Home Interviews How I Made $50M Before 30 – Erik Bergman

How I Made $50M Before 30 – Erik Bergman

by Olufisayo
Erik Bergman

I may not be a famous celebrity, but I would still say I’m a success.

Along with my best friend, I launched an affiliate marketing business in 2012 named Catena Media that worked primarily in the iGaming industry. We eventually got venture capital funding and continued to scale our company over the years. In 2017, we listed Catena Media on the Stockholm Nasdaq Stock Exchange at a $200 million valuation. The day I rang that bell, I became a millionaire before 30.

It was quite a ride getting there, and since then I’ve been continuing to share my own journey with others to inspire them to become their own success stories.

How I became a millionaire before 30 is a combination of a little luck and a lot of incorporating strong habits like prioritizing goals and asking the right people for help.

I’ve also learned some lessons along the way, and I believe that they are important enough to share with anyone else who also wants to become a millionaire before 30. These have been my own key steps to success, and I recommend them to anyone with big ideas and big dreams.

Keep Testing Ideas

When you have an idea for a business, you have to run it through some tests to see if it’s actually realistic. While you could luck out and have a million-dollar idea that pays off, you should be doing research first to help you build out that idea and make it into a solid offering before launching.

Testing takes a number of steps, but they are all worth that extra time to make sure you have a viable idea. Build a prototype or a minimum viable product, and then present your test service to a group of potential customers in your target market. During this process, you can find out important details like whether potential customers think you have a good idea or how much you could charge for your product or service.

But once you’ve gone to market with your new business, the testing process doesn’t stop. Any concept can change shape or grow beyond its initial offering, and maybe you want to tweak the services you do have or you want to add on more services. When this happens, you need to go through the testing process again to see what will work and what won’t work with both your current audience and a new potential audience.

At any point in the testing process, you may get some negative feedback. But that’s okay because it’s an opportunity to learn what people do want instead and how you can meet those needs.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

What stops many people from getting started on any new project or business venture is a fear of failure.

It can be almost paralyzing, this feeling that you might not be automatically good at something. Because when a project or a business venture fails, it can feel like YOU are the failure — but you’re not. What failed was an idea, not you as a person.

In fact, failure can be one of the greatest learning experiences you could ever get. That’s because now you know what doesn’t work and can move forward from there. You have learned something very specific, like how the logistics weren’t working, or that the market just wasn’t there, and now you also know what things aren’t actually worth your time.

Plus, when you’ve already failed once, you get less afraid of failing again, and you can become more confident in being able to succeed. Think of it like riding a bike or trying roller skates. You’re going to fall down a lot at first, but you’re also learning how to keep your balance better and how to pick yourself back up again and again. Falling, just like failure, is part of the process to becoming great at something.

I’m very open about the fact that I have tried and failed at many different business ideas. I started a party-planning business that flopped, launched an online food guide for my hometown that went nowhere, and built poker software that also failed. But each failure taught me some important lessons.

First, other people don’t care if you fail. But more importantly, I gained important insights along the way. Building poker software introduced me to the online gambling industry, which led to launching an online bingo website, which was successful and eventually grew into Catena Media.

Follow Your Passion

Passion is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. Having that passion will give you the drive to keep going, even when you do experience some failures along the way.

Your passion should embody the strengths you already have so that you’re not fighting against your true nature but embracing it. When you integrate that passion with a plan, you can more easily form your business’s mission, messaging, and energy into a cohesive whole. Your business idea has a stronger foundation by pairing what you’re good at with what you believe in.

And that cohesion will help you to create a more authentic customer experience, too. People who feel the same way as you will find your business, connect with how powerfully you feel about it, and become an enthusiastic audience.

Being passionate about what you’re doing also means that you won’t be passive about it. You’ll be reading books or attending conferences, doing everything you can to learn even more about that field. You’ll be able to see what’s already out there, how other people are working to solve the problems you’ve encountered or any potential market gaps. That passion will push you to become an expert in what you do.

Network Anywhere and Everywhere

Networking may seem like a chore to some people, but it’s a terrific opportunity for you to get your business idea in front of more people and to show off that passion you have.

Of course, you can try networking with people at in-person events, but you need to expand how you think of networking and where you can do it.

When it comes to online networking, LinkedIn is an easy place to start. You can follow thought leaders in your field, but you should connect with regular employees at different companies, too. You can easily engage in conversations about your industry, sharing your thoughts in discussions and forums about how you think your business idea is the future of that industry. And who knows? Maybe those employees at other companies will become so inspired by your ideas that they’ll eventually want to come work for you.

But you should also look at different platforms for networking, like Meetup or Instagram. I personally love using Instagram because I can engage with my followers, share fun and inspiring videos, and even run charitable contests to raise awareness about causes I believe in.

On Instagram, I also have the opportunity to collaborate with other accounts that share the same ideas and values, expanding my reach to more people as well as further establishing myself as a notable figure within my field.

You Have the Potential to Become a Millionaire Before 30, Too

My story isn’t a special one. I tried various business ideas and failed at plenty of them. But what ended up working was creating a website that filled a need within a particular niche.

You can be just as successful if you find something you’re passionate about and can use that to target a niche that needs your ideas. It will take time, and you may stumble along the way. But if you believe in your idea, you’ll find a way to make it a reality.

So don’t waste any more time and just start already.

Related Articles