Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
I went from making $200 a month to $325,785.19 last year with my online businesses, and it all started with me quitting my job and moving to Thailand. I was born and raised in San Francisco and had a great corporate job in California, but deep down inside I wanted more. I didn’t know what more meant at the time, but it turns out, I wanted more freedom, which is why I moved to Thailand when I was 28 to learn how to Scuba Dive and fight Muay Thai Kickboxing.
The first four years I was here, I never made more than $600 a month, but loved every moment of it. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I discovered how to sell things online without physically needing to be back in the U.S. or buying inventory upfront. Now I make most of my money from a combination of running dropshipping stores and monetizing my travel & business blog (johnnyfd.com) and podcasts with affiliate income.
Why did you start your own business?
I started an online business because I had run out of cash and didn’t want to move back to the U.S. just yet. My goal was to make $600 a month online, so I could continue living cheaply in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But as soon as I started making money online, I realized how nice it would be to scale it up and start earning U.S. dollars while living in places like Thailand.
What got you excited about starting your own business?
The main reason is it was exciting for me to have the freedom of being the business owner and not the employee. I was so tired of being told what to do, especially by bosses who would often waste my time by telling me to do things that were unnecessary.
Could you tell me about one time when you knew you had to be an entrepreneur?
I knew I had to become an entrepreneur because the thought of filling out another resume and looking for jobs sickened me. I knew that no matter what it took, I’d never go back to working in a cubicle again.
What’s the most frustrating thing about being an entrepreneur?
The start is always the hardest and most frustrating. Making your first $100 online is way more challenging and frustrating than going from $1,000 a month to $10,000.
Tell me about an incident that was especially frustrating?
I think it was not knowing if it was ever going to work and if I was just wasting my time or not.
What was the biggest mistake you made in your business that made you consider quitting and returning to a job?
Starting too late was the biggest mistake I made as I was so close to being broke that I almost ran out of savings to even be able to buy a plane ticket home. If I were smarter, I would have monetized my blog years ago.
If you could travel back in time to when you were starting out to give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ignore the naysayers, haters, and those who say it can’t be done. Chances are, those people have never actually tried it themselves or given it their all and are just looking for excuses why they shouldn’t even start.
If you were lose everything you had today and had to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d do the same thing again because I know it works. That’s the reason why I post everything I do on http://www.johnnyfd.com/2017/01/how-i-made-32578519-online-in-one-year.htmljohnnyfd.com because I want others who are just getting started to have a road map to follow.
Tell me about a significant personal failure you experienced in the past and how you recovered from it?
When starting my 2nd drop shipping store, we chose a niche that simply had no customers. But instead of giving up or thinking it wouldn’t work, we pivoted and started selling related products that ended up being a big hit.
As a leader, is there a particular activity you do repeatedly and recommend everyone else do?
Put in the work and create more output than you consume input.
What is one unique strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being able to bootstrap my businesses while traveling and being in terrible time zones has forced me to keep my expenses low and automate or outsource whenever I can.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur and why do you admire him/her?
I’m a big fan of Anton Kraly (AntonMethod.com) as if it wasn’t for his dropshipping training course, I would never have started my first business or gotten to where I am today.
Who are the thought leaders you follow on social media that are influencing your thinking on marketing, business, personal development and work-life balance?
I listen to Gary Vee whenever I need a kick in the ass to get some motivation, and I listen to quite a few podcasts to keep inspired.
What is the one book, tape or message that has been instrumental in shaping your thinking like an entrepreneur and what is your biggest lesson learned from it?
I wish I had read Russell Brunson’s DotComSecrets earlier, but luckily I was already doing a lot of what he taught. I just to took a long way and figured it out on my own.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
My first job was at an ice cream store, and I almost quit my very first day. It was a lot of running around and hard work; it made me realize that I never want to own a brick and mortar business.
Tell us something about you that very few people know about you?
I’m one of the good guys, and I love sharing my knowledge as I believe in abundance, but I also never reply to haters as I can’t stand being around negative energy.
Can you share some words of wisdom for recent grads/young entrepreneurs/wantrepreneurs thinking of launching a venture?
Go out and make your first $100. Work your ass off until you do, here are 25 ways to make money online even if you’re broke. The lessons you’ll learn from collecting your first online profits are invaluable.