Tell us about yourself?
I’m a passionate and driven entrepreneur, founding multiple startups with Valkence, and my other startup Waivly, under our parent company Skylr Infinite.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
That you need lots of money to start.
Unless you require a form of materials upfront, then you can start with nothing, and even if you do need materials at the start, you can always start your social media pages whilst you’re getting together your resources and begin growing yourself there. That’s the fun of startups, the relentless grind from the bottom upwards and taking your startup from nothing to something.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
I’d go back right to the start of my journey as an entrepreneur, and tell myself to take more time to think things through. I like to move around as fast as I can and, at the start, I’d make decisions that sometimes a day or two later, I’d feel like I could have done differently, and so would go back and change that decision. This was fine to do, but I would have liked to make myself think more to save time from changing decisions. I needed to understand that it’s ok to take some time to think, instead of making decisions in minutes.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I’d say the relentless drive to succeed. I feel like as an entrepreneur, you need to live this every waking hour that you have free, and whilst some may think that’s wrong and you should have free time or downtime here and there. I agree for others if they need it as that’s completely normal, but I don’t agree for myself, and so I truly live by that, and every hour I’m awake and available I’m working.
I’m always doing moves to better not only tomorrow but the business in years from now.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
I’d say interval cool-downs throughout the day to avoid burnout. Burnout is very serious and it can completely crush an entrepreneur, and so I always urge people to work to levels they can keep up.
It’s all good if you grind for a week straight, but if you crash at the end and are out of it for a few days, what was the point? I’ve definitely experienced heavy burnouts so I know how bad they can be – and they are not fun! With that, I picked up the great habit of cool-down periods, so similarly to how people may take breaks throughout the day, I do a similar thing but as a cool-down instead of complete pause, so I’ll switch where or what I’m working on to something lighter than my core tasks each day, and just ease things down for 15-30 minutes and purposely focus on going easier, then go back into it.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
I didn’t see organisations being future-led and interacting with their creators and community as a family too often, which I think every organisation (not only in the gaming and entertainment space like Valkence is), but everywhere, should be with their team, community, or whatever it may be for them.
True connections and being close with those around you build a family spirit throughout your business, and that means you can all flourish together and be around great people, who you want to truly win with. On the future-led aspect, I feel like businesses reach certain points and get comfortable because it’s working for them at the time, but will it work in 5-10 years? Maybe not. I feel like it’s important to be very future-led and think of every decision you make today as will it be something that impacts you positively in 5 years from now. I took those two elements and put them into Valkence, and they are the two heavy influences on the business.
Where do you see your business in five years?
With the vision we have for the future, and the things that we are working on behind the scenes, I truly see Valkence being a consistently rising and predominant organisation throughout the gaming and entertainment space in 5 years from now. At the end of the day, our results of the future come down to the work we put in today, and so with that, I’m 100% confident in our ability to succeed with our vision and plans.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
We really thrive on creating our own lane as much as possible with the actions we do, so I don’t think we’ll face a ‘challenge’ so much, as the only obstacles we have are to just keep on setting ourselves apart from the competition and to continue driving our own lane, of which we’ll do. We just have to keep putting in the work which we always will as this is fun to us at the end of the day and what we love to do, and so with that, we’ll keep letting the business speak for itself.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
I’d say my biggest accomplishment so far with Valkence would be bringing together a family of 14 creators with a combined follower-reach through core social media platforms of roughly 1.5M in 7 months and having such a great family and close vibe throughout the organisation. We’re just warming up, and so saying we’ve accomplished that already in this time span with hardly any of our big plans coming to light just yet, is something I’m happy to acknowledge as a good accomplishment.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
As a social media label, we’re all across the internet, so we’re found throughout our social media platforms with the content we share, and through our creators who promote the organisation. I’m not much of a salesperson myself, as I let the organisation do the speaking as the actions we put in behind the scenes are the ones which speak to the world through the organisation, and therefore, they do the selling.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
I’ve said it in this interview a few times now when referencing myself and it’s honestly what I’d say to every startup founder out there: you have to be relentless in your actions. At the end of the day, we’re all taking our passions and putting them into a startup, then taking the startup from zero to the top, and so to do that, you just have to show up every day, put in the work, and know that your actions today will impact your future so you need to be future-led at all times.
It all goes to my favourite saying: ‘Your future self will thank you for the efforts you put in today’.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
As cliché as it may come across, I don’t do this for myself too much, I do it mostly for those around me, and so with the work put in from these days, I hope in the future it will allow everyone around me to do what they love to do as their career and to have as best of a life as possible.