In this episode of the First Buck podcast, host Nic Cary interviews Mohamed Junaid, "Jay", co-founder of Supersight, a company that uses large language models to analyze crypto and finance data. Jay shares his journey as an entrepreneur, starting with his first venture in e-commerce and his experience working at JP Morgan and Deloitte. He emphasizes the importance of saving money, finding smart people to work with, and focusing on the customer. Jay also discusses the role of social capital and mentors in his career and offers advice on managing the stress of starting and growing a business. The episode concludes with a discussion of Supersight and its vision for bringing transparency and context to crypto networks.

1st Buck Podcast Mohamed Junaid

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jay shares his journey of earning his first pound and starting his entrepreneurial career
  • He emphasizes the importance of saving money and investing in oneself
  • Jay discusses the significance of finding the right people to work with, including co-founders and mentors
  • He highlights the value of social capital and building a network of support
  • Jay introduces his new venture, Supersight, which focuses on large language models and crypto finance products


In this episode…

Nic and Jay discuss the lessons learned during Jay's career journey, including:

  • The importance of saving money and investing in oneself to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • How to find the right people to work with, whether as co-founders or employees, by conducting trial periods and assessing qualities like humility and energy.
  • The significance of social capital and mentorship in supporting and guiding entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as the value of seeking advice with thoughtful and relevant questions.

Sponsor for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Sky’s The Limit, one of the largest nonprofit programs for underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs in the US. Sky’s The Limit is a quick-growing digital platform that connects entrepreneurs with their peers, volunteer business mentors, training resources, and funding.

Our goal is to develop the social capital that founders need to chase their business dreams.

To learn more, please visit today.

Episode transcript

Intro  0:04  

Welcome to The First Buck Podcast, where we feature stories about entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Now, let's get started with the show.

Nic Cary  0:23

The First Buck podcast, brought to you by Skys the We feature stories about entrepreneurs and the people that support them. Today we're joined by Mohamed Junaid or who goes by Jay, the co-founder of Supersight. Jay is a founder of Supersight building large language models to train crypto and finance products. He previously founded an e-commerce business covering fashion to accessories. Jay has also held a position at JP Morgan in the equity and derivatives division and at Deloitte servicing hedge fund clients and names like Google, JLR Mueller, and many more. Finally, he's a graduate from the University of Warwick where he specialized in management and he achieved a scholarship throughout his time while he was there. So we're really lucky to have Jay here. Jay, we have a little tradition on the podcast. We always like to learn. How did you earn your first pound, your first dollar or Euro?

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  1:11

Well, firstly, thank you so much for having me and it really is a pleasure to be here. My journey actually started in Birmingham, so that's originally where I'm from. And just to give you some context, I was looking at some stats recently. It's got some of the highest unemployment, people claiming unemployment. The benefits got some of the highest numbers across the country, so it's a difficult place for sure. But the first book that I earned was around 17, 18. It's probably earlier than that. I did at school. I was actually at school. I was selling chewing gums and things like that, but truly, I wouldn't even count that. I think my first internet book, it's a really weird story, but we were trying to find something to sell, right? eBay or Amazon. These were the early days. It's not like Amazon FBA now where people are selling courses nonstop. We were just about early enough at that time and we were actually flipping products from Amazon, from eBay, from Amazon, sorry, to eBay. So we'd find cheaper products on Amazon, sell them on eBay just to get our feedback up. And then continuing along that path, we increased our feedback on eBay and found more and more products. That's how we worked.

Nic Cary  2:17

I love it. Perfect case of market arbitrage. You find something cheaper in one place and sell it for a little bit higher margin somewhere else to customers that need it. And that's a really common way to start it in an early business. I love that. And also don't discount how important it was selling candies. I think doing everything from inventory management to figuring out which candies are popular, A lot of entrepreneurs start off really simply, and I love that story. So talk to us a little bit about how you progressed from sort of discovering this early opportunity on the internet and how that shaped thinking about the next sort of steps. You went to university, some entrepreneurs pursue that path, others don't. What were some of the steps you say that were pivotal moments in preparing you to advance in your career?

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  3:05

Yeah, I think when I was in Birmingham, I grew up in a very poor area. They do these postcard checks for universities for everything. So I always come, that area always comes near the bottom. I just realized I didn't have enough smart people around me. I needed to find more smart people and that was my kind of north star. So whether that was trying to do programs, whether that was trying to do mini kind of consulting, internship, work experience programs to find better people around me or smarter people, whatever that means, right? Because always trying to figure out what that means your life. But it was that. And then it was trying to kind of do really well in my studies at the time, and that was one of the clearest parts that led me to get a scholarship at a private school for a couple of years. Still difficult journey. And it kind of progressed along that way, along that route where again, I got a mini scholarship at Warwick as well to study management there. So that was kind of my path to try to find people who are smarter and smart and they'd bring me to new avenues of business ideas or things I was already considering.

Nic Cary  4:14

I like that. I mean, one of the things I think we've seen in a lot of the leaders that we've interviewed is sort of this kind of desire to accumulate more knowledge, whether that's investing in yourself in your education or in specialized training or finding internships, basically having almost like that sort of learning mindset. And if you have five pounds to go spend on something, do you go down to the pub and put it into a pint or do you put it into an online course where you can learn something? And a lot of people choose that easier path of just, well, you know what? I just want to disassociate for a little bit for an hour or two today. But if you accumulate a whole bunch of those moments to learn, they really add up. And so thank you for sharing that. Let's talk a little bit about this.

So earlier you talked about how your first business was this market arbitrage, buying things on Amazon and selling them on eBay. I'm sure you could probably do the same thing now into Etsy or something else, or even Facebook marketplaces where there's just so many scams. But talk to us about the first time you put some of your maybe some capital together and really made an investment in something and how you went about deciding that that was the right course of action. I think so many early stage entrepreneurs hesitate they don't know where to get started. So talk to us a little bit about when you actually did that and what you learned from that process in success or otherwise. Be interesting to hear that story.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  5:39

Yeah, I think even from that age, I understood that if I had some kind of savings, I'd be able to put them towards something that I could chase a bigger goal. So I was always trying to save a couple of thousand here, a couple of hundred here, wherever I could. And that was definitely a focus of mine in earlier years. And we talked about how the first book was made and then from there we were just looking, I think you have to be in the space to truly find the opportunity. And we were just doing the arbitrage honestly. The first sales we made selling from Amazon to eBay, we literally made pennies, like pennies. It was nothing. But then we were looking more and more, we found credit card holders. There were men's credit card holders, RFID blocking. You can't steal people's details. Through them, we saw that there weren't enough people selling them, but then no one was selling the rose gold cutter.

It was such a simple thing. We found a supplier who's willing to sell us that. And then that money accumulated. We started making a couple of thousand through that and then more and more. And then we switched niches and went to a few other things. But I think at that time it was just saving some of that money and putting every bit back into the business knowing that we're living with our parents at the time. We're so young, it doesn't matter if we lose every penny, there's nothing lost truly, but the upside is so great. And that was some of one of the initial big investments. I can give two more very short examples. Yeah, please. Another thing I did was from e-comm, I knew that tech was, there's, it's a crazy space and growth is almost limitless when you look at the multiples that companies trade by. So I took a gap year off at university, and I actually spent some time, I just flew over by myself. I didn't truly have any friends who were really deep in tech and I just flew over to San Francisco.

I spent a month or do there in, they call it a crypto house. I wouldn't really call it that. It was just a mixture of people, including a guy who'd just cry for half the day. There was that. But then there was also a friend of mine who now works at a top crypto company. So there's a real mixture of people there in that house. And yeah, I did that investment. I spent thousands of dollars pounds just going there, going to events every day trying to meet people just to get an understanding of what the tech scene is, whatever that meant to me at the time. And that kind of paved my path to here. And then another mini example as well I'll give is at university. During covid time, I ended up trading and losing like 10,000 in a few days, 10,000 bucks very quickly. My trading thesis was actually right, but I played the trade wrong. So it doesn't matter in the end you lose your money. But I think I realized that the younger you are especially, you have to be willing to lose some money and to be able to make bigger gains. And that's fine.

Nic Cary  8:28

And I think that's just sort of teaching those early opportunities is just learning moments. So don't really gamble on things more than you can really lose, but also understand what your fallback options are. And when you're living, obviously at home, you have a little more security than if you have to pay rent the next month. And so you can kind of scale up how much you're really willing to risk. You said something that was really good about saving money, and it's a very hard discipline to do, but of my favorite books is The Richest Man in Babylon, and it's these parables about how to really do basic things that over a 10 year period of time cause compounding interest or compounding success. And one of those is just whatever you earn, take 10% of it and put it away. You can never touch it and invest in yourself first.

Pay yourself first before you do anything else. And this mindset applied over a duration of time really puts you in a position to increase the amount of risk you can take later in life. And it's just a foundational idea that I don't know anyone that pursued that and hasn't had some degree of economic security no matter what, because if you can save and control your expenses, you will be okay. And we all buy stupid stuff. We're all tempted to, because we get rammed constantly with really perfectly designed advertising and marketing. We don't need most of those things. And so if you can just pursue that sort of control over your purse, it's so key.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  10:02

Yeah, I think that,

Nic Cary  10:04

Yeah, go ahead.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  10:04

Please carry on. Please finish it.

Nic Cary  10:07

I was reminded of that because a lot of the successful entrepreneurs and business leaders we interview, they talk about it a little bit differently, but there's something about that habit that's just so important.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  10:21

Yeah, it is crazy. I mean, I've seen many people along the way who just weren't saving enough. They're earning enough of a salary, but they're just not saving enough that they can even take that bet. You need six months or even better, a year's worth of expenses. If you can have that, then you can take as many shots as possible at trying something out and finding some way to generate revenue. And that's what I saw at some of these corporate places. No one had earned their first buck in the first place, and that's why they will likely stay there. The switch hasn't gone off in their head that they can be the producer rather than the consumer. Let's put it that way, in a sense. I love that, that you just said. And in fact, there's a saying by, I read a blog from Bill Gates actually, and it comes in through all these mediums.

It comes in through social media. You're consuming content from people. It comes in from buying things like you mentioned, and it's all mixed because sometimes those same influencers try to sell you things as well, right? They also promote things. And Bill Gates talks about how he, I think it was like five years, for five years he didn't watch any TV or listen to any music and he says, no, no, I could have done it for two years. It would've been enough. But he carried on, right? He did it for five years, right? He did it for that longer period. And I think there's a sense there of the fact that there's someone else thought that they're pushing on you, it's someone else. You are in that consumer kind of mindset and he just wanted to sell tech. Be the producer, Sally's company, focus on his product. If you're focused enough, cut out the outside noise, a bit of people telling you to buy things and just be in the world. If you can do that for a bit, it's a crazy, crazy win for you.

Nic Cary  12:00

I like that. It's so important to remember that idea of focus. I don't talk about it too much, but when we founded up in northern England, we were in a little town in the middle of nowhere. And because we weren't in a giant city with lots of noise and tons of marketing and social events happening and all these things, we were really able to concentrate. And so it may have been boring in certain aspects of one's life, but it was really important for us to concentrate on what our customers were looking for. And so early stage company definitely needs focus the mindset of an entrepreneur in those early days to really concentrate on figuring out what the customer problems are. So let's actually get into this. A lot of early stage entrepreneurs think that they need money right away. They need a loan, they need funding, they need venture capital or money from friends and family. What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about their startup idea? Where should they really start?

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  12:58

Yeah, I think there are two things there. We could talk about tech as well. Tech is a bit more complicated, but let's talk about maybe where I first started off in econ, we read tons and tons of case studies. That was part of what we did at one point, right? By the way, when I lost that 10 k, I was living in a one bed flat with my friend. So again, cost saving, it was difficult. We annoyed each other, but hey, we were fighting towards a bigger cause there as well together. And we read that tons of case studies at the time and the amount of e-commerce businesses, for example, that start with a couple of thousand under 10,000 become a billion plus in valuation or hundreds of millions is insane. Let me give you some examples. Spanx, Sarah Blakely, she's a US company. Nic, obviously you know about it a bit more. Maybe some of the UK guys don't know about it as much, but it's like special clothing for women, right? How would you describe it, Nic? You're nodding your head. How would you describe spikes maybe?

Nic Cary  13:54

Yeah, I mean it's just been in a tremendous success in terms of how fast we're able to find product market fit, especially with a vertical that's sort of focused on women.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  14:06

Yeah, it's insane. No, thank you for that addition. Yeah, it's insane. She did so well. She started with under 10 grand. She filed even some of the patents herself. She was nonstop selling the product herself when they launching in stores, gym Shark in the uk, again, the guy had multiple jobs, couple of thousand, these guys started. These are the big names you've heard. Lemme give you another random example, right? There's these guys in the uk, I dunno the name of the product, but you'll be able to find it on the internet. They're selling zero calorie sources, right? Selling zero calorie sources. They in Blackpool or something like that, right? Again, a bit like they were in a random place and a bit like me when I was a bit earlier when I was in Coventry, I think they're two brothers or two friends. They got together, they put a few thousand in and now they're doing 10 million plus in revenue.

The amount you can do, especially with internet businesses these days is insane with little money. And anyone can save 10,000 over a period of a year or two or whatever, and especially if you're young enough, but even without that you can save that money. And then it's just about trying things out and actually pursuing something. And there's so many case studies out there. And then even in tech, right? A lot the time you don't need money yourself. If you've got product, you can raise money, but before that you can just maybe find some co-founders or even by yourself, create an MVP show some kind of traction of what it would look like or the possible, how far the results could go, the possible kind of market sizing activities you show by doing that. And again, even with very little, that's where you raises, preceded rounds from. So immediate every avenue you can think of, just read a bit more, talk to the right people if you can't even reaching out on the internet, there's a lot,

Nic Cary  15:49

I think there's some real pearls of wisdom in there. Regardless of what kind of business idea you have today, most likely you'll need to have some way of tech enabling it, whether that's having a social media presence to build your brand recognition or having a website or building reviews online for the product or whatever it is. So you'll benefit a bit by having some tech fluency and taking online courses and you can watch YouTube videos for free to get skills on these things. But ultimately I think what you're saying is come up with an idea, save some money on the side, find ways to guard your income, flat share with people. I had six roommates when we started, and then I went down to four and then two. And it wasn't until six, seven years into building the company that I had a place just for me.

And some days I miss some of the early stage stuff. It was fun and there's a lot of camaraderie, but it's also nice of course as you get a little bit older to have your own personal space. But the point I think I'm making is just control your cost structures so that you can continue to pursue the idea and focus on what you said. That minimum viable product, the MVP is sort of like your test. If you can get a few people to like that, to agree that they would pay you for it, then you're really onto something and you should continue to pursue it. So the next thing I want to talk to you about, because built a couple of different companies and worked with people, how do you go about finding the right people to work with? I mean, whether you hire them or become co-founders with them, what kind of things would you like to share with our audience about how to find the right people to join you on a team?

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  17:22

Yeah, I can even tell you about one of the ideas that maybe didn't work out when I was in sf, we were looking at a potential dating app where I found a machine learning engineer and I think one of the most important things that I did there and then I had to come back to the UK and then the idea just didn't work out. That person didn't want to carry on anymore. But I think one of the important things there was just doing a trial period. Even that when you're finding new and someone that you're working with, just even having a trial period, a few days, few weeks, see how you get along together. And then a couple of other things, and I can expand on the story later if it's needed, but a couple of other things I think is even generally just kind of humility.

Is someone actually fighting for the ego or for the right answer in that argument, in that debate that you're having the right answer will obviously lead to clarity towards where to actually move the company forward. Now apparently a lot of founders do have a bit of ego and that's fine. But when you're trying to move towards a north star, is that actually happening? And then do you kind of work together? Do you move fast enough? How fast are you moving? Is it much, much faster than you'd ever move alone? And then some energy, some energy towards id. And I think in that specific instance there was some of that. It was lacking at times coming back in a very short period and that was already a cause for concern slightly, if you to think about it.

Nic Cary  18:48

Yeah, there's some good stuff in here. So I think testing your co-founders or testing your early stage employees or colleagues on a trial basis is a great way to learn whether or not you really can work together. It takes time to sometimes build trust if you don't have a long-term relationship with someone. And then even working with someone you've had a long-term relationship with is very different if you're working with them as opposed to being a friend with them. And so I do think it's possible to work with friends, but you have to be very careful because both parties have to bring an equal amount of motivation and energy. And like you said, you got to put the egos aside. I look for people that are just delivering results for the customers at the end of the day, if they're completely obsessed about making the customer experience great, taking care of customers, doing customer support, listening to customers, just treating the customer like royalty, then I know that eventually the outcome will be positive. Because at the end of the day, you have to have your customers basically desire something so much from you that they're willing to trade some of their wealth and income or pay to acquire or buy something that you're creating. And so having that kind of mindset makes a lot of sense. And I love the one you said too, you about finding someone that runs and helps you run faster as a team. Do you perform better because you're together? And that's always kind of a hard one to find.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  20:06

Well, you mentioned some excellent points there. Actually. One of them around customer service and really focusing on your customer is so important. If you look at Warby Parker, the glasses brand in the us, everyone who'd start off, I dunno if they still do this, but they did do it for a long while. Everyone who'd started off would have a customer service role first to truly understand the customer, truly understand their pain points, and then you go on and do your actual role, whether it's marketing growth or whatever it is. And I find that, yeah,

Nic Cary  20:34

It's super smart. We actually, funny you mentioned that a long time ago, one of the first graphic designers we ever hired was a Warby Parker graduate basically through their professional development program, but they started off on the floor selling glasses and then they went into design and then went into graphic design and then ultimately we poached them, but they had a very customer centric perspective because of that training they got from Warby Parker. So that was a great example. I think social capital is really important, which is sort of this network of help and advice that you can surround yourself with. And it sounded like it was one of the first things you said is that you kind of had a desire to surround yourself with smart people. So talk to us a little bit about the role that social capital or mentors have played in your career in the businesses that you've led.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  21:28

Yeah, I can give a bit of a hint of one or two mentors and then I can talk about social capital there as well. Actually, I think one thing I will caveat about social capital is this the best way People talk about networking and being with smarter per people. But the best way to do that is if you have a vehicle to do that with. So you've got to ideally have an idea, something you're working on, something that you're passionate about, something a decent level about, and then things work much more in your faith right now. One of the investors is head of a family office. It's his own family and he is a very wealthy individual. He came to London, spent an hour plus with us sitting down. It was meant to be 30 minutes, 20 minutes. He spent an hour and a half whilst he was on a family getaway here.

There's no way that guy would've given me the time of day if I wasn't working on this idea. He's got something invested and he wants to see how we grow. So how do you truly get people much, much smarter than you, much better than where you are right now to invest in you or just to even give you some kind of time, ideally have a vehicle. When we were doing e-comm, we were working on a bar idea like meal bars. We reached out to a guy online, we found him. He was the head of a DTC company that was worth two, 300 million. We were noddies. We were noddies. He gave us time multiple times. He's like, yeah, sure, I'll help you anytime. And it's just about being a bit smarter, having an idea saying, Hey, I read your book and we like these points and do you want share?

Sure, sure, no problem. You'd be surprised at how generous people can be. And then some of the mental side, one of the individuals was from my area actually. He had parents who, he had parents who were related, his father's related to some kind of criminal science even. And this guy so does a tough background to come from some criminal avenues, drugs and things like that. He's very, very smart. He used to be at the gym, he's naturally very smart. He used to be at the gym all the time, but then he also did so well with education. He ended up going to Cambridge. He ended up getting a medicine degree from there. And I remember seeing him sometimes just on the road and say to me, J, yeah man, you've got to get out here. All these boys here, they're not going to amount to anything.

Make sure you do something. Make sure you do something. And seeing someone like that who came from a tough background, he could have chosen another path. He was a big inspiration. And then I think it was my chief master at the private school that I got a scholarship at. It was like, it's nearly 40,000 pounds, but $50,000 or whatever HPC scholarship. I got there in that school and he believed in me straight away and he said certain things to me. He said, oh, there's this guy here in this school who exited and he did really well. And I see some of that in you. And just having some of those people believe in you and working hard to prove it even to them over time, you believed in me for a reason is some of the most beautiful, some of the most beautiful things I think.

Nic Cary  24:23

Thank you for sharing that. And those are really good examples of different types of people coming from different walks of life to kind of form almost like a bench of support from their background, from your university experience and school to a potential investor and advocate for your business. Those are really good. I love the point you made about having some confidence to ask for advice, but the thing you said that was really important was don't just go to LinkedIn and write, yo, that's not enough. And just like you're not going to get your first date that way on a dating app. You have to invest in the question that you're posing and having something important that you can share that's relevant to that person or a piece of advice you could get from them that would be contextually relevant to what your vehicle is, whether that's your business idea or a bit of research you're doing or a curiosity.

It has to fit a puzzle piece. And you can't just show up and just say, I want to pick your brain. It's not enough. You need to have a really thoughtful question to ask. And then that person's going to love to share their advice with you because when they get to do that, it opens up all of this creativity that they have and that they need other people to be curious about in order to inspire them. And so when you do that, it works really well. Okay, so earlier we talked a little bit about your new venture. Love to hear a little bit more about that. There's a lot of talk going on right now about the intersection between large language models, artificial intelligence, FinTech, cryptocurrency, and more. Talk to us a little bit about what your vision is for Supersight and what you're working on.

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  26:10

Yeah, I think in the long run, I'll leave some of that out. It gets much, much bigger, but I can show you at least what we're doing at the start, and even that's a tough problem in itself. But we're doing large language models, crypto now what does that truly mean? Right? So crypto for the audience here as well, let's say, let's simplify it. Let's say you've got a credit card statement, the name's on the credit card statement, and we see all the places you've been shopping at. So now we've got history, a kind of profile of you, where you've been going, where you've been shopping. Now crypto, on the other hand, they are blockchains and they're by nature, however, rather than your name and the transactions that happen underneath the end of the credit card statement, they are, there's just an address, zero x something, something, something.

And you can see all the things that number or that person has been doing. The problem is it's not easy to search through all those transactions. There's a wealth of data there, but it's not easy to search through the wealth of those transactions that are getting larger and larger by the day. What we are doing is making it easier for you to search through that data in the first instance and then adding off chain knowledge in addition to that to add further context as well. So that's the premise of the core premise of the idea. Now what does that look like? Well, you could do searches like in natural language means free flowing English. You could do things like search things like who bought this NFT and that NFT or who are the top 10 holders of it? These are the basic questions you could ask.

You could get a lot more complex. Who bought this low and sold high in the last 30 days? You're looking at the bottoms and the tops of the graph, who traded that? And then if you were to combine both worlds together, you may ask something like, why did the price of bored aids or punks, crypto punks? Why did the price go down? Now on the chain side, it might be the two people sold 15 of those each. And the off chain side, it might be that there's a negative news piece around the founders, so this is what we're building, or we've been building it for a year.

Nic Cary  28:06

Cool. So basically bringing the transparency of crypto networks plus off chain data and stories into the present. I can see that being very interesting and very useful. Cool. Well I'm glad to hear you're working on that. Alright, so let's wrap up here. Taking up the steps to pursue entrepreneurship can feel intimidating and scary. What tips would you give our listeners for how to manage some of the stress that comes with testing starting and trying to grow your own business?

Mohammed Junaid "Jay"  28:38

Yeah, I think there are two key points that I'd love to mention here. I found a friend who wasn't the best guy in the world, entrepreneurship at the time, right? Neither was I. Obviously you find someone I even love, right? He had the energy, the passion. He told me he'd sold a couple of things before and I realized that every day that I was turning up at the cafe, he would be there with me. So I knew he'd just keep turning up. Ideally, you can find someone to work with in the journey. Paul Grahams is in the tech world, one of the founders of Y Combinator Key accelerator in the US for the audience, one of the things he says is one of the reasons you have a co-founder is not just because of the workload of the sheer stress you're going to have over time and sharing that with someone, the burden of things.

So if you can find someone, that'd be really, really important. Some of the biggest businesses in the world are generally created with co-founders, and I'm a big fan of that. Secondly, I think just like with your job, you turn up every day. You work for years to get your promotions right? You work for ages, right? Ages and ages and ages until you retire. And even that retirement age is going up in the same vein. You have to keep turning up. And there's a guy from the us, his name Sean Puri, he recently sold a crypto newsletter business. He sold a bunch of tech businesses. He's got a podcast called My First Million.

He mentions that all the friends who started with him, some of them succeeded in two years, five years, seven, 11 years. It's just like a job you've got to keep on going. And it was the people who got burnt out. So don't just work 20 hours a day, I assume that's not your initial problem anyway, but don't work 20 hours a day because that wasn't my problem. I just had to work harder, but don't work too hard and get burnt out. But equally, you have to. He mentions that the people who ended up getting a job, they also ended up losing out. Now you may have a job that's fine and things like that, but once you're set and you can carry on going in that journey, please carry on, right? That's the most important thing.

Nic Cary  30:42

Okay, well, I'm going to summarize a few of the comments you made today, which I think really are sort of universally applicable to anyone starting their small businesses. But start off with some basic savings. Make sure you're doing that, and then invest in yourself. Have that early stage focus, find support, whether that's in a co-founder or advisors or mentors or a small bench of people that you can turn to when things get tough, ultimately focus on your customers. And then I think that last one is really almost a sort of British spirit too, which is Winston Churchill has that famous quote from World War ii, which was just never, ever, ever give up. And if you kind of have that mentality balance your work and personal life, it may take longer than you want. I think it's unrealistic to turn into an Olympian in one year or two to five years.

It is going to take time. But if you put that rigor in, put the discipline, keep showing up, and keep solving problems that real people in the real world are having, then you can build a really successful company. So Jay, thank you so much for teaching us about your background and your time in Birmingham and Warwick, and then onward into London, and furthermore into your entrepreneurial career with a brief stint in San Francisco. Thank you again. So skyes We connect underrepresented entrepreneurs with volunteer business professionals for free. one-on-one mentoring. We also provide business guides to all of our members and monthly funding opportunities. You can get grants to practice building your business and get your first website up or a little bit of inventory or set up your shop. So sign up for free today and if you like what you heard, please subscribe and share. Thanks again.

Outro  32:29  

Thanks for listening to The First Buck Podcast. Don't forget to join the community of underrepresented entrepreneurs and their supporters by signing up at Click subscribe, and we'll see you next time.


Empower your workforce, drive positive change, and contribute to lasting impact.