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7 life-lessons for startups from Veqar Islam’s talk at NestIO

Arslan Ali Written by Arslan Ali ·  4 min read >

Veqar Islam’s talk at The Nest I/O proved to be an awesome learning experience for aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals from every walk of life.

The speaker sessions at The Nest I/O are always something I look forward to attend, and when I came across the news that Veqar will be speaking for the startups, the next thing that I did was to clear my evening schedule for Thursday.

Veqar ul Islam is a shrewd businessman, a renowned public speaker, who is known for his out of the box approaches. His career started in the mid 80’s, and with 27 years of vast experience, he is still a down to earth man. Veqar has worked for renowned telecom and IT companies and now with his own business, Touchpoint he is up to make the good vibes again.

“The Mind Gym” of The Nest I/O is now a familiar hangout place to have meet-ups, workshops and speaker sessions. Veqar started the talk by asking the audience about their expectations. People started furnishing points regarding what they wish to learn about startups and entrepreneurship. For their convenience, he wrote them down on the white board.

And here’s what we all learned that day…

Lesson 1: You need to find what works for you! – he said if you are forcefully doing something which does not work for you and your dream, better not to do it. He said the pressures and challenges for the startups are formed in accordance with this choice.

People, who chose ideas in regards to what they love, will tend to take worse kind of pressures even in failures. “People” are always judging you. What you do, what you say, what you wear and how you go about your lives. They will keep on to their opinions about you. He said, that we need to learn to live with these pressures. For instance, his example of expecting a salary cheque at the end of each month is far more different than the pressure of giving away cheques at the end of each month.

Lesson 2: Achieve the goal, celebrate and then move forward – he emphasized that if you make your feet sleep on the first achievement, you will not move forward. Business owners need to set goals and work hard to accomplish those one after another. Secondly, he also said, that the goals should not represent you, rather what you do as a company. This will eventually give a lift off to your venture and the people you work with.

Lesson 3: Bigger the dream, bigger you will succeed – Dream big, and big means something which seem impossible for others to see but yourself. You dream for becoming a “manager” will stop you from dreaming further once you have achieved this goal. As a business owner, dreams are a necessity, so dream big and let the surroundings and nature work for your best to get you there.

Lesson 4: We need to realize the power of being different and Pakistan needs to get out of “run of the mill” nation attitude – he shot straight when he said that Pakistani people are good “Run of the mill” resources, but going for something new and innovative, they still seems to be playing on their back foot. He said there are around 400 business owners and startups, and comparing that with the population, the number of graduates, the demand of the job market and foreign projects this number is nothing. So we need to have more businesses and start-ups coming on board to cater for Pakistan. Not to forget, the people with the right amount of “entrepreneurial germ” (Keedaa, as he put it) 🙂

Lesson 5: Don’t be mean to your company, and don’t be mean to your job – Veqar’s point was clear as crystal. Usually the entrepreneurs and especially the young generations does not realize that at the start of the careers, and businesses depends on what and who is affecting the latter; youngster should realize that respecting their company, and the jobs they are doing will get their talents projected on the right direction and force. People who do that turns out to be great start-up owners, and the one who don’t end up nowhere.

Lesson 6: When your target and commitment is fixed, chances are you will achieve what you want – he told captivating stories regarding his own experiences about his commitments and achievements. The audience was all in awe enjoying what they were hearing. He said, if you commit yourself to something, it will happen eventually and all the forces of nature will help you achieve it. You will be lucky, motivated and satisfied at the end of the game, only if you stay committed to your goals, what you say, and promise, the things will happen as you wished they would have happened.

Lesson 7: Visit yourself – Veqar said, if you wish to be really good at what you do as a business owner, you need to keep yourself up to date. He stressed that a professional no matter what the age should keep revisiting themselves and create room for improvements. He said that he feels a regret that he should have created his own business 10 years earlier, and only this revisit heuristic let him where he is now.

Bonus: Bad news travels fast, but good news travel faster – there are ups and downs while you do business, and there are a lot of expectations from an infinite number of people you need to take care of. He said that you need to create good news to neutralize the effects of bad news that are created along your journey. The effect of bad news is very damaging on the minds of entrepreneurs and their counterparts, but if you can project the good news with 2 times the intensity and keep it increasing, the bad effects will fade away.

What we need to understand?

Veqar’s talk opened up new ideas and grounds for me and people who were sitting in the very known session area. He showed a fresh and new picture of being an entrepreneur. As most of the attendees were young innovators from the incubator itself, the talk created a good effect.

Pakistan is in desperate need of new business ideas, innovations and people who can commit to their dreams and create new opportunities and grounds for these businesses to flourish. The way political influences, government decisions or sometimes foreign policies affects these businesses in a wrong way, is actually damaging Pakistan first, and then its core building blocks – the young generation.

There are now several entities in Pakistan, who are bringing in good changes. Incubation houses, investments and academia, can further work together to devise our generation shine bright and make a difference for themselves and Pakistan.

Image Credits: NESTIO