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INTRO Intro: Lessons I've Learned All The Way From Wantrepreneur To Entrepreneur

TTG SS

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2014
186
316
177
28
Scottsdale, AZ
Hey Fastlaner,

Welcome and thank you for checking out my intro thread. I've been a long time forum member although my activity has been non existent over the past 3-4 years

So I wanted to reintroduce myself.... My name is Steve and I recently moved to sunny, hot Scottsdale, AZ (in June '19)

I'm glad to be part of the forum again and hope to bring as much value as I possible can.

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Little backstory to me:

I first read TMF back in 2011 and that was when my eyes were really opened...

However, I was not ready yet at that point in my life to commit to being an entrepreneur - hanging out with friends and goofing off was evidently more important to me at that time. Plus I had no real reason why, I had all the stuff I wanted: the car, cushy life at my parents, gf, friends, etc. Life was easy but I knew DEEP DOWN this would not bring long-term fulfillment.

Fast forward a few years and I took my first swing at "entrepreneurship".... This was around the time when Amazon FBA was new and hot so I just imported a random product that I thought would sell with no plan, market or idea on how to make it work. Needless to say I didn't make any money.

From there I went onto trying another product on FBA, this time I did a little bit better but still had no idea on the "who" I was selling to. I was just selling an object on the internet and money would randomly appear in my account.

It is absolutely hysterical to me now looking back since that is around the time you would do "giveaways" in order to rank. Clearly a good business idea when you have to do some grey hat tactics in order to hopefully rank your product so people would randomly stumble upon it and purchase it. Lost some money on this but the lesson was learned.

After taking a little time off from that I partnered up with a friend (bad idea) to sell a digital fitness product. We put in months of work setting up everything and building out the product. However, shortly after launching and driving traffic to our offer my good friend had some personal issues come up in his life that resulted in him not being able to commit to the business anymore.

Him being the face of the brand and the fitness professional it was not viable for me to continue on without him. While I am in great shape and love working out I have no business legitimately training others.

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Now it is the fall of 2018 and I need to get back into something I decided... I wasn't really sure what I was going to do but wanted to sell physical products.

Enter Drop Shipping:

Making money in drop shipping is obviously SUPER EASY if you listen to the goo-roo's on Youtube. After some more research I noticed a trend that was to just "test products" or build "one product stores" or "general stores".... All of which seemed like terrible ideas and akin to just selling a random product on Amazon.

So instead... I found a market for my product in the arts & crafts niche, a super passionate market BTW. However, after looking at all my competitors I realized they were all selling on Shopify stores and anyone who has a Shopify store can probably attest that their conversions rates are horrible...

So instead I used a sales funnel with an offer tailored to that specific customer... here is why it works better

Funnels are binary and create more assets for your business.

The example I give is this: If I were to ask you do you want to go eat burgers, Mexican, pizza, Tai or Italian your answer might look like this "uhh, let me think about it and let you know" where if I just asked you "hey wanna grab a burger?" you're more likely to either say YES or NO

...and

It worked... It worked REALLY well actually - 45% optin rates with an order form conversion of anywhere from 10% consistently and some days as high as 18%. With up sells and order bumps it was pretty easy to increase the average cart value in order to acquire customers into my business at break even or even a profit.

A percentage of these customers ended up joining my monthly crafts box subscription which was how I would pay myself.

A very valuable lesson I learned was amateurs focus on the front-end sales, pros focus on the back-end which is where all your money is made after you acquire that customer ( should you treat them right and give them a good experience) Which is basically key to growing a business fast with paid traffic. He who can spend the most to acquire a customer wins. Period.

Either free + shipping low ticket offers or heavy discount offers to get customers into my business using paid traffic and then sell them membership or other products on the back end.

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Lessons Learned:

- The "WHO" your marketing/product speaks to is the most important aspect in being heard in this noisy environment.
- Drop shipping (from china) SUCKS - horrible customer experience I don't recommend other than to learn marketing and ecom low risk
- 1st impression is EVERYTHING with your business if you expect your customers to do repeat business with you
- How to run FB ads & some nuances within the platform
- How to make impactful ads
- How to build a subscription business
- How to build offers for your perfect customer
- He who relies on FB as their only source of traffic risks losing it all overnight (ask me how I know)
- Why driving expensive paid traffic to a store front is a horrible idea
- Your business should meet as much of CENTS as possible
- Enter a market where you actually care about the product and customer
- Be in business to actually solve a problem instead of just "make money"
- I feel confident that I can build a brand
- Life is short don't waste it
- Wish I focused on developing myself mentally at a much younger age
- Mindset and identity is EVERYTHING with every aspect of your life.

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Moving Forward:

I shut this business down but am still running the subscription aspect of it for now. I approached this business with an extremely short-term mindset and realized this is not the business I can be in as I want to actually make an impact and solve a real problem and not just sell junk from Aliexpress that I don't actually feel good about. Plus it keeps me awake at night knowing I have a horrible customer experience. Product and customer experience should be everything and I had neither.

I will contribute to the forum as much as possible and I will detail my plans for my next venture... Because this is the one where I will make it big.

Thanks @MJ DeMarco for writing two of the most legendary business/life books to ever exist. Between me and my GF we have 4 copies of Unscripted in our house. I'm an avid reader and I don't think there has ever been a book to change my life/thought process the way yours have.

I am coming to the Fastlane Summit in February and look forward to putting in my reps on this forum and gaining the respect of those who were here before me.

Thanks for reading :)

Steve
 

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Genius01

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Dec 18, 2017
134
186
150
Nigeria
Welcome back....that's a nice reintroduction.
Hoping to see you outline your plans for your next big venture ASAP.
Ahead ahead we all march....
 

James Klymus

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 28, 2018
83
171
145
24
Chicago, Illinois
I approached this business with an extremely short-term mindset and realized this is not the business I can be in as I want to actually make an impact and solve a real problem and not just sell junk from Aliexpress that I don't actually feel good about. Plus it keeps me awake at night knowing I have a horrible customer experience. Product and customer experience should be everything and I had neither.
This is exactly why I decided to move away from drop shipping. Like MJ said in Unscripted, "It racked up experience points" for me, But it wasn't long term in and of its self. Plus i didn't feel good about selling cheap products i had never seen.

Good luck with your future ventures
 

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