An Interview with Adrian Gurgui Owner and Creator of Adrian’s Hub
Questions and Answers
1. Adrian before we get into talking about Adrian’s Hub, can you give us a little background about where you grew up in Romania, and what were the influences in your earlier life?
First, thank you for thinking about me and Adrian’s Hub for this interview. I grew up (and still live) in a large town in south-western Romania. You can walk from any part of the town to the opposite side, and I love walking instead of taking a car unless I’m really tight on schedule. It also has almost 2000 years of history, which, let’s be honest, is impressive anywhere in the world. Apart from that, I only lived for less than 10 years in a city that is also an academic center, while I continued my studies and a few years after that.
You may be surprised, but probably the greatest opportunity I had was to live both in communism and capitalism. I was a kid (about 11 years old) when communism fell in Romania, small enough not to be affected by many of its bad sides, but big enough to understand what was going on. I believe anyone who is detached enough and not entrenched in radical positions, would appreciate the chance to live history instead of reading about it. After all, what do our grandfathers usually talk about from their youth?
Something that definitely influenced my life was… illness. A health issue that broke in my second year as a student aggravated over years as I tried to ignore it. Has been “under control” for more than 10 years now, but it’s the reason I moved back from the city and turned down a few offers to work for a big salary. There are good sides of this change too. It made me look for online opportunities and to work from home under my own schedule, as well as made me become more disciplined because I have to follow some strict restrictions. That and the financial crisis of 2008-2009 are the triggering factors for starting my online business.
2. According to your bio in Adrian’s Hub you have diverse experience in computers and computer software, finance and stock market, a stint as a teacher in university. How would you say these experiences prepared you for developing an online business?
I think all of them helped me in developing my online business. I do my own programming for Adrian’s Hub and I like teaching and helping out others that are in an earlier stage of their online growth. From my financial background, I learned to assess and take risks, as well as to use diversification to lower risk. I know it’s said to stick to a business, once you have started, but if we want to distribute our risk, it’s better to be involved simultaneously (or in time) in more than one business, use different marketing techniques, perhaps different niches, and different risk factors.
3. What lead you to even think about online marketing? What were your first experiences? What about those experiences pushed you to become more involved in this field?
It’s a process I think. First, you advertise aimlessly. Then you start paying attention. Then you start learning. Then you start applying what you’ve learned and learn some more. That’s how I began tracking my results, branding myself, building my list and a relationship with my subscribers, and finally, the blog and then its membership component seemed like a natural evolution.
I began my online adventure though the French market in my first two years or so. I had a blog there too, a forum and a few other projects. As I pulled away from the French market and the tools and sites I used there, I abandoned those projects. It may seem like two wasted years, but I think those initial experiences helped me move forward. Sometimes radical changes help. Or at least give you a fresh perspective.
Something else that helped is branding. As I already explained in a blog post (on one of your blogs, actually), at first I was hiding behind a bear-face picture. You were my team leader at ClickTrackProfit back then and at some point you convinced me to use my own picture. Which I did. And that was one of my first advertising campaigns that made sense, that had a clear purpose: to make people aware of the “transformation”. I remember it was really well received that campaign.
4. Can you describe your evolution in the online marketing world? And when did you first begin to conceptualize Adrian’s Hub?
I touched a bit this subject in my answer to your previous question. About Adrian’s Hub, I already knew having your own blog is really powerful from my past experiences. Because my first blog was free and using a sub-domain name I knew about the limitations of that particular setup, so I waited until I was ready for the webhosting and domain name fees to launch Adrian’s Hub.
Its name makes it very personal. It may not be the best choice from the marketing point of view, but it reflects my initial intentions to have a platform where I can share my thoughts and recommendations.
In time, I realized I have some skills and training I don’t use, for software development. Although rusty because I was out of practice, I began customizing Adrian’s Hub, which led to adding new features little by little. I always have a list of new things to add that would need at least a year to implement.
5. Adrian Hub’s is a unique entity within our community. What gave you the idea, and perhaps talk about some of the challenges in operating Adrian’s Hub and what are some of your successes. What about Adrian’s Hub gives you the greatest satisfaction?
Well, it is unique in a way, that’s true. What makes it unique is that the membership component (called Private Hub) is developed from scratch. I don’t use WordPress plugins or a standard membership script as a framework.
To give you and your readers an idea of what should be ahead for Adrian’s Hub, allow me to talk about a project from my past.
I started developing this project as a request from a legal office, while I was a student in my first year at the university. It was a highly specialized text processing tool which made the legal office’s activity more efficient. It took around 6 years to reach the last iteration of the project. And the tool was used by the firm for around 15 years before the technology I used to develop it finally became obsolete and they moved on.
I always liked to develop software from the ground up and Adrian’s Hub is not an exception. I never lacked ideas, but I suppose I also have the determination to put them into practice.
A big challenge for Adrian’s Hub was the start and the period of time I needed to refresh my programming skills and to grow in confidence. Another challenge is to convince more people Adrian’s Hub is equally about me and about our members and their growth and benefits. I’m sure there will be many more challenges in the future. And the best satisfaction is when I see a member taking action that allows him or her to step-up. That’s part of my dream, my vision, to always give back to the community what I’ve been fortunate enough to receive myself.
6 If you could give only one piece of advice to a new person coming into this field for the first time, what would that advice be?
Pay attention. Learn. Take action. Looks simple, but it’s not. Dream big, but take small, consistent steps in order to achieve it.
7. Is there anything you thought I would ask you about but didn’t?
No, they were great questions which challenged me and I love challenges. Thank you very much for this interview!
Click the Banner Below to Join Me at Adrian’s Hub and use promo code: AH_NICK_200 to claim 200 tokens. (Good for new Members and members who haven’t claimed a similar code before.