This week on the podcast, we’re inviting a guest who’s had an incredible amount of success building Amazon affiliate sites. In just a few short years out of his job, and focusing on his business, I think it’s fair to say he’s built himself meaningful wealth.
One thing that’s interesting about this space is that most of the people who are really doing well don’t want to talk about it publicly. It’s easy to forget, with all the “success” narratives thrown our way everyday, that the vast majority of business success stories aren’t shared in the press or on social media. There are entire categories of the business world that actively work to keep those stories obscured and hidden.
In our entrepreneurial world, one of those categories is Amazon sellers (discussed on this episode of the podcast).
I’ve met lots of young people at our events making healthy five-figures a month incomes selling basic stuff on Amazon. Or referring traffic to Amazon. Do you think they want to come on the podcast and share their story? No way. Maybe in 5 years.
Last week I posted a conversation with Venkat Rao that’s partly about the concept of “power literacy.” It’s a complex topic, but I think one aspect of it can be captured in a rule of thumb:
Believe the walk, not the talk.
Are there ways you can observe what people, and businesses, are actually doing rather than hearing them say what they think they are doing? How can you focus on those things more regularly?
Screenshot of the EF marketplace in late Jan 2017.
Now I’m no scientist, but a quick look at the Empire Flippers marketplace reveals that the top 11 sites (the first 11 that came up on my screen) are selling for an average price of $711,152.27.
The average start date of these businesses was 7/1/2014.
Over half of these businesses use Amazon as one of their monetization channels.
I do not currently know the sellers, or sites, behind these listings. But I have met many previous sellers in person (I am one myself, we reference a drop shipping site we sold for mid-five figures in this episode) and I can tell you this: you might be surprised by the average entrepreneur here.
They aren’t often folks who started with a ton of dough, or fancy degrees, or business pedigrees. Often, they are simply motivated people who went all in with their energy and effort when they saw — not merely heard about — an opportunity.
“Seeing” in this sense can often take months and months of focused work. It’s a of know-how that’s built from direct experience. I don’t believe you can learn this type of knowledge from a book. To understand these opportunities, you’d have to work at it for weeks and months, and for many of us, years. A long time for sure, but much less than a traditional corporate or academic career would ask of you (the structural reasons for this are discussed in this book, and here too).
At least in today’s market conditions, if you have the time and the work ethic to build these opportunities, there are investors lining up to purchase the assets from you. Of course, things change, but this type of knowledge can stay with you and evolve for a lifetime.
As I look at these listings, there’s a little site started in September 2014 that jumps out at me. The asking price is just over a half-million dollars. Now, if I had to guess, I’d say this isn’t this seller’s first business or website.
But I imagine the person who might have built it. Maybe they’ve built a few smaller sites in the past and wanted to up their game.
I picture someone young creating the type of wealth, in a few years, that might have taken their family an entire career or more.
They may have even done it in someplace new to them, in a rented Airbnb with friends or family, heading out after a days work to talk with others doing the same.
All with just a computer, vision, and work ethic.
PS, check out the podcast this Thursday morning, we’ll be deep diving into this topic.