Pedram Afshar: 5 Tips You Should Know Before You Lead Your Own Company
Pedram Afshar: 5 Tips You Should Know Before You Lead Your Own Company
Pedram Afshar is the founder of Amaka. The tech startup specializes in “accounting integrations and business automation.”
In just six years, Pedram Afshar grew Amaka into a worldwide company with a global user base, and with a growing team of 30+ members.
Before Amaka, Pedram Afshar built a career in “commercial banking, credit risk and portfolio management.” His work in these areas gave him “invaluable experience in the SME landscape.” This experience helped him a lot when he founded his business.
With Amaka, Pedram Afshar focuses on “creating innovative technology solutions across several industries.” He has also “successfully run several related businesses.”
While working in banking, Pedram Afshar realized that his skillset was “better suited to entrepreneurship than banking.”
Pedram Afshar decided to build products that were “based on a mixture of personal experience and personal validation.”
Becoming an entrepreneur is a challenging task. Pedram Afshar says that in the beginning, they “had no resources” and they had “no idea how to approach things and no time to slow down.”
However, Pedram Afshar kept going because he had always known that he wanted to become an entrepreneur. His ability to keep things in perspective pushed him onward.
When times got tough, Pedram Afshar reminded himself that he was “lucky enough to have the opportunity to launch my own startup.”
Check out more interviews with startup founders here.
I specialize in creating innovative technology solutions across several industries and have successfully run several related businesses. Pedram Afshar, Amaka
Jerome Knyszewski:Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Pedram Afshar: Thanks for having me! Before I dived into entrepreneurship, I started a career in commercial banking, credit risk and portfolio management.
Working in these fields helped me gain invaluable experience in the SME landscape which I then used as a startup founder.
I specialize in creating innovative technology solutions across several industries and have successfully run several related businesses.
Jerome Knyszewski:What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Pedram Afshar: I had my “Aha Moment” when I realized my skill set was better suited to entrepreneurship than banking.
The products I’ve decided to build have been based on a mixture of personal experience and customer validation.
For example, I knew there was a need for better integrations that could automate the accounting function.
This idea was further validated when Revel, a POS system, approached us to build our first accounting integration.
Jerome Knyszewski:Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Pedram Afshar: Starting a company is always hard at the beginning. We had no resources, no idea how to approach things and no time to slow down.
When cash flow was low and customers were minimal, it was hard to find the drive to continue.
I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship, however, I definitely considered giving up on ideas that weren’t working out.
What really got me through was the ability to keep things in perspective.
I reminded myself that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to launch my own startup. It was a massive privilege to be able to take a risk this huge.
This mindset helped me learn from my mistakes and pivot when I needed to.
The key takeaway for me was that I needed to take action in order to learn and grow.
Jerome Knyszewski:How are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to eventual success?
Pedram Afshar: My entrepreneurial journey has been long, and as expected, filled with a bunch of losses amongst the wins. Having a growth mindset through the years has really kept my grit and resilience high.
Today, multiple companies that I’ve co-founded are doing well. At the moment, my main priority is Amaka where I’m currently the CEO and Managing Director.
After achieving amazing results in 2020, we’re looking to scale in 2021 and the prospects look great!
Jerome Knyszewski:Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Pedram Afshar: About 6 years ago, right at the beginning of my journey, I committed to a software project without any developers or any technical experience of my own.
Looking back, it was probably one of the riskiest things I’ve done. The mistake put me in a difficult position, but it pushed me to work harder.
Fortunately, I was able to deliver the project in the end. The key takeaway for me was that I needed to take action in order to learn and grow.
I had to learn the hard way that you have to keep your team accountable if you want to build a healthy team culture. Pedram Afshar
Jerome Knyszewski:Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”? Please share a story or an example for each.
Pedram Afshar: Along the way, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’ve learned a lot of lessons from them.
Here are five things I wish someone told me before I began leading my company, but told with references to 90’s rap classics.
First and foremost, Eminem’s Without Me talks about coming back to the rap game because it isn’t the same without him.
Early on, I lost a lot of potential clients and partnerships because I didn’t fight hard enough for them.
I’ve learned that if I know I can make a difference, I won’t leave the fight. I’ll try to win them over and convey how things wouldn’t be the same without me.
Next, leading a team was a lot harder than expected.
I had to learn the hard way that you have to keep your team accountable if you want to build a healthy team culture.
Just like in Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me, the “It wasn’t me!” culture will tear relationships apart.
We can’t talk about rap classics without talking about The Notorious B.I.G! One of my absolute favourite lyrics is Juicy’s “Don’t let ’em hold you down, reach for the stars.”
When I first dipped into entrepreneurship, I let too many opinions bring me down.
This lyric serves as a reminder to see doubters and haters as motivation rather than discouragement.
The last two lessons I’ve had to learn both come from Nas songs. In Suspect, he says, “We roll wit’ no regrets.”
I heard this cliché my entire life but didn’t really understand how to implement it until I started a business.
There were constantly fires burning and I had to get used to learning from them quickly and moving on without dwelling too much.
Finally, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death” from N.Y. State of Mind.
To me, this represents keeping the momentum in your business going.
As a startup founder, I’ve realized that if you want to scale, you need to keep things fast-paced. We’re constantly experimenting, learning and growing.
Jerome Knyszewski:How can our readers further follow you online?
Pedram Afshar: As expected, you can follow me on LinkedIn! I’ve just started posting articles about my experience as a startup founder and I definitely will be posting more in the near future.
You can also follow Amaka on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Jerome Knyszewski:This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
The post Pedram Afshar: 5 Tips You Should Know Before You Lead Your Own Company first appeared on Tekrati and is written by Jerome Knyszewski