Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Nitesh Bhatie
7 Questions with Nitesh Bhatie
Name: Nitesh Bhatie
Current title: Founder
Current organisation: AdBlare
Nitesh is a computer science engineer and digital marketer with over 5 years experience in the field. He is the founder of AdBlare,
an internet marketing agency focused on building brands through organic traffic.
He is working as a remote digital marketing consultant around the globe, with experience in SEO, UX, and multi-channel marketing.
He has been growing companies using omni channel strategies to maximize growth. His consulting services will help your brand leverage digital content and promote it to all corners of the web.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Owning your own business is in itself a big challenge, everyday is like a hustle. Managing your aspiring team, dealing with clients’ expectations and most importantly leading up from the front even when you are not feeling like.
For me personally understanding economics was a great challenge. A lot of business sounds great in theory but they don’t align on paper because the business owners did not do the due diligence ahead of time to figure out if the economics i.e. the money in versus the money out, profit at the end will work at the end.
I've seen many businesses crumble because of that. I believe one should start with understanding what your business is and what is not.
So, from the agency point of view what the business is not, is not something that is going to make you a multi-millionaire. You, the business owner , might gross tens or hundreds of millions of dollars but you as the owner will probably not become a multi-millionaire off of it just based on the economics of running a sound agency.
What an agency is great for is a steady cash flow, it's getting a good paycheck. Something that you can baseline and project throughout the future it's a great cash flow business
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I never thought to become a leader and I believe that your destiny chooses a path for you. In my case I was left with the only option i.e. to be your own boss. I wanted to help small businesses as they are constrained by their in-house knowledge. After all, a small team can’t be expected to be masters in everything.
I saw this lingering issue and turned it into the opportunity and built my branding specifically on being transparent, honest, and emphasizing hard data over subjective claims. I helped them to grow their websites' organic traffic so I decided to start my own agency.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I like to start my day the night before, and I do that by writing down everything that needs to be done the next day in my journal. It helps me wake up the next day knowing what I need to do.
When I go to sleep, I always try and get at least eight hours of sleep. My alarm goes off at six thirty. The first thing I do is to get up and make sure I don't hit snooze and this is really important. Let my feet hit the floor, brush my teeth, hustle with morning chores. Just start moving a little bit and wake up for me after that.
I always make myself a glass of water, cut up a little slice of lemon, squeeze it in there and start to alkalis my system. After that I do a really quick ten minute yoga flow, it helps to get the blood flowing, helps to loosen up my body again.
I just go throughout the normal flow of my day. I work on those things that I’ve written the night before. I go through messages, my emails, start checking slack and then just go throughout my workday.
My work ends at 5 and I jump for a 1 hour session of workout every day, followed by dinner and before going to bed I prefer reading a book or having some good conversation with family or friends.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most important leadership lesson that I’ve learnt in lockdown is the importance of Self-awareness in building yourself as a leader.
It’s not a finite attribute but an ongoing process. I’ve learnt that feelings can affect our performance, the extent to which we recognize our own strengths and weaknesses.
There must be clarity in your perspective of what you want to do and what you need to do. This kind of clarity can only come when your vision is clear about yourself. Also, you need to be critical and honest with yourself about what you can do and what can’t.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth
This book has helped me to connect with my deepest and most important values that define who I am and what I want to be as a person. It is filled with probing questions and exercises that helped me think about and focus on my strengths and the areas where my life is currently in alignment with the vision I have for my ideal future.
It helps you to build a resonant relationship with people around you that may be your family, team member or a client .The most effective way to invoke mindfulness is to ask people about their core values. You can invoke hope to the people by discussing a person’s dreams. This helps you as a person and as a leader as well.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Leadership capabilities are very important, however, it's the capacity to be able to take leaders to the next level at impact. That's what I focus on, the ability to create capacity for leadership action.
A leadership proposition I use is made up of three key areas: notice, decide and act.
Firstly, noticing that the need for leadership is required.
Secondly, making a decision. Who is the person to best act on that? Is it me or is it somebody else.
And thirdly, it's about having the courage to take the action, to step up in the moment and provide the leadership that's required.
One of the strongest points about the leadership proposition is that it empowers anyone to step up and be a leader because this is what we have the opportunity to do at any time. If it's not needed, we don't need a leader.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
It's been only 2 years since I started my own agency, I may not have great stories to share with you. But I’d like to share one with all of you. This is about getting my first overseas client. I was a bit nervous as they were reputed organisations, it was not because I was not confident about my technical skills or subject knowledge but I was appointed to directly deal with the managing director of their company and I wasn’t sure how this was going to be.
I took a deep breath with a sense of belief and told myself that I can do it, I started my agency for this day. This is the opportunity, let's grab it.
When the meeting finally started at 2 am, it went smooth and he was impressed by my presentation and finally they handed me the project. So, the deal was closed and they were happy with my results as well.