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A Freelance Web Designer Turned CEO Explains His Road To Success

GabrielShaoolianGabriel Shaoolian‘s success story is at once familiar and entirely unique. He moved to NYC in 2001 and set up his business with nothing but a laptop and some web design experience. Since then, his company, Blue Fountain Media, has generated over $2 billion in revenue by building sites for everyone from AT&T to AOL.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s Hey, How’d You Do That?, Shaoolian talks about how he went from a freelance web designer to CEO:

Describe the early days of your freelance life.
Well, let me tell you, and I’ll tell anyone out there. It’s crazy. You know, doing this without funding, you lose a lot of sleep, and you lose your life, really. The company becomes your life. It’s not easy. It’s not for someone who wants weekends and who wants vacations. I tell people that you go on vacation and you are still thinking about work every second of every day.

I had no idea what I was in for. I just wanted to build something small. But I realized that I can’t do everything on my own. If I want to do good work, I need team members that are specialized. As Blue Fountain Media grew, I started working on an infrastructure for the company.

To hear more about Shaoolian’s career, as well as his advice for freelancers and entrepreneurs, read: Hey, How’d You Build Profitable Websites For Brands Like AOL and AT&T, Gabriel Shaoolian?

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