Wise words from a young guy. You must be a buyer first. Regardless if you are an RA, OA, Wholesale or Private Label seller it all starts with the buy. That sets the tone for how you can sell your products. If your costs are low you have flexibility in a competitive market. If your costs are high where pennies matter you need to understand the competition and demand. I also love the way he talks about how far incremental changes have taken him. Small adjustments over time equal big changes. I am halfway done with the book he recommended: “Mindset by Carol Dweck”. Very worthwhile
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Allen: [00:00:00] Uh, she definitely developed an eye for what to look for. And you do the same thing with Amazon where I’m learning like niche by niche and cause I sell a lot of different things. Uh, and you just, you develop that eye when you see it, you know, it’s an instant buy or that it has potential.
Stephen: [00:00:32] Hey, wanted to take a second to talk about Gaye Lisby and GarryGary Ray’s, Amazon seller tribe and their daily lists that are put out and incredible stories that you can read if you go out and check out, uh, amazing. freedom.com forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. I know that’s a lot to put in there. Amazing freedom.com, forward slash momentum dash Arbitron and you’re going to get 14 day free trial, no money risk, no, no challenges. You don’t want it when you’re done, you get out. But imagine getting list. I’m as grateful as I like to call it. Mailbox money. I love that term. Mailbox money. It’s where you can work from your house, buy things online, have them delivered to you and then sell them on various marketplaces. But imagine you can have somebody else do that for you. So you want to buy time, you want to control, uh, what they’re buying while you take these lists and you can join multiple lists if you’re interested.
Stephen: [00:01:31] And then you can segregate them for the merchandise you want and send them to them. They can make purchases for you on your behalf. Have it delivered to you or delivered to them for prep. Boom, sent into these marketplaces and you could sell. How about that? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I spoke at their conference and there were so many million dollar sellers just using online arbitrage. It’s still available. And again, 14 days. The only way you’re going to get 14 day free trial. So if you come through my link, I’m, it is an affiliate link. Uh, they do pay me, so I don’t want to mislead you in any way. Um, I would appreciate it, but I’d like to see you try the 14 days. I’ve had so many people that have joined have so much success. It’s very exciting to me and you know, quite humbling to me, um, that they trust me to recommend this group and I 100% recommend this group.
Stephen: [00:02:18] I’ve seen the results. These are great people that will also teach you to fish. This isn’t just a, hey, here’s the list. You’re on your own. No, this is, hey, here’s why that wasn’t a good deal. Or here, hey, there’s another opportunity and you get to join their groups. And it’s just a phenomenal group of people. Um, just great, great, uh, leaders in that group and these lists are phenomenal. So again, it’s amazing. freedom.com, forward slash momentum, hyphen arbitrage, amazing. freedom.com, forward slash momentum IFE in arbitrage. Use that get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it, drop out, but give it a shot if you want to add that to your business. Welcome back to the momentum podcast. This is episode 395, Allen Walker. Very, very cool. A story. Um, and we never even got all the way into his store. I mean incredible success, selling shoes on Ebay and now, um, is, you know, just killing it on Amazon.
Stephen: [00:03:17] But a lot of this talk is about mindset and how important mindset is because Allen and I seem to be kindred spirits. Um, and maybe a whole bunch of you are too with the negative thoughts and um, you mentioned a book and I’m getting ready to download it next, uh, mindset. Um, and it’s talking about fixed mindset or growth mindset. And I’m definitely a fixed mindset person in a lot of it is my training and my limited, you know, I’m suspicious of everything, hard to let people in. And so a lot of that talk comes out in this conversation. Um, and man, for him to be so self aware at his age just sets him up for such an incredible future and more importantly, an opportunity to change other people’s lives by opening up and being willing and being vulnerable to say, Hey, I don’t have it all figured out either. Um, because most people you think do don’t. So there’s my deep thought on that. Let’s get into the podcast
Stephen: [00:04:12] and welcome back to E-commerce, women and podcasts for excited about today’s guest. Because in dog years, he’s 140 some odd years as a seller to me. He’s so, so experienced yet at Kelly loads will like to hear. I have socks older than him and I’m going to walk our welcome Alan. Thanks. David’s nice to be here. Funny story about the socks. I probably told this before, but um, Kelly one day were together and he says, Hey, did you like the socks I sent you? I’m like, what are you talking about? He goes, I sent you socks. I’m like, uh, hey. I sell socks. So I probably thought they were a return. I got cases of socks everywhere in the world and in our warehouse. And he said, I was tired of hearing you say on a or that you have socks older than these kids. And so I sent you socks and I’d never caught on it so that it is my line. I like that line. So anyway, so you, you are an old dog seller. I mean it’s crazy to me. We met and the conversation just blew me away to think of what an early adopter you were. I mean, that’s weird when you think about it. That is,
Allen: [00:05:18] and I, I’m not like an old dog seller. Like I’ve been doing this forever. I’ve only actually been selling as a full time gig for less than a year, but I have dabbled with Ebay since probably fifth grade and my grandma’s antique shop
Stephen: [00:05:34] and Ebay at scale at some point. I mean, so it wasn’t just a little bit like, you know, hey one or two items. Well let’s go back there. Okay. So why, I mean your grandmother was into antiques or how did she get into that even? Uh, she actually,
Allen: [00:05:51] well my dad was growing up, she was the, a secretary for the governor of Indianapolis and the story that I heard is she really liked antiques. She started buying them and then she kind of did what a lot of people do. She, she started selling off pieces that she didn’t really like and just built up an inventory and it was like her side hustle from a long time ago. And then it turned into working out of her, what? She retired, she worked out of her house, did it full time out of her house and eventually opened up an antique shop. And she mostly did sterling silver flatware and hollowware. And it was just something that at some point she was a collector. She was interested in I guess like you said, she accumulated volume. I mean like, yes. Uh, at, I think at the peak she had a couple million dollars in inventory.
Allen: [00:06:37] Are you kidding? I’m God. She was cool. Huh? Well, she, I mean when you think about his Oscar bag, she was probably the biggest influence in my life. Wow. And I regret not being able to take advantage of, cause I mean, I was, you know, I was a kid and I didn’t appreciate the knowledge that she had and I knew she wanted to teach me a little bit about antiques and sterling silver, but I kind of was like, well, I’ll Polish it. I’ll do the grunt work, but I don’t really want to know about it. And I definitely regret that. Now.
Stephen: [00:07:12] Um, I have an aunt, very similar story, introduced me to computers when I was probably that age and now think about that. They really didn’t exist, but they did, you know, and she was into that world and I didn’t adopt it as quick as I could have and uh, I regret it. Um, and she passed away very young in life. Um, so polishing silver, that was your life?
Allen: [00:07:36] Uh, yeah. I did a lot of the menial tasks in the shop. I Polish silver, I swept floors and then eventually a took over her, so I don’t even know what it was. I was probably fifth grade. She started talking about this thing called Ebay and how she was going to teach me how to take the pictures, do the listings, and I did all the, you know, I set up the listings. I didn’t actually take cash. I remember cash and check showing up in the mail and she would ship them all. And I remember the camera that I use, it was a Kodak that took a three and a half inch floppy disk. It was super fancy at the time. Well, Ebay
Allen: [00:08:22] Yes. It was 98 or 99 I think when I was that, I mean to be that early of an adopter. I mean, was she a young grandmother? I mean, what was, why was she so hip? I mean, how does she understand computers at that age? She actually didn’t, I set, I set up her computer. My Dad has a big computer background. I, there’s always been a computer in our house. You may not remember like my dad having a commodore 64 in the house. Um, but I set up her computer in the shop and she was in her, I think sixties how do you use your computer? I mean, she knew how to type because she was a secretary, but she, I remember her playing solitaire to become better at using the mouse.
Stephen: [00:09:06] Huh? There’s a lesson there, right? I mean, there’s somebody who’s committed, right. If they’re going to do that kind of thing, to get the control to learn that there’s a lesson there for everybody. So, so she’s going to teach you how to use computer. How adaptive were you? Like, because I described this in our warehouse and we have two guys working for us now. One’s a college student, the other one just graduated from college. We showed them one of these new, you know, either Ebay or Amazon or whatever. It’s like instant adoption. I’m like, well, you got to know they’ve already figured it all out. It’s like there’s no learning curve like my age would have had. So I assumed she would have had a pretty large learning curve. Did you surpass her very quickly? Not as in a negative way, but I mean, just in knowledge.
Allen: [00:09:50] Uh, at that age I just kinda did what I was told. I, I, I mean, I knew about the listings and take and the taking the pictures, but any of the backend stuff, like payments or shipping, I didn’t do any of that, that the shipping was pawned off on my grandpa. That was like his deal. He went to the post office almost every day.
Allen: [00:10:17] Yes. It was a silverware and really expensive hollowware I remember. What’s the second thing? Hollowware it’s like a tea, you know the tea kettles, anything that has a hollow body to it.
Allen: [00:10:33] And so she had the hustle back in the day. I the, the one story that I remember is she found this rare sterling silver set. It was huge or just hundreds of pieces. It was plights. It was balls, goblets, everything. And it was the most expensive thing she ever bought. She’s paying $50,000 for smokes and she split it up and sold it piece by piece. And I think the last number I heard it was around 150,000 bucks.
Allen: [00:11:12] Um, she went to a lot of shows. She did. Uh, the antique dealers would do all these huge antique shows when I was growing up. I mean, she would take me to these shows. I would work usually Cincinnati and Cleveland with her. But she went all down the east coast all the way down to Florida, usually with the shows.
Allen: [00:11:37] Oh Shit. She mostly did the sterling silver, but she also did antique furniture and antique, um, porcelain and things like that. But it was, it’s kind of like the Amazon world. She’d go to these shows, she had lots of antique dealer friends. They all kind of knew what each other wanted, so they would let each other know, hey, I saw this. You should go check it out. And it’s, I mean, it’s the basic thing. She had that knowledge base, Ooh, I see this. It’s low enough to make a margin. And we just went from there.
Stephen: [00:12:28] Is there a, you mentioned the similarities to Amazon. How would you use that same example into Amazon in your current Amazon business? Um, you know, is there are the relationships or explain that,
Allen: [00:12:43] uh, first probably developing an I, uh, she definitely developed an eye for what to look for. And you do the same thing with Amazon where I’m learning like niche by niche and cause I sell a lot of different things. Uh, and you just, you develop that I, when you see it, you know, it’s an instant buy or that it has potential.
Stephen: [00:13:04] But how, how do you do that? I mean, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I don’t want to lose that because I think you’re right. How do you do, how long does it take and then are you, how do you know you’re at that place where it, okay, got it. Move on to the next one.
Allen: [00:13:18] Just time. And I mean with Amazon it’s like cheating. You can use a scanning app, whether it’s scout a or I just converted the scan power, which I love. And you scan like let’s say it’s um, coffee makers, something random. Uh, you scan all these coffee makers, you start to realize, Ooh, this brand does really well on Amazon and you just, you just add it to your Rolodex of this brand in coffee makers does well, I’m going to scan every single one I see. Or The opposite thing, which I kind of have to break this where I’ll have also Rolodex of brands that I really don’t scan because they’re not worth my time. It’s rare to find something but ran into it more than one occasion during the conference where I was talking to people and I said, I avoid this brand. And they told me, Oh, I do really well with that never fails. Right.
Allen: [00:14:20] Yeah, maybe, uh, maybe they just, it’s one of those things that they initially had luck with it and they, they found the right things within that brand that worked. Cause not everything works. For example, I saw Michael Kors, it’s a brand that puts out a lot of stuff. They put out watchers, they put up purses, they put out clothing they put out, I think I’ve seen towels. Like you just start to realize that 90% of it doesn’t do well on Amazon and you start figure out, Ooh, this, this category does well. Or Oh within this category only this certain style does well. Well with this
Stephen: [00:14:59] be a fair statement that and looking back and being honest, you didn’t put the time in for that brand. You ran into a little bit of resistance and it’s not really good and you didn’t put the time to find that 10% your example. It’s 90% not good. 10% good. You didn’t put the time in to get to that 10% is that fair? Yeah. Okay. Well No, that’s Steve Too. So I’m just trying to understand why they were able to persevere. And push through it because they did the time. Okay. And that’s a lesson pretty much for anybody listening, right? You’ve got to go through it all. I mean, I saw a comment about a Walmart store. Uh, somebody said there was about 5,000 Walmart stores and there’s only a couple of hundred sellers on a particular item. So not that many people are going, there are crazy. Somebody told me that they can sell shoes from Walmart, low in quality shoes that Walmart sells. I don’t even know what brands they sell. I’ve never bought a pair of shoes there. But there are people that sell them.
Stephen: [00:16:01] think of it. But you know, and I was like, Huh, people have done the work. Right. And maybe they created the listing. Maybe they’ve done all that work and that’s why it works for them.
Stephen: [00:16:17] Yeah, I think that’s what’s so exciting in the conference we’re talking about is the Amazon Seller tribe conference. That just happened a couple of weeks ago in Branson, Missouri. Sold out. We’ll sell out again this year. Um, and when you listen to this episode, you’re going to hear about my sponsor and they are sponsors and they do pay me, so I don’t want to ever hide that. Um, but that group puts on this conference and it’s opened up to the members of the group way early and first. And here’s a little pro tip a, the first people to sign up for it, got a private invite to a private party at, um, gain Coleen’s house, uh, Gaye, uh, Coleen Gary, Andy, myself, Dan went were there all of us where they are and Perry and Kim, I mean, it was just a great group of people. Um, and it was one on one to sit in there having conversation. I sit next to Bryan Fry felter and spending time talking with him and just getting his ear, you know, just wonderful experience. So that’s a pro tip. If you’re in the group and you’re one of the first to sign up, maybe she’ll do it again. I don’t know, I’m not committing her to it, but, um, just think about that for next year. It was probably, I mean it’s one of the first RAA only events or la that I’ve been to in a long time is it kind of become passe, right?
Allen: [00:17:31] Yeah. I, uh, that was actually my first Amazon conference ever and I told multiple people that during the conference and I got the same answer over and over again. Every single one told me, um, you’re gonna don’t expect much out of other conferences. This one is, it’s completely different. And I had one guy telling me, he was like, I’ve been to a conference every single month this year and this is by far the best
Stephen: [00:17:59] cool to hear. How can I mentioned that to Andy? I’m just, because it keeps them motivated to keep innovating and bringing more, and that’s what I loved about it. I, I was very fortunate to be a part of it. And, um, I can’t wait to do it again because I, the connection and what I also loved is a venue where you literally can sit and have a conversation. I mean, we sat and had conversation in the morning before the event and because it was just so conducive for that. Correct?
Allen: [00:18:25] Oh yeah, definitely. I am actually, I’m an introverted person and I do not get my energy from being social and talking, but I made a point to do that during the whole conference because I met so many awesome people. By the time the conference was over, I was exhausted from talking to you. I talked to
Stephen: [00:18:49] to at least 105. I met every single person, but I talked to 150 of them for, yeah. Now I, I now see, I do get my energy from that because I get so inspired. I mean, how could you not get inspired? I mean, that’s my inspired. All right, let’s get back on your story. I don’t want to lose this. Um, so, so there’s a, there’s a really good lesson there. You’re putting your head down, doing the work. Mastering a niche, a brand. I mean maybe I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Somebody keeps me that you’re mastering Michael Kors, but do you stay in that brand or that niche or do you stay in that category?
Allen: [00:19:27] Uh, for me it’s, it’s a combination. I have certain brands that I gravitate towards but also have certain categories. And in, in the beginning, the only category I was really comfortable with was shoes because my background was ebay before I went to Amazon. And I can’t sell Nike or Adidas. It’s, and so I had to learn something else I had. And what I did was I added, like, I broke it up by sections of stores. Um, like instead of going to the shoe, I mean, there’s still some shoes that I can sell, but the, the brands that I knew, uh, weren’t an option. So I would go to the next, I might go to the beauty aisle and I started just scanning stuff. I had no clue about makeup. Now I do. And then after I had success there, I would add another category. Maybe I went to, you know, betting. And I started scanning betting and learning about betting over months and months and months. You get to the point where you can go to almost every single part of the store and have success.
Stephen: [00:20:32] You find value. Do you now, at least this is what we do, is we typically now look for higher price things, you know, stuff that we can make a better margin on because my experience is this, Steve’s experience is it takes just as much time to send a, you know, a $10 pair socks in as it does to sell to send in a hundred dollar pair of sneakers. Correct.
Allen: [00:20:52] Yes. I love selling more expensive items. Uh, I didn’t know that until I, I took the opportunity and spent the day with, uh, Gary and Joe at their house and he watched me scan and he made a comment to me and was like, you grab a Torque, gravitate towards those higher priced items, don’t you? And I was like, I don’t know how to do it all. And then as the day went on, I was like, you’re correct. I apparently gravitate this way, but it’s also less work.
Stephen: [00:21:23] Yeah. Well that, that’s quite frankly, while you’re having success, right. You figured that out and maybe it’s just subconscious. Let’s go back though, because we haven’t even gotten to how you got into shoes. So you’re selling your grandma’s silver and hollowware new term I lose. I learned and I mean when did, did she get to scale on Ebay versus her third party store?
Allen: [00:21:48] Um, I think most of, see I don’t know all of the details. You a kid with, yeah, with the shop. I’m pretty sure majority of her sales came from doing antique shows. Okay. And then then her shop and then Ebay. But it was when Ebay was still kind of the wild wild west where I remember it was still auction, it was auction only. You had to send checks. And I think the reason she liked it was because she was getting insane prices. People would bid up the item way past the value.
Stephen: [00:22:22] So because there was limited supply demand, clearly demand, she was able to get that and there wasn’t, you know, because like you’re saying, it was the early days so there wasn’t a glut like there is today of silver. You go online and look at silver, there’ll be, you know, 100,000 listings probably. Or maybe,
Stephen: [00:22:41] Okay, so you’re doing that. Everything’s going well. Did you know you were bit by the entrepreneur bug then or was it, you know, because I’m sure that you eventually got tried to be put in a box, right?
Allen: [00:22:55] Yeah. [inaudible] or something. Yes. That was something that I excelled in. I was always a really booksmart. It wasn’t, it did not take a lot of effort to make good grades in school. And my parents gave me the, you know, go to school, make good grades, go to college, get a good job. And that was, that was what I thought I was supposed to do. I actually had a conversation torn at the conference and we were talking about, because he brought up that he was like, yeah, school came easy. And it came easy for me too. And I don’t know who said it, but we came to the conclusion that it was a hindrance for us because we never had to put in the work. And it was had to learn that. Like I went through high school, I went through college and went to Grad School. It was, it wasn’t hard. I mean it was harder than, I mean
Stephen: [00:23:48] it came easy for you so you didn’t put in the work. So they, you know, cause I think this is really powerful. So we’re back to that example of how you master a brand, right? You put in the work, right? You scan everything and then realize knowing that only 10%, if I said to you, look, um, Alan, one out of 10 items that you’re going to scan in this brand are going to be worth it. But Hey, that’s one out of 10. I mean that means you only have to scan 10 in. One of them are going to be good. Right? So it’s going to be worth the effort. Or if I said to you, man, 90% of that’s no good man, we’ll look at that giant pile over there. 90%. No good. You’re not willing to do that. I mean, that would, that would impede my of, I’d be like, Ugh, I’m not wasting my time for nine if 90% is no good. Um, when you were in school, you, you did, you put in just 10% effort and got the results? I mean, is that
Allen: [00:24:39] definitely at it? I was in high school, I didn’t have to study and make good grades and then in college I had to learn to study, but I still put in way less effort and I was pretty much going for the bare minimum is [inaudible].
Allen: [00:24:57] I, I have and I look back and it actually is a, there’s a book I’m reading right now, um, called I think mindset by Carol Dweck. Yes. Uh, yeah, Carol Dweck. And it explains that it explains a fixed mindset versus growth mindset. And I was definitely a fixed mindset and it’s something that you learn and the kids, it talks about they, they have all this research on kids who are giving the same exact test. One group was praised on how smart they were and one group was praised on how hard they worked and then they were given a second test that was like two or three grade levels above them. The kids that were praised for being smart, they quit, they got hard, they quit. And then the kids that were praised about, um, how hard they work, they just grinded through it and they did significantly better even though they were roughly the same intelligence as each other.
Stephen: [00:26:00] So grinding through it, that sounds is that that term sounds terrible. Oh, you got to grind it out. C’Mon everybody, Allen, that’s grind it out today. You know, that’s like good. Now you do GC like across your whole life. I mean, is that now transferred into your whole life?
Allen: [00:26:16] Yeah, it’s something I’ve had to learn. Learning to grind, learning to work hard. It, it, it’s, it’s not an innate thing for me. Well, how did you learn it? Uh, over time? Uh, different things. Um, first, first I noticed it with when my wife and I first got married, she’s extremely hard worker and I felt lazy compared to her. That’s funny. Oh. And then certain marriage, it kind of ticked it up for me and I had to work harder. Um, and then I started a couple of little small businesses on the side after college and that made me work harder. Having a kid made me work harder and then going full time with Amazon. Well it was originally Ebay and then Amazon it over the, my ability to work is grown leaps and bounds and probably the last five years. And is it,
Allen: [00:27:39] because I taught for eight years before I quit my job. No matter, the more effort you put into teaching, you don’t see a financial bump with, with working for yourself, especially Amazon and Ebay. You literally see I worked harder, I put in more work or I be, you know, I became more efficient. You see it in your bottom line.
Stephen: [00:28:03] You know, one of the things, it’s funny, I was thinking about this when we had this conversation a few weeks back. Um, may, I might even mention it. There are quite a few teachers that have been on my show that have really become outliers in this business. And I wonder what it is trait wise that gives them or seems to give something I’ve noticed anyway that there are a bunch of teachers, you know, just seem to notice that. Um, have you thought about what teaching has done for you? I’m sure there’s some negatives, right? That make you gotta be successful cause you don’t want to go back and do it. I’m sure there’s some of that. But if you thought about what teaching did for you or maybe I guess it’s the whole education process, is that, cause you just said that you weren’t as disciplined effort wise cause it was easy.
Allen: [00:28:49] Yes. Um, it’s actually one of the things that made me learn how to work harder, uh, because my bachelor’s degree is not an education and I had to go get a master’s degree to be able to teach and where I live. While you’re getting your masters in education, you can also teach at the same time you have a, um, I forgot what they call it. It’s an mat degree. It is. I completely spaced.
Allen: [00:29:23] Yes. So you’re working, I mean with t, you know, you’re working your 40 hours where with teaching it’s more probably for, for me it was more like 45 to 50 hours a week. And then some teachers go overboard and they’re working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, including the prep time Thor class. And I had to do my masters, which was one day a week. And, but my day would start, you know, I’d wake up at five 30 in the morning, I’d have to be at school by seven to prepare, and then I would, school would be done at three 15. I couldn’t leave until three 30 then I’d have to drive an hour and 15 minutes to my college to stay there from I think five 40 or like five 30 to nine 30 at night for class and then drive the hour and 15 minutes back home. So I got, I was introduced to, you know, 14 to 16 hour days. And then when you’re slowly introduced to that and you know, you can do it, it’s not that hard to do when you’re trying to, you know, start your business trying to do something else. So you slowly get acclimated to hard work.
Stephen: [00:30:37] Well, just sitting here thinking about this, um, were you able to take what you were doing at graduate school and apply it into your class or, I would, you’re going to be like, of course Steve. Duh. Right. Um, but, but I am going to go somewhere with this. So when you were learning in college, um, and then you’d come back and apply it into your teaching or business, whichever, um, was that something to happen for you?
Stephen: [00:31:07] Here’s where I was going with this. Are you able, because it seems like because you focus in on one thing, so when you’re at this conference for example, you learned a bunch of things, you’ve dialed in whatever you are going to dial in. Have you been able to go back and apply it in your business already and have you seen a result? And if so, where? My I’m thinking is that is something that people need to sharpen.
Allen: [00:31:30] Yeah. I’m there. I went away from the conference with a lot of things. Uh, the main thing, I was actually working on it this morning, Terri and Kim coffins there. Um, lodestone yeah, I love it. Yes. There workflow. I’ve already ordered some of the pieces that I need. I mean, it’s as simple as, um, their tables. They added those, you know, those bed risers to them to make it more ergonomic. I just got those yesterday and I’m about to install them and I’m going to completely rework my office space to make it more efficient. Um, it’s something that I’ve been putting off right before I went to the conference. Uh, the prepper ship where I had we separated ways and I need to hire another one and I’ve been putting it off, but I’m, no, it’s, it’s, it’s a bottleneck for my business, right?
Stephen: [00:32:20] No. Yeah. You are the bottleneck. Right. That’s what I always find that I’m the guy who gets in the way of our business every single time, you know? Um, and I have my son and my wife here and so it, it, it’s funny they will agree with that statement, uh, because you know, I have way too much knowledge or I gotta think about it, you know, and lately I’ve really worked giving up some of that control, which is very hard when you would have been a controller most of your life. That’s what I was trained in and it’s very hard, you know, it really is. Um, how hard is it as a guy to accept opinions of other people like that? So when you hear Perry up on stage, you had to hang your head down and shame like me, like helping the ups guy and stuff. I mean it hurts to hear that stuff cause I’m like, Oh man, I’m guilty. I just want to help people. But yet it does come at a cost. Do you get that way?
Allen: [00:33:09] It depends on the person. The PR at the conference, I went into it with a mindset of these are people that know way more than me. They’re successful. I need to Alyssa, I don’t know everything. And they obviously have a much better way of doing it than me. So I’m going to just, I’ll try it. So having an open mindset is, is that a skill set that you have or did you have to work at it? Hmm, I had to work. Okay. I was definitely that kid that thought I knew everything and it was my way and it, I mean a lot of that is attributed to my wife. I don’t know. I was going to say being a parent, does that help? If you realize how little, you know, it started off in college where, I mean my wife and I met when I think I was 19 and she, I didn’t know how to communicate.
Allen: [00:34:00] I came, you know, from a household that our communication was yelling or ignoring things and she wasn’t going to have any of that. So I had to learn. I mean it’s what I think we’ve been together for third teen years. We just had our 10 year anniversary. Congrats. Thank you. And it, it’s been a slow process. I mean we go to marriage classes, we go to all [inaudible] and parenting classes and all these little classes teach you things like how to communicate with other people, how you should communicate with your spouse, your children, how to get your point across without being angry or without, you know, being condescending or anything like that. So,
Stephen: [00:34:50] How much time would you say that you put into learning and sharpening your skills? Cause it sounds like a lot. Anybody else listening to this is going to hear this common thing? Cause it’s probably the fourth or fifth time it seems to be prevalent in this discussion. How much time do you put into that?
Allen: [00:35:05] You ever think about it? Uh, a lot. Uh, I used to not be this way. I was the kid that uh, I don’t know if it’s considered cheating, but cliff notes, I will. Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever read a full book in high school or College. And now I have become an avid reader slash a audio book slash podcast listener. I listen to very little music now. It’s almost all podcast or audio books and I usually a couple of books sitting by my bed. Uh, right now I have a Tim Ferriss tools for titans. That’s a good one right next to my bed. And I’ve already read it, but I’m reading it the second time and picking the pieces that I was like, Ooh, I really liked that. Just cause they give so many suggestions on other good books or just there’s something I really want to buy. I can’t get myself to spend. The money comes up over and over for your sleep. He was talking about a chilly pad and I looked him up there about a thousand bucks and I was like, can’t do that. But it sounds amazing. It makes your bed a specific temperature. Say Sleep better.
Stephen: [00:36:14] Wow. I definitely write that one down too. Um, so this approach, if you go at it that way, so either way, you know, if you have windshield time, you can be listening to audio books or if you’re reading, if you want to get away from this and do that, and then you go back and apply it into your business or your life or your health, that’s a pattern, Alan, and have a very strong pattern. And that you said is the number one thing that’s gotten you this discipline. Yeah. And your wife? Well, she’s number one actually. She’s number one than you. Okay. I think that’s powerful. I think people can use that because, um, this is a very lonely business and you do get a lot of single time. Oh yes. And so rather than just sitting there watching youtube, you know, videos or funny things or whatever, if you utilize that to help expand your knowledge, are you, uh, are you a better husband because of it?
Allen: [00:37:13] I believe so. Um, I, I say this over and over to my wife that the person that I was when we met, like I don’t like that person and I think it’s going to be this way the rest of my life. If I look back five or 10 years, like the person that I was five years ago, I feel very different and I’m sure I will be saying the same thing five years from now and, but I, but I hope that’s the case. I hope that I feel like I’m on this progression of, I mean not massive leaps and bounds, but just maybe incremental adjustments of how I do things or how I think, and that’s a part that I, I struggle with. I struggle with mindset. I struggle with, um, I mean it happens to me every month or I will get into a funk for a couple of days where I’m just like, am I succeeding? Did I make a mistake? Should, should I even be doing this? And I get the self doubt starts to creep in and I have to get hyped up on youtube videos on, or I have to read something that, uh, just kinda changes my mindset.
Stephen: [00:38:23] What, what’s the cause of that? Have you, have you been able to get to the, to the cause of that? Because I, I, you know, I can truly relate. I mean, it’s, it’s, everything’s going great and you’re like, something’s got to go wrong. Something’s going to go wrong. I think
Allen: [00:38:36] I’m only about halfway through that mindset book and from, I’m starting to see a little pieces where I’m like, Ooh, that’s how I was raised. That’s how I was taught to think, think of this and I’m deaf. I definitely had a fixed mindset and I don’t think I’m completely in the growth yet, but I think I’m at least, you know, 50 50 60 40 but it, at least I’m catching myself when I have those thoughts.
Stephen: [00:39:06] I had a guy tell me one, Steve, you really have to work at being nice. And I was like, Ooh, that hurt. And I was like, I think I’m nice. I tried to be nice, but it could slip out every so often that not so nice. Right. Um, I don’t think, I don’t think I have to work at it as much as I, I’m more cognizant of it because I realized that, you know, when I’m talking now and that one has feelings too. He’s a human being and, and I probably didn’t pay attention to that in the past, so I’m mindful of that. But it doesn’t seem like hard work when you just are nice to people and you want to help people. To me that’s not hard work.
Stephen: [00:39:48] and now this person kind of was a mean person so I don’t know if they were trying to bring me down to their, you know, to help them get through whatever their challenges are. That’s another thing that I’ve taken this approach is that I look at other people and I just feel bad for them because they must be going through things. And my wife sharpened me on that one. She’s like, you know when somebody cuts you off in traffic, she’s like, what if their wife is in the hospital and he’s racing to get there, you know, to see her before she, I’m like, oh my gosh, thanks. Now I feel terrible. You know? And it’s like, but that reminder that every other person around you is experiencing life too because I get so self centered. Do you deal with that on being self centered from time to time?
Allen: [00:40:26] Yes, I do. And the exact same thing that you, your wife just told you I need to work on. I get, I get that way. I don’t, it depends on the day. Certain days are better, certain days are worse. And I think at least the first step is the fact that groove and you’re just conscious of that you think that way. You admit you have a problem, right? Yeah, they tell you.
Stephen: [00:40:51] Okay. Well, what do you still struggle with? I mean, because you seem to build a pretty strong network of people. Um, I mean, would you credit that with a lot of getting you through? I mean, do they, are they honest enough to say, you know, Alan, you’re in getting into funk man. What’s wrong with you?
Allen: [00:41:08] Yeah, I was, yeah, I have, I think gaze group is amazing. I mean, I feel like I very rarely feel like I’ve drank the Koolaid and I’ve gotten people to sign up for the group and they, and I’m like, I’m not getting the kick back. Nothing. I was like, it will help your business. I can I be completely honest about something, please. Steven. Um, the way I found out about gates group was a herder advertisement on your show and I was just, I kind of blew it off and then I heard the podcast with her. I was like, that might work, and then I heard the, you know, the two week three trial and I went in and I was like, Huh. I felt like it was expensive for my wall, for my situation. There was like a newer business and I was like, I’ll do the free trial. I’m going to read as much as I can and then I’m just going to leave the group.
Allen: [00:42:06] [inaudible] I it going to read the file section. I was going to watch all the videos and I act two weeks came up and I was like, script’s pretty good. She’s about to put out this list. I’m going to hang around until the list and I did that. I participated in the group, I got the list and the list is great. I had a really new account, so I was gated in a lot of the items, but I made that excuse of like, okay, well until the list. And then after that, I mean, what was that, November? Yeah, of 2018 I never left the group. The group has too much value to leave and I’ve made these relationships with so many people and feel close to a lot of the people in the group. And then after the conference it’s kind of niched down to where I’ve even have smaller, closer relationships with certain people or certain groups within it. And that has helped so much.
Stephen: [00:43:02] Now other people have had the same experience. They go in there, it’s like, oh, this is gated. And so again, it’s a perspective issue. Is the glass half full? Is the glass empty? Right? Um, when when you came up against that wall were whole bunch of this stuff, you know, 80% of the list you can’t buy. You could sit there and say, you know this, it’s 80% no good to me is a giant waste. Or You could sit there and say, Hey, 20% of these things are great and I’m going to focus on those 20% that switch is where most people get to and they choose one path or the other basically based on their mindset. Right. We’re back to your book mindset. It sounds like you pushed past it. Was there any one thing that pushed you past that? Because I get that question a lot. How, how and I’d like to try to help people push past that. Anything you can think of
Allen: [00:43:52] there’s, I feel in the group there’s a lot of good information that’s acting actually tactile. You can apply it to your business like this is how you do this, but they also put out a lot of a, Gary Ray is great at this where he works a lot on mindset. Yeah. He struggles with a lot of things. You see this guy that’s an extremely successful individual and you think, man, he’s got it together and then he’s extremely transparent with his struggles and you’re just like, wow. If somebody like that is struggling with this and I’m struggling with this, there’s, I mean, I’m not that weird or I’m not that abnormal. Apparently a lot of people struggling with same issue and he managed to do it. I’m going to give that a try
Stephen: [00:44:36] so you can push past to, to give me the chills. Um, I agree with you 100% is that, that recognizing that you’re not so different, right? There’s, you know, um, my son is one degree away from Bill Gates. Now imagine that one degree away, he deals with somebody who’s a direct report to bill gates and that person says, Bill’s like one of the nicest normal guys out there. Now think about that. Billionaire doesn’t have to lift a finger if he doesn’t want to. Right? But he has struggles just the same as you and I. And yet I just, I think it’s very powerful. I think recognizing that cause that a lot of people come up against that same exact point and they’re looking at it and saying, hey, 80% of this stuff is no good to me. Um, I would say, okay, the 20% is the positive, but I would say that 80% also should give you clues of things that you can do and then you just got to find things that you can do. Correct? Yes, definitely. So it sounds like you’ve gotten through, you still fight some of these mental demons that we, I Steve agrees with you. He’s got the same disease, whatever that is. Um, maybe it’s just being a guy, but it’s the truth. I, I fight through these things. When you think of weaknesses that you still have that you’d like to sharpen, um, any that come to mind and then the approach you’re going to take to deal with them even if it’s in the future.
Allen: [00:45:59] Um, I usually try to find some sort of podcast or book that can help me with it. Like we were talking about mindset and that has been a struggle with me for a long time and that’s the reason I started reading that book. It popped up in a podcast also. I started doing crossfit and when I get into something I, I kind of go, Paul Hall Guy, start this, you know, I start reading books, I start watching Youtube, I started listening to podcasts and I found a podcast called chasing excellence with Ben Bergeron. And it is partly about crossfit but a lot of it is um, just self-improvement and he has read so many of the same books that I’ve read and almost every podcast I write down a new book and I just, I see that similarity with a lot of successful people. They’ve read the same books, they have these similar habits they have, they’ve worked on their mindset, they’ve worked on a lot of things. And I’m just trying to attempt to do the same thing as these other successful people.
Stephen: [00:47:06] And, and when you take that to your business now, cause I want to make sure we get into this business. Um, that’s pushes you through the ups and downs. Cause there’s our ups and downs every day in your business, I assume just like mine.
Allen: [00:47:20] Yes. And yeah, I mean, as long as you’re growing in some way, whether your business is growing, you’re growing as a parent of a husband, uh, whatever you, when I see that growth, I feel better. And the growth,
Stephen: [00:47:37] it isn’t necessarily revenue or profit, it’s health or relationship health. It’s, I’m not getting angry when you’re driving a traffic, when that person cuts you off because you’re thinking, you know, they might have some problems in their life, right? Yeah. That’s growth. Okay. Because I don’t, everybody’s like, Oh man, if I’m not selling the million, I’ve listened to Allen and he’s on a million. I’ve got to sell the value too
Allen: [00:48:00] by not selling a million. But that’s not the way you got to think about it. But I’ll be there at some point. How do you know you’ll be there? That’s interesting to hear. Um, problem. It’s not an ego thing, right? No, it’s, I see it. I met all these people that do it and it’s not this magic formula. You put systems and processes in place and you find the right information and you just do it.
Stephen: [00:48:28] Perry Kauflin calls it a math formula. He’s like, Amazon to me, he’s just a math formula. He’s like, you know, I figured out, he’s like, when I had some success, he said, it’s like I saw the code, like in the Matrix, I actually saw the code because then I realized all I have to do is buy a hundred pairs of shoes and I could do this, right? If I’m going to make $10 a pair and I want to make $1,000. Okay, that’s a hundred pairs. That was it. And that was the math and it was like, Huh? Like the clouds open and he saw it. I mean, is that similar kind of thinking?
Allen: [00:48:57] Yes. I uh, I have a bad habit of looking at my sales and my sales dictating my happiness. Oh. So I, it’s something I’m trying to break and I don’t know who brought it up, but it was in the group and they said, my goal, you obviously can’t control your sales. You might have an amazing month or an amazing day that you are not in control. You need to focus on something that you can control. And what I can control is how much I spend. So I make a spend goal because that, that spend turns into sales.
Stephen: [00:49:32] So that’s, there’s a map. So that is controllable, right? So, you know, if I’m going to spend, let’s just say $1,000 and I spend it on the products that are in this range, products that I’ve done, the work on that I’ve mastered, because I put my head down and pushed my way through the a hundred percent not stopped after two or 3% saying, oh, this is worthless, because you realize that there’s gold in that 10%. So that’s actually my mind thinks this way. I’d be sitting there saying, okay, $1,000 uh, and I’d have parentheses, and then I would be like, uh, you know, at 90%, you know, less 90% I’m literally, we’d go through in that math, in my mind and programming out. To me, that’s a skillset. Where did you learn that? Was that Grad school high school working in your grandmother’s a antique store?
Allen: [00:50:36] Huh? I don’t know. I mean it, it’s these bits and pieces whether you watch, you know, I’ve gotten obviously so much from Gaye’s group, but I, I remember one thing that sticks out in my head that she said is your buyer first. If nothing else matters past that, I mean you can get better at your accounting, your bookkeeping, your sourcing. Well, I guess sourcing with the buying, but that is what you need to focus on and that’s what you need to become good at because that’s what this business is. You have to be able to buy well because Amazon’s the sewing machine. That’s their job. Yes. I don’t advertise well, I mean, you can get into PPC and things like that, but I’m not promoting that platform. I’m not doing the background work. I’m not doing any of that. I literally send inventory to Amazon. They do the hardest part of the job and I just have to make sure my end is good.
Stephen: [00:51:41] It’s so powerful because as you know, when you hear Andy Get up there and talk about how strong, you know, Amazon just getting started, right? You know, and they’re so dominant in this ecommerce world, but yet it’s so new. Um, we just had a at bunny, we just had ups here this week and we had ups freight here cause we’re doing, um, they have some very, very cool things that if you sell oversized products and they’re heavy message me or message Andy and we can tell you some of the things that they’re doing. Anyway, he said that, I forget what year it was, Andy, probably remember he said they lost 25% of their business with the Internet when, when e commerce came out instantly they lost 25% of their business. And I’m like, Whoa, what would happen if he lost 25% of your business overnight? Um, it’s scary.
Stephen: [00:52:27] I mean it’s really scary, but it was interesting to hear that. And you know, we’re just getting started. I mean that’s what’s so exciting to me. That was the energy that I got that vibe. Um, everybody realizes, um, so you’re here to say Allen Walker, that Ra is not dead. That if you’re willing to do the work and put in your time and pushed through all the mundane, cause you must look at a ton of mundane stuff to find that th that secret 10%. Yes, yes. There’s a lot of junk. How about this and ask this question, what are some of the things that you know now that you wish people were talking about? Uh, way back when you were really just getting started either with Ebay or Amazon?
Allen: [00:53:13] Um, honestly wished that I would have, uh, this is a term that I keep hearing Gary Ray say, I wish I would’ve paid the opportunity costs. I was very skeptical of paying for information because I felt I was cynical about it. I was like, I’m just going to scam. This isn’t going to be worth it. Um,
Allen: [00:53:43] It’s probably that fixed mindset fixed that I’m working on, not trying to see the negative. I wish I naturally saw the positive, but I have to work at that. Uh, and I was so cheap when I was doing this that I was masterminds. That sounds good. And I found a couple that look legitimate. They’re like a hundred bucks a month. Then when I was starting my business, that was a lot of money and I didn’t want to do it. So what I did is I got an Instagram and I found all these people that I thought were way more successful than me and I invited them to a mastermind and uh, three of them said yes. So we started doing these mastermind calls and I learned a lot. This was when I was just doing Ebay. They’re the ones that convinced me to start Amazon.
Stephen: [00:54:43] served you well. Is that back to this putting in the effort and the energy, cause you said it’s not comfortable for you, it doesn’t give you energy so therefore it sucks your energy, right? It’s a user, not a giver. So is that because you’ve had success? I mean is that just the same as reading that book and applying something? Is it an energy effort issue?
Allen: [00:55:03] Yeah, I’m seeing that relationships are very important. I mean not just for the business but in real life. I’ve, that’s something I’ve struggled with too. I have this hard why I was a military kid, so we moved a lot. I went to 14 different schools and not a 12 of them between k through nine and always had a problem with keeping like a legitimate connection or relationship with people because of that. And I’ve thought I’ve reflected a lot about it and I didn’t realize this. So this past year, I know when it happened, happened in third grade I already and I was, yes it was third grade because I had to move to, to school. I went to two different schools the same year and at the end, the second school I went to, I really liked it. I made good friends. I felt like that’s where I belonged. And then at the end of the school year, I find out we’re moving again. And that’s where it clicked for me, where I was just like, why am I going to get close to people? I’m just going to move anyways. And that’s something that I didn’t realize that I did until my wife was like, why don’t you keep in contact with friends from college or this or that? You’re you when aren’t around, you forget about them. And I didn’t realize that I did that. And so you work at that. Yes. This is the yeah.
Stephen: [00:56:32] Fruit and you’ve got to put your head down, get through the 90% uncomfortable to find that 10%. Now it’s not every person you meet, right. It’s, it’s, you’ve got to find that jewel. Same kind of concept. Yeah. Dude,
Stephen: [00:56:56] some s again, somebody who’s negative is listening to saying, oh my God, these guys are depressing. Listen to everything’s wrong in their life. Or You could sit there and say, hey, this is awesome. These guys have figured out that they’ve got some challenges in their life and they’re addressing them.
Allen: [00:57:11] Yes, that’s your conscious mind. You’re not stuck. You’re not stuck being to that person. If you don’t like that person or you don’t like this tendency you have, you can change it. It’s not going to change overnight and you have to work on it a lot. But I use a phrase like
Stephen: [00:57:27] this, I say, make the next right decision, right? So I mean, how many wrong decisions have you made? I got buckets on it, right? But if I start making the, and this happens more in my life, I start making right decisions and then I’d make another one and I make another one, then all of a sudden I start to see a habit, right? And then that’s a good habit. And then over time, good habits become, you know, just really easy to deal with. And so to me that’s, that’s where you start. So is that, I mean we got to close out and I wanna I wanna make sure I get your contact. So if somebody has some followup questions and I think this is a great kind of a thought process that a whole bunch of people need to take. And so, you know, either reach out to Eleanor myself because I’m going through it too. I’m always going through this. I’m trying to sharpen. But is that, is that really the advice you would give somebody to push past stuck? Because that’s the goal of the podcast is to help people get past stuck and you’ve been stuck. Steve’s been stuck.
Allen: [00:58:25] I, I’m constantly stuck and you just have to figure out something that works. Maybe. I know for me the reason I never read books growing up is we’re assigned a lot of, um, fiction books and it didn’t click until I was in my mid twenties that it’s not that I don’t like to read, I just don’t like fiction. Huh. And that’s why this is easy. Well, not easy. It’s easier for me is to read nonfiction books. And a lot of these nonfiction books give you a lot of applicable information, whether it’s with relationships or reflection or mindset of, I mean there’s books about everything. And if you don’t like reading books, audio books, audible has really cheap books. It’s like what, 16, 17 bucks a month. Do you get a credit? And it reads it to you. Just do it every day for 15 minutes or if you’ve got a long drive, something like that.
Allen: [00:59:25] And if you don’t like that, if you like little clips, there’s tons of stuff on youtube except on one caveat of Youtube. Every single person can post on youtube and you have to be able to sift through the junk and be able to actually find what’s helpful. Here’s the junk mess you up. It can. Okay. Um, I getting into Amazon and Ebay, I watched a lot of youtube and things like that and I, and when you’re new, you don’t know what is good information and what is not. I did gravitate towards a handful of things, and looking back now I can see that it’s a lot of junk. I would say 90 95% of it,
Stephen: [01:00:11] and it had an influence on you recognize it had a small influence and eventually you were breaking free. But yes, it did. Okay, dude. Um, I’m, I’m very excited. I’m very excited. Uh, I can’t wait. I’m ordering on audible mindset, right? As soon as we’re off the call, uh, I’m, I’m absolutely looking forward to it. I loved the fixed versus growth. I think that that’s a perfect way to look at it. Again, I’m Allen [inaudible]. 80% of that stuff’s no good. Or Hey, 20% of this stuff is liquid gold. Man, this is awesome, right? I mean, think about that. That coal miner, not the coal mine, the gold miner who had to pick through how many miles just to get to that dinky little vein of gold, and then they had the success, right? But they had to go through miles of granted or whatever. I don’t know, whatever stone that they had to get through. So I think this is really powerful. If somebody has a followup question, what’s the best way to get in touch with them?
Stephen: [01:01:10] one walker. I’m going to put that link there man. I’m, I’m really excited. Um, I’m very excited for you. Um, cause I know you’re really just getting started and really turning your, your, you’re turning out volume. Um, and it sounds like it’s getting easier and I just think that that’s a flywheel that’s just gonna get easier and easier. The more you address it, the more you keep sharpening the pencil as I like to describe it. Um, and I’m very excited for you. I just, um, I know you’re just getting started. Thank you. See if it’s then also getting to talk to you. I appreciate it. I wish you nothing but success. Take care of Egypt,
Stephen: [01:01:48] man. What a great guy. I’m so smart and again, so, so self aware at that age. Um, and I think that’s one thing. I think I’m going to have this discussion with my boys about that. Making sure that they’re self aware. Take an inward look, and then work on yourself and know that 99% of it’s perfect. Work on that little 1%, little small incremental steps. Um, incremental adjustments. That’s what he called it. And I just think that’s so, so powerful. So hope you got something that I know I did
Cool voice guy: [01:02:20] and I’m a much richer person for it. ECOMMERCE, momentum.com e-commerce momentum.com. Thanks for listening to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be email@example.com under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.