Meraki interviewed a series of young entrepreneurs about their journey and how they run their business ‘Meraki style’: with soul, creativity and love.
First in row is tech entrepreneur Jordan Lawrence
‘To me life is about following your passions, if something is exciting and makes you happy do it, if something bores you stop doing it. Passion and excitement is in us all for a reason and it is this feeling that I think you should follow as a guide.’
Tell me about your career!
I have been working since I was 15 years old and was involved at a high level various watersports including Kitesurfing, Windsurfing & Surfing since a young age. In 2001 at age 21 I opened a Watersports Centre & shop on the South Coast of the UK. ECommerce was in its infancy and we had the largest online surf shop in Europe, built in house with only one Payment Service Provider. Back then it seemed Fin Tech was an industry that would blossom so when I moved to The Netherlands in 2006, I decided to get into recruitment with a view of developing my own business in the FinTech niche to service the community globally. I now have an office for the Payments & Cards Network in Atlanta, Amsterdam & Singapore. In 2015 I also started Digital Source which is now the leading recruitment company for Data Science & AI. Off the back of Digital Source we started Zource.co which is an AI/ Machine learning platform for recruitment which started as an experiment to disrupt my own businesses and has quickly turned into a valuable tool for the global recruitment industry. These companies are grouped under the PCN Capital Banner and I play the role of CEO.
What are your main drivers in work?
Seeing other people realise their ambitions career wise and money wise is a huge driver for me, I really like developing new products and finding new ways to use technology to enhance our businesses.
What did you have to overcome in order to become a successful entrepreneur? How did you do this?
Starting your own business is a thankless task which never stops, finding time for anything outside of work is quite a challenge so I am very thankful that I love what I do. Support at home from an understanding partner has been key. People will often tell you to stop working or that you are working on too many projects but I find it best to ignore them and work to your own capacity. If that’s more or less than anyone else’s capability, it really doesn’t matter.
How do you cope with hurdles?
I read a lot of business-related books, maybe 3 or 4 at a time and listen to a lot of podcasts while traveling to work or at the gym. These are a great source of inspiration and if something has not gone to plan there are always lessons to be learned from the mistakes you make or from the books you read.
You have different teams. What are the main challenges you’re facing as an entrepreneur guiding your team members?
Different teams from many different cultures and countries are always challenging when it comes to building a culture at work. Finding key people who can lead from the front has been my biggest challenge. As a team we have relentlessly focused on seeking out what makes people thrive in their job, celebrating and nurturing these key activities as well as learning what inhibits their ability to thrive so right now I think we have the best people in the best place throughout the group.
What’s your biggest business dream?
To add value to the planet one day through a non-profit/ charity that focuses on rebuilding endangered species populations. We hold many events and meetups in our sectors and support charities such as Free a Girl in The Netherlands but there is always more that can be done.
According to you, what’s life really about?
To me, life is about following your passions, if something is exciting and makes you happy do it, if something bores you stop doing it. Passion and excitement is in us all for a reason and it is this feeling that I think you should follow as a guide.
Do you feel at peace?
I feel at peace mostly but sometimes I cram too much into my days and come home exhausted, I am working on this through daily meditation and exercise which I have introduced through the companies. I think being at peace at home and at work is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What’s your biggest personal success?
I love to Surf & Kitesurf and I am very thankful that I have reached a high level and can maintain that fitting these sports around my working life.
What’s your biggest dream in personal life?
I would like to move to Hawaii for a few years, these Islands are magical and have always been special to me. To live in Hawaii with my family for a few years is a dream I hope to realise in the coming decade.
What’s your advice for other young entrepreneurs?
Work HARD, avoid distractions, read as many books as you can (start with a speed reading book) and do not give up. They say you are an average of the 5 people you hang out with the most, take a look at these people, if they are not where you want to be, step out of your comfort zone and move into a circle of friends which contains like-minded individuals who are serious about realising their dreams
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