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What you can learn from a 17 year old building his own software

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Bio: who you are/what you do

Reid: My name is Reid Gajewski and I am a 17 year old entrepreneur. I was born in Princeton New Jersey, which is based around Princeton University. My journey as an  entrepreneur started with Shopify drop shipping when I was 15, I saw my initial success here. Additionally, I build and sell softwares and services along with my business partners.


What’s your background story?
Reid: When I initially started with Shopify, I failed for the first few months. However, I understood that people only fail because they give up too soon. What I did to succeed was to do what nobody else was doing. Everyone was focusing on building general stores that sell every product under the sun. I knew that I was not trying to compete with amazon, I knew branded e-commerce was the way to go before everyone switched. Consumers are getting smarter, and people are starting to understand what drop shipping is, so I made my store look less like a shopify store and more like a brand. With Shopify, I learned how to use facebook ads effectively because I failed with it for so long, that it was literally impossible for me to fail any more. Marketing cheap products from china is so much harder than marketing high quality softwares which is what I am now doing.

 

About a year ago, I came to the realization that my income can no longer rely solely off of drop shipping. I flew out to Miami, knowing absolutely no one there, to build connections and learn. This trip changed my life, I fell in love with Miami. There are so many smart people there, so much opportunity, and so much motivation. I also met two of my business partners, Nikolai Bespalenko and Joseph Cabrera. Niko is a genius coder and marketer, in fact he helped build a crypto currency exchange at only 16. Joseph is a great business man and has connections with a lot of high level entrepreneurs. Together, we have built multiple services, one of which is called Ecom Elixir. At Ecom Elixir we build our clients custom coded Shopify stores. Within the first month, we generated 5 figures in profit all from my personal brand (@valors) on Instagram. Now we are running paid ads and are hiring our first employees. DigiElixir is the other service I have built along with Nikolai and Joseph. DigiElixir is an Instagram growth service that can organically grow Instagram accounts. My account uses it and I gain tens of thousands of real followers, thousands of likes, and hundreds of comments. At the time of this interview, DigiElixir is only available to my followers. If you have any questions about these services, you can direct message me on Instagram @valors.


We often hear stories that make it seem like someone was an overnight success when really there were setbacks and stumbles along the way. Why do you think it’s valuable to be candid about both failure and success?
Reid: I do not view myself as successful. People may look at me and say to themselves, “wow, if I was in his position, I would feel amazing.” The truth is, I don’t feel amazing about what I have done, even though most 17 year olds are just sitting home playing fortnite. There were so many setbacks along my journey, and nearly everyday I am facing new issues. Actually, just today the cost per purchase on one of my advertising campaigns for Ecom Elixir went up 200% which is really bad. It is also important to note that people get jealous when they see what I have done and what I am able to do, but they don’t see what I don’t show on Instagram. I only show the highlights. People don’t see that I am up until 12 am working on school, and then up until 4 am working on business. I work with Niko and Joseph every day after school and often into the morning. We sacrifice parts of our social lives and our “high school experience.” However, we know pushing through all of this stress will pay off. It would be easy to go to parties every weekend, but at this stage in our careers as entrepreneurs, it is simply not worth it.


What inspired you to start entrepreneurship?
Reid: My town is so focused on going to Ivy League colleges, but people don’t know what to do after that. They think going to a good college will make their lives perfect. People are so ignorant. I want to do my own shit, if I’m being honest. Everyone in Princeton has the same mentality that I once heard while having lunch. A father at my school  actually said this to their son, “It’s better to cry in a Porsche than to cry in the slums.” That is when I called bullshit on the vision my town has for my generation, and when I decided to blaze my own trail.


What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting a business?
Reid: The biggest challenge has been sacrificing my high school experience for the greater vision. Every day I am working, including the weekends. However, I know it will pay off, and it is paying off. The biggest reward is not the money. It is the people I have met, and the feeling I get every day of doing something big. People hate waking up on weekdays, but I wake up excited to crush it.

 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your journey?
Reid: Hahaha this is easy! Niko and I were working on one of our Shopify stores and he got a text from a very well connected entrepreneur. The guy, who I will keep anonymous, wanted us to run Facebook ads for a loan shark in Switzerland. We… politely declined.

 

What are two things you wish someone told you when you first started?
Reid: First would be to build a team from day one. If I did so when I first started, I would be years ahead of where I am right now. The second is similar, but keep your circle small and spend most of your time with people who have the same vision as you. It is crazy how much I can get done when I am in a room full of entrepreneurs, it’s like a drug.

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? What lesson did you learn from them?
Reid: I owe it all to Niko and Joseph. Without them, I would still be only drop shipping. They both have such unique talents, that when combined, we work like a power house. I can’t really pinpoint a lesson that I have learned from them other than the realization that building a team is like getting in the fast lane to success.

 

What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?

Reid: Follow me on Instagram @valors and then direct message me. That is the only social media I am active on.

I am a Marketing & PR Specialist with a strong background in E-commerce with over 5 years experience. I am the CEO of Prestige Public Relations, a PR agency where I help entrepreneurs big and small get their story on major publications.

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Executive Voice

Ariella Lorio Widely Recognized As The Done For You Girl Helps Thousands Quit Their Job

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Giving up the traditional 9 to 5 job is difficult for anyone. Though this kind of day to day grind can be difficult to sustain, it is what tends to make ends meet. Making the decision to drop that in exchange for your dreams is something that many people do not dare to try. 

Ariella Iorio is a widely recognized and successful serial entrepreneur that helps people learn affiliate marketing. She is on a mission to teach people to work from home and fire their bosses instead of going to the office everyday. She abandoned the 9 to 5 in order to achieve happiness in her life. 

“I interned for  Wesley Virgin for two years for free, and he taught me everything I needed to know. He is the King of online marketers.” Ariella recounts.

For Ariella, there was a turning point that led her to change the way she thought about her day to day life. Early on in her college career, Ariella suffered serious injuries after being in a terrible car crash. Though she eventually recovered, the experience fundamentally changed her life. The trauma that she experienced from that period caused her to rethink what she was doing in her life as a college student and whether or not this kind of life was worth it in the end. 

“I was in a terrible car accident in which I broke my back, neck, and arm. It was a terrible experience.”

She moved on from this car accident, but couldn’t help but think there was more to this life. She didn’t want to struggle to make ends meet and worry about paying the rent each month

Back then, the work that she was putting in did not equal the output she was getting in terms of work-life balance and the money she was making. She knew she needed to change something to increase her happiness and believes she manifested her now mentor/business partner Wesley Virgin. Ariella always believed in meditation and visualization and attributes that much to her success.

“I now make 600,000 in four months with affiliate marketing. The company now nets 20k a day.” Ariella explains.

Though she has become incredibly successful now, Ariella had a rough start to her business journey. Her desire to follow her dreams drastically changed her lifestyle. She has experienced failure and difficulties with people supporting her in following her dreams. No one was convinced that she would succeed, not even some members of her own family.

“I was living in the basement for 2 years before becoming successful. I had one failed company with Wesley Virgin before the Done for You Services business that we run now. I also dropped out of college and was kicked out of my house for believing in my dreams and not going the ‘traditional route.’” Ariella states.

Now they both are dominating the industry, but most of all, changing lives. Ariella and Wesley pride themselves on finding the correct system for all of their users. They understand that finding the correct audience for your online business can be difficult, but they are there to help walk their clients through all the stages of the process to ensure success.

“We have a Done for You System that we basically do all the work for them such as give them the offer to promote, the videos, the Facebook target audience, have a coach call them to set up their Facebook campaign and stick with them to hold their hand throughout this process guaranteeing them their first sale online. We have three phases: mindset (our millionaire in training group), execution (the done for you services program), and the mastery program (Facebook and youtube ads).” Ariella says.

If you would like to learn more about Ariella Iorio, go here.

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Executive Voice

Meet Sean Castrina, Serial Entrepreneur and Author

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Sean Castrina is a bestselling author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success andthe fictional tale The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World. His new release is World’s Greatest Business Plan, written for those who cannot afford to fail. Sean is an active entrepreneur and CEO, having started more than 20 companies in the last 25 years. He has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at some of America’s finest colleges. He hosts The Ten Minute Entrepreneur, a top 10 business podcast on iTunes.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a 7-figure entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and author. I’ve got three books out: 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success, The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, and World’s Greatest Business Plan. I also host my own podcast.

What was a major challenge you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

I suffered a back injury. Doctors prescribed me a large amount of oxycodone and fentanyl to cope with the pain, which is incredibly easy to get addicted to. I was determined to not get caught in that trap, so I quit cold turkey. I truly believe that you can accomplish anything with the right mindset.

If you could start over, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t wait until after college to start a business. I could’ve been where I am today a lot sooner had I gotten a jump start on my career.

Follow Sean on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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Executive Voice

Alex Saenz Is A Millionaire At Age 23 Because, Despite His Hardships, He Always Tried To Work Harder And Do More

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Hardships during our childhood years often have a long and profound impact on our lives. Alex Saenz experienced a childhood full of difficulties and hardship that he was able to overcome and become the person he is today. Instead of letting it get him down, he used it as fuel to achieve his dreams.

“I grew up in west phoenix from very humble beginnings. I lived in a trailer park from the age of 13-18. During the ages of 13-18, my parents divorced and I dealt with a lot of emotional and mental issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness and abandonment. Having felt all this, I worked my butt off in highschool and graduated with a 4.2 GPA.” Recounts Alex.

With this kind of GPA, Alex had the opportunity to go to plenty of elite colleges. Instead, his interest was piqued by real estate investing. Though he had very little money in his bank account, Alex wanted to achieve his goal of making six or seven figures, so he began his venture into real estate.

“At the time of jumping into real estate, I had less than $500 in his bank account. This was Money I had saved up from working at a grocery store pushing carts where I only made $7.50 an hour from pushing carts. Having no emotional or financial support, I dove into real estate head first by door knocking and putting signs out on street corners. It took me nine months to get my first real estate wholesale deal. During this time, my mom moved to Nevada, which was 18 hours away. I then had to move into my friend’s house and work out of my friend’s little brother’s room, which was spiderman themed. I started to dig deeper and work harder by marketing for real estate deals.” States Alex.

Though these months were difficult for Alex, like before, he pushed through it and finally made his first closing. This first deal changed everything for Alex. He was only 19 and had already closed a sale and quickly began closing other sales. He began to expand his team and hire other agents to help build his business and close more sales.

“Having closed my first real estate deal by January 2016, I took off in real estate. I was 19 when I closed my first real estate deal! In 2016, still at the age of 19, I closed 12 real estate wholesale deals for $120,000 in revenue. Keeping living expenses low, I invested nearly everything back into business. I hired two sales guys to help hunt down more real estate deals, by 2017, the real estate company grew to five total team members!” Exclaims Alex.

Alex has never looked back since beginning his journey. His business took off and he was able to create his real estate business All in Entrepreneurs with his two partners: Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir. He also has started creating youtube videos in which he shares his life story and ways to help others learn the tricks of the real estate trade.

“In 2017, my company closed 62 deals for $615,000 in revenue with more than 60% profit margins. This was all done at 20 years young. In 2018, being 21, I continued to grow my real estate company and Co-Founded ALL IN ENTREPRENEURS with his partners Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir. In 2018, Over 100 deals were closed, and it was the first 7 figure year in business and I was only 21. Fast forward to 2020, I have closed over 300+ deals with my 7 figure real estate acquisition firm.” States Alex.

Though Alex has faced numerous challenges, he has worked hard to overcome them and achieve his goals. He has always had a good mindset, which has helped him come as far as he has at such a young age. In the future, Alex hopes to keep expanding his real estate business as well as continue pioneering his new solar power company.

“I am a millionaire now, currently 23 years old, building more companies, earning 6 figures monthly through real estate, and consulting solar and SAS (tech/software) companies. I am most excited to help others overcome poverty, bad programming and helping younger entrepreneurs achieve success at a young age!” Remarks Alex.

If you want to learn more about Alex’s amazing life story, you can check out his Youtube channel by subscribing to Alex Saenz on Youtube. In addition, you can follow him on Instagram @alexsaenz and check out his business at allinnation.com

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