I Almost Died Launching My Store

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John Murphy
May 9, 2022

It’s Easter 2017 and as usual for Easter we’re at my in-laws in Naples.  It’s also the financial closing for the first quarter so I’m working on GE’s financial closing and hating it.  But once I’m done with that for the day I’m back to what I had been doing for the last couple of weeks.  Looking for a niche that I can build my store around.  Niche selection gets it’s own post because it needs some explaining with what goes into to identify a viable market.

I go through the process and have identified 2 or 3 strong contenders.  I pick one and get to work figuring out how to set up a store online. Shopify is the platform I use because it’s very user friendly and anyone can figure it out and have a store looking presentable in a weekend.  There are dozens of good tutorials on youtube, something that would be hard to explain here in text.  

Once I settled on one niche and I get familiar with the Shopify platform it’s time to find the suppliers that have the products I want to sell.  In order to become an authorized dealer for a brand you have to be a business.  So a month earlier in March I went online and used an agency to set up a corporation and file for a tax ID (EIN).  With the incorporation papers and EIN companies can set you up as a dealer so they can legally sell to you with charging you sales tax, and you get the wholesale price.  Then when you sell at full retail you are making a profit on each sale.

Due to working on my new side hustle evenings and weekend I spent a few months getting suppliers, listing products on the site and getting everything ready. If you don’t have a full time job it’s doable in a few weeks.

Since when you create a new website you don’t just start traffic.  Nobody knows you exist so the only way in the beginning to get the right people to your store is to run ads on Google Shopping.  Running shopping ads on Google is effective because the people looking at your ads are people searching online for those products, then if someone clicks the ads to view your products you pay for the click (pay per click).

When you sign up for a Google Shopping account on their Adwords platform they actually give you a bonus of $100 dollars to get you started so your financial commitment is still very low.  So far you are only paying the Shopify fee of $29/month.  In theory you could make sales while still using the Google bonus.

On June 30th I had set up my ad campaigns and was ready to turn ads on.  I decided to schedule the ads to go live the next day just incase I noticed an issue on the site that day.  I would still have time to fix it before the traffic started showing up.

However, that day took a strange twist. It was a Friday and my wife and I had lunch.  I ate some fresh fruit that I had always eaten during the Summer months but this time was different.  I started to feel my throat get smaller and smaller. I never had an allergic reaction before but it seemed obvious what was happening so we jumped in the car and went straight to the ER.

While there I went into anaphylactic shock and proceeded to pass out on the floor of the ER. If you’re going to pass out that’s probably the best place to do it! Two jabs of adrenalin right into the leg still did nothing to bring me back so I ended up staying the night hooked up to a hear monitor.

Ironically, my store launched without me because the ads were scheduled. My store almost outlived me…