We asked Z Note's Zubair Junjunia what kept him brave this past year...

5 min read

Thursday 18 Mar 21

What's kept you brave this year?

Our duty. The pandemic exacerbated the existing educational inequalities and students worldwide found themselves under great stress with the uncertainty of everything. Many schools were under-prepared for the shift to an online education system and so, it was crucial to make sure we continued to deliver and expand our resource offering to support students in all circumstances. Knowing there were so many out there relying on our platform for support and guidance has kept us brave during this year.

Can you tell us the name of another small business you admire for their bravery and maybe let us know why?

In fact, I’d like to share the story of a business. My mentor, Jacob Wedderburn Day, co-founded a social enterprise during the pandemic. Treepoints attempts to tackle climate change by helping you offset your carbon footprint with it directing donations to promising environmental projects across the world. At the same time, it also educates people about the carbon footprint. Not only was the sheer dedication to combating one of the greatest threats to our planet admirable, but I also found the bravery needed to begin a project in the middle of a pandemic inspiring.

At Farillio, we are all about being more ‘frog’ and have recently released a blog to celebrate and explain our obsession with our amphibian friend:

“Frogs evolve. Frogs climb out of that pesky goldfish bowl and they go explore the world. They don’t swim in circles. Their curiosity and tenacity and general cheekiness means that they get everywhere. Literally”

    We know you are a frog too…but we’d love to hear a business story from you, which showcases your bravery and frog like manner…so that it can hopefully inspire others within our community.

    It is not a pleasant story but back in 2015, a bunch of hackers launched a DDoS attack on our website. As the attack affected multiple websites on the server, our hosting service could no longer continue serving our platform. Added to this was the timing of the ordeal - only a few days before my AS level exams! While responding to the flood of emails and sending out PDF documents one at a time, I had to purchase new hosting, setup a whole new website and keep revising for my exams!

    To quote from the brave video:

    Can’t shut out those doubts telling you you’re not ready.

    You’re not strong enough.

    You’re not one of the few.

    As small businesses, self-doubt and fear are really normal and a part of the journey. And we truly take our hat off to all the businesses out there fighting everyday to build amazing products, spur on team members and build an amazing future. It would be great to hear from you any tips you may have for individuals struggling with self-doubt …especially at the moment?

    I think one of the most important things to realise, especially in times like these, is that we are more than our productivity. Be kind to yourself! With all the uncertainty around us, it is absolutely normal to feel self-doubt. You may even feel like you are not doing as much as you can. But appreciate the many emotionally pressing challenges you may be dealing with regularly and address them. It's okay to take a break and rejuvenate oneself when we need it. Go out for a walk, talk to a friend, watch a movie, do what makes you happy. For me, it’s all about having a rush of endorphins whether its heading out for long runs or jumping into rivers at freezing temperatures. These seemingly unrelated activities keep me grounded and allow me to be creative, productive, and happy!

    We have found so much support and inspiration from our community of small businesses and have often been blown away by their empathy, understanding, curiosity & can-do attitude.

    How valuable do you find community in keeping us all brave and aspirational?

    A support system is critical to healthily develop and grow your business. For me, they are my mentors and family who are by my side through anything I might face. This is only strengthened by having a diverse team that juggles through different zones and commitments to come together for a purpose we collectively believe in. Belonging to a community with members who are driven and are supportive is hugely valuable in not just developing your business but your own personal growth!

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