I told them …

If you are looking for the most affordable service, you can find many that beat WDL on rates hands down. If you are looking for a service with a clear niche like writing or concierge solutions, there are many others doing wonderful work at much lower rates. Born out of frustration with the lack of choices available for a “respectable” job for women and an innate abhorrence of accepting “fate” as a reason for not doing anything to make things better, WDL had no choice but to turn out the way it has. It’s a social enterprise endeavor. Simple as that! We only employ educated, skilled women to work from home on digital tasks. I strongly believe that if women are empowered they can be a strong catalyst in bringing a positive change in society. I was inside the State Dept and it wasn’t the best of times with the guy on their most wanted list killed only 2 weeks ago in Pakistan but I couldn’t help saying that if the mothers are strong, both emotionally and financially, they will raise more stable families instead of the tide of “crazy fanatics” we see now.

The world needs ventures like WDL despite there being some very negative connotations around the word “Outsourcing”. We have to be able to see the bigger picture. Is outsourcing only meant to make the rich richer and take work away from people who deserve it more and pass it on to someone less skilled? I am not going to argue the case of stolen employment opportunities for those in the developed countries; very frankly, I also don’t know what effect it is having the world over. But in my own small world, it’s changing lives. Small changes with big impacts. I am not going to share the stories of these women and sound like I was cashing on their hardships. That’s not my intention and I won’t say more, but for those living in Pakistan – you know what it means to be able to work from home doing tasks that challenge you and give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, making you realize your education was not in vain. I speak from the heart … that’s how it made me feel.

If you need someone to do your digital tasks and do them well, and paying $3/hr is a steal then WDL is what you might want to look at. For most financiers, this whole speech is not impressive enough to make them want to throw their money at you. But I also won’t even DREAM of taking money from someone who only wants to see how we are going to double the returns on that investment. It will have to be someone who is as passionate about the idea behind WDL as I am. If I never find her, no worries. I’ll do what someone said to me: “You can do business the rich (wo)man’s way and gamble a $100k on your idea, or you can do business the poor (wo)man’s way and make it a success with sheer belief, energy and talent.”

WDL, for me, is already a success because it’s not an idea any more. It’s a reality! I took the initiative and said “I’ll never know if it’ll work unless I try”. Some day, if not me, someone else will pick the idea, find my notes useful, learn from my experience, the mistakes I made, the things that worked and that didn’t, and reach more lives with it – and I assure you I am happy being the nameless, faceless person who conceived it. Maybe this self-depreciating attitude won’t take me far … and then maybe it would … will find out. Until then … I chug away …

BYEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee