“Don’t let the school come in the way of education.” – Haris Aboobacker founder, Haris & Co
We have heard many stories of great success and almost insanely courageous tenacity that has nourished that success. Every time we think of great and successful people, we are overcome by admiration for them, but what’s the thing that has led them to their success? Failure can be brutal if not used as a stepping stone towards success. Whether it’s the famous story of Thomas Edison or the struggles and setbacks faced by Steve Jobs, all these great personalities had refused to let failure dampen their spirits and today the world looks up to their lives for getting past their own setbacks.
Today Startup Story Media is bringing to you a similar story where relentless failure was met by indomitable determination. Haris Aboobacker, the founder of ‘Haris & Co’, has always been creative even as a child but success didn’t come easy for him. He had to face several setbacks before he tasted success but he always learned and grew. So let’s know more about his journey.
The rough beginning
“If you want to be a continuous learner, you should learn what excites you.” – Haris Aboobacker.
Haris started his journey in class 11th with experience in network marketing. After working here and there for a year, he decided that one day he wanted to do something of his own. His first real experience as an entrepreneur was publishing a print magazine of his own. The magazine, though, didn’t work out and he ran into debt instead.
“I would strongly suggest, don’t ever use a credit card. Take bank loans if needed, but never use a credit card,” Haris said to Startup Story Media about having gone in debts.
After this, he kept going from one business to another and before finally starting Haris & Co, he had already tried 16 different ventures, all of which ended up in failure and increasing debt.
As a result of his repeated failures, he went into depression for a brief period of time and quit everything for a while. Soon, he started building his own brand on Instagram through regular posts about the information he would get from researching. Although he was consistent with his Instagram posts, they were not benefiting him yet. But everything changed for Haris after he attended a webinar.
The four magic mantras of success
“Develop your knowledge because it never goes anywhere.” – Haris Aboobacker
It was during March when he attended a webinar and met his mentor with whom he talked on length about his repeated failures and disappointments. Haris says that his mentor gave him four mantras which literally changed his life completely.
Haris shares those four mantras:
1) Complete focus – Haris says, “I was doing ten different things at one time. I was losing focus by giving my ten per cent to ten different things.” He soon quit all other things that he had been doing and started completely focusing on his work alone, giving it his all.
2) People fail, system succeeds – “Research and learn how a system works and work according to the system.” Haris stopped his random experiments with different businesses and gone through a self learning period to understand the system. Invested money and time focusing on creating the system.
3) Go niche, go right – Haris started specialising in one thing; instead of digital marketing, he chose the niche of Instagram marketing.
4) Don’t be cheap – When we buy free stuff, we don’t use it well; paying for different services makes us pay more attention to them.
Community, Consultation, Coaching
“If you chase money, you will keep chasing money. If you serve people, the money will come to you.” – Haris Aboobacker
When asked how their services are different from that of others, Haris told Startup Story Media that they work on the trial and result basis and proceed through two levels.
On level 1, the fee they charge is very less and allows their clients to see successful results in less investment. After this, they proceed to level 2 in which the prices are high. Since the client has already seen effective results, they often have a choice to carry on or quit. This gives clients a chance to test and see if they want more services or not, without having to pay a lot at once. “The ‘Co’ in Haris & Co stands for three things – Community, Consultation and Coaching,” says Haris.
A way to serve and guide
“We shouldn’t take risks, we should take calculated risks.” – Haris Aboobacker
Haris doesn’t consider his entrepreneurship a money-oriented engagement but rather as a way to serve and guide others. His idea can be seen taking shape in what he calls ‘Small Business Sunday’. Every Sunday, he goes live on zoom calls for half an hour to help small businesses by providing them with free consultation and tips.
He wants to reach out to as many small businesses in Kerala as he can so that they don’t suffer from the lack of a mentor as he did in his time.
Thinking about his time as a young businessman starting out, he wishes he had known many things. Unguided and reckless risks had landed him in trouble many times, something he says was a foolish thing to do.
A message for young entrepreneurs
“If your team is not growing, then the company is not growing.” – Haris Aboobacker
Haris shared with startup story media that leadership skills can be developed only through empathy. “leadership doesn’t mean putting pressure on your employees. Be empathetic and let them talk before you talk. Listen to them. It’s important to be kind to your team.”
Haris says that all that the young entrepreneurs need to succeed is patience and focus. “I would tell them to have patience. If I hadn’t had patience, he wouldn’t have been here. So having patience is very important. People are very impatient these days. Two most important things are focus and patient,” he says.