This is the first of the Lipp Brothers interviews with Mitchell up first. Very cool how he really recognizes the value his brother brings. Many people just offer lip service (pun intended) but there is real love and respect with these two. Great advice on what it takes to keep great people happy. Its not money only for sure!
Mitchells previous interviews :
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Stephen: [00:00] I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisby’s million dollar arbitrage group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is Gaye, she was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular one? The green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parsed that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yeah, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.
Stephen: [00:46] Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that. That’s why there’s not so many openings. You’ll be with her for a long time and so it’s amazing. Freedom Dot com. She’s part of Andy’s Slamon’s group. Amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum, and you’re going to get in the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets anywhere, but what I like about it, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. While here’s where an opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this, you know, toys r us coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do and gay is better than anybody else I’ve seen.
Stephen: [01:31] So amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully I can get you in the group and then you’re going to see me in there and we can chat anytime you’re ready. Karen lockers, group solutions. The number for e-commerce solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen’s our account manager. We recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean that’s quite frankly the reason we’d been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today. I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up? I didn’t put any listings up. They got a.
Stephen: [02:13] They got a set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use my code momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to save $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions for ecommerce solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum is going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well, guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is? Well, here’s why and what they can do. What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory.
Stephen: [03:05] Here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, re refund. I mean a delete a return us blah blah, blah, whatever it is, and it’s destroyed and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. You know, we do a lot of the research ourselves. We upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that Karen offers. Can’t recommend her enough solutions for e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks. Use My code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t. I’m so excited how many people have been joining it because I see it and I’m excited because the messages I get from people saying, hey, this is great.
Stephen: [03:52] I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and you know, I highly recommend her. Next up is scale solar lamps scope. We’ll set it wrong. It’s amazing. I mean, it really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it’s similar to this product and that’s sell that product does well. Well, therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right. That’s what you want to. You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean it’s, it’s fair to see and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit.
Stephen: [04:39] That’s what scope does for me. Seller labs dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the surface. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try. So sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. And then you’re going to see the lights going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I can get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So our labs dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought another domain. It’s almost like A. I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea. I think it’s going to go pretty far and so what do I do? I go to try go daddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive.
Stephen: [05:27] You get a few services. It adds up a little bit and I usually buy it three years. I usually buy privacy by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, it’s not that much money but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I use go daddy because what I like is I can pop in an address I’m thinking and it’ll say nope, nope, try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is. Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know. And so try go daddy.com forward slash momentum save 30 percent.
Stephen: [06:07] Also want to mention about grasshopper, was that just talking to somebody the other day? And they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? Know they miss that. So save 30 percentage, try grasshopper.com forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent and what the. The real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign loan contracts. Pretty easy stuff, and so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service or you now have a sales department, didn’t have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.
Cool voice guy: [07:13] Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of e-commerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [07:27] Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 200 and Ninety Five Mitchell lip, Aka Harvey Specter. Yes, I’ve had them back. Um, he, it’s funny because in the pre-interview he, he’s a little embarrassed by this, but it’s the truth. He is the most requested return guests that I have. I get notes from people like, Hey, could you have him back on? I’d love to hear how he’s doing. And as I say to him, I mean I think people connect with him because he’s like the everyday guy that made it. He’s like, you know, super smart and everything, but he’s like made it and he speaks so plain language that we all understand and he’s figured it out and it’s Kinda cool. And I just, I think that’s why he inspires so many people and I think it’s, it’s kind of humbling for him. Um, but it’s very cool.
Stephen: [08:14] It’s a very cool place to get to and I’m interested because him and his brother, you know, both in the business. And so, um, this interview is first and then carry his brother Kerry is next. And so I get to ask some of the same questions and I think we’d get to some very cool places. Um, he gives, he gives some tips at the end that I think are what are going to be, um, you know, you’re going to be like, Duh. And you’re going to be like, no, you know, hopefully they resonate in the back of your mind when things get tough and the fees kick in and you’re challenged because somebody’s telling you that you’re losing your account because they’re going exclusive with somebody else. He gives some real sound, solid advice and perspective. Maybe I’m too to find the lock in and persevere and figure it out. I love that line. I think he’s right. Is figure it out. Just figure it out. You’re smart. You’re not successful by chance. So you just gotta put your head down, do the work and figure it out. Let’s get into the podcast, will come back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Very excited. Today’s guest repeat guests, um, and please don’t get your ego out of whack on this, but the most requested guest, I have the person who people ask me for, Hey, what’s going on? I would like to know how he’s doing. And you know,
Stephen: [09:40] Mitchell lip, Harvey Spector and I talk in the pre-call. I think it’s because people connect with you really, really well. That’s not a bad thing. A Harvey, I’ll call you harvey for this welcome Harvey.
Mitchell: [09:54] Thanks for having me, Stephen. Glad to be back.
Stephen: [09:56] It’s going to have you back, but, but I mean that. Does that. What does that do to you when I tell you that? Because I’m not blowing smoke. I mean, I’m telling you the truth. I’m telling you the truth. People seem to connect with you.
Mitchell: [10:10] I mean, it’s cool for sure. Uh, I mean sometimes I tell people the, the older I get, the more introverted I get. Um, so it’s good to hear that I’m connecting with people and uh, sometimes, you know, it’s hard to, uh, just to get conversation started at times. I appreciate the flattery though.
Stephen: [10:32] Why is that? Why do you, why do you feel like you get you pull back? Is it because you’re having some success? You don’t want to show off. You don’t want to come across too, is that guy,
Mitchell: [10:41] uh,
Mitchell: [10:43] that’s probably part of it, but um, you know, just as you get older, I feel like you get more confident and a solidified in your existing relationships, uh, that worked for you and you develop a, a better filter as a smoke, you know, when you first talked to him and uh, and who’s not. And uh, you know, one of the things I’ve always done both personally and professionally is when I first meet someone, you know, or anybody can answer, give a good answer to a question, you know, but if you, if you give a scenario or a situation or a quick discussion where you get them to react, you can, you can learn a lot more than, you know, asking 30 minutes of questions sometimes.
Stephen: [11:30] Yeah. I also find that giving an adult beverage now and then you get to, people loosen up a little bit and you get to see a little different side of him. So, so when you do see that side of them, what do you do? I mean, when you see that side you don’t like, are you, you know, just the type to divorce them completely from your life and take them out or do you give them a chance to you coach to you d, You know, cause that’s real, right? I mean that happens.
Mitchell: [11:55] Yeah, I guess it sounds harsh drug probably would either subconsciously or consciously a know divorce from her life and uh, and seek out those that are, that I prefer to, uh, to communicate with and do business with. I think, uh, I think people would describe me as a pretty loyal, um, winter in circle. But, uh, it can definitely be hard to get get to the inner circle.
Stephen: [12:24] When did your brother come into the business with you?
Mitchell: [12:29] Uh, he came into the business, uh, August of 2015.
Stephen: [12:33] OK. So a long time and you know, I’m, I’m getting ready after this interview to do an interview with Kerry and so I’m interested to hear his point of view. When you think about bringing your brother in the business, was it, I mean, did you approach him? Did he approach you? What did, what did you see his role, and I know it’s evolved, but what did you see as role to be?
Mitchell: [12:56] Uh, he had, uh, he had experience with, um, with warehousing and merchandising and a inventory management and things like that. So that was kind of my bottleneck at the time. That was a, when the major prep centers were just getting started and uh, my bottleneck was, was prep and uh, that was, it was two or three months after we did the, uh, the hundred k challenge, but it sounds like eons ago that was a big deal back in March of 2015. And uh, I realized in order to, uh, to grow, I didn’t just need an employee I needed, I need someone I can trust in more of a partner that could, you know, work nights, weekends when needed. And a, in just a fully become part of the business. Um, so I brought him on for that and uh, he definitely got shell-shocked with his first [inaudible] I’m sure as he will tell you in 2015, but that’s how it got started.
Mitchell: [14:00] But I definitely, uh, I definitely reached out to him and uh, it was kinda like, hey, it’s time. And uh, he, he really didn’t. I expected him to fight me a lot more on and I expected my parents to be more concerned than they were, um, about him coming down because that kind of Harley both of your boys in one business, which can always be a little nerve wrecking for, for parents. Um, but it was a pretty smooth transition I think after I asked him if he was down here living and working within two or three weeks.
Stephen: [14:34] When you think about what you like and you know about your brother, what would you say are the skill sets that you knew that he just has? And there was no gray area with?
Mitchell: [14:48] Definitely, you know, trust is a big thing and work ethic. And he did not have the, um, a normal nine to five job. He works, he worked a lot of nights, he worked a lot of weekends. And, uh, I knew that he was willing to, in the past work holidays, work nights in order to have freedom and other places too, you know, whether it be travel or a right, he, ah,
Mitchell: [15:21] he’s an author and now have
Mitchell: [15:23] 48 hours to lock yourself out
Mitchell: [15:25] in a room to write, you know, five, 10,000 words.
Mitchell: [15:28] And so I knew that a lifestyle lives he would be able to fit in and understand, you know, sometimes it might work 80 hours a week. And uh, you know, last week I would texted him at two in the afternoon. I say, Hey, let’s play fortnite together for a couple hours on the PS4. So I knew he would be able to assimilate and appreciate and thrives in the necessarily the culture, but the, the grind in the, in, in the way, uh, the way that I run the business and the way that we work.
Stephen: [16:03] I think culture is the right word because I think of it as a startup. I mean, would you consider yourself still a startup?
Mitchell: [16:12] I would say yeah, but we’re, we’re, I don’t know, like right now we’re not really growing. I think we’re maybe down like 10 to 11 percent right now for the year and that doesn’t concern me at all. In fact it’s been great because we’ve, we’ve worked less, things have been a lot smoother and you know, profit margins and net profits are our higher.
Mitchell: [16:36] You don’t count all the new crazy these.
Mitchell: [16:39] So I guess for doing better in some ways, not in another and the fact that I’m not concerned about that, that were kind of like on a even even level right now kind of looking for the next direction to go, whether it’s, you know, outside of that, outside of Amazon, outside of e-commerce or just a different channel. The fact that that doesn’t concern me that we’re not growing at 30, 40, 50, 100 percent, uh, in my mind kind of qualifies as not as a startup anymore. But that makes sense.
Stephen: [17:06] No, I think you’re right. And so, you know, looking back, originally you were talking about scaling and then you outsource to a bar or a prep center and then you were optimizing your business, so now you’re at the tail end of that optimization and then Amazon throws these fees, but the position you’re in as you describe it allows you to work on that. Right? So, I mean, to me that’s a very comfortable place to get to where you can now work on your business and address those because they’re outside of your control, right? The only thing you can do to control them is a manager inventory better or change your inventory mix or finding another channel. I guess we’re all those things
Mitchell: [17:44] mean that is true pretty much your options, uh, at this point. Um, which is difficult for, uh, for all of us. I do feel, and I’ve said it in, in some of the groups in some of the postings on the, on the new fee is I feel like I feel like it affects the, you know, the mid range or high high growth seller the most right now. I feel like if you’re trying to sell 10, 15,000 a month and make a few extra thousand dollars, I feel like that doesn’t affect as much there and where I am, ah, I feel like it doesn’t affect us, but as far as, as far as really trying to do
Mitchell: [18:25] to grow or get to that point where it’s a very comfortable full-time income, I feel like those folks unfortunately are hit the hardest by the my opinion
Stephen: [18:36] now, unless you have the process in place, you’re going to have to give something up to go look at this and address this. And it sounds like you’ve gotten to that place. So would you say, you know, thinking about your brother right now, he’s thinking about, you know, those two skill sets. You said, you know, one, he has the ability to assimilate to this environment because he kind of came from that environment and then trust being the other big one. Which would you say is more important, and I know that might sound like a stupid question. Well, of course. Trust Steve. Well, no, not necessarily because you could put controls in place to protect yourself. So I’m just trying to understand because I’m thinking about other people who don’t have that family that you have, right, that you could call and especially somebody who’s skilled and trained in any smart it means. So it’s that those are all good skill sense. But what would somebody, you know, when you’re looking at it, is the ability to adapt to the environment because you don’t want somebody who’s only, when I started eight and I’m done at five period, you know, and there’s no flexibility and oh wait, what’s my vacation? But when do I get time? Hey, my kid’s sick. I got to take off. Um, as opposed to, you know, hey, here are the keys. I’ll see you in a week. Which is, which is more important to you think.
Mitchell: [19:44] Well, those were those. You asked the question, the first question, what were the skills that I saw in him to why I brought him on? And uh, I mentioned the warehousing skills, that trust and the assimilation, but as far as what’s important at this point based on where we’re at is the fact that he can basically replaced me in all big time consuming aspects of the business. The only thing he’s really not involved in is the pricing and the, the, the end of the year tax part of it and stuff like that. But as far as sourcing, evaluating, you know, being smart with a credit cards, financials, things like that, he’s totally taken ownership and developed, you know, those skill sets. So as far as what’s the most important at this point, it’s all of that. If you were gonna ask me at the beginning, I’m not, I’m not sure I could give you an answer. Trust versus assimilation because a, we’ve definitely had issues with the simulation with Ah, some part-time employees and we’ve definitely had issues with trust with some part-time employees.
Stephen: [20:55] They’re equal. That’s interesting. I mean that’s a, that’s a tough thing to look for. Somebody who’s flexible and you can trust them and trust them, you know, is, I guess there were degrees of trust. Right. How about the employees that are not your brother that have done well for you, that trust level, how far does that trust level have to go? I mean, you know, are you giving them complete access to your credit cards and stuff like that or where is there a line?
Mitchell: [21:23] Uh, no I haven’t, I haven’t done that, but I would say the, the, the highest trust level would go out to other Amazon sellers and partners and people that help with I’m going to have people that help with pricing. I have people that, uh, you know, can see all my inventory, they can see my sales, they can open cases for me. Like that requires, you know, a lot of trust and there’s definitely checks and balances there. So it’s not, I guess nothing’s a hundred percent blind trust, but uh, you know, in order to, in order to grow, you have to, you have to trust people in processes for sure.
Stephen: [22:10] One of the questions that I think people would be thinking about is, hey, you know, what isn’t to your brother go off on his own and I’m going to ask them that question, so please don’t tell him that I’m going to ask him that question. But I, I, you know, I often think about this because, you know, not everybody is meant to be a number one. Not Everybody wants the responsibilities that go along with being a number one. What would you say are the reasons that Kerry doesn’t go out on his own? Um, cause it sounds like you clearly has the ability, right? And he understands the business fairly well. What do you, what do you think, what do you think?
Mitchell: [22:42] Um,
Mitchell: [22:43] I mean, I think he, he has a pretty good life and lifestyle. I think he’s, he’s compensated well, he’s compensated fairly and he knows that if for some reason he needed to or wanted to make extra money or, or something that we would, we would have that conversation. But I mean, he, he gets to go on vacation to work. I mean, you get to go, you know, three or four different places he goes to, he goes to Wrestlemania and he goes to sporting events, he goes to Vegas. I mean, he’s got a, he’s got a pretty good, a pretty good lifestyle and he has a lot of responsibility, but it’s the stuff that he’s really, really, really comfortable with. And He, uh, he’s, he can, uh, he has access to the account and he sees the crazy customer and return emails that I deal with and the, uh, the feedback that I get that take a long time to, to get through and he doesn’t, he doesn’t touch the pricing. And he says, man, if I heard that, it would drive me crazy. He doesn’t have the stress of the Ip complaints and the, um, the authentics and the potential account suspended and have, that’s certainly stresses him and he’s, he’s aware of it. Um, but, uh, I don’t know, you can ask him, but I just think he, uh, he’s got a, he’s got a good gig right now and he’s a single guy in the early 30. So, you know,
Stephen: [24:16] you said something that I think is really powerful. I think we tend to hide this stuff, right? We keep this stuff to ourselves, but you’re demonstrating hey, there are challenges and these are some of them. So letting them see that, letting employees see that things aren’t always rosy and glamorous and you’re not just flying in and flying out, you’re dealing with real stuff and it kind of almost protecting them so they don’t have to deal with it. I think that’s a really good, a really good thing to do. I think that could be very powerful in building that kind of, that loyalty to understand that, you know, I’ve got your back and I’m in on it too, you know, other than just the money side of it, you know,
Mitchell: [24:57] I agree.
Stephen: [24:58] So you know, thinking about where you guys are going, you know, and so you’re in that, you’re in that or you have been in that optimization mode and it sounds like it’s working. It sounds like things are. You’re figuring out how do you keep, how do you keep everybody motivated because you got to this place now where you know, you kind of not falling off the radar, but you, you’ve got your head down doing the work. You’re not out there, you know, like you say, grow, grow, grow, grow, grow your glamorously, you know, getting things brought in, getting them shipped, dealing with customers. It’s kind of a grind at this point, isn’t it?
Mitchell: [25:34] Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a grind compared to how it was a year or two ago. I would say it’s a, I would say it’s a pleasant grind.
Mitchell: [25:44] Uh,
Stephen: [25:44] I used the wrong term. I think. I think I said it wrong. I think what I meant to say was it’s kind of a, not a coast because there is no way that the coast, it’s a steady, you know, just kind of cruising on the highway. Maybe cruising’s the right word. That’s might be a better word.
Mitchell: [26:00] Right. I mean there’s, there’s people that ask questions and probably think it’s silly that we still do, you know, some of what we do. I mean, we, we do ra, we do owe a, we do wholesale, we do private label, we do close outs, we do, we do everything.
Mitchell: [26:14] And uh, the uh,
Mitchell: [26:17] if I, you know, one of the reasons I got into this and one of the reasons I’ve been successful was that back before I even started, I’ve always had a, uh, I don’t know if you’d call it a shopping problem or compulsive shopping or whatever, whatever you want us, whatever you want to stay.
Mitchell: [26:37] I’m that.
Mitchell: [26:41] If I won the lottery tomorrow, probably enjoy, like going kicking around, uh, you know, stores at the outlet mall quite regularly, so I do that for fun and I get paid. So it becomes a thing like you want to work
Mitchell: [26:57] no, 20 years really hard so you can go hang out at the beach or you just want to go hang out at the beach now and work on your laptop. Like the store is my beat. I enjoy shopping. I enjoyed finding thing. Uh, always have. Uh, it’s not really worked in me. I guess you could call it a pleasant grind to a. to fit your question.
Stephen: [27:20] I think that makes sense when you look at the role you’re in now to help us define it because you got a multi-million dollar operation, lots of people, lots of moving pieces, outside services. I’m helping you and partners and in essence to find your role now, what you would consider your role to be.
Mitchell: [27:42] I oversee everything and I, I sometimes, uh, I still ship stuff because it’s a, it’s calming like it the, it’s hard for me to do something mindless, just the way my brain operates. So it’s kind of like they say you have your best ideas when you’re, you’re driving or you’re in the shower or your. For me shipping maybe,
Mitchell: [28:08] you know, where uh, uh,
Mitchell: [28:11] pretty much do you know what I enjoy doing at times? Uh, you know, during the holiday season and things like that, there’s, there’s times where we may work a little bit later or whatever. Then you want to provide for your family and have flexibility and options are us a year. But I mean I oversee everything and um,
Mitchell: [28:30] pretty competent and comfortable with,
Mitchell: [28:33] with where we are. Everything’s pretty smooth.
Stephen: [28:35] What are the parts of the business you absolutely despise and you don’t like and you have a, uh, uh, your existence to have to do?
Mitchell: [28:45] Uh, probably the, the record keeping
Mitchell: [28:50] and um, I don’t really like training people. Like I guess if, if I were to say anything I’m probably most proud of is I feel like we’ve done the most with the least amount of employees and that’s, that’s obviously a ticket to my brother as well. Yeah, definitely. Um, I mean, we’re not, we don’t have 10 employees, 15 employees, 20 employees. Uh, I see some people talk about how many employees they have and that means they have a big business. I want to do as much money as I can with the least amount of employees as possible. Um, and I feel that we’ve, we’ve done that well and then carries the only other full time person we have and we probably pay out, you know, 10 to 20 part time hours a week and in the big season, 40 to 60 part time, hours a week obviously. Um, you know, we have very, very key strong prep center partners at this point.
Mitchell: [29:50] Um,
Mitchell: [29:52] no dale up in Cincinnati, I got my bill from him yesterday. He’s prepped 6,000 items for us, their shoes and clothes, which is, you know, are not a easy thing to prep in the past, you know, five or six weeks.
Mitchell: [30:06] Um,
Mitchell: [30:07] so, you know, without those key partners in relationships to the growth and the, uh, the quality of life in the maintaining of a, the level of sales would not be possible.
Stephen: [30:20] Let’s talk about that because I think that’s a, that’s a really good place to get to. You’ve had a partnership with Dale. I’m meaning using his services now for, it’s been a couple years. How do you, how do you maintain, and I obviously this says something about him so I don’t, I don’t mean it that way. How do you maintain the quality and you know, over time because most people services, you know, they tend to get busier and then they, something has to give somewhere. Um, and I know this is more of a question for him, how does he maintain it and keep it, the quality of that high? Because obviously it is and you’re satisfied with it, but how do you communicate maybe as a user, a heavy user in such a large user?
Mitchell: [31:02] We have just have a good relationship, a friendship and a, you know, almost kind of like when you would ask, uh, when you did the young, the two series of young guns interviews and we’re like, uh, we talked shop maybe like five percent, five to 10 percent of the time and the rest of it, you know, is joking around or talking about baseball or football or you know, something like that. So, uh, Dale and I, uh, in Carrie has a good relationship, but as well we just, uh, we have a lot of, uh, common interests and common things to talk about and a mean. One thing I’ve noticed in, in this business, and this probably sounds, sounds crazy, is a, I almost tried to pick people now that you can just say gotta go and you can hang up the phone on and they’re not going to get their feelings
Stephen: [31:52] later.
Mitchell: [31:53] The in, in a microcosm that’s is. And that’s how I am. And that’s how curious and you know, the other people that could help us out, Mike and my investor Craig, because we can all, we can all have common ground. We know when it’s time to have fun. We time to joke around a time to get serious. And uh, no one, no one gets her feelings hurt.
Mitchell: [32:16] Yeah,
Mitchell: [32:17] I know a lot of times, you know, it’s got to go. We all have lives. He’s. Dale has a full time job and a lot of other customers. So, uh, you know, I don’t know if that makes sense.
Stephen: [32:31] So you’re saying, hey, we’ve got to talk shop, we shop, talk shop real quick. But that doesn’t dominate our conversation because then it’s not really a relationship just transactional. What you’re describing is that deeper relationship where it’s like, hey, how are the kids, you know, hey, I’m just following up your. You said your wife was sick. So you know, what’s happening, you know, is it’s those things you become real. And then, you know, there’s a sensitivity to it that I think is very healthy. And, you know, I think about the young guns and the relationships you guys have had now, how many years is this?
Mitchell: [33:01] I think we first got together and, uh, early 2000, 15, three years.
Stephen: [33:07] Our yours too. I mean, that’s, that says something when you can develop those relationships, especially as deep as you guys have them for that long period of time. Um, there’s a reality. And I know I remember how many people were like, how do I find those kind of relation? How do I get those kinds of friends? And I’m always like, well, you’ve got to be that kind of friend to get those kinds of friends, right?
Mitchell: [33:30] It can be, uh, it can be difficult. And I’ve certainly met some, uh, some really strong other contacts through that group even though we’re probably not as vocal or president some of the facebook groups as we used to be. But I mean, I’ve really enjoyed, you know, meeting and interacting with Karen Son Ben. I’m smart, very smart, very, very smart. And a very, uh, you know, well, cultured and diverse. I’ve learned a lot from him and enjoyed working with him even though he’s quite a bit younger than me. Um, and then, you know, we have a good relationship with Don Lee when he came out to vegas with us for asd and uh, you know, he, he gave us an idea this week that’s going to make us, you know, several thousand dollars. So, you know, just, just more of the same.
Mitchell: [34:20] Yeah.
Stephen: [34:22] You have to give to get that. I mean, I think that’s the lesson is that you’re not always on there just taking, taking, taking, right. I mean, you’re, you’re sharing with the hope that somebody hears a nugget and then when they want to delve deeper, you’re right on the line. Yes. What can I answer for you? How can I help you? Right. That’s what it takes.
Mitchell: [34:39] Yeah. And that’s a good point. In one of the things I tell people, um, you know, human relationships are not, are not a equally transactional all the time. So, you know, I may be able to help deal with a lot of stuff, you know, to buy it, to have his wife or him go buy retail in November and December and he’s not doing much more than me than prepping my stuff. But then this time of year, you know, he’s got a bunch of good wholesale accounts that he brings me in on for stuff. So it’s not like, oh, I did this for him, so he needs to do something for me before I did something for him again. And it’s very, very hard to find people that not only engage in those relationships but understand those types of relationships and it’s not always going to be 50 50 and it’s not always going to be 50 50 equally in, in, in a given amount of time over time that may be close to 50 50. And that’s awesome. But, uh, and I think that goes with a personal relationships as well as uh, you know, business relationships.
Stephen: [35:55] I think you’re spot on when you give without expectation and it’s shocking how much you get back. Um, and then you get it back. And I think what you’re describing with Dale is a very cool one because you get it back in ways that you probably never even see my bed is he bends over backwards things that you guys mess up that you never even, you know, he just takes care of because that’s the way the relationships evolved to, instead of hope there’s a surcharge. Nope, you didn’t do this right. Here’s the surcharge, you know, you know that that stuff over time probably does make it [inaudible]. And like you said, I mean, the fact that he trusts that trust is to way that says a lot too. When you think about then, because you’re, you’ve got a good filter, you say, right. You guys have kind of dropped off the radar, um, because your business is as not in growth mode anymore. Do you think, do you think, uh, do you miss that part of it? Let me ask you that. Maybe that’s a better way to say it.
Mitchell: [36:53] Yeah,
Mitchell: [36:56] I do miss it a little bit. I mean, just frankly, I’m not completely happy with the way the whole, the whole community, uh, has evolved in the reacts in general. I feel like there’s,
Mitchell: [37:12] OK,
Mitchell: [37:13] there’s a lot of, uh, interesting, you know, marketing and relationships and things going on, uh, where, I mean I’ve been, I’ve been censored, deleted and a expunged from several groups for speaking my opinion or asking challenging questions and things like that. So that’s definitely soured me a little bit on the community in general and being a, in being active. But also I’m just, I don’t see a lot of the stuff to make comments on as much as, uh, as I used to. And uh, I’ve always been more of the, um,
Mitchell: [37:56] I guess my, my strategic mind is always the first. I’m not always trying to find a reason to do something or to buy something. I look at worst case scenarios, best case scenarios in average scenarios and what percentage I signed to all of those. And uh, it seems a lot of people just want to hear the positive all the time. So a lot of times I’ve been, I’ve been labeled as negative or a cynic or, or, uh, you know, devil’s advocate just for trying to bring up the other side of the coin and that doesn’t always fit the messenger’s message. So, uh, you know, that that may be why I’m a. let me. Do you have an
Stephen: [38:35] example? Gatos. Do you have an example that you could use? I mean, where, where you feel like your voice wasn’t heard and therefore kind of held back?
Stephen: [38:48] I tend to look for the positive. So I mean, I, I tend to stick with mostly positive things, but I mean, you know, the world isn’t always positive. You know, I, I’m, I’m really about relationships and things like that because that stuff, I mean, you know, being married for so long, I just love to see that, you know, I just love to see people who care for others in a positive way. However, it’s not an I, I, hopefully I’ve always lead people down this way. This is not an easy business. It’s not always easy and there are challenges and those are the things, if you deal with it, can make your life a lot easier. Those are the strategies I tend to take. How about you? I mean, where, where do you see that, that, that, that
Mitchell: [39:27] I just try to be, I just try to be realistic with people, um, because I feel like that’s, that’s the way, uh, you know, to succeed, um, you know, very, there’s a lot of us, but as a, as a percentage, you know, very few of us have gotten to the, to the point where you can provide a full time income to support a family, you know, doing this. And I just, uh, I try to communicate the, the truth of, uh, of how hard it is. Especially when you’re, you’re first starting. I mean, if I,
Stephen: [40:03] if you’re selling courses, that’s what you mean? Yeah, I get it. I mean, I agree with you, you this, this is not an easy business and to suggest that you’re going to be able to go and just, you know, a pickup, uh, I don’t know, pick a subject all raw and just, you know, sell millions of dollars and make millions of dollars. Good luck. That’s not true. Um, there are outliers that, do, you know, I think of Hopkins, you know, who, just, who just natural or you guys, I mean, they’re all natural at it, but your outliers.
Mitchell: [40:31] Yeah. I would call, you know, David, Daniel Baker, you know, Chuck Hardwick. There are probably three of the people I, I look up to most as far as, as far as their business, I feel like they’re, they’re probably a little bit better at this than I am. So.
Stephen: [40:45] But they’re outliers, right? I mean, let’s be fair. They are outliers and more than likely, I don’t care what they did, they would be incredibly successful at. I mean, that’s. And that’s, that’s cool. But so you’re saying, hey, when you say that, that this isn’t, you know, it’s not realistic to get there. Then people look down their nose at, you know, because there’s so. And of course, I mean, I get it, I understand it. I mean, you know, it, it’s hard. Um, it’s, what’s easy for you is an easy for me. You make it sound easy because it’s, it is easy for you. Um, so I, I get it, I get it. I, you know, I, I struggled with it myself, you know what I mean? It’s a. But I hopefully conveyed most people that, you know, there are challenges. I think you’re right. I think most people are not earning a full time living. I’m doing
Mitchell: [41:36] right. So
Stephen: [41:39] any other examples that you think, uh, would be, um, a place where you don’t think that you’ve been heard or you’re, that you’re not wanting to be heard
Mitchell: [41:49] about?
Mitchell: [41:52] Pretty much I said as far as specific as I want to be.
Mitchell: [41:57] OK.
Stephen: [41:59] As far as that goes, I think the reality is very healthy. I think speaking, you know, everything’s not roses and Unicorns. There is hard work because it’s a hard business, right? I mean, but you know, running retail store downtown in your town, that’s a hard business. That’s a hard way to earn a living, right? That Eric had air conditioning guy, you know, that’s a hard way to earn a living because he’s got employees and he’s got other responsibilities. So I think a lot of times this is glamorous, uh, the life of an entrepreneur. Is Your Life Glamorous? What’d you say?
Mitchell: [42:35] Definitely not.
Stephen: [42:35] No, definitely not, you know, but people see it in an instagram post and you know, with a car in the garage, that guy with the cars in the garage and that, you know, hey, you could have this too, you know, that’s, that’s what people are selling. And that’s tough to swallow sometimes. So.
Mitchell: [42:53] Well, I think the other thing is this is a negative, but just, it’s the business is getting much, much, much harder for sure. Any of the, uh, of the bigger tenure, you know, sellers would, would tell you that from, from my p claims to, to a restricted, uh, brands and products and categories to the, uh, the new fees and a storage fees, closing fee, the shoe fees, increased competition, uh, you know, a suppressed by boxes, huge. That’s like,
Mitchell: [43:27] um,
Mitchell: [43:29] that’s like a snake in the grass that, that a lot of people don’t see and definitely don’t understand a, that’s a huge one. So you know, it’s, it’s getting more difficult.
Stephen: [43:40] I think that the way you describe the way your business is now, you’ve built it up to the level you want, you kind of settled back a little bit. Now you’re fine tuning it and now you can address those because they, I agree with you. You have to address them, otherwise they’re going to address be addressed for you. And so a storage fees massive. I mean, it is massive with what is coming this q4, you have to have a strong inventory, a process in place. And so the fact that you’ve developed your business far enough along where you can work on that. I think is a huge, huge lesson for people. Um, how much would you say do you plan on devoting into those issues in your business now in the CEO role? Kind of that you’ve taken on?
Mitchell: [44:24] Definitely a lot.
Mitchell: [44:26] Hmm.
Mitchell: [44:27] Uh, for, uh, for those issues now. I mean, one thing that I’m not doing is like freaking out over the inventory score that goes up and down 200 points, like every couple of days until, until what I’m charged is based on that score, like a, it’s just some metric that they came up with that’s supposed to be important to everybody and probably isn’t important to me, uh, because everybody’s businesses is different. Especially, you know, I sell a lot of shoes and clothes. The, they stay in the warehouse longer, but the net profits are higher so you can absorb a 50 percent long-term fee if you have to on, you know, five to 10 percent of your inventory to get that price. And that’s all that’s all figured into my business model. So, you know, um, I think you gotta you gotTa pick and choose where you a freak out and get concerned because Amazon changes things so often that you just have to be ready for it and uh, and take it in stride and not go into crisis mode every time they send an email.
Stephen: [45:26] Yeah, because that might be the hot thing today. It could go away in 30 days or 60 days or what they originally intended it to do might not be what it does. Right? So I’m with you on that one, but I love the fact that you’re working in a significant portion on your business. You know, it’s back to the E-myth, right? You’re at that place in your business. And again, I guess it comes back to having that really strong partner that you can trust that that person who you’ve, who a, they were already in your inner circle, but really letting them completely into your inner circle. Um, that, that’s a very powerful thing. And the fact that you found that, um, is cool. Um, last couple of questions, relationship, um, you and your brother, what is it done for your relationship? I mean, I don’t know how close was your relationship before, I don’t know how often you saw him and how much you were really involved in his life and him completely involved in yours because, you know, when your wife calls, he hears it, right? Or if you’re in the air at the same place or what have you. So what is, what was it and what’s it evolved to and has it been good or bad?
Mitchell: [46:32] Um, our relationship was always a good, ah, we probably didn’t talk as much as we would’ve liked to have or possibly should have. And a part of that was we, we lived in different cities. A part of it was, you know, he worked a lot of nights, a lot of weekends and uh, you know, he was uh, uh, in college and things, so we didn’t talk as much. But down here I, I think it’s been, you know, great for our relationship. Um, I, it’s for our relationship now far exceeds even even what I expected when he came down. And uh, and everything, so he’s, uh, it got to spend a lot more time with his nephews,
Stephen: [47:14] things like that. And I was thinking about what does that do for their relationship with him. Right. I mean, that must be incredible.
Mitchell: [47:22] Yeah. It’s, uh, it’s been great because they like to help.
Mitchell: [47:26] Um,
Mitchell: [47:28] one story was, uh,
Mitchell: [47:30] back, back when he first moved down here, he lived with us for a little while so that we basically, I could, I could and he could go save some money. Um, you know, because there’s, you know, when you bring on a new employee, you don’t bring them on in a capacity that’s a, that’s a growth process and that’s why it’s such a hard in big financial investment to bring somebody on. But anyway, you know, he was, he was living with us and uh, I had picked up our employee and uh, we were over at the storage unit and Carrie was really late and uh, it was, it was cold and it was, it was crunch time and uh, and he got there and I just started screaming out most so mad. And uh, he said, he said, well, I understand, but your wife’s car got a flat tire on her when she was backing down the driveway and she yelled at me to take the kids to school and I had enough time to get my phone. Hmm.
Mitchell: [48:34] Until I thought about two inches tall.
Stephen: [48:36] Oh my God. Yeah.
Mitchell: [48:38] And, uh, I think that was the last time they actually, you know, had a shouting match and that was pretty one sided after that I pretty much shut up. Um, so relationships, great man.
Stephen: [48:49] So that’s been humbling to see that and that’s kind of cool, right? Him bringing some of that back, some of that balance because he knows you better than anyone other than your wife and your kids who love it. All right. So I want to close out, um, because I, I just, to me, it’s very cool that you guys had been doing this now for several years. You haven’t killed each other. I can hear the respect you have for him in your voice and the way I’ve gotten to hang out with both of you guys together and I’ve seen the way you treat him and he treats you. Um, that’s a real love. I mean, I don’t care what anybody says. It might sound Corny, but that’s a real love and a respect that most people don’t get to with their siblings. They could say they do, but they don’t at the fact that you have found that and you figured it out and you kind of. The boundaries kind of probably move sometimes I think is very pop, but your parents are really proud of where you guys are to see their son. I mean, who, who has that? Very few people in my friend. Very few people.
Mitchell: [49:48] Yeah. I think they are in. Just just as a note to your last comment, I think one of the big, the big turning points was when he had been in the business maybe a year to a year and a half. And uh, you know, he was, he was assimilated and everything. Uh, but as far as when he really took ownership of, uh, of his role and things was when we, uh, we went to a conference together, I think he saw the way like me sees it on facebook a little bit, but then when he met people in real life that were like, oh, you guys, you know, have done this and done that, and he kind of saw like the level of respect and admiration people had for our business. I think he really took ownership of it to another level,
Stephen: [50:34] taller in his seat and realized, wow, we are kind of special. What we do, we do deliver excellence in my. Wow. Because it is a grind, right? Sometimes you could probably, you could probably get complacent with that. That’s cool. All right. So last thing, uh, somebody’s thinking about ways to get their business, they, they got all these challenges coming. Mitchell that are the same ones that you have, that you’re spending your time addressing. What’s your advice for that person who hasn’t made it full time or they’re in full time but they’re not making that full time income? What’s your advice to get them past that point to, to push them over to that, that point of success that you had achieved a couple of years ago?
Mitchell: [51:20] Uh, I would say to understand the numbers and understand the math and there’s about, there’s more than, there’s more than the metric of sales and there’s more than the metric of profit that are gonna determine whether or not you can. You can live a full time income withdrawing money monthly, you know, to live on while still growing your business. Um, you know, that that’s a whole other podcast. But I mean, you can listen to the previous ones that I’ve done and I’ve, I’ve mentioned a lot of those metrics and how they interact and how they, uh, in how they don’t tell the whole story. And uh, I would say just just perseverance, creativity and uh, you know, figure it out
Mitchell: [52:07] is uh, one of the
Mitchell: [52:09] this thing that Karen always laughs about when I, when I say, but that’s kind of what, that’s kind of what it is. Like there’s, there’s no perfect training. There is no perfect a formula, a lot of this stuff, you have to figure out how to make it work and it’s not the same for everybody or every business or every state or every product category. There’s a, there’s almost an infinite amount of combinations of, uh, you know, personality, you know, family access to, to resources, capital employees,
Mitchell: [52:42] um, you know, stores, accounts.
Mitchell: [52:47] You have to, you have to persevere and make what works for you. And in the bad times you gotta figure out how to survive.
Mitchell: [52:56] And then in the, in the good times,
Mitchell: [52:59] no, you, you run it as hard as you can and make as much as you can. It’s not going to be a consistent amount of sales and profit every single month. Things are gonna happen. Good things are gonna happen bad sometimes you know, when a product goes restricted, that’s the best thing for you, that somehow you got lucky. You’re one of the five people that can sell it and the price just triple like nobody. Nobody talks about how exciting that is on facebook. They talk about, they got from a product or everybody came in and tanked the price. Um, you know, there’s, there’s luck that goes your way. So find it, find it, make it. And that’s, that’s perseverance.
Stephen: [53:38] Look, there goes your way. Oh, well it is a real pleasure. I know there’s a whole bunch of people going to be happy like finally, Steve, you got them back on. Um, and uh, I look forward to the next time I get to see it in person. I love talking with you. I’m always smarter for it. Um, and just like this call, I mean, I always am smarter for it, so I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Mitchell: [54:04] And I, uh, generally only, uh, speak maybe at one conference a year. I am speaking at the Rocky Mountain.
Stephen: [54:10] Oh Man, I’m not making it this year. I’m going to miss it.
Mitchell: [54:14] I’m willing. Oh, I missed it last year because we had a family trip to Aruba. I’ve actually never been. I missed the first two are unfortunately, but a really, really looking forward to that. Um, so that will be in place of Viet for sure. I probably will be at one or two other conferences this year, but I will for sure be there and that’s a, that’s an early June. So
Stephen: [54:37] I have a discount code where you can save 20 bucks off of your ticket price and I’ll put it in this, uh, actually to use the code momentum momentum 25 actually it’s $25 off. That’s right. Travis. Probably reminding. So it’s momentum 25 and you can save $25 off the ticket price at any point when you buy it. But it does sell out. It’s sold out last year. It will sell out. And so please buy your tickets early. It’s a great event. Several hundred sellers in one of the best venues. Best run. I mean they, their, their sound is incredible. Their state that they really executed very, very well.
Mitchell: [55:12] A lot of things are, you know, kind of seems like almost east coast or west coast, an area that country like I never really get to go to, which is exciting when you’re going to love it.
Stephen: [55:23] The hotel is so convenient, I mean the venue makes the Co, I shouldn’t say I don’t want to take away from Travis and Paul what they do because they make it work there. The way they find people, that people, that they get to speak like yourself. I mean, it’s, it’s very, very impressive. Um, it’s definitely one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to. And uh, so again, save 25 bucks by using momentum [inaudible] I don’t benefit other than you get to save $25, which is awesome. And you get to see Mitchell and I’m going to put your contact information and I know you’re approachable, um, because so many times send you a note and you’re always quick to respond. So I appreciate that and I, I do appreciate, uh, you know, you might have a contrary view, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. That just means you’re willing to say it sometimes that’s not unhealthy. And that’s what makes good civil discussions happened, right? I mean, that’s how we all grow in knowledge. So I appreciate all that. I wish you nothing but success my friend. I really do. And I know you’ll have it. It’s awesome.
Stephen: [56:20] That’s good stuff. I’m telling you. Do to smart. Hey, a rocky mountain conference coming up in June. Um, I have the link out there again, used to cope. Omentum Twenty Five, save 25 bucks. That is sweet. Thank you. Travis and Paul. Um, and to go see a RV speak Mitchell speak. I’ve seen him speak it. Scanned power conference. That’s where the last place I saw. And it’s unbelievable. I mean he’s just, he’s articulate and again, just affable, likable and you’ll immediately connected with them. I think that’s why most people do. And um, I think it deepens the relationship. Buy Him a beer, you know, or actually a scotch and his case, but buy him a drink and sit down with them and get a few minutes to talk with him and you will be better off every time I do. I’m better off because I’m like, wow, that was deep.
Stephen: [57:06] He knows his stuff. Again, the relationship with him and his brother I think is very powerful. If you could find that person that you can get that trust level with, that has that ability to assimilate to the environment that you’re in. You know, I use the term startup and like he said, he’s basically phasing out of the startup phase, but we’re all in that startup phase. Most of us other ones are. And so what, what is that environment like? It’s feast and famine sometimes here, sometimes there’s 12 people in a warehouse and all these shipments coming in and going out and then it’s quiet like it is today and it’s nice. Um, and so that environment, how do you work in an environment where it’s everything and then it’s nothing. Um, those are special type of people. So if you can find that partner, if you could find that relationship, one of the best things, one of the things I want to start talking about too is, is partnering up in a warehouse.
Stephen: [57:57] What does that do for you? You know, um, you know, people know that I partner with and, and our ability to ebb been flow where he can step in and fill in for me sometimes or vice versa because there is that trust. I think it’s very important. I think a lot of people are going to need to start doing that, especially as fees go up. This is a great way to offset your costs, but finding the right person and so I’m going to point these out more as I find them when I can find these, this really cool relationship, which I think is a very, very neat example of what you can have in your life. E commerce, momentum.com, e-commerce [inaudible]. Take care
Cool voice guy: [58:32] for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at e-commerce momentum.com. Under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.