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6 Figures At 18! 1 Year of The Fastlane Forum

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A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

PTP

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My 1 year anniversary of joining FLF is coming up in a few days. This past year has set the precedent for how I am going to live for the rest of my life.

I am an 18 year old senior in High School who runs an online eCommerce business . My company was started at the beginning of 2016 when I was 17. My first sale on ebay was on February 7 and my first sale on my own website was on April 24. Revenue since then is getting close to reaching (my Grant Cardone 10x goal from earlier this year) of 6-figures.

When I first started the company, my goal was only to learn. While I obviously wanted to make money, I didnt actually plan on making anything at all.

Startup bros was where I learned that eComerce was actually a thing. I spent well over a month and probably a few hundred hours looking for something to sell. I became known as "the troll" by my family and friends because I would lock myself in my room for hours on end doing product research everyday of the week. However, it was not until I came here and read the mega threads by @Ecom man and @biophase that I found a product worth selling.

The were 3 separate times where I told myself that I was going to shut down my store because no one was buying anything. I worked 3 months on a side project only to realize the product and niche was trash.

For the majority of this year, I was hesitant to grow this business just due to potential outside factors that I had no control over that could shut it down. However, after looking at the direction my company was headed, I decided to shift course and pursue a different path than what I had initially intended. This helps to hedge against some of the risks involved, and creates something I see myself working on 10-15 years from now.

  • I have decided to begin to build a brand rather than just another eCommerce store. All doubts about the longevity of the niche have been erased and I am now ready to grow this over the next decade+.
  • Company instagram account over 18k followers, Facebook nearing 1k.
  • Began the process of getting my products made domestically in the USA. Getting designs made with changes that I was not able to get my manufacture to make in China. This will allow me to regain control over the supply chain.
  • Found a mentor in the manufacturing sector who used to run his own company. His advice has been extremely beneficial as I try to bring a new line of my unique proprietary products to market. I have also been meeting with other people in the eCommerce/manufacturing sectors as well and I am learning exponentially more than anything I have ever been taught in school.
  • I joined toastmasters after reading @Envision 1 year FLF thread. Public speaking has allowed me to be more bold and less nervous when going out and talking manufactures/business owners and adults in general. It has allowed me to be bold enough to approach people I would have been to nervous to approach in the past. Public speaking has been the number one most life changing thing for me.
Takeaways
  • Just start something already! My first order from China was for 15 units. Seriously, 15 units and it cost me less than $200. It grew from there to an order of 30 then 60 then 100. This isnt rocket science. I didnt need a degree or a business plan or $10,000 in funding. All you need is the work ethic to put in the hours to find something worth while and the belief that you will find it.
  • Dont listen to the noise. You do you. Other people dont know what they are talking about. I remember during the research phase where I was called "the troll", no one thought I was going to find anything. People made fun of me for being "antisocial." Even when I had a product, I made the mistake of telling kids at school what I was doing. They made fun of me and laughed saying it was never going to get anywhere. I dont talk about my business at school, especially not my sales, but now a year later, people see my social media accounts and are starting to take an interest in what I am doing. Go figure....
  • Have a clear purpose in life and spend every waking second trying to achieve that. On my mirror I have my definite chief aim. Next to that I have a note card with the phrase "I am completely independent of the good and bad opinions of others." Next to that I have my goals. I read these every morning and night. On my wall in my room directly in front of my bed I have my vision board with a Mclaren 570s, Mother Terasa, and Pope JPII. All around the walls are quotes from books written onto note cards. Sometimes when I am driving, I will spontaneously begin reciting my definite chief aim in a loud voice. This is all meant to keep my goals in mind at all times. I believe it was @Fox who spoke about "brainwashing yourself for success." There is definitely something to it.
My Goals
  • Get my proprietary products made in the USA.
  • HEAVILY get the name out on my brand when I get USA products.
  • Diversify what my brand sells. Build a strong brand name.
  • Begin selling to retailers. Get into at least 1 big box retailer in 2017.
  • Take my company to 100+ million/year revenue 10-15 yrs.
  • Millionaire by 25. Have the option to retire at 30 (even though I know I wont;)).
  • Find more mentors where we can both mutually benefit each others businesses.
  • Graduate high school.
If you get 1 take away from this post, let it be that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. I know this advice is constantly repeated. However, it is repeated because it is true. If you have internet (which you do because you are reading this) and $200, you can start a business and grow it. If a teenager can start a business at 17 years old, working on it after school and on weekends, what is stopping you?

I want to say that this is not a success story. A success story would suggest that I have accomplished my definite chief aim, which I have not. Rather, I hope my story can provide motivation to you and serve as an example of what can happen when you start.

A special thank you to first of all @MJ DeMarco without first the forum, then book, I would not be here today.

Also thank you to @biophase @Ecom man @AllenCrawley @Vigilante @Envision and all the others who post on a constant basis. I can confidently say that 1 year of reading your posts has been more valuable than 12 years in public school.


*Can a mod please change the Prefix from "rant" to a plain tag. It wouldnt let me post unless it was a rant.
 
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Scot

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Great work! I wish I had your drive when I was your age! The best thing you learned was the process, that combined with your work ethic, you'll go places. Good luck continuing on. Makes me wonder what I'll be posting on my 1 year TFLF anniversary...
 

Marzook

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congrats! keep it up young buck!
 
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vitality11

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@PTP
To write a post like that takes a lot of time. I enjoyed every line and happy for your success! It's clear that your success is something that will benefit a ton of people. You'll be a good influence on the people around you. And you already are!
Thanks for the share. Absolutely beautiful.

Also your writing style is very nice!
I envision you becoming a great man who will create the jobs and move the world forward.

I'd wish you luck but you don't need it that much :)))
 

PTP

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@PTP
To write a post like that takes a lot of time. I enjoyed every line and happy for your success! It's clear that your success is something that will benefit a ton of people. You'll be a good influence on the people around you. And you already are!
Thanks for the share. Absolutely beautiful.

Also your writing style is very nice!
I envision you becoming a great man who will create the jobs and move the world forward.

I'd wish you luck but you don't need it that much :)))

That is seriously one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me! I honestly cant tell you how much I truly appreciate your kind words. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for taking the time to leave such an encouraging comment :)
 

MJ DeMarco

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Man, I'm so jealous of some of you young guys that have figured it out so quickly. I didn't figure out much of this type of stuff until nearly a decade later. I guess that's why I wrote TMF ...

Congrats on what you've done this far.

And you haven't even graduated high school yet?

*Can a mod please change the Prefix from "rant" to a plain tag. It wouldnt let me post unless it was a rant.

I changed it to success -- but it will go GOLD eventually.

Everyone needs to read this, especially the whiners who like to complain they can't find an opportunity.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Can I move this OUTSIDE? I just realize this was posted on the INSIDE.

If not, I understand.

I didn't see any personal or business details, so I thought it would be OK. IMO, more people need to read great stories like this.
 

IGP

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Well done! Keep pushing, you will get there soon enough!
 

PTP

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Can I move this OUTSIDE? I just realize this was posted on the INSIDE.

If not, I understand.

I didn't see any personal or business details, so I thought it would be OK. IMO, more people need to read great stories like this.

You can definitely move this to the OUTSIDE! I didn't realize it was tagged INSIDE.
 
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DesignerOne.

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Way to go! I only joined recently and am learning a lot. I'm not much older than you but man, you're already kickin a$$ at life! I joined for very similar reasons. Keep it up. I look forward to see what's next from you and hope for the same result in a year from now for me! ;)
 

domefs

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Very good read!

Are you growing your IG with Massplanner/Followliker?

I have those tools and using it for a long time, but didn't figure out how to achieve a good growth.

Seems to me that IG "blocks" certain actions, because the Traffic on my Profile got very low in comparison to the last year.

Hows this going for you Mate?
 

JAJT

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There are many 18 year olds who haven't even considered getting a job yet and you've already brought in more revenue than most adults make in two years.

Seriously, way to go!
 
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Vectra1

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WOW ! Well done ! Love your post !


Very well written and very inspiring.


As @MJ DeMarco said, I am too so jealous of you guys, OMG I wish the penny had dropped with me at your age.


Keep it up man, watch out @biophase there's a new kid on the block ;)


Rep ++
 
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Baymax

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Jun 23, 2016
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Great stuff! Congratulations, and I pray that you have many blessings on your journey. May I ask for some tips to figure out what product you'd like to sell? I've been stuck in the product research phase. Nonetheless, I can't wait to hear more updates from you. Unrelated, but if you need any advice or help in the fitness area, you can always ask me. ( I'm not going to lie and say I know anything about eCommerce, but I do have knowledge in lifting, if you ever would like to know).
 

TKDTyler

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You are making 2x what most college graduates will 4 years before they even earn a dime.

You have assets that equal to what most college graduates will have in student loans when they get out of school.

By the time they pay them off and are ready to "start their life," I wonder where you will be and what you will be doing...

You have 2 things many people dream of: freedom and youth. It's not by luck. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
 
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becks22

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Wow that's awesome! Very exciting for you to be able to see the big picture at such a young age. Looking forward to hearing more in the future!
 

PTP

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Very good read!

Are you growing your IG with Massplanner/Followliker?

I have those tools and using it for a long time, but didn't figure out how to achieve a good growth.

Seems to me that IG "blocks" certain actions, because the Traffic on my Profile got very low in comparison to the last year.

Hows this going for you Mate?

I actually use instagress, however, I honestly dont lean to heavily on it. I mostly just use it to automate the unfollow process.

To grow my instagram I do the following:

  1. Make a list of the top 5-10 big players in your niche + players that sell similar products to you. You can usually find these people by clicking on the "suggested" tab in the top right of a persons profile. It will pull up a list of people who are similiar to the profile you are looking at.
  2. Then I go and follow the most recent 30-50 followers of that specific account. This way you can know that that specific person is a) Interested in your products and b) active (because they just followed that other account.)
  3. Repeat for those 5-10 accounts until you hit the limit. Repeat once the limit is reached.
  4. Every couple weeks I will use instagress to bring the overall following number down. Other than that I dont automate much. I do most of the liking and commenting myself. The more time you put in, the better results you will get.
Some people dont like the follow/unfollow method. I have a different philosophy than some when it comes to growing instagram. My belief is that when a brand is starting out, it is important to get the word out and grow social proof. The more followers you have, the more people will trust your brand and the more likely they will buy.

People see followers as a direct indication of a brands worth or popularity. It is also seen as less of a risk if you have a lot of followers. Even if the followers you are getting are not going to be extremely engaged at first, having their numbers when starting out is important. Also, the larger your account is, the better chance you have of people finding you by accident, and the better chance you have of growing organic follows.

I have had people buy from me and after say they never heard of my company until after I followed their account. If you follow the right people, who are already following big brands, youre advertising to a market who has already declared an interest in your products.

Than after your account level gets to a certain point, people will start to follow you organically. These are the people who WANT to follow you. They will be the most engaged, and the most probable customers. At this point you have your social proof and need to start focusing on engagement.

This is just my $.02. Im definitely interested in hearing what other people think on this subject.
 

RHL

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Lol, 18 years old. This is legendary.

Dude, just think, you could have signed up for the hell-on-earth "seasonal retail" gig all your friends are going to be into this time of year. Someone with a GED who doesn't know how capital letters work could be screaming at you 10 hours a day for $7.25/hr.

Instead, you're making as much as a college graduate without the $100,000+ cost of admission.

I dunno, though. Maybe missing all those episodes of West World isn't worth it.
 
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PTP

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Great to hear of your progress! Are you working on the same brand as your website store?

Thank you very much! Yes, ive decided to take that store and slightly change the direction to have revenue streams outside of the initial niche, while still remaining in and targeting the same market. If that makes sense.:p

When we last spoke, I was concerned about the longevity of the niche just due to the uncertainty of the time. However, the way I see it, I now have a few years to capitalize on what I have going, and then also use the brand name to branch out into different markets.

In addition to what I am doing at the moment, there are 2 different spin offs that I want to add to the brand. Each one will take a few years to build and I want to first use what im selling now to gain market share and build a name. Im going to tackle one thing at a time over the next years+.

At the end of it there will be 3+ different sub-niches I will be in. Each will be independent of each other and if one ceases to exist, the others will still be around.

Edit: Also, thank you so much for the advice of getting the logo engraved on the products. Its a little expensive but people definitely trust the brand a lot more than they used to and sales have increased as a result. :tiphat:
 
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Last edited:

NuclearPuma

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I'm so far behind stuck in the rat race and stuck in bad habits. If some 18 year old kid can do it, I know I can do it, I just need push my comfort zone into some new territory. Thank for sharing your story. Bad habits and contentment are my flat tires in the fast lane.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

lifese

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Nice work man!!! I'm 21 and just started learning about business/fast lane this past July. Making progress, but definitely jealous of you! Keep it up
 
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Omega

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Congratulations Is all I can say to you, and I'll follow the example you've set for other young members.
 

Torobaro

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  • Have a clear purpose in life and spend every waking second trying to achieve that. On my mirror I have my definite chief aim. Next to that I have a note card with the phrase "I am completely independent of the good and bad opinions of others." Next to that I have my goals. I read these every morning and night. On my wall in my room directly in front of my bed I have my vision board with a Mclaren 570s, Mother Terasa, and Pope JPII. All around the walls are quotes from books written onto note cards. Sometimes when I am driving, I will spontaneously begin reciting my definite chief aim in a loud voice. This is all meant to keep my goals in mind at all times. I believe it was @Fox who spoke about "brainwashing yourself for success." There is definitely something to it.

Wow, Absolutely amazing and inspiring, and you´re only 18!!

Did you get the "definite chief aim" idea/wording from reading Napoleon Hill?
 

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