Interview: Jtan Styla
When did you start entrepreneurship and what sparked your interest in it?
The thing is I never knew I was an entrepreneur or even had an interest in being an "entrepreneur". All I wanted to do was just make nice graphics so I can post it on a website. It was a hobby, and then after some time I naturally became good at what I did, and people started contacting me about designing for them. That's when things started to kick off for me. A few months and years go by and suddenly I find myself running multiple projects and read an article about entrepreneurship and it became apparent that I was an entrepreneur.
What was your first major entrepreneurial venture?
My first major venture would be developing a fan website for a game I really enjoyed (Final Fantasy) and managed to have 3000 registered users actively posting on a message board and using the website. I was 16 years old and had a lot of influence in the deeper gaming community because of the website.
What were some of the main challenges you faced and/or still face to this day?
My major challenge to this day is finding a reliable partner to bounce ideas with and scale the business. I've had a few business partners in my time but some fade out or crack when things don't go well and end up getting a full time job. I stuck it out to the point that I now have a few businesses which are steady but now I depend on my team of whom I pay and look after. But I still sometimes would think about someone who can support the business as much as I do.
What skills/actions helped you overcome these?
To overcome my challenges? I had to learn everything. I always had a "can do" attitude to everything and wasn't afraid to take on the unknown. I think showing positive energy and enthusiasm is what people like. They continue to want to talk to you and give you more business and if things go wrong and you don't stress or moan, people find that positivity and determination inspiring and then suddenly you're the underdog that they want to back and support.
What are some of your key tips for new entrepreneurs?
Key tip for upcoming or aspiring entrepreneurs would be to think about the problem, the solution, and the service you will provide for that. Don't think about money. Focus on service and money will automatically flow.
What is your favourite thing about entrepreneurship?
My favourite thing about entrepreneurship is that it is the most educational job with infinite networking. I have clients (and they've become friends) in over 30 countries. I can tell you about the process of dog grooming, or how juices are made, or fashion brands in LA, or how catering service works, or barcode systems. It's because I take on clients who are passionate or experts and for me to provide a good service, I learn, listen and execute for them.
What things did you do at school/in your spare time to aid in becoming an entrepreneur?
After school I'd obsess to go home and jump on the computer and continue to build and improve my projects. I spent whatever free time I had just always learning and improving and persisting. It made me a natural today as I lived and breathed it. Kind of like how you don't think about breathing; you just do it. It's the same for my businesses, I don't think about it, I live it.
What are your main entrepreneurial plans for the future?
My plan now is to move away from service based work and focus on passive and autonomy activites. I'd like to build solutions for the industries rather than clients. I'm thinking more expansively as I evolve and so does technology.