I had not intended to start a business when I enrolled for an MBA five years ago. I was ensconced in a corporate job, too consumed with the next quarter, let alone any plans to start a business in the future. I was looking for a way to enhance my skills, while differentiating myself from other mid-level marketing managers and the MBA provided a route to achieving both.
Little did I know the path I was about to take and where it would lead me.
The journey was not smooth. I received two promotions within eighteen months of each other, and each time I needed to suspend my MBA studies, as I acclimatised to the new role and increased workload. By the time I approached my final project almost 5 years later, I had fallen prey to burn out, and no longer loved my job, my field or the corporate world I’d worked so hard to become part of.
Faced with the final project for the MBA, I decided to use the opportunity to research an area of business that I had been a passionate advocate and consumer of for many decades- Social Enterprises.
Social Enterprises are businesses that measure their performance not only by financial metrics, but also by the social and/or environmental impacts they make. They are called ‘Triple Bottom Line’ companies, and I have been inspired by their creativity and measurable impact for decades.
Combining my marketing skill set with this long-held passion, I researched the use of marketing by Social Enterprises. Through the process of research, interviews and writing, I met people who were operating Social Enterprises around the world, and came to understand their need for marketing support. Over time, I realised I could not only help fulfil that need but I had a network of people around me who would join me on this mission.
So, after I submitted my final project, I started Hussle Hub- a Sales, Marketing and Communications consultancy that brings a world class network of professionals together, and makes their skill available to Social Enterprises, NGOs and socially conscious SMEs.
It has been 9 months since I launched the consultancy and I have had the privilege to work with inspirational organisations from 8 countries, operating in industries including hospitality, retail, manufacturing and services. Most importantly, they each make the world a better place through the work they do and Hussle Hub is proud to help them compete more effectively, making those worthy goals more achievable.
Starting Hussle Hub has not been without its bumps in the road.
The business has been very well received and our collaborators have successfully delivered exciting, creative and impactful projects around the globe. However, we have had to pivot several times and our business model has had to evolve and no longer looks like the initial business plan we laid out. This is uncomfortable and creates uncertainty.
Personally, I have been in constant ‘stretch’ mode, and though I have drawn on many of the disciplines I was taught in the MBA, I have had to learn a great deal about a great many things through trial and error. I am thriving on the challenge of taking the ‘path less travelled’ and know that each day Hussle Hub exists, we make a difference.
They say the ultimate measure to evaluate your decisions is to answer the question: ‘would you do it again?’. And without a doubt, I can say that I would choose to be an accidental entrepreneur every time.