Entrepreneurs Journey Summarized by Sarmady Founder

As an entrepreneur, you cannot expect to be effective and successful in tough competition unless you truly believe in your business and in the solution that you develop. Do you have what it takes to get through hard times?

Con O’Donnell sees true difference separating success stories and failures is persistence. Con O’Donnell co-founded Sarmady back in 2001, the company behind www.FilGoal.com, www.FilFan.com, www.iCroc.com, www.ContactCars.com, www.mangam.com, www.Filbalad.com, www.Mujaz.me – which he sold to Vodafone for an undisclosed amount in 2008.

Con O'Donnell
Con O’Donnell

Con O’Donnell has decided to leave Sarmady to start a new career challenge and currently he is Co-Founder & BizDev Lead at RiseUp [top entrepreneurship event in the Middle East].

More than 14 years since founding Sarmady and achieving great success with it, Con was one of the first to venture into the field of electronic publishing in Egypt at the end of the nineties, after moving to Cairo from Ireland. The start of the third millennium has brought to fruition many of the mega-projects that he oversaw, such as www.FilGoal.com, the number one sports site in Egypt.

In a Facebook post, he tell us how to build the stamina you need as an entrepreneur.

Cornelius James O’donnell Advise to Entrepreneurs

Okay, this will be a bit harsh.
I understand the impulse to blame everyone else for
– not seeing your genius, immediately.
– not immediately flocking to your billion dollar idea
– not giving a shit about your cooked-up biz plan
– not being impressed by how cool you are on social media
– not taking you particularly seriously

I had some of those same feelings when I was not immediately catapulted to fame and riches when I launched every product and service I ever launched in Sarmady, and before.

It was a mystery, at the time, why nobody visited my office in a black limousine and offered me unlimited cash and support for my (and my team’s) brilliance and innovation.

Filgoal was a trailblazer for highest quality sports journalism. Became the leader in user engagement. Became the leader in numbers. ContactCars was so far ahead of the next competitor that it was (and still is, by far) the number one marketplace for new and used cars. And so on. Yet nobody came. Every cent earned in advertising was done the hard way. Every model for revenue was explored and exploited.

Market leadership, revenues in the millions, an amazing team, and still no investors turning up in limousines with bags of cash to throw at me.

So when a startup founder today starts complaining about the lack of investors, the lack of understanding of how brilliant they are, or the lack of an ecosystem to support them… I say suck it up! Grow some! Win the market! Get more customers! Stop whining!

The ecosystem (which didn’t exist) doesn’t owe you anything. Investors (now that you have access to them across the globe) don’t owe you anything, and are not interested in your brilliance or your genius unless it converts into something they see can make money for them (yes, they are not a charity!).
If you say “they fail to understand me” then the problem is with you – you failed to communicate what your value to them is.

If you say “they don’t understand the potential” you have failed to show them the potential (in you, in your business).
If you say “everybody is conspiring against me” then you need to see a brain doctor.

You are going to have to struggle. You are going to have to pitch 100 times. You are going to have to prove to regular people or regular businesses that they will pay for what you have.

We are not in Silicon Valley, habibi/habibti, and the onus is on you to make it, alone, and if ANYONE is willing to help you with their time, their expertise, their connections, you better understand that they don’t need to.

Nobody is going to turn up in a limousine and throw money at you.

It’s that simple.

Go and create something that people love/need and are willing to pay you for, and then make those few people into 1000s.

Do that, and everyone will flock to you, and you will be in the position to say no to them.

That is all.

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