What I've Learnt: Pavel Šíma, CEO at Roivenue

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
Pavel Šíma, Roivenue

Pavel Šíma joined Roivenue - the decisionmaking tool for eCommerce marketing professionals - in 2016.

Pavel is a specialist in marketing and communications, and as well as working hard to ensure the growth and success of Roivenue he hosts his own podcast, Demarketing. It tackles case studies presented by leading Czech marketers, and is ranked among the most popular Czech-language marketing shows.

We sat down with Pavel - who is speaking today at eCommerce Show North - to hear the lessons he's learnt.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Hanging from gymnastic rings and stretching properly. I do that every morning right after I get up.

What's been your luckiest break?

When I look back, every big failure in my life led to something much more awesome than the thing I originally desired. I didn’t get accepted to law school and got to study at six different colleges. I didn’t get accepted as an intern to a political party communications department and I built my own political consultancy firm. I didn’t get to become a CEO of a digital agency and now I am building a company that has many agencies for clients.

And I could go on. In yoga, they say Shakti will nudge you every time you are after a thing that’s a potential dead end or disaster and put you on a better path. That’s why I am absolutely not afraid of any failure. 

What's your best failure?

I failed to make my life-hacking book an international bestseller. I ditched the promo tour because I needed to devote myself fully to Roivenue when it was in its infancy. We’ve been growing like crazy ever since. Sometimes, you have to purposefully fail at something so that you can create room in your life for something else to grow.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

I guess when I was 20 and purposefully forced myself to learn to type properly using all ten fingers. I got a lot of cramps and it took me a week to type out a 10-page position paper, but the time you save by fast typing compounds so much that I think it can actually adds up to years saved over a lifetime.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

Work/life balance is a totally wrong concept to start with. I believe that if you outsource and delegate as much as you can, both in your professional life as well as in the realm of mundane household tasks, you’ll have enough time for both a work and personal life.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

The one they are intuitively most drawn to at the particular moment.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Being poor is nothing to be ashamed of. Because if you do everything else right, money will come in abundance sooner or later.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

There’s been many mentors in my life, starting with my parents and going through teachers and early bosses. The older I get, the more I realise we all stand on the shoulders of the giants of previous generations.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

When I was studying in Lebanon I almost got abducted by Hezbollah. And when I was four I used to figure skate.

What does success look like to you?

You wake up in the morning and you're going to do exactly what you feel like doing that day - free from any financial and societal constraints.

Success would be days like those as the norm rather than an exception.