Meet Deepak Shukla – Founder at The Pearl Lemon Group. Interests in Search Engine Marketing, B2B Lead Generation, Property, Accountancy, Vegan Food, and a collection of SaaS tools.
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Before we begin, our readers are interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to be where you are today or was it something you were led to? Share with us your journey.
Deepak Shukla: The hardest part is taking that first step and putting yourself out there. Having a business idea is not enough if action isn’t taken. My journey wasn’t always a straight path, but I always knew that I wanted to own a business. I quit my job at Deloitte where I worked as a tax consultant to become a rapper and music producer. About 150 rap songs later, I had two recording studios and a movement known as Deep Impakt Recordings. However, I had to let that phase go because I wanted to create a new startup. This led to my first funded startup, Meet My Tutor, an online marketplace connecting students to tutors. I had about 75,000 pounds to start this business, which eventually led to another startup, The CV Guy in 2014. In the midst of all this, I was starting and stopping, constantly. But that changed after I founded Pearl Lemon in 2016 and I’ve been growing this company ever since
Tell us a bit about your current focus. What is the most important thing that you’re working on and how do you plan on doing it?
Deepak Shukla: At the moment, I’m trying to build a strong management team at Pearl Lemon so that the company can fully run itself without too much of my involvement. For a fully remote agency, that means that I have to take extra care with the way I make this transition. I’m providing business coaching and one-on-one support with all the department heads at the company. I intend to take at least one week per month away from the company to slowly train the department heads to weather the storms without my involvement. It’s an important step in growing this agency because it gives me room to focus on other business ventures that ultimately benefit Pearl Lemon in the long run.
Some argue that punctuality is a strength. Others say punctuality is a weakness. How do you feel about it, please explain.
Deepak Shukla: Punctuality is a strength – especially in remote work. When a video call is scheduled at 10:15, then it should start at that time because people constantly have back-to-back calls and it can come across as irresponsible and negligent to lack punctuality in the remote work environment.
How important is having good timing in your line of work and in the industry that your organization operates in?
Deepak Shukla: Good timing is quite important especially in the PR industry where media attention is greater when newsworthy stories are pitched at just the right times when journalists and the public are looking to cover certain topics. Pearl Lemon PR has PR specialists that pay close attention to the newsworthiness of our clients and try to keep their fingers on the pulse in order to find the perfect timing for media outreach.
As a leader/entrepreneur/CEO, how do you decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to take a break? How do you time the key moments in your career?
Deepak Shukla: That’s an excellent question. At first, it was difficult for me to determine that, but with experience, and business coaching, I’ve learned that taking a break from running a business is beneficial for the company long-term. But this decision cannot be made until you’re sure that your team is strong enough to handle the day-to-day challenges that come with the business. Once it’s clear that each department is led by a competent, reliable leader then it’s time to take a break as a reward.
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Branson also states “If you’re starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions and losing sight of why you started, it might be time to take a break”. But how do you decide when to take a break?
Deepak Shukla: When you start to find it difficult to be creative, innovative, or thoughtful when it comes to company decisions and employees then it’s time to take a break. It’s important to do this before you burn out and you can’t give your business the full attention it needs to thrive. If you’re like me, you’ll have issues with letting go of control and choosing to step away for a breather. As a perfectionist, “workaholic” I am dedicated to my business and I work 24/7 – but sometimes even I can admit that it’s beneficial to take a break. It’s incredible the kind of inspiration you can get during that time off that enables you to become a better leader.
“Timing can be everything when starting up. It can be the difference between building a thriving business and not” How has good timing helped you achieve success in your career or business? Are there any particular examples from your career that you would like to share?
Deepak Shukla: Timing is very important. In a time where many businesses were going digital, I founded Pearl Lemon SEO to help them rank higher on search engines and use link-building strategies to improve their online brand visibility. This business would not have been as lucrative in 2002 as it is today.
“When you’re thinking of starting up, ask yourself: ‘Is the community I want to serve ready for this idea?’ It could make all the difference!” Would you like to add anything to this piece of advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Deepak Shukla: Do market research to understand what your target audience actually needs. This will give you insight into the needs of your future clients.
COVID forced many businesses to adapt fast, some did so successfully, others failed, it was a lot due to good or poor timing. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Deepak Shukla: The pandemic has taught us a lot, but the biggest thing that has stood out is the way that our business is run. We try to make sure that we are as flexible as possible so that our employees feel supported and valued. While businesses were firing and reducing their workforce, we were working hard to retain our top talent and we saw a significant increase in revenue as a result.
Before we finish things off, we would love to know, when you have some time away from business, what is one hobby that you wish you could spend more time on?
Deepak Shukla: I wish I could spend more time in training for running marathons. It’s something that I enjoy a great deal!
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Deepak Shukla for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Deepak Shukla or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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