Who is Swish (Manu Goswami)?
Swish (Manu) Goswami, 21, has built a multi-hyphenate career. He is a serial tech entrepreneur (CEO & Founder of Trufan), LinkedIn Youth Editor, three-time TEDx speaker (signed with the Speakers Spotlight & The AAT Project), and UN Youth Ambassador.
Swish has been recognized for curating the world’s first youth social capital fund, an online incubator for entrepreneurs based in rural areas and an application to fight malnutrition on college campuses. He has been awarded the United Nation’s Outstanding Youth Leadership Award, Startup Canada’s Young Entrepreneur Award, and Plan Canada’s Top 20 under 20. Swish has also been recognized as a top LinkedIn creator with over 100M content views and as the “Face and Future of Canadian Entrepreneurship” by UPS Canada.
Swish has previously worked as a Fortune 500 consultant (for Google, Western Union and American Express), and venture capitalist (at JB Fitzgerald Venture Capital founded by Brooklyn Nets PF Trevor Booker).
Beyond working to grow his companies, Swish sits on the advisory board for numerous companies including the League of Innovators (national charity started by Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes) and Dunk Media (11M follower network focused on basketball). He is the author of an upcoming book “The Young Entrepreneur” that will be released in late 2019 through U.K. publisher Kogan Page.
As a former debater who represented Canada twice at the World Schools Debating Championships, Swish also has a passion for public speaking. He has given three TEDx talks and has spoken at Staples Center, Harvard University, IIT Bombay, Wall Street Journal, the 71st Session of the United Nations, International Festival for Innovation, World Business Dialogue, and American Express.
What inspires you? Tell us about where the journey began about becoming an Entrepreneur? What got you started?
From an early age Manu realized that there’s more to life than just being in a typical 9 to 5 job. His first business venture was at 7 years old with his father. When he was 14, he went into the Junior achievement (Canadian Program). From there on he came to a realization that Entrepreneurship can actually be a career and not just a side hustle. Manu did what he would love to do despite of his parents’ expectations.
So, when he was 19, he made a major mark as an Entrepreneur from Toronto making a dent on the global stage. Manu didn’t make society shape him from not going out in the world and making a making a major impact. He followed his heart and God-given talent.
As an ambitious kid that had the audacity to chase things. Manu always wanted to live out his adult life earlier than everyone else. He ignores the negatives that in order to make an impact and build wealth you had to be a certain age.
When he went to university, he wanted to be a lawyer but his life change when Trevor Booker who played for the Indiana Pacers (NBA) hit him up and put him on a path towards helping him with his venture capital firm, moving to New York, surrounding himself with creators and Entrepreneur’s like Gary Vee. He plans to build his foundation via his network, skills and his willingness to take bold risks to change things.
“One of my favorite pieces of advice is from basketball player, Trevor Booker. He told me that age is just a number. No matter how young you are or no matter how old you are, especially in the case of entrepreneurship. View your age as just a number or view your mind and intelligence as something that isn’t conditional upon it”, he said.
What engraved that practicality within you and kept that sense of realism?
Manu sense of realism dominates his business viewpoint that is required to move forward. Manu learnt how to deal with things in a practical manner. He’s one to sort out fact from fiction as a clear-headed person.
About 2 years ago he met a guy called Michael who’s in Toronto. Michael is a Low-key guy who sold his company (Blue Cat) for about 4 hundred million. Michael mentioned something to Manu that was the most profound thing he has ever heard which is, “I’m a 20-year overnight success”.
Manu didn’t want to just have a moment in life where he become successful for 15 seconds of fame. He wants to keep it for over a consistent amount of time. He’s totally okay with reaching age 40 and 45 as long as he’s doing something that he genuinely loves.
How has the journey really been? How did you bring about that realism, not just from a mentorship but also from a practical perspective within you?
Manu refers to the journey as being HELL but he had embraced the chaos in his journey. At times it’s myself and it’s also the culture that we live in. We have to show the best version of ourselves. There is so much work when you pick your own path. When you leave school where there is no structure anymore. You have to make your own schedule. Being your own boss means you have to manage everything yourself.
You have to be in control even if you have to depend or rely on others to be of help to you. Manu had to learn how to make good priorities as a kid and was always good in his time-management skills and at a tender age.
He had school, his social life, business and so much going on in his life which led him to decide which was the most important for him to be able to move up where he wanted to be. He focusses his life to a degree but came to a realization that plan didn’t make any sense to him.
There are many entrepreneurs that we speak to that jump from business to business trying to make it rain. Many entrepreneurs portray this 6-figure lifestyle and they are not even living that. They advocate this lifestyle in order to sell courses and fund that actual lifestyle. Apparently, that is going to generate little bit of money and they fake a little bit more, that’s ridiculous.
In today’s society persons are trying to break into the industry without being who they truly are by giving off a persona of being fake. People take that narrative and go to a far extreme with it. Fake it till you make it to Manu is acting like the way you want to live when you are in your 20s and 30s. That doesn’t mean to act rich, but to act with integrity and trustworthy.
You don’t have to fake it to reach further in life. The problem is people are using that statement and thinking in a materialistic way.
As Entrepreneurs ourselves who have built multiple companies. Many people don’t care about being an Entrepreneur, they just care about the lifestyle. They think 9-5 is going to be 9-1 but in all it’s a 9-1 am, that’s what it is.
Manu speaks about being bother by fake entrepreneurs or fake creators. They are going to realize it. One of 2 things will happen:
1. Pit of Depression:
They haven’t built up tangible skills because they constantly think that every institution is against them. Manu thinks college is good for a lot of reasons but the biggest is personal development. It’s learning how to be a human being and an adult and managing your time, relationship and being able fix your life and being honest.
2. Viewing of Entrepreneurship as a terrible thing they never want to again:
Manu explained that despite of hard days he loves what he is doing because he genuinely believe in the company he is building. He gets to interact with celebrities, influencers and brands. Those small wins can be fulfilling because it helps you break down a large goal that can become manageable.
If you can’t get satisfaction from sending an email to a really important investor because you are really excited about what he’ll say. You’re not going to get any satisfaction from anything with entrepreneurship. Those small wins you need to be able to take them in and enjoy them.
How do you as somebody who works tremendously enjoy the process and stay happy throughout? How do you deal with personally your relationships? How do you stay throughout this process and not just get upset with this depression?
Gary Vaynerchuk most commonly known as Gary Vee as made a profound impact on Manu’s life. Manu had continuously engaged with Gary’s social media presence whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, twitter or email. He finally gets to meet Gary and they talked about many things from self-awareness, to building a business to motivating yourself to social entrepreneurship.
Manu thinks a lot of people are taking Gary’s thoughts and misinterpreting what is being said. People don’t realize that Gary Vee audience is primarily two (2) people.
1. People who haven’t started because they are scared:
These people have various expectations that are shunning them.
2. People who are complaining, not in a good job and doing doing anything to change their lifestyle.
All they are doing is blaming everybody around them except for themselves.
Those are the two (2) type of people that Gary is trying to speak to. In the process obviously Gary is going to be talking to other people and a lot of times that’s where the misinterpretation comes in. Gary is trying to build a personal brand which he wants to appeal to the masses.
Gary don’t want people consuming his content. He wants them to start and they never have to consume his content. It’s repetitive for a reason. He’s trying to get new people into his audience.
Manu has an incredible team. He knew his co-founder 3 years ago. He built an app and achieved the youngest person in Canada receive venture capital when he was fourteen. His Co-founder is a calm person who doesn’t over react.
Surrounding yourself with a great team that’s willing to have fun. Manu and his team respect each other for what they are able to bring to the team. Manu is not a person who is attracted to materialistic things. He loves business because he is able to take a problem he has or his friends’ problems and solve it. He also takes satisfaction from small wins.
What do you have to say to those hustlers, those entrepreneurs out there, those people who would like to actually do something, what message do you have for them?
Keep at it! Just being real with yourself and with persons. Being able to stay humble and true to yourself. Knowing what you are really good at and bad at and making sure you are constantly keeping a mental check on your ego.
Manu loves going to San Francisco because when he goes there, I feel lucky that he’s not an Entrepreneur in that setting. He doesn’t like to characterize people with egos. He wants to be able to take their problems, considerations, opinions and value it on his own basis.
On that topic of business plans and entrepreneurship. What do you look for when you typically decide to look into a company or invest in one?
We are constantly looking for people that has an honest approach to the company. We are looking for persons who are not being unreasonable in their projections. They’re are not being unreasonable in their market size. We are looking for people who has an honest work to their company and hardworking.
Manu loves the work ethic of people. He loves being able to interact with them and getting to know not only them but their family, background and their friends. He wants to know where they come from. He’s able to go and interact with the kids and have a very good professional yet personal dialogue with them.
We don’t make a decision based on what’s going to be trending. We make a decision on where exactly can we make the quickest exit.
We want to invest in 20 to 30 company a year. We don’t exactly want to give money but to direct that company well. People that invested their own money and their ideas shows that they actually believe those ideas. And they are not just creating this company for the sake of creating a company. These people invest money into their business because they actually believe in their business.
What are your top tips for anyone who is looking to grow on LinkedIn? And how do you keep this so real and have your engagement boosted?
Manu don’t think he has figure out the recipe for success on LinkedIn. He can’t predict when a person will do well or not anymore. He has his engagement boosted by a post that he put up hoping it will attract people. Hoping people will love it. Also hoping people will appreciate his post.
He is totally fine with experimenting. The best part about LinkedIn is if the poster doesn’t work out. People won’t probably remember it, but you just have to consistently keep posting and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
How are you being so patient with your current age? How did you kept out of the now and bought yourself this amazing space of long-term patients?
Ever since top 20 when he won that award, he was kind of in the spotlight. Back then he needed more recognition. But now he cares more about the work. He has been in the business long enough to know that accolades achievements they feel good.
But at the end of the day Manu think he feels a lot better when somebody appreciate his ability that helps them to have confidence in speaking out on things they genuinely love. Or they might say I love when you take 15 minutes out of your time to talk to me.
Those messages feel a lot better to him than a plaque that says Entrepreneur of the Year.
What drives you to give back? Why as a 21-year-old are you so focus? Talked about the UN Youth Ambassador journey?
Manu started by do volunteering and charity in high school. He looked at the problems that he was helping to solved. People was affected by it personally. He had friends who had crippling mental health and been into depression. He had empathy towards people by giving back.