1 – Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Joe Stallion, and I’m the co-founder of Solvi Solutions, a business focused on designing and improving the customer journeys of SMEs across the UK. On a personal note, I enjoy pushing my body to the limits with triathlon, and I am looking to complete my first Ironman in Florida next year. While not swimming, biking, running and working, I am spending time with friends and family.
2 – How and when did you get started?
At the age of 15, I started my first business, ‘Strings&Things’. I re-strung tennis rackets in my parent’s garage; not the most glamorous of beginnings! After 3-years, I shut up shop and started a Business and Entrepreneurship degree in Bristol. While studying, I founded Solvi Solutions with my business partner and now best friend, Andreas Philippou. Solvi evolved from month to month as we pivoted in line with the wants and needs of the market. Over the last year, I have been working on various programs to support start-ups found by young entrepreneurs.
3 – What has been your most satisfying moment so far?
I feel like my answer should reference working from a beach or meeting with big clients. But that wouldn’t be true. My most satisfying moment so far in business was sitting with Andreas in my small university studio flat, realising we could employ ourselves after university. After hours and hours invested, we finally achieved a goal that we had established from the very beginning. It was exciting, satisfying and daunting, all wrapped up into one.
4 – What motivates/drives you?
I have always broken down my motivations into three key areas: Flexibility, Financial and Value.
Over recent years, I have started to value flexibility more and more; the ability to work from anywhere is incredibly empowering. Secondly, the financial gain associated with running a business has always been a motivator, right from when I strung my first tennis racket for £20. Finally, I am truly driven by giving back to those around me, whether it’s giving advice on their customer journey or coaching them through a client issue – I always intend to make time for it. That said, there have been moments where these motivations seemed so far away; during those times, I always told myself I just needed to borrow motivation from the future.
5 – What advice would you give yourself at the start of your career?
The single most important factor contributing to my success so far is the diversity and depth of my network.
Building a network of individuals more skilled and qualified than yourself is a fantastic way to develop personally and professionally. Looking back, I would have encouraged my younger self to visit more networking events and start more conversations; It feels daunting at first, but soon it could become your biggest asset. The next job is to absorb the knowledge, information and experiences of those around you!
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