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.
What are 3 things you wish someone told you before starting your online business?
Build A Team From Day 1
Reid: If I built a team when I started entrepreneurship just under 3 years ago, I would be 5 years ahead of where I am right now. How do I know that? Simply because in the last year I have been building a team around me, and in this time I have grown 10x in every sector. I owe it all to my incredible business partners, Nikolai Bespalenko and Joseph Cabrera. Without them I would still be stuck dropshipping cheap products from China instead of building high ticket softwares and services like I do now. Niko is a genius coder and marketer who built a cryptocurrency exchange at the age of 15; he now builds all of our softwares and does some advertising. Joseph is a born businessman. He meets people, closes all of our sales, and manages finances/legal stuff for all of our businesses. Without those two, it would have been simply impossible for me to get to the level I am at today. If I had to choose the biggest regret in my life, it would be not meeting them earlier. Not only are they incredible business partners, but they are also amazing friends.
Don’t Get Comfortable
Reid: When I first started with Shopify drop shipping, I gave myself $1,000 to make it work. Setting a finite number like this, if realistic, will mitigate your losses when something bad does happen. At the same time, it pushes you towards success because you only have so much money to play with. Once you get to a higher level though, it is easy to get comfortable which is extremely dangerous. This exact thing happened to me. I’ll admit, I was making good money with drop shipping, especially for a teenager, but that was all I had. To make matters worse, the only way I was driving traffic to my store was through Facebook ads. I realized that if literally one thing went wrong, my entire business would die. For this reason, I travelled to Miami in order to build connections and learn with the hope of starting a real company/brand. There, I met my now business partners Niko Bespalenko and Joseph Cabrera. With the combination of all our talents, we decided to work together in order to build softwares and services. What I did scared me, but I knew it was going to help me grow in the long term. I took my focus away from drop shipping, which was making me money, and put it towards softwares/services, which was not. However, doing so forced me to make the softwares/services work because it now had to be my main source of income since I put a pause on drop shipping. Thankfully, everything eventually worked out and I am on track to make more money with these softwares/services than drop shipping ever made me. This is especially beneficial because we are in the process of automating these companies as we hire employees and build highly efficient back end systems.
Push Through Everything, I Mean EVERYTHING
Reid: Just under three years ago, I was introduced to the drop shipping business model. Going into it I knew it was not going to be an easy journey to the top, unlike what a lot of people seem to think today. That being said, I did see some quick money with Instagram influencers where I essentially payed large pages to show my ads to their audience. However, I eventually abandoned influencer marketing because of the lack in consistency. One day I would make $2,000 and the next day I would make nothing. I pushed myself to learn Facebook ads because I knew that once I could figure it out, my results would be consistent and extremely scalable. I failed for many months with Facebook ads, but quitting did not once cross my mind. I knew that if I kept pushing, it would eventually have to work. I am so glad I did continue to push because…. just look at my Instagram @valors. Beyond money though, as a result of months of failure, I learned how to utilize the world’s most powerful advertising platform. I now use my skill beyond drop shipping; I use it to help me advertise my various softwares and services. My number one tip to you, although cliche, is to never give up. If you just keep on pushing, I guarantee that every single one of you reading will succeed. Maybe it will take a week, maybe a month, or maybe a year, but no matter the time frame, it will be worth it. I guarantee that the difference between every successful person in the world versus every failure is that the successful person kept on pushing through their hardships.
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.