In my third episode of the “Young Entrepreneurs Talk”, and after a female-dominated start, it is time to introduce you to a male entrepreneur. His name is Aleksandar Dimitrov (Aleks or Zando in short) and he hails from Pleven, Bulgaria.
Through all his life, Aleksandar has always been an out-of-the-box thinker. He has faced countless challenges for his young age, but thanks to his positive, unconventional attitude, he has been able to handle everything with a calm posture and unremitting motivation.
Let’s now check out how he responded to my interview questions.
- Since I have chosen you for my “Young Entrepreneurs Talk” rubric, you must have had some success in the entrepreneur world. Introduce yourself in a couple of sentences. Why do you consider yourself successful in what you do?
Thanks so much for the privilege to be part of this inspiring rubric. To be honest, I do not consider myself successful yet. In my view, in order to become successful, you need to provide a significant positive impact to a considerable amount of people. I believe I am on the right track but still not there yet. I am truly happy that after three (3) years of developing our innovative product, we have finally managed to deliver it to our first customers. However, there is still quite some work to be done until we have a vast pool of satisfied customers.
- How do you stick your head out from the crowd? What makes you really unique among others?
I think that the people around me would say – “he doesn’t talk much but acts with determination and perseverance”.
- How do you find your customers (or do they find you)? Share with us some hints.
It depends on the type of customer – whether it is an end consumer or another business. We usually reach the end consumers through ads and social media. In regards to our business customers, in many cases they find us or we expand our business network through attending events, making presentations, and being proactive.
- How do you cope with juggling all your daily errands?
I try to stay as focused as I possibly can – still learning, though : ) I think it all comes down to having a clear understanding of what are the most important things to be finalized today and have the highest priority. After that, I put it down and break it into executional steps. And then comes the focus.
- You have to have a role model. Who would be the entrepreneur with whom you would love to co-operate?
No, I don’t : ) Of course, I do have, and they are far too many to list them here. It would be definitely a lot of fun and, of course, a great learning experience to create something with Branson.
- What were the errors that you have you committed over the course of your career, how they have helped you grow, and reach the place you are at now?
Making mistakes is inevitable when you are walking a path you have never walked before. Every day some sh*t happens and it is someone’s fault. The most important thing is to stay constructive, learn from it, and move on. The biggest risks for a business usually come from the inside rather than the outside. Therefore, I always recommend aspiring entrepreneurs to choose their co-founders and business partners carefully since that can either make or break the company.
- Have you discovered the universal formula for success? Is there one?
I don’t think there is any universal formula since every person is far too different from the other and has a different understanding of what success is.
- Next to your busy work life, what do you like doing in your leisure time?
I don’t divide my time into work and leisure anymore. The moment I do so, it always ends up miserably. In addition to the work for AYO, I do sports, meditate, hike, eat well, read books, and do a bunch of other things. All of the activities I do during my work and leisure time help me achieve my long-term goals and therefore, I do not see a real need to divide the two things as they both contribute to my long-term personal and professional vision.
- Up to this moment, do you have any regrets?
No, and I think regrets are very poisonous as they eat you up and don’t allow you to focus on the present and future but rather keep you in the past.
- Did you enjoy this interview?
Every single part of it!
Boy, wasn’t that motivating! He was too humble to share his company and what it does, so here comes Svet to the rescue.
Aleksandar pursued his Master’s degree (Entrepreneurship & New Business Venturing) at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. As you might know, the Netherlands do not receive too much of a sunlight, especially in winter when the days are much shorter and the winds are turbulent.
Since it was quite daunting a task to keep up with all his daily errands and studies with the lack of sunlight, Branislav, a Serbian guy with whom Aleks followed his Master’s degree, and Aleksandar gathered together to think about how to best tackle this issue.
That is how they founded AYO.
AYO can be first defined as a wearable (resembling glasses) which is light-based and entirely operated and controlled by the AYO app. Even a short exposure to the gentle blue light that AYO emits greatly enhances alertness and energy levels, as well as aids in optimising your body rhythm in line with your lifestyle and personal preferences. You know that fatigue you accumulate during long-haul flights? Yes, jet-lag. AYO deals with that, too, and in a very effective, yet safe way.
The wearable is already available and you can order one from here.
I have personally tried it once and I was extremely charged for a week ahead!
To keep up with AYO’s development, you can also follow its Facebook page.
Aleks, thanks very much for the honour to be my guest this Friday!
Subscribe to stay tuned for my next guest next month.
If you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur, let’s talk!