I've sold trading cards , collectables , shopify websites. I've even sold Twilight stuff but it all started when the drink machine at high school spat out 7 cans of coke. My life would change forever after selling 6 of them in less then 5 minutes.
Hi my name is Clayton Bates founder of Inspire Small Business and this is my story. I hope it inspires you to truly go after your dreams because no matter if you fail or smash your dreams its all about going for it.
In high school I use to be the poor kid with holes in my shoes. Going to a school filled with kids that mostly had parents that what seemed like they could afford anything for them.
At 13 my mother would have to sell our family home and not long after that we would be forced to live in housing commission.
It was a struggle sometimes but it all changed the day I went to buy a can of coke and 7 cans dropped out. Five minutes later I'd sold 6 of them.
I'd spend the next few years lugging so many cans of drinks to school. Buying friends lockers of them at the start of every school year so I had room to store all the cans and keep them cold.
The business got so big that in the end most days I didn't even take school books anymore. People would ask why do you need to take three massive bags to school every day ?
The funny thing about when I left high school is a was working full time and earning less then what I did going to school. That really opened my eyes to the possibilities that owning a business had.
In 2008 my life would once again change forever when I was on my lunch break at my 9-5 job. Some how I stumbled into a random newsagent and seen they sold packets of trading cards. I didn't even think they still sold them. I just bought the rest of the box and the addiction I had as a kid had returned.
I started buying stacks of them and going to the local markets and selling them. The first time I ever had a market stall as I was getting the box out of the back of the car someone asked "hey do you sell card?" I'd made my first sale before even unpacking it was crazy experience.
A few months later I'd be made redundant and had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Could this card business be a full time thing I asked myself ?
I decided to just go for it. What a roller coaster that decision would be. After opening my first kiosk type shop I sold over $10,000 worth of stock the first month. I thought this business stuff is to easy. I went out partying like I'd won the lotto. I even shouted the whole bar one night.
The next month is when reality kicked in and I only sold $450 worth of stock that month. It was a real kick in the ass and wake up call.
The next three years I built the business into one the most well known trading card and collectables businesses in Australia.
2008 - 2010 was filled with ups and downs. Being Robbed multiple times and some of best memories of my life. A combination of bad discussions , my personal life being a mess and other factors seen me give up on my dreams and go back to getting a 9-5 job. It was one of the hardest days of my life closing the business down.
In 2014 I decided I'd to the business from home and on the internet. Opening a shopify website. It was hard work getting the business going again. Everything had changed. Everything was mostly online. I had to learn new skills but I never gave up and after 6 months of no sales my shopify website finally got the first sale. I was seriously over the moon I was jumping up and down I was so excited.
It was my new mission to learn everything I could about building a online business.
In 2015 the site had started to go OK but it was really 2016 that it just exploded. I made thousands of online sales and was working crazy hours between my 9-5 job and the website. I didn't even have a lunch break for most of 2016 because I had to fly to the post office every day.
I knew the ladies at the post office so well they use to give me Christmas presents. They were legends. Even opening the doors up after they closed just so I could drop of the parcels some days.
10 x 4 = life Changed
By the end of 2016 I was asking myself is all this work and extra money worth it ! I was seriously burnt out by then. All the hard work I did in 2015 and 16 really pay of for me in 2017. It was seriously the best year of my life. I achieved 4 goals I'd wanted for over 10 years and loads more goals. My shopify website was a massive part of that. I would never have bought my house with out. Ever since I was 13 when my mum lost hers I always told myself that would never happen to me.