Joseph Hansen – Founder of Buy Box Experts

I think every entrepreneur has to experience a phase of taking on too much. There’s so much opportunity. Everywhere you look is an opportunity. You can drown in it though. Minimize and focus on priorities.

Joseph Hansen is a seasoned entrepreneur and e-commerce expert based in Utah. Hansen currently serves as managing partner to four innovative businesses that he built from the ground up: Marketplace University, Buy Box Experts, DragonFly Commerce, and the PROSPER Association.

In 2012, Hansen founded Buy Box Experts, a marketing agency for medium to large scale online sellers. In the past three years as CEO, Hansen has grown the company from a small startup to an invaluable resource for hundreds of ecommerce sellers to increase their sales velocity and profitability while streamlining business operations.

Building off the success of Buy Box Experts, in 2015 Hansen co-founded Marketplace University, an e-learning video course for Amazon sellers. In 2015, Hansen also co-founded DragonFly Commerce, the first retail sales product-collateralized investment fund. 2015 has also marked the launch of the PROSPER Association, a national association that aims to share best practice materials to online retailers and solution providers.

Joseph Hansen’s diverse leadership roles are united around his expertise in the online marketplace and e-commerce fields. His breadth of knowledge comes from hands-on experience in conceptualizing, creating, and selling several profitable businesses, and his current companies aim to share that knowledge with others in the e-commerce space. As a seasoned entrepreneur, Hansen has also co-founded Flirty Aprons, Lullabibs, and Sentrik.

Where did the idea for Buy Box Experts come from?

After starting a number of businesses and selling them, I wanted to create a marketing agency which would help other entrepreneurs replicate the success I had experienced.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I work on hundreds of tasks and collaborate with my team and communicate with clients all day long. I utilize task and project management software to keep us working on the right things in the right way.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Bringing an idea to life involves assessing whether the idea has real merit – does it truly bring value to our company and to others? Once you’ve established its merit, then you have to address what it will take to accomplish your idea from the ground up (time, money, manpower, help, etc.)

What’s one trend that really excites you?


The largest real estate company in the world doesn’t own property – it’s a marketplace for property rental exchange, Airbnb.

The largest content company in the world doesn’t create the content – it’s marketplace for continuous exchange of content, Facebook.

The largest transportation company in the world doesn’t own any vehicles – uber. A marketplace for exchanging transportation.

The largest retail business in the world doesn’t own any inventory: it’s a marketplace for selling goods Alibaba (taobao & tmall).

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I wake up at 5 am.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Toss up between telemarketing and working as a dishwasher on the night shift during college. I learned a lot about people in these jobs – what makes them tick, why some people don’t rise above their current station, and why many managers and supervisors lack behavioral intuition.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Eat more bacon. Or maybe it was less bacon. Bacon jokes aside, taking on a strong diet feeds a strong mind. I’d make my own health more of a priority earlier on in life.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I try to think at the end of most days, for a few minutes, about what my day was just like. Did I enjoy it? What would I change about it if I could? And then I try to consider what my perfect day would be, and by “perfect” I mean most satisfying but within normal life constraints. This helps me filter out unnecessary tasks, spend more meaningful time with my wife and children, practice a hobby and try to develop habits that will improve my life.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Networking, but not the speed dating variety where you exchange business cards and walk away after 30 seconds. A better way of saying it is “relationship building.”

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I think every entrepreneur has to experience a phase of taking on too much. There’s so much opportunity. Everywhere you look is an opportunity. You can drown in it though. Minimize and focus on priorities.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

While I agree that money follows passion, I will also say that there is nothing wrong with pursuing profit sometimes, too. One of my most successful ventures was purely profit driven. Find your own balance of passion and profit.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

Definitely more than $100, but the money spent on my kids schooling is something I’ll never hesitate writing a check for. High quality, challenging education is the greatest ROI you’ll ever get.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Google Apps and Slack. The ability to seamlessly improve productivity and communication with others in remote locations is invaluable.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

E-Myth Revisited – it’s what gave me my first entrepreneurial seizure.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Michael Gerber and Elon Musk are great to follow. People that think outside of the box are always inspirational.