“We the Prosperous” – Meet Abbas

Customer Stories, Self-Employed WhatsApp Image 2018-04-23 at 1.24.23 PM (1)

Every Intuit customer has their own unique story. Along each of their journeys, they find passion, share advice, take risks, celebrate success, and form a community of their own.

From small business owners, to the self-employed and those simply seeking ways to be more financially savvy, we’re here to be a part of each story and champion our customers as they take steps forward on their path to prosperity. Hear how the power of many comes together to support the business of one with #WeTheProsperous.

Meet Mohamed Abbas, founder of Mad About Digital, a full service digital agency based in India. Mohamed is also a QuickBooks power-user, and we caught up with him to learn how he navigates running his own business, the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, and what “prosperity” means to him.

Intuit: Abbas – tell us about your business!

Abbas: Mad About Digital is a creative agency focused on digital marketing and design/development services. We do creative work, specifically for the digital medium. We aim to solve our client’s problems through creativity.

Intuit: Why did you choose to start your own business?

Abbas: I was bored at my corporate job; I was on the client-side, but never felt like I had the opportunity to do something “mad.” I had all these ideas, and wanted to bring them to life. My friends and I were mad about solving problems, so we called the company Mad About Digital!

Intuit: What do you wish someone told you before you started your own business?

Abbas: I wish someone had told me it wasn’t going to be as glamorous as it looks, and that it’s going to be hard, a lot of work, and a fairly challenging journey where you’re never sure what the next obstacle to face is going to be. People should know that starting your own business looks and sounds cool, but don’t get into this line of work just because of that. I wish more people had pointed out just how challenging this would be. But hey, the challenges can be fun.

Intuit: Great advice. What would you say was your main obstacle to becoming successful? How did you overcome it?

Abbas: We’ve had a number of obstacles so far. The biggest would probably be finding great talent. It is something we are still figuring out how to do, and have not completely solved for, but we are getting better at it every day. We are starting to figure out where to look for the right people and how to recognize the right people when we find them. We tried platforms like AngelList, Indeed, Behance, and LinkedIn. Each platform is unique, as are the people we find on them. There were times early on when we ended up hiring the wrong people, and we learned from that. It comes with experience, time, and bad hires.

Intuit: What’s been most surprising and challenging about starting your own business?

Abbas: I sometimes forget just how far we have come since day one. I stand back and look at the company and say, “wow!” This has probably been the biggest surprise – that we have made it so far. We started with a table and chair in my apartment, and now we have a full office and are doing it on our own.

Intuit: That’s so great to hear. Starting a business and becoming self-employed isn’t easy; what has made the journey worth it to you?

Abbas: We have won a bunch of big accounts while competing and going up against other big agencies, like Grey. We’ve had to pitch against older, more experienced agencies, and still won those pitches. Winning against the odds really makes it worth it for us.

Intuit: Who are you inspired by?

Abbas: As an individual, I am inspired by people like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk – if they can achieve so much and make such a difference in the lives of so many people, then why can’t we? Their stories are what really keep me going and get me inspired. I’m also inspired by the people around me in India. There are many people that only make ends meet, and it makes me realize how fortunate I am. I work really hard, and am inspired to keep going because of where I am from.

Intuit: What drew you to Intuit’s products? How do you use them?

Abbas: We use QuickBooks for our business. A friend of mine who was using it for his startup introduced me to it. I was talking to him about organization and all the work and accounts I needed to keep track of. I also mentioned I wanted something on the cloud that I could pick up from anywhere. He mentioned QuickBooks, and I tried it out and loved it!

Intuit: What are your prosperity hacks? What are some things you do each day to set yourself up for success?

Abbas: Talking to clients as much as possible is incredibly important. When I look back at the clients we’ve taken on, they’ve all stemmed from conversations and relationships with other clients. It’s crucial to invest time into building those relationships. Of course, that alone won’t work – we also strive to constantly produce great work to show them the value we bring. Good work always brings more work. We do this as much as we can because we realize that is the thing that will help our business in the future.

Intuit: Who do you lean on for support? Who do you go to for questions about your business?

Abbas: We have a bunch of advisors and mentors – some are clients, some are ex-clients, and some are people that have run successful agencies in the past. We have set up a network of people we feel comfortable asking questions, and specifically have people to go to for finance, marketing, and questions about other parts of our business. It’s nice to have go-to people that can help during any situation. They’re just well-wishers. We don’t pay them. They like our work and just want us to succeed.

Intuit: What are your goals for the year?

Abbas: Our goal for Mad About Digital is to grow by 100% this year. Additionally, we want to produce award-winning work for our clients. We aim to produce work that is better than what we have done in the past. This is an area that we really want to focus on – continuing to exceed our own expectations.

Intuit: What does prosperity mean to you?

Abbas: Prosperity means giving people a platform to express their creativity. It’s when people have a job they love and can produce something they are proud of. Prosperity is individuals working on meaningful work.

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