The Series Of Events That Made Me Start My Own Business
In my opinion, the reason more people aren’t wealthy is because they are either lazy or have a lack of knowledge in finance.
So many people think they have to choose between being happy or having wealth. Why can’t we have both?
The truth is we can obtain both but it’s not as easy as one may show.
Many think that in order to obtain wealth, you must sacrifice the things that make you happy.
This is the exact reason why I started this blog. The reason why I put the time into writing these articles without getting paid.
In order for me to show you how to obtain wealth through the things that make you happy, we must first take a step back and look at the series of events that opened my eyes up to what most people see as impossible.
A few years ago, I was in high school. It’s funny, I was in all Advanced Placement classes but to be honest, I really didn't belong in them.
I truly found the content of the classes to be interesting but hated (and rarely did) the huge amounts of work that came along with it.
Business was always a passion of mine. Throughout my childhood, I had a new side hustle every month. Some successful and some complete disasters. The thing is, I never saw these disasters as failures. I saw them as stepping stones and ways to learn.
My parents, on the other hand, were the complete opposite. They would often get frustrated with me because I would put all this time, energy, and money into these business adventures, and a lot of the time, I wouldn’t get it back.
I would try to tell them how I saw these failures but they just couldn’t seem to understand.
I was coming up on the end of my high school career but still had no clue what to study and hadn’t even sent out any applications to college. I felt lost.
I decided I wanted to use the money I had saved up by working through high school to travel Europe. So I bought a one-way ticket to Ireland with my best friend.
Two weeks after graduating, we flew over and landed in Ireland.
Before this, I never truly understood pure freedom. I had always been under the roof of my parents which also meant I had rules to follow.
Being able to go about my day, not worrying about checking in with someone or having to be home at a certain time felt strange.
It took me a few days to fully comprehend my current reality and when I did, my life changed forever.
After traveling around with my best friend for three weeks, it was time for us to part ways. He flew back to California and I continued my journey. From Paris I went to Portugal, then an island off the coast of Portugal, then to Spain, then Budapest, Croatia, Austria, Germany, and then the Netherlands.
In nearly three months I had seen more of the world than my mom, dad, and sister combined.
I fell in love with this temporary lifestyle.
Like most good things in life, my travels came to an end and I flew back to California.
It was hard to adapt back into a set schedule.
I had no plans to go to school and had little money.
This was the real mental test. Being that I was living with my parents again, it meant I had to follow their rules. There is nothing I hate more than my freedom being taken away.
Knowing I wanted to start a business, I decided to pursue my old passion of entrepreneurship so I could get back to what I had fallen in love with.
I also wanted to get out of my parent's house as soon as possible
I began with research, trying to figure out what business I wanted to start. I tried to focus on models that would allow me to work from anywhere. Here are some of the businesses I tried out with a list of pros and cons from personal experience (most of them failed).
Businesses I Tried
If you aren’t familiar with drop shipping, it is simply creating an online store then supplying it with products off Alibaba or eBay or wherever you could get cheap items on.
In simple terms, when someone buys a product off your website, they are actually buying it from the other website where you source the product at. You submit the order from your website to the warehouse where your product is stored and they ship the product directly to the customer. You pay the manufacturer and keep the difference in price.
Keep in mind that I told you how the back end works. The process from when the customers buy off your site to when the product is shipped is usually automatic if you know how to put plugins on your website to automate the process.
- Very easy to setup
- Little investment
- Can work from anywhere
- The process is usually automatic (you don’t have to fulfill orders)
- No inventory
- All your sales come from online advertising (must know how to use Google Ads, Facebook ads and other online marketing platforms)
- Must know how to build a converting website
- Learning how to advertise is timely and expensive
I then tried blogging as it seemed cool and an “easy” way of making money. My favorite part was being able to write about my adventures and help others travel like I did. If an 18-year-old can solo backpack Europe for nearly three months then anyone can do it!
The way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is getting paid for showing people a product. When they purchase that product, you get a percentage since you referred them. You can also create courses, write books, and tons of other money-making products! It’s super fun and cool and actually made me some money! Definitely not enough to travel full-time or support me but it was super cool to watch this grow.
- Writing is super fun
- I love helping people
- Work from anywhere
- Very sustainable once you get going
- Fairly easy
- Very time consuming
- Difficult to build your audience (takes time and patience)
- Must know how to build a converting website
- Must be a decent writer
- Need to have another source of income for 1–2 years before this business is profitable
3. Travel Company
This was an interesting one. I decided that I wanted to show others how to travel and create a unique and very cost-effective experience. I set up a platform online and started working on a blog to reach a larger audience. I then set out to build up a series of products with my own private label for the people wanting to travel. I then partnered with a travel company in San Francisco to market my product and service. I ended up selling the whole business to a couple in the Bahamas but it was definitely a lot of fun to build and watch grow.
Sold For: $5000
- Super cool networking with businesses in San Francisco
- Grew quickly
- Very intricate (took a lot to get started)
- Must be able to network face to face
- Must be based out of a larger city
- High investment
Though there are a lot of cons with this business, don’t let that steer you away from creating a business like this. I just didn’t have resources to keep going so I sold it.
4. Photography Business
My photography business is my favorite one of them all. I started by doing free work in San Francisco for about a year. I lived at my parent's house nearly 2.5 hours from the city and would make that drive almost 3 times a week. It was very difficult and didn't make money at first but it was definitely worth it in the long run. I built up my portfolio then raised my prices. After saving up for a while, I then moved to the Bay Area (San Francisco area) and continued to build my business.
I was mainly doing family portraits but took nearly every job that was offered to me. This included newborn photos, proposals, weddings, event photography, pregnancy photos, and corporate headshots. I ended up liking family photos out of all of them so that’s the niche I went with.
- I love working with people
- Photography is a passion of mine
- Very profitable (once you build your clientele)
- Camera equipment can be expensive
- Must take decent photos + edit them
- Difficult to build clientele
- Time consuming and not profitable at first
As I said, this had been my favorite business adventure so far. It was not easy to get started (like most businesses) but with a little hard work and patience, I was able to build a reliable source of income.
This is what I did for nearly a year. I just built different businesses and found that photography was my favorite out of them all. I am not going to tell you it’s easy because it most definitely isn’t. But putting in the time, energy and money is for sure worth it. It’s worth the long nights. It was worth the long drives, not even getting paid for gas or the shoot itself. It was worth living at my parent's house where my expenses were minimal until I was able to move out.
This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.
Expect to fail and seek failure. The reason people never start is that fear of failure stops them before they try.
WHO CARES IF YOU FAIL.
It only takes one success!
People see me now, running my own business and nearly buying a house at 20 years old. They think this stuff comes easy. They think I was successful overnight but what they don’t see are the risks I take, the long nights, and all the failures that got me here.
Have I scared you yet?
I am only speaking the truth. It is a lot of work but the feeling of success is one of the best in the world.
Keep pushing and grinding. If I can do it then you can too!
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