Last week, Rohan Bopanna became the oldest Grand Slam winner in tennis history at 43 years and 329 days. This was his first Grand Slam win after 61 tries, a milestone in his 23-year career with various partners, coaches, and sponsors. This achievement made him number one in the ATP rankings for the first time at nearly 44 years old.

For tennis fans, this story is thrilling; for sports enthusiasts, it brings a smile; and for those who appreciate performance, it’s an invitation to learn more about this Bangalore-born individual with a coffee-grower father and a homemaker mother.

Rohan’s improbable success boils down to one word: Work. Work, work, and more work. Performance-driven work might sound cliché, but it’s effective. Clichés become clichés because they work, they achieve their purpose. They are paths well-trodden, tested, refined, and ultimately, they lead to a predictable destination: Success.

Business League has just wrapped up its second season, and we feel like we’re moving mountains. We’re proud of our team, our advertisers, and affiliates in our ecosystem who create performance and dependency. But the naked truth? We’ve barely moved a mound of clay and half a hill. We’re just starting; the mountains are still far off. But we see them. The sky is clear, and generally, the numbers have a grand way of lifting the fog. And as we approach and conquer these mountains, with their rarefied air of performance, we’ll share with you what we feel and what will be. Until we all find ourselves there.

Friends, we had the Business League Awards Gala – Night of the Champions. And it was good.

We get hyped about “our people”, the Business League performers, but we’re fans of performance in general. Men, children, boys, girls, young people who excel. When we learn their stories, we blink twice and then applaud. And occasionally, we have the fortune to talk with them and support them.

At this year’s Gala, we were honored by the presence of several champions whose results inspire. Time is precious, and they generously gave us theirs. You see, there’s a “pink” in “generosity”, but the work and consumption of a champion are not just pink. It’s chaos, a furrowed brow, and gritted teeth. For instance:

Anelisse Ionașcu is the 2023 national champion in electric karting. At 9 years old, she competes only with boys and beats them. Sometimes, even by a whole lap, as happened in a recent race. We support her because we know something: performance starts from the bottom and from play. Whatever form it takes, play illuminates the path and sets in motion some unexpected internal resources.

Cătălin Cazacu, among other things, is the 2023 national champion in motorcycle racing. The ease with which he talks about trials & crashes and the obsession with self-improvement inspire us.

Mihnea Andreescu took 1st place at the Balkan Informatics Olympiad last year. What we retained from him: when it’s time to work, you work. When not, you have fun. At 20 years old, he probably awaits a type of performance that we will watch closely.

Marian Drăgulescu needs no introduction, but here it is: Olympic medalist, multiple European and world champion in gymnastics. He probably has many tips to give and stories to tell, but about performance, he uttered a rare word: Balance. Because blind work does not yield results, just as neither comfort nor shortcuts do. It requires planning, consistency, and the inevitable work.

Andrei Dragomir is the gold medalist at the 2023 International Physics Olympiad. He took the stage among the last, but he had been there since the beginning of the Gala. A boy of such good manners that warms you. And he’s going to study at Princeton next year. With the need for information specific to any performer, he responded to our MC’s questions with questions of his own 😀

These were the performers from outside the 2Performant ecosystem.

Let’s move on to the winners of the Gala using a famous aphorism: champions inspire champions. After Andrei Dragomir, Ovidiu Golea from Glew Solutions took the stage, summarizing in one sentence what, perhaps, the entire room was thinking: “What these kids are doing is incredible.”

The winners of the evening are listed below. Each category carries its own little story. But even more profound than that, an ambition. What’s beautiful about ambitious people is that they are so different. Different, yet regardless of age, level of preparation, or background, they have in common that they:

  1. Want
  2. Do
  3. Learn

And then repeat. The triad of performance is non-negotiable, but it can be achieved by following various paths. Each peak is achieved uniquely, considering one’s resources.

If you’re a doubles tennis player, you train intensely, briefly, and often. If you’re an affiliate marketer, you continuously test and seek to learn from the best.

The awards of last night’s Business League Gala are just a piece of the puzzle. On this puzzle’s box, it’s written that age doesn’t matter. Here we go:

Most promising Affiliate FreelancerTBI BANK
Most promising Advertiser FreelancerPICADILI.RO
Best Affiliate Challenger – Revenue RallyPRICE.RO
Best Advertiser CompanyBESTVALUE.EU
Best Advertiser Challenger – Revenue RallyMODIVO.RO
Best Affiliate CompanySELLTORO
Best Affiliate Challenger – Target StrikeING BAZAR
Best Advertiser CorporationFLANCO.RO
Best Advertiser Challenger – Target
Best Affiliate CorporationCUPONERIA.RO
Best Affiliate Challenger – 1st to 100GLEW SOLUTIONS
Best Advertiser
Best Advertiser Challenger – 1st to 100DRMAX.RO
Best Affiliate Unicorn & Hall of FameGLEW SOLUTIONS
Winner of the Business League 10K EURO Run10.000 EURO awarded to ___CataR___ to develop an outstanding digital marketing project.CataR

Last night’s Gala also brought some updates that we consider important. Because we thought, worked, and took responsibility for them alongside the most important guys and girls: you. We want to put them in writing here, as a kind of indelible promise. Like when you commit to tough goals in front of friends, possibly after a couple of beers, to make sure you don’t back down. No worries, we won’t back down 🙂

Update #1: Mentoring. If it seems like we’re obsessed with continuous learning around here, it’s for two reasons. First, because we are. And second, because we know that people learn best from people. With questions, frowns, and even swearing. So starting in April, as our colleague Ana shared, we’re launching the Mentoring program. Experienced people eager to help those starting out and eager to make money from it. Details will follow, but we believe the basic message has been well assimilated: there’s so much talent, so much know-how in the ecosystem! Let’s spread it from top to bottom!

Update #2: Meet-ups. We like to talk, but we practice our superpower of listening at every opportunity. And one of the constant whispers that have reached our ear is that we need to see each other more often. So, the meet-ups are back. In Bucharest, we’ll take care of it, but elsewhere, we’re counting on the help of friendly and generous hosts to take care of the organization. Our colleague, Cristina, has given details, but soon she will give even more.

Update #3: Speaking of talking. Don’t interrupt Dorin when he’s talking about tennis, because the alternative is that he’ll switch in a flash to the plans of 2Performant. To dreams and strategy. A unique monologue about how important people and shared vision are in a business like none other in the world: at 2Performant, we’re putting on the table. That means attacking other markets, other countries, other affiliate hearts. But we attack with brains. Calculated, settled. We hit long with topspin and then attack the European/American net with agility and acuity that will change this darn game of performance that we love. Why do we do this? Well, for example, to make things more interesting for our unicorns. Who sometimes yawn from the horn sprouting on their forehead. Let’s see if the German is craftier than the Romanian and if the Italian beats the Russian somewhere other than in the Australian Open final.

Update #4: A bit of philosophy, as these lines are written in the middle of the night, ritually, with a Chardonnay in front: we all have the feeling that we are unique, which, in fact, makes us similar, doesn’t it? But in business, things are different. They are simpler. We want 2Performant to be a company guided not just by the management team. Not just by shareholders. But also by users. By the people who make things happen on the platform. So last night, at the gala, we did a little exercise: everyone present could vote on whether they thought the directions and plans of 2P we talked about throughout the evening were okay. Yes = “well done, man!” No = “take it easy.” We’ll come back with the results, but the idea is that, beyond the simplicity and obvious shortcomings of a January evening’s exercise, the model is one we believe in. You make the numbers on the platform, you are the salt, the pepper, and the sweet paprika in the ecosystem, and you (affiliates and advertisers) should have a say in the direction we’re heading. We’ll talk more about this.

A few final thoughts.

  1. We brought Deliric to sing for us at the end, and the man delivered. He’s a good lyricist, who apparently values work.

“Mark my words, I put soul in every line

I film myself even in the blizzard, yet these are still not empty words

I’ve sat with the pen in my hand until it was numb

Between God and my people, like Țutea

And I stayed in the studio, until it stank”

  1. 2Performant is going places. We’re grateful to everyone who came last night to our event, and also to those who are with us, many kilometers away. Any road worth traveling is, most of the time, one in a team. In partnership. As one of our account managers, Yoda, would say,there’s no try – you either do or you don’t.
  2. This Gala was an effort. A small one in the grand scheme of things, but significant today. The entire 2Performant team felt it from the first hour until after midnight. And much earlier, in fact, during the entire organization process. So, a small moment of “well done to us” here at the end, because we know how to play, work hard, and down a whiskey with the best of them.

“Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret” – Richard Jenkins, in “Liberal Arts” (2012)

You can follow any moment of the gala, as well as exclusive online interviews given by the champions of Business League Season 2 here:

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