Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Raimund Laqua, Founder of Lean Compliance Consulting, Inc., located in Dundas ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We work with organizations where staying between the lines is mission critical. These companies don’t see compliance as a necessary evil but rather as a necessary good to protect the value and create stakeholder trust.
Lean Compliance’s mission is to help these organizations always stay in compliance by strengthening their ability to keep all their promises and, in turn, engender greater trust from those that have a stake in what they are doing.
Tell us about yourself
I am a computer engineer by education and somewhat of an introvert which perhaps is not too surprising. As with most engineers, I specialized in a specific area of engineering, which for me was computer systems. During my career, I discovered that I also have a big picture perspective, always needing to connect the dots, and always curious about how things worked. This expanded my interests beyond computer systems to management, organizational and social systems.
When the consulting company I had worked at for many years pivoted, I found myself without a job. This was my chance to build on my technical strengths along with my ability to see the bigger picture to help organizations better contend with risk and protect what is valued. So I took a leap of faith and started my own business to do just that. Working with my clients to improve their probability of success is what keeps me motivated every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Writing blog posts. This may not sound like a big thing but let me explain. When I started my business, I was told that I should create blog posts – that was the thing to do. I found the idea of writing very overwhelming since, up until then, most of my writing was technical and in point form. At first, I wrote short posts and not very well. I then started to use diagrams, something that I had done for years to help explain what I was thinking – a picture says a thousand words. Others found these to be helpful and started to subscribe to my blog posts.
Over time I started to improve. Almost 5 years later, I have written over 400 posts and dozens of full-length articles, some of which have been published. I am now using this content for an upcoming book. Writing every week helped me sort out my thoughts and understand better what was important to those I wanted to help. I could not have imagined how important writing would become.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing was believing I could do this. I knew that starting a business at this stage in my life was not going to be easy. I also knew that I was always going to work hard no matter what I did. So I may as well work hard at something worthwhile and something that I enjoy doing. Starting my own business made that possible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You don’t need to figure it all out before you start. I found this quote by G.K. Chesterton helpful, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” Get started with what you know right now. It may not be perfect, but you can improve over time. You will also learn things along the way that you would not have known you needed to learn when you started. For me, it was writing blog posts.
- You can’t and shouldn’t do this alone. I found that I needed support from other business owners and colleagues to keep me inspired and on track and even provide resources when I needed them. Over the last few years, I have forged new friendships providing real joy along the way.
- Match your business with your personality, skills, and temperament. You need to find a way that works for you, not someone else. As introverts, spending many hours networking and talking to people to attract business was not going to work. I was given some good advice to stop visiting everyone else’s island and create my own that people would be attracted to and want to visit. This became my blog posts, online webinars, and speaking engagements.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It’s never too late to work on something worth doing.
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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