Sheikh Naveed is a truly inspiring entrepreneur who discovered his true worth & potential by his failures. There are no less than a million web designers and developers out their but I a doubt even the half of them ever achieved what he did in a span of simply five years. He is the best example of the fact that greatness is not an outcome of only talent or skill; it takes more of perseverance, hard work, smart decisions and knowledge.
I don’t wanna spoil his great story with my words; let’s all hear it in his own words. Okay let’s get started with how he decided it was time to let go of 9-5 drill and be his own boss.
Sheikh Naveed shares his Story of Pure Motivation
It all started 5 years ago, when I reached office and was about to turn on my PC when a colleague told me to first meet my boss.
I went to boss’s office to find he wasn’t there. Since I wasn’t allowed to open my PC, I waited for him to come, which he did around 11 a.m. Just having a glimpse at me, he started interrogating me for my absence on last Saturday. I told him that I went out with friends after informing you. His reply to that was most shocking: he simply FIRED me for taking a leave WITH prior informing.
You know what they say: boss is always right!
I had no choice but to go out of the luxurious air-conditioned office and stand in the scorching sunlight to think about life: about WHAT’s NEXT! However, disappointing it seemed, that actually proved to be the life turner moment for me. Here is my life changing decision I made at the moment:
I went to the nearest extremely shabby internet café and never let anybody in the home know anything about this mishap; only to spare them the shock of it. In other words, I started off my career as a full time freelancer in the most low-class unsuitable environment imaginable. In 3 months I earned around $700. These $700 were earned after constantly losing contests on 99Designs . It was not the best time for income but it did teach me my true potential. It made me meet the real Naveed inside me.
It was around that time that I got an offer from my dream company. The offer was simply unpredictable and I reacted the way any dreamer would. Joining the company led down the entire image of that organization. It was a mess of a professional relationship. My work was constantly ridiculed. It was THE most frustrating and humiliating few months of my entire life. Consequently, I kicked of the company I was dying to work for 10 months later.
My destination was clear at that time. I borrowed $1,600 from a friend, bought a laptop, a computer table and set up an internet connection from it and kept 3 months’ salary in my pocket for running my house . I then set down to bid on freelancing sites each and every day. It was only the third day of my bidding when sitting in the same room, on the same chair with the same laptop purchased from borrowed money that I was awarded a project from the same company I kicked off 3 days before. They awarded me my first project at $800. (Note here that my monthly salary at the company was $190 only!) Later, I also won a contest in another freelancer site of the same worth; which resulted in my returning the borrowed money within a month of my entrepreneurship career.
My confidence obviously sky rocketed and I paid UpWork to get access to all their legal documents and make a killer profile. (Remember I already had my lost designs from 99Designs? I simply used them as my portfolio.)
I would call buying a property, 1 million worth of investment and having paid all my debts in 5 years from then a pretty good come out, if not the best.
All my hurdles made me damn sure of the fact that:
Failures were actually blessings in disguise.
1. Most of the people are afraid to start something new, like you did to start up your own work despite the failures on the way. Why didn’t you stop?
I made some smart decisions that helped me stick to my path. I guess people are afraid to try them as well:
i) First of all save at least your salary for three months, you can also take some loan from a friend or relative. Just in case if business fails or you do not get enough income in first 3 months (which is more likely the case). Once you have taken the plunge, stay FOCUSED. If you keep working it’s impossible that you won’t have a good income in 3 months!
ii) To be very honest, there are millions of jobs, what the world lacks is the one who can handle work well. Be the better one, and you will surely find opportunities pouring in.
2. What is a success?
Obviously the complete definition of success for everyone is entirely different. Dalai Lama in his book “The art of happiness” has defined success in the best possible way. According to him success is the outcome of three phases.
1) Money (M)
2) Health (H)
3) Relationships (R)
If you lack any one of these factors, you won’t be happy. To understand it more clearly consider these scenarios:
a -> You have the best relatives, friends(+R) and are in a very good health(+H). but you don’t have enough money(-M) to support you and your dependents. You won’t ever be happy.
b -> A guy with a caring family(+R) and a bank full of bucks(+M) is lying in the hospital with worst disease ever(-H). He won’t obviously be happy.
c -> A billionaire(+M) athlete spending perfect day(+H) and returning home just to realize he has nobody to share the joy with(-R)! Can he be happy?
All of the above scenarios are void of acceptance for a successful life. In addition to that, I would recommend:
- watchful what are you taking in your body
- use money as just a resource for living a well-balanced life and
- maintaining healthy relationships with people who really matter.
That all happiness and success leads to life satisfaction and one perspective-shift will enhance that factor a lot i.e.:
Now that we are on the topic, I would love to share one more tip: all the millionaires lead a life lower than their mean level. What I mean by that is: if they can afford a watch worth of $500, they would buy one of $2-300. The authors of “Millionaire Next Door” made an extensive research on millionaires, only to find out that a self-made millionaire never lives according to his mean living standard. The reason being: those who have higher living standards will always be dissatisfied; the one earning $800 / month, with one $8,000 monthly income and so on and so forth.
Related: 7 ways to get a successful year
3. Having accomplished countless unbeatable projects in your career, can you share with us your source of inspiration?
I would categorize my inspiration in two main sets:
i) For work: I mostly use ThemeForest, Dribbble or GraphicRiver for inspiration. Also, I do in-depth research on google while designing/developing different parts of an app/site. Github is also a big inspiration place in order to think what can go within a design.
ii) For my life, to keep going: Reading is my key inspiration. This is the hobby that I would recommend to each and every one who wishes to succeed in life: take the best seller books from renowned writers and just keep on reading. Give 1-2 hours daily to reading.
When I look back and wonder where my strength lies, the quality that holds most credit is my love for reading. I simply read on my cell phone device for an hour or so daily. I have opted out for a reading app over chatting or networking ones for the sake of my goal.
Books are my soul source of inspiration.
4. Biggest lessons of your life are?
Always consider the hurdles in your life as an OPPORTUNITY.
If life deprived you of something or someone, it hurts for sure. But, it is always for something better in disguise.
So, first step: Accept that hurdle will come no matter what.
Second step: Be sure that it is there for something better.
To be very honest, I am thankful to my Allah to show me the hurdles I talked about earlier. If it wasn’t for those hurdles I would not have been what I am at the moment. I would have been earning $200-250 monthly with all the frustrations of bosses and irritating rules.
5. What are your future plans?
I would love to work on a subscription based portal. That I am sure is the best passive income generating source. So, my future product would be similar which would have the ability to attract thousands and millions of subscribers for just a short fee.
An idea that can work wonders for all entrepreneurs is to share their knowledge; make a course on Udemy of something you are a master of. This is the best possible way of generating income stream. You will need to work on it once and then watch the dollars pour in.
The project I am currently working on, FiverrContest, combines the concept of Fiverr and 99Designs. What I mean by that is: it will be a contest based freelancing site where each contest will be of worth $5 with a deadline of 24 hours.
6. Where would you like to be when you are 50?
I am too young to decide for that ultimate goal yet. I do, however, have some dreams I would love to accomplish by that time.
Firstly, I would love to travel the world.
Secondly, I want to write a book just like Tony Robbins, Rim John and Tim Ferris. That book would be directed to inspire all the beautiful human beings of the world and obviously a source of income for me.
Thirdly, I want to be known for my work.
When I say Good Bye to this world; it won’t really be a good bye. I would still wish to be an inspiration for billions of human beings.
7. What would your best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs?
i) Never stop reading. Read so much that people start calling you crazy. The information should burst inside your head and you should question your own self the reason of such an extensive reading. When you will be stuffed with knowledge only then you will understand how the ideas are creating wonders in this world and how are these ideas turned into success.
ii) Information Overload is a waste of Life. Just gulping down knowledge won’t do any good. Always implement what you read. Only applying will make you successful. You will definitely face failures but that’s how you learn!
iii) Find a true mentor. Find someone who has successfully accomplished what you are trying to accomplish at the moment. Someone better, someone you can look up to for guidance for inspiration and most of all for a leader. Experience can never be replaced by talent. So, find someone you can count on for guidance.
iv) Get a co-founder. The worth and strength of a team can only be realized by someone who has never had one. The co-founder should have in him the similar fire, the similar deriving force, and passion as you do. Secondly, he should be able to financially support himself rather than depending on you. Thirdly, he should have the best skills needed for the job; team management and leadership to be the top most.
Ideal co-founder having all these qualities will be your true strength. Neither you nor he will ever step back as you both are backing each other up.
v) Always set a time limit. If you never bound yourself by time, you will never get anywhere in life.
Find Sheikh Naveed’s work on: Sheikh’s Designs
Let us know in the comment section what were your take always from Sheikh Naveed’s story. Also, share with us your biggest inspiration in entrepreneurship world.
Have a good day!
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