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He Turned $300/mo Into $3,750,000/mo From GARDENING

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He Turned $300/mo Into $3,750,000/mo From GARDENING

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Kevin started Epic Gardening as a blog about his gardening hobby in 2016.
  • Epic Gardening is projected to generate $45 million in annual revenue this year.
  • Kevin shares his company's growth journey, including traffic acquisition strategies and business expansion through acquisitions.
  • Kevin's viral video showcasing a kneeling device gained over 150 million views across platforms.
  • The video's purpose was to validate market demand for the product.
  • Despite the product's popularity, the manufacturer faced stock shortages, resulting in missed revenue opportunities.

250k playing online poker (00:03:41)

  • Made $250,000 playing online poker to pay for school.
  • Online poker involves understanding probability theory and player tendencies.
  • Developed a sense for recognizing player patterns and bluffs.

The influence of Pat Flynn (00:06:04)

  • Pat Flynn's blog, "Smart Passive Income," inspired the creator to start a gardening blog.
  • Pat Flynn's transparency about his income and strategies was groundbreaking at the time.
  • The creator followed Pat Flynn's methods and created a successful website about poison ivy treatment.

Cocoa butter cream review site (00:07:43)

  • Created a website called Cocobuttercream.org to review cocoa butter creams on Amazon using an alias, "Susie Michaels".
  • Joined Amazon Affiliates and made $2 in a month.
  • Realized the potential of making money online.

Printing on-demand shirts (00:08:30)

  • The speaker began their career in internet marketing and created a website for Kendrick Lamar before his rise to fame. They monetized the website by selling Kendrick Lamar merchandise but were forced to shut it down after he trademarked his name.
  • Copywriting proved to be a transformative skill for the speaker, revolutionizing their business trajectory.
  • The speaker's hobby of gardening led to the creation of a successful blog, which eventually became their primary source of income.
  • Initially skeptical about the potential of their gardening blog, the speaker eventually recognized its business potential.
  • The speaker's innovative approach of combining content creation with product sales set them apart in the industry.
  • The speaker advocates for gardening as a lucrative business opportunity, highlighting its potential for significant financial success.

From Scribe to $300/mo gardening blog (00:12:26)

  • In 2016, the YouTuber quit his job at Scribe Media to focus on his gardening blog, Epic Gardening.
  • At the time, the blog was making $450 per month.
  • The YouTuber initially planned to start a legit farming business by aggregating square footage from people's front yards and selling the produce to restaurants.
  • However, he realized that this method would not be scalable and decided to focus on growing the blog instead.

Growing the blog (00:12:26)

  • In the first year of focusing on the blog, it made a total of $17,000 in revenue.
  • The following year, the revenue increased to $72,000.
  • In 2018, the revenue reached $225,000.

Realizing the potential of selling products (00:12:26)

  • In 2019, the YouTuber had a realization that he could sell products to his own audience instead of relying solely on ad revenue and brand sponsorships.
  • He noticed that his audience was interested in the raised metal beds he was using in his gardening content.
  • After a year of emailing the Australian company that manufactured the raised beds, he secured a deal to become their distributor in America.

Starting the product business (00:12:26)

  • At the time of securing the distribution deal, the YouTuber had around $70,000-$80,000 in his business bank account.
  • He used this money to purchase inventory and start selling the raised beds.

Inflection point: The metal raised bed (00:15:06)

  • Started making significant profit from the gardening business.
  • Purchased a 20-foot container of raised beds for $35,000, which was half of his savings.
  • Faced challenges in receiving, unpacking, and shipping the container.
  • Attempted to rent a storage facility and handle shipping himself due to lack of knowledge about logistics.
  • Sold out the first batch of raised beds in four or five days while they were still in transit from Australia.
  • Revenue in the first year (2019) was around $550,000.
  • Half of the revenue was spent on purchasing the product.

Billion-dollar blogs (00:17:42)

  • The speaker learned about the concept of "billion-dollar blogs" from a blog post by Nathan Barry.
  • These blogs started as personal blogs and then evolved into successful businesses.
  • One example is Glossier, a women's makeup brand that started as a fashion blog.
  • The speaker was initially intimidated by the idea of starting a business from a blog.
  • The speaker's friend in the commerce industry suggested using a 3PL (third-party logistics) and a freight forwarder to ship products.
  • This allowed the speaker to sell products on Epic Gardening without having to handle the logistics of shipping.

Life-changing money (00:19:20)

  • The YouTuber achieved remarkable growth, turning a $300 monthly income from gardening into a $3,750,000 monthly revenue.
  • The business experienced significant financial success, with revenue increasing from $2.8 million in 2020 to $7.3 million in 2021, while maintaining a healthy profit margin of approximately 50%.
  • To further expand the business and gain expertise in building media-to-commerce ventures, the YouTuber secured $17 million in funding, allowing them to hire additional employees and stay competitive in the market.
  • After the funding round, the YouTuber was able to secure their financial position and decided to establish their own warehouse, transitioning from paying fulfillment fees to a third-party logistics company to building equity in the real estate aspect of their business.
  • This strategic move provided the YouTuber with financial security and enabled them to focus their efforts on dominating the industry.

5 Languages of the love of money (00:23:56)

  • The speaker reflects on how having money has changed his life.
  • He mentions that not having money was more stressful than having it.
  • The speaker agrees with the idea that having money mitigates downsides but doesn't necessarily make one massively happier.
  • He discusses the concept of the "five languages of love" and suggests that there are similar "languages of love" for money.
  • For him, it's not about buying nice things, but rather about having the freedom to avoid doing annoying tasks like cleaning and laundry.
  • The speaker mentions the study that suggests $70,000 a year is the ideal income for happiness.
  • He believes that inflation-adjusted, this amount is closer to $160,000 in today's economy.
  • The speaker argues that $160,000 in a top-five city doesn't go very far.
  • He suggests that having money can free up time by allowing one to pay for services like house cleaning and meal support.

Lessons from Ramit Sethi (00:26:47)

  • Learned from Ramit Sethi to have a "surgical team" for tasks he hates.
  • Ramit emphasizes spending big on services that enhance life.
  • Ramit's questions challenge Sam to think beyond his current perspective.
  • Ramit's teachings have had a significant impact on Sam's life.

Path to $100M through acquisitions (00:28:25)

  • Sam's company currently has around 90 employees.
  • The company is on track to reach $40-45 million in revenue this year.
  • The company has made several acquisitions to accelerate growth.
  • Sam believes the company has a good chance of surpassing $100 million in revenue in the next five years.
  • Acquisitions are made for speed and when the company has the internal competency to do so.

Buying a seed tray business for less than $500K (00:29:19)

  • The YouTuber recognized the potential of a durable seed starting tray and acquired the seed tray company.
  • The product's success led to increased production, sales, and profits shared equally between the YouTuber and the inventor.
  • The YouTuber proposed a deal to acquire the company's assets and hire the inventor as the product lead, resulting in a significant revenue increase.
  • The YouTuber made a successful acquisition for $7,500,000, benefiting all parties involved.
  • Information about the other two biggest acquisitions is not disclosed.

Buying a competing gardening blog (00:33:22)

  • Bought a competing gardening blog called all about gardening.com for between $500k - $1m.
  • Migrated the blog into their own blog, resulting in a 20-30% increase in traffic.
  • Increased monetization from display ads and the ads themselves.
  • The acquisition financed itself through the increased revenue in the first month.
  • The blog's RPM (revenue per mille) doubled after the acquisition.
  • He came up with the idea himself.
  • He considers the core reason for an acquisition or business move to be obvious, but he also evaluates how else it could benefit or harm them.
  • If the potential benefits outweigh the potential harms, he feels it will work.

Acquiring Botanical Interests (00:37:00)

  • A YouTuber increased their monthly income from $300 to $3,750,000 by acquiring a seed company called Botanical Interests.
  • Botanical Interests was known for its high germination rates and beautifully designed seed packets.
  • The company was run by a husband and wife who were ready to retire and hand over the business.
  • The YouTuber used a strategic marketing technique to win the business deal by wearing a hat given to him by Botanical Interests in every piece of content he created for six months.
  • This caught the attention of the company's team and likely influenced their decision to choose his bid, even though it was not the highest.

Red and green flags in acquisitions (00:42:16)

  • The seed company being acquired was a complex business due to various certifications and processes involved in seed production.
  • One of the green flags was that the seed company had a strong brand reputation in the market.
  • The online business of the seed company had not been fully developed, presenting an opportunity for growth.
  • The acquisition multiple was likely between 6 to 8 times income.
  • The payback period for the acquisition was expected to be around five years.
  • The potential for growth and expansion through existing retail partnerships was seen as a significant opportunity.
  • The company's products were already carried in approximately 4,500 stores nationwide.
  • Plans were in place to expand product offerings and leverage the existing distribution network to increase sales.
  • The founder recognized the potential for significant growth and success in the home and lifestyle niche.

The danger of being a celebrity on the internet (00:46:12)

  • Being a celebrity on the internet can lead to negative experiences such as:
    • Receiving stalker messages.
    • Having fans who are obsessed with you.
    • People making fun of you or assuming things about you, such as being gay.
  • It can be difficult to maintain privacy, especially when filming at home.
    • People may find your home address and send you gifts or try to visit you.
  • Even as a mildly popular person on the internet, the speaker has experienced strange encounters, such as a woman coming to his house and trying to enter the backyard.
  • The speaker emphasizes that even a small percentage of a large audience can result in a significant number of people who may behave inappropriately.

Idea: Branded hybrid plant species (00:48:45)

  • Ari asks about the licensing of fruits, vegetables, or seeds, particularly branded hybrid plant species like the Honeycrisp apple.
  • Branded hybrid plant species involve crossbreeding plants to create new varieties with desired traits, which can take decades of development.
  • The process of creating new plant varieties is complex and time-consuming, often requiring many years of trial and error.
  • Once a desirable variety is developed, it can be branded and licensed to other farmers, creating a potentially lucrative business with a strong competitive advantage due to the time investment required to replicate the variety.
  • Creating new plant varieties requires patience and persistence.
  • Example of a farmer who spent 20 years developing a potato that could be grown from seed, called the "Clancy potato."
  • The Clancy potato was developed to address the inefficiency of traditional potato planting methods.
  • Fruit tree development, particularly for apples, involves grafting branches of a desired variety onto rootstock to create genetically identical clones.
  • Grafting allows for faster propagation of desirable traits and ensures genetic consistency in the resulting trees.
  • The process of developing a new apple variety can still take several years, but it is significantly faster than growing from seed.

Floyd Zaiger, the godfather of licenced plants (00:52:38)

  • Floyd Zagger, known as the "Godfather of stone fruit," developed new fruit varieties through cross-pollination and grafting. His company, Zagger Genetics, licenses these patented cultivars to nurseries like Dave Wilson Nursery, which mass-produces and sells the trees.
  • The fruit tree business requires extensive knowledge in plant botany and genetics, and it takes about 20 years to develop a new variety. Despite the long timeline and challenges, individuals passionate about this field find fulfillment in their work and often view it as a vocation rather than a traditional business.
  • The produce brokerage business involves buying produce from farmers and selling it to retailers, but the profit margins are typically low.
  • The speaker questions the standard definition of healthy eating and organic food and believes that eating homegrown food makes a difference in how they feel compared to store-bought food.

The lie behind Blue Zones (00:57:26)

  • The book "Blue Zones" highlights commonalities among people living in certain regions known for their longevity.
  • One commonality mentioned in the book is age fraud, with many individuals lying about their age to receive Social Security benefits.
  • The author questions the accuracy of birth certificates for individuals from that era, making it difficult to determine their true age.
  • The author suggests that fresher food may contribute to better health and well-being.

The Tesla of chicken coops (01:00:12)

  • The author mentions a company called "Coupe" that produces smart chicken coops.
  • These coops are described as being similar to Teslas in terms of their innovation and technology.
  • The author expresses interest in getting one of these coops and highlights the benefits of having one's own chickens, such as low maintenance and access to fresh eggs.

Beekeeping (01:00:53)

  • Beekeeping is a hobby that requires minimal maintenance.
  • Beekeeping supplies could be a lucrative business opportunity.
  • Creating a lifestyle brand around beekeeping can attract a large audience.
  • Successful beekeepers like Texas B Works have built large followings on YouTube.
  • Beekeeping can be started with a low investment of around $200 for a hive and bees.
  • Bees can improve the growth and diversity of plants in a garden.
  • Beekeeping is not as intimidating as it may seem, and stings are not a major concern.

Choosing your hobbies wisely (01:04:46)

  • The speaker chose gardening as a hobby because it requires minimal effort, is inexpensive, and cannot be easily turned into a business.
  • Birdwatching and beekeeping are also mentioned as hobbies.
  • The speaker is grateful for the opportunity to be interviewed and expresses excitement about the future of their gardening journey.
  • The interviewer predicts that the speaker's success will continue to grow and expresses pride in having them on the show early in their career.

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