Success stories very rarely happen overnight. The world’s richest man, third-time in a row, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a testament that building a successful and profitable business takes years of hard work and dedication. Most small businesses take two to three years to reach profitability, and that is if everything goes according to plan. Insider Monkey started as a small website 10 years ago and it took us 3 years to reach profitability. We believe small businesses are the engine of growth of our economy and over the years we published several articles about small business ideas. Some of our most popular articles are 10 best selling products online and most profitable agricultural business ideas for young entrepreneurs. In this article we wanted to inspire young entrepreneurs by talking to a successful and young online businessman who generated more than $1 million in sales at the age of 18.
E-commerce specialist Zishan Manji knows the ins and outs of building a business as he’s done it on his own dozens of times. He maintains that the secret to achieving seven-digit sales is patience, persistence, and strategy. Manji is an e-commerce entrepreneur from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, who is well-known as one of the youngest and most successful Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) business owners in the industry. In a conversation with Insider Monkey, Zishan shares that you can scale your e-commerce business to 6 figures in a week; all it takes is strategy.
IM: Welcome, Zishan! Tell us about your online journey.
Zishan: Inspired by a laser-focused determination for a better life, I started my first Amazon and eBay businesses at the young age of 13. Five years later, by the time I was 18, I had hit one million dollars in sales, and that is when I decided to diversify into Shopify. It took five years, but I made it happen.
IM: What are the qualities one must possess when setting goals?
Zishan: I firmly believe that the only way to seven-digit sales is through patience and strategy. If you aren’t patient, chances are even if you have a great strategy, you’ll give up before you hit those six and seven-figure marks because they don’t just happen right away. You have to stay committed and understand that success happens over time. Never fold on a good hand because you aren’t humble enough to play the long game.
IM: Please share the challenges you’ve witnessed in your journey.
Zishan: I’ve faced my fair share of challenges, including being banned on Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY), but I knew what I had built was worth standing behind. You can’t control the environment you are working in as a business owner, but you can control how you react to it. Believing in persistence combined with his stellar business strategy, I had built my own platform, and in the last four years, I’ve done a seven million dollars on Shopify alone.
IM: Which shopping platforms do you think are likely to challenge Amazon’s dominance? Are there other small but promising platforms that investors should pay attention to?
Zishan: Amazon is expected to dominate nearly 50% of the eCommerce market share in the US, by 2021. However, there are various shopping platforms like AliExpress and Otto, apart from big competitors like eBay and Walmart (WMT) that investors must keep on their watchlist.
There is no doubt that behind Manji is a bit of brilliance and a lot of dedication, but that is what drives his businesses’ earning power. Manji explains, “in business, you can’t rush things if you want to build something that continually turns a profit year after year.” Impressive in his ability to increase his earning potential, Manji looks at his goals as a long-term relationship chasing them with the persistence they deserve.