The broke 15 year old boy who now runs a million dollar company..
Today, I got a story to share...
A story of how a broke 15 year old kid generated over a million dollars in sales online before he turned 20.
Alright, sit down, grab some popcorns and fasten your seat belts because I am going to take you on a roller coaster ride.
Well, not literally - but calling my life a rollercoaster wouldn't be an exaggeration.
Today I am going to share things that I have never in my life shared with anyone online or offline, besides a select few. I mean I do have shared tidbits here and there but today it's going to be everything.
Where It All Starts...
My entrepreneurial journey starts at a very, very young age.
It was all going very good, we were a happy family, our bills were paid and we didn't have anything to worry about. But things started going downhill and never really made their way back up. I was about 10 years old, I think, when my school administration pulled me out of my class and took me to the school library. Where I sat wondering why am I here for the entire day.
Later I got to know that my school fee hadn't been paid for the past 4 months and so I couldn't really sit in the classes anymore until that was cleared. And mind you this was one of the top 3 schools in my country so it really was expensive.I was always a good student, I was always among the top 5 students in my class. A little above average and I really did love studying.
My grades were usually pretty solid. But long story short, we couldn't afford that school anymore so I had to kinda dropout for a short 6-months or so. During those 6 months, I didn't go to any school. What I did instead was I started a candy stall right in front of my home. I'd make a profit of $1 every day from that :)
Like the one you see on the right.
Ran that for a while and got admission in a new school. This time, the school, however, didn't really had the ambiance I was used to. I came from a school where a teacher would never even shout at you and now I was in a school, where the teacher wouldn't think twice before slapping the shit out of you. In fact, they'd slap you around for fun.
(It's usually not a big deal getting beaten by teachers in our culture)
I couldn't fit into that atmosphere. I'd bunk classes and cry in the school bathroom for hours. I'd go to the medic and complain about a new thing every day just so they'd call my mom and ask me to take me home.
It worked a few times, but then everyone got used to my lame excuses. I honestly hated that school. That has to be the worst part of my life. Long story short, didn't really lasted long in that school - think maybe 3-4 months tops. Things, however, kept going downhill, we were taking on a lot of debt and my parents even took some bank loans, so we'll have a new banker on our door almost every second day.
Man, I really hated that shit.
What I will never forget however is the time we didn't even had any money to buy (prescribed) milk for my then youngest sister. It would cost $5 and last 3 days. And we literally didn't had the money to buy that. $5. LITERALLY.
In all this time I was still doing different kind of stupid things trying to make money. I opened a french fries stall in front of my home, I also sold biscuits and candies for a while on a stall in front of my home.
All of that while jumping from one school to another.
In 3 years, I had to change 4 schools.
We just couldn't afford them. I went from studying in the best schooling system in my country to the worst. From a school that had a tuition fee of $70/m to a school that had a tuition fee of $7/month.
I am sure you can imagine the difference between the atmosphere it would have been. And how big of a mental toll was all of this for me.
Heck, for all of my family too. I eventually dropped out of schooling in the 12th grade after failing 4 exams. We were all hustling.
Mama would work all day, take care of us all night.
Pops was driving taxi in UAE.
Elder brother was doing small mechanical repairs.
And I was doing my thing. It wasn't until 8th grade I stumbled upon building websites online - I must be 14 years old at this time.
This was also when we finally had enough money to buy a computer. (I had previously owned computers) My setup at that time was a Pentium 4, keyboard, mouse, headphones and a CRT monitor. That entire setup cost less than $100.
I started building websites using an online service called webs.com (just checked and they do still exist lol).
I honestly didn't know what I was doing. I used to play online games so I thought it'd be a good idea to build websites where I had games. So, that's where I started.
Long story short - I didn't really had people coming to my sites. I mean, it was a subdomain site and was pretty ugly too... so not sure if I could blame the people. (Searched for the site after typing this and seems like that site is still online. https://gamerzin.webs.com/ - crazy)
So, since this idea flopped. I decided I would sell something via websites. And so I built another site https://buysociality.webs.com/ I planned to sell things like likes/followers/views etc on people's social media channels and I even got people interested in it.
But, no one ever really bought anything from me. So, that idea flopped eventually too.