How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business owners for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Dean Ramler from Milan Direct.
Current gig: Co-Founder and CEO, Milan Direct
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: Sony Vaio
One word that best describes how you work: Always
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What social network do you find the most useful?
Facebook as it is a visual medium and Milan Direct products look great!
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
To delegate! As a co-founder and creating key roles in the business, it was originally hard to hand over roles. The second I learnt to let go, Milan Direct has taken off.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
That all these years later when people ask what I do, and I advise I run an online business, many still think I am doing this from my bedroom and are shocked when they hear we have a real office with real people.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Furniture. Coming from 3 generations of furniture makers, I have been immersed in the industry since I was a kid! As result, I have a very good grasp on what furniture sells the best, how to ensure the high quality levels, and spotting trends early.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I get up most days at 530am to get to the gym early and then into the office by 7. Sleep is overrated.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Follow your passions and the rest will come easier. Too often you see people starting a business because they see their school mates in that industry succeeding and so set about to mimic that idea. This strategy is doomed to fail and there is no substitute for authenticity. Running a business is very challenging and unless you absolutely love what you do, are following a passion with a true competitive advantage, you are unlikely to succeed.