Hasan Saleem with Matt Cutts
It is often said that following your passion and dreams is a road to achieve anything in life. For true success, the theory goes, it’s essential to never stop learning, and to work on your passion day and night. Irish-Pakistani digital entrepreneur Hasan Saleem is living proof that these tenets hold true.
Born in Gujranwala, Pakistan, Hasan developed a keen interest in computers and the internet early in his life – when one of his uncles gave him a computer as a present. Benefiting from the unwavering support of his single mother, he could pursue his newfound passion.
Hasan took full advantage of his uncle’s gift, quickly teaching himself web development and coding. With these skills, he took his first steps in the internet business as a website fixer, which initially earned him $5 a job.
He has come a long way from these beginnings. Today, Hasan is an independent digital entrepreneur. His chief enterprise, DSS Media
, is one of Ireland’s premier digital marketing agencies. The company offers its clients cost-effective, comprehensive digital marketing solutions.
Hasan has built and flipped a number of businesses over the years. The very first website he built got sold for $32,000 and he never looked back. Hasan has also sold dozens of domain names over the years.
He has also founded a string of online portals, such as BQOTD.com, and PakWired
. In addition, he regularly contributes to well-known publications like ReadWrite, Benzinga, Dawn, and The Good Men Project.
Hasan is known for meeting everything life throws at him with open arms, constantly adapting and investing in personal development.
In an interview with Thrive Global, he revealed that networking with people was one of his greatest personal challenges. Not a born extrovert, he soon realized that he had to break out of his social comfort zone. Since his goal was to become a prominent figure in digital marketing, he had to learn to connect with like-minded professionals and nurture business relationships.
His chosen tool to overcome his social hesitations were sites like lifehacker.org. Reading voraciously, Hasan used his imagination to play out different social situations and conversations. This was not always easy, but he found that even when you feel stuck, you can still advance one step at a time.
Initially, Hasan also found it difficult to delegate. Early in his career, he says, he lost a lot of time and energy trying to fill every role and do everything on his own. Now, he advocates building a team you can pass tasks to without hesitation.
Delegating is especially important when you’re just starting out. From personal experience, Hasan advices any fledgling entrepreneur to focus on one thing at a time, rather than get bogged down by multitasking.
His determination to learn and his passion for digital marketing have served Hasan well. To grow his skills, he earned an MBA in International Marketing in 2005.
With his unshakably positive mindset, he kept on growing his own business while still studying. In 2004, he became an affiliate marketer with Template Monster. Within months, he was one of their most successful affiliates, generating more than $1 million in sales.
With his earnings, he started the web directory DirJournal
in 2007, successfully competing with now-defunct giants like DMOZ and Yahoo Directory. DirJournal is still active, with over 40,000 active clients worldwide and featuring over 2,000 articles. In 2010, he founded DSS Media.
Over the years, Hasan has gathered extensive knowledge and experience in a large variety of digital tools and technologies. He’s an expert on SEO, Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, and consulting. In addition, he regularly attends numerous industry conferences across the US, from Pubcon to SMX, to discuss new trends in digital marketing, social media, web development and e-commerce.Hasan has generated millions of views and shares for his clients and his own sites using search and social media marketing.
Throughout his success, Hasan has never overlooked the importance of giving back. To benefit local communities in Pakistan, he organized several donation drives with the US-Pakistani charity CDRS, which provides medical supplies, water, housing, and builds schools. He has also helped to raise funds for disaster relief, donating to causes in Pakistan and Haiti.
Hasan Saleem is an accomplished digital entrepreneur and marketing expert, dedicated to innovation and excellence. You can follow him on Twitter
or connect with him on LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.