Warren Jolly has been a successful Entrepreneur since his High School years. Founding his first business (Nebulant Corp) at the age of 17, Warren quickly established himself as a well-recognized expert in the field of affiliate marketing, also known as online pay-for-performance marketing. The company was acquired by a AIM-listed company in 2003 and gave Warren the opportunity to first experience an M&A transaction.
Warren and I go back to 2005, back in the mortgage and debt lead gen days and had since lost touch. Thanks to social media – we reconnected and I thought it appropriate to bring this interview to you.
1) Warren, tell us briefly about yourself and how you got started in this industry.
I started in affiliate marketing during my freshman year in high school – I was 14 years old at the time. I developed an interest in technology at a very early age and computers were my obsession throughout high school. I would build computers for dad, my friends, and myself just because I enjoyed it. I eventually convinced my dad to get me an internet connection (back then it was a 28.8 kbps modem) and started to tool around online. I figured out a way to optimize a website very easily in AltaVista and Excite, which were 2 of the dominant search engines at the time. One month at the age of 15 I made $15,000.00 as an affiliate and the rest was history.
2) Do you think being an Indian in this industry has hindered or helped you achieve the level of success you currently have or anticipated?
I think it has helped. I grew up here. People can’t really tell I’m Indian but I believe that my work ethic and passion for what I do stems from my roots.
3) What are the top 3 factors that you feel contribute to your success?
My family and upbringing, being able to jump into business at a very early age, and my ability to build rapport with people almost instantaneously.
4) How important is it to you to communicate with your readers? Is there a particular message you are wanting to convey?
Extremely important. I’m very passionate about helping other individuals and companies understand and leverage affiliate marketing for themselves. In fact, that’s part of our vision for AffiliatePrograms.com, which we’re in the process of revamping.
5) Talk to us specifically about your experience and frustrations in dealing with people in the industry.
Sadly, there are a lot of shady characters in this industry. Many internet marketers are actually just fraudsters and aren’t focused on really creating any value for the end consumers that’s buying the product that will end up earning them a commission. A lot of the folks in the space lack a true “win/win” mentality which is critical for any type of long-term success.
6) You are well known in the industry, who has been your motivation or inspiration, in other words, who is your driving force?
For me, it’s been Tony Robbins. I got a chance to spend a bit of personal time with Tony and he’s truly a remarkable individual.
7) Being a minority myself, there are constant stereotypes that I have to overcome, have you ever experienced this?
I haven’t, but I have plenty of other friends who are successful Indian-Americans that have faced incredible stereotypes, but have yet been incredibly successful through their sheer motivation and drive. I think that can overcome a lot.
8) What are some effective tools and products that help you keep your life organized?
I use Evernote, Gqueues, Skype, Dropbox, and Google Apps religiously. Wouldn’t know what to do without these tools.
9) If you had a money tree in your back yard and could purchase anything for your business tomorrow, what would it be?
The ability to hire the best of the best talent in the world to work on my business. I’m a huge believer that people make the business, not the idea. As Jim Collins eloquently put it in his book “Good to Great”, it’s all about putting the right people on the bus.
10) Any words of wisdom for my readers looking to get into this space?
It’s a great space to work in, just don’t buy into all the hype and pitches to make money overnight. It takes time and hard work to make money as an affiliate but in the end, it’s definitely worth the sacrifice.