Ian Wiedenman blog

I grew my company ITW Creative Works from a start-up to a thriving creative development agency through strategic business growth and strong client relationships.

What Motivates Me to Keep Innovating in My Business

What Motivates Me to Keep Innovating in My Business
Business Innovation Entrepreneurship Personal Development 17 min read 8 comments

Discover what motivates Ian Wiedenman to keep innovating in his business journey from Somiibo to Slapform and beyond.

Introduction: The Drive Behind My Innovations

Ever wonder what keeps a solopreneur like me up at night, wide-eyed and scribbling down notes like a mad scientist? Well, it’s not just the caffeine, I promise. From the moment I launched Somiibo, my first brainchild, to expanding my horizons with Slapform, StudyMonkey.ai, and a slew of other ventures, the drive to innovate has been a constant companion. But what exactly fuels this relentless pursuit of new ideas and projects?

For starters, let’s just say I have a natural curiosity that rivals that of a toddler discovering the world for the first time. The digital landscape, with its ever-evolving technologies and endless possibilities, is my playground. I thrive on the challenge of turning abstract concepts into tangible solutions that can make a real difference. It’s like piecing together a giant jigsaw puzzle, and every time I find a piece that fits, there’s a rush of satisfaction that keeps me going.

But it’s not all about the thrill of the chase. There’s also a deep-seated desire to create something meaningful—something that can help others and maybe, just maybe, change the world in some small way. When I see the positive impact my projects have on users, it’s like throwing fuel on the fire of my motivation. Whether it’s a tool that streamlines workflows or a platform that fosters creativity, knowing that I’ve made someone’s life a little easier or more enjoyable is incredibly rewarding.

Of course, there’s also a touch of stubbornness in the mix. Let’s face it, entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. There are days when nothing seems to go right, when every line of code feels like a brick wall, and when the very thought of giving up crosses my mind. But in those moments, it’s the sheer determination to see things through that pushes me past the hurdles.

And then there’s the community—the amazing network of fellow innovators, users, and supporters who share their feedback and ideas. Their encouragement and insights provide a constant source of inspiration and remind me that I’m not in this alone. It’s a collaborative effort, and every bit of input helps shape the next big idea.

So, as I sit here, pondering what’s next on the horizon, I can’t help but feel a surge of excitement. The journey of innovation is far from over, and with each new project, there’s a fresh opportunity to learn, grow, and make a difference. Here’s to many more sleepless nights filled with creativity and passion!

From Somiibo to Slapform: A Journey of Growth

Ah, the journey from Somiibo to Slapform—a wild ride, to say the least! When I first set out on this entrepreneurial adventure, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Somiibo was my baby, my first foray into the world of innovative software solutions. Picture this: a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed solopreneur with a head full of ideas and a heart full of ambition. Sounds cliché, right? But it’s the truth.

Somiibo started as a simple project, a tool designed to help users automate their social media interactions and grow their online presence. It was a hit! People loved the concept, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. That initial success was the spark that ignited my passion for creating more. I realized I didn’t just want to stop at one successful project—I wanted to build an empire.

Enter Slapform. Now, this was a different beast altogether. Slapform was born out of a desire to simplify web form creation. I saw how tedious and time-consuming it was for people to create forms from scratch, and I thought, “There has to be a better way!” And so, Slapform came to life—a user-friendly, drag-and-drop form builder that makes creating web forms a breeze.

But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Oh no, there were sleepless nights, countless cups of coffee, and moments where I questioned my sanity. There were bugs to fix, features to add, and the ever-present challenge of staying one step ahead of the competition. But through it all, I kept pushing forward, driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact.

What kept me going? A combination of curiosity, determination, and a dash of stubbornness. Curiosity led me to explore new technologies and ideas. Determination kept me grinding through the tough times. And, well, stubbornness made sure I didn’t give up when the going got tough.

So here I am, juggling multiple projects like Slapform.com, StudyMonkey.ai, and more, each one a testament to the growth and evolution of my entrepreneurial journey. Every new project brings with it a fresh set of challenges and opportunities, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And let’s not forget the invaluable lessons learned along the way. From understanding the importance of user feedback to mastering the art of pivoting when things don’t go as planned, every experience has shaped me into the business owner I am today.

For anyone out there dreaming of starting their own business, take it from me: the journey is as important as the destination. Embrace the highs and lows, learn from your mistakes, and always keep pushing forward. Who knows? You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

If you’re itching to dive deeper into the entrepreneurial mindset, check out some sage advice from seasoned pros here, here, and here. And for a little extra motivation, here are 10 tips to achieve anything you want in life.

Key Motivators: What Keeps Me Going?

Ever found yourself pondering what gets someone out of bed each morning, especially when juggling multiple projects? Well, let me spill the beans on what lights the fire under my feet. Spoiler alert: it’s more than just coffee!

First off, there’s the thrill of business innovation. Nothing gets my gears turning quite like the idea of creating something new. Imagine, transforming a seed of an idea into a full-fledged product like Somiibo or Slapform. It’s like watching your favorite movie unfold before your eyes, only you’re the director, the producer, and maybe even the lead actor. That rush, that adrenaline—it’s intoxicating.

But beyond the excitement, there’s a deeper, more personal motivator. It’s the challenge. Every new project throws a unique set of hurdles my way. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Whether it’s figuring out a new feature for StudyMonkey.ai or cracking the code for user engagement on Slapform, the process of problem-solving is immensely satisfying.

Then there’s the community. You might think being a solopreneur is a lonely road, but my journey has been anything but. The feedback, the interactions, and the shared experiences with users and fellow innovators are invaluable. They keep me grounded and inspired. Nothing beats a heartfelt message from a user whose life has been made a tad easier by one of my creations. It’s like receiving a virtual pat on the back, and trust me, those go a long way.

Oh, and let’s not forget the dream of leaving a legacy. I want to create something that outlives me, something that people will look back on and say, “Wow, that really made a difference.” It’s not just about making a quick buck; it’s about building something meaningful, something that stands the test of time. If you’re curious about how I balance these lofty goals with everyday sanity, check out my thoughts on that here.

Also, let’s throw a little sprinkle of humor in here—I’m motivated by the sheer desire to prove my doubters wrong. Nothing says “I told you so” quite like a successful, thriving business. It’s a petty motivator, sure, but hey, it works!

Ultimately, what keeps me going is a blend of passion, challenge, community, legacy, and, yes, a bit of spite. These elements combine to create a potent cocktail that fuels my drive to keep innovating and pushing boundaries. So, next time you’re feeling stuck, just remember, it’s often the mix of the serious and the silly that propels us forward. And if you need a bit more inspiration, you can always read more about my journey here. Cheers to keeping the fire alive!

Challenges Along the Way: How I Overcome Obstacles

Ah, the life of an entrepreneur! It’s a wild ride, full of unexpected twists and turns, high highs, and, let’s face it, some pretty low lows. When I started my journey with Somiibo, I had no idea what I was getting into. Sure, I had dreams of innovation and changing the world, but nobody warns you about the sleepless nights and the constant second-guessing. So, how do I tackle the hurdles that come my way? Let me walk you through it.

First off, let’s talk about those times when things just don’t go according to plan. You know, when the universe seems to conspire against you. I’ve had my fair share of those moments. For instance, there was a time when a critical update for Somiibo didn’t deploy correctly, and users were up in arms. Panic mode? Oh, absolutely. But instead of letting the chaos consume me, I took a deep breath and focused on problem-solving. The key is to stay calm and collected, even if internally you’re screaming like you’re on a roller coaster ride.

Another major challenge is balancing multiple projects. Juggling Somiibo, Slapform, and StudyMonkey.ai, among others, is like trying to keep a dozen plates spinning at once. It’s hectic, to say the least. But here’s the thing: I thrive on variety. It keeps me motivated and excited. The trick is effective time management. I use a combination of digital tools and old-fashioned to-do lists to keep track of everything. Mind you, it’s not always smooth sailing, but having a clear plan helps mitigate the chaos.

Financial constraints? Oh boy, don’t get me started! Bootstrapping your ventures means you’re constantly looking for ways to stretch every dollar. There were times I questioned whether it was worth it, but then I remembered why I started. It’s crucial to be resourceful and sometimes, you have to make tough decisions. Cutting down on unnecessary expenses and finding creative ways to fund your projects can make a huge difference. And let’s not forget the importance of a supportive community and invaluable feedback, which I’ll touch on next.

One of the biggest obstacles, though, has to be self-doubt. Every entrepreneur faces it. It’s that nagging voice in your head questioning your every move. What I’ve learned is that it’s okay to feel uncertain. It’s natural. The trick is to not let it paralyze you. I surround myself with positive influences, people who believe in my vision and push me to keep going. And hey, sometimes you have to fake it ‘til you make it. Confidence, even when feigned, can propel you through tough times.

Lastly, let’s talk about the unexpected curveballs—those unforeseen issues that pop up out of nowhere. Whether it’s a sudden market shift or a technical glitch, being adaptable is crucial. Flexibility allows you to pivot when necessary and find new solutions. Embracing change rather than resisting it makes overcoming these challenges much more manageable.

So there you have it—a glimpse into the obstacles I face and how I tackle them. It’s not always easy, but the journey is incredibly rewarding. For more insights into my entrepreneurial adventures, check out my blog posts on From Somiibo to Slapform: A Journey of Innovation and Growth, The Joys and Challenges of Expanding Beyond a Single Project, and Why Juggling Multiple Projects Keeps Me Motivated.

Stay tuned for more, and remember, the key to overcoming obstacles lies in resilience, adaptability, and a dash of humor!

The Importance of Community and Feedback

When you’re neck-deep in the whirlwind of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to think you can do it all on your own. But let’s be real—we’re only as strong as the people around us. Community and feedback have been game-changers in my journey from Somiibo to Slapform, and I can’t stress enough how invaluable they’ve been.

First off, the sense of community is like having a safety net. It’s comforting to know that there are others out there who understand the rollercoaster of emotions that come with running a business. From fellow solopreneurs to loyal customers, each person contributes to a collective wisdom that’s both enlightening and reassuring. Sometimes, all it takes is a casual chat with a peer to spark a groundbreaking idea or to see a problem from a new angle.

Feedback, on the other hand, is like the compass guiding my ship. Sure, it can sting to hear that your latest project isn’t hitting the mark, but it’s also the kind of honest critique that fosters growth. I’ve learned that embracing feedback—both the praise and the constructive criticism—can turn setbacks into stepping stones. Whether it’s a client pointing out a feature that needs tweaking or a team member suggesting a fresh approach, each piece of feedback adds a layer of depth to my projects.

And let’s not forget the digital community. Social media platforms and online forums have become treasure troves of insights and inspiration. Engaging with an online audience allows me to gauge the pulse of the market in real-time. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to build rapport and show that there’s a human behind the brand. And believe me, the occasional meme exchange or witty comment can go a long way in establishing a genuine connection.

For instance, when I transitioned from Somiibo to launching Slapform.com, the feedback from my community was instrumental. They highlighted the features they loved in Somiibo and what they felt was missing. This input was pivotal in shaping Slapform’s user experience, making it not just another tool, but a solution tailored to real needs.

Moreover, the importance of community and feedback isn’t just about business growth; it’s also about personal development. Engaging with others keeps me grounded. It reminds me that while innovation and progress are crucial, empathy and understanding are equally important.

So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, remember to lean into your community and welcome feedback with open arms. It’s these interactions that can propel you forward, turning dreams into reality and challenges into opportunities. If you want to dive deeper into my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, check out my blog posts on navigating the roadblocks and lessons from my expansion. Trust me, it’s a journey worth sharing.

Looking Ahead: What’s Next on the Horizon

Peeking into the future is always an exhilarating exercise. It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff, feeling the rush of wind and the thrill of endless possibilities. So, what’s on the horizon for me and my ventures? Well, buckle up, because there’s a lot cooking behind the scenes!

First off, I’m super excited about expanding Slapform.com. We’ve had a fantastic run so far, but I believe we’re just scratching the surface. The goal is to continue enhancing the user experience and introducing new features that will make web form creation a breeze. Imagine a world where creating a complex form takes less than five minutes—yeah, that’s the dream!

But wait, there’s more! StudyMonkey.ai is another project that’s close to my heart. Education is evolving, and I want to be at the forefront of that change. We’re working on integrating even more advanced AI capabilities to make learning personalized and engaging. Picture an AI tutor who knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do, guiding you through your academic journey. Sounds like sci-fi? Well, we’re making it a reality.

And speaking of AI, the potential uses are practically limitless. One area I’m particularly interested in exploring is AI-driven content creation. Being a solopreneur can stretch you thin, and having an AI assistant to help generate content, whether it’s blog posts, marketing materials, or even code, could be a game-changer. This idea is still in its infancy, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

In addition to expanding my current ventures, I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities. The tech world moves at lightning speed, and staying ahead means constantly learning and adapting. I’m diving into blockchain and exploring how decentralized technologies can bring more transparency and efficiency to various industries. It’s a complex field, but the potential is enormous.

Now, if you’re wondering how I keep track of all these ideas and projects, well, let’s just say my whiteboard is my best friend. It’s cluttered with scribbles, diagrams, and post-it notes—like a mad scientist’s lab. But amidst that chaos lies the blueprint for the future.

Community and feedback have always been my guiding stars, and that won’t change. I love hearing from users and fellow innovators. Your insights often spark new ideas and improvements. So, if you have any suggestions or just want to chat about the future of tech, hit me up!

Lastly, if you’re curious about my journey from Somiibo to multiple ventures, you can read more about it here. And for those interested in what it takes to be a successful solopreneur, my thoughts are here.

In essence, the horizon is bright and full of opportunities. As I continue to innovate and expand, the goal remains the same: to create meaningful, impactful solutions that make life a tad bit easier and a whole lot more exciting. Stay tuned—there’s plenty more to come!

Conclusion: Staying Passionate and Persistent

As I reflect on my journey, from the inception of Somiibo to the expansion into Slapform and beyond, one thing stands crystal clear: passion and persistence are the lifeblood of innovation. Every setback, every challenge, and every sleepless night has only fueled my drive to push boundaries and create something extraordinary.

It’s funny, really. When people ask me what keeps me going, they often expect some secret formula or a profound revelation. In truth, it’s simpler than that. It’s the thrill of the chase, the joy of solving complex problems, and the satisfaction of seeing ideas come to life. There’s nothing quite like it.

Sure, there are days when the obstacles seem insurmountable, and the path ahead is murky at best. But those are the moments when I dig deep, remind myself why I started this journey in the first place, and push forward with renewed vigor. After all, what’s a great adventure without a few hurdles?

Moreover, the sense of community and the invaluable feedback I receive from my users and peers play a pivotal role. Their support and insights not only guide my innovations but also keep me grounded and motivated. It’s a two-way street where we learn and grow together.

Looking ahead, I’m brimming with excitement for what’s next. Whether it’s exploring new technologies, diving into uncharted territories, or refining existing projects, the horizon is teeming with possibilities. And rest assured, I’m committed to staying passionate and persistent every step of the way.

If you’re curious about my journey and the lessons I’ve learned scaling my business as a one-man show, check out this detailed blog post. And for a deeper dive into how I turned a single project into a thriving business empire, you might find this story particularly enlightening.

In the end, it’s all about staying true to your vision, embracing the process, and never losing sight of the passion that ignited the journey in the first place. Here’s to many more innovations, challenges, and triumphs on the horizon!


Follow my journey as a solopreneur, and my evolution from launching Somiibo, a single project, to expanding my empire with multiple innovative projects like Slapform.com, StudyMonkey.ai, and more