An intrapreneur is a manager within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing. Many innovative companies are working to encourage intrapreneurship and different ways of thinking among their employees to foster the passion and drive seen in an intrapreneur throughout a business. They have all the drive of an entrepreneur but the relative safety of an employee and the benefits of economies of scale and gaining resources.
An entrepreneur might start the fire, an intrapreneur keeps it going.
In today’s interview we will be speaking with Johannes Larsson. He is the founder and CEO of Financer.com, an SEO geek and affiliate marketing expert. He’s been practicing entrepreneurship and digital marketing for over a decade and runs a global remote team.
In his blog www.johanneslarsson.com he shares his expertise in SEO, affiliate marketing, and finance with a wealth of free resources for digital entrepreneurs.
Welcome to StartUp Mindset, Johannes. We’re very excited to have you here. For the readers who are not familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Grateful to be here!
I’m a Swedish entrepreneur living in Cyprus, and I’m the founder and CEO of Financer.com. I started my entrepreneurial journey at just 15 years old and quickly realized that starting my own business was a lot more interesting to me than school or following a typical career route.
I’ve explored different ways of making money online but my main passion lies with SEO and affiliate marketing. Financer.com is my financial comparison site that educates people about the best financial products and options available for them in 26 different countries. These days a lot of my time is also spent on leadership and building my growing team which has over 45 members to date.
What is the worst advice you heard about affiliate marketing for people who are in the early stage of growth? What should someone avoid?
Don’t fall into the trap of providing quantity over quality when it comes to creating content. Many affiliate marketers believe the most important thing is to be uploading new content all of the time, and rarely invest in refreshing old content.
One of the main projects my team has been working on this year so far is refurbishing the existing content we have and making it the best it can possibly be. We have very strict standards and making sure each piece of content on our site is perfect will always be prioritized over creating large quantities of new posts.
Why did you decide to apply the Intrapreneurship model in your company and how does it help organizations?
The intrapreneurship model has been instrumental in our success at Financer.com. One of the main ways it helps us as an organization is the profit share system I created where everybody profits as a direct result of their hard work. This makes everybody prioritize their personal growth and the growth of the company much more than I believe a regular employee would.
Also, because everybody has their own independence, responsibilities, and the flexibility to work exactly where and how they want to, people live full and happy lives and motivation is typically high throughout the team. I would rather work with a team of happy, inspired people with lives outside of their work than with burnt-out and exhausted employees who are being micromanaged.
One of your main aims is to support non-profits organizations. Why is that important for you and how important is the continued support of NON?
As a company, we’re all bonded by our passion for providing financial education and resources, because financial health is such an integral aspect of people’s daily lives and happiness. This passion has always been the driving force behind what we do and we’ve been fortunate that it’s also paid off well for us as a business, something which often happens when you’re filling a very real need for people. However, with that, it’s always been important to me that we’re continuously giving back.
I wanted to involve the whole team in our decision of where to donate a portion of our profits, and it felt natural to us all to give back mostly in the form of supporting nonprofit causes that provide financial education and support to those that need it since that has always been our vision from the start.
However, we are always happy to support other causes that the team is passionate about as well. For example, when we had our most recent team retreat we got everyone together for a beach clean-up and tried to do what we could to look after the world we live in.
When you first started your company, what advice do you wish someone would’ve given you?
I think it would have been great to hear the word “focus” and understand how much of an impact that can have on success as a new business owner. Like many entrepreneurs I started by testing out a little bit of everything, bouncing from one project to the next and learning everything I could. While this chapter of life taught me a lot, I saw the biggest impact in my results when I finally decided to focus and make Financer.com my absolute priority.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed in life or don’t seem to be getting the results you want it helps to take a step back and find the one most important thing to put your focus and energy into.
You can do anything but not everything.
Financer has been growing really fast. What patterns did you find useful that helped the company multiply its revenue by 10x for two years in a row?
Every part of the Financer.com model is about creating win-win scenarios. I’m not greedy. I don’t need to keep 100% of profits, count pennies or rip off our partners. Instead, I focus on creating value for everybody involved, and that continues to create incredible numbers for us. Everybody is more motivated, loyal, and most importantly, growth orientated. By allowing everyone to reap the rewards of your success, you have a lot more people who want to help you succeed.
In other words, I put people first and revenue second.
Why do you believe that mindset is so vital to business owners and entrepreneurs?
Your mindset is the way in which you see the world, which in turn becomes the world you live in. Therefore, there is nothing more vital to your success as a person, a business owner, or anything you do in life than the mindset you have. The most important thing to me when hiring somebody is that they have a growth mindset. More so than their education, experience, or existing skills.
An example of this is how we see failure. Somebody with a growth mindset sees failure and mistakes not as something to be feared but as learnings and experiences to make them stronger going forward. This way of going through life and business is a lot more empowering and you don’t need to live in fear of making a mistake or hold yourself back.
Luckily a growth mindset can be learned, so if you know that your mindset needs some help you can put in the work and build it up so that you’re seeing the world the way you want to.
Follow Johannes Larsson on Instagram and Twitter.