You need a lot of internal resilience in your thought. I’m going to keep going until I make it.
Shuey Shujab is the Founder and CEO of Whitehat Agency, a Sydney-based, full-service digital marketing agency. Whitehat creates elegant websites, develops innovative brands, and designs intricate digital strategies. They also specialize in online marketing, including SEO, PPC, Google Ads, social media ads and web design. Founded by Shujab in 2013, the award-winning agency focuses on authenticity and transparency to ensure that they are always valuable to your business.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Shujab discusses building a digital marketing agency that focuses on holistic e-commerce and measurable results.
Holistic E-Commerce (2:42)
Our approach is an omnichannel approach specializing in ROI-focused results.
Considering the 180-degree turn to online shopping during the pandemic, building and launching a holistic e-commerce strategy is vital—and an omnichannel approach is key. While many brands focus on one part of the e-commerce strategy, like SEO or Google Ads, it’s just as important to understand how customers shop. Customer journeys can’t be siloed into shopping via one channel.
The current e-commerce journey starts and ends in many different places. Customers want the ability to pick up where they left off, on any device. Being ROI focused helps Whitehat’s clients develop UX and UI as part of their approach to holistic e-commerce. Omnichannel is required for brands to have a thriving e-commerce presence.
Journey of an Entrepreneur (5:30)
When you’re a child you look back and realize that these were the formidable years, that skill sets like leadership and salesmanship were being formed.
Entrepreneurship is generally defined as “the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources currently controlled.” Entrepreneurs are able to identify opportunities to provide the marketplace what they need. While there are no set characteristics that define every entrepreneur, there are a few that every entrepreneur needs to develop and refine in order to succeed. Those include curiosity, adaptability, vision, risk tolerance, collaboration, resilience, innovation and persistence.
At a young age, Shujab recalls having many of these skills in a small venture he created: scrap metal collection. When he was a kid, he and his friends collected scrap metal. Shujab would sell it and keep half of the proceeds for himself and use the other half to buy candy. He would give this candy away to his friends.
“They were happy because they were getting free candy and I was getting 50% off the revenue,” says Shujab. While many entrepreneurs can point to times in their lives where they have created a venture using some of the skills listed above, many have learned they must strengthen lesser used skills to create and build a viable business.
What’s the Why? (6:40)
To start a business and to believe it will be successful you need a lot of internal resilience.
Leaders will always face challenges and how they respond can make or break a company. Research shows that those who lead with resilience don’t just survive, but thrive in the face of change and uncertainty. “Resilience is the capacity to not only endure great challenges, but get stronger in the midst of them,” says Harvard Business School Professor Nancy Koehn. To Shujab, pure grit is what keeps him going. His mantra? “I’m just going to keep going after this until I make it.” He says that he is only able to be resilient because he has a big enough “why;” in other words, “Why am I doing this?”
According to Simon Sinek, bestselling author and inspirational speaker, “The why is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us.” Sinek is famous for saying people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. When a brand sells something, it is a means to an end to achieving something greater. People buy because they want the end benefit. Understanding why people want something enables brands to communicate more effectively, showing an understanding of their problems to recommend better solutions. Connecting a deep belief in providing a why that the marketplace needs with resilience is a recipe for success.
Who’s Got Talent? (8:08)
I see a lot of opportunities for companies in talent acquisition.
The HR industry underwent a tremendous change in 2020 due to Covid-19. This change will have a lasting impact on the way people work and the way companies think about their people. One thing that became the norm is remote working and the use of technology to connect to work. According to Pew Research, 65% of U.S. teleworkers found video conferencing and instant messaging platforms as a good substitute for in-person contact.
Shujab feels businesses should take advantage of this opportunity to broaden access to a larger talent pool, a global one. “This might help getting access to regions that you never had access to previously or didn’t think you could access,” says Shujab. “I think there are huge opportunities in talent and the people who you can hire to work with you.”
Listening to Now (10:51)
He’s this computer scientist from the U.S. who interviews some of the smartest people.
Lex Fridman is an AI researcher at MIT who had a podcast interviewing some of our time’s greatest minds. The podcast conversations focus on science, technology, history, philosophy and the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power. Guests have included Elon Musk, Dan Carlin, Joe Rogan, Eric Weinstein, and hundreds more. With a 4.9/5 rating by over 5.5K reviewers on Apple, it is a popular and well respected podcast.
For more information on Whitehat Agency, check out their website and follow them on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter at @Whitehat_Agency. To stay up to date with Shujab, follow him on LinkedIn.
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