Sharing Four Lessons from Running a Business

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Ten years have gone by quickly, and we are still learning. After a decade of building Zealous, we thought we should share some of our top lessons.


Listen to people who use your product. Make it easy for them to give their feedback even if sometimes it is not what you want to hear. It is the only way to understand their needs and improving your offering.

To fine-tune the judging on Zealous, we invited judges to decide the winners for all of our community initiatives and asked for their feedback. To thank them for their participation, we featured them across our social media platforms. Their feedback has been pivotal in improving our judging process to minimise the time for all judges using Zealous.

There is only so much you can do in-house. Only your clients can tell you how good your product is. Good product development comes from really listening to your client’s goals and asking WHY.

Judges using Zealous (to date)

Be Kind

Marketing is good, but genuinely supporting your community with free resources is better.

When we set up our community initiatives, we asked our community what they wanted. That is why, for our monthly Zealous Stories open call, we decided to give the winner some cash and offer portfolio reviews. For Zealous X, we provided an opportunity to showcase their work to the public and also the opportunity to attend talks with industry experts.

Investing in your ecosystem helps you understand your community, build a stronger relationship with those you serve, and indirectly markets your brand. It also allows you to support the growth in your sector.

Zealous Opportunities run:
24 x Zealous Stories
6 x Meetups
2 x Zealous X
1 x Emerge Awards
8 x Jobs
7 x Artist in the Press

Be Agile

There is no perfect product. Do not wait too long to share the work you are doing with potential clients. Take calculated risks and understand it will need to evolve.

Zealous is continuously evolving. Have a dialogue with those within the sector, question your current model, look at your existing resources, re-assess current and past business models and adapt your offerings. We learned the pros and cons of our platform firsthand by running campaigns and large-scale initiatives like Zealous Emerge. We hope future events will help you too, just as much as they helped us, by providing that initial step of creating a dialogue and sharing your work.

Having conversations, organising feedback, executing tasks based on your goals, re-assessing and repeating this will allow both you and your users to achieve objectives and evolve.

Attendance to our events

You are Your TEAM

Zealous is the product of thousands of decisions made by those who have worked with us. Your team is your most important asset.

Our team has evolved over the past ten years. Zealous employed its first employee in 2014 (hello Akua!). When hiring, ask yourself what you want to achieve in the next two years; write out what skills you need to reach those goals and stick to them. Setting clear goals will help everyone.

We are lucky to have a great team who are forward-looking, empathetic, always open to taking on new challenges and learning. Favour mindset over skills and experience.

Our amazing team
UK (6)
Spain (1)
Egypt (7)
Sri Lanka (1 soon!)

Let us know what you are working on, so we can continue serving you better. We continually aim to learn and improve.

Ellie Isaacs

Community Manager

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