Startup Fortune, July 7, 2020: You only need to listen to Umar Cassim for a few seconds to realize that he’s no ordinary 16-year-old. He’s articulate, mature, and humble, which are incredible feats considering he’s already making a six-figure income. Although it all started with selling sneakers to make extra lunch money for himself, he’s now at a point where he can buy his whole team dinner without batting an eye.
What made you choose this industry?
I’ve never felt like I made this choice. It chose me. I wasn’t taught it and I didn’t intentionally do this with the aim of getting followers. As the business grew, I started studying the people in the industry who were doing well and then using their methods to help me.
What are the biggest challenges when starting a business?
There will be people who tell you that you won’t be able to do it. They’re not necessarily malicious about it, but they don’t believe that they could do it, so it’s hard for them to believe that someone else could. Not everyone wants to see you succeed. You have to take that disbelief and use it as fuel to prove them wrong.
What was your biggest success?
Establishing the right connections has been invaluable. I’m always genuinely respectful and interested in people and their businesses. This led to me building relationships with celebrities and other people with large followings, which helped me get great brand deals. Networking and relationship building forms the foundation of my business.
What are you working on right now?
In addition to doing marketing and branding for other businesses, I’m also working on starting my own clothing brand and e-commerce store. Eventually, I want to be able to use this money to invest in real estate and earn a passive income. Most of all, I want to inspire people and help them realize that if I could do it, so could you.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out?
Find people who inspire you and study what they do. Whether you’re getting into business, fitness, marketing, public speaking, or anything that you enjoy find someone who fits your niche and speaks to you and your goals, use them as inspiration, and recreate their steps to success.