Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sebastian Wilgosz, Owner of Hanami Mastery, located in Wrocław, Lower Silesian, Poland.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am running an educational portal focused on the very concrete niche of Ruby developers wanting to write great, scalable software using the Hanami framework. In my videos, I feature all sorts of framework-agnostic libraries and apps that help you build modern web applications. I target junior to mid developers as I want to bring the Hanami framework to young Rubyists who would like to try non-mainstream solutions in their careers and show the true diversity in the Ruby ecosystem. As they advance with their jobs, I hope they'll be glad to become my customers, as I sell stuff mostly for mid-to-senior level programmers.
Tell us about yourself
I strongly believe that great community projects should get more support and financial stability. Unfortunately, most amazing people who create great libraries and projects as open-source need to work during the night and over the weekends to make OUR lives better. To make things worse, creating a great OpenSource project require great technical capabilities, while monetizing it is related to possessing decent MARKETING skills. Those two usually don't play well together, which makes great open-source maintainers and contributors suffer for working for free. This is why I started and why I'm doing my stuff. I've found the amazing project named Hanami, and I could not believe how imbalanced the effort put into it when we compare it to the recognition in the community. I started to see that it's not the only project with the same troubles, so Hanami Mastery is the first step to improving in that field.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishments are yet to be achieved, that's for sure! So far, I've developed a process of producing high-quality tutorial videos and built a team of a few people when we work together on bringing knowledge about next-generation ruby libraries to the world. I'm publishing more frequently now, and soon I'll be ready to commit to weekly publication manner. My business is not perfect, but I know already that there are people who we helped to find jobs by publishing our courses, videos, or articles, and this is where I see a big accomplishment. Our work also inspired at least one developer to start their own YouTube channel, which is amazing! However, we build our business following the philosophy of constant upgrades, step-by-step becoming better, and comparing to no one other than past ourselves. I already see Hanami Mastery as a successful initiative, so I am more than sure that in the near future, we'll help way more people and in completely different ways than we do at the moment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
That's a tricky question. There are multiple obstacles on the way to driving a successful business. If I had to choose, I would say that in the world of instant gratification, an ability to push benefits away and focus on delivering value to people without any gratification in a regular manner for a long time is the hardest part for many of us. One needs to know their "why" to be able to push the wheel as a content hamster for a year or two before seeing any impact from the work they do. In my situation, where I started having three kids and a full-time job, there are, of course, more difficulties, but it all comes down to this single thing - consistent work every day to accomplish something way in the future.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Hanami Mastery is my fourth blog - and I bet no one will remember the previous three. But it doesn't matter because I was able to put HM together only because of the learnings and experience I took from those previous failed initiatives! So my advice is always the same.
- Just start. The greatest idea is worthless without action.
- Think big, but start small. Focus on a single client or a very direct problem you are solving. Deliver the value, then do it again. And again, and until your business is doing fine. Then go to the next step.
- Remember to have fun with what you're doing. If you are motivated by the process of creating a business, it's very hard to fail. I wanted to help some people because I like teaching and learning. I already know that I helped some, so even if, in the long term, my project would not be an Eldorado, I'll still see it as my personal success. Remember, focus on the road, not the end goal, and you'll not even realize when you reach it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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