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GiGuru Tells All: Life Lessons as an Entrepreneur

Have you guys ever heard the term "self-made?" Oftentimes when it comes to entrepreneurship, the term comes to use more often than not. That is because entrepreneurs reach success through the hard work and effort that they put in. GiGuru is a one-woman show, self-made company, founded and operated by Anya Tsirklin. Anya takes us through the lens of a self-made entrepreneur and all the lessons she has learned before, during and three years after the journey began.


self-made

/ˈˌself ˈmād/

  • having become successful or rich by one's own efforts. "a self-made entrepreneur"


Before, During, and After Lessons Learned as an Entrepreneur


Freedom! No set schedule! Freedom! Money, money, money! Freedom! Calling the shots! Can you see a theme here? :)

Perceptions of Entrepreneurship:


Before you became an entrepreneur, what did you think entrepreneurship was like?

Freedom! No set schedule! Freedom! Money, money, money! Freedom! Calling the shots! Can you see a theme here? :)


In all seriousness, I have always been very motivated by freedom, and sitting under fluorescent lights in a "9-5" job was something that I have always been allergic to. I never bought into the whole visibility thing. That's just my experience.


What steps did you take to become an entrepreneur?

I have always wanted to have something of my own, but didn't quite know what it would be. At the end of 2017, I made the decision to leave a job, but didn't have anything lined up. That was the decision that set everything in motion. There was no long term strategy to start working for myself, it just happened and I went with it and have been riding that wave ever since!


Before GiGuru had a name, I was able to leverage my recruitment background in order to get my first client, my ex-employer. Prior to that position, I had spent a generous chunk of time in the staffing and recruitment space, where I have gotten acquainted with a multitude of industries and had developed long-lasting relationships with many clients and candidates. When my ex-employer tapped me on the shoulder to help them find a Sales Leader, I was ready to roll up my sleeves.


My experience with this first role showed me that smaller organizations typically lack a recruitment function, so I was excited to find my niche! I changed the business model that you would see in a standard agency partnership, which leveled the playing field, and facilitated the start of a transparent and quality-driven relationship. I didn’t have a long-term vision at that time, I was just responding to the needs of my environment. That served me well and allowed me to see the bigger picture down the road. I started small but wholeheartedly believed in the value that I was adding. On days that are filled with challenges, I still remind myself of that and have an amazing partner that holds up a mirror and allows me to see the impact that GiGuru is making on these growing organizations.


The freedom from above is a real thing, but you have to be smart with your time, because every minute is an opportunity to build and evolve your business.

Journey To Entrepreneurship:


What's it been like being your own boss?

It has been awesome but also not easy. The exciting thing is that every day is a new opportunity to create something out of nothing. There are no guarantees, there is no paycheck that is promised to you. Something about that really excites me! The freedom from above is a real thing, but you have to be smart with your time, because every minute is an opportunity to build and evolve your business.


How do you like being an entrepreneur?

It’s a roller-coaster but I love it; all jokes aside, there have many peaks and valleys in my journey, and I expect to continue to navigate through those as I continue to grow and evolve my business. Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating and it’s hard not to attach yourself emotionally to the state of your business. The highs can be high, and the lows can be super low, but one thing to keep in mind is that everything is cyclical. Be grateful for the clients that you have, but never take them for granted. Covid was a perfect example of how things can change in a day's time. It takes hard work to spark and keep business partnerships going; you can't get comfortable.


What I've learned from the past 18 months is to be present during the times that are slow, they are not permanent, and they truly make you appreciate the tiny wins that get you back on your feet. Maybe I am nuts, but I love the thrill of not knowing where the next check will come from. It really opens your mind and allows you to see the world and its opportunities from a different angle.


What did you do to establish yourself as an entrepreneur?

I took pride in every single task, big or small, didn't matter. When you're a one-person show, what you do is who you are, and first impressions are a one-time thing. Since the beginning, my pillars have been transparency, consistent communication, humility when I make a mistake and fun! Yes, you read that right. It takes time to build trust and it all starts with how you follow-through on your words and how you make your clients feel. I believe that character is a person's greatest asset, so I try to put that forward in every interaction.


GO FOR IT! I think that everyone should be an entrepreneur for at least a year. You learn so much about yourself in that time. There is nothing like running your own show.

Fast Forward Three Years:


Now that you have been an entrepreneur for three years and counting, how is entrepreneurship different than what you had imagined?

Freedom is still something that drives me very much, but when you build up a pipeline, that time is not as easy to come by, and I'm grateful for that! I'm happy that I can still carve out time for that morning surf. I may be biased, but is truly one of the best ways to start the day! No matter what my schedule looks like, one thing remains constant, and that is the quality of service that I provide to my business partners. That can never waver, because that's the glue. Delivery can come in different shapes and sizes and it means different things to every company, but you can never lose sight of that.


If you could give aspiring entrepreneurs advice, what would you tell them?

JUST GO FOR IT! I think that everyone should be an entrepreneur for at least a year. You learn so much about yourself during that time. There is nothing like running your own show, no matter what it is. You learn so much about every aspect of the business because you can’t hire someone to do it for you. You are forced to learn accounting, marketing, business development, operations, IT, etc. And when you do go for it, the biggest thing that I want to emphasize; be okay with imperfection and that you won’t have it all figured out overnight.

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