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Graham Byers is passionate about doing what he is good at. The advice to do what you love is noble, but he feels people would be better served going after what they are good at doing. Once you become elite at a skill, you will have afforded yourself the ability to have the time and financial freedom to truly do what you love. Byers found that he was very skilled in digital and internet marketing, and turned that skillset into an extremely profitable ecommerce business selling products online.
Before Byers even knew ecommerce existed, he was a kid who grew up in Los Angeles, California. He had a typical childhood, and was never wanting for anything. Even though he had all of the basics growing up, he had a propensity to hustle. Whenever he had the chance, he would buy and sell things on eBay and Craigslist just to make a few extra bucks to pay for a night out with friends or save up for something bigger. He knew that working a part time job and trading his time for money was not for him, and the ordinary hustle of a 9-5 desk job was out of the question for his future career.
Fast forward to college, and Byers had just met his business partner Dante. At this point, the idea of starting an online business was becoming more and more real each day, especially after Byers saw his family struggle financially as a result of the 2008 recession. The duo began scheming up ways to start an online business, and had tremendous chemistry working together. While they didn’t find any success in college, their ambitions carried over into their adult lives.
For as much as Byers did not want to work a desk job, the job he took at a top enterprise software company in Silicon Valley was not too shabby. During his time there, he and his partner worked on launching and growing an online ecommerce business, which would turn out to be their first successful venture. Their patience paid off, as they saw their initial investment of a few thousand dollars in the company skyrocket into a few hundred thousand dollars in revenue in just a year. Their progress was so significant that they got the attention of investors, and were able to exit the company after just a year.
Selling the company made the reality of working for himself a reality, and Byers was quick to quit his job at the software company and move to Las Vegas and eventually San Juan, Puerto Rico. Today, he spends his time working on his current ecommerce company, his real estate company, training kickboxing, and enjoying life on the beach. His story goes to show that making money in a short period of time on the internet is a very real thing, so long as you have the right work ethic and willingness to withstand uncertainty and times of little growth.
While he says some of the toughest times he has had as an entrepreneur has been working through times when the business seems to be failing, as the motivation to keep pushing just isn’t there. Working hard in times where it may seem to be all for nothing can prove difficult, but the reward of getting to the light at the end of the tunnel is incredible. Once Byers was able to turn his company into a massively successful venture, he felt more rewarded in that moment than any other time in his life. He had turned an idea into a real business, endured hardships, and turned into a profitable, winning venture. As a reward, he was able to leave his desk job and live his dream life on a beach in Puerto Rico.
It may seem on the surface that Byers’ ascent to success in ecommerce was easy and straightforward, but he will be the first to say that he had to overcome struggle and stagnant periods in his business to see any sort of success. He is always transparent in his successes and failures, as he wants people to understand that a real entrepreneurial journey will have just as many failures as successes. The only way to truly learn is through experience and failure, and he will forever be grateful for what he has learned on his way to becoming successful.