The following is a Q & A between Jeet Banerjee and me.
Some people have the gifts, talents, drive, and open doors to accomplish more in a few short years than others do in a lifetime. Jeet Banerjee is an inspirational young man who has done just that.
Not only does his company StatFuse provide great resources for high school students looking for innovative ways to apply for colleges and to find scholarships, but also he exemplifies how finding your passions can create value for others and result in a fulfilling career path.
My goal in posting interviews with successful leaders like Jeet is to inspire us to reflect on how our own choices, goals, and actions can affect our lives, our leadership, and our teams. I must also give credit to John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire where I first heard of Jeet and whose great podcast interview questions I have modified for the Q & A’s I have with my guests.
Jeet is a 20 year old serial entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, author, public speaker, and blogger. He began his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 17 while still a senior in high school. He touched on his passions of the internet from the beginning and was able to sell his first company two years later.
Since then, he has launched numerous other tech startups and has a passion for changing the world through innovation. In addition to this, he recently authored and published his second book The Pursuit of Passion: An Entrepreneurs Starter Guide To Success, and he has done a lot of public speaking around the nation. You can connect with Jeet through his website, Twitter account, and on Facebook.
WDP: Thanks for sharing with us! Can you start by telling us a favorite success quote?
Jeet: One of my favorites is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
WDP: How have you use the idea contained in your favorite quote to affect your organization’s leadership?
Jeet: I have always stressed among my employees, partners, and myself that we must constantly perform the change we want to see in the world. If you want people to be nicer in the world, it begins with you. My team members have all understood that the change they want to see among others must start from themselves first.
WDP: Can you take us back to a failure or obstacle you overcame and how you did it?
Jeet: When I started out with my second tech company, StatFuse, we had a great product but no monetization strategy. It took months for us to figure it out, but we were finally able to do it. It was one of my biggest mistakes as an entrepreneur, but I was able to overcome it with a strong mindset.
WDP: What lesson did you take away from this experience?
Jeet: When you fail or make mistakes, it’s often easy to give up. However, failure and mistakes are just a learning experience for me. They do not define me or my business and are simply events that took place during a place and time. Keeping my head up, embracing failure, and understanding that giving up wouldn’t solve anything helped me overcome it.
WDP: Will you share one example of something you have done that required risk but created great results?
Jeet: Starting my first company required great risk. I had to invest about $5,000-$6,000 which I had to borrow from my parents college fund for me to purchase patents that would secure my idea. While this was a risky thing to do, the company ended up being successful, and I was able to repay my parents for the gamble they took.
WDP: That’s a great story. Give us an example of an “aha!” moment where you realized a key truth that you turned into a success.
Jeet: The biggest “aha” moment we had with StatFuse was when we were able to acquire 12,000 users while in Beta. We had launched the product and within 2 weeks had over 12,000 users who LOVED our product. This showed us immediately that our product was in demand since we hadn’t marketed it at all and were simply looking to have a few hundred users.
WDP: Have you had an “I’ve made it” moment?
Jeet: I personally do not believe I have had my “I’ve made it” moment yet, but I hope to be able to say that very soon.
WDP: What was holding you back from seeing the high levels of success you are seeing now?
Jeet: It was fear. I was fearful of what others in the business world would think of me given my young age. Thankfully, I was able to overcome my fears by tackling them head on, and the opportunities opened up.
WDP: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Jeet: The best leadership advice I have ever received is to make decisions based on numbers. Regardless of what the decisions are, always make selections based on numbers. Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t.
WDP: What is something that is working for you or your team right now?
Jeet: Passion. Being passionate about our vision, goals, and the work we do helps us greatly. If you love what you do, the stressful times aren’t so stressful. My team has been extremely successful because they are all passionate and believe in the common vision.
WDP: Do you have a resource that you just love that you would recommend to school leaders?
Jeet: StatFuse is a place school leaders can point students because it helps them conquer college admissions with a virtual platform that can be very helpful for many of their students.
WDP: If you could recommend a book for other school leaders, what would it be?
Jeet: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
WDP: If you could speak to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give him or her?
Jeet: If I could speak to my younger version of myself, I would help myself overcome my fears of putting my face out there. I was very timid and shy of going out in the business world and wanted to operate only from my computer. However, that limited the opportunities I had and I would just advise myself to not care about what others have to say or think.
WDP: Thanks so much Jeet for sharing your insights with us!
Recommendation: If you know a high school senior or a parent of a college-bound student, encourage him/her to check out Jeet’s story and his product at StatFuse. It is exciting to share what young leaders are capable of accomplishing even in their teens. And I believe StatFuse is great option for students who want a step-by-step virtual platform for college applications and scholarship searches. Just so you know, I do not represent Statfuse nor receive any affiliate benefits for recommending Jeet’s company. I am simply making a personal recommendation.
For my Oklahoma friends, our state also provides a free resource that helps students with these same pursuits at OklahomaCollegeStart.org. So check it out!
Questions: What are some other great resources you would point students to who are looking for ways to navigate the college application maze? Do you have other examples of great, young leaders who you would like to give a shout out?
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