A few months ago I left my dream job making 6 figures at Instagram & Facebook to start dropshipping full time. It was a huge risk, but now my store is making over $47,000 a month and growing. Here's how I did it.
Back in May of 2014 I was an undergraduate Computer Engineering student at the University of Florida. I had just finished several rigorous rounds of interviews with Facebook, my dream company, when I got a call from a recruiter letting me know that i've been offered a position as an intern. I was ecstatic. I joyfully accepted and entered the workforce, ready to climb the corporate ladder to what I considered success. It was around this time I first remember reading something about dropshipping on Reddit, but never took it seriously (mistakes).
Flash forward a couple years and I was a full time software engineer at Instagram (which Facebook owns). A small team and I had just finish creating Instagram Stories, which was a wild success. Practically overnight, something we built turned into a feature that was used by MILLIONS. For most people, this would probably be enough. Don't get me wrong, I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of it and still am... but I knew that I wanted more. I wanted something I could call my own.
For another 2 years I kept dreaming about the day when I created something for myself, which I'm sure many of you can relate to. Until one day my girlfriend and I discussed moving to a different state. I began wondering what I would do for work if I moved, then I remembered the term "dropshipping" that I read about years prior. I sat on my computer for hours reading the success stories of people who quit their job and gained complete financial freedom. Statistically I knew the odds were against me, but something inside me couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I gave it a shot. My girlfriend and I packed our things and I left my dream job to pursue this idea of financial freedom, where I could set my schedule and make as much money as I wanted... or so I thought.
So here I was, ready to start dropshipping and make millions just like all the Shopify "gurus" on YouTube say. Easy, right? Wrong. My first month was a disaster! I opened up Shopify store selling anything I thought would make money: Smartwatches, drones, teddy bears, mugs, you name it. I remember having spent $400 in Facebook ads that month and only got a few sales. Yikes! I began to get a little discouraged... maybe dropshipping was a giant business model scam and I was dumb enough to fall for it. Why is it so hard to find a winning product? Then, I made an important realization -- I have a skill that can help me... programming!
I immediately went to my computer and start coding up a script that could analyze other Shopify stores and show me a massive list of every single best-selling item on the market. I let this web scraper run for 24 hours, and when I came back to my computer it had collected over 16,000 products from all over the internet that have been PROVEN to sell. After scanning the list of products it became clear to me what kind of products sell. I tested it out by creating a niche store full of items my web scraper collected and began running Facebook ads to the store. To my surprise, it actually worked! When the month was over, I had made over $5,000 in sales. It may not sound like a lot, but I was over the moon excited. For the first time, I felt like I could actually make it on my own.
Each month after, I started gaining more and more sales. I expanded from using Facebook ads to doing SEO in an attempt to get my store ranked on Google (which I highly recommend). This allowed me to bring in free, high converting traffic every single day, even when my ads are turned off. The next month I DOUBLED my sales going from $5,000 to $12,000 by adding more products I found using the product scraper. Over time I got better with Facebook ads, and even started an Instagram page where I promote my products. This lead me to move up from $12,000 to $18,000 the following month.
So that's my story! Hopefully it inspires some of you looking to break away from the 9 to 5 and start your own business or dropshipping store. If you want to read more, I did a full interview over at dropshippingit.com that you can check out as well.