My Story & This Blog

Welcome!

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 gin to table tennis bats.

I describe myself as a lazy entrepreneur. I am not out to make millions, I just want my time to be my own and enjoy what I do during the day. The fear of the nine-to-five motivated my early successes, and the fear of growing to hate my work is why I am constantly stopping and starting new ‘more exciting’ businesses.

This blog launched in 2014 as an online journal. Somewhere that would be here forever and I could always point to as a résumé in case I failed and needed to get a job. Since then it has grown and now earns around £5,000 a month. But I try to stay true to what it always was, an honest account of my experiences – not a preachy online guru telling you what to do without ever doing it themselves.

I am not an expert. Just an amateur muddling my way through with a lot still to learn. Perhaps you can learn from my experiences.

Now you have a choice. Hear my story or skip straight to the articles:

Selfie on the beach

A post shared by Sam Priestley (@sfpriestley) on

My Story

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 year I put everything else on the back burner and worked solidly on it. We hired employees, got a fancy office and pumped money into the business.  

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 employership

We eventually sold the business. I won’t ruin the story for you, read about it hereBut 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.

Over the next couple of years I launched two new businesses. A table tennis brand and a coffee shop (both of which are still going today).

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 mind I had retired and my time would be spent on whatever interested me the most rather than what earned me the most. 

In 2015 I wrote a couple of books, started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grew my table tennis brands heavily with the help of Amazon FBA (the warehouse and fulfilment network run by Amazon).

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.

I’m officially a #millionaire! Shame it’s only in YouTube views… #startup #tabletennis #expertinayear

A post shared by Sam Priestley (@sfpriestley) on

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 most awesomest things possible.

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.

Hard at work in the office #digitalnomad #sorrynotsorry #croatia #korcula

A post shared by Sam Priestley (@sfpriestley) on

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:

Thanks for reading this far. Now enough about me and on to the good stuff:

Some more wedding dancing 💃🕺#semmawedding

A post shared by Sam Priestley (@sfpriestley) on

Keen To Dive Into The Blog?

Check out some of my favourite posts.

Amazon FBA

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:

Matched Betting

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.

Blogging

Craft Gin

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:

The Rest

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 you can book a call with me here.

Or if it is less urgent you can send me an email for free and I will try and read it!

Subscribe to receive exclusive content, and an email every time a new post is released. No spam, ever. Just great stuff.