How I Succeeded: Square’s Ben Pfisterer

How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Ben Pfisterer from Square.

Current gig: Country Manager in Australia at Square
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Current mobile device: Apple iPhone 6
Current computer: MacBook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Passionately

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My MacBook. It’s such a great piece of hardware, which when combined with Google Hangouts and the Google ecosystem of software provides a complete set of tools to run our business and communicate effectively. As I spend a lot of time every day collaborating with my colleagues in San Francisco this combination helps make it easy to work closely yet on a global scale.

What social network do you find the most useful?

I post regularly on Instagram, yet fill those random five second gaps in my day actively engaging with Facebook and Twitter. For me, images and pictures provide a richer, more contextual update to and from my friends and family.

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

Square in Australia is in such an exciting phase of early growth that almost every day there are new lessons to be learnt. So far my key lessons have been to be meticulous with hiring the right people in the early stage. Having a passionate and committed team who is self-motivated is invaluable and resonates through in your early success.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

Uncovering the diversity and passion of small businesses in Australia while working at Square. Every day new types of small businesses start using Square and I’ve been humbled by the incredible feedback and support we receive from such a wide variety of businesses. At Square we believe we have incredible products which can help any business start, run and grow, yet when you receive positive feedback on how it’s helped a small, innovative, regional or unique businesses improve, it’s incredibly rewarding.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I’m exceptionally good at falling behind with my expenses.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Pretty standard. Although I should definitely try and get more sleep, there’s no pre-dawn jogging for me.

What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?

Work hard. It’s far from a new concept, yet there’s no replacement for simple hard work. Also make sure you’re working on something you’re passionate about. Working hard takes a lot of commitment so unless you are passionate about your product, service, brand and the people you work with, it’ll be incredibly difficult to stay committed.

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