Nurturing your business and well-being: Lessons from Patrick Obonyo

Nurturing your business and well-being: Lessons from Patrick Obonyo

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How many of us understand the full impact of committing to our business? Does it simply constitute effective leadership, or does it hold a deeper blend of other values like empathy, humanity, and adaptability?

BYLC Ventures held a three-day virtual bootcamp with 52 selected startups from July 9-11. The bootcamp involved insightful sessions that covered varying aspects of a business such as pitch decks, design thinking, and entrepreneurship. For the closing session, Patrick Obonyo, program manager of IKEA Foundation, shared his views on what it means to stay committed to your business as well as your well-being. In the session, Patrick emphasized the significance of certain business aspects such as expansion and teamwork that need to be better utilized by any founder.

Defining the role of you

Most startup founders believe in the notion that the whole journey of their company is defined and shaped by their vision solely. Albeit being partially true, Patrick clarified the misconception and advised partners to first focus strongly on their communication skills. He added that facing great challenges to achieve great communication is inevitable. Communicating right can change the whole game for a startup’s success.

Building through teamwork

Patrick outlined the factors that help in running a business smoothly. He cautioned that the journey will not be a joy tide for any startup founder. The founder(s) will need to have grit and resilience for successful leadership, but will also need to prioritize teamwork in the company. To move forward as a company, as well as through their people, founders will need to go through team differences, work around plausible issues, and inevitably come out stronger in the process. Patrick advised the startups on building teams within the business that complement each other. By implementing an integrated culture, success will follow shortly.

Innovation on the schedule

In the early days of a startup, it is very easy for a company’s top priorities to become shelved for the future. Despite the challenges, all founders should endeavor to avoid this distortion and always keep their main focus in place, Patrick advised. Finding a unique selling point that builds your value proposition can greatly aid any startup to stand out from other businesses in the market. Patrick further stated that it is essential, now more than ever, to drive new enterprises that can revolutionize the way businesses stand across the globe.

Finding your synergy

Any startup must fully assess the factors that can enhance their growth as well as the ones that can  limit it. A prime example in today’s global market is the use of technology. Patrick shared his views on utilizing technology aptly in a business in order to expand their growth for the future. Similarly, other factors such as CSR or the environment can play key roles in defining a startup’s potential for success. A startup can reap useful benefits by finding the synergy where environmentally-friendly measures meet cost-reduction strategies. As can be seen from various real life examples, companies which have been able to merge environmentally-friendly measures with sustainability strategies have usually been able to manage their costs very effectively.

For his closing remarks, Patrick offered some simple yet profound advice to the founders: whether or not they are chosen as winners from this bootcamp, it does not completely alter their future professional trajectory. What the founders need to focus instead on is thinking about the ways that they can change how their businesses function currently. While all external factors (technology, economy, legal) aid a company to grow and expand, it is humanity that helps it most to eventually succeed.

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