In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
My name is Gal Almog and I spent the last 20 years building companies that revolutionized the recruitment industry. I am currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Talenya, which spiders the Web finding all kinds of information about candidates across hundreds of websites like Dice, Linkedin, Github, Stackoverflow, as well as industry articles, press releases and other public sources. The system then creates rich candidate profiles using all that unified data which can then be matched with jobs.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
For me, entrepreneurship is a way of living. I have built companies throughout my adult life. It is a hard and stressful job but the gains are exhilarating. I believe that if you are stubbornly persistent and flexible at the right times, you will succeed.
What was your toughest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The toughest challenge is to refine your value proposition and articulate your story clearly. Successful ideas are typically complex to implement and replicate, but they must be easy to explain. In my previous company, it took me seven years to refine the model and story. With Talenya, I was able to explain it through the “Uber for Recruitment” analogy. People understood it intuitively and that was a breakthrough. I fully agree with Ben Horowitz’s statement that the “Story is the Strategy”. If you get your story better, your strategy will get better as well.
What trait do you depend on most when making decisions?
As a leader, you need to be able to articulate the story and the strategy but at the same time modify them quickly when you find unexpected roadblocks. If you can articulate frequent changes while maintaining a clear focus of your team on the goals, you are likely to be successful.
How has your leadership style evolved?
When I was a young entrepreneur, I tended to speak and act with much more confidence and much quicker. Over the years I developed a greater sense of humbleness. I tend not to rule out ideas that initially sound unrealistic. I tend to listen more and make decisions based on more facts.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
There are several sayings that I use as personal motivations and inspirations. For example, “if it was easy, someone would have it done it by now” or “there are many ways to reach the mountain’s peak but the view from the top is always the same”. As an entrepreneur, you rarely walk on a paved road. You have to pave your trail yourself as the trail is mostly on uncharted land. You need to accept the fact that hardship is part of the journey and that you have to keep pushing forward. However, every few miles you walk, you need to stop and take a look at the pathway you’ve created and make sure it’s pointing toward the target. For me, it’s a combination of using the tactical view and the strategic view that makes the difference between success and failure.