Episode 225 Featuring Alex Bond

Scaling Your Business with Anatoliy Labinskiy

Scaling Your Business with Anatoliy Labinskiy

Anatoliy Labinskiy is the Founder and CEO of GSM growth agency, a team of ecommerce experts on a mission to help brands boost revenue and reach their potential through tailored, data-driven marketing strategies. His story is a perfect example of life when everything goes against us to become successful.

In less than 5 years, he went from a simple waiter to a successful businessman and a 4-time owner of 7 figure winner awards in the e-commerce space. On this episode, we discuss when the best time to scale is, what some of the roles and responsibilities of a CEO are, managing client expectations, and much more.


GSM, eCommerce growth agency

Anatoliy Labinsky: Yeah, so basically I have created the agency a while ago, officially. We opened our doors back in 2020, in March. By the way, soon it'll be 25th of March.

It'll be three years o of our agency. But I have been operating as agency since end of 2018 with only one media buyer, with one employer. But I didn't call myself agency because I, I wasn't actually thinking about Open One. I was like a mentoring, the commerce space, helping other entrepreneurs to start their journey in ecom.

Because back in 2017, when I was started exactly because of the mentorship, I got my first results and in 2018, I was sharing a lot of results. People started asking me to share my knowledge to them. So I start mentorship and some of them were asking me manage their accounts for them, which is also like weird for me, but okay, let's do that.

And I find out that it was working. I just hired one media buyer, teach him everything. And yeah, one and a half year I was operating with one media buyer, no name, nothing. Just like three months, you know? And 2020 I made a decision, okay, we have to grow. So back into 2020 March. 

Alex Bond: So that's when you really started hitting the ground running after just kind of doing a little bit of a trial run for a couple years.

Anatoliy Labinsky: Yeah, like 2020 was a game changer because in matter of months from one employer, we became a team of 12, of nine people. By end of the year we, we had 12 people in the team. Next year we grow to 44 plus. Wow. No, not 44. 44 people in the team. We grow so fast and after that we team the team a bit on the next year.

So right now we are 31 person in the team and it's like a sweet spot, which is like managing all the company, all our like social medias. Clients, media buying sales departments, and several other things like linkin presence and all this stuff. Cool. 

Alex Bond: And just outta curiosity, you mentioned going from 44 employees to 31.Was that a result of maybe scaling too quickly and having to scale back, or was that like an economical decision? 

Anatoliy Labinsky: So we were growing so fast, like our growth was really like when I was doing freelance and managing capital accounts. It was just smooth growth, never been fell down, always grows. But when we start growing on March, 2020, it became like, It was a huge spike and after that, again, but much bigger grow and every single month.

But back in 2022, one year ago to 21st of February, I'm basically Ukrainian. I was based in in Kyiv. All my clients are United States, Australia, Canada, and uk. So when we went through the war, On 24, I woke up. I understand that war is happening in Ukraine. It was horrible time and all. Most of my team are based in Ukraine as well.

So what happened? We were not having that time, really the recorded months for our clients, for ourself 2000 back in 2022. And by summertime it wasn't affected us. The thing is that war didn't affect us. We was like, wow, that's insane because like shelling bombard and all the stuff is happening. My team is in the basements hiding for hunting for from the all these soldiers.

You know, it's, it was dangerous thing. It was weird stuff like back in 2022, come on. Like what can happen? But yeah, it was real, it was really weird moment in of our life and it wasn't affected our performance. That was shocked for me as a business owner. But summertime it's affected me. So February, everything started by summer.

I felt destroyed. I felt lost because I don't have any more home. I was traveling for six months with the luggages and packaging them for six months living between the car to the hotels, between the hot hotels, to Airbnb, from Airbnb to the, the car. So it was real with, with baby and wife, and it's affect my brain.

And the first time in our in our history of the company start failing not much, but it was spice become spikes, you know, in terms of performance. And I realized that our expenses are high. And now we have performance like that. When we were growing, we were not care. We were hiring, hiring, hiring and done like we are good, but these kind of things as well, a Luca as opportunity to make the, to learn the lesson.

I went through all the data and understand that we have so many team members and I love all of them, but some, a couple of them during the war, during the beginning of war, we lost just because they decided to go another way. And they were obviously busy with other staff because of the problems. But most of the people who left us during the year, it's by analyzing us the data.

And we understand that those people were staying with us, but were not performing as they should. And because we were growing all the time, we were not keeping attention on it. And it's like, I believe it's so many business owners who are growing fast. Are not looking on that kind of things until first fail.

And when I had that fail, I start analyzing a lot of things. And we build a financial model. We hire the CFO, so we start understanding our numbers a bit better and we understood that our expenses really high, super high to compare where it should supposed to be. And we, like I said, no team is the last thing, which is I will get read of, I wanna cut it other expenses.

And the people like managers start analyzing, build the data like a matrix of the different performance KPIs of the guys. And we like find out, wow, these guys for nine months not performing at all. Like, and we were not looking on it, you know, we were just like, let's go, let's go. Move forward, move forward, like keep going.

And after that we realized that there is like five to seven people who are doing not nothing, but we're not doing what they have to be done. And I like, okay, so it's tough, but we have to give them a chance still. Like we, we don't have rotation on the team. All the team staying with us, really? We hiring and they staying. If we liked how they were and I said, give them a chance one month.

Let's see how that goes. If you see that something's changing, bam. So most of the people who we give a chance, they just like quit by during this month. We understand that they're not doing anything art ordinary and we say bye them, but some of them were really start fighting for their sport and like they're still with us. And yeah, so that was an important lesson for us.

We understand that we were just over hiring people and they were not that necessary to our team. So right now we like have smooth sweet spot of the guys on the team, and if we need more, we are gonna be just hiring according to the clients. Position. So if we acquiring too fast, so then we hire a couple of media buyers, couple of the project managers, but for now it's like a really perfect quantity.

Metrics in determining potential clients

Alex Bond: Speaking of of metrics though, is there one specific metric that you and your team look at that could help you tell if G S M and a potential client would be a good fit or not potential clients?

Anatoliy Labinsky: So let's say lead came to us through the ads or through the organic traffic or YouTube channel, or just text us in DM on the Instagram. To understand if he's good to be our client. We have like a system of questions which we are asking and we are, we don't ask those kind of questions just to sell, you know?

Sure. We are asking those kind of questions to understand if it's really gonna be right fit for him because back in 2019, 2020 actually 2018, 2018, all the deals which I have been closed, it was by me only, and I was asking so many questions and I was like going so deep. I was saying, listen, you are jumping into X, Y, Z and this is gonna be so hard, X, Y, Z.

And like I said, you have to understand that I always was making this kind of, you know, Mental wash braining to un to let him understand that it's your serious decision. So by that being said, and I was not selling, I was explaining and people love the transparency and because of that, they were deciding to join my mentorship.

They were decided to join like my small agency. And because I was saying how it could be and how it would be at the beginning. So you have to be ready for that. This is financial part of how much you have to invest when you're gonna be run. We are gonna be running ads for you and the people will love that.

So when we build the sales department, actually I was training the sales team according to my experience. I was sharing with them screen recordings of my conversations with the all the leads who become my clients. I was sharing with them all the conversations which I had before with the people and what kind of situations we were dealing in.

And I was like, because we had one sales guy, when we just start hiring the salespeople, he was like one of, not one of the best, but he was great In closing deals. But on his end it was always problematic. Clients, always like not good fit clients. And we were like, what's happening? We start again. I hired that time.

I just hired like June. Yeah. I go to give promotion to one of my sales guys. He was one of the best in the team. And I he become a manager, like head of sales department. It was June, 2020. And I said to him, listen, we have to build the system because something's wrong. He's closing left and right, study him, understand what's happening.

And that time we were not jumping on the calls with clients. We were closing basically on the dms, and we noticed that that person was overpromising. He probably, he promised them bling bling stuff, which is like, you're gonna be driving Lamborghini in six months. Hey man, let jump it. And those people were not understanding even that it's required add budget, it's required the risks, it's required this like attention to the details, blah, blah, blah.

And he was missing all of that part. You were just promising the idea. He was sharing the screenshot what is for successful clients looks like, but sorry, those successful clients with me one year, six months, four months, eight months, which is means they pass through several steps. It won't be happening on your end in 30 days.

So and he was missing that. For reason because he was looking for commission. And from that point done, we start really looking every single conversation and of every single person, we get rid of him from the team of that person who was overpromising and quality of the clients become better. So we have the pre qualification question.

So basically we want to understand where they wanna be next six to 12 months. What's their real goal? What they know about e-commerce, why they wanna jump into the e-commerce. What do the they, do they have store or no, because like we have two different directions in the agency doing for you from scratch, and we position it ourself as a number one agency in the world who building day commerce business from scratch.

This is our vision and this is how we see ourselves. It's another direction. It's already workable. Stores where we jumping in our ing and just start scaling it from let's say multiple five figures to multiple six figures a month and then to seven, seven figures according to the performance of that store.

So like we have two different directions and we asking like if they have store, if don't have, okay, if they have, is it good margin? What's wrong? Why there is no, no, no profitability or what exactly doesn't work for them? What's their months, months revenue and so on. So we want to understand whole picture and then according to what our account managers have seen, they start explaining them what we have.

And sometimes when we see that a person has rude mentality during the call, they showing themselves they're rude, they showing that they don't understand, have no clue what what is all about. And the guy, like, it's seriously happening. Kind of strange, but like sometimes people doesn't know how to open laptop, I mean, to turn on the laptop because they never use laptop in their life.

And like definitely such kind of people, he's look smart. He's talking to you like not, I mean he looks like educated, but when we get on the Boardman client, he like, oh guys, I never use laptop, can you? Like, I have no clue how to do that. And the guy was like 40 plus year. And we were like, wow, okay, slow down.

This is not how as well. We made the we learned the lesson, we, we made the analysis and we start prequalifying as well in different way. So pre qualification is must because when client be, it's not about bad client. Or like we are, but it's about we couldn't, we sometimes we could be not right fit and we want to understand that this person understand us, everything what we said to him, and he's listening and implementing to what we are saying.

Because if it's a procrastinator, usually we had procrastinators in the team as a client and they almost never getting results. But when action taker jumping on the board really fast, really know what he wants as, as many as as I remember, those kind of people always getting the results first because they are ready to do this stuff.

Alex Bond: You know, and part of that piece there that I'm, that I'm really hearing Anatoli, is that at least in your example, it sounded like the salesman was, was over-promising and under underdelivering. But I find that that's a case with a lack of transparency is. That clients are expecting this overnight success or immediate high return when working with a growth agency.

So it sounds to me like managing expectations is, is an extremely important part of the job. And from what I'm hearing you say correct me if I'm wrong, that transparency, setting goals and making sure that y'all are aligned is an important part of, of managing those expectations. Is that accurate?

Anatoliy Labinsky: Exactly. I can give you as well, life example sometimes happens. Now it's rare, more rare than before, but before it was so often people like, Hey, so what's your goal? Hey, in next 30 days I want make millions in 30 days. Good luck. Yeah. Yeah. Like, man, come on. Like, let's serious. No, I'm serious. Like I want to make a million, like it's a commerce, but I like guys your job to explain.

That. Listen, here you are. Ah, by the way, do you have a store? No. Do you know what is e-commerce about? No. How do you wanna make million in 30 days? Yeah, I know it's grow fast and so on. Listen to me. This is here. You are zero. To be on 1 million, it's several steps. It's hundreds, even thousands of steps.

First of all, you need to decide that you are gonna be doing this business. One first major step. Second small step. You need to start creating the store, or if you are working with agents like ours, We have to create a store for you. Then fill up with the products, do the product research, start preparing the ads, start testing the ads, testing, testing, testing, testing.

Sometimes it's not product number one or number three could be a winner. It's awesome. It happened. Well, one time guy to join to us and first product ever we tested and in more in one year and three months, we made for him 660 k. He like first product ever. That's great. He run run for him ads for one, one year and three months until he decided to build the brand from it.

But what I'm saying that it was. Out of ordinary case. Sometimes it's product number three test. It's a winner. Okay? Sometimes it's a winner, but it's not going to, to live long. You know, it's dying fast. So it depends on the case. Sometimes it's product number five eight that is already realistic. So we testing different products, which is under our criteria as we know that it's supposed to be a winner.

It has huge potential. So we like doing these kind of micro steps. We add in apps, ev every shorter value increase, increasing conversion value, increasing the follow ups potential from SMS ML marketing, run, running different social medias like TikTok TikTok Facebook, and all these steps is just to finally start generating your profitable cashflow.

Consistent cashflow. And while your million is still here and you like, just likecouple of steps about. So now to be on the multiple four figures, you need to understand that you'll, we are gonna be doing everything for you, but you're gonna be following what we're saying. There is, could be holes.

That it could be PayPal blocks, there could be fulfillment issues there. Could we gonna be moving you to the private supplier so you have to understand how to speak to the supplier.

Actually we are gonna be doing that for you, but still you going to be there because you're a business owner and like making payments is gonna be done from your side. We don't wanna take it any kind of financial car cards, like financial details from the client side, he's making payments.

Even if he's investor, we still prefer he will do the payments because we don't wanna deal with the, any kind of fraud stuff. You know that he will be after that saying that we were scamming him using his card, so he doing the payments.

There is all the scam kind of things just to generate your multiple four, five figures. But then if we see consistency and profitability, you will be easily jumping to the six figure a month club easily. But sorry, behind this huge way, huge journey. And you're still not on seven figures. You're still not on seven figure and seven figures.

It's another journey. When you are on six figures, there is a lot of ecosystem stuff has to be created, added to make sure that you're gonna be able to end it up with the seven figures in next couple of months or maybe even year. It depends on the product margin and so on. So what I'm trying to say that we explaining that to them and they don't like it.

I mean, I want 1,000,030 days and when we start explaining. We get rid of people who don't understand the stuff. They wanna like Bitcoin over the night. See, 70 k and I'm a millionaire, but, okay. Would you invest in Bitcoin? Oh no. Maybe there is some way. So they not even ready to invest, you know, on all such kind of stuff anyway.

Like, it's weird because people coming to us, oh, I got scam for $130,000 in the full automation. Alex, how much? The guy invested $130,000 in the same stuff, which we have. And what's comment? They block him in ig. They block him everywhere. He never seen them again.

And we speaking about our service, we given to him transparency of everything so he can right track and, and he like, and he doesn't believe on that. So there was promising about Ron Lamborghini and he paid one story and we giving him all the reality and he doesn't believe, it's really weird, but I just don't understand when people doing such kind of stuff.

When should a business start working with GSM

Anatoliy Labinsky: I would say every single season has such kind of moment. There is never perfect time to start. I would say the perfect time to start. It's yesterday. That's for sure.

If you want to start such in such kind of direction, you have to be already, I'm from 2017 here. I know the guys were 2015, 2013, were there. They're like much higher level than me and I understand I'm just matter of three, four years experience from them, nothing else. So it just matter of the experience and people who start in 2020, they're somewhere above but still like they're growing.

So what I'm saying that then earlier you're starting, then faster you get results and or then faster you'll quit because majority of people are quitting and understanding that it's not they what they were looking for. It's not that, it's not that such shine as they were thinking because it's a business.

You have to be understanding that you have to deal with the, a lot of pitfalls which is happening and it's a kind of stressful but still it's number one, grow growing business in whole world. I mean e-commerce only the thing which is growing nonstop. Only the thing. And that's, it's is it the best opportunities Definitely.

Is it something, what will be the best for you? Not sure because every person is different. So we had really so many great people who are working with us as a clients, as as the students. For me, they figure it out that it's not what they want and you know the smartest guys who are listening to me carefully because I will share now something what audience hopefully will take as advice.

If you trying something and it didn't work for you, don't be upset and plus it, it didn't work for you and you realize that it's not really what you want to because if it doesn't work for you, work until you it'll start working for you. This is what I have done for myself. Six months. It wasn't working.

I was failing, failing, failing, failing. But I was understanding this shit. I will do till end of my life. I won't stop it. Advertising. That's what I promised to myself. I won't stop it. I will be the number one person from 99 people who are quitting. I will be only one who will win. And that's what happened because I, I made this kind of mental thoughts.

I lost everything. My wife were telling me that she would do worse on me if I won't stop it. I was like a zombie. My eyes were black. I wasn't sleeping. I was obsessed with that. So by that being said, I knew that I wanted it and it didn't work. I made it working for some other people, they, it doesn't work, and they feel that it's not really what they want to do.

So my advice to you, if you try something, And you realize that it's not something what you wanna do, don't call that scam if it didn't work for you. Don't judge the people or tell that someone mistake or fail on your fault, on your fail. Analyze the situation and find outs in the same, the niche, let's say E-commerce, but I'm saying e coin because it's always growing another sub niche where you wanna go by using this knowledge, which you get on this experience.

And I was teaching my ex students exactly the same way. Listen, I understand you don't have enough financials to cover in and spend my mentorship and so on, but please don't quit. Don't quit. I know who you are. I see that you have potential. Don't quit on e-commerce. Find out another direction. In the last three years, I got, I don't wanna lie, but maybe five or six messages from my ex, two ex students, couple of them before the war, one or two weeks before the war, it was asking, it was five hour, five minutes audio in telegram.

The guy was living in France. He was a single, and he really was working night shifts in some factory. And what's happening right now, I'm in 2022, before the war, he, he he recorded me audio message, five minutes. He moved to the YouTube site. He learned the YouTube advertising. And he be, he opened his YouTube agency because YouTube advertiser start working for him and he start doing the YouTube ads for the brands and it start working for him.

And he moved to Dubai and now he said, thank you so much. Na, I'm living my dream life. I wasn't thinking that it's possible he was immigrant in De France where he like wasn't sure what's gonna be happening to him. And now he need to, by managing his small agency and living his life, which he wants, and another to think it's two partners, Ukrainian guys who was as well mentoring by me.

They quit it because had now not enough finances to continue running the staff testing products. They didn't find out that we product, but what they have done in a year after they reach out to me and. From that moment, I still, now they're partnering with me on email, s m s marketing, they find out email, s m s marketing is a great fit to go and they are really increasing up to 25 to 30% performance.

Of every single store by just implementing email m s marketing from their site. They finish this courses, they test it out on themselves. They understand that it's working for them. So what I'm saying, don't judge on fail. Learn from fail. They got the experience working with me, working in e-commerce and Shopify, and they just look left and right and find out what kind of other opportunities I can use.

Now this sheet, which I just studied last couple of months, it's working. Another guy got the marketing director position in his city. So he found out the company he applied for, for several companies and because he knew how marketing is working, according to my lessons to him, he just sold himself on interview.

Marketing director position because back in 2018 there was even less people who really know the stuff about marketing Well, and in couple of months with me, he already knew much better that anyone in his city and he just sold himself and he became marketing director. You maybe are not entrepreneur, but you could be a great head of department in some company because you got the knowledge more than anyone else.

GSM vs. other agencies

Anatoliy Labinsky: What's the make us different? There is one point for sure. And after that I will give you examples as well. We have in our agency outstanding customer care. What does it mean? We really, not 24 by seven, but seven days a week, almost 20 hours a week, we are available to answer on any kind of questions and any kind of request from our clients, which is, if you go to US Market, Australian market, Canadian market, well, like maybe in Europe there is exist, but most of the people, most of the companies,five days a week, you have one hour a day to ask the questions, or one hour a day day for, for a call.

One hour a week for a call to give the update, to get the updates and done. Sorry. We are working like make an appointment in our chats with the clients. The rule number one is customer service to explain them what's happening. So the guys are really in touch with them. They're sharing the updates, they're sharing the wind, they're sharing the fail, they're giving all what they can in terms of customer service.

So client feels that he's in the right place. So even if it doesn't work, but he knows that those people is the best people who work with and when it starts working, I wanna be with them. We have people who came to us who were failing on other agencies. We have a lot of people like investors. He tested out there, he tested it out here, they tested it out there, and they leave in and coming to us, walk, going to another agency.

Like in our agency, we have people who left us on 2021 and coming back this year. People texting us, Hey, last time it didn't work out. Can we try again? Of course. Because we know you, we already used to work with you.

So the thing is, and it's completely different because he's our existing client. He wasn't just with us for for a while. The thing is that when it happened, they see that we are real, we, and that we are working. Not just like that. There is something happening, but at the end we hire some VA to handle the Facebook ad account, customer service, whatever.

No, there is real people who are talking to you and they are implementing this stuff. Project manager, media buyer, speaking to our client. So by that being said, like why I'm saying that this is so important, five other agencies who been accept me started on the same time with me. Plus minus like half year half of the year exist only one competitor from who I know.

And when we started, why no performance? That's first thing I understand. Second thing, customers one were coming to us and were really mad in terms of communication, in terms of while quality of media buyer, I mean in terms of like who they were hiring, how he was speaking, how hard it was to reach out.

One of the agency was really saying, you have one week one hour a day, like 1:00 PM If you wanna ask us questions from one till two, text us in the chat. If you text us 2 0 1, sorry, like tomorrow, we will reply to you or like usually how the agencies are working in the us. I'm working with other agencies for education purposes and so on.

Like we will reply to you during 24 hours. If we would do that for our clients, we reply to 24 hours. I dunno how we would be working. It's my mentality. I don't, I don't believe, I don't understand that. It's annoying when you're waiting for simple question answer 24 hours, you know? 

Alex Bond: So these clients weren't getting the attention that they thought that they require.

Anatoliy Labinsky: Essentially, what is e-commerce? It's something invisible. It's money printing machine when it starts working, but when it doesn't work out, it's money sucking machine. Because it's coming out from your bank account and you don't understand where it's going. It just disappearing, but it's going for the advertising.

I mean, it just really like if it doesn't work something for us as well, I just see how money are going out and nothing is coming in. It's something in internet, it's invisible and per, when a person is not really educated about the stuff, he's just an investor, let's say, and he doesn't have right updates, it'll be make him not even mad.

It'll make his mind destroyed. I remember first six months of my end, I was really destroyed. It was sucking all the money and I wasn't looking on like I wasting money. I was understanding that I'm investing money, but what was destroying my mind, it was that I don't, I have no clue what's wrong. Why it doesn't work.

What's happening? Why my money is not really giving me back any sales. When I start working with mentor, he shows me few, two weeks, which is I was just not following the KPIs. I was even not understanding that there is some KPIs which I have to study and I follow them. And when I just make couple of weeks and start following the data, 15 days, first 8,000 hours in sales.

So what I'm saying, there was no person behind who would explain me. Here we are with the agency, we are explaining, so listen, this is how much has been spent. This is how, what has been happened, this is how many cells has happened. Or if not, but we didn't have sales. Okay? So we move into another product.

So person understanding that x, y, z amount has been taken off from the account to the advertising of TikTok or Facebook platform because of this product testing. So when they know exactly where expenses are going, and person is updating all the time, it means the work is happening. It means the guys like exactly doing what they're saying.

But if you're not given any kind of updates, if you're not, keep in touch with the clients, they become mad. When we start growing fast, we learned that the lesson as well. I understood that not everyone the same like me, so we start teaching them, being me in the chats. So outstanding customer care.

Because before I never had any problems. We started getting with pro promos with customer care, and I start teaching, educating my team to be like me, like really taking care and explaining step by step of the journey. That's really helpful. 

From a simple waiter to a successful businessman

Anatoliy Labinsky: I love this question because it's my story and I love my story because I really self-made and I'm still on the journey to be really a wealthier person and better per person than I am as a human.

I mean, and my journey really kind started tough. Really tough. I had no money. Like I was living in Dubai, but not Dubai lifestyle. I was living as a worker, as an employer, working seven days a week while nonstop six days a week as a waiter. And when actually everything is happened I was already in the office.

Job was nine to five, but we're working on part-times in private view, serving the dinners, event agencies, and as well night clubs. I was wait doing some kind of waiter job, why I was doing that because I didn't have enough money to survive in Dubai. It's expensive. I have to pay for the small room in we had like apartment of Filipino couple was having apartments.

They renting out to us, one small master bedroom from my wife and me. And one day it was 24th of February, by the way, 24th as well, which is weird. I just now realize. So 24th of February, 2017. She came to me and start crying and she said that she's pregnant. We will really wish to have a baby. But that moment, like I'm looking, we are in small room, tiny room.

We have nothing. And if she lose the job because of pregnancy, it'll be disaster because I won't be able to pay for the room to pay for the food. Like I wasn't able to cover all that stuff. We were surviving just because we were working together. After five years in Dubai, my friends already saved the money and all this stuff, but I was always beaten for the better place in my life and always failing.

And it was hurt me financially and I was like, I was the happiest guy. I was. Like I start so in love with that information, but after that in a second, I started analyzing all the situation and how serious it is. And my wife started crying and I understand how she disappointed that how we will survive.

And it's what hurt me a lot. And I said to her, listen, let me go to the pharmacy, say I will buy another test to double check if the test was correct. And I just went out. It was plus 35. It's hot outside. I'm just walking through the parking to the pharmacy next to our, the, our house, next to our like building.

And I just stuck and staying and my knees are like shaking. I'm scared. Like only war made me so scared as that moment, like I remember morning during the war and that moment when I stay next to the pharmacy, it was super similar emotions. I'm staying and just shaking like that.

So I was talking to myself, what? And after that, I just squeezed my hands and I said, listen. I'll find out the way. And my son, I didn't know that it'll be son. My baby will come in this world with different financial position. I don't know how, but I'll find out the way.

That was the biggest promise which I made in my life to myself. I went, bought a test, I came back so we understand that we are pregnant. I sent her in five months, I had to send her back to Ukraine to deliver baby there. Because we didn't have a delivery without insurance. It's 25,000. It's $7,000 for that moment.

I never had $7,000 in my hands. I never seen that much, that money in my hands. I mean, we move out and I moved to the two bedroom apartments where we're leaving seven guys. So I was living with the seven other guys and two bedroom apartment. Was sharing, like renting the bed space, only my bed space.

I have have even some pictures. My office was at kitchen where people were cooking behind me and I'm just like doing some stuff in internet, searching for some kind of opportunity, some kind of a way to find out what, what could work out for me. And plus like I had like a nice, you know, like breakfast table for the breakfast in the bed as well.

I bought such kind of table and was working from the bed. It was like nighttime as well, like office. So the thing is August, my wife left in June, July. I read the book. Robert Kiyosaki. Made me think about entrepreneurship. How important is to be working for yourself.

Not being an employer. I like, whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait. What? I was always dreaming in my mi my in my mind that I will be a great manager making good money working for the company, but at then I understand that, oh, that's the way to go. I didn't know that. And I started even more the deeper learning the business stuff.

And August, it was approximately now I already messed up with the dates, but it was 15 or 25th of August when I read an advertising on Facebook. I didn't know what is ads. I had no clue what is advertising. I read the ad like that guy in hundred, from hundred bucks become the super successful.

I read this book starting from zero. I'm like, okay, I don't know the pdf, obviously it was lead magnet. I didn't know what is lead magnet? The PDF 180 pages I read like in matter, I dunno, couple hours. It was like a weekend morning. I was reading like, what? No way. You know, I was like to speaking to myself. It's not possible. I don't believe.

After that I work, you know, on the mobile, just like switching the pages one by one. Like I will be doing that till end of my life. I'll find out and after one and a half months, 29th of September, that's for sure. I know 29th of September I launch my first Shopify store. This is where all the fails be begin.

I mean, sure. But this is how I started e-commerce journey is August 17. I found out by ads. And find out what is drop shipping and I start studying in YouTube, all this stuff, what is related to drop shipping and my mind was blowing.

Alex Bond
Alex Bond

Meet Alex Bond—a seasoned multimedia producer with experience in television, music, podcasts, music videos, and advertising. Alex is a creative problem solver with a track record of overseeing high-quality media productions. He's a co-founder of the music production company Too Indecent, and he also hosted the podcast "Get in the Herd," which was voted "Best Local Podcast of 2020" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, USA.

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