Anik Singal has made a name for himself by creating online education courses for entrepreneurs. Over the past few years, his for entrepreneurs by entrepreneur style of teaching has garnered a lot of support. His educational company, Lurn, now boasts over 250,000 students and a number of awards.
Yet, Anik’s road definitely wasn’t direct. Rather than a straight shot to success, Anik had many bumps in the road to get where he is today. Instead of letting failures and setbacks ruin his motivation, he used these moments as turning points – moments in which he could learn something to take forward.
Years later, sitting at the head of the growing online education niche, Anik reflects upon some of the biggest growth lessons he’s learned on his rise to success.
Lesson #1: You Have to Have a Clear Vision
Anik initially set out to study medicine. Coming from a family of lawyers, he felt that being either a lawyer or a doctor were the only two options available to him. Yet, he quickly discovered that the time it took in college to continually study medicine wasn’t going to have the payoff he wanted. Although being a doctor seems like an illustrious career, it’s one that involves a huge amount of work with very little reward.
Instead, Anik wanted to return to what he always had an interest in: entrepreneurship. Under the surface, Anik had a plan for several years of where he wanted to end up in life. His vision of becoming a successful entrepreneur was what drove him to leave medicine and start out in the world of business.
While success didn’t come overnight, the final vision of where he wanted to be allowed him to continually work toward that final destination. By creating a core focus and following it throughout your life, you’re able to stay on the right track, even when you’re not quite sure how to get there.
Having a clear vision is the first step toward becoming an entrepreneur; that vision can never be taken away from you. The more specific your final vision is, the less time you’ll waste following the wrong paths for you.
Lesson #2: Small Steps Are Better Than Doing Nothing
Another lesson that Anik learned on his way to success was that mini-goals are much more important than the final goalpost. If you have a vision to achieve something, breaking down that vision into a series of manageable steps will allow you to set off in the right direction. Just having a singular goal will often overwhelm you, leading to inactivity and a sense of paralysis.
Instead, entrepreneurs should learn that every single goal in life can be split down into 10s of smaller goals. By splitting down goals into smaller mini-goals, you’re able to more clearly envision how you will get to the end. Beyond strengthening your initial vision, this can also serve as a motivational force.
Each small step is easy to complete yet allows you to build motivation in the right direction. One step at a time, one goal ticked off by one – that is how you make progress.
Lesson #3: Create Networks of Supporters Above All Else
Early in life, Anik realized that he wanted to change the world. Yet, not wanting to invent something, he realized that his impact would have to do with scale. Unable to create change by himself, he set out to create a network of change-makers.
By designing, teaching, and launching online courses, Anik was able to spread his knowledge across the globe. Then, those that he taught were able to pass that knowledge on to those around them, creating a rippling effect. Instead of one man changing the world, this meant that he had a whole system of change-makers ready to distribute his knowledge.
Creating an active network was vital for Anik, as the vastness of his pool of students meant that he was able to affect change all across the world. By teaching people how to bring about change, Anik was able to amplify his own voice in a way that he couldn’t do alone.
Building a network of supporters is a vital step for entrepreneurs that are looking to expand. While brute force tactics may work in some cases, cultivating a network of people that actively engage will help you go much further.
Lesson #4: Focus on One Area At a Time
When you find success in entrepreneurship – and it is a case of when, not if, according to Anik – you should always remember to clarify exactly what it is that worked for you. No matter what area of business you work in, there will have to be something that clicked. For Anik, it was his digital publishing business.
Once he scaled this initial business into millions of dollars in revenue, Anik lost focus. Instead of doubling down on his publishing business, he attempted to expand into other areas. After hiring too many employees, opening a global web of offices around the world, and living an extravagant lifestyle, his business took a nose dive.
Anik crashed into nearly $2 million in debt, a large portion of which were directly due to his extravagant spending habits and business expenses. He knew something had to change. Going back to the drawing board, Anik realized that at the core of his success was – and had always been – his digital publishing business.
Turning back to his initial business, Anik decided to focus on one single area at a time. This philosophy has now become central to his success. In his courses, Anik promotes the idea of business owners focusing on growing one central business, rather than 10 smaller businesses. Being able to devote 100% of your time to something unlocks new potential.
For business owners, learning to give your all to one thing at a time will radically improve your chances of success. For Anik, this was one of the central factors that led him to where he is today.
Success in entrepreneurship doesn’t come overnight, and it certainly didn’t for Anik. However, by taking setbacks as learning and growth opportunities, you are able to continually work on the right path toward where you want to end up. Taking the lessons that Anik has outlined here will provide entrepreneurs with a structured set of guidance rules that can inform their own path going forward.
While mistakes are inevitable on the road to success, it’s vital that we engage with them, rather than turning out backs on them. Over time, the moments in which we feel most lost can be the guiding compass we need to steer us in the right direction.