You can’t always count on college to get you the success you seek. Sometimes, even moving to a different continent and pursuing an undergraduate degree in a coveted professional field doesn’t work. For Ismael Sidi, college in America was a chance to surpass the success he could have found at home in Niger, West Africa – one of the poorest countries in the world. He always considered himself to have an entrepreneurial mind, even back when he was just six years old. Little did he know then that that mindset would serve him well into his young adulthood.
In order to complete a degree in Petroleum Engineering at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, he left behind his family in 2010, from whom he learned all that he now values about success.
While in school, he put in the effort to secure his success in the field, even working part time for NASA. While working with NASA, he worked specifically at the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. One would think that Sidi was doing everything he could in his position to prepare for what would come in the post-graduate world. However, he was ultimately faced with a common situation soon after – unemployment.
But this wasn’t enough to stop Ismael. He credits his determination and entrepreneurial skills to his upbringing. He owes his values and core beliefs to what his father taught him. And he owes his compassion and determination to his mother. And in his career, it is his strong connection to and love for his family that ultimately drove him to be successful enough to give back to them. He even went on to give back to his home community in Niger.
Faced with this unemployment after graduating college, Ismael chose to thrust himself into a career of entrepreneurial e-commerce, where he would ultimately surpass hundreds of thousands of dollars, to get to millions, by his second year in the business! He eventually had enough money and success built up in this field to give back in a way he chose fit.
In 2018, Ismael founded an NGO that is now called TAGAZ and is based in NIger. With this NGO, Ismael set out to sponsor other entrepreneurs in Niger who held dreams similar to his own. He was also able to utilize his new-found wealth to support his younger brother in pursuing a college degree in Canada. With his efforts, perhaps one day his brother will be able to follow in his footsteps
As you can see, Ismael took a struggling situation and found a means to succeed despite it. He claims that his ability to not give up comes from the fact that he recognizes his opportunities in America and what they mean for him and his family. He also recognizes that it’s his priority to give back to his family and community at home. And equally important to him, Ismael credits his success to his wife, who supported the two of them when Ismael couldn’t pitch in. His family is one of his most valuable resources in business.
Setting an amazing example for anyone who wants to pursue big dreams with minimal resources, Ismael says,
“I haven’t really had my worst time yet, but I’m comfortable with failures and challenges in business. When life gets in the way, I pray and talk to my father. I am very self-aware. Self-awareness is one of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs, so I’m mentally prepared for the worst times and whatever I have to do, I do. Whoever I have to outwork, I do.
If you wake up excited every day to live the day, then you’re successful. Success is not a universal metric; however, it is directly correlated with happiness. You can’t be successful if you’re unhappy.”
How A 20 Year Old is Building a Billion Dollar Company
Every one of us has been involved in a business deal before. It does not always go the way we want. However, despite this, entrepreneurs are killing it in business and continue to do so. Some of them build multi-million dollar businesses at a very young age, and we are left to wonder how they do it. An excellent example is venture capitalist and personal branding expert, Josue Arteaga.
Arteaga has already built a multi-million dollar business and is in the process of expanding it into a billion-dollar company. He is the vice president of Disrupt Media and helps multi-millionaires, celebrities and entrepreneurs achieve six to seven-figure personal brands. It is in venture capitalism that Arteaga is building the billion-dollar company, which the man refers to as his long term plan. So how exactly did he get here very young?
Investing in His First Business
Arteaga came from nothing. A rather sad situation influenced his venture into business, and it motivated him to be who he is today. His mother needed surgery when he was around 17, and the father could not help since he had just lost his job. The problems in the family triggered a need to change things in Arteaga. It took him about three years from then to start making money and afterward went into personal branding where he was making $17,000 annually. By the age of 19, Artega was making $144,000, and this when he decided to save up invest in his first business.
An old high school friend approached Arteaga and asked him to invest in his dad’s Mexican meat market and grocery store. Arteaga started saving up, and this meant he had to cut off his expensive habits. With the bad habits paused, he put together $60,000 in nine months, invested in the meat market and joined as a partner. This action set the pace for him as a venture capitalist, and he did not stop there.
Building the Billion Dollar Company
With his branding business going so well, Arteaga is looking to hit the Billion dollar mark with the meat business. He is currently managing two million dollars in revenue from meat markets. As a result, Arteaga has become a top one percent earner in his age bracket, which is quite impressive. All these accomplishments have just motivated him to aim higher as an entrepreneur.
Arteaga has big dreams for the meat business in the next seven years. He wants to expand to owning 1,000 meat markets and make a billion dollars in revenue annually. It sure sounds like a crazy fete but not impossible for the genius venture capitalist. If it does not work out this way, Arteaga thinks $10 Million in revenue a year won’t be a bad idea. His other ambition is to turn his online business into a need-based business. He wants to teach other entrepreneurs how to do what he does.
Tips on Investing
Arteaga’s money philosophy is that online money is fast money. Shopify stores, Facebook ads, Ecom, social media, are sure ways to make quick cash online. He advises entrepreneurs to get into these industries to learn how to create a business, make money fast, save it, and then invest it in something more long term.
The people doing good in those industries get put on but fall off quickly. Facebook ads eventually die out, Shopify stores get successful fast because of trends, influencers come and go, and Ecom is all about who is at the top of the search just like Amazon. All this is just a peek, and if you go about it the right way, it can set off the rest of your sustainable career.
Arteaga has proven to be the creme de la creme of venture capitalism at a very young age, which is not easy. He is the right mentor to all millennial entrepreneurs. By venturing into business, Arteaga was able to rise from the ashes. He made sure to bring his family along with him to the top, which is what most of us want in life. He is a pure genius of his generation.
Why Thousands of Dog Owners Trust No Flap Ear Wrap
Founder and inventor of No Flap Ear Wrap, Julie Haught, has changed the way dogs recover from ear injuries. Haught’s dog Archer, one day had an ear injury so the vet gave him a vet wrap but he could never sleep properly in it and he always found a way to take it off. That is why she designed and sewn a dog ear wrap from some fleece and velcro. Her vet was so impressed by it that she immediately applied for a patent. Now, No Flap Ear Wrap is a family-owned business that has sold over 65,000 ear wraps to help thousands of dogs from all over the world. Here are Haught’s future goals.
When was the first time you tasted success?
It all begins at the end of 2013 when we accidentally rescued a boxer named “Archer”. The first person who noticed my accidental product was Archers Veterinarian Dr. Davis. After surgery on his pinna (ear flap) that required 11-12 stitches, we were constantly having to have his ear re-bandaged as he could easily escape the bandages and E-collar. After going to have him re-wrapped either every day or every other day, I asked her, what was the most important thing we could do for his ear. She said, “We just need to keep his ear from flapping. (hence the name No Flap Ear Wrap) We must keep it wrapped to stop the flapping motion from forcing blood into the ear flap which in turn forces it to find an exit.” I went home knowing he would eventually escape the bandaging again.
I started thinking about how the bandaging worked and how the sticky tape was not beneficial to Archer’s fur. I had some fleece fabric, Velcro and a flexible cutting board. I knew I needed something that would attach around his face, that was not just a tube shape. It would need to attach around the face, around his neck and it would need support to keep it from slipping back. I designed and sewed a wrap. It still had some bugs to work out so, after four tries, I landed it. Try as he might Archer could not get it off. He tried and tried but finally gave up.
We didn’t see Dr. Davis for at least a week. We walked into the office for our re-check and of course, everybody stared. The Vet Techs, in the office that day, asked us where we got the wrap. After seeing Archer, Dr. Davis was pleased with how well and quickly he was healing. She asked me if I could wait in the waiting area until she was done with one more patient. I said yes and was more than puzzled. She came into the waiting area and sat down. She was amazed at what I had created. Her advice to me was to get a patent attorney immediately as there was nothing like it on the market or in the Veterinary world. I sat there dumbfounded. Archer and I laughed all the way home. As did my husband when we told him.
Why do you want to be successful and what’s your ultimate vision of success for yourself?
We hope that we can affect the industry at the protocol level. We would like to be the first-line protocol treatment for ear injuries (as opposed to an alternative solution). We have already achieved that with several animal hospitals, but we would like to achieve that with the bigger chains (VCA, and Banfield Animal Hospitals).
Any last words of advice for readers?
If there are other accidental inventors out there, don’t leave your work sitting in a closet. Share it with others and see where the road leads. Spend the money on a patent attorney. It is worth it. Lastly, always remember that you can’t succeed if you don’t even try.
Ravi Abuvala – Leveraging Systems to build a 7 Figure Agency
Recently, I sat down for an Interview with my good friend, Ravi Abuvala. Ravi is a 7-Figure Agency owner, and has leveraged systems to scale and work less. We talked about running an agency, virtual assistants, systems, and much more.
- Hey Ravi, what does your company do?
Ravi: At Prospect Social, we help entrepreneurs systemize, scale, and outsource their business so they can see month-over-month growth while working less and less.
- What systems has your company leveraged?
Ravi: Mostly O.P.T (Other People’s Time). If you can package your product or service so that it is easy to understand, duplicatable, and delivers results, you can then teach that same fulfillment method to a team of virtual assistants.
- How did you get started building systems? What are the best systems to put in place for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Ravi: I was working 16-17 hours a day for months on end, without ever really moving the needle forward. I learned that although it is important to work hard, it is even more important to work smart. I started looking at how some of the largest companies in the world did it (American Express, Amazon, and AT&T) and realized they were leveraging overseas work to get the most important stuff done at a fraction of the price. I started training my new employees how to focus on lead generation for my company and next thing I know we have 8-10 booked calls a day and we were hit record months consistently.
- How did you start hiring virtual assistants? What skills do they possess?
Ravi: To be honest, I have a recruiter in the Philippines and we always try to pull them from the big companies over there. They have spent hundreds of hours training them and thousands of dollars updating them on the latest systems. We offer them better pay and the ability to work from home, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for them. Then once they start seeing success they tell all their old co-workers and it sort of snowballs from there.
- What things did you do to scale your company?
Ravi: Focused on two things: setting appointments and taking appointments. Everything else is secondary. Appointments are what drives every company and if you can make 8-10 pitches a day, well even someone who is absolutely terrible at sales will start to see growth. Then it’s about packaging and delivering your service or product in the most efficient and streamlined manner possible for both you and your client. At that point you can remove yourself from your business and just make the larger moves up top.
- What advice would you give to someone starting an agency?
Ravi: Be ready to fail, it won’t be easy like all of these other gurus will have you think. That being said, if you persist and focus on what is important (setting appointments and taking appointments) it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
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