We may receive commissions for affiliate links included in this article. This is a sponsored post. Future Sharks makes no warranties about the statements, facts and/or claims made on this article. These are the opinions of the author. Read our advertising and contributor disclosure here.
Colombian-American business mogul Erick Rodriguez has earned his seat at the big boy table, converting his ECommerce business into a multi-millionaire enterprise. He wears many hats, what with being a successful e-Commerce seller and inspirational spokesman.
Born in Long Island, New York, and raised in Deland, Florida, he showed great aspiration and drive even from a tender age. From as early on as grade school at Freedom Elementary, he bagged multiple awards for his reading skills and talent as a chess player.
He went on to enlist with the American Boy Scouts, where he continued to shine, attaining the distinguished Eagle Scout position at thirteen.
Presently, he heads his lucrative company from Manila, Philippines, where he has settled down.
His passion for public speaking also takes him across the globe, where he engages in inspirational entrepreneurial talks.
Where teenagers his age were dreaming of the cars they’d drive when they were older, thirteen-year-old Erick had begun trading on eBay. When he eventually got into college, he had traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gadgets, and appliances, and several vehicles. His merchandise included phones, computers, among others, which he also auctioned on Craigslist and Amazon.
He remained a dedicated member of the American Boy Scouts, to whom he accredits his business mind and aptitude for success. He fondly acknowledges that these characteristics have formed the backbone of his success as a business owner.
His commendable success with the American Boy Scouts began at age twelve when he was awarded recognition for the best-selling candy peddler for two consecutive years. He managed to sell over 1600 confectionery within sixty days.
By age thirteen, Erick attained Eagle Scout, one of the highest positions in Boy Scout land! This award was a well-deserved reward for years of dedicated service in voluntary enlisting, outdoor camping, and good leadership.
His rank gave him responsibility for fifty enlisters and an excavator machine as they built a massive nature path at Blue Lake Elementary School. Leadership was always in him!
Rodriguez attended the University of Florida, where he graduated from the Warrington School of Business.
His reputation for awards didn’t falter as he went on to win reputable accolades like the Student Organization of the Year for the college. He attained the Student Leader of the Year, continuing to outdo himself.
His continual contributions to his university and outstanding performance saw his invitation to the Harvard Business School under a summer program. Where he attended an all expense paid 1 week imitation of life at Harvard Business school, a program meant to entice qualified candidates to apply.
In his undergraduate year, Rodriguez co-headed a business course for a whole semester. He’d lead lectures that lasted up to two and a half hours while enforcing lesson structures, and helping out with the tutoring of twenty-five learners.
Throughout all of this, he also dedicated his time to mentor students in their respective career paths, goals, and aspirations. He’d meet with every one of his 20 mentees to share his wisdom and guidance.
By the time he got to his sophomore year, he had attained the role of teaching assistant to Professor William J. Rossi under the Principles of Entrepreneurship classes. He helped out with lectures with up to 900 learners, grading manuscripts, fulfilling office hours, and supervising exams.
Erick talked to the University of Florida to let him perform remote learning while he immersed himself in the practical side of his work. For half a year, he settled in China, where he familiarised himself with hands-on manufacturing and acquisition.
Keen Eye For Opportunities
In his third year, Rodriguez struck gold and earned an opportunity to attend an MBA summer course at the Harvard Business School. Engaging with some of the best minds in business, he fully explored his exposure to the professors there and the other excelling scholars he was grouped with.
Rodriguez’s voyage to China birthed his first company, marking the beginning of many more to come. Over the few years that followed, he established and sold three online eCommerce Businesses, received a purchase order for 1282 Walmart stores, and gained traction as a public speaker at numerous Online Marketing seminars.
In 2014, he was chosen to attend the Google conference, BOLD Immersion, where an all-expenses-paid trip is awarded to some students, taking him to one of Google’s main offices. Rodriguez was part of a select 70, hand-picked group of high-achieving college scholars.
In the following year, he went on and got a Google summer internship award. There, he worked as their AdWords account manager for emerging and medium companies. His task was to assist them in Google in helping the businesses to expand their profit and returns using Google marketing.
With all these opportunities coming his way, he took these stepping stones as a learning ground, gathering knowledge to, later on, grow his own business.
Within his first three months as a salesman, he’d already ranked third place amongst the rookies across the country. Every chance he got was an opening to improve himself and better his skills.
Birth of A Business Mogul
Erick’s initial involvement with trading on eBay sparked his entrepreneurial genius.
Handling various leadership roles in his formative years had trained him in essential skills for business management.
It’s with this drive that he pursued a career in e-Commerce business running. In his sophomore year in college, Rodriguez entered a Startup Weekend contest. This tournament ran for 54 hours and had bodies of rookie entrepreneurs getting into groups, presenting concepts, and collaborating to come up with models, try them out and pitch them for judging.
That very year, he got picked out to participate in the StartupBus North America, a well-known, deeply engaging entrepreneurship contest internationally.
By the third year, his reputation as a promising entrepreneurial mind had escalated to the point where he got elected as President of the University of Florida Entrepreneurship Club!
Doing what he knew best, he took it from being a grass work organization to one of the most respected institutions. Rodriguez applied what he’d learned from his exposure, to improve the attendance, groom strong orators, and implement collaborative management of the institution.
A year and a half later, the club got acknowledged as a top scholar organization at the Warrington School of Business. It also got runner-up to first place for entrepreneurial clubs nationally in 2015.
Rodriguez’s term of service as president saw him persuading several public speakers to share their experiences to help upcoming students openly. Some of the participants included none other than Rob Carter (co-CEO of FedEx), Kevin Turner (former COO of Microsoft), Bo Peabody (Founder of Tripod.com), and multiple ABC Shark Tank competitors.
By the time of his graduation, a year later, he had received Student Organization of the Year award, the Outstanding Program of the Year award, and the Warrington Student of the Year award. The only step for Erick from there was uphill, having achieved so much at college and gaining a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
As a leading eCommerce entrepreneur, Rodriguez has created multiple eCommerce businesses and created dozens of intellectual property assets.
He created an Amazon business, to generate a seven digit-worth business with only two employees! Among his other successful ventures, he also successfully got a product into 1,282 Walmart stores nationwide.
To date, he has created and sold two lucrative, product-based eCommerce businesses.
Amid all his grand success, Erick takes time to expound on his experiences with eCommerce, giving talks at conferences.
Attendees at some of these leading eCommerce conferences generate an average of 7 figures annually in sales (based on attendance surveys from conference organizers) He has spoken at conferences in Hong Kong and Las Vegas on useful topics such as: Conversion Optimization, Using Video & Photography to Boost Sales, and many more.
Furthermore, Erick guested on Robyn Johnson’s podcast Best From the Nest about Amazon product photography and graphic design.
While on his way to growing his eCommerce businesses, Erick recognized the need for traders on Amazon to have strong backing in terms of photographers, designers, copywriters, and overall creatives.
This need was the foundation of Virtuous Graphics. The vision led to the creation of a 25-person company that serviced the creative needs of Amazon sellers.
He aims to help everybody from college-bound newbie traders to the established entrepreneurs, and he seeks to help them occupy the Top 500 Amazon Seller ranks.
Erick as a serial entrepreneur and builder of businesses intelligently implanted an operator he mentored and coached to run the business on his behalf—resulting in him only having to spend 5 hours a week on the company.
In 2009, Alpha Rock Capital bought Virtuous Graphics from Erick.
Owing to the many generous opportunities that he received when he was starting off, Rodriguez acknowledges that it’s essential that he help the next generation of eCommerce entrepreneurs. In doing so, he urges other established business owners to do the same and help groom the next crop of millionaires!
For more information about Rodriguez or to get in contact with him feel free to visit his website.