The Silicon Review
"Trade has the potential to empower people to change their lives, provide a better future for themselves, and ultimately for the next generations.”
In today’s global marketplace, companies do business both within and outside the country. With technology and innovation getting evolved day by day, the world is becoming smaller. As a result, exporting and importing has become an essential part of day-to-day operations. To remain competitive and economically stable companies/nations must have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations which govern their imports and exports. Very simply, that’s what trade compliance or cross-border trade is all about. It is the process and system of understanding and adhering to the laws and regulations controlling the export and import of goods, products, information, and technology between different countries.
BlueBloxis a trade compliance consulting company known for enabling and streamlining cross-border trade into the tough emerging markets of Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Through years of experience, the firm has seen how generally accepted practices sometimes take preference over the right solutions in the developing and growing economies in the above-mentioned countries. The company’s motto is to ‘be different, be compliant’ stands as a call to action, intending to inspire institutions, businesses, and individuals not to conform to the general practices of the market, but to be proud of difference and compliance.
Dorothy Diedericks: Interview Highlights
Can you brief us about the history of your company?
It all started in late 2014. BlueBlox was founded with a clear vision to bring about economic and educational empowerment in the emerging markets through trade. The year 2015 was tough as the path chosen was bumpy and rocky, as we started operating the business in the attic of my house while raising a one-year-old child. We mainly focused on product development and sales. It was a “do or die” situation for us in 2016; we were expecting a big breakthrough. That is when we turned a profit and most importantly we expanded the team and celebrated that we survived two years! We took our profits from 2016, and the next year we made sure that we kept on doing more of the same.
Since then, we grew the team as project flow was seamless,as a result, our revenue showed an upward trend. Later, we moved into a bigger facility. Our clients loved our work, gave us more projects so our team members had more fun. The previous year i.e., 2019 was all focused on investment. Invest in people, processes, products, and passion. This year we are looking forward to upscale our growth and have already witnessed a minimum of 50 percent growth so far. We are very excited about what 2020 will bring, as we are ready.
A well-defined mission and vision’ statement is the secret behind the success of many firms.' What is your company's M&V statement?
BlueBlox was founded with a single vision in mind, “to bring about economic and educational empowerment in the emerging markets”. We choose to do so through Trade Compliance i.e helping companies trade compliantly in the emerging markets of Africa and the Middle East, which are known to be difficult to deal with and constantly changing.
We believe it is through trade that businesses impact their nation’s economy; it is through trade that investment in a market grows. We believe trade has the potential to empower people to change their lives, provide a better future for themselves and ultimately for the next generations.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is sitting on my rocking chair when I am 104 knowing I still have something in me to give thinking, “I should have tried a bit harder to help empower those in Africa”. As Sr. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “many people die with their music still in them”, I do not want to be one of those people, regretting the things I didn’t do. That’s why I do my best and give my all each day.
What other leaders do you look up to, and why?
Nadia Comaneci: She was my heroine since the age of four. She inspired me to develop my own grit. She possessed a special skill of perseverance that leads her to be the first gymnast to score seven perfect 10s at the Olympics, in 1976, when she was only 14 years old. She taught me, to not go home until you tried it one more time and see if you can’t do what you need to do even better, ultimately, you might even reach perfection as she did.
Elon Musk: I started following Elon as a business leader more than 15 years ago, before he was the success he is today. He is an inspiration to me. I admire his determination and grit.
Simon Sinek: He is one amazing thought leader on business, leadership, team management, and relationships. He constantly challenges his own philosophy and develops his ideas and mindset, and then publishes authentic and inspiring content relevant to business leaders today.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
For someone embarking on entrepreneurship, I would say get clarity and try to figure out what you want before just asking for others for advice, because if you have a vision that is unique, different and which doesn’t fit the status quo, other people’s advice might not necessarily be applicable to you.
Get ready to work hard. Work hard on adding more value to others; focus on what you do, not on what others say. Work on yourself, just as hard as you work on your business and always remember success is not achieved through the leaps we make, but the small steps we take in a single direction.
What are your future focus areas?
Investing in our People and empowering our clients through all we do.Developing outstanding Products that will service the world around us and bring about economic and educational empowerment. Continuously growing, learning, and improving our Performance. Being the best we can be.Giving opportunities to those who are hungry for knowledge and have healthy Passion for learning
The Resilient Idealist Behind the Triumph of BlueBlox: Dorothy Diedericks
Dorothy Diedericks, Founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of BlueBlox. Every decision Dorothy makes for the company aligns with her vision of helping others to accomplish their dreams. And, symbiotically, it's helping her to turn her own vision into reality.
Now, she's building a team of motivated individuals who want to do purposeful work and who trust in her vision and her ability to get things done. At home, she is a loving wife, mother to a fabulous 6-year-old daughter and owner of two energetic dogs. Every minute not spent in the office is spent with her family. In her spare time, Dorothy likes to imagine herself participating in some of her hobbies like rock climbing, dancing or camping, but in reality, as an entrepreneur, her favorite pass time at the moment consists of sitting silently watching the world go by or sleeping.
“Work on yourself, just as hard as you work on your business and always remember success is not achieved through the leaps we make, but the small steps we take in a single direction.”