Connie and Daniel Photography
SECRETS OF CANADA’S DIGITAL MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR
By Sherry Le Richie
Canadian Entrepreneur and Businessman, Zakir I. Hussein went from recycling waste oils for renewable energy to spearheading one of Western Canada’s fastest growing technology companies. As the Chief Executive Officer of ENERKNIGHT Media, Zakir leads his team as a powerhouse in social media curation and advertising strategy, web and mobile development, influencer in marketing and B2B software development.
He tells us how he made his entrepreneurship dream a reality.
Use local knowledge
When Zakir I. Hussein first glanced at the digital marketing space in Canada, including Influencer Marketing aimed at brands, he noticed that it didn’t represent the local culture and population.
“With our influencer marketing division, I thought that there was a great market in Canada for niche services and products that can be utilized and produced with local content creators, that feature everyday heroes, people who are being considered as admirable in their communities,” he says. “We wanted to produce content that had ENERKNIGHT’s midas touch.”
He says it helps if you’re genuinely excited by the business you are trying to create (rather than just driven by the prospect of making money). This passion will give you the motivation to survive through the tough times, says Zakir.
“If you don’t have passion you don’t have determination,” he adds. “We had to not only believe in ourselves, but to create things that other people would believe in to be able to push through all the barriers, even when the dream wasn’t that clear for us.”
The entrepreneur stresses that for a project to succeed, you need to have a supportive team who believes in it just as much you do:
“To make that leap from passion to portfolio you must be surrounded by people who are as passionate as you are, who are also buying into the same vision that you have,” he says, because even though you may disagree at times on the tactics, the strategy will always align to the same vision.”
Have faith in yourself
“Being creative is a very big risk, but I think if you have a talented team that can produce really amazing stuff, the market is not just local, it’s national,” he adds.
Zakir and Calgary Mayor Nenshi
Know where you’re going
Zakir says it’s crucial to keep your goal in sight when going gets tough and numerous challenges obstruct your way:
“Your conditions may change, the circumstances may vary but you always have to have that ultimate goal before you,” he says. If things do go awry, don’t waste time lamenting over it: “The one mistake you can’t make is to beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned,” he says.
“I think that sometimes having setbacks really helps you to be in focus and to align with what’s really important. I’ve learned so much by just learning to keep going.”
By Sherry Le Richie