I’ll cut right to the chase — this week on Her Life By Design, I’m joined by none other than Suneera Madhani. Suneera is the founder and CEO of the wildly successful company, Fattmerchant. A genuinely inspirational industry leader, Suneera runs an 8-figure business and has defied all the odds of the mostly male-dominated world of entrepreneurship.
Having worked in the payments industry since 2012, Suneera noticed the lack of innovation and support for small business owners. As the world moves into a cashless society, it is essential for businesses of all sizes to start accepting credit cards. Noticing the difficulties and how expensive it was for small businesses to make this shift, Suneera made it her mission to find a solution.
Advice from 8-Figure Female Entrepreneur, Suneera Madhani
The Start of her 8-Figure Business
Suneera initially pitched her idea for Fattmerchant to 12 companies, only to be rejected each time. So she took matters into her own hands, quitting her job and starting Fattmerchant from the ground up. Within 6 months of her launch, her company processed over 5 million dollars in payments for customers.
To date, Fattmerchant has processed over 5 billion dollars in payment, currently serving thousands of customers nationwide. With a team of 110 employees, Fattmerchant is ranked amongst the top 5 credit card processors in the nation. Along her journey, Suneera managed to raise 20 million dollars in venture capital. In this male-dominated world, only 3% of female entrepreneurs get funded at this level.
Suneera imparts her business savvy wisdom with listeners. Having noticed the huge gap in gender equality, she encourages female entrepreneurs to stop taking “no” for an answer.
Turning Mistakes Into Learning Opportunities
Fattmerchant’s rapid success was not free of obstacles and challenges. “Looking back,” Suneera recalls, “there are so many things I could’ve saved myself from, but at the same time we wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have to go through that roadblock — and that is entrepreneurship.”
Suneera advises all budding entrepreneurs to accept challenges and roadblocks as an essential part of the process. “Part of success is knowing that you’re not quitting just because it’s hard.”
She reminds listeners that every entrepreneur faces the same challenges in different capacities, levels, and at different times. The real work begins when you show up every day to surpass it.
Advice for All Entrepreneurs
With 7 years of entrepreneurial experience under her belt, Suneera confirms that there will always be obstacles.”With every mountain you climb, there’s a bigger one waiting ahead.”
Here are 2 pieces of advice for all entrepreneurs on their journey:
- It never gets easier.
There is always going to be something else once you surpass a milestone. Just because there’s a new challenge ahead, doesn’t mean the journey isn’t fun or exciting. Challenges and obstacles are essential in the recipe for growth. Always remember that “resilience is a huge piece of your success.”
- Do not underestimate the power of TEAM.
“You are only as strong as the people around you,” Suneera reminds listeners. Having a team you can rely on is incredibly important and impactful. This is where women excel in the world of entrepreneurship. “Women are really great people people. Female businesses tend to succeed in this area because we are empathetic to our team. Therefore, we foster empathy for our customers and to our product.”
Suneera credits team growth as a pivotal part of Fattmerchant’s success. In this episode, Suneera encourages listeners to understand their strengths and weaknesses. She reassures entrepreneurs that hiring out roles they aren’t good at is a wise decision.
Building Culture Within Your Company
Fattmerchant claimed a spot on Inc.’s best places to work in 2020. Additionally, Suneera’s company has won multiple awards for culture within the workplace. Suneera has an innate ability to build an intentional culture within her company. She reminds entrepreneurs to value an enjoyable atmosphere beyond perks and office environment.
Fattmerchant has established values that drive and motivate every individual within the organization. “You need to have a deeper mission for why you show up every day for work and that mission statement needs to resonate with everyone in the team. If you’re building a business just to do it for yourself or to make money, you’re not going to have a mission-centric organization that people are going to rally around.”
Suneera advises listeners to find the “why” that goes beyond the dollar. It is crucial to have a purpose that serves a more significant cause beyond monetary gain. If you’re passionate about the problem you’re solving and you know you have the solution — it should be your mission to be loud and proud about how you solve that problem and improve lives. But before you could support that mission, you need to have values in place.
Fattmerchant’s Core Values
In this episode, Suneera shares Fattmerchant’s core values with listeners. If they resonate, she gives full permission for you to use them within your own business. Here are Fattmerchant’s 3 core values that go beyond standard PR jargon:
- Get shit done
“It doesn’t matter what your role is, we’re all going to roll up our sleeves to get the job done.”
Suneera and her team are committed to delivering and showing up for one another and their customers. As a result, they know they can rely on each other because they share this value.
- Operate as one team
Operating as one team means putting personal differences aside to operate as a whole. It ensures that individuals on the Fattmerchant team have each other’s best interests in mind.
- Create joy
Fattmerchant and the team are dedicated to creating joy for one another and their customers. This means establishing a great user experience, and customer support. “I want to provide the best experience everywhere I go for our community, for each other, our investors, and customers.”
Tune in to the episode as Suneera shares why defining your company’s core values are extremely important. She also explains how establishing these values and principles lay the framework for your business.
When we think of successful entrepreneurs, we’re naturally curious about their work-life balance and what that looks like. For Suneera, it’s not about balance — it’s about integration. “Balance is boring and it doesn’t exist if you’re a highly ambitious human.”
Suneera explains this statement with an analogy from a friend, “when you see kids on a see-saw at the equal level, that’s balance. They’re not having fun, they’re just tangent in the air. Nothing is happening but it’s perfectly balanced.”
Instead, Suneera suggests establishing the 3 bucket principle. Suneera’s 3 buckets include:
- Icon (her second company)
- Family and friends
With everything that Suneera does, she makes sure to deliver 100% of her energy to one bucket at a time. If she’s spending time with her family and friends, she dedicates her full attention without distractions to them. Similarly, when she’s focusing on Icon or Fattmerchant, she designates time and tasks accordingly.
This stops her from feeling flustered or overwhelmed with everything on her plate. It’s a technique that allows entrepreneurs to be fully present at the moment. Suneera reminds listeners that “you have the same amount of hours as Beyoncé and Oprah.”
In the episode, Suneera shares her organization techniques and time management tricks. She shares tips on time blocking, prioritizing tasks, and creating a to-do list based on the level of importance. Implementing these methods allows Suneera to manage her time more efficiently.
Empowering Female Entrepreneurs on Their Journey
Suneera drops some incredibly empowering advice in this episode of Her Life, By Design. She encourages every female entrepreneur to dream bigger. Instead of aiming for that 6-figure business, why not shoot for 7-figures? Thus, Suneera started a second company called Icon. Icon’s mission is to induct more female entrepreneurs into the 2% club — establishing more 7 to 8-figure female-owned businesses.
“I want to inspire, I want to lead, and I want to help every single female entrepreneur out there to succeed because we can literally kick everyone’s ass.”
For anyone on their own entrepreneurial journey, tuning into this episode is a must. Suneera shares some of her most valuable tips on how to tune out the negative self-talk, important lessons in time management, and running a business, as well as dishing out some advice she wished she had at the start of her own journey. And if you need a little boost of motivation, Suneera upholds one of her 3 core values and is sure to deliver.
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Suneera’s IG: www.instagram.com/suneeramadhani
ICON Method: www.instagram.com/ceoschool