Bringing an idea to life can be an easy, streamlined, process, if you have working methodologies in place.
Alon Rajic is the managing director of Finofin LTD which runs and operates Money Transfer Comparison, one of the world’s leading foreign exchange guides.
Alon is a renowned expert for topics relating to online marketing, personal finance, leadership, and entrepreneurship who has contributed to publications like Entrepreneur.com, CNBC, Forbes, and Inc. He holds a gloom outlook as for the future of post-brexit UK, and often comments about it in the media.
Before establishing Finofin LTD, Alon was a senior manager for XLMedia (LON: XLM), heading the SEO department.
Where did the idea for Money Transfer Comparison come from?
Money Transfer Comparison is a straightforward name (Finofin, the official company’s name, is only used with providers and business partners).
The site compares a variety of qualities of more than 40 money transfer service providers. I feel I could not have named it in any other way that would have described it so accurately.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts relatively late, as I’m a bit of a nocturnal. During daytime I’m in meetings, replying to emails, or communicating with my employees. My daytime hours are mainly dedicated for the standard tasks that any small business owner must deal with every day.
At night, when I’m more creative, my time is devoted to devising the company’s grand plans as well as taking care of more ambitious type of projects.
Throughout both day and night there is no real separation between my private life and work. I make breaks at work whenever I need to, and the other way around.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing ideas to life was never an issue for me. Once I have them, my staff and I have clear methodology of market research and creating an MVP. We deal with a lot of different projects in parallel and it’s simply a natural part of our work.
If I were to deal with an idea which has little similarities to what I have done in the past (i.e. my current methodologies of checking its viability, competition and potential will not work), then I would probably use my network of connections to brainstorm how to tackle such an idea.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that really excites me is the brain-computer interface. Elon Musk calls it a Neuralink machine. In a nutshell, it means that humans will be able to directly communicate with computers and that could potentially take mankind into its next phase with much smoother and more accessible computer communication without the effort and hassle of typing in anything. It will also, without doubts, have implications of every business including mine. The new brain-to-computer device will change how people discover content online and their decision-making purpose.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit of mine that helps me as an entrepreneur is that I am able to make decisions (and quickly). Unlike many other entrepreneurs and corporate executive, it comes off naturally to me, as I am well-aware of the dire costs of indecisiveness. I would honestly rather make mistakes every once in a while, and keep moving forward than not deciding at all.
What advice would you give your younger self?
“Have confidence in yourself”. I missed out on a lot of lucrative business opportunities because I felt I wasn’t ripe for them but it turned out I was!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The whole Management as a Profession perception is full of hot air. Being a manager is not something every person can do well, but it still doesn’t mean it’s a profession; to me, management is a form of common sense, which is to a large degree dependent on the manager’s EQ and ability to relate to others. If a manager does excel in either of these, he will never be a good manager in my eyes. He will never be able to truly relate to his employees’ needs and requirements.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I do repeatedly is ignore the noise. I don’t answer emails which I know result in an unnecessary interference to work. I don’t read through newsletters. I don’t keep a billion apps on my phone. I don’t attend conferences. I don’t use business consultant. I follow my own path.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that helped me grow my business was to always be very careful about choosing my business partner. As an informational website that thrives on referring clients to service providers, if I were to choose the wrong companies to partner up with, I would not have been able to grow at all. Luckily, I have made a comprehensive research and due diligence and chose the right partners who have continued improving their product and pricing over the course of years and were able to retain their clients, including my referrals.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My company has invested a significant amount of resources into a new industry within personal finance that turned out to be very mediocre. The competitive analysis data we have gathered prior to our decision making, was, in retrospect, simply imprecise. We overcame it by simply setting this project aside and focusing on better project.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea that I always had in mind but never came around to do is to do collectible card grading automatically. As an avid collector, I often submit my cards for grading with the major USA grading companies – PSA and Beckett – and I often feel it’s stupid to employee a person to inspect each card when the entire process can be automatic from A to Z. Clients have to wait months for their order to come back, and the grades are always very subjective.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I have just been to a gym session with my personal trainer and spent $100 on it, and it felt great! It’s important to not neglect your health in this crazy entrepreneurship journey, and it’s always fun to train.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
One thing I use extensively is Google’s speed optimization tool. It’s very simple and lightweight, analyzing any webpage in seconds, and creates a detailed report consisting of a score and a finite list of things to fix. Before Google created it I used multiple services doing the same analysis but nothing was quite as accurate and useful as Google’s tool. It helps the entire company’s productivity (specifically tech) by showing in a plain and visual manner what are the most important things to fix.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My favorite book is “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. It’s a tough read at times, but I’ve never read a truer book that teaches you so much about human nature.
What is your favorite quote?
I like “I don’t want to be a part of a club that would have me as a member” by Groucho Marx. I of course don’t think that way, but I do often make an opinion of some organizations based on whom they have decided to recruit and engage in business with.
• You can be an successful unorthodox entrepreneur who does not view management as a profession, does not attend personal conference is tries to make decisions instinctively.
• Bringing an idea to life can be an easy, streamlined, process, if you have working methodologies in place.
• Choosing business partners carefully can prove to be crucial for your business. Make your due diligence upon any business partnership.
• Don’t neglect your health on your journey towards success. It’s easy to do but you’ll regret it in the future.
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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.