Growth Hacking Interview Series #96: Dragos Roua
Dragos Roua is a serial entrepreneur, personal development fanatic, author, ultra-runner, father, tanguero and risk taker.
He blogs at dragosroua.com about entrepreneurship, how to live a better life or his challenges as an ultra-runner.
How did you start out as a marketer?
I think I started as a marketer the moment I decided to become an entrepreneur.
That happened 17 years ago, when I opened my first business, an online publishing platform (which I sold 9 years later, as my first successful exit).
The moment you decide to create something you want to sell, you're basically a marketer, because nothing happens by itself, you have to make it happen. Somehow.
Looking back, what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
There were many struggles, but I suppose you're talking about business here. The most intense periods are the ones at the beginning of a new business.
Like I told you, I'm a serial entrepreneur, I started many businesses. Some of them took off, some of them don't, some of them are still maintained by me or a team.
My latest business is a co-working and event venue in Bucharest, called Connect Hub.
How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?
They actually came because they knew me. In this case, it was a direct result of the personal brand, they knew me before.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
The fact that I get to do what I like, that I can be creative and I can make a change in people's lives.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
This is a very big discussion and I'm afraid it can't be covered in just an interview 🙂 But the main thing you want to have in mind is: time versus money.
If you're freelancing, you're selling your time. If you're creating assets (a book, an online course, for instance, are assets) they will sell regardless of your time.
In other words, as a freelancer you can't scale your business, because you're limited by time. But at the same time it's difficult to create assets because they require time.
So, my advice will be to always put aside at least 10% of their time (preferably 30%) in order to create assets (being them books or online courses, etc). Another example of assets is creating and curating an online community.
This is exactly what I started to do at the beginning of this year and at http://dragosroua.space and the results are amazing.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again, what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
Absolutely nothing. Every failure is a chance to learn something new.
How is your typical work day structured?
I wake up, normally, between 5 and 6 AM. I do yoga, meditation and some physical routine (running or swimming). Then I check my day agenda and try to schedule my tasks.
Normally, I work from my own hub now, and that means that I have to cope with a lot of operational, day to day stuff (taking care of the supplies, talking to people, etc), but apart from that, I spend at least 2-3 hours doing research, writing or creating other types of content (video or audio).
My work day ends usually at 5-6 PM, but there are situations when I have to stay at the hub until 9-10PM. I usually go the bed between 9 and 10 PM.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
My first company, Mirabilis Media, was built in 9 years. The first 3 years were just hustling.
Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?
I'm doing this right now, but I find it kinda motivating. I like challenges.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
Recently I started to become involved with video content and I find it fascinating.
I'm creating an online course containing 100 video lessons and I find this quite difficult. But it's also very rewarding.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
Like I said, I spend at least 2 hours a day trying to remain connected with all the new stuff (being it in technology or in other areas, like marketing)
Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?
All of them. Even the ones that I failed. Because behind every project is a lesson learned.
If there's one Marketing Guru you'd recommend who and why.
I don't think he's a “guru” but I like his point of views. His name is Sean Wes.