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NOTABLE! In the fastlane and looking to go even faster!

MythOfSisyphus

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My Story

I’m 38 years old, married, 2 kids and have been driving in the fast lane for about 2-3 years (for the previous 4 or 5 I dicked around in the slow lane while admiring the fastlaners going by).

Despite first reading the millionaire Fastlane a few years ago, it kind of got mentally lost in a sea of self help and wealth books I was tearing through at the time. I recently rediscovered the audio version 2 weeks ago and listened to it twice through (now almost through unscripted as well).

On the first re-listen I realised that at least some of the lessons from my first read through must have sunk in because I’d applied so many of them to my business without even consciously thinking about them.

I first became interested in entrepreneurship around 7 or 8 years ago after following some bro marketing courses for the Amazon Affiliate program. I didn’t make much money (although I still cash amazon checks today) but I learned how to build websites, do SEO, copywriting and quite a few other skills that I fully utilize in my business today.

Despite seeing a little success with the program (I had a lot of failures over those few years too) my desire wasn’t strong enough and neither was my self belief. I chased after various shiny things in the marketing world, life got in the way and I was sidetracked for a few years. I always intended to start a proper side business but then would always find excuses to put it off.

Fast forward to around 3 years ago and my wife, who is a beautician by trade suggested that I should look into importing and selling some of the products she regularly buys for her salon. Not exactly the business I dreamed of owning but I thought F*ck it, why not at least look into it. I also soon realised that as MJ points out, you don’t have to be passionate about the niche or even know much about it to be passionate and obsessive about building a business around it.

So I started looking around at what was selling on ebay and the websites that showed up when I entered search terms for these products. I discovered that there were quite a few sellers who were making sales despite some poor quality pictures, poor descriptions with no copywriting skills. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was a great niche. The barriers to entry were high (knowledge of these specific beauty products) so it kept away professional marketers and was mostly dominated by beauticians who decided to sell a few things part time, with the exception of some of the more professional websites at the top of the search rankings. The niche also impacts millions as it involves selling to beauticians and beauty salons who in turn have hundreds to thousands of customers themselves. I knew then that I could at least start out making some money on ebay.

Next I started to talking to suppliers on Alibaba, looking at ebay and shopify fees, postage rates etc to work out the margins involved. I figured most products (there's a huge number in this niche & we currently have over 500 SKUs) would cost about $4 to produce and ship here, another $2.50 in shipping (I initially ate the shipping fees so we could offer free shipping on ebay) and then another $2 or so in fees. These products retailed for around $17 so we would profit around $8 on each sale. Given that beauticians in this niche regularly order anywhere from 1 to 10 of these in each order (these days we have customers who order 100 at a time) there seemed to be some good money to be made.

Despite my research showing promise I was still extremely doubtful and nervous about starting this venture but also extremely excited so I ploughed ahead. I was working full time in a decent but slowly soul devouring IT position so I used my nights, mornings and break times to obsessively go through shipping options, packaging options, website hosting options (I went with shopify) etc etc.

My wife tested the products and we initially found 2 suppliers to purchase from. I put a full 3k into our first batch of stock and got to work setting up the website, mailing responder etc and coming up with the business name, logo, colour scheme etc. I found a short memorable business name where the .com was available and paid an online company 37 dollars to come up with a logo (in hindsight I wish I’d paid more and got a better quality design but the one we have isn’t too bad)

With the products in hand I set out to photograph them as professionally as I could by myself (I researched this for days and the results were very good). I also spent a long time on copywriting, keyword research and SEO so that I could hit the ground running.

A week or 2 before launch I was fired from my IT job of 10 years. And while not a surprise as the company was downsizing it was still a bit of a shock to the system. I did end up getting a pretty good payout however that I figured would last me at least 6 months while I got this business off the ground

While this was a very tense time it was a blessing in disguise. Losing my job gave me both the time and the added motivation to get this shit working. Otherwise it was most likely back to a worse paying even more soul crushing IT job than the last one and worst of all back to life in the slow lane.

I got to work and my initial strategy was to beat all the competing ebay sellers in this niche on price, quality, copywriting, service and basically everything I found I could do better. I would then filter the buyers over from ebay and get them buying direct from my website where the margins are better for me by using discount offers. Being business 2 business this niche works on repeat sales so I decided my customer service would involve doing everything I could to keep the customers happy and coming back. To this day we give no hassle refunds and exchanges etc and bend over backwards for our repeat buyers.

Within a few days of launching I’d made a few sales and it was an awesome feeling. While looking back now there were many things I’d do differently in the beginning, those few sales represented validation of my decisions and gave me huge confidence going forward. Over the next few months sales gradually increased to the point where I was profiting a few hundred each week (not even a quarter of what I made at my 9-5 but it was a start).

I worked my a$$ off in those first few months, obsessing over SEO and expanding our product range and in the coming months it paid off. My knowledge of SEO catapulted the website to the top of google for quite a few competitive keywords and traffic increased. Within 11 months from start I was making more than I made in my old IT job and felt amazing.

I remember being at the beach with my family lying on the sand watching my son play while in the background my phone dinged a chime sound every few minutes for a new sale. Oddly enough only 4 or 5 years before that I remember being on the same beach reading ‘Think & Grow Rich’ by Napolean Hill and dreaming about such a day.

Fast forward to today (business has been going for 2 and half years) and profits have skyrocketed to almost 7 times what I made in my old day job. I’m making more money each week than I ever would have dreamed despite now working only 30 hours a week (I have worked a lot more than this at times over the past 2 years however).

The business outgrew the small home office it started in and I now operate from a large office and storage facility I had built in our backyard and am about to hire my first employee to handle the packing and shipping.

While I’m extremely happy and grateful with my current situation, my latest listen of the millionaire Fastlane has lit a fire in me. I now want to shoot for “great money” instead of just “good money” and so I’ve set some lofty goals for this year and a solid plan to reach them.

Anyway. I apologise for the long, unedited rant but after anonymously stalking this forum for a couple of weeks I thought posting up my story might help to inspire some of you who are in the first stages of starting your journey.
 
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A. Rodriguez

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Jan 5, 2018
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This is absolutely inspiring. I need to get the f*ck out of my comfort zone and take action.

I worked my a$$ off in those first few months, obsessing over SEO and expanding our product range and in the coming months it paid off. My knowledge of SEO catapulted the website to the top of google for quite a few competitive keywords and traffic increased. Within 11 months from start I was making more than I made in my old IT job and felt amazing.
Try to remove SEO from the equation to avoid crashing. Remember the CENTS Principle. Don't let any algorithm change destroy your business. I'm speaking from a bit of experience after a series of control disasters i had.
 
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inputchip

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Fast forward to around 3 years ago and my wife, who is a beautician by trade suggested that I should look into importing and selling some of the products she regularly buys for her salon. Not exactly the business I dreamed of owning but I thought f*ck it, why not at least look into it.
You mean you're not passionate about beauty products?! :smuggy:

Cool story, and welcome to the forum.
 

Argue

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Good sh*t man... my favorite part about your post, “I worked my a$$ off... obsessing over....”

That’s the key right there... hard work and obsession.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
This is absolutely inspiring. I need to get the f*ck out of my comfort zone and take action.


Try to remove SEO from the equation to avoid crashing. Remember the CENTS Principle. Don't let any algorithm change destroy your business. I'm speaking from a bit of experience after a series of control disasters i had.
Thanks man.

Don't worry, today I get traffic from multiple sources. Mostly repeat buyers who come to the site direct but also recommendations, search, google ads, facebook ads, mailing campaigns, ebay and soon... linkedin ads and amazon australia (they've just launched here and I'm getting in early)
 
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A. Rodriguez

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jan 5, 2018
72
67
63
18
Nigeria
Thanks man.

Don't worry, today I get traffic from multiple sources. Mostly repeat buyers who come to the site direct but also recommendations, search, google ads, facebook ads, mailing campaigns, ebay and soon... linkedin ads and amazon australia (they've just launched here and I'm getting in early)
Awesome. I'm happy to have guys like you in the forum. Looking forward to more posts of yours.;)
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
Good sh*t man... my favorite part about your post, “I worked my a$$ off... obsessing over....”

That’s the key right there... hard work and obsession.
Definitely. It's hard not to obsess once you see a little success and it's easy to work hard when you enjoy it.

I often think back to when I first heard the statistics about how happiness only increases so much beyond a certain income level. I used to think that it must be true, but now it doesn't add up with my own experience.

I think it's probably more to do with the fact that most of the people earning the large incomes were either still wage slaves, or weren't actively creating something.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
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Australia
Awesome. I'm happy to have guys like you in the forum. Looking forward to more posts of yours.;)
Thanks.

I'm thinking of documenting my journey from "good money" to "great money" on here if I can find the time. I feel like it might keep me more accountable to the goals I've set.
 

NateTheGreat

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Loved reading your story. I think we can all appreciate the way you stepped out of your comfort zone as @A. Rodriguez said. You took action when you saw an opportunity even when you knew little about beauty products. Congrats on your success! Stories like this are inspiring to me and others
 

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RobD88

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Great story. thanks for sharing.
 

Magneto C

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Thank you @MythOfSisyphus for sharing such an inspirational story.
I live in Australia too so it's doubly motivating.
May I suggest an equally great read?
GOLD - I Built A Worldwide Business From Broke.
It's also a successful Aussie story by @Carol Jones
I believe you will enjoy it!

Edit: Your copy writing skill is extraordinary. I don't read many threads now, especially those on the outside. Your thread is the only new one today. I was attracted by your title.

Edit: @gabeb1920 of Wollongong will be interested in your story.
 
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Carol Jones

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Anyway. I apologise for the long, unedited rant but after anonymously stalking this forum for a couple of weeks I thought posting up my story might help to inspire some of you who are in the first stages of starting your journey.
G'day @MythOfSisyphus from rural Australia,

@Magneto C pointed me to this post. For which I'm very appreciative.

Don't apologise for your long post. It's very inspiring.

Especially the part where you simply decided to act! It's as @MJ DeMarco says in Unscripted. Once you act. The 3A's are in place. Act. Assess. Adjust. You have to take another step. And you're never quite sure where that next step will take you.

Look at you today. That simple first 'act' got you to where you know you have a sound business to build on.

You're in the top 1% of entrepreneurs. Some people NEVER take that first step. What a pity! Now you're no longer a 'wannapreneur'. But on the way to being an exceptional 'entrepreneur'.

Fast forward to around 3 years ago and my wife, who is a beautician by trade suggested that I should look into importing and selling some of the products she regularly buys for her salon. Not exactly the business I dreamed of owning but I thought f*ck it, why not at least look into it. I also soon realised that as MJ points out, you don’t have to be passionate about the niche or even know much about it to be passionate and obsessive about building a business around it.
That's so true!

Business Is A Tough Gig! And it's very much like an arranged marriage. You enter into it not knowing very much. But as your business progresses, and you get some wins on the board. The more you appreciate what you've achieved. And you start to love it. And respect it. Very much like the love and respect that's built up over time in an arranged marriage. Where, in the beginning, neither partner knew very much about the other partner. By the way, arranged marriages are amongst some of the happiest marriages in the world.

I'm looking forward to following your progress. Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. ~Carol❤
 
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Carol Jones

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Thank you @MythOfSisyphus for sharing such an inspirational story.
I live in Australia too so it's doubly motivating.
May I suggest an equally great read?
GOLD - I Built A Worldwide Business From Broke.
It's also a successful Aussie story by @Carol Jones
I believe you will enjoy it!

Edit: Your copy writing skill is extraordinary. I don't read many threads now, especially those on the outside. Your thread is the only new one today. I was attracted by your title.

Edit: @gabeb1920 of Wollongong will be interested in your story.
G'day Chen @Magneto C

Thank you! I agree. It's a very inspiring story. Thank you for the heads up!

How are you? What's new in your world? ~Carol❤
 

KingChuck211

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Your story is inspiring!! I'm in the process of setting up my online store, I've already had a few sales but now its time to take it seriously. Hearing stories like yours gives me hope that my business will grow just as yours did!
 

Carol Jones

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Thanks.

The worst part is telling people what I do for a living. It's hard to come up with an answer that doesn't sound weird or douchey.
G'day again @MythOfSisyphus,

Everyone loves hope. It's the best selling product in the world.

As Charles Revson says "In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope."

My ears would perk up if I'd just met you. And you told me . . . "I've built my business around making people beautiful. And that's what my products do!

Which is, of course, exactly what beauty products are supposed to do.

I'm sure you'll create just the right ambience with words. ~Carol❤
 

The EL Maven

No longer life's passenger
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Dec 3, 2015
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My Story

I’m 38 years old, married, 2 kids and have been driving in the fast lane for about 2-3 years (for the previous 4 or 5 I dicked around in the slow lane while admiring the fastlaners going by).

Despite first reading the millionaire Fastlane a few years ago, it kind of got mentally lost in a sea of self help and wealth books I was tearing through at the time. I recently rediscovered the audio version 2 weeks ago and listened to it twice through (now almost through unscripted as well).

On the first re-listen I realised that at least some of the lessons from my first read through must have sunk in because I’d applied so many of them to my business without even consciously thinking about them.

I first became interested in entrepreneurship around 7 or 8 years ago after following some bro marketing courses for the Amazon Affiliate program. I didn’t make much money (although I still cash amazon checks today) but I learned how to build websites, do SEO, copywriting and quite a few other skills that I fully utilize in my business today.

Despite seeing a little success with the program (I had a lot of failures over those few years too) my desire wasn’t strong enough and neither was my self belief. I chased after various shiny things in the marketing world, life got in the way and I was sidetracked for a few years. I always intended to start a proper side business but then would always find excuses to put it off.

Fast forward to around 3 years ago and my wife, who is a beautician by trade suggested that I should look into importing and selling some of the products she regularly buys for her salon. Not exactly the business I dreamed of owning but I thought f*ck it, why not at least look into it. I also soon realised that as MJ points out, you don’t have to be passionate about the niche or even know much about it to be passionate and obsessive about building a business around it.

So I started looking around at what was selling on ebay and the websites that showed up when I entered search terms for these products. I discovered that there were quite a few sellers who were making sales despite some poor quality pictures, poor descriptions with no copywriting skills. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was a great niche. The barriers to entry were high (knowledge of these specific beauty products) so it kept away professional marketers and was mostly dominated by beauticians who decided to sell a few things part time, with the exception of some of the more professional websites at the top of the search rankings. The niche also impacts millions as it involves selling to beauticians and beauty salons who in turn have hundreds to thousands of customers themselves. I knew then that I could at least start out making some money on ebay.

Next I started to talking to suppliers on Alibaba, looking at ebay and shopify fees, postage rates etc to work out the margins involved. I figured most products (there's a huge number in this niche & we currently have over 500 SKUs) would cost about $4 to produce and ship here, another $2.50 in shipping (I initially ate the shipping fees so we could offer free shipping on ebay) and then another $2 or so in fees. These products retailed for around $17 so we would profit around $8 on each sale. Given that beauticians in this niche regularly order anywhere from 1 to 10 of these in each order (these days we have customers who order 100 at a time) there seemed to be some good money to be made.

Despite my research showing promise I was still extremely doubtful and nervous about starting this venture but also extremely excited so I ploughed ahead. I was working full time in a decent but slowly soul devouring IT position so I used my nights, mornings and break times to obsessively go through shipping options, packaging options, website hosting options (I went with shopify) etc etc.

My wife tested the products and we initially found 2 suppliers to purchase from. I put a full 3k into our first batch of stock and got to work setting up the website, mailing responder etc and coming up with the business name, logo, colour scheme etc. I found a short memorable business name where the .com was available and paid an online company 37 dollars to come up with a logo (in hindsight I wish I’d paid more and got a better quality design but the one we have isn’t too bad)

With the products in hand I set out to photograph them as professionally as I could by myself (I researched this for days and the results were very good). I also spent a long time on copywriting, keyword research and SEO so that I could hit the ground running.

A week or 2 before launch I was fired from my IT job of 10 years. And while not a surprise as the company was downsizing it was still a bit of a shock to the system. I did end up getting a pretty good payout however that I figured would last me at least 6 months while I got this business off the ground

While this was a very tense time it was a blessing in disguise. Losing my job gave me both the time and the added motivation to get this sh*t working. Otherwise it was most likely back to a worse paying even more soul crushing IT job than the last one and worst of all back to life in the slow lane.

I got to work and my initial strategy was to beat all the competing ebay sellers in this niche on price, quality, copywriting, service and basically everything I found I could do better. I would then filter the buyers over from ebay and get them buying direct from my website where the margins are better for me by using discount offers. Being business 2 business this niche works on repeat sales so I decided my customer service would involve doing everything I could to keep the customers happy and coming back. To this day we give no hassle refunds and exchanges etc and bend over backwards for our repeat buyers.

Within a few days of launching I’d made a few sales and it was an awesome feeling. While looking back now there were many things I’d do differently in the beginning, those few sales represented validation of my decisions and gave me huge confidence going forward. Over the next few months sales gradually increased to the point where I was profiting a few hundred each week (not even a quarter of what I made at my 9-5 but it was a start).

I worked my a$$ off in those first few months, obsessing over SEO and expanding our product range and in the coming months it paid off. My knowledge of SEO catapulted the website to the top of google for quite a few competitive keywords and traffic increased. Within 11 months from start I was making more than I made in my old IT job and felt amazing.

I remember being at the beach with my family lying on the sand watching my son play while in the background my phone dinged a chime sound every few minutes for a new sale. Oddly enough only 4 or 5 years before that I remember being on the same beach reading ‘Think & Grow Rich’ by Napolean Hill and dreaming about such a day.

Fast forward to today (business has been going for 2 and half years) and profits have skyrocketed to almost 7 times what I made in my old day job. I’m making more money each week than I ever would have dreamed despite now working only 30 hours a week (I have worked a lot more than this at times over the past 2 years however).

The business outgrew the small home office it started in and I now operate from a large office and storage facility I had built in our backyard and am about to hire my first employee to handle the packing and shipping.

While I’m extremely happy and grateful with my current situation, my latest listen of the millionaire Fastlane has lit a fire in me. I now want to shoot for “great money” instead of just “good money” and so I’ve set some lofty goals for this year and a solid plan to reach them.

Anyway. I apologise for the long, unedited rant but after anonymously stalking this forum for a couple of weeks I thought posting up my story might help to inspire some of you who are in the first stages of starting your journey.
Great intro! I can't wait to see where you go from here.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
Thank you @MythOfSisyphus for sharing such an inspirational story.
I live in Australia too so it's doubly motivating.
May I suggest an equally great read?
GOLD - I Built A Worldwide Business From Broke.
It's also a successful Aussie story by @Carol Jones
I believe you will enjoy it!

Edit: Your copy writing skill is extraordinary. I don't read many threads now, especially those on the outside. Your thread is the only new one today. I was attracted by your title.

Edit: @gabeb1920 of Wollongong will be interested in your story.
Thanks. I'd actually read Carol's story a little while ago while making my way through the gold and notable threads. Very inspiring!
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
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Australia
Your story is inspiring!! I'm in the process of setting up my online store, I've already had a few sales but now its time to take it seriously. Hearing stories like yours gives me hope that my business will grow just as yours did!
Good luck and don't give up. Everything is a valuable learning experience along the journey.
 

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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
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Australia
G'day again @MythOfSisyphus,

Everyone loves hope. It's the best selling product in the world.

As Charles Revson says "In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope."

My ears would perk up if I'd just met you. And you told me . . . "I've built my business around making people beautiful. And that's what my products do!

Which is, of course, exactly what beauty products are supposed to do.

I'm sure you'll create just the right ambience with words. ~Carol❤
Thanks Carol.

I haven't posted in your thread yet as I was just a lurker until recently but I was very inspired by your journey.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Awesome introduction. Welcome aboard, nice to have another do-er!
 

jcvlds

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Amazing story man! So much action to get the results you wanted. These stories motivate me (and I'm sure many others) so much, thank you for sharing!
 

jcvlds

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Over the next few months sales gradually increased to the point where I was profiting a few hundred each week (not even a quarter of what I made at my 9-5 but it was a start).

...
Within 11 months from start I was making more than I made in my old IT job and felt amazing.
Hey @MythOfSisyphus, would you mind sharing a bit more on this for someone just starting out to know what can be reasonably expected? You mentioned you were making more than your previous job after 11 months in the new business; did you begin paying yourself a salary as a % of sales/revenue and revenue got up to a point where your new salary became higher than your previous salary? Or was the business as an entity making those profits and you then took a portion of that to cover your personal expenses (i.e. your salary)?

At what point do you begin to pay yourself while still being able to have leftover profits to re-invest into the business for growth?
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
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719
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Australia
Hey @MythOfSisyphus, would you mind sharing a bit more on this for someone just starting out to know what can be reasonably expected? You mentioned you were making more than your previous job after 11 months in the new business; did you begin paying yourself a salary as a % of sales/revenue and revenue got up to a point where your new salary became higher than your previous salary? Or was the business as an entity making those profits and you then took a portion of that to cover your personal expenses (i.e. your salary)?

At what point do you begin to pay yourself while still being able to have leftover profits to re-invest into the business for growth?
Sure, happy to share...

At 11 months the business total profit was more than what I was making at my old IT job. I never paid myself a set salary as such. For The first 6 months or so everything was reinvested back into the business as I was able to live off my redundancy package from work. After that I would only take from the business profits the amount I needed to live off and the rest kept getting reinvested into the business.

These days I reinvest as much as I need to back into the business to keep it growing steadily but the rest I take out to pay off our mortgage which is almost completely gone. So still no set salary as such.
 

jcvlds

JC
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Sure, happy to share...

At 11 months the business total profit was more than what I was making at my old IT job. I never paid myself a set salary as such. For The first 6 months or so everything was reinvested back into the business as I was able to live off my redundancy package from work. After that I would only take from the business profits the amount I needed to live off and the rest kept getting reinvested into the business.

These days I reinvest as much as I need to back into the business to keep it growing steadily but the rest I take out to pay off our mortgage which is almost completely gone. So still no set salary as such.
Thank you so much for sharing and the insight. What were your initial growth tactics with that money re-invested? Was it more towards marketing/advertising to bring in more leads>customers, or internal funnel marketing (optimizing conversion rates), or revenue expansion with existing customers (upsales/cross-sells, etc)? Curious to hear which you found worked best for you and your business situation.. again if you don't mind sharing :)

Highly appreciate your story!
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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Thank you so much for sharing and the insight. What were your initial growth tactics with that money re-invested? Was it more towards marketing/advertising to bring in more leads>customers, or internal funnel marketing (optimizing conversion rates), or revenue expansion with existing customers (upsales/cross-sells, etc)? Curious to hear which you found worked best for you and your business situation.. again if you don't mind sharing :)

Highly appreciate your story!
The business is based on B2B repeat buyers so the main focus in the beginning was reinvesting the profits in new products and increasing the stock levels of the existing products that were selling well.

I wanted to establish the business as a brand that was reliable... Ordering with us was easy, we had what you needed in stock at competitive prices, and we sent your order correct and fast, so keeping established customers happy and establishing a strong reputation was more important to me at that stage than aggressive growth (which is my focus now).

I did work hard at that stage on improving conversions with compelling copy and professional product photos. I didn't do (and still don't) a lot of cross selling or upselling. I do use our mailing list and retargeting ads to push new products to existing customers though.

It was really only in the 2nd year that I started investing heavily in marketing. The 1st year saw enough steady growth from ebay and SEO.

Even today my website dominates the first page of Google for the competitive keywords in my niche. I still invest in adwords as well though so I don't see my competitors ads above my own. It's not uncommon to type in a keyword for our niche and see my ad in the top ad position on the page, followed by a Google shopping corousel showing one of my products, followed by my organic search result for that keyword.
 

jcvlds

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The business is based on B2B repeat buyers so the main focus in the beginning was reinvesting the profits in new products and increasing the stock levels of the existing products that were selling well.

I wanted to establish the business as a brand that was reliable... Ordering with us was easy, we had what you needed in stock at competitive prices, and we sent your order correct and fast, so keeping established customers happy and establishing a strong reputation was more important to me at that stage than aggressive growth (which is my focus now).

I did work hard at that stage on improving conversions with compelling copy and professional product photos. I didn't do (and still don't) a lot of cross selling or upselling. I do use our mailing list and retargeting ads to push new products to existing customers though.

It was really only in the 2nd year that I started investing heavily in marketing. The 1st year saw enough steady growth from ebay and SEO.

Even today my website dominates the first page of Google for the competitive keywords in my niche. I still invest in adwords as well though so I don't see my competitors ads above my own. It's not uncommon to type in a keyword for our niche and see my ad in the top ad position on the page, followed by a Google shopping corousel showing one of my products, followed by my organic search result for that keyword.
Awesome, thanks so much, that’s very helpful! Looking back now, would you have done anything different the first year or two? I ask this because it is finally sinking in within me that no business will be the same and what has worked for some people here won’t work for another because each product and niche market will respond differently.. you just gotta find what works for yours (ie SEO, eBay, Amazon, ppc, fb, etc). But just wanted to see if with hindsight vision you think something would have been more helpful in your situation.

Many thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Andy Black

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Great story @MythOfSisyphus, thanks for sharing.

How soon do you think people should make their first sale? How important was that to you in hindsight?
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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Awesome, thanks so much, that’s very helpful! Looking back now, would you have done anything different the first year or two? I ask this because it is finally sinking in within me that no business will be the same and what has worked for some people here won’t work for another because each product and niche market will respond differently.. you just gotta find what works for yours (ie SEO, eBay, Amazon, ppc, fb, etc). But just wanted to see if with hindsight vision you think something would have been more helpful in your situation.

Many thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Not that I feel like a made a lot of mistakes, but looking back there's a million things I would have done differently.

The main things though...

1. I wish I'd spent more money on having a great logo designed. I spent about 40 dollars and wasn't happy with the end result so tweaked it myself. It's not an unprofessional or poor logo but I'd love something that looks really polished. Changing a logo is a hell of a lot of work at this stage.

2. Planned ahead more optimistically... When doing forecasts and setting goals I always seemed to underistimate where I actually ended up. This meant at times I was severely under stocked and that the business grew at a rate I often wasn't ready for. For instance... I outgrew the spare room the business was running from after about a year and built a new office attached to a shed in our backyard (yes, I run this thing from my backyard) and I outgrew the new office in about 6 months. I've just had the shed converted into a storage facility and predict the business will outgrow that withing a year.

Theres a ton of little things I would have done differently but looking back I got a lot more right than I did wrong and the fact I rapidly overtook bigger, more established brands in the niche at a pretty rapid rate attests to this.
 

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