Entrepreneur: Divyanshu Damani
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 68
Entrepreneur, motivational speaker, host, vlogger & influencer- Divyanshu Damani has many adjectives to his credit. The story of Oprah Winfrey inspired him to become a talk show host. Because they both had one common factor- the ability to connect with people.
Divyanshu started his own Youtube channel a year and a half ago and churned out refreshing content.The massive fan following on social media soon made him the talk of the town!
Now he hosts The Divyanshu Damani show on Youtube, a chit-chat with eminent entrepreneurs and influencers. He does not confine his interests to a particular field. He speaks about business, movies, places and even throws a light into the pressing social issues of our times.
Divyanshu speaks in length about his journey from a social media user to an influencer, and discusses the new avenues of influencer marketing.
1) How did you get your idea for hosting a talk show?
Interestingly, I was reading this book called the Super Star Syndrome by Mr. Sanjay Jha and Dr. Myra S. White and there I read the story of Oprah Winfrey and how she moved on from journalism.
At the age of 32, she got her first show where she worked on her biggest strength to connect with people coming to her show.
This strength of hers allowed her to really bring out the best in people and that really inspired me and gave me insight into something I could do on similar lines so a direct influence of me starting a talk show itself is Oprah Winfrey.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
I think its not been a better time for this particular idea to exist because the way people are engaging on social media on different platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and the amount of content consumption that’s happening all across, its just mind boggling and one who is not into the market then you are losing out big time.
Second thing that I would like to add is that influencer marketing in itself its the most effective way of marketing for brands per se because all these influencer’s that have grown or mushroomed throughout the past 4-5 years.
So, all of these influencers, people , their audience take them to be their friends, brothers or sisters, someone that you could go for advice. If say a friend recommends some place to go, you would definitely try that , because its a ‘friend’s’ recommendation.
Similarly, as an influencer I recommend using a particular application or reading a book, people take it very seriously because its a friend recommending it to them so thats why ‘ now’ is the best time to exist and it works really well for brands and the influencer’s mushrooming all across.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur-speaker?
I have not faced a lot of conflict there, I have got an absolute support with my family. I was able to negotiate terms with them like a true entrepreneur that if I was not able to create something sustainable till a particular age then I’ll probably shift to a more secure and safer route. I have done that negotiating right, so lets see how that plays for me.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
My biggest mistake in business was when I was holding my first independent live show Ekstasis. I really overestimated and I was absolutely over confident that I would be able to roll out tickets really fast and my calculations were really off the mark.
It was the first time where I got a slap on my cheek when I was told that life was much more tougher and when you were going to ask someone for money, you would have to provide much more. Especially since my product was something that not been rolled out ever entirely in the world and no one knew what exactly they were paying for, that really gave me insight that your calculations and the kind of response one is expecting might not be the same.
The learning from it is that the market and the customer is your King and you never know them in and out. You need to work really hard to actually know what your customer wants.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Multiple things could be taken as obstacles like competition from other influencers, to get brands to pay me or to get the attention of the audience. But ,I believe the biggest obstacle that I could ever consider in the next twelve months would be me myself, because an as individual if I am able to live up to my 100% potential then I can do wonders .
The real problem with me is that I get back to the drawing room real fast! If things are not happening according to my plan and a lot of people remind me to trust the process and everything will fall in place.
So, I think personally I just need to trust the process, put in the work and not over think it and if I’m able to overcome that mindset that I have had, then I think I’ll win the game!
6) What habits contribute to your success?
One of the biggest habits that contribute to my success is definitely leading life with a positive mindset and maintaining a positive outlook in each and everything around me. It has in return acted as the biggest support system.
There’s been a way I have been maintaining that which is through the kind of people that I surround myself with through the content I consume, through self exploration and this particular image of the pale blue dot, which is the farthest image of the Earth taken from a satellite.
So, when you look at things from that perspective you see the Earth as a tiny spec of dust. Looking at earth so small and so insignificant from that distance makes me realise that I’m even more insignificant. Then, why would I think negatively about anything or for anyone? That in itself allows me to stay on the right path. This, I feel is the best habit that I have and something I would like to share with all of you.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
What I would definitely do differently is I would get things into process really quickly because I was quite late in doing that so if you get things work in a process and things start to happen according to that, then everything falls into place and you know exactly where you are and where you are going!
8) What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Lehro se darr kar nauka paar nahi hoti… koshish karne walon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti!
9) Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in Stories. I am the kind of a person who would like to look at a person, who is standing at a distance and try to gauge what kind of story that person might have and most of the time i get inspired by it. So, you could say that I’m kind of a sucker for stories and I think that is my source for inspiration.
10) What is your favorite book?
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
The advice would be: Don’t spend a lot of energy on fine tuning your product. Go to the market and learn fast from it. Ask the market on how you could improve the product and then make it a constant improvement process in itself.
Don’t fine tune in the beginning, because then your launch date just gets extended to a really long period of time and that works out really bad for you! So, if your starting out now, then Start Now! Launch now! Do that now!
It takes great insight to think ahead and anticipate the trend. Divyanshu successfully unlocked an opportunity in the new vertical opened by social media, which was influencer marketing.
But it wasn’t easy. The crux of influencer marketing lies in the quality and freshness of the content.
His story is indeed an eye-opener for the majority of us who think social media is all about snappy selfies and crazy hashtags!