Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with George Papazov, Founder of TRADEPRO Academy Inc, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are in the business of helping great minds learn to trade in the financial markets. Our goal is to help others find financial stability so they can focus on their true passion. We do this by offering education content, coaching, and a community for like-minded members to learn and earn together.
Tell us about yourself
In 2009, I was working at Scotiabank on the trading desk as a customer service representative. The phone calls I took were horrific. Clients were losing money hand over fist after years of overindulgence and complacency to risk. When it all came crashing down, I remember all the traders and myself were short (betting on a drop in the stock market). Making money as it collapsed, while the retail trader lost everything they worked so hard to accumulate.
At the time, I had a blog and put out warning messages to trim some of the risks, take some profit and reduce the exposure. No one listened. I saw people lose money, and some even their lives. I felt like I let people down. I felt that my voice was not loud enough. And I vowed to help empower and teach individual investors about risk, stock markets, and financial well-being. To this day, this is both my personal and business mission.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This might sound a tad cheesy to anyone reading, but I'm hoping you have experienced this also and will agree. My biggest accomplishment is seeing our members who join our community, jump in and commit 100% and finish the program, and finally find success. I have seen so many people leave their 9 to 5's and pursue their passion as full-time traders.
When I see these stories in our community, it makes all the hard work, sleepless nights, and grind instantly 'worth it.' There is something about helping others succeed that is an innate nature of human beings. I have always believed it is our RESPONSIBILITY to help others better themselves. This is my biggest accomplishment, and every day it is my jet fuel for the rocket ship I'm on.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part is, by far is decision making; with limited information. We business owners always want to make THE RIGHT decision that will help the most people possible. However, business owners live in the gray area, in the unknown - there is just no way to ever KNOW. This is why, ultimately, we are risk-takers.
Whenever I have been uncertain, or things felt hard in our business, I ALWAYS turn to our clients and get them involved in the process. I love getting feedback, suggestions, and comments at every step of the process - from idea to implementation.
One thing we have to avoid as business owners are the pursuit of excellence. We always want something to be perfect before it is released because it is a piece of us that we are sharing. But often, there is an easier, less personal, and more effective way to launch products and operate your business. To remove the emotion, involve your clients - some of our best and most profitable revenue segments were client suggestions! We could NEVER have thought of them ourselves...
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Look to make an impact, not money. I know at first it's hard to put so much work in for what feels like free, but remember, everything we do compounds in the future. You are building a foundation NOW, which can support your wildest dreams TOMORROW. If you focus on changing people's lives and obsess about it. In that case, you will be rewarded with abundance, and it's damn near impossible to be broke for long.
- ALWAYS give your customers a voice, and make sure you actually listen. You hear this one a lot in marketing, and we think we understand it, but we do it incorrectly. Most business owners will do one client survey before they launch their business and then get into the weeds in their own minds and ideas. You need to CONSTANTLY think of your customer and invite them as a business partner into your process. Build them in every aspect of your business, and you will be creating products for them, and ultimately by them.
- Give away your best stuff for free, and don't advertise until you've made your first million. In the beginning, the best of everything I was capable of making - I gave away. In fact, I didn't even collect emails at the time, which was a mistake. But I was inspired to create the business, not for money, but to give value and change lives. Your FREE offering has to be as good as your paid product. People these days are more skeptical, and sadly in tighter economic conditions. They are marketed so aggressively, but their subconscious mind knows when it's not in their best interest. Treat your customers like your friends. If your passion and offers are hot, they can't deny it. Our business hit seven figures annually without a single penny of ad-spend. Most of every business these days is a content business - even ones in the service industry.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I just want the reader to know that I admire YOU. It takes a lot of courage, passion, and sweat equity to start and build a business. Keep your thoughts and actions closely aligned to your purpose, and never lose sight of WHY you do what you do. No matter what your business plan includes and how long you are comfortable waiting for the break-even point, I want you to know if you are focused on helping others.
You are profitable from day one. You are creating the future of tomorrow, serving and developing the next generation - that in itself is worth more than Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and every other company... COMBINED! YOUR business is already a billion-dollar business. Chin up and keep swinging my fellow entrepreneurs; our journey will never end. Keep striving for more. I'm sending you love, joy, and happiness. And I believe in you!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.