Have you ever met a travel digital nomad?
Have you ever wanted to be one?
Have you ever wanted to use your life experience to shape your e-commerce future?
Chris Rawlings joins Khierstyn on a deep dive into his experiences. A tale which leads him to San Francisco in search of new VC (venture capital) investors for his next big idea.
The Spice of Life; Using Story to Elevate Products
Three years ago, Chris was working in the solar industry as an employee. He started as a scientist though he felt like he needed to know business to control his destiny. He found himself gravitating towards roles that were more and more business related.
Business tired Chris and left him wanting more. In a rush of adrenaline, he looked up the most beautiful country in the world. At that time, with that search feature, New Zealand topped the charts. Like that, he booked a one-way trip.
The journey began, and what a story! 2 and a half years ago he sold all his possessions, quit his job, shifted into a minimalist lifestyle. Chris moved to New Zealand, bought a motorcycle and started wandering.
Traveling Digital Nomads
Chris captivates with his stories of the network of traveling digital nomads. He met individuals who operated mobile businesses like him, going from coffee shop to coffee shop. People running digital marketing, e-commerce, SEO and Amazon business like his.
The Philippines, Bali, Indonesia and other areas see a high volume of these digital nomads. Individuals who enjoy traveling and working for themselves. A network of experiences waiting to happen.
“Is this your thing?” Chris asks of the audience, “Then book it and just go.”
Luck + Hard Work = Success
From humble and alone to capitalizing on a network of knowledge Chris began to build his team. His first business went from nothing to a two million dollar evaluation, nothing to snort at.
It was captivating to see this new and unique market that he hadn’t before. Small, niched, fast growing businesses that cater to small to medium sized businesses. The same niche he was in.
He tells us about the amazing diversity and ingenuity. Nearly anything you could think of had it’s own niche and service.
It was the process of building his business and expanding abroad that lead to his most well-known venture – Judolaunch.com
Judolaunch.com – The launch platform for e-based brands.
Chris explained that there are generally 2 ways to expand your business.
- By releasing product after product to continually generate new income.
- When you have a channel that works, it’s easier to recreate the same platform in other markets.
Fundamentally, JudoLaunch gets your product into the hands of customers in the global Amazon market to jumpstart your products’ rankings.
Would Judolaunch.com be a SaaS (software as a service) or an Agency?
Chris indicated that his intention with Judolaunch.com was to offer a full-service agency. By starting out with this model they were able to get business and fill quotas.
They began investing in the systems and processes needed to automate and improve. Chris ventured into San Francisco and software development as Judolaunch.com developed into an SaaS tool.
“That’s where all the real growth is!” Chris exclaimed.
What to give up to raise what you need.
In San Francisco, starting from scratch, Chris has been working to get as many meetings as possible. He explains that it comes down to only a few things.
Do whatever the #$%& you want – you make the rules.
- You have to set the rules. You will run into the occasionally VC or Angel investor who argues. However, you are more likely to get those who just jump all in.
Set a time-period to raise funds.
- Setting a goal with limits makes things feel more achievable. Get together a proposal, ideas, and figures to help your presentation.
Chris shared that in his opinion, you can calculate evaluations 3 ways:
- Revenue/Net Profit Review
- What was another company at a similar stage evaluated at?
- Pulling it out of your ass.
In fact, number 3, was the one he sees most often.
How Much Equity Do You Give?
Chris really breaks this down in a great way. As a general rule, each time you raise investments, you hand out 20-30%
(Give a listen to the podcast to hear him explain this!)
Round 1 Fundraising
- Collecting money from friends and family and your own personal savings.
- Generally, you raise between $0 -$100,000
Round 2 Fundraising
- The seed round.
- Generally, you raise from $100,000 to over $2 million dollars.
- This is the first real round.
From there you can have as many series as you want though it dilutes each individual’s holdings each time.
The Spinal Tap
While he doesn’t divulge, it’s mentioned that a spinal injury is actually what sparked one of his most recent successes.
Chris started working with his father on a new way to meditate comfortably for longer periods of time. It’s an amazing posture pillow which re-invent the meditating position. He’s ventured into an area he almost praises as a sweet spot in his story. A product that builds off of his spinal injury which also fills a need.
He validated his product.He liked that it was in a boring category and it wasn’t sexy. There was much room to improve and impress.
Your products should resonate and tell a story.
Chris says he had a basic, flat white label product for a while. It didn’t take long to learn that the best campaigns have the best stories behind them.
How does he know his new posture pillow will sell? A leg up; His dad is a meditation instructor and travels around with the product testing on his students. The reactions have been very positive.
(Pop in right about now in the podcast and Chris will start sharing how he easily validates a product. Tap into that experience!)
Introduction: How to Harness the Power of Your Story
[06:15] The Spice of Life; Using Story to Elevate Products
[08:50] Travelling Digital Nomads
[11:53] Luck + Hard Work = Success
[13:51] Judolaunch.com – The launch platform for e-based brands.
[18:34] What to give up to raise what you need.
[21:28] How Much Equity Do You Give?
[24:00] The Spinal Tap
[32:35] Your products should resonate and tell a story.
Resources and Sponsor
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