Young entrepreneurs all over the world have found themselves facing an awkward predicament in recent years. With access to more tools, resources, and information than ever before, our youth is well equipped to find opportunities in the modern marketplace and take advantage of them quickly. The proof of this is clear coming from the youth themselves, yet those not born into these times of abundance often have trouble truly connecting with the young ambitious innovators of today. With innovation happening so rapidly, a large part of this lack of connection comes from a struggle to communicate the changes taking place. This leads to some feeling dazed, confused, and even afraid of what is to come. This fear then often translates into anger or arrogance from leaders already on top. In business we find examples of extreme pride of traditional business translating to a failure to properly identify a company’s “hedgehog concept” as described by Jim Collins in “Good to Great,” or a failure to properly adapt to the marketplace. Faiz Imran, a 17-year-old entrepreneur from Atlanta, Georgia, has experienced this lack of prudence from business owners first hand and has seen the effects both personally and financially of the vanity of many established business owners.
Starting in the world of physical products at 10 years old, Faiz Imran found easier success selling a tangible concept that people could buy into with much less friction. Initially building a small empire of toys and gadgets including fidget spinners, iPhone cases and pop sockets in middle school, he knew that he would always be his own boss. With his first official startup, Everscent, Faiz created a technology product that tracks users’ movement to deliver the smell necessary for the right occasion at only 15 years old. This idea was so compelling that he was able to sell the business to investors before it even launched. Shortly after this win, Faiz moved into selling professional services to other business owners. Still only 15 years old at the time, he received sharp apprehension from his earliest prospects when it came time to pay for his services. His knowledge of web development, advertising, and social media simply was not enough to convince professionals to invest in his marketing services in the beginning. The most extreme instance involved a prospect that scheduled a signing meeting with Faiz ready to pay and move forward with his services. As soon as Faiz shared his social media profile with the prospect, he got cold feet and “ghosted” Faiz and won’t respond to his messages to this very day. For many of his first clients, he would even have to pay out of pocket to provide his services so that prospects could see what he is capable of. He learned that if he “kept the details a bit private” about his role in the company he would be able to woo his prospects. To convince his first paying client to sign a contract for $5,000, Faiz told the client he was just a project manager with a boss. After landing his first client, his results spoke for themselves and allowed for an abundance of success in a much more challenging industry. Within just 10 days of launching FISMMA, Faiz earned over $10,000 and has now scaled his agency up to a large international team of professionals and almost six figures in monthly income.
Regardless of the initial resistance, Faiz received in his career, he has now been recognized for his efforts and success by local and national publications including, Digital Journal, Gwinnett Daily Post, Voyage ATL, and more. Managing a team of over 120 professionals at such a young age is nothing to scoff at. His leadership and networking superpowers have allowed him to build FISMMA into full-service web design, advertising, and social media agency that reaches over 3.5 billion views online every month. His social media network includes over 100 million followers across sites like Instagram, Facebook, and even often undervalued Tik-Tok. Not only does his agency reach billions online, but FISMMA also has a large network of digital billboards in Times Square that he uses to help his clients reach their goals offline as well. With so much success at such a young age, his humility is the one thing that keeps him moving forward at such a rapid pace. With plans to launch a podcast and to host events highlighting his network of high-level entrepreneurs to come in 2020, it is clear that Faiz is just getting started.
An inspiration to young and old entrepreneurs alike, Faiz’s story is nothing short of a paragon for all to study. When superficial factors prevent others from taking you seriously in business, the best option is to show them what you’ve got to offer. Even if it means giving out a sample or a 7-day free trial, do not be afraid to risk a bit of your time and effort in the beginning. Once your prospects see that you mean business, there will be no turning back.
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