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How to Build Businesses That Last and Navigate Risk in 2024 With Connectd’s Founder Roie Samuel

By Hanaa Yousof 

As we wrap up another year, we again return to the processes of restarting, reevaluating, and reframing. Where did it go right — and where did it go wrong? What patterns have we scoped out as we’ve carried ourselves from one venture to another, and how can we apply this to our day-to-day life? Whatever this looks like for you — maybe you’re vision boarding for the new year, or resetting planning systems that haven’t quite gone to plan — the creeping realities of another year passing us by tends to fall on our shoulders collectively.

If you’re a long-timer at Blocks2Bags, you know that we’re always searching for the people who carry themselves to the bag with authenticity, whichever way this might be. This week’s guest, Roie Samuels, encapsulates this to the core. As founder and CEO of Connectd, exited founder, angel investor, and host of podcast Big Risk Energy, Roie’s work ethic goes hand-in-hand with the risks and failures that are inevitably intertwined with entrepreneurship. With his work at Connectd spanning across multiple continents, and revolutionising access to investors for early-stage startups, directly reflected is an active knowledge of the common struggles many people face when venturing on an entrepreneurship path.

Sit down with us on this week’s Blocks2Bags, and find out what it means to foster authentic business practices and grow through the hurdles.   


  1. The pitfalls of long-term planning — As founder and CEO of Connectd, and exited founder of ESports company RealSport, part of Roie’s founders toolkit is cultivating an understanding of the way that different planning methodologies can often act to shape your business. With OKRs and quarterly planning as his go-to, it’s abandoning large-scale planning operations that has kept Roie’s businesses flowing with modern-day landscapes.

  2. Focus on revenue to create meaningful change — While revenue isn’t always everything, focusing on the way it fluctuates can often be a necessary factor in mapping how certain things affect your revenue and how these challenges can shape your growth long-term. 

  3. Risk-taking as a state-of-mind — The host of ‘Big Risk Energy’, Roie’s risk-forward approach is clearly something he’s taken with him through the steps of getting to the bag. Asking ourselves — ‘what does necessary risk look like?’ — can be key in avoiding stagnancy.

  4. Taking a personality-forward approach — Unbeknownst to a large proportion of people, ADHD and entrepreneurism can often go hand-in-hand — something Roie has personal experience with. There is no one-size fits all in entrepreneurship; powering your work with practices that align with, rather than exclude, your personality can propel you forward.

  5. Finding yourself at the core of your work — Authenticity in the digital age has acted as a near-buzzword phrase; however, its popularity speaks to greater truths, where carrying yourself with values true and authentic to you can help create a business that lasts. 


Resetting is easier said than done; and as 2024 approaches, so does the ever-present wonder of where to even begin to untangle the web of guidance in approaching entrepreneurial ventures. It’s safe to say there is no strict Foundership 101; the process can require a significant amount of individual foresight into what works best for you and your team, or simply what moves you need to make so an idea can be realised into a living-and-breathing business. 

With that being said, our Blocks2Bags team can also appreciate the way in which guidance from experienced players in the field can un-muddy the waters of entrepreneurship; maybe the middle-ground here is simply adapting advice until it works for you.

For Roie, seeing the shortfalls in long-term planning is what led him to using OKRs — objectives and key results — as one of the main systems to carry his businesses forward on a quarterly basis. As we’ve previously discussed in our episode with Georgia Lewis Anderson, the age of AI is now; and observing 2-3 year plans being unable to compensate for the new challenges posed by this rapidly developing system is something he gave as an example of the benefits of quarterly planning and sticking to the concrete, defined, and measurable nature of goals of the OKR system. Mingled with team-building activities to cultivate a team that flows together, adding these systems to your founder’s toolkit can aid in finding the path to an efficient chain of operation in your business ventures. 

Beyond just fixating on planning and goal-setting for your business, recognising issues that may be affecting your process is also an incredibly pertinent part of taking on entrepreneurial ventures. Especially when considering the general climate as to being an entrepreneur, efficient foundership, and the death of certain models of being a founder, tackling challenges head-on can mean learning from failure, as opposed to this killing your entire founder journey. 

For Roie, taking this all into consideration means integrating it within your month-to-month outlooks; specifically, keeping an eye on revenue if you’re trying to be a venture-backed business is key. Particularly in the vein of showing investors your growth patterns, and ensuring your growth profile is fit for venture, looking at revenue can often allow you to pivot and surpass stagnancy with your business as a whole. 

“Be coldly realistic with yourself about what you need to do to get to where you want to be”, he said on the realities of observing growth patterns. “It all starts with revenue”.

But how do you deal with periods of stagnancy in your revenue? For Roie, pre-selling is an approach he favours for tech-based businesses; while still remaining transparent to your audiences as to the fact that your business needs development, making money where there’s money to be made while simultaneously having access to audience feedback can be a great approach to growing out of periods where you’re not driving revenue. 


‘What was the first risk that you took, and did it pay off?’ was the question our Blocks2Bags hosts asked Roie during the episode. If you’re prone to taking risks in your business operations, maybe an answer immediately comes to mind. But to reframe — ‘how can I become less risk-averse to grow my business?’ — may be more apt if you’ve played it safe in the past and want to understand how risk can actually be the stepping stones to higher levels of growth. 

As host of the podcast ‘Big Risk Energy’, Roie is no stranger to creating meaning through risk. And witnessing this at a young age only further normalised his relationship with risk; with his Dad a failed entrepreneur, and his first risk being dropping out of his master’s programme after previously almost getting kicked out of school and fluctuating with his ADHD diagnosis, he knows first-hand the way risk can go wrong and right.

But on the outside-looking-in, he reflected on the fact that ultimately, risk-taking as an approach was indeed worth it. And the results speak for themselves; with the monumental growth of Connectd and his past ventures, learning to grow with the risks you take can mean learning lessons that cannot be found in constantly playing it safe.

But how about failure? It is impossible to constantly produce results, or always have favourable outcomes in your approach to your business ventures. Roie, as is common across the board, has experienced the mistake-making process first-hand.

Particularly when working with a team, he highlights the way in which you need to well-structure the roster of individuals who will work with you, and pay careful attention to the way they work so you don’t set them up for failure. It is honesty that is core in the way you carry yourself here; whether this is in holding off on senior hires, or ensuring that you don’t let extended periods go without offering feedback or appraisals, transparency with your team can mean building a group of individuals whose trustworthiness and experience becomes directly interlinked with the growth of your venture. 

“What you see in your team is often what you see in yourself as a leader, or what you see in your lack as a leader”, said Roie. “It’s about trusting the people around you to manage everything on a day-to-day basis […] but preserving your energy for when you need it the most”.

Finally, failure doesn’t necessarily negate progress; mistakes don’t mean an end to your founder journey. Just as finding value in cultivating a well-to-do team can propel your growth, as can building with the community of individuals who’ve been following your work. The importance of building genuine connections — whether in the B2B or B2C side — cannot be understated, and can make a significant difference. So, building out of failure can mean approaching these connections as a built-in waitlist who will help carry you through the next steps. 


“When you control your thoughts you can see the opportunities the world gives you; when we get caught up in our thoughts that’s an issue”, said Roie when asked about one gem he would give to get closer to the bag. 

For a large number of us, puzzling out our thoughts also goes hand-in-hand with understanding and accepting our personalities on a deeper-scale. The idea of being able to maintain your authentic persona while coveting success seems like a dream; but while these personality-forward approaches seem favourable in theory, how about in practice?

For Roie, it was that introspective, inward-look at his personality that allowed him to access better practices and work ethics to get to the bag. For example, ADHD, which Roie has been diagnosed with, often goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurism, due to its high-risk nature, which offers a higher level of dopamine to people with ADHD. Understanding this led to pertinent mindset shifts for Roie, such as tackling unhealthy practices he had often undertaken to garner dopamine, and replacing these with things such as exercise which offered him a space to access ‘healthy’ dopamine. 

Introspection on such a scale can also speak to building your personal brand. With a whopping 35,000 followers on LinkedIn, Roie’s command of authenticity, a focused team working with him, and harnessing the unique facets of his personality has become a catalyst for connecting with wider communities across the board. 

“Everyone’s got that unlimited potential in themselves, so it’s just about tapping into what you can authentically speak about”, he said on the key to building bigger communities. “Everyone’s an expert in their own right”.

Carrying this into his future with Connectd, Roie offered a look into what he hoped the future would bear for him and his company. Here, helping others grow, perhaps especially significant in his past and current ventures in entrepreneurship, was something he highlighted as a main aim. Especially in the vein of taking on new pursuits in the future, he reflected on wanting Connectd to be a platform for his next venture.

“I know that’s the thing that will allow me to almost be a vehicle to do good”, he said of his plans for Connectd, “and I know that the mentality of ‘everything I achieve now is just to help people in the future’ will allow me to just be so aware of the opportunities coming to me because I know that there is such good intention at the end of it”


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