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An Interview With Eytan Bensoussan, CEO of NorthOne

Eytan Bensoussan is the co-founder and CEO of NorthOne, a digital banking service for small businesses. 

The following is an interview with Eytan.

Give us some details about your journey as an entrepreneur

I was born into a family of small business owners and watched the way many of my relatives spent an enormous amount of time and money on making sure their business finances were in order.

There was just this overwhelming focus on the money side of business even though their businesses were mechanics, electricians, engineers, etc.

Managing their finances was the terror that kept everyone on their toes, and that stayed with me much later in life. I ended up quitting my job to go and solve this problem — just based on this one idea that I knew was a raw problem that existed.

I knew it hadn’t gone away. And I knew that I had a real opportunity to solve it with this emerging technology. And the emerging concept of what is now called the Challenger bank.

What do you specialize in and why should someone choose you over your competitors in your field?

NorthOne specializes in providing a business bank account and business in operational banking services for small businesses.

And the reason for choosing us is that we don’t take a very deliberate approach.

We’re not trying to over engineer things. We’re not trying to make hundreds of dials and knobs and settings that overwhelm you.

We’re really trying to make the most intuitive, simplest, most elegant experience for businesses. Only, our goal is not to keep you in the product as long as possible, our goal is to get you out of it.

Our goal is to get the business owner back to work. And so we spent a lot of time making sure that everything is so intuitive and so simple and so fast, that the banking part of a business owner’s day should take almost no time.

What are your three biggest accomplishments?

  • 1) Starting the company while starting a family. Both really pushed me to be the best father I can be, and the best entrepreneur.
  • 2) Getting our first customer. It was so special to me because for a long time, everything had largely been theoretical, but now someone was taking money out of their pocket, and putting their trust in me.
  • 3) Living every day to see NorthOne thrive. It’s such an accomplishment seeing our employees flourish and watching our company grow.

What’s your piece of advice for readers who want to achieve wealth and success in life?

Be self-aware.

You have to know and understand what you’re good at.

If you’re built to be a founder, be a founder. If you’re built to be a service provider to accompany a lawyer and accountant, be that person.

Don’t be the wrong person, because you will be miserable. When you’re really in that space where you’re in the flow, wealth and success come to you. You won’t have to seek it.

Just try to put yourself in a position to be incredible at what you do.

What do you think is the key to truly successful business?

Persistence. Don’t allow yourself to give up. Failure is never an option.

What are the main challenges of an entrepreneur?

It doesn’t matter what challenges you’re facing. It’s a mental game. How many NOs can you take before you give up?

How little money can you live on before you call it quits? How many people can quit your company or customers can leave you before you feel hopeless? You have to just have the right resilient mindset.

How did you overcome – or are overcoming – these challenges?

Honestly, it’s not even about overcoming. It’s about expecting these challenges, but not letting them faze me.

I know that we’re going to do what we need to do and that we’re going to serve our customers no matter what. Every challenge is just an obstacle for us to reach our destiny as a company and as a team.

What’s your piece of advice for people who want to quit their 9-5 job and start a business?

Back to self-awareness. If you were excellent at your job, and it’s 9-5, it’s like you’ve won. If you’re excellent at what you’re doing, and you have a great work-life balance (and you’re happy with it), don’t change a thing. 

And if you’re deeply unhappy, then go on that journey of self-awareness. Understand where that happiness lies. And don’t be afraid to get it wrong.

How can people find you?

I’m always available on Twitter @eytanbensoussan.

Do you have any app, digital course, or book you would like our readers to know about?

Yeah, check out NorthOne!

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash