If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, prepare to be enlightened. We interviewed Norwegian growth hacking legend and blockchain devotee Sam Farao from Perago Capital to learn about his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
What was behind your decision to become an entrepreneur?
I was always really ambitious when I was a teenager and didn’t like authority figures. I hated being told what to do and when to do it; I really valued my own freedom. I think I knew from an early age that I wanted to work for myself and not somebody else later down the track.
So in college, I felt ready to start my own career. I wanted to do something that would help me become financially stable, without being limited to a specific salary. Creative control over my career was also really important to me. I started out by drop-shipping products from China to Europe, which became a big success. I decided to focus on that full-time, so I dropped out of college. I had no regrets – my career was blossoming and I was excited about the future.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when starting up your own business?
Getting accustomed to the change of pace in my days and learning to be fully independent was hard. Entrepreneurship is a learning curve; it’s very different to school where you’re told what to do and are given deadlines for projects. You have to be self-disciplined, motivated and organised. While I had no problems being self-motivated, I initially struggled with overloading myself with too many tasks. I was stressed and becoming burnt out. I had to learn to break goals into small, actionable steps. This helped me relax a bit and helped me sleep better – and in the end I was much more productive.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your career?
Again, being able to have full creative control over my work. I can decide where I want to work and when – whether it’s 4am or 10pm, at home or on a plane. I’m not limited or restricted in any way, which is great for me. And I’m constantly learning, whether it’s blockchain developments or affiliate marketing news. This helps keep me mentally stimulated. There’s never a dull work day for me!
What are the most exciting developments currently happening in your field of work?
Perhaps what I’m most excited for is the optimisation of artificial intelligence in affiliate advertising. The ability to automate simple functions and tasks is incredibly beneficial for businesses. Some AI tools are currently able to monitor a range of variables and then make adjustments in order to reach business goals. It gives much faster response than any person could, which helps businesses reach a whole new level of productivity.
Developments in blockchain are also promising. Tier 2 BaaS companies have emerged recently as a faster strategic alternative to the major cloud providers. These are small, agile start-ups which offer a varied range of solutions across a range of protocols.
Can you tell us a bit about what you are currently working on?
I’m doing quite a few things at the moment. One of them is a project in Saudi-Arabia that involves AI automation tools. I’m also involved as a partner and lead investor in a new clothing venture named House Of Nia that is based in Europe.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take care of yourself! While it can be tempting to work overtime, it’s so vital to maintain a work-life balance and get plenty of exercise and rest. Overworking yourself will only lead to burnout, which you don’t want.
That being said, make sure you have an efficient business plan – get a mentor to review it before you start investing your money into things. Work frugally, not outside of your means. This will help you avoid losing money in the long run. Cash flow is the biggest problem start-ups face, so be aware of that.
And finally, it might sound cheesy but always believe in yourself! You will face setbacks, that is inevitable. But anything is possible if you put in the effort and work intelligently.
A big thanks to Sam Farao for answering our questions!