Kristin Ostrander – Conquer the next small step to move your Amazon business forward leaps and bounds
Kristin is such a smart seller who has figured it out. Giant leaps seldom work. Small steps over time can get much farther faster. The turtle wins the race based on consistency, focus and hard work. I deeply encourage you to pre-order Kristin’s book: Dream Big, Step Small on Amazon. It truly is a blueprint on how to launch or improve your business. (Or design a new life) I got so much value from it and I know you will too. We are implementing many things Kristin offers into our business and I invite you to take a hard look at yours and see if small steps over time can give you the life and business you want.
Kristin’s previous interviews: #5, #119
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Here is transcript- It is automated so it is not perfect but it does seem to get better over time.
Kristin: [00:00] Perfectionist at all in the matter of fact, but we all have these ideals and things that we visualize or like to visualize that like, okay, in a perfect world, what would your day look like? What would your business look like? And there’s concepts out there that I just didn’t, it didn’t resonate with me. Like the Beehag, the big hairy audacious goal or whatever that is. Um, we talk about that in the book and how that seems so far away because there was always a beginning, there was an end, there was a pass or fail. And I don’t like that idea because I feel like you’re always adapting, you’re always learning, you’re always changing, you’re learning new skills. So there’s never really unnecessarily a pass or a fail when it comes to
Cool Voice Guy: [00:37] welcome back to the e commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling. Today, your host, Stephen Peterson,
Stephen: [00:51] if you’re looking for cash flow or you’re looking for another revenue stream, and what I suggest is you have a staff member who shows some interest in this, uh, taking on this project. And you look at it as a project and you measured their cost versus what your gain is. Um, then I have a group for you. I have a really strong group for you and it’s gateless B and Gary raise $1 million arbitrage lists. And what’s cool about this list is a, those multiple lists. There’s limited number of people on the lists. Um, and I’m on one of them. And what you get is you get these daily lives Monday through Friday, and they just have all these different things that you can buy. Now you might go try to buy it and they might be sold out. However you were trying to buy the blue one and wait, there’s a pink one next to it, why?
Stephen: [01:36] And then you’d start down that rabbit hole. And these lists are phenomenal. They’ve consistently been out there for a couple of years. And what I like is the people that have joined through my link, and again, I get paid for this, so I don’t want to hide that they stayed with them. And that’s very cool to me because that means something that means they got value. And so I’ve got a 14 day free trial. The only way you’re going to get this offer is if you go through my link. So it’s a 14 day free trial and you’re going to get either gay or you’re going to get Gary who’s going to onboard you. That’s a big deal because they can find out maybe how to tailor a little bit towards you. Um, and again, I suggest if you have somebody else, um, that you can have handled this for you, that’s how you’re going to grow your business.
Stephen: [02:18] Um, they bring in inventory for you. They follow the procedures, you’ve got good receipts, they’re all receipts that should stand up and, and so again, consider joining. You’re going to get a 14 day free trial. So if it doesn’t work, pull out. I get it. Sometimes this doesn’t work. You try. I thought you had a process. You thought you had the right person, you give them the opportunity and they fall short. It happens. But this is a great opportunity to try it, especially if you’ve got a spouse or significant other that wants to help in the business but doesn’t have a lot of time. This might be a perfect opportunity. Again, a 14 day free trial, so here’s how you get there. You come through my link and which comes into this episode and you’ll be a link there, but you go to amazing freedom.com forward slash, momentum, the word momentum, hyphen arbitrage.
Stephen: [03:01] Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff to spell but it’s momentum, hyphen arbitrage and you’re going to get that link. It’s going to click through and they’ll know it came through us and they’re going to give you that 14 day free trial plus the onboarding and have a discussion with gay or Gary and talk about where you are in your business, where you’re going in your business and let’s see if they can help you. And again, 14 day free trial, try it and if it doesn’t work out, you move on, but get that team member producing revenue. Everybody, we are in the revenue business. Welcome back to the ecommerce women a podcast. This is episode 389. Christino strand are now, I’ve had Kristen on two other times. She was my episode number five, four years ago. I mean to so coal, to watch what Kristen and Kristen and her mom and built this seven figure Amazon business.
Stephen: [03:50] Uh, Christine and Amy Fearman, who I’ve had on have built this huge information business. They’ve helped, I guess we’re at hundreds of clients, um, over time build. Um, they’re so specialized in bundling. I mean, they’re just phenomenal at it and they have a, it’s like an art. I mean, it really is that they just see that stuff. Um, this interview though, most of it’s going to be dedicated to Christine’s book. Christine’s a new author. Um, I got to read an early release of it. It’s coming out, uh, pretty much not too far after this episode, so you can preorder it on Amazon. Um, but it’s, it’s interesting, it’s a book, but it’s really a workbook. It’s really a workbook where no matter where you are in your selling journey, whether you’re new, whether you haven’t started, whether you’re selling $1 million, there are actual lessons. It’s funny, I got all this, these notes I took, I read this book personally and then I lost my notes.
Stephen: [04:42] I had to go back and remake my notes and I realized this stuff just flew off for me because this is what I’ve gotten from the book. So when you hear what I’m talking through, I literally, these are my notes that I got from the book. It’s so applicable in so many different ways and it’s just so cool to watch somebody flourish. I mean, mini emitter, you know, she’s got it. But to see it over four years that I’ve known her, it’s just, it’s, it makes my life better and it’s just so encouraging for me. So let’s get into podcasts, get ready, take some notes and welcome back to the ecommerce momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s returned guests. Um, because so much has happened since last time I had her on. I, last time I had her on was August of 2016. However, she was on prior way back. She was my fifth interview. I mean, it’s just crazy to think about that Kristen. Oh, standard. Welcome back. We’re getting old Kristin. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for having me back. Yeah, it’s, we’ve had a long history. There’s this past few years. Huh? That’s crazy to think. I mean, but it’s crazy cool because I watched you guys grow. Una me specifically, I’ve been watching you guys for all these years consistently putting your head down, doing the work. Right. That’s really what it is. Consistently doing the work.
Kristin: [05:58] Absolutely. That’s how anyone gets anywhere as you just decide where you want to go and you take the small consistent steps to just keep building
Stephen: [06:07] and it’s not easy, right? I mean, there are, you know, everybody has their ups and downs. Life has her ups and downs. Uh, and we’re going to get to yours because you’ve got quite a story of a man and some, I want to encourage people to go back and listen to episode five and 2015 because she gets into her story, but the story is so much more, and we’re going to talk about, she’s an author now. We’ll get there, but even you who are now a seven figure, Amazon seller, fulltime mom, wife, business partnerships, plural, ups and downs still happen, don’t they?
Kristin: [06:42] The struggle is real. They certainly do. I think a lot of people, thank you. You might arrive at some level somehow, whether it’s financial, whether it’s you know, some sort of status or something and they think all the problems just go away and they really don’t. You just have to learn how to manage the ups and downs as you grow into some of your new roles.
Stephen: [07:02] Do you know at one point in your book, I remember one of the references and what we’re going to get to the book dream big steps small, correct? Yes. Dream big steps in mind. I just think it’s so smart because that’s not what, you know, um, what we’re taught, we gotta take big leaps. Oh, Christie, you gotta jump off the cliff, you know, birth, what does it burn the bridges, right? Get to shore, burn the bridges. There’s no going back. That’s not your philosophy. Correct.
Kristin: [07:24] It’s not, you know, and it’s not, it’s not how I’ve built what I have here. You know, I’ve built it with a lot of help and a lot of support, but also just focusing on the very next step. I find the concept of, you know, burning the bridges, that’s just fine. But I find the concept of, of these big huge jump off the clip leaf of leaps of faith, really, it’s hard to bridge that gap from where you are and where you want to be. And I found that stepping really small and just being consistent and taking small actions has really got me where I’m, where I want to be, where I am right now.
Stephen: [07:56] I think it’s so smart because I think that the thing that people don’t factor in is, um, most of our ecommerce world is outside of our control, right? We don’t own the customers. We don’t control the customers. We don’t control trends. We certainly don’t control the platforms that we sell on. And they’re going to change and pivot based on their business model. Not your, they don’t call and say, Kristen, hey, we’re going to make a change as Jeff Bezos calling you a Christian, what does that would be pretty awesome. Uh, I love to hanging with that dude, but he’s not calling saying, Hey, what do you think Kristen? Right,
Kristin: [08:28] right. Yeah. And you know, that’s the thing that we have to, to get control of right away is our lack of control and start focusing more on what can I do today to take the next step to be where I want to be.
Stephen: [08:41] Well, let me just, just, let me just get one more description of Kristen. So she’s a wife, she’s a mom, mom, a bunch of kids. Uh, and not that she’s old or anything. I’m old. Um, she’s a podcaster. And podcast is called the Amazon vials, the Amazon files. And you’ve been doing that for quite a long time with Amy. And we’re going to get to Amy in a minute. Um, you have a youtube channel called mommy income mommy income, which I’m a member. Yeah, she does not discriminate. I’ve been a member like one of your first members. I’m in their way back. Well, I’m an old dude for you back in there and I love the group because it’s a safe place to ask questions again. You know, everybody wants a safe place where they can ask a stupid question because Steve has stupid questions from time to time and that’s the place to do.
Stephen: [09:24] It’s very, so, uh, you have been doing courses and information services, uh, with your partner Amy, for your men who been on my show. Um, but you guys really have become the bundle queen. I remember looking back at a graphic with bundle queen. I’m looking at your smile with a bundle queen graphic next to you. And what’s really cool lately is you traveling, doing these workshops all around the United States blows my mind. It’s selling them all out, 100% sellout and people coming back because they want more. I mean that’s, that’s a pretty big deal. And then, oh by the way, cause she’s not busy enough. She read a book and so we got to talk about that next. Um, that’s a pretty full life. In addition to selling seven figures on Amazon, do you, I guess, do you feel like it’s too much sometimes? Or do you feel like it’s just right now?
Kristin: [10:19] Well, I’ll be honest. Sometimes I tend to put more on my plate then it that they can take. Um, but I, I learned the ebbs and flows of how to do business. So there’s always the hills and valleys. There’s always the times where you find yourself creeping up to 40, 50, 60 hours a week and then that’s when the red flag goes up and saying something is wrong. Something’s out of balance. What needs to give, what needs to go, what needs to be hired out, what needs to be, um, taking control of. So I can get back to that if my, like in the book that in a perfect world where I have my day that I want my day to look like and when I start seeing that the overflow happening, it’s when I hire someone else or I take away something. And it’s, those are difficult decisions to make as you grow in business and start adding things.
Kristin: [11:06] It’s a really, you have to make harder decisions. You have to cut the, cut the rope at some point for something. So I’ve really learned how to, I mean there are definitely hard times like, like with writing the book that was extra curricular that was business on top of business, on top of business. So, um, it was um, something I, you know, talked to my family about and committed to. I’m getting the book done and, and focusing the extra time and everything has a season. So just learning when, when you’re out of balance what you need to do to get yourself back into the place of, of balance. And sometimes people say balance is a myth. Um, it can be, um, I feel like there’s always something that’s going to need more attention than another thing. Um, but you have to learn where your personal happy place is and stay there. The most often
Stephen: [11:53] was writing the book and it’s just going to be an uncomfortable question. I want you to understand where I’m coming from with this, but I, I isn’t it, it’s selfish for you, isn’t it?
Kristin: [12:04] I would have to say yes. I guess it’s, it’s really, I want to help people. I feel like my purpose in life is to help people and help them succeed and help them get over their, their fears and their, the things that hold them back. And so by helping people, I get exactly what I want and what I want is the joy that comes when you see, when a teacher sees their students, students succeeding and thriving. That’s, that’s my, my place of joy. And so yes, it’s kind of like it’s for you, but it’s also for me because as you thrive, as you learn to conquer the setbacks and keep moving forward and taking your small steps, I get a little piece of that joy when, when that person succeed. So I suppose it’s both and,
Stephen: [12:47] but who did you ask permission to go write this book? I mean, who, who gave you permission?
Kristin: [12:51] I did it. There you go. That love. As a matter of fact, the funny thing was this book came about like the, the dream or the idea that I could possibly write a book or that I had something to say was the very first time you and I met, we also, we’re speaking with Chris Green, who was at that conference that we all met together. And you know, he looked at me and said, well, you should write a book. Why not? And I’d never considered it until that moment. And that was in 2015. So it’s taken me a few more years to, to realize what I had to say and what I’d wanted to share with the world. But, um, it was really that moment that put planted the seed in my mind that I could write a book and that, you know, people might be able to benefit from the experiences I’ve been through.
Stephen: [13:32] Well, and it’s not just a book. I mean, it’s a blueprint. It really is. It’s a workbook. It was interesting. Um, it really is a workbook and I was thinking about this is, you know, you defined your purpose, right? You’re saying you’re helping people, right? And there are some people that say that’s a cliche in that, but it’s genuine. You’ve been doing it for the four years I’ve known you now write consistently. And so that’s obvious what your blueprint will help somebody find, develop. And then I underlined this word, these two words carry out. That’s usually what’s missing when, when I, you know, there’s lots of voracious reader and, um, this workbook, you’re taking it not just to help people find, develop, right? Which is pretty cool, but then actually carry out. I think that’s missing from most, uh, workbooks. It’s like, all right, now we’ve got to take action. Let’s go, let’s carry it out. Um, I think that’s unique about this book and I, I really enjoy it. I mean, I really enjoyed it. I’m very fortunate that I got to read it early and um, I really got a lot from it. I mean that,
Kristin: [14:35] I so appreciate that. You know, oh, a while back a pastor of mine said, you know, if there’s a book out there that you can’t find that doesn’t solve your problem, it doesn’t meet your needs and maybe you were meant to write. That book gave me the
Stephen: [14:49] chills when you said that. That’s so,
Kristin: [14:52] and it’s funny because I was in the middle of writing while he said that, and I was like, that’s exactly what this is. So when we, back in the day when we started Amazon, when we started doing ecommerce, there was no roadmap. It was 2008. There wasn’t Facebook groups, there wasn’t many pod, there wasn’t any podcasts, there wasn’t any youtube channels about selling on Amazon. It was all, all of us bumbling through trying to figure out what Jeff Bezos was trying to do with this Amazon thing. And there wasn’t the step by step, especially for a young mom like myself back in the day selling on Ebay, Amazon trying to figure it out. And also there was, I didn’t feel like there was a blueprint for me. Um, when I, when I was building businesses and figuring some stuff out on my own. And yes, I’ve had mentors and people helped me along the way. But you know, back in the early years it was a lot of trial and error. It was a lot of frustration. It was also a little kids running around my ankles, trying to, you know, destroy the house while I’m trying to build a business. And so figuring out how to navigate that as well. Um, there wasn’t a lot of people saying, here’s the roadmap, here’s the step by step that you need to do to, to build a business. And so, uh, I just kinda decided that that’s part of what I wanted to write about.
Stephen: [16:07] Well, you said something there, there wasn’t a blueprint for you because the blueprint for you is not the blueprint for me. It doesn’t have to be. And I think that you also use a phrase to describe yourself that I, I, I really enjoyed your heard optimistic realist and a, and I thought about that and I’m like, how does that apply to your business? Because you know, this, the goal of this podcast is to help people get who get stuck in this book is a workbook to get past stuck. So it’s a, it’s an absolute, I mean, I’m endorsing 100% because it’s exactly what somebody can do who without excuses, if they do the work, they put their head down, do the work, and they follow the blueprint. You can get past stuck. But what does an optimistic realist, uh, mean when relative to your business? Because as we said earlier, it’s not perfect. Is it okay?
Kristin: [16:52] No, there’s always the, the optimistic realist is, you know, I don’t know that that term even existed until I wrote it down. My Dad was very realistic but not optimistic. And I feel like I have the other side of that. And so looking at it like it’s not always glass half full, half empty. It’s like, okay, there’s the glass. And it has stuff in it. And if we want to fill it up, how are we going to fill it up? I’m a very much of a problem solver and I see what is right now and what are, there’s obstacles. I’m not just like sunshine. Yeah,
Stephen: [17:19] you’re looking at right now.
Kristin: [17:21] Yeah. And so I think right now it’s really all we have. And so if I want, if there’s always a gap from where we want to be to where we are, sometimes it’s a very small gap in some times it’s the Grand Canyon and so high. If we want to bridge that gap, what are we going to do to bridge the gap? And so when you’re optimistic, you know it’s possible, you believe it’s possible that you can bridge the gap. And then the realistic side is what’s the very next action I can take to get me one step closer to where I want to be.
Stephen: [17:54] And so that’s saying I’m going to be a million dollar seller. I gotta be there, or I failed. It’s saying, okay, this step will get me on that track. Yes. I love it. So I want to break down the book. What I, what I took away some of the key points and you know, you’re feel free to add and I don’t want to, I mean it’s a, it’s a, it’s a uh, healthy book. So there’s a whole bunch to it. But these are, these are the things that I took away that I think people can start with right now. The first thing I get too is you’re going to start at the bottom. So today is my bottom right. I mean that’s the way you’ve got to look at this. Today is your bottom yes. Period. You have to start somewhere, right? In order to go somewhere, right?
Stephen: [18:35] And so even if you’re selling $1 million, okay, now you’re at the bottom. Let’s go to 2 million. If you’re selling zero, you want to get started, let’s start there. Or if your sales are falling, okay, let’s stop it. Let’s start here. No matter where you are, that becomes your bottom, that that was a pretty good place. Rather than, you know, hey, you know, where do you want to be an older, no, here’s where you are. Start today. Here again, remember, remember the concept is dream big but steps small. So starting from where you are I think was a very powerful place. And then I get to the IAP W um, and so could you talk about that? Um, I just think that there’s, there’s a lot of lot of meat in that area right there.
Kristin: [19:16] Okay. So the IPW is called in a perfect world and I always disclaim, I know there’s no such thing as a perfect world. I’m not a perfectionist at all in the matter of fact, but we all have these ideals and things that we visualize or like to visualize it like, okay, in a perfect world, what would your day look like? What would your business look like? And there’s concepts out there that I just didn’t, it didn’t resonate with me. Like the Beehag, the big hairy audacious goal or whatever that is. Um, we talk about that in the book and how that seems so far away because there was always a beginning, there was an end, there was a pass or fail. And I don’t like that idea because I feel like you’re always adapting, you’re always learning, you’re always changing, you’re learning new skills. So there’s never really unnecessarily a pass or a fail when it comes to that. So the, in a perfect world concept is just what do you want to feel at the end of the day? What is your perfect scenario? Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? What does that look like? And literally get crazy with it. And then, um, once you do that dream big steps small, it gives you the small steps to say, what can you do right now in this moment to get closer to your, in a perfect world scenario.
Stephen: [20:25] Can you break that down for an ecommerce business in a perfect world because one of the cool things you do is you talk about, you know, again, being a mom and being a parent, being a wife, those, those, that’s one way to look at your health as another way to look at it. But from an ecommerce business, what’s an imperfect world? Can you give us some examples of what that would look like?
Kristin: [20:44] Sure. So I know that my personal in a perfect world when I started is not what it is now. It has evolved and changed. But the idea was, um, you know, to build a good profitable business that I could eventually retire my husband and that we could have a really well oiled machine and get to a certain level and then hopefully outsource as much as we could so that we could, um, you know, it’s not necessarily the four hour work week, but that idea of freedom and flexibility to run our own business, to run our own company without the restrictions of an income ceiling or the restrictions of working somebody else’s nine to five or in their office or that sort of thing. We wanted the freedom and flexibility to be able to have a scalable income without the pressure of being bound by time and space.
Stephen: [21:36] And again, the key is to start now, right? So again, assume this is your bottom and it’s not all broken and then build from there. Okay, so now let’s talk about this. This one hurts a little bit self discovery because immediately I go to the negative side of the things that I’m not good at and things I’m bad at. But that’s not where you’re going with self discovery. Correct?
Kristin: [21:57] Right. So we’re talking in the south discovery chapter about who you are, what, what skills do you have, what background do you come from? You know, this is whether it’s ecommerce or something else that you want to build. You know this, this book is really for anyone who wants to build a business, or maybe they’re stuck in a job and they want to make a change, or they have a business, but they realize the business they’re in is not for them. They thought maybe they liked ecommerce and how they don’t. So now what? And we all have unique gifts and talents and perspectives to offer to the world. We all have. And the oddest part about that is that everybody has these unique gifts and talents and perspectives, but it’s so common and easy to them that they don’t see the value in it. Look right past it.
Kristin: [22:41] Yes. And so with the self discovery, it’s really taking the time to analyze and see what am my friends and family say I’m good at? What do people come to me and ask, what do I really enjoy doing or talking about, or, you know, when I have a moment of free time, what do I want to read about? What do we want to do? What do I want to seek out as, you know, something I enjoy. And that’s often a key to maybe what you’re supposed to be doing and where you’re supposed to be doing it.
Stephen: [23:09] Hmm. Those, um, I think they call, what did it say? Success leaves clues. Right? Over time, you know, you start to see, wow, that’s so easy for me. You know, I run a, a dinner for our church or whatever, and it’s like, I’m definitely in charge. I mean, there’s no doubt in mind my mind and it’s easy for me. And everybody else was like, wow, you’re so great at it. Um, I’m not the guy who can cast a vision, but I’m the general who can get it done. Okay. That’s my gift. Okay. So I recognize it and then I can apply that right. Somewhere in this business. Um, I think the other thing that it does is it almost, you’re almost giving me permission to say, Steve, you might not be the best private label chooser out there. Right? And so perhaps though, cause you’re so good at logistics or accounting and all the rest of that stuff, maybe there’s a different role in there for you. And when you identify it, then you can find your place. Because in my world, and you tell me, but selling longer than I have, um, there are lots of places to apply yourself in this business to place yourself. And maybe that’s a better word to place yourself in this business. Fair.
Kristin: [24:09] Absolutely. And you know, the, the greatest thing about the south discovery is giving yourself permission to be you and not be someone else. So there we all have different gifts and talents and abilities. Like Amy and I are great partners and we’re very, very different. So when you talk about Myers Briggs or you’re talking about Eddie Graham, are you talking about these different things? We have very different personality types and styles, but we work together with that because where she’s weak, I’m strong, where I’m strong, she’s weak, and we work together to just, instead of trying to be good at all the things we know we’re not very good at, we just celebrate the fact that great, I’m not great at tech, but Amy’s great at tech and maybe she’s not great at does the writing piece, but I’m good at the writing piece. So we work really well together and I think a lot of people don’t give themselves permission to not be good at all the things. It’s really okay to not be good at all the things just working your level of genius, do the best at what you’re great at
Stephen: [25:07] and enjoy it. And it’s hard. And this is a guy thing. Um, that’s why women are smarter than us because they recognize that where guys have to be on, no, I’m the King Lion, right? I’m done. I’m that guy. Had Guy in charge. Um, this is a great lead. It leads right into the next chapter. Again, this is a workbook. This is a book you work your way through. And in the end you remember the whole thing that I still love about this is you’re actually going to carry out, not just develop and find, it’s actually take actions. So I think that’s great. Is Own your ownership, owned your own yourself, make a steak. You know, I, I’ve thought about it is like stake your claim and say, you know, I’m this. Um, and so talk about that a little bit cause I, I found that really interesting.
Kristin: [25:47] I love that you brought up that chapter. It’s probably one of my favorites. It’s hard.
Stephen: [25:52] This one’s, this one’s tough. Oh, I sell on Ebay. That’s, that’s, that’s demoralizing, right? I mean that’s like, Oh yeah, I saw on Ebay, right, that you could take that approach.
Kristin: [26:01] Right. And I think the reason, especially for women, I think, you know, you just touched on it a minute ago about, you know, a lot of men, um, and I’m not stereotyping or carrying this out or just say I’m saying it about men. I can, yeah. Yeah. So that whole, I’m lying here, me war or are they come in? They’re like, oh, I can be good at anything. I’m going to try it and I’m going to work at it until I do that. And a lot of women just, they don’t, they, they minimalize or minimized what they’re good at or they’re there, they bring it down to a level to where they’re just like, oh, I just have this little, this little Amazon business. I have this little thing. And in the own your ownership chapter, it’s just that permission to say, you know what, be proud of what you’ve done and what you’ve built.
Kristin: [26:40] There’s no shame in that. You don’t have to behind it. You don’t have to not be proud of it. Um, you can actually own your ownership and say, you know what, instead of, Oh, I just have this little side hustle, this little Ebay store I have, or this little Amazon store say, no, I’m the owner and founder of an Amazon company that specializes in children’s items. You know, and, and you can say that with confidence instead of, um, you know, just kind of the timid hide in the corner. You know, I’m not asking you to jump out in front of the crowd with a big microphone and, you know, declare to the world. But I think that we tend to, as women tend to minimalize the, the impact that we’re having on the world with our businesses, whether they’re bigger or smaller. And we don’t own the fact that we’re owners, we’re founders, we’re CEOs, we’re running companies and running households and being good friends and good moms and good wives. And we can be good at all those things
Stephen: [27:33] and still enjoy it. I think, uh, you know, just imagine you make $1,000 right in this business, this little side hustle business you have and you make $1,000 and that allows you to go on a Nice beach vacation with your family. That’s huge. I mean, just think of the, the, the segment of the life, especially if you have young kids that you’ve been able to take and spend that time with him and mom or husband did it because of a side hustle. That’s to me owning your ownership that you should be a, to me, I have no problems shouting that from the mountaintops because that’s what I can awesome thing, right? When you can define it and then be proud about it because most people will be just like, oh, they put on a credit card or they just won’t go. But because you own it, I just think it’s very powerful. And I think it’s, again, another good example when you’re building through this workbook, you’re going to, you know, once you define this and then own it and now you’re going to come at it from a different approach. I think it does open your eyes to when you make that like you what you said, I’m a, I sell small, you know, baby clothes or whatever it was. I have a small business and I sell children’s clothing. Now all of a sudden opportunities might come your way because you made that claim. Correct?
Kristin: [28:40] Absolutely. And I think that, you know, just in circles of, of different places, people are always asking, oh well what do you do? You know? And so being able to confidently say that it’s not an elevator pitch, it’s just owning your ownership. It’s owning that I own a small business, you know, selling children’s clothing on Amazon. Um, instead of, oh, it’s just this little side hustle or whatever. You know, I’ve, I’ve gone through the stages of having to revamp what I would say to people cause I always minimalized it. And um, it’s just a matter of, of owning that and really being confident and proud in that it is significant. Even if you’re only making $1,000 to take your family on vacation, that is a big deal because even if it’s on the side, that means you’re doing other things. That means that you’re wearing different hats and playing different roles. And that’s not easy to do. So I hope all the women and the men out there, we can celebrate. We want to celebrate those wins with one another because we know this. It’s not easy whether it’s a hustle or a seven figure business. It’s not easy to do so celebrate yourself, celebrate your wins and own your ownership. That’s one of my favorite chapters.
Stephen: [29:49] When when you tell people that now it’s, is it a different look that you get from people versus when you know when you did it before? Like because everybody buys on Amazon now, right? Everybody’s, I mean, we placed orders this morning. We needed some stuff in the house. I’m always like, all right, let’s go on, and we went through an ordered, I think three or four items. It’s just a regular course of business and all my friends are that way. Is the discussion or the reaction of your friends different today than what it used to be?
Kristin: [30:16] It certainly is because you know everybody, we actually, I just looked out this statistic last week. There’s 80% of us households or one it was, it’s 100 million people are Prime Amazon prime members. And so that, and there’s only 127 million households in the United States. So that’s a, that’s just a good statistic there. It’s almost 80%. And so, you know, Amazon prime is something that almost everyone we know has and uses in orders. And so a lot of people are still unaware that there are small businesses selling on Amazon. They, they, they, uh, I just was in a podcast discussion or a couple of weeks back with four different people and they were, it was a totally non ecommerce related and they, they all, four of them had no clue that small businesses, other people are selling on Amazon. They just thought Amazon, this big, huge corporation and it’s a monopoly. And they didn’t know that as they were purchasing on Amazon. There’s supporting small households like mine.
Stephen: [31:18] I think, uh, I think people will respect it more and more and be like, wow, you figured it out. Like you’re saying, they didn’t even know it existed and yet, so you’re allowing now look, they’re looking at you like you are something special. And I just think again, but you have to own it again. You’re saying be proud of it. And I just think that’s powerful. Um, the next place I go to, and I think this is exactly again, we’re gonna, um, we’re gonna step small. It’s the 15 minute hustle. Um, it’s really the ultimate small steps, isn’t it?
Kristin: [31:49] I love the 15 minute hustle. It’s a love and hate relationship. Sometimes back when the day of, the reason I had to develop the 15 minute hustle was my, um, my youngest son when he was young, it’s like Dennis the menace meets curious George. He was a little wild and just fearless. So I always had to have an eye on him. I had to have an eye in the back of my head. So when I, when my second child was born and he was about three and a half and always into mischief and I was trying to start the Ebay business at that time, um, I, I didn’t have more than 15 minutes at any given period in a day to do anything because he was always getting into trouble or I’d worry that he’d hurt himself or something like that. So, um, I developed this 15 minute hustle where I knew that was about the window of time that I could get anything done, whether it was dishes or laundry or taking pictures or listings or doing a shipment of some sort.
Kristin: [32:41] Um, I had about 15 minutes before, um, I’d had to start putting out fires or you know, something like that. So, um, it was a 15 minute hustle in the strategy is that you create a master list of all the things that you need to get done on a regular basis, whether it’s domestic or business. Um, for Ebay or Amazon, you could make your master list of creating listings, looking up product, you know, taking photos, shipping, whatever it is that you need to do and create your, your master task list and then 15 minutes at a time, as soon as you have your 15 minute window, you grab your list and you start. And it really is how I available to build my business over time. Because when you have a short period of time, like 15 minutes, you’re all focus your nothing else. There’s no distractions. Cause you know, this is all the time that you’ve got. And as a young mom, um, I was, I probably got more done in 15 minutes and most people get done in an hour because that’s all the time I had.
Stephen: [33:36] I mean you even went a little crazy and put a timer on it.
Kristin: [33:40] Absolutely. Because the timer was really for those projects that that can’t be done in 15 minutes and you have about 15 minutes to set the timer and get something done. The timer is also that accountability of getting started. Most people before they even start a task, they make excuses of why they can’t do it. Oh I can’t do that in 15 minutes, so I might as well not even try or this is a really big project or it’s going to be hard or it’s going to be, you know, all this excuses. But setting a timer, the setting a timer is like the, the bright flashing goal button. It’s like, okay, I hit the timer, I’ve got 15 minutes time to get done. And it really kind of forces you into action and then actions. Just the biggest, the, the starting is the biggest struggle for most people. Once you get started, a lot of people just keep going. And so I think the timer concept as well as the 15 minute focus is really just gets people moving in the right direction and action over time equals results.
Stephen: [34:39] Yeah. Especially even even though small steps, every one of them they build eventually. How do, when do you know, cause this is a hard one. I think this is a challenge because everybody says, oh I’m just hiring people. Oh, let me just tell you, hiring people is a lot harder than you think. I mean, think about that. Think of your coworkers. When you used to work in corporate America, would you hire some of them? Probably not. And would you want to be responsible for them? That’s the other thing. I think that, you know, you’ve got to be really cognizant of, you bring in somebody on their planning there. You’re now helping or hurting their life. When do you know when you need help and, and, and, or that you don’t know at all. I mean, sometimes you gotta ask for help because you just don’t know at all.
Kristin: [35:19] Well, when you’re feeling majorly burned out, when you’re feeling like you’ve got more tasks than you have time, which I think is probably most of us and in a, in a small business, when you’re just learning and you’re doing things like that, but at some point you realize you’re, you’re in a perfect world out of balance like
Speaker 4: [35:38] we talked about earlier and you feel like I’m working way more and I’m doing so many more tasks and you have to realize that something’s got to give. You can’t be all the things for all the people all the time. And so the moment that you just step back and realize that the easier it becomes. Now hiring help of course is probably the most difficult thing to do in small business because it’s letting go of control and we all have doubts of am I going to be a good enough teacher? I don’t know how to train someone. How am I going to be able to teach them how to do what I do is good as I can do it? And the reality is that you, you’ve got to work into that role. If you’ve never hired someone, but I’m challenging everyone in the book. And right now that you have hired people, plenty of times you chose a doctor, you’ve maybe hired a babysitter, you have had a plumber, you’ve had a mechanic work on your car. So you know the specialties of things that people want. And sometimes that’s where you start as small businesses is if you don’t have time, you know, if mowing the grass takes you an hour, hire it out so you can spend that hour working on your business.
Stephen: [36:43] I think a perfect example, right? You’re right, you hired a doctor, you fired a doctor, right? You went to a dentist, he didn’t like them, you and you moved on, right? And so next time you knew the questions to ask, right? You get better at it over time. And I think this is a good example. The other thing, uh, sometimes you need help as you need a mentor, right? I mean, like you said about Amy, she, she completes you. She fills in the gaps in your abilities. Right? And that, that’s hard. But it’s also awesome, isn’t it?
Speaker 4: [37:13] Absolutely. It’s both. Because I think the hard part is you feel inadequate, you feel less than because they have skills that you don’t have and maybe your brain is telling me, oh, I should be good at that too. But the moment that you let go of that and realize I don’t have to be good at tech because I have someone who is supporting me whom I’m supporting with my gifts, then they’re supporting me with theirs. And so the moment you let go of feeling like you have to be good at all the things is the moment you really get clarity to be able to do what’s your best at and let others do what they’re best at. Because we talk about that in the book as well. As far as all the different things people enjoy. You mentioned accounting and that’s your, that’s your level of genius. You log to work with numbers. If you like the data and you like the accounting thing too where there’s some people that would rather shoot themselves in the foot. They’ll work with numbers. And so instead of them trying to be like Steve, they, they need to be like themselves and be thankful that there’s other people out there that liked to do the things that they don’t.
Stephen: [38:16] I think it’s powerful. Again. Um, now we’re going to get into when we can really take action run again. I’d love to carry out portion of this and the plan blueprint. Um, I thought that was a great acronym. I mean, for really, really approaching, I mean, do you use that to approach much any tasks anymore? I mean, is it just the way you are now wired it, it really is. You know, I always, I’m, I’m dick
Speaker 4: [38:42] did to learning. I’m constantly reading. I’m constantly listening. Um, sometimes I actually have to take it education break because I’ll over, I’m over educating myself if that’s such a thing. But when you talk about the, the different planning, it’s, it’s preparing and learning and applying and then starting over and taking that next step. And the, you know, the plan blueprint is really what people need to just take action. A lot of people stop at the P or they stop at the El, well it’s learning and then they don’t actually do anything about it. Um, it out of fear. And that’s why we have also the fear chapter that talks about those fears because that’s really what stops people from taking next steps.
Stephen: [39:21] And fear comes in so many forms, you just don’t even realize it. But let’s take it, let’s use this plan, right? So prepared, launch, apply. And then next step, let’s take it approached a break. Give me any ecommerce tasks where you can apply that. And so we could just, people can hear it practically applied if you could. I don’t care. Shipping a buying, bundling, whatever.
Speaker 4: [39:43] Okay. So when you are, so bundling, so of course, yeah,
Stephen: [39:46] I’ll talk about bundling cause that’s just my thing is these ladies lane, I’m just going to tell you guys and what we’ll talk about that in a minute, but they, they are in the lane when it comes to bundling. So when you’re talking about the planning,
Speaker 4: [39:59] the preparing, it’s, it’s doing something and deciding, um, really on what you want to do. So you’re, you’re good, you’re doing bundling, you decided you want to do bundling, and then what is the next step that you need to do? You need to, to think about it and prepare for what you’re going to do and what’s going to be different. So maybe that’s a brainstorming session and maybe that’s where you take the idea. So maybe you’re just selling private label, you’re just selling wholesale and you want to get into the bundling because that really is something you want to do. You want to prepare for that. What are you going to need to do differently? You’re going to need to learn, you’re going to need to learn a new process. And so while you’re preparing for that, you know, looking at all the things you’re already doing, where’s the wiggle room in your time?
Speaker 4: [40:39] Where’s the wiggle room for learning something new? We always ask people to use the 80 20 you’re not going to abandon all of the things that you’re doing now in order to do new, something new, which is bundling. So you use like the 80 20 where 80% of my time is doing what I’m doing already in 20% of my time is going to be focusing on this new business model, this new addition to my business or something I want to get into later on and that’s how we got into bundles is really just eased into it. I’m slowly as it started working and so then there comes the learning phase or the launching phase when you really want to dive into what are the logistics of this, what do I actually need to do to build a bundle? I need to do research, I need to do, I need to find wholesale vendors.
Speaker 4: [41:22] I need to figure out whether I’m prepping these things myself or I’m using a prep center in order to help me with that. What are the supplies I need? What are the, what is the, what does the time and financial I need to make? And then the, the a is the action. It’s the taking the action, taking the next step, applying what you’ve just learned to what you’re going to do. So you, you have to, you can learn all the things you want to learn a lot. A lot of people get stuck in that analysis paralysis of learn, learn, learn, and then they’re just too afraid to take the next step. So the a is the apply, it’s apply what you’ve learned and take the next small step. And then after that it’s the n is the next step is what are you gonna do after that? So then you kind of start back over and figure out, okay, now I’ve planned my bundle, I researched my bundle, I’ve found vendors, I’m going to prep it at a prep center. I need to communicate with them what is the very next move you need to make?
Stephen: [42:18] I would assume this is Steve’s assumption that this gets easier the more you do it. It’s, it’s a, it’s a learned habit that if you use it consistently, it just probably accelerates. I would assume.
Speaker 4: [42:30] It really does. And I think that each, you know, in the book, each step has next steps and that this a small steps, like you said with the workbook, with the, the idea that you can go there and if you’re stuck with the learning phase and you’re, you can’t really apply because you still feel like you need more information, then you can go back to the fear chapter and read about why your stock and why you’re so afraid to take that next move. And what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t apply or do apply. And the, I think the small step though is really just makes it easier to take action when you feel like you’ve got to go from, you know, like we said, crossing the Grand Canyon or just hopping over, you know, a curb is totally different. And so if you just look at the next small step instead of the big gap or where you want to be, it makes it easier to apply what you’ve learned and keep moving.
Stephen: [43:20] It’s manageable. All right, so let’s talk about the holy grail of productivity. As you could tell, I’m leading us through this book because again, it’s a workbook and it’s, it’s, it really will take you through this path. Again, to me the big takeaway, is it going to help you carry out the action, actually carry it out, which I think is very rare, but the holy Grail, I love that quote. The Holy Grail of productivity is time tracking. I think most people don’t. They’re afraid to know what they spend their day on, aren’t they?
Speaker 4: [43:51] They totally are. So time tracking was literally revolutionaries. Me, when I first learned the concept, and I’m not like taking credit for that. What that was in um, Laura Vander cams.
Stephen: [44:02] Huntsville was awesome. It was still such a, it really, it like said it so well. I was like, wow, that really is a big point.
Speaker 4: [44:10] Honest to goodness though, a lot of people have no idea what they spend their time on from day to day, from hour to hour. And the reality is we all have the same number of hours to work with every single week. Whether you’re the president, whether you’re Oprah, whether you’re Jeff Bezos or one of us, we all the same hours to work with. And what makes someone else more successful than you is how they use those hours. And that’s really the only difference. Ooh, that hurts. It hurts to hear it when he said it that way. Oh, reality. It’s that optimistic realist struggle is real.
Speaker 4: [44:51] I think that when it comes to the time tracking, what it really, you know, when I talk about filling the holes in your bucket, we all have holes in our bucket. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that we don’t have leisure time, that we just work, work, work all the time and we weren’t built to be work holics even though some of us struggle with that, um, me, um, we’re not built to do that. But what I mean is during your hours of productivity and what you need to be getting done, we often are distracted by, you know, even more so now with the social media and with just all the things screaming for our attention, there’s holes in the bucket. So when people say I don’t have time, I always correct them and say, you don’t make time or that’s just not a priority for you and that’s okay, but you do have the time.
Stephen: [45:37] Yeah. Yeah. They make choices. The, the last part of the book to me I think really cuts right back into that exact same thing we were just talking about. It’s enjoying the journey. Um, how, how do you, or give us an example how you’re enjoying everybody else’s sitting. You’re listening to all that you’re doing. Again, I don’t want to read that list cause I get tired reading that list of all the stuff that you’re involved in. And again, you and your mom have this huge, uh, Amazon business. You and Amy have this big information business you’re traveling to in these workshops that we can talk about in a second. And when do you, or how are you enjoying the journey? Can you give us an example?
Speaker 4: [46:17] It’s slowing down really, and just looking at all that you’re accomplishing and also focusing on the president. I think so many people are constantly focusing on what’s coming next. The next big thing, the next move and yes, I’m asking you in the book to take your next small step, but it’s a small step. It’s today. It’s right now because a lot of people are constantly looking for the looking to the future. Well, in 20 years when I retire, I’ll be able to relax and settle down and those types of things when it’s, when I’m challenging you to enjoy the journey is enjoy what you’re doing right now if you want, if you’re in a perfect world, your, your word or the feeling that you want is peace and that’s what I talk about in the book for myself as I really want to feel peaceful at at the end of every day.
Speaker 4: [47:06] Then what can you do right now today to feel peaceful? You don’t have to wait for 20 years to retire, to live on a beach somewhere, to enjoy a peaceful moment. You can have it right now today and enjoy that because how can you wait to enjoy $1 million if you can’t enjoy $1,000 if you can’t celebrate the fact that you did the work to not just make a million but you the work to make a thousand first and that’s still just as significant as adding more zeroes to your bank account. You still put the work in and that needs to be enjoyed and celebrated.
Stephen: [47:39] Remember how special your first sale was, right? That first sale that made you feel so good. Now if we don’t have a hundred sales a day, we feel like we failed and it’s just so silly. And you know, um, as you mentioned, gratitude. So what do you think? I mean, and I’m, I skim through the book, my outline here, this is just Steve’s outline of what I’ve taken away from an it is a lot more and um, I didn’t get to it all because we were limited in our time. What do you think somebody could do with this blueprint? I was thinking about that like, you know, is this, my answer is going to be yes. Is this for a new seller? Yes. Is this for somebody who’s never sold before? Yes. Is this for somebody who doesn’t want to sell but they want to figure things out? Yes. Is this for somebody who’s struggling in other parts of their life? The answer’s yes. What do you think somebody can do with this?
Speaker 4: [48:24] I think it really gives people the hope and the confidence and also the practical steps that just take the, take a step towards something you love. If you’re uncomfortable, if you’re dissatisfied with your current situation and you want a change and you want something better for yourself, you deserve something better for yourself if that’s what you want. Um, but you also have to take the action to get there. And I think it gives you the hope that change is possible. That you know that I’m slow and steady. It gives you permission to go slow and steady. If you’re in a business and you want to make a change, it gives you the blueprint to make that change slowly. You don’t have to, oh, all is lost because I can’t do it all right now. It gives you the permission and, and really the roadmap to take the next step to where you want to be.
Stephen: [49:12] I love it. Again, I, and I, I think about this, if he made $100 this month and next month you make $200 and then a month after you make 300 just how long until you starting to make some serious money every month. And it, you know, you can replace your income if you do it and you’re consistent and you apply yourself. Okay. So the book is again, it’s not out yet. Correct?
Speaker 4: [49:32] Uh, it, it will be a, it’s pre, it’s a preorder right now on Amazon. So right now, good on the inside
Stephen: [49:37] dream big steps small. Okay.
Speaker 4: [49:40] That’s correct. And the paperback and audible audio book will be available June 10th, 2019. So, um, I would love it if everyone could grab it and just let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Stephen: [49:54] Um, uh, I don’t want to miss this again. You also host a podcast called the Amazon files, uh, you and Amy. Um, so it’s, Eh, how frequent is it? Weekly, weekly, weekly. Um, amazing stuff. Again, they’re going to teach you and how much do you charge to listen to it? Nothing. Okay, so of course I know, but sometimes people were like, you know, hey, no, nothing. So this is putting in their time. This is where your downtime, instead of watching, uh, who got kicked off the island, but you could spend this time learning and investing again, you’re going to pick up tips. Every single seller. I don’t care who they are, I don’t care how experienced they are, has something to learn. And I learned all the time. Your group or your Facebook group, which is a free group, right? How much are you charging to join mommy income?
Stephen: [50:40] It’s my favorite price. It’s free, free, free. And again, I’m a guy in there and there are lots of guys in there because, uh, what I, uh, to be honest, it’s selfishly, we get to hear sometimes trends and stuff that I have, you know, I’m a guide. I don’t see that stuff. And I’m completely oblivious and it’s very interesting to hear other perspectives and I just think there’s, uh, there’s something, you know, I’m taken away from this as I think about writing the title, I always think about this as I’m listening to businesses, not a pass or fail. It’s a continuant continuous improvement over time that really wins. It really is Kristen. And I think again, I think your book, I think the workshops that you’re doing, which are sold out, but let me give you a two second plug on that. Um, all around the country and you’re doing bundling workshops, um, around train shows and different things, um, to help people figure this out, right?
Speaker 4: [51:31] Yeah. We, we started doing workshops in 2018 we realized that people needed just a little bit more in depth. A face to face kind of pans out. Yeah. And the workshop really is a group work workshop. We’re not standing and lecturing. It’s not a conference space type thing. It’s, it’s 20 to 25 people in a room where you really just rub shoulders, you get ideas, you learn the in depth, the research process and how to put funnels together. That makes sense. There’s presentations at the end and it really helps people not only bond with each other but then really formed the, the real concept of researching and bringing a bundle. Cause it’s just like bringing a new product, like a private label product to the marketplace. You have to do all of your research, you have to make sure that the customers want what you’re offering. You have to, you know, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of leg work involved in doing that and so we work together in these groups and we’ve gone from city to city. So we are doing some more in 20 2020 the 2019 ones are sold out already, but we are, we’re planning some for 20 okay.
Stephen: [52:32] 2030 sold that one up. There was one that you didn’t sell out by when I left lower than you already did it. So, but if you join mommy income, that’s how you find out about this stuff. Correct. You guys messaged each other and you’ll know if you’re in that group, you’ll know next year’s schedule, I assume.
Speaker 4: [52:46] Yeah. So if you want to learn more about the workshops, you go to mommy income.com/workshop and that will either lead you to our current workshop or a waiting list for what’s coming next.
Stephen: [52:57] Okay. And I’ll, I’ll put that link in there. Um, best way for somebody to fall. Is it mommy income the best place to get in touch with you if they have questions?
Speaker 4: [53:05] Uh, yes, they can. If they want to learn more about the book. It’s a Kristen oh strand or.com.
Stephen: [53:10] Oh, you actually got that name. Wow. Good for you. I wish I could get mine. They’ve rich guy who owns it will not give it up. Yeah,
Speaker 4: [53:18] I tried to get dream big steps, small.com as far as the book title, but I begged that person for like three months and they kept saying, yeah, no, no,
Stephen: [53:26] let me, no, it’s mine. I’m going to make millions. Okay. Um, I again, you know, I’m endorsing the book because it’s, uh, Steve benefited from it. Um, and like in a workshop model, I mean, again, you know, we have a business here, we have several businesses here, and to be able to apply this concept again, the plan thing I think was really great to blow the plan blueprint. Again, I’d get away from this stuff and then when I apply it, all of a sudden magically I get results and it’s like, Jeez, I got to keep doing this. And I just think that there’s a really good place. And again, I’m, I skim through it. There’s just so much more depth to it. Um, I’m very excited for you. Congratulations. That’s a huge accomplishment. But it’s not a surprise. I mean, I, you know what I mean? That from my heart, bottom of my heart, it is not a surprise to see what you, your mom, uh, Amy, what you guys have done because over time you’ve been so consistent and just putting your head down, doing the work and helping people, helping people, helping people, and you’re getting this result. So congratulations.
Kristin: [54:22] Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and give me your insights and uh, it’s been fun talking to you and talking through it. You’re really my, my first real book interview, so I really appreciate all your feedback and, and this, this opportunity to, to talk through it.
Stephen: [54:40] Hey, thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Take care. How cool was that? Um, just think about that. I’m telling you the truth. Those are my notes. That’s what I got from this book. Um, and uh, it took me about a week or so to read it and reread. I had to go back and Redo some things and I got that much from it. So apply that, go read this book and apply it into your life and see what you can improve. We’ve already made changes in our business based on this book. I’m telling you that to God’s honest truth, um, because it gets you focused, it refocuses your kind of like a pencil. It re sharpens you. And I just think anytime you’re around smart people and you can pick up things and for me, um, I picked all that up. So ecommerce, momentum.com ECOMMERCE, momentum.com take care.
Cool Voice Guy: [55:26] Thanks for listening to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at incomers momentum dotcom under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and the like us on it
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