Johannes Larsson knew at the early age of 15 while growing up in Sweden that he wanted to be his own boss.
While his friends in school were busy studying for exams and completing their homework, Larsson was discovering ways to make money online by creating websites and learning Google AdSense. It was at this time he started to realize that what he wanted most was to be his own boss.
“Something inside of me knew that I would never be satisfied in a 9-5 job, making money for somebody else and tied to one location for my whole life,” he said. “I stumbled onto affiliate marketing and built a very strong expertise within SEO to generate traffic to my websites. And from there on, I just focused on becoming the best at that.”
Larsson’s early experience with online marketing led him to achieving his dream – founding his own digital company, Financer.com, which helps people compare financial services. Now, a decade later, he successfully runs a global remote team of over 50 and dedicates much of his free time sharing his expertise through his blog and creating free resources for other budding digital entrepreneurs.
The climb to success wasn’t always smooth, Larsson admits, noting one of his biggest mistakes early on was trying to achieve too much, too soon.
“I started my business when I was very young and full of energy, and I was so enthralled by the opportunities I was finding that I couldn’t stop coming up with new ideas,” he said. “I built over 500 websites during that time, and I was spending every hour of the day grinding, but I wasn’t reaching the level of success that I dreamed of.”
Larsson said that is when he realized that he was spreading himself too thin. He decided to scale back and focus on the projects that seemed to have the most potential. He recognized at the time the possibilities with Financer,com and turning it into a multimillion-dollar business. He poured all of his energy and time into the business and saw big results.
“That was when everything changed for me. Ever since then, I’ve been scrupulous with staying focused and committing my time to one project,” he said.
As his digital business began to grow more and more, Larsson said he learned a big lesson in allowing himself to dream bigger and aim higher than he thought would be possible. He had become complacent in stepping just over the line of what was possible, rather than envisioning a remarkable outcome. The concept came from a mentor, Grant Cardone, who taught him how to avoid thinking too small and reaching his goals at a quicker pace.
“Had I have had that vision earlier, and started thinking big enough from the start, I’d have been able to reach my goals much faster,” he said.
Those lessons are some of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship that Larsson likes to pass on to those just starting out. Falling in love with the grind, he said, is also important. To do that, he said you must enjoy the success and learn from the failures.
“This is the only way you can be successful and happy at the same time. If you’re always waiting for a destination, you’ll have a lot of years of unhappiness on the way, and it’s rare that the goal you were waiting for can make up for that and live up to your expectations,” he said. “Instead, you have to find something that you enjoy, and immerse yourself so deep into it that you lose track of time, making it not feel like work.”