It’s easy to say that hard work beats talent. But, in the end, these are just words. They don’t mean anything unless you believe them!
My job for today is to prove to you that hard work can lead you to success. And, perhaps, even to your first $100 Million! To do that, we’ll be following the journey of Maropost, a marketing automation platform that provides tech and support for over 10,000 marketers — bootlegged in 2011 by founder and CEO, Ross Andrew Paquette.
The Start-Up | Building a Business
Everyone’s startup story is different. But, at the very least, we know that around 83.1% of business owners start their business completely from scratch. Ross Andrew Paquette falls into this category, but his story is far from average.
In an interview that briefly touched upon his past, Ross had this to say about his early beginnings: “I don’t think I grew up as your typical entrepreneur… I’m from a really small forestry town in Northern Ontario that housed… maybe around 40,000 people? So, there’s really not a lot of entrepreneurs coming out from there.”
And yet, despite what his young self might have believed, Ross somehow ended up bootstrapping Maropost while working for a mid-sized email marketing provider. When asked about why he choose to start his own business while working for another company, he said:
“All the SaaS and email marketing tools available at that time had poor deliverability and even worse customer service. So, seeing that, I decided it was time to make a change by pushing out a product that would continuously improve over the years to keep pace with the growing market — rather than go complacent like those early email marketing tools and platforms did.”
To put it simply, he saw a gap in the market, a “market need” if you will. And despite being only a burgeoning entrepreneur at the time. Ross took that opportunity and ran away with it to create something new and exciting that he knew his clients would love.
The Climb | Early Days of Maropost
Of course, the hard work doesn’t stop after the initial conception stage. Instead, it’s a mixture of being both harder and easier. Harder, because this is when the battle truly begins. And easier, because now you have a team to back you up on your way to the top!
Ross Andrew Paquette, who was still working for that aforementioned mid-sized email marketing company, describes Maropost’s first few years of business as follows:
“The first year of business for us was pretty calm. Our goal wasn’t to raise capital, so our ‘first year as a startup’ was far from what you’d normally expect. All we were focusing on back then was the business itself. I was working another job those first two years, so I wasn’t panicked about how I’ll be ‘keeping the lights on.’”
However, the ‘calm’ as Ross described it, did not last forever: “Our growth was pretty divided. We grew revenue rapidly, incredibly rapidly some might say — but our team stayed small throughout.”
To clarify, the initial Maropost team, according to Ross, was made up of only 5 people in their first four years of business. And, by the time their team grew to 10 people, Maropost had already jumped from being a $3.3 million revenue company to a $13 million revenue company!
How did they make this work? How were they able to accomplish so much with so little? Well, when asked about what he believed made them so successful, Jacopo Mauri (Maropost’s Manager, Director, CMO, VP of marketing, and more), attributed much of their success to their so-called “open-ness” saying that, for him: “No job is too big or too small. That is how I’ve built my career. By being the one-man band that is open to any task and any responsibilities.
Bottom Line | The Journey to the Top
Maropost, as it stands now, is known as one of the most profitable and fastest-growing tech companies in North America. And it’s maintained such a ranking since 2014, showing an impressive 12,000% growth rate in a close 5-year span, and taking on well-known B2C brands and retailers for clients like Mercedes-Benz, Rolling Stone’s Wenner Media, NewsCorp, Shop.com, and more.
That is the value of hard work. And, despite their success thus far, they don’t intend on stopping their relentless pursuit of becoming ‘THE’ marketing solution with their much-valued philosophy for customer-centric innovation.