When do you stop learning? (Answer is never) When should you stop learning? (Answer is still never) Great conversation with tons of nuggets that will help you understand what it takes to build up and out a successful Amazon and now Ebay and Jet businesses. Kelly clearly has figured the key to growth- hire really well and let them do their job.
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Kelly: [00:00:00] Takes time to train somebody to do that. It takes a lot of time. So for me, that’s more, once you get to the point where you know, you need help doing it yourself or you know, you have enough of the other staff that, you know, it’s time to delegate it. When people ask me how do I grow, you know, if, if you want to, not everybody wants to, but if you want to grow, I, the biggest thing is delegating. You have to give tasks to other people and what those tasks are, um, is really kind of what you don’t want to do or you’re not.
Cool voice guy: [00:00:34] Welcome to the ECOMMERCE momentum. Apologize. We focus on the people, the products and the process of income are selling today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:00:48] He wanted to talk a few moments about some sponsors scope from seller labs. Um, when’s the last time you created a listing? Right? And when you create that listing, you’ve got to come up with the keywords, right? It’s all key word dependent. I don’t care if it’s a private label or wholesale. You’ve got to get it right. Well, what’s the best way to get it right? If you’re selling a similar product that’s really successful, you go and you take and use their keywords and that’s what sculpt does for you, so phenomenal tool brought to you again by seller labs. The leaders in technology when it comes to Amazon, right now, they are just crushing it with all their products, but scope allows you to get that listing right. Get ranked for those key words as fast as possible. Therefore you get the sales, so go to sellerlabs.com, forward slash scope.
Stephen: [00:01:37] Use the code word momentum. Save a little bit of money, get some free key words to test, try it out and see if you see an improvement. If you don’t adjust, what’s cool about what I love about a seller labs is that you then message and say, Hey, I didn’t get this right, tyler. Hey Jeff, this isn’t working right. What am I doing wrong? And Boom, you’re going to get the help you need and that’s what you’re going to get from solar lamps, and it’s a very special group. Had been very. I’ve been very fortunate to be connected with them and again, I look over time they’ve delivered every single time, you know, same thing I can say for Karen from solutions for ecommerce. I mean she’s been carrying my account for a couple years now and our account, my wife and I, and she really does handle things for us.
Stephen: [00:02:18] Um, I mentioned, uh, just last week we created a new listing with, I forget how many variations, but again, all the flat files uploaded done as I needed. I pop in, so she’ll send me a template, I pop in some information and then boom, it’s handled, await. These pictures weren’t done right, blah, blah blah. This UPC, Nita poom modified adjusted and again, the communication’s been phenomenal too. I get an email back saying, hey, this was done or this, you’re missing this Steve. Hey, you got to do this. So, you know, we had those challenges too and that’s why I like working with somebody who’s been doing it. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Did you know Karen also does listings for Ebay? Yup. Lots of them. So if you want to build out that, which of course you should skew for, you should be selling everywhere.
Stephen: [00:03:02] You can, um, Karen can help you with that too. So you gotTa tell her I’ve sent you. So you’re going to go to solutions four ecommerce forward slash momentum. You’re going to save 50 bucks every single month. You got to save that $50. But more importantly you’re going to get an inventory health report. Um, did you just get hit with monthly longterm storage fees? Well guess what? If you haven’t, they’re coming. You want to get that inventory right and she can help you with that. You gotta tell her I sent you again solutions the number for ecommerce forward slash momentum will get you into that. Save the 50 bucks. Get that inventory health report though. That’s really, really important. Get that going right away. And I don’t want to miss my coach when it comes to retail arbor online or when I have a question. And I do.
Stephen: [00:03:42] Not that we don’t, we don’t really do much of it anymore, but when I do have a question, I go to Gaye Lisby because why? Because she’s really, she is a coach. I mean, she’s really phenomenal, but she also puts out a daily list and you’re going to get that list five days a week. You’re going to get tons of leads, the number of, uh, agreed to amount that you’re supposed to get. She at least she usually gets to those in the four days. And then the fifth day seems to be a bonus most of the time. Phenomenal Group, small amount of buyers where this list is going to. And the best thing is the nuggets that you learn. Hey, why is the red one better than the blue? One? Gaye can help you with those questions. I saw, hey, I got, um, I got to the dreaded letter about a brand.
Stephen: [00:04:21] Here’s the, here’s the way you approach it. Hey, receipts, how do you, what’s the best practice? I saw her leaving instructions, teaching me the accountant how to do a better job with it. And it’s phenomenal. So it’s Gaye Lisby. Um, made a million dollars selling, um, I’ll have the link in here, you’ve got to use the, my, my link and it does help me, I don’t want to say it that way, but um, it’s part of amazing freedom with Andy Slamming Lee, Ron Hirsch, corn, and nate’s lamins. So you know, you can trust. Okay, so come back to the website, take a look at it, and you will get a savings and you can get two weeks free right now. Only through my link. You get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it? I get it back off. But right now is the time to make money. Get cashflow going right now.
Stephen: [00:05:06] And so join you. Get two weeks free. The only way you’re gonna get the two weeks for these. If you use my link, it’s on this episode. Come on out and give it a try. You will not be disappointed. Again, you’re going to see me in there. So reach out if I can help you too. Let’s get into the podcast. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode three, hundred and 50. Yes. Three hundred and 50 Kelly’s Enzo. Um, I was fortunate enough to get to meet Kelly face to face. It probably might not be their first time, but get to spend some time, you know, listening and talking with her and man, Oh man, what a, what a terrific person. And she didn’t disappoint in this interview. Um, tremendous amount of pro tips for somebody who really grew their business the way you want or the way you would think it would be ra.
Stephen: [00:05:51] Oh, a wholesale. Um, and guess what she’s done at all, still does a little bit it and a little bit of all of it, but has really grown a successful business and she explains kind of how, and you listen in there for the nuggets as she calls them. Um, and you will find many of them from Kelly and she’s so humble, she doesn’t realize she drops, you know, sometimes she talks for two minutes and you’re like, well, I can’t get that note fast enough. It’s phenomenal. I’m just a great success story and somebody who runs into the same issues that you and I run it to every single day. Same challenges at whatever, but she’s able to push past it. What’s cool is she brought some experience from retail and she brought some of those skills forward, some that I had not thought about, some knowledge base that I had not thought about that comes from that.
Stephen: [00:06:38] So if you were in that world, don’t sell yourself short. You’ve got some knowledge that most of us don’t have and it’s very applicable to this business. Let’s get into the podcast. Alright, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. I’m very excited about today’s guest, um, because I think there’s going to be a lot we can learn. I think. Um, she’s very humble. She’s very modest, however, she’s clearly figured something out and I’m assuming she’s going to tell her she’s figured it out by watching others and learning from others. Some of that, but some of it comes from somewhere else and I’m really interested to find out where Kelly’s Enzo. Welcome Kelly.
Kelly: [00:07:13] Uh, hi Steven. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.
Stephen: [00:07:16] Well, I appreciate you coming out and I don’t mean to embarrass you right off, right out in the beginning of the conversation, but it’s true. I mean, you know, in a pre call we were talking a little bit about it, you know, I get it, we all downplay what we do, but you’ve accomplished a lot and it’s very cool to see and you are very, very humble about it. I mean it’s, it’s, it’s a cool place to be mentally.
Kelly: [00:07:37] You agree? Uh, yeah. Thank you. Um, I, I, I don’t know, I just, sometimes I’m not quite sure how I got to where I am and I have to really think about it to figure out how I got to where I am. But I am, I am. I’m very grateful. I’m very great.
Stephen: [00:07:54] Yeah. And that might be a big piece of it. What I see for the outliers, I call them, right? The mega sellers like yourself, use that term. My term, some people don’t like it too bad. It’s my term, um, but, but what I see with a lot of outliers that gratefulness is a huge piece of the formula. It’s, it’s just being thankful to everyone being willing to give to others with zero expectation and then magically stuff comes your way. I mean, do you remember back when you first started the people that have helped you, you know, you don’t have to name them by name, but I mean people gave you some information.
Kelly: [00:08:29] Yeah, absolutely. Uh, you know, of course a lot online I’m getting in the facebook groups and being able to ask a question and having someone come on and answer you. So certainly, yeah, very grateful for that
Stephen: [00:08:43] and they didn’t try to sell not, not everyone and I’m sure there were some that did, so I don’t want to say there aren’t some of those but, and, and I don’t have a problem with them because that’s their business, but most of the time, at least in my experience, none of it cost anything other than you. No, thank you. Right?
Kelly: [00:09:00] Yeah. Yeah. I mean I’m not saying I bought some courses along the way, um, to kind of help me along and, and get the information that I needed. But yeah, a lot of it also just came from individual people being able to ask questions and get them answered
Stephen: [00:09:15] what you and I were just together this past week, um, in, in Chicago, at Econ Chicago. I find them. Um, let me see what your experience is. A, I love the conference because I love the location. It’s convenient for me because it’s in Chicago. Pretty easy flight. Um, the venue is great. I think the environment is great. It’s so easy to get up and talk to people, talk to vendors and stuff like that. The hotel right next door. I mean, you really don’t have to go a lot of places. However, the intimacy, the conversations you can have, I think it’s them. Maybe Rocky Mountain would be another good one. Same type of venue where you could really get down, you have no choice but to hang out together and have conversation because everything so far. I mean relatively. Would you agree?
Kelly: [00:09:58] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that was one of the great things is everybody just kinda hangs around and goes to dinner together and um, yeah, you’re, whether you want to or not, you get to know everybody kind of on a personal level for good or bad. There is good and bad. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. No, it’s great. It’s great. You always meet new people, learn new stories and you always get golden nuggets. The last night when the conference was over, a big group of us went to dinner and I’m taking notes on my phone because I’m getting more tidbits. I’m thinking, isn’t this great?
Stephen: [00:10:31] Wait, no, wait, wait, hold on. You’re a very successful seller. You’re supposed to know it all, but you can’t learn and please don’t tell me these are new sellers teaching you anything because that would just blow my whole theory
Kelly: [00:10:42] life. It was, it was actually a who put it on mark. Mark and Robin. Yeah. He was giving me shipping tip on how to get better rates on chipping.
Stephen: [00:10:56] We had that same conversation the day before him and I, and he was giving me shipping tips for, you know, and, and what’s so cool is he’s a perfect example. There is somebody who, uh, and most people don’t realize that Mark Lavonne of bubble fast, right? Hey, he has a huge, I’m not a retail business and ecommerce business and it’s a big aunty. Eva has been on Ebay forever, but it sells on Amazon in a big way. Plus he has his own giant website. Huge, huge operation, but people don’t realize he also has a very large Fba business and so he can offer his advice is pretty much the gamut of everything we all want to do, right? His own dedicated site that he sells a ton on that. He doesn’t have to pay all the additional fees. I’m a wholesale retail, um, and then an FBA business too so he can advise. And what did it cost you? Nothing. Nothing friendly. Being friendly. Right, right, right. Yeah. And so that to me is exactly where a lot of success and I think that’s where the gratefulness comes to, comes in. And when you show that and do you, I’m sure you gave advice to other people, they’re sure. Absolutely. Okay. It costs them nothing. Right? Did you expect anything? No, of course not.
Kelly: [00:12:14] Yeah. I mean I had one couple come up to me and say, Hey, when you get a chance, you know, can we talk to you? I’m like, sure. So we sat down outside, we chit chatted and you know, they, they were very new and, and given them, you know, a little bit of advice and, you know, I’m like, feel free to ask questions. People helped me. So I, you, you want to give back.
Stephen: [00:12:33] Yeah. And I think that that’s the thing that people forget is that people help them. I don’t care who it was and, and I bought courses and even after the course was over, those people still help you with that. Right? I mean that’s their time. So there is some cost to them. Sure. The reward, would you talk about a second? Um, and I don’t mean to get to, you know, to love new with this, but it’s real the feeling you get from helping those other people who probably were struggling and you see the light bulb go on. What’s that feel like to you?
Kelly: [00:13:03] Yeah. That, that’s part of the reward, I guess, that that’s, that’s your payoff, if you will. Um, yeah. Is helping somebody and letting them have some success, you know, if I can give them one little golden nugget because I get golden nuggets all the time, you know? Yes. I’ve been doing this for a little while, not that long, five years or so, but I still get golden nuggets and if I can give somebody else golden nuggets, I mean, I know when I walk away with those little tidbits, I’m so excited. Like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe what I just learned.
Stephen: [00:13:37] What is it now too? And I think this is, I don’t want to lose that point. Now that you’ve been selling for five years, you’re very, very successful and you’re taking golden nuggets are these little, just like teeny adjustments that you make to your business. Now you know like that shipping advice from mark, that small, that small little adjustment that tweak if you will, if you pick up six or seven of those and that whole event and you go back and apply it at the scale that you’re at, it can have a, I don’t want to call it material effect, but it can have a good effect on your business. Right?
Kelly: [00:14:10] Oh absolutely. I mean one of my questions was I can’t get fedex to come out and meet me. I can’t get ahold of somebody to come out and meet with me to talk about shipping prices and just somebody told me which department to ask them
Stephen: [00:14:26] that little piece that, that secret that secretly you go to the website, you can’t find it. Right. It secret. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You were entered into the club. You got the handshake down. Now you know, wow, that’s saved me a ton of money. If I can get fedex to come out here and talk to me where you go through that with ups, we’re right between two different reps and neither one can do anything. I mean, it’s just like, you know, wow, that’s hysterical. That’s his terror and neither one can do anything. It’s like we’re going to. We’re going a level above. All right. Let’s go into why ecommerce. It was this. Your whole goal in life was, I got this big idea. I’m going to go sell on Ebay and Amazon. No, not at all. Not at all. It’s actually an x ray tech by trade. Oh, I could see the relationship to sell it on Amazon and x Ray Tech. I can see it exactly.
Kelly: [00:15:16] Uh, did that for years. Then I stayed home for a few years. My kids were very athletic, involved in sports so that I could get them to all of their stuff. Um, then unfortunately I went through a divorce and decided that I needed to do something else. I wasn’t,
Stephen: [00:15:36] didn’t really want to go back to what I was doing. It was hard to do that and still not disrupt my children’s lives. But let me ask you something because this is important for me to understand and it, I don’t, I, I just don’t understand. Did you associate the job with the marriage and, and leaving that behind and kind of starting over, Kinda gave you a whole, I mean, it sounds like everything would be new then.
Kelly: [00:15:58] Yeah. Uh, no, not really, but I am one. I will say that when faced with adversity, I throw myself into work. Oh, is that like your advice? I mean, that’s, that’s my advice. Luckily better than eating right or drinking or anything like that. I throw myself into work. So, um, and, and I’ve had a brick and mortar store years ago when my actually, funny thing when I had, I have three daughters 15 months apart, so I had one daughter 15 months later I had chaos in that house. So when that happened I was working in healthcare. I was working at the hospital and I worked every other weekend, every other holiday. Well I couldn’t find daycare for three babies to work weekends and holidays so and in my ex works those. So anyway, I decided to open up a brick and mortar store. Sounds like an easy thing because those are easy. I to leave. Yeah. Yeah. I have six week old twins and I open up a brick and mortar store. I’m crazy. You Open your own daycare? Yeah, yeah, no, they, they, I got a sitter for them and I. But I had a story. It was a small town. Pretty much.
Stephen: [00:17:15] Ouch. You know, worked days anyway, and to where I could have somebody watch them. But anyway, I opened up the store, it lasted about two years and I ended up having to close. It wasn’t making any money. So let’s talk about that for a second because I think there’s a. I see a lot of people now. There are some people that open a brick and mortar store so they can get wholesale accounts and I understand that and I’m not judging them. I don’t pass judgment upon them or they, that’s the thing that’s available in their space and they’re prepping in their house and they’re like, oh my God, I gotta get Outta here because it’s affecting their relationships. It does, right? Getting a warehouse is a good thing for a marriage, but, but getting out of there and go into a retail space and they have a little bit of space in the front and then a prep in the back, that’s pretty common too. Um, that wasn’t your plan. That wasn’t even probably thought of when you had yours. Right,
Kelly: [00:18:06] right. So that was my first one. Now, that was years ago when my kids were younger. So now fast forward to now when I, I got my divorce and I decided to open up another brick and mortar store. And you didn’t learn from the first time you’re going to do it again. Well, no, I did learn. That’s why better the second time. What did you learn? Um, I learned that to listen to everybody in their brother that tells you how to run your business that you’re running. There’s very well are they well or they didn’t have in the business, right? Listening to my friends who weren’t in the business, you know, um, yes you should listen to people that are doing what you’re doing, but listening to people that aren’t really don’t know. Um, so anyway, I kind of, this time had took that information and my second store was more successful.
Kelly: [00:18:58] I was paying the bills I was making, you know, a little bit of money I was getting by. I had built it to as much as I pretty much could. I had, it was a little women’s clothing and shoes, jewelry. I have tanning beds. I had a little tanning salon in the back. Just a little bit of everything. It was in a resort town. Okay. On the lake, I’m like, you’re on. So I was busy in the summer, did quite well in the summer, but winners were slow. So and October I’m like, hmm, maybe I should try to start selling some of my stuff online while I was slow. So I did start out of my store.
Stephen: [00:19:33] Oh, nice. No know how different was it because it didn’t sound like you have a lot of experience with ecommerce right? At that point. Yeah. So how does a retail, because retail is an art, I don’t care what anybody says just to display and, and I see the thought that goes in and like, man, I am not that smart. There’s no way I could make it retail because that, that’s like an art form. And, and you know, what you’re describing is you’re bringing customers to Tan and by the way, they’re walking past this cute outfit and they’re saying, Ooh, I’d like that. So it’s a great, right? You’re bringing your own traffic, kind of driving traffic. Now you have to start figuring out how to sell online and it’s kind of a completely different animal, isn’t it?
Kelly: [00:20:12] It is. It definitely is. Um, excuse me. And it took a, it took quite some time. I’m going to be honest, I probably did not create my own list team for almost two years of this on Amazon or Ebay on Amazon. I sold strictly on Amazon to begin to Amazon. And what I liked about it is that you didn’t have to create the listings.
Stephen: [00:20:39] Oh, okay. So rather than where Ebay is tedious to create every single listing, right, you have to do so much things with Amazon, you can just say who I’ve got a pair of reeboks and there’s already a pair their cell one like and boom, you click on that button and you’re already in business without Fba. Right. And I don’t know whether you started Fba or not, but you, you’re virtually already rock. Well heading Fba is complicated. Especially several years ago it wasn’t as easy. It is as it is today.
Kelly: [00:21:07] Yeah. I don’t know. But I, I went directly to Fba. I didn’t do merchant fulfilled at all in the beginning.
Stephen: [00:21:12] And what was attractive to that about what was attracted to that
Kelly: [00:21:17] for you? Well, not having to ship, not having to package and ship that day. Not having that responsibility every single day because when it was just me, I didn’t want to. Okay. You didn’t have any post office every day. You didn’t have had like one employee that filled in here and there. So it was a very small store. Yeah, it was pretty much me.
Stephen: [00:21:38] Is He fba attraction to. It’s the employee that never calls off. I always liked that description because it’s like, man, once it’s in their hands, I was like, I don’t have to handle it. It’s the hassle, you know, I know it’s a hassle getting it there and all the rules and all that kind of judge. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. Like operating a retail store. It doesn’t have all those same rules. Right. Um, but once it’s there, the complaints are pretty easy for the most part.
Kelly: [00:22:02] Yeah. It’s, it’s hands off. I mean, you really just have to get your stuff there and get it listed, get it packaged up and get it done. And then it’s on Amazon to fulfill it, to take care of returns, customer service. I mean, they’re still a little bit we have to do if they contact us. Um, but yeah, for the most part I can take the weekend off, you know, I mean, other than checking your emails, checking your messages, sorry,
Stephen: [00:22:27] for example, I was traveling less two weeks, I could, I have to turn off my merchant fulfill business, but our FBA business, it goes 24 slash seven. Right. That’s a big attraction take. You have any skill sets that you think you brought from retail to Amazon Fba? Because I think about that a lot. I mean, do you know if you’re one of those glorious artists that can display incredibly and picked merchandise so well, did you have any of those skillsets that you brought that brought new to Fba or that you brought to fex accuse me.
Kelly: [00:23:00] I guess my skill set would be knowing what sells and what doesn’t. Knowing what’s popular and what’s not like I knew the popular sizes because you sold them. Yeah. As far as clothing and shoes goes. I knew the popular sizes, I knew the case packs, how they came that you got more saying shoes, women’s shoes. You get three size, 18 to size sevens to size nines and one of the others, you know, that type of thing. So I knew in that’s because those are the popular sizes. Right. I also knew because you don’t get very many 10 or 11, that sometimes those are good to get because not many come in a case pack. So. And you had relationships to correct? Correct. I did, I did have a few. I, I, I will say though that I started primarily Ra. I actually, at first I couldn’t get it approved and clothing and shoes right away, so I, you know, did a lot of reading, got a lot of information and thought, hey, you know what, I’m just going to go buy some stuff and see what happens. So I went out, I bought some stuff, I boxed it up, figure it out, how to do a shipment, sent it in and Lo and behold
Stephen: [00:24:09] it’s sold. Did you try it? Let me ask you this too, because it’s just my mind goes these places did. When you did already, did you buy anything for your store that you put up on your shelf? Just to see if it would sell because it was so much lower than what you could buy at wholesale
Kelly: [00:24:25] occasion when places went out of business that I’ve been to.
Stephen: [00:24:28] So that’s liquidation, but, but you know, because I met a guy I was going to wait at toy fair one year and we’re on the train and he had a, he has three toy stores in the Philadelphia area and he would go to target and buy the clearance legos because he’s like, Steve, this is cheaper because if you buy Lego, you know, at 65 percent of wholesale plus shipping, he would buy it because he’s buying it at 50 percent, which is 15 percent plus the eight or 10 percent lower. So I guess that’s what, 25 percent lower than what he could buy at wholesale and he would buy it for his retail store. Now that, that’s a different example, but I’m just wondering, I’m thinking back to your retail store, knowing what you know about Ra now, is that something that you could consider
Kelly: [00:25:11] where would consider or is it a time suck and it’s just not worth it? Well, I ended up selling my brick and mortar store right to focus full time on online, quite frankly, because you just can only do so much in a retail store. And I felt like I had reached my Max and that was not enough for me
Stephen: [00:25:36] knowing when to walk away. And pretty much anything is. That’s an awesome,
Kelly: [00:25:40] very tough decision. It was a very tough decision with your heart and soul was put into it. Right, right. I had put everything. I had built this from pretty much I remodeled the back end of the store to put, you know, the tanning beds in. And I had built it all up so it was very hard to let go of.
Stephen: [00:25:56] This is the fourth child in your life right there. Right, right. This, you birthed this thing and wow,
Kelly: [00:26:02] that’s hard. So I sold it. Um, and then I moved home. Oh yeah. I’m at home. So now I’m doing it because I was basically in my back room. Like you had said before, I was in my backroom, you know, boxing things up now I moved home. So now I’m in my dining room, but I have more time to shop now. Right. And good things. And it took over my home. It has, yes. Until my husband’s like, um, we really would like to eat before [9:00] at night because you’re in the kitchen to now. And so I once again another hard decision do I take on, you know, I, I, I had rented space before for my brick and mortar and I kinda liked not having that responsibility either. Not Having to worry about covering people being there.
Stephen: [00:26:54] It is a lot of responsibility, isn’t it? Yeah.
Kelly: [00:26:56] Yeah. So when your home you don’t have that responsibility. So it was a decision that I had to make, do I want to stay where I’m at because I pretty much can’t grow anymore in my house and be content with this, which I could have. I was doing well or do I want to take it to the next level?
Stephen: [00:27:15] How do you. Because it’s a point a lot of people get to and right now we’re seeing a lot of people get warehouses, some great spaces. I love seeing pictures of people’s space. It just, it’s so inspiring to me, especially the odd one. And they start and it’s like, Oh man, they’re going to make. You could just tell that they’re willing, they see it, so you get. I can see it, you know, but how do you, how do you have that confidence? I mean, like you said, you’re, you’re doing well, you’re safe. You finally found some safety in your life, Kelly, you know, you’re, you’re kinda right. I mean, you know, let’s be real. I mean this is real right now. All of a sudden you’re there. Oh wait, let’s take another chance and not roll it in on seven because it sounds like you calculated, but it mean you get what I’m saying. Yeah.
Kelly: [00:27:56] Calculated risk. I definitely ran all the numbers. I, I, I am a bit of a gambler to be honest. I do have a little bit of a gambler’s heart, but I also calculated risk. You know, when it comes to money though, I run the numbers and make sure that I’m like, okay, how much can I afford in rent? How much can I. and I knew because I’d had a brick and mortar, I knew all the expenses. You know, it’s not
Stephen: [00:28:23] another great skill set that you would bring. That’s great point. I didn’t even think about that. You’re right. Use and you saw all the expenses when somebody cuts power down the block and it affects you, you’re out of business, right? For those days, right. The, all those costs come in and you have to play them all in things like garbage pickup that you just don’t know. Right now my heating is not working in my office and so I don’t know what that’s going to cost. I mean hopefully either my landlord or I am. I don’t know which, but it’s an example, right? Because it’s cold. So I’m going to run my electric heater, which is probably five times the rate. Right. And so, yeah. Okay. Alright. So, so you say, all right, I’m going to take the plunge. How big was the, your retail space total? Including the back, you know, thousand square feet or I’m thinking of retail one was, yeah, maybe 1500. Okay. All right. And so you decided to go out and rent. How big is the space you rent? Thirty 500 square feet. Oh, alright. That’s, that’s serious.
Kelly: [00:29:20] Yeah, it’s decent size. So it has some offices, has a couple of offices and it has a garage area. This is everything, you know, 3,500. So the garage area was kind of Nice because we had an overhead door, it wasn’t a big garage door but it was big enough we could get a Paladin sometimes we had to take the top row off, but we could. Um, and then we had a larger work area for prepping and then we had like a couple of offices, break room area. He did all heated. Yes. This was actually, it used to be assigned store before, so it’s kind of a in between, uh, read. It wasn’t really a warehouse, it was more of a retail type space, but okay.
Stephen: [00:29:59] We used it as a warehouse so they would have made signs in the back and electrify things and stuff. So yeah. So that would have been uh, working here. All right, cool. Yeah. And Are you still in that space now? No. Okay. Right. So this is way back. All right, so 3,500 square feet though. That’s pretty serious. One of the questions I had about was office space in, in that example, how much office space was it? Probably about a thousand square foot. Okay. So pretty good space. So, so you had a good distinction between the two? Um, no loading dock? No loading dock. So how would you handle pallets? Did you have a forklift?
Kelly: [00:30:32] No, we had no room for forklifts. So we just got a lift gate. We have scallops.
Stephen: [00:30:39] So you pay the extra 50 or 75 depending every time. Okay. All right. Is, it does in my experience. Let me ask you this question too. Um, I see it slowing down a shipment sometimes because they’ll be like, oh, that’s special steve. And I’m like, what? Because they just don’t have those going out everyday, at least in my neighborhood. Yeah, I’m the same. Okay, okay. Only on Fridays we only come up there on Fridays we would. Oh really? Oh, that’s interesting. Okay. So there’s something for somebody listening. If, if somebody says, Hey, what’s the deal with a liftgate? Just remember it does, it can alter the time or at least it hasn’t Kelly and my experience. Okay. All right, so you’re in there. How’d that go for the household? Getting stuff out very well. It changes the conversation, right? It’s like all of a sudden it’s like, oh, now, but then you have to get out of the house a lot.
Kelly: [00:31:29] Yeah. So now I have to. I hire my first employee. You. Luckily it was a very good friend who is amazing. And I taught her. I took her, she basically shadowed me. Everything I did and um, she learned she was actually better at Ra than I am.
Stephen: [00:31:45] Oh, that hurts. Doesn’t, it doesn’t hurt. I mean, it really does. For a guy at that, it devastates us. I mean, you know, shallow men are. Oh yeah, we’re all shallow. I mean, it’s just terrible. Well, yeah, but that, you know, that’s why women are the smarter sex. I mean, there’s no doubt we are all. So shall we think are the best of everything I remember were the heroes. Um, let me ask this question because this is a good one too. Um, what expectations did you set for her? Hey, you know, I’ve got a business. It’s going okay. I want to bring you on, um, it’s gonna be amazing. It’s gonna be the best thing you ever did in your life or hey, let’s see if it works out. What, what, where, where were you?
Kelly: [00:32:23] Yeah. More, you know, hey, this is what I’m doing. Um, I think she was ready for a change and you know, hey, if you’re ready for a change, why don’t you come on board. She kind of already knew, you know, a little bit about what I was doing and yeah, I didn’t set high expectations because I, I had no idea where I was going to go. Um, she actually came with me to pick out the space and I was worried that it was too big. I was really looking for more around a thousand, 1500 square feet. Right. How, if you were. Yeah. But this place came along and we’re like, you know, it, it’ll be perfect because I had the garage door and everything. So, um, she kind of convinced me to take the leap, you know, it was a little more money than I was wanting to spend tasting. So, um, so it was all good as of course, as it all worked out. Um, that was, so I started in 2013, October of 2013 and April of 2015 is when I moved into the warehouse.
Stephen: [00:33:21] Okay. So a little, almost two years.
Kelly: [00:33:25] No, no, no. I take it back. It must have been 14 because it wasn’t that long. I sold my soul, my brick and mortar. Oh yeah, it was. I sold my brick and mortar. Um, I started in the following summer and then yet was, it was the next year 15.
Stephen: [00:33:38] Okay. So, so a year when I want to go back to the person, the friend that you hired, what was it other than a warm body, and maybe this is another skillset you learned from running a brick and mortar and having employees and knowing when you can rely on others and not, and also probably beat a mom is another thing, but, but what was it in her that you thought would be a good fit for your business? Was there anything that stood out to you? Because it turned out to be a great call, right, because she’s better than you are. She was, what was it?
Kelly: [00:34:08] Um, that’s a tough one. It’s just an intuition kind of thing is all I can say. I guess I do have, I can, I get a good sense of who people are just by chitchatting with them. And of course she had been a friend for years, so I’m,
Stephen: [00:34:29] I watched her over time and you can see the crisis happened or not, which is always a good thing. And Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Those shoes,
Kelly: [00:34:36] you know, she was very smart, very smart, smart. Always helps.
Stephen: [00:34:41] I always say to avoid sirens. Um, the ones drama, you know? Yeah, yeah. I don’t need that in my life. I want none of that negativity and drama. Yeah. I try to stay away from drama for sure. Alright. So yeah, so we have to go up in size. I mean, where’s that thought process co two. What pushed you to that moment to say, I got to get out of this and we got to go bigger.
Kelly: [00:35:02] Yeah. So two years in Gambler as well. We were just packed to the Gills, I, you know, hired several more people at that point. We, we literally had pathways and the floor boxes on either side because yeah, my office was full of inventory. Uh, my office workers were moving their desks into the break room, so we had a break room slash office. So yeah, it was, it was tough. So I, I had been looking for like a year and in my area warehouse space is now at a premium because there just isn’t a lot for whatever reason. And so I finally ended up biting the bullet and having to buy.
Stephen: [00:35:51] Now the, now we’re talking. Yeah. Now is this where it took a bit to make a decision? I mean, do you make that decision by yourself or do you have counsel that you could seek?
Kelly: [00:36:03] Uh, well I, I am remarried now, so I, you know, I have a husband and you know, we discussed it. He actually wanted me to buy versus rent and I was a little leery because I got bit a little bit in the real estate downturn of [inaudible] eight. I had some properties then, um, but anyway, I, you know, he was right. It’s, it’s a good decision. It’s a good investment. Um, it’s just scary, you know, it’s a big commitment.
Stephen: [00:36:33] It’s way bigger than renting because it’s everything, you know. Right. It burns to the ground. It’s everything. Yeah. You lose your inventory, but you’d lose everything.
Kelly: [00:36:44] Yeah. Down the road. Well, that’s what insurance is for, but down the road it’s an investment,
Stephen: [00:36:51] right? You have a hard asset that has physical. It’s not a tangible, like people talk about selling on their Amazon business. That’s an intangible, excuse me, an intangible. If you have a tangible item that physically has a value, no matter what, right? Even a land has value. Right? Okay. All right, so your business at the level, let me ask you this, at the level where you were exploding, out of the 3,500 square feet, I’ll be, unless you have cash or maybe you do and you don’t have to say that, but how did you calculate how much you can afford? Right? Um, and did you go that level or bigger?
Kelly: [00:37:29] Um, I actually went a little less because purchasing was cheaper than renting if you can believe it or not. Well, but you got the down payment involved, right? So in five years when that down payment is made up, then that’s when I’ll be in the green.
Stephen: [00:37:46] Okay. So it’s confidence in your five year plan to be in a business that you could sustain a that would meet the needs of the additional space.
Kelly: [00:37:56] Right, right. So basically if I were to rent the building that I’m in now, which I just moved in, I just closed on this middle of August, I moved in first of September, so we have not been here that long. Um, but yeah, I ran the numbers and what it would cost to rent the size of a space versus buy it. It’s actually $2,000 a month less right now. Do
Stephen: [00:38:20] you have to. Because this is something I think a lot of people make this mistake. Did you have to see an increase in sales to be able to support the new location or given your current levels at that time, would you have been to swing it?
Kelly: [00:38:37] Yes, I can.
Stephen: [00:38:38] Okay, so that’s a big deal. So let’s, let me say that probably a little more eloquently. So you didn’t have to build an upside only to be able to make it in the new one because I think that’s a lot of people don’t put that risk into their formula, right? Because there’s a big risk, right? It’s now you got a 20 or maybe a. yeah, probably 28 tenure, right? I guess commercial tenure, a commitment or whatever it is, that’s a real commitment for a long, long time. You can’t just get sick of it one day and say, hey, you know what, I’m done with this. I’m going to move on. Um, where, where that risk is that upside. If as long as business goes up, Kelly were up 25 percent loans, we get another 25 percent, we’re going to make it. That’s scary.
Kelly: [00:39:20] Yeah. No. Now I can say my first place that I rented, I actually negotiated with the landlord for a lower rent. Ooh. And then it, it gradually went up over the first year so that I could grow into it because that, as I had mentioned earlier, that space was more than what I really wanted at the time, but I thought that I could grow into it. So that is something that I worked out with a landlord that, hey, can we start, you know, it wasn’t a huge amount lower, but you know, this much lower in every month, raise at 10 percent until we get to the full what you want by the end of the first year. And that worked out well for them. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:40:00] That ramping up is so smart because it gives you a little place because it does him no good to have it empty or her buy it does them no good to have it empty. So that’s a reasonable compromise. They have something coming in so they can cover their taxes and insurance, which they’re paying every single month, full or empty, doesn’t matter. Um, so by doing that, that’s a great. That’s a great tip. Yeah. It was a win win. How long would you sign your lease is for? When you recommend to people about signing a lease, what terms are you looking for?
Kelly: [00:40:27] I always tried to get less. It depends on your area, more area because sometimes you worry about getting kicked out. See now I only did a year with the option to renew and then he was retired and wanted out and he wanted to sell it. Of course he wanted me to buy it, but I knew I was going to outgrow it. I already at that point, after a year I knew I was going to outgrow it so I didn’t want to buy it. Um,
Stephen: [00:40:56] well no, I get it. I mean, so, so you were going one year with renewals, how many renewals would we’re in the contract, do you remember?
Kelly: [00:41:03] Um, I think I just put a one year renewal.
Stephen: [00:41:06] Okay. Okay. So one year and a one year renewal. We did a two year with three one year renewals in that way and it’s a small little increase because unlike you less is more because who knows, business can grow, we need more space or you know, we could pivot and say, guess what, we’re not going to be in the warehouse business anymore. We’re going to, you know, as we do more private label, we need less space. Right. And so by hamstring yourself. Okay. Plus now you pay a little more. Right. I think that’s, at least in my area, and I think there’s my experience is you pay a little more on those shorter term leases. Right? Is that, is that fair to.
Kelly: [00:41:39] Yeah. Yeah. A lot of them are like that. That’s fair.
Stephen: [00:41:42] Okay. All right. So you get your own space. Did you, did you put money aside for build out of the space or were you just planning on going with it and then cash flowing the build out if Eddie is needed?
Kelly: [00:41:55] Are you talking about where I’m at now? Yeah. Um, yes I did have put money aside. I had to, I knew I had to get new epoxy floors done. The floors were kind of in bad shape. I didn’t have to, you know, I’m a girl so I wanted it pretty.
Stephen: [00:42:11] Can we say who I wish we could do ours. I did the bathroom and the offices and if we have a photo studio, I did all those floors. I pocs named myself everyday. I look at that other floor and it’s just bare concrete and I’m like, man, it was look so cool to have that gray speckle throughout the whole place. I love it. Oh my God. A good call. That’s a pro tip. Do that upfront.
Kelly: [00:42:35] Yeah. I figured I want to do it now before we put anything in here because trying to do it later is going to be a nightmare. It’s inspiring, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah, it really easily. The offices were already done. They had already been painted a new carpet so I didn’t have to do anything with the office space. Um, I have 1700 square foot.
Stephen: [00:42:53] Yeah, I was gonna say you have some serious office space. I mean I’m very jealous of that. So you guys
Kelly: [00:42:58] full kitchen. I redid the kitchen. I put all my kitchen is almost nicer than my house. I hate to say that’s awesome. Um, and have a shower. No, I do not have one though.
Stephen: [00:43:11] I wish I had one of my warehouse because if the power went out here we could go hang out at the warehouse, you know, lived there if we had to. So anyway, go ahead.
Kelly: [00:43:18] I know, I hear Ya. I, I worry about getting snowed in. I’m about 20 minutes from home and I do worry about getting snowed in. I would like to have a shower.
Stephen: [00:43:26] Yeah, that’s it. That’s it to me. You know, again, if I was going to own it, I would, I would put one in because I just think it’s one of those things that you never know.
Kelly: [00:43:34] I mean there’s a in the future. Yeah. That’s cool. So I did what I, what I felt I really needed which to get in. Um, there’s still some things, I hate the lighting, I have the old halide lights and I want to switch those to leds. I haven’t gotten to that yet. Um, but I, I will, I had to put some new doors on, I had my big overhead doors for the truck dock. Um, I replaced those, got new, more energy efficient ones. Um, so yeah, I put some money into it.
Stephen: [00:44:05] Yeah. And that’s something I think, again, people don’t realize. So in having the down payment, which is significant, right? That’s inventory you cannot buy, right? I mean that’s, that’s a real having the build out, which is always more money than what you thought it was going to be. My wife is always like, Steve, what did you think it was? Thousand Bucks. All right, it’s going to be three. How long you say it’s going to take? Two weeks or it will be six weeks. $3,000. Joe. He says triple it and then it’s right. Whatever. I think triple it. And I’m like, oh, she’s always right too. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. How about what did you gain? You know, I mean obviously even the staff, you know, especially I’m sure there are so excited, right? Because now that’s a, that’s a job. Like they can kind of count on. I, I imagine that helps, you know, retention with employees and stuff. What other benefits have you noticed? I know it’s new to you, but just can you speak to some of that?
Kelly: [00:44:53] I’m sure. Yeah, I’m definitely, yes. Some like my girls in the office, they don’t have to eat, you know, have their desk in the break room anymore. They have their own office space. So that’s definitely good for morale. It feels like a real business. Now we’re in a real, um, you know, warehouse space. Um, we can, we don’t have, we don’t have to get a lift gate anymore. I bought a forklift that was another expense. Yeah, pallet racking. That’s another expense I had pallet racking put up, but, but we have, I was able to hire more help because I, and we, we literally had no room to hire anybody else. So now I can hire more help. I, I really was stunted with my growth. So um, you know, now I can grow a little bit, but not only that, just having the space to work and feeling like, you know, it is, it’s a real workplace. Um,
Stephen: [00:45:49] how difficult was the move?
Kelly: [00:45:53] Um, it wasn’t that bad. I mean it was stressful for me because I was trying to plan everything out as best I could as far as not being down too long. Yeah. How long were you down? I’m probably actually not shipping anything, uh, three days and it only took us one day to actually move everything and it is my tremendous staff packed everything up and when it came. So when moving day came, the movers came, I think there were five truckloads or something. They loaded it all in the trucks and made two trips and we had it all, all moved in one day. But now you’ve got to set everything up and you know, get everything going again. So that took a couple of more days and then, you know, even it still was a slow process to get back up to full speed. Um, so yeah, our sales were down for a few weeks, um, but we were still selling. We were still, you know, like I said, we probably only went three days without sending anything in. Um, and we tried to send a lot in beforehand knowing that we were going to be down.
Stephen: [00:47:07] How long, how long did it take for your sales to recover back to your current, to your, at that time level?
Kelly: [00:47:13] I’m gonna say close to a month.
Stephen: [00:47:16] Okay. And would you, would you speculate on the percent decline? Ten percent, five percent, 20 percent?
Speaker 4: [00:47:23] Um,
Kelly: [00:47:27] probably close to 20.
Stephen: [00:47:30] Okay. So there’s, there’s an experienced person saying that, hey, you’re going to see a 20 percent drop off in sales for about a month. Again, that’s infrastructure cost that you have to have when you’re considering a move or expanding. These are real fixed. I mean these are real dollars, right? So there’s three examples. Again, big downpayment. If you’re buying, build out cost and then the month drop in sales. Again, what I see most people fail is they don’t build in the risk and all those are risks. Sorry, go ahead.
Kelly: [00:47:59] I apologize. I was just saying no. We also had a couple of employees that we lost at that time because they went to school. It was in the fall, so they were going back to college, one being my daughter full time all summer, and then we had a, uh, another girl who was leaving for college, so we did lose two employees on top of that too. So, you know, maybe your drop wouldn’t be as much. I had to hire, I had to replace those two and then, you know, then I hired more too, so I actually ended up hiring five new people once we got in and settled. So that,
Stephen: [00:48:33] that’s the learning curve, right to that. But there is a learning curve, they’re not going to be as productive. Right. What I was thinking about this as you were talking, because you got a pretty big staff when thinking back to where you are now, right. And how you got there. What would you say is the most important? Because when I think of Dan went are not, don’t want worth am I? God, I know too many days when I think of Dan and Eric from the wholesale formula and those guys, they said their first hire. That was the biggest hire that they made at the time was their marketing person for them because it allowed them to get wholesale accounts back then and that was what their thing was, right. To be able to get them. What would you say, knowing what you know now would be your first hire today, starting all over at scale, meaning you know, you’re selling, you know, 30,000 and you want to get to $50,000 a month or 100,000, whatever it is. What would you say is your most important hire if you had to do it over again? Not Person. Job Wise. Responsibility maybe.
Kelly: [00:49:32] Right? Well, I that, that is very smart what they said. Um, but I also think um, you can also just, just hiring somebody to prep. So either. Well either way, because if they prep you can get the accounts right or you can hire somebody to get the house and you can prep either way. The preppy needs to be done. So to me it’s easier to hire a prepper, you know, hire somebody that can do that task for you so that you can focus on other things.
Stephen: [00:50:10] Yeah. And, and I agree with you, that’s not a skill set to do, right? That’s not a skillset that you know. Well, I mean it’s easier to find, it’s easier to find, and it’s, I hate to say it this way because it sounds negative, but it’s a lower dollar value, right? Skillset, right? I mean to be honest, right? You know, put this label on, put it in a box. Now there’s value in that. Don’t get me wrong, and I don’t want to downplay it. I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone. However, the ability to negotiate with vendors, that’s it, that’s a gift of Gab and, or communication
Kelly: [00:50:44] to train somebody to do that. It takes a lot of time. So for me, that’s more. Once you get to the point where you know you need help doing it yourself or you know, you have enough of the other staff that, you know, it’s time to delegate it. When people ask me how do I grow, you know, if you want to, not everybody wants to, but if you want to grow, I. The biggest thing is delegating. You have to give tasks to other people and what those tasks are is really kind of what you don’t want to do or you’re not good at is what’s more
Stephen: [00:51:19] important. What would you say that you’re not good at?
Kelly: [00:51:23] I am not good at repetition. You get bored? Yeah. I get bored. So prepping is huge. Even when I interviewed preppers, I asked them, how are you with repetition? I’m not good with it and it’s okay if you’re not, but that’s what this job is. You need to know upfront. You know, there’s a lot of repetition. You’re sitting there wrapping product all day. So I’m not good with repetition. Um, there’s a lot of things. I’m not good with. Tech stuff. I’m actually not very tech savvy.
Stephen: [00:51:55] And You bring it on if you bring on younger people, it’s their whole world. They’re like, Oh, just do this dad. And I’m like, really? Come on. I am a graduate degree and I don’t know how to do that and you know, you just got out of high school for God’s sake and they know how to do it.
Kelly: [00:52:08] Yeah. I’m not good at excel, but I figured out google sheets. Um, I can do a little excel, but I don’t know any of the formulas or whatever by I have employees who are tremendous at it. I’m not. So just little things. Yeah.
Stephen: [00:52:21] But you didn’t just hire. And I think this is important at your level. Right? And you have a big wholesale operation. Um, too. You don’t just have preppers working for you. I think that’s important for people to understand at some point. You, you, you know, you have, when you have that many people working at you got a lot of other responsibilities that need to be addressed. Either you’re super woman or you can ask for help, right?
Kelly: [00:52:45] Yes. I have several office staff. I have a one person that actually goes with me to wholesale trade shows who she has the gift of Gab
Stephen: [00:52:57] earlier. Does she have an eye different than you to. Does she have. What an eye different meaning that when she sees stuff that you can’t see and vice versa.
Kelly: [00:53:07] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So she’s, she’s the warmup. We, I always say she’s the warmup. She goes in and she’s, you know, she has the gift of Gab and she’s the warm up. And then I talked numbers in business. I’m more of a numbers person. She’s closer to ours. I could tell. So, um, so she, and she’s kind of our, um, we call her our accounts manager. So whenever we do pick up a wholesale account, she’s their go to person. So they have a point of contact at our place of business. How many cones can she manage? She managed US quite a few because most of the work is in the beginning. Right. So you’re fixing up their listings are doing everything they need to do. Once that’s all taken care of, it’s minimal contact, you know, if they have an issue then they can call her. But um, we haven’t, I guess, reached her Max yet.
Stephen: [00:53:58] Okay. So there’s, that’s a pro tip though in the beginning you have to extract the challenges.
Kelly: [00:54:03] Yeah. So she gives them a list to in our office. So for purchasing, this is the person you need to contact because I have one girl that does all my purchasing if, um, for um, images and a listing issues. This is the person you contact. [inaudible] I have another gal that does that. So she’s kind of more the liaison. They call her. She contacts the person to get the work done.
Stephen: [00:54:25] Okay. So that means she can manage several. We used to call that in my previous business, a traffic manager, somebody who really comes. It’s coming in and out, right? I mean there’s a lot of moving pieces and you just, you need to know how to direct it. And so that’s the director. There you go. And she has that gift. Yes. Yes. Multitask with the best of ’em but yet can take it all. When did she go? When. So let’s come back to the trade show. So you’re at a trade show, do you guys split up or you go together and you’re walking the aisle together and you see something and then you’re like, okay, Steven, there it is. Attack. And you sent me over and I just warm them up a little bit. Hey, you know, a Yo, Yo and then
Kelly: [00:55:05] research ahead of time and we make appointments come on. But we set aside time to walk around as well or for the people that pull us in. I liked the people that pull us in actually. Oh,
Stephen: [00:55:16] is that a, is that a position for negotiation? You’re in a better position when you do, when they do that. Man, that was a pro tip right there.
Kelly: [00:55:25] All right. Yeah. So yeah. Um, so we do, I do like the people that pull me in and we’re like, okay, tell us all about it and then I’ll be like, okay, here’s what we do, you know, let’s see if we can help you or not.
Stephen: [00:55:38] How different is the conversation today then you say four years ago with wholesale. When you’re at a trade show, how different is it? Yeah, it is, isn’t it?
Kelly: [00:55:46] Yeah. Today it’s about what we can do for them. Not what
Stephen: [00:55:53] you used to have to beg, didn’t you?
Kelly: [00:55:57] Um, yeah. Well it used to be. I can’t even
Stephen: [00:56:01] Lisa. That’s my experience. I used to have to kind of like, Hey, let me be the one. Now it’s, it’s different because they have an expectation now.
Kelly: [00:56:09] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, but I’ve also turned people down.
Stephen: [00:56:14] Oh, you fired customers. Yeah. You haven’t even taken. You’ve actually had to say you’re too much of a hassle. I can’t sell your product. Yeah.
Kelly: [00:56:24] Ones that, yeah, they don’t, they’re not controlling their map. Right. Or ones that want us to take them on or a new launch and I just don’t think it’s going to sell.
Stephen: [00:56:35] Well. Is it you and your, uh, your, uh, a gabber good name, but is it the two of you, your intuition and her intuition? I mean, you’re bouncing it off of each other to say, oh, that’s cool. That’s very cool. Especially if she’s got to get. If she has an eye for, you know, knowing a deal or knowing what will sell and then the two of you together that’s confirmation, right.
Kelly: [00:56:57] We’ll research to, you know, we’ll look at other products that are similar and you know, look at the competition level and you know, hey, we’re gonna put a whole lot of money into this. Is it worth it?
Stephen: [00:57:06] Not only money, it’s, it’s economic bite because you’re giving up something else.
Kelly: [00:57:12] Right? Well, you know, you do private label. So how much money do you put into a private label product?
Stephen: [00:57:17] Oh yeah, yeah, I, it’s, it’s an enormous investment, especially if you’re doing you. I have a friend right now is putting a hold line out. I mean, you want to talk about man, man, I mean the efforts that they’re putting into it, uh, the upside, that’s the upside though, you know, I mean, let’s face it, they will be success. There’s not a doubt in my mind there’ll be successful. I don’t take risks like that. We’re only a part time sellers. I refuse to. Mine’s pretty safe. I’m pretty easy. Pretty, pretty predictable, you know, just nice and consistent, you know, not really taking big chances. What, when you sit back and think about what, what’s [inaudible] I, I have the question out there. You saw the question about personal habits and I just want to ask it a little bit different because you must be doing something day in and day out over time because it’s been five years, right this year, an overnight success, five years in the making. Right. Um, what would you say if you had to pull one or two things to help people who aren’t having that overnight success of five years in five years is a long time. That’s my point is that it does take a long time. They really get to that level. You didn’t get there overnight, but you’ve been doing stuff right for awhile. Could you isolate a couple of those force?
Kelly: [00:58:28] Um, well, I guess one thing is I throw myself all in when I, when I take on an endeavor like this
Stephen: [00:58:42] and what does that mean though? I mean because it’s like, yeah, you could put a lot of time, but in a lot of time gets wasted. You know,
Kelly: [00:58:49] that’s true. Can’t concentrate. Oh, here we go. Here’s what somebody told me before, I’m like, Oh yeah, you’re right. Um, I make sure I’m really good at one thing before I move on to the next. So there’s a lot of shiny objects out there in this business. Right. So when I first started and I started doing ra, it was in October, so I started doing toys because, hey, it’s October, right? So I did toys. I got really, really good at toys. I knew every toy in the market. If a new one came out, I saw it on the shelf right away. It stuck out, you know, because I knew everything so I was really good at twice. Then I got pretty good at health and beauty. So when I brought my first employee on and took her shopping with me, I said, hey, why don’t you do grocery because I’m good at these two already. You do groceries. So she did grocery right. So and so on and so forth. So same thing. I got really good too at, at Ra before I moved on to. And then I got good at [inaudible] before I moved on to wholesale. And then I got good at wholesale and Amazon as whole before I moved on. Now I sell on Ebay, jet and Walmart, right, so you just have to be careful not spreading yourself too thin.
Stephen: [01:00:06] Well, let’s go back then because it’s five years in your first year you didn’t have staff, so it was just you. So as you said it was toys and then Hilton beauty and so boom and you hit a level and then you could afford to hire somebody else and you were smart and said, hey, let’s expand. Rather than have them come in and take work off of you, you’re like, I want them to come in and help me grow. I mean this is a very, very serious pro tip here right now because I don’t think I want people to hear this again. You brought them on expecting them to help you grow. Yes, absolutely. Because I saw somebody posting earlier like you can have five people and they, if you’re making a hundred grand and you can add five people, grow your sales and then still make 100 grand if you’re not careful. So that’s not a good plan. So with the expectation to grow, because it’s a complete category, you’re not an expert in, you expect her to become an expert in and then probably through Osmosis you pick up some of that too, right? I mean it logically, but they. Oh, that’s so smart. So smart. Oh
Kelly: [01:01:05] yeah. I don’t even know. I don’t know. I don’t know how I fell into that, but yeah, she and she, luckily she was very good at it and then she eventually I slowly pulled myself out of the Ra and handed it off to her.
Stephen: [01:01:20] Oh, that’s so good. Yeah. Was she able to keep up? But because you’re giving her a, she’s already got the learning curve of what it’s like to go into the store and scan and all the rest. That kind of jazz. When you gave her the, the toy and the other, the health and beauty, did you see a huge dip? Because you know you’re an a or an outlier there and she sounds like she’s an outlier in her little world. So the two of you together probably unstoppable. Now you step out of it completely. How big of a dip did you see in that cat? In those categories?
Kelly: [01:01:47] Um, I didn’t because I also gave her somebody else to work with her.
Stephen: [01:01:50] Uh, okay.
Kelly: [01:01:52] So while I called somebody else and she trained her and so I still had two people out shopping and I still to this day do a couple of days a week. Yeah. No, not me.
Stephen: [01:02:06] No. Okay. I was gonna say Whoa. Now that’s super woman now. But you still have, you still have a little bit out there as you transitioned because of cashflow is because it’s hard to. It’s hard to turn down to cash flow, right? I mean it’s the most form of cash, like it’s you can buy it and literally ship it on the way home or put it listed on the way home and, and have the cashflow. Okay. Right. Very, very smart. So she helped replace you and develop them to her way, which is cool and very, very cool. That’s a really good tip. So that was a very strong skillset. Any other ones that you would say that really have helped you get you where you are that five year overnight success.
Kelly: [01:02:50] This is so hard for me because I really. I’m. Some days I don’t know myself how I got where I am. I’m like, hm, what did I do right? I’m not wrong, so that’s a good one. One of my employees said your attention to detail and I don’t think that I’m that detail oriented, but I do. I make sure that I reiterate like I might say, Hey, can you do this? Hey, can you do this? Hey, can you do that? And then I’ll go back. Did it get done? Trust but verify. Yeah. Making sure that things get done because yeah, I mean it is nice. I am fortunate. I have an amazing team around me that helps a lot so I can definitely attribute some of that to the amazing people that work for me.
Stephen: [01:03:38] So inspiring. I, you know, again, I sit back and you are very humble and I appreciate that, but I think this, this consistency of put your head down and you were going to be successful because you saw the other side of it and you weren’t gonna go there and I just think it’s such a, such a powerful, powerful story. Kelly. I’m impressed not by the, but just the, the way you bandage it to me is very, very cool. That humbleness. Alright. So the goal of the podcast is to help people who get stuck and you know, it doesn’t sound like you got stuck. You found a way to push pass. I’m sure you came up with, well I know you came up against every single issue that everybody else does, but you find a way to get through it. What’s, what’s the best advice you would give somebody to get past that point of stuck?
Kelly: [01:04:29] Um, yeah, once again, if you’re feeling that you’ve reached a plateau, if that’s what you mean. Like they want to kind kinda push forward. Um, to me it’s outsourcing and delegating. You have to eat. There’s only so many hours in the day and there’s only so much you can do yourself. And the hardest part is giving up control and I know that too. I, there’s a lot of things I had a hard time giving up. Um, but you’ve got to give up that control and let other people help you. Um, and realize that you can’t do it all yourself.
Stephen: [01:05:06] It’s so rewarding when they get to celebrate in the success because they know they were part of it. Right? Isn’t it like, so cool. Especially with the team your size, is that like, like the coolest thing? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, you blew me away as I knew you would. Um, it’s just phenomenal and again, I love the story. I love the story of pushing past it and just, you know, just putting your head down into, in the work. I’m just really super strong advice and man, I just wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Stephen. Thanks for having me.
Stephen: [01:05:42] How great was she? Just a cool lady. I mean, just great. If you’re at a conference, meet up with her. I mean for sure because it’s just you’re going to learn a whole bunch of things. Again, we just came back from ECON, Chicago and I can’t recommend that enough. I know rocky mountain is a, when that comes up in a, I think it’s like may or June, another one, same type of event where it’s going to be intimate a couple of hundred people, 300 people, but where the conversations go so much more than just selling on Amazon or selling on Ebay. They have to because guess what? You’re human. You’ve got a life, you’ve got relatives, you have family, you have kids. Guess what? There are those challenges creep into your life. And so finding other people who have dealt with it and found other ways, it’s just an awesome place. Um, so I highly recommend those types of meetups because that’s where the networking is going to be the best. E commerce momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.
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