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Hey Ryan! Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
Ryan: Well first off I want to say I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity. It is truly getting harder to tell the difference between reality and dreams, the lines keep blurring.
Ryan: My name is Ryan Mathews and I was born and raised in Southern California. I am heavily involved in the eCommerce industry and specifically dropshipping. This is what I am most known for; however, I did not initially expect my work to expand to the magnitude it has recently. At first, business was just a way for my 16-year-old self to make some extra money and that as far as it went.
So Ryan, when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Ryan: Well, I had a very normal and basic childhood. I come from a big family with four sisters and grew up in a small desert town. I had very ordinary goals growing up. I wanted to get a degree and a typical job for my entire youth.
Although I did not realize it, I always had entrepreneur blood in me. It started with lemonade stands in the 5th grade to later transform into a retail arbitrage business selling on eBay at 16. I would literally buy shoes from Ross and flip them on eBay. Once again, this was just a way for my 16-year-old self to make money.
At this point, I still wanted a normal career until my oldest sister Courtney pointed out my entrepreneurial mindset and ambition. This really sparked a fire inside my head for the next few months, one that I could not seem to get out.
The whole business “DIY” idea just came from straight survival. I remember there was a time where everything hit the fan in a single week. Most of my personal relationships fell apart in a matter of days. My mind shot into pure desperation, but this is where I would get the most done. I was just starving to get results fast, which would develop the biggest turning point of anything I had done before.
Once I saw business as a way out of the situation I was in, I began to love it. Late nights of research, early mornings of working before school, and failing over and over again were all side effects of my recent endeavor.
A lot of problems arose in my life my sophomore and junior year of high school, but honestly, looking back, I could not be more grateful for them and would never change a thing about what happened. Bad things always come up in life but being able to come out better makes the bad experience well worth it. These situations made me desperate, and this lead to my success. Desperation breeds a beast and that is exactly what it did to me.
What inspired you to start drop shipping?
Ryan: Dropshipping really stuck out to me for a few reasons:
- You basically need no start-up capital
- Age does not matter
- There is no ceiling
For those of you that do not know what dropshipping is it is selling physical products on your own website and having a supplier fulfill the orders.
It is a business model where you need little to no money to start, you can be under 18, and one you can scale to the moon. All of these things made it incredibly appealing and something I just had to jump into.
What are 3 Successful Strategies you would recommend to anyone looking to start their own eCommerce business?
Ryan: Dropshipping works if you have two things:
- The work ethic and drive to learn, try, fail, and repeat
- The right knowledge to get you results
Ryan: With that being said 3 strategies you need to start is:
- No matter what be an optimist. In business, road bumps always come up, and if you don’t have self-belief you will not make it. Elon Musk says that starting a business is like swallowing broken glass and that is honestly the best description I can think of. It is not always easy and stress, worry, and failure are all side effects of starting any business.
- You should invest into the proper training to gain the knowledge that you need to grow your eCommerce business. A proper mentor will know way more than you do and they have already been through the hardship that you will go through.
- It works if you work. Like anything with the right knowledge and work ethic, you can get to where you want to be. It just takes some time.
How do you keep yourself motivated as an entrepreneur?
Ryan: Honestly, nothing is special about me. I am always trying to one-up myself and I think this is essential. As an entrepreneur, if you are not a little bit worried about what is next, there is no fuel to keep going. I always know there is another milestone to hit and I always want to hit it.
Other than that, I really just have discipline that I have trained into my mind. I know the sacrifice that is necessary to get my business to where I want it to be and I am willing to make it. You have to be able to say “no” constantly as an entrepreneur. A lot has changed in my life and in my relationships since I became more focused in my business and I have to stay focused and continue to work at my goals.
Motivation will fade but good discipline lasts.
What the biggest differences between normal dropshipping and high ticket dropshipping?
Ryan: The normal way to drop ship is getting products from a Chinese website called Aliexpress and fulfilling through them. This causes a few major problems for your business.
- Shipping time is more than 2 weeks
- Your items are cheap and customers are often unsatisfied leading to high return rates
- Profits are low because you are selling low-cost items
Ryan: My method is much different. It is called High Ticket Dropshipping because our products are $1,000 and up. I fulfill from private U.S. suppliers which are also name brands. This method has a few major benefits for your business:
- Shipping time is only a few days
- Items are high quality leading to highly satisfied customers
- Profits are high because our items are high cost. Average profit margin is 30-50% meaning on a $1,000 order you keep $300-$500 profit.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your business experience so far?
Ryan: Getting into drop shipping I was extremely optimistic. I thought my first store would get me to a million in sales and be a thriving business for my entire life. Sadly I only got about 10 sales and it only lasted for a couple of months.
Optimism is very important in business but also can be your worst enemy. You need to have self-belief but also have to be able to get back up if you fail. I failed countless times over my first couple years and if I would have given up at any time I would have never gotten to where I am now.
With any dream, a lot of negativity arises from people involved in your life. In order to get to the top level, you have to hype yourself up. You have to have so much self-belief to fight negativity. Every time I told anyone my goals the reaction was the same, they just laughed. This made me want to prove to myself that it was possible. I knew it was possible and I knew I could do it.
What is one thing you wish you had done when you were starting out?
Ryan: I wish I would have invested into training sooner. This would have made it so much easier. I made more improvement in two months after investing in a mentor then I did in the entire year prior. If I would have invested sooner it would have saved a lot of time, worry, money and stress along the way.
What fear and insecurity have you overcome and how?
Ryan: My biggest fear was everything failing. I am not gonna lie, the patience played its toll on my mind. I felt like giving up countless times. I wanted it to work so bad and was terrified that it would not. Luckily, it all paid off in the long run.
My biggest insecurity in business goes alongside with my optimism. Of course like anything there is always a chance it will not work. I was so scared of judgment from others that would come if it all failed. I got over this over time when I realized that this is something that is very possible and started to not care about other people’s opinions as much.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Ryan: Yes, my two business mentors, Nate Hurst and Clayton Williams, helped me every step of the way. Without them, I would not be anywhere near where I am today and am incredibly grateful for all that they taught me.
What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?
Via instagram: @ryanhte or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org