Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I appreciate you giving me time to provide value to your readers. My story is really not that unique. I started off just like any other normal kid who had insanely huge dreams and ambitions. In middle school I used to always get in trouble for talking a lot and I remember my teachers hearing my conversations and telling me that I lived in an “imaginary world”. I always used my imagination and created these crazy scenarios in my head of how my life would play out one day. Today I realize, I’m just one of the few who actually executed on these imaginative stories instead of just fantasizing about how “cool it would be if it was possible” like many of my classmates. My initial goal was to make all of these dreams happen by taking the guaranteed route to wealth and becoming a physician like my father but fast forward to my freshmen year of college at UC Irvine, I had a 1.1 GPA and realized I had no passion for medicine at all. After dropping in to a psychology class I realized my true passion was the psychology of influence and understanding the way the human brain works and marketing was my vehicle to pursue that passion and provide real value to others. I dropped out of UC Irvine after 4 months, after I netted my first $30K month to pursue full-time entrepreneurship online, which is now almost one year ago.
So what does your company do?
I’m involved in multiple businesses but my most recent project is Excommerce, my third and biggest tech startup with over 6000 users using the platform. Excommerce has e-commerce SAAS (software as a service) products and an educational platform on how to utilize our products to help e-commerce and internet marketing entrepreneurs increase traffic and conversions to their online stores and businesses.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Long story short, my parents were very cheap and made me buy everything, that was not a basic necessity to survive, with my own money. They told me in second grade, if I ever wanted anything in life, I would have to work hard and earn it, so I’m this case it meant buying the coolest toys and clothes with my own money. Forcing me to sell to survive, I started buying wholesale products online and retailing them to my classmates to make a quick buck in the second grade. As I got older, I started to capitalize on trends and scale this process, eventually earning thousands a month in profit by selling hats and jewelry in middle school through Facebook, and then even more in high school by flipping automobiles on Craigslist. My parents used to brag about my marketing and selling skills to all their co-workers and family members. I remember I used to absolutely hate this recognition but I now believe this instilled a high dose of self confidence and belief in myself which allowed me to continue to execute my goals at the highest level in all my ventures. Right before I turned 18 I discovered e-commerce & internet marketing and I went all in when it came to learning the in’s & outs of the industry. I missed out on a lot of “normal teenage memories” and I lost a lot of friends because they didn’t understand what I was doing and decided to criticize my efforts. Regardless, I didn’t let any of that affect my personal work habits and business and even though not making much money at first, through perseverance and laser focus that path eventually led me to a road of endless opportunities. My parents didn’t agree with me spending more time on my business than my education at the time but as I started to get real results they fully supported my decision and encouraged me to work hard for what I truly believed in. It’s hard for me to believe how much I used to despise my parents for being so cheap and not spoiling me, but now I am forever grateful for these principles they engraved in me. I have enough humility to express my gratitude to them because I truthfully can say I would not be where I am today without them.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I used my success in business to co-found and build Team Jet Set, a personal & business development media company who’s goal is to inspire an international movement of millennials to follow their ambitions and break out the bad habits they may have been trained their entire life. Team Jet Set consist of some of the most influential young entrepreneurs and we put out free content, like blog articles, video content and share business tips and inspiration on our social medias. After close to two years of doing this we now have a collective audience online of over half a million individuals and growing that are interested in entrepreneurship. This led us to doing multiple speaking tours where we go state to state and host mastermind events and sell out rooms of 200+ people of all ages who come to learn about marketing, e-commerce and personal branding in this new era of technology. It has definitely been one of the most fulfilling things for me because I know that If I wasn’t inspired by other individuals that put out content along my journey I would not be anywhere close to where I’m at today. This mission to change this generation and the world has nothing to do with me and everything to do about other people. This is why we created a team. I think many times people forget that when selling online there is a real person on the other side of the screen purchasing your products.Most people often believe it’s a “numbers game” when in reality it’s a “peoples game”. If you don’t understand and give people the value they need and want, you will never reach success.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why?
1. Motives and intentions
Look at the true motives and intentions of other individuals when working with potential business partners. Often times people want to chose a business partner based off of their credentials or their work ethic. As important as those traits are, I believe it’s 10x more important to learn how to read people and know their true motives and what their end goal in mind is. I’ve worked with people before who are selfish or egotistical and when looking to team up they really only care what’s in it for them instead of what they can do to make the consumers happy. This is playing the micro scale, you may be able to make some quick money short term but it will always come back to hurt you in the long run if you don’t respect the people who put money in your pockets. Find business partners with humility, people who care about leaving a legacy and impact rather than monetary currency and boasting their self-image.
2. Clear Business Plan
Create a clear business plan using logic to pitch investors. When creating a business plan to pitch investors on raising money for your start-up, it needs to catch their attention and make perfect sense logically for them to be interested in funding your business idea with their hard earned money. Break down all the numbers of where the money is coming in and out and explain why your product makes sense for them to invest in by using logical reasons. The best way to do this is by knowing the entire target market wants, needs, and dislikes and using the cognitive biases to back why your target customers would be willing to buy your products and services. Too many people fault to using emotional pitches instead of logical justification. I like to say, when it makes “sense”, it makes dollars. So show your investors that you are confident in your abilities to produce revenue in your business and you will have no problem finding the capital you need rather quickly.
3. Keep It Simple Stupid
Don’t over complicate your project. Too many people get way to fancy on their start-up by wanting to have everything and do everything and end-up spreading themselves to thin and actually not being able to execute on anything. I’ve done this before. However, thanks to the help of mentors, I realized it’s better to start with one simple concept, master it, and then diverse in to new concepts and products inside your company after you start to see success. Nobody will buy your companies’ products if they can’t comprehend what you actually can provide them expert value with. One of the fundamentals laws of branding is to grab attention and notoriety for one niche and until you dominate that industry, don’t try to run both. This also gives you the luxury of creating novelty, which creates more awareness, relevancy, and desire for your companies’ products.
4. Speed is key
Launch your product as soon as possible. Get prototypes or beta versions out and running to a select amount of individuals. If you wait and procrastinate till the right time to curate and distribute the perfect product, your subconscious mind will tell yourself it’s not that important and you will start to prioritize the wrong things which will slow down the time of your launch. It doesn’t matter if you product is not completely perfect and the best of the best when you push it out to the market. By getting it out there fast, it gives you more time to adjust to what exactly the market wants. Most of my businesses are a completely different business model then when I originally planned it because I had to adjust to the market and adjust to my target customers values, wants and needs allowing me to quickly tweak my projects time after time until they reached ideal perfection, that’s when I’m able to go all in and push my product out to the market on a mass scale.
5. Test, Test, Test
Test everything. If you want to drive the maximum amount of traffic and conversion to your business you need to “always be testing”. Don’t get complacent with your current methods of operations when it comes to advertising, customer acquisition , customer satisfaction, or customer retention. Always test and track results to see what works best & what doesn’t work as well. This will give your start-up a higher likelihood of longevity and increased revenue. It allows you to cut out the processes that do not work and double down on the ones that do. With a fast paced growing economy and trendy market like we have today it’s important to stay on top of your game so you can catch and ride the next trend to revolutionize your business.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
I would like to interview some of the other top marketing influencers, who are a bit older than me and been in the game a lot longer, on my podcast so my audience can learn about their perspective and compare our similarities and differences between each other to give the ultimate value and comparison between the older generations versus the millennial generation. Names like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tai Lopez, Andy Frisella, Grant Cardone, Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins and anybody else who would be willing to provide value to the younger generations listening. That would be cool.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!