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Meet Kevin Zhang, the eCommerce Entrepreneur on Pace to Do 20 Million in Sales His First Year

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Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Zhang. Kevin is an eCommerce expert and is on pace to do 20 million in sales this year with his various stores. We talk about eCommerce, his journey, and much more.

Hey Kevin, what do you do?

Kevin: I’m a 23-year-old, serial eCommerce entrepreneur. I specialize in building apparel and accessory brands from scratch and scaling them into sustainable businesses. I also provide strategic advice for businesses that are looking to improve their digital performance. I’ve worked with organizations ranging from luxury fashion boutiques to household brands that do 9 figures a year. Since starting less than a year ago, my team and I are on track to generate $20M in our first year.

How have you scaled your stores so quickly?

I believe the single thing that sets me apart from a lot of very talented individuals in the eCommerce space is my addiction to automation. It’s easy to get complacent once you build your first 7-figure business, I wasn’t. I invested a lot of my time and resources into finding and training great people so that I could free up my own time. This way, I can spend the bulk of my day focused on high-value activities that contribute to growth. At this point, I don’t have to worry about the day to day operations of my business because of the team that I’ve built around me – I spend all day either perfecting my understanding of digital strategy or developing new concepts that help my business scale.

What business models interest you other than dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a great way to start learning eCommerce and building wealth. I don’t think many individuals execute the dropshipping business model better than my team and I, but the problem with dropshipping is that there isn’t very long-term enterprise value. The products aren’t proprietary and there isn’t a lot of brand equity that’s being built.

I’m currently working on building eCommerce brands that have a lot more long-term value and higher ceilings but are very cash-intensive.
I use my dropshipping brands to fuel these long-term projects. Since dropshipping has made me so financially secure at my age, I can afford to invest a lot of time and resources on “home run” concepts that may not make any money for a few years but have the chance to be the next Dollar Shave Club or Bonobos of the eCommerce world.

I’ve got some cool things that are in the works right now. Excited to show them to the world in a few months.

What keeps you motivated?

I’m someone with very big dreams and goals. I reflect on where I am right now. I think about where I want to be. I understand that there’s a gap between the person I am right now and the person that I want to be. I want to make sure that before I go to sleep every night, I can honestly look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I’m a step closer to making my wildest dreams come true. That’s all the motivation I ever needed.

How have you leveraged personal branding?

I’ve been very active within the eCommerce community in being very willing to share valuable insights for free. While many others charge for their expertise and advice, I like to put it out there without cost because I love the discussions that I’m able to create and also really enjoy empowering others. As a result of doing this over and over again, I’ve been able to build a name for myself within the community. This has resulted in a lot of learning experiences and business opportunities that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. For example, many of the clients I have worked with (some of which are 9-figure household brands) have reached out to me instead of vice versa.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I led my team to generate $20M in sales in my first year as an entrepreneur. In 5 years, I hope that I will have built or helped build a billion-dollar eCommerce brand that is defining the industry in the same way Dollar Shave Club, Away, and Bonobos did.

I’m also very passionate about eCommerce education and created Generation E as a movement to inspire and empower new waves of entrepreneurs. All of the content I provide is free and we even invest our capital and resources to help members that show promise. We already have 700 members and have plans to invest $200K within the next year in businesses created by our members. In 5 years, I would love to have elevated thousands if not millions of more aspiring entrepreneurs. I would love to know that I contributed to changing the way people think about eCommerce education. Unfortunately, there are so many scams and misleading content in the space right now.

John Danes is a 19 Year Old Entrepreneur from Nashville, Tennessee. After being expelled from high school, John went on to start reselling rare sneakers and clothing. Not only did he see success in business, but he learned many lessons along the way. Now, he is the CEO of 99MEDIA, which is a top digital marketing company in Nashville. He is also the host of top 100 business podcast, The No Excuses Show, where he has interviewed millionaires and influencers all over the world.

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Entrepreneurship

Todd Stephenson: From Owning Bakeries to Becoming the Top E-commerce Entrepreneurs in America

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This young guy has managed to set an example for all the youngsters wishing to become entrepreneurs.

For many people, their ultimate goals in life are met only when they pass through a lot of other things or expeditions. Only when entrepreneurs start their journeys, walk through it that they realize that their actual calling is something else & that they must put efforts in that direction to become successful in life.

One such young lad we know is Todd Stephenson, who initially ran a chain of bakeries around Florida with his business partner & later realized that they could also attain massive success in the e-commerce world.

Both Todd & his partner knew the number of opportunities the e-commerce industry could offer them & so they got fascinated with opening up a company online without having to do much like a brick & mortar store. With this idea & aim in mind, both of them started to launch numerous e-commerce stores that sold camping accessories to teddy bears just to see the traction they could get.

Soon with gaining experience in the market, they realized that the custom product industry was blooming & going to be the next big thing. After deciding to head towards this business, Todd, along with his partner, launched many custom products & then finally saw the most traction getting received by custom socks.

Innovative Entrepreneur Todd Stephenson:

Initially, they made socks with faces of dogs printed on them & the idea became such a hit that Todd realized that this is the idea they must work upon more. Today Todd Stephenson is the co-founder of PupSocks, which is a rising company that creates socks with printed pet’s faces on them.

Hailing from Naples, Florida, Todd was born in 1994 & studied from the University of Central Florida (UCF); little did he know then that he was going to be a success story with his e-commerce company.

PupSocks Best Socks Company in America:

PupSocks has today become the most famous company in Atlanta that sells customized socks capturing pet images & creating innovative pairs of socks that also gives the required comfort. Not just this, Todd, along with his partner Zach Zelner also works for the betterment of pets & gives back to organizations that support & love pets.

There are two organizations that these two dynamic individuals are associated with. One is Humane Society, which is widely known as a center for adoption, a vet center & also a provider for educational programs. The second is Ahimsa House that works for pets & humans suffering from domestic violence & provides them with safer places.

Mission to give top quality socks to the world:

Creating a company that offers a variety of innovative products like pet image printed socks, pup blankets, etc. & at the same time give it back to communities that work for precious pets is what defines Todd. He also believes that success doesn’t mean money; it means freedom.

Todd says that since he is not tied up in a corporate job, he has the freedom to run his own business & also can control his own life by carving a path towards success.

 

Follow Todd Stephenson on Instagram @Sockpapi

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Entrepreneurship

Meet Andrew Ragusa: The Real Estate Investor Who Wants To Give Back To People Around Him

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For many people, college is not the way to find financial freedom. Though we are pressured from a young age to attend college and get a good education to help get a better job in life, for some it is not the only pathway to success. This is what Andrew Ragusa discovered, perhaps a bit too late, when beginning his business career.
“I went to college because my parents and everyone else told me that was the right thing to do, and $60k in debt later as well as a bunch of promises by the college recruiter that they will help me get a job, I was a secretary in a physician’s office with a Master Degree in Health Care Administration making about 30k annually and was passed up on every job transfer I applied for.” Andrew recounts.
Soon after this, Andrew realized that his path had led him to a career he was not interested in, with few opportunities to increase his lot in life and use his degree to its fullest potential. He wanted to try and do something new so he decided to try real estate. He did not think that it would become much more than a side gig, but he soon realized that he could really make a living off of doing it.
“Once I got started in real estate and saw the potential; I never looked back. Throughout the growing pains of starting a business I had people supporting me and pushing me while I tried to find my place in the world.” Andrew explains.
Since beginning his career in real estate, Andrew has taken off. He now owns a real estate brokerage and a large fund that invests in real estate flips. He has been recognized in numerous ways for his success in the real estate industry.
“When I was working as a Realtor, I was having great success from my ability to sell property higher than most agents for sellers who hired me. On the buyer side, I was being so aggressive with the listing agent that my buyer clients were first in line all the time and were getting the homes they loved. At one point, my past clients and many of the doctors I used to work with started to reach out to me asking for me to find them investment properties. One day I woke up earlier than usual and I was laying in bed while an idea was forming, I realised instead of trying to find investments for everyone, I should just create a great investment!” Andrew states.
And create a great investment he did. Andrew’s fund has secured returns for his investors on an average of 20%, surpassing most other passive income investments. Because Andrew has achieved such massive success and recognition for his work, he plans on giving it back to others to help them achieve their own success.
“The fund has had an incredible unintended result for the people involved, not only was the investor benefiting remarkably but the contractors involved in the property renovations grew their businesses by a lot. My partner and I ended up employing over 25 families to get the work done to these houses.”
What inspired him to help people was his own success, but he also wanted to pay forward the kind of mentality and financial support that was provided to him when he wanted to begin his career.
“My goal is to provide over 1000 families with work and opportunity by 2025 after seeing the impact we had on the lives of these workers. I want to share the love that was given to me by so many loving people and create an abundant life for my circle and all those who become a part of this growing movement!” Andrew exclaims.
For his next project, Andrew hopes to grow both his real estate brokerage and the investment fund. The more properties he is able to acquire, the more work he can provide for people and share the wealth that he creates with everyone involved. His goal is to flip more than 25 houses a year, using the assets given to him to create more opportunities for both the people working on the homes and the families that trust him to grow their investments.
“The next big thing I am working on right now is the investment fund and growing the brokerage. The fund took some time to get started because what I am doing is pretty unique and hasn’t been done before as far as I know but we are ready to start. Normally when people invest in a RE fund they would receive monthly dividends from rent collections and a lump sum when the building is sold down the road. My fund is going to buy properties and renovate them to be resold on the market at a higher value and I want to pay the investors lump sums everytime a property sells. My goal is for the fund to be flipping so many houses that I am able to pay investors on a quarterly basis, all while providing work for more families with my businesses and all the other businesses we collaborate with.” Andrew says.
If you would like to learn more about Andrew’s goal to help 1000 families and his real estate businesses, you can check out his Instagram page here. Andrew was recently featured on Yahoo! Finance Top Entrepreneurs to Follow During COVID-19.
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Entrepreneurship

Why Travis Guterman Is Set to Be The Go To Manager For Entertainers and YouTubers

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Travis Guterman has always found immense satisfaction and gratification in helping his clients reach their financial goals. He is in the business management business, and acts essentially as a personal CFO for YouTubers, pro athletes, and entertainers. It truly is a dream scenario for Guterman, as his passions growing up were in both business and entertainment. In fact, he basically plays the real life role of the financial advisor for the character Vince in one of his favorite shows, Entourage. 

Growing up in Los Angeles, it did not come as a surprise to Guterman that he found his calling in the entertainment industry. He grew up in a Jewish household that placed importance on integrity, giving, and education. With such a positive upbringing, his work ethic and desire to be successful was strong from a young age. In high school, he spent his summers interning with Merrill Lynch and taking business classes at a local community college. 

His work ethic and passion for business carried over to his life after graduating from college, as he would work in finance and business for a major, well established firm and for a startup. The skills he learned at these two distinctly different ventures would help him immensely in his career, and his transition into working for celebrities was quick. In a very competitive industry, he was able to build a stable client list before the age of 30 whereas most of his competition was well into their 50s.

With all of the success he has had thus far, Guterman still values failure. He understands that setbacks are a part of life, and he believes that almost no one can say that they have had careers that have ended up exactly how they would have expected at the exact time they thought they would. With so much uncertainty in life, Guterman has always sought to improve himself and be better than he was the day before in order to be ready for anything life throws at him. He is adamant about sharing his successes, as he is always looking to inspire others and finds it important to let them know that failure is just as prevalent and important as success in life. 

Guterman has put his tremendous ability and work ethic to work, and coupled it with an ability to see an emerging digital market for what it truly is. While many others in his industry shy away from the digital industry and social media, he gravitates towards this demographic of clients and enjoys working with them, knowing that social media and YouTube are only just getting their start. He has always been able to capitalize on what life has thrown at him, and he has no signs of slowing down as he strives for greatness each and every day. 

 

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