An Interview with Kenmond Sanders, "E-commerce Guy"
Kenmond Sanders is one of the most interesting people you will ever come across. In the full interview hosted here, we touch on everything from his belongings getting repo’d to his world adventures and travels (last we talked he was in Cabo); his company going bankrupt to becoming a cash millionaire. He’s made money any way you can think of: from pushing a wheelbarrow to selling t-shirts online. And he is the co-founder of the National Fishing Association. …that’s no typo. We didn’t know if we should laugh at the irony or applaud him. We talk about failures he’s had, obstacles he’s overcome, and what it took for him to get where he is now: 17 years to an overnight success. Below is a snippet of what he does and why he calls Codefi home.
Codefi: We witness pictures of you traveling the world, videos of you weightlifting, hear motivational talks, and see internet marketing webinars. So what is it that you really do?
KS: I can make it sound fancy but to boil it all down basically I sell stuff online. So I’m an e-commerce guy. Ever since the internet came around, I’ve always wanted to make money on the internet because I felt like as long as I had a computer and an internet connection I would be able to make money; just following the rabbit hole. You just try to learn. I've bought so many courses online, spent thousands of dollars, course after course. I’ve done so many things online to try and make money. I've done SEO stuff. I knew nothing about SEO, but I learned! I’ve built websites for local businesses. I had never built a website before, but I learned! There was AdSense while I built my own website and try to drive people from Google hope they would click on the ads. I did some stuff on YouTube. I did affiliate marketing. I payed a guy $9000 for him to teach me affiliate marketing. And it was $1500 a month I had to pay him. He said, “You can pay me $8000 upfront. Either one.” Like I had $8000! Even after that I didn’t make any money in affiliate marketing. I built a little list but I didn’t make any money out of it. I was just trying and trying and trying and finally a couple of years ago a guy named Donald Wilson came out with a course called Facebook Ads Cracked and it talked about making money selling t-shirts. I am thinking of all the thousands of doors I've knocked on. I’ve knocked on so many doors until my knuckles bled. I used to go to cities and just to knock on doors and go to apartments so I could knock on a bunch of doors in a close area just to sell stuff. And out of all the phone calls Ive made, I knew I could sell a t-shirt. I started doing that. It took a little while, about 5 months. And I spent another 3 to 4 thousand dollars before I sold my first t-shirt. So from selling the t-shirts, the evolution was going into physical products. I’m in fashion. People don’t know I am in fashion. I’m the co-founder of the National Fishing Association. I don’t even fish. We sell a lot of fishing hooks, fishing bait, tackle, fishing rods, all kind of stuff. So it just evolved from that and again just following the rabbit hole. That's actually why I'm here in Cape.
Codefi: Other than deciding to work for yourself, what the single most important decision you’ve made that contributed to your success?
KS: After working for myself, the best decision I made was just not to quit. A lot of people decide to work for themselves this week and then next week they change their minds. I think that’s the biggest thing; to just make the decision. With my first business I said, “If this business makes a million dollars or if I fail at it, I am just going to stay with it or I’m going to start another business.” I’ll be 80 years old saying, “I want to be rich!” But I am never going to quit. That old saying that says if you are willing to stand for forever, you won’t have to stand for long. And I just made a decision that this is what I am going to do with my life. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m too talented. I’m too smart to just waste it in the cubicle. I have great ideas in my head and I think I can turn those ideas into money and this is what I am going to do. The decision to stick with it and see the job through just like a stamp on a postage; just stick to it until it gets there. I think that was the single most important decision.
Codefi: Most entrepreneurs really have their identity tied to their work. How do you, if you do, separate your business from your personal life?
KS: Well, while I am in Cape I am working. So, I don’t have much of personal life. I don’t go out to bars. I stopped doing that way back in my college days. When you really want to become a successful entrepreneur, I think that your business actually it’s not like you work 40 hours a week or 60 hours a week. It actually becomes a part of your life. When I first started my business, if I was awake, I was working. And the only time I wasn’t working was when I was sleeping or eating. Then I was thinking about and dreaming about working then. So, while I’m here I’m working and then when I take vacations I don’t do much work.
Codefi: What made you all interested to join?
KS: Just look at the space. It’s awesome! It’s cool. I am sitting in a freakin Lego table right now. It's cool. You are around other people that are moving and shaking in their own lives and they are going some place and you are around that good energy and I am thinking to myself, “I’m not going to let you all make all the money! I want to make some too!” It’s good. Personally, I work better by myself. That’s why I try to wear a hoodie all the time. I was telling a guy last night, if I have on my hoodie and I can sit in front of the computer, I can sit in front of the computer and work until I just have to use the bathroom or die of starvation. This is how I focus, like a horse with blinders on. But at the same time it’s good to switch it up because sometimes when I am at home by myself I am not as productive because I might play around on the internet or something like that. I know if I come to the office I know I got to get some work done. Because I’m not going to drive from my house to here and not do anything. So, it’s good to switch it up. I like to be around the energy. I like the layout of the place. I like the other people and the other members.
Codefi: How do you envision successfully using the space?
KS: Just feeding off you guys and your energy. I come here and I see my picture on the wall and I say, “That’s somebody important right here.” So I have to live up to that! Just coming in and getting work done and banging it out.
Codefi: Then we do have our selfish question: is there anything we could do to improve?
KS: Definitely. One thing you can do to improve is to put a big picture of me right in the front and as everybody walks in so they can see me. That’s about the only thing I can think of.