305 : Moe Aldhamen – Use your own automobile university to help grow your ecommerce business

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It has been a long time since I first heard of the automobile university. You see when you travel extensively you have an opportunity to listen to leaders who can change your life. It’s like listening to the “Best of the Best” PHD level professors speaking to you one on one for hours on end. Use your dashboard time wisely Moe tells us. Great advice, great old-school hack to gain an advantage.

Mentioned

Jim Rohn

Moe’s Facebook contact

Sponsors

Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List

Solutions4ecommerce

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                     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 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 when the green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parse that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yes, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good 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:                             00:46                     I’m 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. Um, you’ll be with her for a long time. And so it’s amazing freedom.com. She’s part of Andy Slam. It’s group amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum. And you’re going to get in the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets you anywhere. But what I like about in the uh, 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, with toys r US coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.

Stephen:                             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 we 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, the number for ecommerce solutions, four ecommerce.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. I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up?

Stephen:                             02:09                     I didn’t put any listings up. They got a. They got a 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. It’s why I recommend them. So solutions four ecommerce solutions, the number four 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?

Stephen:                             02:57                     Well, here’s why and what they can do. 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, Yup, refund. I mean delete a return to us, blah blah blah, whatever it is and it’s or 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 research ourselves. 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 Karen offers. CanNot recommend her enough solutions. Four ecommerce.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:                             03:45                     I’m so excited how many people have been joining her because I see it and I’m excited because 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 up is scale a lambs and scope and we’ll set it wrong. It’s, 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 similar to this product and that’s what that product does well. Well therefore, if that product as 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.

Stephen:                             04:28                     That’s what you want to. You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean, 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. Sellerlabs.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the service. 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. The light’s 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 we’re 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 is going to go pretty far.

Stephen:                             05:18                     And so what do I do? I go to try Godaddy.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 three years. I usually by 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 and address I’m thinking and it’ll say nope, nope, could try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is.

Stephen:                             05:58                     Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know, and so try Godaddy.com, forward slash momentum save 30 percent. Also want to mention about grasshopper. Who was that? Just talking to somebody the other day and they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they missed that. So save 30 percent. It’s 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 signed loan 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. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to. You now have a sales department. You’d 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:                  07:13                     Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of income selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             07:26                     Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode three. Oh, five Mo Alderman, um, I like the conversation that we have because when I asked them for was to help us get to a, the startup of your business and get you to that level and he’s had a pretty significant level. He tells us sales, um, and it’s in the seven figure sales level. I’m now since this, uh, this is the first time I’m going to have them on them and I haven’t back in the second conversation is going to be about taking it from this level up with a consulting companies part of ace and that’s where I met him. And so that part is going to be a separate conversation. But in this conversation he gives some really solid advice. So if you’re starting out in any way in this business or have, are struggling to move forward because I’ve seen a bunch of people struggling to um, listen to this and pay attention to where I think I even bring it up where, look not everything you’re doing is wrong, right?

Stephen:                             08:25                     But go find some good advice from some stronger sellers that are willing to give it to you that you trust. And respect and then take their advice and fine tune your business. Don’t start over, don’t go back and throw everything away because a whole bunch of what you’re doing is correct. And Mo is really, really a great example of somebody who did that and talks about it. I’m pretty heavily in this conversation, so let’s get into the podcast. Can breast up that story. All right. We’ll come to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s guest. Um, as, as I look out there in this universe, I’m seeing a very common common thing going on is that people are connecting with other people. They get this networking thing and they’re taking it to really good levels and it’s really allowing them to really grow their business. And I think this is a great example of somebody who’s figured that out. Mo aldermen, how do they do on the last name? Not too bad. Not too bad. All right. I’ve tried. I’m sorry. Correct me then. Tell me, tell me how to say it. It’s al dominant. I’ll dominant. Oh, okay. All Mom. But it’s Mo and I like Mo. And so that’s a nice, easy name to say. Um, is thAt fair? My statement, what I just said?

Moe:                                     09:39                     Absolutely. Um, I think I grew my business alone from networking, just networking. I’m sorry, just networking, almost like the beginning of my journey. It was just learning from other people and talking to other people and going from, you know, the level that I was at to the next level, what I call the next level basically growing. And um, I think that network and helped a lot and I still network almost every time I get a chance. and it still happens to me a lot.

Stephen:                             10:21                     Isn’t it counter intuitive though, because you would think, you know, I mean, they’re, your competitors mount. I mean these are people that sell that. They’re going to see yoUr stuff, they’re going to know your store name, they’re going to be able to take your wholesale accounts, your, you know what I mean. It’s counterintuitive that giving or helping others and then asking for help really will help you grow your business in this world. And I don’t know that that’s like that in every world world.

Moe:                                     10:48                     Um, I think it’s very sad when people think that way and I know that a lot of people think that way. I don’t, I don’t mind sharing any knowledge that I have and I, I, I’m very fortunate that I met a lot of people that don’t mind sharing the same thing, but every now and then you will, you will meet somebody and it’s funny that the first year in my business, I’m around q four, I was at a store doing ra and you know, it was my first year so I saw this person and it looks like he, you know, it looks like he is, he know what he’s doing. So I asked him, is there any tips would you give me, it’s my first year. And he looked at me and he’s like, you’re my competitor. I can’t help it. I was like, okay. So I looked at his cart and saw what he was buying and I went to every store in Michigan. That’s where I live and everything that he bought. So I think you are really my competitor right now

Stephen:                             11:55                     in that scenario. If he would have said, hey, I would have given you advice, I mean let’s just play this out. Would you have done that? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think that

Moe:                                     12:05                     Motivated me to go and, you know, work harder. I kind of know what I was doing but not a lot, but it, it kind of, you know, I got a little bit upset about what he said, but I didn’t say anything to him. I just, you know, moved on.

Stephen:                             12:22                     It is his right to be fair. I mean, and I, I get that there were some people that, and here’s where I go in my head. I’m like, man, they must have come from some, some environment where you know, you get ahead. The only way to get ahead is at somebody else’s expense. And to be honest with you, in my life, in my corporate career, I saw a lot of that and quite to be really candid, I probably took advantage of that. Sometimes I was the guy getting ahead at somebody else’s expense, but at some point I learned that that’s not soul cleansing. That’s an awful way to be and I don’t want to be that person anymore. And then boom, magically when you just change, um, it’s, it’s like a whole nother world and it just feels like a better person. And I know that sounds pollyannish and people are going to be like, you’re in business for one reason, steve, to make profit. Okay, you’re in that business. I’m not, that’s different than me and, and I respect that you’re there. Uh, so again, I kind of respect it. I understand where they’re coming from, but I just think that maybe they came from some environment where that was almost encouraged, you know,

Moe:                                     13:26                     I agree. I think in this business, a lot of people are not that way, that helps everybody else. I mean, it helps us to network and feel free about sharing

Stephen:                             13:41                     and um, yeah, no, I think you’re right. And I think even the ones that are the opposite or are that way, I’ve seen some of them soften because, you know, they were treated with kindness to and, and, and then they realize, hey, because they have, you know, the thing I always say to people is, you know, uh, I was just at a conference and we were, there were 150 people, amazing conference, all 150 to a different business. Even though we all sell on ecommerce, we all have a different business. Nobody in that room has the exact same model. Nobody because your model likely won’t work for me. I would adapt it my way and tweak it my way and vice versa, you know? Yes. All right. So let’s talk about this. So you are a, uh, you’ve really scaled your business up, but how do you get into ecommerce from your world?

Moe:                                     14:32                     I think I got the econ farmers by accident. Maybe. I went to school, I stUdied economics at Michigan state and after graduating I really, It’s like, it’s like a lot of people. I had no idea what I really want to do that I thought workIng at a bank and I thought that would be the dream to work at a bank and um, but I did it. I’m really glad that I didn’t get accepted. Well, let’s stop there a second. Did you have friends that have the same degree? because my bed is. The banking was probably your parents pushing you that way. Do you have friends that, um, that did go that route that you’re still in touch with and what is their perspective where they are? I have a friend, uh, it’s not the same degree, but he ended up, um, working at a camp at a company, a big company, and he’s a salesperson and he has a job.

Moe:                                     15:30                     Every time I speak to him, he just hates his job already. Yes. It, he hasn’t been working for that long. So. So think about this mo and I don’t know if you have kids yet, but imagine what you just said. So for a couple of years in, he already hates his job and he’s got to do that now for the next 45 years or something like that. Right. Can you imagine? I, I can’t, I don’t want to live that way. Are you? Are you unemployable now? I mean, I’m thinking about you. Yeah. Because that story makes, I hope a whole bunch of people are listening to this that say the same thing, that, that story resonates with most of my friends, you know, that are in corporate world and it wasn’t always that way, but it’s evolved to that. Oh, I love it. That’s funny.

Moe:                                     16:21                     So two years, any hates his job? um, does he look at you and say, wait, what you’re doing, what? Yeah, at it, he was very amazed of what I was doing. And um, it, it’s crazy to a lot of people where we do like, you can just buy low and sell high. That’s, that’s, that’s all it is. Isn’t that the economic degree you got? Sorta, yes. Okay. That’s the only thing I learned from my economics degree. Really. I mean, when you think about it, um, I just had this discussion this week with someone else. I mean, do you get, do you have any though going back on that degree more like the communication skills you have? The, I mean there is that, I mean, I discount it to and I and I have an advanced degree and I discounted it for a lot of the fluff stuff that you have to do, but there is value in the ability to communicate effectively or the ability, um, you know, to write a proper sentence and stuff. There is value in that even in the ecommerce world. I agree. Okay. So you were, uh, going to school, you graduate, um, you’re getting ready to disappoint your parents. go ahead, take us from there. I had no idea what I wanted to do. So, um, I applied for a part time job at a clothing store and I got excited. Great. So now I’ve got this college degree. Have a really good degree. And you’re

Stephen:                             17:50                     going to sell clothing part time?

Moe:                                     17:52                     Yes. I just, I, I don’t like sitting at home. I didn’t, I just didn’t like it. Um, so I, I worked and it was a lot of hours, it was about three to four hours a day, maybe four times a week. So It wasn’t that many hours I knew were paying minimum wage. So, um, then I started working with my neighbor to mow lawns and doing handy man or handy work basically like painting and that kind of stuff just to, just to go by basically. And then um, the light went on basically. I was like, how do I supplement my low income here? So I started buying from the same store that I worked at. It was illegal, I think,

Stephen:                             18:43                     well, I don’t think it’s illegal, it’s, it, it would be against, might be against their policy. So illegal would be like you’re breaking a law. So there are, they don’t have the ability to write laws so they might have a policy against buying and then selling. They might,

Moe:                                     18:58                     I think they did. And um, but I was buying a lot for myself and then just looking at my closet, I was like, wait, why don’t I sell this on ebay? So I listed it on ebay and sold pretty fast and I’m working at that place. I had, I had a 40 percent off on top, 70 percent off clearance that day they sell. So I had, you know, I, I had a chance to buy a lot of things for a really low price so, so I started doing that and I saw an opportunity there and um, but I couldn’t get a lot more difficult to scale. Yes, I couldn’t, I couldn’t scale anymore. So after that I started watching videos, watching what people are doing in this reselling world. Basically I joined the green room and that was a very good group for me. I learned a lot from, from everybody there and they share a lot of. Now I’m still green room. Um, and um, I started selling on ebay more find items from thrift stores and um, there I sales and that kind of stuff. I’m after awhile I, I decided to learn the amazon world basically or try selling on amazon and. Well, let me ask you before you go there,

Stephen:                             20:34                     um, so you, you saw this life, he started, you joined the green room, you start seeing some success from that. You see those guys having success, but again there is a scaling limit, right? You, you’re,

Moe:                                     20:47                     you still are trading time for money in some ways, right? I mean there is absolutely because you can’t buy volume. It’s difficult to buy. Buy should said that it’s difficult to buy volume and you’re working from home at this point, so storing inventory and stuff like that probably gets to be a little bit of a challenge at some point. Yes. We have a finished basement and it divided into two parts basically. And I called my wife, okay, I’m going to have this half of this part to start with. And eventually I had the whole basement, the basement’s sometimes that kitchen we put boxes and for before for the ups people you know before to pick up. Basically that’s not popular isn’t there is a point where they do roll their eyes. I think my wife used to say, I thought he was going crazy for awhile there.

Moe:                                     21:45                     I thought, I thought that she’s going to kick me out. Okay. So you, you, you reach the point where a lot of people reach where that inventory is a real issue. Storing inventory, managing inventory, um, and, and that’s separate from the sourcIng part and all the rest of that. So, so you’re, you’re, is that where you learned that there’s this thing called amazon that third party sellers sell on amazon? In the greenroom? Yes. Okay. I watched, I used to watch a lot of, um, steven rake in profit, steve, right? Sure. I still watch his channel a lot and that’s where I learned all of this resell and going to thrift stores, going to garage sales. I’m finding items. I still remember the first item that I sold on amazon, which was an ink, an ink cartridge, bought it for $5 and it sold for $95.

Moe:                                     22:45                     So that’s when I found out basically there is something here, you know, you can buy it for five and sell for 95. That’s when I put every dime I have basically in this amazon and tried my best. Worked 10 hours, 12 hours, 13 hours a day to find inventory and to buy inventory and some days were easy, some days were really hard. So, and this was all done through retail arbitrage at that point or, or like thrift stores and stuff like that. Okay. Alright. And so compare that. I was thinking about this as you were talking, you know, I don’t know how long it took you to get to your ebay business up to the scale that you did before you try to amazon in sales. And then how long did it take when you started on amazon to get to the same level? It was, I think I was lucky when I, when I first started selling on ebay because it was q four, but I had no idea that it’s q four at that time. So I was sad. A lot of clothing and they were selling really fast and after, after q four I had the same clothing basically listed, but I had no idea why they’re not selling a. So I was in a kind of a bad shape at that time. Um, I, I, I didn’t really scale ebay to a big business. Basically it was just, it was just a hobby at that time and you know, just a little bit money basically money on top of my um, minimum wage job.

Stephen:                             24:29                     Oh, you did, you thought, I think this is a, that’s a, this is a very important point here. You thought like most people thought that you had the experience of keifer immediately, so you’re like everything sells, all I have to do is list it and it’s going to magically sell 100 percent of the time and then you realize that there is a season, everything has a season and that clothing sales great. Fourth quarter and then certain clothing would sell great in the first quarter In certain clothing would. So in the second quarter but not necessarily the same. And so you started accumulating, is that fair?

Moe:                                     25:03                     Yes. Then I, as soon as I found on amazon, basically I did not keep, I didn’t keep ebay, the ebay business. I still have the ebay business. We saw a little bit in on ebay, but it took a long time and I didn’t really grow on ebay, but with amazon the first year it was hard. It was just the learning curve. Right. But the second year we started growing and we went from there.

Stephen:                             25:38                     So. So that first year. Let’s talk about that for a second because I think that’s a. It took you a year because I just saw this in somebody. Oh I know, right where it was. So somebody was talking about, hey, the first year they didn’t make money and the second year they made very little money. The third year, now this is an ecommerce site off of amazon, but it’s the same concept and somebody took him to task and said, well, if you’re in business and you can’t draw a large salary in year one, it’s a hobby and you should let it go. And he’s like, no, wait a second. Name. Any business that generally makes money from day one. Anybody who believes that circuit city opens up a store and makes money from their first year, they’re fools. It doesn’t work that way. They don’t make money for quite a while because they have such a huge capital expenditure. Right? And there might be some goofy tax that shows that, but realistic cashflow wise, let’s just say it that way because we’re a cashflow business, they don’t make money. So to me that first year is about right for you to learn. There’s a lot of moving pieces in this business.

Moe:                                     26:41                     Fair, fair. I, I think

Moe:                                     26:44                     I was fortunate that I didn’t have a lot to invest because I made a lot of mistakes as everybody starting a new business will will. Um, so I, I learned a lot from the first year I made money diversity. It’s just that from day one, basically from after selling that first item, what I was thinking about how to grow the business, how can I expand? What do I need? So money was a struggle. I couldn’t scAle. I had the time was struggle actually. Well, I guess both of them were struggling for a lot of people. Um, at, at sometimes money is a, is a struggle. Sometimes time is, is it a struggle? I didn’t have a lot of money, but I had time, so I worked really hard and I, I wasn’t satisfied with anything less than 100 percent roi and after a while I wouldn’t, I, I, I was lucky and I, I had a family member that they’re invested in me and believed in me. And um, I borrowed $3,000. That’s what I started this business with, but after awhile I got more funds, but that’s, that’s the initial investment and I think half of it was a mistake. I mean, I made a mistake would have of the money that I got in the beginning, but eventually we eventually I figured it out and um, I, I just got the money back. Basically.

Stephen:                             28:14                     I liked it. I liked the advice there, but, and maybe you didn’t meet it as advice, but I think it’s very sound what you’re saying is that, um, because my advice to people when they do their says, don’t quit your job, right? Keep, keep something else so you can feed your family and that kind of thIng. Right? And live is to invest a small amount of money and learn. Make all the mistakes, make small mistakes, right? So even if you bought 20 of an item and it was terrible and you liquidated them or whatever you give them away to sometimes, right? Um, it was only 20 items, you know, it’s a couple hundred bucks and then it’s a couple hundred bucks on this, a couple hundred bucks. So it could add up to, as you say, $1,500 worth of mistakes. But imagine if you had a zero on the end of that or two zeros worse even yet, and you borrowed against a credit card or something, you know, really more family member.

Stephen:                             29:02                     How do you look that family member in the eye when you’re talking to that much money? So I think that’s very sound advice is to start small with small amounts. Learn, make your mIstakes because we all have anybody who says they haven’t, I don’t believe you, um, learn and then build it out from there. I think that’s very solid. And one year I think is a very reasonable time because it’s about a year to learn because just when you learn something, they change it. Now you don’t have to go back and start from square one, but you might start halfway back because they modified it and then to learn that and then think of every section of your business at this point. WhAt does your wife saying? Because we already know that she ready to toss you out on the ebay side. Does she like this amazon thing? Seeing stuff just leave magically. She likes

Moe:                                     29:49                     that. Um, she is. My wife was very supportive and she is still is very supportive of me and my, my business and, and how I think and she believes in me and that motivates me a lot. Um, so after the fIrst year, basically at around q four, we couldn’t really do anymore. I hired, I hired one person around that time, the first employee, and she’s still, she’s still with me in this business and I’m at. The struggle was we didn’t have enough space. I could buy a lot of inventory, but we didn’t have a space to prep and to ship the inventory. We had to prep and debasement moved the boxes out, bringing more stuff from the car or from the van inside prep more and take the boxes out and it was a struggle. Um, after q four, my wife, we had to talk about it and was basically to grow the business I had to move to, to a warehouse basically. And

Stephen:                             31:00                     you know, my advice on that, that, that warehouse is a marriage saver. Um, you know, if you’re going to be serious about this, even a small mirror warehouse, just getting it out of sight allows a different conversation because my experience is always to discussion. Comes up about the pile in the garage or the basement instead of, okay, here’s what I’m thinking because when it’s out of the way, then you can talk about these other things I think. And so, um, she was still supportive of this. Probably be thrilled to death. You’re getting it out of the house.

Moe:                                     31:30                     Yes. Yes. I’ve been in this warehouse. We’re over a year now, so she, she’s happy about that. She’s happy that we don’t have anything in the house.

Stephen:                             31:39                     Um, am, am I correct though? When I said that, that the conversations now are different because they’re not about all that stuff in the kitchen or whatever, you know what I mean? Absolutely, yes. Okay. So, so thIngs are going good. You now or in a warehouse, a businesses growing, you’ve got an employee to help prep in. and so are you the buyer at this point?

Moe:                                     32:02                     At this point, I have six employees. I’m, I’m a buyer and I have another person buying and he’s great and I have, um, I have a very great team. I’m really, really fortunate that I found these people and they work really hard and they are helping to grow that business.

Stephen:                             32:25                     So now you’re a leader, not only a, a seller, right? Not only the person that buys and sells. How different is it to be a leader because you’re leading, you know, six people in. I mean, that’s, that’s a significant team. That’s

Moe:                                     32:40                     one of the challenges that I have. I’m just managing that business, basically lead in all of these people, but so far so good. it’s, it’s working out good. I’m the first employee that she’d been with me almost since day one. um, she’s the, she’s the manager at the warehouse now. She’s, so she Is managing employees with me. I’m managing supplies and all of that stuff at the warehouse basically.

Stephen:                             33:11                     Okay. So, so that’s a good piece of advice there. So to find somebody, let them rise to the top and it sounds like this person did and so then she can help organize things and keep it moving. All right. So let’s talk about, um, networking. When was the first networking event, the non negative experience that you had? When was the first positive experience you had?

Moe:                                     33:36                     I’m from the, I think the first positive one was in vegas at the asd show, but I networked a little bit before that from the, from the green room. I meT Jason Clark through. Terrific. yeah, I, he, he’d been to the show and I listened to it, listen to the webinar or the, uh, the podcast and it was great. I learned a lot from it. I still do. I’m listened to all these podcasts, but yes, that’s the first one.

Stephen:                             34:16                     So you got to meet up with him in face to face.

Moe:                                     34:18                     Yes, we met the asd show and then we hang out outside of that and um, it helped a lot with this.

Stephen:                             34:27                     What, let’s talk about that because I think that’s another good point. So you went to asd, which is overwhelming, right? It’s massive. It’s beyond massive, right? It’s, you can’t even get through it all. That’s impossible. And then you got to and maybe you spend time with them there and then you spend time with them outside of their. Where, where did you find the most value? Thinking back about that one.

Moe:                                     34:49                     I’m just networking and jason is a great guy and he doesn’t mind share and basically whatever he, he thinks that it would help.

Stephen:                             35:02                     Well, here’s what I meant by that. Know I don’t think I said it right. I apologize. I mean, did he did, did you get more from them at the show or later on over dinner or drinks or something like that? That’s where I was going with it.

Moe:                                     35:15                     I’m at the show. I mean, everybody’s busy, everybody’s looking around, but yes, after the next day I think we met somewhere for dinner and um, and that’s when it was very helpful. I had a chance to network and talk to him basically. And um, then we, uh, we arranged a call basically and um, we spoke for like three hours because he charged you what, $50,000? Zero though.

Stephen:                             35:47                     And so, so I, I just hope people hear that too. And, and, and his veterans sellers are like, c’mon steve, this is common sense. I understand that. But remember we’re talking to some new sellers to that piece of advice right there. So while it’s cool to tag along at the trade show. And I always let people come and listen to me talk to the vendors because some people are intimidated by that. But, and I, I have no problem showing people that, but the best conversation happens at dinner or breakfast or drinks or going for a walk going for a starbucks quad espresso for me, um, those best conversation. That’s where you really can ask questions and it’s not intimidating in front of anybody. And the pretenses or down and it’s that, that that’s the networking, that’s the relationship building right there because you get to talk to jason about life, right a little bit. You got a family and he’s got a family and that kind of stuff. To me that’s, you miss something. If you don’t do that, if you just go and attend a trade show or whatever and then leave and you might meet people, meet people. But if you don’t get to that level, how comfortable are you doing that? Because you know, you’ve probably feel like you’re sucking the life out of him, right? Because you’re taking all his information.

Moe:                                     36:59                     Right? I, I felt very nervous at the beginning to even ask to basically speak. Um, but I, it wasn’t hard. I mean, people are very generous, but no they don’t. They don’t mind, you know, network and, and you don’t need much. You don’t need much from networking to basically find a really useful advice basically. And if you don’t take action, have you know, any advice you get, you’re not gonna. Get anywhere. I took action, I listened and I took action. He’s been in business for for three years, I think that that time when we met or two years and I was just starting, it’s my first year. So I, I was giving advice and I was taking action. I thought, okay, I can do this and it doesn’t sound too bad, so let me, let me try it and see for myself,

Stephen:                             37:56                     well, how about this? Not everything you were doing was wrong. Right, rIght, right. And so I, I gave this advice to somebody this week. We were at an event and it was like, wait a second. Yeah, you want to sharpen your pencIl, you don’t want to start with the brand new pencil, you’re doing a whole bunch of things, right. You just take his advice and move forward from that point. That’s a big difference. And I think that that’s a really smart thing to hear again is take action on that piece of advice because I’m, I’m, I’m assuming you had pretty specific questions like, hey, this is working but this isn’t and I don’t know what to do. And then he’s like, oh, just do this, right. Something like that.

Moe:                                     38:36                     Right, right. Um, I, we spoke for three hours and I think one day and he was very generous with his time and end. He was happy to help. Um, it was after christmas time the first year, so I was like, hey jason, you know, I had this money, came back basically from amazon if they’re selling after the crazy season. And I did really well. I’m not sure what to do with it though. I was, I was thinking about going through like a liquidation. That’s, that’s my first thought. Okay. You know, I had 50,000 or something like that and okay, this is going to get me a lot of inventory. But then jason was like, you know, you couldn’t do it, you know, I know people doing it but I don’t recommend it. Um, it’s going to be a lot of work, a lot of men our and I listened so he told me something else and I tried it and it worked very well and I’m really glad that I listened. And um, and from there I, I watched every video about this category and like, I’m not exaggerating, I watched every video available on youtube about this category.

Stephen:                             39:53                     So you feel like, so you went all in, you said, you know what, this piece makes sense. I’m very glad you didn’t go the liquidation route. Um, I think that the people that are really successful in it are very, very successful because they’re very, very good at it. They are not, I mean, that is not an, somebody new should not get in that, that is somebody who’s very seasoned, very sophisticated, knows how to buy, knows all those things. Um, and uh, there’s a ton of great people doing it and they’re very successful, but they’re great people and they’re successful for that reason. So, you know, just, um, anyway, so you, so you put all your effort into learning a category. Do you feel like you got, I mean because you have a college education, thinking back and I want to see if we can make this parallel. Do you feel like you got a master’s degree in that category now based on the effort you put in?

Moe:                                     40:40                     I do, yes.

Stephen:                             40:42                     Now think about that. I mean, think about learning that way, you know, um, and what that can do for somebody to give, you know, I don’t know how many hours and we’re talking about here, but that much effort of learning and learning and fun and applying it, as you said, taking action is a master’s degree. It really is.

Moe:                                     41:02                     I was basically, I’m signed up for the wet jim rowan calls it a day. oh, what a mobile university. I was just listening to. Cool. Yes. I was just listening to basically everything I can. I wasn’t watching, so that’s good. um, I was watching videos but just basically listening to them. Um, but that’s still, that’s what I still do and I still learn a lot every day so it doesn’t take with what I do, which is basically retail arbitrage. I drive A lot, so I have a lot of time to learn to watch videos or to lIsten to podcasts and stuff like that.

Stephen:                             41:48                     I think that is some really powerful. But I haven’t heard that in a long, long time. Oh my god, you just dated me back to that phrase. But that is very, very powerful. Um, utilize that time to learn. Now, let’s, let’s qualify this. You have scaled a while. You are retail art. You have scaled into the seven figure club. You have built a very large business. So I don’t want to downplay that in any way. What do you think you’re doing right?

Moe:                                     42:17                     Um,

Stephen:                             42:20                     I’m just not an ego thing. That’s, I mean, it’s, you’re doing something right.

Moe:                                     42:24                     I think I’m not afraid of hard work and I always think, how can I leverage? How can I grow this business? What do I need to do to grow the business? I look at my numbers a lot and I see how many on selling of, of this items and how do, how many do I need more to get to this number that I need to get to? And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last year. And this is what allowed me to grow. Um, I, I sold last year. I sold four times the first year. The first year I sold for 400,000, I think very close to $400,000. I had no idea what I was doing. Um, and last year I sold for one point $7 million and we’re still growing. HopefUlly this year the goal will be $4 million and now that I set it on the show I have to,

Stephen:                             43:22                     It would have to do and there’s no doubt in my mind because it was three and change last time we met. Now it’s for. So I like that you’re raising the bar even more, but you don’t see a limit. How about this, and I don’t think this is the. I don’t want to ask it this way and say, what are you doing wrong? Because I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. What would you like to do better? I think that’s a better question.

Moe:                                     43:43                     I think what I’m working on right now is trying to figure out how I can do. I’m not gonna leave this [inaudible] tried for sure, but how can I do more? So basically, how can I move to a wholesale and online arbitrage? I don’t like to sit down, so what I’m going to do basically is hire people to do that part for me. Maybe you sit down and teach them and then we’ll go from there. So I’m going to basically have a different, um, sourcing methods. I think that’s how we’re going to grow.

Stephen:                             44:24                     Well, I do like the fact that you said you don’t like to sit down, so online arb or chasing wholesale accounts is not for you. I think that’s great advice, but that doesn’t mean you have to walk away from it. You’re hiring in the things you don’t want to do. Solid advice if the other thing. All right, let’s talk about this. Now you’ve taken networking even further because I met a gentleman who said that you and him hit it off and started to hang out and started to really talk about your businesses at a higher level. How important is that now as you look out to get to that next level?

Moe:                                     45:01                     It’s very important to me. Um, networking is everything. I met dan at the ace conference when I met you and dan and I talked to that and he basically gave me a little advice about how, how will you list and basically how he does it. And I implemented that right away and now it’s saving us a lot of diamond money. Oh, it lists almost doubled the products that we use to list every day.

Stephen:                             45:34                     So by going to this event, putting yourself out there, talking to people, meeting people, right. Having, and I don’t know, are you an introvert or extrovert?

Stephen:                             45:45                     I’m not sure. Okay. So sometimes it depends. I always get a beer muscles, right? Uh, you can get a little more adventurous, but. So you put yourself out there, you had a conversation where you went up and talked to him or me or if I don’t, if I introduced you, whatever, but you took action on the advice. Again, that was your advice in the beginning. If you’re going to listen to smart people and they give you a piece of advice, you’ve got to go put it into action. Um, and you’re seeing the benefit. What can you do with that time now? Right. Have you thought about that?

Speaker 5:                           46:14                     Um,

Moe:                                     46:16                     at some point in this business I didn’t have problem basically bringing in and products, but I have to basically I’m like take a time off to stay at the warehouse and help prep, but I don’t want to do that anymore. But with this, what I learned basically I don’t think I, I have to um, I have to sit down and help prep. So you gained all that time based on one conversation? Yes, I can, I can bring more products though.

Stephen:                             46:52                     And then you can wash, rInse and repeat. So you feel like you have the infrastructure in place to double your size, your business? Yes. Wow. Okay. So let’s talk about concerns. When you look out there and you see that certain categories are getting restricted or products are getting restricted or not. Well run businesses I think is a better way to look at it. Are getting restricted. What does that do for you? Hey, do you have a fear or do you have an actIon plan?

Speaker 5:                           47:29                     Um,

Moe:                                     47:30                     I’ve been trying a lot to diversify categories and brands do. And I’m getting really, like almost everyday I sit down and I kind of brand store what stores I, I should start sourcing from, like basically what brands I should start sourcing from and I will go to the brand and by really wide and see if it’s ever going to sell basically. And, and um, I’ll go from there. If it doesn’t, we’ll just go to the next one. I don’t, I have no problem trying.

Stephen:                             48:05                     Okay. So those, are they in different categories or are they in the same categories generally

Moe:                                     48:10                     if they’re in the same category, I think, I think I’m, I’m, I’m comfortable with the categories that I’m doing, like fashion and footwear.

Stephen:                             48:18                     Right after all you said w we discussed, discussed you having a masters in it, so you’re staying in what you know, but you’re delvIng out into other brands and touching them. Um, when you look at your wholesale business that you’re trying to develop, is that kind of the same lane that you want to stay In?

Moe:                                     48:34                     I think it will be outside the category. Oh, Interesting. I would like to expand to different categories when it comes to wholesale. Okay. We’ll see how it goes.

Stephen:                             48:48                     I love it. Alright, so let’s talk about thIs because to me, I think people are saying, okay, solid, solid plan, execute, execute. Um, when you look at personal habits, and I think about this a lot. I mean I love your idea of the automobile university, right? I mean that’s a very strong habit. You’re maximizing your time. What are their habits? Would you say that you have, um, that have really helped you get to where you are? You already talked about hard work, but what else would take you, has taken you to where you are today?

Moe:                                     49:23                     I think staying motivated, staying well, how do you do that? That’s a good

Stephen:                             49:32                     question. Well, how do you do it as opposed to. I mean, is it, is it your wife? Do you share information with their, is it the team when they’re busy and. Or is it seeing your sales? What is it that gets you motivated?

Moe:                                     49:43                     I think a lot had an employees rIght now it’s, it’s pushing me harder and harder because it’s not. I’m not trying only to provide for myself right now. I’m starting to provide for other people, so every time I, I don’t want to go out to shop or I don’t want to work, basically, this is what I think about. Okay. I have people that I’m going to have to pay basically. So if I don’t go there, they’re not going to have a job. Basically, they’re not going to have something to prep. They’re not going to have a job. They can’t feed their families. So that’s, that’s one of the motivation that, um, that it’s motivating me to grow and to be able to pay these people minimum wage basically. And I, I’m, I’m very generous with my employees. I think I’m happy employees will be absolutely, um, you know, a good for their business and if they care

Stephen:                             50:38                     they’re going to care. Right? I mean, do you want them to care? Right. And so you want them to be. Not content, but. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Moe:                                     50:45                     My, my wife also motivates me a lot and she believes in you and she pushed me basically to do better in this business.

Stephen:                             50:55                     Do you? Um, how about this? How does the conversation when, when you get home, especially if you make a big boy, you find that deal, are you kind of skipping up the stairs and, and talking a mile a minute?

Moe:                                     51:09                     Um, I used to, um, but I could sense it basically that it wasn’t very exciting for her. Yeah, that’s a big point. Yeah. I stopped talking about basically the business while ago. Every now and then I would, you know, share stuff that’s going on that’s good or bad, but I kind of avoid talking that much about my business.

Stephen:                             51:37                     And this is a, that’s a good tip because this is where that network where you can share with somebody else who’s in this business because they get it and they understand it and you can get it out of your system. So when you do go home, you’re not bombarding a because it’s a lonely business too if you’re in the car by yourself for a long period of time. Right. And so talking to other people. All right. I love it, love it, love it. I think, uh, I think you’re right on. Recommend a podcast or two that people should be listening to

Moe:                                     52:07                     ecommerce moment. That’s very, very tidy. Yeah. Uh, I listened a lot to jim roan. I think he’s basically a, he say things that makes you think really, um, and I enjoy listening to him.

Stephen:                             52:27                     You know, I think there’s something there too. Um, I heard that this weekend somehow, um, sometimes you get tired of listening to guys like me telling you more stuff you’re not doing right, right. Things you should be doing better and this and that, you know, turn us off. Turned me off for sure. and listen to other people about life improvement. You know, how to be a better in your case, husband, right? Be a better man, be a better leader for your team, right? Be uh, be more attentive to other people. All those different things. There’s value in that because if you can find tune that part of your life, this part of your life gets a lot easier, at least in my experience, right? Hmm. Okay. So, uh, we’re going to pump on jim roan, um, and, and listened to the automobile university. I love it. Great advice. All right, so you know, the goal of this podcast is to help people who get stuck and you’ve been stuck before, so you can truly relate. Give me some advice, give us some advice that you think that people can put into action and we know that you’re saying, hey, no matter what, put it in action. So this is advice he’s going to tell you to put it in action. Give us something that you think we can, we can help move us forward.

Moe:                                     53:41                     Leverage, leverage, whatever leverage you can get. So if you need basically to leverage money and did his business leverage money if you need, If you don’t have time, hire somebody, hire employees. You don’t have to pay them that much. Um, figure out how much your time is worth and instead of packing boxes, you can hire somebody to do that for you. Um, and think outside the box. And don’t be afraid to try new things. I think that helps me a lot. I am not afraid of trying new things and see what works, see what doesn’t, and go from there.

Stephen:                             54:26                     I think your advice earlier about going into your in the same category, you want to expand some lines so you buy wide couple of each and what doesn’t sell and you give away your sell on ebay, you do whatever, but you learned something and it’s a very minimal risk, but you learned something. Then you take that data and apply it. Love it. Dude. I’m very, very appreciative for your time. Um, it is very cool what you’re doing and it’s very cool to watch over time. I look, I look for consistency over time and you’ve done, you’re doing the right things and you’re leveraging your time correctly. You just bought a whole bunch of time by acting on advice from somebody who I truly respect and boom, look what it’s done for you. I think people need to hear that somebody has a followup question. Best way to get in touch with you.

Stephen:                             55:15                     facebook, I think will be the. I’ll put the contact out there. That’s awesome. Hey, I wish you nothing but success and I know you’re going to have it. Take care. Thank you very much. Great story. Great guy. Um, hit it off immediately, I could just, he’s a positive vibe just to just a really good individual and again, I will have impact because I want to see how he’s taken advice from this consulting company and applying it in his business because it Really does fine tune what you’re doing right. Remember, not everything you’re doing is wrong. Take the things that you’re doing right and you know, 10 xm is grant cardone would say, right, but, but do more of that and then fine tune the things that you’re not doing right and boom, magically, um, you start to see some real, real momentum and just really start to gain. And it does take time. I think the advice about taking a year to learn this business, taking small risks is powerful. I also love his advice about buying wide. When you want to expand, um, learned from that, give it away, do whatever you gotta do with it. Don’t get stuck with, and then learn from that and build out. It’s almost like that flywheel that peter talks about. I’ll have peter back on to talk about that flywheel because I think it’s really, really powerful. He ecommerce momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.

Cool voice guy:                  56:37                     Thanks for listening to the ecommerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at incomers momentum. Doug, come under [inaudible] episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.

 

 

Stephen-Peterson

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