At Capitalism.com, we believe in celebrating and learning from the successes of others. It is for this very reason we often feature profiles of accomplished entrepreneurs within our community. These features highlight entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, who were able to create wealth by building businesses that solve problems for many people. Some are billionaires, others made millions by selling online, and a growing number are apart of The Backroom, our networking and masterminding group that is exclusive to owners of businesses that do at least $1 million in annual sales.
Travis Killian is the co-owner of Upper Echelon Products. With a customer-first mentality from the very beginning, Travis has gone on to launch seven successful brands with multiple top-selling Amazon products mentioned by the likes of Good Morning America and Kendall Jenner. Determined to solve people’s problems without cutting corners, Travis shares that the secret to his success is, “we always think about the customer.”
Killian didn’t come from an entrepreneurial family. Most of his relatives don’t really understand what he does or how much he makes. So how did he get here? “I loved reading stories of people that grew up in a similar situation that escaped and did something great with themselves,” said Killian. “I believe in paralleling your life to someone that is where you want to be, whether you meet them or not.”
Matt first launched TakeFlight, which features unique products explicitly curated for adventurous men, in 2017. Playing off his 11 year background in the United States Marine Corps, Matt’s first products were items he liked and would put to personal use. In less than two years he was generating a six-figure income in his spare time.
TakeFlight is a fun venture that drew Matt into the e-commerce world, and it’s still going strong. But it’s not the last of his projects. He’s already working on new plans with a partner… We can’t wait to see how this Backroom member builds his next business, invests the profits, and continues to create change.
At just 20-years-old Justin started his company, Roam, with his 18-year-old business partner, Jeremiah. Justin tells us that a great deal of his inspiration came from the freedom and peace he felt whenever he was out riding his motorcycle. Connecting with people on a similar quest, he built his company’s product offerings around outdoor gear used for hiking and traveling.
Justin’s eagerness to connect with people has done him and his company well. Roam connects with its customers through social media groups, encouraging fans to share images and videos of themselves using Roam’s products. This creates excitement for customers while allowing Justin and his team to connect with and better understand their customers. For anyone in business, Justin’s key piece of advice is this, “[Don’t] treat failure as failure, but instead, as a learning experience. The more you fail, the more you truly learn.”
By building his tribe first, Zach sold nearly 10,000 units of his powdered cookie butter the week he launched… using exactly zero dollars in ad spend.
For years before launching his cookie butter, Zach published recipe books. He generated over $100,000 in sales doing it, but he was inspired to do more. Following the same steps we teach to our own community, he listened to his audience and then created a product that would solve a pain point.
His powdered cookie butter is low in calories and high in macronutrients, all while tasting good enough to satisfy those pesky cravings any dieter can attest to. Prior to launch he posted recipes using his cookie butter, creating buzz organically. By the time launch day came, 6,500 eager buyers crashed his site wanting to get their hands on some of his delicious product! To say his launch was not optimized for customer experience is an understatement, but his customers stuck with him to get that stuff. That’s the power of a highly engaged audience. Now Zach continues to build his brand, working towards his goal of a big exit.
Amanda Royer’s story epitomizes the pursuit of freedom. After the birth of her second child, Royer began to reevaluate her life and came to the realization that her day job wasn’t giving her a sense of fulfillment. She started selling homemade bath bombs on Etsy as a hobby and ultimately was able to grow her online store so much that it allowed her to escape corporate America and become a full-time entrepreneur.
“I was doing everything myself for the first few years. Eventually, it got to be too much for just me,” said Amanda. “I still wanted to be a really small company. I was just going to have a few friends. Then it became too much for the few friends to handle, and suddenly I was hiring people I didn’t know who were friends of friends, and soon it was like, ‘Oh, we’ve run out of friends of friends of friends. Now where do we find people?’”
At the age of 26, Charles is already on track to do $40 million in sales this year. He started a business while he was still in college, eventually sold that business and used the proceeds to start Keeva Organics, an acne products company. Among other things, Charles attributes his success to developing a product that people would reorder several times throughout the year and implementing a “subscribe and save” mode that allows his customers to sign up to receive a regular shipment of his products once a month.
Daniel Gremspaw is another member of The Backroom mastermind group who runs a 7 figure earning business. He is the owner of 9 Grids, Inc., an advertising agency based in the Philippines. He also develops and sells various products online. Daniel cites video as one of his most powerful tools when coming up with and promoting his products.
His usual process: Coming up with a problem that he thinks exists in the marketplace, learning the demographics of people who might be suffering from that problem and ultimately coming up with a new product that might resolve that pain point. After which he produces videos to promote these products online to see if there is any interest.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are often warned not to venture into highly saturated industries due to how difficult it is to prosper in them. Sisters Gemma Pearce and Georgie Mayhew, however, were ready for a challenge and decided to start a yoga accessories brand. Despite the fierce competition, they have been rapidly growing from the start. In fact, within twelve months they have grossed more than $1 million. Instead of solely focusing on creating products that they thought would sell well, the sisters set out to build a lifestyle brand with followers who believed in the same things that they did.
When asked what has been the secret to their early sales success, Gemma told Capitalism.com, “We love our products, and we always strive to create things that we would use ourselves. Since we essentially represent our target audience, we tend to just make products that we like. It’s fun! Obviously we look at them numbers and viability of the product, but at the end of the day we trust our instincts, and focus on the brand as a whole.”
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