Don't Look for Funding -- Look for Ways to Create Valuable Products, Says This Entrepreneur
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
I am Ryan Urban, CEO and founder of Wunderkind. Wunderkind is about 10 years old now, and I’m enjoying myself more than ever before at this company. What I love is that we can really help grow any brand by 30% while saving them money at the same time.
What inspired you to create your company?
I think sometimes there are problem/solution entrepreneurs that have an aha moment. But I also think that 90% of entrepreneurs don’t have that. Instead, it’s an entrepreneur recognizing where they can come into an industry, and 10X a solution to their problems or pain points. To use me as an example, I’m a marketer. I love brands a lot, and I wanted to develop my craft as a marketer and work for brands. Then, once I had an understanding of brands’ needs and pain points, I was able to help craft a solution for them.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?
I’ve never pivoted in my life. You can iterate and evolve, but pivoting implies that you fully stop and make a full turn. That’s not something that we have had to do. Building a great leadership team is the hardest thing any company can do, and it’s hard during a pandemic when you aren’t together. But we’ve focused on that, and our team has helped us grow and elevate our company culture at the same time.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?
Entrepreneurs should not be looking for funding; they should be looking to create valuable products and services, and then the funding takes care of itself. All your effort should be focused on hiring great people and your products and services. If you have that in place, the funding will follow.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
It means being a builder and a creator. To me, there are four life stages of importance: Enjoyment is the first rung. The second rung is contributing to your personal and professional life. Then, it’s taking something that exists and making it better, or creating something on your own. And the last is enhancing — that’s about taking what you’ve created and making it world-class.
Is there a quote that you use as personal motivation?
“Provide value, have fun” is my permanent mantra. There’s a next level to that, which is to massively contribute to society but enjoy yourself while you do it. Life is about enjoying what you do.