299 : Devon Mahdi – Don’t buy into the hype, buy into the Data when it comes to selling on Amazon

Devon has one of the most positive outlooks on life of anyone I have met. He knows how to overcome problems, challenges and big obstacles in life. Wise perspective from a young guy with experience can help us all be better people. Can we capture his enthusiasm though?

Mentioned:

Devon’s Facebook contact

Devon’s website: devonmahdi.com

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Sponsors

Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List

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Scope from Sellerlabs

GoDaddy

Grasshopper

Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)

Stephen:                             00:00:00               I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisbey’s million dollar arbitrage group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is a Gaye, was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular one? The green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parsed that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yeah. She puts out a list. You’re going to get a use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.

Stephen:                             00:00:46               Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that. That’s why there’s not so many openings and you’ll be with her for a long time and so it’s amazing. Freedom Dot. She’s part of Andy Slamon’s group, amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum, and you’re going to get in to the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets anywhere, but what I like about it, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know, the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. Well here’s where an opportunity is. Here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this. You know, what toys are us coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.

Stephen:                             00:01:30               And Gay is better than anybody else I’ve seen. So I’m amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully they can get you in the group and then you’re going to see me in there and uh, we can chat anytime. You’re ready. Karen lockers, group solutions to the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen’s our account manager. We recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean that’s quite frankly the reason we’ve been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today on like, wait a second. Why did they show up?

Stephen:                             00:02:09               I didn’t put any listings up. They got a. They got set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use my code. Momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to save $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions for e-commerce solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well, guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is? Well, here’s why and what they can do.

Stephen:                             00:03:00               What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory. Here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, re refund. I mean a delete a return us blah blah, blah, whatever it is, and it’s our destroy and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. You know, we do. A lot of the researchers solves, we upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that [inaudible] offers. Can’t recommend her enough solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks. Use My code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t.

Stephen:                             00:03:45               I’m so excited how many people have been joining it because I see it and I’m excited because of the messages I get from people saying, hey, this is great. I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and you know, I highly recommend her next seller labs and scope. Then we’ll set it wrong. It’s amazing. I mean, it really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it’s similar to this product and that product does well. Well, therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right. That’s what you want to.

Stephen:                             00:04:29               You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean it’s, it’s fair to see and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit. That’s what scope does for me. Seller labs.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the surface. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try, so sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. And then you’re going to see the lights going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I can get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So our labs.com forward slash momentum. The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought another domain. It’s almost like A. I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea. I think it’s going to go pretty far and so what do I do?

Stephen:                             00:05:19               I go to try go daddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services. It adds up a little bit and I usually buy it three years. I usually buy privacy by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, it’s not that much money but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I use go daddy because what I like is I can pop in an address I’m thinking and it’ll say nope, nope, try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is. Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know.

Stephen:                             00:06:01               And so try go daddy.com forward slash momentum save 30 percent. Also want to mention about grasshopper, was that just talking to somebody the other day? And they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasp. I’m like, dude, did you buy through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? Know they miss that. So save 30 percentage, try grasshopper.com forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign contracts. Pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company, grasshoppers, a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service for you. Now have a sales department, didn’t have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.

Cool voice guy:                  00:07:13               Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of e-commerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             00:07:27               Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 299. Devin, Marty, I’m pumped. I can’t help it. I just cut off and I always record these right after I learned that over the years, every record these right after I get off the call, but then I’m just, Ah, I’m so jazzed. He’s so inspiring and you know, I’m going to qualify this right now because it took me awhile to ask him how old he is. I don’t want to be uncomfortable. He’s 29. He is pumping out words of wisdom at 29 years old that are deep soul kind of stuff for us. Old dudes. It’s stuff that I figured out late in my forties into my fifties and I’m still figuring it out and here he is, 29 years old. Very, very powerful stuff. Um, we spend a lot of time on his history and a lot of his backstory because I think it’s important.

Stephen:                             00:08:12               Um, he will tell you he did not come from the best of circumstances. A matter of fact. He downplays it a little bit. Definitely some challenging circumstances. But the key is they don’t define him. Hear him when he says that you can believe it because I’ve met him face to face. He is this guy that you hear here he is that enthusiastic. Is that real? That deep, and that did not define him. And so if something in your past is defining you, you gotta let it go. And his advice at the end is really, really, really smart. Again, for 29 years old, I’ve got socks older than that. Kelly loach. What’s going into the podcast? All right. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest because he is absolutely enthusiastic. He’s enthusiastic about life. He’s enthusiastic about his self, a tot circumstances, I guess I would say, um, there is nothing getting in his way of success. Devin. Marty, welcome Dan.

Devon:                                 00:09:11               Stephen, thank you for having me. I’m really excited. The pre show was great. You guys missed the pre show, but we’re here for the show and you’re going to have a lot of value both from Stephen and myself on this call.

Stephen:                             00:09:21               I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of value, but I think Devon, a will. A devin. Well, um, I already put you to name see that that’s not going to let you know. So, so let’s talk about this. So when I said that, I mean that, that you, there’s nothing stopping you, your circumstances clearly don’t define you. Is that fair?

Devon:                                 00:09:41               That is absolutely fair. My man, um, I think it’s the only way to live if, if we’re going to do anything of impact and substance in his world, then you have to go get it. You have to be an action taker and you have to, first of all the excuses and then you have to also overcome obstacles. So those are like the two big pillars and we can talk all day about that. But I know we have a game plan and we’re going to get into other content, but that’s what it really comes down to in my opinion.

Stephen:                             00:10:09               Well, no, let’s, let’s stay on it because where does that come from for you? Go back and show me why you can. You can pick up that attitude because a lot of people that come from similar circumstances, uh, and, and devin going to explain the circumstances, they never make it that far. They never make that. They get never get over the hump. How did you.

Devon:                                 00:10:34               So basically do you guys want to hear my story? It’s pretty much rags to riches. It’s the cliché almost a cliché rags to riches story. Now I hate the term cliché because we all have, even if you guys didn’t come from rags where you came from a middle class family, um, I’ll tell you this guys. I had friends in middle school and stuff that were middle class and I’ve gone back and visited their houses now and a lot of the conversations and a lot of the stuff is very similar to people in poverty. It’s just that their financial, you know, poverty. I’m talking to poverty. Steven on my household income growing up with $750 a month, fixed income and maybe we had $100 in food stamps were living in the house. It was myself a, well, first of all, go back one year after I was born.

Devon:                                 00:11:21               I was in a foster home. Uh, my mom was mentally very mentally ill in my, my father actually left my mother when she was pregnant and I have never met my father. I’m never met him. And uh, you know, I do have peace about it now. I, you know, I forgive him. I understand that we’re all flawed people and I don’t want to hold any type of resentment. And that’s another big factor too. If you’re holding resentment, it’s very hard to build a business and it’s very hard to get out of bed, much less a business.

Stephen:                             00:11:48               You there for a second because I never said this out loud. I’m in very similar circumstances. My father left. I’ve

Devon:                                 00:11:53               never met him so I can relate and he just passed away last year. I just found out. So anyway, go ahead, keep going. Sorry about that.

Devon:                                 00:12:05               So first of all, uh, yeah, man was a, in a foster home from age one to six. Um, it was very dark heavy man, but just basically this was my life. I’d wake up, I slept on this little blue mat in the basement and I vaguely remember anything. If I can just be honest, I smoked so much marijuana throughout my years when I was in my early teenage years. I wanted to forget my entire childhood. So I smoked

Devon:                                 00:12:30               sisters or anything at that time.

Devon:                                 00:12:32               Yes. My sister, she was also in the foster home with me. Did you ever see her at all at the those years? Those first six years? Yes. We, uh, she was like my only invest friends, so she was kind of with me as my, you know, this is the typical story you could say, uh, in that place with me.

Devon:                                 00:12:50               So you actually remember this though, even up until six years and uh, and, and uh, when you think back to those years, those formative years, right? Those are so influential and building that foundation for your life. When you look at why people that were in similar circumstances to fail, um, is it because of that foundation they never were able to build on top of sand? I guess I would say. I mean, I, I liken it to that building on a house or a building on sand. They weren’t able to build up from there. Um, so that just keeps falling down and yet you were. So I’m trying to understand, you know, what that formative years for you, how did they get you through that and you get what I’m going. Does that make sense? I don’t know if I made sense.

Devon:                                 00:13:38               It does make sense. I’m trying to digest it and process it and then come up with a good answer. So let’s see, what was my hope man? What was the practical hope? And then I can get into something later about my whole personal questions. Um, so my practical hope was like, uh, I just, I don’t know, I always had this, this desire to do something meaningful in my life and with people I guess that never really came to the surface until I was a little bit older and knowledgeable about, you know, economic and socio economic differences in the world and in different cultures, but mostly just in our American society. Um, my, my vision was like, man, I want to help people and first of all I’ve got to help myself because if you’re sitting there and you’re trying to get out of the lake and you’re drowning, and unfortunately this is where people in poverty are at.

Devon:                                 00:14:27               And even if you’re not like in dire poverty in America, I’m talking $750 a month net income, you’re still, there’s like someone pulling your ankle and trying to pull you back into the water when you’re trying to get out. Now once you get out, look at it like this, oh this is good Steve. And we got some good stuff going. So they’re trying to pull your ankle and then you finally got out of the water and instead of you trying to sit in there and swim with the swim with that are going to pull you back in. You can go out and build the boat and then send that boats out and to help more people. But I had to get out first.

Devon:                                 00:14:58               That’s deep. So, so it’s, it’s like when you’re on an airplane, right? They say, put your mask on first before you help anybody else because you can’t help anyone else if you can’t breathe. Right. So that makes sense. And so that realization though is very real. I mean, I think about those things. A lot of that stuff is formed from those parents in your life. Now parents are relative. That term is relative. It doesn’t have to be your biological parents who formed that. I mean, that just doesn’t happen. That just doesn’t get into your head one play one way. How did you get that, that, those thoughts? I mean, who put that into your head? Who was the person that you were modeling because there has to be somebody.

Devon:                                 00:15:37               Man.

Devon:                                 00:15:41               Well, I guess in a practical way, man, when I got started, so let’s see. So you can go back to like faith and morals and stuff. I wasn’t raised with any kind of faith per se. I’m just kind of looked at the world around me, observed it. So maybe even the Disney channel or something. I looked at the superhero. That’s what he does. But now, now I’ll just be honest. My faith is in Jesus. I have faith in Jesus, I love Jesus. I’m all about Jesus. And it also is a redeeming principal too. So if you look at yourself as someone who was just a victim, someone who was poor, someone who is beat up and you continue to tell yourself that same story throughout your whole life, and you and I, we probably both know people do this. There, there are people that go through their entire life and they tell themselves that story. But when Jesus came into my heart, Jesus came into my mind, Jesus renewed my soul. I said, Hey, uh, those circumstances, they didn’t shape me to be a loser. They, they prepared me to be a winner. Right? And so you see them poverty.

Devon:                                 00:16:38               You took the poverty mindset as a, as a, as a plus like Gary v, Gary v, talking about that as being an immigrant, an immigrant, uh, and that some people were as a scarlet letter around their neck, that immigrant status is actually a superpower for him. And it just gives him that. So you’re saying the same thing with that poverty mindset for you, it was a thing that propelled you and they gave you fuel to get to that next level, plus your faith. I mean, I don’t want to downplay that in any way, but I’m just saying that’s a rarity because most people wear that around as a scarlet letter. Oh, I came from dirt poor. I’m always going to be dirt poor. That’s all I know

Devon:                                 00:17:17               exactly. Stephen and I, um, I’m a big advocate of just like, it sounds harsh, but I grab people by the shoulders, man. I look them in the eyes when I talk to people, when I hear the conversation is starting to go south in that direction of excuses or, and then maybe that’s not an excuse for them. Maybe it’s the legitimate thought process that they’re there. They just need to get over the need to change it. But I’ll just, I’ll grab her shoulders. I’ll, but look, you are not a victim who do not need to be poor and struggling in your kids. Do not either. Absolutely not. Get up, rise up and it’s a new day day. Start reading some books, go to go hang around Steven or hang around devin or hanging around Andy Slam or somebody that’s going to elevate you and pats you on the back and tell you you can do it and then go do it. Right.

Devon:                                 00:18:02               You’re building up. Others I just think is so powerful. I think I work at a, um, a food pantry here in town and do some volunteer work and so I get to see one of their inboarding people see all their financials and stuff and the bad choices. But sometimes, and this is just awful, you’ll see a grandmother, a mother and a daughter who’s pushing a baby and then they’re just, they can’t break that cycle. And I think about that daughter. She knows no better. It’s not her fault. I mean it’s always there, but in education, somebody to show them that there’s another way. Show show them that they have potential because in their circle as you described it, there’s always somebody pulling them down or pulling them on their ankles. Like, Oh, you can’t do that. Oh, you can’t, you know, I don’t know how to help that other than trying to live a life of an example. Right. And try to reach out. Have you been able. I mean, since this, it sounds like something you’re pretty passionate about. Um, well, I know you have a blog and we’re going to get to that. Um, have you been able to go back like to that foster home in any way or anything like that? Has that, has that crossed your mind?

Devon:                                 00:19:06               It has slightly. So this is what happened recent. This was like two years ago, um, we had a biological, one of the daughters who live there, her name was Aubrey, and she actually reached out to me and my sister on facebook and said that the, um, the lady that took care of us yesterday, divorced the first year we were there. Um, her husband was a police officer and then A. Anyways, it was just, it was just a miserable from what I remember. But she said that Laurie, what was her name? Um, she said that Lori always loved us and she had recently passed away. Now for my mind to process that, I don’t know, man, I don’t know if I where I’m at with that, but I’m also at peace with saying, Hey, you know, people are messed up and it’s just a messed up world and I’m not trying to hold up any type of grudge. And uh, I think even just having peace with that man, I mean maybe I don’t really have peace with it, but I can begin the process of mentally saying I want peace with it and moving in that direction is definitely going to benefit me in my health and my future, I believe.

Devon:                                 00:20:03               Yeah. And it sounds to me like you telling this story is going to help somebody else because I guarantee you somebody who’s going to connect, just like as we have connected already, there’ll be others that are going to connect to the store and you’re going to say, you know what? You’re right. And it’s almost like you do give them permission. Sometimes people need. It’s Tony Robbins. Some people you know, they get down on him or they love him. It’s one of the other. There’s nobody in the middle. And you know, if he released, I saw somebody posted the other day that what they got from Tony Robbins, right? They felt a vibe he gave him, almost gave them permission to be themselves and to get the best out of themselves. How could somebody look down at that? Man, that’s what that person needs. To me, that’s, that’s inspiring that they figured it out and this person helped them connect.

Devon:                                 00:20:44               Because that’s all I ever wanted to do in my life is to help people connect with their inner selves. It’s kind of one of the reasons I do the podcast. Most of the time. I can see your past, how it connects to your, where you are, and a whole bunch of times people are like, wow, I never thought about that. To me it’s so obvious. It’s like a, it’s like a glow around you that I see and if I can help you see that and then others recognize some of that themselves. Isn’t that what you’re really here to do in the world? Right. To me, you know, maybe call it a calling, whatever. But to me it’s a positive thing. So when I think of your story and you telling this story, the connections that you’re going to make two artist, phenomenal. I mean it’s just, it’s a very cool place. You should feel very cool about it.

Devon:                                 00:21:24               Yeah, it’s more. Yeah, it’s an awesome place we’ve been connecting with you, man. It’s a blessing. Connecting with Andy’s lamins. Oh, it’s definitely been a blessing. So yeah, you can take anything negative, take all that energy and try to convert it into positivity and bless other people with something that took me quite awhile to learn how to do because I didn’t even know who I was. You know what I’m saying?

Devon:                                 00:21:47               I get the Dole, the double edges don’t get sharp on easily. Those are painful things to sharpen. So let’s go further. So you’ve had a, there was some years that you don’t really remember too many in the middle. You’re probably rebelling a little bit, which is fair. I mean, I don’t think anybody would disagree with that and I think most people would understand. At what point did you realize that you were, that you were a gifted entrepreneur? Let me call it that way. Not a hustler.

Devon:                                 00:22:16               Gifted entrepreneur. Go head. Go head. Yeah, I’ll take that title man. I mean, yeah, all of us. If we’re going to win, we have to be gifted in our own sense and I’ll humbly accept that, that title. So let’s see, man, I really owned my space. It’s been very recent. I mean I’ve been good and I’ve known it,

Devon:                                 00:22:36               you know. So th I think, uh, Brian [inaudible] selling cassette tapes or cds at the, in a, in a, uh, a fruit crate at the corner where you one of those guys who hustled that way,

Devon:                                 00:22:48               man, I was the guy that uh, well I did a lot. So I’ll tell you second grade I vaguely remember this will be, this will make you laugh as an entrepreneur or anyone listening is going to be like, oh my goodness man, this was me and some kind of way. So second grade man, check this out. I’m second grade. We were super poor and for some reason a couple things happen. Uh, my mom’s, I think boyfriend, she had it. He had a friend that liquidated a candy store and I just had all these cans. He give us these bags or bulk like jelly beans and stuff. I started just selling them at school and then I bought these like plastic rings. I’m not even kidding you. There were like 20, twenty five cents, those pop rings, but they were just like plastic or whatever, and I would get them for twenty five cents and selling for like three or four for $5 at school in the second grade. And I’ve vaguely hardly remember doing that. But uh, my sister and my mom actually did remind me of that.

Devon:                                 00:23:39               That’s foundational. And so those are the places where that first little brick gets laid right? When you look at business life. And so to me, those years when you start laying those bricks and they might be small and they’re small at the time, but looking back at them now, those little things are skill sets. Your ability to converse with someone, the ability to add value to their life, right? Because you’ve got them to reach into their pocket and give you money. That’s a skill set to develop that at how old second grader is, but you’re pretty young, you know, eight, whatever it is, it’s a pretty cool place to get to. So those little things. So did you have more of those examples as you went on when you sit back and you think about little things like that that probably probably are the foundation of why you’re where you’re at today business wise.

Devon:                                 00:24:26               So let’s, let’s do see, let’s move forward. A clothing that was something that I definitely started selling in high school and like getting really hot clothing items from Seattle because I had moved over to another town and called Yakima and I was able to go over there cause I knew people and I knew like there’s little pop mom and pop shops that had like the exclusives and I would actually make some money doing it. Like a little arbitrage back then, you know, even as a sophomore and junior in high school. So I was definitely on that. And then I got the real story man, which is the amway story, man. Woe. You bought the soap, the soap. But I was the only one in the world that didn’t know about, was so mad. I was so hyped on it, man. Uh, so I’ll do a two minute run down so we can just get over it and move on and laugh and say good job to people that are winning in all of us.

Devon:                                 00:25:18               That gave it a shot. Good job to us too, man. So, uh, my only job I had, I was cashiering, so I lived still with my step currencies. I called him now it’s actually like a foster home, but they’re like my adopted parents now. I’m super close with them. They love me and uh, it was still really hard for me to actually open up to them. I didn’t talk to them the first year I lived there because I was so jaded. But anyways, we’re all good now. So I was working a job at Walmart while I was in high school. I mean, as soon as I turned 18 I had to get a job and I had to pay rent there too. So even though they loved me, they’re like, you got to pay some rent. Boy.

Devon:                                 00:25:51               Yeah, they were like, we love you, but you got to pay some rent. So I started working at Walmart and this guy came through my lions wrestling suit. He was bald, you know, look, professional, whatnot, and he gave me his business card and said, yeah, I’m starting teaching people in Internet business. And I was like, man, sign me up. You don’t even have to sell me, sign me up. So anyways, he’s like, no, no, no, no, no. We want to qualify, you know, doing the whole sales role thing. So, uh, anyways, the next day he uh, went to the community college man. I was actually going to, the guy actually did running start. Who are you go to college when you’re in high school? So I took credits when I was a junior and a senior, but I was a little bit confused. I didn’t, I should’ve gotten my aa but I didn’t.

Devon:                                 00:26:30               But anyways, I still have the community college. And uh, he came over and he was like, uh, he was like, hey man, so you get to sign these people up, you get six people. They each get five or six each making money and they’re buy out these energy drains. He’s like, try one. I was like, man, this is good. You know, he gave me a physical product, eyesight. He’s still waited. He’s still baited me. It’s like, all right, we’re going to meet again tomorrow. I was like, no, up man, I’m ready. So they have that little thing where they want to bait you and have it be so bad. Have you so eager to sign up. So I signed up man. And then I hit up every single person in the neighborhood with Amway. I never heard of Amway. I thought everyone else had never heard of it. And most people, they’re hadn’t. I signed a lot of people at man and they started shouting me, been like, Woo, what a winter. Yet my check I was getting was like a hundred and $18. Man, I’m serious.

Devon:                                 00:27:18               So a little pro tip here, you, somebody invites you to a business meeting. Clue number one, saying free drinks, free food, I’ll go, but if I see that little globe in that top corner or in the bottom right hand corner, because I went to one of those and I’m like, I recognize that because I remember I remember the story and they were like, oh no, wait, wait, wait. And I’m like, wait that globe. I think I know what that globe is. Is this an boy? Oh my God, was this, I disrupted this giant meeting because I was like, cause they wouldn’t tell you. Right. That was the thing. They wouldn’t say anything. They would just be like, oh no, it’s just a business proposition, whatever. But I recognize that globe. So run when you see the glow, unless you know. Then again, if you’re a people person who can recruit and lead others, that’s a great business model. And I’m not that guy. I’m a just a guy who likes to talk. And so that was not my business world. Um, but you, you got paid at least you’ve got a hundred and $18. You’re one of the few that actually got paid.

Devon:                                 00:28:16               Yeah man. And I understood the principles and I learned a lot. So if you guys have ever been someone listings every been in business and we all know this, it’s just like you said earlier, Stephen, it’s just a stepping stone. So that was a total stepping. I was the first

Devon:                                 00:28:30               being a salesman. Is that, did you recognize that you were a salesman with that? I mean, is that what it brought out in you?

Devon:                                 00:28:36               Yeah, well it brought out the salesman, but it wasn’t in the organic salesman that I needed to be. It was what they wanted to escape you to be still help.

Devon:                                 00:28:45               So you were that guy who like would then be like, oh no, I’m going to keep you interested. I’m going to give you enough with the rope, but not all of it. Um, in a hold on, you know, just keep dragging along. And then that’s programming. OK. So that’s the type. OK, yeah, that’s not, that’s useful for learning how to do process, but that’s not, that’s not good. Sewing a long-term.

Devon:                                 00:29:08               It was fun. It was a good run on. We got excited, man. Going to these meetings out of town, I brought like 16 people. We drove to another town an hour and a half away. And they were super excited like, oh, 16 people.

Devon:                                 00:29:21               Oh man, you’re a leader.

Devon:                                 00:29:23               Yeah man. But anyway, still wasn’t making a big check. And then, um, I learned a lot. I love the guy that signed me up and we still are acquaintances, you know, he bounces a message to me once in awhile. I told him you should really sell on Amazon, man. It’s a beautiful way to sell and make some money and we’ll see if he ever does it.

Devon:                                 00:29:39               Is he still selling energy drinks for amway and signing people up.

Devon:                                 00:29:44               So this guy’s name was Phil and uh, he, he actually helped. It’s crazy how things happen as they do. So he actually helped me get out to college. Man, I don’t know if you understand like I was living even when I was in Amway and the community college, I had just finished high school my senior year of high school. My two best friends or I buy very best, but one of my very best friends was murdered. And another close friend of mine was murdered. Man, I’m in high school.

Devon:                                 00:30:11               This isn’t the fact that this is up in Seattle area.

Devon:                                 00:30:14               Well, this was actually in Yakima, Washington, man on Seattle. A bad man. We don’t need to go into detail, but if you live towards tacoma south, it’s not the, it’s not the Yuppie area, man. It’s the bad area. Um, but anyways, amway was like a stepping stone because just going to these meetings and reading these books and being around the people and encouraged me to actually move forward in that direction as opposed to a direction that a lot of other people were going. Good.

Devon:                                 00:30:41               W let’s, let’s pause on that because I think that’s a really one of these pro tips because you are who your friends are, that whole thing, right? We all know you’re 20 percent of the five people you hang with, but when you’re in that positive environment, right? That even, you know, cause those people believe in something, right? They believe in their, cause they’re gonna advance. Those are generally positive people who see opportunity, right? They have futures, they see it now, whether they achieve it or not is another story, but that environment as opposed to what you described earlier, um, you know, maybe even some, I don’t want to say they are loser friends or whatever who don’t have those aspirations. They suck the life the other way. And so I think that that’s a powerful thing that using a tool like amway or a company like that, that that’s a good influence, a positive influence. I’ve never thought about that for a way to help people get out of that poverty mindset who deaf you might have just spurred a very big idea,

Devon:                                 00:31:38               man. We both did. And that’s what happens when you talk to you winning people like steven is just organically talking. Ideas come up and sometimes the best thing to do is just write it down and let it marinate and come back to it because you’re so busy with her schedule that I’m sure you have them all the time, man. You’re just like thinking of brilliant ideas and then it’s like, man, there’s only so many hours in a day.

Devon:                                 00:32:00               It’s what you described earlier though. It’s getting exposed to that. That’s how do you get that good education? Maybe it’s not necessarily a adult education. It’s an exciting future. It’s the possibility of a success. Whatever success is relative. I don’t want to beat it, but I just think that that’s a powerful statement. Um, and I have not thought about it until you just brought it up and it’s very, very cool. It’s very cool. Visual for me. So. All right, go ahead. I didn’t mean to cut you off.

Devon:                                 00:32:28               Yeah man. So that, uh, let’s, let’s, we can transition from Amway.

Devon:                                 00:32:33               You went to college, so how did it help you, this guy helped encourage you by seeing more being around those positive people that you have potential. Is that what he said to you?

Devon:                                 00:32:43               Well, it was not just that, but it was the fact that I needed, I needed to move to eastern Washington because it was a lot quieter and slower and it was away from everybody that I knew as well as a kind of deep with you. Is that, is that cool to be absolutely Manz with it. This is what happened. I was getting running start credits, which is running starts where you start taking college classes in high school. I did that, but I would go back to my neighborhood where basically 75 percent of the people had dropped out of high school by, by the senior area, if not before then. So only 25 percent of my class who started freshman year actually graduated seniors. So these guys in the neighborhood, it was bad man. It was a nobody. Would you just go outside and be like, hey, let’s walk outside this.

Devon:                                 00:33:25               Ever since I was a freshmen, didn’t have a vehicle or anything. Hey, who do, what do you guys want to do? Well, my parents aren’t home or my parents were on drugs or I don’t have parents. Let’s go see what the, the streets have and nobody was doing anything. Good man. So I’ll just tell you that the short of it. Um, one of my best friends, he was murdered and his brother and I became very good friends and we were kind of moderately. His name was enrique and his brother’s name is Francisco. OK. Um, so we became, we were kind of friends, but after his brother passed, um, we both were going to the community college and we got a scholarship from Bill Gates, it’s called the bill and Melinda Gates, uh, achievers scholarship to go to any school in the state and basically 90 percent of your tuition is covered. So we’re going to go to a few different colleges. And did you have a question real quick?

Devon:                                 00:34:11               No, no, I’m, I’m, I’m taking it all in because I’m thinking I envisioned this is gang type of stuff or you know, maybe not an organized gang, but this is the kind of environment and you know, it’s tough for me to relate, uh, because I just can’t imagine how difficult that must be just going outside and just everybody there just hanging. That’s your life. That’s what you know

Devon:                                 00:34:33               enough to rise up over there where you could write a book. Man, we’re going to do a video, man. I wish. The thing is, I wanted to be a vlogger back then and I remember just buying a camera and I do have a little video and you guys will see the of the of the neighborhood. I did it years ago when a poorer quality camera and I’m going to actually put it into my new blog channel that’ll be up in very professionally organized soon. Anyways, man, uh, Enrique passed it really beat me up and then Francisco and I all the way up to the point where we moved ups, cine Washington to go to school and we moved because it was so far away and I was like, man, this is a small town. It will be a chance for us to just lay down and focus and get to work on our future.

Devon:                                 00:35:16               And we both studied business. He actually is an accountant now. He’s doing very well. He works for the Waste Management Company in Tri cities, Washington. He’s very intelligent and we’re still, uh, is. That’s definitely my top two friends I have today. And the loss of his brother. Sometimes you lose something and it inspires you to really go for the future. Uh, my grandma just passed two man and um, she was another consistent voice are the only consistent person in my life, uh, from afar. A lot of times she just wrote letters because she was, you know, getting up there in age and didn’t have transportation and whatnot. So, uh, anyways, man, we moved out to this, um, we moved out to the college and it was just like, hey man, we’re starting fresh. I, this is the American dream already, just having in our own apartment, we were both very responsible.

Devon:                                 00:36:02               We had to pay our rent on time when neither of us got any money from our parents. We just worked hard, man. We did get money from bill and Melinda Gates, so don’t let me knock that. But we also applied and I had our Gpas, uh, you know, at the criteria that would have qualified for the scholarship as well as our work ethic and the essays that we wrote. And you go to this other thing where they have people interview you and they say, OK, you’re a good candidate, boom, here’s your scholarship. So he moved out and it was, it was fun, man. It was just like, but at the same time, I had been an amway and I had just done a search on the Internet for how to make money in Amway on the Internet. And it basically led me into the whole world of Internet marketing, right where you sell affiliate products and stuff like that. So I could go into that man,

Devon:                                 00:36:49               that’s where you’re going. So you’re in college, you’re studying business, having success, like you said, you have to maintain a GPA that’s not easy. So there’s obviously, you know, you’ve got that work ethic thing going for you, um, and you’re living a, you’re not getting in trouble, you’re not slipping back into those slippery slope and you get into Internet marketing. Now how many years ago was this?

Devon:                                 00:37:11               This was the year 2010 that we moved into our apartment.

Devon:                                 00:37:15               So this eight years ago, um, Internet marketing’s full steam, right? People were still goofing on Google back then, right? You can still do the Goofy, uh, websites that are just, you know, links only. Right? That kind of stuff. Is that where you got started with?

Devon:                                 00:37:30               So I think I got into the Internet marketing right when that era died. This is what I did. I’ll tell you how easy it was. It was, it was easy, but I still had the beat up mindset that wasn’t ready for a major success. I wanted it bad. Um, I still had a lot of insecurities, man, extreme insecurities internally, I’ll be honest. Uh, but I’ll tell you one of the cool thing to happen. I throw a facebook ad up. I’m not kidding you, I just, through a facebook ad it, but I put $20 in the campaign and then I did, I did a, not even a blog post. I just looked for someone else’s blog and let me comment and I just left a comment that said, hey, you know, if you’re looking for more financial information, a check this link out. And somehow I made two sales and I made a $300 commission for each sale. I’ve got a 600, $600 or $598 check in the mail. Holy moly man.

Devon:                                 00:38:23               And I may. That’s true. Passive income right there, right? That’s truly at one little link vending machine.

Devon:                                 00:38:31               It was luck though too, because I didn’t scale it. I didn’t even where my sales had come from, which is very important. As you and I both know on Amazon platform or anywhere, you need to know where your customers and your sales and your clicks are coming from. Um, I didn’t do that, but I started being a. any ways we could go, we’ll go deeper with the story if you want me. I did make some good commissions with Internet marketing.

Devon:                                 00:38:54               Vanessa, let’s take it this way instead because I want to be cautious because I want people to make sure they hear the value here. What did you learn from Internet marketing that now that you’re, that you’re just putting into place? Because I think all the things that have brought you to this place I can hear. I know you’re applying in your business. That’s why you’re having so much success. How about Internet marketing? What was the one or two takeaways that you got that that allow you to apply today into the Amazon world?

Devon:                                 00:39:21               Number one, and you guys all know this as entrepreneurs, boldly take risks, but also calculate a risk, so you need to be fearless of the risks you take and accept responsibility for them and since deep. Yeah, number two is that you need to also be fine, be OK with making the big money, so if you have a 5,000, I’ve had a $5,000 day on Internet marketing. Well, given that I also had spent a lot of money and time on different things to different autoresponders, different things, right? So you need to be OK with accepting or making the money after you’ve taken the risk. Does that make sense?

Devon:                                 00:40:00               Yeah, I think it does because one of the things that I hear all the time are people who don’t have that right mindset. The minute they get money, they lose it, right? They feel they don’t feel worthy of having it, so they basically piss it away, right? A. So you’re saying, hey, you’ve got to accept the good with the good right there. There’s results. How do you then take and build on that though? Do you? Because if you win, win, win, and then you fail, did you win enough that when the failure comes because it will come that you can push through it? Or does it could inspire or did it spiral you back in any way?

Devon:                                 00:40:37               Let’s see. So win, win, win and fail. I think if we’re honest, whenever we fail, none of us, especially if it’s a major failure and now you’re talking thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a, it’s harder to. It’s going to hit you in the gut or it’s going to hit you in the face, but you need to keep your mind on right? And focus on the bigger picture, which is total freedom and total contribution. Um, which, you know, we don’t, we can’t say total because there’s so many market variables that we can’t control, but we can say based on what I’ve done, I’ve achieved success and I’m ready to win. The other side of that is, um, I think you said when, when, when, and then we fail. Well, for me and I think most entrepreneurs is, it’s actually fail, fail, fail, fail w, and then when, right? Just realizing that neither of those is the final product of where you’re at. Even right now you and I are not at our final product, right? When we, we’ve one, we’re doing better than probably [inaudible]. How old are you? Twenty nine, 29,

Stephen:                             00:41:33               29. With this wisdom to realize that you’re not a final work of art. You are not a museum piece. You’re still being molded. Oh Dude, that’s deep telling you. That’s deep. At 29, there are us old dudes sitting out here saying, did he just say what I think? He said, I’m telling you, man, I, you know it. You’re right. But here’s what I would go to. You don’t have devin. This is real. You don’t have a foundation, you’re not supposed to be successful, dude, you’re supposed to fail. And then just accept that failure and say that’s the way it’s always going to be. Dude, you don’t have the foundation. You didn’t have that foundation built in you. You can push through it. That’s the message that people need to hear. Do you get that

Devon:                                 00:42:19               again? Thank you for the edifying of my, uh, edifying me in that way and I have to thank you and I accept that and I received that man. That’s another thing too. If you guys received compliments from someone like Steven or someone that you respect and your space, go ahead and accept that compliment. I think a lot of times we reject it and I’ve done that a lot too because it’s like, oh yeah, yeah, Kudos. And even my own family and now they finally said, man, you’re the one percent like my, my family that I wasn’t really sure. I know that they loved me, but I didn’t know that they supported me in business or friends that told me, Devin, like, you’re the one percent. And my goal is steven. If I can just be blunt and honest, I don’t want to be the one percent. I want to help other people, whether you’re a middle class or your, you know, your report or whatever your circumstances or you’ve made a lot of money than he went. Then he went and broke. It’s happened to people, right? My goal is just to say, Hey, it’s your story is not over. Don’t let this be your story being over. Please go for it.

Stephen:                             00:43:15               Good. All right, so you’re doing well and internet marketing. How do you find Amazon from Internet marketing?

Devon:                                 00:43:23               Yeah, so let’s get into it, man. Uh, I put a milestone here on, uh, just when I was reflecting some thoughts for our podcast today. Um, well anyways, man, so I finished up school in 2013, um, long story with that. But anyways, I had finished up school and anyway, my apartment lease was up for some reason I had lost. I didn’t have any money left from Internet marketing. I had hired some vas and things did not work out with those visas and my mindset. I’ll just be honest, my mindset was not ready like it is now. It wasn’t, it was there, it was, it was wanting to be ready. It was in the process of being ready, but it was not ready like it is now. So I ended up going homeless. Man, I’m not kidding you kidding. I wasn’t like physically. I mean I was, I was just going to go rent a room, which I’m fine, man.

Devon:                                 00:44:13               You’re finishing up college. You’re recalibrating your life. I get it. We’re all, we’ve all been in that chapter. So I was like, oh, let me go rent this room with some buddies, you know, it’s $340 a month or something happened to where my bank account over with drew and I had a negative $300 in my bank account and I was like, holy. And I was like, OK, uh, I just called the person and I had another. I was part of an affiliate program and I had like a seven or $800 payout coming in. It was like three or four weeks. And I told them, Hey, I’m going to have this payout. I’ll to cover and they were like, well, to be fair to you can’t move in until you pay the deposit. And that’s how life works, right? So anyways, uh, I only had one friend, man, I’m not kidding you, one friend that let me sleep on his couch and his studio apartment that he was renting and it was a, just to be honest, one of my friends that was a little bit mentally, uh, you know, challenged.

Devon:                                 00:45:00               He’s a good friend and I don’t. But anyways, that was the only friend that let me stay there. And guess what, I brought. I brought my desktop and my monitor and I got to work first. I was going to put it in a job application at sears. Um, but I had bought a course that shot showed you how to sell on Ebay and Amazon to, to get started. So here’s what I did, man. I literally, um, first of all, I listed some services on fiber, like I did a excel spreadsheets and I was able to do different things, just little stupid things to make some money. And then I put in on a job application that sears and then I, I was like, OK, this will be a sales job. It’s just temporary. There’s nothing wrong with a job guys, if it’s temporary and you know where you’re going long term, celebrate the job and go do what you gotta do. But um, I was sitting there and then I listed some items on Ebay and holy moly man, the next day I had sold like six or seven items. Note, maybe 30 or 40 bucks.

Devon:                                 00:45:50               You had stuff that you had in the back of your car because you didn’t have anywhere to go. Oh my goodness.

Devon:                                 00:45:57               Well it was actually not even that stuff, man, to be honest, it was a drop shipping, which is, I don’t think it’s a very good viable thing to do these days. But on that today,

Devon:                                 00:46:11               a good model because people wanted to get online and they didn’t know how to get to it. And you figured it out. I don’t downplay that. I know. Hey, I know guys sell selling $20,000,000, drop shipping right now, making a four percent, four percent right? But do the math, what’s four percent of 20,000,000 bucks? That’s a lot of money. So I don’t want to downplay it. That’s a lot of money. OK, so, so you had success, you saw it, you taste it. You’re like, Whoa, I remember this feeling. Is that, is that fair? Do you get. Does that, I doubt that it happens any more for you, but in that moment, were you back at that Amway success? Did it get back there in your mind? Like, I know this feeling. I’ve been here before, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve won, I’ve been here.

Devon:                                 00:46:53               Yeah. Well I think anytime we can read what you said is huge for any of us. When we’re going through our, you know, valleys I would say when things don’t look good, you got to remember the time when it did look good or at least it felt good. And if you can do that, you can come from a place of power and the activities you do. And you bet man. Well, I will be honest, Matt, the right mindset I should’ve had is what I just explained to you where it felt good, but I was kind of a little bit better because I had invested so much into my education, my time and even with people I’d invested a lot of time and energy and I was broke and I realized that I’m s I’m still a hundred percent man, that it’s, you have to take a hundred percent responsibility and there’s variables you cannot control, but for every variable that you can control, you have to take responsibility and also be at peace because guess what, not a human on this planet that hasn’t made mistakes and they’re certainly not as a person in business that doesn’t make mistakes on a regular basis.

Devon:                                 00:47:49               So you have to be at peace with that whole process. Um, anyways, man, I got selling on Amazon. I had bought a course, like literally as soon as I made $2,000, I bought a course for $8,000 on how to sell on Amazon. Guess what? I had made like $700 the next three weeks. Just take an action.

Stephen:                             00:48:05               This was not drop shipping or it was still.

Devon:                                 00:48:09               This was, it was a. I’ll just drop a name out there. I sold a soccer goal. I would make like $200 off the soccer goal. I’m not kidding. You

Stephen:                             00:48:17               shifted. So you sold, you know, Steve Show soccer goal on Amazon and then Steve Soccer goals shipped it to that person. Not, not FBA.

Devon:                                 00:48:25               Exactly. And I, I knew that wasn’t long term winning, so I, as I got into math and I didn’t even have a car at the time, man, I had sold my car to my friend Augustine. And so I was in a shared living situation, but I was bringing in the dough. Once I started doing that, definitely was bringing up.

Stephen:                             00:48:40               Well you don’t look at it as not winning. Anybody looks down their nose at you and tough for them. Um, judge not man, because you know, to me you did what you were allowed to do. You found an opportunity. Chris Green, we call that arbitrage and writes a book about it, right? You found an opportunity where somebody was willing to pay this. They couldn’t find it, so you found it and you brought it to them. The best part was, the smartest part is you never touched it. You didn’t package it, you didn’t ship it in and you didn’t have nothing to do with it. You know, I applaud you. I mean, you know, I’m sorry, I, I don’t drop ship, but I don’t look down my nose at it because they’re fulfilling a need. I know people drop ship my products. I see some of our stuff out on Ebay and we sell on Ebay and we still see some of our stuff and I’m always like, how did they get em? Like, oh, they’re drop shipping. OK, yeah. I don’t want to look down upon them. So anyway, don’t, don’t downplay that. That’s a very cool. It’s a cool thing because it sparked something in. You write it fueled your fire.

Devon:                                 00:49:36               Well, and that’s where you guys are out to and I tell everyone that wants to sell on Amazon. This just take the next step. So for most people that’s making their first sale, if they’re, they’ve been on the sidelines for however long, I still think Amazon is a great platform to sell on, even for a new person to to make a good income with. It’s going to be some work of course, but it’s still a great platform and anybody who’s really hungry, you’re going gonna win. I mean I just, I fully believe that if you’re really hungry and you discipline yourself and you’re humble enough to learn, you are going to win and it may take you a little longer than you thought, but even if it takes a little longer than we think, man, it’s certainly going to be worth it. And I moved into a juice, just do an Fba as soon as possible because drop shipping for me was not fun and I ended up buying a car and then just shutting down the whole game. When I started at fb, I never looked back.

Stephen:                             00:50:27               What was the moment

Devon:                                 00:50:28               when you look back now, when you, when you knew you had it, when you knew you hit it, especially to an Fba, what was it? Know, was it the, when you hit the 50,000 hour mark, I mean, what was it that you said? Uh, I have found my future. It is here right now. I’m in the zone. I’m in the place I’m supposed to be. It was, shoot probably the quarter, four of 2015 was when, uh, I sold a bunch of the star shower. Oh yeah, that’s the only thing I saw the man as the star shower and I had made like 23, $24,000 and I sold some other products too. But the lion’s share of my profit for the month of December alone, uh, I did 100,000 in sales. That was right at 100,000, maybe a hundred [inaudible] in December. And now my margins normally would not be that high with my business model today. But for that opportunity, during that time period, my margins were huge and from 100,000 dollars in sales, it was about $24,000 in profit and game over.

Stephen:                             00:51:37               Funny because we think about, and, and I were talking yesterday about frozen. Remember frozen him and I sold. Oh my God, we sold these cowboys and we sold everything. That was the way that, that, uh, that run was there and you know. So would you, would you take that same risk today? No one, uh, you know, that the marketplaces have changed, right? The rules have changed. Um, what’d you take that same risk today? Knowing what you know?

Devon:                                 00:52:03               Well, I absolutely would now given that the marketplaces have changed, um, based on last year’s arbitrage, I would not take that. I would wait until the market proves itself. Like last year I bought a lot of stuff on speculation and I from keep us out of stock history for quarter four and it did not work out, man. This is, did not.

Stephen:                             00:52:26               I think that’s another pro tip. OK. Cause you’re not the first person. And quite frankly, I live part of that too. So the marketplace where we’re making money on the inherent flaws in the market, right? But what we don’t put in that formula is the fact that the market will fix itself over time. People are, you know, just as you’re getting smarter and the tools are getting easier and easier. I mean, look a tactical arbitrage. It does, you know, every day Alex is announcing something, he’s added to it, right? Well, guess what, everybody else has that same access and we don’t allow that. They will help fix the market. And so therefore, uh, with, um, with you and I think of James and a couple of other people, same story, you know, it’s just the market fixed itself, even though historically it said it should be good. It wasn’t, that’s different. That’s different today than what it was.

Devon:                                 00:53:15               Yeah, man. And you can be at a total peace, total peace. Just knowing that a, it’s, it’s going to happen.

Stephen:                             00:53:25               It’s not your mistake, right? You based on the best information you had at the time, but that formula didn’t calculate that. That’s not a flaw. That’s just OK, adapt and change. Would you say that’s a skill set that you have? Is the ability to adapt?

Devon:                                 00:53:42               Yeah, that’s a huge skill set and that’s exactly what I did about 12 months ago and my business took off.

Stephen:                             00:53:48               Well, you can’t just drop that and walk away from it. Dude, you got to go a little deeper on that. Don’t give your secret sauce, but you’ve got to give us a little taste.

Devon:                                 00:53:57               Yeah man. Well, I’m here to give value to your community and show love of course. So what I did is I had to get really smart last after this last quarter forman man, I’ll just say you guys want to hear what happened. I put about um, 50 grand into inventory that I was expecting Amazon to run out of stock with and I kind of stepped away from my steady income, which is just selling high volumes of items that are, make a lower margin from an arbitrage standpoint. And I said, you know what, let me take a little more risk and Europe and buy a bunch of stuff and send it in with speculation. Well, from that 50 grand a steven, I only made about $3,000 in profit, which is crazy. Um, I had another arbitrage, my black Friday arbitrage, which I made. I spent maybe another 30,000 and I made about 16,000 from that. So I still did good. I mean, it wasn’t like it was a total loss, but that would have been a month that would have pushed me. Let me. I was literally shooting for about 75 to 95,000 profit in December and it didn’t happen. Right. I took responsibility and I came back and I said, let me get back to selling high volume, lower margin, and I did that for the last three months and guess why I have such a big [inaudible] that it totally made up for the losses in Q4 and then some.

Stephen:                             00:55:16               No, I just heard this from grant cardone basically, you know, when he comes across one of these issues and they’re like, oh, we should do this, and then he goes, no, wait, what have we done in the past? What’s the best thing that we’ve done in the past? How did that work? That’s worked the best. And then, all right, let’s go back to that model because you know, we know it, it’s proven, it works and you’re proof of that. Did a. This is an ego question and this is meant to offend you in any way. Did you think you were smarter than the system and that’s why you took that?

Devon:                                 00:55:47               Um, well, let’s see. Um, I had so 2016, which was the year before that I had only bought some of the stuff that was anticipated to be out of stock and it all hits

Stephen:                             00:56:01               for heart. I mean, that’s something that. OK, OK. So you had a taste of it but you didn’t get the full, the full meal. Right?

Devon:                                 00:56:08               I didn’t have the budget that I did for the 2017 year and plus I’m. One of the things you guys really need to do. This is a huge pro tip and it’s not huge. It’s very common sense, but we kind of overlook it as you need to stick with what’s working for you. So if you listen to other friends of yours in this space or even people that you respect or someone that’s talking and maybe they don’t make as much money as you or you don’t know their numbers and you know, what you know works and stick with what you know. So I was listening to, you know, good friends in the space who I respect and I love obviously, but uh, they were getting so hyped up about the out of stock opportunity when I was already making probably double the money they were throughout the whole year and I wasn’t trying to brag or sound better than anybody and I bought into the hype instead of buying into the data, which is not something that,

Stephen:                             00:56:54               Ooh, that’s a good one to don’t buy in to the height by the data. The old dudes again fixing themselves into chair saying, did he just say that he did. He did say that he’s 29 and he’s saying it. So maturity wise, do you feel like, you know, you’re just getting started, you’re just getting your legs under you or do you feel like you’re maturing in this business?

Devon:                                 00:57:24               Oh, definitely mature ain’t man. I feel like a baby to be asked to be honest with you a while at the same time from where I’m from and the people that, uh, I want to help and I am helping a. I feel like in some ways, man, I feel like I’m kind of the hero in the making because I know I have not arrived, but in other ways I am a student who is continually learning and there’s. There’s so much that I don’t know that I’m not going to sit here and say I’m the, I’m the master and I know everything and I’m this and that. I’m just getting started.

Stephen:                             00:57:57               What I appreciate is you’re willing to invest in yourself. You’re going to a conference tomorrow. You’re, you’re doing the right things, you’re around successful people. You want to do the right things. Let’s talk about data because I don’t want to lose this point because I think you’re a good example of it and you have this business degree. You’ve got this experience in internet marketing. You’ve got all this now built up knowledge and people can hear the enthusiasm. So you’re buying into the data. What does that mean for you? What tools are you using to help you develop data?

Devon:                                 00:58:27               Yeah man, so the number one tool that I like to use for online arbitrage and anything else for that matter, I don’t do as much retail arbitrage. Now I’m not going to knock it because it’s still a very good cash flow system. Um, I don’t personally want to disciple people to go out and scan products. It just was not working and it feel good for me to do so. I do mostly online and my favorite tool is [inaudible] seller. Unless you guys are familiar with [inaudible], one of the things you need to make sure you do is putting your weight, the weight of a product. A lot of people I see, they use it, they don’t do that. Yeah, the inbound shipping, that way you know your stuff. And what I did was I compared read seller, I always compare stuff. So you know, like this little nerdy things, right? You know what I’m talking about. So I compare that the prophet estimate on Red Stellar. It’s the same profit estimate on the actual Amazon seller, uh, their, you know, their stuff. I with [inaudible] and other apps because you want to make sure your stuff’s accurate. You’re not shooting in the dark.

Stephen:                             00:59:25               I’ve seen that. I’ve seen people post that. They’re like, wow, but it said I was going to make this profit, but like you said, they miss the inbound wait. Right. Or they, they just missed something. And I think that’s a, that’s a really important point.

Devon:                                 00:59:37               Yeah. So there’s the seller and all I do guys, whenever you find a product and you have around seller and you need a very fast computer. This is not rocket science. I tell everybody that stuff and I didn’t get it for a while guys, because think about this. Um, in college when I was doing my internet marketing deal, I only had a literally a hundred and it was like a hundred and $49 dell laptop that was slower than a dinosaur and you know, are slower than a slow coke, whatever you want to call it. And it was totally holding me up from success. I did not have the money to buy no Mac and my parents were not, didn’t have no money to buy me a Mac or even a better computer. So it was holding me back. You guys, the best thing you could do is get something fast that you feel confident in using it. It sounds maybe more of a,

Stephen:                             01:00:21               I don’t know, computers, man.

Devon:                                 01:00:23               So if you can. I have. What I did is I just had my friend build me a gaming pc and he’s a gamer man. This thing is just wizard fast. If you can get a gaming pc, doesn’t have to be something fancy like a name brand, but something that uh, you know, has got, um, an NBA me, hard-drive. If you’re going to go buy something new, get something with an n, Vmi, hard-drive, it is literally 80 times faster than a standard hard-drive and it’s going to be about eight times faster than the solid state drive. Now you, Mac people, you’re just going to get something good out of the box. But what I would recommend is you get a desktop and then buy yourself a large, specifically a widescreen monitor so that you can evaluate data quickly and efficiently, and you don’t want your computer being slow when you’ve got thousands of other things to do. So you do that. And then whenever you find a product, put the price in the red seller. That’s all I do is I’ll find a product and it says it sells for $15. It sells for 35. I put it in red seller rep, seller says, I’m making five bucks. Boom, I buy it, boom, it’s done. The decision’s done

Stephen:                             01:01:23               [inaudible], or do you buy? Do you scale as it is enough? If reb seller says it’s good and scout rank is right, are you all in? And what does all end mean for you in that scenario?

Devon:                                 01:01:35               Well, whenever I buy a new products now, so it’s a new brand or whatever, I don’t go too deep because what will happen is you get hit with Ip complaints that intellectual property.

Stephen:                             01:01:46               So you’re going to let it go. So how many is how many is not too deep? What does that mean?

Devon:                                 01:01:51               Three to five? If I’m feeling like it’s got a better rank, I might buy 10.

Stephen:                             01:01:54               OK, so three to five. And then you sell them. They sell through. They perform as promised. You wait with bated breath to see that you don’t get the IP complaint. Is that what happens?

Devon:                                 01:02:05               Yeah, well I’ll send them in and especially if you, you know, if you buy a few different products for the same brand and you send them and you see that things work out or then you know, then you know, you’ve got something to Niko work with, right?

Stephen:                             01:02:17               Wash, rinse, repeat. And then is it all opened the flood gates and I’m all in on that product for the volume that the, uh, the system say that they suggest he could sell.

Devon:                                 01:02:28               Exactly. And there’s always variables. It gets saturated or gets. There might be an ip complaint later which has happened, but I’m a risk taker. So I take them risks, man. And then, uh, I’d say I just don’t, like at first I was thinking about Ebay and I think we are going to use the Ebay now, but I have never liked Ebay as much. Um, so I know people that make a fortune on Ebay. So if you’re, if you’re sitting there saying you love E-bay, don’t listen to me. Listen to what works for you is what I’m telling you. Just donate stuff and just move on to life. And overall, even with all the stuff we lose on, it’s turning out pretty good.

Stephen:                             01:03:03               Well, everybody else is picking up on this to. You knew your numbers. You knew what was profitable but wasn’t even though you made three grand on [inaudible], while that’s terrible, you didn’t lose three grant and you knew it. And so to me, the fact that you know your numbers is one of your big competitive advantages. The fact that you’re willing to do the research here and a tie out systems, you’re going to check them. You’re not going to just rely and say, well, read seller said it was right. Well read sellers, formula’s wrong. Good luck. You’re in trouble, right? They’re not going to, no one’s going to come back and make it right for you. So you’ve got to take responsibility. And I guess that that comes back to this taking responsibility. You’re taking it all the way through, aren’t you?

Devon:                                 01:03:43               I’m all the way through my private label product got taken off and I was making a, you know, not too much money on it right now is making maybe a thousand a month from a, you know, a low tier, a private label product and for some reason I got a safety complaint and that things down and I need to get dressed, man. But I lost. I’m, you know, losing money big time right now. And uh, it’s, you know, it’s inconvenient, right? But am I going to sit here and cry about it? No, I’m going to figure out what I need to do next.

Stephen:                             01:04:11               You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to talk to smart people who’ve been here right there at the event. You’re going to, you’re going to see a whole bunch of smart people and you can talk these things through and say, hey, how about networking? How hard is it for you mean because you’re pretty charismatic, but I can tell there’s a little bit of shyness about [inaudible]. I can see you’re both. You definitely are both. How about networking for you? What’s it done for you in this business?

Devon:                                 01:04:35               Well, first of all, man, we can attack both of those things, so I’m bold and then I’ve got. I’m both man. Like he’s definitely, I’ve seen it. I can see

Stephen:                             01:04:45               I’ve read people very well, but I can feel that. I mean, you’re out there, but you’re shy. You’re, you’re. I think there’s a trust issue. I think you’re reserved. Let me use that phrase. I’ll use that phrase. It’s like you’re reserving. You want to make sure that they’re real before you give your emotions over. How visionary is that?

Devon:                                 01:05:04               Yeah, you’re pretty good, man. You can be OK. I got myself a new counselor.

Stephen:                             01:05:09               No, no, no, no, no. You know what? It’s probably same for me. I’m the same guy, you know, I mean, I’m definitely the same guy, but, but let’s talk networking because you’ve, you’ve invested with some other people into other people you’re sowing into them. Um, are people sewing into you?

Devon:                                 01:05:29               This is a blessing for me to be here and at the same time. So it’s, it’s a blessing. That’s what networking should be. Uh, as an organic. It took me a long time, guys. I’m not even kidding you because of the amway kind of the hard sales pitch and you know, you gotta be with us or against us. That type of thing I don’t think is healthy at all in today’s society or today’s culture or the marketplace. You need to just be very much yourself. I mean, you do need to, you know, you’re not gonna be able to do business with everybody and have them in your inner circle. There’s just not enough hours in a day. Um, but as far as being shy man, like I’ll project myself big like this, but when we meet in person, yeah, I want to get to know you and then we’ll see where things go.

Devon:                                 01:06:08               Um, but even just being around people that are very successful in our space, you know, Andy Slam yourself, Chris Green, any of these guys, uh, it’s encouraging to say, hey, these are regular guys that you could have a beer with or you could have a lunch or a coffee with and you could just ask them questions guys, because it’s the little details and the belief, um, that helped you make it as well as some of the bigger, bigger visionary things. Um, like the prosper conference man was just either got downloaded with, you know, 100,000,000 dollar business plan thing. Where do you get that from? Other than actually showing up and taking notes and shaking hands. It’s from that.

Stephen:                             01:06:45               Jim Thompson knows what he’s doing. That dude is smart man. He really is. So last thing I want to ask you is, you know, you’ve described getting over that hump that December of, uh, two years ago, I guess it was with the star shower. So you figured it out, all right. And then you wavered, right? So that, that’s fair. You changed your model and it didn’t work as well. So you went back to it and you’ve recovered in your back on path, um, and again now you’re private label, you’re struggling a little bit, but, but you’re not giving up hope. You’re figuring it out and you’re going to continue through. So I’m looking for something like that to help people move forward because it was one of the things that happens is a devin. If one of the things that happens is people just end up in the corner and my wife hates it. I can’t say it was what they ended up doing, but they, they just, you know, they just stop, right? They get stuck in the mud. They don’t get, they don’t push through that. What could you give to people knowledge wise to help them push past that point of stuck?

Devon:                                 01:07:50               Well, this could be our, the, uh, the highlight of our whole conversation, man. Really? And that is, this guy’s, um, first of all, if you know that you’re an entrepreneur and you know it, like you know that this stuff is fun. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur. You don’t need to be me. You don’t need to be, you know, Steven, you know who you’re going to be, right? You know that you want to help your family work from or it could be on something on a grander scale that you actually want to help people outside of yourself. Now, that’s a big tip guys, because a lot of stuff we deal with is we’re looking inside of ourself at our failures instead of looking out to the opportunity and the ability to help. So if you’ve failed, guys just know that Steven and I will both raise our hands and say, hey, we failed immensely to or, or even minor league or whatever.

Devon:                                 01:08:40               Just know that that’s part of the process. So what I. What I would do guys is just like Steven said, is first of all, if you have had success, let’s say you sold a product and it made you a profit, which I guarantee you everybody listening to this has or will be able to sell at least one product and make a profit. Look at all the other stuff that didn’t work guys, and try your best to not to let it sit in your stomach as a financial or an emotional feeling, but instead just look at it as, you know, your freshman year, sophomore year preparing for your senior class, preparing for your, for your bigger win. Right? And when you look at that way, guys, laugh it off. Laugh off the $5,000 that I lost on one product, right? That I lost on one product. Laugh it off, guys laugh, but I say, you know what?

Devon:                                 01:09:26               Thankfully there’s enough opportunity in the marketplace and I have someone yelling at me that it’s possible that that $5,000 is nothing but a but a two week long in the future. It’s nothing but a month loss in the near future and you can make it back up in a month or maybe it’ll take you two months or maybe it will take you three months, but as long as you know that you’re going to make it up and you can look back at what you said about grant Cardone, what worked in the past, and just get back to that basic system guys that you’re not trying to impress anybody. You’re not trying to, you know, this is for your family, know what you’re doing it for two. Is it for your family? Is it to be home with your children? Is it to be free from the job that you feel like you’re being oppressed?

Devon:                                 01:10:04               That once you get that, guys, you can laugh off all your losses, even if you’re in total debt right now, which who, that doesn’t sound fun for any of us, right? But it’s just a theory guys. I’m telling you this new numerical stuff of debt and in wealth, um, the day I would just laugh. It’s a theory, right? It’s a theory and it’s a temporary stepping stone into prosperity, wealth and success, and once you look at that is you just stepped on that stepping stone. Now it’s crushed guys. Once you mentally crush it and you say, boom, it’s crushed and it’s done. Whereas the next step I’m taking to success and it might just be a thousand dollar profit month for you. It might just be a $1,200 profit month for you, but that same next stepping stone that’s a $1,200 profit month for you will be the exact same.

Devon:                                 01:10:48               A stepping stone that takes you to a $12,000 month and it might be a year down the road. It might be six months down the road. It might be a year and a half down the road, but even so guys, if it’s a year and a half down the road, if that $12,000 month, like I’m telling you, [inaudible], these are the months I have, right? They might be [inaudible]. It might be a [inaudible], it might be [inaudible], but I’ll tell you, when I first had a $9,000 month guys, after having minor success in major failures and then minor success, that $9,000 month guys got me throw ecstatic about the possibilities of the future that it made. Everything else kind of easier to laugh off. But I’m telling you, if you can laugh it off now, you can say, oh, can you believe I bought those? Man, can you believe that? A trademark thing, I paid $1,200 and I only needed to pay a hundred and 50 or $300 to have it done. It’s OK man. Now I can tell my friends in the future what not to do. I got wider.

Stephen:                             01:11:43               You’re sitting there saying this and I’m envisioning where you’re talking about, you know, this is, I can make this back in one month. You got to look. It’s a lonely life, right? So you’re saying, hey, you know, you made a mistake, it’s going to set you back a month or whatever, but you know, you got 12 more right after it. And then guess what? There’s 10 years of 12 more months and 10 more years after that. And I think when you look at it in the biggest picture possible, it’s a speck in time to your time,

Devon:                                 01:12:08               29 years old, for God’s sake. You’re not supposed to give advice like that.

Stephen:                             01:12:11               This, I love it, love it, love it, love it. Uh, brandon, that’s for you, Brandon. Gompers loves when I say I love it. Love it. Love it. All right, so, um, you have ways to get in touch with if somebody wants to follow up, if they connect with this message, which you’re going to have a whole bunch of people that do connect with this message because you are a shining star right now, devon. Um, and people need to hear it. So best way to get in touch with you.

Devon:                                 01:12:36               I would say, Devin, it’s going to be updated and a really nice. I’m going to have my website guy do that. It’s in the process. It’s actually just a static site, but, um, it will be up and it’ll be nice and you could get in touch with either

Stephen:                             01:12:51               m, a, h, d dot Com. And I’ll have links to all that, but I just want for Listener Devon, d e v o n m a h d, OK.

Devon:                                 01:13:01               Yeah. And then you could also add me on facebook if you just do personal, but I don’t know if I shouldn’t be saying this, but I don’t care to go ahead and add me. It’s Devin. It’s facebook.com, forward Slash d e v o n m a h v I go ahead and add me and message me and I’ll get back to you when I can on super busy just like Steven or any entrepreneur in the game. But, uh, I definitely love to shout people out in the south, steven out and shout the Amazon community out and shout you out to just like Steven and help you out any way I can. So feel free to connect with.

Stephen:                             01:13:33               I’m pumped. I, you know, it’s funny. Uh, there’s nobody here to hear this. I can’t go and tell somebody how excited I am used to drive my wife crazy. But I, I’m very excited when you can talk to people like this. This is what you want to do. These are the kinds of people you want in your life, helping you be successful because you have it right. You’ve heard Devin story. It’s not perfect. Life’s not perfect, and yet you can push through it. So dude, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Oh Man, I’m so pumped. I wish you nothing but success.

Devon:                                 01:14:03               Hey Man. Thank you. A brother, Steven. Thank you. I definitely appreciate you having me out and it’s time to drink some water and go to work off and I’m so excited right now and I did drink a little bit of a caffeinated beverage so it’s time to go work out and then I get to work you guys. So that’s a good tip too. Even if it’s just a walk in the park or a 15 minute walk outside with your headphones, that is super good to get you feeling good in the morning or even the day that works for you. Take care.

Stephen:                             01:14:31               What a great guy. I’m telling you, how could you not get pumped after that? I mean, it really is exciting. Is Exciting. Real couple big takeaways, you know? Um, don’t let your story be over, right? You know his message about that bed by at the end and letting that define you, you know, you can, you can regret that forever. Or You could just say, yeah, that was a bad one, man, I made it up next month. I’m, or I’m going to make it up over the next 12 months where I’m going to make it up over the next 10 years. It doesn’t matter. You have the opportunity to make it up. So once you know that, when you have that perspective, that’s it, right? It is perspective. And I think that was really, really powerful. The other thing, I loved what he said, um, hence the title. Don’t buy into the hype.

Stephen:                             01:15:11               Play into the data. I think that’s so smart. Don’t buy into the hype. Don’t think you’re smarter than the systems, don’t the data is what really should be driving your decision because guess what, your competitors are using it. So you need to adapt to it and change your business model. OK? That’s it. Change Your Business Model. But the good news is you can still do this. You could still have the freedom that you want, the life that you’re designing, and I think Devin is a great example of it, man, jazz, jazz, jazz, he commerce momentum.com, e-commerce, momentum [inaudible]. Take care.

Cool voice guy:                  01:15:42               Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found@ecommercemomentum.com. Under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.

 

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