Welcome to the Join Up Dots Podcast with Ramesh Dontha
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Introducing Ramesh Dontha
Ramesh Dontha is today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast is a man who thinks the world is doing things wrong.
He is the author of the brand new book “The Agile Entrepreneur, The 60 Minute Startup” – A proven system to start your business in 1 hour a day and get your first paying customers in 30 days or less”
Bold and exciting statement, so let’s hear what he has to say.
As he says “I know you’re well aware that would-be entrepreneurs get bombarded with all kinds of business advice all day, every day.
It’s like all they have to do is add “self-employed” to their Facebook profile, and they start seeing ads for webinars and expensive training that they’re told they “must” enroll in to be successful.
Not to mention that most of them have never started and grown a business before, and as they try to figure it out, they can’t see the forest for the trees!
That’s why I am publishing a book my book.
I think there’s a better way for sure”
So has he gone through the weeds and clambered out the other-side with this sense of clarity and understanding?
As from the point of graduating at the Duke University – The Fuqua School Of Business it seems that he has always had one eye on creating his own future.
And what would be the biggest mistake people make, starting the wrong business or simply not starting at all.
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Ramesh Dontha
During the show we discussed such deep weighty subjects with Ramesh Dontha such as:
Ramesh shares how he was one of the walking dead, and strongly felt that he needed to leave his role to save his sanity, although it wasn’t easy to do it.
We discuss the early stages of the side hustles that quite often pull us off track from what we should be doing with our businesses.
Why it’s so important to re-engineer other peoples products and services to find out what is working already. Don’t recreate the wheel, use what works.
The reasons why people shouldn’t do the leap of faith no matter how many people encourage them to do it. There are safer ways to go about things.
How To Connect With Ramesh Dontha
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Audio Transcription Of Ramesh Dontha Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, hello. Good morning, everybody. Good morning, my young ones, thank you so much for being here, another episode of Join Up Dots. Now, we’ve been talking about creating your own businesses and creating our own income streams for about six years now coming up. And a lot of people might think it’s really, really easy, and other people might think it’s really, really hard. What’s the truth in it? Well, today’s guest joining us on the show is a man who thinks the world is doing things wrong. Basically, he’s the author of the upcoming new book, the Agile entrepreneur, over 60 minutes startup, a proven system them to start your business in one hour a day, and get your first paying customers in 30 days or less bold and exciting statement. So let’s hear what he has to say. As he says, I know you’re well aware that would be entrepreneurs get bombarded with all kinds of business advice all day, every day. It’s like they all have to do is add self employed to their Facebook profile. And they start seeing ads for webinars and expensive training. And they’re told they must in load in to be successful. Not to mention that most of them have never started and grown a business before and that’s a try to figure it out. They can’t see the forest for the trees. And that’s why I’m publishing a book, my book, I think there’s a better way for sure. So Has he gone through the weeds and clamber down the other side with this sense of clarity and understanding himself? And from the point of graduating at the Duke University of the grass School of Business? And I’m sure I’ve said that wrong, because it sounds very rude. It seems that he’s always had one eye on creating his own future. What would be the biggest mistake people make starting their own business? Or simply not starting at all? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show, to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Romeo done fine. Good morning. How are you?
Ramesh Dontha [2:16]
Very good. David, thank you for having me.
David Ralph [2:19]
Start straight away. How do you say the School of Business you went to because I’ve been practising there? And it just sounds like I’m swearing. How do you actually say it?
Ramesh Dontha [2:29]
That’s the question to start with the David. So it’s a Duke University. Of course, the school itself is called Fuqua School of Business. FUQUA. and gentlemen, Mr. Fuqua donated some money to the school and that they named the school after him. Also is more food
David Ralph [2:45]
and far, I was more than, yeah, I was pronouncing the wrong thing. But few few. So a few. Yeah. That’s why I’m now a master. So let’s get straight into it, because you are somebody but as I say, you’ve had one eye on the sort of entrepreneurial journey, I know that you’ve sort of done your own businesses, and then you work for other people, you’ve gone back and forth. Do you think most people need to see the back and forth? Because it seems to me most people go into corporate land, and then instantly decide they’re going to be an entrepreneur and a businessman? Without having that ability to say no, hang on, I will step back again, and see a different way of operating. What do you think?
Ramesh Dontha [3:26]
I personally think that the going back and forth, having certain corporate experience is important. Does it mean that everybody has to go through that exercise? Not necessarily, you know, I’ve come across people who have never gone to school, who have never worked in a company, and then they think they’re unemployable. But they have built very successful businesses themselves. So there are lots of case studies, but my own personal experience, and then majority of the people that benefit by going into corporate world, and then having the back and forth experience,
David Ralph [4:00]
because my issue, I’ve never gone back once I quit that was there. And my issue is the fact that I couldn’t bear to be told where to be at certain times. The fact that this morning, my alarm went home got a little lucky. And so I had a little delay. And you can’t do that if you’re going to work. And I’m very aware of that restriction.
Ramesh Dontha [4:21]
That is true. I mean, myself, right. So when you go back and forth, certain times, you feel you regret for going back to the corporate life. And then that’s why you want to quit, I myself, come to a stage where I don’t want to be told what I want to do. And then you have this phase of life, where you really want to give something you want to accomplish something. And that is the phase. I said, I’m going to do it. I’d not want to have any regrets. And for good, I’m leaving.
David Ralph [4:49]
And what did you say when you walked in? Did he did he hang on to your leg in and be dragged across the floor? As you’re marching to the door? What actually happened?
Ramesh Dontha [5:00]
Yeah, actually, mind was a gradual evolution of wanting to quit. So just a little bit of timeline here. 2014 was when I was I mean, really, I was like a zombie, I really wanted to quit, and I was like, a walking dead, you know, thinking to myself, what the hell am I doing, but I still did not have the courage and that that time, my boss and friends and and strongly encouraged me not to quit, and then stay on. So maybe that played a role as well. And then by 2016, I said, If I don’t do it, now, I will never do it. And then I quit. But by the time some of the people already knew that I was thinking about quitting. So it was an evolution. It’s the let me go at the time in the sense that I can find a job with a word of encouragement, because they knew that I was going to quit it someday. Someday,
David Ralph [5:54]
okay. And don’t tell me Don’t tell me that you went from that point of being the walking dead, to get to your first customer in 30 days, he is that true? Or have you now seen the path?
Ramesh Dontha [6:07]
I have seen the path Actually, I got a trace back, I started a company back in 1994, an information technology consulting company, so I always had the company. So I mean, I had a paying customer at that time, because I simply switched from I was a contractor, a consultant, and then I was consulting for the same company, as a as my own business owner. So that does not count. But when I actually quit for the first time permanently, by the time I have done a lot of what we call the side gigs, a side hustle, experimenting a lot, figuring out trying to overcome this uncertainties. So for me, the 30 days, customer, I already had it within 30 days after I quit permanently. But it is like, you know what everybody calls an overnight success. It is not an overnight success. I’ve been experimenting, I’ve been tweaking the model. So for me to get the customer and first 30 days was a, you know, the experimentation that I was doing for multiple years before I actually finally quit.
David Ralph [7:13]
So what kind of side hustlers did you do? Because I look back on some of mine. And a lot of them were madness. I look back on it. And I think it had nothing to do with my business. It had nothing to do with my branding, what the hell was I doing? But I think it was a kind of a panic, it was a panic of this, this might this might be the key to solve helped me through to where I want it to be.
Ramesh Dontha [7:35]
Yeah, so I was all over the place. David haven’t even believe
David Ralph [7:39]
this is I do believe me? I do. I totally do believe.
Ramesh Dontha [7:43]
Okay, so I was fully employed. I was in the management side, I was, you know, doing the marketing and business development for a large technology company. And then 2005, I was by myself, my family was visiting India. And then I got this magazine entrepreneurial magazine, I was just flipping through the magazine, I came across this article about domains, you know, flipping domains, buying and selling domains and building websites and flipping them. It was a totally new world for me. They said, it’s a virtual real estate, internet real estate, that you buy land, you build a salad, or you buy land, keep it when value improves, you know, you sell it like at the time they give example of a business.com sold for $1 million, just a domain itself nothing. So that whole world fascinated me. Then for the next few days, I was spending literally 18 hours a day, trying to go into this forums and figuring out, and within a month, I bought a website. It’s a pet medicines website, from a high school kid, or maybe college kid who built it. And then he sold it to me for about $300. Right? It’s actually money making domain, right. So he had an affiliate, kind of a website, I don’t know about the listeners how much they knew about the affiliates, but they had a veterinarian who is fulfilling the orders that come through the website for the pet medicines. So I didn’t have to do much. It was already search engine optimised to some some extent, at that time, of course, the primitive with all the Google algorithms and all that stuff. So it’s a money making website, I bought it for around $300. I bought it just to learn, right. And then lo and behold, I was getting 15% Commission on every sale that goes through and very soon made the money. So that was my first side hustle,
David Ralph [9:37]
Tosa I’m gonna jump into, I’m gonna jump in there. So why do you think that he because he obviously done the bulk of the work with young lad. Why do you think that he been sold it for such a small amount. $300 is nothing
Ramesh Dontha [9:49]
is nothing actually that it was, is that the only thing that I could get to is that is high school K, the college kid around that age, like around 1718 years, he needed that problem $300 for whatever reason, and then he was about to go to college as well. And he didn’t want to manage. So he probably had multiple personal reasons, you know, for him to sell for in a very less money at the time. And then I got into this gold mine gold mine not just from a money perspective, gold mine from learning perspective.
David Ralph [10:21]
I think what you did was really wise that you literally bought something that you knew was working, and quite effectively, you could rip it apart, but then learn what’s happening there. And I see that as a great way of doing it. You’re buying an engine that’s operating. And then you’re actually going, Oh, I can see why that’s doing that. And back and forth.
Ramesh Dontha [10:45]
Yeah, exactly. So the other option is I could have learned to build and all that stuff. But I was lucky enough I wanted to know by and then that’s probably the I think the best learning that I got is you just want to buy something, you rip it apart, you reverse engineer it. Then I went back and been learned about this content management systems like a WordPress and Juma this all those things, right. So it gave me an opportunity to break it apart and learn the underpinnings of the website.
David Ralph [11:17]
I have actually spent thousands on things like sales funnels and stuff. And when they started operating, and the guy said to me, I will get it going, you will get a tonne of traffic. And this this was in the early days of Join Up Dots. And I paid him at about $2,000, whatever. And it did, it started working. And I hated it because I didn’t understand why it was working. And I literally pulled it apart and killed it to find out what you know what was actually going on behind the scenes. And I think that was the best two grand I’ve ever spent.
Ramesh Dontha [11:51]
I agree with you 100%. So your original question was what other side hustlers have done. So I’ve done that. And then then I went into this domain flipping domain names like a at one point, I had 800 domains, in my name, right? Just trying to figure out which of those will become gold mines like a business.com, somebody would buy kind of stuff, right. So that did not pan out too well. Because come one year around, you have to renew all those 800 domains. So I was not willing to renew them for whatever the fee, so I let majority of them go. But that during that one year, it was another learning experience. Just studying that industry of the domain flipping as an example. Now with domains,
David Ralph [12:35]
I’m always buying domains, I bought one yesterday and I do exactly the same, I got a great idea. I’m going to buy a domain name. And then more often than not, it sits there for a year. And then I just sort of roll off and disappear into the domain graveyard. Now. Is it something now when you look back on all those things that you wouldn’t have been able to write about the Agile entrepreneur without those? Or is it the case where literally they have pulled you away from being Alberto? Right, the Agile entrepreneur maybe couple of years earlier?
Ramesh Dontha [13:09]
No, David, I mean, all those experiences of the successes and failures are key ingredients of this agile entrepreneur business, right? Each one of those experiences taught me so much. I think without those experiences, I would not be here talking about building businesses and agile entrepreneurship kind of concept.
David Ralph [13:33]
Now, so let’s get on to your book, we’re going to talk about your book because I know our audience will jump out and get it now. I read a lot of business books rubbish, I probably read three a week. And after I’d read the first four chapters, I realised that they’re just banging on about the same subject, I get one key idea. And they sprayed maybe 30 pages into 300 pages, and then I struggle to get through them, I think Yeah. All right, donate. Now I understand what you’re talking about. Just leave it. Now is yours one that is very much like that, or is it a blueprint for people to follow? Tell us tell us what’s in the Agile entrepreneur?
Ramesh Dontha [14:12]
Yeah, if you could, let me just set the context for the book first. Okay. So when I looked at the research, primarily, let me talk it from the US perspective. And then probably global also will apply. So many research studies say that about 70% of the people want to have a business, start a business, it could be a side business, it may not be that that’s the main business. But when you look at the actual number of people who go about starting a business, it’s less than 15%. Right? So there’s a huge gap, you know, 70% want to start, but only 50, less than 15% actually end up doing something about it. So then we looked into why, right, the reasons again, the research says it’s primarily about the fear, the fear of uncertainty, fear of unknown risks, and things like that, right. So then I said, Okay, I broke it down. Those were the fears that I was going through myself, right, the uncertainty fear, you cannot take it up. But the unknown fear, you can do something about it. So when I was going through my own experiences, and by the way, in parallel, I was I also had a podcast. So I was talking to lots of entrepreneurs who have gone through the journey, I was learning tonnes and tonnes of information. So it breaks down to a few things, right. So first thing is people are afraid they don’t know where to start, right? So there are certain elements to actually launching the business, the launching of businesses, you have to have an idea, you want to know which customers you want to target, what are their pain points. And then what is the approximate range of price your product or service that you want to offer? So there are certain set things, about 15 of them, I broke them down that any person has to do to start a business, right. And then the second piece is, is actually selling and finding a customer. Right. So I mean, I am a huge, huge fan of Peter Drucker who is a management guru, he broke down the business into only two things. He said, a business should have only, you know, innovative mark, innovative product, or service. Innovation is key. That’s the number one thing. The second thing is you need to have a customer. Everything else is noise. That’s what he said, right? So as long as you you figured out the product and service, and you figured out, you know, innovative way of marketing the product and service to find a customer and you got the business. So this book breaks down these elements of launching a business into 15 steps. So the first 15 days of the 30 days, in every day, you spend about 60 minutes. Doing that piece, like one day could be just building the website, you’re not building the perfect website, you’re probably building a website. And another day, you’re just incorporating the business. That’s it for 60 minutes, you know, just go through the motions of incorporating the business. Another day could be just brand your business, you know, what are the colours? What are the things that you want to pick? Just 60 minutes, right? So first 15 days is all about every day you do something to launch your business. And the next 15 days is all about different sales strategies that you could implement to find the fast paying customers. So this book lays out in a workbook like fashion every day, 60 minutes, hey, know, do this for 15 minutes. Do this for 15 minutes, do this for 30 minutes like that, right? It depending on the task, right? And then it just doesn’t leave the reader just to say do this do this. It first goes over a successful entrepreneur storey. So it features 30 entrepreneurs, a successful entrepreneur storey how they have done it, right. And it actually gives the reader their templates where applicable. What are the templates that they use, for example, email, that they might have sent out a cold email they might have sent out to get the first customer, and then it gives the templates to the reader so they can use.
David Ralph [18:20]
Now AO sounds great VIA all sounds great. But I’m going to play some words. And I’m going to come back to this. This is a good question. This is a good one. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [18:30]
my father could have been a great comedian. But he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [18:57]
Now, the content of your book sounds great, absolutely. But the key thing that I can’t understand why people can’t grasp this. And actually, I’ve been training a guy over the last few weeks, and he’s been building this business. And when he came to me this morning, he said, Do you know what I’m going to do? And I went penny dropped, penny dropped. And he said, I’m going to start looking at my competitors to see where their traffic’s coming from, and start nicking some of it. Now, with people out there, why don’t you feel a struggle so much to get a customer? Where we already know where the customers are? The customers are going to the competition? You’re not going to start a new business Really? That is anything too unique. Are you is your first one not not many people do they’re all going to be similar themes. Mine was a similar theme. Yours is a similar theme, everybody. So why did I struggle so much to find a customer? When we already know where the customers are? The customers are where people are advertising, that where they’re going on Facebook? Over data is out there what you reckon.
Ramesh Dontha [19:58]
Okay, so it costs is identifying the right customer, I’ll give an example. You know, the the my recent turnaround. So I wanted to start a data strategy consulting company, right? That is what I did. And then I went about the wrong way. So I said, Okay, my customers are this, no small medium, kind of I want to go after a smaller medium, because I don’t have a large set of sales people. And I don’t want to go through that stuff, right. But those were the wrong set of customers, they were not thinking about the problem. I mean, it’s not a big enough problem for them to think because they have other problems to solve. And by the time I figured that out, I said mice, the people, the companies that are actually trying to solve the problem of the large companies, and then I don’t have a set up to go after them. I want to go partner with other companies who are actually getting this business from them. So my issue there is not that I could not find the customer in the first get go is I was looking in the wrong place. So it
David Ralph [21:01]
isn’t the same, though.
Ramesh Dontha [21:04]
It’s the same as for me to figure out that where I should look itself took me some time. I mean, if I didn’t have the sustainability, I could have given up by the time I found my customer. Right. Okay. Okay. So for example, it Yeah, if I didn’t, couldn’t survive for the three months where I could not get the customer, I would have given up and then gone back to a safe job.
David Ralph [21:27]
Now with it. And the other thing that you said that was quite interesting was the fact of looking at your branding, and you were mentioning sort of getting your colours right and stop. Branding is so much more than that. And certainly I look at my my business every day now. And I think to myself, yeah, my branding is is is bang on its bang on because it’s just bringing clients to me easily. And as soon as I land on my website, and we’re still improving it all the time. But you can understand we’ve been about three seconds what it’s all about. How do people in the early stages get that? Because it’s very difficult, isn’t it? People think branding is colours and logos and stuff, but it’s not. It’s the promise. It’s the it’s the lifestyle of that business. It’s the belief, it’s it’s everything into one package.
Ramesh Dontha [22:17]
You got it actually. So I was giving colours as an example for that particular days of the work. Because the other things that what is your minimum, you know, what is your value proposition? Those things I would have gone through the prior days anyway, your hundred percent right, David, because the branding is about the promise of your offer that is consistent with, you know, your value proposition, right. So that is what the brand brand is about to me, right? So I mean, it’s a brand incorporates number one in a service or a product, and then what is the value proposition that you want to give to the customer? And then what is your promise, it could be that you’re low cost, or you’re, you know, high value, it’s a combination of all those things, but all of them lead into the brand. And then the mechanics of what colours and all is a last step that you only want to make it consistent with the rest of the stuff that you already decided upon. I’m with you. 100%.
David Ralph [23:20]
Well, I’m glad I’m glad because I didn’t want to fall out with you. So I didn’t want to fall out with you. Because I feel there’s a friendship to be made here. And you live in California, and it’s nice place to go on holiday. Now, if we if we look at it again, the Agile entrepreneur, it’s a great name. But entrepreneurs agile, are they just making it up as they go along? I often wonder because because we see this all the time where people say yes, I was a born entrepreneur, and I always been. No, you weren’t? No, you weren’t you, you you just had the ability to overcome the crap and keep going.
Ramesh Dontha [23:55]
David accurate, the Agile term in this one has a very specific meaning and let may go over that here. So in the technology world, especially in the software development side, there is something called an agile methodology. Right? So in 2001, or so what happened was a bunch of developers got together and said, the the traditional way of developing a software where somebody gives the requirements, and then the developers go and take the requirements, spend a few months or six months developing something. And going back to the person who gave the requirements, this is what you, you told us, and then the guy by the time the market is evolved, and then all the requirements want misunderstood by the developers. And the guy says, No, this is not what I wanted. So again, we go back to the method. So that’s called a waterfall methodology of developing software. And that was not working out. So the Agile methodology is a very iterative, right? It’s an incremental approach. So the way it works, and right now, this Uber’s and Airbnb is another way they they develop the software, a very fast is using agile methodology, what they call a sprint. So they break it down into like a one week or two weeks prints, where you give me certain requirements. Within two weeks, I will come back to the proof of concept. Is this what you told me? And the customer says, No, this is exactly not but 50%, you’re right, tweak it here. So I go back and then iterate on that one. So with a full realisation, the requirements will change, right? They’re not set in stone. So this print approach of developing software revolutionised the software. So this whole thing called agile methodology, it’s a collaborative with the person who’s giving the requirements. It’s incremental with the tweaking. So I have experienced with this agile methodology, and I said, Why can’t I take this approach to building a business? So in this agile methodology, we, David, if you talk to any entrepreneur, successful entrepreneurs, they never ended, where they started, the always pivoted, they adjusted the pricing model, they kind of adjusted the persona of the customer, they thought they adjusted the business model, they improved it iterated, changed, pivoted, whatever word you call it. So the Agile methodology of building a business, you know, that whatever business plan that you have, now, it’s going to change, but I’m willing to change. So that is what the Agile entrepreneur methodology is that, that you’re willing to, you know, iterate, but you know, you got to do it fast, you know, you pivoted so that’s why the Agile has a very specific meaning, not just Agilent a very general sense.
David Ralph [26:42]
Yeah, you explain that perfectly. So basically, what we’re saying to the listeners is, instead of getting hung up on perfection, and trying to make everything look perfect, just get it out here, get it out there and then see what happens.
Ramesh Dontha [26:56]
Exactly, David, that’s why I’m saying that 30 days, and then 60 minutes concept, I am a strong believer, because let’s say you wanted to start a business, right? Instead of wasting six months or X number of months, you know, crunch it down to one month, right? So I mean, can you give one month of your lifetime to start, you know, just experiment with something for 60 minutes a day that you strongly believe in? Can you
David Ralph [27:21]
know, release this, there’s a lot of stuff on Netflix, there’s Netflix and Amazon, they’re churning it out, it’s going to take up time.
Ramesh Dontha [27:28]
Yeah, so it’s like a dual goal for the perfect website, don’t go for the perfect best business plan, right. So just go start now and do that, you know, whatever is necessary to get your thoughts there. And then whatever the product or service you’re thinking, have a basic idea, and then go launch it and see what happens. Right. So if you miserably fail, what is the worst that can happen, you lost one month of your entire lifespan. And then the Not only that, you’re reducing three things, not just a time aspect of it, the cost aspect of it, instead of spending six months of time, what, whatever money that you’re going to spend in this and in a training, workshops, seminars, whatever, you crunch the entire learning into one month, and then if you’re going to fail, you failed fast. So the cost of doing a business is it’s only to the failing fast in one month. And the stress associated with this, this entire business aspect is now literally crunch down to one month. So you’re reducing your stress, you’re reducing a cost, and you’re reducing a time in the process, you will learn so much in one month, you wouldn’t believe it.
David Ralph [28:41]
I you can’t see me at the moment, but I am smiling. I’m smiling big time. You are so excited and passionate about this I I get a lot of guests on. And it sounds like you know, they’ve seen it and I’ve done it and it’s just kind of something new to bring to market. You love this, don’t you? You you actually so I tell you what, I wish I had this at the very beginning, I’d be all over it.
Ramesh Dontha [29:05]
No, I’m telling you, I was so frustrated. You know, you wouldn’t believe I’m a you know, the sponge for this trainings and workshops. I have tried everything I the side hustle that he asked me, I can give you a list of side hustle, I’ve done. I’ve done content writing, right. I mean, look here, I’ve gone to MBA been quite successful. But I was trying to figure out this whole passive income stream, like what kind of stuff? So I have, you know, it’s like, I even tried a job that pays like, you know, $1 an hour just to learn, you know how to do this kind of stuff, right? So So I’ve gone through all this stuff. And I said, people are just getting frustrated, trying different workshops and seminars and all that stuff. But you crunch it down into the minimum possible, right, and don’t strive for perfection, just put it out there, and then try it out. And then if you fail, know you fail so fast, you learn so much from it,
David Ralph [30:03]
right stumbling block time for you, because I know this is a big stumbling block. And this is something that I’m I’m bringing to market at the moment so that people can sort of overcome this. But what you’re saying is absolutely true. But I see that the the sort of the caveat of this is knowing what business to fail in, first of all, and so many people are struggling to think of that huge, big sexy idea where I say to them, don’t worry about the sexy idea, just try to earn $15 just try to earn $15. And then that will teach you so much. Would that be this kind of advice that you would say to them? who buy your books?
Ramesh Dontha [30:43]
Yes, David, you are starting with my chapter one, day one. Okay, so my chapter one, I’m giving it away to your audience. It’s called, don’t start with why start with what? So many times people are told, we’ve been told, you need to find the reason why you want to start a business. And my point is, the customer doesn’t care why you started a business. You probably somebody fired you, that’s why you started this business. But why does the customer care? What the customer cares is? What do you have that solves the customers pain point. So very first thing that you got to figure out where to start is what I call the inventory of your knowledge, your skills, and your assets. I call the KS a template, you know, you put together an inventory of what do you know, on what are the skills on what are the assets, assets could be the network that you have the money, you have all the stuff together? Right? So I give a template and you start with that, that will tell you what you have to offer? Right? I mean, that’s a starting point. Once you know, where do you start from, then then you know what to offer, then you’re not lost, trying to figure out because for some reason, right? Starting with what you know, or what you’re familiar with, is, it will give you a higher degree of success than me trying to do something that I don’t know anything about, like say if I were to give a investment advice to somebody, I don’t know anything about it, why would I want to do it? I would give a technology advice. I would give you a consulting business advice, coaching advice, something that I know.
David Ralph [32:25]
Because I would I would go one step further than that. And I would say that my what word as I mentioned earlier would be a monetary What? You know, because a lot of people I think majority of people think that they’re going to go from where they are to where they want to be instantly. So I’m in a job is boring, the commutes rubbish. I’m on a good salary, but I want to do my own thing. That’s what I’ve got to get. And I always say to them, it’s going to be hard to go from 60 grand to 60 grand on your first go. Why don’t you think about how to make a mortgage payment 600 pounds, just one mortgage payment 1000 pounds, whatever your mortgages, and then think to yourself, how can I do that? Because it gets that juices going up? Well, maybe I could go up into my loft and sell things on eBay. Maybe I could sell my old car but I’m not using anymore. It gets those juices going. And I think once you get fired, you realise that there’s money to be had everywhere, don’t you?
Ramesh Dontha [33:23]
I agree with you. And I’ll give you this example. So there is a one lady entrepreneur I featured in the book. She is making $100,000 plus as a six figure income she calls it right successful salesperson she’s doing it. And then but she always had the itch to do something and over the like on Friday, she said you know and by the way she she said she’s obsessive compulsive disorder person that she was diagnosed with that so so it’s she’s a very organised and that kind of stuff and said, Okay, I’m going to go home organisation. So over the weekend, right, she put up a fake Facebook page, you didn’t even have a website, you like she put a Facebook page. And then she did Craigslist advertising. within one week, she had a paying customer to organise a home. And that year, and she did not quit her job that he that he or she made. She said $15,000 right $15,000 that doesn’t replace her income or whatever. But she found enough confidence. And by the way, within one week, she had a paying customer, right, she found confidence already. And that entire year, she probably made about $15,000. That’s what she said. And then, but she got the confidence. by next year, she was able to expand the business. And then then that next year, she quit her job. And she she did this. And then later on she expanded this organisation concept into a professional organisation sense. If you’re a business person, I will help you organise your business as well. So she’s gradually grew this side hustle of starting, you know, if she was to think put a business plan, what am I going to do? When am I going to make $100,000 with this high business, she would have never started. She just started jumped within one month. within one week, she got the paid paying customer she kept building within one year she quit her job.
David Ralph [35:15]
And it’s doable in it. That’s the thing. It is doable. And I always say to people again, don’t do the leap of faith I did the leap of faith it almost killed me it really did. I do the slide of faith work on something to replicate income and or half your income or whatever, until you get ready. And then you can go and make a decision. Now what do you think? Should I do it? Or should I not you know, and it might be the case that you still want to work, it might be the case, actually, because being an entrepreneur quite often is very lonely, you spend a lot of time on your own doing stuff and not seeing people, you really got to push yourself out from your computer screen. But I think a lot of people are quite willing to work for somebody, but I don’t want to work five days a week, they don’t want to work nine to five, they want to work two days a week so that they meet people and there’s that interaction, which then gives you the breathing space to carry on building your own business.
Ramesh Dontha [36:12]
You gotta David, I don’t know how much I agree with you here.
David Ralph [36:17]
Just Just say all of it.
Ramesh Dontha [36:20]
Now Honestly, I really, you know, believe believe in everything. So this is my thing, right? The worst enemy that I have is myself always had, right? Because I kept telling myself, I cannot do it. Right, I cannot do it. I don’t need other people telling me I cannot do it. Because I myself was telling that I cannot do it. It is probably the same with most of the people. It’s, it’s we tell ourselves that you can you know, they cannot do it. Right. So you just don’t have to switch completely don’t do that. Right. So just get hundred dollars the first month that you know, go through the motions of doing something to get some money, right? And then you will learn so much about yourself so much learn, you learn about your friends and your family and your network that you have, you know, who are your supporters and who are encouraging. And then what are the fears that you have that whole motion, the exercise itself will be so much eliminated?
David Ralph [37:18]
Yeah, everyone who TR teach how to build businesses, because it is easy when you know, it really is easy. They will often drop me an email would say 95% of them will drop me an email and say to me, David, I’ve got my first customer it works. And as soon as a customer comes from nowhere and lands in their email inbox, or, or book something online or whatever, there’s like a competence that floods through them, and you can see it. It’s that first customer that comes by magic. Of course, it’s not magic, because I put the work in, but actually is the whole business. Because once you’ve done that you can bend start skating and being Where did that customer come from? How can I be more of my energy into that avenue?
Ramesh Dontha [38:03]
That is precisely true. Because once you get the first paying customers, many things happen. One is there’s a potential for the first paying customer to give you a testimonial, a referral, right? And then that will lead to the second customer. Once you have this funnel build up. Right now you’re in business, right? You’re making money, whether you are able to build the business, this totally different discussion. So I don’t even want to go there. But at least you’re able to launch the business, you are able to start the business. And now you understand the entire life cycle of launching getting paid, you know, all that stuff is figured out. Now the next stage is how to use that foundation to you know, make it sustainable?
David Ralph [38:47]
Well, let’s play some words. Now as we move towards the end of the conversation, it certainly has been an exciting Yeah, I feel like laying you down with me and put in a wet find on your head. You seem so excited by this yo yo a delight to have his Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [39:02]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [39:37]
I’m always interested in that well worn path whether you’re on the path or not, because I’ve been doing this literally 15 years now. And I still think that I’m not sure if I’m on the path or not Join Up Dots. Great. I’m going to carry on doing that. But the rest of it, I’m not really sure. What about yourself.
Ramesh Dontha [39:56]
I myself, I mean, if I could go back and look at my past and I was too Tell you what, my dots water and all that stuff, right? So I come from a very rural village kind of atmosphere at this at that time. I mean, I keep telling people, I didn’t have any dreams because I don’t know what dream is because I didn’t know any world. The only thing that i i saw probably was a motorcycle and said, Okay, I will dream of having that motorcycle. At that time, if somebody said I would be here, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. It’s like, you know, I will laugh them off. But my dots were two things. One is education. And then learning constant, you know, the curiosity of learning, right. And then I looked now sitting here, I look at my life in three phases. The first phase was getting educated, right, where learning stuff and getting the college degrees and then trying to find that first job. That was the first phase. The second phase was building, you know, the foundation of the family, the wealth and all that stuff where you probably have to do things, whether you like it or not kind of stuff, that’s a second phase. To some extent, you’re trying to build the foundation. Now I’m in my third phase, which is I want to be in a position where I dictate my life, the areas that I want to work in the people that I want to work in it. It’s that face. So right now, in our looking forward, I don’t know what the dots are. But I know, you know, in terms of my temperament, you know, iron, my eagerness to get up in the morning, every like I can’t wait for next day to come tells me that I’m on the right path.
David Ralph [41:39]
I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I didn’t want to get out of bed I just painted state. Does. What does that say about me?
Ramesh Dontha [41:48]
You just came back from a five week vacation of the US, David, you just still enjoying the vacation? That’s what he tells me. That’s all
David Ralph [41:55]
evening. I mean, holiday blues, I haven’t kicked back into it today. Maybe Maybe you’re right, maybe it takes a while to get going. So let’s move forward. Before we take you on the final journey on the show. When we take you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. What would you say to the people out there that’s been listening today? And they’ve been listening constantly for years and years and years? Is it something that we should encourage them to do? Is it something that literally we have to say you’ve got to know yourself? What do you think?
Ramesh Dontha [42:29]
Okay, this is what I wanted. Somebody asked me a question with the book. I’m trying to make it too easy. So And my answer to them is, as a tease, being an entrepreneur, starting the business, the world already tells everybody that is not easy, it’s hard. So I don’t have to go tell them that it’s hard. All I’m asking you, your listeners, and then is that don’t give me give yourself one month, just give yourself one month, and not the entire month, just give yourself 60 minutes a day. If you ever dreamed of having your own business, you ever thought of having your own business, give yourself 30 days, give yourself 60 minutes a day, go through this mechanics, it doesn’t have to be my book, it there is a lot of information probably out there, find a system that works. But give yourself 30 days, and then go launch your business because you can do it. Don’t let anybody tell you it takes six months to launch a business. No, it doesn’t. I know examples that are featured in my book, people launch their business in one week. So you can do it. Just give yourself 30 days, 60 minutes a day, and then launch your business. Go do it. Every business person I spoke to, it’s been a hardest journey for them. But it is the most enjoyable journey. And the one regret they all had without exception. Everybody that I talked to, is that they should have started sooner.
David Ralph [43:58]
Interesting, maybe very interesting. Why? Okay, so let’s move you seamlessly to where we wanted you to go. And that’s the Sermon on the mic, when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to a young age, what age would you choose? And what advice would you like to give him? Well, let’s find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fade you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [44:29]
We go with the best of the show.
Romesh Dontha [44:48]
Hello, Ramesh. I know you are 24 years old,
you do not have any confidence in yourself, even though you are at the top of the class. And then the confidence comes from small successes. So do one thing. Once you’re successful, then you gain the confidence. If you fail in that one thing, then you learn from the experience. And then you go back and redo the thing. You always wanted to get into business. I know you done engineering, that is not where you want to be. If that’s what it is, take the first step of starting a business. get other people to buy into your belief. It could be network to your family. But do not let your fears hold you back. Just take the action and learn from the experience. And then keep doing as opposed to keep thinking about doing
Unknown Speaker [46:08]
David Ralph [46:08]
Great advice for everybody. So or at least for all our listeners who have been at course and listening, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Ramesh Dontha [46:18]
So number one is I’m quite active on LinkedIn so they can connect me with me. And I’m that’s one and then I have my own website, Ramesh dante.com rameshdontha.com. So you can send email to me firstname.lastname@example.org are, so connect with me on LinkedIn. And probably those are the two best ways I think
David Ralph [46:41]
I certainly sound like and we have all the links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Ramesh, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I believe that by joining the dots and connecting our past is always, always always the best way to build our futures room. Ah, thank you so much.
Ramesh Dontha [47:04]
David, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Thank you very much for having me.
David Ralph [47:10]
Oh, he was passionate when he was literally bouncing up and down. He was so enthusiastic. I love that. And if you can’t feel enthusiastic about something that you feel, you know, passionate about, and not everyone does, you know, I sense a lot of times when people come onto the show, they’re just kind of going through the motions somewhat, you know, and you think, Oh, go on perking up. Romy certainly is perking it up and yeah, I like the idea of these agile entrepreneur to 60 minutes startup just getting there. See what you can do in a month, hour day bang. You know, you can’t go wrong. Can you really? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Until next time, thank you so much for listening. If there’s anyone out there that you think, you know, he should be on the dots or she should be on the dots, please advise me open. I’m always looking for interesting storeys, people that have tried things haven’t worked, things that are working, you know, the kind of stuff that kind of stuff that makes a good show to listen to. And of course, anyone that could pop over to the old iTunes and leave a rating and review. It really does make a difference only takes a couple of minutes. I don’t ask very often, but it can give us a big push in the ranks. Until next time, thank you so much. And all my listeners out there. I’ll see you again soon. Cheers, bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.