They say that it's never too early to start working on actualizing your dreams. Nowadays, your dreams couldn't be more possible. With just a laptop and an internet connection, anything is possible, if you have the patience and determination to succeed.
Andrew Hristo, now 25, started out when he was only 13 years old. Even then he knew a normal nine-to-five job and a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle weren't part of his dream life. He wanted something different, something that would allow him to empower all aspects of his life, and also a dirt bike. So he started reselling products from China via the internet. For a 13-year-old, that's impressive, though not as impressive as the rest of his journey. He learned to enjoy the journey, which began with him graduating high school and moving from Southern Australia to the USA.
After making landfall at the University of Miami, he attended classes and continued developing multiple online businesses. He tried it all, from flipping products, to influencer marketing, personal training, social media marketing, and e-commerce. All these ventures helped him define and focus on his strong points and pivot to sustainable, scalable, and profitable businesses. So what did he learn during this part of his journey?
Define your ideal client or customer. Knowing everything there is to know about a specific niche is the most important part for a business that competes in that market. If you want to provide the best marketing solutions to a specific profession—let's say dentists—you have to understand everything about them, what they've done in the past, and what their strongest points are. With that said, you need to be painfully aware that not every client who comes your way is going to be a step in the right direction. Saying no to possible clients is a hard thing to do, but you have to do it if they don't meet your criteria. Scaling a niche is always better than trying to expand the type of clients you provide services to just to have a short-term spike in profit. In summary: define your ideal client- or customer-base and play the long game.
When it comes to scaling and building a team, Andrew follows one pretty simple principle. Andrew finds people who are experienced and skilled in customer service and social media, which he calls low-revenue activities. Whatever his assistants and team members do doesn't really bring in a lot of revenue as much as keeps the quality of service at a certain standard. With such low-revenue activities delegated to other people—mostly assistants hired online—Andrew has all the time and space to work with potentially high-revenue clients and businesses.
As far as dealing with competition, Andrew is always looking to differentiate himself in the business world and has found that learning to effectively solve a specific problem will keep him ahead of the competition. For example, during one of Andrew's social media marketing ventures, he chose to specifically work with plastic surgeons and mastered how to bring them more leads. This differentiated him from all the other general marketing agencies who were reaching out to plastic surgeons. Andrew's tips for getting ahead of the competition in e-commerce simply come down to actually finding a competitor in your target market who's doing well, modeling what works for them, and adding your own unique twist to capture market share.
The type of business Andrew has become a master of is hard, like any other. When things get tough, and they will, Andrew always looks back on the 'why' of it all. "You have to have the 'why' figured out. Your motivation, ambition, and clear vision of why you're doing what you're doing needs to be strong and ever-present, because that's what's going to get you through difficult moments and the greatest challenges that lay ahead of you."
Andrew Hristo was a boy who just wanted to get his own dirt bike when he was 13. Now he is a world-class businessman, traveler, and mentor to over 500 students and e-commerce beginners, forever focused on living life to its fullest and influencing positive change in as many people as he can.