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Meet the multi-millionaire who gave away 50% of his business on a handshake

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the eleventh episode of the season.

"Give it a go...It's the only way you're going to grow."

Technology entrepreneur Sam Bashiry cringes when he sees people make excuses for not pursuing something that they really want to do.

He reckons "it's not the right time" is a meaningless expression.

"There's never a right time. People go, 'There's a right time to get married. There's a right time to have kids. There's a right time to do this. There's a right time to do that.'"

"What is the right time? The right time is right there and then, right?"

Bashiry should know. He came to Australia without a passport as a child refugee in 1989 and spent two years in immigration detention with his mother and sister.

Later as a young man fresh out of university, he would cop abuse from angry internet users working at a call centre.

But the broke uni student crying in his car outside Centrelink now drives around in a Ferrari – after creating and taking his company Broadband Solutions to the top.

Entrepreneur Sam Bashiry standing in front of a parked airplane.
Broadband Solutions founder Sam Bashiry. (Image: Instagram)

But his now-is-the-right-time attitude is not just a formula for wealth, he believes it brings happiness and fulfilment.

"You should really do something that you really believe in. And you should really do something that you want to do," he told Yahoo Finance's editor-in-chief, Sarah O’Carroll on the New Investors show.

"People are going to have an opinion of what's right and wrong all the time. But they don't pay your bills. So, their opinion doesn't really matter."

Admittedly that way of life comes easier to Bashiry than most. Instinctive and quick decisions are part of his DNA, like the time he promised to give away half of Broadband Solutions to get the right help.

Bashiry had run the fledgling startup for about six months when he realised he just couldn't cope being the technical, sales, marketing and accounting departments all by himself.

"I was caught up in Melbourne traffic one day – corner of La Trobe and Queen Street – and it was pissing down with rain.

"The weather's miserable, life sucks, I can't do this anymore by myself, I need help."

Brad Hughes had worked with Bashiry at their old employer Eftel. He admired Hughes for his expertise but even when they were colleagues they were based in separate cities and had actually never met face-to-face.

But Bashiry knew, in the cold Melbourne rain, this was the right telephone call to make.

"I called Brad. I said, 'Listen, I've started a business. I'll give you 50 per cent based on one condition. If you pack up your bags and come down to Melbourne by the end of the week.'"

Hughes immediately packed his bags and flew to Melbourne – and the rest is history.

Broadband Solutions started in 2005 with Bashiry having just $1,000 in the bank then grew to rack up $14.5 million in revenue just ten years later. It now brings in around $30 million in annual revenue.

The company has dominated the hotel internet connection market. But the way Bashiry fell into that niche is also a prime example of his life-is-too-short attitude.

He remembers he was playing golf at Albert Park when his mobile phone rang. A hotel was enquiring about providing an internet service for a conference that it's hosting.

"I stopped playing golf. I went back to the office. I found them a wireless solution that they could put on the roof to give them access for their conference. Four days later I got another phone call from another hotel. And, a week later I got another phone call from another hotel.

"I thought – wow – there's a niche market here for conferencing."

That was Broadband Solutions' big break. Bashiry and Hughes found a ready market that they never knew about – and would've remained ignorant to if Bashiry had kept playing golf.

"That phone call was the opportunity. We went from doing $10,000 a month to, within two years, to doing $300,000 or $400,000 a month," he told The New Investors show.

This is why there is never a wrong or right time to grab an opportunity.

"I don't believe in luck. I believe in opportunities. You create your own opportunities.

"It's really important not to have blinkers on. What happens in life, you get so consumed with everyday life and everything that's going on. We've just got to take a moment to actually clear our mind."

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the eleventh episode of the season.

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