No man’s story epitomizes the mind of an entrepreneur other than Khalid Mahmood’s passion to overcome a rare muscular disease to enter the entrepreneurial world. Twenty-five years ago, doctors diagnosed Khalid with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a muscle wasting disease that resulted in doctors projecting that in 10 years’ time he may lose all his muscle related functions. Now, that is enough reason for anyone to quit any active duty and resign to fate, but a Pakistan born Khalid did not accept this eventuality. He enrolled onto a degree course determined that disability would not obstruct his path to progress. In 2010, he launched TradeDirectory.com, a B2B website enabling businesses across the world to exchange goods and services in a quick and efficient way.
They say an entrepreneur is someone with a spirit that never dies; it’s all about learning from past failures and applying the lessons learned to create new opportunities. Every challenge is welcomed and viewed as an opportunity, as one famous entrepreneur puts it very aptly “every problem in a society is an opportunity for business”. That epiphany hit Khalid. Thus he embarked on a journey to build TradeDirectory.com. The company is now 2 years into its life cycle and the number of businesses registering on a daily basis is soaring. As a growing global business, TradeDirectory.com now employs staff in Australia, Pakistan, India, China and UK.
The risks, the loss, the agony, the anticipation are all part of being an entrepreneur. No business person worth his success will tell you it all came easy. There are moments of despair in which each person second-guesses the viability of a venture. At times, there aren’t enough reasons to continue, but the spirit of an evangelist not giving up of his congregation befalls entrepreneurs and they keep on with their enterprises. It is commonly stated that, “do what you like and you’ll never work for a single day”. The same would apply to entrepreneurship. If you do what is closest to your heart then no matter what the prevailing economic circumstances may be, you will never bid a venture goodbye. Don’t get it all wrong, there comes a time when a business is no longer profitable and there is need to shut it down, but on the flip side successful people didn’t despair at the slightest upheaval in their business, they persisted and eventually prevailed.
In anything you do, don’t despair, and keep motivated, as the famous late America rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur puts it, “if you can make it through the night, there is a brighter day and everything will be okay”. So keep your entrepreneurial spirit alight.