How would you grow $800 million?
As estate litigators, we’ve been involved in thousands of estate matters, and seen the many ways that individuals and families have built their wealth. From my experience, there’s no magic formula: the different paths to wealth are both varied and countless.
But, if I had to name one common ingredient for wealth building it would be long hours and hard work. Even the best ideas in the world don’t allow for a free ride, where money pours in with little effort. At least that’s what I thought.
The story of Canadian entrepreneur Markus Frind is a fascinating exception to that rule. He started the dating website Plenty of Fish in 2003. He designed the site himself and launched it in two weeks. He ran it from his laptop, and by the end of that year he had revenues of over $3,000 each month.
That number changed quickly. It was only a couple of years before the $3,000 each month became $10,000 each day. By 2009, the website had revenues of $10 million a year, and he had only hired three employees. Even more fascinating was his lifestyle: he worked just one hour a day, living a life of fun and leisure with his girlfriend in Vancouver the rest of the time.
This 2009 profile of Frind provides a great overview of how Frind started his business and the lifestyle he came to enjoy just six years later.
Of course, the story doesn’t end in 2009. His company continued to grow and, in 2015, Frind sold Plenty of Fish to Match.com for CDN $800 million. In this recent interview in the Globe and Mail, Frind provides a first-person account of his journey.
Not surprisingly, this most unusual of business owners has some unusual advice for young entrepreneurs just starting out:
My best advice for entrepreneurs, especially the younger ones, is to spend time with your spouse. If you’re working 80 hours a week, the world outside the business doesn’t exist, which is why divorce rates are so high.
Thank you for reading … Have a wonderful day,