3 things you need to know about risk, market fit, bootstrapping, and staying on the edge of innovation.
Any entrepreneur who can start out selling blenders door-to-door and turn that into a second-year $10 million business has my ear. That’s exactly what Mario Nawfal did, and that isn’t his only success story. If emulation is in any way possible, this overview of Nawfal serves as an insider’s bootstrapping success guide–a way to gauge, measure, and potentially duplicate Nawful’s success thus far–and I think he’s only getting started.
Froothie Australia was born with $300 in the bank, unconventional marketing techniques, and a desire to grow something with a market product fit first model. That was in 2012, and by 2013 Froothie was valued at more than $10 million, making it one of the fastest-growing global brands focusing on health and wellness, which brings me to a very important point. When entrepreneurs edge innovation, the right way, they win big. For Nawfal, in 2012, he was at the starting line for a health and wellness industry that would quadruple and then some over the next five years, allowing him to maximize his success quickly.
Midas Touch or Golden Strategy?
Skip forward to 2017, several successful launches later, and Nawful once again finds himself at the edge of innovation with the launch of his consulting firm based in blockchain technology. International Blockchain Consulting has risen to become an established industry authority in the blockchain and crypto space, a market expanding its capacity and use case applications rapidly. This succession of entrepreneurial notches plus applied continuous hard work have kept Nawfal in a space where he can continue innovating successfully.
Jumping Deeper Into Innovation
With IBC picking up speed, Nawfal launched IBI Ventures, a VC fund; IBA, a blockchain accounting firm; IGC, a cannabis and hemp consultancy … and became a partner and equity holder at IBL, a blockchain law firm. What Nawfal is learning, similarly to my own lessons in jumping into blockchain, is that the education of an entire market or business ecosystem takes time. Even if blockchain is the best solution, it still seems daunting to businesses thinking of transitioning because the education is not there yet, and the knowledge is still growing. That makes what The New Trust Economy (my blockchain podcast exploration) is doing, and what Nawfal is doing, so important–bringing experts together, sharing knowledge, learning, and growing the conversations around real-use applications.
It also seems important to point out that in a new market or with a new technology, oftentimes the success of the early adopters is not their success but the success of those who follow in their footsteps. When we are edging innovation in business, the failures of the first-in are often the steppingstones for those who succeed.
3 Things You Need
With that, let’s talk about the three things you need to know, from Nawfal, about risk, innovation, bootstrapping, and market fit.
Mindset. Maintaining an entrepreneurial mindset is so important. Stay open to learning. My podcast The New Trust Economy, my other businesses, and even this column are tools to help me continue learning. Nawfal echoed these sentiments. A learning mindset is where success begins.
Timing. Timing really is everything. Being on the cutting edge of innovation is one thing. Showing up too early, without the patience to wait it out or the resources to educate the market, is a recipe for fast failure. You must not only get into the market at the right time, but also pace success as the market is ready.
Expertise. Expertise offers simplification, which new innovation requires. When there’s opportunity for high returns, there will be high risk, so to avoid massive failures, simplification is imperative. Expertise also creates space for a long-term approach so you can position yourself early in an industry with much less risk. If you don’t have the expertise you need, find it before you get in too deep. The reasons consultants exist and firms like Nawfal’s exist are to help industries grow when they are experiencing growing pains, and pull back when the timing isn’t quite right.
Expert Tip: Bill Gross’s Ted Talk on timing in relation to your team, your product, your business plan, and your overall success is a must-listen, and describes very well how Nawfal approaches business and decisions.
Read the original INC article published on June 14, 2019.