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How I Got My First Client And How You Can Too!

I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

― Thomas Jefferson

photo credit: fd via photopin cc

To me, everything about starting up was to challenge the conventional wisdom. The day I decided to venture out into the fascinating world of entrepreneurship, I set a date to quit me job. That was even before I had inkling about what I’m going to do.

I did finally have the epiphany and also quit on the date I had set before.

Many challenged how I would get the capital to start an investment-heavy services business, but I put the words to rest by starting up Arkenea Technologies with zero capital.

So when it comes about making the first sale, I did not leave any stone unturned either. Of course, it was not as easier as I had imagined it to be. I had my company website designed and put out.

Money was the easiest to spend to get the word out. My partner and I put in some funds and launched a nationwide campaign. But we quickly realized we needed much more than just money.

It was time. I invested in publishing a blog, writing content, reaching out to people on Twitter, Facebook, my Gmail address book. Wrote and spoke to any and everyone that I knew of.

I even set myself an ambitious target to close at least two sales in the first month. I waited with baited breath for the phone to ring or the email to pop. The first week of waiting turned into second. Second into third. And third into fourth.

It was nearly the end of the month and I hadn’t made a single sale. Leave alone that, I did not even get to talk to a prospective client to convince them of the value that I would add to their product should they hire me.

Then on the third last day of the month, an email came by. This one made me jump out of my seat as it was from a totally unexpected source. A prospect from one of Middle East’s most reputed companies.

They came to us with a problem. A mobile app had to be developed within 15 days and launched on the app store. Most companies had rejected the offer, as the timeline seemed unrealistic to them. Not wanting to lose the first client, we agreed to take on the challenge.

Within the next two days, we signed the contract and began the relationship. A team of five worked round the clock sleeping for a few hours everyday, mostly in office. And the rest is history. Today, we have kept the same attitude alive and that is one of the reasons why clients prefer to work with Arkenea Technologies.

So what worked? We did some introspection and it dawned on us that we enabled our luck to work for us. We let serendipity happen to us.

Lucky people increase their odds of chance encounters or experiences by interacting with a large number of people.

And now for the best part: how can you engineer your own luck, enable the universe to work in your favor and let chance occurrences into your life and business? Here’s the answer.

Get out of your comfort zone

photo credit: notsogoodphotography via photopin cc

This is as simple as it gets. If you want the universe to work in your favor, you’ve got to do something different from what you’re already doing. You can’t expect the unexpected if you continue with your routine.

Get out of your office, go work at a coffee shop. If you already work at a coffee shop certain parts of the week, work at a different one in various locations each time.

Do the same with creating connections, online and offline. Meet people, talk to them, share ideas, write, blog, exchange ideas and respond to interesting people. Create conversations and let them foster. Let the conversations take the directions they want to. Nothing is right and neither wrong.

Go to conferences and meet people. Attend meetups in whatever area that you are passionate about. You’re just increasing your chances of meeting the right people or getting the right idea!

When you’ve got a problem, look for one specific thing but be open to encountering something different and going with that. You’d be able to activate this by being obsessive about your problem. That makes you see things by developing a strong perspective.

Take for instance Sir James Dyson. He was obsessed with the idea of building a better vacuum cleaner, but it wasn’t until he stumbled on an industrial cyclone at the local sawmill that he came up with an idea for how to solve the technical problem.

Most of business life is routine. And that is what you need to break for serendipity to embrace you. All it takes is to get out of your comfort zone and you can activate luck to start working in your favor, just like that!

Update: Check out my interview with Guy Kawasaki on my blog. How did I manage to land an interview with this awesome person? I simply asked for one!

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30 Comments

  1. dear rahul,

    thank you for the very very inspiring read. i so look fwd to your posts!

    this comes as a great reminder to all of us to step out of our comfort zone 🙂

  2. Thank you Asha! 🙂

  3. Writing blogs, creating content online. This is an interesting dilemma for a techi and entrepreneur. How much time to spend on writing codes or on blogs.

    Both require different mindsets. Kudos to you for doing it. ( I think you too are a techi.) 

    I hope to find the right balance between the two.

    Njoy life, be happy.

  4. Thanks Shyam. It’s not a dilemma. It’s entrepreneurship! 🙂 You’ve got to build your product and simultaneously, build a company. If there’s no one to buy your product, there’s no building a company!

    Am sure you will find time to strike a balance between the two. Each day in the morning, I chalk out the 5 most important things that I have to do in the day. It helps me keep a lot of distractions at bay, lesser important things that take up more time and contribute less to my goals.

  5. Good read Rahul…

    Have read this somewhere…everything you NEED is an inch OUTSIDE your comfort zone and an inch INSIDE your effort zone…all you have to do is make a move !

  6. A very nice article by you Rahul… kudos to your attitude…

    Let Arkenea carries the same… and wish you all the luck 🙂

  7. Thank you Tarun!

  8. Thank you for your awesome comments Khizar! 🙂

  9. Thnaks Rahul I guess you have finally inspired me to take the plunge believe me I am not only getting out but throwing myself out of the comfort zone and the monthly trap of a pay cheque. You said it right if people want to believe in you and your capabilities you must show the courage of lifting your own weight 🙂 I shall look forward to your posts and blogs here at Rodinhoods.

  10. Awesome! Thank you for your appreciation and hope you continue to read my articles. You can also subscribe to my blog at http://www.rahulvarshneya.com to stay updated on all the articles that I write.

  11. Indeed inspiring Rahulji.. Keep posting.

  12. Thank you Shrikant!

  13. Couldn’t have asked for a better read at the right time!

    Thanks!

  14. Thanks Rajkumar!

  15. Very good one Rahul. Please write more.

  16. Thank you! I certainly will.

  17. Hey Rahul,

    Thanks for writing this article. I have read your other articles on therobinhoods and have liked them a lot. I think as a service company (creating software solutions), there was not much investment required right? Other than hiring skillful people with laptops/internet?

  18. Hi Abdul,

    Thank you for the comments. 

    Well, in hindsight, everything can be achieved the way we want it. It’s not about a service company or a product company. It’s about intent. Most people who want to start out, be it service or a product business, think capital is a barrier. 

    Secondly, ‘not much investment’ according to you and according to me are two completely different things. There are companies of all sizes and scale. The important thing is not the amount of money, but what you do with it. And do you think skillful people come cheap? The biggest cost in a services company is salaries. Because it is a linear business. 

    The point here is that you do need money for a lot of things, but there are ways and you can set priorities and even do with whatever little you have to startup. Again, be it a product or a services company.

    And by the way, we started out as a product company.

  19. Truly Inspiring !! The best Part is “Get out of your comfort zone” !!

  20. Thank you Hiranand.!

  21. Thank you for the insightful reply Rahul.

    Agree that there are huge costs for talented people. And yes, if I am thinking correct, there are countless operational costs to be incurred in daily operations to keep something running.

  22. Correct!

  23. @ Rahul Sir: They day I start writing like this, I’ll think i’ve got supernatural powers. BRILLIANTLY NAILED

  24. You want supernatural powers like me? Then wake up every morning and say ‘I can do it’ to whatever you want to do in life and go out there and just do it! 

    Thank you Vishal for the appreciation, by the way!

  25. Hey Rahul – I stumbled upon this post while searching for an image in google with keyword – “How you won your first client” – which is the theme for Delhi Meet-up happening tomorrow. Would have been great to have you there presenting the experience which you have mentioned in your post above. Great post!

    Sharing the event details – just like that 🙂 – http://therodinhoods.com/events/delhi-rodinhood-meet-up

  26. Can’t agree more on how to be lucky! Excellent post, keep it up.

  27. Thank you for your kind words and for thinking of me Anamika for presenting at your event. Maybe next time! 🙂

  28. Thanks Kaushal!

  29. Hi Rahul,

    Great post and its always more honest when it comes from first hand experience.

  30. Thank you Ratnakar!

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