Uni dropout makes $120k a month
Matthew Lepre had no intention of staying at university - nor did he have any interest in persuing a dentistry degree at the University of Melbourne.
After two weeks, he decided to return to Sydney working three manual labour jobs to help his single mother financially.
Going to university was something his mum wanted him to do.
But Mr Lepre had other dreams - he, like most young adults who just finish school, wanted a job allowing him the flexibility to work anywhere in the world, while making enough money to do all the things he enjoyed.
"My mum came to Australia as an immigrant with nothing, and we had to get help from the
Salvation Army, who brought us food to our house, just to get by," he told news.com.au
"She always had hopes that I would some day become a dentist and live a life better than she had.
"However, I knew a 9-5 job wasn't the life I wanted to live."
He went on to work in a cordial factory stacking boxes, as a dock hand in another factory and spent his weekend gardening on a farm in Leppington - hardly what he had in mind, but a decision that would soon lead him to developing a business that would earn him $120,000 a month - at just 26 years old.
In his downtime, Mr Lepre researched how to kickstart an online business.
"At a seminar in Sydney I was introduced to a business coach from America where I began to learn all the basics of starting an online business and from there I started my own e-commerce, online store."
Being part of a generation of social media influencers, Mr Lepre saw an opportunity to hone in on beauty products for men and women, having researched the impact Instagram influencers can have on brands.
Mr Lepre now makes well over $120,000 each month from his e-commerce sites selling a host of beauty products for guys and girls along with educational books.
"I knew there was a need for it as a lot of students struggled to find resources - I was struggling myself to find resources to help me when I started," he said.
"They are educational courses/PDF guides to help students in physics, chemistry and biology - the subjects you need to pursue a career in dentistry and medicine."
He invested about $2000 into his business which he started just six months after dropping out of uni.
"With the e-books, the first sale I made (for $30) I was at Casula Mall (in Sydney's southwest) having lunch - it was in that moment I realised the power of it - forming a business that I didn't have to trade any time for because it is essentially a PDF file that gets sent out."
Mr Lepre, like any entrepreneur, has faced his fair share of struggles, which at times deterred him from continuing.
"At times you want to give up, you think, 'I have been working so hard and I haven't made a sale this week', but you have to keep pushing through," he said.
"It has only been the last six months where I have started to see exceptional growth in my business and I began to invest a lot of what I was making into different courses to educate myself on how to further improve the business and update resources."
After two years it made about $40,000 a month and it has reached close to $120,000, earning him the title of 2017 AM2 Better Your Best Entrepreneurial Contest in the US.
The young entrepreneur, who built his business around having the freedom to work remotely, travels overseas once every month for up to two weeks.
"I only just started paying myself a few months ago. I was investing most of it back in the business," Mr Lepre said.
"I would rather spend my money on travel and relaxing by the beach."
By the end of next month, Mr Lepre will move to Koh Samui in Thailand with his best friend who he trained to run his Facebook ads.
"If I can hang out with my best friend, run a business and live in a different country - that's the best option for me," he said.
Mr Lepre, who owns a property in Tasmania, is hoping to expand his real estate portfolio - but as for now, his biggest love is travelling.
His biggest advice for anyone hoping to start their own business is to never doubt yourself and also to mediate often.
"Doubting yourself and thinking it's not going to work is when I started to get into the law of attraction. It is so important to get your mind set right."
"Write down your goals and your perfect life. Write exactly what your goals and desires are then visualise it - what you want.
"Read them out to yourself every single day - doing that will train your subconscious mind to believe it's possible and once you start believing it, then you're going to take action to make it happen."
Mr Lepre mediates daily, for 10 minutes as soon as he wakes up. He keeps a journal with images of what he wants to achieve and what his future looks like.
"What I love most about what I do is having the freedom to live life on my own terms and to inspire people.
"Inspiring people that it is possible and you don't have to follow what society tells you.
"If I can do it and I'm just a regular kid form western Sydney, any one can do it."
Mr Lepre has now created a series of online tutorials from his new-found business, Ecom Warrior Academy, teaching students how to build their own e-commerce stores so they too can live a life of freedom on their terms.
His financial stability has allowed his mother to focus on her passion on becoming a makeup artist.