The Truth About the Dropship Lifestyle: What It Takes to Run A Profitable Ecommerce Store

What does it take to run a profitable 6 figure dropship store? Is the dropship lifestyle really stacks of cash, fast cars and sunny beaches?

Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
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The Truth About the Dropship Lifestyle: What It Takes to Run A Profitable Ecommerce Store

You’ve seen the flash cars. You’ve seen the crazy screenshots. You’ve seen the freedom to travel and be your own boss.

You want a piece of that pie right? Afterall, living the dropship lifestyle sounds pretty sweet.

But here’s the thing: dropshipping is just like any other business. Meaning that there are people who make millions of dollars, folks who make nothing and then there’s everyone else in between.

And in reality, most dropshippers fall into the latter category. They make a decent living from their business - but they’re not flying around on private jets, living in mansions and guzzling champagne for breakfast.

And while some are in it for the crazy amounts of money, the vast majority of dropshippers are more content with the non-financial benefits of living the dropship lifestyle.

You know, things like the freedom to manage your own time, not having to answer to a boss and the ability to work from anywhere in the world.

But here’s the catch, being a dropshipper presents its own challenges too. It’s easy to let stress mount up, staying focused can be tricky and loneliness is also something to watch out for. So, if you want find out exactly how to start a dropshipping business

That’s why in this article, we’re going to paint an accurate picture of what it’s like to live the dropship lifestyle. There won’t be any lime-green Lambos or iced-out Rolexes. Just honest advice for those of you looking to make the jump into full-time dropshipping.

We’ll look at:

  • Pros of Living the Dropship Lifestyle
  • Cons of Living the Dropship Lifestyle
  • What Type of People Best Suit The Dropship Lifestyle?
  • 5 Tips For Dropshipping Lifestyle Success

Ready to go? Let’s jump in.

Pros of Living the Dropship Lifestyle

Choose Your Own Working Hours


That’s because dropshippers are free to set their own schedules and work. There’s no pesky supervisor breathing down your neck and nobody to tell you’re five minutes late.

Which is awesome because you can work at the times when you’re naturally most productive. For example, I work best between the hours of 9am-1pm. So, I load all my most important tasks into that time-slot.

If the 9-5 is getting you down, then starting your own dropshipping business could be the perfect way to gain more time freedom in your life.

Start working at midday? Go surfing at lunch? Chill out all afternoon at a cafe? Nobody’s going to stop you.

Freedom to Travel to New & Exciting Places


If you’re finding it tricky to cram your bucket list into two (or four if you’re lucky) weeks holidays per year - I feel you.

The beauty of owning a successful dropshipping store is that you aren’t tied down to one location.

Like the look of Lisbon for two weeks followed by a month in Budapest? Just book the ticket. Gone are the days of your desk job taking precedence over your travel goals.

Dropshipping opens up the doors to new adventures, new experiences and new friendships all over the world.

Encourages Personal Growth


Few things will teach you as much about yourself as starting your own business. From learning about product research to mastering the art of copywriting and hiring a remote team - becoming a dropshipper will push your boundaries and force you to grow as an entrepreneur.

The struggles involved will teach you humility. And as you figure out problems, bit by bit you’ll grow in confidence, transforming your ideas and beliefs about what’s possible. Plus, learning hands on means you’ll develop tangible skills such as:

  • Social media marketing
  • Supplier management
  • Copywriting
  • Email marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Conversion optimization
  • Project Management
  • Data analytics & more

Leverage Lower Costs of Living Around the World


A huge benefit of location-independent income is that you can move to places where the cost of living is lower than back home.

For example, if you need $3,000 per month to maintain your lifestyle in the United States, you’ll only need to earn about $1,000 to have the same standard of living in Bali, Indonesia.

That means travelling to a place with lower costs will give yourself a welcome dose of financial leeway.

When every dollar earned goes further you can choose to work less and live life on your own terms. Or get hustling and save the extra money for your next big move.

Cons of Living the Dropship Lifestyle

Requires Oodles of Self-Discipline


Choosing your own hours is infinitely better than having somebody do it for you. But at times, it can also be a curse in disguise.

Running a successful business involves work. There’s no getting around that fact. But it can be dangerously tempting to ditch your workday in favour of a trip to the beach or a 8 episodes of a series on Netflix. Especially when things are going well.

But all those mini-skives add up over time. And if done often enough, usually result in a failed business.

That’s why it’s imperative that dropshippers have the self-discipline to keep themselves focused and accountable each day.

The Buck Stops With You

Most people complain about working a 9-5 job. But you’ll rarely hear them talk about the benefits that come with employment.

As an employee, if your work is just average you can still count on the security of your salary arriving in your bank account each month. You also probably benefit from things like dental coverage, a pension plan and sick-leave.

So, while being your own boss comes with heaps of benefits (that outweigh being an employee in my opinion), it’s worth knowing that if things go south, it’s your responsibility to fix it. There’s nobody else to pick up the pieces.

Lines Between Work & Relaxation Can be Blurred


The dark side of running your own business is that it can be difficult to totally detach from work.

Sure, putting in 60+ hour weeks might be necessary sometimes. But if you’re not careful, constantly working like crazy will quickly exhaust you.

It’s important to set clear boundaries between work and relaxation. Schedule time to completely unplug and enjoy the benefits that come with being your own boss. Afterall, that’s why you started dropshipping in the first place right?

Risk of Isolation & Loneliness


Humans evolved as social creatures. And while working in an office isn’t for you, you’ll damn sure end up missing the everyday social interaction.

Staring into your laptop screen for 8 hours a day won’t give your brain the interaction it craves. And working remotely, especially if you’re travelling from place to place regularly makes building real friendships harder.

So it’s important to make an effort to be as social as you can - maybe think about getting a coworking space or joining an entrepreneurial community to meet like minded individuals.

What Type of People Best Suit The Dropship Lifestyle?

You’re a Natural Problem Solver


When you’re running your own business things are bound to go wrong. That means you’ll need the resourcefulness and creativity to come up with solutions on the spot.

Maybe your supplier packs up and doesn’t respond to your emails. Maybe your ads aren’t getting the click through rates they used to. Maybe Paypal decides to put your account on hold. Figuring out what to do in these situations is part of the everyday experience of a dropshipper.

Planning & Decision Making Are Easy For You


As we already touched on, working a 9-5 job gives you structure and routine. As a business owner it’s up to you to build these into your own life.

What’s more as an employee, your progression is defined by your boss. When you become self-employed you’ll need to make plans and decisions about your future.

It might be defining what you’re going to accomplish next month or building a 3-year exit strategy for your store. You have to be able to create the vision and make the calls that your old superiors were responsible for.

You’re Comfortable Taking Risks


If the idea of taking calculated risks doesn't appeal to you then perhaps the dropship lifestyle isn’t for you.

Running a business carries inherent risk with it. There’s no guarantee that the money you spend on ads will produce sales. There’s no way to ensure that consumer trends won’t change and all of a sudden your revenue starts to fall.

As the old adage says ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. Entrepreneurship is a risky business. But that’s exactly what makes it so fun!

Persistence is Your Middle Name


Hitting the jackpot with your first dropshipping business can happen. But for most people, it takes heaps of trying and failing to be successful. We’re talking weeks of continuously coming up short, over and over again.

If you’re the kind of person who gives up easily, then you’ll find it hard to be successful at dropshipping. You’ll need to be resolute in your ambition and keep trying even when it looks like your efforts are producing no results.

Remember, the number one thing that separates successful dropshippers from the rest is not god-given talent or skills. It’s that they have an uncanny ability to bounce back from failure.

5 Tips For Dropshipping Lifestyle Success

So you’ve decided that you want to quit your job and jump into full-time dropshipping. Awesome! Here’s 5 tips that have helped me (and many other dropshippers) do it successfully.

Plan Tomorrow’s Tasks the Night Before


Procrastination is a dropshippers worst enemy. When you wake up, you don’t want to be scrambling to figure out what the most important tasks you need to do that day are.

Here’s an easy outline to follow:

  1. At the end of your day, write down the tasks you need to complete tomorrow.
  2. Review the list when you start the next day.
  3. End your day by creating another list for tomorrow.

Don’t make your list a million tasks long. Just stick to 3. That way you’ll be able to focus on making progress in the areas that really matter. It increases your productivity by a million percent.

Pro Tip: Also plan out your weekly goals at the start of the week. Then use your weekly goals to determine what daily goals you need to accomplish.

Incorporate Accountability


While having a boss constantly looking over your shoulder sucks, it does keep you accountable for your work. Venturing out on your own means that there’s nobody to check if you’re making progress on your goals.

That’s why buddying up with another entrepreneur is a great way to make sure that you're not just letting your goals slide. Keeping each other accountable via text, video or in-person means you’ll stay on-track and have a better chance of success.

Plus, it’s also great to have somebody to bounce ideas off and get a little bit of social interaction with (no, messaging your aliexpress supplier doesn’t count as a good chat). Although, you could stand to find some Aliexpress Best Sellers if you want to get a dropshipping head start.

Create & Stick to a Daily Routine


Our brains are hardwired for familiarity and our daily routines put our brains on auto-pilot. This frees up working memory to focus on more important tasks - like growing your business. A solid routine will allow you to get more done.

So, create structure in your day. Try to stick to the same bedtime and waking time. Develop morning and evening routines that keep you focused when distraction comes knocking.

Here’s an example of what your routine might look like:

  • 7am - Wake up, coffee & workout
  • 9am - Work Block 1 (Review Ads, Research 5 new products to test)
  • 11am - Walk the dog
  • 12pm -Work Block 2 (Answer all customer support queries)
  • 1pm Lunch

Then, later on in the day:

  • 2pm - Work Block 3 (Design new store logo, choose font & color scheme)
  • 4pm - Finish work, Plan tomorrow's top 3 tasks
  • 6pm - Dinner
  • 7pm - Do module of Facebook Ads Course
  • 8pm - Wind down/read/netflix
  • 10pm - Bed

To get a head start on finding the best dropshipping products

Set Clear Boundaries Between Work & Leisure


We already talked about how it can be hard to switch off as a business owner. So make it a priority to set aside times when you do non-work related activities.

If you manage a team, let them know that you won’t be responding during these hours. Make time daily and weekly to just chill. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you become when it’s time to work.

Plus you’ll have your best ideas when you’re not stressing over immediate work-problems.

Exercise Daily


Sitting at a laptop all day isn't good for your physical or mental health. As a result your performance will suffer and you’ll lower your ability to handle stress.

So, get active in some shape or form everyday. Build it into your routine. It doesn’t have to be pounding weights or running 10km. Something as simple as a morning walk can transform your energy levels and mood in ways you’d scarcely believe.

In Summary

Being a full time dropshipper is awesome. The financial freedom and time flexibility that the dropship lifestyle offers far outweighs any drawbacks. Take for example Tim Kock, who built a store that made $6667 in under 8 weeks!

Sure, it’s not all rainbows and fairy tales. There’s stress to deal with. There’s discipline required. But if you’re not afraid to take risks and have solid self control, you’ll find that AliExpress dropshipping offers you an incredibly rewarding, fulfilling and fun way of living.

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Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
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