Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jo Van Loock,
Founder of Konnektrix, located in Heist-Op-Den-Berg, Antwerpen, Belgium.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm currently the founder of Konnektrix, a Sales Marketing coaching and consulting agency where we focus on building lasting and profitable relationships between businesses and their (potential) customers. We do this by providing them with marketing and sales tactics focusing on providing value, generating revenue, and positive ROIs. Next to my sales marketing passion, I'm happily married and have two little munchkins running around, creating chaos all over the house. I'm also passionate about Siberian dogs (mainly Samoyeds). Our customers are mainly coaches, consultants, and service businesses. We have customers in all kinds of markets, but we focus on those three.
Tell us about yourself
My first endeavor was when I was 14, where I helped out in catering because I wanted to do something other than "stay indoors and game all day." I wanted to help people by actually providing some value for them. Fast forward to 2010, I got my Master's degree in IT and started my first job. I noticed that I needed more than just rotating in a corporate structure to feel fulfilled. I wanted to start my own business, but fear got the better of me, so I started another job, and 1.5 years later, I decided to start my own IT company.
At that moment, it became clear that I was exceptionally good at delivering services, but I didn't know how to sell or market my services. Not getting any customers and hitting rock bottom, it became clear I needed to change. I studied and self-educated myself in relationship building, marketing, and sales and started seeing some patterns that were responsible for many problems with companies (also my own). I tried different strategies, systems techniques, and tactics... and started seeing major returns only 5 to 8 weeks later. That was the moment I was infected by the sales and marketing bug, and I have never stopped since.
The thing that provides me with the most value and where I get fulfilled the most is helping others with their marketing and sales challenges. Giving them the necessary insights, tools, and strategies to break free from the "normal" way marketing is done so they can focus on what works for them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was investing in myself and, firstly, having the courage to start. When you look at people these days, they are constantly complaining about everything and nothing. And what I see is that the main driver is that they are either living in fear of something. They fear that they won't be able to pay their bills at the end of the month, they fear what the future might bring them, they fear taking on a new challenge, they fear trying something new, they fear having to change... or they are reluctant to take action and evolve their mindset, so they're able to change or so they're able to better themselves.
And after I started, I never quit. Everything starts with taking action; the only way you can do that is by facing that fear head-on. I took action, evolved, and I keep doing so every day. Make sure that every day you are a little better than the day before. Only by doing so can you achieve your dreams.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, this is saying NO. As an entrepreneur, I see 10 opportunities a day (sometimes even 100) that will impact people's lives, change them for the better, give them new opportunities, or create value for them. And as an entrepreneur, I want to realize them. Naturally, it's impossible to take action on all of them, and we need to choose which opportunity will have the biggest impact or provides the biggest value. Saying NO to all those other opportunities and things that can better the lives of others is the hardest thing an entrepreneur can do.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Well, this is a hard question. And I thought about it, and basically, the three things I decided on sharing are mainly all equally important. So keep all of them in mind.
The first important thing you need is courage. Courage to think for yourself, take action, move against the fold, and don't let yourself be dragged along, and form your own opinions and act upon them... all so you can create more value for others and impact their lives for the better.
The second thing is that you can never lose sight that you have the obligation to sell and make money. Many people forget this while focusing on their passion and helping or impacting others, making that difference. Know that when you have something good, something that can change the lives of others, you have a moral obligation to do everything in your power to sell them your thing. If you don't, you take away their chance to improve themselves. So stop thinking that selling something to someone is bad.
Third, you have to develop the power to decide for yourself. And don't confuse this with forming an opinion about something. What I mean is that when you make a decision, you actually stick with it. Don't tell yourself that you're going to lose weight as a new year resolution; two weeks later, that resolution is flushed down the drain. When you decide to do something, stick with it and keep going.
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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