Aspiring to become a successful entrepreneur: my experience at Hubud, Bali
Trying to become a successful entrepreneur? Just over two years ago Elliot walked through the door of Hubud Ccoworking having finished his job three days earlier. He had ambitions to create a business of his own – but, with just a laptop and a few ideas, there was a long way to go. A year later he had turned over $100,000 and had big plans for the future. In this post he sets out how those first few months in Ubud helped him discover the business vision and defined what was to come.
We’ve probably all read the same story a thousand times. A young professional in a big city gets tired by the corporate grind and seeks a life outside the ‘rat race’.
They decide to jack it all in… and later we read about them as a successful entrepreneur in newspapers and magazines.
Two and a half years ago, this was me (at least up to the point where the person quits their job!).
But while we can all list a raft of inspiring stories, there always seemed to be a gap between the end of a job and the beginning of being a successful entrepreneur.
When I took the leap of faith, I didn’t really know where to start. But I did have three thoughts:
- Remove myself from the environment which I associated with corporate drudgery
- Surround myself with those who are equally committed to following their own path
- Try to start as I mean to go on: enjoy my time.
So, blowing my last paycheque from my job in London, I headed to Hubud to try and work things out.
In the next few months I created the beginning of my company. I had ups and downs, challenges and rewards, frustration and satisfaction; but I always had a goal in mind to keep me going.
Knowing that hundreds of people go to Ubud every year with the same starting point that I had, I thought it may be useful to note some of the things I learned in getting the best from the Hubud coworking community.
1. Becoming an entrepreneur thanks to the Hubud coworking community
You’ve just quit your job and you’ve landed in Ubud – this is how your life will be now as an entrepreneur.
That’s true, but also not completely true.
Because… this place is different, and it’s important you appreciate that as quickly as possible.
You’ll probably have a time limit on your trip to Bali, and it’ll be a waste if you only realise what Hubud can bring to your business if it’s in the twilight of your stay (or, worse yet, when you’re back in London and holed up in some bland and white-washed room).
A Hubud coworking community in a tropical paradise is different to everything you’ve known.
You think it sounds good and it’ll be easy to adapt, but that’s not always the case.
For years you’ve been honing your skills in an office to work faster, harder and smarter. You’re so good at this now that you can practically see the smoke coming off your keyboard when you type so quickly.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs land in Bali as a “man or woman on a mission” and work the only way they know how… they work like they did when they were in the corporate skyscraper that they wanted to escape.
But try not to fall into that trap – don’t just exchange a rut on one side of the world for a rut on the other.
Look up. Look out. Slow down to find perspective. Discover the rhythm of the thriving coworking community and take time to discover how best to tap into its shared knowledge.
2. Make connections to be a successful entrepreneur
It’s often been said that it’s lonely trying to become a successful entrepreneur: you’re a team of one, leader of no one, and you’re out on your lonesome.
Even in expensive co-working communities in London, I’ve found there’s quite a culture where people keep their heads down and their screens up.
But, thankfully, I didn’t go there. Instead, I landed on an island where the pace slows down and people have time to give.
In fact, it’s not so much about “giving” but “exchanging” time.
There is a prevailing sense that you can learn as much for your own activity by immersing yourself in someone else’s business – it’s the cumulative knowledge that reaps long term dividends.
In western offices, people talk a lot of the “water-cooler moment” – those seconds between multiple deadlines where you can catch a breath and talk to someone else about something a little different.
In a truly thriving co working community, though, you don’t need to rely on a “water-cooler moment”.
How about a vegan cocktail morning, or an afternoon paddy field walk instead?
In London, my old employer spent large amounts of money to take us out the office once a year on “team-building” days to build connections over shared experiences.
In Hubud, these come every day and (once you’re there) are free. Don’t say no to them.
As an aspiring entrepreneur starting with nothing, you can’t afford not to make the most of the connections you can build.
3. Find the foundation for your successful business vision
Once you’re in your new groove and have your network of connections, it’s time to turn up the dial on your business vision development.
There’s no better place for this than in the nexus of a truly global community of like-minded people.
Whatever you’re thinking, someone at the Hubud coworking already knows a lot of what you need to know.
Whether it’s a drop-shipping business model, sourcing product from China, generating $1 million sales through Facebook or building a new online platform, you can guarantee that someone has been there and done that.
Moreover, drawing on an international knowledge pool, you can learn of what ideas have taken flight elsewhere.
History has shown that clever people borrow many ideas from one part of the world and deploy them in another – to become very rich in the process.
Hubud is a hotbed of business acumen, and you need to use it to make sure that your vision excites them as much as it excites you.
Once you have your direction, leverage your surroundings and bounce through the next few steps of your successful business development.
Then, when you do get on that plane home, you’ll feel content that you left nothing on the table.