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Interview: CreditCardForum.com Founder Michael Dolen on Inexperience and Persistence

Learn how Michael Dolen built his online startup, after dropping out of college, and why he believes persistence is essential for success.

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Best Success Story

[pullquote align=”right”]”I’m not the smartest person, just the most persistent. That is what makes the difference between success and failure.”[/pullquote]The most meaningful moments in running a business aren’t necessarily the most profitable moments. [First], it was in June of 2009 when I began working on the CreditCardForum full-time. I had worked at an Internet company prior to that, at an embarrassingly low wage.

My former boss had promised a raise by June [of that year]. When he called me into his office, I thought it was to discuss the raise. Instead, he said he would have to let me go unless I was willing to work for 40% less [pay]! I choose the former, not the latter. This pushed me into CreditCardForum full-time and within just a few months, I was earning a livable wage from the site. That moment, for me, was the biggest success, even though it was only a fraction of what the site would earn later on as it grew immensely bigger.

Biggest Startup Challenge

There were several! As mentioned, I started this business at what many would say would be the absolute worst time [economically speaking]. Secondly, I was broke. Third, I had to find a way to compete head to head with other websites which had staffs of dozens or even hundreds of employees. All the while, my experience in this field was quite limited. How did I overcome it all? Persistence and a lot of prayers!

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs

I’m not the smartest person, just the most persistent.

That is what makes the difference between success and failure. Not brains or where [you earned your] degree. In fact, I don’t have a college degree as I dropped out after two weeks. Yet because of persistence, I have managed to beat many large companies in this space. So my number #1 tip would have to be… don’t be lazy!

Connect with the CreditCardForum on Twitter.

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