Ingor Van Rooi
Devin MillerThe Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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piece of advice i'll give you is just start you you you actually you have no idea what beauty lies beyond that first thing a lot of us are afraid to just try you know we're afraid of failing we're afraid um we're afraid of a lot of things that it could go wrong right but what if it grows right [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups in the seven and eight figure businesses as well as a founder and ceo of miller iplock where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time to chat now today we have another great guest on the podcast and i am worried i'm going to mess up her dave so while i'll still give the introduction why don't you tell us your name so i don't slaughter it my name is inger fun roy all right inga inga is that right sure yes i looked at him like is it inga ingor and i'm like i'm gonna mess it up so as a quick introduction to inga so um was originally from south africa um has degrees in um in informational systems and i think industrial sociology after college didn't use the degrees and instead went to become an executive assistant for about 20 years and then in 2018 um lost job due to uh corporate restructuring and wanted to be an entrepreneur but had been afraid to take the leap for a while or both of her parents have been in corporate jobs for their careers but after losing the job decided would take the lead but try it out and would do it and then but then instead of doing or actually taking the leap decided to do some temporary roles and temp jobs and whatnot but then in 2020 and due to covet um lost that or lost those jobs or those started to dry out so with all of that decided to um take the more of the leap of doing the entrepreneurial journey and starting that out and i've been doing it since then so um she'll give a bit more detail so with that is much his introduction welcome on the podcast thank you so much and thank you for having me devon absolutely so i gave the quick a quick run through 30 second overview but maybe dive a bit in deeper and take us back in time to going up in south africa getting your degrees and how your journey started from there okay um like david said i'm originally from south africa i i was born in cape town uh raised in two different cities and um yeah i i just you know i went to school for it and and sociology but my career found me i was just drawn to um to become an executive system because i love people and i love helping them flourish mostly in the background and yeah so i became an executive assistant i was doing that for almost 20 years um combined you know in south africa as well as yeah and yeah before you before you dive too much into over that because that's a long 20 years so first of all he got the you know they got the degrees informational systems and i think industrial sociology is that right yes that's right now what made you after college so you got those degrees what made you decide to go into executive being an executive assistants instead of using the degrees that you've gotten um i think it was just it was my comfort zone because i was um while i was studying i actually worked at the university as well initially as a tutor for information systems but then i became i became an admin assistant at the faculty of education and it was just really um i enjoyed the work i enjoyed the interaction with people and i enjoyed that you know it what no day was the same so that's what that's really what drew me to it and i think just also because it was it became my comfort zone it was what i was comfortable with right okay makes sense so so now you do that and you do that for i think about the period of over 20 years so that's quite a long time doing executive assistant and now i think when we chatted before and as i mentioned 2018 came along and there was some corporate restructuring so at that point i think as we chat about before you kind of looked at entrepreneurship but didn't quite make the leap so kind of how did that go from 2018 and where did your journey go from there i i was wanting to become an entrepreneur even before 2018 and then you know i lost my job but i decided to make the most of the time that i had as well um and you know and i think also i was just i was afraid of failing um but you know so i ended up looking for work and you know trying to find my next permanent work and um but i didn't find anything there wasn't there wasn't too there wasn't anything that was up to my standards should i say and so i ended up doing a lot of temp assignments um up until the pandemic hit in 2020. okay so backhand just 2018 so you're saying okay lost the job maybe i'll do entrepreneur stuff but didn't quite work out you decided to take temp rolls and that worked for a couple years and then kind of if i were to reiterate maybe covet came along in 2020 and the temp rolls started to dry up or they weren't as available and so as you're dealing with that and i think we also chatted a bit before your kids are now going to virtual school so you're dealing with virtual school temp rolls are drying up so kind of how did your how did you decide on what you're going to do from entrepreneur for there was a kind of hey it's out of necessity or hey this is the perfect time or this is the time that i'm going to do it or i don't know anything else so kind of how did you finally decide to take that leap um it was actually a conversation that that brought that on i had a a friend of mine checked in with me and she was asking you know um what i was doing at the time um with regards to work um i told her that i wanted to to take a step into entrepreneurship however i was afraid of failing and so um she she actually said well um even if you're afraid why don't you try and you can always go back to the corporate world and it was as if i had it was a mind-blowing moment really because i had never thought about it like that you know we are raised almost to believe that failure is ultimate and if you fail at something you can't pick yourself up and and try again you know yet when we're babies we do that all the time and young kids we we fall we get up we fall again we get up again but as adults we learn to fear failure and because of that i was afraid of failing as well right um but yeah she she she reminded me that basically if i fail i could try something else it wasn't the end of it wouldn't be the end of the world so now you get that kind of that motivation or you know inspiration or guidance or whatever you want to call it said okay true enough if i try it and i failed no worse off i can always go back to temp jobs or executive assistance or go do something else but if i succeed you know then i can do or chase after something i want to do so with that is mine you know how did you decide what kind of entrepreneurial job you're gonna do and how did it go well um you know as i said before i have been an executive assistant for almost 20 years so at that point i had built up that skill set and so it was just a matter of me taking my skills my existing skill set and basically reinventing myself using those skills which is what i did and that which is why i ended up now establishing my own executive assistant consulting firm so now you start the consulting firm you know you're saying okay i've got the consulting firm i've done administrative be an administrative assistant i'll start you know kind of start the entrepreneurial journey or entrepreneurial startup based on what i know i think you started that about a year ago and i think when you talked about it for july of 2020 how's it going since then it's been a rocket ship to the top and you've loved it has it been ups and downs has it been all down or how's it going for you well um for me it's been you know a matter of really working towards adjusting my mindset because even though i started my own entrepreneurial um journey i still had that um the the worker or the corporate mindset right so in in the end i i started working with my own with um you know through my company with one client and i just worked and worked and worked all the time and then i realized but you know what like i should actually be scaling up my business it shouldn't just be yeah i have a client and i'm working for them and that's the end of that so i've now you know i i've evolved from where i started to now where i'm i'm serving different clients i actually have grown my team as well um so i have people that i'm working with in order to service my clients i also have i also coach people as well um i i didn't do that initially but now i'm coaching people to be able to take the leap and jump off the corporate hamster wheel and do what i did by establishing my own business so um it's been quite a journey um and i think every day is different and every day ahead will be different to what i actually envision um that's just the the nature of the beast i guess no i think that's you know it's exciting it's fun to get there get going sounds like you know as with all journeys it's you know has that ups and downs but it's been a great experience now kind of now looking a bit into the future so you know started about a year ago got it up and going looking to how to scale how you can there do you know bring on other people and do the additional services what is the future you know you're looking at now the next six to 12 months ken what does that look like for you um what that looks like for me is i'm i'm i actually have quite a few projects on the go i just established my own youtube channel so i'm i'm looking to focus on that and grow that and hopefully become like you and i have a podcast um and i'm also you know i'm i'm writing i'm writing a few books as well um just you know as some are passion projects and one is actually my memoir which will become um [Music] something that i can use when you know is to establish myself as a thought leader um i speak mostly about you know stepping outside of your comfort zone and this is what my memoir is gonna be my life story and basically how i stepped out of my comfort zone um and i'm also looking to have to build out a course or two um to teach people firstly you know how to leave the corporate world and establish your own entrepreneurial um journey and also looking to um coach people in terms of how to you how to leverage social media and um and what that looks like for entrepreneurs as well well it sounds like a lot of fun a lot of fun things ahead of you and a lot a lot uh a lot of things to come so that's they're super certainly exciting so well now as we've kind of gone through a bit of your journey you know where you started all the way up to today and even looking a bit in the future good time we'll jump to the two questions i always ask at the end of each uh podcast which the first question i always ask is along your entrepreneurial journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what'd you learn from it the worst business decision that i've ever made was actually to procrastinate putting things off instead of jumping right in and failing forward you know we always we tend to want to perfect everything but at the end of the day you're never going nothing is ever going to be perfect and you're never going to know exactly what to do so it's best to just dive right in there and figure it out along the way i i think that i absolutely agree with that and i think that you know that's a very large touism for a lot of entrepreneurs you know i talk or talk to time podcast work with the ton of the business i think that's the number one thing that almost everybody hits on is hey you know i whether it's procrastination i wish i started earlier i wish i had you know dived in i wish i hadn't had fear or anything of that always that after you dive in and get going it's always that i'm glad i did it i wish i'd done it earlier type of a thing so definitely agree with that so now with the the second point uh our second question always asked which is if you're talking to someone that's just getting into a startup or a small business would be the one piece of advice you'd give them the one piece of advice i would give you is just start you you you actually you have no idea what beauty lies beyond that first day a lot of us are afraid to just try you know we're afraid of failing we're afraid um we're afraid of a lot of things that it could go wrong right but what if it goes right hey and i definitely agree and i think that i think that's a great piece of advice well before we wrap up um just as a quick uh or heads up to the listeners we do have the bonus question we're going to talk a little bit about intellectual property so if that's of interest to you definitely make sure to stay tuned after we wrap up but before or otherwise if people want to reach out to you they want to hire you they want to be a client they want to be a customer they want to be an employee they want to be an investor they want to be your best friend next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you find out more the best way would be either through my website at we got this admin.com which is a double t or you can reach out to me on linkedin um and just with my name exactly the way it is all right well i definitely encourage people to reach out contact you and uh and uh use your services if they can now for thing and thank you for coming on the podcast now for all of you the listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast we'd love to have you just feel free to go to inventiveguest.com apply to be on the show two more things as listeners one make sure to click subscribe in the podcast players so you know when all of our awesome episodes come out and to leave us a review so other people can find out about all of our awesome episodes last but not least do you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat so now as we've wrapped up the you know the normal or the tip or the normal part of the episode where we talk about your journey now it's always fun to shift gears just a little bit and talk about a topic that i always you know near and dear to my heart probably a little bit biased on which is intellectual property and patents and trademarks and whatnot so with that i'll turn it over you to ask your top intellectual property question um you know a lot of people when they hear the name of my business they say oh have you have you trademarked that and i have no idea where to start so i thought this is the perfect opportunity for me to ask you since this is your um comfort zone right so um where do i start what do you think yeah so and just as a reminder name of the company is we got this admin right so that's the one that everybody and it's a catchy name and so i definitely get that and you've already secured the url so you're good on that front you know as far as trademarking it there's i'll answer the question more generally and then give you a little bit of specific advice but the things you're always looking at when you're looking at any trademark is one is anybody else ever already using this in other words is it already out there is somebody already using it before you had it if so then you're going to have problems in the sense that they're the first user especially if they register the trademark then you would actually be infringing there so the first thing you do is kind of do a bit of due diligence go online google searches see if there's anybody else that's your thing or wherever that's using it and if you want to get a little bit more professional and aggressive you can also have an attorney do what's called a trademark search and they'll go out they'll see what others are registered and when you're looking at you know what others have you're looking bothers anybody have the exact same thing you have or anything that's kind of what's called confusingly similar in other words some way to look at something it's not exactly the same you know maybe it's you got this admin instead of we got this admin well would people think that those are two different companies or they'd be confused because they think it's the same company and if there's that kind of that likelihood that somebody's gonna can be confused as to who's offering the services which company they're hiring then you have that potential problem so kind of with all of that first thing is to do a bit of due diligence after you do the due diligence then as you're saying okay let's say you come back and say okay it looks like there is anybody using it i've got a reasonable path forward then you're going to ask a question i guess even before you or after you do the due diligence even before you hire attorneys you say okay is this trademark worth the value in other words is something i want to protect is it a valuable thing to the company if the answer is you're saying no it's really more of my relationships or we have really good marketing or you know if somebody else were to use the same name it wouldn't matter because they wouldn't have the same success then you're probably gonna say it's not worth it to get a trademark because it's not going to be valuable if somebody else were to copy it and you say well not a big deal then it's not you can move forward on the other hand if you're saying hey if somebody else would come along they started using the same or very similar name to our company that's going to hurt our you know hurt our client development people are getting confused it's going to you know diminish our ability to get customers or convert them and those type of things then you're going to say it may be worthwhile to get a trademark and in that sense that you're saying it's worthwhile to get a trademark and you've done your due diligence and it's a very time to reach out to an attorney have them help you to kind of walk through the process of what information you'll need how to get that fire how to get that pulled together and how to get it filed so that's a very quick overview but any other questions or follow-ups to that um no i'm good thank you very much all right well if you or any of the listeners ever have any other questions or any follow-ups feel free to go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat free or we have free sessions where we can chat a little bit more about your business specifically otherwise thank you again for coming on the podcast it was a fun it was a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you so much steven and thank you for having me