When talked about content writers, the picture that draws in our mind is a journalist, a blogger or digital copywriter. But content writers these days are doing so much more than putting words on a paper. One of whom, we have interviewed today. He has been able to see an industry beyond journalism and blogging.
Dilshan Seneratne, a Sri Lankan known to many through his words, is a well-determined entrepreneur supplying a compelling sequence of letters to create words presenting no difficulty.
Through his initial work as a freelance copywriter, he has shown growth in his writing styles that lead him, to find himself steering to a direction of having his own corporation, to provide a service to industries. Proving his contents to be magically touching those who read, he proceeds to found Cyaniq Inc, a private company helping many corporates in advertising, branding, PR and related industries awarding them the integrated communication and brand positioning project for ATSL Telesoft.
Cyaniq inc. has been able to make its name impacting the content writing and communication market for the valuing branding it provides and for being able to partner with leading industries as Mylinex and Islander.
Here’s what Dilshan Senaratne had to say:
1. At what age did you start building your career?
I started working when I was 17 years old as a freelance contributor to a national
daily paper and then joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as a sports recruit. I’ve done
a lot of different things between then and now.
2. Has it been a childhood dream to this?
Not exactly. I wanted to be a writer when I was younger, so in a way, I got what I
wanted and then I went beyond that.
3. When exactly did you decide this is going to be your career?
I’m still deciding what exactly my career will be, but for the most part, I think I steered myself in the direction of success, not a particular job.
4. The challenges you met?
I’m from a middle-class family with no notable ties to any influences political or
otherwise, so getting my foot in the door was often a difficult task.
5. How you trained yourself?
I grew up an athlete, the discipline was almost inbuilt, but I would consider myself
borderline obsessed on what I do, so the discipline comes easy.
6. Was there an investment at the start?
If there is something I’m absolutely proud of, it’s the fact that I bootstrap puritan to an extreme. Every business I have ever gone into have been financed either by its own revenue or by the revenue of another business I started. So, no there was never an investment, just my time and effort.
7. Was the decision making process to implement a long hard one?
I didn’t do smart or strategic things at the start. I think it’s only now, a decade
later that I’m even thinking of my strategic position. Till now, it was a series of
pivots and adjustments to external circumstances.
8. What was the hardest decision taken?
I think from a personal standpoint I gave up a lot of things I honestly enjoyed doing for the sake of investing my time in more profitable, less enjoyable things.
9. What was it like in the beginning?
Because I was bootstrapping and because the service businesses I got into were
not capital-intensive, I wasn’t under the sort of stress that most startups are
under. But, my challenge was understanding how to scale businesses.
10. What mindset helped you be successful?
I think grit and resilience, and an ability to go on when nothing seems to be going right.
11. How did you make your first sale?
I got a call asking if I provide writing services from a client that I have been able
to retain to date. Not such an exciting story I guess.
12. What was your biggest mistake?
Not understanding the importance of financial management, a lesson I’m still learning slowly.
13. What motivated you and where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I think when you grow up in the middle class of a South Asian developing country, it’s unnatural to not be motivated. I see myself using the positions I’ve maneuvered myself into to leverage bigger things in the next few years.
14. Top 3 priorities as a business owner?
Managing financial performance to stabilize the structures I have built.
Understanding and exploring the opportunities that are available to make high
impact investments, especially investments that can bring about social change.
Looking ahead far enough to stay relevant in the years to come.
15. What does success mean to you?
I’ve borrowed this from Chamath Palihapitiya who I’ve started to follow almost
religiously. I believe that success is the boundary of influence you command and
the capital that is available in your control to present, further and accelerate your
personal worldview against that of others.
16. Was the risk worth it?
Absolutely worth it
17. How can you be reached?