Sean Frank is the managing partner at Cloud Equity Group, a New York-based investment management firm specializing in leveraged buyouts of tech-enabled service providers. Sean acts as the Chief Investment Officer for all investment decisions across the firm. Aged 31, Sean Frank has already achieved a level of success that most people can only dream of. The most striking fact about Sean is not necessarily his young age now, but how young he was when he first started out on his entrepreneurial journey.
Prior to founding Cloud Equity Group, Sean already had about a decade of executive-level business management and M&A experience under his belt. When he was only 12 years old, Sean started his very first business venture – a white glove service web hosting provider. As Sean points out, back at the time, he didn’t know what exactly he was doing; he simply liked the idea of making passive income. At the time, he saw a demand for individuals and small businesses to create an online presence and he had the interest to help them. Sean started out creating websites for people in exchange for a monthly maintenance fee to keep the sites accessible online. What started as a simple hobby grew quite substantially in a relatively short period of time.
By the time that Sean reached high school, Sean was already earning more money than his teachers. As time went by and as his business kept growing, so did the complexities of its operation. Sean had to learn everything through trial and error. After all, there is very little business education taught to teenagers in school and Sean had no formal work experience. Through trial and error, as well as a lot of independent research, Sean taught himself everything he needed to know about running an established business from overseeing daily KPIs to managing and motivating employees. Over time, the business evolved into an online conglomerate providing a vast array of web-based services internationally.
Sean always points out that the success of any new business will depend almost entirely on the drive and passion of its founder(s). “Most new businesses fail. Everyone knows this, but people don’t understand why. If you want to be successful in starting your own company, you need to be willing to work harder than everyone else around you.”
However, only working hard is often not enough. Sean explains that running a business requires constant learning and education. “If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to be an expert in what you are trying to do. The thing is, you will never know it all, so you always need to be motivated to learn more,” says Sean.
In addition to hard work and learning, Sean believes that the third essential component for success is one’s mindset. As he points out, self-confidence is critical for any entrepreneur to succeed. “You always need to be confident in yourself. Don’t let rejection, negative feedback, or failure dissuade you. They are an unavoidable part of every entrepreneur’s life. If someone else is able to convince you that either you or your business idea is not good enough, how do you expect to be able to convince people otherwise?” Sean says.
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