Visionary entrepreneur Dmitry Lyubimov is the charismatic founder and CEO of UNIQ Los Angeles, the most successful yacht rental company in Southern California that’s also rapidly expanding its operations throughout the United States. Although he’s currently at the apex in the yacht rental industry his success as an entrepreneur didn’t happen overnight. Dmitry has had to persevere through a lot of hardship and challenges to be where’s he’s at today.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Finance from a Russian university Dmitry decided he wanted to spread his wings and move to the United States. So he sold his car and bought a ticket to California where, upon arrival, he struggled to make ends meet by working a variety of low-paying jobs. Some of his earliest gigs included working at McDonald’s, stints at a variety of restaurants, and even a job at a moving company.
During this time he was saving his money, building connections, and accumulating business knowledge which he used to create multiple mildly successful enterprises. It wasn’t until almost 6 years later when he established an advertising firm that he had his first big break. Through the company, he was able to earn a substantial income which allowed him to buy his first private yacht, a 31’ Sea Ray Sundancer, which he later converted into a business asset when he established UNIQ. Since then UNIQ has continued to grow exponentially doubling its profits every year to become the juggernaut enterprise we see today.
Where did the idea for UNIQ Los Angeles come from?
First and foremost, I factored in the type of clientele that we were targeting as a company. The vast majority belong to the top 1% which makes them exceptional and certainly “unique”. Secondly, I took into consideration how we would like to treat our customers. In order to keep them coming back, we had to treat them in a way that was vastly different from other companies; a “unique” way so to speak. Finally, I took into account our top-of-the-line products and inventory, as well as one-of-a-kind staff, which are specific to only our brand. I combined all these factors together and settled on the abbreviated form of unique a.k.a. UNIQ since it embodied the company’s core service and modus operandi.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start my day like most people do. I wake up, shower, and have my morning meal. I find that a healthy breakfast keeps my energy up throughout the day and enhances my productivity. So I try to get a lot of fiber in my diet, including carbs, proteins, and vegetables. I also take coffee to improve my mood. In my spare time I love exercising as well. I also enjoy swimming and boxing. All these activities collectively help me renew my energy and boost my output throughout the day.
My typical office day involves meeting with staff, web designers and in meetings with various departments to stay updated on the company’s progress. As a team we come up with solutions to challenges that may affect our operations and devise new ways to improve the quality of our products and services.
While working, if I can do something today I try not to put it off till tomorrow or any other day of the week. That’s because I like to avoid accumulating a huge backlog of uncompleted tasks. Also, I like to have my days open to handle any new work that comes in or brainstorm and come up with fresh ideas to further improve the company.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m very fortunate to have a team of highly savvy and experienced professionals with who I can bounce off any new ideas I may have. If the idea is worth pursuing, we’ll have a meeting and discuss the manpower, as well as the financial muscle and other aspects required to make it a reality. This helps us cover all the bases and increase the chances of success when we decide to launch the idea.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m certainly captivated by the recent rollout of Metaverse. I think it’s leading up to a future iteration of the internet that will unleash a ton of creativity from people and open up new frontiers and horizons for all types of businesses.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’d say being on time and keeping my commitments. I always strive to attend all the meetings scheduled for a particular day even though I may be tired or don’t feel like it. Once employees and other business people realize you’re a man of your word they tend to trust you more and this translates to enhanced productivity and a very positive bottom-line.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t allow yourself to get easily distracted. Learn to say no. Don’t trust people too much. Work more and buy Bitcoin 🙂
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You know surprisingly I have pretty good communication skills but the majority of the people I encounter initially don’t agree with me. But whenever I talk to people I can be very persuasive and often people agree with everything I say.
Another thing that I would say a lot of people don’t agree with me on is why 95% of the people don’t achieve their goals and become wealthy. I believe it’s because they don’t have enough faith in themselves. Their perception about themselves is somewhat skewed. I believe once you can raise your self-perception you’ll start holding yourself to a much higher standard and that will help you take the necessary actions to grow. Great confidence may not always get where you want to be but you’ll definitely make remarkable strides that will get you much closer to your targets.
You also need to feel like you truly deserve to be successful. You need to visualize everything you want to achieve, no matter how unattainable they might seem, and wake up every day with the sincere belief that you are worthy of those things and then get to work with that mindset.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stay focused. Keep your eye on the ball every day, especially if your business is just getting off the ground. I believe one of the main reasons why new businesses fail is because their founders get distracted. Either they don’t spend their time as productively as they should on vital tasks, or they get derailed by bad relationships and networks.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Performing a comprehensive analysis of the market, first before diving into an industry, and secondly on a frequent basis after the business establishes roots. With the former, it helps you figure out if there are any gaps in the market and how best you can close those gaps to make your business stand out and be profitable. With the latter, analysis helps you learn about the ever-changing customer needs so that you can successfully meet those needs and continually stay ahead of the competition. This also makes your business more competitive and promotes longevity.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s really hard to pinpoint one specific failure since I’ve had so many. All I can really say is never give up and always keep forging ahead.
To be successful you need to be able to leverage your failures by learning from your past mistakes. You can do this by deeply analyzing your decisions so that you do better next time.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would suggest trying your hand at investing in cryptocurrency. I know there’s a deeply contested debate online about the pros and cons of investing in crypto but I think with adequate knowledge and guidance crypto presents a viable business opportunity. Bitcoin is just one option. There are always new cryptocurrencies emerging which you can purchase at a low price and sell at a later date for a considerable profit. Like all forms of online trading, it has its risks and that’s why I strongly recommend first learning about the ins and outs of trading cryptocurrency to mitigate those risks.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
On a personal front I would have to say oysters. I love their sweet taste and distinct flavors so I’m always ordering them at my favorite restaurant at least once a week.
Professionally, I can’t really think of anything you can buy for $100. With inflation today $100 is not what it used to be 10 years ago. A few years back though I did buy a cash counting machine for about $100 which still works to this day. So I’d say that’s my best business purchase for that price.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I find basic iPhone apps help me a lot especially when scheduling the date and time for events. I also have Siri synchronized to my car system which I use to set reminders of meetings and upcoming events.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. It was one of the first books I ever read when I first came to the United States and it really helped me understand the inner workings of running your own business. It also helped me shift my mindset to start looking at finances differently which helped me become a successful business owner.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Sir Winston Churchill
- Study your market. If you want to get a leg up over your competition and maintain the lead, the comprehensive study of your market and competitors is crucial.
- Stay focused, Most businesses today fail because business owners lose sight of what’s truly important and allow their time to be occupied with non-essential tasks. To be continually successful you need to maintain daily focus on focal tasks and get through the day productively.
- Never give up. Setbacks are inevitable but don’t let them hold you back. Entrepreneurs can bounce back from problems by having a resilient attitude and analyzing their past choices to avoid making similar mistakes in future.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.