So, a few weeks ago I was visiting Hong Kong. Asia’s capital of trade and some may call Asia’s financial capital and the heart of China. Hong Kong is truly a very elite place full of luxury restaurants and hotels, VIP clubs and amazing customer service. If you got money to spend, you definitely have to go to Hong Kong and just spend some money, because it’s fun and experience is superb.
While I was on a trip I met many people, a lot of experts doing business in Hong Kong. Most of them are entrepreneurs and business owners. I went to this really cool and luxury club in Lan Kwai Fong and that’s where I met Paul who is an entrepreneur and we just started talking from life to business while having vodka shots. Although I am more of a cocktail type of person, I have to say doing shots in Hong Kong can be pretty fun and wild.
Why am I doing this article? Well, because Paul gave me a really honest opinion about how he sees the world, and it kind of hit me and really interested me personally, so I wanted to share my experience with the world.
When we met and had a couple of shots, he told me he just got back from Tokyo from a business trip, and then we just hit it off since I lived in Japan for over a year and we had so much in common. I told Paul I was a writer for a magazine and I was looking for someone to do an interview with, who is doing business in the Asia Pacific. He told me that if I wanted to do an interview the interview should be interesting in a way that it uncovers real stuff that’s behind the scenes of an entrepreneur’s life. I asked what could be interesting to talk about, and he said: “I want a dynasty”. Then he took a vodka shot and said: “probably going to fail but that’s okay.”
Honestly, we were pretty drunk that night so we didn’t really go any deeper on the topic but we did exchange business cards and I arranged a meeting the following day. Paul’s full name is Paulius Stankevicius and he is a founder and CEO of his own company, Stankevicius MGM. He started his entrepreneurial road already in 2013. I asked him out for a coffee to talk more about how to build a dynasty if you want to. He agreed to meet me and discuss it.
- So, between today and your future dynasty, how far are you apart?
- What do you mean?
- What would it take to make things move faster?
- What is your opinion on failure?
- Have you ever considering quitting if you fail too many times?
- If you have a sustainable business what else do you need?
- Before meeting you today, I did some digging on you and it seems that you have done some cool things but you don’t sound excited or satisfied. How come or am I wrong?
- Are you naive to want a dynasty?
- Can you build a dynasty in 20 years?
- What can you recommend for entrepreneurs who are starting a business or have experienced failures and are thinking of giving up?
- The last one, if you are tired and exhausted from work what is a good place to relax?
So, between today and your future dynasty, how far are you apart?
Paul: 300 years apart.
What do you mean?
Paul: I mean, I think it takes 300 years to create what I want to create and in 1 lifetime that’s impossible. You need more time to achieve things and get things done. Yes, every month some startup becomes a unicorn with billions in valuation but if we are real and honest then we also should realize that the % of such success is actually very small. It depends on factors, where you come from, what are your abilities and what can you do, and who do you know and with whom you do business. Most people always say that their idea is the next big thing but in reality, is not even close.
What would it take to make things move faster?
You need 99% ability to do things and make things happen, and 1% luck. When it comes to success, everything has to do only with you and how you do and manage things, situations and communications. You can never depend on other people. I also say 1% luck because the chance of a random circumstance favoring you for no reason can be really helpful.
What is your opinion on failure?
I created new companies and jumped into new industries probably more than a dozen times. All the failed experiences led me to what I am today. To me failing is critical because you can only genuinely learn when you screw up, and that’s not it. Usually, when people screw up they give up, and not giving up is another crucial factor to self-development which overcomes the failure.
If you come from nothing and you try to build a skyscraper you need to know how to assemble metal. You will fall and hurt yourself many times with that metal just to build a basement so imagine the work that requires to be done in order to build an actual tall building.
Have you ever considering quitting if you fail too many times?
No, failing is a part of my lifestyle, and not giving up is the other part. But, certainly I do know many people who were close to me, that failed and gave up, that’s sad but I also know some people who didn’t give up and they are actually doing great right now.
If you have a sustainable business what else do you need?
Some people are never fulfilled. It’s about how you feel inside and what you want. If you feel that you still haven’t achieved what you want then you have to push it. Of course, many people are happy with simple things but sometimes simple things can be difficult to get.
Before meeting you today, I did some digging on you and it seems that you have done some cool things but you don’t sound excited or satisfied. How come or am I wrong?
Nothing to be excited about. Today, in competitive markets, the standards are high and requirements are high as well. Investor expectations are super high, customer expectations are even higher. Everybody expects galaxy and universe and then you realize that you are still not in the high leagues to be able to fulfill those expectations. I expect from myself more and I think that it is a good thing, it only keeps me more humble and pushes me to develop myself further regardless of previous achievements and experiences. I have to say there is never a good time to stop learning, you always have to keep improving.
You know, a couple of years ago I did an interview with Huffington Post and back then it all seemed stars and galaxies but I look back today and see myself back then I was just a naive kid. If you are going to publish this, I’m going to come back to this article and remind myself how naive I was back then.
Are you naive to want a dynasty?
You know, actually I’m not naive, I don’t believe in dreams and promises. I do believe in myself and hard work but considering that today I still do dream of something which is probably close to impossible to achieve, makes me naive I suppose.
But without dreams and goals what are we living for? The most rational answer would be we live for ourselves unless you are a philanthropist. Of course, helping people is on my to-do list, but honestly people these days don’t care about any of it. Everybody look after themselves and that’s the truth, I’m telling you this honestly cause nobody else will.
Can you build a dynasty in 20 years?
Depends on who you partner with.
What can you recommend for entrepreneurs who are starting a business or have experienced failures and are thinking of giving up?
Ask yourself what you really want in life. Do you think having your own thing could make you be happier or do you think that your happiness can be also achieved through employment or other things? I think if you really want to succeed in entrepreneurship you really need to want it with all of your heart and if there is even 1% of second thoughts then you can be in trouble.
It’s the same if you trade stocks. Say, everybody knows you can make money but have no idea how to. So, if you go play with stocks without knowing in your heart that you believe you can do it then you are going to lose. If you do something regardless of what, but if you do something that you believe in your heart you can make it, then you can make it. However, in reality, thinking that you can make it, can lead you to many disappointments. But if you still believe that you can make it then you keep pushing through all the failures and disappointments. You cannot give up, listen to your heart and you know what to do. Intuition is important.
The last one, if you are tired and exhausted from work what is a good place to relax?
If you are in Hong Kong, go to Macau. If you want to escape from Europe go to Abu Dhabi, but maybe one of the best ones in Bangkok.