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She Was Told 'No' 100 Times. Now This 31-Year-Old Female Founder Runs a $1 Billion Business.

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12.06.2019

Editor's Note: Entrepreneur's "20 Questions" series features both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs and asks them a number of questions about what makes them tick, their everyday success strategies and advice for aspiring founders.

So much of success is knowing when to stay the course, even when you’re met with rejection after rejection.

30-year-old Melanie Perkins has been launching creative businesses since she was a teenager. Her first venture, designing and selling handmade scarves to sell in her hometown of Perth, Australia, was launched when she was just 14.

At the age of 22, Perkins founded her next company, an online system for schools to design their yearbooks called Fusion Books. Today, Fusion Books is the largest yearbook publisher in Australia and has a presence in France and New Zealand.

In 2013, Perkins launched her third business, Canva, a platform that allows anyone to create professional-quality designs no matter their level of expertise. Today Canva boasts more than 10 million registered users in 190 different countries. The platform is available in 100 languages and has a library of over 3 million images, with new inspiration added every day. The company, which has a team of over 250 employees, was valued at $1 billion dollars as of January 2018.

It all sounds like it came pretty easily -- but it didn't.

We caught up with Perkins to ask her 20 questions and find out what makes her tick.

Related: Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran Explains Why You Must Make Time in Your Schedule For Fun

1. How do you start your day?
Every morning, the first thing I do is log on to Canva’s social media channels and see what our community has been up to. I find it very motivating to hear their amazing design stories and also hear their feedback on what they’d like to see improved on our platform.

2. How do you end your day?
I’ve always found it difficult to stop whatever I’m working on and go to sleep. I’m making an extra effort this year. I have a physical calendar keeping me on track and I tick off the days when I get at least 8 hours sleep a night.

3. What’s a book that changed your mind and why?
I learned a lot from reading a book called Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman. It explains how to create online experiences that people will find easy, intuitive and enjoyable to use.

4. What’s a book you always recommend and why?
Designing the Obvious. It’ll change the way you think [about developing user experiences]

5. What’s a strategy to keep focused?
Good communication is one of the most important aspects of........

© Entrepreneur