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One Year of FLF - Get off the fence


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Feb 1, 2017
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Intro - I grew up in a wonderful home with great parents and extended family who taught me the value of hard work at a young age. I’ve been involved in entrepreneurial ventures since I was quite young - always had two jobs or a “side hustle” of some sort. These ventures have included livestock, beekeeping, Norwegian wirecraft, landscaping, a painting business, construction, flooring sales and installation, a furniture store, property management, and rental real estate, all of these prior to the age of 25. At the beginning of 2009 at 26 years old I was divorced, broke, homeless, and drinking heavily. I started college to finish my degree that spring and it changed my life. Combined with the help of wonderful friends, family, and strangers I finished school in 2010 and began a career that landed me in Corporate IT, which is where I found myself one year ago. I’m leaving out some details for the sake of the post but suffice it to say I understand failure, loss, heartbreak, and depression well.

Back to Business – A little over a year ago I rekindled my entrepreneurial interests and decided to get back in the game. Specifically, ecommerce, focusing on the Amazon FBA channel. After a lot of reading and research I decided to wait until January 2017 to form a company for tax reasons, even though I had already started selling on Ebay. Right away in January I attended a Meetup Group with other Ecommerce sellers, where I started talking to some guys that were a couple years into Private Labeling, which is the direction I wanted to go. During our conversation one guy asked “have you read the Millionaire Fastlane”? I laughed and said no and thought to myself “this sounds cheesy” – at the same time remembering I had purchased and read ALL of Rich Dad’s books and content approximately 13 years earlier… By the next weekend the guy from the Meetup gifted me the book on Audible and I listened straight through. I have consumed a lot of entrepreneurial and business content over the years but this was different. I knew I had to get back on The Path. Which led me to this forum and the treasure trove of information and lifetimes of learning it contains.

Progress – I did continue down the path of an ecommerce business, focusing on Private label products sold through the Amazon and eBay channels. My garage was robbed on January 19th which turned out to be a positive event as I was able to use the insurance money to fund some of my inventory purchases. I procured and sold products using Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, and Private Label sourcing methods. During the first 11 months of the year, I sourced, listed, launched, and sold over 30 separate private label products. Many of these were false starts and me-too products with many competitors and no long-term brand potential. However, I learned a lot about process, details, failure, ecommerce, traffic, advertising, online marketing and the many other related skills this business requires. I finished the year with $90K gross revenue and approximately $15K profit. This money is 100% reinvested into the “winning” products, which I’m continuing to work on early this year.

In addition, I have leveraged many skills from my current corporate career to explore, document, and grasp business processes, and to bring in specialized individuals or systems involved at key points in the process. This is key to designing and running a business that is scalable and has quality built in to the branding and execution processes.

These skills, combined with a voracious appetite for learning and strategy related to e-Commerce, will enable me to grow and develop my own Private Label Products business as well as add value in the areas of Organization, Planning, Strategy, Listing, Logistics, Optimization, and Training to other similar businesses of different scale.

Thanks – The point of this post is to thank MJ and everyone else on this forum who has knowingly and mostly unknowingly contributed to a defining year for my life and certainly a new trajectory for the remainder of it. Including but not limited to @MJ DeMarco @Vigilante @Kak @Andy Black @AgainstAllOdds @MidwestLandlord @JScott @biophase @IceCreamKid @snowbank @SteveO @SinisterLex @Scot @RHL @jon.a @ddall @eliquid @Bigguns50 @Action Mike @AllenCrawley @JAJT @James Fend @hughjasle @PTP @amp0193 @Fox and many others.

Thank you for the tips, advice, wisdom, knowledge, how-to, attitude check, ego-adjusting humor, encouragement, and many doses of reality that you all pour into this forum daily.

Beyond the “business stuff” mentioned above I’ve developed a number of life-changing habits encouraged and discussed on this forum included morning routine, meditation, reading, discipline, continued sobriety, weight loss (40 lbs in 2017), diet improvement, muscle gains, cardio gains, and a clear mental mindset. These have enabled me to take the above actions and will set me up for success in the weeks, months, and years to come, and I thank you all immensely for that.

I’m grateful, humbled, and hungry to continue moving toward the Fastlane. God Bless you all.
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