Startup Fortune, July 11, 2020: Mohamed Shakaoat wasn’t one of those people who simply stumbled upon their dream job. He’s tried – and excelled at – everything from sports and tutoring to car flipping, a career in criminal justice, social media marketing, an ATM business, and now a successful, $19,000,000 asset handling Amazon e-commerce management company. It’s a lot, but that’s what it takes to be successful.
When did you know you found the right idea and how did you capitalize on it?
It didn’t come easily. There’s been a lot of work, trial, error, mistakes, and learning behind what we’ve built. It started with an ATM business. That grew quite quickly, and while that was happening I also put out YouTube videos explaining how I got started. The success of the YouTube videos helped me realize the power of the internet and social media. My focus shifted to Amazon drop-shipping, and again, some mistakes were made. Those mistakes led me to Project WiFi, an Amazon management company that I started with my three business partners. Within a few months we started seeing great revenue and growth. That’s when we knew that we were on to something.
What is unique about you or your business?
Project Wifi is one of those services that you need, but you don’t know you need it, especially when you’re starting out in the e-commerce industry. Our business is completely automated and we back companies using other people’s money as credit. We’ve already built the network using software and virtual assistants in the Philippines and the US, so all our partner stores need to do is sign up and sell their products. They don’t need capital upfront, which takes a weight off the shoulders of people who are just starting out.
What would you say are the biggest challenges when starting a business as an entrepreneur?
The people you surround yourself with are extremely important. If you’re around someone who is encouraging, knowledgeable, and willing to share their experiences, then you’ve got yourself a great mentor. If you’re around someone who doesn’t believe in you or your idea and often gives negative input, then you’ll start getting discouraged. Tunnel vision helps me a lot – all I can see is the central focus, the positivity. Any negativity is lost to the outskirts and I don’t pay attention to it.