He gave up the law to develop a manufacturing business and ecommerce operation involving toys made in China – sex toys, actually.
Why? Lifestyle and money were two of the motivations for Brian Sloan who generates over $1 million a year as a disruptive business utilising China’s manufacturing muscle, ecommerce smarts and . . well, sex.
Business Insider Australia reports on Sloan’s story:
Sloan started as a lawyer, but made a change early in his career that led him to where he is now. “I used to go to garage sales at 6 AM on the weekends and make as much or more money than I was making in the firm. At that point it really became clear that if what I wanted was more money and a fun lifestyle — working as a lawyer would offer a poor return on my time investment.” The industry is largely filled with people who don’t know how to use the internet.“
The adult industry was particularly ripe to ‘disrupt’ because of the combination of unusually high profit margins combined with industry-wide poor e-commerce knowledge,” Sloan told us.
“Only one brand of male toys and a few adult mega-stores had a high level of internet marketing or online selling technology knowledge.” Sloan moved to China after repeated visits to buy items to resell in the States.He was “buying and selling everything from human bones to alligator shoes to truckloads of furniture to used medical equipment to vintage mannequins.”
He cites the merits of doing whatever it takes to succeed.“The key factor in the success of that business was clear: willingness to do whatever it took to grow the business, and not caring what other people thought of it. Once, I even had my mother videotape me and a friend walking through a shopping mall in Skokie, Illinois, wearing giant inflatable rubber suits!”
BUSINESS INSIDER: Why the Indiegogo fundraising campaign for a new product when things are generally going so well?
BRIAN SLOAN: There are plenty of businesses with healthy sales who need additional money in times of expansion. It’s normal.
There are two ways to do that — investment or loans. There were several individuals and a few companies who wanted to invest, but I declined because I did not want to give up shares or control. Adult businesses … also cannot get bank loans at any rate. We were eligible for cash advances on our merchant processing from third parties, but the rates were mafia-like. Crowdfunding allowed us to raise funds by pre-selling products at a discounted price.
In fact we needed more than our $US45,000 goal, but we were warned by people who had run successful crowdfunding campaigns that setting a high goal would have a negative influence on funding.
BI: What was the original motivation in entering law, and when did you realise you were going to quit to start this business?
BS: I did a double major in philosophy and political science in college. Philosophers haven’t really been in demand these last 1,500 years, and political science doesn’t prepare one for any particular type of work. I bought into the idea that being an attorney would lead to a comfortable and interesting life and it helped that I didn’t have any better ideas.