Wondering how to break into tech?
What an amazing story.
Pejman Nozad saved up commissions from a carpet sales job, a job he had to convince his boss Amir Amidi (amiramidhozour.net) to give him, to invest in startups like Dropbox, LendingClub, Zoosk Inc., and others.
Pejman grew up during a revolution in Iran, yet was able to acquire a visa to the U.S. to find opportunity. He brought $700 with him.
After becoming an expert car washer and yogurt shop employee, he finally was able to convince a carpet store owner, Amir Amidi, to let him become a salesperson. He quickly realized two things. He was great at making friends, but he was also consistently meeting tech CEOs and investors to sell them carpets.
He started developing an interest in startups, which caused him to pitch Mr. Amidi about investing in a few. In order to do this, Pejman doubled his hours and placed every commission he made into a bank account.
He built a network from scratch in a carpet shop, inviting investors and founders to the space for events. 100s of people ending up coming to these events over time, and Pejman ended up meeting a significant amount of tech folks from Silicon Valley. Sequoia Capital, one of the world's prominent VC firms, was able to source and invest in Dropbox solely due to the deal flow Pejman created from these events in the carpet store.
Can you imagine? What if his boss had said "no."
*This* is true hustle and grit. His efforts were eventually met with luck as well, but luck rarely comes without a foundational level of effort. As the saying goes, "luck happens when preparation meets opportunity."
This reminds me of the time I spent in high school and college fixing and reselling cars with my dad, and buying, fixing, and reselling bicycles with my friend Brad, both to subsidize bigger dreams. I learned that, although you can become great at doing things that seem to generate significant cash, it is more important to look at the bigger picture and find ways to leverage these kind of experiences to turn them into something greater.
Sending a thank you to Jason Calacanis for having Pejman on This Week in Startups - this was fantastic to listen to today while I worked. I highly recommend going to YouTube / Apple Podcasts / wherever to listen.