Heads up Vancouver entrepreneurs, Internet mogul and multi-millionaire Com Mirza is in town tonight to and speak at local Meetup Internet Masterminds.
Vancity Buzz got an insider interview with the self made millionaire to learn a few lessons on money, legacy, and contribution.
When it comes to building businesses, there’s not much Com Mirza hasn’t done.
“I failed at the first 7 companies I started back-to-back” he says. “After borrowing money from everyone I knew for the 8th and failing yet again, I knew I needed to make a major change in the way I approached business”
With his ninth company, he finally had some success and was able to pay off his debts which were “the biggest psychological drain on my energy”.
However, he doesn’t view those early setbacks as a waste of time. “They taught me how to run a business, build teams, sell ideas, and raise funding…” But most importantly, he says “they taught me to focus on my strengths and… partner with people who can do [everything else] better, cheaper and faster… and who are passionate about it.”
He’s used those lessons to launch and invest in dozens of now-successful startups in tech, mobile, gaming, and even health, earning him the nickname “The 500 Million Dollar Man”.
But the Pakistan-born businessman who grew up in Ottawa and now splits his time between Canada, the US, Pakistan, and Dubai isn’t interested in talking about his own success.
Because for the past couple of years, he’s had an entirely different focus.
“I’ve always had mentors throughout my life” he says “and two and a half years ago I found a new mentor and paid him a shocking amount of money, even for me.”
But his biggest shock, he says, came when this mentor turned around and donated his entire fee to charity.
This new mentor (whom Mirza preferred not to name) “made me see bigger things like helping others, and building a legacy. I’ve always been more financially focused, but because of him, I’ve been focusing more on contribution.”
After asking himself how he could best contribute, Mirza decided that “The best way that I know how is by business education and business mindset, because that’s what I have a vast amount of experience in…”
As a result, he’s spent 2014 launching his Dream Chasing community – to help other people achieve their dreams the way he’s been able to achieve his.
As a part of Dream Chasing, he’s held 19 “Million Dollar Mastermind” weekend workshops where he works directly with ten entrepreneurs to clarify what they really want and then map out a step-by-step process for getting them there.
“There are three big reasons why entrepreneurs fail.” he says “The first is not knowing where they want to go. The second is not having a detailed plan for getting there. And the third is not following through on that plan. We take care of all three by helping them refine their vision, mapping out exactly what to do to get it, and then supporting them and keeping them accountable until they get there.”
When asked about how this shift in focus has affected his life, Mirza responded:
“When I was failing early on, I had a lot of people who still believed in me and supported me and I really needed that. Now, paying that forward is giving me a more meaningful, satisfied life. And it’s also helped me grow as an entrepreneur as I’m constantly learning as I work with others.”
In 2015, Mirza’s planning to launch The IVC fund – which stands for Internet Venture Capital – so that internet marketers, digital content creators, and other online entrepreneurs can benefit from the venture backed startup model to take their businesses to the enterprise level.
“We’re creating 12 virtual accelerators and we want to fund and help guide 100 online companies in 2015 to create a $100 Million fund.”
Mirza hopes the IVC fund will help him have a more profound impact on more lives.
He’s holding his 20th and final Million Dollar Mastermind in Vancouver November 29-30th, but as of writing, there’s only 4 spot still available and it’s by application only.
But don’t worry if you can’t make it or you can’t afford the $3000 price tag, you can join the waiting list for your chance to join 120 attendees eager to hear him speak for only $10 on November 24th at the Internet Masterminds, a local meetup hosted by Matt Astifan the founder of Web Friendly. The Meetup is in its 5th year which – at over 4000 members – is the largest internet marketing meetup in the world.