I believe that it is fair to say Mihail Velikov and I have becom online friends over the last few months. After photographing his products, he was kind enough to tell the world about my talents, in turn, I wanted to tell the world about his. Below is how that interview unfolded.
Let's start at the beginning, what is your story?
My name is Mihail. I am an entrepreneur. I love to create things. I have a computer science degree and several years of experience as a software developer. Although software development is a high-paid job I want to create some cash-flow businesses that would help me unhook from the need of working fixed amount of hours every day. I love to help people. Just last week I started a private mastermind group with other Amazon sellers from Bulgaria. My legacy goal is to create an entrepreneurial academy where people will learn about creating their own businesses and will get funding as well.In my spare time I love cooking (maybe that would be my next product brand). I used to joke that if I had not become a software engineer I would have become a cook. I love reading books although I discovered its power late in my life. The last book that I read was The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone – it changed my life.
How did you become aware of selling in Amazon?
I became aware of selling in Amazon with the launch of a third-party educational course that walks through the process of creating an Amazon based business. This was in October 2014. Now I realize that the guys that organize the course used to sell “become an Amazon millionaire” instead of “we will teach you how to use Amazon as a channel” but I was quite fascinated by the idea of the quite automated business model. The most fascinating part was the growth potential where selling 1, 10 and 10,000 products would require linear effort (I am a mathematician).
Has it been an easy process or one you've had to stumble through while learning? What was the most difficult part?
Picking and launching the first product was easy besides the financial aspect. At that time I was unemployed for almost 2 years – I left my job to seek some entrepreneurial adventures, so I had almost no money. My partner paid for the education and the product – all that cost over $6k.
At this point I am still struggling to find a “winner” product. At least I have put in order my financials – the Amazon business was the main reason for that.
What keeps you awake at night about launching products? Any wisdom for anyone considering becoming an Amazon seller?
When launching a new product there are 2 things that bother me. With time the first thing bothers me less and the second bothers me more:
- Sourcing a product that has some type of patents that makes it unsellable in the USA (at least).
- The quality of the ordered products. With the increase of the up-front payments that I make for an initial order (buying bigger quantities and sourcing more expensive products) I get more afraid if products will match the quality of the samples provided by the supplier. I live in Europe and it makes it really hard to see and touch all products before they reach Amazon’s warehouses.
The tip for new sellers is use Google Trends. I skipped that with my first product and it caused me many sleepless nights for half a year. The product was too much Christmas gift related than desired.
What does the future hold for your business?
It is very likely that I will create a second brand under my seller account. My first brand seems to be in an oversaturated market and I would have to look for a space with lower competition. Competition is a problem when you are the small guy.
The second BIG thing for my business would be creating a brand around the customer and not around a product. One of the people that I follow closely – Ryan Moran, talks about this approach very often.
Clearly my friend Mihail is doing things differently. His story is not only inspiring, but also sets an example for other minimalists yearning to break away from the rat race. He is taking advantage of the global marketplace while giving back to his local Bulgarian community, proving it is a truly remarkable world we live in today! If you would like to know more about Mihail, please connect with him on his website and on Twitter.