As a sixth-grader, Andrew Fashion and a pal figured out a way to transform their mechanical pencils into miniature rocket launchers.
Unlike most boys, they weren’t content merely using their invention to annoy teachers and fellow students. Instead, they started a business called Flaming Gold and handed out pieces of paper to their friends, advertizing their goods. It netted them a couple of dollars a day – until their school banned the pencils.
Fast forward to 2005. Andrew had dropped out of high school and was spending his time developing websites online. After months of just scraping by, Andrew hit it big with ad revenue from his website, MySpaceSupport.com. He was pulling in $100,000+ checks every month. But after a few years of living the high life, the money stream from the site dried up and Andrew went from being a millionaire to being in debt.
Today, Andrew is living in Littleton, CO. He’s working hard to launch BeModel.com, a social networking website inspired by his passion for the photography industry. He’s also writing an autobiography that will detail his rise, fall, and resurgence. It is tentatively titled Young & Stupid.
The following is a short excerpt from 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs (Volume 1).
Q: You made 2.5 million dollars over two years. What happened to it?
A: I bought my first car, in cash. I bought my house and had $80,000 dollars of renovations done to it. I ended up buying seven cars total, a few for my friends. One of my friends wrecked a car; I wrecked a car. I paid for that out of pocket. A lot of my money just disappeared.
I had a girlfriend. I lost a lot of money in Vegas. I got into poker. I bought a lot of toys, photography equipment, technology, tons of clothes, and trips to places like London, Florida, and Hawaii. I was young and stupid. The money was coming in so strongly, but it went out just as fast. All of a sudden, my site dropped off of Google and the money just stopped.
This time, instead of blowing money on toys and cars, I am going to invest it back into the company or another company. I will do the typical saving, like 401(k)’s and rainy day funds. But before I even start my retirement account again, I’m going to invest: real estate, stocks, commodities – whatever I can do.
Q: Why are you so sure that BeModel.com will be successful?
A: I’ve done my homework on our number one competitor. This site has been growing at a phenomenal rate. I think they have eight-and-a-half million page views a day. But they’re not monetized properly. I’ve been in the industry for three years. I’ve been watching the ads; I’ve been seeing their page views; I know how loyal their clients are. In their forums, I’ve seen people complaining and looking for new places to go. That’s why I am so sure. I am here to be to them what Facebook was to MySpace. I want to revolutionize things.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Don’t give up. Carpe diem: seize the day, seize the opportunity. You’ve got to say that every single day. Make sure you never miss a moment and just go for it. Do it. Never give up. As simple as that sounds, that’s really it. Make it happen now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is a loser’s excuse.
This is an abridged version from Andrew’s interview in our latest project, 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs. Andrew is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever talked to. He may have lost millions but I guarantee that he’ll make it all back. There’s no doubt. He has a sense of determination like I’ve never seen. If you think this was interesting, you should read the rest of the interview…
Andrew Fashion’s Top Quote
“Make it happen now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is a loser’s excuse.”
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