“Mistakes were made.” Upon those three honest words hang the hinges of a swing in fortune for Sean Cowie, a Scottish member of The One Percent. After all, taking the first step in the right direction means we stop going in the wrong direction.
A couple of years ago, Sean heard Ryan on a podcast, then picked up 12 Months to $1 Million. “It made me feel like Ryan wrote that book specifically for ME,” he says. Sean was still smarting from jabs, hooks, and undercuts he’d sustained during his debut bout in the ecommerce ring.
He’d launched a boxing brand and it was going well, until he realized how cash-intensive his business was going to be. Plus, there were rising shipping charges due to Covid, and running out of stock, and manufacturers closing down to make things interesting. Many might have drowned themselves in spiked Gatorade, licked their wounds, and vowed never to return to the ring.
Not Sean. Sean took the L, and then took action. He became great friends with Ben, a former competitor - one who’d recently enjoyed a 7-figure exit within a few years. Soon, they joined forces, dividing and conquering all the roles needed to launch their greatest idea yet… Byakko Sports. One brings the funding, contacts, and outsourcers; the other handles all the operations.
At 28 years old, Sean might sound like a young-un, but he’s been creating businesses since he was 16. A kickboxer and rugby player, Sean fell in love with combat sports after a broken leg left him sidelined. A few years ago, he signed up for a charity boxing event. When he couldn’t find gloves he loved, he decided to design his own.
He had no idea what he was doing. But he spoke to manufacturers, got his gloves, and headed to the gym. Other boxers were transfixed. “Where did you get those gloves?” he heard over and over. You can guess what their next question was.
Sean’s always loved creating and building… having something in your head that you create in real life, and then having people use their hard-earned money to buy that thing? It’s intoxicating. “Once you make that first sale from your own idea, there’s no going back. If you want to get a job, you’re screwed. You’ll always want to be an entrepreneur. The moment I got that first sale was the best feeling ever, and I’ve chased it ever since.”
They’re already taking sales on their first product, these sparring gloves - perfect whether you’re into Muay Thai, boxing, MMA, or just wanting to psych yourself up to do battle with your day.
So, how’d they build an audience to launch to? Sean took Alex Hormozi’s $100M Offers to heart and created a contest no fighter could refuse. They entered for a chance to win free boxing gloves for life. About 1,500 people jumped on that chance. They got more chances by doing things like: joining the Facebook group, joining the email list, creating a video, or referring a friend.
They’ve run ads. They’ve partnered with influencers. They’re being strategic in every way, from choosing their market (the USA) to making capital deployment decisions. Strategic and aggressive - that’s their way… for a reason.
This brand has the potential for a massive exit within just a few years. Ben’s former brand’s success can vouch. Sean says they haven’t discussed their long term hopes and plan in detail yet, but he’d love to push this brand as far as they can and then sell to someone who can grow it from there. Undoubtedly, when they exit, Sean will climb into another arena to create whatever comes next.
Sean’s worked with many different manufacturers over the years, but this time, he went with one Ben had used in his former brand. Like most brand owners, these guys planned to launch months and months ago. July, in their case. Supply chain yada yada… but launching in Q4 may prove to be the best thing ever for them. The 700 pairs of gloves they’ve stocked may fly off the shelves and into some oddly-shaped Christmas stockings this year.
Not for nuthin’... here’s a tip Sean shared via a cautionary tale anyone who’s getting ready to reach out to manufacturers on Alibaba should heed. The first time Sean did so, he put his phone number in the contact form.
Let that sink in for a sec. Your phone is probably breaking a sweat just imagining the workout it would get if you did the same. Sean still gets random text messages from China.
But now, when manufacturers reach out to him now, he replies, “Hey, I get hundreds of emails a day from manufacturers. If you’re serious, send me these products with my logo. Here’s my address. We won’t pay for anything.” Know what happens? The serious manufacturers who want your business will do as you asked. They may even compete for your business.
His best advice to pass along? It’s this: Know your numbers. If you’re going to take funding, be 100% it’s the right move for you. And yeah, he acknowledges that that’s ‘boring’ advice, but having been on the wrong side of this advice before, he knows someone reading this right now needs to hear it.
Sean, your corner just got pretty crowded. We’re all here rooting for you!
Sean's in the "grind" part of the road to $1 million. He's taking massive action, making good connections, and making great progress.
We'll be updating you along the way.
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