Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA – Kevin King – a MEGA eCommerce entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Freedom Ticket – an eCommerce Sellers Academy. Kevin shares his life story and his incredible tale of eCommerce prominence. 


From his early childhood growing up in Texas, Kevin has had an incredible aptitude for entrepreneurship. He was able to set up businesses at almost every station of his life. His relentless pursuit of learning and growth allowed him to build many successful business ventures. 


Sit back and enjoy this episode, and dive into the story behind the man and legend!  


Find out more about Kevin & Freedom Ticket: https://www.freedomticket.com

Find out more about GETIDA here: https://getida.com/


Find the Full Transcript Below


Yoni Mazur  0:05  

Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of prime dog today I’m really, really honored and privileged to have the great Kevin King. In our episode. Kevin King is a mega e-commerce Entrepreneur of the money thing he is, is also the founder and CEO of freedom ticket, which is a leading e-commerce sellers’ Academy. You know, Kevin is gonna elaborate a bit more about the businesses that are involved with. But in general, this whole episode is gonna be about his story, where he came from, where did he grow up? And you know, how did he start his professional career? So I’m sure it’s gonna be all trends interesting and fascinating. So, Kevin, how are you? How’s everything?


Kevin King  0:47  

Good, man? How are you doing? Glad to be here. It’s awesome. Great. Great.


Yoni Mazur  0:51  

Thank you for coming to the show. You’re still in Austin. I see the background.


Kevin King  0:54  

I am in Austin, Texas. In the last 3030 years or so,


Yoni Mazur  1:00  

great players, you know, I thank you for the opportunity back in November to come to the btss event, the billion dollar seller summit. It was in Austin. It was a true true pleasure. I can’t even express how much fun I had. So hopefully we do it again soon after all the Coronavirus crisis comes to an end. But surely you want to first a little bit to tell. tell everybody about yourself and what you’re involved with? And then we’ll dive in right into your story.


Kevin King  1:26  

Sure, yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing you again, the next billion-dollar solar summit. I think you guys are sponsoring again, and it’s scheduled for this July. But that’s probably gonna get pushed back a little bit, just due to the current situation out there. But yeah, it’s gonna be awesome times. Yeah, so I’ve been doing e-commerce for 30 plus years back before there was even a Google, I was selling things online. And I’ve been involved in all kinds of accepting aspects of e-commerce, from the subscription side to the product side to product development to wholesale distribution to you name it. And I’ve been selling on Amazon since 2001. And as a private label seller since 2015. And as I have several different brands on Amazon, I have four different brands, four different seller accounts that I manage on Amazon, that I’ve made either own completely or a major honor. And also do like you said, the freedom ticket training course, for helium 10, helium 10s, I want a big software company, I do a partnership with them, where I do the training, which is included for free if you have a helium 10 membership, basically all that today, dizzy, 70 some odd hours of training on how to sell on Amazon, and then also do their advanced stuff called e m 10. Elite, which is for experienced sellers. It’s more for the people that are already doing six, seven figures. And it’s an advanced topic. And I leave that every month. It’s about a four-hour training of the latest and greatest stuff that’s happening. Then I do the billion-dollar seller summit, which is like you guys came to are coming to the next one on that which is a small 50 to 100 people. It’s mostly seven and eight-figure sellers today in-person events. I do that twice a year. And then I have another business that has nothing to do with Amazon. And then I have another business that’s a product sourcing, product discovering sourcing business, so I keep pretty busy.


Yoni Mazur  3:30  

Nice. Yeah, amazing. I mean, I really, I’m really impressed with the scope of your activity. And beyond that, beyond all the fact that you’re a very active businessman is your influence, you know, you’re definitely a force in influencing, you know, other entrepreneurs to take action and become successful when selling, you know, on Amazon and anything else with e-commerce. So your influence is definitely president out there. And it’s really, really good. It’s really positive. So it’s really great to have you here. Okay, let’s dive into your story. You know, your background, where you’re from, where you grew up, we want to touch the Kevin King human story behind the legend.


Kevin King  4:11  

Sure, I grew up in the Dallas area, a northern suburb north of Dallas about the DFW Airport. I went to Texas a&m University and have a degree in business and since then I’ve never worked for anybody else. I’ve only had two jobs in my life where I filled out what do you call it? A weight w nine whatever the thing is where you get a w…


Yoni Mazur  4:29  

You’re right, that’s w two. 


Kevin King  4:35  

I don’t know the name of it?


Kevin King  4:36  

I filled that out twice in my life. Back when I was like 1617 years old. And ever since then…


Yoni Mazur  4:43  

What was the job, what he had to fill it up for?


Kevin King  4:46  

My first job at 16, first official job was McDonald’s.


Yoni Mazur  4:51  

McDonald’s. There you go.


Kevin King  4:54  

After that I delivered pizzas for a couple years and beyond that I’ve never worked for him. They all said, I don’t think that’s good. So I’ve had the ups and downs, and I’ve had a bankruptcy years ago, from a business, I’ve seen the bottom and I’ve seen the top. So I enjoy the ride, and would have in any other way I value my freedom. So I like to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Even though I have a lot of businesses, I’m super busy. Just by example, you know, I’ve got a lot going on right now we’re in the middle of launching a big brand related to the COVID stuff right now, it’s probably going to be at a 20 to $30 million brand before the end of this year. And because I have the freedom to do what I want to do yesterday, me and my wife just said the heck with it the afternoon, it’s a nice day here in Texas, three hours away, as the coach, let’s just drive down to the beach, take our dogs and go down to the beach it is it’s been two or three hours at the beach. And I can do that, you know, if I was working a regular corporate job or something that’d be a little bit more difficult to do. So that type of freedom. I really enjoy it. started getting super serious on the Amazon side I’ve been selling since 2001. But in 2015 is when I really started doing the FBA, you know that that opportunity really came along amazing calm are the guys that originally kind of started this whole training process that you see now how you can read products from Alibaba and and and sell them in black people start jumping on that bandwagon. I took a look at 2015. I never took any courses or did any training, I devoured as much information that I could. I’ve been bringing stuff in from China and Korea for some other businesses for a while and developing new products. So it all kind of fit into everything. That’s everything that I was doing. So it’s been cool. But before that, I was also running a television production company where we did pay per view events, television was traveling the world. And as part of that it was fun to travel. But I was always working. So when I turned 52 years old, when I turned 40 I was like you know what, instead of having a midlife crisis, and going and buying a nice shiny new quarterback or Viper or whatever the hot car was at the time, I’m just gonna take a year and travel. So I decided, I’m gonna organize the business, about 16 people working for me at the time in office. And I’m like, All right, you guys got this. I’m gonna spend two weeks every month out of the office, I’m going to travel. And this wasn’t a backpacking type of deal.


Yoni Mazur  7:31  

You were 40 years old. So this is about 12 years ago.


Kevin King  7:35  

This is about 2008 2007 2008. And so I started and I’m ready to list a place I just wanted to go to. I went by myself, some places a friend or family went with me, it just depended. I wasn’t backpacking. But I wasn’t staying in the Four Seasons either. But I would go into a country and on our local guide, for example, I went to Israel and hired a local guide. And I was like, you’re not going to go see the museums, I want to see the culture and the guy took me all over Israel for 12 days. And by the end of it, he’s invited me to his house to have a nice dinner with his wife and. You see that side of things, and you become almost friends with them. And I did that original plan to do that for a year. And that turned into seven years. To continue doing that until early 2014. And then I decided to get serious again, the money starting to run out for a better figure out what I’m going to do. So that’s how I ended up focusing on the FBA that looked like that was the best, like three different choices. was like, this one looks like the one that has the most potential that’ll still allow me, to have that lifestyle. And so during this whole time I met my wife, I ended up going to 87 countries. And one of those was Colombia, and I met my wife, current wife, and one of his trips in Colombia. 


Yoni Mazur  9:04  

Do you guys meet in Colombia? Which, part of Colombia


Yoni Mazur  9:09  

I’ve actually been there. Colombia is actually one of the few countries I did travel to. I’ve been to like 19 countries behind you. But one of the areas that I traveled to was South America and Colombia is one of them and I wasn’t a card fan. Oh, very nice. So I assume that you have a family you probably go visit there often because of your


Kevin King  9:29  

Yeah, we go down. Yeah, we go down a couple of times a year. New Year’s is a big deal for the families down there. It’s kinda like our Thanksgiving here in the US. They’re New Year’s and so that’s that’s traditionally when we’re only making sure we’re always there New Year’s and usually one other time.


Yoni Mazur  9:47  

How is your Spanish by the way?


Kevin King  9:49  

I can speak a little bit but I’m not fluent. Now as far as my wife would like me to be but so sometimes sitting down there I can I get lost at the table…


Kevin King  10:01  

I can get by, but I can’t hold up. I can’t hold a full conversation for a long time. I start bumbling around.


Yoni Mazur  10:08  

Gotcha. I want to touch a little bit of …I guess you turn into business. You were 17 18 years old? I want to touch on your first business and how old were you and what was the year, so we can get a little bit of an idea of the framework, the ledger where, you know, until where you are now. So let’s start with those …


Kevin King  10:26  

I think I was four years old. Four years old. 


Yoni Mazur  10:28  

What were you doing selling pacifiers?


Kevin King  10:31  

I was selling bubblegum, going down to the local, back then there wasn’t a Walmart. But there was a similar thing. It’s called Gibson’s or something somewhere here in Texas, a little small town in Texas. By the one cent bubble gum, you know, those big red bubble gums? Oh, yeah, they used to sell a little I don’t know, if they still sell them. You might get some other little individual packages and buy those for a penny and sell them for three cents to the local neighborhood kids.


Yoni Mazur  10:53  

That’s a good markup.


Kevin King  10:54  

I sold my mowed yards, I painted numbers on street curb different people’s houses, but their address on a painting on the curb, I did all kinds of stuff. As a teenager, I was making too much money as a teenager. My parents were a little bit worried that you know, you’re 12-13 years old making Yeah, 12-13 years old, somewhere in there making $400 a week. This is back in the 80s, that I had a lot of money, that’s I don’t know what that’d be now, maybe 1000 bucks a week or something, it’s a lot of money. Yeah. You can’t have all this fun, and you got to save half, you got to save half of it. So they would actually take half of it from me, throw it into some savings account. And they ended up giving that back to me as my allowance when I went to college. So when I went to college, my dad, paid for my college, but all my spending money came from that. So I was 12 years old.


Yoni Mazur  11:54  

Wow, that’s a fantastic story. I mean your parents are visionary. They realize, you know, you’re a talented entrepreneur. Nevertheless, you have to kind of understand or appreciate the long game. So they helped you with the money away. But besides, once you’re in college, you will mature a little bit more, you can appreciate a bit more the value of money and the value of the long game and use it to party when you probably needed the money even more than as a kid.


Kevin King  12:19  

The problem though, then it’s you say that it scraped understanding the value of mine I do. But at the same time, as a young kid, I was always able to make money. If I want to play a video game. I was like, What can I do to make this video game? Let’s start a little stamp company and put some ads in the back of magazines. Magazines for stamp collectors and start selling stamps and coins. I did that. I developed a little software for a marketing software program when I was in college and without the back of the computer world. 


Yoni Mazur  12:48  

And so you were wide open at 19 back in those days in college. And what year was this?


Kevin King  12:54  

It was in the late 80s. All right.


Yoni Mazur  12:58  

So what was it?


Kevin King  13:01  

Oh, yes, because I was making good money, I was able to in college. I did something called a I tutored class called Bana to 17 at Texas A&M University if you’re a sophomore business major. And A&M is a big school. You know, there’s there are about 1000 kids in the business program. And every year I mean, starting your second year, your sophomore year, you get to take a class called vanity 17. It was basically business analysis is what banner stands for. And you had to learn the basic computer language. And nobody really uses it anymore. But it was a competing language called basic, you know, people call the host C Plus or Pascal or whatever, but basic was one of the first. And when I was younger, when I was 15, my parents had bought a computer one of the first desktop computers and I spent one summer just learning how to program on my own making little stupid programs and stuff. And it was a big weed outclass that they were teaching and kids were having trouble. So I started tutoring people. And I put little signs around cameras in library dorms, hey, if you’re having trouble learning how to program for this class, just pull off this call me on this little number block little tag and call me. And I started with one on ones for like five bucks an hour or something like that. And it gotta be so many people that I was actually renting rooms in the library and little conference rooms, right 10 people in that one time, and 10 people grew to 20 people. And then they had to test three times a year and the tests were standardized between all the professors. And so right before the test, people would want to cram for the test. And so I do like a review session. And that just kept growing. And so finally, I ended up running a conference room at the Hilton Hotel and College Station where I could put 500 people in there at once. I’d charge them $15 ahead and they would come in. They say the test was on Thursday, Wednesday night, and Wednesday. I would have two sessions and I was getting about 67% of people taking this class coming to me. So they would come and 15 bucks ahead, I get 500-600 people through there, do two sessions, one, and I don’t know, five o’clock and another one at 830. And it would be like three hours of just, here’s everything you need to know, for the test. And so I was making pretty good money off of that. Professors didn’t like me too much, but it was good. I would go at the beginning of the semester, I would go to the registrar’s office at the college and say, Look, I wanna I want a mailing list. Now the address of every kid taking this class, and they say, No, no, you can’t do that. It’s private information. We can’t say, the mailing addresses of 1000 kids, I’m like, Yes, you can. There’s something in Texas called the sunshine Records Act, which is open information for any public institution or so you have to give it to me, I have to pay you, you know, whatever it costs to print these labels. But that’s it. And so they ended up having to give me a mailing list of 1000 kids whose name and address, you know, here’s Kevin king, he lives at 123, Main Street, whatever, they put them out on these, these labels have killed me. So I give him 40 bucks or something and get this list. I go down, and I’d make out to be in a semester Mega goga place somewhere to Kinkos. So at the time, for those who didn’t remember before this FedEx Kinkos, it was just Kinkos as a copy and place. And I would put up a flyer and mail it to every single one of those and say, here’s the dates coming, I’ll teach you everything you need to know. So that worked really well. But as a result of that, I had a lot of money. And so our apartment, I was living with three other guys off campus, and we became the party place. 


Yoni Mazur  16:47  

You sponsored your own frat house.


Kevin King  16:49  

Yeah, we had, it was a six nights we took Tuesday’s off. But six nights a week was pretty crazy. We always had people there, you know, we had a sign at the door when you walk in and had the rules of the place and like no unshaven legs from girls, and we have one of the guys up there like checking their legs when they walk in like, it was all kinds of crazy, crazy. You can’t you can’t leave sober. The police  would come on a pretty regular basis, our neighbors would call the police for disturbances or whatever, every time the police would come. It wasn’t like every single time, but it was often enough that we would take turns going out to talk to the police. And we would take pictures with the police. When we have a wall like each of us posing with police officers, someone would shine a flashlight they want, you know, they want to kind of ruin the picture. But it was crazy, sir. But I got to the point where people come in to drink for free. And I’m like, this is stupid, you know, why am I paying? Why am I supporting everybody to drink, at least I should cover the cost here is you should donate some money. And so I went to the bartending class. As an alum, it was like an extracurricular, you know, not in the books class, but one of those little special ones. And I wasn’t 21 yet, so you couldn’t actually use real alcohol. So we’re just using water and mix bottles. And I was like screw that I won’t know what this stuff really tastes like. So I went and bought an entire bar, and like everything. And so we had all that there. And then people started coming. And I was like, I need to keep track. So I developed a little program on the apple to the computer, or laptop computer, one of the first laptop computers, and more little program, little marketing program that would have the recipes and what to keep track of everybody’s tab. And I ended up deciding not to sell that. And so I ended up putting ads and computer magazines and ended up selling it and selling a whole lot, but ended up selling some of that. So I’ve done all kinds of stuff.


Yoni Mazur  18:53  

That’s s a wild wild story. I mean, what I take from this is that a few things, your sense of entrepreneurship is obviously very clear, but also the way that you are relentless, and in a good way to pursue. You know, your ambition. And ambition is you know, have a target. Yeah, you laser focus on it. You push it, you make it happen. You support a lot of people on the way that’s what’s so magical with your story. Because all these people eventually signed up, they know, they made money on it. But it wasn’t just about the money at the end of the day, they needed it because it helped them to achieve something and to read progress and what for their own needs. So the connection there between, you know, your ability to have vision of how to develop something new and innovative, that’s helpful. And that’s in high demand connects with, you know, the consumers or the people who need it and it’s a beautiful connection, then you take it on to the next step and the next step, the next step you create basically a frat house and a party house and then that develops the software and you sell that is just the magnitude of the intensity of your Shell is just a for me, it’s from looking from the side. It’s mesmerizing. It’s pretty cool. Alright, let’s touch so you know, after the software you developed it. Hopefully you graduated college billionaire, what was your status?


Kevin King  20:15  

I graduated from college and ended up moving to Austin college stations about an hour and a half from Austin. And Texas A&M and the University of Texas are big rivals, and sports and football and stuff. So I ended up moving to Austin because I had some friends from high school here. I slept on the couch as much money as I was making. I slept on the couch in their living room for a year and a half.


Yoni Mazor  20:34  

Why is that?


Kevin King  20:36  

Because I just, I didn’t want to live by myself. And they already had three or four roommates. And they’re like, yeah, you can sleep on the couch. So I slept on the couch and ended up doing some stuff with them where we actually made t-shirts. Right around that time, the MC Hammer song you can’t touch was super popular. Now, yeah, do you do it that way. And what’s ironic is I’m about to make some money off of that song again, one of the other things I’m doing right now. But anyway, back in 1980, I was a hot song. So we’ve made a shirt that says, puts the University of Texas their initials is UT. So I made a shirt that said you can’t and then the T touched this. So you can’t like just the word, just the letter. You can’t touch this, the UT in different colors. So it’s like the logo and then one of my buddies who were still in school, was in engineering school and he got permission. Like how can we sell these on campus? You know, we need to sell these things on campus. And he’s like, well, this, we could do it as a fundraiser for the engineering department or something. So he got authorized at some sort of club. We never gave a dime to them. But we got authorized somewhere. Supposed to actually donate 5% I don’t know what it was. But by having that we got a permit to actually sit on campus. So we would actually start with that shirt. We would park, have hot me and some other guys we set up a little table and we find the high traffic corners on UT campus like it’s a kind of a condensed University of about 50,000 students. So we’d find the high traffic corners and sit there with a table and the shirts and sell them for 1015 bucks a


Yoni Mazur  22:13  

day. What was that corner? The word though George Washington monument is or the GIF of JFK? JFK MLK or where the other tower was there? Little tourists? I’m familiar.


Kevin King  22:24  

There’s one on 26th Street. In Guadeloupe, there’s one on the drag. There was one that used to be a dormitory that was a pretty hot place for watches that we set up. There’s a whole different bunch of different places. And then at the football games and the stadium here seats its a massive Stadium.


Yoni Mazur  22:41  

A massive stadium?


Kevin King  22:43  

Yeah, about 100,000. Back then it was I think 80,000 or something. So there’ll be these games. We want to be out there in front of a football game. So we’d be out there with our table. And the first time we did like nobody could see us, because we have our little fold-out table and we have our shirts all displayed and everything. But the crowds are just walking in and nobody can see. And so my buddies are engineers. And so they’re like, we’re going to fix this. So they developed a catapult system, a column catapult, so they went to Home Depot and bought all this wood. And so we had these like things that collapse and they would fold the big long sticks like 10 feet long, they would collapse down but they would fold up like a picture of a goalpost of a football in a football stadium. Yeah, we can hang the shirts across the top. So it would be 10 feet up in the air. So people walking from way the heck down the way can see it. And know we’re there. And I go we want little shirts and


Yoni Mazur  23:35  

visibility is missing. A little visibility hack.


Kevin King  23:38  

Yeah, and we would do $20- 30,000 in a game day and T shirt sales $40,000 all in on cash and credit cards. And back then we didn’t have internet credit cards, you know, we had to actually take the credit card.


Kevin King  23:54  

On a little piece of paper and take them to the bank and deposit them like cheques and it  was old school.


Kevin King  24:00  

Old school. Yeah, so we did that. And then that year…


Yoni Mazur  24:05  

This is pretty much like you said after college?


Kevin King  24:08  

It was after college. So to the dismay of my dad, I didn’t go get a corporate job. Start making 5040 5060 $80,000 a year with my degree. I went to sleep on the couch and sold t-shirts.


Yoni Mazur  24:22  

Yeah, but you’re making you know, revenue of $4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *