From Failed Food Boat Business to Successful E-commerce Entrepreneur: My Kibo Code Journey

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Your background

I come from Bloomington, Minnesota where I grew up for most of my childhood. I went to college and got a degree, which I partially used as an English language teacher in Italy. I realized quickly that while I could be happy working as a teacher, it wouldn’t be a very secure living if I ever wanted to start a family. I could see that those who really benefitted from teaching owned the private schools. They lived the life that I wanted. When I moved back to America after 11 years abroad, I knew I had to make something happen for myself. I went into business for myself as a personal assistant and began my quest to find a business idea that could propel me into the life I wanted.  Then in 2019 I moved to Florida and started a food boat business with my best friend. The business was working well until the entire country shut down. I knew then and there that I had to set something up that would consistently earn for me regardless of world events. I wanted to set something up that could generate income even while I was working on the boat, on vacation, or sleeping. 

Why did you decide to join Kibo Code?

Well, I had set up a successful online Etsy Shop which was generating sales. Not great sales, but this convinced me that I could learn how to do any business model and be successful as long as I put in the work. I was receiving numerous daily emails telling me the next thing to try to generate X and Y profits, but the Kibo Code Quantum really got my attention. It seemed like a business model that I could follow. Testing existing products and finding winning products to sell. Nothing to create, no novel idea, but a proven method that clearly worked for so many others before me. I was intrigued but reluctant, as I had purchased other courses and didn’t have great results (later I realized this was on me, not the methods). While I was on the fence about purchasing Kibo or not, disaster struck.

I received a call from my then business partner that our boat business had sunk, literally. An oblivious boat driver had come too close to ours producing an incredibly large wake behind him. His four 250 horse motors created an initial wave that snapped the front of our boat and poured water on, causing it to tip. With that went my first successful business venture. At that point I decided to go all in on Kibo. I had some savings to cover the initial purchase price in installments, and enough I could rely on for the first couple months until I started bringing money in. I realized that I had a better chance of success if I went all in. There was no income cushion to fall back on if I didn’t make it happen, and that pushed me harder and faster to follow the course and complete the steps. I’m glad I had to risk it, because I’m much further than I would be working on my business only part time. It’s been nine months now and I haven’t had to find a “real” job. Don’t get me wrong I’m not raking it in yet, but I have been able to cover my expenses from income earned through Kibo Code, and it’s officially my full-time job.

Were there any roadblocks for you? What did you do to overcome these?

There were too many roadblocks to count. As you learn something new, every obstacle has the potential to take you down, or make you want to quit. They seem so devastating that you wish you hadn’t ever started a business in the first place. These come in the form of customer complaints, refunds, low sales, no sales, platform bans, technology issues, long hours and poor results. Through perseverance I realized that most of these weren’t as important as I made them out to be in my head. With time I became more used to things going wrong and how to get through them. To overcome them I used several methods.

First, I would remember Steve, Aiden, and Sean talking about all of the problems that they had throughout their online careers. Some of their problems were similar to mine, yet they got through them and were now running multi-million-dollar businesses. This perspective helped a lot. Then I would work the problem as best I could, often asking others for help along the way. If you are constantly trying to resolve something, it eventually happens. The last thing became the most important, but I didn’t come up with it until solving three or four serious problems. I made a promise to myself that I would never give up. No matter how hard or complicated something seemed, it would never derail me and I would find a way to be successful. After I adopted this mindset, it became easier to deal with problems. It isn’t always easy, and it definitely isn’t fun, but knowing I’ll figure something out gives me peace of mind when I encounter new problems.

Your tips for choosing winning products?

I feel like I’m still in the infancy stage of choosing products as I haven’t even been open a whole year. Each season brings a new challenge to find what sells. I just followed the course and office hours by Sean to find winning products. When I found one, I checked out the supplier and tried out more of their best selling products. When choosing products, stick to the criteria of the course when it comes to supplier credentials. I can trace back every time I lost money to a poor supplier. They can cause so may headaches and leave you with no resolution when problems arise. The thing that helped me the most though, was listing as many products as I could. I still find products that I never dreamed would’ve sold becoming my top products. I guess one piece of advice for FBMP is that the picture is the most important detail. Without a good first picture your product is doomed from the start. Spend a little extra time searching for a good photo of the product

Your top traffic and advertising tips?

I’m just starting to run paid ads again because we are approaching the holiday season. I tried in the past but put a hold on it because I had negligible success. Now is the best time to experiment again because of higher conversions and more traffic and views. This is the next step to scale my business up a level. (For those of you paying attention all my success has come from ONE platform, and Kibo Code teaches 6-7 of them)  

Your top 5 recommendations for building your ecommerce business?

Work on it every day. The feeling that my business was constantly moving forward helped me get through the harder times later on. This also helps you achieve the greatest motivator ever, your first sale! It took me 200 products before I finally made my first sale, but at that point I knew it was possible and energized me.

Make a plan and stick to it. Do what’s right for you, but have daily goals that you accomplish which push your business in the right direction. Don’t compromise them for anything less than an emergency.

Automate time consuming and boring tasks once you’ve “mastered” them. You free up more time to learn new skills by removing the least appealing tasks. This also helps keep you motivated.

Pay attention to those who have done it already, they leave so many clues as to what works and what doesn’t. 

If you are doing this on the side, dedicate a large chunk of time at the beginning to get things rolling. What I mean is, when they teach the steps to actually start making sales, use your PTO or vacation time and dedicate an entire week to your store. Put in extra effort up front, because once you start making sales you’ll have the motivation to continue. If it takes you six months to get that first sale, you might give up. 

Any other tips or nuggets of wisdom?

Take time off from your business. There is always more that you can do, but you need a break every day and week from thinking about work. It’s difficult, but when you decide you’re done for the day, don’t think about your tasks or strategies, just relax a little.

Oh, and set goals that you can control. For example, make your goal to add 100 listings, not make 10 sales. By adding 100 listings, chances are likely you will make ten sales, but it isn’t guaranteed. You still make your goal of adding 100 listings, and this positive feedback helps a lot.

A day in the life of a top-selling Kibo Code student

I wake up at 6:30 am, do my personal development work. Meditation, exercise, reading, and journaling. Then I start my workday at 8:30, and do creative work and new activities until noon, with a couple of breaks. After lunch I get into the everyday tasks, answering messages, checking ads, sales, etc. Then I add 15-20 products which my VA has prepared on FBMP, update prices and quantities which he also checks for me. Here I will create new ads, do product research, and refine listings. At 4pm I place all the orders I’ve received in the last 24 hours. Then from 5-6 pm I work on expansion items. Watching new training videos, implementing new platforms, or just researching something related to ecommerce. Then I’m done for the day. It’s not that glamourous but I’m getting closer to where I want to be.

I have the freedom to work from anywhere, so I’ve been able to take longer vacations because I also work when visiting family and friends.

Your best Sales Day, week, month…and how did you achieve these?

My best sales day I brought in more than 2k! I found a high-ticket item that sold and added related products. Those began selling too. Before I knew it I had topped 3.5k in one weekend! My best week and month were part of that, adding new listings, making sales via messages and 10% off promotions. I had these successes after only two months of opening and showed me what is possible when you have the right products at the right time.

What advice would you give to someone interested in joining Kibo Code?

Anyone can do this. If you follow the course and take action, you will succeed. The more action you take, the more successful you’ll be.

Our Objectives – 2022 & Beyond

Well, I’m working on the other sales platforms presented in the course. I want to use them effectively and ultimately automate them as much as I can. The more channels I successfully open, the more sales I will make. Immediate goals are Microsoft and Google ads, and e-mail marketing.
It’s lofty, but my goal is to 10x my sales next year so I can fund real estate investments and create long lasting wealth generators.

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From Failed Food Boat Business to Successful E-commerce Entrepreneur: My Kibo Code Journey

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