Inside the Mind of Entrepreneur Philip Schulte
1. I understand that you have been an entrepreneur since a young age and started by buying broken Xbox 360’s and repairing them and reselling for a profit. Tell us more about this and what motivated you to begin with?
Yes, that is correct. When I was a teenager, everyone in middle school and high school seemed to have an Xbox 360. These were very faulty gaming consoles that often ended up with “the red ring of death” – in other words, they would no longer work. I noticed that many of my friends and schoolmates were having this issue. I turned to Youtube to learn how to fix this problem, as it happened to my console as well. I watched many tutorials and eventually was able to fix my own Xbox. From there, I started purchasing broken Xbox 360’s for nearly nothing from my peers and from people selling them on Craigslist. I would simply go pick them up, fix them with my tools, and resell them on Craigslist usually by the next day.
I sold them with a 2 month money back guarantee at the beginning, as I wanted to make sure the devices were truly fixed. I experienced no problems whatsoever, and did this for a very long time.
2. From Xbox 360’s you migrated to the trading, buying, and selling of cars; how did that first come about?
That’s right, I moved away from my long-time Xbox strategy and began trading, buying, and selling cars in college. I attended multiple Universities, and was playing Division-1 football along the way, so I found that my spare time became limited. I realized that people were no longer interested in purchasing Xbox 360’s like they once were; however, this did not stop my entrepreneurial spirit.
Whenever I could find spare time, I was always thinking of creative ways to make money since there was not enough free time in my schedule to get a normal job. At this point I was very familiar with Craigslist and Ebay. I had read a true story about the man who started with a paperclip and turned it into a house by trading item after item, so I wanted to see what I could do with my $900 car. I traded my car on Craigslist for a slightly better vehicle, then continued to trade car after car. Essentially, trading does not cost much money at all. When I didn’t see many similar cars listed on Craigslist, I would quickly sell whatever car I had at the time for a nice profit. Where I was living at the time, there was not a wide variety of cars to choose from.
I wanted to see what other car options were available in different markets, so I began doing market research in California. I found that the prices of used cars on Craigslist were much cheaper in Southern California than where I lived. At this point, I knew what sold well in the market where I resided, and I knew which types of cars could return the most profit. In summary, my approach would start by finding a car I wanted to purchase and begin negotiations with the private owner, flying down to Southern California when I had spare time, negotiating the price further with the private owner of the vehicle (no dealers), driving it back up to my market, and selling it for around triple that of what I purchased it for. All in all, I would definitely say this was a natural shift in my entrepreneurial adventure.
3. The second hand car market can be considered risky, did you worry about the risks involved, and did you have a knowledge of cars to begin with?
Yes, it definitely can be very risky. You really have to know what you’re doing. When I first began trading, buying, and selling cars I already had an extensive knowledge of them. Growing up, I would watch an endless amount of car walk- through videos on Youtube, and many car shows on TV. As a young kid, I would always spend time with my
uncle and watch him work on his race cars.
He definitely sparked my interest in anything relating to automobiles. One thing that was essential for me to develop was an understanding in regard to the demand of certain cars in different markets, especially the market which I was selling in. It took a lot of trial and error to perfect, and although I never lost money, some profits were much larger than others in the beginning. Since I am confident in my knowledge and in the space as a whole, I was never too concerned about the risks involved because I knew at the least I could make my money back. As a risk taker, you have to accept the fact that there will be times when you lose money on a deal.
4. You seem fearless when it comes to new ventures and have plans to move into the fitness industry; tell us about that?
Yes, and this is something I’m very excited about. Over the years, countless people have asked me for fitness advice both online and in person. I decided to create a series of E-books to help beginners learn how to properly train and build muscle.
I have a lot more planned than just E-books, but it’s my first step into this exciting space. I have a lot of upcoming projects at the moment, most of which I can’t speak about just yet. If there is anything that growing up as an athlete has taught me, it’s to be fearless, persistent, and dedicated in all that you do.
5. Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs; is it in your blood?
My family didn’t start getting involved in entrepreneurial activities until later in life, although they always encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit starting from a very young age. I definitely think that I was born with the mindset of an entrepreneur, and I believe they saw that in me.
6. What is the most important attribute to being an entrepreneur?
The most important attribute to being an entrepreneur is persistence. Oftentimes things will be very difficult, especially at the beginning. You will be working for countless hours, most likely making sacrifices to your social life, sometimes yielding no results. It can be extremely frustrating, as I have been there myself. You have to keep a positive outlook and see the bigger picture- what’s your end goal? You can’t give up. One quote that I always think of when asked this question is the famous James Watkins saying, “ A river cuts
through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence”.
7. What can we expect from you in the future?
I have many projects coming up in the future, but I can’t announce those just yet. I am excited to break into the fitness industry next, as fitness is my passion. My fitness Ebooks will be released very soon, and a book that I am co-writing with my father that will aim to help young people optimize their lives will be released in the near future as well.
8. Where can we follow you online?
My Instagram account is @italian.