Walking by faith and not by sight is what Ryan Gnesin decided to do when he founded Elevate Brands, formerly Recom Brands. After spending years in corporate, the CEO wanted to be his own boss, and there was no better way than to start a business. Elevate Brands has grown to become the third-largest market for Amazon marketplace sellers in the United States. Still, Gnesin is eyeing a bigger piece of the pie. According to TechCrunch, the recent $250 million it has fundraised will buy more small businesses and be invested in technology. Here is more about Gnesin that you probably didn't know.
1. He Believes Ideas are Useless if Their Execution is Poor
On the Elevate Brands blog, Gnesin was adamant that the success of any business lies in how it operates. He explained that no matter how good the idea is, the business is headed south if it does not execute plans well. In a nutshell, the CEO said it is never about what you do but how you do it that separates you from the rest.
2. He Doesn't Mind Working Remotely
With the pandemic causing people to stay at home, remote working has been embraced, and Gnesin is among the CEOs leading by example. At the start of the pandemic, he headed to Tulum, Mexico, with his wife and worked from there. Gnesin also said that Elevate Brands has 45 employees in 16 different cities because he prefers to hire people wherever he finds them instead of recruiting from a specific city. However, once it was declared safe to resume operations, he planned on setting up an office in Austin, Texas, which he did in early 2021.
3. He Always Entertained the Idea of Entrepreneurship
During an interview with Sermondo, Gnesin disclosed that he previously worked in corporate, and it annoyed him that at the end of each year, his boss would decide how much bonus Gnesin had earned. The CEO wanted to be in a position where he could be in charge of how much to make hence started his own business. Besides, he had always been enticed by the idea of working with great minds to build something from scratch.
4. He is Growth-Oriented
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that when a new idea stretches the mind, it never returns to its old dimensions. Hence, Gnesin, who is growth-oriented, felt that his learning curve was beginning to plateau, and it was time to look for something to keep stretching his mind. Therefore, he left his corporate job and moved to the US in 2016 with no clue what he would do. However, attending an Amazon conference opened his mind up to a business idea.
5. He Was Not Sure What His Business Would Entail
Although Gnesin knew that he wanted to venture into e-commerce and work with Amazon, he was clueless about what his business would entail. He has always embraced the learning-by-doing approach, so he figured that he would do the same with his new business, which he was guaranteed would grow because of the e-commerce trend. He decided to let things flow, and a strategy would evolve. Therefore, at first, the business was involved with retail arbitrage and private labeling.
6. He Opines That Big Success is an Accumulation of Small Successes
Most people think that success has to be in terms of the big things they have achieved. It could be millions of sales for a businessman, while for one working in corporate, it could be earning a high commission. However, we usually tend to overlook that first sale or landing the first client, yet it is through them that we scale the heights. Gnesin is among the few entrepreneurs who appreciate those small milestones, which he believes translate to much bigger feats. For him, there is a certain confidence that comes with success, no matter how small it is.
7. He Would Love to Learn Mandarin
Gnesin is proud of the many skills he has acquired since his job requires him to keep gaining them. He said that he had to be good at recruiting because getting the right people to occupy the correct positions at the right time is essential in a business. Still, regardless of the varied skillset, he feels learning how to speak Mandarin is essential even if it doesn't help him in his business. The motivation comes from his brother, who lived in China for a decade and is fluent in Mandarin.
8. He Grew Up in South Africa
According to a video uploaded on Getida, Gnesin was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, until he was 14. As a result, he can speak Afrikaans, but that is not the only language the CEO has picked up over the years. He also studied Hebrew while growing up and spent eight years in Indonesia so Gnesin can speak some Bahasa.
9. His Family also Works in Elevate Brands
Many people avoid working with family because the familiarity results in slacking in their jobs. However, Gnesin does not mind thus has his mother working in the human resources and customer service departments. His brother has become instrumental in helping Elevate Brands with their Chinese clients; since he is fluent in Mandarin, Gnesin's brother assists in sourcing products from China.
10. He Hated Working in the Insurance Industry
In 2007, right after graduating college, Gnesin got a job working at Life Protection Solutions. He felt it was ideal because after living in Australia for a decade, he had observed that the Australians were heavily underinsured. Unfortunately, although he loved the mentors he worked with, Gnesin hated the brutality of insurance. So he started looking for other opportunities and landed a job with Glencore after several interviews that lasted six months. Gnesin's interest in working at Glencore was because he admired the air of mystery that the company carried.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee