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You know, I like. Welcome back to the Sludge podcast.
I'm Anna, your host EHO turned CEO. From a champagne room to the boardroom, we discuss sluts who make money and hear success stories from female hustlers. And in today's episode, I'm going to tell you how I started my business. All right. Let's get into it.
A lot of you may not know all the businesses I run, you might see me in just one area of my life on social media, but it's really crazy to say that I run nearly 10 Instagram accounts. I have three websites, I have side hustles, side projects, and my brain is constantly figuring out ways I can make money on the Internet. So as of now, I am the CEO of Alien Outfitters Dotcom, the horny stoner dotcom and Blades Forbes.com.
I have my YouTube channel and I also have a podcast I am currently monetizing on Tick Tock and I personally offer mentorships on some of my personal channels. I've ran a book club.
I have sold interesting photos of myself and webcams for many years as a stream of income. I've owned and managed a Gogo dancing group and in the back end of my businesses I've done all the web development and design again, photography, marketing, brand direction, social media, email, marketing campaigns, basically the entire back end of my business, which now I have a little bit of help outsourcing.
But all in all, my businesses have generated millions of dollars over the last 10 years and all of that money has gone right back into the business so that we can grow and scale and offer even better products and an experience for my customers. So that is everything that I've done and what I do up to date. Just so you guys can have a little recap before we get into this, but there's no short, easy answer to it. Just like any journey that you're on, there's always a series of events that happened.
And I firmly believe that trauma is a great source of rebirth. And my whole life has been a series of rebirths.
And the short answer of how I started my business was when I was 17, I got a DUI.
I couldn't drive. I had to figure out how to work from home because I didn't want to go to college. And that's how I learned how to sell stuff online. I mean, I had been selling stuff on eBay since I was like 13 or 14. So it was something very natural for me. And by the time I turned 18, I was working at a nightclub and at that nightclub, I really realized how to sell myself, like how to use my looks and my smarts to my advantage.
And I was kind of in this tag team duo with a friend and we really played off each other. So the dancing taught me a lot about business and that led to me creating a go go dancing group.
And within that team, I learned a lot about teamwork and team management, business management.
And that was ultimately one of the first businesses I started, which I ended up selling, which was really cool.
And how could I possibly forget during all this madness of having side hustles and little odd jobs, I went on a limb and decided to webcam and sell pictures of my feet and who knows what on the dark web. And that extra cash flow afforded me to buy my first really nice car. It helped me put a down payment on my first home. This was something I never publicly talked about because there's a huge bubble of shame around it. But this hustle, of course, really taught me again a lot about customer service and how to use something within myself to financially gain, especially when it comes to that line of work.
You don't have to invest in product because you're just investing in yourself as a tool. And that was something I learned as I went. It's a very. Interesting line of work, but in some of my other podcast episodes, you can really get down and dirty into the mental state you need to be in to be successful in that. It's not for everyone, but it definitely taught me again how to have my eggs in different baskets because I never wanted to rely on just one source of income and the money.
Once you understand how to really work that line of work, the money is very, very well. And there is a small pool of people that are doing it. So you can be a big fish in a small pond. So there was a lot of opportunity there. Again, a lot of business lessons I learned and that one in particular really taught me how to say no, because when you're in business, there's a lot of opportunities and you might feel like you need to say yes to everything.
But oh boy, it's really taught me how I needed to say no and focus more on the things that were generating more revenue for me. So. You know, a lot of fun stories from that time, it definitely made life a little more interesting. Things would happen all the time and I always immersed myself 100 percent.
And it's like throwing darts at a wall, something stick. Some some don't. So at the time, during the go go dancing group, I was creating rave wear and selling it online. That's when Etsy came out. So that was just a hobby of mine that I didn't see as a business. It wasn't like I rolled out a business plan. It was just fun side hobbies. So Etsy happened and that's when Instagram and social media first really started taking off.
And with Etsy, I really learned how to build brand awareness and community. I mean, I was doing all these things without even trying because it came very natural to me. And whenever I didn't know how to do something, I just researched it online. I never asked for help because as a young girl, when my dad left, I realized I had to rely on myself to get a lot of things that I wanted, especially being a female.
People tend to think you can't take care of yourself sometimes and watching my mom work through jobs and take care of all of us, I really was taught what hard work meant and how, in turn, the results you would get from hard work.
So with that being said, I made this Etsy brand and that's when people started pushing me to build my own website and really, like, create my own brand. And this was, you know, three years later. So by this time, I'm in my early 20s and that's when I really took this into my own and built a website and started selling more items. And when it came to what I wanted to sell, I simply sold what I liked.
I shop a lot on the Internet, so I created collections of accessories, clothing, shoes, jewelry, everything I liked people always approached me about. So it was very easy for me to product research because I just anything I wanted to buy, I bought. And when it comes to wholesalers, again, Google like you can just Google wholesaler's and find people to buy from. It became so second nature to me and. You know, I wasn't in school, I didn't have another job besides the dancing, so I had all the time to focus my job found me.
I didn't really acquire it. I mean, I did. But it's kind of like the the best things happen when you least expect it sort of scenario.
And back to the very beginning, when I got my DUI, it was me reacting to my circumstances. If I had never gone to jail, I would have never thought of how could I make money from home? So especially during this time during the Caronna pandemic, a lot of people are at home and people may see it as a bad thing.
But I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs are going to come out of this. And that's really exciting to think about, so when people ask me, how did I start my business, I see it as a sequence of events that stemmed from a mistake. And when someone asked me, how do I start? I mean, I I'm not a business major, I'm just as a result of my actions and I think if you want to start something, you need action.
You can't just think about it. I think there's thinkers and then there's doers, you know, people who create ideas and people who implement those ideas. And as an entrepreneur, you have to do a little bit of both. And as an entrepreneur, you. Have to be the type to risk at all, to not be afraid of failure, to throw eggs in different baskets and not be afraid of some of those eggs break, you have to be so confident to put yourself out there and you have to be OK with falling flat on your face and everyone seeing you fall flat on your face.
You have to have a thick skin and going through working at a nightclub, go go dancing on stage in front of thousands of people. All those things instilled so much in me that I can take into what I do today. So my first big brand that I started was Alien Outfitters Dotcom. And it's still up. It's still alive. But as of last year, I rebranded a little bit and split the store off into two other stores. So now I have three websites.
They're all on Shopify. And it was a very big business move that I did. But now I also own the horny stoner dotcom and blades Forbes.com. And the reason I did that is because you cannot advertise knives or, you know, not products on social media. So I was having a really hard time advertising as algorithms changed and I never advertised from the beginning. All of my businesses have been word of mouth, but when algorithms changed, I had to compete with the way things were changing.
So it was a really risky move, but it paid off for me. And because of those two stores opening, things have been on the up and up. And I've been able to hire I've been able to get back on YouTube, put time and energy into my podcast tock because I put all my time into this. I live, sleep and breathe my business. So when it comes right back to how do I start my business? Well, first of all, are you living, breathing?
Totally inhaling and exhaling what you want to do. You know, do you have an idea what research have you done? You just have to you have to start moving the Internet as a free resource for all of us.
Free information, free courses, YouTube threads, Reddit. Think about what you're passionate about before you want to start a business. Something you're passionate about may not always make money. There are a lot of entrepreneurs that start and they fail because there is a market for what they want to sell. So do product research to market research. Figure out who your customer is. Ultimately, my customer is like a clone of me, which to me makes the most sense for selling a product to someone because I know what I want.
Therefore I know what my customers want. There's so much you have at your hands. So my biggest advice is if you want to start a business, you know, figure out what you like, figure out what interests you, find a brand or a website that you could see yourself either emulating or if you have a solution to something like an idea or product solution that hasn't been made yet. But you have to have some sort of idea. You can't just you can't just say, I want to start a business and someone's going to hand you the business to start.
It's a lot it's way more stressful than having a normal job. You don't have that safety net. Your income totally relies on you getting out of bed and getting to work. So it's not for everyone. It may seem glamorous, but it is far from glamorous. So high risk. High reward. That's how I started my business. And I hope it kind of makes sense now. And whenever someone asked me, I'm just going to refer them to this because it's kind of a mouthful.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you'd like to leave some love in return, make sure to drop a five star review on iTunes.
All right. I hope you guys have a lovely rest of the week and I'll see you on the next episode by.