The road to financial freedom can aptly be described as an obstacle course. It can be a series of challenging tests that require you to overcome them before achieving your ultimate goal. Chris Jenkins, a UK-born entrepreneur, has endured his fair share of obstacles on his journey and details how he has struggled to overcome them to achieve financial freedom.
Challenge 1 – Stepping Out on Your own
Like many entrepreneurs, Chris struggled with deciding to leave his day job to start his journey. He had been working for a large telecommunications company in the United Kingdom, and after many years and no promotions, he knew he needed to leave.
As an engineer, Chris detailed how he would "go to every day people's homes, climb up telegraph poles and connect phone lines to their houses. Summer would come and go, and I would dread working outside in the cold and wet temperatures during winter. Quite often, I'd wake up in the middle of the night hearing it raining outside whilst being minus temperatures and think to myself, 'I can't keep doing this anymore.' Eventually, each morning when my alarm would go off, I would feel a sick burning feeling in my stomach and dread getting out of bed."
He finally overcame this challenge after moving to Dubai to work for a Real Estate firm.
Challenge 2- Overcoming Failure
While living in Dubai and working for the real estate firm, Chris encountered another major obstacle.
"As the months passed by, it was becoming clear that the company I was working for wasn't seeing the results they hoped for in Dubai. They were established in the UK, but new in Dubai and didn't factor in cultural differences and the importance of relationships when selling investment property to people in the Emirates. A couple of weeks before Christmas, my boss called me into a meeting room and told me he had to let me go. It hit me pretty hard. I had now left my 7-year stable career and had no job in a foreign country – I could already hear my family say,'I told you so' in my head."
Chris determined, however, that he would not give up. "I immediately began several ventures, I bought www.selfiestick.co.uk and began dropshipping Selfie Sticks during the Selfie Stick trend. I did website design for friends. I sold premade packaged websites online. I sold whiteboard animated videos. I did reputation management. I even sold likes and followers. I essentially did whatever I could to pay the rent in Dubai so I could continue living in a warm place which made me feel alive."
He continued until he finally found a winning venture. "Eventually, I hit on something with a stock market news website I was running and was getting large amounts of traffic from Google News with the stories we posted about different stocks. It was like hitting gold at long last after 12 months of testing multiple different business models with many of them failing and a lot just covering my bills."
Challenge 3-Finding a Sustainable Business Model
Once Chris tested his multiple business ventures, it became important to find a sustainable business model. While dropshipping, Chris would encounter difficulties with finding the right product. On one occasion, he had started a venture with a friend that proved to be a failure. "We decided to launch a store together selling trending men's bracelets. We launched the ads and lost money. Everyday money was spent on ads, and we got barely any sales. After a couple of weeks of losses, we both decided that we didn't have the right product and shut down the store."
Thousands of products later, however, Chris has finally overcome this challenge. He has gone on to launch Giovvani, his luxury brand of sneakers that are sold exclusively online.Giovvani represents a milestone in his eCommerce career.
The brand boasts handmade leather-sole sneakers with a clean, minimalistic design to appeal to a select movement of people looking to upgrade their footwear.
"While I still own and operate some dropshipping stores, I am now focused on growing Giovvani into a well-known global brand with a reputation for product excellence."
He concluded by saying, "One thing I would say for anyone reading this is that I would hope I am an example of how no matter what environment you're in, whether you're struggling due to a lack of opportunity, contacts, money, or anything - the main thing success comes from is grit and persistence. If you start something, you will likely fail and then probably fail again. Still, you only truly fail when you quit, and you must understand that if you continue to keep moving forward, it is inevitable that you will be successful. The only thing that separates the winners from the losers is grit and persistence to keep on going."