How I started my million dollar business with ZERO DOLLARS

So I am not going to post pictures of me chilling by the beach in some villa to try and convince you of how awesome my life is. I think people how do this are lame.

Furthermore, I am not going to give you some over-hyped salesy nonsense about how you can stay in your bed until 1:00 afternoon and make 5 million dollars a year. That’s not how it works, and anyone who tells you that it is, is full of shit.

So let’s skip that whole dog and pony show and get down to the facts.

1. I grew some balls

I was already living in China with the intentions of starting a business, but the problem was I did not know what to do. Finally, after months of soul searching (should have taken me 20 minutes, because people were already asking me for it), anyways so after months I decided to start a sourcing company (oh wow no one has ever thought of that before!), basically everyone told me I was an idiot, fair enough, there are about a million people a year who come to China with the intentions of starting a sourcing business of that million about 5 succeed. I was determined to be one of those 5. So… How did I do it? I grew some balls… I began contacting everyone and there friend that I knew in American who had a business or was in the position where they were procuring goods for a business and asked them What they were buying, How much it cost, and would they consider a new supplier if I could get them the same if not better quality at a cheaper price (most companies will say yes to this).

2. I put in the work

Ask anyone how to succeed in China and they will most definitely tell you ‘Guanxi’, which means relationships. If you want to succeed in China you better have some good relationships. I made it a point to take meetings with any and every factory that would speak to me. I attended all of the trade fairs, went on factory visits, went to networking events, searched online. Like I said relationships are the most important thing you can have in China and if you ask any trade company what the most valuable part of their business is, they will most likely tell you the factories. Once you have found a good factory, making a good product, the customers will come naturally.  This is the same with an ecommerce store if you put in the work and find a good supplier and you offer a good product at a discounted rate, people will buy your product.

3. I stuck with it

It was not always easy, shit at times it REALLY SUCKED. Like the time when we were profitable for the first time and then we lost almost every penny we had made because a factory lied to us about having the correct certificates and we had $40,000 worth of goods stuck in customs. We could have hung it up then, taken the 40k and run, but we didn’t, we refunded the customer found a new factory and accepted that we had just learned a VERY valuable lesson. Trust me, these thing do and will happen and these are your breaking points/test. If you can make it through these than you can make it work. Stick with it, stick with it! Life is not easy,  business is not either. If you are looking to get rich quick play the lottery, because you have the same odds of starting a business that will make you rich with no effort.

4. I did the little things

I have always been a believer in customer service. The little things you do for your customers will win you customers for life. Like the one time we had a sales rep drive cross country to fix a mistake, or the countless times we have thrown pizza parties at our clients offices just because, or answering questions or phone calls anytime anywhere ( I literally answer calls anytime, sleep with my phone next to my bed and I ALWAYS answer) seems dumb right? When I asked some customers a few months back ‘Why have you stayed with us so long?’ the tops answers were 1. Because you always answer the phone 2. If there is a problem I know you guys will solve it.  I know this sounds obvious and dumb, but in this age of internet technology people want to feel like there is a human on the other end and they do not want to jump through 20 hoops to get a person on the phone. Sure there are times when it is annoying, but whatever, it is the nature of the beast and I love what I do, so who cares.

Hope you enjoyed this.

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