Drop Ship Lifestyle Stories: Trevor
The DSL course has made a huge difference to my life. Without it, I would be lost. I am so grateful that Anton took the time to make an online training course. That he shared the secrets he found for starting a profitable eCommerce store. In this story, I’ll go over where I came from, how I found DSL, what happened throughout the trainings, and where I am now. It’s been an amazing journey.
I had a successful eCommerce business using the drop shipping business model back in 2014. It did around half a million in sales between our website, Amazon, and eBay. I decided to sell it and made around $50,000, roughly 24x the monthly net revenue of just our website at the time. I was so happy and grateful for the huge influx of cash to our bank account, but I knew there would be tough roads ahead. Starting and scaling an eCommerce business isn’t easy work. You have to know what you’re doing.
I got lucky the first time, but the second time around I couldn’t figure out what I was doing. I tried opening an eCommerce store selling paddle boards. It was a flop because I didn’t know how to get traffic. I tried selling boating supplies, but that was a flop because I didn’t understand the products. Also, I was working with a wholesaler so I didn’t get very good profit margins. I was stuck. My wife and I had to start driving for Uber and Lyft to make ends meet.
I would drive nights and my wife would drive mornings. I put earbuds in my ears while driving passengers around. I listened to popular business podcasts like Tropical MBA, Travel Like a Boss, and E-commerce Fuel. I listened to audiobooks by Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell. I drove all over Los Angeles those few months listening to podcasts and meeting really cool people.
We put over 50,000 miles on our car within 6 months of driving people around. It barely made ends meet. I had to take a freelance web design gig just to pay rent while my wife was trying to become a real estate agent on the side. This was the winter and spring of 2016.
Discovering Drop Ship Lifestyle
Come April, I started hearing about this program called Drop Ship Lifestyle, or DSL for short. I was told that this course held the secrets to how to start a profitable eCommerce store quickly. That with it, you could bypass all the learning curve of trying to figure it out on your own.
At first, I balked at the price. I thought I would never spend over $500 for an online course. But after hearing about it from a few people and reading about it extensively on Johnny FD’s blog and a blog called Stopping Scams Online (where it received a good review) I decided to sign up. The fact that they offer a 30-day guarantee made me feel really good about the investment.
After watching the first few videos of the DSL course, I started taking action immediately. I wrote down a whole list of niche ideas, then started the market research process. Using the techniques in the course, I was able to pinpoint a few really good niches. I was also able to tell which ideas sounded good at first but ended up either not being “drop ship friendly” or having too much competition.
Getting Lucky, Or So I Thought
I started a store up in a broad “home goods” niche. That was a mistake. I just couldn’t figure out what to sell. I decided to: get a bunch of suppliers, list all the products, and see what sold. Then I would start a different store selling just that product. Miraculously, one of the product lines started selling. It turns out we were in the right place at the right time. There were 2-3 different products that had recently gone viral and tons of people were looking for them online.
We started running Google shopping ads at the perfect time and we got a bunch of sales. Unfortunately, the company soon ran out of stock and we had to refund a few of the orders and stop advertising them. We also spent so much on ads that all the profits from the products went right to Google Adwords.
This didn’t get me down, though, but rather it inspired me to start a new store. I knew the niche eCommerce store I had sold would work, but there was one big problem. I had signed a non-compete with the guy I sold it to. I couldn’t legally sell in that niche anymore. I hit up a friend of mine to see if he was interested in letting me use all of his information to start the business up. He was down, but he didn’t want to do any of the work to start it up.
I was ready to negotiate a 5% ownership level for him to be a passive investor. But right before that, the guy I sold the site to emailed me to tell me that he was interested in reselling it. I tried to convince another friend of mine to invest with me in the business. But he wasn’t interested, and neither was the other friend. So, I was stuck.
Getting Really Lucky
I kept researching niches to find out which one would work when, miraculously, the guy was able to sell the site. I asked him if the non-compete was void with me and he said yes. I was so happy. I knew 100% that I would be able to succeed in that same market again since I had all these new tools and knowledge. Better yet, I could use Shopify to set up the website instead of Godaddy with a WordPress and Woocommerce platform. Since it was notoriously difficult to manage, not to mention expensive. I set up the new site but instead of choosing the broad niche I had chosen before, I chose a more specific niche. This niche was more expensive and popular.
I set up the site within a few days and as soon as I put up the ads we started making sales. Our first sale came around the last week of June. That next month, we did over $40,000 dollars in sales at around a 10% net profit margin. This was a huge success for us. We finally had our old business back and it was better than ever. Words can’t explain the feeling I felt. Thanks to the DSL course, I now have a full-time income from a business that is online-only. Now we can travel the world.
Selling All Our Stuff To Travel The World
Since our business started back up, we’ve made a consistent $40,000 to $60,000 per month in sales. In August, we decided to make the leap and go to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We heard about this little city in Thailand from the popular blogger Johnny FD. He talked about this place all the time.
I read both of his books and watched a ton of YouTube videos about Chiang Mai. One day, I watched a video by Klint of EcomFire talking about how Thailand is an easy place to co-work. He was so light-hearted about it and it made me feel like it would be an easy and carefree place to live. That day, my mindset changed. I went from hating on the idea of becoming a digital nomad to absolutely loving it.
It’s like when you are jealous of your friend who post a cool photo of them traveling onto their Instagram feed. Then all of a sudden, when you’re traveling, you can’t stop posting all your awesome photos. You find yourself waiting for all those hearts to show up in your notifications. Yeah, that’s me.
Now, my wife and I are in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We’ve been out here for a few months and are absolutely loving it. Aside from the fact that we’re banking over $5,000 a month from our business, we have access to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Living expenses out here are some of the lowest in the world. We have been able to set aside a few thousand dollars a month for the last few months and are now sitting on around $10,000 in cash without any debt. On top of that, we are hanging on to all our cash back reward points.
I signed up for a travel hacking online course called Mile Method which taught me how to sign up for multiple credit cards at the same time. They have massive rewards once you spend a few thousand dollars. We are sitting on over $6,000 in rewards points right now and that figure will go up in the coming months. Every month we put away around $1,000 in cash back rewards thanks to our e-commerce business.
Scaling And Growing With DSL
The good folks over at DSL continue to crush it with new content. They now have a course on how to sell your business, a social media paid ads course, and an outsourcing course. These are all taught by industry experts. I’ve taken each one and learned a ton. I’m excited for the future of our business and happy to be a part of the DSL community. Everybody is so friendly and helpful.
Also, It’s amazing to be a part of a community where entrepreneurs that might even be competing with each other are actually totally open to sharing knowledge and experience. There are other communities like the DC, E-commerce Fuel, Fizzle, and Wealthy Affiliate that have really friendly members, but the people all do different things. DSL is all about drop shipping. That’s why I love it.
Our future plans are to teach people what we are learning and spread ideas. I write almost every day on my personal blog and publish new videos every day on my YouTube channel. The content is mostly about ideas, lessons I’ve learned, and places I’ve traveled.
I want to make a huge shoutout to Anton, Adam, Earnest, Alejandro, John, Michael, Johnny, Simon, and all the other great DSL’ers out there who have helped me along the way. I highly recommend DSL as the drop ship course to go with if you want to start an eCommerce business without buying any inventory upfront or creating your own product. The way they do it is the one and only way it truly works. Good luck!
Thanks for reading,