From High School Teacher to E-Commerce CEO — Kirk Cooper Holds the Keys to Success
What happens when you love the work you do, but you feel undervalued? Well, if Kirk Cooper is any indication, you continue to put everything you have into the work you love until Plan B finds you.
“I come from a long line of teachers and coaches. My dad was a teacher and coach. My grandpa was a teacher and coach,” says Kirk. “But I always had a feeling I’d end up in sales.” So imagine his surprise when after college, he returned to the high school where he graduated and fell in love with helping kids who reminded him of his younger self.
Being the best teacher, coach, and role model he could be for the high school students he worked with was Kirk’s #1 priority. But the compensation structure for teachers was a hard pill to swallow. When Kirk realized that no matter how many “best teacher” awards he won or how many nights he spent away from his family, his salary was capped by the school district’s chart, he knew there had to be a better way.
No Stranger to Hard Work
In the early days, Kirk thought the key to earning more money was simply working harder. After spending his days and evenings teaching and coaching track, Kirk would go home to work on his side hustles. He made furniture, sold sports memorabilia, worked outside school events, anything to earn a little extra money.
Eventually, though, Kirk realized he couldn’t continue running at this same speed forever. “I just felt like I was caught up in the rat race,” says Kirk. “I was over trading time for money and tired of making just enough to support my family.”
In the Spring of 2013, Kirk started dabbling in Amazon selling. That’s when everything started to shift. “There was trial and error, just like with anything, but I just kept grinding,” says Kirk. As he learned more and discovered how to leverage the art of selling online, he struck gold making $45,000-$50,000 per month with his Amazon store.
In fact, Kirk’s e-Commerce hustle became so successful that it nearly outgrew his capacity. “Essentially, I worked myself into a corner,” says Kirk. Realizing that the business had become too dependent on him “being there” to fill orders, handle customer service, and track inventory, he got creative. He shifted to a drop shipping model, built systems, and put automations in place that allowed him to scale. And just like that, Ecom Automation Gurus was born!
Cracking the Code
While Kirk used sweat equity to build his Amazon store to $50k per month, he knew that to unlock his store’s true potential, he couldn’t continue to work alone. Says Kirk, “it was all about hustle until I cracked the code.”
And crack the code he did. Having all of those systems and automations in place did more than enable Kirk to run his Amazon store on the side while continuing to teach and coach. Those systems and automation also allowed Kirk to seamlessly hands-off management of his store to a team of virtual assistants.
Of course, the trick was finding the right team to run the store. So Kirk did something unusual. He hopped on LinkedIn and found a small team of six guys. “We would meet at 10 pm three nights a week until I trained them to run the store 24/7,” says Kirk. With his team in place, the store went to $100,000 per month in less than two months.
Once Kirk found his team and knew what they were doing was working, he felt secure enough to move on from teaching high school. “This is the way entrepreneurship works,” says Kirk. “You get an opportunity, you develop it, and before you know it, the fire is fueling itself.”
Advice for Entrepreneurs
In some sense, Kirk ended up in sales just as he had predicted as a kid. But his heart is still in teaching. Kirk now teaches others how to build an e-Commerce store that gives them the freedom they desire.
Kirk says the key to success is keeping your mind on the end result. “There’s risk involved in anything you do. Building an e-Commerce business is no different. But look, if you don’t try, you already know the end result. The other option is working hard to build a successful business and the end result is time freedom.” Kirk knew that if he wanted to achieve time freedom, he had to put in the overtime, jump in the trenches, and teach himself.
Currently, Kirk helps his clients do the same: start successful e-Commerce businesses (drop shipping, private label, or wholesale). In fact, Kirk’s team will fully manage and run your business for you. Ecom Automation Gurus is designed to build and manage e-Commerce businesses for their clients, proving that it’s never been easier to become an entrepreneur.
In a world where job security is practically nonexistent, Kirk sees the value in creating passive income month after month leading to the time freedom that many only wish they had.
“I have more free time than I ever imagined, spend more time with my wife and three boys than I ever imagined, and make more money than I ever imagined.”
Ecom Automation Gurus, founded by Kirk Cooper, creates automated eCommerce stores for its users to assist in making passive income. The founder and CEO has been featured in Success Profile magazine and is an Entrepreneur.com contributor. To check out their services and book a call, visit their website here.