In not so many words, the other day I was told that I couldn't play with the big boys because they had more money and could get a software solution out faster than I could. It was devastating to hear, but it was the second time this person who I respect immensely has said this to me.

Did most of the tech companies that became billion dollar enterprises not start from garages? Did they have hundreds of millions to play with when they started? I don't think so. So, why would I not be able to self fund my startups that are disruptive and bring to the market products and solutions that will change the game?
Playing with the big boys

I can't live in fear that the 'big boys' will do it faster than I would, or that they have more resources and money. Yes they have more resources and money, but they don't have my team, or our collective brain power. 

It's frustrating to hear this thought process, but I have learned fast that this is old school and usually from people who don't innovate and potentially were fortunate enough to be in the right industry at the right time. They are also all over 60 years of age, and in the tech boom thought they would invest in tech companies and blew their money. However, they gave their money to VC's to invest on their behalf - big mistake! Unless the VC has actually built a tech company, how would they know what to invest in. Gut instinct? Yes, that works for some and pays divendends but it works less and less than what you hear about. We only hear about the successes.

My takeway from the basic theory that I can't play with the 'big boys' is:

  • Believe in yourself, because you can't expect everyone else to
  • Make measured decisions, not based on a runaway idea
  • Take every negative and turn it into a positive
  • Accept the challenge and work twice as hard to prove the nay-sayers wrong
  • Smile, and know that you are onto something special, and that you have power to achieve anything and everything
  • No-one has your brain, personality and ability to change the world. We each have our own. This is your path, not someone else's
  • Failure is something that might happen, and if it does, then learn from it. Don't be too scared to start because you have a fear of failure.
  • First steps are always the hardest. The third and forth are the most exhilirating.
  • People often mean well, but they don't know what they don't know
  • Being shortlisted for the Women in Media awards gave me a little boost - I am the only small guy in my category of Marketing
  • I've built a business before - actually twice and Marketing Eye is certainly something I am proud of. If I decided to not start Marketing Eye because there were bigger agencies around, imagine my bank balance now... miserable
  • It isn't QUT's first rodeo - they have built robots more complex than Robotic Marketer before. This is going to be a piece of cake.
  • I'm an entrepreneur, don't throw a red flag in front of my face (lol)
  • Unless they have been disruptive in the past 5 years - they don't know what being disruptive is.

I feel empowered and ready for anything. I have put in the hard yards and I am ready to play my own game. I don't need to prove someone wrong, but I do need to follow my dreams and that is exactly what I am doing.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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