Take the time to listen to everyone else’s insight, because they all know something that you don’t. However, you have to be smart enough to filter out the things that are not currently useful in your life, but also make use of what is.
Alexandru Iulian Florea is an entrepreneur, champion for online privacy, and the founder of Online.io. He currently resides in Bucharest, Romania. His journey started just over 13 years ago, a college dropout with a crazy idea, no funding, big goals, and large dreams. Shortly afterward he started doing affiliate marketing and began to take an interest in computers and networking security. Since then, he has created a network of the most successful entrepreneurs in the technology industry, while simultaneously conquering uncharted new territories with his businesses. He has founded two very successful companies, Microleaves and Online.io. Through these ventures, he has developed the ambitious goal of advocating for and creating platforms to protect online privacy, fight for free speech, remove the borders of censorship, eliminate country’s restrictions on content, improve digital freedom and continue building towards the dream of a decentralized internet experience. He believes the internet was intended to bring people together, without restriction or control.
His first successful venture was Microleaves, arguably the largest residential peer-to-peer business proxy network in the world. One of his crowning achievements, is that he created, launched and initially operated the business with only a few hundred dollars to his name. Although it was only founded eight years ago, it quickly grew to become one of the top business proxy networks.
Alexandru is deeply passionate about hist latest venture, Online.io, which is growing rapidly after being founded in 2018. Online.io is the first residential, peer to peer, IP and VPN provider. A one of kind solution that allows users the ability to access any content, from anywhere in the world, privately, with no control or restrictions. Online.io came to life as a natural extension of Microleaves. A solution to the privacy concerns that the world is facing today, he believes that we need a way to protect the citizens of the internet from government overreach and censorship. Launching Online.io as a residential peer to peer solution, was the natural progression from the foundational work done by Microleaves. The main difference between the two platforms, is that Online.io benefits from the experience and resources he has gathered since he launched the Microleaves project. He is driven by the fact that there is nothing like Online.io available today, and they have no direct competitor to what Online.io offers the global marketplace. Online.io is like nothing ever created before in terms of online privacy offerings. Users of VPN’s feel that providers should do their best to protect users privacy and data, but the reality is that major VPN services do not do that. Online.io has established a decentralized system, totally owned by the users in the network, offering real privacy and using only residential IPS. The future of privacy and digital freedom includes browing the internet in total privacy, easily accessing country dependant restricted content, and empowering freedom of speech for citizens of the entire globe, are what drive Alexandru Florea and his endeavors.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
After reading so many stories about censorship in China and the problems that freedom of speech activists there face every day, I realized that it’s in my power to make a real change. Not only for them but for all the people in the world. The internet is now just as commonly used for communication as everyday speech, and while fighting to change actual legislation in the most repressive countries around the world would be nearly impossible, developing a simple platform to help internet users protect their privacy and exercise free speech was something I knew I could do.
Online privacy is crucial, and like many other forms of privacy, these days is sadly being very overlooked. This is exactly why I am so passionate about this project and why Online.io will empower freedom of speech, break the borders of censorship, eliminate restricted content, enhance digital freedom and create a decentralized internet experience for the entire world.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up every day at 4 am to meditate and do my workout routine.
At 6 am I’m already in the office. I like to get a headstart and read my emails to answer important issues before the staff comes in and have to deal with the day by day issues.
I like to take a short lunch break at noon and go outside the office to meet business partners or friends. I usually wrap up my work day around 8 pm and head home to spend time with my wife and family. Work/life balance is very important, you cannot be successful without the love of family and friends.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to surround myself with the best of the best. You don’t bring great ideas to life by yourself. The power of a team, the power of the people is what drives everything forward. I like to think of myself as a connector of people and dreams. It is impossible to accomplish anything great by yourself.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m very excited about the decentralization of the internet and blockchain technology, we are gearing up for a new version of the internet. This is exactly what I believe is going to help pave the way for Online.io’s capabilities and our ultimate goal of freedom on the web.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Meditation has a very important role in my life, a clear mind will always see the path to move forward. It is hard to accomplish essential tasks when your mind is clouded and not focused. Meditation allows your mind to become stronger and helps you key in on what’s actually going on around you and right in front of you.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your instincts more, not other people’s opinions. Very often, what appears to be the most logical choice, is not the best option. It is important to have humility and take the time to listen to everyone else’s insight. However, you must be intelligent enough to block out some the noise and grasp what is relevant to you and utilize it in your own life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I’m going to change the internet as you know it today. Online.io will change everyone’s internet experience forever! Freedom is often skewed at times but what we are creating will ensure that those lines are never crossed.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Listen to everybody, but do what you feel it’s right. It is crucial that you give everyone you meet a chance to express themselves and their concerns. That is how you build a network. Take the time to listen to everyone else’s insight, because they all know something that you don’t. However, you have to be smart enough to filter out the things that are not currently useful in your life, but also make use of what is.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
There is no better strategy than innovation. You must always be seeking to improve. Efficiency is key as well. Saving time saves money and vice versa. This will not only allow you to progress rapidly, but it will also keep everyone working with you happy as well. You have to make sure everyone understands that their time is valuable and being appropriately used and capital will increase.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
At one moment in time, I was working on 10 different projects at the same time, and my productivity was at its lowest in history. Once I realized that I reduced everything by 80% and the results came almost instantly. There is no point in having a plan B because it distracts from plan A. If you really want something to work, it is going to require your undivided attention and focus. That is how you establish efficiency and innovate consistently.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I will share the recipe for 100,000 business ideas: focus on solving peoples problems, not on making money. If you could call up 100 of your friends on Facebook and find out what problems they were consistently having in their lives, or even what was simply inconveniencing them, and you could provide a solution to a common denominator there, you’d be able to make a lot of money.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a subscription to Audible, it’s a very efficient way to to absorb information using audiobooks. It will also help you stay on track. I enjoy listening to the audio book while reading along. It will help you stay focused on the task and allows you to inherit the information in two ways at once. You can also listen to them in your car, on your way to work if you don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read a whole book as well.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I can’t imagine living without Slack, when your team is distributed around the world, it’s the best tool to be connected with everything and everyone. Everyone on your team has to be keyed in on what the plan is and what’s going on. So any software that efficiently allows me to do this is essential to staying productive.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
It will answer one of the most common questions in life, especially that entrepreneurs ask themselves when they see others succeeding: what does he or she have that I don’t?
What is your favorite quote?
“You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever” – Steve Jobs
- Trust yourself
- Surround yourself with the best people
- Solve problems, don’t think about money
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.