After I sold my first batch of kits, and in a burst of overconfidence, I thought, “How hard could it be to design a logo?” Spoiler alert: very. My first attempt looked like it was crafted by a blindfolded toddler with a crayon. But after seeing a glimmer of profit from those initial sales, I reinvested. Outsourcing for a logo and a website. And voila! The Guardian Survival Gear brand you see today was born.
Next up, my “luxurious” office. A 10’ x 10’ space with a floor so slanted, you’d think it was auditioning for a funhouse. But hey, it was mine. I’d spend countless hours there, assembling kits. That is, until I hired a high school kid. He’d shuffle in after class, probably questioning his life choices, but his help freed up my time. And trust me, those early days were filled with more blunders than a blooper reel. From misjudged inventory to shipping nightmares, it was a crash course in what not to do.
Now, here’s where things get spicy. I stumbled upon the goldmine of importing products from overseas. The margins? Let’s just say they were more enticing than Chick-fil-A after a month of Keto. But with zero knowledge about international business, I’d often find myself Googling terms while on calls, praying they couldn’t hear my frantic typing.
To fund this ambitious venture, I took a leap of faith and got a bank loan. With money in hand, I built a better website and brought in resellers. The first year? We hit $100K in sales. But here’s a fun fact: gross profit is NOT the same as net profit. Who knew? (Not me.) My accounting skills were about as polished as a porcupine at a balloon party.
But like a bad rash, I stuck around. And somehow, year by year, the business didn’t just survive—it thrived. From a tiny office to a sprawling warehouse. From one high school kid to a team of over 60. Some of whom, by some miracle, still tolerate me a decade later. The brand’s reach was surreal. Guardian Survival Gear was everywhere. From being featured on Fox News to a shoutout in a Tim Ferriss book. Heck, our backpack even had a cameo in “Breaking Bad” (shoutout to Jesse Pinkman for making it look so good). I’d spot them in airports, on the streets, etc.
Guardian was honored on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies, generating over $100 million in revenue. But why stop there? I ventured into other product categories. Failed. Tried again. Failed better. Until I stumbled upon a funnel system. A system so potent, it made the survival kit business look like child’s play. And the mastermind behind it? A friend who’d raked in billions using the same strategy.
If a guy like me, who once mistook EBITDA for an exotic pasta dish, can make it big, what’s stopping you? But here’s the kicker: success isn’t just about hard work and persistence. It’s about making the right choices at the right time. So, how do you pick that one product that’s not just good, but game-changing? That’s the million-dollar secret, and it’s waiting for you in the next post.