How to Start Your Own Business During Quarantine by Madhat Academy

When I first graduated as a Designer, I was terrified of the unknown. I found it frustrating that I had to have experience without being given the chance to get the experience in the first place. I ended up working as an intern and being paid £2.50 an hour in the basement of a vintage business that I used to shop at. Living in London meant I was living off Tesco value food and yellow label ‘oops’ salads for 3 months.

If you can’t get the experience you need, then build your own.

I also knew that I was very passionate about selling my creations and during Uni I started up my own online eCommerce shop selling accessories. Even though my side-hustle had nothing to do with design, it helped land my first job as a Junior Digital Designer at Office Shoes. I didn’t even bring a portfolio or a CV to the interview. The Design Manager saw my genuine interest in my personal projects as well as the fact that my work was in line with what they did as a business and offered me a job above hundreds of other candidates.

I’m not saying everyone should start a side-hustle, but running my own online business was not only fun but also created my own work experience which helped showcase extra skills that made me much more employable than others.

Job hunting during the pandemic has been as bleak as you can get for every level of experience. It has started to feel like the end of the world is coming. Whether you want to increase your chances of being hired or start your own business, the quarantine has given everyone the perfect excuse to shut off from the daily bustle and focus on self-development. 

Now more than ever is the perfect time to start up your own businesses.

Personality traits of an Entrepreneur

This study from Harvard Business School shows that many personality traits are shared between entrepreneurs and students. These include their ability to deal with the unknown, their creative innovation and positive vision of the future as well as a high sense of self-efficiency. 

Being highly creative naturally equips you with the qualities needed to become an entrepreneur, from being multi-disciplinary through using your skills to solve real world problems to working in teams and communicating your ideas to others. 

Those who can convert ideas into viable businesses have a higher belief that they are in control of the events in their life, but are also flexible in how they approach their goals. These are all valuable soft skills that every professional environment also looks for. 

5 tips to help you start-up your own businesses


While my side-hustle got me my first job, building a business is an ongoing journey of discovery. It can be one of the most fulfilling adventures that you embark on in your entire life. It can open up opportunities, connect you to incredible people, and lead you to create something that you’re proud of, but generating profit from it can take months or years depending on your business model. You must love what you do and believe in your vision in order to push through the highs and lows to achieve the success you desire. 

  1. Build your network & community

Starting your own business can be a really isolating experience, but connecting to others in similar positions can open up opportunities and provide a support network that really gets you. Your network will end up being your business family which can help you through issues that your close friends or families may not understand. You are able to ask questions, share lessons, get honest feedback or even just have occasional friendly chats with someone who has been there before. All of this can help propel your business so much faster than if done alone. 

You also can’t sell your product or services without customers and when you start up with a community it makes everything so much easier. You’re able to have access to connect to them in personable ways and build trust, increase your rapport and establish some brand awareness. I highly recommend building up a base before you launch anything so that you can really research and understand how you can solve their authentic pains and struggles. 

  1. Continuously read, learn and sponge information

It’s really important to keep fueling your knowledge, which means reading, listening and learning everyday. Whether it’s in business, in spirituality or psychology. Anything that stirs your creativity will help develop better ideas and better problem solving skills. 

I love podcasts such as Hidden Brain, Courier Live, How I built this and Secret Leaders. These take a dive into the minds of the top start-up founders of modern day businesses. There are also some great self-help books out there, for example 4-Hour Work Week, Thinking Fast and Slow, The Power of Habit and The Power of Now.

  1. Learn digital marketing

Whether it’s social media, copywriting or paid ads, understanding all avenues of marketing and exploring these is vital in getting your business out there into the world. It helps you sell your products or services and without it you don’t have a business. There’s a lot of free information online which can be overwhelming. 

Free eLearning platforms such as coursera and edx.org are really great places to start learning. Linkedin learning and udemy are also great places for affordable courses by industry experts. Also, our new eLearning platform Madhat Academy will launch at the end of this year which will host micro-learning modules catered towards those who want to start up their first businesses.

Instead of overloading yourself with information, I recommend learning as you go along ad-hoc and when you need it rather than sitting and digesting a full course. That way you learn, implement and tweak and really digest your learnings in a productive manner.

  1. Learn how to set up a website

Whether you want to set up your own business or are thinking about it, setting up a website will be the light guiding your way, but can also take up a lot of time. A website builds up your online present, makes you credible and trustworthy and will be the place where potential customers can find and contact you. All your marketing efforts are generally directed back to your website so that you can sell your services whilst you sleep. 

That’s why having a website is an essential must-have for any business. We’re holding free beginner workshops to teach you how to set up a website to get you started on your journeys. 

  1. Start today and keep exploring 

If you have a website then everything you learn can be applied instantly. You are able to trial a new product, test out a new marketing method or even learn how to streamline certain aspects using automation. 

An idea remains an idea if you don’t explore it. That’s why if you’re serious about starting a business then you already have all the qualities and skills necessary to start today. A business idea can develop from the need to solve a problem, and if you don’t have the desire to really solve problems your business will be pointless. The first thing you can do is look at your own core values to know what you believe in. There is a inspiring video by Vishen Lakhiani, Founder of MindValley, where he talks about OKRs which is also a method also adopted by Google. He talks about setting a vision that moves to transform the planet but setting goals that are attainable and realistic.

Honestly, it’s all a learning process. I’m still learning something new everyday  

Which for me is the most fun part; you grow so much! When you implement new findings and it works you feel a buzz of excitement which motivates you to keep going.

Everyone’s business is different based on their own unique set of experiences and knowledge. That’s why it’s up to you to sculpt your own route to success.

Embark on your adventure 

Starting a business is an adventure. Whether you’re still studying, just graduated, or working, it’s something that you can start up with minimal costs if done digitally. Just because you want a career or a job doesn’t mean you should put off your personal projects either. Having your own projects, business or side-hustle will give you the freedom of creativity to explore your skills and your passions while connecting with others, and one day it could turn into something profitable. 

Keep learning, keep crafting and keep doing all the things that you love, because they can be the key to your success.

We are launching Madhat Academy, our new eLearning platform, with an Introduction to Blogging Masterclass. We are also excited to be able to offer readers 20% for the rest of 2020 with the discount code INVOLVED20.

In the meantime we’re also offering free workshops to help you sculpt your own business ideas and set up a website. 

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