How Emmanuel Martinez, a Successful Entrepreneur, Went From Selling Candy to Building a Multi-Million eCommerce Business


Each passing year, more and more people take a leap of faith and join the prestigious ranks of small businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs. A recent study conducted by Digital.com revealed that two in five people plan to start a business in 2022, and for two-thirds of them, it won’t be their first.

Emmanuel Martinez points out that entrepreneurship is often viewed as the peak of “the success mountain,” one that offers not only success but freedom. It’s not too surprising that people are drawn to it.

Emmanuel Martinez is a hedge fund manager and an accomplished entrepreneur who built a multi-million dollar business from the ground up. While most people become entrepreneurs after they have some work experience under their belts, Emmanuel Martinez started his entrepreneurial journey back when he was still in middle school.

As Mr. Martinez explains, his school had strict rules regarding unhealthy food. You couldn’t buy candy. And kids, well, they wanted candy. He saw an opportunity to fill this demand on a trip to a restaurant supply store with his father. He saw candy bars sold for 50 cents a bar — 10 for $5. “I’d never seen them being sold at 50 cents,” Emmanuel Martinez explained. “It’s always, like, $1.50, or $2, so I realized I could buy them cheap and sell them at a profit.”

That first encounter with basic economic principles sparked a huge love for business inside Mr. Martinez’s heart, and at that moment, he knew that he wouldn’t take any other path than entrepreneurship. Mr. Martinez knew that he needed more experience and knowledge, so he started taking online economics classes during high school, then he went on to study business at Florida International University.

“When I was in my freshman year, I was already reading a lot of [economics, psychology, investing and business] books and I got into the Phoenician Investment Fund — a finance club at Florida International University where I was going,” says Mr. Martinez. “They basically focus on Wall Street and investing in stocks or finance, and most of the club members actually end up working on Wall Street.”

Not long after joining the Phoenician Investment Fund, thanks to his wits and persistence, Emmanuel Martinez rose up the ranks and eventually became a director of the club. “It was an amazing experience that taught me a lot. I had the opportunity to teach others. As a director, one of the duties was to hold classes, and suddenly I had 100 college kids that would listen to me every week on how to make money in finance, stock market, bond market, and so on.”

It was time for Mr. Martinez to carve his own path and make a name for himself. The college experience pushed Mr. Martinez in several directions and he decided to follow them all. He was already investing in the stock market when he decided to go into the hedge fund space, and he decided to try his luck in eCommerce as well.

“I wanted to try everything — investing, hedge funds, and eCommerce. For eCommerce, I decided to approach my father to be my business partner,” says Mr. Martinez. “My father has a wholesale company for drapery hardware, so I convinced him, since I already understood the eCommerce space pretty well, to put all his products online and let me manage the e-commerce business.”

At first, his father was skeptical of the vision that Mr. Martinez had. However, he soon proved his father wrong when, in the first year, Emmanuel Martinez lead the e-commerce segment to make over $1.5 million in sales. The second year was even better, with $2.2 million in sales, and in the third and current year, the projection is between four and five million in sales.

Emmanuel Martinez is an incredible example that nothing is unattainable for those ready to work for their dreams. He knows that entrepreneurship can be challenging (something that he regularly talks about on his podcast, the unfamiliar business podcast), and for those who want to tread the same path, Mr. Martinez has a few words, “Business is like a sport, and success and money are just the measuring sticks. The more you practice and work towards your goals the more successful you will become! Only those who are patient and stubborn enough will get to reap the sweet fruit of their work.”

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