Guest speaker Series – Will Koning – Co-Founder of SaaSLeads

Sep 3, 2021

“When SaaSLeads first started out I didn’t know I had a business with this much potential, but now I sincerely believe SaaSLeads can be a billion dollar business. The sky’s the limit.”

 

The one where our CEO becomes our Guest Speaker.  

 

Life before SaaSLeads

This week marks the one year anniversary of SaaSLeads Academy and to celebrate our guest speaker was the man who started it all – Will Koning.

Starting out Will was a rebel teenager, who always thought everything could be done better. He had the ability and intellect, but didn’t live up to it in school. Even then Will always knew he wanted to have his own business, but never knew what it would be and the multitude of it. After University Will went into sales and quickly became addicted, whilst realising he had a love for teaching young people and seeing them reach their full potential, which would eventually plant the seed for SaaSLeads. 

 

Vulnerability is a strength

Before Will started SaaSLeads he got sacked three times and lost his first business during the pandemic and while that was hurtful it taught him to be comfortable with failure. 

Most of 2020 Will suffered from depression and anxiety and he had an emotional breakdown 3 days before the launch of the Academy. However, there was always unwavering belief, grit and determination that made him relentless on his mission. The people around him inspired him to see the glimmer of hope and that glimmer eventually became a window of hope.

 

The joy of self-care

Since his emotional breakdown Will has built strategies to prevent him from getting to that point again. Here are Will’s three tips to help if you’re struggling:

  1. A Wellbeing coach – Will invested in himself and found a wellbeing coach that taught him to be more self-aware and recognise the signs early.
  2. Quiet the mind – Meditation can quiet the mind and develop your awareness, but going to the gym or having a chit chat with mates can be great alternatives. The aim is to find an activity that allows you to observe your thoughts instead of letting them consume you.
  3. Take a break – Don’t do three years without a break – Will tried it and he can’t recommend it. Take regular breaks. 

 

Timelines and goals

It is good to have goals, but a good plan allows for change. If you are fixed on your goals the likelihood of failure is high. You have to be versatile and change your plan as you grow and as you grow older your ambitions will naturally change. 

 If you are focussed on your goal you are not enjoying the present moment. You may look back on this moment and question why you were so focused on getting the results instead of enjoying the moment. Will thinks of the future and has ambitions, but he also thinks about what he is doing today. It’s important not to get fixated on your goals.

 

Will’s life tip:

“Your 20’s are when you want to learn skills and your 30’s are when you want to start making some wedge.” 

Wedge = money

 

Mistakes and pride

While it can be difficult to admit when you are wrong it is important. You have to put aside your ego and make sure people have space to have their feelings heard. For Will this got easier through trial and error, but awareness isn’t fun.

 

Self-awareness 

The more self-aware you are the more you’ll notice qualities about yourself. When you’re self-aware it’s important to also be kind to yourself. Having the courage to say you’re not great at certain things, but still loving yourself is a daily practice. Allow yourself to see good in you, but allow yourself to also improve when needed. 

If you get good at self-awareness you can stop negative cycles before they get worse, as you’ll recognise the signs early on. Focus on the positives in the darkest of times – you will achieve your ambitions – maybe not the way you envision – but you will get there.

 

Paying forward  

Go out and help others and Will guarantees things will come back to you in the future in a way you couldn’t imagine. Last year Will was just trying to get people jobs, but when he needed help  he was able to pick up the phone and get investors for SaaSLeads. 

Will’s challenge:

Once a month go and help 5 people and that will make the world a better place.

 

SaaSLeads Book Club

Will likes stories and so far this year Will has listened to 15 books. Being able to tell a story as a salesperson is important. People buy into stories and emotionally invest. Reading also helps you to learn, which positively impacts your mental health. 

Here are Will and his teams book recommendations:

 

Will Koning – CEO and Co-Founder

  • Green Light by Matthew McConaughey – Matthew is one of the coolest men on Earth and his story is inspiring. 
  • Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance – Elon has an insane vision to put people on Mars and save the human race and to do that he needs to become the richest person in the world. 

 

Lena Miah – Marketing Executive

  • Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty – Learn how to harness the power of positivity and be happy now.
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle – Master mindfulness and retrain your mind.

 

Sonia Gonzalez Guillonneau – Team Lead and Mentor

  • The courage to be disliked by Ichiro Kishimi –  How to unlock the power within yourself to be the person you truly want to be.
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – All about personal development and letting go of fear in order to achieve the best version of yourself.

 

Laith Azzee – Team Lead and Coach

  • The collected works of Ramana Maharshi by Ramana Maharshi – Uncover the mental state.   

 

Key Takeaways

  • Vulnerability is a strength, but set boundaries.
  • Reading is important for continual learning.
  • Don’t let the ego get in your way – acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake and apologise.
  • Help out 5 people this month.  
  • Be self-aware and quiet the mind.
Lena Miah

Lena is our Marketing Executive here at Saasleads.io. She is versed in all things marketing and loves creating thought provoking, inspirational, and informative pieces for the company. 

Lena was born and raised in London. She has a passion for all things words and completed a BA degree in Journalism at the University of Roehampton. 

When she isn’t keeping the company blog in tip top condition she can be found in a yoga class or checking out the London food scene, but if the food isn’t up to par she could bake it all herself. 

You can find Lena on LinkedIn here 

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