Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Zhang. Kevin is an eCommerce expert and is on pace to do 20 million in sales this year with his various stores. We talk about eCommerce, his journey, and much more.
Hey Kevin, what do you do?
Kevin: I’m a 23-year-old, serial eCommerce entrepreneur. I specialize in building apparel and accessory brands from scratch and scaling them into sustainable businesses. I also provide strategic advice for businesses that are looking to improve their digital performance. I’ve worked with organizations ranging from luxury fashion boutiques to household brands that do 9 figures a year. Since starting less than a year ago, my team and I are on track to generate $20M in our first year.
How have you scaled your stores so quickly?
I believe the single thing that sets me apart from a lot of very talented individuals in the eCommerce space is my addiction to automation. It’s easy to get complacent once you build your first 7-figure business, I wasn’t. I invested a lot of my time and resources into finding and training great people so that I could free up my own time. This way, I can spend the bulk of my day focused on high-value activities that contribute to growth. At this point, I don’t have to worry about the day to day operations of my business because of the team that I’ve built around me – I spend all day either perfecting my understanding of digital strategy or developing new concepts that help my business scale.
What business models interest you other than dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a great way to start learning eCommerce and building wealth. I don’t think many individuals execute the dropshipping business model better than my team and I, but the problem with dropshipping is that there isn’t very long-term enterprise value. The products aren’t proprietary and there isn’t a lot of brand equity that’s being built.
I’m currently working on building eCommerce brands that have a lot more long-term value and higher ceilings but are very cash-intensive.
I use my dropshipping brands to fuel these long-term projects. Since dropshipping has made me so financially secure at my age, I can afford to invest a lot of time and resources on “home run” concepts that may not make any money for a few years but have the chance to be the next Dollar Shave Club or Bonobos of the eCommerce world.
I’ve got some cool things that are in the works right now. Excited to show them to the world in a few months.
What keeps you motivated?
I’m someone with very big dreams and goals. I reflect on where I am right now. I think about where I want to be. I understand that there’s a gap between the person I am right now and the person that I want to be. I want to make sure that before I go to sleep every night, I can honestly look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I’m a step closer to making my wildest dreams come true. That’s all the motivation I ever needed.
How have you leveraged personal branding?
I’ve been very active within the eCommerce community in being very willing to share valuable insights for free. While many others charge for their expertise and advice, I like to put it out there without cost because I love the discussions that I’m able to create and also really enjoy empowering others. As a result of doing this over and over again, I’ve been able to build a name for myself within the community. This has resulted in a lot of learning experiences and business opportunities that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. For example, many of the clients I have worked with (some of which are 9-figure household brands) have reached out to me instead of vice versa.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I led my team to generate $20M in sales in my first year as an entrepreneur. In 5 years, I hope that I will have built or helped build a billion-dollar eCommerce brand that is defining the industry in the same way Dollar Shave Club, Away, and Bonobos did.
I’m also very passionate about eCommerce education and created Generation E as a movement to inspire and empower new waves of entrepreneurs. All of the content I provide is free and we even invest our capital and resources to help members that show promise. We already have 700 members and have plans to invest $200K within the next year in businesses created by our members. In 5 years, I would love to have elevated thousands if not millions of more aspiring entrepreneurs. I would love to know that I contributed to changing the way people think about eCommerce education. Unfortunately, there are so many scams and misleading content in the space right now.
The diaspora is key in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico
If it has ever been more than evident that Puerto Ricans who have left the island do not forget their homeland, it is just now during the emergency caused by Hurricane María passing through Puerto Rico.
Long and wide across the United States and the world, Puerto Ricans have activated their networks in spontaneous solidarity-based operations of collecting donations and sending aid to the Island. They are living proof that Puerto Rico is more than 3.5 million. of inhabitants of this small Caribbean archipelago.
Puerto Rico is present and active in every corner of the globe. Some more visible than others, that so-called diaspora has given glory to the country and put its name up. After the devastation caused by the powerful hurricane María, on September 21, the aid efforts of these thousands of Puerto Ricans living abroad are crucial drivers in the present struggle to rebuild the country.
Sports, art and entertainment celebrities have put their fame at the service of efforts to collect and bring aid for the victims. Among them, Jorge Posada, the former receiver of the New York Yankees in the majors, who has made at least three trips with supplies to distribute through the United for Puerto Rico initiative.
Like Jorge and his wife Laura, the stellar receiver Iván Rodríguez, recently exalted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, has brought more than a dozen containers with aid.
They are joined by Carlos Beltrán, Bernie Williams, Roberto Alomar, Carlos Arroyo, Ricky Martin, Luis Fonsi, Lin Manuel Miranda, Benicio del Toro, Jeniffer López, Marc Anthony, Chayanne, Nicky Jam, who have somehow attracted American attention and international towards the pressing needs in Puerto Rico after the scourge of the hurricane.
The list continues with many names that we did not hear before and so many others that we will not get to know, but that are equally committed to the common mission of raising Puerto Rico.
In cities across the United States, unions, groups of friends, restaurant owners, municipal government officials, state, congressmen, have said theirs present. To mention a few, in Washington DC, the Puerto Rican community filled four trucks with some 78,000 pounds of supplies that will be integrated into the United for Puerto Rico campaign.
The nonprofit group Friends of Puerto Rico began a fundraising campaign that will benefit ten Boy’s & Girls Club centers on the Island. The Alejandro and Orlando Bravo brothers, who established the Bravo Family Foundation two years ago, based in California, they didn’t think twice to bring a plane loaded with provisions that they distributed personally.
In Pennsylvania, Puerto Rican student José Diego Toro launched a campaign on the GoFundMe.com portal to raise $ 10,000 to help victims. Soon other Puerto Rican students joined in more than a hundred universities in the United States, constituted under the name of Students for Puerto Rico. They had already exceeded $ 160,000. Only in that portal there are more than 30 campaigns in order to help the victims in Puerto Rico.
More Puerto Ricans have established dozens of known collection centers in Florida, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania. And even if they don’t all transcend, there must be a collection center in every state.
The extended hand of the diaspora has not limited itself to collecting, sending or bringing aid to the Island. Many groups have redoubled their lobbying to ensure that the federal government responds quickly, effectively and sustainably to the magnitude of the disaster and efforts. of reconstruction, just in the most serious period of fiscal precariousness that the country has had in decades.
To all of them, thank you. Today more than ever, Puerto Rico embraces them with pride.
This article was originally published by the Bravo Family Foundation.
Max Karg Is Making A Killing By Marketing Exotic Vehicles
Could you imagine getting paid to take pictures with luxury, vintage, and even exotic cars? Well, 21 year old Max Karg has managed to figure out exactly how to do so.
Max runs a business that basically consists of him helping vehicle owners sell their vehicles faster, easier, and for top dollar through his marketing and advertising methods. Since most people aren’t experts in the space of automotive marketing, Max found his opportunity to take control of that market and absolutely dominate. To date, he’s managed to market millions of dollars worth of vehicles.
What’s pretty interesting about him is that he didn’t come from a wealthy family that had connections to fellow successful individuals, nor did he have any advantage of being taught business strategies at a young age. Instead, he was making minimum wage while working at a Dairy Queen, and he decided to buy a coworker’s car for $800. He washed it, detailed the interior, and cleaned the throttle body. A few weeks later, he sold that same car for $1,400, profiting $600. This is when he realized, “I made in a few weeks what it took me a few months to make working minimum wage. I should do this more.”
This then turned into him dabbling in other areas of the automotive industry, such as detailing cars, mechanical repair, and cosmetic repair. They all had their pros and cons, for they allowed Max to work with cars, but they also each came with a set of drawbacks and difficulties. He eventually landed on something that had no ceiling and required no shop or tools: automotive marketing.
Max was able to combine his existing skill set of photography with his newly acquired skills such as copywriting, and paired them with his passion for cars to form a highly valuable service that he could be compensated well for.
From not being old enough to drive at all, to now getting paid to drive some of his dream cars, Max has come a long way in just a few years. This is the first year that he is legally allowed to buy a drink, and he already has more experience (and success) in business than most people ever get.
Knowing what’s possible when someone has the skill set and knowledge that Max has, he wants to share this golden opportunity with whoever is looking for that right “vehicle” to go all in on. Through his various social media channels (@maxckarg on Instagram), he will be sharing his best tips and kept secrets with those who want to follow a similar path as him.
Showcasing The Human Side Of Entrepreneurs Through The Lens Of Hustle Hive TV
Many people are intrigued by the daily routine of young and budding entrepreneurs. The curiosity of a lot of people is aroused by how young entrepreneurs deal with their daily lives. Plenty of individuals are asking how they started their business or the challenges they’re facing as young entrepreneurs. People want to learn the steps that they take, the habits that they’ve adopted or the things that they did in order to be successful in their business endeavors.
This is the goal of the Dickens brothers of California. Eriksen and Soren Dickens are the founders of Hustle Hive TV, which is an educational platform on YouTube that shares knowledge about the different facets of entrepreneurship. Through their lenses, they want to document the lives of young entrepreneurs and share it with a wide range of audiences to inspire others with similar mindsets. The content they produce hopes to humanize and humorize the entrepreneur lifestyle while adding educational value to the lives of others.
The Dickens brothers are known for producing documentary films like “Dirty Toes” and “Magic in the Lane”, both documentaries about entrepreneurs who’ve overcome adversity in their lives to get where they are today. The brothers are drawn to making films about young, hustling entrepreneurs because it’s so relevant to who they are.
“Telling stories through documentary-style filmmaking is our greatest passion. We have been making films since we were 10 years-old. So, now, we want to tell the stories of young entrepreneurs and show the highs and lows that they encounter every day to reach their goals and become successful,” Soren Dickens explains.
The Dickens Brothers
Eriksen and Soren grew up in the so-called Cowboy Capital of the World – Oakdale, California. It is a small, cowboy town located in the Central Valley of California.
Since they were 10 years old, they have been fascinated with making films. They started
making home movies using their mother’s VHS recorder and even made their own costumes and props. This love for filmmaking persuaded them to establish their own production company in 2016, called Platinum Peek, while both were still in college at California Polytechnic State University. A year later, they established Peek Wedding Films, a brand that specializes in unique wedding videography.
Founding of Hustle Hive TV
Eriksen explained that as business-minded filmmakers, they are always looking for interesting people to tell stories about and so they looked around them and found the perfect people. The brothers currently live in San Luis Obispo and have immersed themselves within a broad network of young entrepreneurs on similar paths.
“As young entrepreneurs, we realized that our lifestyle is quite unique compared to most people. Up until this point, all of us had been relatively quiet about our ventures—working hard but working in the dark,” says Eriksen.
They reflected and realized, why not share the successes and challenges that they, and so many other budding entrepreneurs face on a daily basis? “We realized that a central part of being able to retain knowledge, is being able to share knowledge—to educate others,” he added. This reality became the laying foundation for Hustle Hive TV.
Who is a Hustler?
As defined in the dictionary, a hustler is an enterprising person determined to succeed. They are hard-working people who know how to get around problems and make money. This best describes Eriksen and Soren and their peers. They are a group of normal guys living in San Luis Obispo, California pursuing different goals, but with the same intensity and drive.
“The cool thing about Hustle Hive,” Eriksen Dickens says, “is that you’re able to get so many different perspectives. Because there’s a handful of us involved, one day you might get tips on app marketing, the next day you might learn something about filmmaking. One day you might learn about the importance of keeping a healthy mind as an entrepreneur, and then the next day you’ll learn about real estate investing. But the underlying theme in all this is centered around what makes us human. At the end of the day, we’re human beings and face adversity like everyone else. By showing this, I think it demystifies the whole entrepreneurial lifestyle and makes it more obtainable for people.”
Inside the Hustle Hive, they have content creators, app developers, sales professionals, market insiders and serial entrepreneurs who have created several streams of income.
Brett Foreman, the founder of the San Luis Obispo based mobile app called Kick-it-Points and a co-star on Hustle Hive TV, says of the platform: “Not only has it helped grow my business within the community, Hustle Hive TV has allowed us to educate both businesses and young entrepreneurs looking to learn more about digital advertising.”
What do they do?
Eriksen explained that they peek into the daily lives of young entrepreneurs who experience the highs, the lows and everything in between. “It’s not always sunshine and rainbows on the road to complete financial freedom! There are bumps along the road and sometimes you encounter detours, so we want to show that despite the circumstances, these young entrepreneurs continue to push forward until they reach their goal,” he continued.
Soren added that they will show the behind the scenes of the lives of entrepreneurs which will cover their struggles, successes, and everything that they have been facing in the past several years. “We are going to show it through reality content, value-driven content and a little bit of entertainment,” he noted.
In a nutshell
The Dickens brothers are not only using filmmaking as a platform to tell stories, they’re also utilizing the medium to inspire young entrepreneurs to continue moving towards their dream of financial freedom. Starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication, but with that persistence, it is obtainable. This is why they established this educational platform—to inspire young and budding entrepreneurs to not give up on their dreams.
To learn more about the lives of young entrepreneurs, please follow the Dickens brothers on Instagram at @hustlerhousetv, @sorendickens, @eriksenwdickens, and @platinumpeek.
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