From Small Failures to Big Wins: An Interview With Marco Calamassi on Mindset | Hacker Noon

June 9th 2020

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I’m a mindset geek, It all comes down to that in the end, whether it’s failures or wins. In my constant chase for Mindset hacks, tips and stories I had the opportunity to talk to the Digital Entrepreneur Marco Calamassi,
whose team develops social media brands and products for some of the biggest influencers. In this interview, I had a chance to ask a few questions regarding his journey, the struggles, the successes and the mindset needed. Here’s what he had to say.

To start, just a bit of your backstory?

Sure. I have grown up in Italy, from a family of entrepreneurs. My proactive and curious approach to life combined with business precocity, allowed me to start building online ventures when I was 10. I still remember the Ebay boom in the late 90s and my freight orders from China.

Where did your “journey” start and any tip for young entrepreneurs ?

It started when I was a kid. My friends were mostly playing soccer and “hanging out” while I was hooked with creating, planning and executing stuff. It was addicting. The idea of discovering an opportunity and turning it into reality was my addiction. School never was my thing and I wanted to jump into real-life ASAP. School was a cage almost. It might sound inappropriate, but I would give the advice of pursuing “personal education” instead of “academic education” to any young man. We are blessed to have any type of education and knowledge available online, one click away. Find your inner calling, identify your core passion and learn as much as you can.

When did you start seeing successful results? What was the price to pay for achieving it?

I had success on my first try. It could have been luck or It could have been just pure intuition that only young kids have. I saw all my friends starting to wear sneakers, I found Alibaba, I learned English by myself and I started conversations with Chinese suppliers and manufacturers. I think they never knew they were talking to a 10 years old Italian kid (LOL).

Long story short, I was importing, from China to my door in Italy, a full container of sneaker shoes every month and flipping them on Ebay for 5-8x markups. At that time Internet was literally booming and consumer spending was crazy high with little to no-competition. But It wasn’t all ups, actually many downs came along. Being an online entrepreneur requires adaptation and flexibility. Trends come and go. Consumers behavior has a shorter than ever lifespan. You fail, you learn, you get better, you succeed.
On repeat.

What motivates you every day nowadays? Any advice on how to strengthen your mindset?

I’m mostly motivated by that feeling of challenge, the inner spark of creativity you got to feed. I never really focus on the end goal or the monetary achievement. That rarely satisfies me. It’s the inner challenge, to prove to yourself that you were right.

Now, as an adult, I also find motivation in providing for others, securing my family’s future, building financial serenity. Yes, mindset is crucial. Your resilience, determination, work ethic and vision matter more than your resources or intelligence or experience. Main advice is to find your WHY. It must be a strong, underlying motive rooted in your inner soul. When you find it, nothing can stop you.

What is your definition of a “Winner”? Tips for a winning mentality?

A winner is simply a person who never quit and crushed obstacles as they present. He/she is a fighter with a crystal clear focus in mind. He/she sees nothing but the objective. Never quitting doesn’t equal never losing. It’s quite the opposite. It’s losing as many small battles we can to achieve the final victory. Find your inner why, visualize it every day and have a super clear plan in place. Do not lose focus.

How will you continue to grow and progress? How not to stall or go flat and become complacent?

Focus, energy and adaptation. Focus in a world where we are constantly shown different things, different stories, different desires and needs is crucial. Make focus your priority. Then energy. I have never encountered a successful person who wasn’t energetic. Energy is given by birth but It can easily fueled by diet, life habits and routines.

And adaptation. We lived in a decade where society started to speed up, big time. From now on, it will be 10x faster. Change and adapt or you’ll be left behind. It goes back to your why. And ultimate goal. If you achieved it, there is nothing wrong in slowing down a bit and enjoy your success. I’m not a supporter of the never ending money/success chase. That’s a deviance western societies generate to feed the economy and people’s spending. Achieve your goals and then enjoy them fully.

To finish our conversation, what is the key factor to a productive mindset?

Low productivity often comes from a “fixed mindset” which is a complacent set of beliefs. You subconsciously think “I have the skills, my qualities are more than enough, my potential is reached.” A “growth mindset” instead tells you “I can learn more, I can do more, I can develop new skills and abilities, my potential is not reached.” People with a growth mindset do not fear change, they do not fear challenges. Life is a challenge, you better develop a growth mindset.

The very last, what has been the biggest epiphany you ever had in your life and career?

When I was young and I started being an “entrepreneur”, after few failures I realized there was something missing in my sub-conscious. There was something within that was constantly sabotaging my success. This is more common than you think. I realized there was a wrong belief inside of myself, deep down into my inner core.

It was the belief that success and money would isolate myself from others and attract jealousy and malice. This negative belief was guarding me and preventing me from achieving success. It was stopping me from bringing my work to fruition.

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