How to Find the Hidden Success Within Failure

Nick Dahlberg knew from an early age that he wanted to be his own boss. A highly motivated latchkey kid from an early age, he was ambitious – but not excited about school. Between some instability at home and boredom with the school system, Nick excelled at maintaining perfectly average grades – and developing a strong sense of independence and a core personal value of turning lemons to lemonade. His background shows us how, with the right attitude and approach, anyone can develop a successful business.  

Adopted from South Korea, Dahlberg’s mother struggled with substance abuse issues in his childhood. The result was that Dahlberg spent a lot of time alone and online. It is not surprising that a child growing up like this would throw himself into the digital world. Dahlberg explored the Internet, creating and curating content, until one day he discovered that he could earn money. Beginning with parody accounts on Twitter, he developed a knack for nurturing and then selling lucrative content or brands. For a high schooler to make $100 a day with pay-per-click ads is impressive, and Dahlberg found it intoxicating. From there, he began networking with emerging social media personalities. But the ambitious Dahlberg still wanted more.

This was what brought Dahlberg to the next level, as he began to explore e-commerce options. His successful store paved the way for his drop shipping empire, and to this day, his business has differentiated itself by developing brands, content curation, and advertising in order to launch a business.  

Dahlberg stresses his normalcy and how average he is. Instead, he encourages other would-be business owners to use failures as textbooks to study. “Failure is cool,” he told me in an email interview. Another more practical piece of advice he offers for aspiring drop shippers is to use credit strategically and responsibly. When these types of businesses scale up, they may run through tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars each month in stock expenditures and advertising costs. However, these types of expenses can become a hurdle for drop shippers. Dahlberg recommends a rewards-based credit card to finance these expenditures.

With these two pieces of advice, Dahlberg suggests that businesses emulate the mighty eagle, surveying competitors from a high-level view, developing insight into their weaknesses and the opportunities that these create. Successful business owners, Dahlberg states, do not try to reinvent the wheel, but, instead, improve content, messaging, and marketing.  

With this mindset and approach to business, success is much more attainable than it might seem. Dahlberg’s rules create an inspiring blueprint for anyone, whether they are working to develop retail or not.

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