Exclusive Interview: Nabeel Ahmad, Founder of Skyray Ventures
Since dropping out of college, Nabeel Ahmad has managed to build many successful companies, generating multiple 6-figures in revenue. He is the founder of Skyray Ventures, a modern-day parent company that owns various companies in different industries including technology, media and marketing. In this exclusive interview, we talk to Nabeel about his journey to success, and get his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Most people at your age are getting a degree, or trying to figure their life out. But you have gained tremendous success at such a young age. How were you able to accomplish this?
Nabeel Ahmad: A lot of things factor into success, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. If I was to break it down, the three most crucial things for me were persistence, self-belief, and hardwork. If you don’t have faith that you will succeed, and if you are not persistent enough to keep working when times get tough, then things might not work out for you as an entrepreneur.
How would you describe your entrepreneurial journey?
NA: It was amazing. I’m such a huge fan of entrepreneurship. I knew a long time ago that it was the only path for me. I love everything about it. I love the failures. I love the setbacks. I love the wins, and I love the losses. The journey has had it’s tough times, and it has had it’s great moments. I have learned to appreciate it all as part of the game.
Every failure is a new learning lesson that prepares you for future challenges. I love that I get to evolve as an entrepreneur as I go on.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
NA: That’s a deep question. There is actually not one driving force or factor that led me to become an entrepreneur. It’s more about my personality in general.
Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to do big things. I was never the kind of person who would just settle for “normal” or “ordinary”. I always wanted the best. I am very competitive. During my childhood and high school years, that side of me manifested in wanting to get the best grades. I made that happen, and got the best grades in my school.
Secondly, I am the kind of person who craves challenges. I would rather challenge myself by attempting the impossible, rather than doing what everyone else is doing, as the latter is “boring” for me. In high school, I took on very extreme academic challenges that no one else was doing. For example, I took on 18 subjects in A-Levels, when other students were barely able to manage 3 or 4. So I put myself into the situation where I had to prepare for 18 subjects in 3 months, and I appeared for all those exams. I loved the challenge and thrill that came along with attempting to do something others considered impossible.
Apart from that, I am also not so good with working under someone, or being told what to do. I have always been this way. That’s also one of the reasons why I hated going to classes and college in general. I prefer to do my own thing, and be my own boss. I would rather be a leader, than a follower.
With such personality traits, entrepreneurship was the only logical choice for me. I wanted to build a life most people can only dream of, and I wanted to make an impact on the world, so I set out to become an entrepreneur.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
NA: There is actually not one person who is my greatest inspiration. I am inspired by great business leaders like John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. I really look up to them, because these are people who had tremendous success in business, and they changed the world.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
NA: Just work hard, and follow your heart. Try your hand at different things, and when you find the business you are really passionate about, go all in. There will be tough times and setbacks. People will doubt you. But you will need to be persistent, and continue having faith in your vision. If you do so, then success will come eventually.
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