We’ve all had who and what we wanted to be as a child figured out, right? Then life happens, we work through bad jobs, failed dreams, and finally settle into who we are today. Some of us would have never dreamed of what we do today, and some always knew.
Here we talk with Andrew Pawlak of LeadPops to see how his journey in entrepreneurship went.
Even as a child, Andrew Pawlak, the current CEO of LeadPops, knew he wanted to start a business. He started off selling golf balls for two dollars each at the golf course near his home. By the age of 19, having no desire to go to college and tired of working at BlockBuster, he decided to go into sales after his father told him that without a college degree, sales would be the only way to make a living.
Andrew landed a job at z57 cold calling real estate agents to sell template websites. Despite having no experience, Andrew got the job. He was the youngest salesperson at the company and the only one without a college degree. He worked hard to prove that he could have a great life without school. Within 6 months he was the top salesman out of over 120.
Andrew had mentors to guide him through. He listened to Brian Tracy’s “The Psychology of Selling” and worked under the guidance of Ed O’Neill and Stephan Capezza. He learned and applied all he could to be the best at sales and marketing. His hard work resulted in both product improvements and upsells for the company.
Andrew knew he wasn’t living up to his potential at z57, so he left. He disappointed his parents, but he soon found a job as a sales manager at an internet start-up, which provided websites for mortgage originators. He started by cold calling and then eventually presented himself to clients as more of a consultant instead of a salesman, refusing to take no for an answer. Though the company grew profitable within months, the owners weren’t interested in growing the business, so he quit.
The First Start
At 20, Andrew knew he had the talent and the knowledge to start his own business. So in 2006, he did just that, with an investment from his partner’s uncle. The company focused on mortgage website templates and email newsletters. It was a success, and is still around today. In 2011, after five successful years at the company, Andrew left to start LeadPops: a lead generation software company specializing in CRO.
Settling Into Success
LeadPops launched in 2012 and landed Zillow as one of its first major partners. The company helped rebuild Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace tech and strategy. In 2014, LeadPops partnered with Bankrate, investing $250k into the company over 3 years, before being purchased by Red Ventures in 2017. Since it launched, leadPops has invested its profit back into the company, and with that investment and knowledge, became a SaaS (software as a service) in 2016. And LeadPops keeps growing, now approaching 2000 clients across the country with 32 employees.
Andrew published his first book in 2016: “The Mortgage Marketing Manifesto” and plans to publish his second in 2020. He married the woman of his dreams in 2013 and they had their first child in 2018. He just moved into a wonderful home in San Diego, California, and is loving life!
What’s your story? Are you where you thought you would be? Where are you headed next?