The group approach? Well most of the time it is Tim and Catie. But they have found working with other compounds their (all of them) efforts. They are strategic so not to interfere with the other’s businesses. But as a kind of collective they learned far more, advanced far faster and have made real lasting friendships. Great lessons from a great couple.
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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.
Tim: [00:00:00] We’ve done, we do a lot of fun trips. Like we want to go to a cubs game. Um, we’ll, you know, we’ll head up, you know, if it’s a night game, we’ll leave at nine, 10 o’clock in the morning, we’ll hit some stores while we’re up there. And then the, you know, the days paid for. Um, we just recently did our first overnight trip. We really don’t travel out more than about three hours from our home. We’re not somebody that goes all around the United States. Um, but you know, if we want to go down to southern Missouri, go four wheeling, you know, we’ll hit some stores down there while we’re in the area just, and the trips paid for. But we were careful not to make the whole trip a working trip. At least a Katie’s good about keeping me in check on that. Cause I can get, I can get going on Ra and not want to stop. But, um, it, it’s, it’s fun to just know that, you know, hey, we’re traveling here. We can stop at this area. You know, if there’s a Walmart or a Tj Maxx in. And, and hit those stores real quick. And, and, you know, pay for your trip.
Stephen: [00:01:17] Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 385. Tim and Katie Wartman. Uh, it’s Tim Jr. So let’s get that right. Don’t be messaged his dad. Um, great couple, great fulltime couple. And you’re gonna hear the story how they went full time. They weren’t both full time. Um, definitely some sacrifices, some challenges, um, ups and downs, but they figured it out. And what’s so cool is that they figured it out together and you’re going to hear them describe how this business, this ecommerce business and uh, the sacrifices I’m sure they’ve had to make, have drawn them closer together. So, you know, if you’re looking to bring your relationship married or unmarried, doesn’t matter closer together, maybe this is the way to do it. Um, you’ve got to look at the big picture. You’ve got to have good perspective. And I think they both have such good perspective about their lives.
Stephen: [00:02:11] Having worked for other people, knowing what they like, what they don’t like, and then they give at the end the magic of what really amplified their business. Um, and then it’s right at the end and it’s so worth listening to. Great couple, let’s get into the podcast. If you’re ready to set up a strong, reliable accounting system when it’s a real strong foundation for your business, we think we have the answer for you. If this is from accounting, we will go, you’re here listening to us on this podcast. We set up a course and it’s called Amazon accounting. Simplified. Yup. Simple. And we only say Amazon yet it’s really all across ecommerce. We’re talking about integrating quickbooks into your existing or new ecommerce business. And New is great because you could set it up right that way, but, but if you have an existing business, how do you integrate, how do you get quickbooks online specifically?
Stephen: [00:03:00] How do you get set up in there? Well, we have modules. There’s over 48 modules that will walk you through each one of those steps. I’m going to talk about cost of goods and I didn’t even talk about it. We’re going to dive in, parse it, peel it back and help you understand what it takes. How about chart of accounts, setting up the right accounts, ones that you can use to make decisions. We’ve had hundreds of clients and we come up what we see it have seen as the best practice and I think that’s going to be the best thing for you. Reconciling 10 99 from paypal and Amazon. Good luck. Challenging. Well, we’re going to, we have modules, unique modules for each of those because they are unique and so vendor management, accounting for Amazon loans. It goes on and on. I’m just skimming the top.
Stephen: [00:03:38] There’s 48 plus modules and more will be added over time. It’s going to help you get up, get set up or get caught up with strong foundational accounting books. Um, we use it to help make decisions. We use it to help predict cash and cash pinch points, which you’re going to have. If you’re buying inventory and you’re waiting to get paid for it, you’re going to run out of cash at some point. Wouldn’t it be great to know you’re just not great that it happened, but it’s great to know when it’s gonna happen so you can plan for it. You can make different decisions based on real solid information, historical information that you keep building. Best part about quickbooks online is our CPA signs right in and does his tax voodoo right through the system. And so I don’t have to hump it over there and we can get a little better rate by doing that.
Stephen: [00:04:21] So how do you find out more about it? And again, you should look into it. AMC accounting, simplified.com forward slash podcast I’ll say it again, amz accounting, simplified.com forward slash podcast check out all the different modules. Check out what you can do if you really want to get your house in order, if you’re really looking to get that building block established and in locked in place. And then you can build from there, then we recommend a course. All right. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast for excited about today’s guests. Plural. Always love it when a couple’s on because we’re going to hear the real juice about him and her. You never know what’s going to come up. And I’m excited because they’re working together as a team and they’ve identified roles for themselves to me. You know, that’s one of the hardest things I think to do, especially a controller like me. Um, so I’m interested to see who’s, who’s identified those roles. Tim and Katie Wartman welcome guys. Hello. Well thank you for coming on. You guys are busy. I’m just getting back from Hawaii. I mean, come on Katie. How tough is that life?
Stephen: [00:05:31] We’re are the only people I know. Illinois with a sunburn right now. Yeah. Yeah. Well I saw the pictures man. You were wearing some serious sunglasses apparently. Cause you look like raccoons, right? A little bit. Yup. All right, so let’s talk about the trip before we get to the story. Why was the trip important to you, Katie?
Catie: [00:05:48] It, uh, my grandma went in 1982 and it’s just somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. And so for Christmas this year I opened up a box that had a picture of Bob Barker saying let’s go to Hawaii. And that was my Christmas present this year from Tim.
Stephen: [00:06:06] He’s a little taller in your eyes right now, isn’t it with that? Yeah. Tim Was it, I mean, you obviously wanted to help her reach a dream, right? Was it, do you, do you feel like it lived up to that expectation?
Tim: [00:06:23] Oh yeah, the whole trip was, was just an amazing, um, you know, even getting there and found out that it was whale season. We weren’t expecting to see whales. And just about anytime you looked out from our hotel room, you can see a well popping up out of the water. So it was, it was a very, very fun time.
Tim: [00:06:51] Uh, no. No. I mean, the job that I was at, I had a lot of vacation time, but, uh, trying to take a to four weeks at a time for a vacation, um, you know that, that’s hard to have a company who let you off for that amount of time at once.
Stephen: [00:07:06] Yeah. It’s a lot of a, if you have any responsibility at all, which anybody who works has a responsibility, it’s hard for some company to give that up. And your dream unfortunately is not necessarily their dream. And then that’s not putting down a company, but that’s the real world. I mean, it is what it is. Right, right. Okay. So let’s get into who started this crazy dream of selling stuff online. Where did, who was it, Tim or Katie? It was me. Oh, okay. I was expecting it to be Katie, so I’m surprised. All right, go ahead. While she,
Tim: [00:07:47] where my father father-in-law’s lawn care business, so I’ve always had multiple income streams. Um, because even after I got back into a, another job, I still mowed yards on the side and eventually did that even fulltime for a little bit. Um, but whenever we would, uh, sorry.
Stephen: [00:08:11] That’s okay. No stress. Well, let me ask a question about that because actually it makes sense. That made me think of something that I’m interested in. When you were mowing lawns on the side, you were, you were doing that just to make extra income. I mean, I, I get it that you took your dad’s business over, but you know why keep that when you got a job, why keep those side things? Was that just extra money? Fund money, spending money? What were you going to do with that?
Tim: [00:08:47] where I was going with that. I then got into out of retail was still knowing yards. I was in a warehouse job and I had to parts, I had a delivery route that I ran. So I would listen to a lot of podcasts and I came across date. I was trying to find a different job, a different career path life. I listened to a show called how did you get into that and listen to Jessica Larrew?
Tim: [00:09:12] And she was talking about going through a big lots by in license, uh, you know, things in the Lysol and was flipping them and how she brought her husband home and I played that episode for Katie and I probably let a couple of weeks go by before I opened my Amazon account and she kept nudging me, hey, when are you going to do this? When are you going to do this?
Stephen: [00:09:30] Well, let’s stop there a second. Why Katie? Where you nudging him because of the physical work of working the two different jobs. They both sound physical, right? We’re in a note where a warehouse probably carrying supplies around it, stuff like that. And driving, carrying empty and the truck and then also cutting grass of course is physical mean. What were you thinking Katie, that was attractive about this for him?
Catie: [00:09:52] Well, it’s more kind of a, both of us. We ever since he lost his job early on, we always have had this dream of doing our own thing and working for ourselves and not happen to answer two bosses that we don’t care for. So it was really, I kept, I did what any good wife would do and I just really nag saying, I really, cause we, you know, over the years when we were getting out of debt, we tried different things, hoping that it would blossom into a full time thing and it just didn’t. So I really just felt like this was it. I said, we’re retail past, I think, I think we can do this. This is perfect for us.
Stephen: [00:10:32] Did was he, uh, did you connect with Jessica because she’s so good. She’s such a great speaker. So compelling and she’s real. I met her and her husband and, and so did you connect with her and say this is us?
Tim: [00:10:43] Um, I’m probably overdue to contact back with her again. I know I’ve, I’ve sent her a couple of private Facebook messages to let her know how we’re doing, but uh, I’ve been overdue letting her know that, you know, I’m now full time and just how good we’ve done just from listening to her podcast.
Stephen: [00:11:00] She has brought so many people into this world, um, through Pat Flynn who was the one that gets referred to the most. Um, but she has brought so many people into this world and uh, they stayed, a lot of them have stage, so that’s a fantastic, okay, so you’re nudging him and he finally says, okay, I’m going to do it. Get off my back, I’m opening up my Amazon account. And then it was just easy. UNICORNS and rainbows, right. Everything came and you sold millions of dollars and that’s just end to the story, right? No, no. Oh Man. I thought I had it figured out.
Catie: [00:11:34] Well with any, any method of self employment, which this is too high, we’ll say this is a lot easier than mowing lawns, which we both, I mean we did that together and that’s, that’s hard work. But I mean with any self employment, I mean there’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of time investment, there’s a lot of late nights. And when you’d rather be doing something else and you’re, you’re working to build towards your goal.
Stephen: [00:12:00] Did you feel listening to that and who you’re talking about the, the lawn care when you’re out there? I mean, cause when I used to cut my grass, I don’t cut grass anymore. But when I did, you know, it was Mike special place. There was no thinking. You know, sometimes I have music in headphones or not, but I was just not thinking, you know, saying impossible. The loudness or the lawn mower in that, that doesn’t sound like a dream thing for a couple to do. You know, it’s task oriented, get done, boom, move on to the next one. Was this or has this been a place where you to get to connect? Um, together in a way that not like lawn care. Do you get what I’m going with that? Like is this giving you the chance to communicate in different things and work towards something together more so than lawn care?
Catie: [00:12:42] Yeah, there’s a lot of, I mean we, we knew from early on we work really well together and there’s not a lot of head butting. It’s just, you know, we kind of talk everything through and, and get to the other side. But yeah, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot more talking. There’s a lot more time in the car.
Stephen: [00:13:01] Ah, that’s good in bed. Well, Tim, what would you say are Katie strengths that she brings and you know, be careful dude, she’s sitting right next to you. Oh, she is? She’s within our Missouri. Oh, you’re deep trouble. Um,
Tim: [00:13:13] she is definitely task oriented. She’s always on me about, you know, when returns come in, it’s my job to, you know, decide whether something’s resellable, whether something needs to go to Ebay or maybe we need to open a reimbursement case. Um, she, she definitely is on the structure and she sets up the work and you know, the different places we’ve got the, even when we were operating out of her home, um, she, she gets everything task oriented, you know, where the tables are going to be. Um, we’re going to go
Stephen: [00:13:46] and, and, and Katie, where does that come from? Where does that ability just, I mean, is it natural to you or, I mean, can you see it without having to stuff in place? I mean, do you have that ability?
Catie: [00:14:08] I think it’s just my personality because really the only places I’ve ever worked as a retail banking and that kind of stuff, so it wasn’t really, I mean, the easier, your job’s always easier when you’re organized and clean and things make sense. But
Stephen: [00:14:24] I don’t know. How about this? Some ask us, do you, did you go and research, you know, and say, okay, what’s the best way I understand? I mean, you guys are people working with mastermind, so you guys don’t play around. You put the time in, but back then, were you thinking that way too and put the time into to study other people that are doing it and then you use their methods?
Catie: [00:14:45] Not really. I think it just kinda stems from being a homemaker. Hmm. Just kind of take that. I just naturally, I’ve always been a homemaker, so it’s always been what I wanted to do. So I just kind of took those same ideals when it came to the warehouse and the shop.
Stephen: [00:15:03] Tim, how do you, how do you step back from that and allow that? I mean, you know what I mean? Do you understand? I’m saying it’s not like that’s a maturity. I mean, you guys aren’t that old. How do you realize that a, she’s smarter than you, but B, that you’re supposed to let her lead in that because, uh, I was just using this quote this morning about John Maxwell. He said the leadership changes, leaders change from place to, you know, time to time. Sometimes you’re in charge sometimes and that’s a healthy thing for our relationship. How are you mature enough to recognize that? Because sometimes I’m not, well
Tim: [00:15:36] it’s tough because whenever I, you know, you first take over the business, you’re, you’re really scared about how Amazon handles things and you know, send it in something wrong. Um, how you prep an item and you know, we did things together for the first, you know, for awhile. And then whenever she had come home is like, she was doing all the shipments herself. I had nothing to do with it. And it’s just, you know, you guys kind of, you work together and you know what, what’s expected
Stephen: [00:16:24] And so you said she took over the shipping or it started handling the shipping because I’m thinking about a couple who’s listening to this and saying, man, I would love to have my wife or my husband home, whichever scenario it is. Right? Yeah. Is there a method or a, a, a way that’s worked for you that you could recommend to others on how to bring somebody in? Especially if you can, you, if you can identify the roles, like if she’s handling the shipping because that’s her, she’s like, is there a method you can kind of describe for us of, uh, of the best practice that worked for you that would help somebody else?
Tim: [00:16:57] I, I’ve heard this quite a bit on, on your episodes. It’s knowing each other’s strengths and for, if you ever watch me polybag an item, you’ll know that I have no business doing a lot of the shipments, anybody that, so we even bringing now we brought in some part timers, uh, to help. But anybody that can do it faster than me, uh, is, uh, more than welcome because I’m, I’m one of the slowest preppers that there are except for maybe peeling stickers.
Catie: [00:17:32] I mean, it’s pretty much the same thing. The reason we work so well together is because our strengths and weaknesses are different. And the things that I hate doing, he doesn’t mind and vice versa. So just kind of like you said, recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and in
Stephen: [00:17:50] figuring out how that’s going to benefit the business the best that is, I’m listening to this, this, you’re, you’re recognizing strengths and weaknesses, but before you start on an Amazon, you already knew that, right? I mean, I don’t think these are surprises to you. He’s not detail oriented or task oriented. Right. Sorry, I don’t mean, or you’re all thumbs, right? Or whichever that means. Whatever you’re doing, you’re describing it. That’s not a negative. That’s just a reality. And to me it’s very, very healthy to have those discussions. Are you able to have those discussions without yelling at each other? Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. How cause I think that’s something again, you know, like you’re not doing it right. Well, no, that’s, you know, I’m doing the best I can. I don’t know how that sounds really great Steve, but that’s not the way he, most households work. It’s usually somebody is yelling at a, at the voices get a little more fevered and a little louder.
Tim: [00:18:44] I think most of the time I’ll have, I’ll bring something home and I’ve had my, my personal opinion as to how I want it prepped and I’ll mention it to her, hey, I think we should do this. And, and if she’s got her way that she wants to do it, we’ll discuss it. And, and her wasting was easier, just quicker. Um, that’s how, that’s how it goes.
Catie: [00:19:11] Well, I mean it’s, as far as him being a terrible polybag bagger. I mean, it does. It sounds like a merge shirt. Terrible. Polybag or I could see that on a shirt. It doesn’t affect how I see him as like a,
Stephen: [00:19:33] Well I think that what you just said though is important. It is trivial. Those are the things that if you’re worrying about that you’re missing the big picture. Right. Is that fair? Right. I mean he’s,
Stephen: [00:19:50] I just like to act like one. I understand. I just think that that’s so powerful to have a statement to say, look this, I don’t enjoy this piece. You know, this just isn’t something that I really enjoy either let’s get somebody or either you enjoy it, your spouse or greater other person or we bring somebody in who does and I, you know, I do that with a bookkeeping. I tell people all the time, if that’s not your thing, man, get somebody to help you because it’s it. Minutian some people hate it, but it has to get done. But if it is, go for it, you know. Okay. So when you think about the UNICORNS and rainbows that I described, um, they aren’t there in the beginning, right? What, you guys are members of the green room, I don’t know if you still are, you still aren’t. When you think about like what, what are some of the things that really have helped you kind of get some legs under your, what you’re doing because you know, you guys are scaling your, and again I would say you’re putting in the time but you’ve really had some success. What would you say are some of the things or some of the groups are, some of the actions that you took? Did it really helped you start to really excel?
Tim: [00:20:59] So whenever Katie first, right about the time Katie first went full time, um, they, the green room had done kind of a side group for the, what we called the new, the noobs group for Q four. And um, a few of us were, had went in together and created a small mastermind group. And so there was a four or five of us in this group. And that started right as I said, right about the time Katie went full time and she, she’s not in the green room at, that’s more in my thing. And by bringing her into that private mastermind group and having friends that she could communicate with, um, while I was on the road at work and not able to answer my phone, um, you know, just to learn the people that she can learn from outside of me. That was a huge jump for our business. Just creating your own little personal, a friend group that you can eat, you know, where everybody’s shopping every day. Yeah. You’re open to Sharon Bolos. Um, you know, if you guys get red flags, you help solve it together. Um, just general general issues that come up in your day to day business. You got an open person there that, you know, people there that a team that, that you can work with together to help grow each other’s business.
Stephen: [00:22:23] How did you find that group? I mean I understand that some split off, but I mean, what was it that was attractive for that particular group of people that connect, that you connected with that realize that you know what, they have my interest and I have their interest is, are there any things that stand out to you?
Tim: [00:22:42] Um, just from like a group that was at AISD. I didn’t make it to that particular ASD. Um, but I was, you know, pretty active in one of the groups and they just said, hey, we’re, we’re forming a group. Do you want to be in it? And it was, uh, it was, it’s still just been great for our business.
Stephen: [00:23:35] When people ask, because this comes up all the time. How do I find a group like that? Steve, how do I find like my friend Andy and Lauren and Nate and, and uh, the, the group’s pretty big. How do you find those people? What’s your advice?
Tim: [00:23:49] My, my advice is to kind of get out of the free groups and get into a group like the green room. Um, I it, it doesn’t cost very much. I don’t even remember what it is anymore. Couple of hundred dollars a year. Um, I think I’m in some other groups, you know, 20 bucks a month, maybe even like a, the gay lesbian
Tim: [00:24:14] even the gay, I’ve been in the gay lesbian group. That’s a great group. Um, there’s all sorts of people and they’re willing to share information and you know, you just, you kind of, you’re in those groups for a while and then you just know who, who you’re clicking with from the comments and you just, you just always feel free to reach out and talk to anybody. And I’m, I’m sure there probably isn’t too many people that wouldn’t like the idea of having a small group to bounce ideas off of or share Bolos
Stephen: [00:24:43] I think it’s a very pro tip. They’re going to a paid group because a, they have a vested interest in the group, right? They’re not going to pay unless they have a vested interest so that, you know, there are a little more serious. Um, they’re just don’t have keyboard muscles they have stake in the game. And as you’re saying, if you communicate with somebody and they’re abrasive, well there’s a clue, right? The, the red flags should be going off like, nope, not going to be working with this person. It’s just not, we’re not a connect. But when you start connecting and like people are asking about your Hawaii trip, I mean that would be a thing that would be a great conversation thing and then all of a sudden you can see them. Yeah, I would love to do something like that. Or I’ve done this and, and you start to see that kind of, they’re a little more interested then just the Bolos. Right. Cause that’s, that’s a huge piece of it. But that can’t be the whole thing. Fair.
Tim: [00:25:29] Cause you’re, you’re invested in everybody’s business each month. You want to see everybody grow their sales in and just knock it out of the parking. I mean it’s, it’s, everybody’s business is pretty much one.
Stephen: [00:25:42] Hmm. Would you say that you’ve gotten a lot more out of the group then you’ve given to be fair? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. I think about that. Right. Nobody’s saying Tim and Katie, you’re not pulling your weight. Right. Right. My bet is if I asked every single person in that group that question because I’ve talked to your group, they would say the same thing that they, yeah, they got more out than they put in and yet you’re sitting there saying, no, but isn’t it? It’s like that’s a clue that the group is, is working. All right, let’s talk about your group because a while back you guys reached out to me, but you’ve reached out to a lot of people looking for information you don’t sit and wait to talk to or to hear my show or anybody else’s show. You’re like, Hey, can we bring you into our group and we can pound you with questions for whatever length of time. Right, right. How do you get past the shyness? Because I get a lot of people are like, Oh, you know, they act like you know, I’m somebody special and I’m not, but it’s just like they’re afraid to reach out. What, what got you past that point of being nervous enough and, and and got you to the point of being comfortable enough to reach out to other people
Catie: [00:26:54] in our group is much like our relationship. Each person has a very different strength and Tim here is his big strength is he is not worried about reaching out to you know much people that are much larger in their business than we are. Even as a group he has no problem reaching out and saying, hey, you know, would you mind being on our, in our meeting one night and just letting us ask questions. That’s his biggest strength. He is a big, big networker.
Stephen: [00:27:51] Okay, so, so there’s a lesson, right? So here’s Tim saying that they don’t really do it anymore cause they kinda got the questions answered. I think that’s probably probably logical. Now you’re down to specific and you can ask an individual question. Um, now you guys are giving the advice to be fair, and we should talk about that in a second. But to me there’s the lesson, right? So somebody reached out to me, Steve, what did you talk to our group? Sure, I’ll talk to somebody screwed. I don’t care. Uh, I have zero. Well, how much should I charge you? Zero. Zero. What was my expectation? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing, right? It was, I thought it was a good discussion. I mean, you know, and to me, I think that’s such a healthy thing to do because collectively you had a question and then somebody else built on that question and it cause it raised in somebody else’s mind, another thought or another angle. That’s where the learning happens right there. And very exciting. Very exciting. So somebody wants to do it. I’ll just message me. Okay. So let’s talk about giving back to others now. I mean, you guys are in a position where you’re, I’m sure people ask you questions. Hence the reason somebody suggested I have you on my podcast. Right? All right. What’s that like for you?
Tim: [00:29:00] Oh, it’s, it’s fun because you see where you’re at just two years ago. And, uh, he used, you know, you see what they’re going through and it’s, it’s, you want to help them and so they can get to where you’re at and have the same, um, you know, the same lifestyle that you have.
Catie: [00:29:28] uh, it’s a big, it’s a big trust thing. I mean, you’re going to trust that that person, you know, doesn’t harm your business. But as, I mean, as far as people who don’t really live anywhere near us, I don’t really see them competitors, and I’m, I mean, Tim and I have worked with the public. We’re pretty good. Um, character reads. So if someone, if I trust someone and I think that, you know, they can benefit from things that I tell them, I don’t give away all my secrets, but if I think that they’re in an area where I know they can benefit greatly from something, I have no problem sharing that with them. I mean, we’re here to encourage and lift each other up.
Stephen: [00:30:09] Now you guys have worked a bunch of other places. Have you ever worked at a place that worked that way? Like you were in banking? Banking is a good example, right? You all working towards profit for the bank, right? Everybody’s singing the same song. Everybody’s rowing the same way. Is that correct? Or is that not necessarily the card and I’m not trying to put him down, but I’m just talking about we’re in the encouragement and the building each other up.
Catie: [00:30:34] Yeah, I would say that’s fair. I’ve worked in commission sales positions that were not that way, but um, but yeah, banking and there’s some other retail places you’re all working towards the same goal.
Stephen: [00:30:46] Okay. All right. That’s not been my experience. So that’s, that’s neat that you were saying that it is, I was actually thinking it wasn’t, but you know what, you worked for the right company then because if they, if they can communicate that, right. I mean you have employees now you’re trying to get them to buy into your vision. Right, right. Hmm. What would you say Tim’s greatest strength is? I mean you talked about his ability to network and connect. What would else would you say is Tim’s strengths?
Catie: [00:31:13] Yeah, I joke around but I call him the it department, which is why we are, um, why Nag so much in the beginning he is our computer guru. I cannot stand to sit at the computer. I cannot stand to research. I that is just not, I’m not good at it. Um, not my thing. And he is a Wiz. So even when I went full time and pretty much took over most of it cause he was still working full time, he was still our computer, computer guy. Anything has to do with the computer.
Stephen: [00:32:09] Wow. No kidding. Whoa. Yeah, that’d be a wakeup call. Hmm. Yeah. All right, let’s go into process because I’m interested to see how the two of you process together because I just think that a lot of couples, um, it seems to me, and this is my observation from out in the peanut gallery, that you guys have developed a workflow. All right. And so I’m assuming, Katy, this was you, the anal retentive organized person, right? Putting it together. Um, can you talk through some of your work flow, how you make it work? First off, are you guys mostly a retail Arbor online, arb, um, or wholesale or private label
Stephen: [00:32:51] Okay. Ran. And so, so you’re buying from other places and reselling it. So can you walk us through some of the process and don’t give away any secrets that you’re not willing to? Nobody’s listening, but just in case just between us.
Catie: [00:33:04] Um, there was, it’s kind of been an adjustment the last few months because I did everything. I did all the shopping and the shipping. Um, but now the flow is a lot more if he goes out and shops and then I stayed back and do shipments with the employees. So I mean it’s kind of, it’s very basic.
Catie: [00:33:34] Yeah. I use an internet tool that I get up every morning and kind of go over and see who’s doing markdowns, what stores are doing Mark Downs, um, you know, and what areas seem to be having the most and then kind of direct him in that way. Um,
Catie: [00:34:01] Yes, I do a lot of, it’s kind of like what I do instead of reading the paper, when I have my coffee, I get up every morning and get on the laptop and start going through things, um, fairly early so that he can get a job or we’re pretty early people. Um, and then yeah, I can kind of go, I can kind of look at the map and say, hey, you know what? This is a route cause we have different routes. Um, we’re pretty, we’re smack in the middle of the state so we can really go in any direction if we, if we need to. But I can determine what areas are going to be the best for him to go to that day.
Stephen: [00:34:41] Hey Tim, now these routes, I’m always wondered if somebody named these routes. I mean, do you, how do you develop these routes? Is it just experience over time, you know, or the amount of time you’re willing to be away or are you chasing product regardless?
Tim: [00:34:55] Yeah. Basically I’ll get up really early in the morning and I’m out the door and I tried to be, you know, at my farthest out destination point, you know, by the time maybe most people are, are basically when the stores are opening and I’ll hit the most important store of the day, get that stuff. And then I know from what Katie’s told me or if I know what’s in that area, you know, if there’s a certain shoe store I want to hit or there’s a mall, um, I know what’s in that area and I’ll hit those stores and then work my way back. So
Tim: [00:35:31] Yeah. Cause as you go different places, you know what’s hot and then so you know, if I’ve gone over into Indiana for the day, I know what stores are over there. But if I, you know, go down to southern Illinois, I know maybe they have some stores down there that I didn’t hit while I was in Indiana.
Stephen: [00:35:49] Here’s a question that comes up sometimes for people. How often do you make that route? Is it, I mean, so I mean, if you go to an area, are you going back next week, next month, every two months? Or does it depend?
Tim: [00:36:07] Yeah, it’s a Friday roll while we’re, we’re big and outlet outlet malls. So typically the stores, we’ll start a new week and promotion on Friday at 10 at 10 o’clock every morning we’re at that store knocking on the door, waiting to get it.
Catie: [00:36:36] Building relationships is a big, big part of our business and it’s a big thing that I did a lot while I was full time. But building relationships with the employees in the stores is very important.
Tim: [00:37:01] We do, we’ve done, we do a lot of fun trips. Like we want to go to a cubs game. Um, we’ll, you know, we’ll head up, you know, if it’s a night game, we’ll leave at nine, 10 o’clock in the morning, we’ll hit some stores while we were up there. And then the, you know, the, the days paid for. Um, we just recently did our first overnight trip. We really don’t travel out more than about three hours from our home. We’re not somebody that goes all around the United States. Um, but you know, if we want to go down to southern Missouri, go four wheeling, you know, we’ll hit some stores down there while we’re in the area and just end the trip paid for. But we were careful not to make the whole trip a working trip. At least a Katie’s good about keeping me in check on that. Cause I can get, I can get going on Ra and not want to stop. But, um, it, it’s, it’s fun to just know that, you know, hey, we’re traveling here. We can stop it, this area, you know, if there’s a Walmart or a Tj Maxx and, and, and hit those stores real quick and, and you know, pay for your trip.
Stephen: [00:38:05] How rewarding is that Katie, that you know, cause you have friends and I mean let’s face it, what did they say? 70% of people live in paycheck to paycheck. Right? And so they’re struggling. A lot of people are struggling now mean to classify everybody, but people are struggling and here you are able to go on this trip and enjoy yourself, yet still be smart enough to make sure that you pay for it. I mean, how, how rewarding is that? And then how does that conversation with a friend go? Yeah.
Catie: [00:38:48] our friends are, um, a lot of our friends are older and more established that are not really paycheck to paycheck. Okay. That’s fine. But he loves what we do. Um, a lot of our friends get involved. They will, they will be in a store and they will see like a clearance section and then they’ll send us a picture and be like, Hey, is any of this stuff cool? They almost kind of thinking it’s a game. Why they think it’s fun? But, but no, I think it’s very rewarding to just, I said, I don’t mind, you know, if we go up and do something leisure related, just you know, stop at one or two stores and Kinda, it’s Kinda cool to be in a different area and see what’s different versus the same stuff that you go to all the time.
Stephen: [00:39:27] But what’s, what’s cool, I can hear it in your voice and, and, and the way Tim described it, it’s not like you’re going and like, we have to get this, we got to hit this number now. We’ll do our best. And then it’s, you know, we’ve got a little bit yet we’re covered. Let’s go enjoy life. That’s a David in IB Hawkins thing. I mean, he always says that she, he would be in the hotel all day and all night if he, if it was up to him, but his wife is smart enough to say, let’s go and do, let’s live a life. Hmm. All right. So let’s talk about challenges. I mean, again, this is in a business of UNICORNS and rainbows. I know you said that, you know, cutting lawns and stuff like that. It’s hard work. I’m much more physical than this would be, but that this business has it’s challenges from time to time. Can you talk about some of them?
Tim: [00:40:11] Um, one of my challenges right now, I’ve been just a, with, um, training, uh, uh, VA. Um, that’s been some from some of the people I’ve talked to. It seems like a lot of people that are really doing excelling right now, I’ll have VA’s and trying to, to train a VA while I’m, I’ve just went full time and I’m trying to, you know, make sure I’m shopping and getting stuff in the warehouse. I’m just trying to have time to train the Va. Um, that’s something I’ve really been struggling with. But I’ve still generated enough leads to more than than pay for her services. So.
Catie: [00:40:58] Time. It just never seems like there’s enough time to get everything done and being self employed, you don’t clock out. So it’s just, you’re just having to give up that control of not everything got done. It was supposed to get done today and you know, there’s always tomorrow, but when you, when you leave a regular job, you clock out and go home. When you’re self employed you don’t. So it’s always kind of in the back of your mind. So my struggle is turning it off, I guess mentally clocking out.
Stephen: [00:41:30] I mean, does it make it sometimes uncomfortable at the dinner because this car and the dinner is late, it’s, you know, and you’re tired. He’s tired, right. And then you know, hey we didn’t get this done and this done. I mean, does that, does that, it happened from time to time. It’d be normal if it did. Yes.
Catie: [00:41:45] I don’t really think so. Oh, it’s frustration for both of us, but it’s like neither one of us are going to go back up and do it. We’re going to go to bed. So yeah, if it didn’t break ups that day and we’ll, we’ll get it off the next day.
Stephen: [00:42:00] I think it’s a healthy perspective because again, I think you’re at a place though. I mean, again, if you’re a Dave Ramsey fan, do your, doesn’t sound like you’re deep in debt, you know, and I want to a personal stuff, but I mean, it’s just that you got a mindful, you’re mindful of that and if he can keep it in perspective, that’s a very, very healthy. Mm. Hmm. All right. So let’s talk about, uh, things that are, habits that you guys have done or you could suggest to other things that have worked well for you. So I’ll start with Katie. What are, what are some of the things that you do to keep you in check? I mean, you were just gone to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. They were serving your little drinks in these fancy little cups in it straws. Probably some fruit that happens every day at the warehouse, right?
Catie: [00:42:42] Huh? No, no. Have I made enough money to have a personal assistant yet? So it’s a routine habits in a routine like getting into your routine. Um, the biggest thing that I could see being a, a bad habit when you become self employed is not getting up in the morning like you should. So start making it a habit and a routine to get up at the same time earlier. The better and getting into a routine that is going to make sense and is going to benefit.
Stephen: [00:43:20] Well. Is that routine, I mean, in the beginning, did you kind of have it written down in any way or is it just, I mean, maybe since you’re managing yourself, I guess not, but I mean, how did you, how did you organize that day? So getting up earlier, right. I uh, uh, I’m trying to think of a Andy, uh, oh, I can’t think of his last name, who has a, you know, wake up an hour earlier. He has a book on it. I can’t think of his name. I’m drawing a blank. But it’s basically you gain an hour, a day times 365 days or, or less, whatever, but you gain, you know, like years ahead of other people. I mean, how did you, how did you figure that out and then, you know, what other tips would you give right along with that?
Catie: [00:43:59] Probably it was probably trial and error because I do not like to get up in the morning. Um, if I could sleep everyday til 10, I would, but that, you know, seeing that, you know, Tim wants to eat dinner at the same time every day. If I’m not getting up and getting to work, then my work’s not getting done. So. Okay. All right, Tim. I’d be home and eating. So
Tim: [00:44:32] um, you’ve had him on a couple times. Jason Clark is a big motivator. And so basically I’ve, since I’ve went full time, I know that, you know, get up and out the door as early as possible and beat everybody else to the stores. Um, you know, sleeping in your, you’re going to be behind the eight ball from the moment you leave that day. And we’ve already had moments since, uh, you know, actually the day that I, after I quit my job, um, we beat another sales team to a store by 30 minutes. Are you kidding? Wait, a team that you knew would have went in there and very average to place oh yeah. Well yeah, they came through the door. They were checking out behind us. No kidding.
Stephen: [00:45:17] Yeah, that’s gotta be a pretty rewarding experience when, when, uh, do you have like a mental, you know, by 10 o’clock, right? Because like you said, some people are just getting out and going out there. Do you have like a mental checklist? Like boom, we hit our sales are purchased target. I mean, I don’t know if you use purchase targets for the day already, it’s 10 o’clock and try to beat those things or anything like that to kind of keep you motivated.
Tim: [00:45:40] Yeah, definitely. I, I think yesterday I spent probably roughly $3,000 maybe with all the way, maybe even more than that. Um, so I, I definitely keeping tabs on you don’t have spent this much today and that, you know, such and such Roi. I’ve, you know, you know already made, you know, hopefully what should project to make certain amount already today. So good day.
Stephen: [00:46:04] So, and, and that’s another pro tip. Again, these, these guys have figured all this stuff out, right? So you know what you want to sell and if you know your sell through rate, you could magically work backwards. The algebra everybody hated in school. Now you’re using it Tim, and you are saying this is what I need to purchase. Right. And, and that plan, right, that plan is not, doesn’t just magically happen. Right. So you’ve done the work. How often do you look at that and, and also cashflow, cause that’s another one thing I’ve been talking a lot about lately.
Tim: [00:46:36] Um, so far, I mean I’ve been so busy developing Replens that going out and, and filling out my Replens it, it just happens every day. Um, and then sometimes I’ll, I’ll buy enough in a day that I feel like I need that I will stay here and ship. Um,
Tim: [00:47:06] That’s right. I did. I did put us into premium placement. So everyday that I feel like the stuff sits there, uh, as longer that it takes to get shipped in and you know, the prices could go down. So in premium placement cost, how much additional do you know for an average item under one pound 50 cents.
Stephen: [00:47:26] Okay. So 50 cents versus my 15 cents, which is, um, uh, oh, I can’t, I’m drawing a blank on the team. The other term, not premium placement, just a placement that I chose. I think it’s like 15 cents, but premium placement. So that additional 35 cents in your eyes per product, you’re saying, man, I can get that in. It goes right to that one designated spot and you were for sale almost immediately. Correct.
Tim: [00:47:49] Right. Cause instead of my stuff going on back order, if I bought something on Monday, it ships out of here on Tuesday, checks in, in Indianapolis on Wednesday, and if it’s early enough in the day, that item could sell that day and shit. So I could have bought something on Monday and it could be added customer’s doorstep by Friday
Stephen: [00:48:31] Yeah. We’ve had some that have gone almost a month. Um, and, and it seems to be a newer distribution center of seems to be the challenge sometimes and I don’t understand and I’m sure they’re working it out. Um, you know, I’m sure it’s not easy. Can’t be, but it does happen. And so there’s a really good tip. How do you, did you just automatically get a premium placement or do you have to apply for it? You have to apply for it. Okay. And, um,
Stephen: [00:48:56] Okay, so you open a case with Amazon and then request it. Okay, well that’s a, that’s a pro tip. And then you get to sort of choose the distribution center you want, or do they, do they allow you one? Um,
Tim: [00:49:07] I think they were trying to go somewhere within a certain radius from me so that the stuff would be there in the next day. You know, for me it’d be like Chicago or Indianapolis. Okay. Um, did you just, yes, I had, they pretty much told us Indianapolis.
Stephen: [00:49:45] Okay. All right. So that’s another, a tip right there. So again, that cause if you allow Amazon that slows it down. Right? So you’re doing everything you can to be efficient about it to get it in smart. You
Stephen: [00:50:00] Yep, Yep. I think gets like 15 cents an item or something like that. Yep. So another thing. Okay. All right. Powerful. Again, you guys have definitely, what do you think about a husband and wife? I mean, do you recommend that to other couples? If so, why? And if not, why not? I mean, is it, I guess, I know it’s going to depend on the relationship, but, but I mean what, what is your advice with us? Um,
Tim: [00:50:24] I was recently with another green room member at an outlet mall in Chicago and they, they weren’t married but I think it was a boyfriend, girlfriend. And, um, he, I think he was kind of pushing his girlfriend to do it and as I was strongly encouraging it because I mean it, it’s something you guys can go out and do together, have fun with. Um, we’re constantly finding stuff that the other one didn’t. Um, I even, you know, like things here at the warehouse that are, that she does better than I do even at the store when it comes to just overall checkout process. She’s, she’s better at getting the stuff to the register. She brings like our own bag so that we’re not using up a bunch of store bags. Um, it’s just been a team and then having somebody with you in the car, cause I hear so much about how this business is lonely. Um, yeah. I mean without necessarily having our friends and being so far away, um, that I do this. I mean we have each other, we have each other to be there with every day when we’re out shopping.
Catie: [00:51:42] We hear a lot. Um, I don’t want to say criticism, but concern I guess from people when they found out that Tim was coming home full time, everyone was so concerned for our marriage. But I think a big part of it depends on, I guess, how your relationship is. I mean we, we already knew that we worked well together and we don’t really have problems with each other. I guess. I know not every couple can have as much togetherness time, um, as we do. But I mean, we’re just really lucky and, but even if it’s not, you know, as I guess promote wife perspective, even if it’s not really your thing and it is his, I mean, I still, you still want to help and encourage and you know, do what you can, even if it’s not necessarily your dream, but,
Stephen: [00:52:33] well, I think, you know, you hear these couples that grow apart, you’ve heard that phrase like, you know, like especially your older friends, they’ve grown apart stage. They’re just, uh, in this case, since you’re working towards a common goal, um, I think you grow closer together. Is that fair?
Catie: [00:52:54] There are some pretty tough stuff, um, personally that could have made her break and it actually pushed us closer together. So, um, that stuff was not, this business is not near as difficult as that stuff. So
Stephen: [00:53:09] yeah. It sounds like you guys have good perspective about this. I mean, it sounds like you appreciate it because you’ve both worked full time jobs for other people. And like you said, you know, sometimes you like to Boston, sometimes you don’t like the boss. Right? And so that perspective and then if you had challenges, other personal challenges, whatever, that that teaches you that life isn’t fair all the time. Right. And so you can’t expect this to be perfect and easy all the time. Right. And you can push past stuff.
Tim: [00:53:36] That’s why I think we like it so much is because it allows us to be together more. Um, you know, where I was working a full time job, I wasn’t allowed to be done with my delivery route until everything was done, which sometimes meant not getting home till six, seven o’clock at night. And now I control that. So
Stephen: [00:53:53] yeah, so six, seven o’clock at night, then you eat dinner, then you know, you go to bed. I mean, so you’re seeing each other maybe a couple of hours a day over a week. You’re only seeing each other just a few hours. We had the lawn care business, it was even worse. Well, I’m, I’m blown away with what you did. And for me, the takeaways that I’m getting from this, he is, you know, obviously network, network, network, find the right people. And I absolutely agree with you that a paid group is a, is a wonder how you joined the group. I don’t benefit in any way. If you join the green room, however you might find somebody there you connect with and by helping them and then getting some help, you’re going to find, or an in any group, you’re gonna find some, uh, some likeminded people that are there all sellers.
Stephen: [00:54:41] But that doesn’t mean you guys are alike, right? Or your values are the same or the way you treat your spouse is the same because that’s something else to pay attention to. Um, so to me that’s very powerful. Second thing is to be mature enough to back off and let your skills match the role you want and let her skills match the role she wants. That’s a maturity thing, dude. I’m a, that’s a tough one for me. I’m a control freak, so that’s very, very cool that you guys have figured this out. Um, and then third, I think helping others again. Um, to me that’s very, uh, I think again, I mean, do you think about how much you learn when you say to somebody else, hey, this is how we do it. I mean, it kind of reinforces what you’re doing once you say yes and it, it almost like validates.
Stephen: [00:55:29] Is that, is that weird? No, that’s that you just hit it. Spot on. Hmm. Well, I love what you guys are doing and I love that you’re doing it together. It’s an inspiration to me to sit there and watch to go look at your photos and see the raccoon eyes together. Um, and realize that this was her dream that you help fulfill Tim. Dude, that’s a big deal. Um, that’s why your relationship can take the time together and it’s just so cool to me. And again, I’m very thankful that somebody said, hey, you need to get this couple on here, um, as soon as you can. All right, so if somebody has a followup question, best way that they could ask it,
Stephen: [00:56:35] Well, Katie is busy. I’m running that ship, steering that ship and keeping you on task. I love it. Okay, so the goal of the podcast is to help people move forward, move past the point of stock. You’ve heard me ask this question a whole bunch of times and I’m sure you’ve sat back and said, you know, Steve, this is something you haven’t heard or this is something that you’re missing. So can you give me something that you think, uh, or reinforce something that you’ve heard before the earth that’s really worked well for you?
Tim: [00:57:04] One thing that I wanted to cover was, um, we did something unique last of timber. Um, this comes with the caveat that we’re in the Midwest and we’re in Illinois. So finding places to rent or a little bit easier than say if you’re in a big, you know, a growing community. But we found an area used to be an old hair salon, a quarter mile from the end of our, our street. And we moved into that and treated that as our Amazon warehouse are prepping area. And we have a, we have a di, a nice size house and we had a great set up at our house, but having 600 square feet for $350 a month, that’s a quarter mile away from the house. Um, that was that for some reason, change things, being able to come home with the shipment drop or from Ra and just drops this stuff down there and come back and prep it the next day and then just come home and be home. Um, it made us more efficient and, and actually helped us to scale up for Q four and I think that’s why we had such a great Q four was because we had that little space. Um, it’s already been, you know, six months later, um, we’ve are now another quarter mile down the road at a place that used to be a resell shop and for a whole $600 a month, we have 2000 square feet
Tim: [00:58:34] driving heated garage. Um, so I would just encourage people, look for the out of the way places. It doesn’t have to be an industrial park, be creative, maybe share with it, look at another business that may be struggling that you can maybe rent, uh, you know, a small portion of their warehouse out from him. Um, but definitely, you know, it, you don’t have to be very high up in sales to swing $350 a month.
Stephen: [00:59:02] I always say that that get moving out of my garage was the best thing for my marriage. Um, because it, it, it did, you know, like she would come home and I’d buy this company and she wouldn’t be able to pull in the garage and then all of a sudden now you can, it just takes that pressure away from your life. How did you, I mean, but you need a loading dock. You need, you need a, I’m trying to think of all the other things that I hear people say. What about a loading dock? What about a forklift? What about all those things? You don’t need those things to you.
Catie: [00:59:29] We are with our Dave Ramsey passed, we are baby steppers and we even kind of were baby steppers with our lawn care business. We didn’t run out and get, you know, in a whole bunch of debt with trailers and brand new trucks and brand new lawn care equipment, baby steps. So, um, just look for something that will achieve what you need to do. Like you said, get out of the garage, which is what we needed to do. The, the garage was overflowing, the family room was overflowing. We just looked for the first small thing that would get us out of the house and it worked for six months. It worked. And then we outgrew it and just go that route and don’t have to go for the biggest, latest, greatest thing to get to get to your goal.
Stephen: [01:00:14] And if it didn’t work, wouldn’t it be nice to know rather than sit back and think about it for that long. To me, that’s, that’s powerful stuff guys. You guys are so good and he’s awesome. I love the story. I love what you’re doing. And again, I love the approach. You’re, you’re scaling at your pace, which is your pace, not somebody else’s pace. You’re not chasing somebody else’s dream. You’re living your dream. And again, I think the two of you are doing it together is, is just, it gives me the tingles to think about because it’s just such a cool relationship. Um, and, and I applaud you, so I want to wish you nothing but success and thank you so much.
Stephen: [01:00:49] How inspiring is that? I mean, how could you not be inspired? A couple that has figured it out. They have worked together the two weeks in Hawaii, you know, I tease him about him getting a little taller, but that’s a big deal. Um, that’s such a big deal. That’s such good stewardship is what they would say, you know, together and they’re rowing the same way. You know, if you’re not rowing the same way as your spouse or your significant other, you know, maybe there’s an option, you know, maybe there’s something here that you can learn and apply to yourself. Reach out to him, um, music and honest guy who will help you as best as he can. And Katie too. So, you know, maybe there’s some advice she, you can get from them that will help you, um, be a better together because that’s what it is, that they’re better together. Maybe that’s the phrase I want to use because they’re not one plus one equals two there, one plus one equals four or five and it’s just so neat to hear. So ecommerce, momentum.com, ecommerce, momentum.com take care.
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