Interested in starting your entrepreneurial journey in business development, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexandre F. Joly, owner of Agile Lounge® (for Business Agility), based in Montreal, QC, Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
What if I told you that I am in the business of helping create business even from within a well-established company? We help entrepreneurs, start-ups, and businesses of all sizes to thrive (not survive) by teaching, facilitating, and coaching through practical workshops.
Our approach is based on the use of Lean and Agile mindset; that will be tailored to the specific context of our client. Our professional services are innovative in bringing our experience of doing it ourselves in the last 20 years. Let's be clear here: the spirit of agility will show you as much as the bad (failures) as the good (winnings). We call Next Level Agility with an exclusive approach, which aims to offer businesses of all sizes, teams, and individuals on-demand consultancy for the best ROTI (Return on Investment and Time).
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
Caring about putting people first in the achievement of their dream and being independent is my primary motivation. People have been given a high potential, and sometimes they need a spark from someone who unleashed it. As a student, I worked for International Event producer and Cirque du Soleil taking care of guests' services and VIPs and artists coming to shows and special events. My boss found it very interesting that I was providing the utmost relationship to everyone as there were all VIP's!
My desire to be autonomous kicked in pretty soon, and I started a DJ & artists Agency of my own, being part of a venture in creating or co-creating the most significant event on Earth all around the world.
Meeting IT people back at one of the venues I was working on in Ibiza made me switch and pivot my business, helping then as a consultant delivering their software faster with providing the best user experience.
I have practiced "the" Lean Startup and Scrum System since being a ScrumMaster back in 2002, and I have been an entrepreneur since my 16 years old.
Ever since then, the "agile approach" to creating a thriving business has been no secret for me. Despite my many failures, I had MORE wins!
By combining both, I am offering you my experience to help you track to SUCCESS.
I am here for you and to guide you to achieve. I will do nothing for you that show you the doors that might be open by you.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Despite facing failures, I never quit nor had any bankruptcy. My most significant achievement is when I feel fulfilled and when my clients are satisfied with my facilitation to them. Testimonies from my client motivated me to be driven by the agile movement value of putting people first, creating a meaningful environment for the new world of work.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
In the context has I started solo: it's the building trust in others that will either compose your team or help you where I needed help.
At first, you do everything; you wear all hats. Learning to trust delegation and then let the expert you hired assist you was the hardest thing as a business owner.Funny enough: that made me realize that even if I was teaching other business owners to let go and practice leadership over management: I could be that great for myself at it. Now I tuned it for myself, and I coached even better, authentically. Ask for help, Trust others. Let yourself be helped in balancing your strength. I keep repeating myself. It's ok to need help too, as you are giving so much!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
To start: Have a clear vision and know who you are and your superpowers! What's make you want to do this? What do you love to be for yourself and give to others?
- Create your strong WHY.
To run: Stay focused, inspect and adapt. Accept failures and don't repeat them: learn from them. Balance your life, do not try to have a work-life balance. Your business is part of you; it's a member of the family, so treat all members of your family with honor and respect and remember your Vision and why you do this!
Remembering Your Why and
- Activate your best HOW.
To grow: Are you getting better and wiser at creating your customers? What about now having them repeat and help you grow?
Relationship and Networking are the keys to activating natural growth. Be diverse in what your offer, but never lose focus of what is the best that you deliver. Create the best patterns and continuously learn new ways and refine your practices. It's one thing to have values and driven products or services, but it's always better to have an agile system that you could tune to be ready to face change and continue to grow.
- Improve your WHAT.
Where can people find you?
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.