My dad has essentially made his career out of being an entrepreneur, so I decided to explore a blog focused on entrepreneurship. This specific post discusses the importance of being flexible to someone who wants to be their own boss. As the author says, being truly flexible entails adjusting to client needs, industry changes, new competitors and more. The post gives an example of what he considers to be a truly flexible site: JoinUniverse, and explains how they’ve been so flexible and why what they’ve done has worked.

The site that became JoinUniverse was first envisioned back in 2004 by a man named Marcelo. His original idea was to create a travel site in order to improve tourism in his home country, Uruguay. However, once he created the site he struggled to monitor the traffic he received. He did manage to work a small profit, so he created sites for multiple other countries, only to find that managing all of his sites was simply beyond his capabilities.

Marcelo knew that in order for his site to grow, he had to find an investor to provide money and resources. Unfortunately, the only offer he received presented him with an idea that was much different from his vision. He knew that it was his only chance, however, so he accepted the offer and adjusted his plans for the site. In 2011, 15 travel-related sites were launched and JoinUniverse was born. JoinUniverse is still a group of travel sites, but what they truly specialize in is building and promoting different travel sites.

Today, after less than a year of operation, JoinUniverse offers web design, various forms of marketing, blog design and more. The author is impressed with this company because it is not restricted by a singular path that they have to follow. Unlike many – mostly failed – entrepreneurs, Marcelo was focused on success, not the specific path that he envisioned to get there. He was willing to alter and change his idea in order to reach that success.

I commented on the post about how I believe that flexibility is possibly the most singular important quality an entrepreneur can have. While ingenuity, determination and intelligence, among other traits, are all important, nothing helps you achieve long term success like being flexible. You need ingenuity to think of a potential great idea, and determination and intelligence to put it into action. But, as shown in the case of JoinUniverse, you need to be flexible in order to succeed – especially long term. Had Marcelo continued with his original path, he would have had potentially moderate success, but nothing close to what he is experiencing now.

Flexibility is what made my dad’s work successful as well. He started with the idea of being a private contractor, while building a couple of buildings that he could manage and make money off of. Eventually, he realized that it would be a smarter strategy to manage the assets he has, but instead of personally seeing to every construction project, he would sub-contract the jobs out to people he hired. This allowed him to focus on the management, and to manage more properties, leading to more profits. It was a simple tweak in his strategy, but he sacrificed working hands on – which he enjoyed doing – because he knew that in the long run it would be beneficial to be able to own more buildings. And now it’s paying off, because as he gets older and can’t do physical labor as well or for as long, he’s got enough assets to prevent him from needing to work at all. My dad essentially shortened his time to retirement by being flexible about his company.

I think entrepreneurship is an interesting thing to blog about, because essentially a blogger and an entrepreneur are doing the same thing: finding a way to express themselves. The medium is just different: a blogger uses words and the internet, and an entrepreneur uses the real world. And in blogging, flexibility is also key. If readers aren’t responding to what you’re writing, then you have to adapt or your blog will go unread – just like an entrepreneur has to adapt or see their company fail.


6 responses »

  1. KCasty says:

    In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you undoubtedly have to be a certain type of person… not everyone can handle the demands and responsibilities. Good for your dad for being successful, and interesting post!

  2. hannahglos says:

    Similar to my post, I think its great that you were able to find a blog that relates to your home life. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you are definitely right that you need to find a balance between being flexible and being your own boss. It seems like both your dad and JoinUniverse had to make a few sacrifices for the betterment of their company, and even though they didn’t necessarily agree with the new changes in strategy, it is clear that by putting the interests of the company ahead of their own, it resulted in more successful operations. If only more people were able to implement this strategy into their daily life and not think so much about themselves, maybe perhaps others would be as equally successful!

  3. Jordi says:

    Is there a difference between starting a business and finding new niches or kinds of businesses. No offense to your Dad, Jeff, but it may be useful to think about them as separate. There is nothing stopping someone from doing the same thing as your Dad in another locale. Great for said businessperson. Great for community if it adds overall value.

    But if entrepreneurship is new value creation, than Marcelo’s story seems a better fit. There was no other firm doing what he could offer. As a matter of economic growth for a region or nation, we need to focus on what is needed for both- business start-ups and new venture entrepreneurship.

    • Jeff Galloway says:

      You’re definitely right that what Marcelo did was definitely more of an entrepreneurial action. But I’ve always felt that anytime you start your own business, you’re being an entrepreneur. Maybe there are different types of entrepreneur, but in my opinion the general concept of the term refers to simply starting your own business – however niched it may be.

  4. I agree with your ideas about introducing more entrepreneurial guidance at universities. It is actually surprising, especially at a liberal arts university that there isn’t more of a focus on it within the management school. Entrepreneur carries a connotation of free-spirit, individuality, maybe even against the means. The fact of the matter is that although it may be some or all of those things, there are principles and ways that can be taught to help somebody become a more effective and successful entrepreneur.

  5. […] Flexibility: The Key to Entrepreneurship ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s