My Story & This Blog
Hello! My name is Sam Priestley and this is my blog. A place where I write in-depth articles on the businesses I try and start. They are varying, eclectic and sometimes just plain odd. From cars to gambling. Coffee shops to books. Craft
The Short Version
Short attention span eh? Me too.
I started out as a professional gambler over 10 years ago and got pretty darn good at it, making over a million pounds. Eventually I got tired and decided to do something more fulfilling, so took my winnings and went off and started some businesses.
I’ve had some successes. A table tennis business that makes six-figures of profit a year. A tech startup that went from idea to six-figure sale in under a year. A coffee shop that won best new coffee shop in London 2014. A viral YouTube video with over 12 million views. How-to guides on this blog that have had millions of readers and made me over £150k. And most recently a craft gin brand that is winning awards for its unique flavoured gins.
And plenty more failures. I lost a bunch of money trying to become a property developer. That coffee shop never made any money. I had a car dealership that went nowhere. And I’m currently trying and failing to make a popular Instagram account.
I write about what I’m up to on this site and talk about it on my podcast, The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast. I am not an expert. Just an amateur muddling my way through with lots still to learn. Perhaps you can learn from my experiences.
Now you have a choice. Read the long version or jump straight to my favourite articles.
The Long Version
How It All Started
That is me on my honeymoon in 2017. 10 years after it all began…
I remember the exact moment when I decided not to get a job. I was sitting at my laptop with a graduate scheme application form open in front of me. I had just gotten to a question asking me to explain in 200 words why I wanted to work at that specific bank rather than any other. I couldn’t face it.
I was in my second year of university and started to work my ass off looking for alternative ways to earn a living. The first thing to work was matched betting. A way to earn money from online bookies and casinos by taking advantage of the free bets they offer to new customers.
It turned out to be a bit of a gold mine. And not only did I get out of my overdraft but by the time I graduated I was earning enough to justify not getting a job.
I took the profits and started investing them into new businesses. A car import/export business, then a property development in Malta, and then a whole bunch more. From face-painting to a social network. Most of them failed. But I was young and naive and willing to try anything. I assumed everything was easy and had enough successes to reinforce that belief.
Seeing The Light
In 2012 I decided to get into the big leagues. I wanted to be rich and the best way to do that would be to launch a technology startup. For the next
And it was horrendous. I became an entrepreneur in order to avoid having to get a job, and now I had done the opposite. Created myself a job where I had to arrive earlier and stay later than everyone else. I had all the stress of entrepreneurship and all the inconvenience of
We eventually sold the business. I won’t ruin the story for you, read about it here. But the experience had a big impact on me. It made me realise that I didn’t want to be rich, rather I wanted my time to be own. To be able to choose what I do. So I changed my focus and decided to build only scalable outsourceable businesses. Ones that would generate passive income.
The table tennis brand is probably my biggest success and enabled me to move to a new phase of life.
Self-Improvement & Retirement
The experience with my tech startup made me view matched betting with new eyes. I had returned to it because the money was good and I had commitments to my business partners, but I had no passion for it. I decided that I would retire and do something more… interesting.
For a year I spent every day training table tennis in an attempt to become one of the best in the country. We called project Expert in a Year, I spectacularly failed. But despite that, the video of my year went viral (it now has over 8 million views) and my love of self-improvement and continuous learning was kindled.
To help give me more confidence and improve my soft-skills I became a volunteer policeman. Working weekends on what was called the rowdy bus. We were sent to any fights or gang trouble where they thought a bus full of amateur bobbies would help. If I could deal with that then no confrontation in a boardroom would ever be an issue again.
I devoured podcasts and books and was inspired to launch this blog. In my
By the end of 2015, we were selling our products all across Europe and the Americas and were the best selling table tennis bat in the UK.
Hitting The Road & Digital Nomading
All this time I had been living in central London, but in 2016 I got itchy feet. I gave up my flat, sold 90% of my stuff and armed with just a suitcase headed off to South America to live the life as a ‘digital nomad’. Someone who can live anywhere because they can earn an income through their computer and the internet.
I had convinced my girlfriend to quit her job and come with me. She left the UK with just her savings and while travelling managed to build a profitable business doing freelance marketing.
For the next 18 months, I didn’t do much work. There was too much to experience as we travelled from country to country living in AirBnBs. In 2016 the only new business I started was a consultancy, A very simple business built off the back of this blog, which by then had got really popular.
Instead, I focused on growing my table tennis businesses. Which by the end of 2016 had grown to be bigger and more profitable than matched betting ever was.
But the digital nomad life isn’t all sun and rainbows. 20-somethings aren’t meant to retire and live a life of ease. We’re meant to use our talents and energy to build the
So in July 2017 I hung up my suitcase and moved into a house in Tunbridge Wells, England. Determined to spend the next few years building new bigger and better businesses.
Marriage & Life Now
And more importantly, I got married!
Which brings us to today. One of my first jobs for post-married life was to update this site and write this introduction (which I had been putting off for three years because I hate bragging about myself, weird for a blogger eh?).
So what does the future hold? Well, I have a few plans.
In 2018 I want to:
- Start a brand of gin (EDIT: Done! Pipheouse Gin has now launched.)
- Start an investment fund aimed at investing in websites and online businesses.
- Help my wife set up a food-related business. (EDIT: Done! Her supper clubs are launched)
- Start a podcast about money and investing. (EDIT: Done! The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast is now live.)
- And whatever else I think of!
Thanks for reading this far. Now enough about me and on to the good stuff:
Keen To Dive Into The Blog?
Check out some of my favourite posts.
Amazon FBA is an awesome service provided by Amazon that allows one man band brand owners like myself run multi-national physical product businesses. It is the building blocks that I use for my most profitable businesses. Here are some of the best articles about it:
- . My most popular article ever. A deep dive, that requires no previous knowledge, in to exactly how to start an Amazon FBA business.
- Retail Arbitrage – Flipping Products With Amazon FBA. Can’t afford to start a proper Amazon FBA business? Wet your toes with retail arbitrage.
- How To Find The Best Products To Sell On Amazon. Market research is key. Here’s how to do your homework.
- Pros & Cons Of The Three Types Of Amazon FBA Business. Should you start your own brand? Wholesale other peoples? Or do retail arbitrage?
- Tips And Tricks For Marketing Your Amazon FBA Business. A beast of a post covering everything I know.
- You Don’t Need To Pay For Lots Of Software. The biggest excuse I hear for not starting an Amazon FBA business is that you need lots of expensive software. Nonsense.
How to make some easy money by taking advantage of the sign up offers that bookies give to new customers. It won’t make you rich but it is low-risk and will earn you a few thousand pounds to help start something else. Matched betting is what gave me the initial funding to not get a job and become an entrepreneur.
- . Making money from online gambling- turned out to be remarkably easy.
- The Best Matched Betting Subscription Services. There are loads of services that will find good bonuses for you. Here are the best ones.
- The Best Sports Arbing Software. The best
oddsfindersand odds comparison sites on the market.
- How to Make Money From Online Casino Bonuses. So you’re making good money from bookies
ehh? Here’s how to do the same with casino bonuses.
- How To Make Money Arbing And Avoid Getting Your Accounts Closed. Arbing is easy. Keeping your accounts is hard.
- What It Takes To Create A Successful Blog – The 3 Crucial Aspects. Content, marketing and monetisation. I go through everything I did to make this site a success.
- Start A Blog In Under An Hour – A Step-By-Step Guide. Starting a blog is really really easy (it’s making it good that’s hard).
- Supercharging My Blog – A New Theme & A New Host. Once I hit 30,000 visitors a month it was time to upgrade.
In late 2017 I started a new business. A craft gin brand! And I am documenting exactly what I’m up to in real time:
- Episode One – The First Two Weeks
- Episode Two – Creating The Recipe & Branding
- Episode Three – Delays & Legal Schmeagols
- . A look into our most profitable business, a table tennis brand.
- . A roller-coaster of a time when we started and eventually sold a tech-startup.
- . Top tip – don’t do it. Online business is much easier.
- An experiment in self-publishing. Have now published two books including a best-seller.
- . An import-export business.
- . More reasons why I don’t like property.
- . TLDR: not very much.
- For most of 2015 I tried to come up with 10 ideas a day. Now there are over 10,000 ideas there.
- . Kind of my whole philosophy.
- . I am currently travelling the world working remotely.
- . And why I work as part-time as a policeman.
- And how I failed to achieve my goals.
Why your education shouldn’t end with
- And why it should be your goal.
- My five minutes of fame.
Want To Get In Touch?
I get hundreds of emails a week (literally) so if you have something urgent you need my help for then I recommend hiring me as a consulting. I charge $200 an hour and.
Or if it is less urgent you can send me an email for free and I will try and read it!