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397 : Brian Miller – Create as much runway as possible in running your Amazon business
15th July 2019 • eCommerce Momentum Podcast • eCommerce Momentum Podcast
00:00:00 01:03:00

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Have you looked at warehousing in China? Have you looked at combining shipments with other sellers? Brian has a company that can help with all of those things. Maybe 20-50% in savings? The point I learned in this interview is that things are changing quicker than ever. You have to adapt and be willing to look at other possibilities in how you run your business.

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

Brian:                                    [00:00:00]               A year. And then I started working for one of the largest state owned Chinese manufacturers. So the Chinese government, uh, doing their North American export market. And I was always trying to find, um, you know, bridging the gap between a US buyer and Chinese suppliers. And I was always trying to let you know, find a supplier that I could sell product into the u s um, and I tried things like, uh, oil like the, uh, the used oil that they use in fryers and McDonald’s. Like there’s a huge market for bio fuel for that. Um, I tried offering like China, China consulting services trying to marketing reports based on like the, the time I was having in China and nothing really worked.

Cool voice guy:                  [00:00:45]               Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen:                             [00:00:59]               Hey, wanted to take a second and talk about Gaye Lisby and, Garry’s, Amazon seller tribe and their daily lists that are put out. Um, and incredible stories that you can read if you go out and checkout a amazing freedom.com forward slash momentum hyphen arbitrage. I know that’s a lot to put in there. Amazing freedom.com forward slash momentum dash Arbitron and you’re going to get 14 day free trial, no money risk, no, no challenges. You don’t want it when you’re done, you get out. But imagine getting lists. I’m as grateful as like to call it mailbox money. I love that term. Mailbox money. It’s where you can work from your house, buy things online, have them delivered to you and then sell them on various marketplaces. But imagine you can have somebody else do that for you. So you want to buy time, you want to control what they’re buying.

Stephen:                             [00:01:55]               Well, you take these lists and you can join multiple lists if you’re interested. And then you can segregate them for the merchandise you want and send them to them. They can make purchases for you on your behalf. Have it delivered to you or delivered to them for prep. Boom, sent into these marketplaces and you could sell. How about that? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I spoke at their conference and there were so many million dollar sellers just using online arbitrage. It’s still available. And again, 14 days, the only way you’re going to get 14 day free trial. So if you come through my link, I’m, it is an affiliate link. Uh, they do pay me. So I don’t want to mislead you in any way. Um, I would appreciate it, but I’d like to see you try the 14 days. I’ve had so many people that have joined, have so much success.

Stephen:                             [00:02:38]               It’s very exciting to me and you know, quite humbling to me that they trust me to recommend this group and I 100% recommend this group. I’ve seen the results. These are great people that will also teach you to fish. This isn’t just a, hey, here’s the list. You’re on your own. No, this is, hey, here’s why that wasn’t a good deal. Or here, hey, there’s another opportunity and you get to their groups and it’s just a phenomenal group of people. Um, just great, great, uh, leaders in that group and these lists are phenomenal. So again, it’s amazing. freedom.com, forward slash momentum, I even arbitrage amazing, freedom.com, forward slash momentum. I even arbitrage, use that. Get two weeks free. Try it. You don’t like it, drop out, but give it a shot if you want to add that to your business. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast.

Stephen:                             [00:03:28]               This is episode 397. Brian Miller. Very, very cool story. I’m a, you know, first off, he’s so far away and, and, and you know, his story is just so interesting on how he figured out how to get there. Uh, had to find himself and it sounds like he found himself, but not as fast as most people would want. Right? They go, hey, I need to find myself by Friday. I got bills to pay. No, life doesn’t work that way. And it’s just so cool how, you know, he’s wrong, honest. And he talks about some of his successes, but he talks about some of his failures. And I think you got to realize everybody has failures and if you don’t think they have failures, they’re not telling you. And he talked about most people aren’t raw and honest with their, uh, what’s going on. And so I think that’s really smart, but then he gets into the technical stuff, his experience and he’s only 33, but he’s got tremendous experience working in manufacturing, uh, learning how it works, learning the Chinese language and then applying that in eventually in his own business.

Stephen:                             [00:04:30]               And there’s a couple of real powerful statements that he makes, um, about, you know, earning money while you’re working for someone else, even when you don’t have that business idea that’s so smart, knowing that it’s going to come believing it’s going to come because you’re going to be successful. You just got to figure it out. I think there’s really a lot there. And then at the end he gives some more really solid advice. And so, you know, listen all the way through. You might want to listen to that part twice because again, very wise beyond his years, let’s get into the podcast. All right. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. I’m excited about today’s guest. This is an early interview for me because it’s a late interview for him. Welcome Brian Miller from China. Welcome Brian.

Brian:                                    [00:05:11]               Hey, thanks for having me. Appreciate, uh, that I’m on the show.

Stephen:                             [00:05:14]               That’s not the way usually introduced from China, Brian Miller, especially because you’re from Connecticut. Um, that’s a little bit of a leap to get from Connecticut to China. I’m sure there is no straight path in that story and I’d love to hear more about it.

Brian:                                    [00:05:33]               Sure. Yeah. Um, so I grew up my whole life in Connecticut and um, I actually graduated college during the Oh eight crisis. Oh. Um, and that was a pretty tough for everyone to get a job. Of course. Uh, what were you going to do? What did you study? I studied business at the time. I was a business man. He what?

Stephen:                             [00:05:55]               What was it your dream before 2008 disaster.

Brian:                                    [00:06:00]               Ah, that’s hard to say. I was very interested in finance and Wall Street. I was always close living in Connecticut to a lot of people that worked in the industry. Um, so I was kind of always thinking about that. But to be honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and that’s why I left the u s um, so I was kind of a lost, um, college graduate at that time,

Stephen:                             [00:06:23]               you know, looking back, just thinking backwards, um, and a lot of your friends, um, and I know wall streets up and down, so I’m sure if they lost lots of them have gained. Do you have regrets when you think about it because you could have stuck it out and you know, did the a menial job for awhile and then eventually find your way when you think about it now from your, where you’re at?

Brian:                                    [00:06:46]               I’m not now. I mean during the journey, during some of the struggle of the up and down of starting my businesses, you could say that I was thinking, oh, it would be nice to just like, um, sit in, uh, in an office, uh, at a big company that’s pretty stable and life would be so much more, uh, let’s say less stressful. Uh, you can clock out at the end of the day. Um, so during some of those times I would say yes, but now that the business has proved to be successful, um, I think I’m very happy that I went the path that I went.

Stephen:                             [00:07:24]               And we’ll get to get into a story. But thinking about your friends now, you’re 33, so you’ve got friends that have chose the other path. How many of them are happy in that life that you described? Um, Pre China in that big company, you know, no stress. Hm.

Brian:                                    [00:07:41]               You know, it’s hard to say because I think everyone’s biased. You know, they, they might say that they’re happy, um, doing those things and they might be, uh, but it’s hard to tell because I find a lot of people are not very, uh, raw with, with, with, you know, describing the, the truth of what’s really happening in their lives and what they’re struggling with. Um, so I would say a good amount are happy, but I still have a lot of friends that are not happy. They’re trying to find that business to start. Um, they’re trying to find that, that idea that they can kind of get out of that, that job. So I see both sides. Um, but I see a lot of people that are trying to get out as well.

Stephen:                             [00:08:22]               It’s interesting you mentioned that. So a lot of people that the out they see is their own business. It’s not getting to a new company that’s a better company or what have you. They’re saying, I want some freedom.

Brian:                                    [00:08:33]               Yeah. I think for me at least, that’s the most valuable part of starting my own business was, um, even though I’m making more money than I did at my previous job, I would argue that that’s not the most value I get out of my business. The value that I get personally is the freedom that comes with it. Even though I work way harder than I did, I do what I love and I could, you know, take a vacation whenever I’d like. I could take a day off or entertain a guest when they come to China. Um, so that is something that I really, uh, appreciate of having my own business.

Stephen:                             [00:09:11]               You know, it, it is interesting you say that. What it, the phrase is what I work 80 hours a week so I don’t have to work 40 hours a week or some crazy story like that. You know? It’s like, yeah, I guess that’s that I can relate right now especially. Um, all right, well let’s get into some of the struggles now. Let me just qualify this and say that Brian is an FBA seller. Okay. So he knows what he’s talking about. He’s got a vast level experience at his age. I mean, it’s very impressive to think, um, because I always say e-commerce are like dog years. You know, it’s a year in it. You’re, you’re, you’re really a long time in it. Um, so you’ve done quite a few things that have built you to that place. But let’s talk about, let’s talk about the struggles. Let’s start there because I think, I think people, and you correct me if I’m wrong, I think people think it’s a straight path. Boom. You get into college, it’s a straight path to you create a business. Maybe you stumble a little bit, but boom, it’s an instant success. I don’t know many of instant successes. I’m sure there are some. Um, I’ve not seen many. So you like most, Steve have had many challenges, many challenging businesses. So let’s talk about some of them.

Brian:                                    [00:10:15]               Yeah, I mean, to start off at least the FBA business, that’s, you could call it successful now, the first two years that a friend, uh, you know, me and a partner that started it, ran the company. We lost money both years. So I remember after the second year, we had, uh, lost $13,000. Um, and that was just the beginning of a lot of the struggle to start the whole business. But I was lucky at that time that I, uh, kept a job, a full time, you know, corporate job and that Kinda gave me the runway to, uh, learn while I was, you know, struggling to get it going. And also the runway that when we made mistakes, uh, it wasn’t so painful. It didn’t, it didn’t collapse the business because we were receiving a paycheck basically every month. So that was like a vital part to kind of get me going, I guess. Um,

Stephen:                             [00:11:12]               wait, when did I want to think about that for a second? When you, uh, give advice to other people, what’s your advice now? I mean, knowing what you know, I mean, is it a, does Steve, of course I say don’t quit your job or what, what’s your advice?

Brian:                                    [00:11:26]               My advice always is try to create as much runway for yourself as possible. So runway could be, uh, working at a job while...

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