Pop Quiz, Monday with Mahboob Bolandi

I always tell people who want to start their own business that they should be prepared emotionally. Being an entrepreneur means 24/7 processing of their CPU, and if they are a person of 9-5, all they need to do is to consider asking for a promotion in their current job and stick to that.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Mahboob Bolandi

Mahboob Bolandi
Photo credit: Mahboob Bolandi

What is your job role?
Founder and President

Tell us about your company?
Karafarin Canada is a community-driven entrepreneurship network in Canada that aims to connect, inspire and advance professional relationships in the ​community. Karafarin includes founders, executives, investors, engineers, business/financial professionals and others aspiring to be a part of this dynamic network.

Karafarin acts as a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators, who wish to connect with other professionals in the community and take their entrepreneurship journey to the next level. Our Entrepreneur Coaching program will assist inspired individuals and startups seeking effective strategies for their business growth. We work closely with high profile Investors who wish to help entrepreneurs and support their unique ideas through Karafarin.

Except of Toronto, Karafarin is planning to organize professional/social events in major cities across Canada on a regular base. These events will play a key role in connecting people. Karafarin aims to shape valuable and long-lasting relationships that will help grow your business and develop your career at the same time. The participants will have the opportunity to get to know hundreds of motivated professionals who may then become their business contacts or friends.

Our signature event in Toronto is the Annual Entrepreneurship Expo/ Conference that is a place for learning, sharing and networking with other entrepreneurs and investors. This expo has been held at the Ontario Science Centre in 2017 and 2018 and is a day-long Celebration of Entrepreneurship and brings together Entrepreneurs and Business leaders from across the province.

What do you love most about your job?
I have a great passion for entrepreneurship, and community activities, therefore I love to make new acquaintances, connect people and help them grow in their social and professional life.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The desire to help those individuals who wish to follow their passion and start their own/dream business and the willingness to face new challenges and entrepreneurial adventures produce enough Adrenaline in my body to get up and work.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Their commitment and passion for the work they are doing, and bringing innovative ideas to the table inspire me.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I am a man of a sense of humor. We at say funny thing and laugh a lot at Karafarin. We very often hold our meetings in a very casual way while dining or at a tea party.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Entrepreneurship world is all about challenges and adventures at the same time. Our job always involves ups and downs, and the art is to not being stuck in “down” conditions, rise up again and go forward.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
“Nothing is really over, until the moment you stop trying.”

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I always tell people who want to start their own business that they should be prepared emotionally. Being an entrepreneur means 24/7 processing of their CPU, and if they are a person of 9-5, all they need to do is to consider asking for a promotion in their current job and stick to that.

On the other hand, I encourage passionate people to work on their ideas and by getting help from Karafarin and using other available resources to start their own venture.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Web: https://karafarin.ca

facebook.com/Karafarin.ca
instagram.com/Karafarin.ca
twitter.com/KarafarinCanada
linkedin.com/company/Karafarin-Canada
youtube.com/channel/UCKKtaI_3Jjy8gtRQT6pl8SA

Pop Quiz, Monday with Renata Castro, Esq.

Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Renata Castro, Esq.

Renata Castro, Esq.
Photo credit: Renata Castro, Esq.

What is your job role?
I am an immigration attorney and founder of the Castro Legal Group in Florida.

Tell us about your company?
We are an international immigration firm which leveraged Social Media interactions to build a six-figure and growing practice globally by connecting the dots between foreigners and the realization of their American dream of coming to the USA legally.

What do you love most about your job?
Being able to apply my knowledge to help people’s dreams come true – be it for athletes, investors, inventors, business people, or the everyday Joe or Jane who has a pathway to a lawful residence or an American visa.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The transformational power of our work in people’s lives.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My staff is amazing. They believe in the cause, and that is motivation enough to keep going.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are an all women staff, so there’s a lot of chatter about makeup! All jokes aside, we have a great time together, and I usually treat them to lunches, concerts and the like. It’s all about having a good time while delivering outstanding service!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Dealing with the unrealistic expectations and anxieties of clients can take the best of us. We must always realize that there’s a lot at stake for our clients and that we need NOT to take it personally.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Be willing to take risks and build your path. When I opened my firm right out of law school, many cases I took were shunned by other more seasoned attorneys, and I won them. Also, I used social media aggressively by taking stands related to politics (which many attorneys don’t do) and that paid off substantially. I was on the front-line and took a lot of heat for it, but I am glad I took the risks I did.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be willing to write your own path. Work harder than your competition, be compassionate and trust your gut (and your legal research). It is crucial to learn marketing, being a good lawyer is not good enough.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.castrolegalgroup.com
youtube.com/conexaoimigracaousa
IG: immigratetotheUSA

Pop Quiz, Monday with Sumit Kumar

We help businesses and early-stage startups to scale by creating an ecosystem of talent sharing, infrastructure, technology to name a few.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Sumit Kumar

Sumit Kumar
Photo credit: Sumit Kumar

What is your job role?
Founder

Tell us about your company?
Founded in 2017, Headsup Corporation is a rapidly evolving dynamic consulting firm with a sharp focus on small and mid-sized organisations. Headsup Corporation is a startup by TISS, Mumbai and SSCBS, University of Delhi graduates.

We provide a leg-up to your online presence and pull-up the effective utilization of your human resources. Our myriad line-up of services is aimed to set up an array of solutions to your digital and human resource management needs.

At our core, we operate on creativity, passion, and impact. Our trained professionals have varied backgrounds and expertise. They endeavour to provide answers to all your questions. They eagerly await to offer timely solutions to tricky situations.

We help businesses and early-stage startups to scale by creating an ecosystem of talent sharing, infrastructure, technology to name a few.

What do you love most about your job?
The diversity which the day to day activities in the organization. This seems to bring the best out of everyone. It looks like a new place every day. The sheer excitement, creativity, challenges make me fall in love with my job.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The biggest motivation as a founder of an organization which has an average age of 25 is very much its people. Millennials today are looking for instant gratification, along with variable pay, pay for performance. Every day they leave me with multiple questions and the quest to find the answers makes me push every day to work.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are the most significant factor for the growth of the organization. All of them are aligned with the vision and imagination of the organization. The sheer passion, dedication, and honesty towards a common purpose inspires me.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We believe in having something engaging whether it is a random bonfire or secret Santa party. Along with spur of the moments fun, we continuously try to create an organisation culture which makes working fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
My biggest challenge comes with managing the aspirations of the clients and the employees at the same time while trying to show the result to both the set of people involved in a particular project. In a nutshell, bridging the gap between them is a challenge.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Hire people who believe in the idea and can grow with the job: This can be done by identifying the tasks which you would like the new hire to perform by involving the existing team and employees. As a manager, you must become the decision enabler and let the team do the decision making by itself. This makes the decision more binding and more acceptable. Next, try to become a nonchalant shopper who is out in the market to buy the product because you are motivated to purchase and not because of the psychology of the marketer has overpowered your need. While shopping for a laptop, this might not matter much. However, as a hiring manager, choosing for talent might have substantial consequences. Additionally, forecast the hiring requirements so that you have enough time to get the best (most fit) candidate.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

  1. Always Push for 70 Percent Rule: At any given point of time, 70% of the employees must be firing on all cylinders. This 70% covers those with the knowledge of different ways they can improve while enjoying the challenge.
  2. Humans as resources: In the majority of the SMEs and Startups, we see that managers try to hustle and fill the gaps as and when the need arises. They choose to fill the void with the person who they perceive to be most qualified for the position and try to close it. For some time, this might work great. However, if given the option of turning back the clock by four months, do you think you wanted such a qualified person for the position? Chances of someone getting bored of the job is significantly higher compared to someone who wanted to learn and grow along with the work. Soon you are back at square one: overwhelmed, on the rebound, and poised to hire in haste again. That’s no great use of resources. Utilizing resources profitably begins with recognizing potential, followed by a period of exploration, discovery, and development. Hiring for potential rather than proficiency is the foundation for building an A-team.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
http://headsupcorporation.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Joel Buckland

We Do Stories is a content marketing agency helping organisations raise awareness of important issues and new technology, inspiring people to action and raising much-needed finance through sales or support.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Joel Buckland

Joel Buckland
Photo credit: Joel Buckland

What is your job role?
I’m the CEO of We Do Stories, a content marketing agency specialising in social impact and technology communication. It’s my role to steer the ship while developing a team of creative and strategic minds. I see my most important duty as keeping the team inspired and focused so we can all be the best us we can be.

Tell us about your company?
We Do Stories is a content marketing agency helping organisations raise awareness of important issues and new technology, inspiring people to action and raising much-needed finance through sales or support. We’re a full-service agency meaning we can help from branding and marketing strategies to the creation of engaging content and distribution on digital platforms.

What do you love most about your job?
Hearing people’s stories is by far the most significant part of my job. I feel privileged every time someone shares their passion or personal experience with me and allows me and my team to share it with the world. To see people’s businesses and campaigns grow and succeed and to know we had a hand in helping that happen is an incredible feeling.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I’m motivated by shaping, overcoming challenges and having a positive impact. My work allows me to do this every day. I get to learn new things, develop strategies and see them implemented with positive results. I couldn’t ask for more from work.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We Do Stories was founded by my wife and me after leaving our careers in broadcast media and journalism. Not long after, my brother who’s a developer joined us. This meant we developed a culture of family values first. We’ve now grown beyond our family with team members locally and internationally, but those values have remained. We support each other, challenge each other and know the value each of us brings to the organisation. This kind of work environment is rare but so rewarding.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We’ve built a culture of celebration in our team; we believe it’s important to celebrate the small and large successes. This might be as simple as a pizza party in the office to days out as a team experiencing life together, laughing and enjoying each others company.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is also the most rewarding. Getting naysayers on board with new ideas and new approaches. Not everyone has realised that communication and marketing have changed, it’s no longer about selling with every piece of content. Today it’s about providing value and building relationships that lead to sales or support. Getting the naysayers to understand this and trust it can be a long and challenging experience, but once they do and they see the results they often become some of our most prominent advocates.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’m a big believer in knowing what you don’t do as much as what you do and believing in your instincts. I learnt these lessons the hard way. Sometimes telling a client that you don’t offer that service helps define expectations up front and set achievable goals. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it’s our job to let the client know when something won’t work as much as when it will.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Take a breath, find your niche and don’t worry about what the “competition” is doing, as long as you stay true to you you’ll do great.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.wedostories.com
https://twitter.com/wedostories
https://www.facebook.com/WeDoStories
https://www.linkedin.com/company/we-do-stories/

http://www.joelbuckland.com

https://twitter.com/joelbuckland
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelbuckland/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Vanessa Geraghty McGann

I love the fact that I get to help so many small business owners build their dream business, by helping them to effectively market their business and attract the right kind of clients.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Vanessa Geraghty McGann

Vanessa Geraghty McGann
Photo credit: Vanessa Geraghty McGann

What is your job role?
Founder – Vivacity Marketing

Tell us about your company?
Vivacity Marketing is a marketing consulting, digital marketing and marketing coaching business. We create customised marketing strategies and plans to suit any budget. We help startups via Marketing School which is our online marketing coaching program, and via one on one marketing coaching. And for more established business we offer a range of outsourced digital marketing services such as marketing strategy, web design, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, SEO, landing page design, copywriting, email marketing, content marketing, etc.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that I get to help so many small business owners build their dream business, by helping them to effectively market their business and attract the right kind of clients. And that no matter what their budget is I can help through the range of services I offer from starts ups to more established businesses. In the past year alone I worked with 50+ companies.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I love what I do! My work is very rewarding as I get to coach small business owners every day. And I get to build marketing strategies and plans so that businesses stop wasting their money on marketing activities that simply aren’t working for them. I get to go to work every day knowing that I am making a real difference in these business owners lives. And help them grow a loyal client base.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I have a part-time marketing consultant work with me, and I then have a team of freelancers that I used in my partnering digital marketing agency and for various services that my clients require. I learn and improve from my side every day. By working together as a remote team, we get so much more achieved and can bring a phenomenal service to each and every client.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I think it’s essential that my part-time marketing consultant is enjoying the work that she does with me. So I take the time to get to know them personally over wines and mimosas! I try and see my freelancers too in a more fun environment rather than in client meetings all the time too so that we can genuinely get to know the fun side of each other. So I guess wine happens as part of that most of the time!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I have a 3-year-old daughter who is only in childcare for a limited number of days a week. So I need to work around her schedule, and try and be a present for her, and get my clients to work done too. So this results in me working evenings and some weekends. But she goes to Kindy next year, so that will make things a bit easier. And I am still in the building phase of my business as I am only eighteen months in, so I know that this is part of growing my business and because I love what I do I don’t mind the long hours.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I think on any client project communication is vital. It’s critical that both the client and the agency understand what is going to be delivered, timings and what work is required by both parties to achieve timelines. Never presume that a client knows anything. Always confirm and follow up to make sure there is no confusion. Regular face to face client catch ups helps to eliminate any miscommunications.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
My biggest piece of advice is to start by building a Marketing Strategy and Marketing Plan for your business. And as part of the strategy do some market research with some people who are your ideal client, to find out their problems and pain points that you can help solve. Test that there is a need/gap for your services. And understand what services already exist and differentiate yourself.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: https://www.vivacitymarketing.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vivacitymarketing/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivacitymarketing/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCplM_Y4xOE28c6KnPQBHoWA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vgeraghty/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Pannozzo

The thing I love most about my job is being able to help many businesses grow and increase their exposure through trade events, conferences, markets and more with our products. It’s a great feeling to meet a startup in its early stages and watch them grow to where they are now.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Pannozzo

Craig Pannozzo
Photo credit: Craig Pannozzo

What is your job role?
I am the General Manager of Gazeboshop

Tell us about your company?
We are the commercial suppliers of speciality marquees and gazebos. We established Gazeboshop in 2005 with myself and my father, Luigi. We now supply Coca-Cola, the BBC, British Army, Stroke Association, High5, Nandos, Sainsbury’s and St John Ambulance as well as many startups and SMEs across a range of industry sectors. We also specialise in bespoke marquees, gazebos and custom print accessories.

What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most about my job is being able to help many businesses grow and increase their exposure through trade events, conferences, markets and more with our products. It’s a great feeling to meet a startup in its early stages and watch them grow to where they are now.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I enjoy coming into work and overcoming the challenges of being a somewhat seasonal business through innovating new products that our customers can enjoy all year round. In 2019, we will be launching a range of roll-out bolt-on canopies that are inspired by vintage shops so watch this space!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My father, Luigi, inspires me. His creative approach to our strategy has given the whole team a thorough understanding of the market. The team is always looking at ways to consistently make our offering fresh and relevant to existing trends.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I always make an effort to organise team socials. As a family-orientated business, it’s important for us to ensure that everyone on the team feels fully included.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
As mentioned, the seasonality of marquees and gazebos can be quite challenging. However, we always try to overcome any seasonal dips through innovating products that our customers can use all year round such as bespoke custom-print materials for conferences.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Resilience is key to growth in a startup. You must always have a contingency plan before embarking on a project or a campaign. So many startups fail because of this. Furthermore, before embarking on a project, you must have clear objectives and KPIs in mind.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Research the industry thoroughly and know your supply chain down to a tee. You should also get out there and network with other businesses. The great thing about the marquee and gazebo industry is that most sectors will, at one point, need one. Because of this, it is integral to starting out that you are networking with these businesses so that your company is at the forefront of their mind when they need to buy a gazebo.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWqZne7TU6u0oxvus2l5mbA/feed