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GOLD 24 Years old: QUIT six-figure Job, Launched two Businesses

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by G_Alexander, Oct 10, 2014.

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  1. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    What better way to spend a Friday night than working on my businesses and spending time with my Fastlane brothers and sisters? Don’t you dare try to answer my rhetorical question!

    It is about time I updated everyone! I AM OUT OF THE CAGE. I quit my $XXX,XXX per year investment banking job a few months ago (June, 2014) after two years at the firm. I worked my ass off to get the job and at 24 years old I am sure many sheeple would think I am insane for leaving my “stable and high-paying career”. On the contrary, I have never been more sure of a decision in my life. That job was a cancer to my system. A drain. A real life-suck. Waking up and going to a toxic work environment fueled by caffeine, corporate-bureaucracy, ass kissing and alcohol infused weekends…it was not for me. The industry of high finance is amazing, but the same can’t be said for the minions who work in it. It was painful to ride the train downtown every day. Worse yet, there was a ball-and-chain blackberry (my work phone, I called it the “bad-phone”) attached to my hip at all times in case the client said “Jump!” and we said “How high!” (No, I did not actually wear my BB on my hip…only really cool people wear cell phones on their hips!)

    The job was changing me as a person. I was not happy around friends and family. I was constantly stressed for no reason. My eyes grew darker and sunk into my head. False deadlines became the norm. My fitness was non-existent and my health was far from peak (those $30 a night dinner stipends were truly amazing though! Lots of sushi.)

    It wasn’t all terrible. I figured out who the good people in the business were quickly and have made some lasting friendships. I saved all my paychecks instead of "buying bottles" and cars, and I lived for free while working. And while I did not partake in the alcohol fueled weekends (okay, maybe a few), I did partake in soaking up a wide variety of industry knowledge while I worked at the firm. I now know things that you couldn’t pay someone on Wall Street to teach you (put it this way: I can make a “really pretty” PowerPoint presentation ;)). But I digress…

    So June 2014 rolled around and I had had enough. I threw in the towel.

    Following my resignation, I decided I deserved a couple months to relax overseas…but not before launching an ecommerce business FIRST. I launched my niche site on May 1st, 2014. At launch I kept remembering the one thing everyone is always saying around here, “All you need to do is get ONE SALE.” Get that first bite and the snowball will be rolling for you! Could that really be all it is? Could the mantra I hear over and over online be true? One sale can’t be THAT hard to get. And compared to the 85 hours a week I worked for someone ELSE, pssh, it wasn’t.

    I built my ecommerce site late at night during the last few months of my job. I would get home at 11pm or 12am and then work until 2am or 3am on my site (loading product, back-end, learning basic HTML and CSS, SEO). I constructed the site using only the free eCommercefuel guide and the masterful posts here on the forum from @biophase. I didn’t ask any questions about which niche was best or which hosting platform to use. Those are questions I believe that anyone with an ounce of effort can answer on their own. I read, I researched, I looked to the opinions of experts in the field, I evaluated, and I chose on my own.

    When I got my first sale notification on my iPhone just three days after I launched my ecommerce site I was EXTATIC! My long nights had paid off. I rushed to the computer and called my supplier to get him to ship the order right away. It was then, by Murphy’s Law (naturally), that I ran into my first problem: the product was out of stock! I was mortified! I called the customer promptly and made him aware of the situation. I explained that we didn’t have clarity on when the particular product model he ordered would be back in stock, but that I would surely call him as soon as we knew any more information. I issued a prompt refund and added a free-shipping credit on the customer’s account for future use.

    That same customer ordered from me 1-month later, and I have done $12,000+ in total product sales since that day with very limited work. I treat my customers with the utmost respect and have seen that pay off in spades through positive reviews on my site and through re-orders like that one. It feels pretty damn good!
    [​IMG]

    No, I will not be sharing my niche at the moment, not until one year of operations and until I have decided whether or not to stay in it. The margins are rather thin (~20-25% before monthly administrative costs) because the product is heavy and I am using 8 suppliers here throughout the USA (dropshipping, not manufacturing myself).

    I am no expert at ecommerce by any means, but I had a desire to learn the business because I lacked coding skills and thought it would be fun to earn while I learned. I am currently only using my own site to sell (no FBA, no eBay, no 3rd party services). That may change. I also spoke with Jack Edwards about switching the business to B2B / brick-and-mortar earlier this year. We brainstormed some great ideas and I believe that model could be more fruitful with the right amount of hustle.

    YOU TOO CAN DO THIS. I want to make note about not wasting people’s time with questions you can answer yourself: Even though @biophase is a real life friend of mine, I didn’t ask for help nor did he know I was building the business until I sent him the fully-launched site to check out for feedback. What I hope some here will take away from the launching of this business is that YOU CAN DO IT. The information is out there and it is free. Search this forum. Only YOU have the power to change your life. And please, don’t complain about problems that don’t exist yet (i.e. “What if I don’t get traffic?” “How do I know my niche will work?” “What about getting an LLC, how do I do it?” etc. etc.). NO ONE IS GOING TO CREATE YOUR DESTINY FOR YOU. Only YOU have that power (and you do have that power my friends =), I know you do!)

    Just remember…at one point in time even the legendary biophase didn’t know a lick about ecommerce…yes, it’s true!

    Truthfully, I use my ecommerce business to fill my time when I am not working in my real estate business (it only takes 1 hour a week). For that reason I may lose focus on it. Only the next few months will tell.

    On the home front, I have remained true to my core focus: real estate. In March of this year I met a carbon copy of myself by chance one day who has now become my business partner (I always told myself I would never have one). He is a few years older than me (27), but we are currently evaluating projects and have something under contract that I will post about when the time comes. Will also keep you updated on our capital raising activities (truly fastlane).

    All I am trying to say in this thread is GET OUT THERE AND GO GET IT. Plan ahead. Have faith in yourself. Entrepreneurial life is amazing and feels weird in the beginning (it still does for me). You command each day. There is no structure anymore other than that of your plan. It is like opening the front of a cage that was preventing you (the lion) from running out into the Serengeti (the world).

    I come here because it keeps me focused. I love the people on this site and I love sharing my story as it develops to help motivate others when possible. I also want to get feedback and imagine I will have some questions in the coming months. THE REAL FIRE HAS BEEN LIT.

    Goals for year end 2014 (3 months):
    Partnership apartment units: 15
    Personal apartment units: 6
    ecommerce site sales: $25k

    “I’d rather be a hungry lion in the wild, than a well fed lion in a cage.”

    -----
    I am truly thankful for this forum @MJ DeMarco. I need to thank @biophase x 1000 for your posts and continued guidance. I also want to thank @JackEdwards for this thread.

    And thanks to all my RE mentors, especially @SteveO @RealOG @GLC65 and those who are not members here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
    carlos_, Magneto C, itech and 245 others like this.
  2. RHL
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    RHL 1 - 1 Coaching Available Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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  3. Writer
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    Writer Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Amazing man, very inspiring!
     
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  4. smarty
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    smarty Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Very inspiring, you are a rising star :hurray: :tiphat:
     
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  5. Jakeeck
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    Jakeeck Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Great job! Your writing style is great as well.

    You mentioned no structure.. did you have a problem with work ethic/discipline with no structure?

    It's something I'm trying to overcome right now. If I have a deadline I can get anything done, but setting a deadline for myself doesn't have the same effect.

    I guess in short, what kept you so motivated, and were you always so motivated?
     
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  6. smarty
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    smarty Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I have (had) a similar issue. My motivation to get things done recently has been "GET THE FIRST PAYING CUSTOMER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE".
    when you start thinking from that place, you will know exactly what you need to do to make a minimum viable product to sell.
    I will launch my first premium WP plugin in a few days.
     
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  7. GuestUser113
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    GuestUser113 Guest

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    Exactly! If you are not willing to put in the time to figure this out for yourself. Why should anyone else help?

    Rep coming for you!
     
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  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Wow. Congrats. Big fan of your journey ever since you started the ball rolling those many years ago!
     
  9. PeeVee
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    PeeVee Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Congrats. What a great story.
     
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  10. MoneyDoc
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    MoneyDoc Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    No disrespect to all the other progress threads, but this one touched me for some reason... I had a manly tear in my eye half-way in. Truly an inspiration bro, this is just what I needed today!

    I hope you succeed even more and please keep us posted!
     
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  11. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    You inspire me.
     
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  12. Eos
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    Eos Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Congratulations man, way to go!
     
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  13. sQri
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    sQri Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thank you for an awesome and inspiring post!
     
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  14. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you ALL for your kind words :). I am thrilled I was able to infuse some motivation for people and I will continue to do so by updating my main story in this thread. I will also post more detailed individual deals / related information in proper sub-forums.

    @Jakeeck, if setting deadlines isn't working for you...it's because you have some type of fail-safe in place to reassure you that you will be able to sleep at night and eat when you wake up (i.e. you haven't burned your ships yet) (just ask @(z*********)). That is the only reasonable guess I can make as to why you don't take your own deadlines seriously. There should be ramifications (just like in the "real world") for not getting something done that you tell yourself you will accomplish (even small tasks). Try punishing your insubordinate ass for not taking your badass boss-like self seriously (and believe me, there WILL BE real ramifications by way of your ultimate success if you don't shape up my friend!). You can do it, you just need to want it.

    To answer your other questions. I have been motivated to succeed since as long as I can remember (6 or 7 years old; really hit me around 12 when Lamborghinis came into the picture). I have always had a very strong work ethic. I work harder than anyone around me to ensure I win the game because I am hungry.

    Keep your head up! Make a list and if you complete all your weekly goals, treat yourself to sushi or something. And I mean ALL YOUR GOALS, be truly productive; if you miss one little thing you better not reward yourself or I will show up and break-ya-kneecap with a shovel. If you do miss something, ask yourself what you were doing that was more important than earning yourself a new Lamborghini themed mega yacht. While you're contemplating this question, I will walk in with the shovel and remind you not to screw it up next week!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  15. Paul Thomas
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    This is an inspiring post for me - I am a year younger than you in the finance industry as well - not as high paying as Investment Banking, but finance nonetheless (reflecting upon my current situation). I had actually been exploring the jump into that sector of finance, but have been debating if its worth it while my end desire is to be 'fastlane'.

    If you did it again, would you do the 2 year stint, or would you go straight into entrepreneurship?
     
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  16. ArizonaBoy
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    ArizonaBoy New Contributor

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    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  17. Peakdesire
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    Peakdesire Burning Desire to Succeed Speedway Pass

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    Wow. What a great story! Inspiring!

    And congratulations.

    One question; What would you do if you were 20 years old? (like me now)

    I'm feeling a little lost..i see all this opportunity in the internet businesses etc etc and i don't know which direction to head

    Thanks.
     
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  18. Jam Wheel
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    Jam Wheel Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    This is a really awesome story - and I am sure you got all the shit you could handle in investment banking. Big rep for working after coming home from that every night (then again, the I-banking folk are legendary for that ability). It would have been so easy to just coast and expect things to change... tomorrow. Or when you weren't tired. Or you found the silver lining in a particular cloud on a Tuesday.

    Peak, if I may be so bold to field your question in this thread, based on the OPs journey - I think you may want to pick an opportunity that interests you the most that suits your values and try something small. Everything is a learning process, but delay isn't going to help you learn more/sooner or make your dreams a reality faster. Trust me - I struggle with this too. Action is what will make it happen. I am guessing the OP probably didn't question whether self pub or ecommerce or whatever was right for him, he picked a project and went for it. Remember, you don't fail, you learn.
     
  19. Peakdesire
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    Peakdesire Burning Desire to Succeed Speedway Pass

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    Thanks a bunch Mr.Wheel Appreciate you replying.

    Edit: oops i meant Mrs.Wheel :)
     
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  20. Rawr
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    Rawr Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    One of my favorite posters! Way to go dude, love your attitude.
     
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  21. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Awesome post man. Glad to hear things are all going well!!
     
  22. Royael
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    Royael Student of Life Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Great! Will be following this thread for sure!

    Good luck!
     
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  23. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Honestly wouldn't change the way I have done anything to this point. I have forged my opinions through real experiences. It is also nice to have a pile of investment capital to attack my new ventures with.

    You should be LEARNING as much as you humanly can, and taking action WHILE you are learning. You will learn your entire life, so DO NOT wait to arrive at some "destination of intellect" before you start taking action. Just make sure you are constantly reading things to add to your real world skill-sets (stop reading articles about how others made it, if you are). Comparison is the thief of joy.

    I think @Jam Wheel got it right as well; I would just add that while you should pick an opportunity that interests you...be diligent in making sure that it MAKES MONEY with a healthy margin for error in case things go wrong (which they will). Just keep trying stuff until you get traction with something. Thanks for answering Jam!
     
  24. Peakdesire
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    Thanks a LOT for the reply!

    One more thing sir.

    What are your book recommendations? and best sources to learn form
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  25. SJVC
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    SJVC Go Make It Happen. Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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