Declining a High Paying Job after College and Risking Everything: How Kevin Zhang Beat the Odds and Teaches Others to Do the Same

Kevin Zhang

A serial entrepreneur and the founder of several successful e-commerce businesses, Kevin Zhang has achieved at 24 what many people dream about for their entire career. Starting just two years earlier, Kevin successfully turned $3,000 in his bank account into a global business that successfully sold products to hundreds of thousands of customers and employed 50+ team members around the world. He achieved this through a comprehensive strategy he now calls Branded Niche e-commerce and teaches to thousands of students via his flagship e-commerce incubation program.

The key to Kevin's success was leveraging global supply chains which provided him with access to lower cost goods to resell as well as outsourced logistics. He specifically followed a business model that allowed him to purchase products from a Chinese supplier on a per-unit basis (avoiding inventory holding costs) and have them shipped directly to the customer. The difference between the price advertised on Kevin's websites and what he paid his supplier was his profit. Traffic was driven to his businesses through targeted digital marketing

While the brilliance of Kevin's business model and the praise he receives from successful students suggests a history of achievement, this was not always the case. After struggling with video game addiction, academic probation, and a rocky relationship with his parents, Kevin made a decision after a lackluster high school career to turn his life around. Kevin wanted to honor the sacrifices of his parents, both Chinese immigrants who left behind their family, friends, and careers in pursuit of the American Dream.

Kevin's efforts paid off when he successfully earned a job offer with one of the world's top management consulting firms his senior year of college. Kevin was positioned to make 6-figures at age 22, but started to get cold feet. He recognized that while a corporate job would offer prestige and a steady paycheck, it wouldn't fulfill his desire to create a business that was not only his own, but would also give him the freedom to live life to its full potential - a means of making money passively.

After reading about the success of e-commerce sensations such as Warby Parker and Dollar Shave Club, Kevin took a leap of faith, gave up his job offer, and threw himself into e-commerce. To his parents' dismay, he gave up his job before it started and moved back into his family's basement to start his entrepreneurial journey. His first project was a store that sold women's purses, but sales were lackluster and the store never even turned a profit. Kevin realized a valuable lesson; he needed to be passionate about the product in order to maximize its chance of success. Three more failed stores, hundreds of new lessons learned, and thousands of dollars in credit card debt later and Kevin finally cracked the code with a series of men's discount apparel brands that generated his, now famous, $20 Million in sales in the first year. Not bad for an entrepreneur that started in his parents' basement.

Recognizing his formula could help others in similar positions, unsatisfied with 9 to 5s and willing to take charge of their own futures, Kevin founded Kevin Zhang Inc, his e-commerce education business. The business' e-commerce Incubation Program has been followed by thousands of students with 60%of students who complete the program successfully launching an e-commerce business Most students begin the program with no experience and many have successfully created 6-figure aven multi-million dollar business.

Kevin has spared no expense when it comes to providing all the resources necessary for student success. Each member of the program can join weekly calls with Kevin, access to his personal fulfillment team in China, and even receive monthly insights into the hottest selling products in Chinese warehouses. Kevin's course itself is structured to be easily digested even by those working full time jobs, and is broken down into 180+ video lessons that are updated as information changes.

"Too many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially in e-commerce, are obsessed with getting lucky," Kevin says. Instead of catering to this mindset and offering a flashy "get rich quick scheme," Kevin wanted to provide an entire ecosystem for developing long term success.

Due to his focus on sustainable growth, Kevin places extreme importance on ensuring a satisfactory customer experience. He recommends that students hold off before scaling their advertising, and instead focus on locking down their customer experience infrastructure: decreasing support times, branding generic products, and implementing product quality controls. Kevin's philosophy is clearly outlined in his video lessons and this focus on sustainable growth is one of the pillars of his Branded Niche e-commerce strategy.

No profile of an e-commerce entrepreneur would be complete without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic, which has radically transformed the e-commerce landscape resulting in a 45% increase in e-commerce purchases. Kevin recognizes how fortunate he is to have a source of income that is resistant to lockdowns and stay at home orders, but he also sees it as his responsibility to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs, so they too can take advantage. Kevin is continuing to expand his curriculum and find new means of distribution to get the method out, including partnering with a college to provide his program as a fall curriculum. No one knows the trajectory of this pandemic, but Kevin is confident his students have only one way to travel, and that's up.