That’s what Johnny FD did.
In 2008, Johnny took a vacation to Thailand where he became passionate about scuba diving and Muay Thai.
After his vacation Johnny sold everything he owned and returned to Thailand.
After almost four years of travelling Johnny was down to his last $200. It is then, when he decided to become an entrepreneur.
Let’s learn how Johnny is building his location independent business.
Success Harbor: Hi everyone. This is George Meszaros with Success Harbor and I have Johnny FD with me, Johnny is an independent entrepreneur in 2008 he took a vacation to Thailand where he became passionate about scuba diving and Muay Thai after his vacation Johnny sold his house in Hollywood and his Lexus and returned to Thailand. After almost 4 years of travelling Johnny was down to his last $200 it is then when he decided to be an entrepreneur, lets learn how Johnny is building his location independent business. Welcome.
Johnny FD: Hey guys and George thank you for having me on the show first just to clarify I didn’t actually own the house I think most people in this same position we have these leases, these mortgages so we never actually own anything really out right same thing about the cars, I actually had 2 cars at the time just like everyone else that lives in Los Angeles or this western world we really can over extend ourselves so even though we feel like we have a lot we own a lot and we feel like we are living this great life, this luxury life in reality most people are in debt and most people like myself or were living paycheck to paycheck.
Success Harbor: Yeah I think that’s a good point because you know they call it mortgage for a reason, right? You are supposed to take it to your grave you’ll own it you won’t own it for a very long time so thanks for clarifying that and by the way thank you for being here on success Harbor Johnny. I appreciate it.
Johnny FD: Yeah, glad to be on.
Success Harbor: So in 2008, where are you right now by the way?
Johnny FD: So I just got back from Chin to Europe and I just got back from Chen Mia a few days ago actually to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday so if Louise is listening Happy birthday baby and my original plan was to spend the entire summer in Berlin, Budapest in Vienna but after about 3 weeks of travelling around I’ve decided you know that I really like Thailand so I’m going to come back.
Success Harbor: Yeah that’s interesting I was born in Budapest actually I haven’t been there this year, but I’ve listening to some of your, I read some of your post, some of your videos as well about it, I’m glad you travel there as well you know, so in 2008 you went to Thailand on vacation, how did that/ that’s kind of the beginning of the story that we going to take about today how did that vacation in 08 changed you?
Johnny FD: So when I was on the plane I read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris I’m sure a lot of people listening to this and read that book as well, but the difference is I think I balance my 3rd time reading it, the 1st time I read it I was like oh this is an interesting story but nobody can really do this, the 2nd time I read it was right before the trip the only thing I wanted to get out of it was to be able to automate and illuminate some parts of my life where I can leave for 3 weeks to me going on a 3 week vacation to Thailand was a really big deal I think anyone who doesn’t own their own business yet isn’t location yet might feel the same we feel like leaving a job or leaving anything for 3 weeks is a big deal and now kind of fast forward to 5 years I go on 3 week vacations without even thinking about it anymore but kind of going back to that initial 2 week vacation my only goal was to go and not have to check emails and not have to you know stress about money or work or paying bills for that short time I was away, while I was there I discover scuba diving and I discover Muay Thai and I realize life and how amazing life is in Thailand. Instead of waiting until I’m 65/70 to enjoy it, why not enjoy it now.
Success Harbor: So after that 3 week vacation you went back to LA. Right? How long did it take you to kind of like get rid of everything and go back to Thailand?
Johnny FD: Well the initial plan was to give myself 6months to save up to slowly sell everything to finger out my lease and after 3weeks I was like if I don’t go right now I’m going to find too many excuses and too many reasons not to go, so straight away i decided I’m going to book another plane ticket back one way ticket this time and I’m gonna get my visa for Thailand I’m gonna sell my stuff no matter what I need to go right now or someone’s gonna change my mind and what happen was as soon as I start telling people everybody tired to change my mind nobody wanted me to go my friends my family they all gave me 50 reasons why I shouldn’t go or what I should be worrying about and honestly.
Success Harbor: do you had any doubts at that time.
Johnny FD: Yeah so many doubts and so many fears and honestly I was very close to not going because people would bring up things I never even thought of what if this situation happens or and a lot of things, I feel like half of the people they really had my best interest in mind they wanted me to be happy and safe and have job security or life security the half didn’t want me to go because they were scared for themselves because it’s what I want and I was happy I was successful what does that says about their lives.
Success Harbor: Yeah, So you travelled for about 4 years was that mostly in Thailand where did you go?
Johnny FD: So its pretty fortunate that when I started learning how to scuba dive I realized it was pretty easy to become a dive master and what that is its basics to guide your are like a tour guide so imagine your really get into hiking and you start really enjoying it, its pretty easy to get the certifications to become a hiking leader so you can take people around your favorite places so I started doing that not only in Thailand I did it outside of Thailand and then I stared to going to places like Borneo which is really good diving, Australia I went to the Caribbean and I thought that was the perfect l thought that was something I was going to do for the rest of my life for you know the world is a big place and I figured that every few years I would move to a different island and take people to scuba diving there but what happen was I realize with any passion or hobby if you are forced to do it as an employee you end up not loving that job anymore and I think that can be for really anything
Success Harbor: Yeah, by 2012 your primary income was teaching scuba you wrote on your blog that you made about a 1k a month which sounds like a it went a long way for you and by 2013 you said it was killing your passion for scuba diving was it the amount of hours that you have to put into it or what happened?
Johnny FD: I mean it you be almost anything well scuba diving is a really fun hobby but anything that becomes a job you end up dreading having to go you know imagine someone wakes you up in the morning say 6am no matter if its raining or cold out no matter if your a bit sick and you don’t want to go in the water that day no matter how stressful your customers are that day, there is some days you just don’t want to do it anymore and knowing that you have to, to keep a job , to be able to pay your rent so that is one thing that you know it almost sounds like I’m complaining about having the dream job I mean it really was the dream job and that’s why it’s really hard to even voice it sometimes because it sounds ridiculous you know its like imaging if your job was to drive Ferraris everyday that sounds like a great job and most people would trade their lives to be able to say Oh Yeah I would love to drive Ferraris everyday but if that became a job and you are forced to do it no matter if you are sick no matter if you are unhappy or frustrated and you not just driving for yourself you driving other people around you know like on tours then eventually you won’t love it anymore and the problem was I was so stuck in that situation when I didn’t know how else to make money I didn’t want to go back and get another job and you know even going through the application process of getting a normal 40 hour a week job again I didn’t want to have to move back in with my parents or have to ask a friend you know to stay on the couch wounding up with jobs I didn’t want to have to go back and basically admin that this 4 yrs in Thailand was just a fluke and it was just you know it was fun but its not sustainable I really didn’t want to do that so I had to figure out a way where I can make money online and start my own business.
Success Harbor: So did you feel kind of a constant pressure during those 4 years of like you said you know what if I have to go back and get a job and I have to face all those people that told me not to do it, was there any kind of pressure or you weren’t really worried about that too much?
Johnny FD: I mean definitely mean part of me wanted to enjoy my life out there and know that even if I went back 4 years later and I got another house i got another car, I got another job that I would be in the same exact place as most of my friends, most of their lives haven’t really changed that much in those 4 years while I was gone but for me at least I’d always have those experiences of trading the world and seeing all these amazing places and you know if anything it was still worth it but I didn’t want to go back and they said I failed both to myself but also to other people so it was slot of pressure.
Success Harbor: So by 2013 you started to make some money on the side right from your from some advertising on your blog what blog was that?
Johnny FD: So I had a Muay Thai blog I was really into travelling around and checking out all the different Muay Thai gyms in Thailand its called Myfightcamp.com and that was you know basically it started out just as a blog to talk about different gyms I went to and talk about the lifestyle and I realize that you know just by you know even putting some ads up on there I can have a couple hundred dollars a month you know from lets say I like recommend you know what protein to bring to Thailand to train or you know if I put out Google ads and things like that and there wasn’t really enough money to make a living from but I think that’s what made me realize hey I actually have a lot of visitors on my blog maybe I should do something to monetize it and that’s when I decided I wanted to write the book 12 weeks in Thailand and that was basically just chronicling you know the first 4 years of my life of quitting my job and you know moving there living as cheap as possible you know I wrote in that book how I’ve lived for just $600 a month and I broke everything down but also wrote a lot about scuba diving a lot about Muay Thai a lot about cheap travel its almost like how I lived before The 4-Hour Workweek.
Success Harbor: Yeah, and that’s a kindle book right, kindle primarily or also you know ok?
Johnny FD: Yeah, you could get it on paper back as well but most people buy kindle or just the pdf you can’t just get it at 12weeksinthailand.com.
Success Harbor: And how did you make the decision to you know make a kindle book as appose to some other format.
Johnny FD: You know actually for the people that are listening and want to make money online don’t make don’t sell kindle books because I was making allot more money when I was selling as a pdf as a guide to my website I think when I was staring at pdf I was making about $600 a month from it and as soon as I switched over kindle I dropped down to about $100-150 a month and that’s should be pretty consistent so the books been off in almost a year now and on kindle it’s never made more that $200 a month while I know for sure if I had left it as just a pdf as just a eBook I would be making probably closer to $600 a month consistently from it.
Success Harbor: And could you reverse it if you want to though?
Johnny FD: I could and the only reason why I didn’t do it is actually saw it so the reason why I even got into Drop-Shipping or is basically because I’m not getting enough money to selling this eBook and I can either reverse it and refocus my effort on it or I can just think of something else so I will get into that a little bit later but the funny thing is a friend ask me why don’t you start marketing you eBook more why don’t you reverse it and charge more money for it cause right now it about $10 and I was originally selling it for 37 and the same amount of people but it so that’s the main difference in the profit is if 20 people buy it in a month at $10 is only $200 in profit and if 20 people but it at $37 I make 3 times as much or 4 times as much so when my friend ask me why don’t you switch it over and I said to him you know what I’m making so much money through my Drop-Shipping stores right now it’s not really a priority and it’s been almost a year and I still just don’t even bother to switch it over to me having the book it’s almost like a passion project.
Success Harbor: So by 2014 you started making money with ecommerce, how did you get started with that, how did you get the idea to start to get interesting in ecommerce?
Johnny FD: So I met a guy named Anton who taught me, I basically just had dinner with him, turns out I’ve met him 4 years ago.
Success Harbor: How did you meet him?
Johnny FD: So I’ve met him on The 4-Hour Workweek forums which no longer exist anymore, unfortunately Tim Ferriss took that down a few years ago, I think that we added each other facebook but we never chatted we never really talked, he never posted anything he never commented, it wasn’t until 4 years later when he decided to come Thailand he message me saying ‘Hey I’m going to be in Chiang Mai I see that your there do you want to meet up, do you want to met’, and I said yeah no worries. I think at that time I was really interested in meeting people that made money online everyone I met at that time were doing like SEO or they doing lot of online services that to me wasn’t really, I know that those are valuable services and that people make money from it but it wasn’t something that I wanted to do.
Success Harbor: Why not, why was it not appealing to you?
Johnny FD: I think that I have always wanted to have something that someone could hold in their hands, so that’s why I made my book not only a kindle
book but also a paper back and honestly if you buy the paper back I hardly make any money from it just because it cost so much to print and to ship vs. someone’s buys eBook almost a 100% of that is profit but the reason why I have the paper back to me I rather have someone been able to hold my book in their hand and having it on their bookshelf even if I don’t get paid for it yeah I still about $2 from it but to me it’s almost one of those things where I’m just happy having a physical product out there so I really just wanted to get into the physical product business but I didn’t wanted to open a actual retail location I didn’t want to have to import products from china cause I know how expensive that is normally to start something like that up you need $50,000 you need a warehouse you know it’s a lot of work, and at the time I never even heard about Drop-Shipping so it wasn’t until I sat down with the Anton guy when he told me what he did I was like wow that sounds exactly like what I’ve always wanted for those who don’t know Drop-Shipping is basically a business module where you becomes a authorized dealer for a manufacturer of supplier who they can ever out source it from china or they can even make it themselves like a lot of my products are made in the US. and they have a warehouse they have you know they have employees who ship it and what you do you basically run a online store or website and you basically take orders and when someone order something instead of you going to your warehouse you just forward the email and they ship it out for you, so for me it was perfect because it allows me to sell physical products and be proud that somebody who order something from my website would received something in the mail a week later and be happy and they can take a picture of it they can hold it in their hands, sit on it depending on what the product is and to me that was really fulfilling and that’s why I got into Drop-Shipping.
Success Harbor: So how do you decide because I mean they are so many products different products that people sell and buy how do you pick the products that you are selling what is appealing or what makes sense.
Johnny FD: So I really didn’t know anything about it, actually it’s a little bit embarrassing now thinking about it I actually goggled what is Drop-Shipping the last time I met Anton and I looked on Wikipedia and it kind of explained everything and I basically had asked him can you teach me how to make these stores and luckily he was willing to and he told me the criteria don’t sell anything that cheap don’t sell anything that’s under a couple hundred dollars because it’s the same amount of effort to sell a item that is $300 vs. $30 and you got to sell a lot more $30 items to get profit as the $300 item and kind of goes into
Success Harbor: So the price is one thing what else it can’t be anything like a DVDs or something real cheap it has to be hundreds of dollars, what else are you looking at, what else to consider?
Johnny FD: So the other criteria were is it something that really sells well online and either it’s hard to find or kind a unavailable in toured so if it’s something that people can go to Wal-Mart or Target to buy very easily is probably not something that people would want to buy online but if it’s an item that doesn’t really have a selection at Wal-Mart or at Target but the can find a big selection online they are more likely to buy it online, so that was criteria #2 and then the 3rd was looking at your competition and see are they doing well and can I do better than them, so what I did when I got started I made a big list I think I made a list of almost 50 products and I really thought about it, it took me about 2 weeks to thinking everyday
Success Harbor: Like 50 product categories like you know like.
Johnny FD: Yeah exactly.
Success Harbor: Ok, 50 products categories ok.
Johnny FD: And what I really liked about getting started with Anton was he is really specific he was like look make an excel spreadsheet make a tab for every single product and then every single day do I want you to research on it I want you to think about it and the funny thing is every single day around 3:30 or 4:00 o’clock I would think of the perfect niche I would think this is going to be the best niche in the world I would be tempted to just skip the gym and stay and just work on it but I would force myself and say no you know what let me go to the gym, let me think about it, let me sleep on it for 24hrs and then the next day if I think it’s a niche then I will look into it more and I really feel like by doing that I’m not going to get ahead of myself that helped me a lot as well.
Success Harbor: So you kept a cool head you looked at the price, you looked at some of the different types of product what else have you looked at that you wanted to make sure that you are excited even a few days after you first start of it, what else was that criteria?
Johnny FD: Well not just been excited but also been able to generalize value I always recommend to people only sell products that you bought yourself or at least used yourself cause if you don’t know anything about and you just want to make money you probably not going to get value with it I mean you might lucky but chances are you might not going to do that well with it but if it’s a product that you know something about or especially if you bought it yourself before especially if you bought it online before, then you know 1) that customers buy it 2) you know the rational or the reason why they buy something why they don’t buy something and 3) you gong be able to offer a little bit more customer support, eventually like now I have employees who handle all my customer calls but in the beginning it was me, it was me handling it all because I wanted to know what my customers were asking and what issues they would have you know I think a lot of people they think that is such a easy business module because it’s so low cost to get into and you can manage from anywhere they think its kind a just this overnight easy thing but in reality it’s just like any other business where in the beginning you have to put in the time and effort to build a real business and I think that’s where a lot of people fail
Success Harbor: I actually want to dig deeper there but before that can you tell me what was the first product you decided to Drop-ship
Johnny FD: Yeah I looked into lighting into lights like lamps and chandeliers I actually still have one of those stores up now but it’s one of those things I thinks it takes awhile to figure out what is a good niche for you but also for what you offer value in I think the reason why I think that store even though it’s still operating and still doing ok it doesn’t makes a lot of money is because I’m not able to provide unique value to it, there is no real reason why someone should come buy it from me vs. buying it from home depot or from Wal-Mart or buying it from another website while my other niches that do really well are the ones that I really know a lot about and I can provide good value for.
Success Harbor: What are some of those other niches that you are selling and you can provide value what is it that you can provide with those what you can’t provide with the lamps so the lighting .
Johnny FD: So to be honest I don’t know that much about lamps or lighting what obviously I use the lights which everyone has but I never really built my own house I never really have to install lights I never have I’m not a decorator imp a designer so when I sell it you know I can use whatever description that my supplier had given me I can try to write something or try to hire someone else to write something but at the end of the day I don’t understand the market that much so of the other
Success Harbor: What about passion do you think you have to be passionate about it?
Johnny FD: I’m not passionate about it, correct! so I actually have a couple of different stores I normally don’t talk about what all the niches are cause I don’t want people trying to come into the same space but with other ones those are things I’ve actually done in the pass or actually bought in the pass myself and I know more about so when I write description for it or when i create specials for it, even when I answer emails, I understand what the persons are looking for, I understand what the customers are looking for it makes it kind a just give it that touch
Success Harbor: So lets talk about how long did it take you from making the decision yeah I want to do Drop-shipping I select a product and from that point how long did it take you to set a site up and actually make your first sale?
Johnny FD: So to me exactly two months and it was only reason I know that is there is like a members thread in Anton forum just a few private members for it and I remember just looking back to see because it felt like such a long time it really felt like 8 months or years has pass you know I was so dedicated to it and then at time I really had my back against the wall you know I was only making $200 a month from my book but I didn’t want to go back to having a normal job I didn’t want to fail so I was like I need to make this work I almost had no money left in my bank account and I know that I had to make this work so it felt like months has passed but in reality it was about 2 months of really working out full time i would go in six days a week to either a cool working place of coffee shop and I would work 8/9hrs a day sometimes 10 times a day and because of the time difference I was living in Thailand at the time I would have to wake up really early in the morning sometimes 6 in the morning or I would have to stay up really late after midnight just to be on the US time zone just so I can call suppliers and get approval now you know everything is kind of reverse where the last 2 weeks while travelling in Europe I probable work for 1/2 hour a day the most, I don’t answer any of my calls any more with now it’s really easy to maintain but definitely in the beginning I put in a of time and effort.
Success Harbor: So how much money did you have to invest into your Drop-shipping business, you mention already if you want to import stuff you going to spend tens of thousands of dollar so it’s going to be a lot of money but it’s obviously a lot of money but you still going to spend a lot less but still there had to be some investment.
Johnny FD: I would say in total way less than a $1000 I would say $800 maximum and that included all the money I spent learning how to Drop-ship setting up my domain, my store, hiring designer to do my logo a lot of little things that add up here and there but 100% was less than $800.
Success Harbor: So I know you can’t talk about all the products you sell but how many Drop-shipping sites you have now?
Johnny FD: So I have 3 main ones that I focused on but I have 5 totals.
Success Harbor: So 3 main ones, so do you recommend if somebody is starting to start probably 2 or 3 different ones to see which one would stick or you think it’s best to focus on one and then see what happens.
Johnny FD: I think there is 2 ways to go about that , if somebody lives in the US and wanted to create a US store I would actually suggest starting with just one store be specific as possible because they are so many suppliers out there so many competition out there that you really have to finish down, and the reason why I would say that let’s say you just make a general store for example let’s see one that sell shoes online, it wouldn’t be a great niche for many reason but if you want to sell shoes, if you also sold books and electronics and that stuff you probably not do well but the reason why Zappos did it so well they started this and said you know what I know Amazon sell shoes let’s do it better let’s make it easier for people to be able to sort by size, by colour what’s in stock let’s just focused on shoes and obviously they did extremely well for many reason they have good customer services but it was a lot of those it’s because the niche down so much and they made it easier for people to buy shoes, so if you are going to start in the US I would highly recommended just focusing on one specific niche and working towards that now if somebody isn’t from the US and want to do a store in Australia or the UK or really anywhere else in the world I would actually recommend the opposite because it’s hard to find suppliers so they aren’t enough Drop-shipping suppliers in let’s say Australia right now I actually recommend kind a like a bigger broader range of products so whether you can sell sporting equiptment.au or kind of something much broader and that will allow them to call different suppliers and really expand their product line and then they could figure out ok what actually sell as well do I want to niche down and create a second store that only sells one specific item or one specific category of items.
Success Harbor: Do you focused on Drop-shipping for US customers or do you recommend trying international?
Johnny FD: I would say start your store and sell to whatever your country is so because I’m an American I have US bank accounts I sell to Americans, if I were Australian I would sell to Australians, I just took a covey for that to let people know it’s a lot harder to find suppliers and started outside of the US but in the long run I really believe that the potential is so much better its basically the same exact thing as if you ask me if I started with Drop-shipping 10 years ago in the US, it would be very hard to find suppliers and very difficult to get in but would it be worth it? Heck yeah because you would make so much money if you had started when it’s more difficult so there is a trade off I would say in the US you probably find your 1st supplier within 2 weeks in anywhere else in the world it might take you a month or two months to find you 1st supplier but at the end of the day in the long run two years from now you’re going to be much more head.
Success Harbor: Have you had any challenges dealing with suppliers in terms of them taking you seriously that you are worth their time so to speak.
Johnny FD: Yeah and I read about this a lot on my blogs when I started out JohnnyFD.com but in the beginning it kind have to make yourself like you are a bigger company than you are, that you are a little bit more establish than you are because when a supplier approves you as a authorized dealer they are looking for a couple of things, 1st thing they want to know are you going to provide good customer service, do you actually know anything about the product someone calls in or emails you are you going to represent the brand well so for example let’s say you want to drop-ship usb microphones for podcasting if you don’t know anything about that at all and a customer call in to say hey this Audio and Technica mic is not good and you don’t know anything you’re not really representing Audio and Technica well because as an authorised dealer you should know a lot about the product and lets say secondly are you going to be a waste of their time if you only going to sell one unit per year you are wasting Audio Technica’s time for setting an account for you for setting up all this paperwork for training you, but if you are going to sell 30 of them a month then you are defiantly worth their time to spend their resources on.
Success Harbor: Yeah so let’s talk about traffic a little bit its say you found a great product and you done a good job putting this site together how do you drive traffic to you site well what are the most effective channels of traffic.
Johnny FD: From the beginning I recommend using paid ads, using Google ads, adwords, the part listing ads, use Amazon ads, use Bing ads basically whatever you can pay for even facebook ads and your goal from the beginning is really just to get 100 visitors a day or at least 50 visitors a day because if you only have let’s say 5 visitors a day and you don’t make a sale it’s really hard to tell if its they don’t really want to buy your product your optimization is not good or is it just that you don’t have enough sample but if you have a 100 visitors for a day for example you know let’s say you have a really bad conversion rate you have a very standard industry conversion rate of 1% you should make one sales a day if you have a good conversion rate you can make 2 sales a day but if you don’t really have that initial traffic it’s really hard to tell so I always recommend to people is that just start with paid ads and what’s really cool is both Amazon and Google and Facebook they offer 75 dollars in free credit to get started so I have links to all that on my research page on JohnnyFD and just start with that and if you do it right you should make one sale from that, that really just kind of just approve to you that your products sell well but also it makes it easy to keep paying Google or Amazon a lot of money because it is expensive I mean people spend a couple hundred dollars a month in ads but as long as you’re making a couple dollars in profit you break even if you make a couple thousand dollars in profit then obviously it’s a very smart move to keep paying them for the ads.
Success Harbor: Its good advice to try to get that validation so you know you spend a little bit of money and you know that it works and so you kind of amp it up that way, so tell something they are so many people try Drop-shipping right I mean you have ten years ago it was kind of new for a lot of people but by now a lot of people tried it and a lot of people failed, what are some of the reason why you succeeded.
Johnny FD: So I would say let’s go back to trafficking real quick just want to make a point, eventually you do want to get off paid ads because they are other ways to get traffic.
Success Harbor: Oh yeah please talk about that, I didn’t mean to jump ahead, go ahead i will be really interested into that.
Johnny FD: So right now I would say I still get a lot of sales from paid ads but I try to shoot for more than 50% from non paid ads so the best customers or repeat customers or referrals I would probably say half or more customers are people who bought from me before or they are recommended by a friend so I really focus a lot on that , organic search is ok as well I don’t really get that many sales from it but in the same time I don’t want to spend money on SEO because it changes so much, I would say always have a mixture eventually you don’t want to just focus on paid ads because it get expensive you and you don’t want to go into a bidding war for no reason so started out with paid ads and eventually move on to other ways especially retaining customers and getting more sales through word of mouth and do repeat customers.
Success Harbor: Referrals, recurrent revenue what about emails are you doing any kind of email marketing.
Johnny FD: I do a little bit of email , I have a facebook page for my stores as well so things like that are normally free a lot of it is caviar there is a lot of stuff you don’t really track in the beginning I actually email every single one of my customers and asked them specially how do they find my store and some of them said oh my friend bob at work told me about it or oh I say my friend post it on facebook so in the beginning its really good to find that out and its stuff that you could still do actually as you go on because it’s one of those things where the lifetime value of the customer is worth way more than a one a time click like a onetime customer so I would recommend that , so I move to your question as to why i was successful and other people weren’t I really feel like it’s a combination of having good people in my life that are motivating and also successful I would say 2 years ago I didn’t really have anyone in my life that was doing well online I didn’t really even know the term entrepreneur or digital no mad , I didn’t know what Drop-shipping was I wasn’t surrounded by people like that, but I’m really fortunate that really ever since I started my blog my second blog when I was doing Myfightcamp that was just me trying to live a responsible I was surrounded by people who was scuba diving or doing Muay Thai you know which are great sport and great passion but those people weren’t making money online and when I started JohnnyFD.com that’s when I started really to going out to network with people you know ask people if I can buy them coffee take them out to lunch so I can pick their brain ask them what their businesses were and I would say the first couple of people I met who really motivated me was a guy name Kirk who always said to me like stop saying that you cannot afford it and ask yourself how can you afford it he was doing SEO it wasn’t a business I wanted to get in after meeting him I realized you know what people are making money online and a lot of it has to do with who you know and the network innovation which is why when I started to travel as a podcast cast that’s my main goal is to interview people who make money online while travelling and are successful so defiantly the network is a huge part of it second is actually writing down your goals and I know a lot of people talk about this and I know everyone heard about this to write down your goals I would say out of everything having a clear definition of what I wanted not only what I wanted but how much I was willing to work towards it that help me so much.
Success Harbor: Were these like daily goals that you would like writ down everyday this is what imp going to do abc or weekly or monthly goals what was the format.
Johnny FD: So I have a lot, on my recommended research page I all the apps I used which one is the momentum chrome extension and its a free plug in for your chrome browser and what everyday have a cool screensaver quote of the day it also have place write not only your to-do list but also what is your main focus is of the day so looking at it right now we have my screensaver is from Tocal Spain which is a beautiful mountain range in the background the quote of the day by lowse “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner” so it’s kind of something you think about everyday then I have my to-do list you know where I can be in a blog post which I just finish so I can check that off, write guest blog post, write a chapter of five pages quick and create a spreadsheet so that everyday I can write down what I need to do today and then under the main focus of the day everyday I write down what I wanted accomplished that day so my goal today make….that’s my girlfriend, and everyday I write down a different goal and it use to be make a $100 a day, even then that was actually not a easy thing to do because making $100 to stay online use to be to me a big thing so if I can make it $100 a day a day that means I’m making $3000 a month which completely replaces my old 9-5 income that’s making $36000 a year at a normal job or even for $48000 a year before tax and to me if I can make $3000 a month while living in a place like Thailand that really allows me to have so much freedom to do whatever I want because the cost of living here is so low I would probable spend $1000-$1500 a month in all my expenses so whatever was left I can save and travel with and I would say that was my initial goals.
Success Harbor: And now it’s like 800 right causes you were kind of breaking up I think you had a call coming in or something.
Johnny FD: Yeah sorry about that, yeah now its 800 and I keep pumping that up so every time I hit the 800 consistently once I start hitting that up for 3 days in a row then I start bumping it up and it goes into a 1000 I know the reason why I actually low a little bit I just came back from a 3 week vacation when I know I wasn’t really working that much and a lot of stuff that you do I say passive, if I do something today lets I add 50 new products to any of our stores or I rewrite some description to some of my products today it doesn’t mean that tomorrow I’m going to make more sales from it might take 1 week or 2 weeks before customer start finding it for Google to start indexing it and these are things that pay off a week later or 2 weeks later and I think that’s the hardest part most entrepreneur is doing stuff that even though you know it works and you will make money you know immediately get money for it vs. working a normal job if I work 8hrs today I get paid for 8hrs of my work and been an entrepreneur you can work 8 hrs today with the potential for getting paid a lot of money in the future but there is no guarantee.
Success Harbor: Can you give us a kind of break down on what you really spend your time on obviously when you are on vacation you probably spend a lot less time working but on a normal day how do you split your time between working and what you do what test are essential for your business?
Johnny FD: It actually changes a lot and then it depending on what my goals my focused is on for right now so right before I went on vacation I was in work mood I said I really want to ramp up my income so not only could I automate lot of things but I could make a lot of money because I know Europe expensive travel so every morning when my girlfriend would go to work she would I would go to my cool working space, I would go to a space called pone space and there are a lot of entrepreneur their so it’s a nice environment to work in for the 1st 2hrs I would focused on my Drop-shipping stores I would fulfil orders I would answer emails I would respond to customer services enquires so what that involves if someone order something I get a notification from shopify and I would talk a look at it and see does this look like its complete or do I need to contact them from any reason do I is it in stock, is it profitable things like that and as long as it’s ok 95% of the time its fine I just forward the email to my supplier and said hey can you ship this to the customer and then charge my credit card for it, if I have a customer service email I would reply to them I used to worry that because ewe are in different time zones I would not be able to reply to them until 8 o’clock at night or 9oclock at night and I would used different apps like boomerang send it the next morning at 8 am but not I just stop if its 2 am and I replied to a customer.
Success Harbor: They should be impressed right it doesn’t matter.
Johnny FD: Yeah.
Success Harbor: It doesn’t matter you are a 24hr business.
Johnny FD: Exactly when they call in I have an American that picks up calls so they know that we are a US based company and basically if anything they feel a bit more happier that there is people working on their account 24hrs a day so if anything we’re actually providing better customer service than the US based companies because if they contact us during normal business hours I have my customer service people in the US to answer it and if the contacted me at 3 in the morning 4 in the morning its in the middle of the day for me so I can get back to them so ill answer their questions as far as phone calls I don’t take any of my calls anymore so what I do I have my customer service reps they email me a summary of what people call me about so I’ll follow up usually its stuff that they can handle themselves people would just call in and say Hey when is my order going to ship can I change the option on one thing can I have second day Fedex shipping for something yeah those things I can handle but if it’s something else that’s when I take my time to email them back so I spend about 2 hrs.
Success Harbor: 2 hrs in customer service what else you are spending your time on?
Johnny FD: and then after that so I take care of that 1st because that’s what makes me money I still make majority of my money through my Drop-shipping stores and what’s nice about it is for the rest of the day I can focus on the things that I enjoy doing so then for the next 2 hrs I either write a blog post respond to comments I would go on facebook you know I would do things like that and then normally in the afternoon I would do things for my podcast I would do network for other people or I would go to episode and travel like a boss I would edit videos you know kind a things I enjoy doing that don’t necessarily don’t make me no money but are things I think really expand my mind, expand my network of friends of other entrepreneurs and things I really enjoy doing.
Success Harbor: Now you gave yourself a challenge to have a million Thai baht in your bank account by end of this year how close are you to reaching that goal?
Johnny FD: So when I originally set up that challenge I think I had a couple thousand dollars in my bank account a million Thai baht is $32000USD and to me it was a really big goal to me having that wasn’t just about having the money it was knowing that if I have $30000 in the bank in savings that would give me buffer so I knew that especially living in a place like Thailand that would last me 2 yrs in them, spending a $1000 a month that would last me more than 2 yrs so it’s everything else let’s say I needed more for emergency or really anything I had that buffer so that was to me my retirement fundamentals where I knew that if I had $30000 I can basically retire from a normal job never have to work a normal job and I would normally have a buffer where I can figure things out again and to reward myself I was going to buy myself a goal watch cause in the US when you retire when you are 65 the company gives you a gold watch to signify that you retire.
Success Harbor: At least they use to I don’t think they do that anymore, you don’t even get that.
Johnny FD: Now you don’t even get pension you don’t get anything really doesn’t work anymore so really the only way to fund your retirement is have enough money yourself or have a business to me this was my goal and I was so surprised that I think it was a few months ago I looked in my bank account and I remember specifically I was in Saigon in Vietnam visiting some friends and I was watching UFC fight on a Sunday morning which is Saturday morning in the US and I’m sitting there with 4 of my best friends I am watching my favourite sport on TV I am having a great breakfast and I just log into my back account to see what’s going on and I remember specifically that couple days before that I had paid off my suppliers I paid off all my credit cards I have no bills at home, I have no more car payments so whatever is in my bank is really just actual savings and I looked and I had $29998 and I was thinking I am so close to hitting this then I remember wait I have cash in my wallet I have money in my PayPal account and I was like I think I hit my goal and in the middle of the UFC fight I just jumped up friend I think I was sitting next to Anton I was sitting next to Shannon he was a doctor friend of mine and I said to him I think I hit my goal I think I’m a multi millionaire now and immediately after that I walk to the mall and I bought a gold watch and what’s insane is it’s still not end of the year and I already hit my second goal actually I doubled that in my bank account now and if you asked m a year ago you never would have thought it was possible and never thought it was have be possible to make $3000 a month I never thought I was possible to save up $30000 in my bank and now that I have a little bit more than double that in my account and I’m making way more than that more than $3000 a month now and I’m able to do it location independently it really shows to me that not only is it possible it you work hard and if you set the right goals but really anybody can do it, I didn’t have any of this background I didn’t even know what Drop-shipping was I had to Google it on Wikipedia so I feel anyone who has the right mind set, the right motivation, the right tools can do it as well.
Success Harbor: On the Drop-ship lifestyle site I read that you making about 20k a month is that an average can you give us an idea.
Johnny FD: Yeah so if you go to Antonmethod.com its basically the site for Drop-shipping lifestyle and on there I think I did a testimonial for Anton , basically ask me say hey your doing really well do you mind doing a testimonial and I said yeah I’m happy to so I think the screen shot he put on was $20000 in sales per month that’s not profit that’s just sales for one of my stores and the profit for that is usually between 15-25% I would say I would like one of my goals is to make $20000 profit per month but I’m not quite there yet cause that be how much a year would be , that would be a lot of money but I’m making quite a bit now so I’m pretty happy with my income.
Success Harbor: You know what I really like about your story is that you not trying to sell that this is a get rich quick or it is a easy money thing what really comes through your story is that you put into a lot of work and I really want people to understand that, you know you make it sound easy, you also make it sound realistic when you say I’m spending 6/8hrs at that cool working place or I go to a coffee shop so you put in a lot of work and I really think people should hear that.
Johnny FD: Yeah I think that’s why people resonate with my story that much because you can go on my blog, you can go to my YouTube channel, you can read my first book and you can see that a few years ago my life was completely different, I literally that whole book I wrote was how to live in Thailand for as cheap as possible so I was preaching the get by with $600 a month and now that I’m making $800 a day living for $600 a month it almost sound ridiculous but that was mind set and I feel like if it wasn’t for surrounding myself with really positive people who are successful I would still have that mindset and want to live as cheap as possible and just kind a just get by so I’m very grateful for the people in my like that pushed me and motivated me and that’s why I like sharing it as well exactly I tell people it’s not easy in the beginning but it’s worth it ,it’s so worth the effort that you put in because the definition of a entrepreneur it somebody who is willing to take a risk now for a potential gain later and there is a quote saying that entrepreneur do what people aren’t willing to do today so that they can live a life and they can do things that people can’t do later on in life.
Success Harbor: That great, is it true that your working on a new book can you talk about that at all right now.
Johnny FD: Yeah it’s called life changes quick its really honestly my girl friend ask me this morning like Hey I remember a year ago you asked me if I would write a new book and I said no way and she asked me why it takes so much time to write a book and it’s just not worth it financially because the amount of effort it took in writing 12 weeks in Thailand even though it pays me a $150 a month in passive income it’s not worth my time in those 4 months it took to write that book I could just create another Drop-shipping store and I could have make 10 times that amount of money, so why did I decide to write life changes quick is really just because I really feel like this year of my life things change so quick not just financially but exactly a year ago I didn’t have any money in my bank account I was really out of shaped if you look at photos or my old YouTube videos you can see that I was really out of shape I was very unhappy I was always tired, I was single didn’t have a girl friend and now my entire life has changed I have the most incredible girlfriend in the world I get to travel I have enough money where I can not only support myself but I can start supporting my parents as well I can start doing things where I really enjoy those are some of the bigger goals I never even thought were possible like one of my goals for next year I don’t want to go to Europe for myself I want to be able to send my parents to Europe too because if it wasn’t for that I know if they would be able to go you know and this year for their income tax they probably pay tax for the year cause I know that’s a big stress for them and I want to be able to just enjoy life and really feel like in one year someone really dedicate themselves you know I write about it in my book even though in a short interview it sounds like life change pretty fast it only took 2 months to start making a profitable store let me just do it as well but in reality there is a lot of ups and downs there are a lot of times you fear your own success or you became demotivated or you start to doubting yourself and I really feel like writing this book and putting it out there I will help some other people get over that as well.
Success Harbor: That’s great, that’s great when you’re done with that just check back with me cause I want a link to it from the show notes, how can people connect with you and find out more about you.
Johnny FD: The easiest way is go to my blog its JohnnyFD.com if you want to see my Podcast show up like a boss Podcast and you can find me on Facebook or on Twitter kind of everywhere but I would say start my blog I have links to everything on there.
Success Harbor: Sounds good Johnny again I really appreciate you sharing this story it just sounds true and I think that people need to hear that and I appreciate you coming on Success Harbor and sharing it and everybody out there go and check out JohnnyFD.com and say Hi to Johnny thank you.
Johnny FD: Thanks George, for having me on.
Success Harbor: Bye everyone.