My Success Story
I am honestly somewhat excited to share my success story with some of you folks, as most of the public believe what I do, or what my company does is "bad for the public". Yes, if you are involved in anything tobacco or tobacco sensation related products these days, you are the "bad boy" of society.
I started with little to no money. I am an auto fanatic and above all I spent most of my early to mid 20s building cars and spending a large sum of my money doing so. I have been an entrepreneur or a business owner if you want to call it that way since I was 18 years old. I started my first online eBay business selling memory cards, electronic cigarettes, mobile phones, hair straighteners and even TEA; yes I said tea. However, one day I woke up and I noticed that my account had been suspended by eBay. If you were ever an eBay seller, back in the day when big changes were happening, tons of smaller eBay sellers were kicked off to make room for larger chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City etc.
Anyways, I was bitter. I went into this depressive state where I didn't care about making money and all I wanted to do was simply drink and party. I was 23 years old, just finished at the University of New Mexico and had no care in the world. No jobs, no interviews I continued on this path until I pretty much depleted my savings. That my friends was the first lesson I learned. I gave up, I told myself that I can't do it; I can't be successful and I am simply another guy trying to get by.
When I turned 26, my father sat me down and gave me the best advice ever. He said, if you want to make something of yourself, you have to believe in yourself first, be determined and take risks no one would take. During that time, I had been researching the reason behind why some of these local Smoke Shops had been just opening left and right at every corner. Well, that was during the so called "spice" era, where illegal synthetic drugs were being sold left and right at local smoke shops and it was making people rich! I mean so rich that most of them were driving exotic cars in months after opening.
I figured, well that can't be something that will last that long. What is it that I used to sell back in 2009 that revolved around the smoking industry but required lots of knowledge and is not illegal. That is when I realized that there is one market that is untapped at that day and age. It was the electronic cigarette industry. I did some intensive researching and figured out a great business plan; however, I had NO MONEY! I drank it all away or spent it on my 2003 VW GTI. I did the one thing I can do, sold my only vehicle to get enough cash. I took the cash, made a deposit on a brick and mortar business, opened a corporation and purchased product.
I then spent around 3 weeks putting together the store from whatever money I can muster helping here and there. I built the entire shop with my own hands, and I spent consecutive nights sleeping on the floor in that location trying to make sure I do it right. At the end, I was able to open on March 21st 2011. I was clueless and scared, yet determined and understanding of what needs to be done. I had to either take the bus, or walk to work every day. I worked from 11:00am to 12:00am and only ate breakfast. I had to do what no one else would do; I suffered but it was wroth it. I made sales, small sales for the first month or so. What I did not do, is spend any of the money. Instead I reinvested the cash flow into more product. Within 3 months I was stocked well enough to look professional and obviously long-term.
One thing I am thankful for was the decision to do something other than the rest. Do not carry anything that could potentially put me on the map and instead carry something that no one else has. During that time like I said, everyone was on the illegal game. I however, was selling electronic cigarettes. It quickly took a turn for the best and in 5 months I was selling more product that I can keep in stock and had my first employee on deck. Now, four years later, I operate over 10 locations in two states employing over 78 employees and our revenue will be over 4.7 Million dollars this year alone. I also own a couple of other smaller corporations that I have invested in to insure my continuance if one or the other fails.
My success story is not as impressive as many would think. I do not smoke, I hardly use Ecigs and I do not drink anymore either; although, I am in the industry. I am an entrepreneur and I enjoy business as much as I possibly can. I am stressed out, tired and frustrated almost all day most days. However, my biggest reward is seeing my business grow so fast, employ so many, provide healthcare, retirement and so much more to my employees. I do not pay myself a massive wage, I do however enjoy the finer things in life. I do not drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari; I am odd about my cars as I am more into the build it or keep it unique type of guy (not saying that high end exotic cars are not amazing). I do own a beautiful home and an obsessive amount of cars.
I am now 30 years old and I plan on doing more, building more and learning even more about other industries. I constantly remind myself where and how I started. I take pride in my success, yet I take more pride in knowing that I am a fair and reasonable employer.
I look forward to sharing more as the future comes, and I look forward to reading more about you guys. Life is too short, go out there and make something of it.
Last edited by Houeis; 11-27-2015 at 01:36 AM.
Wow amazing story ! I wish you all the best for your other ventures !
I have one ( well two finally ) little question for you : What do you think about the e-cig business for the years to come ( let's say 3-5 years ) and how to make it when there is a lot of competition in this particular industry ?
Absolutely amazing story! Inspiring and a show of how, if a person really wants it bad enough, anything can be achieved! With your back against the wall, giving up was not an option. Now look at where you are at. So incredible. Thank you for sharing.
Nice man, Im glad you strived to be successful and actually became successful. Btw, what cars do you own now? Any vws?
No more VWs. I own an 06 Noble M400 with a ton of upgrades, 08 Factory Five GTM with a ton of upgrades and working on a twin turbo setup. 2014 Audi A7, 12 Ford Raptor, 16 toyota 4runner, 1995 R33 Motorex made 640whp, 14 lexus is250 for the wife and a 1970 Nova being built for her as well. I have a serious addiction. I however got lucky by finding a girl that loves cars as much as I do.
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Nice job! Really inspiring story