From Broke to $100 Million: Seth Kniep & Just One Dime

Agencies
·5-min read

Seth and his team manage over $100 million in annual Amazon revenue. But it didn't start that way. Seth was broke. He owned a two story 4-bedroom house, yet the mortgage felt like donating a monthly organ.

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‍He, with his team in Just One Dime outperformed all 800 sales people in his sales department at Apple, yet his debit card would get declined when he took his family to lunch.

Seth shares, “I’ll never forget that heart-sinking feeling when my wife called me from the grocery store, ‘Hey Seth, our debit card just got declined and I'm standing in front of a line of 15 people waiting for checkout.’ This started to happen so regularly my wife began to dread grocery shopping.‍”

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So Seth worked harder to prove himself. It seemed to work because within one week two different departments at the trillion dollar company he worked for sent him an offer letter.

“I knew this would change everything,” Seth remembers. “Now was my big moment! So I chose the manager role for a tech support team across the US. Funny thing, the freedom I thought I was gaining became less.

Seth was needed constantly, yet that need did not transfer to his bank account. Living the American dream, he spent his days building someone else's dream.

While his death-by-paycheck 9 to 5 slowly sucked the life out of him, the one house he owned—a beautiful four bed three bath home—foreclosed. Seth shares, “But the final blow was when my boss shamed me in front of my own subordinate. Driven by fear of getting in trouble with HR, she made me the scapegoat.”

That day Seth told his wife, “I don't care how brutal or hellish the path may be. I'm building a new life for our family." One day, Seth noticed the coins sitting in his beat-up mini van's ashtray. A crazy idea entered his mind.

"How many times would I have to double this to reach $100,000?" He grabbed a calculator. Twenty times. It was at this moment, Seth knew what he needed to do.

Armed with a single dime, the most valuable US coin for its little size, Seth walked downtown and approached random people, sharing his vision and asking them to double his dime. He turned his dime into $400 just for asking and used that to buy his first batch of inventory for Amazon: cremation urns.

“I’ll never forget getting that first notification from Amazon,” Seth remembers. “Sold! In that moment I told myself, “If I can do that once, I can do it a million times.”

Within a few weeks the cremation urns were selling 10 times a day at $10 profit a pop. Seth used all his profits to buy more inventory. His Amazon store began to grow. He launched another product. And another.

Every dime he made, he put right back into launching more products. “The store grew like a bamboo tree on steroids,” Seth shares.

In his overconfidence, Seth skipped one small step to save himself $250—getting a product inspection on a restock order.

“That shortcut cost me over $20,000,” Seth remembers painfully. “But I got back up and kept going. Within 6 months of learning, trying, failing, and re-learning, my single dime had burst through the $100,000 goal.

“When my monthly income doubled what Apple paid me, I fired my boss.”

Seth broke through $1 million revenue on Amazon a few months later.

Seth shares that this new journey did not just help his bank account but also his marriage. “My wife sensed my new drive and our marriage began to flourish. We laughed more and argued less. We took petty things less personally and our sex life became more frequent and creative. We started eating healthier, working out more frequently, and had more energy.”

It wasn't the money. It was the purpose, the joy, the feeling of building a dream that drove Seth to keep going.

“Perhaps the biggest drive was the sense of gratitude,” Seth says. “I felt so much grace in my life, I was overwhelmed, and people sensed that and wanted it too. People who previously thought I was crazy started to ask, “How do you do this?”

Seth taught his neighbor how to sell on Amazon. A friend. Two of his sisters. A stranger he met at the grocery store. The number of requests did not slow down, so one night Seth and his son locked themselves inside Dominican Joe's Coffee shop (now Bennu Coffee) in Austin, TX and refused to go home until they had a full-fledged plan for teaching people how to sell on Amazon.

“Lots of people get excited about making tons of money,” Seth shares, “but don't have a healthy understanding of how to scale a business and handle obstacles they will inevitably encounter. We didn't want to pawn off some outdated course. We wanted to help people succeed.”

That night, pouring over their scrappy notes in the coffee shop, Seth realized what they were meant to do: build people.

A flame in my heart burned to teach entrepreneurs around the world how to build a new life that gave them freedom and margin to do the things they love with the people they love,” Seth shares.

Within their first year some of their students broke $100,000 a month. One year later, they celebrated their first student who became a millionaire. Today, Seth and his team have trained 27 millionaires, and countless others are doing $5,000, $50,000 and $500,000 a month. One of their students was offered $16.5 million from a major automotive car company for one of his products.

Seth shares, “Amazon flew me to their headquarters to consult with me on improving their third party platform. One of the sharks from Shark Tank's companies asked me to run their Amazon and ecommerce division. Two countries asked me to train their top businesses. Today we run a full time sourcing team in China.”

Today, Seth and the Just One Dime team are building Amazon businesses for people with capital who don’t have the time to learn how to do it themselves.