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John Lee Dumas, Founder of Entrepreneur On Fire

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John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, one of the highest ranked business podcast right now. It was recently awarded “Best Podcast in iTunes 2013”. In his shows, John interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week and has been featured in both TIME and Inc. Magazine. He is also the founder of Podcasters’ Paradise; a community where Podcasters can create, grow, and monetize their podcast. EntrepreneurOnFire generates over 550,000 unique downloads a month with past guests such as Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Guy Kawasaki.  Recaps of the 500+ episodes and MUCH more can be found at EOFire.com.

How did you come up with the idea of Entrepreneur On Fire?
I saw there was no daily podcast that interviewed successful and inspiring Entrepreneurs. I knew there were people like me driving to work 5 days a week, seeking out daily content. I saw the void in the marketplace, and created EntrepreneurOnFire to fill that void
Could you walk us through the process of starting up?
I hired a mentor in my niche of podcasting, I joined a mastermind of other podcasters, I went to conferences in the Entrepreneurship space, met the presenters, shook their hands, got my first couple yes’s to be interviewed in person, and started interviewing.
Did you find anything particularly difficult during the startup phase?
Fear. The Imposter syndrome set in as launch day approached. I was assailed by doubts: Who would want to listen to me, who would care what I had to say, why me? Why now?
How was the initial reaction from the consumers?
The initial reaction was astounding. Listeners immediately saw the value in a daily show, they loved the free content I was delivering 7 days a week, with a medium they could consume when they wanted, how they wanted.
Do you face a lot of competition in this industry? What is your strategy against your competition?
I did have a lot of competition. My strategy was to stay focused, stay consistent. I kept creating valuable content for that avatar, and people kept listening, and the show kept growing
Have you developed any industry insights that you could share?
A successful Podcast does the following: Finds a niche, speaks intimately to that niche on a consistent schedule, with high value being delivered each time.
How have you managed to stay relevant in this industry?
EntrepreneurOnFire tells the story of successful Entrepreneurs. Stories are timeless, the lesson learned to relevant now, 2 years ago, and 2 years from now. Humans resonate with stories, and this is why EntrepreneurOnFire stay relevant and continues to grow, we focus on the story.
What are your future plans?
We plan to stay the course, continue to develop valuable content on a consistent schedule for free, grow our audience, listen to our audience, and pivot if and when they start telling us to. We will remain agile.
If you could start all over again, would you change anything about your approach?
I would launch sooner. I allowed the imposter syndrome to delay my launch, and all that did was delay my success.
What do you think about startups in Asia?
I have a very large listener base in Asia. I receive incredibly impactful emails from Asia. I believe Asians in general are inspired but the power of online Entrepreneurship, and are the future wave.
What are some personal principles or personal values that guide you and your career?
Discipline, commitment, hard work, and most of all, focus. Follow one course until success.
What is your definition of success?
Success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I could only live a of freedom. I had to be in control of my own destiny. This is Entrepreneurship, this is why I chose this path
What do you think are the most important things entrepreneurs should keep in mind?
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Choose something you know you will still enjoy doing in 3-5 years, then settle in for the long haul. Those who try to sprint to success burn out.

Callum Connects

Marek Danyluk, CEO of Space Ventures

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Marek Danyluk has a talent for assessing the competencies of management teams for other businesses and pulling together exceptional teams for his own businesses!

What’s your story?
I am the CEO of a venture capital business, Space Ventures, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses. I also own and run Space Executive, a recruitment business focused on senior to executive hires across sales, marketing, finance, legal and change.

My career started as a trainee underwriter in the Lloyds market but quickly moved into recruitment where I set-up my first business in 2002. The business grew to around 100 people. I moved to Asia in 2009 as a board member of a multinational recruitment business with the mandate to help them scale their Asian entities, which helped contribute to their sale this year, in 2017.

My main talent is assessing the competencies of management teams as well as building high performing recruitment boutiques and putting together exceptional management teams for my own businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
Building the business is very much about attracting the best talent and being able to build a culture which people find invigorating and unique. It’s an exciting proposition to be able to define a culture in that regard and salespeople are a fun bunch, so when you get it right it’s tremendous.

From a VC point of view there is just so much happening. South East Asia is a melting pot of innovation so the ideas and quality of people you have exposure to, is truly phenomenal. The exposure in the VC has taken me away from a career in recruitment. Doing something completely different has given me a new level of focus.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Whilst I came here with work, both my boys were born in Singapore and to them this very much is home. That said, my father in law spent many years in the East so coming and settling here was met with a good degree of support and familiarity.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Possibly Hong Kong. It’s the closest I’ve been to working in London. Whilst there are massive Asian influences people will work with you on the basis you are good at what you do and work hard. I find that approach very honest and straightforward.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Always treat people well on the way up!”

Who inspires you?
I like reading about people who have excelled in business such as Jack Ma, James Kahn, Phil Knight, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, all have great stories to tell and they are all inspirational. No-one has inspired me more than my parents and they are well aware as to why…

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Pretty much any technology innovation blows me away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Whilst it is important not to have regrets I do continually wake up thinking I’m still doing my A’ Levels. So, I’d have probably tried a little harder in 6th form.

How do you unwind?
I like the odd glass of red wine and watching sport

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan skiing. I love skiing and Japanese food and it’s a time when I can really enjoy time with the wife and kids. I recently tried the Margaret River which was divine, although not technically Asia.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Barbarians at the Gate

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive is the fastest growing recruitment business in Singapore focused on the mid to senior market across legal, compliance, finance, sales and marketing and change and transformation. Multi-award winning with exceptional growth plans into Hong Kong and London this year, and the US, Japan and Europe by the end of 2022. We are building a truly global brand.

Space Ventures is interested in any businesses that require capital or management and financial guidance or any or all of the above. We have, to date, invested in on-line training, food and beverages, peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring as well as other tech and fintech start-ups. We are always interested in hearing about potential deals.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@Spaceexecutive

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings

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Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched.

What’s your story?
I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position.

Who inspires you?
Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start.

How do you unwind?
I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki

Shameless plug for your business:
Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning.

How can people connect with you?
Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@malcolmABM

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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