“I don’t want to live like this” were the exact words that Alex Fedotoff repeated to himself before he entered the Ecommerce industry.
He had lived in a disadvantaged country in Eastern Europe, graduating from university with no real career prospects at all.
And when he sold cookies for $100/month when his rent was $200/month, he knew that things needed to change.
After enduring the struggle of working a dirty factory job for only $2/hr for 12 hours a day…
He stumbled upon the world of freelancing.
Seeing the potential of freedom that it could give to him and his wife, he dove right in.
From there, he had set himself on a path that led him to eventually create an online Ecommerce business that netted him $4.1 million in just 9 months.
Today, he is now a world-class mentor to up and coming Ecommerce brand builders.
This article will explore Alex’s journey from the struggles he endured to the lessons that he learned along the way that led him to become a huge success in the Ecommerce space.
From Humble Beginnings
You’d never thought that a payment processing issue would drive someone to cross the border and even move to a different country.
But when Alex wanted to sell on the internet…
The biggest barrier for him was that he needed a PayPal account when his hometown did not support PayPal processing.
With no other choice, Alex crossed the border into Poland to open up a Paypal account before coming back to his home country once again.
On top of that, his sales weren’t consistent at the time.
Eventually, Alex and his wife decided to move to Poland.
From there, he worked in a factory 12 hours a day just to make ends meet…
Coming home and having to wash his clothes everyday due to all the dust and dirt that was on them.
“I don’t want to live like this”, he thought to himself with how “unfulfilling” his life was.
He wanted to leave the job, but there was that risk that what he did online wouldn’t be enough to feed his family.
The day came when he finally had enough.
He and his wife wanted something better.
So Alex threw his work clothes onto the ground…
Called his boss and said to him, “I’m not showing up anymore”.
From there, he had an extra 12 hours a day to dive deeper into the exciting world and opportunities of the online space.
Alex Fedotoff’s Uncommon Rise as a Freelancer
Despite having no skills, no experience and not even speaking English…
Alex dove into the world of freelancing the moment he had heard about it.
While applying for jobs on Elance or Upwork…
He taught himself how to speak English.
He also looked for what people wanted and learned the skills necessary to do the job and get results…
Whether it was for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Google AdWords.
“Whatever jobs came my way, virtual assistant, SEO, I’m your guy”.
For months, whatever he was asked to do…
He said he could do it and then he would learn how to do it after – which is an uncommon mindset to have.
As the multi-billionaire founder of Virgin, Richard Branson said…
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later”.
Facebook ads? – “I can do it”
Google AdWords? – “I can do it”
The Ecommerce brands he was working with needed this.
While his income was better than ever…
The brands he worked with had very high expectations.
For instance, when making sales for a brand…”3-4x was not enough. They needed 7x”.
Eventually, he learned that instead of being a generalist, striving to know how to do everything…
It was much better to be a specialist that has mastered one skill deep enough to get higher-paying clients and more exposure.
So that was the path that he transitioned to when he chose to master Facebook ads.
From Working For a Brand to Building His Own $100 Million Ecommerce Empire
As Alex developed his mastery over Facebook Ads…
He developed exposure to higher-paying clients.
This landed him an opportunity to work with a free plus shipping watch brand.
During his time working in this company, he wanted to observe all the day to day operations…
Including how the products were made and fulfilled.
Within a month, he had pushed that brand towards a whopping $500,000 per month.
Seeing all those zeroes that he had made for the company…
And gaining all that knowledge on the day to day operations…
Made him realize that he could go out and do this on his own.
“Why do I need him?” was the one question that was on his mind.
Not a single justified answer was there to answer that question.
So with that, he left the watch brand and embarked on his own journey.
And the moment he created his first website, a rush of excitement took over.
The possibilities were endless. He wanted nothing more than to see how far he could take this.
“I had about 25 ideas a day…my wife was like, ‘hey, hold your horses. Too many ideas”.
And it was a huge success.
Within just 9 months, he had generated over $4.1 million before landing an offer to sell his business.
Here are some of the biggest lessons that he had learned.
How to Succeed in Ecommerce Without Failing at Multiple Businesses
You’ve probably heard stories of entrepreneurs failing multiple businesses before they succeeded.
And while it’s admirable that they had the fortitude to keep going…
There is another way to ensure that you are most likely to succeed in business WITHOUT failing at multiple businesses yourself…
WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S BUSINESS!
It’s not a sexy idea by any means.
Aspiring entrepreneurs dream of owning their own company so they can have the freedom to be their own boss…
To work how they want, when they want, on their own terms.
But if you decide to start your own company right away, you may have to fail multiple businesses before you succeed.
When Alex worked for other brands…
Those opportunities allowed him to build his skills, make mistakes and observe the inner workings of the brands he helped to build.
“You have more wisdom and experience….It’s a great starting point for a lot of people”.
This is especially useful if you are someone who is very risk-averse.
Learning the inner workings of the Ecommerce watch brand he had worked for, gave him the step by step know-how to start his own Ecommerce brand…
Scaling it to over $4.1 million in just nine months.
“Even Jeff Bezos had a job in a hedge fund before he started Amazon. He saw the market move, he knew how to raise money. He had that exposure to big level finance.
Someone who doesn’t have that could take years to figure out. He already had that when he left that job and started Amazon.
A lot of entrepreneurs have that experience that gives them the inception and seeing the business from the inside”
How Alex Solved a 6-Figure Payment Processing Issue
Payment processing issues can be a nightmare when it comes to cash flow.
For instance, when Alex lived in Europe, he had experienced “7 day payout times”.
He would do $20-30K a day but the payout would come through at an accumulated $200-300K after seven days of the money sitting there on the internet.
“It was up to the goodness of Stripe or Paypal whether you would get that money or not”.
This was a painful experience because he would have to scale down so he could wait for the funds to get released.
This was the main reason, he and his wife decided to move from Europe to the US.
“In the US, you have access to so many payment processors, loans and credit, funding, capital for you to expand the business. In Europe, it’s more limited”
Cut Your Learning Curve in Half By Joining an Ecommerce Mastermind
They say “two heads are better than one”.
But what if you had a whole community of like-minded ambitious people who want to succeed as much as you?
What you get is the power of a mastermind…
A community that trades advice, insights and helps each other to avoid expensive mistakes.
This is what Alex set out to create when aspiring Ecommerce brand builders had reached out to him for advice.
Initially, he helped two people by doing Skype calls.
But when he built his own brand, he learned from the minds of multiple people.
That allowed him to grow so much quicker due to the many sources of ideas and inspirations he would get.
So he realized it was so much more valuable for them to have an Ecommerce mastermind.
Imagine a community where there are at least one or more experts in every area of the Ecommerce industry.
No matter what challenge or obstacle you face, you can turn to the expertise of someone already crushing it in the community.
“Whether you have your own community or you’re a part of other communities, you can really shorten that learning curve so you don’t have to go through all the hurdles and mistakes to go from point A to point B.
This is especially important when there are people claiming Ecommerce is a scam.
Or when there are those who prefer to be selfish and do their own thing rather than support others.
The Costly Mistake That Introverted Business Owners Make
As Alex stated, “90% of people attracted to this business are introverted”.
This makes total sense considering that you can operate multi-million dollar businesses just on your laptop (or even your smartphone).
But due to the isolated nature of being an introvert…
A common issue is that introverted brand builders do not reach out to enough people for support.
When Alex asked two of his successful students – both shy and introverted – “What made the difference for you?”…
This was the response…
“First, we were not comfortable reaching out for help or joining the calls, connecting with other people, but then we just decided fuck it, just do it.”
From there, they started to absorb large amounts of data and insights.
They processed the information they were taught much quicker.
“Business is just a reflection of us.
You can grow a 6 figure business or a 7 figure business.
To grow an 8 figure business, you have to become a different person.
You probably won’t get there by yourself so now you have to get the right type of people.
You have to communicate with them. You have to lead them.
You have to get feedback. You have to be more patient. You have to be more direct at times.
So whatever qualities you have to adjust about your personality…that’s a totally different skillset”.
3 Non-Negotiable Skills of a Multi-Millionaire
In the game of business, there are countless elements to keep in mind…
From the operations to customer service to marketing and sales – the list goes on.
As a result, being open-minded is required to learn all that needs to be learned.
Being close-minded closes you off from ideas and opportunities that could either net you thousands of dollars of profit…
Or save you from losing thousands of dollars.
When the crypto and NFT space grew, Alex thought they were just a fad – a bubble that would burst eventually.
But when he saw what was possible within these spaces, he started to learn more about them.
Checking Your Ego
Here’s a question for you – would you be willing to listen to someone you dislike? Or would you ONLY listen to people you like?
If your answer is the latter, then you are most likely making a very costly mistake.
Why? – because let’s say you’re in a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and one of them says something really smart.
What a shame it would be if you decided not to listen to them just because you didn’t like them.
In fact, this was the mistake that Alex had made…
“I would join a mastermind. I would pay $30,000-50,000 a year and I would be like, ‘oh I don’t really like this guy’. And then I would reject ideas. But how stupid is that?”
Having your ego in check is crucial for long term success.
Alex has had some of his students do even higher numbers than him…
“At first it hurts your ego because you want to be at the top of the mountain”. But the better thing to do would be to ask the question, “okay what can I learn from this person?”
As Alex described, there’s no shortage of entrepreneurs who say…
“I want it fast”
“I want it to look perfect”
“I wanted it done yesterday”
Building a business requires unwavering patience.
Everything takes more time than you think it does…
Especially when it comes to building a team.
You may have had short term success that came quickly…
But long term success only rewards those who can keep themselves calm and centred for the long term.
Going From 6-7 Figures To 8-9 Figures
How do you go from 6-7 figures to 8-9 figures?
In Alex’s experience, one of the biggest needle movers is this…
KNOWING HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE!
It’s possible to make 6 figures by yourself, as long as you have good quality suppliers and products.
But in Alex’s experience, he had to work himself to death.
And this is where many Ecommerce brand builders hit a plateau.
You only have so many hours in the day.
There comes a point where you’ll have to leverage other people’s time and effort.
But it’s not as simple as just hiring people who can do the job.
And this is where it gets tricky.
Many entrepreneurs have ridiculously high expectations.
They pay someone a salary and then expect them to be able to do everything…
Not just what they were hired to do, but also staying proactive and bringing in new ideas.
What frustrated Alex was hiring people who could get the job done…
But lacked the critical thinking skills he was also looking for.
He wanted people who showed proactivity and would ask questions like…
“Why don’t we do this in this way, it’ll be more efficient. Why don’t we eliminate this step because it’s not needed?”
Overtime, he realized there were different kinds of people.
The people who know how to just follow orders are as valuable as those who can act as leaders in the company.
All in all, it’s about getting good at the hiring game…
“I might have a billion-dollar idea. But who’s going to execute on that idea?
Not me because I have two hands, two legs and one brain.
So you need more brains, more hands to bring those ideas to life”.
Jeff Bezos only hired within a certain level of IQ – he set this standard from the very beginning.
Facebook hired top executives from Microsoft and gave them million-dollar bonuses – they were that valuable.
But keep in mind that it’s also a game of margins.
If you’re selling a low ticket product and your margins are slim…
Then you won’t have the extra profits to hire good people.
How Having The Right Partner Builds Your Self-Esteem as an Ecommerce Business Owner
Everyone has ideas. But not everyone can execute on them.
Execution requires high levels of self esteem and the willingness to take risks.
As Alex said, “I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem because of my upbringing.”
But what made the difference for him was the support of his wife through even the toughest of times.
They even worked together in the factory and worked equal hours.
“If you have the right type of partner, they can help you to build that self-esteem. They can support you when things get tough”.
On the flipside, if your partner is more of a distraction or tries to pull you down…
Then those personal challenges in the relationship will stack on top of your business challenges.
It’ll be too overwhelming to handle.
With all that being said, Alex’s story is a great example of how you can start off with barely any money coming in…
But still make it to millionaire status, especially in the Ecommerce space.
Follow Alex Fedotoff on his Instagram.