An Exclusive Interview with 'Top 40 Under 40' Winner Henok Yeshanew

More young people are choosing to chase their dreams of entrepreneurship and owning their businesses in today's world.

 (photo credit: HENOK YESHANEW)
(photo credit: HENOK YESHANEW)
More young people are choosing to chase their dreams of entrepreneurship and owning their businesses in today's world. They are opting out of the traditional careers that are considered safe. Instead, choosing entrepreneurship, which is challenging yet infinitely fulfilling. One such young person is Henok Yeshanew, armed with only determination and sheer passion for achieving his dreams. He started an award-winning full-service marketing firm and became a Top 40 under 40 award winner.

We interviewed him to get more insight into where he came from, his journey to where he is, and the lessons he has learned on the way.

Q: Could you tell us more about your journey and ensuing success with "Lion Marketing Agency?"

My family believes in traditional careers, so I joined the university intending to go to law school. In my fourth year of school, I realized that my true calling was in business. I left school and embarked on a journey in marketing. It honestly was not easy, but I made it work. I used the skills I had learned from YouTube and Google on a few clients, and they soon started seeing an increase in their revenue.

I then started Lion Marketing Agency. Together with my business partner Adam, we have taken our business to the next level. We work with businesses, medium to large scale, to help them achieve success and growth. We also work with small scale businesses to help them scale their businesses affordably. Its been an amazing journey, and I loved every minute of it.

Q: You've won several awards and accolades, which of these impacted you the most?

I've won several awards, such as taking the Canada Business Awards' title of Top Marketing Agency in Ontario in 2018 and 2019. However, the most important distinction to me as an entrepreneur was the Top 40 under 40 award by the Board of Trade. While it was unexpected, it motivated me and showed me that I was on the right path.

Q: The road to success isn't easy; what was your greatest challenge?

The hardest part of this journey was being in control of everything in the business. I didn't have a boss to manage me or tell me what to do, which was a scary situation for me initially. I reached out to other established people in the business. With their guidance and mentorship, I was able to manage myself well; growth and success followed.

Q: According to you, what qualities must an entrepreneur have to be successful?

One of the most important ones is persistence. Entrepreneurship is challenging, and there are days where nothing will seem to be working out. You need to be persistent and push even when things are tough. Work on improving your skills, one at a time, and delegate what you're not good at. However, even when delegating tasks, ensure that you're still involved; do not be a hands-off entrepreneur. Self-discipline is another essential trait to have. You must be disciplined enough to follow through with your plans, even when you don't feel like it. 

Q: Do you have any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs of today?

The world changes every single day, so you have to ensure that you are not left behind. Keep yourself updated with everything that is even remotely relevant to your business so that you can stay ahead of your competitors. Being able to adapt and remaining flexible is essential!