370 : Chris Lin – Clarity is the key driver in your ecommerce business

selling on ebay

Chris is such an architect. A Process Architect. A systems builder.  His focus on building systems and processes allow the results speak for them selves. Sometimes they speak poorly, and that’s the key to growth, purge the low return efforts. The only way you know though, is to measure, test and do trials. Then let the data drive you forward to unbelievable success.

Mentioned:

Chris’ prior interview # 190

Chris’ You Tube channel: Daily Refinement

Chris’ Facebook Group

Sponsors

SPECIAL OFFER FOR MY LISTENERS ONLY

TWO WEEKS FREE TRIAL!!!!

Gaye’s Million Dollar Arbitrage List

Solutions4ecommerce

Scope from Sellerlabs

Tactical Arbitrage – Get an 18 day free trial with code: “Tactical”

Freeeup– Save 10% (forever) and get an instant $25.00 voucher for your first hire.

GoDaddy

Grasshopper

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

Chris:                                     00:00:00               And I feel like people are unmotivated, they’re just unclear and I just, you know, to be honest, I meet so many people that they really want to work and make it work. They just not sure what the, what the tasks are. And that’s what you were saying earlier in the call. Chris, tell me exactly step by step how to do it. But the thing is,

Cool voice guy:                  00:00:19               do the ecommerce as well. We focus on the people, the products and the process of ecommerce selling today.

Stephen:                             00:00:28               Steven Peterson. Hey, just wanted to talk about a couple of sponsors today. Um, it’s funny as I was coming back from the Philly give show, uh, this week and I was thinking about, um, the way I use sponsors for the wholesale accounts that I got at this event. And it’s like, okay, right under scope from seller labs. And I immediately look up keywords. Again, if you’re looking at products, if you’re, if you’re at a trade show and you’re going to bring some wholesale products to market, right? That this pertains to private label of course too. But even wholesale, you can take an existing product, excuse me, and find better keywords. So it’s on Amazon, it looks okay, you know, obviously the photos need to be improved titles, blah, blah blah. But the title doesn’t just get improved to be poetic genius. It has to get a, uh, improve to be what customers are looking for.

Stephen:                             00:01:26               Buyers are looking for certain things and the way you do it is you find what buyers are looking for and that’s what scope is all about. So you take a similar product, the top products, and you see what keywords they’re using and then you go and adjust this title and these new wholesale accounts that I got. That’s how you help a brand improve. And again, if you’re not helping that brand improve, good luck trying to keep it because somebody else is going to come along. Somebody like main, no offense, I’m going to come and say, Hey, I can help fix that. And so again, that’s what I use scope for and we use private label, we use it on bundles, we use it on all these different things. And um, it’s, it’s amazing when you look at what’s working and you do the same thing, that’s the proof.

Stephen:                             00:02:10               Okay, so go to sellerlabs.com, forward slash scope. Use the code momentum. Save 50 bucks. Um, and, and try it the way I’m doing it. Again, if you have listings, even if their wholesale accounts improve the photos, right? But you’ve got to get the right keywords, you’ve got to match what people are searching for. And the way to do it is to find your competitor who is really doing it right and that emulate them. That’s what scope allows you to do. So again, so our labs.com forward slash scope, let me know how it goes because it’s, it’s pretty awesome. Second one is, you know, the other thing is karen locker solutions four ecommerce. It’s funny, I was talking to some vendors and we’re talking about different things and I’m like, Oh yeah, I’ll have the photos fixed and I’ll do this and that. And it was an example of one with some gloves and they didn’t have the lifestyle photos, they had pictures of their tags and I’m like, you know, I didn’t want to offend anyone.

Stephen:                             00:02:59               You going to be really cautious about that. And so I’m like on their, in their display booth, they have these great lifestyle photos. I’m like, those are the extra photos you should have in there. And they’re looking at me. I’m like, you want to experience your young guys? You want a life isn’t experienced, why do you have them here so people can understand what they are. We should take the same approach and Amazon and we’re all like, Duh, of course, right? Because that’s our world. But for these guys they just didn’t know. And so again, my point here is I’ll just have karen locker fixed that stuff. I send it to Karen, boom, she uploads that stuff for me. She builds all kinds of flat files form and does all that stuff. That’s why I use her surface. That’s why I. I like solutions four ecommerce.com.

Stephen:                             00:03:41               So it solutions the number four e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. And you’re going to save 50 bucks by by using and again, that’s how you scale, that’s adding to our team. We have those members of our team and they’re not located here in my town, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She’s located in way up north in a Tundra. And yet those services are available to you. I don’t care where you are all around the world and that’s why I use her. So save 50 bucks, let her do an inventory health report for you. It’s a great thing to do. A Q one is here, q five, I like to call it as things are still selling, but you’ve got to purge this stuff. You got to get reset. And that’s why I use that. So it’s funny, I was thinking about that on the drive home, how I apply those right directly to accounts that I got immediately. That’s what you can do. Do, do to. So solutions four ecommerce, forward slash momentum, uh, solutions for woocommerce.com. Forward slash momentum. Save the 50 bucks. Tell Karen I sent you. Let’s get into the podcast.

Stephen:                             00:04:40               Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. Episode 370 new year. New Start and man, what a great interview to start it with Chris Lin and what excites me about this episode is he is an I and I, you know, I guess I a fan boy, I’m a little bit about his execution stuff because it’s very exciting to me. I think back to Grad school and I’m teaching you how to think. That’s what my Mba taught me, right? They taught you how to think, right? Breakdown in a, an item, pull out all the seasonality is what the term they used to use back in the old days, what we did it before excel and then rebuild it and put it back together. Right. He does that on every single technique and at the end of the coal we kind of get into some, some real nuts and bolts about how he approaches that and then how he’s using that in pretty much every part of his life.

Stephen:                             00:05:32               I think there’s so much value if you’re overweight me trying to lose weight. Right? So you go on a diet. Well, no, there’s more. I call it now a recipe. My life is a recipe and so I’ve got to continue to fine tune it, right? Adding and subtracting different things in certain quantities, measured quantities. Well, I think Chris is a perfect example of somebody who’s done it not right every single time and he’ll say that. Right, and that’s part of it. Being willing to say, you know what? This isn’t working. I’m going to change what I’m doing. That’s what a Keto diet for me for a good example when I was doing wasn’t working, so I’m going to try this other thing and so far it’s connected with me. Okay. Is it for everybody? No, but again, being willing to look at yourself, being honest with yourself, I think it’s.

Stephen:                             00:06:18               I think it’s healthy and I think Chris is a great example to start us out this new year to really start working on your business. You know that he meant model. Really start working on your business by working on yourself and yourself sometimes isn’t the easiest to work with, at least myself, Steve. So let’s get into podcast. Alright, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s return guests and it’s funny, it’s been a year and a half since I’ve had him on the show, so it’s a guy. I would narrow it down that way and back then I called him, I looked back at my notes, a process engineer because at that time I saw somebody who could take, you could, uh, you know, I think back to Grad school, the way you could take something, pull it apart, figure it out and then reassemble it, um, to make sense.

Stephen:                             00:07:07               That’s what he was doing a year and a half ago and it’s scaled so much and he’s gotten so much better at it. It’s phenomenal. And I just think this is the way we start off 2019 with Crystalyn. Welcome back, Chris. Thank you so much for having me again. Well, I mean everything I said there, um, and, and we’ve communicated a couple times in between then and it’s, it’s the God’s honest truth. I watched you on your show daily refinement, a youtube show. That’s the correct term, right? Daily refinement. Yes. I watch you because you want to refine yourself every single day, right? You want to refine your process. You want to refine your life every single day and that continuous improvement. It’s so noticeable and it’s just so cool to sit back and watch because I think you’re probably the best execution or I have seen by far by far.

Stephen:                             00:07:56               Well, that’s fair. I think anybody else would agree with me. I think that’s absolutely fair. How? I mean, do you think about this? I have a good friend who said this to me. He said about himself. He’s like, look, if I had to clean bathrooms for a living, I would be so good at it because I would take so much pride because that’s what I have to do. I always take pride in my work. Do you think that’s one of the things that you have because this skill could be transferable to any, any business. I mean you. Do. You think that’s your best skill?

Chris:                                     00:08:24               I think if I have a set of constraints, that’s my best skill that someone can give me. If someone can present a set of constraints and what they have to work with, I think it’s easier for me to process and figure out how to optimize that. Like being a great janitor for an example. I think personally I run into trouble because there are so few parameters when you’re doing online ecommerce, there are so many people making money, so many different ways. It’s very difficult to just one thing to optimize. So I find myself being a janitor and um, you know, a life guard, they’re not related at all and um, you know, it’s distracting and so that’s been my challenge. But I definitely think that if I had some constraints, that’s why I find it easier to help other people than myself because usually they have a set of parameters are working with.

Stephen:                             00:09:20               Yeah. No, I agree with you there. Um, I’m my biggest challenge in our business, there’s no doubt in mine is it’s not so much a shiny object syndrome. It’s just that when I watch you, for example, I just see so many other opportunities. I’m like, Oh yeah. And my knowledge or my vision gets expanded and I don’t know that that’s a bad thing, but it does then distract me from all that I was, you know what I mean? Absolutely. How do you, how do you handle that then? I mean, do you have to step away from, you know, getting information? Sometimes Gary v says that sometimes he’s like, look, I’m not listening to anybody else. I’m doing my own thing.

Chris:                                     00:10:00               How about you? I have noticed that the wealthiest person I know raise the same book over and over again until he’s convinced there are no more concepts left in the book to integrate. Um, and sometimes it’s a book a year and then you hear other people reading two books a week or this, this overflow of information and all the time you hear. So for me, I think the key is the, the essentialism, which is the art of I’m doing less but more meaningful work. And I have noticed this as I meet a lot of Amazon Ebay sellers and I find a lot of disillusioned. I’m Amazon sellers who get so deep into the numbers and um, excel spreadsheets that they don’t have any sense of meaning. They don’t, they are not producing the product, they’re not selling their product on Amazon is doing that. They don’t know any of their customers and now they don’t know anyone because they lock themselves in a, in a room for a year and a half to figure it out and they pop out and they’re just like very confused where they are even if they come out financially ahead. So I think for me, I’m just trying to think the hierarchy has to be people first and that changes a lot of how you work because if you optimize for people and spare time with people, you have to change your business. That’s been what’s affected me the most, the, the most, the fastest ways to earn money, directly conflict with having a, a happy, balanced life. That’s why they say there’s not really a balance if you want to succeed to the highest degree because it’s so time consuming.

Stephen:                             00:11:47               I have a friend who always says there’s a cost to everything, always a cost, no matter what it might be. Time might, money,

Chris:                                     00:11:54               might be relationships. So, so if you had to pick your order of priority, relationship is higher than your business. Yeah, so my hierarchy goes on myself first and I didn’t, uh, that’s just recent because I joined, uh, I joined a very powerful mastermind group and that pretty much every person in that group earned a million dollars or more a year and not sold a million, earned a million 1 million income or higher and they had extremely poor health with very few exceptions. Um, and there wasn’t, it’s not you can be rich and healthy, but it was just that they did. They were not that they were in the mental health and physical health or physical health only. So, um, this is the, the, the general topic of each call was I’m going home to a house full of strangers and then feeling so uncomfortable that they would go back to work.

Chris:                                     00:12:56               So I called them successful because they’re driven and that, you know, they have their top of the pack, the one percenters, right? All the money. Um, and, but then this, what happens is, from what I have seen when you usually earning more income is a result of more responsibilities and a, your, your job is more valuable. Maybe you’re managing five people and five people’s work will always be more than just one person’s work, but then you have five people to take care of. Um, and then there’s a, there’s a balance of having working by yourself and absorbing everything versus having a job on, on the other side of the spectrum would be a gigantic team of people. And um, there, there are some people and I would consider this the highest level of entrepreneur where you can create an organization where the people in your organization grow your organization.

Chris:                                     00:13:50               That, that’s very rare. I mean, know I, I don’t, I haven’t, I’ve never met a person in real life that has done that. But that’s what those are. The businesses that I feel would be the most, um, rewarding because you’re creating a machine that creates more and more value over time without you. That’s, that’s extremely difficult. I mean there’s the four hour work week of designing a business that works and makes the money that you need, but that’s very selfishly oriented versus a company that you already have plenty of money to. The company that you make creates more and more jobs and value for the, for the world without you. And then you have to hire people that can grow your company instead of just hiring people that can fulfill a role. And that’s incredibly rare in our industry of reselling. I haven’t seen it once.

Chris:                                     00:14:40               I don’t know anybody that’s created a company that grows year over year without them being there. Like, that’s extremely uncommon. So, so when you look, if we, let’s continue to profile this group, have in this mastermind, and obviously don’t offend anyone but, but just so, uh, men mostly. Well, a 90 percent men. Okay. Ninety percent men, white men, 90 percent, uh, with Caucasians was saying, I would say a hundred percent Caucasian. Caucasian. Yeah. Okay, so 100 percent Caucasian men. Yeah. Uh, let me guess. Bald, overweight, uh, like you say, problem on the assets. Would you say they are? I’m married on their first marriage. Would you say if you think about it, 100 percent married on their first marriage and do you think there’s fidelity? I would say a hundred percent fidelity. You very spoiled type people. However, I don’t think you can achieve this type of financial business success without a supportive partner.

Chris:                                     00:15:51               Like this is not, it’s not, it’s not possible. Actually. I know it’s not possible because you have to worry about so many things. If you have a supportive partner that takes care of everything and you just, you can just work all day, that’s totally different. Yeah. So basically single parents where she’s doing all the work in this scenario and I have an unpopular opinion before I go just for a second, I made some, I think it’s, if you are, um, I live in the bay area here, it’s not uncommon for women to earn six figures or more. So when I hear girl power or women taking control, that’s very common where I live, so I’m kind of how I had kind of looked through a different set of glasses because I see people of any gender making a lot of income. But there’s also something here that I see that that’s not uncommon.

Chris:                                     00:16:41               I mean that’s, I feel uncommon. I see women who are earning six figures leave work to just to be family only it transitioning from earning a great living to earning zero living and just being at home with their family. They make that very dramatic switch. But I, I don’t meet very many menu do that. Was their career started taking off? I, I don’t, I rarely meet them, turn it all off and just go family oriented. Well that’s the male measurement tool though, right? Is your job as year to year? Yeah, I mean that’s it, right? Hey, you know. Hey Chris. What’s the first thing we always say is guys, Hey, what do you do for a living? Exactly not, Hey, what kind of dad are you or how how good of a dad are you are? How good of a husband or boyfriend or Sun, right? We never talk about those things.

Chris:                                     00:17:29               Um, so, so back to this group. So you join this group because you want to be a million dollar income earner. Is that the theory? Was that, was that what you thought when you started it? Yes, because I heard you are the average of your, you are the average. Everything of your five biggest people you spend the time with. So average income, average weight, average lifestyle, average health. And I looked at the average of my five closest friends and decided I’m going gonna just, I just want to switch it up and see what happens if I, if I plug in five people who earn seven figures, what is the difference between them and myself? And so let’s just unpack that a little bit more because I think this is fascinating. So you put yourself, you know, this, Tony Robbins would say you got to change your state, right?

Chris:                                     00:18:17               So you really changed your state by taking yourself out of your circle, which probably wasn’t a bad circle, but it just wasn’t that circle. And you put, you injected yourself into this circle, looking for that piece that was missing from you earning that million dollars. And again, that’s not a criticism that you probably couldn’t have made it on your own. I don’t mean it that way, but you intention, you were intentional here, which I think is fascinating. Um, what you expected versus what you got so far. Can you talk about that? Sure. So to get it very, very basic understanding of how I immediately noticed the difference was these, this group earns roughly $500 an hour. Okay. So at $500 an hour, that’s probably not right away. I noticed none of them are thinking about nine to fives there, unless you are literally a surgeon or a rocket scientist or a high end lawyer hire a lawyer or an executive.

Chris:                                     00:19:17               Right? Which is so few people. It’s like only a couple hundred thousand individuals out of 300 million who are in that category, right? So none of them were ceos of public companies, but they’re mainly ceos of small, medium sized businesses. The highest earner had a company of around 200 employees. And that gentleman was in great shape and had a great family life. So it is possible. It’s just uncommon. So he had an infrastructure though. He had a, he had an infrastructure and he also had very strict rules, so he was disciplined to say like at a certain period of time he would go back and um, that, that would be it for work. There’d be a hard cutoff time and I think that’s not easy because, um, especially growing your company, your, the person that responsible when anything goes wrong so your whole company has to wait for you to come back from, from hanging out with your family.

Chris:                                     00:20:14               So that’s very incredible to be able to set up processes where your business doesn’t fall apart as soon as you walk away. Um, but right now technology is to the point where his systems are so clean that other people can problem solve. And I think that’s, you know, that’s the, that is one of the most beneficial things I’ve reading, stuff like that. Tim, our or the four hour work week where he talks about under a certain dollar amount, just have your staff take care of it. If it’s under $100 issue, have handle it. If it’s and then you go to the point where if it’s a $10,000 issue that’s still below your pay grade and you have somebody else’s take care of it, that point you can really take some time, but then building it up to that stage requires it requires also being okay with a small profit margin. That’s something that makes relative. Right?

Stephen:                             00:21:09               So if you’re making a million dollars and you say, well you know Chris, we’re gonna have to cut your pay down to a half a million dollars, you know, that’s relative, right? In the bay area that’s still a lot of money, but it’s not life changing in Alabama, you know, you’re the richest guy in town, right? I mean, let me ask you this, when you, when you, so that was something you thought and what you saw. Is it possible today in the phase of ECOMMERCE, which is new, still new? I don’t care what anybody says, it’s completely new. It’s completely new. I agree. Is it possible to get there now in this business that’s just getting. It’s not even organized yet. You know what I mean? Because you look at Amazon for example, right? They’ve made hundreds if not thousands of changes in the last four years because they have to. Because it’s evolving. Right? Walmart would be another good example. A craigslist would be a good example of something that hasn’t changed and you see what’s happened to them. So in this phase, especially in your business, could you get to that place now? Is that a reasonable expectation?

Chris:                                     00:22:14               Absolutely. And here’s, here’s one of the biggest. I think it’s okay. This is a very unpopular opinion. I did not. I would not have thought you would say that. I actually think right now is the easiest time to start the ECOMMERCE for a couple reasons. The first one is it, it is technologically heavy. Okay. Which means that if you have tools and systems in place, you can leverage technology which didn’t exist before, like to the, to the degree of. I was watching, um, a major clothing retailer I’m talking about right now. They have, you know, when we’re in their online warehouses, when things are moving online, there’s basically only a few positions and one of the positions is a person will take a clothing article and inventory into the system. This is the same no matter what you’re selling, really, you get an item, you have to enter into your inventory system.

Chris:                                     00:23:11               That system is being automated. I could, I couldn’t believe it. There is a robot that can reach into a pile of items pulled out, identify it, and turn it into the computer, package it and put it put away. They, they, they even erased that person’s job. So my point is there is the Co, the um, I feel technology is moving the um, the divide a little bit. It’s increasing the barrier to entry, but you can make the technology right now because it’s so early. And this is the, this is the huge indicator. Eva is the second largest. I’m reselling platform next to Amazon and I go there sometimes to do like, um, basically give my opinion on different features that come out and

Chris:                                     00:24:01               there is so little technology to help sellers, to be honest, most of it is you have to make your own system. When I went to email open on Ebay on Ebay, when I went to Ebay opened and I talked to seven, eight figure sellers, they said, Chris, every single thing we use is custom. We built everything from, from scratch, like Pecans. We sell different items than you are versus that seller. So we had to make our own system and that really got the gears turning because I was like, wow, you know, something, you know, the Iba has been around for 20 over 20 years and they’re still not tools that are universally useful. Really, you know, like the, it’s, everyone’s business is just so different. And so that gives me hope because it’s a higher barrier of entry to get started, which I think it makes it easier for people who are really motivated as I’ve been doing this for a year and a half.

Chris:                                     00:24:54               It has gotten easier, not harder to make money. No, I agree. But again, it’s because of your process engineer skills to me, your, you know, so let’s just use it. Do you just let stay with Ebay? All those barriers. Right. And it’s easier. Those of us who have been selling forever on e Bay would still say it’s easier today than what it was. However, just as you said, there’s not many tools, consistent tools to help make it easier to list and all the bottleneck points, right? To shoot up an image. There’s no inventory to no accounting, none of that stuff. Right. Um, however that didn’t stop you, right? You have. How many Ebay accounts do you have? Three. Three. One of them I heard you say, and my head that I think I rewound it and when I heard you say is that you’re limited because you hit their threshold of dollar value that you’re allowed to have on an Ebay account.

Chris:                                     00:25:43               Correct? Yeah. You can’t live well, I mean, um, and that’s partially because of web interpret, but yeah, I’m, I’m limited by the amount that they allow you to list. And so that didn’t just magically happen despite Ebay not being a technology company, which is what they should be, but they’re not correct. Ebay is, I think that I am okay with Ebay being in the business of earning fees. I don’t understand why people have an expectation beyond that because they don’t work for us. Oh No, I get that. And I think that not. I think that attitude has helped me so much because I’m already assuming that Ebay is doing their job when they charged the most fees and people don’t quit. Yeah, yeah. Like you guys are you guys doing a great job? So I think that mentality versus

Chris:                                     00:26:37               why are they doing these things to hurt us? I think that mentality is very toxic and very common in the community versus we’re trying to maximize profit. Why wouldn’t they try to maximize profit? I like that, that are trying to do that because I feel like if you go to Ebay, no one looks stressed out. It looks like they earn more than enough profit and that’s not the case and most of the startups in the bay area, everyone looks like they haven’t slept in days. Like you know, the company has never been profitable. They’re always having to raise rounds of money just to stay open. Ebay looks completely fine. They look like they’re just chilling. There’s no gas there in the business of fees. They’re not trying. They’re not trying to tackle inventory or you know, competing against their sellers like Amazon. It’s very low key.

Chris:                                     00:27:27               They just do one thing which has provided a platform connect to people and then charge you and I agree 100 percent. I mean they have to stay in business so therefore they’re going to charge what the market will allow them to charge. That’s a good business, right? Hence the reason I charge as much as I can for my products when I sell them because we want to make as much as we possibly can. They should do the same. My point is this, all those barriers that they put up in front of you because they’re not investing in the technology hasn’t stopped you. It’s encouraged me. To me that’s the I, I think you said the same thing. That’s the opportunity is the fact that it is challenging. That’s a barrier to entry for competition and as long as you have a process to get around that you when you definitely went, if you are on and I feel like it’s being more and more dramatic, like the division between rich and poor is so staggering because I see the tools for research and I meet younger resellers who don’t have any bad habits or any preconceptions of what they can or can’t do and I’m just so I’m so inspired when I meet someone who’s not a 15 year old reseller that says I don’t need my parents to buy me a car because I can just buy them on the south.

Chris:                                     00:28:44               I’m like, that didn’t even occur to me really at that young of an age that I could be self supporting. Well, what would you do? Done? Cutting lawns. I mean, think about it right. Back then you would have, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity that you have now. You would have sold lemonade paper route or something. Right? Exactly. Learn this kind of money. I’m now, you know, the other thing, and I say this all the time, is they, they don’t have the fear of the computer systems that we do. Right. You know, I won’t make. My parents won’t put their credit card in the system. I have to buy for my mom on Amazon still because she’s so fearful about getting it. You know what? It’s going to get hacked because that’s what she believes. Right? So I have to buy it anytime they want anything and then they send me the payment. It’s like, Nah, you don’t worry, but my son, anything, nothing of it. They, oh, we need this because they don’t have that learning curve because they’re thinking of is a database when we sell on poshmark to like you and they just immediately like, oh, we just do it this way. Oh yeah. A little bit of a different question. Boom. We could just answer this and they move on. I showed my

Stephen:                             00:29:42               son yesterday Cell Hound, um, research and he was like, what? Because he knows the old school way because we’ve been doing it for years. Ebay sold this thing sorted, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m like for these smaller priced items, tissues this. And he’s like, what cell hound it never saw it before. And it just changed the game because now all of a sudden we can speed up because we’re the bottleneck in our business. I don’t know about you, but listing we’re it. We could ship gazillions of things. We’ve got space, more space than we ever need, but listing is a limit. And so whatever we can do to make that more efficient. Um, and so when I want to expose them to that, all of a sudden I saw his productivity go up. It was pretty cool. And when I saw cell hound a, this is such an interesting

Chris:                                     00:30:25               same concept because when I look at Cell Hound and I’ve met the owners and the founders because they’re, they’re local. Uh, when I see that, I feel like I can make that, what would I see software now because of the amazing network of, of a contractors as people move home and be smart developers are, are making their own solutions, that things are so many people scratching their own itch online. When I see something like sell hound and the design is okay, we’re going to list things on different platforms for you. And I think great, that’s very cool. That is the um, that’s problem solving. One 11 and that’s, that’s, that’s the part of my business that I enjoy the most. But I literally could look at what they do and then post that description. So a company will say, we are, we exist so that we can help you.

Chris:                                     00:31:21               ABC, you can now post that online. I want to do ABC and my business and someone will make that for your company. That, that, that there’s, that did not exist. Even, I don’t know how. I feel like this is amazingly new and you can afford it. You can afford someone to make a solution for you, for your company now. And I think that all these companies are, it’s becoming insanely efficient because they’re going to have to compete with people doing it themselves. Now people with no background in programming like myself, I have programs that somebody else built for me because I know what they’re supposed to do. I think your ability to articulate what you want,

Stephen:                             00:32:03               that’s the gift, right? Because like you say, it’s the commodity to programming. Now it’s not hard to find, right? It’s just dollars and they’re accessible 24 hours a day because they’re all around the world. Right? But your ability to articulate what you want and get that done, that’s where most people hit the roadblock. If you have that pool, there’s no stopping you and counsel what I did to it didn’t go. It did just didn’t exist not long ago.

Chris:                                     00:32:33               I want to add one more thing which I think will be useful for people when you’re trying to make something. There’s, there’s three things they always say when you’re. You can have two

Chris:                                     00:32:40               of the three and one is you can have it be fast, cheap or well built. And I feel like this is a great analogy for everything and you’re resolving business cheap, well built, um, and fast. Those are the three sort of parameters you’re working with. So for example, if you have the time and you can get cheap, well built software, it just takes longer because you have to use lower per hour people to design it for you. If you have unlimited money, of course you can pay the best developers in the world to make really concise solutions, you know, that would be the difference between researching for an entire month, going to China to, to, and then going to South America and then trying to research I’m 90 factors in the United States, fully looking through an entire industry to find a niche, building the exact product for that niche from you that it would be the most expensive way you could resell something, right? And that would be the most expensive and take the most time. Versus you could just get a random item that’s selling really well already, but you’re probably not going to earn a high margin. So it’s kind of just an amazing looking at that whole model and then you can, and this is also what I want to roll back to the lifestyle thing. You get to build your own life, seeing, decide what you want to sell,

Stephen:                             00:34:07               I think. Well, and the way you want to sell it, I think that’s the way you want to sell the big piece of the, um, because you’re, you’re a much more ebay guy than an Amazon guy. Fair. That’s fair. Okay. And that’s not a criticism. That’s because for some reason you connected so well with Ebay. Maybe it is location, maybe it is opportunity. Maybe it’s because you saw it first. I guess. I don’t know, but for whatever reason you adapt it. Maybe it’s back to what you said is because that there’s not the same technology that’s the, you see the opportunity. I had Dallas more on again and Dallas more told me this years ago, he was like, Steve, the biggest, uh, the biggest opportunity I see is an Ebay, not Amazon at that time when all my friends, you know, and you know, my friends, 100 percent Amazon and they’re selling millions and don’t get me wrong and they’re doing really well with it. But for him, he saw the biggest opportunity in Ebay and he’s just crushed. He’s another outlier like you,

Chris:                                     00:35:05               I feel the same way because competition is much weaker. The, um, the way he based set up, um, I don’t think it’s designed for larger sellers, they, they rotate traffic, they dealt protect the pricing. And so if you are a large cellar with a lot of overhead, you don’t want to sell on Ebay because they don’t protect the pricing. You, the pricing. You can be selling something for $100 and the market is 1:10 and MSRP is 1:50 and you have to wait for everyone who’s selling it for $75 to sell out before you, you, you get any traffic and they rotate it. It’s, it’s very fuzzy, I don’t think it’s that friendly for larger sellers, so that’s why I like being in, in there because I feel like the, um,

Chris:                                     00:35:54               it’s the size of the pond you want, efficient. I feel like it’s sort of a less competition on Ebay because people are. Yeah. This design for smart sellers, I, I’ve seen you say that about poshmark to is that your execution is, and it’s not an ego thing. Somebody might see it as an ego thing, but it’s true. I mean you’ve earned it is your execution is so much better because you’re going to make sure your photos are the right, you’re going to make sure your titles are right, you’re going to make sure that the descriptions right and you’re going to price it right because you bought it right. So therefore all those things are winnable and together they’re almost unstoppable. You said that about poshmark to correct. Yes, and that was heavily criticized, but that’s really the point because the, when I look at the competition on poshmark and, and here’s, here’s another dead giveaway. They don’t issue a 10, 99 and they don’t issue a 10 99 because they’re, they’re built for people who sell stuff out of their closet, uh, that, that, that’s who you’re competing against when you are on poshmark, you, your occupation is to sell things versus people who are just selling things out of their closet versus there are millions of full time people on e Bay, Amazon. That’s their income.

Chris:                                     00:37:06               That’s you’re competing against people who are 24 slash seven and the Gary v World of. He’s always saying you’re competing against people who work 24 slash seven. You are so. But that is less the case on smaller platforms designed to help people earn extra cash. Even Maccari issues at 10 99.

Speaker 6:                           00:37:22               Okay?

Chris:                                     00:37:23               And so there in lies the opportunity, right? So that’s what you’re saying is that if you, if you approach this the right way with process there in life. All right, let’s give some honest help to people who want to get process because it’s the number one thing that I hear from all the outliers that I’ve interviewed, Sop Steve, you got to have slps right? But how many people have slps right? Do you, you. So I know the answer, so I don’t want to ask a stupid question. So let’s start with how does somebody who has no process start building process? This is, this is a great question and this is actually probably my best skill. So I will make some videos and also discuss, right? Right now some ideas on how to do this. So here’s an example. There is a website called vintage and they sell new and pre owned clothing as well. And so somebody asked me, how would you build an sop? I’m like, great. I’ll start with vented. I’ve never used vintage before. Let’s build a process for how to do it. So the first thing is you’re going to have to set up an account banking, et cetera. Once your profile is set up, now you have to list an item. So this is how I break it down. What are the requirements to

Chris:                                     00:38:36               list an item? Now, write this down on a legal pad. And the item specifics are pretty much the same on every single platform, which is the title you need to describe it so people can find it, the photos, the description, uh, the size or dimensions of the item, the condition. And so what I do is I actually number these things so I need to fields like appropriate for what these are actual, like fields like fields. And so if, so, as an example on Ebay, there are 11 fields that I add in, but on poshmark there are only eight fields that I add in. I know this because I counted them. So now I know 11 and eight and then when I’m making a checklist for somebody else to do it, I can say what are the eight things are all things in the poshmark listener, all 11 things in the Ebay listing there.

Chris:                                     00:39:27               And they can double check and then they can also easily say, what about this one? And if I haven’t added it, I will go back to my sop and um, and number 12. And now there’s an additional thing that I do in that process. So I’m vinted I was given an example with, with somebody in my group, let’s go through it. And so they had a couple of other different dif. The layout was different. So for example, on Ebay it looks very much like an excel spreadsheet with photos is what the listing format looks like when you’re listing an item. On vintage, it’s different. They have dropdown menu. So when you click women’s then it populates all the women’s categories. Then when you click the women’s category, it populates all the subcategories instead of on Ebay where it’s just one giant list of fields on tradesy or on vintage is just like slowly pops up one of the time.

Chris:                                     00:40:22               So for this process I was just thinking, okay, step one, enter this in step two, enter this in, step three, enter this. And then when you’re done, the easiest way to um, to do it, in my opinion, is a, is literally a legal pad. And then don’t listen to any content while you’re trying to build this because it will distract you. So listen to this is so strange, but I literally listen to like rain. I have a rain soundtrack on my, on my, uh, thing, so it blocks out in the, out outside noise because you have to concentrate and literally write down all the individual steps. And the best book I can recommend is the checklist manifesto, and it’s a gentleman that makes checklists so that doctors don’t kill people because for them it is a matter of life or death. They forget a step. They can’t forget a step when they’re putting you back together for a second. I want, I want to pause here a second because you, this, this seriousness that you’re approaching this, right? But when you think about outliers, right? I mean, when this seriousness that you’re giving this subject is the, your sales are what

Stephen:                             00:41:34               your sales fair. That’s fair. I mean, it’s not like, you know, uh, you didn’t invent this, right? You’re just paying attention to every little detail. And I think so it’s not a volume issue as much of it because if you sell 50 percent of your inventory versus me that sells 10 percent of my inventory, you’re going to win, right? Because you know, we’re, we’re both, let’s assume we’re equals and we can list the same amount you’re going to win just because you’re paying attention to every one of those key fields.

Chris:                                     00:42:07               Okay? And so I don’t want to miss that. I just want people to hear that slow down to take care of this is the best way to increase your sales. Is that fair? That. Absolutely. And that goes back to another thing that I say in some of my videos, which is clarity is what your significant other other other wants and what you want. It’s not volume. People think that growing their business is what they want. That’s not what you want. You actually want clarity because every time you help somebody clarify what they’re doing, they feel better. And this is why I think people feel odd when people ask them what do you do? And you say you sell stuff on Ebay. It sounds, when you think of an Ebay seller, you think of a person who randomly does things, but for me it’s not random.

Chris:                                     00:43:00               So I don’t feel I can explain exactly what I’m doing day to day and I like being able to articulate what it looks like and that gives me a sense of being. So I think people what you’re, when you wake up, what are you looking for? I think you’re looking for clarity and if you can sit down for, you know, they are, I think it’s warren buffet calls it acid, do it. Sit your ass in a chair can just figure it out, what exactly what you’re doing and then if you know what you’re doing, you can always fix it. And that is like the most. And speaking out. Another another thing that I really love about other people is I love when people are clear. It’s such a, it’s a turn on. You want to be around people who are clear because they, um, they’re more motivated and driven.

Chris:                                     00:43:46               I feel like people are not unmotivated, they’re just unclear. And I just, you know, to be honest, I meet so many people that they really want to work and make it work. They just not sure what the, what the tasks are. And that’s what you were saying earlier in the call, Chris, tell me exactly step by step how to do it. But the thing is, I can tell you how to step by step, do it. You just have to write down your steps. Then ask people what do you think? And people will tell you and if you want to get punched in the face, talk about online because now it’s free. It’s free range for people to criticize you, which is muscles. Yeah, keyboard, muscles, muscles. Let’s try. Yeah. So, so okay,

Stephen:                             00:44:27               so back to this again. So, so the advice again is to down street, let’s just take Steve, so go through my steps and then I can compare them against yours and then look at the difference, right? The delta between him and say, hmm, why are they different? Am I that much better? Am I that much smarter or is Chris that much better or that much smarter? And take the ego out of it and be willing to try it to say, Huh, it’s, it’s always use this example. So I was the controller of a company at the time, not the CFO. And the CFO who brought me in there, I couldn’t, whatever the problem was, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t figure it out. And then he just walks in my office and he goes, oh, it’s right there. And I thought to myself, how the heck did he say, I’ve been staring at this thing.

Stephen:                             00:45:10               I’ve got the same educate. I’m smart, you know? And he didn’t have all the junk that was on my desk interfering with it. All the stuff that I knew he was able to clarify. It just immediately walked through. He didn’t see the trees and all that jazz. Well, over the years I gained that same skillset. And so it’s, it’s very, it’s, it’s hard to accept that. But man, once you do and you take that other person’s advice or whatever, it just changed the whole game for me. It was like, oh, okay, now I see it. You know what I mean? Is that when they’re not, they’re not better than you. They’re just more clear than you. Yeah. More clear. I think clarity, that’s such a great title for this clarity is the key driver of your ecommerce business. So, so becoming clear by taking exactly it, just like you said, what are the steps identifying those key fields and then do you weight them those fields, do you weight them based on value or are they equal value? All 12 on um, or 11 of, right? What you said, which one it was on Ebay, 11 or 12. Do you weight them different or, or each of them equal in value?

Chris:                                     00:46:15               This is a great question. So the way I do it is, um, I present them. So I now have a private group and in my group I present

Chris:                                     00:46:25               what I think is valuable and well what happened is it is always not what other people think is valuable. So that feedback is critical because as an example, I think the number one metric that matters is what you need. At the end of the day. If you woke up in the morning and Alexa was like Steven yesterday, you made $426, that’s $10 less than the previous day, then you, you, that’s a clear indicator. Are you winning or losing that? That number is universal, right? But how you get to that number, you should be cutting. You should be getting constant feedback because you don’t know. Like I think that also this year I recognized I don’t really know anything and the people that I meet that are doing really well, they are even more aware of how they don’t know anything. This sounds like an interesting concept, but the person that I know that that earns the most at a regular job, he’s aware, he’s actually aware of what he’s leaving on the table.

Chris:                                     00:47:27               He knows what’s possible and so. And what’s possible is not. It is, you know, not even is just so incredible what’s actually possible. You can have like Kylie Jenner release lipstick and do $400 million in a year with one product that takes companies 50 years to build up a company to, to, to launch a lipstick that does that. She can do it with the power of social. That’s what’s possible on one on one far, far end of it. So the processes when you’re calm, you have to compare your processes. You have to ask other people, okay, here, here’s a common example, which is what cell hound is also trying to solve. You sell them three platforms that sells on what platform says on one. Now what? Okay, you get a piece of paper and you write down, okay, the next step is I have to end it on to other platforms so that we don’t double cell.

Chris:                                     00:48:25               Then how do you end it on two of those platforms? If you were to write it down the steps, just doing that, now you can. You can instead of trying to remember how to do it when you saw something in one platform, you open up your notebook and follow those steps to end it on the other two platforms. Then if you want to take that to the next step, you either go online and look for a solution like sell hound that does it for you or you. You post the job description online and say, somebody build me something that can do this and they will tell you this. So here’s another thing. There’s a guy that I’m one of the charges me $185 an hour to do something and I said, okay, I actually don’t know. I don’t know exactly what it is I’m asking for.

Chris:                                     00:49:18               I’m looking, I want to do. I wanted to do this process, but I don’t know if that’s even what I really want. So how about I’ll pay you $185 and you tell me how you would approach it. Oh, okay. Instead because. And I’ll just pay for one hour because they don’t even know what I’m looking for. So he said, great. So you said this is what I would do. First of all, I would read the documentation of the program that you’re trying to use for it. So I said, okay, I don’t want to execute this command when I get an email. I wanted to do this. I want to open up a program. That’s what I was trying to do. So He. So he basically said he would go to the g-mail instructions and saying how, how can you set up an automatic action in your email? And there are tons of tools that do this, so there are different tools. So what I want it is an email the come in from paypal or Amazon merchant fulfilled or poshmark or whatever email to come in and it would trigger ending it on the other platforms. Okay. I wanted the incoming email to do that from some of these different systems because they come in as long as the language or if there’s a table to convert it. So has keywords

Stephen:                             00:50:28               in it, you’re then would say then do this. That was the concept of your thinking.

Chris:                                     00:50:33               That was, that was the concept. So I don’t, but I didn’t know exactly. And if you don’t know exactly, they can’t build it for you. So I said, no problem, I’ll pay one 85. How would you approach this? And he said, okay, the first thing I would do is read the documentation on Gmail, how can you exercise and action. So then I saw, I’m like, okay. And then he said, after I read the documentation, I would write down the desired result that you want from these different platforms. And um, once you document what you want to happen and then you read through the documentation on what can causes the do that, then you come back to me and he basically only billed me for half an hour for basically just a brief conversation. But I was able to. So I, I listened to that. So I went to the gym, I went to the email that I read through the documentation on how, how can an action caused something, when can you start an action?

Chris:                                     00:51:28               And there are a few different ways that could happen. And I solved my own problem because one of the ways is you can have it open up an email on a timer. So for example, at 9:00 AM, right when you open your computer, you could have your computer open up email, go to the first email, open it and open up a little reminder that says, Steven, make sure that you only look at an email one time email comes in, archive it, deleted or do the action immediately. Like you can set up your computer. So when you turned on, when you opened it in the morning, it reminded you this is how you handle your email, right? So once I figured that out, I was like, wow, I can just have a check for sales every hour. I don’t need to automatically because it’s not that time sensitive. I don’t have sales happen on Walter little platforms immediately right after each other. They happen during the same day, maybe, but not right away within the same hour. So me having that open every single hour, um, basically prevented 90, 97 to 99 percent of double selling from half because every hours doing that,

Stephen:                             00:52:39               whereas I’m sitting here listening to this, I immediately go to, this is the whole approach, right? So you’re gonna tell me that this application that he taught you how to think like that you’re now able to apply to everything that you’re basically doing. I mean, to me, I’m sitting back and saying to myself, Oh yeah, you know, obviously break down the steps, get them tested, right? This is the advice you give. So break down your steps. Steve steps given to somebody you respect who’s pretty good, let them questioned you. Why take the emotion out of it except them if they make sense, test it makes sense. However, the missing piece of that formula is the desired results. And then working backward from there. I mean, that’s just, that’s a complete way of thinking. So are you then applying this to every piece of your business? Is that one of the big secrets of how you’ve become so successful?

Chris:                                     00:53:30               I’m actually applying it even to my wedding that’s coming up next year. I’m trying to figure out the desired of, for example, um, I, I love scrum and these software things for deciding what’s important. So you rank like carer, photographer venue, uh, okay, these are the things that are supposed to make a good wedding. Then we rank them in importance because we have a fixed budget, so it’s like we can’t have everything. So what’s more important? We can reduce certain other things. So for example, in reselling, there are different steps, finding items, listing items, Fatah, photographing items. You could be sending items in the Amazon, you can be doing accounting. There’s, in my opinion, there’s like nine different categories of things that you do when your resale, you can choose what you enjoy doing or can tolerate doing and then give the rest of it to other people if you want to scale and I also want to just point out one more thing which is I, I know how to make probably 200 to 300 grand reselling just solo, but I’m not interested in because I don’t like driving around and I don’t like spending all my day sourcing and that’s it.

Chris:                                     00:54:42               I liked it. I don’t like working by myself. When I first started reselling, I first met you. I was, I was enjoying it at first, but then it became too much of a grind. I noticed that I prefer working in a group of people and I’m okay with a lower margin because I’m okay the higher volume than make up for it. I’m okay with that. Those are sacrifices you can only figure out once you start doing it, but there are plenty of people who mocked me that are like, why would I want to work for that low of margin? I can just do it myself and that’s totally a reasonable argument. You can, I just don’t want to do it by myself.

Stephen:                             00:55:18               So that cell phone to Gary V, I mean, we seem to bring him up a lot. That’s self awareness of knowing that, that, and I think this, this kind of started the conversation which was, hey look, you can create in your example is Amazon where you, you know, you’re not producing the product, you’re not selling the product, you’re not talking to your customers and you can have success if that’s your lane, if that’s the life you enjoy, if that’s what you like, good for you. But that’s not you. You were clear in that, right? I’m clearing that because there’s this, um, I’m also a student of this fire which is financially independent, retire early school of thought, which is you

Chris:                                     00:55:57               earn what you need for the rest of your life as soon as possible. And then even that, that actually really brought into my ra brought priorities in my mind because there are people that are 25 and already a mess. Let’s say $2,000,000 and the 25 times your income means if they spend less than 40 grand a year, they can live off of the interest forever. Right? Or, or, you know, in this such scenario it’s actually $80,000 a year, but my point is then what do you do with your time?

Stephen:                             00:56:31               Right? You’re not going to sit on the beach, you’re not going to stop, right? Because that’s, that’s a dream. We all believed that would be great. Nobody’s going to do that. You can’t sustain that.

Chris:                                     00:56:41               And I also want to share, I have a lot of ideas today. Um, I went to a museum with my fiance as a potential a wedding venue and we’ll walk through an exhibit for one of the main designers for Urban Miller and they make office furniture and they’re really nice office furniture, really, really nice office furniture. And one of the designers. It was interesting because what was on exhibit was this gentleman’s home, how did he design his house for work? And he basically designed his life around work. He’s like, I already made plenty of money. So. But what I enjoy doing is working, so I removed everything out of my life that wasn’t work because I enjoy work and family and that’s it. So his workshop at home was just like incredible men and it’s like he got the wake up and walk into his wonderland because he designed an amazing place to work, which is, you know, there’s so much, um, animosity towards the nine to five today. Um, I think people kind of getting lost when some people design their entire life around their desired nine to five.

Stephen:                             00:57:50               But, but he takes it very seriously. I think that’s a Dan Miller quote to me when I was at Dan Miller’s place and his office is impeccable and he goes, well Steve, this is my sanctuary, you know, come here and feel good about what I do. We were just cleaning up from q four. I mean, we had so much cardboard to get rid of, you know, just we couldn’t get to it. And during the rush. And so we were just, it’s so rewarding working on that stuff in your business now. It’s like, it’s like pressure being taken off, you know, Chris, I sit back and I think about our discussion and I’m, I’m going to take away this, you know, you are still a process engineer and you don’t, that’s not an offensive term to you, that’s probably a badge of courage for you, but I appreciate the fact that you’re taking that learned, fine tuned approach to every aspect of your life, back to your health, back to your mental health, back to your business, back to your relationship, back to your wedding, making sure that she’s taken care of.

Stephen:                             00:58:51               And this is just a bookable to every single thing that we’re doing in our business. Okay? All right, so I want to close with this, right? So the best advice that you could give somebody, and now before I do daily refinement is your youtube channel correct. Other ways, if somebody has a followup comment, can I put your facebook contacts in there? They can. Okay, that’s great that they’re too. Um, and again, daily refinement on Youtube. Um, and you’ll, if you go back and look, you’ll see that he has clearly refined his. He’s not just talking out his, uh, other end, he’s literally refined his techniques and you’re the one of the first people to admit, hey, this wasn’t working. I had to fix this, or I got blocked or whatever, and now I’m going to fix this. So I think that’s very healthy. So let’s give real advice. The best advice you think for somebody who hits the point of stuck because that’s what I get as I get people that are stuck in there. Like, Steve, I can’t get past this. What should I do? What’s your best advice?

Chris:                                     00:59:49               Okay, I’m going to go a little different route that I normally do with this one. So I think the most important thing you can do is journal and I think that you should consolidate all your notebooks until one legal pad because if you do, if you’re like me, you like going to a and you’re weird. You’re like going to office depot and a new notebook and a new pen sounds exciting to you. I would recommend not doing that because in every form of high productivity that I have seen, people have a way of easily reviewing their notes. So if you can just get a legal pad for a dollar and I’m right all your stuff on there everyday and keep the same one until it’s full. You’ll have a piece of treasure with you. Uh, and uh, and that’s one of my goals in the next couple of days before the new year is to consolidate everything in the one notebook.

Chris:                                     01:00:44               Um, and just use that all year because, um, that’s your, that’s your, your life, your life is what you write down. That’s what you’re doing is your life. Um, and I just, I think that’s how you create the self awareness and to see, you know, when you go back and read it, you can determine while I was building a ladder up the wrong tree, you’ll actually be able to know what tree we’re pointing at. So I think journaling on a legal pad don’t be fancy. I think even a notepad where there’s a cover per is like one more step. You have to open it to get to get going, you know, just reduce it to the Bare Minimum Penn legal pad and then just start writing down what you do.

Stephen:                             01:01:28               Dude. Oh my God, I can’t wait to see what you do next. I’m, I’m a loyal watcher. And who’s learning every single time I watched something and man, I’m just a better person for. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Wish you nothing but success. Thank you Steve by such a great guy. Such a real talent. I’m very, you know, I just, honestly, I think he has a talent at what he does. Um, and I don’t care if he was selling ecommerce or if he was a janitor or janitorial, he would execute it better than most of us, Steve. And so I just think that taking this approach, being honest with yourself, slowing down and executing what you’re doing better, keep fine tuning it and let somebody else look at it and be willing to accept the criticism because there will be criticism, but if the criticisms done in the right way to help build you up, rather than tear you down, you can move on from there. And again, I just think it’s a great example. Check them out on daily refining, on Youtube. Um, tons of free information, just lots of it. And I learned something every single time I watch them. You Commerce, momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.

Cool voice guy:                  01:02:38               Thanks for listening to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at ecommerce momentum. Come under this episode number. Please remember to subscribe and the lake us on itunes.

 

Stephen-Peterson

About the author, Stephen

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.