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    #40 - Paid Courses with Tom Wang, Barstool Acquisition & New Startup Hubs

    Understanding and fulfilling the unique demands of a niche market can lead to profitability, but building a strong brand and loyal fanbase like Barstool is challenging.

    enJanuary 31, 2020

    About this Episode

    *** JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP for share ideas and insight with each other: www.facebook.com/groups/ourfirstmillion *** Today we first chat to Tom Wang, who has sold a 7 figure Amazon FBA biz + runs a 7 figure FBA Masterclass. Some stuff the guys talk about today is Utah as a new startup hub, Sam ignoring Andrew Yang before he became a democratic candidate, a social network built on Airpods, dry toothpaste, emergency bags, educational content and the recent Barstool acquisition.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Embrace unconventional opportunities and be open to new ventures, as they may hold the key to unexpected success and significant financial growth.
    • By documenting his own journey and sharing his expertise, Tom Wang turned his skincare marketing role into a successful business and educational platform.
    • Success comes from genuinely helping others and staying true to oneself, as seen in Tom Wang's approach to teaching and selling his courses.
    • In the competitive education industry, targeting a specific area and providing in-person learning experiences can set you apart, attract paying customers, and create a more engaging learning environment.
    • Pay attention, take action, and be open to new possibilities. Seemingly insignificant interactions can have significant consequences.
    • The unique experiences and values cultivated by Mormons, including resilience, persuasion skills, and a strong work ethic, contribute to Utah's vibrant business environment and potential for investment opportunities.
    • The social networking market is dynamic, with new platforms challenging established ones. Privacy concerns and unique features, like silent communication, can drive user migration. iPhones could enhance security and efficiency in correctional facilities.
    • Niche markets and unique products that cater to specific needs are gaining popularity, demonstrating the potential for success in offering something different and meeting specific needs in society.
    • The success of companies like Costco and Mystery Science lies in their ability to think creatively and find unique solutions to challenges in their industries.
    • Persistence, patience, and innovative approaches are essential for businesses aiming to succeed in the school market, despite the slow bureaucracy, tight budgets, and monopolized industries within the education sector.
    • Understanding and fulfilling the unique demands of a niche market can lead to profitability, but building a strong brand and loyal fanbase like Barstool is challenging.
    • To succeed in the media industry, companies should aim for strong audience engagement and loyalty by evoking strong emotions and reactions, regardless of political alignment.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    From Night Markets to Seven-Figure Success: How Taking a Chance on Amazon Transformed Tom's Life

    Starting a side hustle and taking chances can lead to unexpected success. Tom, the podcast guest, shared his story of how he went from selling watches at night markets to building a seven-figure FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) business. He started off with little knowledge about e-commerce and even doubted the potential of selling products on Amazon. However, when someone offered to sell his public wallets on the platform, he decided to give it a try. To his surprise, the business took off, eventually expanding into the beauty niche and generating sales of over $1,700,000 in just two years. This highlights the importance of being open to new opportunities, even if they seem unconventional, as they might hold tremendous potential for success.

    From Skincare Marketing to Educational Success

    Tom Wang's business is rapidly growing, with projected sales of $6,000,000 this year. Although Tom himself is not passionate about skincare, he assists his girlfriend in marketing and branding their products. When discussing the potential income with Sam Parr, Tom mentioned that their EBITDA was about 30% last year. Furthermore, Tom talks about the course he launched, explaining that he initially followed other gurus' advice but didn't find success. Realizing that many gurus don't actually sell on Amazon, he decided to document his own journey and eventually launched a course. Initially priced at $100 per month, it gained traction, leading Tom to expand into in-person workshops for a higher fee. Ultimately, by sharing his experiences and expertise, Tom has been able to create a successful business and educational platform.

    Authentic Teaching and Selling - Helping Others

    Tom Wang's approach to teaching and selling his courses is focused on helping others rather than being sleazy. He shares his personal motivation to help people who were in a similar position as him growing up. Instead of wearing fancy attire and using high-pressure tactics, he presents his authentic self to his audience, even wearing a hoodie and shorts on stage. He offers free information on YouTube and sees his paid courses as a fast track for those who are truly interested. Tom finds fulfillment in seeing his students achieve results and sometimes struggles with self-confidence in his role as a teacher. Overall, his approach demonstrates that success can be achieved by genuinely helping others and staying true to oneself.

    Success in the Education Industry: The Power of Niche Markets and In-Person Learning

    Finding a niche market and providing an in-person learning experience can be a highly valuable and profitable business model. Tom Wang and Sam Parr both found success by teaching their expertise to a smaller, localized audience. By focusing on a specific area, they were able to stand out from the competition and attract eager learners who were willing to pay for their knowledge. Additionally, hosting in-person workshops allowed for a more intimate and interactive learning environment, which participants found to be worth the investment. While online courses have their benefits, targeting a smaller market and offering a physical presence can create a unique selling proposition and lead to success in the education industry.

    Seizing Opportunities and Embracing Possibilities

    Opportunities can easily slip through our hands if we don't pay attention or take action. Sam Parr shared a story about how he missed the chance to interview Andrew Yang before he became a prominent figure in the presidential race. Despite receiving multiple emails from Yang, Sam didn't respond or take him up on the offer. It was only later when his wife donated to Yang's campaign that Sam realized who he had ignored. This anecdote highlights the importance of being open to new possibilities and seizing opportunities when they arise. It serves as a reminder to always be attentive and proactive, as even seemingly insignificant interactions can have significant consequences.

    The Influence of Mormonism on Utah's Thriving Business Community

    Utah seems to have a thriving business community, with several successful companies and a high concentration of MLMs and call centers. One possible reason behind this is the sales skills and resilience developed by Mormons who go on missions and face constant rejection while selling religion door-to-door. This experience may make them skilled at persuasion and lead to a network effect of similar sales-minded individuals, creating hubs of business activity. Additionally, the strong work ethic and financial commitment to the church, such as giving 10% of income, may drive Mormons to strive for financial success. Exploring Utah's business landscape and meeting these companies could provide valuable insights, while also sharing expense reports and ideas can help identify patterns and opportunities for software investments.

    Emerging social networks, privacy concerns, silent communication, and iPhones in prisons.

    The market for social networks is constantly evolving and new players are emerging to compete with established platforms. The relaunch of BiTE, created by the founder of Vine, highlights the potential for new platforms to gain traction, even if they have a weaker product compared to existing ones like TikTok. The fear of privacy concerns and trust in foreign companies could potentially drive users to switch social networks. Another interesting trend is the silent communication network among kids using AirPods, reminiscent of how Snapchat initially grew in classrooms. This raises the possibility of creating a social network exclusive to AirPod users, allowing for discreet messaging and potentially revolutionizing cheating. Lastly, the nonprofit organization The Last Mile is advocating for prisoners to have iPhones in order to improve security and streamline inmate tracking within correctional facilities.

    The Power of Niche Communication Networks and Innovative Products

    Niche communication networks and unique products are gaining traction in the market. We see this through the example of a businessman considering building a communication network for prisoners, which initially sounds unconventional but makes sense upon further consideration. Additionally, the emergence of innovative products like changepaste, a tablet that transforms into toothpaste, highlights the growing demand for convenient, sustainable alternatives to traditional products. This "do-good" approach not only benefits the environment but also provides a better user experience, making it appealing to a wide range of consumers. These niche markets and products demonstrate the potential for success by offering something different and meeting specific needs in society.

    Innovative Companies Paving the Way to Success

    There are innovative companies like Costco and Mystery Science finding unique ways to succeed in their respective industries. Costco's annual report reveals interesting products that are doing well, such as their emergency kits. They also launched a low-alcohol liquor brand, "Don't get too fucked up," to navigate shipping restrictions. While it may seem like a strange idea, it could gain traction. On the other hand, Mystery Science recognized the importance of nurturing curiosity in education, especially in STEM subjects. They offer science education as a service to elementary schools, providing video lessons that encourage students' natural curiosity and make science teaching easier for teachers. These companies show the power of thinking outside the box and finding innovative approaches to achieve success.

    Overcoming challenges in selling to schools and the education system

    Selling into schools and the education system can be extremely challenging due to the slow bureaucracy and tight budgets. While there may be a shift towards teachers having more individual decision-making power, overall it is still difficult to penetrate the school market. Companies like Kahoot and Quizlet have found success by offering innovative learning tools that engage students, but breaking into the educational industry requires persistence and patience. Additionally, certain industries within education, such as varsity cheerleading, can be monopolized by a single company, further creating barriers for competition. Understanding the complexities and dynamics of the education system is crucial for businesses looking to make an impact in this field.

    The Success Stories of Niche Companies

    Niche markets can be highly profitable and successful business ventures. This conversation highlights the success stories of various niche companies, such as Varsity Brands in cheerleading and a scrubs business in the medical field. These companies have found success by catering specifically to the needs and preferences of their target audience, whether it's providing stylish scrubs for nurses or creating specialized clogs for professionals who spend long hours on their feet. This showcases the importance of understanding and fulfilling the unique demands of a niche market. Additionally, it emphasizes that replicating the success of companies like Barstool, which have built a strong brand, loyal fanbase, and unique culture, can be extremely challenging due to the intangible elements that contribute to their success.

    Building a successful media company: the power of an engaged audience.

    Successful media companies need to have a strong and engaged audience. Barstool Sports, for example, has managed to create a following of both lovers and haters, which has led to high levels of engagement and loyalty. This is what companies should strive for, regardless of political alignment. It's not about being in the middle and having lukewarm reactions; it's about evoking strong emotions and reactions. This is evident in the success of sites like Breitbart, which may not align with everyone's political beliefs, but still manages to generate high levels of engagement. Replicating this level of audience dedication is difficult, and many large corporations struggle to achieve it. However, it is a key factor in building a successful media company.

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    Episode 579: Sam Parr ( https://twitter.com/theSamParr ) and Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) talk about 3 niche trends they’ve found that are guaranteed to make $1M+. Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Shaan gets his hotness score (2:30) Reddit trend leads to $6M ARR beauty app for men (10:12) Male nail care influencers (12:42) Sam upstages Shaan's beauty score (14:00) Spin-off businesses: Med Spas (16:00) Aging influencers and modern male grooming products (20:27) The story of Teflon and Dupont's billion dollar problem (22:49) Forever chemicals are in our water (26:14) Pfas free products (29:12) A regulatory inflection point is here (33:16) Trend: Assassins with water guns (34:32) $0 - $250K MRR app (35:22) Playground virality (38:00) Trading expertise for social vouching (49:10) Exporting a profitable internal tool — Links: • Umax - https://tinyurl.com/mezh49ac • Acqua Pana - https://www.acquapanna.com • MAMAVATION - https://www.mamavation.com • Splashin - https://www.splashin.app • Splashin TikTok - https://www.tiktok.com/discover/splashin-app — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano Past guests on My First Million include Rob Dyrdek, Hasan Minhaj, Balaji Srinivasan, Jake Paul, Dr. Andrew Huberman, Gary Vee, Lance Armstrong, Sophia Amoruso, Ariel Helwani, Ramit Sethi, Stanley Druckenmiller, Peter Diamandis, Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Marc Lore, Jason Calacanis, Andrew Wilkinson, Julian Shapiro, Kat Cole, Codie Sanchez, Nader Al-Naji, Steph Smith, Trung Phan, Nick Huber, Anthony Pompliano, Ben Askren, Ramon Van Meer, Brianne Kimmel, Andrew Gazdecki, Scott Belsky, Moiz Ali, Dan Held, Elaine Zelby, Michael Saylor, Ryan Begelman, Jack Butcher, Reed Duchscher, Tai Lopez, Harley Finkelstein, Alexa von Tobel, Noah Kagan, Nick Bare, Greg Isenberg, James Altucher, Randy Hetrick and more. — Other episodes you might enjoy: • #224 Rob Dyrdek - How Tracking Every Second of His Life Took Rob Drydek from 0 to $405M in Exits • #209 Gary Vaynerchuk - Why NFTS Are the Future • #178 Balaji Srinivasan - Balaji on How to Fix the Media, Cloud Cities & Crypto • #169 - How One Man Started 5, Billion Dollar Companies, Dan Gilbert's Empire, & Talking With Warren Buffett • ​​​​#218 - Why You Should Take a Think Week Like Bill Gates • Dave Portnoy vs The World, Extreme Body Monitoring, The Future of Apparel Retail, "How Much is Anthony Pompliano Worth?", and More • How Mr Beast Got 100M Views in Less Than 4 Days, The $25M Chrome Extension, and More