It was Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who once said that “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” These profound words best describe the attitude and character of disruptors, and more importantly re-echo the fact that disruptors do not only revolutionise their industries, but also change consumer attitudes, affect economies, and transform people's lives in significant ways.
One name that comes to our mind is the dexterous and elegant Demee Koch, founder of the health and beauty company, DE MOI by Demee Koch. Raised in a small town in Cebu, she has walked up the ladder of life and has established herself as a true inspiration for young people across the globe. Demee's Swiss-based company DE MOI is a conscious beauty haven that tackles the fundamental problems of the beauty industry with cutting-edge, innovative, and ecologically friendly, organic products.
Her disruptive approach to beauty has earned her a place in the industry, with her far-reaching impact helping people understand the true meaning of beauty that starts from within. As a disruptor, Demee says there are a number of factors that have helped her grow over the years and maintain distinction and relevance. The five tips she shared will certainly be valuable to anyone looking to excel as an entrepreneur.
Know Your Journey
Demee says this is one of the most important steps anyone must take. "It begins with knowing where you're going in the first place. You have to decide that this is what you want to do and be convinced about it. When I see people churning out recycled results over and over, or feeling frustrated about their work or career, I usually can tell that such a person has not followed their passion." Demee says that when you truly know your journey, making money will be the last thing on your mind, because everyone's calling is tied to impact.
Sometimes, she says, this journey could be triggered by a loss, a gap you notice, or a problem that needs solving.
Flesh Out the Why and How
Although Demee Koch always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur- and loved the beauty industry- she waited until she discovered the gap that was to be filled before she set up a brand. "I worked with so many brands who're doing some good things, but I always felt in my heart that there was something missing; that beauty must be about solving people's problems and making them feel good, based on their peculiar needs. More importantly, I knew it was important to champion a cause for sustainability and ethical operations through my business", she says.
It is important to find the problem that needs a solution or other practical and innovative ways to solve a problem that others have attempted to solve in the past.
Dare to be Different!
It is certainly okay to be different. In fact, today's world demands it, because that's what disruption entails. "I like the words of Jason Hairston who said, being considered crazy by those who are still heavily culturally conditioned is a compliment. That's how I've learned to live my life. People have said I couldn't do it, and that I wasn't going to amount to anything, but I chose to think outside the box and do something that everyone is doing, but differently- that's what makes the difference," she says.
Motivation is an essential key to success. It is the propelling agent that keeps a person going, despite challenges. "I have always been driven and committed to growth, even when I could clearly see the prejudices and bias against young people, especially women. I worked really hard, got my degree, and then an MBA in International Marketing at the Swiss Business School in Zurich. I always strived to stay focused on my path," she adds. As they say, life will throw lemons at you, you can either cringe and give up or make lemonades. Disruptors do not quit.
Invent, re-invent, and reinvent again
Being a disruptor is about looking for new solutions at all times, says Demee. "You cannot claim to be a disruptor and want to use yesterday's methods to address today's problems. Since I started my company, I knew there are no shortcuts to create a sustainable brand. I decided to not go for something that’s easily available at a cheaper cost. Instead I always led my team with a belief of creating something long-lasting, sustainable and ethical - even if it means I have to bear some extra cost for it.” The world is a complex place that evolves with every passing second, and those who would stay relevant are those who continue to challenge the status quo and seek out new innovations, she notes.