Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Conrad Ruiz, CEO of Well Aware, located in Hallandale Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Well, Aware is a time management consulting company, and we work with busy business owners who need to buy back their time. Our work has had us come in as operations management partners to executives, university professors, solopreneurs, and startup founders. We exist to buy back our clients' time so that they can focus on what matters.
Tell us about yourself
I used to be a biomedical engineer, and for a long time, my goal was to solve a particularly unique medical problem that I had so that in the future, I wouldn't have to face an early grave. On top of that, I was born and raised by my father, who's 70 years old than me. He and I had to come to terms quickly with how little time we had, and so I raced to get ahead of these two major "deadlines." I soon found myself completely overwhelmed with trying to become an engineer, startup founder, & overall balanced person.
When I finally took a step to get some clarity, my world of awareness slowly but surely started to share with me just how stressed everyone else was with their time and tasks, and expectations. I didn't want others to suffer the way that I did, so I began to offer my time for others to be able to better manage theirs. This is now all I care about - I want everyone to pay more attention to the time they have now with the relationships that are still here with them, including themselves: I want everyone to be well and aware.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've successfully bought back my own time. I'm now constantly free to take on more work as I'm now systematically able to bring in virtual assistance, key referral partners, and automation to provide my clients with the value they need.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Sustainable consistency. It's a meditative practice with life and business wherein you have to steel yourself from being overly excited as much as overly depressed. There are quieter days. There are anxious days! Balancing for long-term compound interest in time as much as money as much as health...
This is a full-time job in and of itself. Being a business owner can sometimes cause you to think that you can neglect that foundation... you can't really, and you shouldn't, because the pay-off is never truly worth it in the end.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a mentor. Pay for their time and knowledge in whatever way you can. You have to afford for help in order to grow, and that may not always be with your direct sweat. If you're truly strapped for cash, get a part-time job or gig that can give you some amount of money but not require all of your time. That way, you still have some of both types of resources to invest in your business.
- Running a business is running a marathon of sprints. Reflect on this as much as you can, day to day, week to week, month to month. Invest time heavily on reflection - document your time, and become an accountant for everything your business is doing. Awareness is critical - don't neglect it just because you think that time would be better spent on growth-focused activities.
- Be incredibly thoughtful with your relationships with others. Follow up. Thank people after the meeting. Give time. Give warmth. Don't try to automate everything you possibly can - think about the experience you give to others through your business practice. On that note, know the limits of how many people you can be thoughtful with at any given point in time. A full plate is not ideal. To summarize: Take your time with your relationships.
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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