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From The Projects to Online Profits: How This High School Dropout Built a 7-Figure Business in eCommerce

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John Lawson is the CEO of 3rd Power LLc, an online retail company and founder of ColderICE Media, a social commerce education, training, and consulting agency based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

John has sold millions of dollars in eCommerce merchandise in 20 years and facilitated more than 500,000 transactions online. He has achieved the status of Platinum eBay PowerSeller, top-rated Amazon Merchant and Small Business Influencer of the Year. 

John has spoken to over 200,000 people worldwide on eCommerce and social media marketing. Now he has put all his experience and expertise into a product for speakers, authors and thought-leaders, so they too can follow his successful influencer path with Pro Speaker Funnels.

We had the chance to interview John on his success as an entrepreneur.

What is your mission?


My mission is to directly affect the bottom line of one million businesses worldwide and to help those businesses increase their revenue by teaching them how to effectively navigate internet marketing and e-commerce. Helping them to successfully utilize social media and resourcefully use automation and web technology tools to ensure profit and progress.

“After successfully launching my own online business in 2001, selling over 20 million in products online I began speaking and teaching others how to do the same. This led to me writing my best selling book, and the rest was a jet-set lifestyle around the world speaking and teaching hundreds of thousands.”

John has an impressing pedigree of speaking on world stages, having spoken at numerous famous tech and business events around the world, including South by Southwest (SxSW), Internet Retailer (USA), E-Tail (Denmark & Singapore), Informator (Stockholm, Sweden), and Payoneer (Shenzhen, China) just to name a few.

“I built that speaking business and realized there was a lack of ready made tools and technology in the industry to help new and even-established Speakers, Authors, and Coaches.”

It was then that ColderICE Media was born, and his agency has since helped clients worldwide. Now John has put all the experiences into a product where entrepreneurs and thought-leaders can do it themselves with Pro Speaker Funnels.

How did this all start?

As an enterprising innovator, as far back as high school, John had a knack for starting businesses and making-do whatever he did. John was born in Woodside Housing Projects in Queens, New York.  His father left the home when he was 11. 

Ultimately his Mom moved him to a lower-middle-class area of Columbus, Ohio. John and his sister watched as their single mother struggled to provide a decent lifestyle for them.

Desiring to achieve success, John co-founded a party promotion business in high school in 1982 and started DJ’ing at local events. He began to spend more time promoting his weekend party business around Columbus and little time in the classroom that he was expelled from school in his senior year.

Undaunted, John earned his GED and continued on to the Devry Institute, where he got a taste of the world of technology for the first time. “I was in my 20s, but I was struggling with my identity,” says John. After a brief stay with his father in Dallas, Texas, John returned to Ohio, where he joined a Christian church, formed a Gospel Hip-Hop group, and even managed to sign a recording contract with Star Song Records, where he produced his first single. The single sold very well and they made a video, but the rap game was not a long term thing.

After a series of excellent IT positions, John took a leap of faith and joined his sister, who had moved to Atlanta, GA. “It was right after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I got an offer, packed my car and moved down.”

In 2001, while enjoying career success at The Fortune 100 consulting firm Accenture, a friend drew him into the world of real estate investing. 

When did things start to change?

“I nearly went bankrupt. We tried to flip a house and it went wrong. I let him use my credit to buy a house that we could never trade.” Now saddled with two mortgages, John started selling his IT books, printers, and ink on Ebay and soon discovered that selling online was a great way to earn the extra money he needed. Thus his first ecommerce store was born, 3rd Power Outlet.

In 2004, 3rd Power Outlet was providing almost as much income salary as his corporate job at Accenture. He then realized that if he spent the same eight hours working in his own business as working for others, he could make his fledgling company a success. That September he devoted himself full time to his online business and never looked back. In 2006, 3PO made its first million in sales and continues to do spectacularly.

Today, Mixergy calls John Lawson an “Energy Salesman.” American Express rates him as an “Outstanding Entrepreneur.” Startup Nation says he’s the “smartest” on Social Media and Small Biz Trends named him “Influencer” of the year.

John has traveled to nearly a dozen countries to teach people how to achieve their business goals online. His ability to convey complex concepts in understandable language has made him “the toast of the city” on the talking circuit of social commerce.

Where did the idea to leave your job come from?


I had a peanut butter and jelly moment. I thought if I did not have to get all the nice clothes, get them cleaned, pay for parking, etc. then I would save on all the work expenses. So I decided I could eat PBnJ sandwiches and take my Ebay business full time. 

At the time I was selling mouse pads so was thinking how many I need to sell to quit my job. I put together an exit strategy to get out of my day job. Every mouse pad I sold I made $5..I figured out that I had to only sell 10 a day to replace my job if I sold them 7 days a week on Ebay. 

How did your social media expertise start?


I was having anxiety about being alone so much because I was working at home and felt isolated. I started using video and talking to the camera about small business and Ebay. I started to get a following on Twitter from that.

It was 2008 and I entered a contest for small business in the social media category. It was based on votes and everyday I was going out and posting five things on Twitter that I had read in my industry. Then the 6th tweet would say “vote for me” in the contest. I did that everyday and BOOM, I won Startup Nations’ Savviest in Social Media Award.

Now, John is also an Amazon #1 best-selling author, international speaker, IBM Cognitive College adjunct professor and is celebrated as one of the 50 Most Influential in SMB Marketing. 

John has taken his journey a long way from high school dropout, to Christian rapper, working in corporate, selling mousepads, and everything in between. Now John is focused on his speaking career and building his new venture, Pro Speaker Funnels, to the next level!

John Lawson is undoubtedly an amazing example that no matter where you start in life, you can finish off strong.  

To learn more about how you can work with John vist him at his instagram here

Thanks for reading, lets stay connected! Join our exclusive community below:

Bryan Quaranto is the CEO of Dreamwood Media and ProprioX. He is also the host of The Creative Activation Podcast available exclusively on DreamwoodMedia.com

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Entrepreneurship

How Naysha Rivera Created THATZAWRAPP

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Naysha Rivera is a creative director, CEO and multifaceted artist known for her media production company called THATZAWRAPP. Since 2018 we have personally witnessed the growth and expansion of her talents in the industry and now she is taking her skills to the next level with her creative drive and passion for the arts. We had the chance to interview Naysha on what’s driven her so far…

How did you start your creative journey?

Ever since I was little I always knew I had a passion for art. I loved how free you can be with art and that there is no limit, literally anything and everything can be art. I actually thought I was going to be a chef up until highschool. I loved how I was able to make the food taste good but look pretty. I would always take my time when it came to plating. However it got to the point though where work was just very stressful and gave me little time to do any of my own projects. I always dabbled in photography and making videos when I was young and kept it as a hobby so when the chef thing flopped, I picked back up and started to take it a bit more seriously. Then I began to actually get recognition for my work and started to get invited to do events, shoots etc. I took the leap of faith and started freelancing my own work. It’s been history ever since. 

When did you start to take it to the next level?

After I made an official website for my work and started to heavily promote myself in my hometown is when I started to notice how serious I was about this change. People started to come up to me more and ask about my work. I began to start taking bookings and events from there. Word of mouth definitely helped me gain some exposure as well; I have amazing friends and family who supported me through the way. 


What is your cause?

I grew up with a teenage single mother and being the oldest, I grew up a little faster than most kids. My mother inspired me to be a boss, even when I was young I knew she was doing the best she could and tried to hide that we were less fortunate. With that being said sometimes I just simply did not have the funds to do certain things or programs in the art field, and sometimes that would really hurt my spirit. With my art I want to give people a creative lane, be involved in something no matter what background or financial situation. I actually encourage people who don’t have a “cookie cutter” childhood to share and collaborate. 

What is your mission?

My mission as a person is to make sure my business blows up and that me and my family are straight. Eventually I am going to buy property and create a studio for my business. Within this building I will house a space for other creatives and artists to have a spot to link up creatively and make magic. Think of it as a warehouse for productions. With that foundation, I will create events and pop up shops to create a program for kids in less fortunate areas to be involved with. I would have loved if someone did that for me if I was young, so I’m trying to be that person for someone else now. 

Have you accomplished any goals?

I always push myself to do and be better. I started up a business on my own, THATZAWRAPP, and have maintained a consistent flow. I moved out to start a new beginning and I’m constantly growing and networking so I would say that I am accomplishing goals everyday. 

What projects are you working on right now?

Sheesh, what am I not working on is the question? Of course I’m always doing my shoots and creating visuals. I don’t want to say too much but as of right now one of the few things currently being worked on is some new music. I will be dropping a few singles and then eventually planning to work on my E.P. wich will probably come out next year because I want to take my time with it and really show you guys something dope. I’m also working on some merch right now so be on the lookout for some clothing and accessories etc.

What does the future hold for you?

That’s a good question that I ask myself every night before I go to sleep. Who knows because life is crazy but I know I’ll be okay. It may sound cheesy, but something inside me always reminds me that I’ll be okay, successful and I will be able to give my mother the world in which I promised her.

 Naysha is a perfect example of no matter what diversity you face you can come out strong. We would like to thank Naysha for answering our interview questions and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the near future.

Thanks for reading, let’s stay connected! Join our exclusive community below: 

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Entrepreneurship

Jeff The Entrepreneur is Changing Lives Financially

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Jeff “The Entrepreneur” Cunningham is a serial entrepreneur and business coach, teaching people how to make more money. Inspiring others along the way, Jeff has amassed a following of over 10,000 followers on his social media platforms. Jeff creates wealth for him and his students by teaching them lucrative ways of multiplying your money. We had the opportunity to ask Jeff a few questions…


How did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
Truth be told – I have always been an entrepreneur.  Lemonade stand at 12, having my brothers and sisters advertise to traffic and figuring out what more products I could sell from my stand.  I didn’t even totally get the grasp of money back then. I believe anyone – but mostly entrepreneurs love to create and prove people wrong.  Being a teacher at behavioral middle school, as other teachers complained about no lesson plans and a teacher I had a crush on said I wasn’t creative enough – this inspired and motivated me to build my own lesson plans – and teach money management and things that are my passion to change the education system one day. I also became a lifeguard because that girl scoffed at me when I raised my hand to try, became a quarterback when was told I couldn’t, and started teaching when told I would be a better student support.

When did you decide to take it to the next level?
After my brother Jay passed. We wrote down a dream to build a Kokomo Jays, coffee shop music studio – two days after I went to wake him up and that moment changed my life. I was selected to Speak Up about, dreams, belief and action on Amazon Prime Season 2 of Speak Up. Before all of this….I was a shell of the man I am today….thanks to my Dad showing me a video of Grant Cardone – I prayed to God not care if I woke up and then searched ‘Grant Cardone Depression’ – that video changed my life. My goal is 77 million, and then open KokomoJays.com worldwide. Costa Rica for sure – I know some good people there now. 

What is your cause?
To inspire others always.  Through their pain they can find purpose.  I have done this through my new Coaching Business – Changing Lives (Changinglivescoach.com). This is something I will never stop as I feel I make a direct impact and help people make money now. And now Changing Lives Financial will be known for helping 20 million families become Financially Free.  It’s a business I have built with my younger brother –  check out ChangingLivesFinancial.com

What is your mission?
To show how you can do more with money to change the world.  I will build many businesses. I am an entrepreneur, that is what we do.  Look at the definition.  Focus is everything.  I focus all on one, until systems are in place and then move to the next.  This is what I coach people. – my long term goal will also be part of changing the education system – reduce the evil of human trafficking – and solve any black and white problems that have been over looked. Met with some Poser Players in Texas, you will see some big things in the plans; oh and  If I have to run for president I will – but it doesn’t pay enough at the moment.

Have you accomplished any goals?

Daily targets lead to goals.  Speak out, write down, and take action. Became a real estate investor with cash flow and hired property management – own my equity in my own software with Business partner in London, which helps me have the dream of building the biggest lead gen software one day. Hit 1k subs on my YouTube Channel – now a mirco influencer – got several paid Brand Deals – with my YouTube and Instagram (JeffTheEntrepreneur). – the one I am excited about the most is a coffee brand called Kokomo Jays…so my following who likes coffee can taste the dream – and find the energy I have through this special roast.

What does the future hold for you?
Owning a 37 unit in florida and 128 in Texas, possibly moving to Texas to continue business there.  Interviewing top top guests on my Make More Money Podcast – Tim Tebow, Connor McGregor, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk –  will have Dana White on this fall. He is a busy man.  Will also be featuring some amazing power-players who will inspire anyone to chase the American dream. More brand deals for my YouTube channel and Instagram – hiring on Coaches to be certified under the Changing Lives name – growing and hiring people who are entrepreneurial for Changing Lives Financial for my brothers business. Then when I help 77 million people – and receive over 77 Million – will start building Kokomo Jays (KokomoJays.com)  in honor of my brother’s dream.  I speak in depth on the Amazon Prime show Speak Up Season 2 – under My Dreams Keep Me Awake (MyDreamsKeepMeAwake.com – Merch Store)

Jeff Cunningham is a great influence and superstar entrepreneur, he is truly proving that you CAN become the greatest version of yourself.

You can learn more about Jeff and how to work with him here at his Instagram

Thanks for reading, let’s stay connected! Join our exclusive community below:

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