Before he started his entrepreneurial journey,Gav Kwok didn’t dream of Fulfillment by Amazon or being a big name in e-commerce. He was not sure what entrepreneurship was. He was much more interested in sports — he was a junior pro tennis player — before deciding to take the pre-med route at Florida State University.
“If I stayed in that lane, I’d still be in med school right now,” says Gav Kwok. “I’d probably be a half a million, or maybe even close to a million in debt. And I’d be extremely unhappy with my life.”
Luckily for him, Gav Kwok decided somewhere along the way that his real passion in life lies in having the most freedom he can. So, he went looking for ways to afford that freedom and its lifestyle. He came into the world of e-commerce quickly and eventually settled on the wholesale Fulfillment by Amazon business model.
Today, Gav Kwok runs a nine-figure business on the platform. Achieving so much so young was possible because he had two traits successful entrepreneurs need. The first is a clear vision of his goals — he knew exactly what he wanted. The second was his ability to focus to the point of obsessiveness.
“Having a vision of what you want your life to be like, thinking about it, and working towards it every single day is extremely important,” says Gav Kwok. “You must stay disciplined and motivated because it gets hard. It is not easy to become successful.”
Regarding motivation, Gav Kwok is a huge proponent of focusing on the end goal instead of the means to get there. He’d go so far as to claim that people don’t need to feel passionate about what they’re doing if they are passionate about the goal it helps them achieve.
“I wasn’t passionate about it when I first started with it,” explains Gav Kwok. “I am now a little bit, but that comes with competence, with being extremely good at what you do. I am sure everyone is passionate about things they’re good at.”
Instead of searching for their passions, he would argue that entrepreneurs should look for things that offer a solid track record of success to people they trust. Then, they should shift their focus on working towards being successful, too, ideally by following a process that worked for someone else, went at it hard, and worked smart.
But success is still not a given even if all the stars align and an entrepreneur finds a good business process. It doesn’t happen overnight, either — creating a good business that will stand the test of time takes time. So anyone who wants to succeed must learn to persevere and keep their tenacity in the face of hardships.
Discipline plays a significant role in that. Gav Kwok, whose Instagram feed has plenty of images of his travels and living the good life, says that this doesn’t reflect the everyday reality of his lifestyle.
“I can work whenever I want, so I don’t have a set wake-up schedule for every day,” he says. “So, I start my day with a calisthenics workout, meditation, and visualizations. Then, after some yoga and a cold shower, I go straight to work — and that takes up typically between eight and ten hours of my day.”
He uses the time he has left to relax because Gav Kwok knows that successful entrepreneurs’ lives are made of days like this. He only occasionally gets to go out, and even though he enjoys the finer points of life, they’re the exception. The norm is hard work.
The final point Gav Kwok would like to make goes beyond discipline and motivation, and it has to do with — expectations. Managing them is of utmost importance for entrepreneurs who want to achieve success. Business models like FBA aren’t get-rich-quick schemes. Finding good products and developing relationships with manufacturers and suppliers take time.
But that is just the beginning. “I often see this shiny object syndrome, where entrepreneurs want to do everything all at once,” Gav Kwok explains. “They hear that the average millionaire has 20 sources of income, and they want to do it all at once. But that’s not how you become a millionaire. Instead, you pick one thing, make millions with that one thing, and then diversify.”
Because entrepreneurs need to be good at what they do, doing one thing at a time makes the most sense. It allows them to go all in, research that one thing as much as possible, and follow the best possible systems from the people ahead of them in the same field.
“Also, do not get distracted. Especially if you’re young, there’s social media, partying, girlfriends, boyfriends, tons of distractions everywhere,” Gav Kwok adds. “You don’t have to burn bridges with the people in your life. Tell them what you plan to do, and ask them to let you do your thing for a while.” Then, it’s time to work hard and work smart.
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