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Business advice from Matt Mickiewicz who turned his hobby into multi-million dollar businesses

Business advice from a pro: Matt Mickiewicz, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Sitepoint, 99designs and Flippa. Photo courtesy of Matt Mickiewicz.

Matt Mickiewicz has valuable business advice. To say that he experienced success in a short time would be an understatement. At 27, he co-owns three multi-million-dollar internet companies: Sitepoint, 99designs, and Flippa. Mickiewicz’s history of success began in the late ‘90s when, as a high school student, he started creating websites as a hobby.There was a lack of readily available  information about internet design and Mickiewicz saw an opportunity to turn his knowledge into a business.

Sitepoint, formerly, started in 1998 with the goal of educating web developers and designers. 2008 saw the launch of Sitepoint spin-off 99designs, which gave designers the opportunity to sell their work online to a wide range of clients. In 2009, Flippa was created as an online auction marketplace for web designers and sellers.

Mickiewicz’s online companies have received wide recognition:

  • Sitepoint won an Alexa award as one of the top 1000 sites on the Internet
  • Sitepoint was ranked by BRW Magazine as one of 100 fastest-growing businesses in Australia for three consecutive years
  • 99designs received the 2010 Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Web Service and Application
  • won Best in Class at the 2011 Interactive Media Award
  • Mickiewicz appeared on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2010 “Brilliant 100” list
  • He was included on the “30 under 30” lists by Business Insider, Forbes Magazine and Inc. Magazine.

The obvious question is how did a young guy like Matt Mickiwicz, without any experience or training, manage to start a business and spin it off into three multi-million-dollar companies? As a business consultant, I’m always intrigued by the focus and drive shown by serial entrepreneurs, so I decided to reach out to Matt to see if he’d be willing to share a few pointers.

Business advice pointer #1: the best support is a strong team

Mickiewicz does not try to run three multi-million-dollar companies on his own. He lives in Vancouver, Canada and oversees the operations of the headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, but is reliant on CEOs and general managers who look after business operations in several countries.  Like many serial entrepreneurs, Matt is a detail oriented perfectionist who has learned how to grow his businesses by delegating control to his fantastic management teams.

Business advice pointer #2: recognize and capitalize on opportunities

Mickiewicz’s numbers are impressive. Sitepoint has created over 50 books in 20 different languages. 99designs has put designers in touch with clients around the world, earning them over $24,000,000 in the process. Flippa has helped entrepreneurs sell domains and websites worth over $60,000,000. While Mickiewicz did not set out to become a serial entrepreneur, he recognized opportunities as they presented themselves and was quick to adapt to changing circumstances.

Business advice pointer #3: dedication and perseverance lead to business success

Mickiewicz has always understood that success comes from hard work, patience, and perseverance. Since the beginning he has been passionate about his projects, working day and night to personally respond to emails and to guide numerous people through the process of making their own websites.

Business advice pointer #4: ingenuity and resourcefulness are indispensable 

Business owners are often faced with difficult situations, such as figuring out how to move forward even when lacking the desired resources. While it’s natural to lose hope when faced with adversity, Mickiewicz had a different approach - he channelled all of his energy into overcoming obstacles however he could. 

Business advice pointer #5: whether formal or self-directed, continuous learning is essential

Matt didn’t pursue a traditional college education, but he is always seeking new knowledge. He has educated himself extensively in the fields of sales and negotiation and has a substantial library of books related finance. By viewing every experience as an opportunity he has learned how to read people, negotiate effectively, and build long-term relationships with clients and associates.

Not only has Matt Mickiewicz fulfilled his childhood dream of owning his own business, he has exceeded his own expectations and earned international recognition as an exceptionally successful young serial entrepreneur in the process.

So is it time for him to relax and enjoy his success? Not at all. His future plans include... building more companies. We’re all eager to see where his energy goes next.

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