420 : Kate Rouleau – Build a trusted network, get advice, get your financial house in order and then bring your husband home
How many have a plan? A real plan? Does the freedom of your and your spouse owning and running a business feel out of reach for you? Kate shows you had they did it. Guess what it’s really hard and it takes a plan. But to hear from her it has been all worth the sacrifice should help you push past the hurdles in your situation. Do the plan then work the plan. And you too can bring your husband home to your family.
Kate: [00:00] I got pregnant again. Yeah. So, and my, um, my second was born November 11th, so right in the middle of Q4. So we had a slow down in 2018 to say the least. Um,
Cool voice guy: [00:17] 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: [00:30] A a excited as a this year comes to an end to bring this interview to you. A very strong, and I, I really think that, I mean it’s changed our business. It’s interesting. Uh, we’ve used, we’re using some of the advice this guest brings for our business and that might sound funny to you, but it’s just so well thought out. There’s some really key takeaways that, you know, you had to force yourself to step back, admit you don’t know it all and be willing to listen to others. Um, the network that this group of people have is not unintentional. It takes so much work to be a part of it because you must contribute to benefit. And a, there’s a real lesson there and it’s worth listening to maybe once or twice. Um, my wife and I, I’ve listened to it again just to, to reinforce what we’re doing.
Stephen: [01:19] We know was the right thing to do, but you know, the way they approached it, I think it just so healthy. Anyway, one more thing that I think you can do. Um, cause I’m blown away with the seller tribe. Um, the number of people, um, that surpassed $1 million in sales this year on Amazon. Now, you know, I understand that’s not margin and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I know people can lose money. I’m aware of all those things, but that milestone, that goal that they set, um, and then they attained it is incredible. Um, once you hit that level, now you can work on your business and you can really fine tune your margin. So it’s just encouraging to see so many that just doesn’t happen by accident. That takes somebody like a, a, an incredible Gaye Lisby and Gary Ray who have, um, who invest in people.
Stephen: [02:07] Um, yes, they get paid. Yes, no hiding it. However, the investment into people, you see it and I suggest you go check it out. Amazing. freedom.com forward slash momentum dash arbitrage that’ll take you through my link. And yes, they pay me. So you can go around and if you choose to, um, but it’s mind blowing if you’re looking to alter your life. I think these two things can take and make a drastic change in your world. One, listen to the advice that Mike S today. Okay. Reach out to me because we’re, we’re in the same path and so we can, we can do it together. If you want an accountability partner, reach out to me. I’ll, I’ll talk with you anytime. But second, you know, check out this group, this amazing freedom, um, seller tribe and you would be blown away the strength of the group, the strength of the members, um, and what they can do for you.
Stephen: [03:00] So amazing freedom.com, forward momentum dash arbitrage forward slash momentum dash arbitrage. Check it out. 14 day free trial costs did nothing. If you drop, then you don’t find it for you. But listen to the advice of my guest today. The network is your net worth, the network you develop, develop people you can trust, right? Get that group of people you can trust and then utilize them and helping you move forward. I can’t wait for 2020. I hope you can’t either. Um, reach out to me of course at anytime. If I can help you in any way. Welcome back to the eCommerce momentum podcast. This is episode 420 Kate rouleaux. Um, man, we probably spent 20 or 30 minutes after the call talking. Um, because like she said, you know, you get around somebody who you have something in common with. You could sit there and talk about this business all day long.
Stephen: [03:55] And it’s so funny to hear how, you know, their businesses, some of their ours and some of the challenges or the good things you know, and you’ll learn something from every single person. That’s what I’m so fortunate that I get a chance to do this. Um, I love the story again. Uh, get advice, right? Don’t just, uh, don’t just ask people on the internet, Oh, what do you think? No, no, no. Get advice from people you trust. Maybe that’s the way to qualify. And how do you get that trust? You give the trust, you build those relationships and you’ll, she’s going to talk about how took time, you know, to find that and, and to get with people and spend some money in some effort and then you’re going to save money and how much money is enough? Well, as she says, it’s individual to you and your situation could be a lot different than hers.
Stephen: [04:37] Um, and so therefore she’s not the right person to give you advice. A financial planner that they met with. How smart is that? Young couple, smart enough to do that as a dad, I’m proud of her. Um, get health insurance and get the right health insurance for the needs that you have. And that comes with tradeoffs. But you can manage around that. We used to call it mitigating risk in my corporate life, right? I was the CFO and we’d be mitigating risk. Um, and so you can do that. And then she was able to help bring her husband home together. They were able to bring him home to help work on their business. And man, there’s nothing but optimism in their future because they together are doing it. So it’s a great podcast, great episode of what you can do when you’re willing to do the work.
Stephen: [05:21] But let me just warn you, she said she’s never worked harder in her life. Let’s get into podcast. All right. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Excited about today’s guest. A recommendation from someone. And again, if you, if you know somebody who you would like me to talk with, um, I, what interests me is that that person took the time, took the effort to reach out to me and, and make their case on why I should talk to somebody that says something that says somebody touched them in a way that they think they can touch others. And that’s what I’m really excited about. Welcome Kate. Rouleaux, welcome Kate. Hi. Thank you. Well, thank you for coming on. I mean that does that, I mean, it sounds corny, but does that warm your heart a little bit?
Kate: [06:03] No, it was nice. It was nice that someone thought of me to do that.
Stephen: [06:07] It’s like getting noticed a little bit. [inaudible] and I’m sure I don’t mind, I shouldn’t say I’m sure the way I am. I’m thinking and what I do is nothing special. And this is what I do every single day. We buy stuff, we sell stuff, we open boxes, we unload boxes, whatever, or I talk. Right? But outside, it’s nothing big deal to me. Are you the same way?
Kate: [06:29] Uh, I mean, yeah, I, it’s my job. It’s what, it’s what we do to, you know, keep our family good. But you had an effect. Yeah. No. Um, and I, and I know the person that, that recommended and she doesn’t realize what an effect she’s had on.
Stephen: [06:48] Yeah. Isn’t that cool? I mean, just how cool was that? I mean, I hope that, and I, the person, I don’t want to give them away who it was, but I remember, uh, you know, like the way I met her and her husband and the way she looked in his eyes and vice versa. I mean it says, Oh it gives me the chills as a dad who has kids that are married. I want my boys wives to look at them and vice versa the same way. So that is pretty cool. It’s corny, but it’s cool. So, all right. You sell on Amazon, is that true?
Kate: [07:22] I sell on Amazon and I also sell on eBay. Okay. All right. So which one did you start with? We started with eBay, which I think is what a lot of people start with. At least back in the day. They just,
Stephen: [07:36] maybe today because of YouTube and some other people, they go jumps right to Amazon cause it’s so easy and all they have to do is just buy anything. And I’ve seen the pictures on YouTube and they just buy anything. They send an Amazon. It’s easy. Make millions. Right. And today
Kate: [07:49] that that’s what they want you to think. Yes. That doesn’t happen in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but where you live? No. Yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s probably the most work I’ve ever done with any job that I’ve ever had, which I don’t think I think a lot of people skip over that part.
Stephen: [08:04] It’s interesting you say that it is a lot of work and just when you figure it out,
Kate: [08:10] the changes and it’s changing daily. Yep.
Stephen: [08:14] Okay. You started on eBay w w what was your plan starting on eBay? What did you think it would do for you?
Kate: [08:20] Um, you know what, we started, I started as a hobby. I was still working full time. Um, I kind of would sell a few things here and there and then I started going to yard sales and I started saying, Hey, I can kind of make some money doing this. Um, and I continued and getting my husband interested in. It was kind of where we started switching over to saying, Hey, we can actually make some good money with this. How did you make that? Cause I think that’s important. How did you get him? I’m interested.
Stephen: [08:52] I mean, and not knowing your husband, not knowing what he’s, if he, let’s just make it, make it up and say he’s into hunting and he’s buying all kinds of cool hunting stuff. And then you’re like, Hey, you know, I know you bought the newest version of that, but here’s your old versions worth this. I mean, so can you walk us through how you kind of sold him on that plan?
Kate: [09:12] It was switched hunting to video games. He is a massive video game collector. Um, and when he saw what he could get and he actually, it, it ramped up when he started going to yard sales, um, and he saw what he could get and basically get his collection for almost next to nothing, sell whatever extra he had and actually get some good money.
Stephen: [09:37] So that’s a, that’s a real powerful point. So he has a, he probably bought from eBay or places like that, himself paying premiums or GameStop or wherever, paying premiums. And then all of a sudden he got into the used market and said, Oh my gosh, I could save a bunch of money, but then also sell the excess was he, and I see this from a lot of, um, an a, maybe as a collector myself, I think about this, um, I click these stupid little tin rings and I’m always looking for a better quality one. So for, was he similar where he could buy that other one and replaced the one he had with a better version?
Kate: [10:11] Yup. Yeah. He’s a completist so yes. Yes.
Stephen: [10:16] So what does that mean? Like he’s trying to get all the end 64. I’m making that up, but, and 64 line, he wants them all.
Kate: [10:23] Yeah, no, you’re good. No, but not only then six. He wants almost every system that they have. And does he want them in the box sealed? Is that the ultimate goal? Um, at least in the box.
Stephen: [10:33] Okay. All right. So, so he has open ones that he’s eventually buying the boxes or looking at, cause he’s the, he’s the prime candidate. We sell boxes from SNES games. That’s the one that I always think of. Well, we don’t have the game, but we have the box and so we’ll sell the box sometimes. That kind of thing. Okay.
Kate: [10:48] Yeah. No. Yep, exactly. That’s, that’s the goal.
Stephen: [10:51] Hmm. All right. So you got him interested by showing him the way he starts selling. Were you selling together on the same account? Was that a different account?
Kate: [11:00] Oh, I, I mostly do the selling. He likes buy. Um, so he got, he got so interested that we’d go to yard sales and this was, this was pre-children and he’d spend all day, Saturday would be like yard sale day. He’d go out at six in the morning and want to go out till four o’clock at night. And I was like, all right, we’ll slow it down and pull it back about 50%. So did that, cause that could change this from fun to a job for you? You already had a job? Yes. We both had full time jobs, so I was like, all right, I cannot keep up with this. Um,
Stephen: [11:36] was the money that he was making going back into his video game obsession?
Kate: [11:42] Um, mostly, I mean, he really does not spend a lot of money. I mean, we were getting some, some good deals, so it wasn’t, I mean, his whole, he, he is a math, I can’t even explain to you that the collection he has, it’s a massive collection. Um, but I mean he is literally spent not a lot of money at all on any of this. Okay. All right. So the extra money was going to do what for you guys? I mean, was it, it was fun money and we were again pre-children we had fun then. Yeah, well that’s when they used to have fun. We were going on vacation like two or three, four times a year. Like, you know, it was fun. This was, um, was this late twenties, I think for us, maybe early thirties. So it was just like, it was a lot of fun and you know, we had extra money and you know, responsibilities were slightly less back then.
Stephen: [12:33] So you’re like, Hey, let’s go and really enjoy life because as you, it does end for awhile anyway. Right? It changes. Actually this Saturday, I should say this, I’m going to see my middle granddaughter in a ballet thing. And if you ever watched three year olds do ballet, you know, it’s kind of like soccer, right? They chased the ball altogether, but it’ll be special. Right? It is. And it’ll be, that’s my fun now. So I mean for me. So it does happen again. Yeah. All right. So, so you get selling and at that point you’re working full time still. Pre-kids when did you decide that perhaps you can make, well, I mean, was it you going full time into eBay or you know, part time with the kids or Amazon come first? Which one came first?
Kate: [13:23] So what happened actually was Amazon. Amazon came right before my first, um, my husband bought a storage locker. Um, that was a, it was a big collector, video games, electronics books, and I didn’t know what to do with those books. Um, I was selling on eBay. That really wasn’t the platform for it. And I had heard, I was in a couple of Facebook groups and I heard them talking about Amazon FBA and I really didn’t know what it was. So I started researching, signed up, sent in a shipment of books and they were horrible books. I mean the ranks were crazy, but I didn’t know. You don’t know any better. Yeah, you didn’t know. Um, and I started getting some sales and I was like, Oh, well this is interesting. Um, and that was 2015 and of July of that year I had my first child. Um, so it was, it was a slow going year, but you know, it was, it was interesting that we could do that. Um, let me ask you, is this we, so did you leave your job or were you on leave from your job? I left. I decided I was going to be a stay a stay at home mom. I was, I wasn’t going back. I was going to sell on eBay. And actually 2015 was a great year for eBay. We had great sales.
Stephen: [14:46] So let me ask this because this is important. I think for young families, did you feel like, and maybe it’s different today and I think it could be different today, did you feel like you had an obligation? I mean, you know, those of us who’ve raised kids would understand that your obligation is to raise those kids. That’s a lot of work. I mean, that’s more obligation than at least me Steve did with my kids. As a mom, you, you have so much more responsibility. Um, and in my household, and again, I don’t mean to judge anybody who’s different about that, but to think that you have to make money to, was that a mental thing for you? Was that agreed upon or expected or do you get where I’m going with that?
Kate: [15:28] Um, yeah, it was, it was definitely, I couldn’t not make money like I, that’s, I wouldn’t, yeah, no I couldn’t, not, I could, I’m not just one, I’m not going to not, and same thing you’re saying a stay at home mom job is you do more than you can ever believe, but I couldn’t not bring in some money. Like I couldn’t not work. So that wasn’t even like in my mind.
Stephen: [15:57] So was eBay enough to scratch that itch for you? Especially like you said, 2015 was a good year.
Kate: [16:04] Yeah. That was actually our best year on eBay since, um, yeah, no, it was, it was paying, you know, I’d pay, I think I paid the phone bill. I paid, I was paying certain bills, covering it on eBay, and that’s like, that’s what I wanted to do. I couldn’t, you know, I wasn’t gonna let my husband just pay all the bills. Like I, I needed to do it just me.
Stephen: [16:25] Okay. And, and I, you know, I appreciate that. Uh, especially today where, and I see this with my, my older son, he’s so much more involved with his kids than I was with my kids. And, you know, it is what, it’s way different time, but it’s very cool to see. Um, I, you know, and I, I regret not being there for all that stuff. So, um, and in a corporate, you know, you sell your soul a little bit. Um, D do you think before we go into how you got an Amazon, do you think it’s too late for moms to do that? Knowing what you know today where they can just take eBay, let’s just use eBay and then Amazon, but do you think it’s too late? Um, and if not, is it an expectation? And I don’t want to lead you down the answer. I’m just wanting to make sure that people understand.
Kate: [17:13] Um, no, it’s definitely not too late. Um, I, it depends on your mindset. You know, there’s different people in this world and how they live and you know, how well they grow up and, um, it’s definitely not too late. They have to want to do it. I think that’s issue. I don’t think everybody wants, you know, I think they’re happy with what, where they are. Okay.
Stephen: [17:39] All right. I did. I was just hoping that somebody would, would sit back and, you know, you know, optimistically if they have that hunger, if they had that same feeling that you said you had where you were like, of course I’m going to make money, Steve. Of course. Yeah, no, big. Absolutely. But they, I mean they have that. Is that enough to get them to have success, do you think? Yes. Okay. As long as their, their expectation is, are crazy high. I mean, you have to know your means and know what you can do and don’t get scared off because you’re not all of a sudden selling a certain amount. Yeah. I get those all the time. Yeah. It happens a lot. You’re like, I’m not, I’m failing at this, but I cannot make a, I need to make $100,000 Kate by Friday. Is it possible?
Stephen: [18:28] No, it’s lottery maybe, but no, and then you’re still not going to get all of it. That’s exactly right. Yeah. Okay. I just don’t want to lead you there. Somebody said one time you’re leading them into an answer. No, I’m not. I just, I know I can hear it. If you’re cut from the same cloth is Kate is, uh, you have that drive is what she’s saying. Then you could be successful. You just might have to get trained by the right person or whatever it would be, but it’s the potential’s there today. Okay. It’s there and it’s fun. Well is it more fun now? You know, it sounded like those Saturdays with your husband, you know, getting to become a drag. I’m sure that’s not the way it works today. When did it become fun for you? Let me ask it that way. Oh I’ve always loved it.
Stephen: [19:15] Did you? Oh my goodness. I love the teaching. I like, I love it. I there’s like, it’s like a like a high that you reach. Like that just feels like I love it. I love selling stuff. I love working for myself. When my, well my chin goes off, I still have mom cause we still so much on eBay still. My wife is always like, what was it? Yeah cause she knows she looks right over at me. We make eye contact. What was it? Yeah, no, we both, both me and my husband have it on our phone so we, it both goes off. So it’s like a double, we have two, I call them boys that worked for us, a young guys and they put it on their phone so they, they’ll message me. Did you see this? Th they have so much enthusiasm, um, stuff that I used to have maybe 10 years ago, but they haven’t.
Stephen: [19:58] Okay. It’s funny cause I do get more excited sometimes when something on eBay sells. I mean like, like I said, eBay is our, you know, we’re probably 90% Amazon and 10% eBay at this point. But I still get a thrill. Right. It’s funny. Um, Amazon has a touching their own route, but it’s only for merchant fulfill, which I don’t, and I, I put it on and it’s like, eh, let me go see, to me, this is awful to say this, it’s more of a hassle because it’s like a book or a CD or DVD stuff that I haven’t sold at a billion years, but I pulled them off FBA because of the storage and stuff. Yeah. But we still have them, you know, so it’s like, eh, that’s a book I’m going to make, you know, $4. It’s not, it’s not a time pack. That’s, you know, 90. Okay. All right. So Amazon comes along and you got to get rid of these books. You start having a little success. At what point in your full time mom full time eBay slash Amazon business, did you recognize that Amazon’s potential because of FBA was way bigger than eBay?
Kate: [21:06] Um, we thought pretty early. Um, so 2015, end of 2015 I had a young baby. Um, and I think I was just looking back at my numbers and December of that year on Amazon, we sold a hundred units.
Stephen: [21:23] Whoa. You know, a hundred units is a lot. If you’re selling pencils, it’s not very much, but if you’re selling a Nike shoes it can be a lot.
Kate: [21:33] Yeah. But so back then everyone, you know, who knows what it was, but, but, um, I think we had kind of started RA at that point so we could see the potential. So we started kind of going out shopping more. Um, the sales started coming. But again, 2016 was a slower year because I had, you know, my first baby and you know, you’re adjusting to all of that. Um, so we saw potential, but you know, still really weren’t doing it full time or anything.
Stephen: [22:07] What was your husband’s role at that point?
Kate: [22:11] Um, he’s still, I mean, we’d be going to yard sales. He really didn’t do much of the RA. I was still getting, you know, it’s a big learning curve. Um, you know, figuring out, I didn’t, I hadn’t, I didn’t know about kipa at that point. I didn’t know about, you know, sales history. I didn’t know anything yet. Um, I joined our, actually I had been part of a Facebook group and that actually kind of started off, I think the next Q4 they did a contest kinda to up your sales. And I think I was, I was hoping to get about 300, um, $300 a day in sales like that I was going to be excited about. Um, so I joined the contest and I met all these people. Um, and that kind of really got us going.
Stephen: [22:59] So I mean there’s a pro tip right there. So to elevate your game, you surround yourself with other strong people. Um, it key. Okay. So that’s a key. I couldn’t recommend that more. Um, did, are you competitive? It sounds like it. I do like to win. So there, there’s the other fuel actually, cause yeah, but there’s the other fuel though, right? Is that, how about this? When you saw these other people and you rec, you met them and they’re very nice. I’m sure they’re very nice in that. But do you, do you, are you able to sit back and say, well no, he’s just special. He’s an outlier, or are you ready or able to say, Oh, you know, he’s great, but I could do that too.
Kate: [23:43] Um, it, it depends. I think I’ve learned to do that. I think there’s a lot of comparison at first, but you don’t know their background. You don’t know they’re at true numbers, anything like that. Um, so that I had to learn, I had to learn to be, you know, not take it for what it is. Um, and just, Hey, they’re doing a million in sales. And I’m like, ah, you know.
Stephen: [24:09] Yeah. I have some great private label products sitting in my product that we sold. We stocked out, we lost money on. And it’s like, so you’ve gotta be very cautious about that. Right. You never know when somebody shows you a number of what the real number is.
Kate: [24:21] Yeah. So the way it kind of go, well why can’t I do that? And you know, but you know, we’ve, I don’t know what their situation is, so,
Kate: [24:31] okay. That was a learning process for me and I still do that. I still have trouble with that. So that group, um, are you still connected with that group? So that group actually led me to going to ASD in March of 2017 and after that I, you know, I met, I got to meet these people face to face for the first time. Um, you know, and had a really good time. And that is kind of where I, you know, form bonds with people that I still have today.
Stephen: [25:06] Was that like a, I mean, cause if you, you can get overwhelmed to, depending on what you do at a ASD, right? You can go to the conference prosper conference, you can go to the trade show. Um, now it’s probably only four buildings now, but it was still, it’s beyond massive. And you can go to all these meetups and parties and I think one night we hit nine parties or some crazy thing, right? I mean there’s this all that, but it’s not like you’re sitting there drinking and Oh, tell me about the kids. Now you’re sitting there talking about deal. I mean it’s just crazy. At least my experience is that, was that fuel for you or was that reassurance for you that I’m on the something and I can do this at that next level.
Kate: [25:44] It was fuel. Um, you come back from those things after being, cause I mean this is a, it’s kind of a lonely business cause you’re not, you’re not going to work every day. Um, so being with like minded people and who actually want to talk about what you’re interested in, cause there’s not a lot of people that want to talk about it if they’re not in it. Um, it just, it kind of lights a fire. So it was like, let’s go. We got back and I was, I had gone by myself that year actually. My husband didn’t come and I was like, let’s do this. What happened to your business then? Um, so that was 2017
Kate: [26:24] a spike. Well, we definitely got a spike. Um, I think so from 2016 to 2017, um, we did 100,000 over what we had done the previous year. So you leveled up? Yeah, we leveled up. Um, and was I, was it 2018 I was raring to go. Um, and then 2018 I got pregnant again. Yeah. So, and my, um, my second was born November 11th, so right in the middle of Q4. So we had a slow down in 2018 to say the least. Um, but, but at early on in 2019, me and my husband started talking about him coming home.
Stephen: [27:19] And what was the, what was the, you know, I mean, you know, as a dad, you know, especially looking back, you know, for me it was a corporate thing cause my wife was, stayed home for the first, you know, few years of my, uh, my kids. So it was different. Back then, times were different. And you know, today there’s like, you know, it’s funny, I never thought about this, but we never saw the pictures, you know, like Facebook and all that junk. So you never saw what your kids were doing. Like you couldn’t, now you can see it. And I imagined he sitting in his office, wherever he’s at saying, Oh my gosh, I’m missing that. I want that. I mean, is that kinda how it goes?
Kate: [27:56] Yeah. I mean you always kind of, I think you felt left out a lot of stuff that was going on or you know, like walking and talking for the first time. Um,
Stephen: [28:08] yeah, no, I think he’s ready. Does that go against what he was raised to do though? Like with his family? I mean, and this isn’t a criticism, this is just what I was raised to do was like, you get a job, you go to work, you’re the breadwinner and you work until you retire and then you come home and die quickly. And you know, that’s it. You know, hope to make some of the grandkids. But that’s the way we were raised. I mean it was his, was his guidance that way where he’s supposed to work a regular job.
Kate: [28:35] Yeah, it was, it was interesting telling, um, a few people, family members that he was going to quit his job of 15 years. So come home and do this. So yes. Yeah. I sell ashtrays on eBay. What are you doing? Yeah, so you know, there’s, yeah, there’s still a little bit of that. Um, we had some very supportive people. Um, I think mostly I think the nervousness came from, you know, we have two young kids insurance leaving, uh, a steady paying job. Um, but all in all it, you know,
Stephen: [29:12] it was, it worked out really well. Well, let’s, how do you push past that? So, so you guys go to, you get to a point, your sales hit a certain number. Obviously you’re making enough money, right? Right enough to cover. You figured it out. You did a budget. I assume you guys probably worked together and got to the meat of what you need to do and then you were able to, was it your idea to say to him, was it his idea? Did you have at the same time?
Kate: [29:39] Um, it was always something like, you know, that would be awesome. That would be really good if you came home. Um, you know, he didn’t want to be at his job anymore. Um, just the politics of where he was, it just, it wasn’t working. He wasn’t as happy as, you know, maybe he had one spin. Um, [inaudible] you being happy. Yeah. But he also saw, you know, the benefit of this of, you know, we would do what we could sell in one day, could be like what he would make in a week. So it was, we saw, we saw it as that, like this, it’s maybe hurting us for you not to come home.
Stephen: [30:19] Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Sometimes it’s too expensive to go to work. Steve, you should do your own. All right. That phrase, right. I mean, it lose money, but, um, is his skillsets different than yours? And do they work well in the business in places that maybe you weren’t so strong?
Kate: [30:36] Absolutely. He is like such a people person. Um, and he’s actually a really good sales person. Um, which I kind of shy away from that. Um, so yeah, no, so far so good. We’re, we’re still kind of in a learning process. So he’s only been home since October. Okay. Very recent. We planned it. So we knew maybe in January or February of this year that he was gonna come home and we spent that time, you know, talking to people who had already done it. Um, talking to people that, you know, just getting advice from people that really know their stuff. Um, we put money aside. We were, you know, we had to get our own health insurance. Um, you know, we, we are, we knew that it was going to be, if something happened, you know, we had money so we weren’t, you know, we had to be very careful because of the kids.
Stephen: [31:32] So can we, can we break those down because I think I’m actually writing the title for this episode. It’s like get advice, save money, get health insurance to bring my husband home. I mean, it’s just, it’s so, it’s so powerful. Um, because I just know so many people are unhappy with their, unfortunately their life because they feel like they work for a company for so long and then all of a sudden the company gets sold or whatever and boom, they’re gone. And all the Goodwill they built up is gone or technology to, I mean, whatever, you know, um, or back to the example, they’re sitting there watching you play with the kids at home and they’re like, I want to be part of that. Right. So I want, Oh, I’d like to go through each one of these. So get advice. So this network that you built up over time, you put the time in, you spent the money to go to Vegas, you hung out, had to drink all those awful drinks at night, you know. Yeah. But all those relationships over time, I’m assuming some of those people where some of the advice, uh, or gave you some of the advice that you got, right? Yeah.
Kate: [32:32] Um, yeah, one, one couple in particular had done it. Um, he had come home in January of, uh, 2019. Um, and she kept saying to me, I wish we had done it sooner. I wish I had done it sooner. And I was like, okay. So I had, and I knew, you know, I knew where they had gone and then number wise where they are at. Um,
Stephen: [32:57] Oh, that’s important. So you were able, you’re that deep of a relationship where you could share that information?
Kate: [33:02] Yes. Yeah. And it was just like, okay, um, you know, just, it’s there. I mean, they’re like my support system,
Stephen: [33:10] so it’s a milestone. So they help you establish the milestones, like this number and we can do it. So. Hmm. Did you have to go back to them and say, Hey, I’m struggling because, you know, we hit that number and we’re not making X or anything like that or look for, you know what I mean?
Kate: [33:27] Yeah. Um, no, I mean it’s, again, it’s, everybody has their different situations so you know, where they live, where they, you know, everything is different. Um, we’re in the East coast and I mean, stuff is just crazy expensive up here. So our numbers have to be like, I mean, it’s so funny to talk to somebody that’s, you know, in the middle of the country or in the South, and you tell them how much you pay for your mortgage and they go, what are you talking about?
Stephen: [33:54] All right. So you affect those, those formulas with a perspective on where, you know, that, that kind of thing. That’s really important. Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean there’s different living costs everywhere, but how’d you handle the money side then? All right, so we got the get the advice. And so again, those, you just can’t write out to somebody, Hey, without establishing a relationship. So, you know, those relationships were established a year or two years prior to this to be able to get the trust to be able to get real good, honest advice. So now we move forward to financial. How, how did you, how did that go? How did you plan for that?
Kate: [34:31] Um, we actually, we met with someone. Um, yeah, we, cause I mean we, we already have, um, you know, IRAs, we have savings, we have everything. I mean we have a house, we have, they, you know, the kids, um, education, everything. Um, every, everything that comes into this house money-wise is budgeted. Money is put aside for everything. I mean, I’ve been doing that from the beginning.
Stephen: [34:59] Did you have a special program you use like a Y Nam or a Dave Ramsey thing or anything like that?
Kate: [35:05] Uh, we don’t, my husband is, he’s so good with money. Um, yeah, we don’t, we don’t carry debt. Um, except for the mortgage. Um, you know, we made sure all that stuff was done prior to him coming home
Stephen: [35:19] and those small trade-offs, not having the newest car or the newest phone financed. Right. Could people do that now? Those are very small trade offs.
Kate: [35:28] My husband was driving like a 1996, you know, horrible car for years. Like, yeah, we didn’t, we didn’t do anything. That was crazy expensive.
Stephen: [35:39] Let me ask this question because I think this is, you’re young, a lot younger than I am and you’re dealing with this at the my age, the, you know, people just think I’m old and crazy and your age though. People are looking down their nose at you, you’re driving that or you have to get your car repaired. Like people look at you like, wait, you actually have to get a car repair done. How do you, how do you manage that?
Kate: [35:58] You don’t let it bother you? I mean, I mean there’s a goal. We have a goal in mind. So, you know, if it fits in our goal, great. But I mean it really doesn’t matter or you just don’t care. I don’t care. You know, it’s, yeah. It’s good for you if they’re going to have an opinion about your matter. What, um, I mean, I, I’ve actually haven’t really run into that. Okay. So I mean, who knows, maybe behind my back. I have no idea.
Stephen: [36:29] All right, so you set this, you met with somebody and what was their guidance?
Kate: [36:35] Um, you know, they basically just said, have all your stuff in order. Um, basically what six months is what you’re looking for for finances. So six months of living expenses is, I think, expensive. Yeah. Expenses and then, um, health insurance and just, you know, I think that was basically all we did. It’s the will to want to do it. And that’s
Stephen: [37:02] now is that six months investible in inventory or is that really six months? That’s not untouchable until the bad stuff hits the fan.
Kate: [37:10] Yeah, no, that’s separate. Okay. I mean, we don’t, we don’t use the money that we buy inventory with that. No. Okay.
Stephen: [37:16] But that delays the satisfaction, Kate. I mean that makes you have to wait that much longer. That’s not easy, isn’t it?
Kate: [37:23] I, I, I mean it, it is better though. It makes it more
Stephen: [37:30] Laura worthwhile. But did it also help to have those little milestones like established, like goals?
Kate: [37:37] Yeah, it was, it was goals. I mean, our, our main reason for doing that was we wanted him to start at the beginning of Q four. We wanted to set ourselves up for success knowing that Q4 was going to be, I mean, as it usually is the best, you know, you can make what half your sales and that last three months. So we purposely did that. Um, so we would be successful with this.
Stephen: [38:05] And I always ask this because I, you know, I think about before I announced my retirement from my company and every tired, a little early, um, they had no clue that I was leaving, but they would, you know, dump on me, whatever. And I was a CFO. And so they want, you know, this and that, and I’d be making, I’m thinking to myself, I’m making these decisions, but I won’t be around to live with them, you know? And so it’s kind of a weird place you get to in your mind. You know, was he in that same place with his job that he did his attitude change all of a sudden on the job?
Kate: [38:32] Oh yeah, he would. I mean, I, it’d that way for a while cause he, he knew he was going to do it. Um, and they were shocked. They were shocked that he did it. But, um, yeah, he was just his, like, once he gave us notice and he gave them, I think he gave them a month. Right? Um, yeah, he was done. So he was just like, Oh, well, and he was the boss. So
Stephen: [38:57] yeah, that’s a, it’s very odd for people to, you know, it’s a very weird thing to do. I always, I always liked those where they give those crazy, uh, resignations and they, you know, people do it on YouTube, you can actually see these crazy performances they do to do it. You know, I’m, I’m a nervous guy, I’m just, you know, a little shy like that too. So, um,
Kate: [39:17] he, um, he purposely like, he left on really good terms. Um, and with the, Hey, if this doesn’t work, do I have a job? Yeah. So it was exactly,
Stephen: [39:28] can you talk about health insurance? Because I’d see that being such a barrier for so many people today.
Kate: [39:36] Um, I mean we, we basically, we didn’t go really crazy with health insurance. Um, we, and if, honestly, if we didn’t have kids, we would’ve gone really less. Um, we basically just got them covered. Okay, so you’ve got bare covered, like catastrophic cover. No, we went, no, we went above that. I think we won’t make a second level. Um, I mean my, we spent my first two years with the kids. We spent a lot of time, um, in the hospital for various sicknesses. So knowing our history, I, um, you know, we couldn’t go bare minimum, but
Stephen: [40:15] so, um, I don’t want to get too personal. So can you give us a family of four aroundabout figure and I guess it is state dependent and then if you supplement it like, like what you’re describing, if you’re in the middle plan, you probably have deductibles and stuff like that. How you manage that? I mean is that
Kate: [40:34] um, it’s yeah, it’s a monthly bill. Um, yeah, we’re, we’re higher than a thousand a month. Okay.
Stephen: [40:41] I, when we looked at it for us, it was around 1500 for us and I, we have a family of three, um, and we’re a little bit older. Um, and so, uh, so you obviously budget that. Um, are you also budgeting? Cause this again, I think is something that can help somebody figure this out. If you do a deductible, right, you can put that money aside in certain ways and if you’re disciplined in it and you can get that, that safety coverage very, very quickly.
Kate: [41:07] Correct. Yes. Yep. Yeah. The uh, yeah. And I will say we also did, um, life insurance and Oh, that’s important. Yeah. We did a few other things. Um, we did skip dental.
Stephen: [41:21] Did that come from the financial person that you met with that advice with the life insurance?
Kate: [41:26] Yeah, I mean, and I, I know a lot of times it’s just a sale. Um, but it was important to us to have sleep at night. Yeah.
Stephen: [41:34] You know, I always think about you, my wife’s always like, what do I do with that warehouse? If something happens to you? I’m like, well, you’re going to, you’re going to be wealthy, so hire somebody to handle it. You don’t have to worry about pay somebody to get rid of it. Okay. So, so we get the money. Well, no, let’s go back to the, the, this is the, this is really good advice. We go back to this, develop relationships, real relationships, and they don’t happen by just sending somebody a Facebook message. This is stuff you have to put time and effort in and you have to give to the relationship over time. Um, build those relationships, find people you can trust that you can talk about this business and then seek advice from those who have successfully done what you’re looking to do. Then the next thing is, uh, I think your advised meeting with a financial planner is so smart, um, to get outside influence because they aren’t going to be the rosy one that thinks that all the inventory you buy is going to sell.
Stephen: [42:27] Right? Kate? I mean, there’s a little bit of rosiness in our attitude when we buy. Um, and it doesn’t always work, right? So getting that unbiased view is going also keep you in check. And I think the health insurance thing is a good, a good thing, a good barometer for somebody to, um, to be able to manage their way through. All right. The other thing I like also that, you know, he didn’t burn a bridge. He did it the right way, the way he would want to be treated. I think that’s all powerful. Okay. So that sounds well and good. Now he’s home and now you guys have to see each other 24, seven Zakho.
Kate: [43:06] Uh, we’re, we’re in adjustment still. Um, we are still, you know, organization. It’s key and like you said, finding our strengths. Um, we’re so busy right now with this time of year that, um, you know, he still doesn’t know how to do everything. Like I’m slowly showing him stuff. Um, that is one key thing I wish we had done prior, um, training, which more training but we didn’t have the time. Um, and so we’re still working. He does a lot of sourcing. I do a lot of shipping. Um, we’re still kind of figuring out the balance between work life and family life. Um, we’re working out of our house. Um, so it’s not like we’re going to a warehouse or anything.
Stephen: [43:56] So it’s tough sitting on your kitchen table from time to time, isn’t it? Yup. Yup.
Kate: [44:01] Um, so we’re, we’re working on balance. You know, we want to spend as much time with the kids as possible. Um, I could work, you know, 12 or 14 hours a day, like, um, so, and he’s figuring out, you know, he’s never been home with the kids and that’s an adjustment. You know, the kids nonstop, they don’t turn it off. Yeah. There’s no mute button. So ask
Stephen: [44:25] you this. Um, income wise, okay. Now don’t get personal with this, but just, and it may be, I’m thinking of ourselves too. You get to a place where you don’t have enough sometimes where you’re thinking that you don’t have enough and yet you do, he set this goal and you meet the goal and you’re like, wow, I better go a little bit bigger. I better, I better just in case they suspend my account or just becayse they, you know what I mean? Do you guys get there too?
Kate: [44:52] Um, yeah, definitely. I mean, like I said, I see every, everything that comes in money gets put aside. Um, we are definitely, I mean, the amount of money that we are spending and we’re getting, you know, we get the bills and we, it’s a little nerve wracking. Oh, it’s crazy. It’s crazy. And then like every time that you put, uh, you try to increase your credit cards, it’s like, okay, well that’s my next goal. Like, can I get all our cars up to 50 grand or a hundred, you know? Um, so I guess we kinda judge it by that, but yeah, it’s
Stephen: [45:31] okay. Do you have any advice for people so you know who you are, what you’re describing is, is very doable today. Again, this is not easy though. Like if you remember back in the beginning, Kate said she’s working harder now than she ever did and all of what she did ever. So, uh, that’s perspective. However, what does it for you now, I was going to ask an advice question, but what is it for you now looking at that, that hard work, all that hard work, what is it for you that gives you the smile where it’s all worth it?
Kate: [46:08] Um, being home, working for myself. Um, I always had trouble with working for someone else and you know, their schedule, what they’re, you know, what they want. Um, this is all for us, you know, if we want to just stop and, you know, spend the day as a family, you know. And have you done that? I’m assuming? Yes. Yeah, we have. Um, you know, we’ve gone on more trips now. We’ve done, you know, just stuff that, you know, we would’ve had to put in time for, you know, all of that stuff. Um, just being together, sitting down, eating dinner like that. It didn’t happen that often. Um, you know, just watching a Christmas movie, like anything like that. It’s just all of that has been really good. Like my son just two weeks ago, he was sick for about two weeks and both of us were able to be home and you know, we were working from home and doing everything. One person is always there so that, that is our ultimate goal.
Stephen: [47:08] So I know there are trade offs, right? I mean, you know, you lost the corporate health insurance, you lost your corporate 401k matches and all the rest of that stuff. And, um, and maybe even your, maybe you financially it’s not the same. Um, any chance that either one of you are going back to work.
Kate: [47:24] I will never work for someone I wrote employable. I, I will never, and I’ve said that for years now. I just, I won’t. Um, and I, I’ve never asked my husband that, but I feel he feels the same way. He’s got a taste of it and it’s not even in our, like, we don’t even think about that. It’s still plan B. There’s no, it’s how can we improve what we’re doing with this job? There’s no like, Oh, if this doesn’t work out, it’s, Nope, this is what we’ll move from here to here. These are our goals for this. This is what we’re going to try to do this year. There’s no, Oh, you know, just isn’t going to work out. There’s none of that.
Stephen: [48:06] Hmm. When you, uh, I don’t know if new people come into your groups that you’re in, you’re now in the position to help them, um, the way you were helped. Do you, do you feel like it’s competition coming in or do you feel like, Hey, this person might have the chops to make it, um, and, and therefore will you give them the time of day and help them? That kind of thing.
Kate: [48:31] I would rather help them than have them do, you know, like I said, when we first started off we didn’t have a clue and I’m sure I was making mistakes. Um, so if I see that they are very interested and are willing to put the time in, um, I have no problem helping them.
Stephen: [48:50] Yeah. About the one though. Um, Hey, can you give me the short version of how to do this? Um, I got, I, you know, I need to, I got other stuff to do. Right. That’s, that’s challenge. I get those a lot and it’s very challenging. I can’t help you. I mean, I can’t help you. I’m, you know, it took me, you know, 12 years to be at this level. Right. And I’m not saying you should take you 12 years, but you’ve got to give some effort.
Kate: [49:11] No, you have to get your hands dirty. That’s the best way. I mean, that’s how I’ve always learned you have to do it. Do you know how many times we have, you know, had bad buys or failed at something or lost so much money or our first wholesale purchase? Um, we lost huge and that was a learning experience. So I can’t teach that.
Stephen: [49:33] Hmm. Looking forward, you know, when you think about, I mean, I asked this question to somebody the other day, do you see a cap to your potential? And it’s not an ego thing. I mean, other than money being decap for most people, I’m in this cash heavy business, but do you see a cap?
Kate: [49:53] Um, our only cap is time. Okay. I, um, no, if we get to the point where, you know, we start hiring out people, I don’t see a cap. I mean, I think this, this business just has all the opportunity in the world. I don’t, it’s, it’s your knowledge and it’s, you know, how far you’re going to go and who you have to help you. There’s no cap. I don’t, I don’t think there is.
Stephen: [50:25] I think you’re right. I mean, I think there’s effort, right? You’re capped by your effort. Right. There are some people with limitations there, but, uh, I think mentally it doesn’t seem like there’s, um, it does seem like this business is growing. I know it’s more challenging. Right? I, I assume it’s a little more challenging this year than it was in 2015. Correct? Yep. Yep. But, you know, if you knew now and you applied what you knew now in 2015, how much better would you have been then?
Kate: [50:52] Oh yeah. No, no. It’s just knowledge. It’s just learning and it’s continual learning and then it’s deciding, I mean, my cap might be, you know, we’re happy at a certain level and we don’t have to, like, I, I, I don’t need to be a massive seller. I just want to be happy and comfortable and you know, have plenty of time with family and friends and be able to do something if we want to do it. I mean, I guess that would be my cap.
Stephen: [51:23] Well let me ask you this, cause that’s interesting. [inaudible] have you been able to work on your business to work on that cap? Meaning that, you know, you hit a level, you’re content with that and now you’re like, I don’t want to push much longer. We want the weekends off or whatever. However, somebody mentioned you can, uh, use box T for example, scan power, Xbox T to help prepare boxes and it’s faster and it’s easier. I mean, have you been able to apply stuff like that into your business?
Kate: [51:49] I’ve definitely, this year has been, um, a year of cutting out unnecessary stuff and kind of using different tools to make it easier. Um, and I think that next year will be the same. Okay. And how did you learn about those tools? I mean, everything, most, everything I learn is from, you know, my group of friends, different I, different Facebook groups. Um, you speak to one person, I, you know, I’ve listened to a bunch of different um, YouTube shows and they say one thing and you go, what’s, I didn’t know that. And that right there can change something that you do. And I’ve had that happen so many times and you’re like, well, I didn’t know about that.
Stephen: [52:33] So again, we’re back to us putting in the time to learn and then applying it into your business. Very powerful. Yup. Get advice, save money, get health insurance and bring your husband home.
Kate: [52:45] Yeah. Yeah. My, um, my absolute biggest recommendation is find a group that you are comfortable with. Um, you know, that you flow really well with and just, it’s, it’s endless. The, what they can bring to you. It’s just the networking and the people
Stephen: [53:03] and be honest with them, be, you know, you know, transparent because, and it’s embarrassing sometime cause you’re gonna not, your sales aren’t going to be as big as Kate’s and then you’re going to be like, yeah, I’m not as big as you. Well that Kay wasn’t that big that long ago. Right. If you’re honest with people and you know, then you’re going, that’s the type of relationship, right?
Kate: [53:23] Yeah, absolutely. Cause like said, I struggled that with that a lot.
Kate: [53:29] Cause they’re, I have some close friends that yeah, their sales are amazing and it’s hard not to compare yourself, but, um, you know, it’s the perspective.
Stephen: [53:40] Yeah. Yeah. And the people are different. And I always say they’re there. They’re much better leaders than I are there. You know, there are people who have different skills and so, you know, that’s their, that’s their thing. That’s not my thing. So I get it. Okay. So, um, before I asked my last question, um, if somebody had a followup question, would it be okay if I put your Facebook contact out there?
Stephen: [54:02] Okay. So I’ll put that out there and, um, have that ready. Um, okay. So, and I think you’ve heard me ask this question before, but I’m gonna ask it anyway. What you know, and I, and I think you’ve seen this, I don’t know if you’ve gotten to the point of stuck, uh, maybe those books was an example of something you were stuck with with eBay. You would have been like, Oh my God, listing books on eBay. Who, who does that? You know, blah, blah blah. So what other options, and you push past stock because you joined Amazon, you took a leap of faith, you tried this thing that somebody mentioned and boom, you magically had some success. What’s your advice for people who hit that point of stuck? How to get past?
Kate: [54:53] And just keep trying different things. And again, don’t get stuck on one thing if it’s not working, you know, somebody has already done that. Try, you know, talk to them, try something new. Um, just education.
Stephen: [55:11] Oh, I love it. I, they so sound those relationships, that information. It’s all available. But you got to put the time in. I’m thinking if there’s one takeaway for somebody to hear, Kate said is the hardest she’s ever worked. But boy, do you hear the happiness inner voice and what now? That her husband’s home. Oh, you guys, there’s no stopping. You just, thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Thank you. I’m so glad that somebody recommended that I talk with Kate. I mean, how can you, how inspiring is that? You know, again, in a sense, Courtney, for me to say as a dad, but you want your kids to do better than you do in the old days that may make more money or get a better job or whatever. That’s not it anymore. I want my son to be a better dad than I was.
Stephen: [55:53] I think I’m a pretty good debt. I think my boys would say that, but man, I want him to be better. I want him to be a better husband. You know, he’s already a wonderful son. I want him to, you know, that’s what I want, you know? And so I would assume that’s probably what you want. Um, and so I think this is an inspiring couple who is doing it and not caring what other people think. And man, I’m just telling you how can you not be inspired by that? E-commerce, momentum.com e-commerce momentum.com take care.
Cool voice guy: [56:21] Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at [inaudible] commerce, momentum.com under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.