Gabe is very clear that he values his time. He guards it carefully. Shouldn’t we all after all? When do you turn it off? What is time with your kids worth? (hint..you will never get it back) Gabe wants to help walk you through the Amazon selling models starting at RA and getting to PL as fast as you can.
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 Wanted to take a second and recognize my sponsors this week, Gaye Lisby’s million dollar arbitrage as edge and list group. That’s a mouthful. It is. But guess what? It’s a great opportunity. You can build a big Amazon business. You don’t need a lot of capital when you start. I mean we all started, you know, um, most of it started selling books and then you move into retail arbitrage that is the place that you can turn your money the fastest and online arbitrage. And so by having that skill set, by learning those skill sets, you can get the best bang for your buck. And so gaze group will help you learn online arbitrage. It’s, it’s more than just a list service. They’re going to give you a whole bunch of actionable inventory every single day, Monday through Friday. However, there’s also a mentorship that goes on and that mentorship is so important because sometimes it’s great to know what to buy, but it’s more important to understand why to buy it.
Stephen: 01:03 But yeah, that’s that. You know, learning the fish are just getting fit. You really want to learn because ultimately you want to strike it on your own and this is a great way to do it. So how about seven days free trial. Free trial, right? Very, very cool. So it’s amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash is the mouthful. The word momentum. You’ve got to use a hyphen and you put in the word arbitrage. So it’s amazing. Freedom.com, forward slash momentum dash arbitrage, and you’re going to get a free trial in gaze group. You got to tell her I sent you, right. I’ll also have the link in the episode, but it’s such a great opportunity. So she has amazing, amazing. I’m in that group so you’ll see me there and amazing, amazing person who’s there to answer your questions, who’s there to help lead you and help guide you.
Stephen: 01:50 And that’s what gay does. She does it every single day. The testimonials are real. Go take a look. You will be blown away. And again, it’s a free trial. I have the link on this episode to reach in. You know sellerlabs, Jeff Cohen and the team. They have blown me away with this scope project. We use this all the time for our business. We do a lot of private label. We also do a lot of wholesale and wholesale bundles, you know, or multi-packs, that kind of thing, which a lot of people do, but we use a scope to help us figure out what are the key words and so it’s really simple. You basically figure out where you’re going to sell, what you’re going to sell, what category, find that light product, find the top couple of sellers and find their keywords. Boom magic. There you go.
Stephen: 02:35 You copy the best because it’s working. And guess what? That’s a proof of concept and scope allows you to do that. So it’s seller labs.com, forward slash scope, seller labs.com, forward slash scope. Use the code word momentum and you’re going to get a couple of days free trial and you’re going to save a little bit of money and you’re going to get some free keywords. It’s worth every penny. I’m in that group. Come and check me out. So we’re labs.com, forward slash scope. Again, use the word momentum solutions for e-commerce. Karen Lunker, great, great, great group. I’ve been using them for a long time and I guess it’s over two years and I’m in there and I pay just like everybody else. Yeah, she’s a sponsor my show, but she makes me pay and I got the same $50 discount that you can get. Oh by the way, you’re going to get that through my link and my link.
Stephen: 03:25 Only one. And you’re also going to get the free inventory health analysis. Great Way to start 2018, get your inventory in line and Karen will help you do that. We use them for everything. I mean the basically, uh, you know, long term storage fees coming up. Guess what, show evaluate. She’ll make some recommendations and I’ll say, yeah, check, check, check, check these out, this return, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. And magically it’s done. I love it, love it, love it. I love the fact that they take and get rid of stranded inventory for me. I see it in there. And then next time I go in and it’s gone. Love it. Love it, love it, got an ip infringement. She’s going to help you work your way through that. This is the kind of service that you get from Karen Locker. That’s solutions for the number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum, right, so you got to forward slash momentum and you’re going to save $50 a month, 600 bucks a year by just clicking that link. She pays me. I don’t want to hide that. I never do. I’m always upfront about that, but it doesn’t cost you anything additional and you’re going to get that inventory health report. The only way you get that is through mind link the solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum.
Cool voice guy: 04:39 Welcome to the commerce momentum podcast where we’ll focus on the people, the products, and the process of commerce selling today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: 04:53 Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 200 and eighty six. Gabe Strom, I met Gabe a couple years ago at e-comm Chicago and was blown away. It was him and his wife and I remember Andy Simons and I were sitting there chatting with him and he’s like, oh yeah, you got to talk to this guy, and he just, I was in thrawled in the conversation. I mean, just, he kept me running the edge of my seat. Smart Guy knows a lot about a lot of things and was just, just, you could see that he was one of those outliers. Well, kind of cool that I get to talk with them and find out a little bit of a story how he gets there and you know, you’re going to hear this continual learning, continued learning, investing in yourself, investing, um, maybe not being such a classroom guy, rather a reader, you know, readers are leaders.
Stephen: 05:36 That whole thing mentioned some very good books. One, I’m going to go and read myself. I think I’m going to get it today because I love to learn more, but he is really into this time freedom business. Um, you know, he wants time freedom and so taking that approach and building a new business model right from day one, right? Taking that approach from day one I think is such a smart thing to do and we talk about that. Let’s get into the podcast. All right. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest because he’s in the hot seat as opposed to being the interviewer. He’s the interview. He gave a strong welcome game.
Gabe: 06:15 Steve, glad to be here, man. I appreciate you having me on. I appreciate it.
Stephen: 06:19 You coming on and you are very busy giving interviews, doing interviews for your groups. You’ve got a whole bunch of groups. You’ve got a whole bunch of plans. You’ve been. You’ve been in this for awhile doing this and so to get perspective from the person who does the interviewing, he’s always helpful. I think it is because you’ve probably picked up some amazing thing from some amazing people there.
Gabe: 06:41 A very fair. Yes. I think it’s a lot of people don’t realize when you get to run a podcast like you do, you get to interview super smart people and oftentimes you get to hear things that a lot of people don’t. So a lot of word travels upstream to you and you, you know, that as the benefit. But uh, yeah man, glad to be here. I got into the industry, uh, the e-commerce industry about three years ago, have been in the online, make money online home business industry for about 10, 12 years old. Not that old. I’m 30, I’m 35. I got, I got an I first got into the, the make money online industry in college. So this is kinda been a labor of love for the past decade or so.
Stephen: 07:19 You are barely old enough. Um, but you know, I think that’s a competitive advantage. The fact that you, um, are, you were like lea leaped into that marketplace. I mean, you, you didn’t have to get drug into it like I did because I came from old media newspapers specifically. So I didn’t have that advantage. You, you get nothing but you had a computer for as long as you can remember. Is that fair?
Gabe: 07:45 No, I remember when computers. I’ll see. I’m like the generation between x and millennial. I’m like right at the top of, of that generation. So I remember we remember when we first got a computer that was the green screen, I had like a little, uh, I don’t remember if it was an IBM, this must’ve been, I don’t know when this was, um, this would be early, early nineties probably. But, uh, yeah, when we got to windows and then it was color, remember how cool it was when computers for color,
Stephen: 08:12 they put computers in my school in the eighties, early eighties, just barely a year. I graduated. They actually installed computers in our school and so it was early eighties and so to have that was like, and I remember going in the back because I had a pretty easy math and I went back there and learn how to program a payroll program for whatever reason, you know, I was in accounting program and I just, it was interesting to me and it was like, oh, this is easy, you know, and you pick it up really easy, right? Because it was math was my thing and so I remembered that, but let me tell you, it was so hard because it was dos-based and all that kind of jazz. My sons who are younger than you, apparently those guys know nothing. Um, they know nothing but, um, um, that, uh, computer world, I mean they literally anything so, so that perspective really takes them places that I can’t get to because I still have to learn while they’re like starting from that place. So it’s a big advantage. So, so where are you going to be? What were you studying in college?
Gabe: 09:15 Oh man, we’re going way back. You want to do this interview? I was interesting. Gets perspective. I always like, how are you going to where you are
Stephen: 09:23 because of what you’ve done and what you’ve learned along the way. And I think it’s helpful.
Gabe: 09:27 Yeah. Um, well it certainly is a journey. I started why I started marketing in college that I’m not a lead me. I kind of was one of those c’s get degrees kind of students. And I caught the entrepreneurial bug. Really. Um, I had a friend, I remember this, uh, I’ve told this story before, but I remember I was sophomore year of college, so I must’ve done whatever that is, 18, 19. And I remember this guy came to our house that we were renting with a couple of buddies and he was looking around and so he came downstairs with the agent and I’m like, hey man, you know, are you looking to live here next semester? And he’s like, uh, no, I’m interested in buying it. And it just stopped me in my tracks and I was like, you know, here’s this. He was like, had been my same age, 18, 19 year old kid and he wanted to buy the house that I was renting for, you know, we, we’d pay whatever it was back then, 300 and eighty bucks a room or something, which turns out it was a pretty good model for the landlord at the time.
Gabe: 10:15 But long story short, I’m, he’s like, yeah, you should read this book, Rich Dad, poor dad, which I’m sure most of your listeners have heard of. And uh, so I read that book at a young age and caught the bug immediately read, um, you know, sort started studying wealth creation at a very young age. So that was kind of my self proclaimed major, so I didn’t, I didn’t do too good in school, but I started my library and if you see the behind me now, I’ve got several bookshelves that college education has continued and I’m a big believer in learning and lifelong learning. And that’s why, especially you guys listening to your podcast, you guys understand the value of that. But, uh, that’s where it started from and I got into home business and tried pretty much everything. I’m sure your listeners can relate, like literally everything.
Gabe: 10:57 Um, I remember reading one of the next great books I read was the E-myth by Michael Gerber. I don’t know if your listeners have read that one. That’s a great. I also consider that a staple in the library, but basically learned that 95 percent of all small businesses startup, whether this is e-commerce, Amazon, home business, network marketing, whatever, 95 percent of businesses failed. And that books about, um, how people fail, but systems succeed and it’s basically about how to build a systems based business. Those kind of introduced me, Michael Gerber is the author of that book. You kind of introduced me to this world and at that mindset, Steven, uh, my early thought was off 10 businesses fail. I gotta be willing to go start like 20 different businesses. And uh, so that was the early these
Stephen: 11:43 businesses knowing that most of them are never going to work out, but you need one or two to hit it so you can have success. Is that what saying
Gabe: 11:53 that that was the belief. And I do not recommend this belief for other people starting today. There’s much better ways to start a business. Still a big thought.
Stephen: 12:02 I mean, you know, to get that place in your head to push past up because most people would say, oh, you know, sorry, game in 95 percent chance I’m gonna fail. I’m not taking those odds. Right? And that’s why most people don’t start, right? They don’t start because it’s something I’m going to fail before they start. You went at it a different approach. You’re saying, Hey, I’m going to have to start, you know, 20 of them to get one or two to click telling you. That’s big thinking right there. Most people couldn’t see that.
Gabe: 12:30 Yeah, it’s, it’s easier. Thank you. It’s easier when you’re young. You don’t have a family or responsibilities or really anything at risk. You’re never going to die, right? You’re going to die. So if you’re listening and you’ve got two kids at home and you’ve got a stable job, I would not recommend quitting your job to start selling on Amazon. I would, I would highly recommend cashflow is king, right? So keep the whatever cash flow you’ve got. And I learned that later in life. Um, you know, that was one of the early beliefs. You know, I think he, uh, Saki is guilty of this. He makes it sound like, you know, a job just over broke, like it’s bad to have a job and you’re never going to get rich if you have a job. And uh, you know, I struggled for many years with that belief.
Gabe: 13:05 And then, uh, you know, had been humbled and actually went back to work as an entrepreneur can tell that story later, like seven or eight years later, and it has made all the impact. So anyways, I, I’ve kind of changed my beliefs, but that’s, that’s one way to approach business. And um, you know, I can fast forward now to all the different businesses we’ve tried from. I mean, Gosh, from a vending machine business that I lead and partner to, you know, buying money, no real estate or real estate, no money down, wholesaling real estate fix and flips. Um, you know, um, all different kinds of online business. Partly what’s that I did in the early days. Yeah, it was investing in information products. I’m back in the early two thousands before I even had heard of the direct response industry or you know, any of this stuff.
Gabe: 13:52 But. So I kind of had a long journey getting to e-commerce and then, um, ended up actually finding Amazon and, you know, I, I tried selling on Ebay and all the things that a lot of people had done, but I was running a podcast, uh, actually three and a half years ago interviewing just like you do, interviewing, uh, essentially underground entrepreneurs who had created a full-time incomes working from home. So it’s kind of a home business show. It’s no longer on, on itunes, so you cannot find it if you’re listening. Those, those episodes are archived. But, uh, ended up interviewing the guy who later became my partner and I saw a post on facebook from a friend of mine. This was in late 2014 to put this in perspective, early, early 2015. And uh, he was crushing it, selling on Amazon Fba. And I had heard about Amazon Fba back then.
Gabe: 14:38 And this is, you know, you had been in the industry for years before that. Uh, I didn’t understand how it works. Um, and so that was kind of my introduction to the industry is I saw and he had sold back then he was doing only retail arbitrage. This was back, uh, the times have changed quite a bit in the last three years. Um, but it, he had sold like right around three quarters of a million in sales and had netted him around 220,000 in profit. And again, this was two years ago, Ray, um, and he was doing it. The one thing he was doing that was very unique and I will, um, this was, uh, a good time saving tip I learned from him, uh, is he had all of his prep automated from the beginning. And I think a lot of sellers struggle. I know there’s several challenges.
Gabe: 15:20 We know what seller struggled with. You struggle with finding quality product is like the first big problem sellers have. And then the second thing is the garage starts filling up with product. You’re prepping it yourself, you’ve got tape everywhere. It’s bleeding, you know, it’s coming out into the office, your wife’s upset or husband or whatever. And so then you want to get a prep center and you go through that whole kind of upgrade. This is like pre, you know, I know you guys have a warehouse and things now, but what he was doing was, um, really I thought was revolutionary is he just had all the products sent to a local prep team and what gets sent to their garage and these, this wasn’t like a prep house, it wasn’t a fancy thing with some friends of his that he knew from church that wanted to make some extra money on the side. And I had had those items preps there. And so he had a system fairly automated. He would just focus on the sourcing. And again, this was back a couple of years ago. The models have changed and my view on retail arbitrage has changed since then. But that was my indoctrination into this crazy world of Amazon selling.
Stephen: 16:15 So did you file A. I’m assuming we’re talking about Zack, did you follow his model and go to the outsource everything right from day one or did you know better
Gabe: 16:27 that I follow his model of outsource everything? Yeah, that’s one thing I learned from Zack. I, uh, when we first started working together, we started, uh, he had started a facebook group and then we built upon that a private community on facebook where he was sharing some of these things and we continue to share in there. So that really became my focus is growing the community and I’m very much a connector. That’s actually my top strength finders. Strength is connected. I’m a futurist, so I see trends developing a, so it kind of helps give me perspective. And so I really took the approach in this industry of using my gifts, finding experts for our community and uh, he was our original expert and since then we’ve grown. We have other experts in different things. We have an online arbitrage expert. We’re moving into private label and different things like that.
Gabe: 17:12 But, um, I, I avoided to answer your question another way. I avoided the Ra. Uh, my wife and I live in a condo and so do an Ra bringing stuff home. Just never fit from the beginning. So I’ve always looked for ways and there clearly is a way to automate the online arbitrage and then now the real opportunity that I see in a lot of your listeners have probably already picked up on this is the real opportunity of private label and the future of where I think our industry is heading. But uh, yeah, I got to avoid that. The Fun raw stuff in the house for the most part. They’re worse. There was some in the early days though.
Stephen: 17:46 Yeah. That does take a toll on your relationship. You know, that stuff growing. You know, I, I can’t tell you how many times they used to buy, filled the garage and then I, you know, get it out. She could pull her car back in and then we’ll go back then I was buying stores. I literally by those stores, stores whole inventory and your garage again. And uh, getting a warehouse was the lifesaver there. That was the marriage saver at that point because it was getting a little tough. And I recommend that if, you know, in today’s Day and age though, um, Ra is considered dangerous. And so, you know, walk me through what you’re seeing out there in the real world, in your part of the world.
Gabe: 18:27 Yeah. Um, why don’t want to camp out on the road too much because I do think the times have changed and we, you know, if you’re a new seller, um, we talked about this briefly pre show, but if you’re a brand new seller, it’s the industry. I do think there’s value in doing ra to learn the system of Amazon. But if I was starting today I would immediately after doing Ra for like a couple weeks or a month and just seeing the process, once you’ve gone through that learning curve, I would immediately move into online arbitrage because you can scale it. Um, I would use a prep center, either a private one that you have set up, like the system we shared or using a prep house. If you can get in one somewhere, I would do that next. Especially for people that don’t have a lot of time. And that seems to be. So there’s a couple of big problems with Ora and I’ll just say, here’s the thing.
Stephen: 19:09 I mean, if you’re going to build a process, you might as well build a process that is scalable, that’s going to be dependent on you, right? I mean, that’s really what it comes down to. Ra and I, I think of David and Ivy Hawkins, they’ll do millions of dollars this year in Ra, but they are process people and they’ve got some help, but generally it’s not scalable. It’s very limiting, right? Eventually you get tired of it. So if you’re going to build a process is basically what you’re saying is, hey, build that process online. Um, because ultimately that’s going to give you, as you say, it’s scalable. It can buy. You could do it in any hour of the day. You can work around your schedule. So yeah, I agree with that. Go ahead. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cut you off, but I think that that’s important distinction. You’re not saying that all right, you can’t do, but if you’re going to invest the time, it’s great to learn it because you need to the pain of it and understand how to get things through, but then jump past that right away. And build that process our allies, Zach, right from day one and don’t get caught up in. Yeah, I think it makes sense
Gabe: 20:10 if you’re, if you want to think about this, I think a lot of sellers, and this is why I think a lot of sellers struggle is um, I think we’re all busy and especially if you’re, if you’ve been building an e-commerce business, you understand the challenges of hiring a team and time is scarce and if you’re just getting started and you’re still working a full time job or doing something else, time is scarce. So Oh, allows you the flexibility online arbitrage to scale that. So we’ve kind of moved a lot of our focus to the systems to support sellers that are in that kind of intermediate stage. And then I’ve been a big believer in my eyes have really been opened up a recently more recently, like in the past several months to a year of the value in graduating beyond r a o a and using that as a launch platform. But getting to a point where you’re comfortable creating brands and doing private label on Amazon. And that’s where I think the real big money is in this industry, like real, like, you know, a lot of people are listening are like, maybe this is the golden nugget here, you know, 95 percent of Amazon sellers won’t make it in five years. That’s just the reality. And I think it’s going to get harder and harder.
Stephen: 21:12 Pause, pause. Because that’s a big statement. Ninety five percent of Amazon sellers will not make it. And what’d you say? Five years?
Gabe: 21:21 I believe so in five years. Yeah,
Stephen: 21:23 five years. And I mean if you went back five years, would those sellers only five percent of those sellers or is this because of all the functional changes that have been made?
Gabe: 21:33 No, I don’t think it was like this in the past. And I mean I’m seeing a huge technology increases at a, at a growing rate. So our industry, you know, 10 years ago, um, it was way different than even five years ago. And then the past three, I mean, I’m just talking from the last three years of our industry and I realized that’s a blanket statement. It’s changed so much. And, um, I just think a lot of, there’s a lot of, um, there’s a lot of people that aren’t willing to do the work and aren’t willing to adjust and be flexible and those that are unflexible tend to get run over by the waves and the entrepreneurs that are flexible and adaptive. You can be flexible and kind of roll with the changes. So
Stephen: 22:10 sample of somebody that somebody needs to be adapting and changing right today. Is it, is it getting out of, ah, going to our away immediately? I mean, is that an easy one to point out?
Gabe: 22:22 See, it’s tough to get. Um, I wouldn’t give that advice for everybody. I, there’s tons of value. I have friends that run a million dollar IRA businesses still today and they have systems. And so I can’t, when I say that I, I laughed meter
Stephen: 22:35 meter you have to have, if you’re going to do an Ria business, you have to be able to tolerate some risk, quite a bit of risk, right? Because there is no chain of command. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of things that you could be running into, but those people who have that risk tolerance, it’s probably a great opportunity for them. I mean, think about the friends that are really doing well with Ra. They probably have a pretty high risk tolerance, right? Um, and they’re, they know that they can’t use shoes from a Ross. I’m trying to think of a good example without taking a screen or a taking a picture of the UPC and the thing because they don’t match or something like that. That’s a risk tolerant thing because that’s an extra, that’s a big extra step kind of the process then you’re talking about. That is tough for a lot of people. Most people won’t do it and then they get suspended because they have an inauthentic or something like that that I think that’s real.
Gabe: 23:27 Yeah. Well there’s a lot that’s changing. So we could, we could, we could talk about what’s shifting brand restrictions for example. So why do I say this? Well, we can talk about why does that. So the 95 five rule, that’s a bold statement. I see that in all industries though. Why will the five percent succeed while my buddy, why will grant done who’s a good friend of ours, who runs our, um, our online arbitrage lead lists and a lot of our programs and mentoring. Why, why is he succeeding in a lot of sellers aren’t? Well, he’s been selling on Amazon for four years. His accounts vetted. He’s already, um, ungating in tons of categories. Uh, Amazon’s auto engaging him in different brand restrictions and a lot of other sellers have. So if you’re a veteran seller and you’ve got a season healthy account, you know, I think a lot of people think all these, you know, all Amazon scholars is going around, our industry are terrified of um, you know, being banned from Amazon.
Gabe: 24:16 And this is, this is going on with account suspension. This has been going on for a couple years. I don’t think Amazon is like, it’s kind of unfair that it happens to a who, I believe we who build the network, uh, the resellers of the world. But, uh, I believe Amazon’s just going through a printing process and they want, they want high quality sellers to sell on their platform. This is my personal belief, obviously Amazon secretive with why they do this stuff, but uh, so there’s certainly as opportunities if I was now I’ll say this for someone who’s listening, Steve, if someone’s, if I were starting over again today from scratch with, um, with the experience that I have and let’s say a limited capital budget, like just starting over again from scratch, I would learn, use raw to learn the system. I would jump into, oh, a immediately to begin scaling that.
Gabe: 25:02 And then very shortly after that, several months, probably within three to six months, I would make the jump into private label and begin building a brand. And that’s just from what I know now about the wholesale. Yeah, I would skip it. Why? Why do. I mean, that’s just, again, my belief. I know wholesale is a great business model. There’s a lot of people that do very well with it. I’m just kind of a minimalist when it comes to business. I like businesses that gives me time freedom, uh, at the core of it. And I think a lot of sellers, uh, there’s a lot of sellers, a lot of business models out there that you get started and you think, wow, I’m going to make all this money and then all of a sudden you wake up one day and you’re like, wow, I’ve just built myself a new job, you know, and I always want to avoid that.
Stephen: 25:41 I mean, I think it’s a fair statement and I think what you’re saying is, is true in some cases, especially, let’s use your brand restriction, right? Most brands will still allow another seller, um, or one or two or sometimes 500 and that’s a problem, but they definitely need another seller too because they want to make sure that their brand doesn’t get shut down. So if their account gets suspended, which does happen, people don’t think that. But that does happen to other sellers that happened to own a brand. Their account gets shut down. And so, um, they would like to have, you know, to keep the brain going so they don’t run out of stock, but they are getting harder and harder to get as because lots of people are asking for that. Right? Is a lot of sellers come in. Um, so I, I, I tend to think you’re right.
Stephen: 26:24 I mean, you know, I’m a wholesale guy, um, and there’s a million wholesale opportunities. However, what you’re describing is you want to create that brand so you don’t have to deal with 3000 wholesale accounts and then all those skews and then all that ordering and all that inventory management is a burden. I mean, so I don’t think that’s an unfair statement. So you’re saying, Hey, learn everything, get, get your feet wet, have some success, take that capital now, build out your own. Because ultimately you don’t have to worry about a brand restriction when you own the brand. Right?
Gabe: 26:58 Well exactly. And I mean, and I’m sharing this, you know, as a long-term play, that’s just the trend and opportunity. I see. I think the, the benefit, and again, there’s no, I mean there’s, there’s a ton of ways to make money and we’ve talked about like, you know, one percent maybe today on the, on the interview of ways to make money on Amazon or with ecommerce or to build a business. Um, but so I just, that’s just the opportunity I see. I think there’s a lot of, um, there’s a lot of pl sellers, um, that are kind of this next generation that are, that you can build a brand. There’s a lot of companies, if you understand how capital works that need to acquire cashflow from smaller companies and I think there’s a huge opportunity to build and sale and uh, you know, make good money doing that by building a system for that.
Gabe: 27:41 So again, that’s just through my lens of what’s the, you know, again, I’m a minimalist when it comes to this. So how can you build a business that requires, you know, once you have the system set up and build that requires very little of your efforts to continue going. And so that’s kind of our new project for this year. We’ve opened a, just opened a new private label mastermind for one reason because we wanted to learn and go down this journey ourselves because I’m a new private label sellers. This is kind of a new chapter for us for that very reason. My wife and I would like to retire. My wife works in corporate America. She’s an attorney and that we’d have a goal of having her be able to come home some day and I see private label being the best way and this is just from my humble opinion of, you know, seeing all everything that’s out there for people that want to build a business working from home. But I still think it’s the best way for a seller and entrepreneur to leverage a platform like Amazon and build a brand that can retire you from your full time income. And I’ve just seen it happen with so many people. So I think that’s the writing on the wall. And again, we met this interview maybe kind of polarizing for some people where they’re like, oh my gosh, you know, you’re saying raise debt or you know,
Stephen: 28:48 this is the long game.
Gabe: 28:50 Yeah.
Stephen: 28:51 And you’re not talking about building one product, private label, you’ve used the term brand a couple of times and that’s important, right? So if you’re going to sell water Glam, look at my water glass. If you’re in the water glass business, you’re going to have them in multiple sizes, at multiple colors and then maybe you’ll even have bowls or whatever. You know, I mean, so you’re talking about building out a brand. Now when you build out that brand is your end game, is there an end game in mind? You know, is it something that you can sell? Is it something that you can just, you know, become the water glass king of the world? I mean, what would that be for you?
Gabe: 29:24 Yeah, good question. Um, well we’ve, so we’ve given a lot of thought to this and uh, we want to build the private label specific or setting up this new business with the end game to sell. So we’re packaging a whether we will sell. I also have, I have a goal specific goal for this business to get to 20,000 a month in nuts, reoccurring consistent revenue from private label. So that’s the intention of the business behind the private label, but I want to build it in a way and since we’re doing it from scratch a just have too many friends who have built and sold companies that are like, if you’re going to do it, just build it from the beginning as if you’re going to sell it and it’ll keep everything clean and neat. And uh, so I’m just taking that advice as we start.
Gabe: 30:04 Good advice. So walk me through what that means as opposed to just willy nilly letting it happen. What’s the difference? Is it processed documentation? Is it making sure that you’re paying sales tax in every state? Is it, is it, uh, making sure the legal, you know, trademarks are right, the images or, you know, a copyrighted, I mean, it probably all those things, but I mean, just, I’m leading you there a little bit, but what was the advice you got? Systems. So I’ll share the resource. Um, well, I mean a couple of things. It’s the structure of the business. So I’ve been consulting with, um, on my tax strategist about the best way to an attorney. So that does help a little bit of a transportation logistics. It’s a little bit different than this type of work, but uh, yeah, just setting up the entity from the beginning, setting up the brand new will be setting up a new Amazon account for this particular brand.
Gabe: 30:52 That way it’s easy to, to peel off. But there was a book that was recommended and I know there’s difference, uh, thoughts on that too, but a book that was recommended to me by several gentlemen and a high level mastermind that I’m a part of. Um, one of the guys built an inc 5,000 company, so one of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies. I heard it from him and another guy that runs several people, the other guy in my group runs a software company and he has like, I don’t know how many subscribers he has. It’s like high five figures, monthly subscribers on his real estate software, but they are all telling me about this book called traction and it’s written by a guy, I think the guy’s name is Frank Curtin. And uh, I think of this as the e-myth. Two point. Oh, and he talks about in that book on basically it’s how to build your company, how to automate your company so it runs without you.
Gabe: 31:41 And he talks about a process in that book called Ios, um, which is the entrepreneurial operating system and this is one of the things we’re going through now. Essentially, the short version is you comb through your entire business and there’s different pillars that he points out in your business and you build systems and processes for everything. So you document everything. It’s, it’s a big fat, beefy, you know, a manual and noticing manual. It’s an operating manual and a lot of employees, a lot of times don’t like doing those because sometimes they think their job might be at stake if they, you know, document everything they do and there’s like holes or whatever. But, uh, he, they gave me this, they told me to read this book and this is what they had both done and several other people in my mastermind to scale. So I’m thinking through the new business, uh, in the terms of systems.
Gabe: 32:29 And so rather than saying, you know, I think a lot of sellers, Amazon sellers say, how do I, how do I find the right private label product to start? How do I pick the right product is a, I’m thinking I’m not, how do I pick the right product, but how do I build a system that cranks out products so we have more products than we have time. So I’m, I’m, uh, this new business, I’m kind of taking all this, um, all the little nuggets I’ve picked up over the years and are applying it to, um, really just build a system. And that’s the, that’s the vision behind the new alpha group, the Alpha private label group that we started. And also what we’re doing in our business as well is to systematize the thing from the beginning. So that’s a little peek. I guess we can, we can have an interview in six months or a year from now and I can tell you if we succeeded or failed
Stephen: 33:12 to just you getting into Robert Kiyosaki’s rich Dad, poor dad, you’re describing basically some of his model, right? You know, create that passive income, right? And all these things paying. So you’ve taken that and now you’re applying this to traction and all these other things that you’ve learned to me that, that continued learning and application is while you’re going to be successful. And I think that’s so powerful because every person I talked to that’s had, that’s have had some level of success, they keep talking about process that, I mean, it’s almost all process and that you have to document your project process. I think of Trent Tiers. Uh, you and I talked about it a little before the, his thing, his process and he sells a course on process, you know, tied in with the wholesale formula guys. But his basic method is all this stuff that I sell in my course we were using in house. So it was very simple for me to put that course out because that’s what we did. And that’s why he was in that position to be able to kick off a course because he had already done that. And you’ve been using it. And that’s the lesson game. And you’re talking about the exact same thing. So I love what you’re saying is you’re going to be able to kick out products because your process does nothing but create products. Right? I mean, that’s a process.
Gabe: 34:23 That’s the process
Stephen: 34:25 valuate. I mean it’s, it’s very powerful.
Gabe: 34:28 It’s powerful. It’s the, it’s also very boring. Yeah. There’s nothing sexy about it. There’s nothing sexy about it. Yeah, there was nothing fun about it. It’s, it’s a, you know, I’m a big picture person. I’m a visionary. I’m a conductor. You know, I would rather sit it and connect with you and do a podcast interview then then go through my systems for uploading, you know, anything to youtube or to Amazon or whatever. But, uh, but that’s, that’s what I’ve seen. And if you look at, you know, look at, um, look farther ahead of the game, look at entrepreneurs that are building 100,000,000 dollar companies, seven figure, eight figure nine figure company is look at a guy like, um, you know, how does Tony Robbins run like nine different organizations or companies or whatever he’s got while he’s built systems inside of each one to run without him.
Gabe: 35:14 And I think it’s important as entrepreneurs to stretch our thinking and to think big. Even if you’re, you know, right now your packaging, our products and you’re doing research for po and you’re running tactical arbitrage and doing everything on your own trying to like figure out this e-commerce thing, which I know we all go through that journey. Um, think ahead about how can you systematize what you’re doing. What’s one thing that you’re doing now? I’m a big, big believer in living inside your strengths. And so like for example, you know, I hate, I always have hated prep work. Like as soon as I learned about that in this industry, I’m like, oh, that’s the thing. That’s bad. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to touch boxes, and so there’s ways to systematize that higher up. Um, get your stuff sent to a profit center.
Gabe: 35:55 For example, I know you’ve a, your business has evolved. You guys have a warehouse now and I know you guys have systems and processes for, for inventory, but you’re a big believer in thinking to replace yourself from the beginning and set your business up wherever you are today, whatever, you know, whatever is going on in your business, but start building those systems now, even if you, even if you don’t want to sell, OK? Because a lot of people, you know, don’t they want to build the business there in goal is I just want to be home with my family. I want to provide a nice life for my family so I can pay for my kid’s education and college and do all this stuff. Um, that’s great. But if your business is set up for a system, then that’ll free you up to go and do the things you want to do. Like take trips with your family or do whatever if you’re not tied to the business. So it’s a big um, it’s easier said than done, but that’s cool.
Stephen: 36:43 Let’s give some real practical advice. So let’s go back to that guy that’s prepping his own stuff. He’s out there scanning at the end caps at target. He’s bringing this stuff home, a guy or lady and he’s scraping the stickers off. He’s packaging them up, putting stickers on them, sending them in. Right. Is that the place you start to document your process even though you’re saying, Hey, get out of that process. Can you get out of it without documenting it or is the smart move? Just document it all started from the beginning document in your process and then even even in, because I’m looking for the prep center, but I might be able to reduce some steps right now once I see that I’m doing all these extra, oh wait, I probably don’t need to do this or this or this and that will even get easier. I mean, is that the place to start?
Gabe: 37:24 Yeah, that’s a great. That’s a great example. So W, what I would do to start as I would take, because it’s, if it sounds overwhelming to systematize your whole business ones, take one thing. Let’s say you’re in my shoes, you know, prepping, prepping is a non income producing activities. So I like to, a good place to start is just to make, take out a blank piece of paper and just make a list of everything you’re doing on a week. If you’re spending five, 10 hours a week sourcing, let’s say you’re on a couple lists. Let’s say you’re researching some products, you’re doing, uh, whatever, you know, 10 to 15 hours of prep work and that’s, that’s your work week. And I would say what’s making me money and what’s not, and I would circle everything that produces revenue. And then all the things that don’t, for example, um, prep work, you know, it needs to get done in order to make money.
Gabe: 38:06 You’ve got to have a saying in our group out the door in 24. So you want to. It’s not, it’s not about buying. You don’t make money when you buy, you make money when you buy, you realize that when you sell, you got to get it into Amazon. And I would just start with that prep process and say, step one, this is what I do. Step two, this is what I do. Step three, and if you want to get fancy you can, you know, create screenshots and things and then immediately, um, probably the easiest way to replace that as either a to get your stuff sent to a good prep center. And I’m sure you have a lot of resources for your listeners on some that you would recommend. There’s a ton out there, um, or b is kind of do the home based model where I would find someone local that I could pay hourly.
Gabe: 38:45 This is probably, um, you know, 10, 12 bucks an hour to start kind of a thing and uh, someone that wants a flexible job and they have potentially room in like a garage or something like that. And I would have the products right to them and say, hey, you can you just handle these? Maybe like one day a week. Can you prep on one or two days a week as we grow and I would start there and that’s because you’ve documented here’s the process, how right. I mean, that’s the beauty of what you described. Again, we’re back to this trend derangement example. When he gave it to somebody, he had already had the process documented so therefore it’s simple to teach somebody how to do it and I think that that’s a perfect example where somebody, so when you’re stuck and nobody’s listening to us and Oh my God, this is overwhelming, right?
Gabe: 39:28 Steven? Gabe, what you’re talking about an overwhelming, but no, we’re talking about starting from the beginning and then getting that document, get that process documented and then as you say, handed off to somebody and the training is very simple because you’ve already created it and then OK, next segment and you wash, rinse and repeat, wash, rinse, and repeat all the way through. Is this the kind of stuff? I mean? Yeah. I’m going to let you pitch your course. I’m not your course, your group, because you got a group, a paid group, um, when, when are these, the kinds of things that, because I know new sellers are intimidated asking these questions, I mean it’s intimidating because they’re afraid they’re going to get attacked and you know, and, and judged because, you know, everybody who’s in that group knew it from birth or something like they were given the divine rights to know that stuff.
Gabe: 40:14 I mean, of course not everybody had to start somewhere. Is this the kind of stuff though that people can ask safely in your group A. I love that. No dumb questions. Only dumb questions are questions you don’t ask because that’s, we, we learn by asking questions. So yeah, I’m, I’m very proud of our community. Uh, we’ve been building it for the last three years. It’s a paid group. We’ve, uh, we’ve met in the real world, which is probably my favorite part about our group. We’ve had two different summit’s over the last couple of years where we’ve got everybody together for a three day conference. We’ve had some great networking, so we’ve got an amazing group of sellers. And I’ve noticed, um, people in our group care about each other and they want to see each other when, and we’ve really fostered this community of helping each other because, um, for example, I run the group, so if I help a seller is, if I can help solve with be more successful, they’ll buy more of our products and services.
Gabe: 41:02 So it’s a win-win situation. So we’ve built the top secret Amazon group, it’s a very beginner friendly environments and uh, we also have some other resources. What kind of wants to graduate from the beginning stages into the intermediate one game. We have some masterminds and things around that. And then recently we’ve opened up the third phase to our business, which I believe is the future, which is the private label mastermind that I mentioned earlier. So, um, you mentioned the pitch to the group. So this is my unofficial official. I’m going to let you pitch it because I know a little bit about. So basically it’s
Stephen: 41:34 50 but $49 a month and you’re a member now in that membership. There’s some free stuff and there’s definitely free stuff to help you with Ra. Again, your concept is learn the raw real quick, spend very little time in it, but get it so you understand what a Sku is, you understand the difference. He learned all the little nuances that you need to go through that pain, but then once you’re past that point, then you have options to take you from that point forward in a place where you’re still allowed to, hey, do I have to put this label on this box or what do I have to do to do a bundle? All those safe questions are still safe and they’re in your basic group, but then as you want to scale up, you have different levels that people can add on and I think that that’s pretty smart because some people don’t want to go all the way right there looking at private label saying, you know, gave. That’s awesome for you. I’m not interested in that and for now I’m going to stay right in this world, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And so your, your group allows that, is that correct?
Gabe: 42:25 Yeah, we, um, I think the one thing that makes, um, because there’s a lot of Amazon groups out there, like, let’s be honest, there’s,
Stephen: 42:31 and I tell people all the time, you got to find the group that you fit with. That’s the hard part, you know, is I don’t like crazy. You want to fit with people that you can connect with and you know, that you want to feel part of something. And so I’m always like, I don’t know what’s the best one? Everybody who asks me what’s the best one? You know, the secrets. No, because you’re different than me. And so therefore what’s best for me probably wouldn’t be best for you. And that’s fair, you know?
Gabe: 42:55 Yeah, yeah, there’s a, yeah, there’s a lot out there. Um, now there’s, there’s a movement though. I think what, what, uh, what we do that’s a little bit unique is I take um, a little bit more of a, there’s a concept that was introduced to a couple of years ago called life and error. And uh, it’s basically a lot of people think they want to become millionaires in the world. And the reality is, I don’t think any of us want a million dollars in hundred dollar bills sitting in the corner of our house. You want what the money can buy you. You want the freedom, you want the freedom to do what you want when you go out with who you want. And so I’ve taken that approach. This is a group that I’ve been participating with for a couple years to Amazon and was, we’ve always focused on strategies and methods that helped the seller that doesn’t have a ton of time and once a time freedom business.
Gabe: 43:40 And that’s part of the reasons we’ve got a bunch of resources. When someone joins the group, they get access to our membership site and they get several courses. We kind of give away the farm as far as basic training for Amazon sellers. So we have a complete course called scan everything that my good friend grant done a built for the group, which is basically an raw beginner course. And then recently, um, again, as things have changed and evolved, we have, um, been working on behind the scenes and online arbitrage lists, which is just now coming out. We’re going to open it up, we’ve been Beta testing it with some of our mastermind members for the past year or so, but it’s called o h header and we’ve opened up a free facebook group. I’m a waiting list for this particular, um, service. And I’m very excited about this because I believe that’s a, this is one of the ways that sellers can begin to start creating leveraged by just getting exposure to more products.
Gabe: 44:30 And we talked about the beginning, Steve, about, you know, one of the big challenges with brand restrictions, uh, in the industry. And this goes for anybody who’s doing any kind of arbitrage. And we believe that the solution, uh, this is like, this is an example of like something that’s changed in our industry. A lot of sellers are pissed off about it and they’re like, man, this doesn’t work anymore and you know, whatever. And the solution to this is you’ve got to get exposed to more products. If, if this is your business model, so that’s why we, we initially built, um, Ooh, header a, the Cheddar as we refer to it internally as a solution for our own problems of wanting to get exposure for more product and for our mastermind members as well because we saw this happening inside the groups and now we’re going to be opening that up publicly. So I’m excited about that for a, you know, as far as time time freedom goes. And um, that’s the base of it.
Stephen: 45:18 I love that. Developing a time for. I already got my title for this episode of Time Freedom Business Selling on Amazon. I’m OK, so best place. So the group is a group, but if they’re interested in finding out more about it, what’s the best way to get to it?
Gabe: 45:34 Yeah. So best way to apply for the group is to go to cellar secrets dot Com and there is uh, an interview on that page where I interview a seven-figure seller from our group, one of the experts in our group. And then you can apply for the group. And our community manager, Cindy once accepted, will welcome you into the group. We’ve got kind of a process, a unique process onboarding process for all new members of our group. We treat our group a little different than a lot of people. Um, we, we call our members when they join, we like, we actually want to talk to them and we want to find out, um, you know, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and we want to help them. And that’s kind of the core of, of what we do. So that’s a unique thing. Uh, maybe in the future that won’t always happen. But as of today, we’ve called every single member. We’d like to just, I mean, we’d like to actually talk to you. What a weird concept, right? Man. Well, back then were back in the stone age. I love it though, man. Cindy’s an amazing woman. She’s been our community manager for several years now and she’s got a heart of gold. I suppose somebody
Stephen: 46:34 fit, they’re not going to make it in the group because that’s really important, right? You don’t want to bring in someone that, you know, one one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Right. I mean, so there is, there is some vetting that goes on.
Gabe: 46:45 Yeah. Well, yeah, we’ve, we’ve, uh, currently asked several people to leave the group over the years, um, five customers. We’ve, you know what, it’s funny you bring that up. A lot of people are afraid to do that. I think firing, when you have a customer that needs to be fired, it’s one of the most liberating things you can do and that also protects, you know, if you’re in the audience building business that protects, it protects your group sex for people you know. And also, yeah, it makes, I’ve heard that because I’ve interviewed a lot of times I’ll just jump on facebook and connect with some of our members and I always ask like, what’s, you know, we’ve had members that have joined our group that had been members for multiple years, like three years. I’d have a gal that just joined our mastermind, has been in our group since 2014, so about right about the same time that we opened it three years ago and I’m like, why do you know, what do we do that’s different?
Gabe: 47:31 She’s like, I can’t explain it again. It’s like the people here are just different and I’m in a lot of, you know, our industry, you guys, you guys know there’s a lot of facebook groups out there and there’s a lot of riff raff and all kinds of stuff going on, but when you have a, an offensive community that cares about each other, I think that’s the, uh, you know, the fertilizer that helps people grow and gives them permission to ask questions to grow because that’s how we grow. And I know there’s a lot of folks that are probably afraid to, you know, ask questions and certain groups. But, uh, anyway, that’s just kind of how we set it up.
Stephen: 48:01 OK, that’s fair. And I qualify this. Steve doesn’t benefit in any way from games group other than if you go in and you have success, I get to celebrate in your success and to me that’s awesome and that’s all I’m asking for is to see people have success and I always tell people you’ve got to find the right place to fit in and you know, it’s Kinda like a it in church world church shopping to call it, right? If people go in to try to find the congregation that works with them that see me and if you’ve got kids you want to see other people with kids, you know, that kind of thing. And I tell people that I think it’s very smart to find a group that you fit with and then go all in and then take advantage. Execution is really the key.
Stephen: 48:38 And um, so I really appreciate that. All right. Gay. So you are working on private label. I can’t wait to hear this process because I think you’re exactly right. I think building it from day one as opposed to try and going back and build it. I told you I moved warehouses. The thing I’ve learned, I am never going to build a warehouse like I used to have. It was disorganized, it was chaos and it wears on you. So now handy was there. Today he’s looking, he’s like, man, you put a lot of. He said, I looked like the post office because everything’s labeled and all the little boxes and I’m like, you know what though, I mean, when you need to spend, you know, you do it every day that we ship every day and when you can find everything at your fingertips, it’s seconds. You know what I mean? You’ve taken away the pain point of, you know, that frustration is gone and you know, we’re building a process for somebody to do what I want to ship long-term. No, but if I build that process, we’re back to that description. So I think it’s a genius move. Um, all right. So if somebody has more questions, they want to reach out to you. Best Way to get in touch with you. Is it seller secrets [inaudible] or is there another way?
Gabe: 49:37 It had the seller secrets.com. M W, I won’t share my email on the interweb since this interview is going to go out to your whole audience, but feel free to reach out to me on facebook. I’m pretty easy to find your facebook contact. Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s usually the best way of people that reach out from time to time. So happy to help,
Stephen: 49:54 dude. That’s awesome. I’m very excited. Uh, I definitely will have you back afterwards to see how it went. Um, the good and the bad. I mean, and to me, you know, that’s where the growth happens, right? Is uh, you know, thinking back to your starting those 20 businesses, the ones that didn’t succeed, my bet taught you a lot of stuff. Probably a lot of stuff not to do again, but that’s, that’s a big piece of it. So I think it’s very cool and I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Gabe: 50:18 Yeah, thanks Steve. I appreciate being on
Stephen: 50:22 great guy, smart guy. And I just love his approach. I love the sound, his group, you know, I love that, you know, everybody can come in yet. We do vet and we do, um, make sure that we maintain that family atmosphere. I think that’s really important. There’s gotta be a respect. Everybody’s gotta be part of it. Not Everybody knows everything. Matter of fact, none of us knew anything at one point. Right. And it’s, you get away from that. So then when somebody does ask, Hey, do I have to put tape on this box? Some people get aggravated or you could sit back and say, remember when you used to worry and you used to wonder, did I have to put tape on that box? So, you know, I think that that’s important. So it sounds like they’ve got a great group. It’s our secret [inaudible]. Again, I don’t benefit in any other way other than seeing you have success. And to me that’s enough. That’s what I’d love to see. And so I’m very excited about that. E-Commerce momentum.com. E-Commerce momentum.com. Hey, don’t forget our sponsors. You got to help them out. I mean, they’ve been helping me out and it’s just been such a great, ah, I’ve been so fortunate to have such great sponsors for so long and they really make this a worthwhile when they allow me to do what I do. E commerce, momentum, Dukkha, take care.
Cool voice guy: 51:27 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at commerce momentum dug under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes. OK.