Everyone wants to become an entrepreneur and we all love the idea of running our own business. But do we know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and is it all sunshine and rainbows? We spoke with Andrew Anastasiou, an entrepreneur currently making headlines in some of the largest media outlets due to his innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
Andrew Anastasiou is behind some of the coolest digital payment projects currently on the market, and also due to hit the market. One of his current projects is WireWallet, an online banking platform that provides virtual IBANs to its users to send and receive wire transfers. So, we interviewed Andrew to get an insight of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and what advice he has for people wishing to start their own business.
When did you become an entrepreneur, and what made you take the leap?
Although I believe anybody can start their own business, I don’t believe an entrepreneur is something you can become. I think that entrepreneurship or at least the mainstream idea of what entrepreneurship is – is more of a characteristic than something that you can become. I feel this is because starting your own business is one thing, but having the resilience and the determination to believe in yourself and carry things through is another. Your personality also dictates a lot about how you will be in the business world. It takes a certain type of person to not take too much too personally and to always remember that you are in business, and things don’t always work out how you expect them to.
Why did you choose digital payments as your main career path?
I think the main reason is because I feel it is the future. Every day there is new technology coming to market and it just shows that the digitization of our everyday lives is happening faster and faster. We can order clothes online, we can order food online and pay for utilities online, and all of these services ultimately need to accept payments online. I want to be part of that. We socialise and play games online, and I can see the possibilities and opportunities there. There is also a level of globalisation regarding digital business, with Asian businesses selling in Europe, European businesses selling in Africa, I wanted to find a way to make it easier for these companies to transact with each other. This is why I founded WireWallet. I wanted to give European banking to non-European businesses without the hassle, and we’re fully digital in order to make this possible.
How do you handle difficult times, and don’t you ever want to give up?
In anything that you do, you will have difficult times. Even as babies, we struggle to walk and we fall hundreds of times, but in the end we find our feet and we start to walk, and then run. It’s the same in business. Some people will dislike you, sometimes you will want to quit and some days will be absolutely awful, but if you truly believe in yourself and you have a goal that is bigger than you, you will carry on. What I usually do when I have a hard day or a difficult period is remind myself of why I am doing this, and that is to make a difference and help people. The simple fact that if I give up, it potentially means that someone misses out, keeps me going. It just has to come from inside you, and you have to have a certain attitude whereby you can brush things off, and that is hard.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
I would tell anyone to go ahead and give it a shot. But also keep in mind that starting your own business is a privilege, not a right. You have to make sure that if you have any responsibilities like children or other dependants that you can still keep them comfortable during your adventure. And you also need to make sure you have the financial capabilities to see through the difficult periods like the start-up phase. But, if you feel that you have an amazing idea, or a product that you believe is sellable and scalable, definitely take the time to make a plan and see how you can make it work. Nothing feels as good as accomplishing something, and it’s even better when it was your idea.
Andrew Anastasiou is certainly an entrepreneur to keep a close eye on, and after speaking with him it is obvious why he is doing so well.