While the pandemic has taken all types of companies on a rollercoaster ride, one young 23-year-old entrepreneur named Jack Murphy has been able to find different strategies and ways to scale his e-commerce store I Love My Freedom into a $25M+ business and even led him to meeting former President Trump.
While Jack currently resides with his wife in Kansas City, the inspirational entrepreneur and digital marketing genius has direct ties with his company to the New York area, and so we sat down with Jack to learn more about his mindset and how he grew his company so that others here in NYC can learn how to grow/pivot their own going forward.
When did you know that your website and products were a “hit”?
I knew our website and products were a hit when our first big campaign took off and I started seeing numbers that blew away anything I had ever seen in my few years of e-commerce before I Love My Freedom. We built out a campaign one night in the summer of 2018 and scheduled it to launch via an email promotion in the morning. When I woke up and checked my phone, I had hundreds of Shopify notifications that took a few minutes to scroll through. I was absolutely baffled and that’s when I realized we were on to something really special.
Being a young entrepreneur, what tips can you give other young people wanting to start their own companies?
For other young entrepreneurs who want to start their own companies, I think there are a few key things to be aware of. I always tell people the first step is to find something you’re passionate about and not just chase money. You’ll burn out if you don’t enjoy what you do and don’t have a personal interest in seeing the company succeed. The second factor is to be realistic about what you’re wanting to build and the strategy you’ll implement. Is what you’re building going to impact a lot of people or is it going to be so niche that you have to be very strategic with your pricing to make it a sustainable income for yourself? Do you see this as a full-time career or a side-hustle that you enjoy regardless of how much money it makes? What channels do you see the biggest opportunities to grow? Your strategy will change over time and you don’t want to waste time, in the beginning, tweaking every little aesthetic thing of your business and every component of your strategy, but you need to figure out how you’re going to get traction out of the gates. Finally, I think the most important thing is being real with yourself from the beginning. If you aren’t willing to put in consistent and relentless work to make it grow, it’s probably going to blow up in your face. With business, you’re going to run into roadblocks, challenges, and turmoil throughout the journey but you always have to take responsibility for executing the vision regardless of what gets thrown at you.
What did you do when you made your first million?
I honestly don’t even remember when we made the first million. The vision has always been so much bigger than the short-term revenue numbers. We have massive goals and just embrace the journey we’ve been on. The knowledge and skills that have been developed far outweigh any of the short-term monetary benefits. However, in the last few years since launching the store, I dropped out of school, got married, got two golden retrievers, purchased my first house, continue to invest in continuing education, and continue to invest in growing the business. The real benefit to the financial side is being able to invest all of my time into cultivating business growth and not being restricted by school, sports or a corporate job.
With the pandemic and the political world turning us all upside down, how has that been for business?
The pandemic and the political world over the last year have had quite an impact on business, that’s for sure. There have been many pros and cons to everything that transpired in the last year. For people within scalable verticals like us, e-commerce has boomed. It’s no secret that online shopping has increased given all that has happened with lockdowns and stimulus checks. The real challenge for us has been the ever-evolving political climate. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected as things move extremely fast and decisions that are out of our control and impact us from an advertising or software standpoint, seem to be heavily emotional and reactionary. In most cases, the only way to prepare for the worst is to plan for it before anything bad happens or is even thought to happen. I’ve really learned the importance of hedging and building assets that you can control so it’s been a great life lesson and overall powerful experience to go through the challenges we’ve been through so far.
COVID-19 has hit us New Yorkers hard since the start. What advice would you give to those struggling during these times?
The way the world was upended by covid was unfortunate for so many small business owners across the country and especially in New York, however, with change and challenges, opportunities arise. We live in the greatest country in the world where nobody is stopping you from making an impact by finding a way to solve a problem and adapt to the quickly changing culture. The internet has opened up endless opportunities and gateways to knowledge and expertise. My biggest piece of advice would be to spend your time leveling up your knowledge and relationships during hard times rather than spending all day binging on Netflix shows or things that don’t help you get closer to achieving your dreams and goals.
Your coin vendor is located here in Freeport, NY… how did you get linked up with them?
We got linked up with them through a mutual connection. They’ve been incredible to work with and have helped us continue to grow our business at a rapid pace. The way we got connected with them is really a cool principle to live off of though. The people who referred us to them would have kept the vendor to themselves as we compete in similar spaces but went out of their way to make an introduction because they believe in providing value and like to play the long game in terms of building relationships.
When you come to New York yourself, what are your favorite things to do personally?
Being a former athlete, I think one of the coolest things about New York and my favorite thing to do in New York is watching the Yankees play at the new Yankee Stadium. The history behind the Yankees franchise is rich with the American spirit and an era of incredible success so it’s really cool to see them play. Knowing that my family immigrated through Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty was a really impactful thing to see. When the world goes back to normal, I’m eager to explore more of the unique attractions that make New York one of the greatest cities in the world.
And final question: Even though you are only 23 still, what do you want to be remembered for overall when people look back at you and your impact on this world?
I want to be remembered for standing up for the fundamental values that built the American dream. I hope my life and career motivate people to dream big and think for themselves. There are too many people that are scared to take a risk and follow their passion so I hope the impact I have will inspire people and show them that if you believe in something enough and are willing to put in the work to accomplish your goals, you can overcome almost any challenges or obstacles that come in your way.