Hustle Hard, Win Big with Nick Penev 

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Ever wondered how an unconventional late-night job could lead to a remarkable entrepreneurial journey filled with twists, triumphs, and a unique philosophy on business relationships? Dive into this captivating story spanning e-commerce, sales, and unexpected adventures! 🌟🛒

Guest: Nick Penev, originating from Bulgaria, transitioned from a salesman to an e-commerce luminary. His trajectory showcases a remarkable evolution, ascending to become an e-commerce superstar and later a major influencer in the e-commerce JV space. Nick’s journey epitomizes resilience, strategic acumen, and visionary prowess within the dynamic landscape of digital commerce, offering inspiration to those navigating this ever-evolving industry.

[00:00] In this episode, Igor is joined by Nick Penev to discuss his journey from Bulgaria to success in sales, entrepreneurship, and e-commerce, sharing experiences, challenges, financial achievements, missed opportunities, and reflections on partnerships while setting the stage for further revelations in part two of his story.

[01:20] Introduction and Expertise in E-commerce and Sales:

  • I’ve been deeply involved in e-commerce and sales for quite a while. Currently, I oversee a few companies, one being a partnership agency that aids businesses in expanding through partnerships without relying on paid marketing strategies.
  • I’ve shifted gears from spending extensively on marketing to teaching others how to grow organically. Additionally, I manage a partnership network comprising 1500 e-commerce founders, promoting collaboration and growth without financial exchanges.
  • Recently, Igor became one of our partners, and though our initial meeting had a different agenda, we’re exploring other collaborative avenues.
  • Also, we’ve developed a SaaS solution facilitating practical referrals and introductions. Instead of waiting for referrals to happen organically, users can request them directly through our platform.

[11:00] Early Sales Career Beginnings in Bulgaria:

  • I finished high school in Bulgaria and swiftly headed to the USA for university, with my first day coinciding with the September 11 attacks.
  • After a stint in the States, due to personal reasons, I returned to Bulgaria without notifying my parents. In hindsight, it turned out to be a wise decision, especially since I’m happily married now.
  • Starting fresh without any educational qualifications, I found my footing in sales at a company competing with GoDaddy. The founders, Bulgarians who moved to the States, managed offices in San Diego and Sofia. I volunteered for the late shift, from 10 pm to 7 am, a slot most employees didn’t prefer.
  • Surprisingly, I stuck with it for five years, a feat not many achieved, driven by my adaptability to the unconventional work schedule and the substantial income, a stark contrast to the minimum wage at the time.
  • The sales job was commission-based, and while many colleagues stopped once they hit their quotas, I persistently continued, aiming not just to be the best but to outperform others significantly. Over time, I built a substantial client network, making the workload easier, but I never slacked.
  • By 26, I had paid off my apartment and remained debt-free since. However, the company’s acquisition brought an abrupt end to my successful sales streak, leaving me without a job and facing other personal challenges.

[23:37] Entrepreneurial Ventures and Business Start:

  • Transitioning from this setback, I ventured into e-commerce, initially selling a unique product in the health niche. The business took off remarkably due to early Facebook advertising, generating massive sales at incredibly low advertising costs, predominantly in European markets.
  • We faced competition, copied products, and struggled with platform suspensions, eventually shifting our marketing strategy from paid ads to partnerships and affiliates.
  • Diversifying into various business opportunities, including cryptocurrencies and joint ventures, expanded our portfolio. However, missteps in investments led to a realization that not all ventures guarantee success.
  • Alongside, I found myself advising companies on partnerships, leading to the establishment of a partnership agency focused on helping businesses grow through strategic collaborations.

[23:37] Lessons Learned and Philosophy on Business Relationships:

  • I employ a philosophy of giving before receiving, fostering a collaborative network of e-commerce professionals through mutual support rather than monetary transactions.
  • I’ve learned that by assisting others without expecting immediate returns, the value returns multifold unexpectedly.
  • Tune into Part 2 soon!

[31:36] Igor’s Book On Email Marketing:



Igor Kheifets is an amazon best-selling author of the List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire.

He’s also the host of List Building Lifestyle, the podcast for anyone who wants to make more money and have more freedom by leveraging the power of an email list

He’s widely referred to as the go-to authority on building large responsive email lists in record time.

Igor’s passionate about showing people how to live the List Building Lifestyle.