“There will always be people who say that you won’t make it, and it is important that those people exist.” ~David Perel
The Renegade Spotlight on DaveUrsillo.com showcases the real-life stories of everyday “Renegades” — men and women who are pursuing big dreams while defying criticism, cynicism and being misunderstood by others around them.
Today, I’d like you to meet Dave Perel, who along with his brother Marc have built an internationally-admired web design company based in South Africa called Obox Design. I met Dave and Marc (Marc will also be profiled in the near future) through the Twitter social network.
Together on DaveUrsillo.com, we are building an inspired community of genuine dream-pursuers — the Ranks of the Renegades — who are striving to change the world. We are the Renegades. Are you among our ranks?
1.) In your own words, introduce yourself!
I’m David Perel, a 25-year-old motor-sport nut and co-founder of Obox Design. I started life saying that I would never ever EVER work on a computer as a job, yet here I am many years later, addicted and committed. I spend my days designing for the web and managing our company. I am a very competitive person, doing well is what makes me hop :)
2.) What are some of the short- and long-term dreams you are pursuing?
Short term, I am not 100% sure. My brother and I always tend to aim for the future and are very patient with regards to our progress in business. Long term, I want to build a highly profitable company which just consists of my brother and I.
I am proud of what Marc and I have achieved at Obox. We often say that in many ways the two of us make a six man team, and if I can one day turn around and say, “We built a million dollar company with only two people,” it will be a dream come true.
Some people may turn around and tell me that money is not important, and they are 100% correct. But it’s not about the money, it’s about the score — just like you want to score high Mario Bro’s or Halo. That’s my thinking: since I was a toddler, I always wanted to get the best score in every level of a video game. I am very much still like that, literally and figuratively.
3.) What effects have these pursuits had on your life?
Long days/nights, huge amount of stress with regards to deadlines of multiple work loads. On the flip side, we have complete freedom to do what we want when we want. The responsibility of the company is solely on Marc and I so the stress relative to what a “boss” would have is minimal. The main problem I find is that my competitive nature can sometimes bring me down: I really like doing well and even if just one day does not go to plan then I feel like I have disappointed someone.
I have learned from being a sportsman that personal pressure is often greater than the pressure put on you by others.
4.) What has pursuing your dreams taught you about yourself? About others? About life?
It definitely showed me what my lowest of lows was. I believe in order to go forward you need to find your lowest point. Once you experience that, and survive it, then nothing can ever feel that bad again and as long as you think that you will keep moving forward. I have also learned that giving up is not an option — if the goal is achievable but very hard to get and you decide to turn ’round at that tough moment, then it will be difficult to build and progress in life, business, sport, etc.
Currently, I feel that the most important lesson I have learned is that achieving success is irrelevant if you don’t have someone to share it with.
5.) Do you have any special methods or practices that help you along the way? What are your sources of inspiration?
The fear of having to give up keeps me going but it also helps that I love what I do. Because Marc and I cover so many bases there is always something different we can do. We are not “just” designers or developers, so there is never a sense of, “Wow, I think I have done this 1000 times now.”
Inspiration for me comes from multiple sources — design-wise, it’s all about what you are surrounded with, how can you learn and be inspired by that object and how can you turn that into something cool for work.
For business development I find inspiration in stories of entrepreneurs who started with nothing and created billion dollar companies, the stories of the deals they did to get to the next step are more than enough inspiration.
6.) Do cynics, doubters and pessimists affect you and your pursuits? If so, how? If not, do you avoid them, tune them out, use them to your advantage, etc.?
There will always be people who say that you won’t make it and it is important that those people exist. They will inspire you to prove them wrong and never give up. Many times in my life I have been told either “You will never be a successful racing driver” or “That business idea has been tried, it will never work” and I often used to think to myself, “Hmmm, you shouldn’t have said that…” because that just pushes me even harder.
To achieve mega things, the drive from within must be so great that YOU will stop at nothing to achieve it. The doubters are the reminders of how far you have come and how far you still need to go. This quote sums it up.
Are you or is someone you know a genuine Renegade? Your story can be here on DaveUrsillo.com in the new Renegade Spotlight feature! Send me an email! Tell the world your story, inspire hundreds of men and women, and get your name and face known by thousands of fellow Renegades across the world!