The dream job was a career as a consultant at McKinsey, but the passion was somewhere entirely else - namely entrepreneurship. With a DKK 8,000 investment he established his first business and the following year it had a turnover of DKK 1,500,000. With an expert knowledge in social media marketing, came one day a sudden unexpected call from none other than Facebook. Meet 22-year-old Mads Paaskesen, co-founder of the successful company PL & Partners.
Hard work is the way forward
Mads Paaskesen is at the age of just 22, the youngest Gent of the month, we have ever had. This does not make his story less exciting. On the contrary.
Already in the infancy boyhood it was obvious that Mads possessed some ability to excel in everything that had his interest. Whatever it was football or handball at elite level, he closely studied some of the most talented athletes in their field, and then copied and practiced their techniques to the degree where he was capable of doing it himself. Whatever the talent or the starting point was, he involved himself passionately with diligence and hard work, and he learned that the goals he set out, could actually be reached. This approach to life in general also continued when he first attended the Business School in Køge:
» When I started at Køge Business School, I decided that I would graduate with the highest score in my class, which I did.
With the great grades in place, the plan after graduation, was to continue an education at Copenhagen Business School, and then pursue the dream of becoming a consultant at McKinsey.
The immediate teen dream ended up somewhere else. His growing passion for entrepreneurship and the thought of being master in this own home, got Mads on second thoughts:
» I think I would find it difficult to thrive in a big company, where the level of bureaucracy is high. I need to be able to execute, and I am motivated to think new and to have my hand on the cooking plate, so to say. It is also about freedom, and thus money. That I must admit. I dream to live my life the way, which I think it should be lived. I will not be dependent on others, or circumstances I do not have control over. When I first became aware of entrepreneurship, I forgot about all other options and in my mind there wasn´t any doubt, that I wanted to do this.
Wristbuddy.dk was the beginning
The passion for entrepreneurship should be tried out and in the final years of his education, Mads and this classmate Kristian Larsen decided that something should happen and this in a hurry:
» We were both super motivated and it was not really a matter of what it was - we would just like to get started. We came across some different watches from abroad, which we thought were interesting, and believed we could sell them in Denmark. So we did.
» Kristian took care of all the technical things, like building the webshop and make sure that we could receive orders, while I chose the assortment and negotiated prices with suppliers. And it was necessary to negotiate, as the initial capital was only DKK 8,000. We have never since added any additional capital to any of our companies than the DKK 8,000.
In stark contrast to what it usually can cost to start a business, the investment of DKK 8,000 lasted long. With a great interest and focus on the potential of Facebook, the duo made a turnover of DKK 1,500,000 the very first year. Afterwards they chose to sell the company.
Photo: Claus Sall
Invitation from Facebook
Their experience with Wristbuddy.dk and skills with advertising on Facebook did not go unnoticed. One day rang Facebook from their European headquarters in Dublin. Facebook had noticed how effective the team were in their advertising in social media, and invited them over for a chat about algorithms, new tools and general trends, all of which could help to make them even better at their work. Since then, they have both visited Facebook several times, including one time as a guest lecturer.
» October 28 th this year, we came home from an event in which 300 agency people from all over Europe, the Middle East and South Africa were invited to the Agency Day to hear about the latest data and future developments. We were the only ones from Denmark. In addition, I was on stage as the only external speaker to talk about the way we work with the platform. Of course it is super cool to be able to offer our customers that we always have the latest knowledge, and the stamp of approval from Facebook.
PL & Partners
Working with Wristbuddy.dk was exciting, but it was in fact Facebook, which they found fun. Besides a recommendation from Facebook to start their own business, they found a large gap in the market - there was no one who offered professional help to Facebook advertising, despite the fact that many demanded it. Based on this, they started PL & Partners, which provides professional advice on Facebook marketing and other related platforms such as Instagram. The company has successfully gained many new customers, including Single.dk, Skjold Burne and Spar Nord. In addition, they have several times received a tender offer for PL & Partners, but are still not willing to sell.
Anyone can become an entrepreneur
For some, entrepreneurship is seen as a job, while for others it is a passion and lifestyle, which Mads actually believe that everyone can master if they just spend a lot of hours in what they have passion for. However, they should not expect it to be easy.
» Where I am now, I have a clear idea of what it takes as an entrepreneur, and that is that you think about some things in a larger perspective. Such as "How do I want to live my life?", "Why is it important for me to do it that way?" etc. In this way, you always have an answer ready for yourself when you start doubting, which you sometimes will do when things get tough. To be honest, I truly believe that it only takes hard work and passion. The willingness to examine the things you do not know, to think about things day and night, to fail, yet go on. I do not think it requires very specific talents. The positive thing about it (if that is the truth) is that anybody can become entrepreneurs.
In addition to the hard work, Mads has also realized that being an entrepreneur requires that you are able to handle different roles, eg. how to manage product development, strategy, IT solutions, sales, marketing, management etc. The way to get things done is easier if you have a positive mindset and approach:
» I think my core competence is always to be optimistic. To become motivated by challenges and see the possibilities in something new every time something comes to an end.
Style and fashion as a tool
For Mads is style and fashion not necessarily something he spends much time on, but he knows the importance and significance of the proper attire.
» For me, style and fashion is a tool that can help radiate the things you want. It enhances one's appearance, and I think you need to have that in mind. As an example, I do not attend a business meeting in shorts and thongs. I often think about who I should make an impression on during my day, depending on who I'm meeting, and then I dress up, so I can give the impression I want.
Carlo A and the concept behind, however, have given Mads second thoughts, where he particularly is impressed by how little is needed to change one's overall expression without making a big deal of it.
» I think it's an impressive concept. The reason, why I use the word "impressive" is that it is relatively easy to upgrade and it is not too costly for anyone to "start" with. Everything starts out small, and if you want to change the way you dress, then the tie is an easy thing to add to your look, but also something that can change your appearance a lot. And then there are the products themselves (especially the "Martin Silk tie") are really great.
THE 6 SHARP
What are the ambitions for the future - where do you think PL & Partners is in about 5 years?
» Oh - it's a good question. The ambition is to build a large and extremely intelligent company, which features specialists in their specific field. Facebook advertising is our DNA and primary business, and it still is in about 5 years.
What is the next big project for you?
» The next big project for PL & Partners is to grow in a healthy way, by delivering great work for our customers so that in future we can attract more great customers, and thus capable employees. These two things go hand in hand, so that's our focus.
What is your best career advice?
» Take yourself seriously as a person and bring that attitude to work as well. Do your utmost, be responsible and do not put your name on sloppy work. Most importantly, be sure to be something for others. Understand where other people are coming from and then find out how you can contribute positively to their lives.
Which limitation can there be in creating your own career?
» Risks. No matter where you look, there is some kind of risk. It is hard work and requires extreme forms of focus – that is what I have experienced. You should definitely learn how to handle "what if" - thoughts. If you cannot do that, you can easily see problems everywhere. However, there are so many upsides that I can mention several pitfalls on many other levels by having a regular job, says a smiling Mads Paaskesen.
Do you have a motto?
» I have many that I think is worth having with me in my daily life. It depends on the situation, which one is best. But if I must choose one, it will be Henry Ford with "Whether you think you can, or you think you can´t - you're right". It also matches my belief, which is about believing in yourself and to pursue your goals in life.
What book is on your bedside table??
» "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie. It is actually an audiobook. I'm going to run through it for the second time in a short time - there are many important lessons to learn from that.
Blue book - Mads Paaskesen
Age: 22 years old
Civil status: Single
Education: Køge Business School – Math and Economics
2016-: Speaker - MarketingCast
2015-: Facebook Marketing Specialist/Partner/Co-founder – PL & Partners
2014-2015: Co-founder – Wristbuddy.dk
2014-: CEO and owner - Gazelle Group Holding
This tie Martin is simple but very unique. The solid dark blue colour is combined with two diagonal stripes in turquoise and white. This eye-catching tie is woven with a matching white Carlo A logo on the front. This tie is the perfect finish to a great look.