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

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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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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?
Good question. To be honest I don't even remember exactly when mine was but I think it was within a day or 2 of going live (the first 10 or so were ebay sales and my first website sale took a week or 2 from memory).

I think it's important to get the first sale within a month. Personally I think a bit of doubt would have crept in by that stage and possibly either a loss of momentum or an unnecessary change of direction.

I do remember being pretty excited by the first few sales. It was immediate justification for starting the business and gave me a belief that all I needed to succeed was to keep going and scale it.
 

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p0stscript

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I think it's important to get the first sale within a month. Personally I think a bit of doubt would have crept in by that stage and possibly either a loss of momentum or an unnecessary change of direction.
As someone who has just started I must totally agree with this. My first sale has only just come near the end of my first month and I was definitely having doubts, looking at changing all sorts of things, considering changing direction unnecessarily. It has certainly kept the faltering momentum going.
 
OP
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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
As someone who has just started I must totally agree with this. My first sale has only just come near the end of my first month and I was definitely having doubts, looking at changing all sorts of things, considering changing direction unnecessarily. It has certainly kept the faltering momentum going.
Congrats and good luck scaling up your success!
 

Ginto

New Contributor
Aug 5, 2016
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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.
This is where I am stuck right now. I've been reselling for over 10 years on ebay. I made some decent money but the supply is never consistent.

When you $4 to produce and ship here, do you mean you had to find a supplier to manufacture a unique product or atleast label their products with your own branding? Thanks
 

Qkimhock

New Contributor
Jun 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.
Thank you for sharing your success !

May I ask on what is your approach towards doing Seo or what kind of resources are you utlizing to get your site ranked for those keywords ?

As in all whitehat stuffs regarding your Seo approaches?

Looking forward hearing from you and kudos to your success again !

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
 
OP
OP
MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
Thank you for sharing your success !

May I ask on what is your approach towards doing Seo or what kind of resources are you utlizing to get your site ranked for those keywords ?

As in all whitehat stuffs regarding your Seo approaches?

Looking forward hearing from you and kudos to your success again !

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
Sure. I spend time researching which keywords buyers are likely to use when looking for our products and then prioritise them based on search volume. I try to use the best ones or a combination of them in page headers.

I first write my copy in a way that sounds natural and then I go back to see where I can fit keywords in. I make sure all the image names have proper descriptions and also apply alt tags with the appropriate keywords.

I also make sure that my images are below 100kb in size to keep all my pages loading fast as Google is big on page speeds.

I don't have a blog, which seems to be all the rage for Ecommerce stores these days but do have a large FAQ section.

I don't so guest blogging or any link building at all. In the beginning just after launch I did spend time adding the website to various directories for businesses.

My advice is to keep it white hat as google will always catch on to the new scam eventually and focus most of your time on getting all the on page stuff right.
 

Gracious

New Contributor
May 20, 2018
4
1
13
Very inspirational story @MythOfSisyphus.
Thank you for posting such detailed account of your experience.
I respect you very much for your incredible hard work and doing a niche which is not very popular to most men. It shows that every thing is possible if you put your heart on it. I am curious to see your website which I'm sure will inspire me and fastlane members more. Hope you don't mind.
Thanks beforehand.
 

Victor Cezar

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 29, 2018
52
94
125
Brazil
Wh
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.

What are the top 5 books about SEO that you already read?
 
OP
OP
MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
Wh



What are the top 5 books about SEO that you already read?
I actually wouldn't have read a single one. There were a few short ebooks I may have read a long time ago, but everything I know about SEO is readily available all over the internet. Sites like SEOMOZ are great resources for information but really it's just a matter of learning the basics and applying them a few times.

I don't do anything special... Research your keywords well and use them well, build a fast, easy to navigate site that keeps your customers engaged.
 
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100k

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...every time I wake up and find I've made more money in 1 night while I was sleeping than I ever did working a whole week in the slowlane :D

Happy for ya bro. Keep scaling!!! TO THE MOON!!!!!

 
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MJ DeMarco

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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.
You mean you now realize that the idiots who preach "money doesn't buy happiness" are full of shit?

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.
Bingo. They don't have freedom, they usually lost autonomy, and many times, they don't feel like they have a meaning. Without that, money is only a bandaid that works on the weekend.

1. I wish I'd spent more money on having a great logo designed.
Wow, thought I'd never hear that!

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.
Very exciting.

What are the top 5 books about SEO that you already read?
There are RARELY books with respect to internet technology that are worth anything. Because the mediums and strategies change so quickly, by the time they get to a book, the strategy is outdated, or doesn't work.

The only reliable source is recent information posted on the internet.

Thread upgraded to NOTABLE.
 

KeepGoin

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I'd imagine you are shipping to the states as well? Do customers mind the shipping times?
 
OP
OP
MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 15, 2018
133
719
286
39
Australia
I'd imagine you are shipping to the states as well? Do customers mind the shipping times?
We don't do a lot of sales internationally at this point. To the US probably 1 sale a week and yes, I find we get a lot of people asking why their order is taking so long.

I've been toying with the idea of opening up a distribution centre in the US or possibly finding a distribution company to send our products. It's little more than a fantasy at the moment though.
 

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