351 : Eric Martindale – Your business bleeds inefficiency and waste between tasks

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Such a profound statement from Eric. Every task you can reduce, outsource or eliminate will make your business stronger. So stop, review all you are doing, and make changes. Changes to move you forward. Changes to get you more in line with what part of this business you love. After all you need to love what you do!

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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)

Eric:                                        00:00:00               EIs for me, it’s going to be a finance game. Um, I’m not at the point anymore where I can, where I can finance this out of my own pocket. Uh, initially you can do that. You get to a point where that doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s, it’s or you know, you’re going to leverage yourself at some point in some way where you cannot cover, um, you know, if you, if you do have that, that failure and we all have them at times, um, you know, getting to the point where I can’t just cover them with, from my own savings.

Cool voice guy:                  00:00:32               Welcome to the ECOMMERCE guys. Will we focus on the people, the products and the process of ecommerce cylinder to your host, Stephen Peterson.

Stephen:                             00:00:46               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? And if you’re selling a similar product that’s really successful, you go and you take and use their keywords, and that’s what scope does for you. It’s a 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.

Stephen:                             00:01:30               So go to seller labs.com, forward slash scope. 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? I boom, you’re going to get the help you need and that’s what you’re going to get from solar lamps. And, 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 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, um, and our account, my wife and I, and she really does handle things for us.

Stephen:                             00:02:16               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 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 have 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 to do, you know Karen also does listings for Ebay. Yep. Lots of them. So if you want to build out that channel, which of course you should, it’s q four, you should be selling everywhere you can, um, Karen can help you with that too.

Stephen:                             00:03:02               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’ve 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 them to get that inventory right and she can help you with that. You’ve got to 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 arb or online or when I have a question. And I do. 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?

Stephen:                             00:03:45               Because she’s really, she is a coach. I mean, she’s really phenomenal, but you 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 at least 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 a 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. Here’s the, here’s the way you approach it. Hey, receipts, um, how do you, what’s the best practice? I saw her leading instructions, teaching me the accountant how to do a better job with it.

Stephen:                             00:04:30               And it’s phenomenal. So it’s Gaye Lisby made a million dollars selling. Um, I’ll have the link in here. You’ve got to use, um, the, my, my link and it does help me, I don’t want to say it that way, but it’s part of amazing freedom with Andy, slam inslee, 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 cash flow going right now. And so join you. Get two weeks free. The only way you’re going to get the two weeks for if you use my link, it’s on this episode.

Stephen:                             00:05:09               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 and welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 351, Eric Martin, Dale, I’m man, if you want it, a great story of somebody who’s learned some great life lessons and didn’t start from the highest point of the peak, but yet has been able to climb over it and not may not climb over, climb over that one and the next one and the next one because he learned something along the way. And I think that you, if you’re in this world, you have other skills and traits from other businesses, other, uh, uh, education and other experiences that you need to apply to this business. And again, if you could figure out the parts of this business, those skills and traits marry up with you will 10 x everybody else in those areas.

Stephen:                             00:06:03               Then you just hired. This is Eric’s advice. You just hire around those other areas. And Man, it just, it’s just such a great place. He dropped so many golden nuggets. One is you believe waste and inefficiency between tasks. Is that you? It’s me. One hundred percent that this happens to me all the time. So I think there’s so much to be learned from such a great guy. I just think what a great story and just no doubt why he’s successful now and continues to be successful. Just a great story. Let’s get into the podcast. Alright, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcasts. I’m very, very excited about today’s guest because I’ve been watching him. We met, I guess we met twice, I want to say I’m definitely once but um, it might be twice but we spoken and we shared a whole bunch of things in common.

Stephen:                             00:06:54               I’m just a terrific, terrific guy. Great Dad. That’s how I measure people. Again. I’m Eric Martin. Dale, welcome. Eric. Steven. Hey, sorry. I mumbled a little bit there, but it’s true. I mean I sit back and I watch people, you know, the way they are with kids and the way they are at with their family and the number one thing. And it was kind of our precall conversation. The one thing I take away as I watch people, the way they treat their family and you’ve got a big family and that’s like your number one thing, isn’t it?

Eric:                                        00:07:24               Yeah. It is, I always say that everything is kind of built around, um, you know, the time that I have structured for my kids. So I’m, I am divorced, I have my kids part time and everything, you know, when I don’t have my kids, I’ll work 18 hours a day, but when I have my kids, everything is sort of ancillary, everyday

Stephen:                             00:07:45               stomps. Yeah, dude, that’s so cool though. I mean, think about that. I mean, think about the time that you’re investing in them and I understand it’s messy, right? I can’t be easy but now, but that’s so powerful. Anyway, I, I noticed that immediately and I just love that about you and to me you’re the dad that I have always wanted. So anyway. Very cool. So let’s talk about Eric Martindale. Eric’s a very large cellar having you’re more than doubling your business this year from last year. Um, and you’re figuring it out. Now. You don’t figure it out. Here’s another thing I like about it, or you’re not figuring it out on your own. You’re asking for help. You’re asking the right questions. You’re probing right to figure it out. I think this comes from your military experience, but I’m interested to hear about your college experience too. So take us back. Uh, what, what were you going to do when you were in high school? What was gonna Happen?

Eric:                                        00:08:48               Honestly, when I was in high school, um, I, I can’t say that I didn’t have a good path. Um, I, I didn’t have a w I wasn’t raised in one of those homes were I knew what I was going to do. I knew I was going to, you know, go to college or take over a business. Uh, we’re, we’re pretty poor, so it was a little bit muddy back then and um, I’m. The only thing I knew is my dad was a marine when he was younger and that was something always kind of in the back of my mind. I just didn’t, I didn’t really have any confidence back then. When you say that

Stephen:                             00:09:31               because I think this is important. When you looked at him, was he an, I know you’re only going. My memories and the way he talked and the way your mom talked about it, but when he was a marine, was he, was that him and his best? Is that what you remember?

Eric:                                        00:09:46               Yeah, I, I think um, you know, he was the kind of guy that would always kind of point back to that time. And he only, he only did I think four years, but he would kind of always point back to that. And um, he, he wasn’t much of a storyteller, but if you did hear stories, it was about, you know, as time in the marine corps, it was late, late sixties, early seventies. So, uh, you know, really interesting time to be in the military in general. And it was just something that always. He always said, I don’t want my kids to do that, but it was always in the back of my mind. So I think I always had a little bit of a place holder there for, for the Marine Corps.

Stephen:                             00:10:26               When. So as you’re growing up in high school and you’ve got all these conflicting feelings about what you’re going to do, you’re not sure. Like you said, you’re not getting a lot of direction, like, Hey, this is your path. You should be a lawyer. This should be. How did you, I mean, did you enlist as soon as you got out of high school or did you think you were going to go be an accountant? You know, one of my favorite things

Eric:                                        00:10:48               I wish I had, I wish I thought I was going to go be an accountant instead. I went to work for a small construction company for $7 an hour and I did that for almost three years. He was treated very poorly, made very little money. I didn’t have the confidence to really go and do anything else. I didn’t think I was, I was ever going to do anything. Um, you know, really beyond that. Um, I, I, there was a part of me that always had a hope and always was, was always looking for that thing. Like, there must be something out there, but that was never seeded into me. I was never told, hey, you’re going to, you’re going to do great things. You’re going to go to x or you’re going to go do y. It was more like, I’ve got to figure something out because I don’t want to make $7 an hour for the rest of my life.

Stephen:                             00:11:36               So you had to figure it out on your own. How different is that for you and your kids? I mean, you got five kids. I mean you got, you got a lot of responsibility there. Do you, do you look back on that as something that since it wasn’t reinforced to you, is that like for me, I’m in the same boat. Am I probably around? So my boys know. I tell them every single day whenever I talk with them, I love them. I give them a kiss and I don’t care what anybody thinks. I’ve been doing it forever and I build them up because I just. And I keep telling them, don’t figure out your life for the today, for the rest of your life, please don’t, you know, because it should change for you. How about for you?

Eric:                                        00:12:13               Yeah, I remember you telling me that. Uh, we met in Philly. Steven, you mentioned that you had a, also a very negative upbringing and um, I, I would, I, I based, almost everything I do in terms of parenting on what I didn’t have. I talked to my sister. My sister is a, an amazing mother and we talk about that all the time, you know, we, we want to give our kids what we didn’t have. Um, so yeah, I’m a, yeah, I spent 15 years as a marine officer, but I kiss my kids on the, on the cheek, you know, 50 times a day and I’m very, very soft with my kids. You probably would never guess, um, you know, that I spent my, most of my career in the Marine Corps if you saw me around my kids.

Stephen:                             00:13:02               No, I think again, what you said, do you want them to have what you didn’t have? That doesn’t necessarily mean money, right? I mean, I know that it’s great to have more money, right? So you can do more things, but it’s that encouragement, it’s that bit of a, you know, learning and let him get a little dirty because I got to eat some dirt because we all did and lived and then, and hey, that probably wasn’t a good idea, was it? And then that teachable moment, those little interactions to me are what really, I describe it as a foundation, right? You build that foundation and you know, maybe in your life, at least in my life, I didn’t have that built. And so you keep stumbling and you always like, why do I keep stumbling because you don’t have that foundation. So I am making sure that my kids have a. Now my grandkids have those foundations. So that’s, it’s very cooler and it’s, it’s very, uh, it’s got to be very humbling for you to say that. Right? Like you said, you’re big marine guy, well built. You were 15 years you were and you were a leader in the marines. So it’s not like, I mean, you had to get the best from other people. That’s hard to do without, you know, uh, putting some stress on them and stuff. So that’s one leadership style. But then your kids, you’re like a melted.

Eric:                                        00:14:15               Yeah, no, you know, I, I think because I, there was that sort of vacuum of hope and positivity will, you know, when I was younger, my adult life pretty well became about achievement. Now that you know, I’m watching my kids grow, I could care less if they’re financially successful, if they want to be a um, oh, I don’t want to throw out a career in insult anybody, but whatever they want to do, I would rather they be mentally and emotionally secure then wealthy or famous or any, anything like that. I honestly could care less what they choose to do. I would just prefer they, they feel secure and healthy.

Stephen:                             00:15:04               It’s so smart. It’s mean, it’s not different values. It’s, you know, and I don’t blame my parents or my grandparents for they grew up in an environment, you know, think about your kids going to school today. That environment is so different than when you and I went to school. So they become part of that environment. So how is that their fault, right? Or me as a parent, how is that my fault? So I think it’s, it’s that, like you said, that mental clarity and letting them know, hey, they are okay, you know, they can do anything, you know, that’s reasonable for them, right? If you’re not, you know, seven foot, you’re not going to be a great basketball player, right? You might be good, but you’re not gonna be great. Okay. So that doesn’t mean you can’t play basketball. Just doesn’t mean you can do it for fun. I mean, you know what I mean? How do you then, because you are an achievement guy or at least you have been and you’ve had a lot of success in the military and then, you know, got a big degree. I mean a very cool degree, which I do want to talk about. Um, how do you set those boundaries? Because as you kind of sound like you’ve tried to live up to your dad or exceed him, how, how do you, what, how does that conversation go with the kids?

Stephen:                             00:16:18               Because they must pump into it, right? I mean, have they, have you seen them starting to bump into that where they fall into your trap of trying to excel? And then how does that conversation go?

Eric:                                        00:16:28               So My, my oldest is 12 and she is a little entrepreneur. I hear that a lot among your, your guests. Um, a lot of them seem to have kids that sort of grow into that role and I don’t push her into that and she’s the only one that shows that right now. But I see her start to um, sometimes she makes money. She does things for me. She has what she calls her, her business, um, you know, outside of what I do. And sometimes I see her kind of focus on things that I’m not sure she should be so focused on. So what I always tell her is, um, this is what I’m learning right now. You know, this, this, here are some mistakes that daddy has made and I kind of see you starting to go down that road. Just make sure you know what you’re doing. Make sure you know that if you, you know, you, you make x, your focus, I’m going to be some ramifications there. Going to be some, some other opportunity costs or a or whatever. So she’s kind of learning as I learn and, and she knows that we’re very open about that. Um, she, she gets, when I make mistakes, she often is the first person that I tell, hey, I just want to tell you this so you can learn it at 12 instead of learning it at 40, like I am.

Stephen:                             00:17:57               Well, and again, you’re just showing vulnerability there to say that you’re not perfect, so they don’t have to be perfect. I think that’s perfect example. Okay. So let’s move on. You worked at that job in construction for those three years and then how did you end up going into military?

Eric:                                        00:18:17               I went to, I went to college. Um, I just knew I had to get out. I had, I was into some other kind of bad stuff. Um, I knew I had to get out of the area I wanted, wanted out of that job. Um, I ended up going away to college. Uh, I had enough money for one semester, I had no idea how it was going and I just kind of probably the first time in my life, first of many times where I just kinda stepped off the cliff.

Stephen:                             00:18:44               Well, that’s, that’s a sign of an entrepreneur right there. Yeah. And it’s funny you say that because literally I thought to myself, there’s a big skillset of an entrepreneur where you, you don’t know how you’re going to make it happen. You don’t have it all figured out, but you know, or that’s the move for you.

Eric:                                        00:18:59               That’s interesting. I never, I never thought of it that way, but yeah, you’re right. I, I can see that now. I’m definitely sort of stepped out into the, into the fog and when I got there I got through that first semester, had no idea how it was going to make it beyond that. Got to the end of that semester. And uh, I met another marine, uh, became friends with him. He had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, talked to him a lot. His name is Dave Henderson. Haven’t talked to him in probably 20 years, but uh, I’ll never forget him. A very disciplined, very principled guy and he went with me to a recruiter and I ended up joining the reserves, so I took another, I think it was six months off, did all the initial act of duty training and then went back to college and stayed in the reserves through the rest of my college time.

Stephen:                             00:19:51               How about how different, you know, like when you went first went and you didn’t have a lot of money and you kind of had to figure it out. Right. And you didn’t have, as you said that, well you didn’t say it, but you didn’t have that discipline and stuff. Um, and then six months later where that was pretty much beat into your writer, you drilled into you, I guess is the right phrase. How different was the college attendance? Six months later?

Eric:                                        00:20:16               Fundamentally, I mean it was a different experience. I worked, you know, continue to work full time through college. So I went to college full time work full time was in the Marine Corps reserves, which, which is very demanding, you know, beyond just the, the hours they take from you on the weekends and in the summer. Uh, but I was very, very time pressed. However, I went from being maybe a c student in college and I barely graduated high school. I, I had a terrible time in high school, got to college and was more of a c student and then after that first semester and coming back from a Marine Corps bootcamp and Mos School, uh, I was an a student. So

Stephen:                             00:21:02               why though, because I mean, I bet you you’re a smart guy. You’re articulate. I mean anybody listening to this as like, oh, this dude’s smart. Yeah, no kidding. What, how did they pull that out of you and how do you know, because I remember this is a podcast about, you know, ecommerce in that, but what, what skill set did they pull out of you that I hope somebody can pull out as somebody who’s listening, who’s struggling?

Speaker 4:                           00:21:25               You know what I mean?

Stephen:                             00:21:27               Yeah. Something switched, some switch turned. What switch? It’s not like they injected all this knowledge into you. Right?

Eric:                                        00:21:34               Right. I, you know, the bootcamp process is, it’s a socialization process way. It works is they spend most of that time breaking you down, you know, breaking old habits, breaking, um, you know, thought patterns that are sort of in the way and then a very little bit of time at the end sort of building you back up. And I think it wasn’t really about bootcamp or the Marine Corps, I think it was. That was probably the first time in my life where I went through something and realized I could actually accomplish something. Never accomplished anything in school, never accomplished anything in high school, never accomplished anything working for that small construction company. And then I got to the end of bootcamp and I achieved something that I thought was amazing and I walked away from that thinking, you know what, I’m, I’m, I might be a little bit better than I thought I was.

Stephen:                             00:22:35               Yeah, I’m worthy. All of a sudden you feel worthwhile because you described not having that hope and growing up in an environment. It can totally relate. And now all of a sudden do. That’s, that’s pretty cool. I never heard it. The social socialize part. I’ve heard of, you know, they break you down and break those habits in a build you up. But I’ve never heard the socialization part is that, is that because you’re, you’re, you have to find a way to work with others. Is that the part that you’re talking about? A very different.

Eric:                                        00:23:03               Um, so I, I spent, um, I, I went through Marine Corps bootcamp later. I went through officer candidate school and became an officer, uh, active duty marine officer. But I also did two different tours where I was a formal instructor. So I became very, I guess very well versed in how that process works, how we make Marines, why we do the things that we do and when. So when I talk about socialization, it is really, um, you know, if you look at the, the Spartan culture 2000 years ago or more, you have, um, you have a culture where it was better to die than to dishonor yourself. And that is really, that’s really where the Marine Corps is going with the, um, the basic training program. It is you, you are so invested in this culture that you, you’ll do whatever you have to do, you will, you’ll accomplish the mission at any cost. So when I talk about socialization, it’s not so much, uh, you know, socialization like you might see in, in school or a college or something like that. It’s more like we’re going to bring you into this culture and you’re going to learn to love this culture and do things our way for your, you’re not going to fit.

Speaker 4:                           00:24:28               MMM,

Stephen:                             00:24:29               sounds pretty rigid. Can you apply that to the ECOMMERCE world? Because, you know, one of the things that hurts when I see somebody step out of it and it now I admire if they come in and they say, hey, this just isn’t for me. It just didn’t work. You know? There’s some people that just isn’t a good fit. I admire that. Good for them. They figured it out, but you see, at least I do. I meet so many people that you could tell they just have it. And they just, for some reason haven’t been able to apply it and they give up that acres of diamond or an inch away from success and they give up and I’m, I’m always trying to encourage people to, you know, to try to adapt, right. And, and achieve. So is there any way you can apply that knowledge to the ECOMMERCE world?

Eric:                                        00:25:12               Well, I think there are probably a number of ways. But one thing I think we would probably say agree. You see a lot of sellers, especially junior sellers who complain about the way Amazon does business. I mean, if you get on the seller forums, you can never get on the seller forums. Never, ever, ever, please go ahead. It was sometimes I still get sucked in, but there’s no, there’s no, um, there’s nothing good that can come up that. But you see the little, um, the little sort of ticker that pops up on your, on your seller central homepage and 99 percent of those are really negative. Why does, why does Amazon hate us? Why does, you know what I’m talking about? What he’s been selling for a while. You see those, if you talk to a junior seller, they’re always saying things like, uh, not always, but you know, very often saying things like, I’m this new policy is meant to, to hurt third party sellers.

Eric:                                        00:26:12               And I think what’s happening there is we’re not, we’re not understanding what Amazon does and how they became what they are. Um, they became that way by being, being a buyer obsessed are customer obsessed as a, I believe Jeff Bezos refers to it as an. And that is a system that works. It’s the system that grew Amazon and Amazon is focused on continuing along that path. Um, and you have sellers that come in and they say, well, Amazon didn’t hand me this on a silver platter. I’m Outta here. Or, you know, I tried this and it didn’t work. Um, you know, they turn bitter and walk away. Well, there’s a system that works and there’s a system that’s making third party sellers, uh, you know, very wealthy, very successful. Um, but you know, you gotta you gotta kind of get into that culture and, and figure out what’s going on and figure out what’s working for, you know, for the most successful sellers out there and because a, they’re still growing,

Stephen:                             00:27:13               if I’m thinking about this, the way you described the marines with this, you’re saying the same thing in essence, like you had to adapt to the marine environment and love it and hate it and I’m sure you loved it and hated it. Right? There are parts of it. You hated it. It was just awful and it was dumb and it was whatever they decided, right? And it was culture. They always did it that way, but Amazon’s the same way. And I think you’re describing a very good way to adapt. You’ve got to love it and hate it, but you gotta you gotta go all in on it,

Eric:                                        00:27:43               right? Right. Yeah, it’s not, we didn’t, I didn’t build Amazon. I didn’t have that foresight. I didn’t have that wisdom. So I’ve got to kind of get it, you know, sort of marry myself to that, that system, figure out what what is working in and um, you know, I’ve got to do things the Amazon way. Sometimes

Stephen:                             00:28:02               you can, you imagine juggling the stakeholders of Amazon. Can you imagine that? I mean, just think about how, what’s their 600,000 employees? There’s, I don’t know how many distribution center trucks, airplanes, a third party companies that they deal with, you know, Fedex, ups, post office manufacturers, and then they’re in the business of manufacturing and then China and how many are there in every country, you know, can you imagine trying to juggle all those stakeholders and make a decision that pleases every single one. So everybody in the whole stakeholder world is a winner. No Way.

Eric:                                        00:28:39               Yeah. And they’ve got competition. You know, Walmart is a distant second, but a walmart once a, a big piece of the pie. So, you know, Amazon’s got competitors and sometimes no third party sellers aren’t, you know, they’re, they’re not, they’re not bringing the heat. Amazon will do some things to sort of burn away the, uh, the chat.

Stephen:                             00:29:03               Yeah, alright, so here’s my hypothesis. Tell me if I’m right. This is my thinking. Um, and just came back from a conference econ Chicago, which was a great conference and Ebay was there and they were talking and I’m a big Ebay seller too, so I don’t want to an, I don’t downplay it and I love the Ebay marketplace. I do, but this is where I think there’s a difference. I think this is Steve’s opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. Amazon customers are not Steven, Eric, right? Their customers are the people that buy this stuff on Amazon. That’s my theory. Okay. So the person who’s buying a. let’s see, I’m looking at something I can say. Yeah, my Coffee Cup. The person who’s buying a coffee cup is the customer on Amazon marketplace, on the Ebay marketplace. [inaudible] customers is me a seller. You a seller, Eric.

Stephen:                             00:29:49               We’re Ebay’s customers, not the person who buys my Coffee Cup on Ebay because they’re my customers. Now, uh, this is my opinion. Um, to me there’s a different perspective. And so Amazon treats you as a vendor who is selling products on their marketplace for their customers. Ebay tries to do that, but my opinion is, again, that person buying the Coffee Cup on Ebay through me is not the Ebay’s customer. They don’t care for them, they don’t give customer service for them. They don’t do any of that stuff. I do. Um, and so therefore they should treat me as the customer. This is my deep thinking. Would you, would you agree with that in any way? Am I, am I onto something or am I way off?

Eric:                                        00:30:36               Absolutely. I think Amazon sells Amazon to the buyer. Uh, I, I don’t see Ebay doing that. I don’t really see anyone else in ecommerce in commercial ecommerce right now doing that. I think we’re going to see jet doing that. Um, you know, we, we just saw jet curator their catalog and um, I think jet is now selling jet to jet customers, but up until now, I think Amazon is really the only ecommerce giant to do that. And you know, you can, you can walk through a store and hear somebody talk about, Oh, I saw this on Amazon or I can get this on Amazon. I mean everybody’s Kinda got Amazon on the tip of their top of mind 100 percent. Absolutely. I think that’s a really interesting observation. I would absolutely agree with that.

Stephen:                             00:31:23               And, and then so then my theory is this, this is where I go, is that Ebay needs to embrace their customers, right? And give, I mean, and that means then treat me like a customer and in some way and so, and again I’m not criticizing them because I understand that they’re a publicly traded company that has a board of directors and stakeholders that want to make money and all that Kinda jazz. I get all that, but I just think that it’s never going to be the same. It’s impossible to be the same. They don’t have the wherewithal to be the same. So therefore embrace the business that they’re in. And I think then it changes the conversation because when they start realizing I’m the customer, then it’s untreated different. Because you know, I’m back to you being the leader in the marines when you had a um. Oh God, I’m so bad on the military terms. When you had a uh, not a project, that’s where I think, but I think in every mba, both of us, um, when you had a, a, what’s a mission to do right with your team? Was it eric doing the mission or was it, did you have to rely on your, your members? Right,

Eric:                                        00:32:23               absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. It’s always us. In fact, he know, we always say the, um, our failures, our mind, our successes are yours. So you, I think you’re absolutely right. I mean it’s, it is ultimately a team team effort and um, yeah, I definitely see. Definitely see where you’re going with that. I agree. 100.

Stephen:                             00:32:46               Yeah. And again, if he made with taking that approach, I think they can get a lot more from me by helping me. But you know, that’s just my opinion. And again, I’m not criticizing them. I’m just saying that if you want to get more from it, you got to embrace me instead of feel. It feels sometimes like it’s fighting and I don’t like to fight. So let’s talk about your team because you haven’t got a decent size team, had been developing a team, you’ve been getting the best from others. Um, how, how, how cool is that to get back in that role? So, you know, how difficult is it? Was it for you coming out of the Marine Corps? We had a large team. Right? You, you, you did that and then you jumped right into, am my correct, right. Into this world, is that correct? Correct. Yeah. Okay. So you had this giant team when you jumped in our world too, right? I mean it was hundreds of people working for you in your warehouse. Right.

Eric:                                        00:33:40               In My,

Stephen:                             00:33:42               when I was on, I’m being facetious here,

Eric:                                        00:33:46               a warehouse full of one.

Stephen:                             00:33:49               Me, myself, and I write. That was the team. Absolutely. Yep. Yep. So how different is that and how difficult is that? I mean, because in kind of as you said before, is a, it’s easy for you when you have a lot of people to get something done, right? You just have a whole group of people. And you get depth there, right? There’s, there’s layers.

Eric:                                        00:34:09               Yeah, absolutely. I mean I had, when I was a company commander at my peak, I had 258 marines. I was a battalion executive officer for, for a period. What was the second in charge of a battalion with, I think at our peak, about 900 marines. So, and you know, in addition to the, just the number of personnel, you’ve got echelons of leadership, you’ve, there’s a lot of training that goes into a lot of those leaders there. You’re talking about a system that’s well over 200 years old so you can get an awful lot done with, with a few hundred people, especially when you know they’re, they’re following a program that’s been honed for a couple of centuries. And then, you know, when I got out I again stepped off another cliff and had nothing. No one, no, no Va’s at the time. No, no part time help.

Eric:                                        00:35:06               I wasn’t using services, so it was just me and you know, I always say that I worked 25 hours a day, but in the end you’ve got really 24 and you’re going to run out of minutes everyday. Everyday there’s minutes are going to take away and if it’s just you, you can only get so far. There’s only so much you can do. Um, so yeah, as the team is starting to grow, it’s still small. Um, it’s been challenging, but you know, I can see the, um, see the light at the end of the tunnel. I guess at this point.

Stephen:                             00:35:39               This is something to think about when you are that high of an executive and you have that much responsibility and you’ve relied on really strong people beneath you, right? Because you don’t get to that level without really strong people pushing you up as the way I always describe it. Right? So there are really good people pushing you up and holding them up so they carry a lot of responsibility and weight with them. That, um, as this is steve talking about Steve, I became kind of sloppy as a leader. I think and, and, and as a doer, as a worker, and maybe I should say it that way, and so because I was so used to that and then you come into this world where you’re kind of by yourself and you, you know, those other things should get done but you can’t get to them. And so in my mind, that stuff wears on me and it just messes my head up because I’m like, and it’s probably one of the reasons I have such a difficult time with distraction because I can’t get this stuff out of my head, oh, I should be doing this and this and this and this and this and this. Now it’s unreasonable to do all those things. Right? And without that team to fill in, um, it becomes a challenge. How challenging was that for you?

Eric:                                        00:36:44               Oh, extremely. There, there are a million business books and leadership books out there that will tell you that you, you believe most of your time in transition between small tasks. You know when you’re, when you’re running an ecommerce business. I mean, there are a million of them there. There are just a million I could sit here and you and I could probably come up with, with a list, know 10 pages long and all day long if you’re doing it by yourself, especially all day long, you’re just jumping between from task to task to task. Every time you transition you have to refocus. You have to remember all of the inputs that go into that task, where to find x and y. um, so, so yeah, it’s uh, it’s almost maddening when you’re doing it all yourself.

Stephen:                             00:37:32               So if that’s the case, how do you address that? Because I think I’d love you and this, I kind of rewrote a little bit. You bleed waste and inefficiency between tasks. When you say it that way, I mean, it’s just so powerful to think about. So if we know that that’s true and, and you know, you’re 100 percent right? How do you, how do you turn that around? Because, you know, if you and I are similar, I think in a lot of ways, um, I’m a betting that there’s a whole bunch of us that have this same issue. How do you start to turn that around?

Eric:                                        00:38:07               I don’t know if I have a silver bullet, but um, some of those things have to be systematized and attended all. I mean, they, they, you just have to wrap them up. You have to spend the time wrapping, wrapping them up nice and neat and give them to someone,

Stephen:                             00:38:24               whether it’s wrap them up first, meaning you test it, you do all the different things. You figure out what’s the right way, the most efficient way or at least for you based on your limited knowledge, because somebody else could look at and say, why are you doing this, Eric? Right. But then you hand it off. I think that’s a powerful thing. So it’s like a, um, uh, an sop in essence.

Eric:                                        00:38:45               I know that’s something. Something else you and I spoke about it. I was really early in the, when we did, I was really early in the team building process and I, I made that mistake for sure initially and I, I probably still making it, but I’m getting better at it. Um, but you know, if you bring somebody on and you think you’re just going to bring them into to pack boxes or you know, reconcile shipments or whatever, right, listings, you’re going to be sorely disappointed if you don’t have a very detailed sop or process to handle.

Stephen:                             00:39:22               So when you added those in, what kind of benefits did you see? I mean, was it immediate? I mean because like you said, you didn’t do it right away or didn’t do it well right away, but then you obviously figured it out and you got on it. Has there been a benefit that you saw?

Eric:                                        00:39:38               Definitely. I think if I were to sort of pick a pick an example of where that’s gone really well, I would say um, I’ll just pick one of my va’s that has been with me for awhile and he’s a great young guy out of India, a very, very hard worker, very honest. But in the beginning I, I pulled him in and sort of just gave him some things and said here, run with it. And I spent more time. Initially I was absolutely just frustrated by the whole thing because I spent more time correcting him and trying to show him, you know, the right way and why, why the way he was doing it wasn’t working. Then I, then I spent actually doing what the task when it was just me doing it myself.

Stephen:                             00:40:27               And so most people would walk away right there, right. They would say, oh, I just do it myself.

Speaker 4:                           00:40:32               Yeah. But you didn’t.

Eric:                                        00:40:35               Yeah. And I think some of that was the, it was a reflection of this, this young guy, he’s just, I just knew, I knew he was a really sharp guy and I also knew I didn’t hand him anything. I knew he’s not an Amazon seller, so I kind of knew from the beginning it was my fault, but it’s still very frustrating and definitely a lesson in there. You know, you hand somebody that you don’t have somebody a task and I’m a process.

Stephen:                             00:41:00               That’s a good one too. So you hand them a process, um, how do you, as a guy, how do you admit your mistake? Was that the Eric of 18? Would he have admitted that

Eric:                                        00:41:14               the eric have

Stephen:                             00:41:15               at 18 years old, would he have admitted?

Eric:                                        00:41:18               No, no, no, no. The Eric at 18 was, was just busy trying not to end up in jail or himself around. I had no maturity at that age. Um, so that was, that was the Eric of 2000. I’m still trying to figure it out.

Stephen:                             00:41:37               I just, again, I sit back and I think about what you described, you know, I’m putting that process together, putting the time in to do that. So necessary, but you got a million other things to do, Eric, right. How do you, how do you organize those and say this is now a priority because that’s a maturity to

Eric:                                        00:41:58               how do I organize it?

Stephen:                             00:42:00               Yeah. How do you, how do you organize the time and say, you know what, I’ve got a, I’m going to give this guy another shot. I didn’t prepare him. It’s my fault. So now I’m going to document this process. I mean all this stuff comes at a cost to time. Right? And you have limited time. You already described that you have no time and so how do you prioritize that and make that at the cost of something else? Because I think that’s another thing a lot of people run into. It’s like, wait, I got to get the shipment out, Eric. I got to my payouts coming. I got to get my money back. I gotta. You know what I mean?

Eric:                                        00:42:27               Yeah. Well I think losing money or dipping into the red is a powerful motivator with you. So I think like when I brought on my first va and I realized I was paying him and not getting anything done and now it was losing the money and the investment and I was losing my time, you know, that I think that was enough of a motivator. But now I’m at the point where just through sheer dumb, you know, evolution of, of um, of action, I now I, I feel very strongly that I can’t bring anyone onto do anything until I have a process to end them. So if I want somebody badly enough to do my books, then I have to know exactly how I want my books done first before I can bring somebody on. So it, it sort of drives itself to the top of my pile of this.

Stephen:                             00:43:20               So it’s like an added cost, right? So, you know, hey, if I want to add somebody on, there’s gonna be a cost of time and commitment on my part. So I’m going to add that to the formula and see, all right, now it’s worth it or it’s not right. And so I think that’s a good. Um, that’s a, that’s a good way to describe it. I mean, it’s just,

Eric:                                        00:43:37               it’s step one. I think, you know, if you’re doing ra, step one is, you know, by, by your product, step two is peel the labels. And I think if you’re hiring somebody, you know, step one is you have to have a process wrapped up. I, I, I think, um, it’s no longer really about how do I make myself do this. It’s, this is step one. And if I don’t do step one, I can’t do step two.

Stephen:                             00:44:02               My son and I this morning we’re having a discussion about degrees and I was telling him I’m, I may be doing an interview in a, you know, your pedigree there. And I’m like, that’s a great school. You went to Villanova and you got an MBA, which is huge. I’m a big NBA Fan, but he was like, you know, he works with phd sometimes and he’s like, you know, sometimes, you know, just because you went to school doesn’t mean you learn anything. And I’m 100 percent believer of that. Right. When you think about your time at school, um, especially at a school like that, what value does that now to your business?

Eric:                                        00:44:36               Well, I, I’ll caveat what I’m going to say here by saying it, you know, probably what we all know and it, it education is what you put into it. So I, I think I had the maturity. I didn’t get my Mba until I was, I think I was 30. I mean it was pretty recent. It was, I think it was 36, maybe 35 to 38, something like that. And I had the maturity at that point. Uh, I read everything

Eric:                                        00:45:02               that I was that I was supposed to read. I took notes on everything. It was very organized and so I think I pulled a lot away from that. Had I done that when I was 22 and come right out of my Undergrad, I don’t, I don’t think I would have done that at all. So I, I would caveat by saying it is what you put into it. But to answer your question, I think I learned an awful lot at a, at a high level. I still have really struggled to figure out some of the lower level things, but just in terms of branding and marketing those. Now, you know, when I hear yourself or one of your guests or read about it in a book, I mean, it makes immediate sense to me. I get it right away. You have to spend three years with it, beat into my beat, into my mind. Um, so I would say it gave me an awful lot at it, at a high level. It just, you know, there’s not an awful lot of a formal education out there how to run an ecommerce business. But, um, I, I, I don’t know, I found it, I found it overall a very beneficial,

Stephen:                             00:46:07               what you just described is I think is a perfect way to say it. So you’re learning at a high level and then you hear somebody on my show, I’m one of these outliers, apply it and then it’s like you get the connection. It’s like a magical connection. Gives me the chills to think about that, that I could bring somebody to somebody who helps me. Um, that really helps me motivate me because it, it’s just so cool to see somebody. I remember spending time with you and I was at a podcast event and we had coffee and I remember the lights going on. We’ve just talked to some stupid little thing, you know, like I dropped some stupid thing that I said and you were like, you immediately clicked on it and you were like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And you ran with it, um, and we haven’t really been able to talk sense because you’ve been so busy and your business is exploding, not because of our conversation, it’s just a way that you take a morsel of knowledge and it’s like that little missing piece. And you just, your picture is clear and now you run with it. Would you say execution is probably one of your greatest strengths?

Eric:                                        00:47:10               Yes. Um, I, I tend to be somewhat bold, so I think, you know, when I, you said a couple of things to even both on your show and outside of your show that you may not know. I don’t know if I gave you feedback, but I have absolutely run with, but I, I, yeah, I think execution is very natural to me at this point. Um, I just have to have the, I’ve got to have the knowledge so that, that’s probably, that’s probably true. Um, execution is probably a strength of mine were the things that hold me back is just, you know, learning I guess at this point, knowing what to execute on next week.

Stephen:                             00:47:53               Here’s, here’s something else, I don’t want people to hear this because I get a lot of requests. Hey, do you want to have coffee or whatever? And I’m out and I always say yes, but just don’t make a difficult just because I’m, you know, I’m in Florida last two weeks ago, is there and somebody is like, Hey, can we meet up? I’m like, yeah, you got to come to me just because I don’t have a car, you know, I’m sitting at a resort. I’m in a mastermind for, you know. And so you took the initiative because we were talking about it and you were like, I want to meet with you. Right. And so I had to put these restrictions because I’m at an event. You drove all the way over. It was, I forget how far down into the city paid for parking. I mean every difficult, you know, all the roadblocks were there and you still took the time in the initiative to come.

Stephen:                             00:48:34               It’s very humbling for me that you’d want to even talk with me, but it, it’s, it shows that you want to feed that knowledge and there are a lot smarter people than me, so please put it in perspective, but it’s just so cool to me that you’re like, hey, I need a little bit of information. You might have the answer. So could I meet with you 100 percent? I didn’t want anything, don’t expect anything for me to. So those seats is like the best thing in the world. And I say that to everybody that you know, and I always say if you want to meet somebody that I’ve interviewed, let me know because I’ll put the word out for them. That initiative is one of the reasons you’re having so much success, you know? I mean, plus for me it was a. When I get to meet a great guy, our relationship gets stronger. You know what I mean? That. But you were willing to give up because you’re a very busy guy. You gave up a lot to get and do that and learn something. To me, again, that’s what outliers to.

Eric:                                        00:49:31               Yeah, I, you know, I, I, I don’t know if, I don’t think I mentioned this too, but one of the things I have been starving for is, and one of the things I think a lot of sellers are missing and don’t know they’re missing maybe at times is um, sort of a, those, I guess those mentorship relationships and you know, I came out of a system where mentorship was very aggressive. You’re always being mentored and you’re always mentoring. And when I stepped out into this world, I didn’t know anybody who sold at all see senior, junior and, and experience, um, you know, peer. No one. I knew no one. I think I met you actually,

Stephen:                             00:50:16               I was just thinking about that. I’m like, wait, we met in Atlanta now. I remember exactly because I knew there was another spot and I’m like, that’s right. We were downstairs and we sat for quite a while and just hung out,

Eric:                                        00:50:27               you know, you know, I said in my mind when I, because I recognize you when I went there because I always listened to your podcast and I said in my, in my mind I said, that’s my mentor. Just just like that. I was like, that’s, that’s the guy. I mean because you are. Anyway, I listen to your every one of your podcasts episodes, but one thing I’ve really realized that there has to be somebody that you can go to, or at least on occasion, you know me, even if it’s only once or twice a year, there has to be somebody out there that you can run something by. You know, this is not a, this is not a business where none of us have undergraduate degrees in ecommerce. Very few of us have been an employee in an ecommerce business. So there has to be somebody out there that you can, you can kind of go to, even if it’s only on occasion.

Stephen:                             00:51:17               Yeah. And you know, and again, I’ll pitch that conference too because it’s A. I’ve already heard some of the inner workings of what they’re doing, an even bigger send Jeff Cohen and note if you’re interested in going that because you do have to get your tickets early because they always sell out. But that conference, I mean for me is where there are 150. I think they limit it to 150 people. Every one of them. Unbelievable, right? I mean, I don’t know what your experience was. That was mine. And I saw talent like raw talent and I’m like, oh my God, they have. And I saw that in you. I’m like, they have it. They just have, they’re bringing something from a previous career, previous life or in your case, the previous service. Um, you’re bringing something special and man, if you can figure out the, the, the pieces of our business where that can be applied. You’ll 10 x them and then you just fill in the rest. And I think you’ve done a really good job of recognizing that, you know, Eric by himself, you’re limit. Eric with a great team has been a proven formula and therefore I’m going to put the time and maybe that’s the best way to sell it and, or just say it. And uh, I think it’s very, very cool.

Stephen:                             00:52:33               Think about some of the shortcomings you still have, Ryan and I and I know that’s uncomfortable to think about. What are you doing? I mean, I guess we described some things, some things you’re doing differently by bringing people on and, and, or learning. What are you doing to address them though? I mean, or are there some you kind of just push it off for now?

Eric:                                        00:52:57               Well, I definitely think I, I have some things I learned this last spring that there are some things that I was not doing well or not, you know, like you said, pushing off. I think that some of that is going to be. And it sort of, um, I guess give you an idea of what that is, is I have pushed really, really hard to get my sales up to unite. I keep setting these goals and throw everything is arbitrary. Whatever it is, evidence arbitrary, you know, w, w when you, when you talk about a goal for it, everything is arbitrary. It’s subject to you know, where you want to be in your, in your life for whatever reason. But I was sending these revenue goals and I, my first year full time, I grew 750 percent and when I got to that, mark was both the best month of my, uh, of my time as a seller and the worst because when I got there I realized, um, and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. There were tons of things I wasn’t doing. All I wanted to do was swing the bat. All I wanted to do was drive revenue and it was not doing things like reconciliations, recouping money that’s lost all over the place and it’s any commerce. It is all over the place. I wasn’t, um, I was hanging onto things like, you know, you talked to me about, um, things that I should have liked.

Stephen:                             00:54:30               Go of the old girlfriend. You heard my story, right?

Eric:                                        00:54:34               Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. I had had several of those old girlfriends that were anchors. I had, I was not managing relationships, I lost a really important supplier account at that time. So the, the, I, I let myself, I took a hit right away in terms of sales. I couldn’t avoid that. That just happened, but instead of trying to get back up there, I’ve really been working on building those systems and handing them off for, you know, the things I wasn’t doing, you know, if I wasn’t, I wasn’t really minding unit economics for, for one particular product, now I am so systematizing it and handing it off to the right person or keeping it myself or whatever. Um, so I think that that’s been one of my weaknesses is just is just trying to push the bus up the cliff, but not taking care of all of the details because in my, in my former life, I had people to do that. Now I, you know, I, I’m, I’m having to be very disciplined in bringing someone in to do that. So, um, those, those are my sort of, you know, I guess weaknesses that I’m trying to work through right now.

Stephen:                             00:55:47               Um, so now you’re planning, I mean, are you, I’m assuming in the military that there’s a lot of planning that goes in, it’s kind of drilled into you, right? Everything happens for a reason. Every step is intention. It’s really intentional. Maybe that’s a better word than plan. How are you addressing 2019 now that you’re so busy? So knee deep in q four. A good question. Is that uncomfortable? Sorry about that buddy. But puts you in an uncomfortable place because if you’re not, that’s a miss.

Eric:                                        00:56:19               Yeah, yeah, that’s right. It for me, it’s going to be a finance game. Um, I’m, I’m not at the point anymore where I can, um, where I can finance this out of my own pocket. You know, initially you can do that. Um, you get to a point where that doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s, it’s or you know, you’re going to leverage yourself at some point in some way where you cannot cover. Um, if you, if you do have that, that failure and we all have them at times. Um, you know, getting to the point where I can’t just cover them from my own savings, so I’m trying to get all the pieces together for a conventional finance, um, you know, that’s starting to come together, but that’s, that’s been the biggest effort and I’m actually able to focus on that a little bit now. Now that I have some, um, you know, uh, all team

Stephen:                             00:57:12               so that way I don’t want to miss that. So by bringing somebody on who in the beginning is slower than you are, right? And some of that’s your fault, but even if you fixed it, they’re still going to be slower than you. It’s now allowed you to get time to work on your business model, right? I mean, it sounds like that that’s a powerful. And how much is that worth versus, you know, reconciling a shipment or. No, I’m not downplaying that. I don’t mean to. That’s important. But how much more important is it for you to get that time to work on your business?

Eric:                                        00:57:43               I mean, it’s going to be everything at this point. You, you, if you can do, you can do ecommerce as you know, you can do ecommerce by yourself, but you’re only going to get to a certain point. You, there’s only so much you can do. You can get better and better at it, but you’ve got to, if you’re not building a team, you have to be building out services and I surely, you know, at some point

Stephen:                             00:58:07               va, that’s really good the way you just said that. So you build a team, we’re building out a service, but you need to help no matter what.

Eric:                                        00:58:18               Yeah. And, and there’s, you know, there’s a, I think you’ve met this guy probably don’t want to throw his name out there without talking to them, but um, there’s a guy I met at boost. Actually you met him two may not, might not remember.

Stephen:                             00:58:33               We did see each other a boost to. Oh my God, that’s three times. Sorry.

Eric:                                        00:58:38               Yep, there, it was kind of a, you know, a bunch of people there. So you might not remember. There was a guy there, I met him. I’ve been in contact with them ever since and where I want to build a team of people close to me, he wants to do the opposite. He’s feels like he’s done that and doesn’t want, doesn’t want the hassle of management. So everything for him is going to be virtual and remote. Um, he does have va’s but does not want a single employee. So, and he’s a big seller. I mean he’s, he’s very successful. So I think there are definitely two extremes and then anywhere in the middle, but at some point you have to be outsourcing some of this stuff or you’re going to be mired in taping boxes. If you’re in taping boxes, you’re not a, you’re not talking to your banker or you’re not figuring out how to monetize square footage and, uh, you know, a commercial space or, or whatever.

Stephen:                             00:59:32               When you describe that, my mind immediately goes to, there’s differences from having a team staff as opposed to having services. Um, can you talk through anything on either one of those were what goes through your mind with those? Do you know what I mean?

Eric:                                        00:59:52               Sure. I can give you my opinion, my opinion, just based on what I’ve done, I’ve, I’ve gone through a lot of different services. When you use a service, you’re almost always going to be using somebody else’s system and their. Yeah. And to their level of quality. I, I am a perfectionist and when I work through a system or I’m sorry, when I worked for a service I, I’m always disappointed and I’m not saying that some of these services aren’t really good. Some of them are really good. Um, but you’re, you’re left with somebody else’s idea of the future. So whether it’s listing design or you know, whatever it is, a ppc management, your is very difficult to hand off your exact way of doing things. And, and, and that’s a probably a good example. PPC management. I know exactly how I want to do that.

Eric:                                        01:00:42               I, I have, I have a system. I, you know, I have a first 30 days. I, I have everything kind of nailed down the way I want it when I have somebody else manage ppc. Uh, let me back up. When I have a service managed PPC, I cannot get them to do it my way at all. I’ve tried. I’ve been through many of them. I’ve paid good money to have it managed and I just can’t get it to do it my way, but if I bring somebody in and I sit them down and say, this is the way you are going to do this here, this is our sop, and then you can come back any every single day if you want and stand over their shoulder and say or say, hey, bring your laptop in and show me what you did or you know, I want you to generate this report. They’re going to do it your way because you’re, you know, you’re, you’re paying the rent so to speak. So I think you have a lot more control and influence when you have somebody on your direct physical team do it, but then you have that hassle. You have payroll and

Stephen:                             01:01:44               they bring their baggage to your business. Right? I mean, that’s the trade off, but you’re saying and especially because you’re looking for fast growth and maximizing the utility of what you have invested, right. And cashflow is always the number one issue and all these businesses for you that control, um, is really the helpful thing. I like it. Now that doesn’t mean that they have to be in house. Correct. So in this example, that team member doesn’t have to physically be at your address. Correct. But they do need to be under your control and control is relative, meaning that they’re only for you or maybe one other person. Okay. All right. I like that.

Eric:                                        01:02:23               I think there’s something to be said for actually being able to have that person sit down next to you or you know, be able to walk in their office or have them walk into yours. I don’t think, you know, you had recommended somebody in Florida, not, not one of the team members that I listed out for you, but she is doing some work for me and she, and she’s great. I’m, I’m in Pennsylvania, she’s in Florida and that works out really well, but I think there, for me at least, there’s definitely some value in being able to sit down with somebody, bring them in, show them your computer screen without having to go through one of these.

Speaker 4:                           01:03:02               Um,

Stephen:                             01:03:06               I’m one of these third party, like we’re having trouble with skype right now. So when do you use a third party service or a third party software thing too to try to communicate effectively? I think you lose something and clearly, you know, it’s happened to us today. Um, so I think that’s a good example of something they’re brilliant save. No, it’s true. It really is. I mean, it’s. Exactly. I think this is a good example. So we’re having some skype problem. Those are you listening. So that’s why I cut it up a little bit, but it’s true. It’s, it’s a perfect example why sometimes you can’t get what I’m saying. We, when you and I met the last time, right? We sat down and we had a great conversation, right? You could hear, you could see to my, uh, I mean it’s different, right? It’s so different than what we’re just talking. Yeah. Yeah. That’s powerful. So I think you’re right. I think you’re absolutely right.

Eric:                                        01:04:00               So, you know, I think there are advantages and disadvantages to all of it services on one end. I’m probably an employee that works, comes to work and reports to you every day at the other people who work remotely in the middle and it all works. I think it just depends on what you’re trying to do and uh, you know, what your, your personality is.

Stephen:                             01:04:21               Well, I, you know, I have a final question and I do want to make sure that if somebody has a followup question, they have a way. Can I put your facebook link there? So if somebody can ask a followup question, would that be okay? Okay, I’ll do that. Um, but I do wanna acknowledge this. This is a, I think, pretty powerful. This is Lewis House move. He always acknowledges people and I’m thinking about this to be fair. I mean, first off, I want to acknowledge you for your service to the country. It’s incredible. Um, but as, as a dad, I want to acknowledge what you’re doing in those kids because to me, again, you know, you’re, you’re setting, you’re changing the future of a, at a time when it’s just so important. And so I just think it’s powerful to watch you develop yourself and again, you’re a very accomplished person with a great education and great experience and all that jazz, but to see work on yourself and then bring it, um, and helping others, um, because I’m asking you to help somebody else and you’re like, oh, of course 100 percent ready to help.

Stephen:                             01:05:23               I mean, to me that’s, that’s what this can all be if you want to. And I, and I don’t want to miss this too. If you’re in the military and you’ve been thinking about, is this something that you might be interested in? I think you guys have such a strong skillset. You come with such, such a discipline, such a focus and if you take an apply that to this world, you will crush us all like the bugs that we are. Um, and I mean that in a, in a most positive way and it’s so cool when I see other people who come in and they outsell me in, they’re just amazing at it. I applaud them. I don’t, I don’t get envious that maybe I, maybe I sometimes get a little bit, but I sit back and say that’s awesome. Good for them. And they’re so lucky to find this. So, and I, I just, I just don’t want to miss that acknowledgement for you. Um, have you.

Eric:                                        01:06:09               Thank you very much. I, I, I like to say that your kids are the mission. You absolutely cannot afford to fail. So you can very well your business can fall apart and you can go start another one. You can get fired from your job and you can go get another one.

Stephen:                             01:06:26               It doesn’t define you, but your kids being a dad, that does define you. And it’s funny, we just had just had this conversation over the weekend with somebody, you know, it used to be the job to find you, right? Your dad or your mom or your grandparents, their job was there diff definition, right? If she was a homemaker, your grandmother was a homemaker, right? Your grandfather was a farmer. He was a farmer. Now I’m a dad or I’m a grandfather. You know what I mean? That’s, that’s how I define myself. And so it’s cool to hear you say the same thing. Okay. So here’s my last question I asked you to every time. So you probably heard it at 340 350 some odd times. The goal of the podcast is to help people get stuck and I think you’ve offered a lot of great advice on that. What’s the one thing that you would want people to take away that if they hit that point of stuff because you have. I know I have. What’s the one thing you wanted to take away?

Eric:                                        01:07:17               Well, I’m probably not the direction I originally would have gone by since we’ve kinda been on a sort of a theme today. I might actually add something a little bit different. I recall, and this popped into my mind when we were talking earlier, I recall watching Ryan Moran speak about probably three years ago and he talked about doing what makes you money or what pushes Your Business Board and getting rid of everything else, and I, I have this, this sort of thought I can’t get out of my mind recently, but ecommerce and everything, almost most everything, most every business is full of $13 an hour tasks and you have big sellers that are pricing their products based on the fact that the work that goes into it, they’re paying, who knows, 12, 13, 14, $15 an hour. Those are the things that you have to get rid of because if you’re still doing those, you’re still packing boxes.

Eric:                                        01:08:16               You’re working for $13 an hour because you can’t get around the fact that your competitor is, is able to price based on that rate. So you can’t. If you want to pay yourself $40 an hour, you can’t be doing those things. You have to. Even if you just hire a family member or you know, go to your local high school. That I think that is a really, really good one. Go to your local high school, ask a guidance counselor and say who needs money after school? Who can work for me for three hours, you know, three days a week after school or Saturdays, and you have to start getting rid of those $13 an hour tasks or you won’t grow

Stephen:                             01:08:53               such good advice and it’s just so when you say it that way and you’re not belittling because you used to work for $7 an hour, right? You’re not saying that, you’re just saying, hey, now I’m worth $40 an hour, $100 an hour. In my case it’s $350 an hour. So, uh, so teasing. Um, so it’s, it’s a, it’s a very cool place to get to. And then it’s a mental shift and it be because of men. You hire a high school kid at 13, 14, $15 an hour. That’s an awesome job right there. All of a sudden that’s not flipping burgers and they’re learning a skill and you might put a spark in them like you have with your daughter. To give me the chills,

Eric:                                        01:09:27               take a high school kid am $13 an hour and sit them down for 10 minutes in the beginning of their shift every time and teach them something and they will hustle for you,

Stephen:                             01:09:38               but you don’t know the ripple effect that that’s going to have in their life and then their family and in the. Oh Man. It’s like the butterfly effect all over again. Ever. Martin hip. Dude. Thank you so much. I know you’re so busy, man. I really appreciate you taking the time. I wish you nothing but success. I know you’ll have it because you’re a learned individual who’s willing to put in the time willing to drive all the way from your house all the way to Philadelphia early in the morning coming because it was early. And have coffee listening to me, Yap and Yap. Yap. And uh, and then run with it. So again, you’re just going to crush it. And I’m just so excited to, to watch and very fortunate to get to know you. So thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success.

Eric:                                        01:10:20               Steven. The pleasure is mine.

Stephen:                             01:10:25               What a great guy. I see so much of myself and Eric, yet he’s much better looking. Um, he is definitely figured out, um, what he’s good at and what he’s not good at, embraces what he’s good at but doesn’t just embrace it like fine tunes it. So he’s really great at it. And if there’s a lesson that I’m taking away from this conversation, it’s that it’s one of those things that I’m good at, a whole bunch of stuff, the stuff that I’m really good at, I could be better and I’m going to focus on that and just get better and better and better at that and then hire around the rest. I think that’s a powerful statement. Um, and it’s self reflective as I look at myself. Um, but if you see some of that in yourself, remember you bleed, waste and inefficiency between tasks for sure. So that’s where you got to complete the task and move on and, and make it as efficient as you can. ECOMMERCE momentum.com,

Cool voice guy:                  01:11:14               ecommerce momentum.com. Take care. Thanks for listening to the momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found@incomersmomentum.com. Under face episode number, please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.

 

Stephen-Peterson

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