Business advice with Stephen Garden, who took technology consulting firm Onica to nine-figure revenues in six years


Nowadays, it seems that more and more people are opting for the entrepreneurial route. Whether it’s due to the proliferation of remote working due to the pandemic, or the fact that social media platforms have made starting new businesses more accessible, the rise of secondary turmoil and startups is clear. While there are many benefits to being your own boss, the journey to a successful business is not a walk in the park – about 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. United. It takes more than a good idea to make it happen, which is why we caught up with Stephen Garden, the founder of Onica, a leader in cloud native services, to find out how he went from a startup to being part of a business. public. business venture in six years, and what lessons he learned along the way.

Investor Telegraph: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?

Etienne’s Garden: Yes, I was very inspired to see my father set up his business. I liked the idea of ​​creating something from scratch, taking on the market and testing yourself to see how successful you could be in the business.

THIS: How was the start of your career, before launching Onica?

Garden: My career started in a big company, I felt that a graduate development program in the technology services space would give me good exposure to different fields of activity. The first 2 years of my career went very quickly and I was able to take on a lot of responsibilities and gain effective entrepreneurial control over a $ 10 million a year client account which simulated many issues that I had faced when running my own business later in my career. .

THIS: What inspired you to launch Onica? What was the catalyst?

Garden: The inspiration was partly driven by a big change in technology and partly by personal motivation. In the macro context, I could clearly see that cloud computing was going to change the way businesses around the world used technology. I felt that this backdrop would give me the perfect tailwind to start a consulting business and ease my entrepreneurial itch.

THIS: What business advice would you give your young self?

Garden: Start taking risks sooner, think longer term, and never stop performing.

THIS: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your time at Onica?

Garden: You can’t run a business on the basis of metrics alone, you have to hone your intuition, spot problems ahead of time, test common sense, and keep everything simple and practical.

THIS: What words of wisdom do you have about work-life balance for other entrepreneurs?

Garden: Preparing for the worst while hoping for the best is a good strategy, but it takes a heavy mental toll: moving from crisis aversion to crisis aversion. Don’t carry too much on your shoulders, be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

THIS: Since leaving your role as Senior Vice President at Rackspace (after acquiring Onica), what are you focusing on personally? And professionally?

Garden: Being a whole person, I have basically neglected every other area of ​​my life outside of my career and business. I had a lot of recovery to do with my health and wellness, friends and family, so I focused on that by taking a full year off. It was the best decision I have ever made.

THIS: You mentioned that in the future you want to invest more in other businesses, what types of businesses are you interested in and why?

Garden: I have experienced many common challenges in scaling professional services and technology consulting firms. space out.

THIS: Do you think you will start or run another business yourself?

Garden: 100% think I have another company or two in me, just waiting for a few stars to line up before I head back into the deep end!

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