Greg Selkoe is the founder of Karmaloop and XSET and has served in the C-Suite of numerous companies. Here’s how he went from being expelled in 5th grade, to getting a master’s degree at Harvard, to making hundreds of millions in revenue.

How Greg’s parents helped him navigate his troubles at school:

“I’m fortunate because I came from a two-parent home, middle class, parents stuck with me, and really tried to figure out what they needed to do to help me get through school. There are a lot of kids who just don’t have that. So, we have future entrepreneurs and future people who can contribute a lot of creativity and value to society that are being failed by the school system. So, it’s a challenge. Like trying to find alternative ways to educate kids who may be very smart but just can’t sit still and just do the traditional rote memorization, sit in the front, etc.”

The ambition it took for him to get into Harvard:

“You have to be super creative. And you have to have perseverance. I had a lot of self esteem issues around that but also someplace deep down inside believed in myself as well. I mean, I basically used an entrepreneurial approach to get into Harvard for grad school because I didn’t have the grades. My test scores were pretty good. I got to take extra time because of learning disabilities. But I basically … got to know the Dean of Admissions through networking and I got to know some important people who were willing to write me recommendations, and that’s how I got in.”

What he looks for when hiring:

“I look for persistence and often I’ll throw obstacles in on purpose. So, they might say, ‘Well, but this is the weekend. Am I getting paid for this?’ And I say no. And the people who are willing to do it because they clearly have a passion for what we’re doing and an understanding that we’re building a company, so they need to invest their time and sweat equity, those are the type of people that I want around me ultimately.”

Perseverance in the workplace is critical:

“I’m a pretty tolerant guy so even if I’m parting ways, I’m not yelling or getting upset. Generally, I’m always trying to be someone who even would be around to help people in the future. But most of the time what happens with folks who don’t work out in companies that I’ve been involved in, is that they’re just not willing to do the extra stuff. They feel like they’re owed something from day one. … You can’t keep score. ‘Well, if I’m going to do this. I need that.’ No. Just do it because you love it and do a really good job and even if it seems like it’s taking longer, you will eventually be recognized for that, and it will pay off.”

What’s the future for XSET:

“We’ll be five years old in July, which is crazy because it seems like I started this yesterday. The company is really becoming a media company. The first four years we really were a lifestyle brand … meaning around the gaming culture we did activations and events with the Red Sox and the NFL, and we made merchandise, and we did different things that were of the culture that gave this brand credibility in the gaming space. … Well really what we want to do ultimately, now that we have this brand and this umbrella, is to make content. We want to be a content studio and create content using our gamers, that tells the gaming story, and then connects it to all these other things. … Ultimately, the future for XSET is going to be a lot more media focused and it’s already developing that way.”