Growing up, my dream was to become a fighter pilot of the Colombian Air Force.
And literally, since I was 6 years old I optimized my life to become one.
You see… My grandpa served in the navy.
My dad was a policeman.
My uncle is a fighter pilot.
My aunt was a military of the Air Force.
Pretty much everyone around me had a military background therefore they encouraged me to pursue my dream of going to the Air Force.
But one day…
Youtube recommended me a video of a guy called Gabriel St Germain about dropshipping.
Little did I know that video was going to change my life.
I spent the next 45 days consuming every other video on youtube about e-commerce.
I fell in love…
Suddenly I stopped dreaming about F-22, Eurofighters or, Sukhoi aircraft and started obsessing over this wonderful thing called e-commerce.
I wanted to launch my own brand, get rich and spend the rest of my days in Monaco with a 911 and 2 PAWGs.
But there was one major problem:
Like every 16-year old
I had $0
So I came up with the wonderful idea of borrowing my mom some money
I pitched my mom the idea of the brand I wanted to launch…
Unexpectedly she agreed to give me her credit card to spend 1K on ads.
She was very clear:
«Santiago I’ll give you the card but you can only spend ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS»
I was like:
«Yeah mom sure, I know what I’m doing»
I had no idea what I was doing…
15 days after that conversation with mom, I launched the brand and started buying some ads on Facebook.
7 days after the brand launch
Things got a little out of control and I end up spending 10K on ads
The return on that investment?
So yeah, I was fucked
10k in debt at 16 years old
And with a long story to tell mom that for sure she was not going to be willing to understand.
As you can imagine, my Latina mom got ANGRY when she found out about the card thing.
This situation took me out of my comfort zone
I had to do whatever it took to pay my mom 10k as soon as possible.
So I started working in the clothing store of one of my uncles.
My first mentor.
A ruthless guy who treated me like shit and taught me how to work hard.
For 6 months my job consisted of basically being my uncle’s little bitch.
Whatever he wanted me to do I did it,
from selling to clients to shooting a Sig-Sauer P-226 just because he was bored and wanted a little bit of action (carrying weapons is illegal in Colombia)
I worked my ass off in that store from 6 AM to 8 PM with a 20-minute launch break.
But the salary wasn’t enough.
I had to found out another way to make more money and pay my mom faster…
I remembered that when I was 14
I learned to edit videos cause I had a youtube channel in which I uploaded guitar covers.
So I came up with the idea of using that skill to serve the industry I already was part of
So I started selling video editing services for ecom brands
It was a «success»
On the first day of launching the gig on Fivver, I got 25 orders.
I made $125
Not bad for a first day
So I quit the clothing store job and dedicated my life 100% to this new biz.
I used to work 16+ hours per day…
But I didn’t care
I was learning a lot of things by connecting with high-end brand owners who mentored me while also dedicating more time to acquiring more skills.
Such as copywriting, media buying, email marketing, etc.
6 months after I started the Fiverr business I had already saved enough money to pay my mom and the skills needed to launch my own brand and succeed.
(this time not using debt but the money I did have in my bank)
So that’s what I did.
I managed to scale this brand past 150k/month.
But, I realized that…
I didn’t like the headaches of inventory management & customer service.
What I really liked was the marketing itself
Things like copywriting, content creation, strategy, etc
So I paired those skills with email marketing technicality and launched:
Fourth Planet Media
A place in which I can be myself & work on the things I actually love working on
Through my agency I’ve been able to change the lives of so many e-commerce brand owners through the power of email Driving over $15M in eCom email sales for my clients in less than 3 years of starting the agency
The fulfillment I felt from being able to help others achieve greater success gave me a sense of purpose I never had.
It was an incredible feeling.
And it was then that I knew for sure I was on the right path.
Taking the risk of borrowing my mom’s money, dropping out of college, ignoring society’s standards for success, and following my passion for EMAIL— it was all worth it!
Anyways, that’s my story.
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