Aleks Liubimyi, serial entrepreneur, has owned various multimillion dollar businesses from all over the world. His last business, OILENERGO, was sold for $120 million which is the largest sale he has had to date. He is currently the CEO and owner of ATLUXURYHOME that operates via its U.S. headquarters in Colorado. We interviewed him to get an insight into his life as an entrepreneur and what it has been like working with small businesses and moving onto bigger ones.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was 14 years old when my parents told me that I was on my own, so by the time I was 18 years old, I had worked around 20 different jobs. At that point, I decided to become self-employed because I genuinely hated needing to arrive and leave work on time. You’re more like a robot that’s doing the same thing repeatedly every day. The first 6-7 months were difficult after I opened the business, but I’ve got a non-stop work ethic and I became more creative. Plus, I actively look for different ways on how to work smarter so that the work doesn’t take hours.
I opened up my own transport company, but of course it has just been me for most of the time. I delivered oil and gas to gas stations in a rental truck, but then things gradually snowballed, and I started hiring employees to do that. Over the next 10 years, we hired hundreds of people to work for us, and it was not only for truck logistics, it was also for trains and ships all over the world. This is how I started my journey, but it’s not finished yet. A lot of things became complicated, and in Russia, doing business was very hard because of corruption at all levels, but this story is not about that. My advice is if you want to do any type of business, and you’re passionate about it, just go for it; no matter what, you will succeed. I also wrote a book called 3 Steps to Business Success; it is a short book, but you are going to like it.
You mentioned that the first 6-7 months were very difficult. How did you overcome that and what advice would you give others in your situation?
The problem that nearly all entrepreneurs or new businesses face is that potential customers often do not want to be the first ones to try. They want to see that your business idea is proven and tested before they try it. It can be very difficult to get that breakthrough, that first customer.
My advice is to build awareness and demand before approaching your major target audience.
It is also a perfect opportunity to research whether you have the right product and pricing, whether people really enjoyed working with you and whether your business model makes your customers happy.
So, in the first 6-7 months as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to listen to feedback to help point you in the right direction and to tweak and refine your business and/or product as you go. You shouldn’t see it as a failure if you end up changing your original idea.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
I think a lot of entrepreneurs will say the same thing. It is not about the money. I don’t know if it’s a lack of confidence or an excess of confidence, but you always want to prove yourself and you’re never quite satisfied – and that might express itself by being very competitive. You just want to do your own thing and are prepared to take huge risks to do it. I always love risks and facing failure because only then can you succeed.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Knowledge, contacts and experience. These things are priceless.
Most successful businesses evolve from knowledge of the industry that you’ve been working in before and how successful you were in your previous career. You might not have an idea today, but get as many qualifications as you can and work as hard as you can in your career because that will help in the future
I’m told that, on average, most people start a business at 38 years old in Silicon Valley. They’ve done their time and they really know their stuff.
Who inspires you?
Kobe Bryant with his Mamba mentality, just Google it and watch few minutes on him talking about it.
What about mental energy to be an entrepreneur?
“When it comes to finances, emotions can run high and cloud our judgement. The self-made wealthy understand that emotion can be a great motivator, especially when you need to take action to accomplish a goal. But when it comes to decisions around earning, investing, and saving money, they stick with the facts on the ground.“ Aleks Liubimyi said.
The self-made rich know how to focus their mental energy where it can most benefit them in the long term. When you think about your money, are you more focused on small savings or building an empire?
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Let me put it another way: What do you dream about? What do you want to see really happen in your life that money could help accomplish? How close are you to making these things happen?
Even though things are uncertain, take this time to be really honest about the answers to these questions. You owe it to yourself to devote your mental energy to the things that will create that value in your life.
Aleks Liubimyi is author of the book “3 Steps to BUSINESS SUCCESS”
The mission of this book is to help you become more efficient and ultimately successful when it comes to any business endeavor through three simple steps.