Oliver Kenyon is a fully qualified chef turned digital entrepreneur. He launched his first ever website at the age of just 14, and now runs a portfolio of successful websites, forums and digital platforms.
He has founded two successful businesses – FixForums (a specialist set of forums with an accumulative active membership of almost 100,000) and The Landing Page Guys (a direct response focused development agency). Oliver is currently Managing Director, and COO for LoveCars.com, who are setting out to become the biggest online portal in the world for all things automotive. He has helped the team build a core following of over 1million car enthusiasts on Facebook.
He also writes prolifically and has an incredibly popular entrepreneurship and marketing blog.
We go right back to the start and talk about all of Oliver’s exact steps and decisions, businesses and ventures, lessons and mistakes along the way.
Loads of tips, tactics and wise wise advice for us all in here. We discuss:
- The organic development of his entrepreneurial journey
- How to overcome perfectionism, and use it as an asset
- How to manage three successful businesses at once; sharing some amazing productivity and time management tips
- The importance and power of personal branding, and how to build one
- His passionate views about the flaws in the education system
You have to get through to the Rebel Wrap up round, this is one of my favourites so far. Some great answers in there, and generally this interview just gets better and better as it goes on. Absolute joy.
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Read the magazine interview here:
- To this day I don’t have a credit card, I don’t have anything on credit. I never pay for anything unless I can afford it.
- I’m not great at executing other people’s ideas, I’ve always wanted to see my visions take place
- It is a control thing, you have to be in control
- I know what I want and I know what I want to do, and that gives me the buzz of taking something from nothing
- Saying no is important, but you do have to be a yes man, especially at the start
- I’m obsessed with lists
- To me success is longevity
- Networking is crucial
- I’m a huge believer that if you help enough people one day you’ll get help back
- I’m a huge believer in self branding
- I’ve always been a perfectionist, I’m a lot better now
- I love being accountable for what I do, so I put it out there
- I’m a big believer in, when you put yourself out there and you want to do something if people take the piss or if people put you down then they really shouldn’t be your friend
- You have to break through that barrier of really caring what people think
- You just have to get started, you have to get over your own persona, get over yourself and just get out there
- Get over yourself, and get it into your head that no one actually really cares
- I’ll start something and I’ll make it work, and if I don’t then I’m a failure, and I don’t want to be a failure
- I’ve lost a lot of money, but you have to turn it into a positive, you have to learn from what you’ve done
- The fear of failure is what keeps me working until God knows when in the morning, and it’s part of the rush
- We’re talking about a million pound PLUS domain here
- You have to fail, it’s very cliche but you do
- Get shit done
- I go to the office every day, I make a list, and I get it done
- Do the hardest thing first
- I don’t read and I hate that, because I should and I know I should
- If you lie and you say you’re the best at this or this, you may sell something now, but you’re not going to be around in five years and I am.
- You have to take chances and you have to make bold decisions
- I was never great at school, I didn’t like school
- Don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about anyone else who disagrees with you, and soon everything else will follow
- There’s no better way of learning anything than by doing it, and life experiences.
- Rework (book) http://amzn.to/1t9VrX1
- BaseCamp https://basecamp.com/
- Ad:Tech London expo http://ad-techlondon.co.uk/
- Pat Flynn http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/
- Gary Vaynerchuk https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/
- Zac Johnson http://zacjohnson.com/
- Knowem http://knowem.com/
- Entrepreneurs Relief https://www.gov.uk/entrepreneurs-relief/eligibility
- Money Maker Discussions http://www.moneymakerdiscussion.com/
- Andy Haskins https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-haskins-936a4a3b
- Ben Cagle https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-cagle-a6212b6b
- Robert Gryn https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertgryn
- Voluum https://voluum.com/
- ZeroPark https://zeropark.com/
- 00:03:50 – Falling into entrepreneurship
- 00:08:04 – On raising his first investment, Dragon’s Den style, from his parents!
- 00:09:38 – On values instilled when growing up
- 00:11:43 – Importance of avoiding credit cards
- 00:14:32 – On creativity, and following your OWN visions
- 00:16:44 – On the importance of saying no
- 00:20:41 – Using BaseCamp as a productivity tool
- 00:24:14 – The story of how Oliver went from being a chef, to becoming a full time entrepreneur
- 00:28:39 – On Sacrifice, determination and mindset
- 00:32:51 – On definition of success. Longevity
- 00:35:26 – About LoveCars.com
- 00:38:44 – On meeting his co-founder, and the co-founder relationship
- 00:46:29 – Why Oliver started a blog, and the importance of self branding.
- 00:47:02 – On overcoming perfectionism
- 00:50:21 – On challenges
- 00:52:13 – On tips for starting a personal brand and blog
- 00:55:33 – On biggest character flaws, and overcoming perfectionism and fear of flying
- 01:00:03 – On dealing with uncertainty
- 01:01:10 – Biggest mistakes ever made
- 01:01:57 – On the offer to start airline.com
- 01:07:50 – On success secrets
- 01:11:52 – Morning routine
- 01:16:10 – On not staying up to date with entrepreneurs and not reading
- 01:20:02 – On not being a fan of the school system
- 01:21:36 – On the importance of learning about tax and VAT early, and finding a good accountant, and Entrepreneurs Relief
If you could go back to any point in your life, and have 1 hour with your past self; what moment would it be and what would you tell yourself?
01:21:34 When starting my first business, there are a few things that i wish I had done, that knowing what I know know would really have helped me. For example; in the UK you should really clue yourself up on Tax and VAT. That’s why the education system is so shit, no one will tell you anything about this at school. I’ve seen so many people come and go because they haven’t looked up this sort of stuff. I got burnt my first year in business. Also, go and find a good accountant.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received, who gave it to you and how has it positively affected your career?
01:25:35 Ben Cagle of Monetmakingdiscussions.com, he said “Don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about anyone else who disagrees with you, and soon everything else will follow”. I’ve stuck by that, if you believe in what you’re doing and you stick to it, and you don’t worry about the money, then the money will follow.
Who is the most disruptive, rebellious or revolutionary entrepreneur of the last 2 years?
01:28:10 Elon Musk. Selling a company for millions and putting it all back to invest in another, then having to rent a room in someone’s flat for the time being while you build it up. That takes some balls. As far as being a rebel and being a bit out there and having some balls, I think that’s one scenario where you have to say, wow, fair play.
What is the one generally agreed upon rule or conventional piece of wisdom, that you disagree with?
01:29:56 The education system. The whole thing. Schools Universities, the whole set up to me is a scam. I don’t believe in it, I don’t believe we’re getting the best out of our children. We are taught to be robots, you’re processed to pass these three exams; English, Maths and science, and if you don’t or if you’re not interested or if you’re not naturally taken to these subjects then you’re an idiot. Your teachers hate you, you’re considered a failure – and it’s complete bullshit.
If you could change one law what would it be?
01:33:10 I strongly believe their should be a flat rate tax for everyone. Us young entrepreneurs who start businesses should be encouraged to do so. We should be encouraged to boost the economy, and make jobs for people. Why should I, as someone who is trying to better the world, have to pay the same PERCENTAGE of tax as someone who sits at home watching Jeremy Kyle. I think everyone should pay the same amount, flat rate.
What’s your definition of entrepreneurship?
01:35:00 Creating stuff. Your ideas that will hopefully better something or someone, and not answering to anyone. Your ideas and your vision and you’re working on that one goal or various goals to better what’s out there already. Creativity comes into it a lot. Being a bit rebellious. Going away from the norm, being a bit different. It’s not about the money or a quick flash in the pan; it’s about dedicating your life to creating things and being successful.
What advice would you give to anyone listening to this who wants to become a creator entrepreneur?
01:37:59 Focus is key, you have to get serious from day one. Pick something and stick to it. Pick something that interests you that’s not a job to you, something that you enjoy and stick to it until that works. Push away friends and family who don’t believe or agree in what you’re doing because they’re just distractions. Network and get yourself around good people. You’re the average person of the five people you hang around with the most; so don’t hang around with dick heads.
Who do you nominate to be a guest on the RebelHead Entrepreneurs podcast and can you sum them up in one word?
Andy Haskins. My partner and CTO of LoveCars.com
Zac Johnson. Founder of http://zacjohnson.com/
Robert Gryn. Founder of Voluum and ZeroPark
Pat Flynn. Founder of http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/