Celebrating 5 years of online entrepreneurship

5 years ago, on the cold and grey day of December 15th, 2003, I concluded the lengthy registration process of my company “apivision.com”.
Half a year after my graduation, when most of my friends from the Management Studies went seeking great jobs with great companies to hunt for great salaries.... ... I decided to start a great company myself. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had some clients in my portfolio already (the ones I was already doing some gigs during the studies) and some ideas for products and services online (actually I had one online service in the preparation already). Why did I start my own company? (without any prior experience of working for someone else) I had my reasons:
  • I did have some work experience, I took a series of internships during the studies, so I had a vague idea of how working in a big company can look like
  • My both parents are entrepreneurs - my father is running an advertising agency and my mum had several businesses in her career and currently owns a cafe with gallery. I had great role models... and I was aware of the risks.
  • "No risk no fun" - I wanted to give it a try. I knew that if I failed, I’d go and seek a job and will find one fairly quickly, I wasn’t afraid of trying and failing (I was young and bold :-)
  • Freedom - I loved the idea of working from anywhere in the world with a laptop - I wrote my thesis about virtual enterprises and teleworking and I just wanted to try it in practice. I knew the theory and wanted to see if the “real thing” matches the hype.
  • I wasn’t risking all that much. Although my parents didn’t help me financially in any way with my company, they did support me with their advice and experience... and at the time I was living with them, so they wouldn’t let me starve to death if I failed.
Fast forward five years... ... and I’ve helped many businesses sell their goods and services online. I’ve created several web applications and I’ve given employment to several people... and I’m running a very successful (in my terms) web application called Nozbe. I’m not all by myself in this endeavor. I have an assistant, developer and a handful of freelancers that work with me on a regular basis... which makes my company a true “virtual enterprise”... just as I’ve described it in my thesis. And loving it! I’m enjoying every moment of working for my own company. I have some really great people working with me and we’re working on really great stuff. I could easily quote Guy Kawasaki saying: “My company not only makes money, we make meaning”. Thousands of people are using Nozbe to help them get things done... and it really works! I know, because they write to me and tell me. What started as a project to help me be more productive, ends up being a productivity solution for everyone! I’m pursuing my dreams! With the birth of the Productive Magazine I became a chief editor of it and it’s a lot of fun and great work. With everything my company currently does, I feel I’m developing my own personality even more. I’m learning to work with people, to motivate them, to educate customers... and I’m spending my time doing what I love. I’m glad I made this decision 5 years ago.... ... and started my company. I believe I chose a great path and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead of me. I’m eager to learn more and to accelerate my business even more... and to make more meaning.

Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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