Banking start-up coin from 2 venture conference wins.
With more cash on the way.
Who? Sheetal Dube. Who??
Yes, that’s what I said. So, bet you a nickel you don’t know how to pronounce her name? It’s okay, ‘cause you’re not alone. I didn’t have the slightest idea either, until I heard her pronounce it.
So imagine — what if you could hear a person’s name by a single click of an icon in their email signature? Or, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, whatever. Pretty cool, huh?
Well, that’s Sheetal’s idea. And hey, she calls it AudioName.
Grab a quick read of my conversation with her and let’s see what we can both learn from this start-up entrepreneur…
Oh, one more thing. At the bottom of this article, you can push the little button yourself to hear her name. Heck, I even have one in case your struggling with E-r-i-c W-a-g-n-e-r. :-)
First Venture as an Entrepreneur: Quit a good paying job.
Eric: So Sheetal, is this your first venture being an entrepreneur? What was it like to quit that stable job?
Sheetal: Yes, it is. But actually – when I now look back, I started my career 14 years ago at a startup in India. So, I think maybe the first seed came from there. Funny thing is, I have always kept a little book of ideas. But now that I am really doing it, I am more curious about what makes an entrepreneur successful. And quitting my job? I felt like if I don’t do it now, I will regret it forever.
The Idea: The “Aha” Moment.
Eric: Okay, so how did you come up with the idea for Audioname? Did you have an “aha” moment?
Sheetal: Yes. Here in the U.S., it is very normal to just keep repeating my name two, three times to people. It’s like, “So, what’s your name again?” But I think the “aha” moment happened like this -– I was giving a presentation with a colleague of mine named Mary. I realized somewhere in the middle of the presentation, it was very easy for my clients to say, “Mary demonstrates X, Y, Z”. But, they struggled to say “Sheetal”, so they avoided saying my name altogether. And that’s when I was like, “What if they just heard my name?” So Audioname was born.
Winning 2 Venture Conferences: How?
Eric: Okay, you’ve won start-up venture money for your idea at 2 fast paced angel events. Basically, on stage for a short 3 minute pitch. So out of all the applicants giving their pitches, why do you think they picked you as the winner?
Sheetal: Well, I think being able to clearly communicate the idea was huge. People just got it.
Eric: Agreed. Because you can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate it effectively, then people aren’t going to get it. If they don’t get it, they don’t vote for you, and then, of course, you don’t win.
Sheetal: Yes, yes!
Most Helpful to You as an Entrepreneur.
Eric: So over the first year, what’s helped you the most as a first time entrepreneur?
Sheetal: I think it’s the environment. There are so many people now doing startups and I’m part of an incubator in Portland. I have a good mentor who’s a local entrepreneur and we meet once a week. It definitely helps because there’s someone with outside perspective who can help me focus.
Biggest Mistake, Biggest Blunder.
Eric: Do you see anywhere you’ve made a big mistake over the past year?
Sheetal: Yes. When I started off, everyone kept telling me put everything down on paper. Formalize your company and paperwork. But I was just in the whole thing of let’s just start it and build something first. Of course, one of the developers tried to blackmail me saying it was his idea and software code. Next time going in, I would start by incorporating my company and doing my legal paperwork first.
Most Impactful Book or Author.
Eric: Right. Good tip. Okay, so I’m sure you’ve been reading a lot of books and you’ve been introduced to a lot of different authors. What book or author has had the most impact on you thus far?
Sheetal: I would say I’m maybe a little biased toward the Lean Startup Methodology by Eric Ries because I started off on that one. Also, I’ve read another book by Steve Blank about different business models that helped a lot. So, Eric Ries and Steve Blank probably have had the most impact on what I’m doing.
Eric: Well Sheetal, I think you’re on the road to being an entrepreneur no matter what idea you pull from your little black book. Good luck and I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
Sheetal: Oh, thank you. It’s good to hear that from someone who has done it before. Thank you so much!
Here are 3 take-aways you can apply today:
1.) If you don’t do it now, you’ll regret it forever. What a great statement for all those on the fence. Well, it’s time to get off the fence and go for it. Seriously, I’ve met people who desperately want to have their own business… and been that way for 10 years. Hey, get off the fence already, will ya?
2.) Get a mentor. You hear it. You read it. But do you have one? If you haven’t heard it before, it’s paramount. Get a mentor or coach for your business. And if you know how important it is, why don’t you have one yet?
3.) Stop babbling and clearly communicate. Okay, that may sound harsh, and I’m sorry if it does. But seriously, you cannot believe the missed opportunities in business from not being clear. Are you hearing me? Be clear. Be concise. Be memorable.
Oh, and here you go. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Audioname at its finest (just click the play button)…
Eric T. Wagner
So, what do you think? Speak your mind below… :-)
Oops, one more thing. Are you and I connected yet?
I’m Eric. Husband, father & entrepreneur… (oh, and a writer on Forbes too.)
If you’re an entrepreneur, let’s hook up. Seriously. Here’s a killer formula:
Your Wisdom + My Wisdom = More Success.
My email is: eric at mightywisemedia dot com. Shoot me yours right here and let’s connect, okay? Together we can really nail this thing. :-)
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