What It's About
A side hustle inspiration story that was literally in this bartender's pocket.
Words of Wisdom
Hear how the side hustle experience has impacted Vincent personally; “the best part of the experience so far is that Mantra Medallions is a complete 180-degree turn from the way I make money. I'm providing a bit of happiness instead, in a much healthier form.”
Vincent got his idea to create medallions only when his girlfriend told him that she liked a memento that had always been carrying on. The idea was in his pocket all along.
Notes from Chris
Vincent Cilento realized early on that he didn’t enjoy working for big companies. This led him to take on a job as a bartender where he had the flexibility to determine how many shifts to work, giving him the chance to explore other ideas. One such idea was pocket-sized medallions. He had been carrying around a pocket-sized coin from Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic store with the message “The Obstacle Is The Way.” He didn’t think much of it until his girlfriend spotted the coin. She was going through a difficult time and said that she wanted something similar for herself. At that point, all Vincent did was to talk to her about what her coin might look like, and how they could find someone to manufacture a custom design. But after sharing the idea with his girlfriend’s sister, they all realized that this was an opportunity in disguise. In fact, his girlfriend’s sister loved the medallion he already had so much that she promised to be his first customer if Vincent started his own line. That’s what got him into action. So how did he do it? The first step was to go to 99 Designs, a website that helps to connect designers and clients, and find an artist whose work he resonated with. Together they created his first designs with sayings like “Be Here Now” and “Come As You Are.” Once the designs were set, he started working on finding a reliable manufacturer. Unfortunately, this process didn’t go quite as smoothly. He initially looked on Google, and found that there were a lot of companies that made coins. This was extremely frustrating, and it took him another six months to find a reliable manufacturer, but he finally managed to locate one on Alibaba. Throughout his challenging experience with manufacturers, Vincent was also working on acquiring customers. In Vincent’s words, his initial marketing strategy was “I have no idea what I’m doing so let me try everything.” He started with Facebook and Instagram ads, but saw no results after his initial spend of $100. This made him realize that he didn’t have the skill to write good copy nor was he likely targeting the right demographics. Slowly, all of Vincent’s hard work has been paying off. He’s been seeing a bump in sales over the past several months, even with his challenges. He’s diversified his distribution from just his online website to other platforms such as Etsy. Over the past year he’s been averaging a little over $500/month in revenue. With his initial batch of medallions setting him back just $370 and the only recurring cost being his Shopify payment, he’s confident that he can make this work. After all, the obstacle is the way.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Learn more about Vincent and his inspirational coins at his website, MantraMedallions.com.
- Vincent got inspiration from Ryan Holiday's book, The Daily Stoic.
- To produce his medallions, Vincent used the freelance marketplace, 99designs and sourced his product through Alibaba.
- To sell his medallions, Vincent uses the popular marketplace Etsy and also directly through his own e-commerce site built on Shopify.
- Penny Portraits of Abe Lincoln Turn Into $40,000: An investment marketer creates a poster portrait of America’s 16th president. Since debuting his design, it’s sold more than 4,000 units and made $40,000.
- 23-Year-Old College Student Uses “Sweatcoin” App to Earn $2,000/Month: After getting fit with a customized training program, this enterprising college student now provides coaching services, using a popular fitness app to generate leads.
- Bitcoin YouTuber Earns Thousands in Affiliate Commissions: A Dutch cryptocurrency enthusiastic takes to YouTube to explain it to his countrymen, earning commissions from tools and resources he endorses.
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