Paul Alex
Paul Alex, a former cop, reveals how he made $3.5 million in just two years through his cash machine business. Paul Alex / Twitter

A man who invested in an ATM for £1604.82 ($2,000) has revealed how he now makes millions of dollars by running a business, generating a staggering £2.81 million ($3.5 million) in just two years.

In 2017, Paul Alex, based in San Diego, California and aged 29 at the time, served as a narcotics detective. Despite his demanding job, he needed to work overtime to make ends meet. This often led to him undertaking 16-hour shifts, causing him to, in his own words, "neglect his personal life" and occasionally sleep for only "three hours" per night.

Feeling the need for an additional source of income, he delved into researching the ATM business upon the suggestion of a colleague. He was oblivious to the life-altering transformation this "side hustle" would become.

The former police officer, now 35, had transformed his life. His Instagram, boasting 398,000 followers, documented his journey from the badge to becoming an ATM tycoon. He shares his story and offers valuable insights on how anyone can generate substantial income by owning an ATM.

He extends his narrative to Twitter (now with X followers), where he shares similar tales and insights with over 4,000 followers. Despite harbouring a burning desire to become a millionaire by 18, the ex-law enforcement officer readily admitted he had "no direction" – a stark contrast between ambition and strategy.

Building an Empire: One ATM at a Time

Alex bounced around a string of odd jobs in his early twenties, from the frenetic energy of nightclub promotions to the convincing charm required to sell dishwashers. Promoted to detective within two years, his career flourished.

The financial rewards were substantial - a six-figure salary with a monthly take-home of around £16048.20 ($20,000). Still, he confessed to a crumbling personal life. The stress, long hours, or perhaps something else entirely, was taking its toll.

In an Instagram post, Alex admitted he was "working his a** off" doing 16-hour shifts and only sleeping three hours per night. Aside from that, he didn't like constantly risking his life.

"I didn't have any personal freedom," he added during an interview with Business Insider. "I was neglecting my personal life. I wasn't hanging around my family who I love. I'm a big family guy. And at the end of the day, I realised this can't be life."

His high-octane detective work took a surprising turn in 2017. A coworker's offhand suggestion about ATMs led him down a different path. He delved into a research frenzy, joining online forums and devouring YouTube videos from self-proclaimed ATM entrepreneurs.

Months later, Alex took the plunge, buying his first ATM for £1685.06 ($2,100) and strategically placing it in a busy nail salon. The initial returns were impressive, to say the least. The nail salon ATM proved to be a goldmine. Within the first month, it churned out a staggering £401 ($500) profit, solely from the £2.41 ($3) surcharge fees he levied on each transaction.

Unveiling the Reality Behind the ATM Hype

According to details shared on the Hustle Inspires Hustle website, anyone can buy an ATM. However, setting it up requires you to "register your ATM as a business entity." Additionally, you must acquire an ATM business license and any required permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Moreover, you'd need a business bank account, insurance and an ATM processor to facilitate the transactions. Paul took to Instagram to demystify the process. In a detailed post, he unveiled the first step: conquering the paperwork required to become an ATM owner. This bureaucratic hurdle, he hinted, was just the beginning of the ATM adventure.

While the initial success of Paul's ATM seemed promising, the business itself isn't without its challenges. The year 2017, for instance, saw a concerning trend in the UK – the rise of "ATM deserts." Additionally, security remains a concern, with reports of hackers selling customised ATM malware in the same year.