Starting your own company can be scary, risky, difficult, all of the above. But entrepreneur Fred Schebesta embraces the unknown, and lives with a "test and learn" mentality. So far, it's working out very well for Fred. Countless awards and accolades aside, he also runs Australia's leading comparison website that helps millions of Australians make informed financial decisions.
We loved Fred's outlook on entrepreneurial endeavors and the advice he gives to everyone he works with: make your mistakes an opportunity to learn and grow.
So, If you're just toying with the idea of starting your own virtual assistant business, take some of Fred's lessons and apply them to your own business. After all, you'll never know what mistakes you could have learned from if you never make any in the first place! 🙂
I'm Fred! I am an author, blogger, award-winning digital marketer, media commentator, mentor and active member of the startup and small business industry. I'm also the co-founder and director of finder.com.au, Australia’s leading financial comparison website, with over 1.7 million visits per month. Following its success, my business partner Frank Restuccia and I, launched finder.com in the U.S. in July 2015.
I currently live in Bondi, Sydney where I often take my two girls swimming.
Tell us what you do!
I'm passionate about educating Australians about financial literacy to help them make better financial decisions.
I'm the author of an ebook, ‘How to create an Online Marketing Campaign that Sells’, a regular business blog contributor, mentor at many different organizations such as University of Technology Sydney Entrepreneur program and Blue Chilli, and a Startup Australia Ambassador and St George Bank Ambassador.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My entrepreneurial journey started well before finder.com. At just 22 years of age while still studying a Bachelor of Finance degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, Frank and I created Freestyle Media and grew the business into a successful digital agency that sold to a publicly-listed company in 2007.
What do you love most about the lifestyle?
I have loved watching the company thrive to become Australia's leading comparison website that helps millions of Australians make more informed financial decisions. I love the versatility and the everyday challenges of managing the business. I enjoy working with some of the most talented people in the country to devise SEO and growth strategies to help the company achieve its long-term goals.
A recent project I've been working on is expanding into the US market and devising growth strategies to take over the comparison space in the US.
"Go live!" - This is one of our company values that encourages employees to experiment with new ways of doing things. Every 2 months, we have a company-wide project called Hack Day where employees have 24 hours to work together on innovative projects that enhance productivity. When we judge the Hack Day projects, one of the criteria is that the project must be "live." We have a bias toward action and are proactive, but that doesn't mean we forget about quality; we set high standards of quality before we go live. We're always experimenting and we aren't afraid to test things out, learn and push boundaries.
Most inspiring person you have ever met so far and why?
I am most inspired by my mother, Dr. Kerrie Meades, who was the first female ophthalmologist to perform laser treatment in Australia. She graduated with Honors from Sydney University in 1977 and underwent extensive training in LASIK Refractive Surgery in 1997.
One piece of advice you would give your younger self
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. I make mistakes all the time but I use them as opportunities to learn and grow. That’s why the company has a test and learn mentality.
Fred Schebesta is an author, blogger, award-winning digital marketer, media commentator, mentor and founder of finder.au, finder.com, and creditcardfinder.au.com. Keep up with all of Fred's entrepreneurial adventures by following him on Twitter!