The Three R’s to the Runway of Success for Entrepreneurs By Khalid Nazim

As someone who has run several different businesses, when I look back at my journey, I discover that similar themes have helped me do my best at every step of it. Whether it was a basement business or flipping houses, running a large chunk of a corporate business, or setting up our manufacturing unit, the following three elements stood out for me as the major catalysts of success.


Research is what adds substance to any idea and lends backbone to the implementation that follows.Business research helps you to gather comprehensive information pertaining to all areas of your business with the purpose of leveraging this data to make right decisions, understand your industry and technology, learn about your target market’s purchasing behavior and demographics, promote business growth, know the pain points from others’ experiences, increase sales, and reduce costs.

In my first business, Kustom Kalligraphy, I sold laser engraved leather and wood products on Etsy. While this idea required less market analysis and no business plan, I was still making a reasonable investment in the machinery itself. I spent weeks researching to build up my understanding of machine types, the technology being used, and the user experience. I would join newsletters and online forums which ultimately convinced me to buy a lower priced Chinese machine over some very expensive and coveted American ones. Having the knowledge to make this vital business decision saved me tons of initial capital costs and helped me create a very successful basement business. Gathering information and understanding the ‘why’ of your idea and decision-making will allow you to have a backbone to questions, concerns, and future behaviours in the business.


Resources like money or mentors may mean the make or break towards success in your entrepreneurship journey. It is true that not everyone will have a lot of capital that may be required to start or scale up an idea; however, you should always contemplate what else could be considered a resource.

Time is a big resource. You have to know to find it and then use it well. In this age of work from home, time is on your side. If you no longer have to drive two hours to work in a rush hour – that is two hours more you can spend on ‘side hustles’ for extra income or meetings with possible partners.

Mentorship is another resource that successful entrepreneurs are known to use to tremendous effect. Utilizing your time to network and join groups like OPEN will essentially put you around the caliber of people who have already been where you want to go in your journey and done it well.

Associating with the right peers is another great resource. In order to start my current manufacturing business, I needed to leave my 9-5 job and go all in. I could not have done this or gained the confidence without the peers who shared their stories of success and failures with me and gave me the crucial push that entrepreneurs sometimes need at the start of their voyage.

So, always try and reflect on the resources available to you beyond money such as people, spaces, time, and knowledge. After all, entrepreneurship is all about doing well with limited resources, doing more with less. Isn’t it? Hence, entrepreneurs make the most of the resources that are within their reach. Make sure your resource spiral keeps getting bigger and better. When unforeseen challenges roll into town you might not have the answer. You might not have anyone you can turn to. But if you have learned to be resourceful, you will find a way.


Resilience is a requirement and often an indicator of a successful entrepreneur. Stan Lee wrote in the Spider-Man comic: “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Sometimes we forget to be responsible for ourselves and our emotions especially in times of peril. You do not have to be a superhero to know what it is like to feel a heavy burden – it can come in many shapes and guises, rent, relationships, personal goals, your children’s education. This is where resilience and responsibility of one’s own mind comes in. Great and intoxicating highs and dire and lonely lows are both a part of life. Tempering yourself in both scenarios will help you build the strength required to play the long game.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back and that comes from tenacity reinforced by passion, awareness, mindfulness, and purpose. To be so passionate about an idea that you refuse to give-up because of a bad day. To have enough awareness that the ‘bad days’ are not the ultimate defining moments and will pass as did the ‘good days.’ Mindfulness helps you stay in the moment and to detach yourself from an idea, situation, or business. And finally, to have a purpose in life that goes beyond your job and beyond your own self – rather your family, your hobbies, your charity. To be resilient is to know that nothing is finite.

Early years in your own business can be mentally exhausting and socially draining. It will be tough, and you will face challenges. You know that going in and you expect it but what you do not appreciate is that these challenges can appear in many shapes that you least expected, taking you from the heroic founder to a lonely person haunted by self-doubt. So, when you are down in a dark place, resilience is the torch that will help you find your way back up. The resilience is what you need to roll with the punches and to not let those punches snuff out your internal fire which ignited the journey.


These 3 R’s have always found a way to be a part of my entrepreneurship journey, typically showing every-day in thought or practice. While attending the OPEN’s 2022 Global Retreat last month, these themes came up a lot in discussion with fellow participants and with presenting speakers. I do hope that this insight will help stimulate some other entrepreneurs as to what they can do to conduct research to build and implement ideas, to identify and leverage resources for them and those around them, and to practice resilience in all that they do.

So, here is a leaf from the book of my life.  I can tell from my own experiences that life was usually not what I envisaged it would be. It is an amazingly powerful experience that has changed me for the better. If you do not pretend to hide when you are vulnerable and open up to others rather than recoiling inward, I have found that you can garner incredible support from other people – good groups like Open, friends, personal network, and people you meet along the way who are just simple well-meaning folks. So, get involved and try to give back when you can.


About the author

Khalid is a versatile business leader with Global experience and demonstrated success in various facets of Smart Buildings Technology. He currently owns a 3-D Printing Business, manufacturing parts for the industrial and health-care sector.

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