Welcome to our next installment of Better Know a Young Millionaire. About twice a month, I sit down with a successful young adult and discuss how they did it, and what they're doing with their money now. This week, I sit down with Jeff Morin, who created the website Coins for Anything.
The amazing thing about Jeff's story is that he started his business as a side hustle while he was on active duty in the Marine Corps. Now, he has parlayed his original business idea into a wide variety of products that has made him a young millionaire.
Today, he's sharing his story with us…
Getting Started While in the Marines
Tell me about yourself and your company?
Jeff: My name is Jeff Morin and I own several companies – Coins For Anything, Awards For Anything, Lanyards For Anything, Pins For Anything, and I’m CEO and co-owner of ForAnything.com. The For Anything network is a series of online stores that allows people to customize products for their business or organization. We can customize just about anything, whether it’s part of our standard offering or not.
How did you get started in your current business?
Jeff: Everything started with Coins For Anything. Coins For Anything started when I was 19 years old and still active duty in the Marine Corps. Challenge coins are very popular in the military, and I was reselling them on eBay. I received a request for a “mother of Marine” coin, and once I realized that product didn’t already exist, I decided I could make it. The response was so positive to what I introduced to the market, I decided to start a full-time business of making coins. A few years after I started Coins, I started expanding into other product lines.
What was it like to start a company while in the Marine Corps? How did you find the time?
Jeff: It wasn’t easy. I dedicated every spare minute to my business and researching ways to grow it. I was obviously very young, but I chose to almost entirely give up my social life and instead keep focused. I was able to further dedicate myself to Coins For Anything after I got out of the military. Having two demanding careers is difficult and not for everyone. I would however recommend starting a business while in the military to someone who has the dedication and drive to do whatever it takes to be successful at both.
Risk and Reward
What was the biggest risk you ever took? Do you regret it?
Jeff: We landed a deal with Target soon after I returned home from the Marines. I took all the profits from the Target deal and dumped everything into Google Adwords. The results were tremendous. It was a great boost for my business, so I have no regrets with the decision.
If you could make one change, what would it be?
Jeff: This is a tough question. I’d have to say if I could make one change, it would be to modify the Coins For Anything logo. We have a ForAnything.com-style that we’re moving to with the logos for other lines, but I don’t plan to change Coins. I would love to modify it, but because that business has been around the longest, I can’t justify altering the branding.
How did you make your first million?
Jeff: I made my first million about three years after I started Coins For Anything. It was after I started heavily investing in Google Adwords that revenue really increased.
Being younger, how are you currently managing your money?
Jeff: I’ve always done a lot of self-education, and I’ve done a lot of research on investing and managing money. I invest a lot in other businesses, and I also am very active in online stock trading.
Advice from Jeff Morin
Do you recommend the military for today's young adults, high school grads, or even college grads?
Jeff: I absolutely recommend the military to young people, both high school and college graduates. There are a lot of benefits to being in the military including travel and a sense of fulfillment knowing that you are part of the fight for the greater good.
What advice do you have for young adults when it comes to money and entrepreneurship?
Jeff: My advice to young entrepreneurs is, first do your research. Research your market. Research your competition. Research everything. Make sure you understand the costs that will be involved with running your business and what it will take to be profitable. Plus, hard work isn’t enough, people need to know you’re out there. Marketing can be expensive, but it is important to your success. Selecting the right marketing platforms for your business is very important. Online advertising has been great for my businesses.
What I Learned From Jeff
There's a few things that I thought were amazing about Jeff's story. First, I was so impressed that he started this side hustle while he was in the military. Not only was he serving our country, but he found the time to do a project on the side that he was able to turn into a million dollar business.
Second, I love how he identified a niche that was being under-served and turned a million dollar business out of it. I've heard of challenge coins before – but I never knew that there was a whole business around them. Then, being able to turn that into a customization business that can serve communities across the country is amazing.
It just goes to show that if you have the will and determination, you can do anything you put your mind to.
What are your thoughts on Jeff's story? Are you a side-hustler?