Ruby Slipper Business Ninja of the Week : Fred Schebesta

Monday’s the perfect time for a little business inspiration, and Ruby Slipper have just what you need with a robust little Business Ninja interview featuring young entrepreneur Fred Schebesta of finder.com.au. Fred started his first business at the tender age of 19, before selling it a few years later to the cool tune of $1.3 million. Now he runs finder.com.au, which operates a range of financial comparison sites helping consumers make decisions regarding providers for their credit cards, personal loans, savings, insurance and mortgages. To date, Fred has been awarded ADMA NSW Young Direct Marketer of the Year and ADMA Australian Young Direct Marketer of the Year. 

Ruby Slipper were lucky enough to take five minutes with the steel-trap mind of this dynamic young entrepreneur. Here’s Fred!

1. Describe your approach to business in three words.

Do it now.

A 30% strategy 80% executed is better than a 90% strategy 10% executed. I like to do things immediately instead of meeting and thinking about it. You will often hear me say “How about if we just do it now?” Procrastination kills business.

2. How did you ‘know’ you were going to run your own business? Was it a gradual development – or rather a planned and structured initial foray?

I started my first business at Uni and over time realized it was for me. I have worked inside some businesses and seen how they work and never aspired to work inside them. They taught me what not to make a company feel and act like.

3. In one sentence, explain what your new business interest does and the gap it fills in the market.

Finder.com.au is a one stop shop comparison website. We have done the consumer’s homework for them by gathering all of the information into one place so they can make a decision about their personal finance, insurance or telco purchases. We fill the gap between bank’s marketing and consumer research. You would be crazy not to compare rates, and we help people make decisions that can change their lives. It’s really hard to make decisions these days with so many options available, so we also write guides that answer from start to finish what people need to know about – like our ‘Beginners Guide to Life Insurance’.

4. Where do you go for inspiration and how do you overcome ‘road blocks’ to your development – in business and personally?

I read books, blogs and articles – these give me good practice in the application of ideas. I also watch movies, lectures and attend conferences with experts, which give me insight and sculpt my knowledge and thinking. I also seek out and speak with successful people.

5. Do you think that entrepreneurs have one particular quality in common?

They truly believe that they can do anything. Cook a seven-course meal, build and launch a rocket into space, call the Prime Minister or anything else they can think of.

6. If you were to name two would-be mentors (alive or dead) – who would you choose to help guide your future development?

I keep changing mine – but right now Kerry Stokes and Andy Grove. Kerry for thinking big and making big deals happen and Andy for his amazing management.

7. In ten years from now, how do you see technology’s role within SMEs to have changed?

It will depend on the business – although at its core a mobile phone and a computer will evolve to be all that is required. The rest will just be dinosaur relics of business, like the typewriter and the fax machine.

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