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From Wanker To Wankerpreneur
December 21, 2013|General

From Wanker To Wankerpreneur

If you know me then chances are you saw that I launched my first ecommerce site last month in We all know a wanker (if you don’t then you’re probably a wanker yourself) and I sought to capitalise on this by creating a novelty sock for the wanker in your life.

Some people know from a young age what they want to do with their life, whether that’s to become a policeman or nurse or doctor etc. I didn’t know I wanted to be a Wankerpreneur until the summer of this year, before then I was just a plain wanker.

Despite what many filthy minded people think, I came up with the idea after asking my followers on twitter what they thought of guys wearing white socks. The tweet was prompted after Frank Paul took the piss out of me after seeing a pic of me with white socks.

My friend Tony replied with this tweet.

I laughed for a bit and then I had a trigger moment, what if you could actually buy a Wank Sock? I thought for sure that it had probably already been done, but after some quick research it appeared it hadn’t. The next day I registered the domain

It wasn’t until the end of September when I started to think more about the idea. I’d always wanted to start my own ecommerce site, I was also getting bored with some of the things I was working on, and wanted to do something fun. So this seemed to fit the bill well, and I thought that maybe, just maybe I might be able to sell a few too.

The design and development of the site, product and packaging started in October and I launched the website on 14th November. I made my first sale within a few hours , and started to promote it via social media.

After about 5 days I was shitting it. I’d only made a handful of sales after generating thousands of visits. Part of me started to think that this wasn’t such a good idea after all. I’d spent literally thousands of pounds on this and at this rate I wasn’t even going to break even, but I carried on.

Thankfully sales did pick up, I sold out of the initial amount I ordered (which wasn’t a modest amount), and had to get more in, some days it wasn’t too dissimilar to this scene in Middle Men. My aim was to get the site going viral and although I didn’t achieve that, I did create a bit of a buzz on social media. I went out of my way to spread the news as much as I could. I even got papped on the train by some random girls that thought the whole thing was hilarious.

“A drunk man on the train was telling us about his wank sock business, pls buy one”- Link to tweet here.

Now that all the Christmas sales have come and gone I’m only just beginning to realise how well I’ve done here. To create a website that has literally had people in tears of laughter and a product that I know lots of people will be unwrapping on Christmas day is a great feeling. To have my largest investment to date turn around a profit in just 5 weeks is a feeling of relief and delight.

I’ve never laughed so much and had so much fun with something I’ve worked on before, and even if I had only broke even I’d do it all again as I’ve learnt so much.

I’d like to thank all my friends that shared it on facebook or twitter, and to those that bought some. I’d also like to say a big thanks to Frank, Kirstin, Josh & Trudy for encouraging me to run along with the idea. I may not have gone through with it if it wasn’t for you. I’d also like to thank my mum for letting me turn the house into a Wank Sock factory.

What’s Next?

Getting It Into Retail
I think it could work well on the likes of IWOOT, Firebox & Menkind etc. My two routes for this are to either license out the product and take a royalty on each sale, or act as a wholesaler. At this moment in time I’m looking at the latter option, and would outsource the packaging of the product so I can work on my other projects and focus elsewhere.

Acquiring Intellectual Property Rights
Ideally I need to get some kind of IP rights on this, it’s not something I know much about (despite doing a module in it at uni), so if anyone is clued up on this then I’d love to hear from you.

Setting Up An Affiliate Program
I contacted a couple of affiliate networks before launch to see if I could get an affiliate program going but I ran into difficulty due to the adult nature of the product/domain name. I’m hoping now that I have proof of sales that this might improve my chances. If you can help with this let me know.

Getting Press Coverage
I spent a lot of money on PR and got no coverage, that’s all part and parcel of the game and I knew the risks when I did it. It felt it was something I would regret if I didn’t do. I’ll be trying again though, I’ve got an idea for an angle and I am pretty confident that it will work.

Other Products/ Ecommerce Sites
I’ve got one plan to set up another small ecommerce site, but it’s nowhere near as interesting. It’s also highly seasonal, and i’ll only be running it for about 4 weeks. It’s not something I can see myself doing more of in the future, I quite like the flexibility of being able to work wherever I want remotely and you lose this when you have to make a trip to the post office every day.

I don’t intend to think up ideas to create other products, I think when you sit down and try to think of ideas they are never as good as when you let the ideas come to you.

Selling The Business
I’ve had people enquire about this, and I wouldn’t say no to selling it if the price was right. I think from a learning perspective it would be more beneficial for me to carry on with it. If you would like to make me an offer, then let me know.

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One Year On
November 12, 2013|General

One Year On

So it’s been a year since I quit my job and wrote this post (time flies!), and I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting on how the year has gone.

It’s not been easy by any means, and I think this is something that I naively under estimated. In fact everything I worked on for the first 6 months just didn’t work.

When that happens it really knocks your confidence and you feel deflated. My parents saw me struggling and the evitable question of “When are you going to get a proper job again?” slowly started creeping out.

I’ll admit that at times I even started to question my own abilities, and wondered whether this was ‘right’ for me, but deep down I still believed in myself.

I decided to keep at it, with every failure I took away a valuable learning. Things did eventually turn around. I’d managed to do something that really sorted me out financially, it provided me with funds to reinvest into other projects, and also restored my belief in myself.

I’m still not where I’d like to be financially, it’s taken a while but over the course of the next 2/3 months I am pretty sure that this will change given the things I am currently working on.

I can honestly say that I’ve learnt so much more this year than I would of working in any job, and I think that this is something that can only be beneficial in the long run.

What Am I doing Now
So when I wrote my post last year, I mentioned that I’d mainly be focusing on being an affiliate in the health and beauty niche. While I still have health & beauty related sites, this isn’t something that I focus on anymore. I’ve branched out into other areas, and don’t really class myself as typical ‘affiliate’ anymore.

I’m currently working on an e-commerce project which is something new for me. It’s also new for me as i’ll be using social media as the driving force to generate traffic and hopefully sales, whereas previously i’ve always relied on SEO.

I’m excited because I don’t think it’s something that I don’t think has been done before. With anything that ‘hasn’t been done before’, it’s usually completely genius or completely stupid. I think it has the potential to go viral, or become a complete flop. I’ll be launching the site later this week (fingers crossed), so only time will tell.

Working From Home
In some ways working from home has been brilliant. I’ve enjoyed the flexibility it’s provided, and I’ve been able to travel and work from Latvia, Madrid & Amsterdam this year. Outside of that though, it can get bloody lonely.

The one and only thing I miss about having a ‘proper’ job is the social interaction with workmates. I can often be found dicking around on twitter & facebook as my form of social interaction now.

Support From Others
In general the support i’ve had from others that work in the industry has been overwhelming. It’s something that came to me as a bit of a surprise, as I’d expected it to be more of a ‘dog eat dog’ environment.

What i’ve actually found is that most are more than happy to try and help each other out where they can. Everyone is there to help each other achieve.

While lots of people have helped me out, nobody has done more so than Frank Paul. Frank has helped me out tremendously, and I can’t thank him enough for that. I’ve learnt a lot from him, not only has he become somewhat of a mentor for me, he’s also become a good friend too.

I’ve had help from so many people that it’s difficult to name them all here, but I’d like to thank Khalid, Kirstin, Jake, Owen, Trudy, Josh, Ryan, Henry & Justin for all their help, advice and support too.

The Future
On a personal level I’d like to move out of my parent’s house and to a bigger city, this is something I’m looking at doing early next year. Eventually though I’d like to take my work with me and travel the world.

Workwise I’ve got enough projects to keep me busy for a little while so i’m currently focusing on those at the moment. My aim is to try and make money online via every avenue, I think it’s not only a good learning experience, but a great way to diversify too.

The internet is brimming with opportunities, and I’d like to try take advantage of them where I can.

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Why you will never earn the value of your salary
June 19, 2013|General

Why you will never earn the value of your salary

ideaHave you ever thought about why companies exist? If you have then you’ve probably realised that companies exist to make money. They aren’t there to make money for their employee’s, oh hell no, they are there to make money for their owners.

We all know (at least I hope you know) that companies make their money by selling the product or service they create for more than it costs to produce.

Have you ever realised that this also applies to your salary too?

You’re only getting paid x amount because you’re adding > x in value to the company.

Say for example you’re being paid a salary of £20k a year, you’re only being paid that because you are adding more value than the amount you are getting paid. So on a £20k salary you could be adding £25K, £30K, £60K worth of value to the company.

This is why you won’t get the value of your salary. If you do, then the company is essentially making a loss by employing you. Ok I’m sure there are plenty of examples of this happening, for example start ups, the NHS, not for profit companies, or social enterprises, but I’m sure you understand my point.

So when I was working for a company, I felt I was working hard to make someone else rich. This is one of my favourite quotes below.

My boss pulled up in his brand new BMW today and I couldn’t help but admire it.

“Nice car,” I said as he got out.

“Well,” he said, noticing my admiring looks, “Work hard, put the hours in, and I’ll have an even better one next year.”

The reason I love this so much, is because it’s true! You’re working hard so the person above you in the organisation can get their bonus, they are doing the same for their boss and so is the person above and so on. The people making the money are the owners.

726 of the richest 1,000 entries in the Sunday Times Rich List 2012 are self-made millionaires. I wouldn’t mind betting that those 726 people didn’t make the list by being an employee at a company.

So I’ve decided that I want to earn the full value of my salary, to do this I became the owner of a business, I went self employed. I’m not sure if I’ll become a millionaire (I wouldn’t say no), I just want to make enough to live and do the things I want.

There are of course downsides too, I don’t have a guaranteed income, I’ve gone a few months before barely making any money at all. I don’t get company bonuses, I don’t get company benefits such as sick pay, or free lunches etc.

This route certainly isn’t the path for everyone, some people are better working for others. Most businesses fail within the first year, but I’m sure if you can make it work then the rewards will be worth it.

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About Me

I’m Mark, but you can call me Rofe. I'm an internet marketing guy based in London Dubai.

I believe the internet is full of money making opportunities, and I seek to take advantage of them where I can.

If there’s a way to make money online I’ve probably tried and failed at it, and then attempted it again with some degree of success.

I’ve tried my hand at affiliate marketing, lead gen, ecommerce, trading domain names, adsense, and I’ve even created a novelty gift.

Here I share my journey making money online, my outlook on life, and whatever other stuff I feel like. Thanks for dropping by.