Kim Jung-woong didn’t want to sell cosmetics. He almost hated them. Nor did he want to sell products to the Chinese. He wanted to do something else. Instead for some mysterious reason he started his successful entrepreneurial path from nothing.
Today he is the owner of JM Solution: he is well known on Chinese social networks. He was born to two workers and raised in a poor family. However, he has always been a determined and hardworking individual.
He started working in a video game store when he was just a teenager. A few years later, he opened his own video game store, which was very successful.
There was also a political crisis between China and South Korea, his country, to hinder him in his climb towards the billions he puts in his pocket today.
He soon found a solution to get his project off the ground. He followed a respected principle that always works in life. When there is a problem, if you behave like him, the winner always comes out the champion. I’ll explain this later.
His undisputed domination over beauty products has not stopped and is conquering the state of the Rising Sun and many girls love him. But his rise as an entrepreneur is not over yet.
He was born in 1982 in a small town in South Korea. His family was poor and he had to help around the house from an early age.
“In fact, he completed elementary school only because he had to start working full time to support his family.”
He starts working part-time in a small video game store run by an elderly married couple, where he demonstrates a knack for sales.
He saves about four thousand dollars and borrows another three thousand from his family.
He was only 17 when he opened his first video game store. At the time, such stores were very popular in South Korea and he was very fond of gaming consoles.
Despite his young age, Kim’s shop is successful and allows him to earn a good living.
He also had a flair for trade. He starts selling travel bags as well.
“He goes to China to find a good manufacturer and realizes that the Chinese are crazy about everything Korean, especially beauty products.”
Kim was 20 at this point in his life: he had about $250,000 in savings. After serving two years in the military and studying design at university for another two, Kim reinvests his savings to expand, founding a new department in a shopping mall.
He creates his own line of cosmetics. The company is the GP Club, but it is known as JM Solution.
In 2006, when relations between China and South Korea worsened due to a political crisis, Kim’s business suffered. Many Chinese boycotted South Korean products and services, including those of Kim Jung-woong.
Despite these difficulties, Kim was not discouraged.
He knew his success would depend on his ability to connect with Chinese customers through social media. That’s exactly what he did.
JM Solution arrived on social media.
Kim was forced to make a drastic change of direction, deciding to focus on fabric face masks.
“He then distributed the articles to Chinese influencers, who then posted them on Weibo and TikTok.”
It was a forerunner of this strategy.
Chinese daigo (people who buy luxury goods in China and profitably resell them outside of China) have started buying whole cases of Kim’s products as a result of this strategy.
Today, JM Solution is a leading cosmetics brand in China. It sells a wide variety of products, including skin care, hair care and make-up.
It went on to sell more than a billion face masks in just two years, generating sales of over $10 billion and profits of nearly $3.0 billion in 2018.
Goldman Sachs subsequently decided to invest 67 million dollars for a 5% stake in Kim’s company.
What can we learn from Kim Jung-woong’s success? There are several lessons we can learn:
1. Hard work pays off: Kim was born into a poor family, but was determined to make something of himself. He worked hard from a young age and was successful in his early business.
2. Follow your passion: Kim is passionate about video games. This passion helped him to be successful in business. Because even if it changed course, it is undeniable that everything started from there.
3. Use social media to connect with customers: Kim has been very successful selling cosmetics in China by using social media to connect with Chinese customers.
4. Be willing to take risks: Kim wasn’t afraid to take risks, which helped him become a successful entrepreneur.
“Kim didn’t give up when things were tough – he didn’t abandon ship with excuses like most of the crowd would. He started thinking about how to get around the problem and he did it.”
The last lesson, the most important, is linked precisely to this last concept.
– Often the path we should take is the one that the problems themselves indicate. We always encounter problems in the activity of entrepreneurs but in everyday life, both in couple relationships and in everyone’s professional lives.
If you focus on getting around the problem and find the best solution, the road will be smooth. Many times to overcome the problem you have to think outside the box.
As did Kim who found a new communication channel to advertise his products and got off to a great start after the diplomatic problem his country had with China.
That is all. It was another interesting story that I wanted to tell you to inspire you and teach you something from those who have done great things.
Today he is the sole owner of his company and in just two years he became a billionaire.
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