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387 : Mark Willis – How to fire your banker in your ecommerce business


When you look at why many (most) businesses fail it is usually tied to financing issues. (Mostly underfunded) According to Mark “banks are the foil of the unsuccessful entrepreneur.” So are you leveraged correctly? Are you looking for a long term strategy to handle cash timing in your business? Mark wants to get you thinking about other than standard methods. (Remember why most businesses fail)


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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.

Mark:                                    [00:00:00]               Products to make this whole thing work in the realm of the real. Right. Um, so how do we do it? I mean it needs tools to make that power, uh, of being your own source of financing come to fruition. So, you know, I am a certified financial planner and when I was going through my CFP training, they put you through your paces, Stephen. I mean it’s like it’s a four year. It took me about four years and I say me, but it’s actually me and my wife went through that together cause it was her sacrificing as much as me to get the CFP credentials. Um, and I probably read up and studied over 450 financial products that are out there.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:00:38]               Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling today. Here’s your host Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             [00:00:52]               So you’re looking for an advantage to help you Wu at brand. While one of the tools that you can use this scope, you could check out their product and then check out their competitors and find the keywords their competitors are using and check out theirs and see that they’re not, and then say, okay, I’ve got an idea. Let me do this. Let me enhance your brand. That’s the thing you can bring to the marketplace. When you can enhance the brand, you’re going to win that account. So try it. You get a free trial, but seller forward slash, scope use the code omentum and save 50 bucks. It’s a free trial. Try it and see if you can enhance the brand. Add an important member to your Amazon teams. Solutions. Four ecommerce. Yep. Solutions Four ecommerce. Karen lockers team helps manage our Amazon account. We pay full price just like everybody else.

Stephen:                             [00:01:36]               We’ve been using it for a couple of years and the reason is is because of the results. We modify a lot of listing, especially in wholesale because we’re trying to enhance that listing, right? We’re trying to help the brand and so guess what? That’s the type of service that we get from solutions for ecommerce. So it’s solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash, wholesale and you can get $50 off her service. Go try it, give it a shot and say, hey, could you help me get this listing in line? And guess what? That allows you to go out and develop relationships with wholesalers. And then the work gets done by Karen and her team. I can’t recommend it enough. We use it again. We pay full price solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com forward slash wholesale, save 50 bucks. Get that important part of your team working for you.

Stephen:                             [00:02:25]               It’s time to get the listings right. So what should you do? You should get your images right, right. So amazing freedom has a program to help you do that. And we’ve used them. It’s phenomenal what they can do. You got to go look at this. So you go to amazing, forward slash photos and take a look at the examples of what you can do with an image you take and you give them some sample images. Um, some simple images. And then what they do is they take and um, insert them with lifestyle photos. And so all of a sudden you’re going to see an example of what a plain image looks like and then it can be enhanced to why is this of value to while you were in the wholesale business. And guess what? You want to add value to the brand. And this is just a simple way to do it.

Stephen:                             [00:03:08]               They offer all those kinds of services. Scroll down to the bottom. If you really want somebody to help really improve this service and you want to bring value to that brand because you want it exclusivity, the services that they offer for a listing enhancement will blow your mind. So again, it’s amazing., forward slash photos, take a look at what you can do for your brands that you’re trying to get. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 387 Mark Willis. Okay, this is definitely a little different. Um, and it’s kind of a real current kind of thing and it’s, the reason I had mark on is I’m very intrigued by this philosophy of self banking. Um, and you know, it takes us a while to get there. We kind of establish a foundation why it’s kind of becoming that issue. And I think the y is going to connect with a whole bunch of you.

Stephen:                             [00:04:01]               It connects with me. So even if it’s just I’m speaking to myself, if somebody accused me to have, uh, not long ago, um, then I am. Um, but I think there’s several people who are struggling and trying to figure it out. And they get in this cycle and they borrow money, they pay it, they borrow money and they pay it, but they’re not getting ahead. Right. Their business is growing or it’s not, but they’re not putting more in their pocket. They’re not putting more away. They’re not establishing that emergency fund. Right. That they speak of. So this is a possible idea. Um, and I’m not saying it’s the only idea, and I’m not saying it’ll work for you, but I want you to get you thinking about there are other options. And if you’re not working on your business as an it says, then you’re going to be in trouble because you’re working only in your business.

Stephen:                             [00:04:44]               You’re never going to get ahead. You’re just going to keep grinding, grinding, grinding, the world’s gonna Change, and then you’re in trouble. So in this case, it’s work on your business kind of podcast. And I think, uh, our guests, Mark Willis does such a great job with it. So let’s get into the podcast and then we’ll come back to the ecommerce momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s guest. Uh, it turns out we’re kind of kindred spirits in our belief. Um, and what I’m very excited about, although this person’s not a seller, uh, per se like us, he has hundreds of clients that are sellers. So I always say, go for best practices, right? You do something once great. You talked to somebody else and they do it too, between the two of you can figure out a better way. When you get a group of a hundred, you’re going to figure out what’s the best way and so experiences the best, uh, the best, uh, way to, to growth and running a business.

Stephen:                             [00:05:35]               And I think Mark Willis is here to help us figure that out. Welcome, mark. Glad to be here. Thanks so much, Stephen. I really appreciate you being here. Let me just read a couple a things about mark. He’s a certified financial planner. He’s from Chicago. Uh, he’s a bestselling author, which I can’t wait to hear about this book. He has a company called Lake growth financial services. It’s a firm in Chicago. Um, and I’ll have all these links in here and your cohost of a podcast, not your average financial podcasts. Correct? Correct. We like to keep the titles real simple and short. Yeah. Not your average financial podcasts. Um, and you know, it’s funny, I mean we’re going to get to your story and all the rest of that jazz, but what does not your average financial podcast mean

Mark:                                    [00:06:21]               to you? Well, I think there’s a lot that’s wrong with average financial planning. Uh, I mean w we’ll talk more about that later, but there’s, there’s a lot of mainstream financial, uh, pap out there, I’ll call it that. Uh, that simply isn’t giving thought to the realities of the stock market or to future taxation taxation or to, uh, your individual financial needs. A, you know, hey everybody, Max out your four one k oh wait, maybe taxes might be higher in the future. Is that a good idea for putting, maxing as much money into a tax deferred 401k if we think in, most economists do think that taxes might be higher when we go to take the money out. That’s just one slice of the big picture of what we’ve, we’ve tried to uncover in our show things that may, that you may have been told are true but might not actually be true. And so we just try to give folks the chance to think different about their money, their own personal economy and their own future. You know,

Stephen:                             [00:07:26]               is you saying that I sit back and I think about, I had this discussion this morning and yesterday related to employment. Now our parents were, you know, go to work. Um, I think, I think, you know, I’m in my 50s, so my parents would have been world war two after World War II, they or there abouts. And so, you know, work was plentiful. Uh, you would go work in a manufacturing company because they were developed after the world war. Right. And they would go there and work for 30 years and get a retirement and then, you know, get a pension and uh, probably get health insurance for life or there abouts at that time, all that stuff was relatively normal. And so when we were in high school and then, you know, those of us who went to college, we were led to believe that’s the path you want to take because that’s still the path that was probably going on in the seventies and eighties.

Stephen:                             [00:08:20]               And then it changed, right? And so that belief that we all had like kind of what you’re saying about, hey, you believe this tax thing is the right thing put away in a 401k oh, that stuff’s gonna benefit you in the future. Those things have changed. The world has evolved and I don’t think a lot of people have considered, we’re all in our fifties that’s it. We’re all struggling to figure that out. Hence the reason we’re all pursuing side businesses and then trying to develop it in a real businesses. Um, I didn’t think about taxes that way. I mean, I still would believe that Max out your four one k is the right answer. And now you’re saying, hey, Steve taxes could be higher, likely higher. And especially

Mark:                                    [00:08:56]               if you look at the election stuff that’s going on right now, they’re talking 70, 80%, you know, and, and, and so it’s completely different thinking. I mean, it’s like this whole generation has changed in or needs to change and think he’s a fair, oh yeah. Where was it written? In a the sky or on two tablets of stone that a retirement meant including a 401k. I mean, the 401k isn’t actually old enough to retire. I got its start in 1981. That was first issued 401k know what was going on and how did people save for their future before 1981, somebody had to do something to make sure that they lived and had a paycheck that lasted as long as they did. And what I love about the ecommerce space is one example is that it provides, uh, some interesting side hustle or even replacement income that you can take into your future years, uh, even if you’re not punching a clock at the day job.

Mark:                                    [00:09:51]               Uh, so that’s just, uh, you know, I guess it’s a reminder that just because things are the way they are today doesn’t mean that they’ve always been that way, or even that today’s way is the best way. Interesting. So in fact, I’ll say, I’ll say one more thing about this Ted Benna that the gentleman who discovered the salary deferral and election of the 401k and the tax code. So his name is Ted Benna. He is sort of known as the father of the 401k. We’ll, uh, about two years ago he came out and said that the 401k is a monster and it should be destroyed and we should start all the way over with helping our nation prepare for its future. Um, he said it’s been a total train wreck and a, it’s become something he could, he, he wished had had, uh, you know, if you could do it all over again, he’d point people in another direction, which I found to be fascinating.

Mark:                                    [00:10:41]               Yeah. That’s, uh, I guess, you know, they had the best intentions, I’m sure. Um, but it’s, the world has changed. Again, all this stuff changes. They don’t call mark and say, Hey, what do you think? The world just keeps changing without your input, doesn’t it? And nothing against the 401k. It has a place alongside the overall financial picture that somebody has a it, you know, after looking at your entire financial picture, you might be a good fit for the 401k. So it’s not like there’s nobody’s out there as a good fit for it. Every financial vehicle has a place, but I think it’s just been painted with too broad a brush and a, not to pick on the 401k alone. There’s, there’s other things in our podcast for example, that we get into that really touches on the things we thought to be so that just aren’t so interested about our financial financial lives.

Mark:                                    [00:11:29]               When you look at the client. So now what you told me in the precall was basically that you have hundreds of clients that sell on Amazon or Ebay, whatever, their ecommerce sellers, right? Is that correct? Correct. Okay. So you’ve seen a lot, you’ve heard a lot. Um, any idea what the demographic of your client bases that are ecommerce sellers, are they younger, older, could be it all across the gamut? Well, you know, I think it is sort of all across the gamut. And I do see a couple of ’em bunches. You know, the folks that are just starting out in life and wanting to do the fire movement, which is short for financial independence, retire early, and they’re really pumping a lot of their efforts into quitting their day job and using passive income streams, like from ecommerce businesses to support their lifestyle so they can retire at 35 years old or whatever.

Mark:                                    [00:12:17]               And then there’s another group of people who have figured out that the 401k wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They’ve gone through a major market crash or two since the year 2000. Uh, and they’ve had a couple of an unexpected emergencies, the disability, a death in the family, whatever. And uh, they have realized that they are just not ready for this thing we all call retirement. And so they are using Amazon or Ebay or whatnot to supplement their existing, uh, savings for their retirement future. And so those are the two sort of, uh, there’s everyone along that spectrum. But that’s sort of the two groups I see the most

Stephen:                             [00:12:53]               when, um, I was thinking about that does do 100% of your clients in their lifetime run into an emergency of some sort outside of their control.

Mark:                                    [00:13:04]               But one in four of us will have a debilitating disability that will last over a year that we won’t expect. Now. Can you imagine going a year without being able to get to your job and earning

Stephen:                             [00:13:14]               paycheck? No, that would mean that one and over

Mark:                                    [00:13:19]               almost 60%, six zero, 60% of people are forced into retirement early, uh, either due to them being laid off or because of a family member’s health situation. And so we’re, we’re not always the one in control of when the income stops. Uh, and sometimes retirement doesn’t mean a gold watch. Sometimes it means a bunch of medical bills, uh, that forced you into retirement early. And, and unfortunately, we just can’t plan for those unforeseen circumstances.

Stephen:                             [00:13:48]               So I have a personal story. My brother in law 55 was just, his position is being eliminated from BP to massive oil company bought Castro. He worked for Castro and him and 20% of the workforce is being eliminated. And not because of their work, not because of anything. It’s just the world is changing. Right? Completely. So he planned on working there for 10 more years, til 65 or 62, whatever it was. And now his world is changed. And it’s interesting. I mean, they’re making it right. They’re doing a severance and all that kind of jazz. They’ve done the best they can, but his whole world that he had planned out and you know, they were ready, is now upside down. And that’s happening. I mean, you tell me, how often do you see that?

Mark:                                    [00:14:33]               Well, I’ll just say this. Americans in general, they’re in trouble. I mean, what was Ma once manifest? Destiny is now festering debt. Uh, what was once the American dream is now a major mortgage drain on their income, where once we had a ton of savings ready to go for any recession or depression, now we have major credit card bills. I’ll tell you a quick a statistic or two. Since 1940, the American savings rate has gone from 27% of our income to just 2.6% of our income. As of 2018 and according to the US commerce bureau, we’ve gone from servicing only 11% of our income servicing debt. To this year, we’re going to cross 36% of our income service just servicing the interest payments on our debt as an average American household. So let that sink in. I mean, we’ve moved from a nation of savers, saving almost 30% of our income to a nation of debtors spending almost a third of our income, uh, on interest to banks, credit cards, finance companies, pay ability, uh, Amazon lending.

Mark:                                    [00:15:38]               I mean, the list goes on and on and on. Mortgage companies. I mean, how are we going to ever get to a place of financial independence if we have this vortex of debt that siphoning, uh, our lifestyle, uh, to cover these nice things that we enjoy? Uh, you know, cars, mortgages, student loans, when we don’t have enough money, even to cover flat tires, leaking roofs, the kitchen, kids, college fund, medical emergencies, retirement. I mean 2.6% of your income, if that’s the average savings rate in this country will not cover all of those things I just said [inaudible] 6% of what? What’s the household income? $75,000 or something like that. Yup. Something like that. I think the average is a bit less, but yeah, around there. Okay. So what’s 2.6% of that? Well, good question. Let’s, uh, let’s do the math on that really quick. So we mapped out their way in the morning.

Mark:                                    [00:16:28]               Right now I haven’t had my fit a sheet cup of coffee. Yeah, just, yeah, just shy of $2,000 a year. So $2,000 a year, people were putting away and they think they’re on it. They’re like, Hey, I’m saving two grand. That’s probably better than their neighbor. But two grand is not going to equal a 30 or 40 grand, whatever you need at 65 and then you’re 66 and then you’re 67 right? Correct. Oh Man. Okay. All right. So those 55 year olds have less than one year salary saved for retirement. Mark, you’re depressing me. I must admit I’m a, I’m a little down right now. However, take another sip of coffee, it’ll be all right. Okay. So let’s not let one of the best go ahead of the best hopes in our economy. I believe, uh, in the last decade is the rise of the entrepreneur. I think, uh, you know, she’s become a symbol of freedom, uh, the ability to rise above the ashes of the great recession. You know, I think that, you know, in terms of just the statistics, the global entrepreneurship and Development Index, I did some research on this, uh, says that we are re, uh, six, 6% of Americans now, which is the highest it’s ever been, 6.02% of Americans are working as their own boss for their primary income. And I think a ecommerce solutions are some of the best ways to do that. Well, let’s talk about that. Do you see, is there, are there statistics on what ecommerce are saving

Stephen:                             [00:17:50]               as opposed to general employed?

Mark:                                    [00:17:53]               No, I don’t have that information, but that’d be an interesting study. You and I should do some time. It’d be interesting because there are way

Stephen:                             [00:18:00]               many more ways to save as an entrepreneur then there are as an employee, correct. I mean I, I think, you know, there’s a traditional Ira, there’s a Roth Ira and there’s 401ks and Rick general savings, but you’re kind of limited, um, as a self employed, there are lots of corporate ways to do, um, a lot of savings. So I guess maybe we should move into that because as I think about ecommerce sellers, I mean one of the, one of the challenges that, you know, we talked about in the precall was this is a cash heavy business, meaning that I buy him in physical inventory and it’s expensive and you’ve got to buy volume and you’ve got to, you generally pay up front. You generally don’t get terms anymore like you used to and sometimes you can, but then that’s debt. Right? And so with this type of business, how, how do the outliers that you’ve seen manage it? I mean, are most of them borrowing money, financing the debt, getting their inventory and selling it as fast as they can so they can pay the debt? They can wash, rinse, repeat. Is that general or is there a or I mean, oh, you tell me.

Mark:                                    [00:19:03]               Well, I, I do think that again, the, the lure of the being your own boss, being your entrepreneur entrepreneurial adventure, uh, is phenomenal and a lot of fun to watch. Uh, you know, and, and oftentimes the, the passion to be your own boss is so attractive that we typically put all of our chips on the table, you know, whereas, you know, me as a certified financial planner, I would tell you to diversify. Most entrepreneurs are putting all of their money into their business. It’s a one asset portfolio, if you think of it that way. Uh, so you know, if given the choice to put money into an IRA or to put money back into inventory where you’re getting double digit returns possibly in your business, now most people are going to forestall the IRA or whatnot because they say, you know, I can control my assets.

Mark:                                    [00:19:50]               I can control my portfolio, uh, when I am the owner and director of those assets. If I, if I’m the boss, if I can be the, the, um, the one managing the investments, you know, your inventory, uh, why would I put money over there on Wall Street where I can’t see it, can’t control it, and someone else is taking a fee from me whether my market portfolio is up or down. So that’s typically what I hear most entrepreneurs say. And what I do hear them say as well as mark, you know, I’ve got all these expenses. I’ve got no more expensive car payment than ever. My student loans or my kid’s student loans are higher than ever. I just can’t save. Like I want to. Again, the statistic was in 1940, we were saving a third of our income. Today it’s 2.6%. So what most people tell me and not so many words, Stephen, is I can’t save that much. So I’m going to have to save a lot less and I’m going to have to hope and pray that my rate of return will be higher in hints comes day trading, you know, speculation a four one ks, Iras and the like. Uh, and, and that just hasn’t been the pathway that the greatest generations of our nation’s past. When we did have enough and we did save enough, uh, that’s not how they got to financial freedom. It was, it was through other means for sure.

Stephen:                             [00:21:07]               Let’s talk about that because I’m sitting here thinking about, you know, um, what were that generation that was saving 30% did they have big mortgages on their home? I mean, were they living in the half million dollar houses or were they live in the $30,000 houses? Right. Yeah.

Mark:                                    [00:21:24]               I think our listeners would probably know the answer to that. Yeah. There’s, you know, we go through about five houses in our lifetimes today on average, whereas they would spend a small chunk of change and live in that house for the rest of their life. Small as it might be.

Stephen:                             [00:21:37]               Right? Yeah. It was funny. We had that discussion with someone and I said, oh, remember the size of the bedroom that we had bunk beds in? And there were three in a room at that point, you know, and you could, and it was so small, you know, but somehow we live because we, we were never in there. You’re always outside. Right. That just doesn’t happen today. Um, how about car payments back then? Did the parents have carpets? No, no, no. It didn’t exist. Yeah. And are those two, the number one and number two expenses that families have today?

Mark:                                    [00:22:06]               I’d put credit cards and student loans above car payments, but yes,

Stephen:                             [00:22:10]               really? Um, wow. So it’s, it’s home student loans, credit cards, car payments. Um, when you’re seeing people like that, especially entrepreneurs, uh, a business people, cause I’m sure you know, you see their numbers, you’ve got hundreds of these people. Is that burden, that person? Only because we see people come into the business all the time. Steve Tell me how I can make $100,000 selling on Amazon, but I need to make it by next week cause I can’t afford to leave my hundred thousand dollar lifestyle because I created a hundred. I mean, and in fairness, they created this a hundred thousand dollars lifestyle because they had a big job and the wife had a big job and you know, the kids went to school and they had a new car and they had all these other things. So I can, we can all see how they got there. And I’m not judging him because Ben there, I got it. I always said all of us. Yeah, no judgment. However they’re saying, I don’t like this anymore. I’m looking, you know, because I have to sell my soul to that place or places and I want to get out of that circle because it doesn’t look like it’s not sustainable long term. I’m going to have a heart attack or whatever before then. So how do I get out? But I need a hundred grand because this is where I’m at.

Mark:                                    [00:23:18]               Yeah, you’re, well, you’re speaking to, I think all of our listeners here today, and it actually speaks to a financial law that was put out there by, um, uh, Northcote Parkinson. See Northcote, Parkinson said, expenses rise to meet income expenses rise to meet income. So that happens on a personal level. Every time you get that pay raise, watch your watch your lifestyle creep up to just meet it or exceed it. And that happens on the business level to the banker is the foil of most unsuccessful entrepreneurs. You know, banks are the, say that again. Say that again. Uh, banks are the foil of the unsuccessful entrepreneur. Meaning banks are the ones that are the vultures on the backs of the entrepreneurs chasing them down and squeezing them out of the profits that they work so hard for. I mean, again, if 34% of the, um, of the revenue of your business is going to a bank, if time is money, what is a third of your day?

Mark:                                    [00:24:23]               You know, what is a third of your day? Uh, more businesses are dying before they’re even given the chance to live. You know, they’re still paying off the one point $3 trillion of student loan debt, uh, which is now Stephen bigger than credit card debt in this country. And I’ve even met senior citizens who are using their social security checks and having the social security check garnished to pay back their student loans. Uh, so that is a major problem, but banks of course, for the last 5,000 years, uh, have been the most profitable industry in the history of all mankind. You know, think about that statement for a moment. You know, if, if you aren’t already successful in your ecommerce business, maybe just start a bank instead because it’s a great way to make a lot of profits. So, you know, I think you and I would agree that, you know, if you’re not in a financial position, this is not a great business to leap into, right?

Mark:                                    [00:25:15]               Not to just cut your losses where you’re at and jump right height on, into, and, but to be fair, there are people who have done it and that, to me, they’re an outlier and they just, they have that. So I’m not one of those guys. So I want to speak to the guys who are kind of more like me or ladies who were more like me. Just that, uh, where to me, and I say this all the time, I think slow and steady is the way to win. However, I’m never going to be a $5 million seller. I’m not interested in being a $5 million. So, and I know a whole bunch of my listeners are and they’re amazing, but they’re outliers again. And so my advice to everyone all the time is stay in your job. You know, build this off on the side. And eventually you get to a point where you’re making more money than your job and then you can make better choices and then you can build your life.

Mark:                                    [00:26:01]               If you build your lifestyle, this is Steve’s opinion. You adjust your lifestyle to support it. So you still have the ability to have, you know, um, risks covered and that kind of thing. How about what you’re seeing, I mean, is that, is that kind of the financial planners advice that you’re giving to people? Well, it’s, it’s the very first rule of any financial plan and that is to live within your means. And before you recommend any strategies or financial products that help people toward a goal, uh, the very first and most important rule is to master Parkinson’s law, which is to live within your means. If expenses rise to meet your income, uh, if, if, uh, if nature abhors a vacuum, so to speak with your expenses, then we’ve got to find a way to live within your means or to increase your means.

Stephen:                             [00:26:48]               Okay, so stay there second. So tell me what that means. So to live within your means. So before Steve gets a raise and I was living on $100 a week, we’ll make this really stupid and I’m going to get a $10 raise, but I’m living on $100 a week comfortably. Don’t raise to $110 level Steve, stay at a hundred. But, and, but you just said that everybody’s income or their expenses creep up to meet that. How do you stop that?

Mark:                                    [00:27:13]               Yeah, well it’s, it’s about living weird and it’s about paying yourself first and you know, putting away for the future before you see it. Uh, so that you can be able to make the calculated unnecessary risks to grow your business when everyone else is going through the next major recession or the banks cut the lines of credit and you’ve got big piles of cash that you can grow your business in or retire comfortably. I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s all about learning to, to do, to pull the only two levers you have real control over. Before we get into financial products or strategies, the only two things you can really do are, you know, cut expenses or raise income. And I recommend folks do both. I met people who squeeze those pennies so hard that they crack and when really they should be out there getting about eight more streams of passive income and, and 10 x their income. And I’ve met other people who are making great income strides with their business, but it’s become a Frankenstein that’s eating all the profits and not allowing them to take anything home for the family. So it really is kind of two sides of the same coin there. Uh, we, we can, we, you know, we can lower expenses, but we also have to find ways to invest in yourself. Since you are your own greatest asset,

Stephen:                             [00:28:29]               but they compete, don’t they? Those two statements compete, right? Lowering expenses. Especially in business. I’m lowering expenses. That means I’m cutting, cutting costs. Um, but I need money to fuel my growth. So there is a, there is a competition there, correct?

Mark:                                    [00:28:44]               No, if it’s a competition, it’s more of a, an a, a parallel mindset. So one mindset is to think smart and to, to give every dollar a job because I believe unemployed dollars go to work for somebody else. Okay. Stay Ramsey right then. That’s funny. I really don’t give that dollar a job and only give it one job. But if you don’t give that dollar job, he’s going to go work for somebody else. Now on the other side of things, if you only have $4 to your name, uh, you’re not going to be able to thrive and survive when things get fierce. And you know that, uh, ecommerce solutions and strategies are, is a fiercely competitive industry. So it’s going to mean thinking bigger, like taking the lid off the jar of your own mindset. Don’t have a limited income mindset, you know, put a zero at the end of what your income goal is this year. Just try that for a minute. Just put a zero at the end of your goal for the year and see how it feels. Uh, even if you don’t reach that goal, what if you just got 50% of the way there? That’s an incredible increase of what you made last year. So it is two parallel tracks, I believe.

Stephen:                             [00:29:56]               Okay. And so we’re going to, we’re going to break them down. One of the things as you were talking, I was thinking about the story of Warren Buffet, and I always remember this, that when the economy’s going down the tubes he’s buying because he sits on a boatload of cash. And he’s in a position, so when they are buying prices, the finally the right price for him, he’s in a position to buy. And that’s kind of your advice, right, is to be in a position to take advantage of the market when the market is declining or down, correct?

Mark:                                    [00:30:25]               That’s right. He says something, I’ll paraphrase this, but it’s, when the tide goes out, you can you figure out who was wearing pants.

Stephen:                             [00:30:33]               Okay. All right. So I’m excited about this because one of the things that we, you know, again, you came through a PR company to me, and most of them I never look at, but I, the thing that attracted me was self banking. And that’s very attractive to me. There’s a, you have a belief that you can finance your own yourself, but I guess that means also your business. Correct. Am I, am I correct in saying I don’t wanna put words in your mouth. Somebody accused me of that leading, somebody accused me of leading the, leading the guests down my view, not their view. So I don’t want to accuse you of that, but that’s what I’m reading.

Mark:                                    [00:31:06]               Yeah, yeah, yeah. I believe, I believe that we are already in the banking business. We all have two businesses that were a part of, one is your, your ecommerce business. One is the banking business and I believe it’s sorta like neo in the matrix. Uh, when he woke up to realize the entire human population was pug plugged into some machine, he could not go back and see that, you know. Uh, and not only did he immediately break free from his constraints, uh, but he spent the rest of his life, uh, calling people to freedom and waking them up from their own enslavement. You know, I believe that if you’re loaded up with bank debt, credit cards, lines of credit, student loan mortgages, you are part of the banking matrix. You are a slave to the banking matrix. And you know, I feel like even folks that are paying cash for things, you know, even folks that pay cash for everything are still wrapped up in the cartel of the banking industry. And we can talk about that.

Stephen:                             [00:32:03]               Yeah, I’m interested in that because what you’re saying, and I, and I think I wrote down this question, I want to know what banks do, right? That we can do either personally or maybe personally and in business. So what do banks do, right? Because you don’t, I mean, you do hear once in a blue moon of a bank getting into trouble, but generally, you know, it’s far and few in between. They look, they, they keep remodeling their buildings. They look so much nicer than my house, the living room. So what did they do right? That we can apply in our personal life and then also in our business?

Mark:                                    [00:32:33]               Well, if you think about it, uh, when, when you put $1,000 in a bank in a, down the street, uh, you’ve got $1,000 on your deposit account, right? But how much does the bank leave on their books? I, I don’t know. Uh, well, according to FTC, the big banks have to keep only 10% of their deposits of your deposit money on their books. What, what happens to the other $900? You put it in the thousand bucks, they don’t keep 1000 bucks on their books. Where does that, um, other $900 go? Well, I assume there’s a little bit of money that goes to administration and overhead because it’s a building. It’s got insurance just like we do in our warehouse. Say you insurance, they have workman’s comp, they have people taking vacations and all that jazz. But I’m sure that’s a small percentage. I assume the rest gets loaned out to other people.

Mark:                                    [00:33:25]               There you go. Yeah. So you know, if uh, if you could kind of imagine that $900 out of your thousand went to the guy behind you in line. Now how much of the bank’s money was skin in the game there? Zero. Well, Oh, if they only know 900. Yeah, I guess they aren’t loading at a thousand. Okay, so zero. So they have no, so right now, so the lesson there is what? Well, so I, I put $1,000 into the savings account at the bank. I think my thousand dollars is there. It’s not maybe 10% and actually credit unions are more like 2% is left on the books. The other $900 is lent out to the guy behind me in line. How much interest did the deposit or make for putting his money at the bank? Oh, maybe 0.01% a couple of pennies. Now how much interest did the borrower get charged for?

Mark:                                    [00:34:13]               The money that I put in the bank? Well, if it’s, if it’s commercial, yeah. If it’s commercial, it’s liable or plus or something like that. Yeah. So it’s 10, 12, 14% and a lot of Amazon’s case. Can we even wrap our minds around the margins there? I mean, if it’s, let’s, let’s imagine that a bank was selling hammers or, or t shirts, you know, if I could buy something for, uh, actually zero pennies and I just use somebody else’s in inventory, and then I flipped it and gave it to the person behind him in line for a hundred thousand percent, uh, as much as it costs me to pay the guy who gave me that hammer, that’s an incredible business model, uh, that anybody should be jealous of, right? I mean, that’s our inventory. People we buy low and sell high. This is our world, right?

Mark:                                    [00:35:03]               But that’s real word to hear those levels. That’s incredible, right? So it’s important to realize that as a saver, you are participating with banks in that nightmare of what’s in the technical word is fractional reserve banking, fractional reserve banking. You guys can Google that if you want to learn more. Uh, this is not some tinfoil hat. This is something that’s been on the books and under the law for the last hundred years. And the, the reason why there’s inflation in the money supply, uh, and why you see the cost of milk going up every year is because of fractional reserve banking. Uh, and so when we save money, we’re punished because we’re not getting any interest on our savings. And there’s a reason why, you know, it’s not an accident. So, so again, I want to get this, I want somebody to take action on this. So in that scenario, the banks, uh, you know, taking your money and lending 90% of it out at a unbelievable, right?

Mark:                                    [00:35:57]               So what can I do as an individual or in my business to get that same benefit? What’s your lives? So again, I think, you know, is there a red pill? Is there a red pill off of this matrix? How do we unplug ourselves from the banking system? Uh, you know, I think obviously we’re going to still have a checking account. You know, we’re still going to work in the real world. Um, you know, but I think like a judo fighter, you can use the weight and the strength of your opponent to your advantage. You know what if you could become your own source of financing, what if you could bank on yourself? What if you could become your own banker? What if you could play the game that banks play and use your own money as a source of financing for yourself and actually pay yourself that interest rather than pay it to some of the bank or lose interest when you spend cash and you pay cash for your inventory or your cars or your vacations where your kid’s college or anything else.

Mark:                                    [00:36:51]               You know what if you could loan yourself that cash I met you did for your business. All right, you let it be there. You got me to the gate I’m in. So he had to park. Tell us how to do that. Cause I, I mean it, everybody listening to this is like, of course we want to be in this position, but Steve, we got to buy inventory. I need to buy more inventory. The only way you can grow is if I keep buying inventory and I get faster and more and more and more and more and more. Right, right. I mean, I’ve, I’ve made some big claims here and obviously your listeners have a business to run and you know, I don’t think we’re quite done yet. I mean, if I told you that you already have the option to fire your banker and you already have that within your power and you don’t have to wait for Congress to pass some sort of law and you don’t have to wait for some finance, new finance regulatory committee to come on board.

Mark:                                    [00:37:33]               I mean we are already able to bank on ourself and this is a concept that helps you, I believe, on the journey to becoming financially free. In fact, I think it’s the most crucial aspect or concept one can take. It’s almost like the small hinge that swings the big door. I mean, can you imagine if your life and your business have a big pool of contingency capital ready to deploy when you know, inventory came along that you couldn’t refuse or life’s emergencies came along. I mean, that’s, that’s really what we’re looking at here. If you could become your own source of financing and build for yourself a source of capital by which you could borrow from yourself and pay yourself back on your own terms. I mean, that would change the game for most business owners, including ecommerce. Well it, it, it would and it, you know, your example again of having that thousand dollars in the bank and getting 0.001 I’m never going to gain.

Mark:                                    [00:38:29]               And that scenario, I mean to 0.001 of a million dollars is still right and most nothing versus a million, right? So, so there’s no possibility of that working. So now I’m ready to find out a way that I can make more than that in interest and mitigate my risk. I’m definitely interested in that. Great. Great. So I mean, it does take the concept, takes tools, right? I mean, as nice as tiger woods swing is, and he did pretty well last weekend as a time of where recording, he won the masters last weekend. Uh, as good as a swing is you need clubs to get the ball down the field. So you need tools, you need products, uh, you need financial products to make this whole thing work in the realm of the real. Right. Um, so how do we do it? I mean, it needs tools to make that power of being your own source of financing come to fruition.

Mark:                                    [00:39:19]               So, you know, I am a certified financial planner and when I was going through my CFP training, they put you through your paces, Stephen. I mean it’s like, it’s a four year. It took me about four years and I say me, but it’s actually me and my wife went through that together cause it was her sacrificing as much as me to get the CFP credentials. Um, and I probably read up and studied over 450 financial products that are out there. And then what they make you do is they make you combine those products into combinations, uh, to sort of see how they work together. So for example, a hedge fund is different than a savings account, right? Where you keep your money, we’ll make it act different. You know, real estate is different than a 401k. Right? Does this make sense so far? Yeah, it makes perfect sense.

Mark:                                    [00:40:06]               I’m sitting here thinking about it. They, they’re similar, right? Because they have similar traits, but then there are different, right. I get that correct. Yeah. So there’s no perfect financial instrument out there. Uh, but you know what we need to do? The banking strategy would need to have a few characteristics. And so this was sort of my checklist. Uh, your listeners might have a similar or different one, but for my business, because I’m a business owner as well, I needed a tool that I could keep in my back house, Back House here that I could use that would be safe. I had needed the money to be safe. I wanted that money to grow on a predictable schedule. I wanted that money to be accessible to me and liquid for any reason. I didn’t want any red tape, uh, to get access to my money or penalties or taxes to get access to my money.

Mark:                                    [00:40:50]               I also wanted it to be flexible and how much I could pump into it when I had good years and how little I could put into it in the down years. I want it to be able to avoid hefty taxes and fees and commissions. I wanted to keep it super effective and lean for the business owner needs that my clients had and that I had for my own business. And you know, I want it to somehow have the interest that’s paid, uh, to me to grow even if I liquidate the money. Okay. So I needed that, that feature. And I’ll say that again. I wanted somehow for my money to grow for me with I access the money or not because that’s the problem with paying cash. If you think about that, Steven, if I’ve got $30,000 in a savings account, I, you know, earning, let’s, let’s give it a generous 5% interest and I withdraw that money to go buy a car.

Mark:                                    [00:41:40]               How much interest to my now earning on the money? I withdrew out of the savings. No, nothing. Yeah. And it’s broken the compound growth of that money for the rest of my life. I’ll never see that money ever again. It’s now in the car. Right? So somehow I needed something that would allow my money to keep growing for me on a predictable schedule. Even if I touch that money and spent it on my cars or in my, in in your audience case, a Amazon inventory or their kid’s college or whatnot. So does a tool fit all those, uh, requirements? Like, and, and also by the way, is that financial tool a legal financial tool? That was sort of my sounds like a unit

Stephen:                             [00:42:19]               corn that it doesn’t exist,

Mark:                                    [00:42:22]               right? Yes. And I would agree with you. Um, the answer, uh, thank goodness is yes. I, I looked into a an of all things, it’s a little known variation of 160 year old financial product, a dividend paying whole life insurance of all things, but it’s modernized unlike old fashioned whole life. Uh, it’s modernized for maximum cash accumulation. So it’s not the stuff that Dave Ramsey talks about. It’s not the kind of thing that you hear Suzy Orman talk about. This is about building up a asset on your balance sheet for your business that can do all the things that I just mentioned.

Stephen:                             [00:43:00]               Okay. So I’m intrigued. Um, you know, having sold life insurance in a million years ago, we used to sell similar kinds of things. Uh, Oh God, what was it? Uh, I spent so long on my mind doesn’t go that far back, but I remember some of those kinds of things existing, or at least they kind of existed back then. So you’re saying now there is a strong product out there that somebody could take an invest in it that would protect their business because that’s what life insurance really does, right? And so you can protect your business but use it as an investment vehicle and then be able to borrow against the cash value, I guess. Is that kind of the premise?

Mark:                                    [00:43:36]               Correct. And just for your listeners who maybe just haven’t heard of this before, they’re kind of two types of life insurance out there. There’s the kind of you rent and the kind you own term insurance is sort of what most of us were taught. And in fact myself as well going through the licensing and my CFP, they really say, you know, buy term and invest the rest, buy term and invest the rest. Well that’s an interesting strategy. And by the way, that phrase came from somebody who owned a term life insurance company and mutual funds, a mutual fund company. So that’s an interesting story. Uh, but term insurance is like renting an apartment. It gets more expensive. Every birthday you have, it’s like the landlord raising rent on you and there’s no equity. There’s no money in the term insurance. It’s just like renting an apartment.

Mark:                                    [00:44:22]               Um, Steven, by contrast, you probably recall from your days a dividend paying whole life insurance is more like owning a home. So have this death benefit. Yes. Uh, but more important to our conversation, you have the equity or your cash value in your policy. So it’s growing and building up on a guaranteed schedule every single year, no matter what’s happening in the stock market or your Amazon business or whatnot. And on top of those guarantees, the insurance company throws, uh, dividends on top of the guaranteed increase in your cash. So every single year you’re getting an increase in your money. Imagine your net worth growing on a guaranteed basis every year. Uh, and on top of that, those dividends are thrown in. And most of the companies that I would recommend doing this with have paid a dividend without fail for over a hundred years.

Stephen:                             [00:45:13]               One of the challenges are, remember, you know, back to my days, was that the fees would eat up the increases in gain. What does that, what effect does that have on, on the, you know, the guaranteed, I mean, cause this is what you’re talking just to about a guarantee. It’s not an annuity, correct? Correct. Okay. It’s not an annuity, so it’s a guaranteed dividend. I guess the dividend would be the only thing that’s guaranteed, right?

Mark:                                    [00:45:37]               Yeah. There’s a guaranteed increase in your cash value. Whether there’s dividends are not on top of the guarantee. Uh, there’s a, I think of it like icing on the cake. If there’s profitability from the insurance company, they’ll throw profits or dividends on top of your, uh, guarantee. It’s a, you know, just an additional return of your premium that grows on top of what’s been guaranteed to you each and every year. So even if the insurance company loses money, you are guaranteed more cash this year than you had last year. And this, the fees, the commissions, that’s a great comment. Old fashioned whole life insurance. I would not recommend for the banking strategies we’ve been talking about here, old fashioned, whole life insurance had had a big fat death benefit, which gave a fat commission to the agent and zero cash value to you or me. Uh, but the way we’re describing this is we’re squeezing down, cutting the death benefit down as small as we can make it, cutting the commissions down by about 70%, cause the death benefits where the expenses lie. And if you can pack in more money into the cash value portion of this policy, that’s just more liquid funds that you can use as a financial asset, uh, on day one. So that gives you the ability to use the cash value, uh, even using it as a line of credit to your business. Uh, and it reduces the expenses quite considerably.

Stephen:                             [00:47:03]               And I’m So if anybody wants to go and it has historical dividend rates for whole life insurance back from the 80s and it goes all the way through. And then I’m looking at names, three, six companies and they definitely have declined for sure from the 90s. And that, however, according to this, and Steve doesn’t know that this is real, but it seems real, um, they’re

Mark:                                    [00:47:30]               still around 6% pretty much for all those companies. Is that kind of what you’re seeing in the last several years? That’s right. Yup. Yup. And you can kind of compare this to other cash equivalents in your portfolio. Yeah, my, my, my savings account is not giving me 6%, but I remember a day when it was a mark. I mean I remember it not, I’m not that old, but I’m serious. I really remembered her day when that was true. Right? Well there you go. So this is as liquid, not quite, but almost as liquid as a money market account or a savings account. Certainly more liquid than a 401k or a CD. And so you, you, you need a tool for your business that’s accessible cash. Cause you know, if your listeners are like most of my clients in this space, you need money for inventory purchases. Q4 comes every year, right?

Mark:                                    [00:48:17]               Every, yeah. So, you know, imagine having a big pool of money growing at the rates you just mentioned. And even if you access that money, and this is one of the key features that only whole life insurance that uses what’s known as a non direct recognition, life insurance policy loan. Now that’s a mouthful. But the good news here is that it gives you there, uh, gives your money the opportunity to do two things at once. Just like what a bank can do, right? Uh, so imagine if you had, for example, Stephen, $100,000 in a pouring savings account, just a normal boring savings account. And let’s say in our attempt to be generous that the savings account was earning you 5% a year. So I don’t know any savings account doing that right now, but if your listeners do, please let me know. But if at the end of the year you left that $100,000 alone, you’d have earned 5% or $5,000 for the privilege of not touching your cash, okay.

Mark:                                    [00:49:15]               With being on everything so far, right? Very generous. Right? 5,000 that’s a perfect world, okay. Right? And of course, the bank would be loaning most of that out at 10% at least keeping only a fraction on their books and making just massive profits. Okay. If you were to take $30,000 out of your money, out of your savings account, well, you’d only be earning interest on what was left 70,000 bucks, right? And the earned interest wouldn’t be $5,000 anymore. It only be what does that 3,500 bucks for the year. Now with these policies, if the policy had that non direct feature, I mentioned your policy, let’s say that you borrowed $30,000 out. If you’re $100,000 in cash value in the policy, you’d receive the same growth and dividends on the full $100,000 as if you had not taken a loan against the policy. And that’s how you can take back the banking function and bring it in house for it.

Mark:                                    [00:50:08]               There has to be as fee, right? I mean, I’m assuming that the, the life insurance company has some kind of fees for me to take that money out, correct? Correct. Yeah. They don’t charge a fee, but they have a loan interest. Okay. Let’s talk about that for a minute because this is really cool. Uh, for the nerds. Uh, I’ll, I’ll warn those in advance. Going to be a few numbers that I’ll share here, but if you can walk through this with me, it could change your business. So think this through for a minute. Uh, why would the insurance company offer loans? Well has to go and have to go back a hundred years to figure out why. But the short answer is they wanted to help keep the policy in force in before loans on policies were available. You know, Americans would just have to cash out, closed down the whole life policy, uh, and if they ever need money in their lifetime.

Mark:                                    [00:50:57]               So a long time ago, a hundred years ago, they instituted loans against your life insurance. It’s not unlike a hilar on your, on your home, uh, and you can borrow from the policy. But if the policy is owned by a stock company, like a life insurance company that’s owned on the stock exchange, the, the profits of the interest that you’re charged on your policy loan go to the owners of the company, which are the folks on Wall Street, right? The folks that own shares in your Xyz publicly traded insurance company. Does that all make sense so far? Yup. Yup. I’m going to take now, if the company is a mutually owned life insurance company, mutually owned means owned by you and me and the other policy holders. So it’s like a cooperative almost. Exactly. It’s a great way to look at it. So if I’m charged interest, uh, and by the way, it’s very low rates.

Mark:                                    [00:51:46]               It’s below market rates over a four year period. The typical interest APR is about 1.9% on policy loans for pretty low. I just want to pause for a second here. 1.9% and I could be borrowing it for my business and I, I’m assuming you’re going to get to a point how to do that, but, but that correct, I could do that versus the live or plus that normal businesses. Caltech. Okay. All right. They charge a 5% simple interest rate, which over four years works out to a 1.9% APR 1.9% is pretty darn low for most businesses that I can find these days. Yeah. Now that’s really good. But that’s still a cost to financing, to accessing money. Right. So why would I do that? Why wouldn’t I just pay cash for my inventory or my next car or whatever else? The reason is my money in the policy is still growing as if I had not touched that money because I literally didn’t, I used the insurance company’s General Fund and I left my cash value alone.

Mark:                                    [00:52:46]               It’s still learning the guaranteed growth in the dividends on top of that as if I had not touched that cash and you just read the dividend rates, uh, those are growing on a compound basis. And so the fancy word here is arbitrage, right? Right. That’s still getting, it’s our whole world. We all, everybody knows arbitrage, so yeah, yeah. You’re, you’re buy low, sell high, buy low, sell high. So that’s spread is what makes you the banker. And it only works if the policy is dividend paying whole life if it’s a mutually owned company and if it has non direct recognition loans. And of course if it was engineered from the start by an advisor who knew what he or she was doing. So I know it’s a long laundry list, but that’s why we call this the bank on yourself concept to kind of shorten it down to that, that uh, that nickname.

Mark:                                    [00:53:32]               Well, let’s go into a real example because I, you know, I mean, I know people, their eyes are glazing over right now. They’re saying, Whoa, that was way too deep, but let’s give a real example. So I have a business and it’s doing fairly well and I want to start putting some money aside for the rainy day that I know is going to rain and I’m going to need cash next Q four, right? I, I got my big payout in January. I’m sitting on a boat load of cash. How do I approach this? Yeah, think about it. Uh, if you have a big bucket of cash and you’ve put it together, one of these policies, and thank goodness you didn’t have to know all of this to design it, you just had to talk to the right adviser who was willing to take a big pay cut and design it correctly for you.

Mark:                                    [00:54:12]               Okay? So you, if you didn’t remember anything we just went through, just reach out to an advisor that knows what he or she is doing and most specifically has been credentialed and authorized to design policies this way, which we can talk about more in a minute, Steven, if you want. Okay. Um, but yeah, let’s talk about a permanent line of credit to your Amazon business. You know, or your Ebay business. So if you, if you had a, an assurance that you had a permanent line of credit to your business and the next recession comes and banks stopped lending, which we all know that day will come, right? That’s happened every so often years. Right? Since we’ve had banks, since we’ve had an economy, banks pull those lines of credit just as easily as they offer them. Who will be the one that will take market share, who will be the most competitive in the industry if you’re the one that has a big pool of capital.

Mark:                                    [00:55:07]               Whereas everybody else was relying on credit cards, zero interest cards that get cut lines of credit on their homes in leveraged up to their eyeballs. Yeah. 100% this is back to the Warren Buffett thing he’s buying when the market’s down right there. Okay, all right. Now tell me how to do it. You could even see this as using the policy loan feature to buy your inventory. Now, when you borrow from one of these policies, you have the right to not pay back that loan in the first month, in the first year, in the first five years, you could go your entire lifetime and never pay back the loan. And so what happens when the policy gets executed? When Steve Dies, the difference gets taken. Correct? That’s it. Yep. So remember, this is life insurance. So let’s say, you know you had a million dollar death benefit when you pass away, but you had a $50,000 loan against the policy from all your inventory are the things you were doing with your policy. Then your family would get $1 million minus the 50,000 that’s owed to the pool, the insurance company. So your family would have to struggle along on an income tax free, $950,000. So it’s truly a risk mitigation right there because that’s one of the big worries, you know, as if you have finance inventory sitting in your books, uh, when your business

Stephen:                             [00:56:24]               declined or you know, when you see it, they want that money back. And so that inventory is going to get scarfed up. In this scenario. You’re protecting it. Okay, I love it. Okay, so tell me how I’m going to get that million dollar Paula, how much it’s going to cost, how do I build up the cash levels that we’re talking about? So

Mark:                                    [00:56:42]               one of the things that I want to clearly say to your listeners is this is not just an, uh, hop into it without thinking about it. It’s not a good fit for everybody. Uh, one of the most important things to remember is that any bank that can open its doors, it has to have like $10 million, at least on their books, uh, before they can be registered with the FDA IIC. And so what I mean by that is if you’re going to be your own banker, uh, using this life insurance contract as a tool, you have to save. It’s still take saving. It still takes living within your means, which is why it was so important. We talked about that earlier, Stephen. I’m so don’t do this. If you’re looking for some magic pill or some way to get instant rate of returns or some, you know, magic where we open up a box and there’s a bunch of money in there, it still takes you pack and money away. Uh, and it could be done through a number of creative ways. Maybe it’s a monthly contribution from your profits. Maybe it’s a lump sum from your savings or other, uh, assets you’ve already built up.

Stephen:                             [00:57:42]               Okay.

Mark:                                    [00:57:43]               And maybe it starts slow and then you grow from there. But it, it’s every person has a different story here, which is why we offer anyone who would like to consider this strategy are from here, offers a free no obligation consultation with folks just to see if this strategy or other strategies like it would be a good fit to help increase your bottom line and help you toward your journey of financial independence.

Stephen:                             [00:58:07]               So it, it’s a plan. It takes a plan. So it’s not like a faucet that you just turn one way and it’s on and you turn the other way. It’s off. It’s a gradual, you know, let’s convert this old male and then again, there might be a whole bunch of businesses with the huge cash under books, right? You hear that in the news, right? There’s a whole big companies are hoarding cash. So if you’re an an ecommerce seller and you’re hoarding cash, this might be an option for you to be able to, to be the outlier immediately. But otherwise it’s going to take a plant. Well is because we’re getting close to the end of our time. I just wanna make sure I get this. Is the life insurance owned by the business to make it accessible by this or is it owned by the individual?

Stephen:                             [00:58:47]               Good question. Short answer is it could be both. Okay. All right. So there is a, there’s a, there’s a, I guess it depends strategy, right? And there’s tax reasons that you can do it and there’s tax reasons you can’t do it. Not that I’m not so smart and I’m not giving tax advice, but I know there are issues out there, right? And there are things that you want to figure out. Um, there’s also things you can do if there’s a partnership. Correct. These, these kinds of things can help mitigate some of those issues that come along.

Mark:                                    [00:59:10]               That’s right. In fact, if you have a partnership, let’s say you’re an LLC or an escorp of some kind, you can set these policies up even as a warehouse of wealth for your profits and then use it even as a sinking fund for your business partner to buy you out some day and give you a big fat retirement check when you’re ready to walk away from this business.

Stephen:                             [00:59:30]               And so, you know, I guess you know the, the end of this story is that these are things that I don’t think most people are thinking about, but they’re, they want these businesses to become longterm businesses, right? They’re trying to build a longterm business that has a lot of inventory. Generally though, most, most Amazon sellers don’t have a lot of infrastructure costs, which makes these business so awesome. They don’t have to build a building downtown. They don’t have to tie it all up with employees. They don’t have to do because they get to use like Amazon or Ebay to be that staff, that silent staff, I call them, they never take off. They’re not perfect, but no staff is. But they do all that work for you. This, um, can be that missing piece that can, can help you make that really longterm business. It’s fascinating to me.

Stephen:                             [01:00:16]               And again, it’s, the reason I I had you on is because I think this is not normal thinking. I think as you said earlier, you have to be weird or different. Um, again, we’re back to that not borrowing money to, you know, do everything. Therefore you have no money to spend because you’re paying a third of it to the bank. And this scenario, you’re building yourself a really longterm dude. I’m, I’m a, I’m, I’m definitely more intrigued. So let’s, uh, let’s get through this. How many people, if they are interested in finding it more, and again, Steve does not benefit. So let’s be clear a mark, right? You’re not paying me anything or anything like this. I’m intrigued because if somebody is able to do this and really take advantage of it and they win, we all went. To me, that’s the best part of this story. So if somebody is interested in more information, how do they get in touch with you?

Mark:                                    [01:01:03]               Well. Great. Thank you. Um, yeah, the best way is to simply go to our, if you like this podcast, you’ll love our show to a, not your average financial And uh, that way you can subscribe, learn more about the strategy through our episodes. There’s a button on that website, a not your average financial that says request a meeting and you can schedule a 15 minute phone appointment with us and we give you obviously a no pressure chance to meet us. Ask any questions that maybe this episode couldn’t cover. And if this is a strategy that might make sense that you’d like to learn more, we can schedule a more in depth conversation with you. In fact, uh, Steven, if it’s okay with you, if folks mention, uh, your show where your name in the notes of our appointment, that 15 minute phone appointment, uh, then we will send you a copy of my bestselling book, uh, that I coauthored with Danny stock. Uh, who runs a ecommerce group. It’s the book is called how to be an Amazon legend and fire your banker. And it was a bestselling book, uh, and still remains one of the top sellers on ecommerce. And I’d be happy to send that to your listeners in the United States physical copy or email, kindle or pdf anywhere around the world at no cost.

Stephen:                             [01:02:17]               Awesome. I will absolutely. Uh, I mentioned that and you know, I hope people don’t say, Steve, you went short and you cut them off. I just, I think, I think the UN, I think you’re going to say the same thing is there are lots of variables in this thing and there are lots of circumstances that make, uh, that affect every bit of this. And so it’s really an individual. It has to be an individual protest to be, I mean, it just makes perfect sense to me that it’s an individual approach. Correct? Oh, sure. Yeah. It must be done after a competent financial consultant sits down and listens to what you’re trying to do because maybe your goal is something totally different than what we’ve described here today. If anything has resonated with you on this episode, you might pursue this and it does. And see if this is a good fit.

Stephen:                             [01:03:00]               But you know, it’s, it’s certainly not a general blanket financial advice we’d give just everybody. That’s what, you know, a one-on-one advisory consultation is all about, and the advice that 15 minute call is free. Correct? That’s right. Yeah. So that’s free. And again, he’s, uh, he’s offering to give you a free book and it’s another podcast to listen to. But again, if you’re thinking about this, you know, we just got that. Let’s go back to the beginning of the call. We’ve talked about how most people and most people is every person in your circle, right? If you look outside of your ecommerce circle, all your friends, all the people you graduated high school, College with, they all hate their job. And I’m generalizing, but they do, and they’re struggling and they’re buying houses they can’t afford. They’re driving cars. They can’t if, well, I just saw a car loan has an 84 month car loan after putting a down payment.

Stephen:                             [01:03:47]               I’m like, are you kidding me? That’s seven years. Name a car that lasts seven years that you don’t want to replace. Right? And so I’m listening to all this stuff and I’m like, oh my goodness. And then this comes along and it, and again, I don’t know if this is the right strategy for you or anyone else, however, it also could get you thinking. And if nothing else, after this call, you sit back and you evaluate where you are and you’re sitting there saying, this might not be where I don’t want to. I want to be different. I don’t want to be in that position. Like my brother in law who’s 55 who just lost his job and now he’s thinking about getting another job and starting over again. And you don’t want to be in that position. And so, um, I’m very excited and mark, I think you did a great job explaining it, um, in terms that even people like me can understand.

Stephen:                             [01:04:30]               I mean that and I really appreciate that. So the thing I, I always ask, um, and I think I’m gonna ask a little different question. You don’t normally ask for it. What do you do for if you’re stuck, how do you get past that in business? But I was thinking about, um, if you could close with maybe the top two or three best practices that you have seen, either ecommerce or even at your other clients, can do now to get them their life and their business on the correct path, like top two or three in just a minute or two. Can you give that, you know, uh, keep learning and keep reading. It might be a generic answer. I love audible as a, uh, uh, sort of a cheater’s way to read more books. So that would be a great tip in my opinion, is to, to expand our horizons, continually learn and listen to folks and be willing to listen to the folks who’d

Mark:                                    [01:05:18]               even, maybe you disagree with. Uh, it only benefits you if you can put yourself into another person’s shoes for a few hours, uh, in reading a good book or listening to an audible.

Stephen:                             [01:05:29]               I love it. I, and that’s a, that’s a tough one to do because I know everything then I, yeah, I don’t know. We all don’t, we all don’t we all thank you so much, man. I wish you nothing but success. Take care. Thank you.

Stephen:                             [01:05:44]               And I know I, I kind of got him at the end, you know, trying to, to cut it off to stay within the timeline. Cause I know this was kind of long, but I just again, it’s so individual. Um, and so you’re going to get a free book, which is always a good thing. Please read it. Please do something with it. You can’t lose by reading a book. Even if you disagree with it, you’re going to learn something. Right? Even better grammar if that’s the case. Right? So please, uh, reach out and get his free book. Yeah, you’ll be on his email list and they’ll market to you. Okay. That’s the cost. But you know, again, if you benefit, we all win. To me that’s worth it. It’s worth every bit cause I just want nothing but success for anybody who wants it and who needs it. And I think we all do. So a great guy, a great conversation, a super smart, and again, it’s non traditional, but look at what’s happening to the traditional stores in your town. Most of mine are closing. So I think a year in a different world by a choice. Um, now what can you do with it and see if you can be an outlier too. So I’m very excited about that. Send me a note if you are, because that, that’d be awesome to know. E-Commerce, ecommerce take care.

Cool voice guy:                  [01:06:50]               Thanks for listening to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and the lake us on

Stephen:                             [01:07:03]               tunes.



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