Recently I had an opportunity to talk for a while with Fraser Doherty, CEO Of SuperJam and young entrepreneur extraordinaire! Fraser started his extremely successful jam business at the ripe age of 14 (he is now 24). It is now a multi-million dollar company available in over 2,000 supermarkets! Fraser talks about what led him to become an entrepreneur at such a young age and the number one thing aspiring entrepreneurs need to hear.
One thing is for sure, this young successful entrepreneur certainly knows what he is talking about and I highly suggest you do what I did and really take to heart all the great advice he offers! Click the link below to start playing the recording of Fraser’s Priceless advice!
Fraser Doherty Interview Recording
Here is the transcript of the Interview with SuperJam CEO Fraser Doherty:
Why do you think you became an entrepreneur at such a young age? What pushed you towards the business world?
Ever since I was a little kid I always wanted to start my own business and saw so many adults that didn’t enjoy their jobs very much.I thought if I could start my own business I could do something I enjoyed. It wasn’t necessarily about getting rich but about making a living doing something I enjoyed where I could be own boss and find freedom in a sense.
What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
I think what is great is that I am in control of my life running my own business. I’ve been to 50 countries and been able to travel around the world, meeting people, and just the feeling of going into a super market store and seeing my product on the shelves. I love the feeling of having made something.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?
I think the biggest thing is don’t be afraid. I think so many people have an idea for a business or a dream of starting one but they are afraid of taking the first steps and giving it a shot. I think that’s a shame. You have very little to be afraid of and it cost so little to cost a business these days. In some cases for just a few hundred bucks. Start on a small scale and if people like it, grow it to a bigger scale, if they don’t, make some changes and go from there. The most important thing is that you just start, it’s not going to be perfect from the start. That first sale will give you the confidence to take that next step.
How hard do you work as an entrepreneur?
Yes, definitely. It’s taken 10 years of working almost everyday to get it to the point where it is now. Although it’s been a lot of hours, it hasn’t felt that way. It feels like I am building something that will hopefully last a long time. I am building my career. When you are doing something you love it doesn’t feel awful. As long as you are learning things then whatever happens you will have had a great experience. Definitely have to put in a lot of hours. Ask yourself, is this really what I want to do my life, because if it’s not, it will be difficult to put in all those hours!
When you started SuperJam, did you realistically think that eventually 2000 supermarkets would be carrying your product?
I had no idea, really when I started out there is no way that something I started out on such a tiny scale in my grandmothers kitchen would grow into what is has become. Really you can’t image that. I suppose the next thing is that is can. Also, things can grow from a tiny little idea. Just focus on making a great product and then make tiny improvements until it’s ready to sell on a big scale. Don’t start out thinking you are going to sell all over the world. If you can step by step improve what you’ve got, it can go anywhere!
I recently heard that under 30 entrepreneurs are most successful of this current era, do you agree?
I think definitely, young people have an advantage, we grew up with the internet. If you come up with a great idea and an amazing product, it’s perfectly conceivable that it can go from nowhere to everywhere at an amazing speed.The companies we see coming now are going from startup to a billion dollars, I think in nine months is the record now. YouTube did it in like four years, YouTube in like 10 years. The speed in which you can grow a business is only accelerating. So right from the beginning you have to figure out ‘is my product something that will work all over the world,’ how can I design it in a way that it can grow really fast and scale really fast. That’s what is interesting, people can create something and get it around the world so fast. That opportunity did not exist at one time.
Do you think you have possess an extraordinary set of skills that has allowed you to be so successful at such a young age?
I don’t think I am any kind of genius or that I have some kind of special talent that nobody can find. I think that there are a lot of people that have an idea and they don’t even try in the first place so more than anything you just have to be willing to try. That is where a lot of people fall down. But then again, I was willing to try again when things didn’t work the first time around. I was willing to ask people for advice and ask people for their help. I think that sometimes that we find if we have an idea to ask people for their feedback. Some people don’t like to hear that criticism, but actually I really think criticism is the only way you are going to improve. If you can find out what is wrong with what you are doing, you can change it.
Is being an entrepreneur truly all it’s made out to be?
Everything is fun, you get to travel a lot, I am doing something I love. I think when you come up with an idea for a business, really ask yourself, is this something that I want to spend the next 10 years of my life working on. Is this something that I was born to do and that I love. Everything is more difficult than you think it will be in the beginning, so spend a lot of time picking the right idea. Make sure it is something you really love and that you are happy to spend 10 years working on. If it’s not, you’re not going to have a very difficult time.
What does the future hold for you? What’s next?
Well, my business is growing, we are launching in the US next year! We are launching on QVC the home shopping channel, so I’ve got to go on TV and tell people my story and hopefully people pickup their phones and by some SuperJam. I’m really excited about that and we have a lot of neat products come out. I’m also helping out a couple of other people, I’m in a couple of start-ups, so my time is pretty tied up for the next year or so!