You said failure made you learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t. What’s your advice to people who are afraid to fail?
Sam definitely experienced a lot of failures. It’s like this famous basketball quote that says “you miss all the shots that you don’t take.” That’s the difference.
We have faced failure but we just move on and learn and grow from it.
For example, Sam has been in New Zealand for nearly 18 years. Over the course of that 18 years, he has applied for hundreds of jobs and he never got accepted to a single one.
Everyone of Sam’s businesses and opportunities, he found through people.
He learned that it’s not about what you know, but who you know, that works.
It doesn’t matter how technologically advanced civil society gets. At the end of the day, people work with people.
Sam says that we need to work with people. We need to build relationships. We need to engage with people and provide value to them. Even bringing a smile to their face can be considered.
Sam used to do a lot of offline networking. Now he does it more online which is exactly how fate has brought us together. Whenever he has an idea to start up a business or do something of the sort, he would still leverage his connections.
He mentioned how he applied to almost 500 jobs, each with a unique cover letter and a unique CV, but he never still could get a job.
And so he said, If you don’t get any job, start your own thing!
Can you tell us the story of how you got into the Pharma company and the esports company?
Among the 500 rejections, Sam only got two yeses that led to two exits. These were not advertised at all in job hunting sites.
He got into the first one when a mutual acquaintance introduced him to this Pharma company. Sam was doing consulting on the side, growing his brand and business passively.
When he was introduced to the Pharma company, he offered to work there for a month and if they liked what he was doing to their business, if he was able to show some growth, then they should give him a part of their company so that it’s in his benefit to keep growing it as well.
That’s exactly what happened.
Sam produced phenomenal results which gave him more and more stakeholder time in the company. The company became very reliant on him.
After he exited that company, he was essentially unemployable because most of the companies that he applied for said that he owned a business so he won’t last long.
The second company was one that Sam chose himself. He looked for the company and tried to contact the CEO through LinkedIn, Facebook, and email, but sadly, anonymous letters don’t usually receive any replies.
It was when he was able to meet the person physically, during an event that he was able to talk to him sincerely.
He pitched himself and offered to work for two weeks for free so that it would purely be the results that will do all the talking. Once again, he was able to provide them with great value.
They also became reliant on Sam and overtime, he managed to gain a small stake in it, especially since he was assigned to become the Chief Operating Officer.
It’s very similar to my own story. I was virtually unemployable with 28 failing units right out of college. I couldn’t get accepted so I had to start my own business as well.
Sam showed guts right there and that’s what a lot of people today need. You have to have the guts– the grit to keep doing what you’re doing.
Another thing that Sam wanted to add was that people should give up on worrying about what other people would say. Even with the potential negativity that your work gets, there will still be 10 other people that will find it useful. Do it for them.
Remember that when you do something significant, you will encounter opposition and there won’t be any opposition when you don’t do anything significant.