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How $1,700,000 in 17 Days Changes a Seller’s Life

Sarah Nuttycombe Updated on June 17, 2021

How $1,700,000 in 17 Days Changes a Seller’s Life

Do you ever see successful online entrepreneurs and think to yourself, “they must have started ages ago, like Gary Vaynerchuk or the guy that founded eBay?”

You might be surprised to hear Jeff Deveau’s story. Jeff is a relative newcomer to the online marketing space. His first venture was in 2013 when he built a social media services company.

After a couple of years, he decided to go independent and began an FBA business. This gave him more freedom and flexibility, as well as the ability to work without staff. After working as an aircraft mechanic and across industries like real estate and hospitality, it was FBA that gave Jeff the freedom he was looking for.

In just three years of running his own Amazon FBA business he was able to cash out in 17 days for $1,700,000. Even with some long hours put in to scale his business to that level, he claimed as an FBA entrepreneur that it didn’t feel the same. As he puts it, “I just love doing what I do.”

Naturally, this reminds us of the saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” And in this case, loving what you do can get you the life you want and make you a millionaire in the process.

The Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Despite the long hours he had spent building the business, Jeff can now set his own schedule. “I get up when I want to get up. If I want to go for a walk or go to the beach, I can do that in the morning. Then I can come back whenever I want.” He adds, “Yeah, I enjoy it. It’s very different from my previous work, just a whole different mentality.”

Even though Jeff loves what he does, building an FBA business doesn’t come without challenges. He states product selection as his biggest bottleneck because it’s so time-consuming. He also points to cashflow as something that requires constant attention.

Jeff realistically points out that even though people can make a lot of money, “there’s a lot more tied up in ordering more products [and] launching new products.” That’s when it clicked that selling his FBA business might be a better option.

Jeff sold his first business in 2017 with another brokerage. Though it went reasonably well, he knew there were greener pastures. Some trusted friends had used Empire Flippers, and when they explained their experience to Jeff, he decided to test the waters for himself.

“When I contacted Empire Flippers, they were a lot more hands-on than the previous brokerage I used, so it made it a lot easier.” He continues, “I’m not good with my numbers and my profit-loss statements and managing all that. They just handled everything.”

Choosing the Right Time to Sell

Just like with any valuable asset, choosing the right time to sell can be difficult. Do you hold onto it and continue to reap the benefits? Or, do you cash out and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere?

When you own a business, the decision is even more complex. You might love your business, have friends and family members involved, or it could be a major part of your identity.

For Jeff, however, timing his exit point was simple. It all came down to cash.

“I had a great run with it. It was scaling up. Everything was moving in the right direction, and I just figured it would be the prime time to do it. It helped change my life.”

The Final Offer

Jeff had zero expectations when it came time to list his business, and he was even willing to hold onto it if he didn’t get his asking price.

However, within two weeks, he got four offers, and, in his words, “it was phenomenal.”

For Jeff, selling the business so quickly after listing it gave him a sense of relief and gave him a large cash cushion for his next venture.

Because Jeff’s niche was Amazon FBA, it was a very “cash-intensive” business. He poured all of the profits back into the business and even abstained from taking a paycheck for the first five to six months.

A strong holiday season put the company firmly in the black, making it the perfect time for someone to acquire it and take it to the next level.

“I had put my life savings into it, so I was able to take that back out and then obviously, some on top of that, too.”

Next Steps

Now that the business is sold, Jeff can sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. “I actually just found myself sitting at a coffee shop, having coffee and breakfast. If I had come into this money 10 years ago, it probably would have a different effect on me, but now it’s just comfort. It’s padding my life, so it’s been great.”

Have a business you’re thinking about selling and want to know what it’s worth? Try our free Valuation Tool.

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