Never shy away from trying and don’t under value your skills.”
Chehraspeaks.com is what it is today because, its founder and our classmate, Nitesh Gurnani believed that it will bring about a change in his life. When he did his first face reading in 2011, he thought it was a fluke and tried it on some of his friends. When the results turned out to be astoundingly true, he understood that he had a real talent for reading faces and hence the website, www.chehraspeaks.com was launched. It attracted an international audience which motivated him to work harder and he has made face reading a successful venture for him. Chehraspeaks has been recognized and also featured in Entrepreneurs of India and Startup Success Stories. We are proud to have a successful and passionate entrepreneur amongst us.
Where did the idea for Chehraspeaks.com come from?
Accidentally, I discovered a face reader in me, I liked one girl during my school days and I usually felt shy talking to her, so I was mulling on what topic to start so that I can talk to her for long on, I was looking at her profile pic on WhatsApp and I asked if I could tell something about her seeing her face, basically it was meant for ice breaker but whatever I told she said “it was correct”.
So I sort of got happy and I thought it was a fluke, then I read many faces of her hostel’s friends to impress her with my abilities and they were also impressed with the readings given, so that is how the face reader in me was founded in the year 2012 and unofficial journey continued there on which led to launch of my website in 2017 after practicing my skills immensely on my friends and colleagues.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Well, It starts with my MBA classes from morning till noon. I take rest for an hour or so and then open my platform of face reading. So there are two phases in my face reading service-one when I have my active clients whom I am giving session to and other phase deals with me not giving the reading. In the other way, I seek ways of expanding my business in a cost effective yet efficient way. Sometimes it works, sometime it doesn’t but even one success gives great satisfaction so it’s worth a try. Remaining of my time deals in studying for my MBA course.
How do you bring ideas to life?
There are a lot of things which I think during my solo walk in the night, lot of ideas and lots of question rise in my mind related to how to expand my business. I try to boil down to some, then I write them on the sticky notes on what I have decided and apply it into my business. For example, two days back I was thinking of giving two free face readings on my website to boost the web traffic on a frequent basis. Cutting it short, I would say ideas would just remain like a bouqet of flowers until and unless you exercise and implement them. I see many of my friends who have beautiful ideas but one thing which I often observe missing is the execution part. I was the same until I took a step to start my own venture.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Reading startup stories and different ideas which offers great proposition for consumers excites me a lot. In India, not a lot of eye is put on sexual education and it is considered to be taboo at some places to even talk about it. There is one startup which has taken this wonderful initiative to promote sexual education for different age groups starting from 8 years and above. One startup offers gift related services at doorstep which is also quiet a new concept at our place. These trends excites me because of the value they are adding in the life of modern customers.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think I become more productive when people criticizes me on my idea. I try to take it as a constructive criticism even though how much I have been pushed down. I don’t usually answer my critics on their face but keep their words close to heart till the day I get the solution of it. I seek opportunity in adversity and that is one thing which I think makes me productive. In the words of One Republic Team, the saying is true in my case, “Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive”.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It would be never shy away from trying and don’t under believe your skills. There may be something in you which you don’t know the value of, try discovering it and don’t just get laid of by being having it and doing nothing for it. Take it to the next level by taking one step in either increasing that skill or launching it. There will always be criticism when you try to bring a change and starting your new venture but go for it. Also, if you think you are not getting time, I would say it’s just an excuse. I have also did it whole my life but always remember that if you have priorities for something in your life, time becomes a byproduct. Last but not the least, be ethical and always try to give your 100% best to the work you are doing. It may happen with you that someday you may not perform the best and customer may not be satisfied with you but do realize at that point of time that even the best of the person fails someday. Take it as a passing phase and move ahead.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that I am very smart but most of my friends and relatives consider me innocent. Infact my aim at one point of time was to prove to my friends that I am smart but somehow I never succeeded in it. Now when I think of that moment, it seems funny.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
In the life of Entrepreneur, failures & rejections are prominent. I generally keep these two things very close to me but see it as an opportunity to work even more harder for my goal to turn them into success & acceptance. Showing perseverance I believe is more important than anything. When I quit, that is where I consider a real failure of me. So my recommendation would be this, show perseverance and belief in your idea and wait for the results to come by. Doing religiously and passionately for what you do will take you miles but perseverance and belief is the underlying constraint and a necessity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Continuously looking for places to expand my network and not getting satisfied with what I have is one thing which helped me. Also, I don’t keep a lot of success close to my heart because I believe the more I get immersed in the success of recognition, I would lose myself on raising the bar and become complacent.
When I decided to monetize my service, there were many people who criticized and rendered comments like your website is going to flop if you begin a charge. I considered it as one of the possibility and found a way by exploring at one HubSpot article which suggested me a different target segment. It also offered me advise related to how can I expand globally which actually proved fruitful and is one of the revenue model for my venture.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t know if there was a failure but yes there were many obstacles which came my way. Expansion, Saturation, and criticisms during my introduction phase were eminent. Proper strategizing, a lot of self belief and trying out even after failing were my means to overcome those obstacles. At some point of time, I succeeded, other time I failed but yes one thing which remained constant was me trying out and that let me overcome those failures.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have an active plan as such in my mind but one idea which can benefit the readers is discover the uniqueness in you and do not undermine it. As in my case, I had a skill of face reading which I didn’t value initially and undermined it for a period of time. So whatever thing you do passionately and which delivers high value must be taken to the next step.
I worked on one idea during my undergraduate days where in our team has extracted the concept from newspaper advertising. Newspaper in India costs Rs 18/paper but it costs around Rs 4 to the actual consumers because of the high revenues it gathers from the advertisement. We applied the similar concept on the notebooks wherein we convinced the local retailers to promote their business on the notebook front and back page for a specified charge. This helped us achieving the objective of reducing the social cost of education by lowering the prices of notebook. One part of the cost was covered from advertisers and other half from students or the consumers.
This is the idea I think can help the reading community and the budding entrepreneurs.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I am presently doing MBA along with my startup and I have a big loan to repay. I spent the recent $100 investing in mutual funds so that the financial power for me to repay my loan increases.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Facebook has added one option of shooting the live video option. Live video has given me opportunity to cast myself live during the face reading session which I conduct for my prospective clients. It has helped expand the views of my reading which wasn’t possible in the textual readings I offered to my clients. In case of textual readings, only the person whom I was reading for was my prospective client but in case of video readings, any person who feel connected after watching the video connects with me. This helped me expanding my service line which made me more productive in my business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I believe reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki helps. One line which I remember from the book is you are allowed to rest but your money must work all the time for you. I believe this statement is very relevant because money earned but not invested wisely will ultimately get wasted. So this is one book which I recommend not only for entrepreneurs but to every human who wants to increase and secure their financial life.
What is your favorite quote?
These are the quotes which are my favorites and they give me ample strength to work on my objective even harder. I hope you may like it.
Make your goal so strong that you don’t have any time to waste.
Always seek opportunity from adversity
Arise, Awake and know your strength.
• Offered me to look at my subconscious insights during my entrepreneurial journey.
• Strengthened my belief more in my idea as well as the self belief.
• Learnt about the shortcomings I faced during the journey and how trying out at every step helped me establish my venture bigger than what it is one day back.
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.