fbpx
Connect with us
GET YOUR TICKETS TO OUR NEXT DISRUPT MASTERMIND EVENT!

Interviews

What you can learn from a 17 year old building his own software

Published

on

Bio: who you are/what you do

Reid: My name is Reid Gajewski and I am a 17 year old entrepreneur. I was born in Princeton New Jersey, which is based around Princeton University. My journey as an  entrepreneur started with Shopify drop shipping when I was 15, I saw my initial success here. Additionally, I build and sell softwares and services along with my business partners.


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.

 

About a year ago, I came to the realization that my income can no longer rely solely off of drop shipping. I flew out to Miami, knowing absolutely no one there, to build connections and learn. This trip changed my life, I fell in love with Miami. There are so many smart people there, so much opportunity, and so much motivation. I also met two of my business partners, Nikolai Bespalenko and Joseph Cabrera. Niko is a genius coder and marketer, in fact he helped build a crypto currency exchange at only 16. Joseph is a great business man and has connections with a lot of high level entrepreneurs. Together, we have built multiple services, one of which is called Ecom Elixir. At Ecom Elixir we build our clients custom coded Shopify stores. Within the first month, we generated 5 figures in profit all from my personal brand (@valors) on Instagram. Now we are running paid ads and are hiring our first employees. DigiElixir is the other service I have built along with Nikolai and Joseph. DigiElixir is an Instagram growth service that can organically grow Instagram accounts. My account uses it and I gain tens of thousands of real followers, thousands of likes, and hundreds of comments. At the time of this interview, DigiElixir is only available to my followers. If you have any questions about these services, you can direct message me on Instagram @valors.


We often hear stories that make it seem like someone was an overnight success when really there were setbacks and stumbles along the way. Why do you think it’s valuable to be candid about both failure and success?
Reid: I do not view myself as successful. People may look at me and say to themselves, “wow, if I was in his position, I would feel amazing.” The truth is, I don’t feel amazing about what I have done, even though most 17 year olds are just sitting home playing fortnite. There were so many setbacks along my journey, and nearly everyday I am facing new issues. Actually, just today the cost per purchase on one of my advertising campaigns for Ecom Elixir went up 200% which is really bad. It is also important to note that people get jealous when they see what I have done and what I am able to do, but they don’t see what I don’t show on Instagram. I only show the highlights. People don’t see that I am up until 12 am working on school, and then up until 4 am working on business. I work with Niko and Joseph every day after school and often into the morning. We sacrifice parts of our social lives and our “high school experience.” However, we know pushing through all of this stress will pay off. It would be easy to go to parties every weekend, but at this stage in our careers as entrepreneurs, it is simply not worth it.


What inspired you to start entrepreneurship?
Reid: My town is so focused on going to Ivy League colleges, but people don’t know what to do after that. They think going to a good college will make their lives perfect. People are so ignorant. I want to do my own shit, if I’m being honest. Everyone in Princeton has the same mentality that I once heard while having lunch. A father at my school  actually said this to their son, “It’s better to cry in a Porsche than to cry in the slums.” That is when I called bullshit on the vision my town has for my generation, and when I decided to blaze my own trail.


What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting a business?
Reid: The biggest challenge has been sacrificing my high school experience for the greater vision. Every day I am working, including the weekends. However, I know it will pay off, and it is paying off. The biggest reward is not the money. It is the people I have met, and the feeling I get every day of doing something big. People hate waking up on weekdays, but I wake up excited to crush it.

 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your journey?
Reid: Hahaha this is easy! Niko and I were working on one of our Shopify stores and he got a text from a very well connected entrepreneur. The guy, who I will keep anonymous, wanted us to run Facebook ads for a loan shark in Switzerland. We… politely declined.

 

What are two things you wish someone told you when you first started?
Reid: First would be to build a team from day one. If I did so when I first started, I would be years ahead of where I am right now. The second is similar, but keep your circle small and spend most of your time with people who have the same vision as you. It is crazy how much I can get done when I am in a room full of entrepreneurs, it’s like a drug.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?
Reid: I owe it all to Niko and Joseph. Without them, I would still be only drop shipping. They both have such unique talents, that when combined, we work like a power house. I can’t really pinpoint a lesson that I have learned from them other than the realization that building a team is like getting in the fast lane to success.

 

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.

Quiane Crews is the founder and CEO of LPG Technology, Inc. Quiane found his success in 2016 after partnering up with a friend drop-shipping on sites like Amazon and eBay where he grossed $1.2M in just 4 months. Mr. Crews partnered up with Shenzhen Communication Co. as a founding partner in China that developed smartphones, laptops and other technology. In 2017 Quiane parted ways from Shenzhen Communication Co. and started developing his own technology for his new tech startup LPG.

Continue Reading
Comments

Entrepreneurship

Jordin Roussell – Scaling a 7 Figure Real Estate Company

Published

on

 

Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down for an interview with Jordin Roussell. Jordin has scaled his Real Estate Company, Gulf South Home Buyers, to 7 Figures very quickly. I asked him how he got started, and for tactical advice for anyone looking to get into Real Estate Investing.

  • Hey Jordin, what do you do?

 


Jordin Roussell: I’m a real estate entrepreneur, I am the Founder of Gulf South Home Buyers. 

 

 

  • What made you become an entrepreneur?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: My first journey with entrepreneurship was actually network marketing. I was sold on the idea of having freedom, creating impacting, and getting to travel the world. The venture came to an end rather quickly, but those desires for freedom, impact, and travel never left me. After I dropped out of college, it took me a little time to pick myself up after some personal things took place in my life, but I knew with what I wanted out of life my options for obtaining the three things I desired were very limited which led me back into entrepreneurship. 

 

 

  • How did you get started investing in real estate?

 

 

Ravi Abuvala: It’s a funny story! I was 19, scrolling through Instagram and this guy I was following had just posted a video about this 18 year old kid, one of his students, making $25k with none of his own money and no credit. I was stunned, I did some more research and for the next 2 years consumed everything real estate I could. Just after my 21st birthday I was fed up with working a 9-5 and took the plunge, quit my job, and made the decision to go all in on real estate. 

 

 

  • How have you scaled your company?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Other than the traditional ways of increasing marketing. I became genuinely obsessed with helping people out of their distressed situations and because I stopped focusing less on money and more on the people I could help. This quickly established me as a leading authority in real estate in my city.   

 

 

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in Real Estate?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: There’s several ways to get started in real estate and make money, but the most important thing when getting started is to find one strategy. Whether it’s wholesaling, fix and flips, purchasing rentals, bond for deeds, or anything else, just go all in on the strategy until you can do it in your sleep, then transition into another strategy. Focusing on too many strategies at once is similar to shiny object syndrome in my opinion.  

 

 

  • How do you find deals?

 

 

  • Ringless Voicemail
  • Direct Mail
  • Google Adwords
  • Referrals 

 

 

  • How do you find investors?

 

 

  • Direct Mail
  • Meetups
  • One of the best ways to get investors and cash buyers is to obtain a list of properties that have been purchased for cash in your city. Filter the ones that have bought 2 or more because the chances of them being investors increases, and send them a post card explaining what you do with your contact info on it. 

 

 

  • Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Operating in multiple states within multiple markets. Helping 1000’s of families per year close a chapter and start a new one. 

Continue Reading

Interviews

Personality Sales: The Path to Success with James Winn

Published

on

 

From a young age, James Winn was always concerned that no matter what direction he took in life, he was going to be unable to achieve his full potential.  he constantly bounced from dream to dream, seeing quickly that without focus and resolve on a specific topic, results would never come. He began to realize that one of the reasons people aren’t successful is because they were unwilling to change consistently, and that is when he decided to make a change to himself.

 

He entered college two years early, and achieved a business degree, which opened his eyes to the business world, and he stated that he loved it, ultimately because in business, it isn’t what you know, it is about your ability to sell yourself and exceed expectations.  He learned quickly that people don’t choose individuals for opportunities solely based off of qualifications, rather off of the amount of qualities that he was able to show that he possessed in the networking process.

 

His current chosen career path is Banking, and at the age of 24 he is a branch manager for one of the largest Credit Unions in the western United States.  Being a branch manager has challenged him in many ways that he did not anticipate, but he stated that the beauty of doing something you were approved for through your self-sales ability is that when you are approved for a position by those above you, you can make mistakes and still be appreciated and supported.  Even though he is young, his ability to network and sell himself has kept him in a position where the average age of those employed is over 30.

 

A perfect example of making mistakes that are easily forgiven, is one that he made in his first few months as a branch manager.  He sold himself on his ability to motivate people and provide direction to teams, but his first couple of months, his team was struggling to meet goals.  Their production had even dropped. On top of that, he was going through a very difficult breakup, which caused him to lack the focus and resolve that was needed in order to maintain structure on my team.  He was failing as a manager for the personal reasons like losing someone he loved, and because he was not truly ready to take on that position. He was expecting that his managers would not take the fact that he had promised results and was not delivering very well, but was surprised when they quickly offered their support and assistance.

 

He stated that in retrospect, the reason they offered their support is because he sold himself so well, that they could not believe that the lack of success was who he truly was. His personal brand was one of efficiency, excellence, and success, and he had confidently sold himself to them as that type of person through networking, testimonies, interviews, success stories, and overcoming challenges that were thrown his way.  he realized that in any walk of life, in any business, you can find success if you sell yourself effectively, following these 5 rules:

 

 

 

Anticipate Their Needs

 

When someone is looking for an individual to fill their need in their business, research their business to understand what qualities and needs they will need to fulfill that need.

 

Create Examples

 

Once you have determined the need they have for their business, create examples from life experiences to show how you are exactly what they are looking for.  Use personal experience, the experiences of those around you, or education to create perfect examples that the business is looking for.

 

Network, Network, Network… and Network

 

Success is a long hard road, and in order to achieve greatness, you have to have individuals around you with influence that are willing to vouch for you.  A friend can be made easily, so the more friends you have, the more likelihood you will maintain your reputation throughout struggles. I maintained my job through struggles because I knew people, not because I was doing a good job.

 

Utilize your successes as stepping stones

 

Successes can  be individuals, achievements, or other things that impress those around you.  The key to selling yourself is to mention your successes to build relevance in yourself, but not to show that you are overly proud of them.  After mentioning a success, modestly mention how you are proud of the accomplishment, but cannot wait to prove what you are truly capable of

 

Bring up those around you whenever possible

 

In order to be successful, you must be surrounded by success.  Whenever you have the chance to elevate someone into success, they become a beacon of your personal brand.  For example, Apple would not be popular if they did not have individuals who loved their products. Depending on your business, you may not be selling products, but you can build relevance in yourself and your brand through the success of those who have associated themselves with you.

 

“Ultimately, if your goal is success, you must be willing to make changes to yourself every day.  Anticipating the needs of future customers, employers, and businesses will require change, which is difficult for some people.  My favorite saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The question is, what will you do today to sell yourself to those around you and become more successful?”

 

James Winn

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

Jeremy Haynes – Scaling Megalodon Marketing to a Top Digital Agency in the World

Published

on

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy Haynes for an interview. Jeremy owns Megalodon Marketing, which is one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies in the World. He has worked with Personal Brands like Dan Lok, Garret White, and many more. I asked him about scaling his agency, how he got started, and for his best tips and tricks.

  • Jeremy, what does your company do?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I have two companies that I actively run. Megalodon Marketing is my marketing agency I’ve run the last few years, and we focus on scaling the world’s largest personality brands. We help take these entrepreneurs to 6 or 7 figures monthly selling different information products.

 

My second business I actively run is Jeremy, INC. That business acts as an umbrella to all of my mentoring programs and events. Currently, I help over 1,900+ paid students with starting and scaling a marketing agency, digital marketing, and personal branding.

 

 

  • How did you choose digital marketing?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: This might sound cheesy, but digital marketing chose me. I was selling phones in Costco down in Miami Beach, and this guy who I sold a phone to offered me a job as his head of marketing. He had confidence in me that I could learn fast, and that I likely knew social media more than him. All of the responsibilities of a digital marketer were thrust upon me to figure out and I welcomed the opportunity with open arms. That later led me to getting recruited by a prominent sales trainer and mentor named Grant Cardone, which later helped me get into entrepreneurship full time.

 

 

  • What made you choose Personal Branding as your niche? Did you start your agency only focused on that niche?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’ve tried a few other industries, and didn’t find the same level of fulfillment I get helping personal brands. When we help a personal brand get more clients and customers, we’re selling transitions, skills, and outcomes.

 

There’s nothing better than getting feedback from thousands of customers telling you their lives are infinitely better from an investment into a course, event, or mentoring package that you helped get into their hands.

 

 

  • How have you leveraged Personal Branding for yourself?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Absolutely! I’ve managed to teach in 3 different Tai Lopez Programs, a Mentor Box program without being an author, have trained over 1,900+ paid students, impacted hundreds of thousands through content and press, have scaled a marketing agency to over 7 figures yearly all through my personal brand.

 

It’s natural human behavior to connect to other humans who you have commonality with or can get value from. People have a different and unnatural behavior when attempting to communicate with a company.

 

As a simple example, look at human behavior when they call a corporation to complain versus the behavior of bringing a problem to the attention of one singular person’s attention. The person who calls McDonalds and complains about their order treats the rep with less respect typically, because talking to a company is interpreted different mentally. It doesn’t feel like the same accountability model we have when communicating to someone on a one to one level.

 

 

  • Best tips for a beginner agency owner?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Focus on results that help businesses make more money, do not focus on time and effort intensive services.

 

I’ve sold it all, funnels, advertising, marketing automation, chat bots, social media management, graphic design, web development, video services, etc. At one point I had 27 staff and 3 offices here in the USA.

 

The lessons I consistently learned the hard way, were that clients did not respect our time or effort, they respected results. Even if we set expectations several times throughout the relationship that you can’t make money until we get xyz done first, the client always only cared about the results, nothing else.

 

So that’s what we started selling, for more money and with less staff, less time, and less overhead. We started only taking the highest revenue driven actions, and didn’t bother with anything else. This changed the game for my agency! We realized that if something took us an hour, but produced massive ROI for the client, they could care less if we only worked an hour for the month.

 

We had to overcome the employee conditioning that more time invested and more hard work does not equal achievement and results.

 

 

  • Top 3 Personal Branding tips?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Content is content, and ads are ads, do not confuse the two. Most personal brands will make call to actions in their content, or will add links to their posts not knowing that significantly reduces the organic reach of the post.

 

Content should be strategically created, because all social interaction is now retargetable. This is the modern day email marketing, and the segmented lists are in the Facebooks Ads Manager labeled as ‘Audiences’.

 

If you learn to apply psychology into your content, like managing to establish the authority bias, curiosity bias and social proof in your first piece of content you show an ideal future customer who doesn’t know you yet, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other person brands. Most of the marketers and advertisers in the personal brand game go straight for the pitch, which disrespects people in the sales process. The key is to show your ideal buyers content in a strategic sequence first, and then move them into your direct response ads.

 

 

  • What are your 3 core principles?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Low time commitment, low responsponsibility and high profitability for both myself and the client.

 

These core values keep me focused on the highest revenue driven actions and the most impactful actions for myself and others in any situation.

 

In a world full of others who rob you and your time and consume your energy, I’m thinking like an engineer solely focused on efficient results. How can I put the least input in, and produce the most output.

 

This thinking goes into everything, including ad spend for clients as an example. How can we spend the least and make the most?

 

Or for my students, how can they invest in my course and put the least amount of time and effort in to get the most results compared to other investments?

 

 

  • What makes Megalodon Marketing different?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Our long list of previous wins and losses and our depth of applied knowledge in the Personal Brand industry. We’ve managed to produce some significant results for clients over the years, and we’re always excited to help the next personal brand we work with to get to 7 figures monthly while impacting millions around the world.

 

 

  • What are your future plans?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’d love to get even more results for my students and clients while expanding my own personal brand. Impacting people and expanding their potential has become a main focus for me, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that can kill you or seriously limit your opportunities!

Continue Reading

Join the Newsletter



apple disrupt podcast
spotify disrupt podcast
Google Play Disrupt Podcast
The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Disrupt LLC