Why Failure is an Essential Part of Success – Sahin Boydas

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Show Notes:

Success never comes overnight. It requires a lot of hard work, patience, and persistence. Our guest today is a great example!

Meet Sahin Boydas. Sahin is the CEO of RemoteTeam, which was acquired by Gusto in 2021, and a serial entrepreneur who co-founded four startups in Silicon Valley. Sahin has worked with international teams of both employees and independent contractors and quickly embraced remote work over the past decade. As CEO and founder of RemoteTeam.com, he worked to solve HR and operational problems related to remote work. Since Gusto acquired RemoteTeam, Sahin has been focused on building tools that will help businesses easily pay international contractors and working on distributed team products at Gusto. Before RemoteTeam, he co-founded and sold several successful companies, such as MovieLaLa and Leo AR.

Sahin believes that failing is an important part of success because it makes you work harder, smarter, and better.

In this episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast, we talk about why business is a team sport, why failure is an important part of success, how to learn from your mistakes, and how to embrace the self-taught era.

If you want to hear some golden lessons of entrepreneurship, make sure you tune into this episode to hear what Sahin has to say.


💡 Name: Sahin Boydas

💡 What he does: He’s a serial entrepreneur who co-founded four startups and is the CEO of RemoteTeam, acquired by Gusto.

💡 Noteworthy: Sahin has built and managed remote teams for over a decade. As CEO and founder of RemoteTeam.com, he worked to solve HR and operational problems related to remote work. Gusto bought RemoteTeam in 2021, and he’s currently working on distributed team products at Gusto.

💡 Key Quote: “If there is a process anywhere in this country that is cumbersome, ugly, not seamless, there is a big business opportunity.”

💡 Where to find Sahin: LinkedIn

Key Insights

Business is a team sport. When you’re starting a business, you often think you can do everything alone. But once you and your business grow, you realize that you need to surround yourself with the right people to make progress faster. Sahin says that he learned the importance of team along the way.

He says, “You really need to find great people. I learned this in my first two businesses. I was doing everything by myself, a lot of things as a coder, and I was very late on building teams. And now I am seeing in Gusto […] the parts of the sum is greater than the total. When you have great people that is expert or becoming a domain expert, I think that really matters because, eventually, it’s a team sport. Business is a team sport.”

Failure is an essential part of success. Despite what many people think, there’s no overnight success, especially in business. Success always comes after hard work and persistence. So, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and make mistakes. What matters is you learn from your failures.

Sahin says, “When I moved to Silicon Valley, I was trying to build a tech startup, and tech startups, you really need to raise money. […] And we had 500 investor meetings. And then people look at me in the last company, I raised my money in two weeks, but no! I had 500 meetings in my previous three companies, and I build a relationship with these people, then the fourth one got easier.”

Analyze your mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable when you’re building a business. But you need to be ready to see your mistakes and learn from them. After every failure, you need to reframe and analyze your mistakes. That’s the only way to grow and be better next time.

Sahin says, “We always go, okay, why did this guy reject it? What is the problem? What is what we are doing? How we can do the pitch? […] You suffer until you learn it. It’s like muscle building, but you need to see the muscle grow. Then it’s going somewhere. If you don’t see that, then you need to recheck your assumptions or do something else.”

Embrace the self-taught era. We live in the information age, which means there’s practically no limit to what you can learn online. But we need to embrace this era and work on increasing our knowledge, especially in the business world.

Sahin explains, “This is my theory. I think we are living in a self-taught era that who wants to learn something, let’s say they want to be a great content writer they want to build small businesses like ten years ago, did we have this podcast? No! Now the information is so out that you can be in Europe, you can be in Ghana, all my content team in RemoteTeam is in Ghana, you can be in Turkey and still work for the world. This didn’t exist ten years ago. […] And then we see a huge trend that companies, any company doesn’t matter if they are tech or not, any small businesses, can hire someone out of state and can hire someone internationally.”

Top Quotes

[12:13] “This is a good business idea for your customers. So if there is a process anywhere in this country that is cumbersome, ugly, not seamless, there is a big business opportunity.”

[18:25] “What are these small things that I can build today that will go there and really do that? So I don’t do a lot of planning in any of my startups. We never had yearly plans or everything. Everything is a monthly plan. And it’s really enough that I focus on because what we talk today defines our future. What we do today defines our future.”

[19:13] “Self-taught is also insanely important for me. I’m a self-taught person. I want everyone to be consuming information like crazy and learn a lot and really go the extra mile. And that was always my core DNA.”

[21:03] “I think, to be honest when you look back, we always think there is successes more. No, there’s failures more.”

[34:11] “This is something that I suggest a lot of companies to do is you really start with a country. Find a person there, you build trust. And trust is extremely important. When it comes to remote work, it needs to be based on trust.”

[37:37] “I use an app called Feedly, and I follow around 80 sources of RSS feeds and everything. And what I do, this is very interesting, in all the business I had in my life, eight businesses, I had no idea. I had no idea to build. I build an e-commerce website, I build a healthcare product line. I build a phone for kids, Firefly, and another luxury commerce, social network around movies […], and a B2B business after building 20 years of consumer products, and it’s all Feedly. Whenever I need to learn something, I just go find the top people there, add them to my RSS feed.”


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