Khalid Al-Mutawa, Kuwaiti who started his own company right after the college, and built hundreds of projects for other companies, is the star of our newest blog post. Since he is very active in Kuwait’s startup community and also an entrepreneur for the last couple of years, recently we had a chat with him about obstacles in business and how to deal with them.
At this moment he is focusing on three main startups – StudentHub (recruitment platform for students and fresh graduates), Plugn (Instagram comment management for teams), and The White Book (event planning platform). On August 2nd he will be a speaker at Coded Talks, where he will share his previous experiences in startups with the audience.
Anyway, Khalid says the biggest obstacle for him was shifting from a developer/tech mindset to a business mindset.
His initial thought process was next:
- I’ve heard its difficult creating a company license, so ill hire someone else to do that for me.
- I like building things, so I’ll do it for free for whoever asks me to do so.
- I can do this in 5 minutes, do I really charge for this?
- Do we really need to talk about pricing?
- Why do I need to do accounting? I can count what’s in my bank account.
- What’s an investor? Do I need that?
- I can just get more employees and it will increase the amount of money I make.
This is what he realized along the way:
- People fear what they don’t know and make it sound difficult. Just because someone else couldn’t do something, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself.
- Creating a company is not difficult if you go through the process yourself and learn the process and requirements.
- Everyone likes free stuff, you do something for free and people will take advantage. Be sure to always get something in return even if it’s of low value.
- If it was something someone else can do as well within 5 minutes, they wouldn’t be approaching you in the first place. Your 5 minutes are probably worth 5 hours to someone else.
- Pricing is always important to discuss, there’s no reason to avoid the topic.
- I believe building a business requires basic knowledge of what investors are and why they invest, just to make sure nobody takes advantage of you.
- Recruiting the right people is difficult, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
As an entrepreneur, Khalid advises you to do your best to stay motivated and keep working regardless of what obstacles you face. You should fail, learn from your mistakes, and start over keeping in mind what to do to avoid or bypass that same obstacle.
He believes there is no obstacle that an entrepreneur can’t pass with the correct mindset. The biggest obstacles are psychological ones: fear, greed, lack of patience, and emotions faced when things are not going the way you planned them to.
We would like to summarize this blog post in two funny images chosen by Khalid, which describe what he sees as being the biggest obstacle for entrepreneurs – emotions.
Main photo: niu