Yesterday I shared the story about Michelle Schroeder-Gardner who quit her £33,000 a year financial analyst job in 2013 to focus on her blog which pays her a nice £628,000 a year in passive income while traveling the world in a yacht with her family working only 10 hours a week.
Today I want to tell you about American Trevor Chapman who in 2016, at the age of 33, swapped his solar-panel installation business for a multi-million pound e-commerce business that cost roughly £170 to start.
The £170 start up costs included a website domain name for a year, a trial of Shopify and a handful of Facebook adverts.
His website was launched in November 2016 and it took just 92 days for his website to hit $1 million (around £830,800) in sales.
His website LDSman.com (no longer online) sold various items sourced from China including Kevlar pants, charcoal toothpaste, inflatable lounge chairs and fidget spinners.
He arranged for the manufacturers in China to send the items direct to the customers known as ‘drop shipping'. It was far cheaper than having the products sent to him in bulk then posted to customers throughout the US.
Eventually he invested in a warehouse and staff to manage the stock after one of his suppliers in China swapped one of the products for a less superior one resulting in many complaints.
Chapman originally turned down an offer of $3 million for his business in 2016 as he was happy to carry on running his business which was bringing in $350,000 in sales per month.
He had outsourced virtually all of the work and he spent no more than an hour working on his website updating inventory and Facebook ads.
It was a big change from working 12 hour days running a solar panel installation company.
It’s possible that he has since sold his e-commerce business which has been absorbed into a larger portfolio and given a new website address.
Chapman had also started another business the same year with his brother-in-law which was expected to make $10 million in the first year.
That business was a shipping logistics company which specialised in using free space on commuter flights, mainly Delta Airlines, to ship stock from Asia to the US cheaper than using bulk shippers.
Amazon was one of its customers.
He may have moved on from his e-commerce business to focus his attention on that business.
What I really want you to think about though is the fact that Trevor Chapman started a multi-million pound online business for less than £200.
That is the BIG point here.
Even today, while we are forced to pay through the nose for food and fuel, most people could raise at least £200 if they put their minds to it.
I’m in no way belittling the current situation and people’s struggles, but most people’s houses are ‘chock-a-block’ with stuff they hardly ever use that could be sold to raise the funds required.
A profitable online business is one of the cheapest businesses anyone can start.
Obviously, not all online businesses are the same.
I sell information products online which have a high profit margin whereas e-commerce businesses can sell products for a few pounds where profits are small.
The big difference is that e-commerce businesses can often sell tens of thousands of products earning just a few pounds at a time — a bit like Costa Coffee selling tens of thousands cups of coffee each week — which adds up to big money whereas I sell a lot less, but make more money per sale.
More people are likely to buy something like charcoal toothpaste than they are a manual showing you how to make money selling NFT art, but that is the industry I prefer to be in.
Whichever style of business a person chooses, the start up costs for both can be incredibly cheap.
Yes, they can vary from business to business, but they are nothing compared to the astronomical expense of setting up a traditional offline business like a shop, bar or restaurant.
In a previous article I mentioned a chap who worked every evening for a month to raise the extra money needed to start his wealth building project.
In fact, working those evenings were part of his wealth building plan.
It’s easy to say ‘I can’t afford to start an online business because I don’t have a spare £200’, and then do nothing about it.
That’s what most people do unfortunately.
They know that they don’t have the money available at this current time and then do nothing.
Not having the money means to them “that’s that then, I can’t do anything, so I won’t.”
When the truth is, they can do something; they can find a way to start making that money which they need to start their online business or wealth building project.
The one thing ALL successful people used was courage.
They had the courage to get started and do what was necessary to make something happen.
I’m not suggesting that you sell your grandma, your children or a kidney to get started, but if you don’t get started, you’ll never know what could have been.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and Trevor Chapman wouldn’t have known what was possible if they hadn’t made a start, and I’m sure they are both incredibly happy that they did.
They earn more money than they probably dreamt possible and they have more free time to spend with their families.
Starting your own online business really isn’t that difficult.
PS… An online business can be run from anywhere in the world. Remember, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner ran hers from a yacht while traveling the world. That’s a little extreme but it shows what can be done today.