Four Years, Four Life Lessons!


Four years ago, I started my own brand-consulting outfit: BusyBeeBrands.

In last four years, we have had the privilege of working with some very fascinating brands across varied categories. 

The opportunity to work with some of the smartest brand builders and start-up founders has been the biggest blessing of this journey.

On the occasion of BusyBeeBrand’s fourth anniversary, I thought it might be an interesting idea to share some of those key lessons I have picked up along the way. 

Rather than just giving general ‘gyan’ (we consultants are notorious for that). I am sharing four key lessons that we have tried to incorporate in the way we do things at BusyBee 

So here it goes- four life lessons, in four of my favourite quotes:

1.    “Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats” 

I have seen great ideas struggle at the altar of poor execution while even reasonably average ideas turn into great businesses, when backed by relentless execution and absolute conviction 

No matter how cliché it might sound, but the hard truth is that "success is 99 percent of execution and only 1 percent of idea”

 It is precisely for this reason that in many categories the first mover might get the advantage, but trophy always goes to the one with the best execution. 

This was by far the toughest thing for me to incorporate in my line of work because consultants inherently carry a “perception baggage” of being biased towards ideas over action.

To offset that perception, we have consistently strived for ‘action -ability’ of our findings by combining insights with clear execution levers that can impact the business. We have deliberately chosen to have a bias for action even if that makes us less glamorous 

2.   “Good work is the best way to get more work”

The biggest marketing tool for many start-ups, especially in their early stages is the word of mouth evangelism by early adopters who have realized value in what these brands have to offer.  What that means is that if you are adding value to your consumer’s life- the word travels. Period.

In consulting too, we realised early on that the best way to get more work is "to do good work". Every time we signed up a new client, rather than treating it as a win, we treated it as a big responsibility to deliver value to the client’s business. 

To deliver maximum return on our client’s time and resources, we decided to do only one project at a time. This kind of immersive and exclusive engagements paid us rich dividends in the form of glowing endorsements and referrals by our clients. I often jokingly quote that our clients are our biggest business development resource. 

3.   “Good things happen when good people come together”

People form the foundation of any organization and great organizations are built on the solid bedrock of smart, passionate and dependable people.

Rather than micro managing these people, an effective leader- empowers them and makes them feel engaged, excited and entrepreneurial. 

I believe as a leader that should be your biggest responsibility. To carefully build this core team and inspire them with your vision. 

At BusyBee we constantly seek opportunities to collaborate with smart people who can complement, challenge and inspire us. 

We engage domain experts on every project to accelerate our own learning curve. It pinches our margins a bit but every such collaboration has left us wiser and intellectually richer.

4.   “If you don’t know where you are going, no road can get you there”

In a hyper competitive, hyperventilating world it is very easy to miss the woods for the trees.

How often have we heard businesses chasing irrelevant, ego boosting metrics? 

In my journey, I have realized the importance of tracking and measuring the right metrics. Having a realistic sense of where you stand and a clear picture of where you want to be is the first prerequisite to unlock growth- both professional as well as personal.

At the on-boarding stage itself- we work with our clients to create a mutually aligned, measurable picture of success for our engagement. We are always keen to decipher on what constitutes a good ROI for our clients given that they spend considerable amount of money and time on us. 

These four principles have definitely given us a sense of clarity and purpose in how we do things at BusyBee. Hope you find them useful too. 

Would love to know what gets you guys going. Do drop a comment below. 

Author: Gurudev Prasad

December 7, 2018