When he was nine years old, Benjamin Strusnik was using his school’s library computer, and found software that enabled him to create a website without having to code. “That completely fascinated me,” he remembers. “To the point where I spent the entire weekend on my parents’ computer, trying to figure it out.” 

This was just one early example of the drive and initiative that led Benjamin to become Founder and CEO of the enormously successful Shopify SEO agency GoldenWeb less than a decade later.

Benjamin’s YouTube Videos Get the Attention of Slovenia’s Biggest Phone Carriers

Benjamin, now 25, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His father left the family when Benjamin was only six; his mother Rebeka worked and raised him and his younger brother Zan. 

Although Benjamin could still “feel the anxiety” about their financial situation at the time, his mother was smart when it came to money and provided everything Benjamin and Zan needed. More importantly, she was Benjamin’s “absolute champion” and number one fan. “She always told me that I can do anything I set my mind to.” 

And when Benjamin was twelve, he set his mind to reviewing smartphones and electronic gadgets in a series of YouTube videos which gradually gained a wide following and, to this date, have amassed over ten million views. By the time he was fourteen, Benjamin was being sponsored by the very phone carriers whose products he was featuring, like A1, Samsung, Telekom Slovenia.

Goodbye High School, Hello Shopify

At fourteen, Benjamin needed to organize all of his videos, so he went on—where else?—YouTube and learned how to code and build his own website. In a few years, this led to his own web design agency, BSMedia, which served local auto repair shops, restaurants, dentists, and doctors. 

He soon realized that businesses wanted more than just a website—they wanted sales. And so Benjamin immersed himself in the world of marketing and, more specifically, Google ads. 

“I learned about SEO and different strategies that can be used to position websites at the top for certain keywords,” he says. “I did nothing else but study and implement every strategy I could get my hands on.”

His BSMedia duties eclipsed what he was doing in high school, so Benjamin did what he had to: he dropped out. And for him, it was “the easiest decision I have ever made.” 

By this time, his agency switched to mainly SEO services and he rebranded BSMedia into GoldenWeb, positioning it as a Shopify exclusive agency. He knew he had to think bigger and eCommerce was the way to most effectively apply his knowledge to generate maximum value.

“I also knew that with my unique skillset, I could provide incredible value, mainly in the form of increasing traffic and sales.”

The rise of GoldenWeb (and $25 million in Revenue)

Since then, GoldenWeb has grown from a single-person business to a business with nine full-time employees and over 150 different freelancers and contractors. 

And it has generated over $25 million in additional revenue, a real-value testimony to the agency’s work for its Shopify clients & Benjamin’s 7 online ventures including D2C eCom and SaaS businesses. 

For Benjamin, what separates GoldenWeb from other agencies is the amount of social media content he puts out, and the amount of value and marketing he shares without asking for anything in return. Benjamin explains, “I feel the biggest problem with other agencies is the lack of business, which puts pressure on them to take on any client they get.”

GoldenWeb’s high lead flow and interest allows the agency and its staff the freedom to be selective about whom they work with. Says Benjamin, “Unless we see massive growth potential, we simply won’t take them on.”

Doing the Work to Get the Work Done

As CEO, Benjamin’s leadership acumen sets the pattern for his agency’s growth. This includes trusting his team to do their jobs, which took him a few years to learn. 

Another big lesson for Benjamin was the importance of making decisions based on principles and not on the needs of the moment. “Making and accepting decisions that go against your values will ultimately cost your own confidence and strength of character.”

Personally, Benjamin does not believe in the constant need to navigate a work-life balance. “If you feel the need to work on finding balance, it just means that you’re out of touch with yourself,” he explains. “If you want to work, work; if you want to have fun, have fun. As long as the work gets done.” 

His own work routine begins at night, preparing a to-do-list for the next day, and getting everything set up so he can jump into the next day’s activities. His morning routine includes listening to a motivational speech on the way to the gym, working out, meditating, and ticking off all the items on that to-do list from the previous evening. 

“After that, I will do least four hours of deep work on the most important things that allow me to make progress and push things forward.”

Benjamin is also obsessed with sports cars, and has found a new creative outlet in modelling. He recently returned from a three-month trip to Asia, with locales like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia that had long been on his must-see bucket list. 

“I have a lot of appreciation for the fact that all my business happens online, as I have friends and business partners in every single country I visited, which made the entire trip even more incredible.”

Planning the future, living the dream

As for the future of GoldenWeb? “We continue to strive to be the best SEO Shopify agency in the world,” Benjamin says. “Not only in terms of the value we provide, but also in the way we operate, in the way we treat our team, and in the way we approach challenges.” 

When asked about defining success, Benjamin says you need to ask yourself: “Are you living the life you want to live?” For him, the answer is easy: “I already have the life of my dreams, yet I continue to build and focus on leveling up every single day.” 

But he adds: “I will continue giving without expecting anything in return, I thrive on providing value and I always try to have a positive impact on as many people as possible.”