How I Went From College Dropout To 8-Figure Entrepreneur

Hello! Today, I have a great personal story to share from Stephen Somers. You may remember Stephen from his past guest post How to Quit Your Job & Build An Incredible Side Income on Amazon. Enjoy! Winston Churchill once said “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  My career as…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 11, 2024

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Hello! Today, I have a great personal story to share from Stephen Somers. You may remember Stephen from his past guest post How to Quit Your Job & Build An Incredible Side Income on Amazon. Enjoy!

Winston Churchill once said “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” 

My career as a musician failed, miserably.

My 9-5 was a rocky ride, but I eventually left and found a firm foundation.How I Went From College Dropout To 8-Figure Entrepreneur

And my third venture, I managed to succeed in many of the ways I hoped my first and second would.

The moral of the story: Try, try again and no matter what, never give up. But remember, giving up isn’t the same thing as hitting the restart button.

I’m Stephen Somers, and this is my journey to complete lifestyle freedom.

Note: Free Webinar: How To Quit Your Job And Become Your Own Boss By Selling Simple, Low Competition Products Globally On Amazon


Being an entrepreneur can be extraordinarily rewarding.

It’s probably why most people who start a business think they’ll be able to make an instant, overnight success — but the honest truth is quite the opposite.

90% of new businesses fail within the first year, and many others never make it past year five.

It’s why so many ‘wannabe entrepreneurs’ give up so quickly!

For me though? I was hungry — actually, no — I was STARVING for success and was prepared to do whatever it took to make it happen and create the life I knew I was destined for.

So this is my story.

Not a ‘rags to riches’ story.

Just my real life journey with actionable tips on how I escaped the rat race, left the 9-5 in my rearview mirror and became a successful entrepreneur. 

I don’t like to brag but I feel it’s important to tell you where I’m at right now, so I can “turn back time” and share my story with actionable tips I’ve learned along the way that might just make the difference for you.

Marketplace SuperHeroes

Along with my business partner Robert, I co-founded a company called Marketplace SuperHeroes – which is now an 8-figure online education and service platform.

At MPSH, we teach people how to start and build global Amazon businesses selling ‘boring’ products, as well as other wealth creation vehicles like side hustles, and sharing our marketing expertise through our Perpetual Launch methodology.

Over the last 7 years, we’ve grown that company from a single online program to a fully-fledged business with over 100 team members and over 8,500 Heroes in our community. Pretty insane — I even have to pinch myself sometimes!

Along the way, we’ve also built a global freight company, an entire software suite to help run your business, along with multiple 7-figure service-based companies. And it’s all been built to serve one purpose – help our members build and scale their business as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Now, success didn’t just fall from the sky and land in my lap. 

Everything I’ve done has been backed with determination, hard work, and a purpose.

And it all started over 10 years ago, when I was working as a data processor at a Government Department. And yes… there’s no way to make this sexy… it was boring as hell! Punching numbers in spreadsheet cells by day and following my passion of trying to become a musician by night. Not to mention studying marketing and personal development, too. 

I felt desperate to find a way to move my life forward.

There I was making a very humble $20,000 a year – completely lost and totally directionless, spending hours each day trying to find the answer to my challenges. My whole life before this point was based on trying to become a musician – something I was extremely passionate about. 

It was ‘that one thing’ I wanted to do in my mind but never worked out, and I obviously never became the next Ed Sheeran or Dave Grohl.

Deep down, I knew I was destined for more. I wanted to become financially free. I dreamed of having my own business and being my own boss.

Now I’m definitely not somebody who was born into an entrepreneurial family. I’ve never been handed opportunities on a silver platter. 

Nor did I have people in my environment who were very supportive in building any kind of online business or following the entrepreneurial dream, and not giving up until dreams become reality.

Did I know exactly how it was going to happen?

Nope — but I sure as hell had the fire inside and was going to figure it out.

That’s where I quickly discovered that if I wanted something, I had to get out there and MAKE it happen


Action Tip #1 Success Is A Decision

I’m sure if I asked most people if they’d like to be successful, 100% of them would likely say yes. However, most people’s actions don’t reflect that. We’re generally unaware that it’s that easy : decide to be a success right now.

Ok cool… back to the story.


None of the people around me had ever strayed far from the typical way things were done. Go to school. Study at college. Get a well paying job, etc. etc. So any idea I shared with them about what I was learning and wanting to achieve sounded ludicrous to them…

“You’re crazy, Stephen”

“Why are you wasting your time with all this online stuff?”

“Get a safe and secure job”

Yadda Yadda Yadda.

But I knew deep down after reading books like The Four Hour Work Week there was a possibility I could generate a business that would give me the freedom I was looking for. I was searching for the answer to my challenges for a long long time.

But after 18 months it suddenly hit me…

One day whilst working at my day job, I was typing up a sales letter. Basically a long piece of text you use to sell a product or service on the internet. There I was, typing up this long document about how people were making money online and I realised that…

It was all complete nonsense. 

I’d never made any money online before, yet there I was telling other people how to do it. Of course, I deleted that page straight away and began searching for a way to build a business to make money in a way that had full integrity and was something I could wholeheartedly do.

After 18 months of searching, I found the answer I was looking for.

The key I was looking for was actually hidden in Physical Products. 

Why was this such a good thing for me?

  • Well, first of all I didn’t have to be an expert or authority as all the internet experts will tell you. I could be myself, go out and find real assets and build a real business.
  • I didn’t have to put myself in an awkward situation where I was teaching people things I knew little or nothing about.
  • I could feel good about selling quality items and selling products to my family and never feel weird about it. 
  • It was a perfect business to learn how business ’works’.

After searching and searching, my aunt heard I was trying to find someone in the Physical Products game. Luckily for me, she had a friend called Robert.

He was selling products on Amazon and Ebay, had his own warehouse with staff and imported his own products – I was getting so excited at how my business journey was finally taking shape!

To cut a long story short… I worked alongside Robert for a few months for free (in a freezing cold warehouse in Northern Ireland), learned the ropes and saw this as my opportunity. So I quit my job and began working with Robert full time.  

And because of this grounding I created for myself, and the step I took outside of my comfort zone, it’s enabled me to go on and be a part of many successful online businesses (like Marketplace SuperHeroes).


Action Tip #2 Mentors

Now I’ve been extremely fortunate to have attracted some phenomenal mentors in my life. In fact, just about every success or skill set I’ve acquired has been the result of a mentor!

Whether it was playing football or marketing and advertising… pretty quickly I discovered that a mentor could speed up the learning process tenfold.

But a mentor is NOT someone who gives you all the answers! 

It’s actually quite literally the opposite.

You don’t learn by being given “the answers.”

You learn by being given the space to discover the answers for yourself.

A mentor’s job is to help give you an ‘opposing force’ to practice against.

  • They challenge you
  • They push you 
  • They question you

They are giving you the opportunity to decide for yourself who it is you want to be.

That’s exactly what Robert did for me. He gave me the opportunity to learn all about how a physical products’ business works – and as a result, I got up to speed way faster than if I’d tried to figure it all out on my own.

As a result, Robert and I actually went on to develop and perfect our own unique system — and that’s where Marketplace SuperHeroes was born!

Now I won’t get too deep into the mechanics of everything inside our Hero Network, but we basically built a single core Program which was the same system that Robert and I had honed over the years working together, containing the exact step-by-step proven process that we’d built our mini Ecommerce empire from.

It was everything we knew that worked and was completely different to what everyone else was saying in the space when it came to building an Amazon-based business. Long story short, most gurus will tell you to sell ‘hot’ and ‘trendy’ products. We on the other hand teach people to sell ‘boring’ products that 99% of other sellers wouldn’t consider selling (but they’re super high profit and sell consistently).

That means less competition and more profit for us! 

Did we stop there?

I mean sure, you could say Robert and I had now reached what most people would class as ‘successful.’

We were happy.

We were financially free.

And we were making an impact in the world.

But we knew there was still more juice in the tank.

So what did we do?

We created a freight company and a service business to further help the members in our community even more. And if you didn’t know… shipping physical products from the far east to the Western world can be a pain in the ass – especially with the language barriers and all the logistics! 

So being able to offer a consolidated freight service and a ton of different services to help our Heroes grow more effectively and efficiently. 


Action Tip #3 Problems = Opportunities For Growth

The greatest entrepreneurs and business owners all have one thing above all else in common: They solve problems.

  • Amazon solves our need for a convenient delivery service with their ‘Prime’ membership
  • Tesla solves our need for a cool-looking electric car that will help the environment
  • And if you’re in the USA, Walmart offers an ‘all-in-one’ store where you can buy practically anything you need for your weekly shop in one place.

And this problem-solving mentality underpins the key points to success as an entrepreneur:

People buy a product or service because it solves their problems, and it solves them quickly. They do this because they are willing to exchange their money for a product that will provide a solution to an issue that they experience.

Our Marketplace SuperHeroes Program solved the problem of building a simple and profitable Amazon business by providing a proven step-by-step process.

Then, our Freight company (SuperHero Freight) solved the problem of all the confusing logistics involved with importing a product.

And our Ecosystem offers all sorts of services like listing translations, photography, and accounting to help people with every part along their business-building journey.

Long story short: people are willing to exchange their money for products (and services) that will provide a solution to an issue that they experience — or will in the future!

So problems are nothing but wake up calls for creativity 😉


At this point, we’d built a coaching business…

An international freight company…

And a services business…

All from a single course.

So what now?

Was it all Lambos, Yachts, and Penthouse Suites?!

No! I mean it could have been. But it’s not really our piece of cake.

Sure, we love life’s luxuries — but I personally don’t feel the need to use material possessions to brag about my success (or use them as anchors to ‘show’ people our success!)

For me time is the most important asset – and getting to a level where I have time and money- freedom is the biggest win. 

It means I can go play golf on a Tuesday afternoon…

Pick my little boy up from preschool…

Or play a few games of Fifa at 10am on a Monday morning…

And spend quality time with my wife.

That to me is the real measure of success in this whole entrepreneurial game.

And from what I’ve seen, a lot of people get the whole ‘success’ thing wrong by believing that money is the thing that will make them happy and successful.

But from my own experience, this hasn’t been true at all.

Here’s my success equation:

Money doesn’t equal success.

But money does buy you time.

And time gives you options.

Options to decide how you spend your time — and one of the quickest ways to reach this point is through diversification.

Something that this whole pandemic shone a bright light on!

Most people live their life on one stream of income (a job) and less than $1,000 in savings — and if you’re part of this majority, you’re one layoff away from a disaster!

I hate to be so dramatic, but this is quite true. 


Action Tip #4 AND Not OR

Your ‘eggs’ should never be in one basket.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to become a millionaire or not, everyone should have more than one source of income. The worst thing you could ever do to yourself is depend on any ONE source to take care of everything financially in your life.

And today, there’s no excuse for not diversifying your income. There’s endless possibilities to make money online!

Case in point: it wasn’t so long ago that Robert and I got into the world of investing in cryptocurrencies.

Don’t panic! I haven’t just turned into one of those overnight Crypto Gurus!  But crypto has been one of our single biggest (and least time-consuming) passive income streams of this year, as well as playing a BIG part in our long-term Wealth Plan.

And that’s one concept we’ve been sharing with Heroes in our community – when it comes to growing your wealth, it should never be a case of “this OR that”.

It should always be “this AND that”.

Example #1 Build an Amazon business AND invest in cryptocurrencies.

Example #2 Have a 9-5 job AND in the evenings or on the weekends, have a side hustle where you can learn new skills and increase your existing income, which you can then invest into long-term assets to grow your future wealth.


Bringing It All Together 

That’s been my entrepreneurial journey so far. Far from the perfect linear line to success but I’m constantly growing, evolving, and striving to impact as many people as I can.

Life isn’t linear. Progress isn’t linear. And growth is most definitely NOT linear! In fact, some of my biggest breakthroughs and successes came right after plateaus. 

Sometimes it’s one step forward, two steps back. Two steps forward, one step back. That’s the way it goes – and something you must remember as you go through the peaks and valleys to reach the top of YOUR mountain.

If you’d like to learn more about what we get up to over at MPSH, as well as how to build your wealth with an online business like Amazon FBA — the Marketplace SuperHeroes way — make sure you go check us out at this page here:

Free Webinar: How To Quit Your Job And Become Your Own Boss By Selling Simple, Low Competition Products Globally On Amazon

Author Bio: Stephen Somers is a co-founder of Marketplace SuperHeroes, an education platform that teaches members how to create a 5-7 figure income stream selling products on Amazon. He and his business partner, Robert Rickey, are both 8-figure Amazon sellers, and serial entrepreneurs who have built Marketplace SuperHeroes, as well as a Software and Freight Company, too! They have spoken all over the world, helping over 7,300 individuals build real, sustainable, and global businesses on Amazon selling boring, everyday items across multiple markets (not just .com!).

What does success mean to you? What are you doing to reach it?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. A true transformation story of greatness ๐Ÿ™‚