Michael Coleek-Johnson on The Art of Monetizing What You Love
Michael Coleek-Johnson is Co-Founder of Embedwiz and is an inspirational business leader who has learned how to monetize doing what they love. They took some time out to share their insights with Rob Barratt, Co-Founder of The Industry Leaders.
Can you begin by telling our audience a little about yourself, your business, and what led you to pursue your particular passion as a profession?
I'm delighted to be here. I'm Michael Coleek-Johnson, a dedicated software engineer with a passion for cutting-edge technology and innovation. I've had the privilege of working in the software development field for over a decade, and it's been an incredible journey.
My journey into software engineering began during my college years when I discovered my fascination with coding and creating software solutions. It was during this time that I decided to turn this passion into a profession, and I've never looked back.
Currently, I'm a software engineer at Embedwiz, a dynamic tech company that specializes in creating embedded systems and IoT solutions. What led me to pursue this particular passion as a profession was the limitless potential of software to shape the world around us. The ability to write code that can solve real-world problems and enhance people's lives is what continues to drive my enthusiasm for software engineering.
I'm curious to know, what was the defining moment that made you realize that this passion could actually become a business? How did you identify the unique value it could bring to others?
The defining moment when I recognized my passion could evolve into a business was during a challenging project at Embedwiz. We were developing complex software, and I found immense joy in problem-solving and simplifying intricate technical issues. It struck me that this passion for software engineering could be a valuable resource for others dealing with similar challenges.
I identified the unique value in my skills through feedback from colleagues and superiors. They consistently praised my ability to translate complex technical concepts into understandable terms and my knack for finding efficient solutions. This affirmed that my passion not only solved problems but also had the potential to make the lives of fellow engineers and businesses easier. That's when I decided to turn my passion into a service, helping others navigate the complexities of software development with clarity and efficiency.
Every entrepreneur faces obstacles, especially when turning a passion into a business. Can you share some of the initial challenges you encountered and how you overcame them?
Certainly, embarking on the journey of turning my passion for software engineering into a business came with its set of challenges. Some of the initial hurdles I faced included:
1)Establishing Credibility: As a newcomer in the consulting world, establishing credibility was vital. To overcome this, I focused on showcasing my expertise through personal projects, open-source contributions, and creating a strong online presence. Sharing my knowledge on platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow helped build trust.
2)Balancing Workload: Initially, managing client work alongside a full-time job was demanding. I addressed this by meticulously planning my schedule, setting clear boundaries, and gradually transitioning to a full-time consulting role as the business grew.
3)Continuous Learning: The tech industry evolves rapidly, and staying updated is crucial. I allocated time for continuous learning, attending workshops, online courses, and dedicating a portion of my workweek to research and skill enhancement.
Overcoming these challenges required perseverance, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from both successes and setbacks. It's an ongoing journey, but each obstacle I faced ultimately contributed to the growth and success of my software engineering consultancy at Embedwiz.
Monetizing a passion requires a solid business model. Can you walk us through how you developed yours, and the key factors that make it successful?
Developing a successful business model was essential to monetize my passion for software engineering and embedded systems. Here's how we crafted it:
1)We began by identifying a specific niche within software engineering where we had expertise and a genuine passion. This niche focus allowed us to stand out and offer specialized services.
2) Understanding our target audience was crucial. I together with my team conducted market research to identify the industries and businesses that required our specialized skills and services.
3)We defined a clear set of services that catered to our audience's needs. These services were designed to solve specific problems or address pain points within our niche.
Many people worry that monetizing their passion may take the joy out of it. How have you managed to balance the business aspects with staying true to what you love?
Balancing the business aspects with my passion for software engineering has indeed been a crucial journey. I never took my eyes off establishing clear boundaries between work and personal time. While I'm deeply passionate about my work, I make sure to allocate specific hours for business activities and protect my personal time for relaxation and pursuing other interests. I also prioritize passion projects that align with my interests and expertise. These projects allow me to stay connected to what I love and remain enthusiastic about my work.
As your business grew, what strategies did you employ to scale it while maintaining the core values and essence of what made it special in the first place?
To maintain uniqueness, I foster a culture of innovation. We continually explore new technologies, approaches, and solutions within the field of software engineering. This commitment to innovation keeps our work fresh and special.
Encouraging my team to engage with the software engineering community. Sharing knowledge, contributing to open-source projects, and participating in industry events has realy helped us stay connected and relevant till today.
Your journey is truly inspiring. What key insights or pieces of advice would you offer to someone looking to turn their passion into profit?
Thank you for your kind words. For those looking to turn their passion into profit, i will tell you to Start Small! Don't rush! Begin with a small, dedicated customer base and grow from there. Quality and customer satisfaction should be your top priorities. Also, authenticity matters. Stay true to your passion and values. Authenticity resonates with clients and customers, and it's the foundation for long-term success.
Reflecting on your journey so far, what are you most proud of? What future developments or projects are you excited about in your business?
I'm most proud of the community we've built around our passion-driven business. Seeing our clients and customers benefit from what we offer and witnessing their growth and success is incredibly rewarding.
As for the future, I'm excited about expanding our services to reach an even wider audience. We're working on new projects that will provide more value to our clients while staying true to our core mission and values. Additionally, we're exploring opportunities to give back to the community and support causes that align with our passion. It's an exciting time, and I can't wait to see where our journey takes us next.