How This Entrepreneur Earns $600K/Month at 22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGrPo9MuAGM

Hey guys I'm Greta and today I'm going to be chatting with you about my startup story so how I was selling $600,000
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worth of tea a month at the age of 22 [Music] [Applause]
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[Music] so my story's a good one to chat about because I literally had no background in
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business I didn't study business my parents are social workers I didn't come from a family that had like a lot of
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business knowledge or money nothing like that I didn't even know what the word a Commerce was at the time I remember when
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I first started skinny meaty I had to Google how to create an online store so I just had no background in it so I feel
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like if I could do it at that age without kind of any sort of leg up that means sort of anyone can so when I
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started skinny meaty I was working full-time at a media agency in Melbourne I was a digital marketing manager it was
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the first role that I just got out of uni I think I started there in like January or February and I started skinny
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meaty in May so I was not employed for a very long amount of time I studied media and communications at
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Melbourne Uni I did a few subjects I guess in marketing but a lot of my course was on communications so I was
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studying things like semantics and linguistics and I guess communications is a bit of a backbone of marketing
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anyway because marketing is basically applied semantics so without knowing it I guess I was preparing myself quite
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well in that way but when I started this media agency I started working 9:00 to 5:00 and I used to work really hard
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throughout high school and uni I swam competitively at the same time so I would be working swimming and doing uni
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full-time all at the same time so I was used to having pretty busy full day's so when I started nine-to-five at this
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company I was like okay but what do I do when I'm done there do I just go home like I don't have any homework I'm not I
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wasn't swimming by that point anymore so I was like oh maybe I could have like a little hobby Lord like side project at
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the same time so I created like a list of ideas and I had all these different ideas so I had I can't even remember
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some of the things were like the first thing that I started selling on Instagram actually was my clothes so I
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just found this good way of building an account where I'd put up more exclusive kind of
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items and then people would comment like hundred comments being like sold sold sold trying to buy it and then I'd just
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put up a thing saying sold so that would attract a lot of attention and would build a bit of an audience around that
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and so I had quite a few followers I think like at about 1300 or 1400 followers on that account so when I
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would put up any item they were so used to me you know putting it up and then it was suddenly sold that they would buy
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like whatever I put up so one of the ideas was like an apple or something like that where you could like shop or
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swap people's wardrobe so I know that that was one of the things there was just a few different ideas and I ended
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up stumbling across this product really organically I almost didn't even know that it was one of the business ideas
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while sort of at the same time knowing that it was so I've been doing a lot of detoxes and I felt like me and one of my
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girlfriend's Ella who's now actually my general manager she and I had been doing a lot of detoxes from the chemist but it
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felt kind of unnatural to be detoxing with you know big pills and things that contain toxins so if I started mixing up
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tea basically I'd always drunk a lot of tea I remember in year 12 exams I would just sit there all day and drink like 20
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cups of green tea a day because I'd be kind of half distracting myself and half studying so I'd always kind of been
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interested in the effects that herbs have on the human body as I said I just one quote competitively so I was always
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looking at different ways to kind of performance enhance but legally so I started mixing tea blends by hand and I
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took them into the office and people would be like what are you doing and I was like oh I'm just like doing a little
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tea talks like a detox with tea now or like oh that's cool can I try and then sorry my office colleagues were trying
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the tea then their friends were trying the tea my friends were it got to the point where I had $24 left in my bank
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account because I really didn't know how to ask people for money it was kind of awkward like I've just been making it
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for them so then why would I charge you know their friend or their family member or whatever and I was like oh okay so
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what would be an easy way to start asking these people for money for me to make the tea because it wasn't that
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cheap to make so I googled as I said how to create an online store Shopify came up so I just listed the
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product online I think like the entire store took me something like eight hours and the majority of that eight hours was
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creating this like little spreadsheet thing for the website that had our ingredients and what their effects were
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on your body it's got that live credit an Instagram account for it because like I said I'd already been you know I'm
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building a bit of an audience around selling my clothes online so I kind of knew how to build a bit of an audience
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on Instagram at the time on Instagram as well there were no right limits so what I did like that first day was I followed
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like literally I think like three or four thousand people which took quite a while maybe like a few hours because
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Instagram was nowhere near as popular at this time this is back in 2012 and like big celebrities weren't even on the
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platform at the time so I basically went through I followed my friends then I followed all their friends and I
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followed all their friends until I felt like I'd followed like the whole of Melbourne and then I was like who do I
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know in Sydney and I was like ah that girl and so I feel it her her friends their
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friends Sydney was done went on to Brisbane just covered like a lot of ground in Australia because quite a
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large percentage of people were following us back and there were no right limits on Instagram so like it
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didn't block you from following mass people people just kept following us back and following us back until we had
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like a few thousand followers and that meant that people were even more likely to follow us back because it was social
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proof and they'd be like oh what's this Instagram with like 4000 followers doing following me like I'm gonna follow them
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back so literally we got up to the point where we had about like a 70 to 80 percent free follow rate so it was so so
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simple at that time to kind of grow a following on Instagram because it was really the early days of the platform so
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by the time we launched we probably only had by then maybe 500 followers something like that and I posted the
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fact that we were launching he is our online store and I went to bed and the next morning I woke up and Lee had four
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sales to our ecommerce store and I was like God well that's good like that was I think it was
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about 25 or $30 for a packet a so that was like $100 I was like cool five times what's in my bank account so basically
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from that point onward I just kind of kept growing the Instagram profile because that was what I knew was working
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for us so so it was all just about finding different ways to grow to begin with I was just doing that following and
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then unfollowing method which again probably doesn't work as well today because people have definitely used that
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one up next I discovered influencer marketing I felt like I discovered it for myself because
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basically a girlfriend Tasmania bought our team she had like a thousand followers on Instagram at the time which
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was basically an influencer back then and she posted about our tea because she'd had a good experience I think she
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did like a before and after and we had our biggest day of sales yet this was like a couple of weeks in and we made
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like a thousand dollars in a single day and more like okay well every time I'm doing my follow unfollow thing and I see
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a girl that has like a thousand plus followers and makes sense is in our demographic in Australia I'm going to
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comment on her pic that weren't even direct messages at the time I'm going to comment on her pic and be like hey I
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would love to send you some tea and like 90 percent of these influences again we're writing back to us because that
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was unheard of they were like I just have a thousand followers on Instagram and you're gonna send me free tea yeah
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sure of course I'll do it and then they would you know post about their results post about the effects that the tea was
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having on them and we would make more sales it was literally just a lot of intuition like it was a lot of just like
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throwing things against the wall and seeing what stuck definitely like leaning into the things that did stick
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and is doing more and more and more of that I had no problem doing the work as long as it was like working in general
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so we were doing our follow unfollow we'd started with influences then I started running tag to win giveaways and
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I mean I I don't think I had never seen another brand do them to this point so I don't know if I like invented them so to
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speak I'm sure other people were doing them they just weren't on my radar I just thought like if I give away a pack
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of tea and a lot of people are tagging somebody on our post and we get more followers like that
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win-win I was like how do we give away tea to get more followers so basically what we'd do is we'd get someone to tag
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a friend on our post they could tag as many friends as they wanted we trialed all different types like we'd be like
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tag 5 friends you could mention up to 5 people per comment they didn't work as well as when we just asked people to tag
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one friend because it was such an easier kind of barrier to entry and so all I was doing was growing and growing and
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growing our following so at the end of 2012 started 2013 we had around 200,000 followers and I think Justin Bieber had
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joined the platform at this point and had about 400,000 followers so we were literally like half the size of Justin
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Bieber I remember Nike had joined and had like 8,000 followers and we had like 200 K
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and we're like this is great that was up to the point where we got hacked so our Instagram account was hacked the whole
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thing was taken down it was like a nightmare I remember I was in Hong Kong at the time and they changed the bio on
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our account I remember people were like Oh Instagram took your account down because you know you were selling a
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weight loss product that was 100% not the case I don't think of Instagram took our countdown they would have put the
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caption you skinny meaty in our bio first and then deleted it so we ended up losing the entire account because the
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Instagram was still a tiny company like this is before they'd sold to Facebook I think they had like eight employees or
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something and they had like millions and millions hundreds of millions whatever of users so there was definitely no way
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they were getting back to us so we just had to kind of write that account off I just worked my ass off trying to grow it
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again but that was actually when I discovered the importance of building kind of other accounts in your niche I
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was like how do I not let this nightmare happen to me again like I need like a backup account and so I started this
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page called detox tips and I was like oh good like we can always change its name to skinny meet Abe when we get hacked
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again so I started building detox tips and that was when I started building my entire kind of suite of vertical
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accounts or different accounts in the and fitness kind of national category so now I have close to I think 10 million
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followers across the health and fitness niche on Instagram so accounts like detox tips detox water be Fit foods
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nutrition planet they fit recipes benefit babes be fit guys there's like 25 different accounts that myself and my
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team manage outside of just our brand accounts so that was actually even though it was a horrible thing to have
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happened it kind of helped because at the end of the day I wouldn't have built my following combined following on
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Instagram up to the 16 million point if that mistake hadn't happened the other thing that I was doing at that point was
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I built these vertical accounts and there was this platform called kik at the time where everyone was messaging
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and what I would do is I would trade influences a shout-out on my vertical accounts in return for an ad about our
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product so I wouldn't even send them out the product I could literally get like twenty to fifty influences in one night
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and just feel like hey I'll repost you on be fit babes you'll probably grow like five to ten thousand followers
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because it was way easier to grow them because there were less shout outs so you'll probably grow five to ten K as
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long as you know you'll post about our products being like hey I just discovered this T I'm gonna try it out
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and let you guys know how it goes and so we're basically trading ads for shout outs so we're getting free ads with
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influences that we weren't even having to gift our product in return for shout outs on those accounts so even though it
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was like this horrible thing that happened I'm actually kind of happy that it did in a way wish I hadn't had to go
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through that first night of horror but yeah so we basically were just growing on Instagram growing on Instagram
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growing on Instagram then Instagram was starting to kind of drop off a little bit more like Facebook had bought it by
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this point this was probably about 2013 or for 2013 early 2014 it was just getting a bit harder to grow as easily
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on there and I was like okay what's another way to get in contact with our customers like email so we started to
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really really focus and hone in this we would have really started focusing on email at the start of 2013 I'm
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so it was actually quite a while until we discovered the power of email and were like oh my god like how have I not
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been doing this the entire time this sells even better than social so then our goal was to convert as many of our
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social followers across into email subscribers we created like all these viral sort of challenges full of social
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media like I remember we did the squat challenge that was like our 14 day booty challenge or something it was basically
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just like a progression of more and more squats every day for 14 days and we got like 8000 email signups in our first
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night or something like that and then we'd create like an email sequence out to them being way our 14 day squat
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challenge is best paired with our 14 day detox and here's you know how to maximize the results of the challenge
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and that's how we kind of incorporated our product into that series so that was really when we started focusing heavily
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on email and that would have added like an extra 20 to 30 percent revenue for us as well
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even though Instagram was kind of starting to drop off a little we were on email probably like the biggest
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highlight maybe of skinny meaty as a whole but at least of 2013 was winning the Shopify build a business competition
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they flew us to New York we got to meet these incredible mentors I remember I'd actually I was sorry I was not in the
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business space at all I was like who's Tim Ferriss who's Daymond John my god and once I heard of they're like like
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Daymond John was the founder of FUBU for example and I was like oh yeah like the naked chicks
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sitting back to back yeah I know that one I was like reading up on them on the plane and my mentor was Eric Rees who
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wrote the Lean Startup and I remember I was just out it's quite a confident kid I guess at the time I remember reading
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the blurb and being like Lean Startup yep so you do this and then I was like oh we're doing that I don't need to read
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the book it's fine so we flew to New York though it was my first time in the US and we were staying
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in Times Square which was pretty cool like it felt like the center of the business world kind of because it was
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like all these huge brands the billboards up there and lights and I guess it was like a very aspirational
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sort of time for me I think it was like the first time that I realized how important
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like mentorship and surrounding yourself with other people who are doing what you're doing as well or who or kind of
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where you want to be is so there's like that's saying that you're the average of like the top five people you spend the
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most time with which does kind of make a lot of sense 2014 was the year that we first had to do our tax so in Australia
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you don't have to do your tax for like the first two years after you've started the business and more like we'll get to
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only get to it it'll all be fine but the issue was because we started out so scrappy for the first like I think
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nearly a year I hadn't formed a business entity so I was just operating as a sole trader so I ended up having to pay about
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fifty percent tax which was insane it was like a couple of million dollars like between two and three million
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dollars in tax you know as opposed like the thirty percent plus all the deductions that you can get from being a
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business as well so that was like a bit of a slap in the face at the time I've had so many different business learnings
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and lessons and I think there were advantages and disadvantages of starting out with such little knowledge like I
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guess like an advantage was I wasn't trying to like do what other people were doing I wasn't looking you know at
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business books and being like God says that you need you know to do like a SWOT analysis or it says that you know you
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need to incorporate here you need all these trademarks or you need these certain things like I was just kind of
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finding things out as we went and being like you know I wonder how you'd go about finding a tea manufacturer I
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remember when we first switched from like hand making it so it's like basically up to the six-month mark but
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more doing six hundred thousand dollars a month that was about twenty thousand orders a month we were still hand making
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and shipping the tea out from my house and I remember I lost the entire bond on the house for example because we'd
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scratched up all the floorboards so badly cuz we had like 20 people in there crammed into like our kitchen area that
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which was open plan packing tea and all the floorboards were screwed because we had all those like fold-out chairs
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basically like the cheap like AZ ones I remember the whole team all they do is like pack tea and they watched like an
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entire series every week like sit there packing tea watching Walking Dead for example it's a pretty
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good setup so then we kind of moved to manufacturing the first place you would think for tea would be China and so I
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was like okay let's go over well in cooperate in Hong Kong that'll help solve you know some of our
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like business and corporation problems whatever else well incorporated in Hong Kong and we'll start to manufacture in
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China and so we started testing manufacturers we placed some initial orders and everything was kind of you
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know going along nicely and then like one of our major problems was in kept running in and out of stock like I could
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never keep up with the demand and while it was a problem it was also kind of like forced scarcity as well at the same
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time like a lot of the things that were issues or a lot of the things we're learning they were marketing techniques
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or strategies I just didn't realize it really at the time like I'd be like if I tell everyone we're gonna sell out
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because we are going to sell out we have our biggest day of sales like ever like every single time who wouldn't own
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basically yes so we started working with this Chinese manufacturer he was actually he wasn't a Chinese guy is
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actually an Italian guy and we started working with him we'd got a few great initial and I was like how good would it
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be if we could just order like a year's worth of tea how good would that be to stop running in and out so I kind of did
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some like basic projections and was like okay that's about this much tea it was about 1.3 million US dollars worth of
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tea and so we placed the initial order we paid our 50% up front we had to pay the other 50% before he'd like then send
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it out to us so we paid the other 50% always well you know he'd been sending us little progress updates and photos
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and stuff or more like just you know excited to get the table about to run out in like three days or something but
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at this point so we received the tea in Australia it got stuck in customs for a while I think like two weeks or
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something like that and because it was so much – it was like a ton of teeth weird to pay like $80,000 or something
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like that to get it out of customs and into our like warehouse factory space that we had by that step
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and so we got it in the doors opened it up checked it out and it was like compost it's stunk like rubbish was full
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of metal bolts it was just not only unusable basically untouchable we sent it off to be tested
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we knew we couldn't use it already but we're like let's just see what's in there and there was all kinds of
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bacteria e.coli like it was absolutely disgusting I wouldn't even touch the tea without gloves on for example then we
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had to get it thrown out which was another fourteen thousand dollars and it was just it was a huge nightmare a lot
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of people are like how dumb are you from the you know buying 1.3 million dollars worth of tea like what in the world were
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you thinking but you have to think it's all kind of relative at this point like up until that stage yeah weird more
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making six hundred thousand dollars plus US a month so really it was only like two months of our revenue so it's the
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equivalent of like someone who's got a small business that's making like a hundred thousand dollars a year losing
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twenty thousand dollars so it is all relative but at the same time it's seriously hurt like it's still 1.3
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million u.s. dollars it may be relative but also you have to remember that like less than a year ago I had $24 in my
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bank account as well sorry even though it was relative it didn't feel relative it was the biggest screwup to date I
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guess I got legal advice that basically just said you will be in court for the next like five years if you try to
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pursue this like you are a Hong Kong company with an Australian director trying to like engage us on behalf of
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you know a Chinese entity like it was just it was too many different jurisdictions who would have had to go
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through like three different country courts like it was actually with some of the best advice that I've received just
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drop it cut your losses and move on which was difficult but at the same time like I
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think what this really taught me like each mistake has taught me like a huge lesson I think this one taught me that
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you need to learn to fail fast like when you make a mistake you need to cut your losses and move on as quickly as
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possible because if you're still kind of reading that previous loss there's so many problems like in e-commerce in
00:22:41
business you're constantly putting out fires every day and if you were still like upset about the last 12 fires you
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wouldn't be resilient enough you wouldn't have the like mental energy or capacity to be able to put out the next
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five kind of thing so I guess that taught me to fail fast cut your losses move on I understand that it was a
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mistake grieve the loss and then start focusing on the solution so I think that's a good example of the first two
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or three years of the business like how much we lost how much we learnt like but the exciting amazing times as well like
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I said if everything's relative like if you've experienced the lowest low it really does make the highest high that
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much better so I think you do need to have a certain personality type to succeed or I guess just to be resilient
00:23:30
enough to deal with business and I think that the amount of stress that you can personally take on is relative to the
00:23:39
amount of success that you're going to be able to achieve in business so you can't think of course like you know the
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title of this video or like twenty two two years old twenty four dollars in the bank
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six hundred K a month like it all sounds fun and exciting and cool and it is fun and exciting and cool but at the same
00:23:58
time people need to realize of course that there's like a lot of hard work that has to go into it a lot of
00:24:04
learnings so the cool part was working with founder has been that I have kind of been out of distill a lot of those
00:24:10
learnings and lessons and a lot of I guess what became my framework for e-commerce I did talk about skinny meaty
00:24:16
I went and repeated that three more times after with the fifth Watchers drop bottle and skin talks I've got two more
00:24:23
ecommerce brands launching this year actually so watch this space so it has really turned into a framework that I'm
00:24:30
able to repeat again and again and so we've work together to create a course it's called start and scale in fact for
00:24:36
the two new e-commerce brands I'm actually going through our course again because it has created such a great
00:24:43
framework I wanted to be able to go through and make sure that I didn't even miss any of the parts like it took quite
00:24:49
a while working with founder to be able to kind of take all of those learnings and all of that
00:24:54
information out and create that into a framework that is repeatable so now we've had thousands of students go
00:25:02
through successfully some of them are doing seven figures in revenue now some of them are excited you know making a
00:25:09
thousand dollars in their first day or you know thirty thousand dollars a month is like there's some incredible success
00:25:15
stories and I'm honestly so proud to be able to work with founder in this way and help so many different people create
00:25:23
and run their stores it's like it's this little micro community like I said like if you are the average of the five
00:25:29
people closest to you imagine being a part of a group with thousands of people doing this all at the same time all
00:25:35
varying levels there's just there is so much knowledge and information just from the group alone I would join the cause
00:25:42
just to be a part of this group so guys I hope you enjoyed this video it was actually quite fun to share and if you
00:25:49
want to get some more actionable tips on how exactly I built these businesses what my exact repeatable framework is
00:25:56
I've done a free ecommerce training with founder which you're able to access via the link below so hit that now and if
00:26:03
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