Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Travis Jarae, Founder and CEO at One World Identity:
What does your company do?
One World Identity (OWI) is an independent identity research and strategy company focused on cybersecurity, digital commerce, and risk management. As the world shifts from physical to digital, new identity solutions are needed. The research company helps businesses, investors, and governments stay ahead of market trends so they can build sustainable, forward-looking identity-enabled products and strategies. Through our events, such as the KNOW Identity Conference, we build community and facilitate dialogue regarding digital identity. Our vision is to enable digital change by facilitating shared language, promoting cross-sector collaboration, and connecting experts and consumers alike to resources.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the founder and CEO of One World Identity ('OWI'), an independent research and strategy firm focused on identity, cybersecurity, and risk management. I love this role because I get to lead a team of brilliant people and regularly solve extremely challenging business problems for our own company, as well as for our clients. In addition, I get to spend every day working in a nascent industry that is growing rapidly and directly impacts every person, company, and thing in the world.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Growing pains can be felt everywhere — from how and who we hire, to how much or how little time to spend documenting process and procedure. Activities that are considered "business as usual" in established companies, like the ones most of our team came from, are put into question and scrutinized to the Nth degree. The reason for this is the cost associated with doing too much or too little — both in actual dollars and emotional bandwidth. Continually performing make vs. buy and risk vs. reward decisions for activities that require more than a couple of hours of work can and will have a significant impact on the business, both today and in the future.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I am no outlier when it comes to kids growing up in middle-class America, feeling like there would be no chance for me to do something special. This mindset held me back, both personally and professionally, until I started to listen to my parents and mentors when they said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” Being successful in business starts with being successful mentally. You have to trust yourself and believe that when you embark on a crazy journey, you will find a way to make it work. If I could go back in time and give myself advice, it would be to listen to the naysayers — they will motivate you. And listen to your loved ones and mentors — they will provide you with strength, and find the right place. Because, if you do, the right time will eventually happen.