Kale Abrahamson and Taylor Hiott, co-founders of Nine University and creators of Honey Badger Boost and Boost Nine software, made their first million long before reaching their 30th birthdays. But like every entrepreneurial journey, their road to success wasn’t smooth.
“Getting where we are today wasn’t easy,” Kale says. “We made lots of mistakes and dug ourselves $50,000 into debt along the way,” Kale says. “There were times when we were afraid of going bankrupt and thought we’d end up paying off our credit cards for the rest of our lives.”
“Thankfully, we cracked the code of how to choose the right products to sell on Amazon before we lost everything. We’re lucky because we had enough capital (meaning lines of credits on our credit cards) to invest in our business and learn from our mistakes.”
How Kale’s Early Entrepreneurial Experiences Shaped His Future Success
Kale earned his first $1,000’s mowing lawns when he was in the 5th grade. “Even then, I was reinvesting the money I made so I could make even more money,” Kale says. “I took the money I earned from mowing lawns to buy a camera and then I used that camera to make even more money.” The photography skills Kale developed in childhood contributed to his vision for Honey Badger Boost — an Amazon product photography business he and Taylor launched together after seeing a need in the marketplace that they could uniquely fulfill.
How Kale and Taylor Lost $50,000 In Their First Amazon Joint Venture
“The first products I sold on Amazon were cornhole lights,” Kale says. “I set myself apart by selling different color combinations like blue and red — which could stand for the blue team vs the red team. I also started selling baby pillows and grew my Amazon sales up to $20,000 a month.”
“Then I met Taylor. He wanted in on my company and offered to invest $50,000 to buy more products. But we really didn’t know what we were doing,” Kale says. “We were buying products to resell without understanding what characteristics to look for in a product before we invested in it,” Kale continues.
“Our mindset was just to throw everything up and see what sticks,” Taylor says.
“A couple of the 10 products we bought turned out to sell well, and that’s when we realized that they had certain characteristics and common qualities that allowed us to predict with confidence which products we should be buying,” Taylor says. “But we also ended up with a closet full of products that didn’t sell.”
The Eureka Moment: Figuring Out Which Products Would Sell Well
“Once we figured out the common qualities that let us predict which products would sell well on Amazon, we wanted to teach other people how not to make same mistakes we did,” Kale says.
“To anyone who says, ‘you should just learn by making your own mistakes,’ I say: ‘look at this closet full of crap! Wouldn’t I love to go back and not lose $50,000 of my own money buying products that flopped.”
Why We Started Nine University
“The reason why Taylor and I started Nine University was to prevent other Amazon sellers from having to experience the graveyard of unsold products that we have stacked to the ceiling in our closet,” Kale says.
“Amazon is a disaster waiting to happen if you don’t have the proper guidance,” Kale notes.
“The difference between someone who can help you and someone who can’t help you is that we have learned from our mistakes,” Taylor says. “We learned about market trends. We made mistakes with PPC where we were trying to rank for the wrong keywords like ‘wireless charger’ instead of long-tail keywords.
“We were lucky to have $80,000 in lines of credit so we could buy products, learn from our mistakes and get through the other side. There is a reason why a lot of Amazon sellers fail, but when they follow the training, we offer through Nine University they can avoid wasting money buying products to resell that a little up-front research can tell them won’t sell.”
Kale and Taylor’s Amazon FBA Products and Services
Kale and Taylor’s products help Amazon FBA sellers succeed in three ways:
Nine University teaches people how to find profitable Amazon FBA products, suppliers and become an elite Amazon FBA seller.
Honey Badger Boost provides product photography, video, search engine optimization and product research tailored to the needs of Amazon FBA.
Boost Nine is product research software that identifies the products that people will actually buy on Amazon in seconds instead of hours.