MP chatted with Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt, CEO of TechWerxe, a managed IT company, for small-midsize businesses (SMBs), and CloudWerxe, a secure cloud platform for Managed Service Providers (MPs). As a mother of two young boys who suddenly lost her husband a few years ago, Lakhani-Bhatt is also a keynote speaker dedicated to helping others take charge of their lives through acceptance, gratitude, and relentless trust in building connections and communities that are rooted in service and authenticity. 

Lakhani-Bhatt received a Gold Stevie Award and NJBIZ Digi-Tech Innovator Award. She has also been recognized as an ROI Power List Influencer and NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business.

The Journey

The entrepreneurial journey is one of self-discovery. What have you learned about yourself while building your business?

I have learned that my greatest motivation comes from the excitement and support of my peers and staff members.

I also realized that I enjoy taking risks because they come with great rewards, which empowers me to feel confident taking on new endeavors. 

Building a network and circle of trust has made me feel more comfortable taking risks because I know I have the help I need to overcome challenges along the way.

The entrepreneurial journey is often lonely. Have you experienced loneliness as an entrepreneur?

It is certainly lonely. 

When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I was mainly involved with big corporate organizations and groups from my early career in finance. 

My father was the only entrepreneur I knew who I could relate to. I joined Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and got involved with chambers and mastermind groups. This helped me tremendously as I was able to meet other people who were going through similar challenges.

After my husband passed away, I experienced a different type of loneliness. 

I lost my partner in life and business. 

I had no one to bounce ideas off and get a reality check from. 

I filled that void by turning to friends and colleagues. 

I even started talking to my kids about my business. 

They became my biggest rock.

The Psychological Warfare 

Entrepreneurs generally sleep less, work more, and let their health slip. This combination, combined with loneliness, often results in insecurity, self-esteem issues, and low self-worth. Have you experienced any of these issues as an entrepreneur?

I think every entrepreneur experiences some insecurities. 

After losing my husband, I was worried about showing everyone that I could move my business forward through a tragedy while helping my children cope with their grief. 

I overcame this challenging time by surrounding myself with a fantastic network of people. I make it clear to everyone around me that I am not a superwoman and that I cannot balance everything. 

There are days when I am entirely dedicated to my kids, days when I’m all about work, and days when I take time for myself. 

Timing is everything.

Newer entrepreneurs often equate their personal success with the success and value of their business. If their business fails, they are a failure. If their business succeeds, they are a success. Have you experienced this warped perception of reality?

I have not personally experienced this. 

I find a lot of value in failures. 

We are all prone to making mistakes, but what counts is making the most of the lessons we learn from them. 

Failures I’ve experienced have made me a better person, more humble, and a stronger business leader.

What are your three biggest fears as an entrepreneur, and how do you manage those fears?

1. Making Long-Term Plans

My husband’s death completely changed the growth plans we had for our business. I restructured our company and reset our goals, but I still fear not being on track to achieve my three-year and five-year strategic plans.

2. Losing Track of What’s Important

When I get excited about work, I dive all in. I worry that my desire to succeed professionally will take over my personal life.

3. My Exit Plan

Looking to the future, my biggest fear is how I will exit my business and whether I will mourn it or be ready to start a new venture.

I try to manage these fears by focusing on the present and practicing gratitude. Taking time each day to focus on the small things around me that I am grateful for helps me to stay balanced.

The Mistakes

What are three mistakes you made early on as an entrepreneur, what did you learn from them, and how can others avoid these mistakes?

1. Not Being Intimately Involved in Finances

Even if you have experts dedicated to managing the financial aspects of your business, it is YOUR business. Make sure you are intimately involved, look at your books, and know your numbers inside and out.

2. Taking on Friends as Clients

Offer your expertise to friends and help them find a company they can trust as a service provider but avoid taking them on as clients. 

3. Hiring Personal Connections as Employees

People in your personal life referred to you by friends or family members can be hard to let go of if things don’t work out.

What are three things you see that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs you encounter, and how can other entrepreneurs be aware of these things from the beginning?

1. Seeking Perfection

Many entrepreneurs often want perfection every step of the way. If that’s how you approach things, nothing will ever get done. It’s essential to move forward. You can always make changes down the road.

2. Taking Risks

Being an entrepreneur means you might sometimes fail, and that’s ok.

3. Networking

Entrepreneurs often get so focused on their business goals that they don’t take the time to build a circle of peers around them. Having the right support system is the key to success.

CEO of TechWerxe and CloudWerxe Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt / Photo courtesy of Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt

The Successes

What are three seemingly insurmountable obstacles you’ve faced as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?

1. Establishing a Circle of Trust

It took me a long time to find the right people that I wanted in my life – personally and professionally. I joined every networking group and didn’t eat meals alone for years until I felt like I had the best group of people around me.

2. Losing My Husband

When my husband passed away, the world around me fell apart. I became the sole owner of my business while dealing with the biggest grief I’ve ever felt. 

I had to tackle this obstacle one day, one challenge at a time. 

I also leaned on my friends and family for everything. 

There were days when my ability to breathe came from their strength.

3. Knowledge Gap

My husband was the tech brains behind our IT business. I was primarily responsible for sales, marketing, and operations. It took me some time to realize I didn’t need to take on his role after he passed away. I just needed to fill it with someone who brought that knowledge to the table but also shared my cultural values and vision for the company.

What are three ways you have managed to boost your productivity without causing burnout? 

1. Delegating

You can’t possibly do everything yourself as an entrepreneur. I have built a team of people I can trust to take on responsibilities and motivate me to succeed.

2. Taking Personal Time

It may sound cliché but take time off. 

I always have a trip on the calendar to look forward to and that I can think about when I’m feeling the pressures of entrepreneurial life.

3. Making What I Do Fun

You will burn out quickly if you don’t enjoy what you do. 

Create a company culture and work with clients that make you want to get up in the morning and get to work.

The Advice

How can newer entrepreneurs develop a healthy work-life balance even when it seems like an impossible task?

You don’t create a healthy work-life balance as an entrepreneur; you must accept that and approach it correctly. 

Some aspects of your life will always suffer or be a lower priority.

Focus on the important things in that hour, on that day, during that week, in that month, or over that year.

What three key pieces of advice would have made your entrepreneurial journey easier, and why?

1. Foster Mutually Beneficial Relationships

Approach relationships authentically so you can make authentic connections and work together to achieve your goals.

2. Make Decisions Faster

You don’t have to have everything figured out before you move forward with a decision. 

If I realized this earlier in my journey, I would already be closer to achieving my long-term goals.

3. Failures Lead to Success

Making mistakes is okay as long as you learn from them and apply that knowledge to your next decision.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

I hope the main takeaway for anyone reading this is that you don’t need to be afraid to fail if you have the right people surrounding you, ready to pick you up and say, “let’s try that again.”

Responses provided by Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt, CEO of TechWerxe and CloudWerxe.

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