425 : Todd Ferguson - Our team is the real secret to our success selling on Amazon
Todd says what he means. His TEAM is the magic. Sure he as a leader is focused on giving them the tools and training they need to bring out their best. But hiring great people and letting them do the work without micro-managing helps people feel like they are part of something. Get ready to talk warehouse services as we talk about our experiences. Get ready to be a better client, he tells you what he needs. I tell you when we decide not to invite a client back and what that looks like. Great interview from a real successful seller.
Todd: 00:00:00 [inaudible] you're going to make a huge change in your business. Um, you, you better consult quite a few people. Um, kind of play out every scenario. I and, uh, even even ask for advice outside of your circle,
Cool voice guy: 00:00:11 welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of eCommerce selling. Today. Here's your host Steven Peterson.
Stephen: 00:00:25 In this episode you're going to hear Todd and I reference, um, Gaye Lisbey and Gary Ray's group, the Amazon seller tribe. Um, it is a group that we actually members of. Um, and what I, you're going to hear us talk about it. So I don't want to, you know, go too much. And yes, they sponsor my show and yes, they pay me. So I don't want to mislead anyone. I never want to. Um, but I believe in him so much. Um, cause I've seen the difference that they make. So here you're going to hear this, this interview and you're going to hear somebody who sells well over seven figures and yet joins a group like this. And what he's getting from it is not what you would expect. It's not the list of stuff to buy. That's not what he's getting from it. And he gets that too.
Stephen: 00:01:08 But that's not what he's getting from it. And if you're missing something in your business and your life, because your business and your life will melt together, it becomes one. This might be the right group for you. Um, and how you get in is you, uh, just go join a Amazon seller tribe. I do have a link. So if you're interested in joining, um, it's Amazon seller, tribe.com, forward slash momentum and you can see some of the stuff that's offered to my page, but you don't have to go there. Just go and join the group. Um, they want to make sure you're real and see if there is a connection. If you do, then come out and use my link and you can get 14 day free trial on their stuff. But more importantly, just see if that's a group of people that you could connect with once that you can maybe develop real honest relationships with. Um, and I'm suggesting it because we're in it and uh, of course you can reach out to me if you have any other questions about it. Okay. Let's get into podcast.
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Stephen: 00:04:19 Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This is episode 425. Todd Ferguson mean I could talk to him all day. Um, you know, I guess in so many ways, uh, we have similar paths, uh, in business. Um, and, uh, he clearly spins a lot more plates than I do. He is way more masterful. But, you know, similar to Dan Wentworth being a district manager where you're managing type a strong type a personalities who are, you know, individually running a store that, that leader, you're hurting a whole bunch of those types of people. That is a skill set that I don't have. Um, but you clearly see it in Todd and, uh, what a great story. Um, what a terrific guy. A good story, and he has a prep center. So if you're looking for a prep, might be something worth checking out. Let's get into the podcast and we'll come back to the eCommerce women podcast.
Stephen: 00:05:12 I'm excited about today's guest because we're kind of kindred spirits in business. Um, operations are similar in some ways and I'm sure they're different in other ways. Um, but, but a lot of similarities and I think there's value to help people who are thinking about going the direction that my guests and I are in or are gonna utilize services that my guest and I offer. Todd Ferguson. Welcome Todd. Hi Stephen. Thanks for having me. Well, thank you for coming on. I know you're very busy. Um, it was a big Q4 was it not? It was a great Q Corp. It was a great key for it. Yeah, that's what I say too. It didn't seem like it was going to be, did it?
Todd: 00:05:48 It didn't, you know, I was a little worried. I think everybody was just with the time frame from black Friday to Christmas. Um, right, because it was, yeah. Yeah. But for us, honestly with the most profitable Q4 we've had, so I'll take that any day.
Stephen: 00:06:02 Yeah. Let's start there. Why, why is it more profitable this year? What, what, what did you learn that you put in place in your business?
Todd: 00:06:10 Well, um, we do kind of the whole gamut of retail arbitrage, online arbitrage. We have wholesale and we also have private label. And so our wholesale accounts and our private label stuff, we've gotten better at forecasting and really using previous year's data to, um, make sure that we're stocked to know what new items we're going after. Um, and so for us, that's where the most profit is. Uh, of course, you know, the, the retail arbitrage and online arbitrage when you're turning your money super quick, that's kind of the name of the game, uh, for Q4. But for us, the profit, like the big profit, I mean, we had one item, um, that I share with somebody else that we've developed that we sell for $6 or we, sorry, we, we, it costs us about six bucks and we sell it for right around $27 and it gets under under 10,000 rank and toys. So this is Vaughn. Yeah. And, but we're making great money too and there's really little prep involved. And so that's the kind of stuff that, you know, that excites me and
Stephen: 00:07:14 that, uh, that gives you, I love the idea of the forecast that also gives you the ability to plan for this year. Cause one of the things we're talking about and the pre-call was, you know, a warehouse services, and we'll talk about that in a second. But, but I was impressed that you knew your forecast for this year. That's impressive.
Todd: 00:07:30 I think if you're going to run a legit business, um, you need to know that.
Stephen: 00:07:35 Okay. But how many people, I mean let's face it, you and I are in some groups. How many people have taken the time to do a budget for this year? How many people?
Todd: 00:07:42 I would say very few. But that's, I think that's part of the learning process too. When, when you're, when you're starting out, I mean, you're really thinking about somebody brand new, that starting, uh, that's learning and retail arbitrage or online or whatever. Like there's so many different things. And the way you're gonna make your money is when you're buying your stuff, when you're buying your items, you know, you don't make it when you sell it necessarily. Um, and I think budgeting or forecasting, um, is, is a skill that you have to kind of learn along the way.
Stephen: 00:08:08 Well, you're forced to learn it very quickly with this business because it's such a cash heavy or inventory heavy, but that equates to cash business. And so you have no choice. But you know, and especially older sellers that have the biweekly payout or newer seller, excuse me, biweekly pay outs, that makes it even more challenging because they're waiting until they get their money.
Todd: 00:08:29 Absolutely. No. Yeah, we, we've been selling since 2013 and we still have biweekly payouts like I have,
Stephen: 00:08:35 I think it changed in 2011. Um, we went FDA in 2011 and we made it to daily. Um, and uh, but I think there are some parts of 2011 that don't have that. So it's weird. I, I don't understand it. I've never questioned, I've been very fortunate. I'm not complaining and I'm not, you know, I don't boast about it. It's just, it is what it is. There's nothing I could do. I didn't do anything special.
Todd: 00:08:57 Right. And that's just part of your business. Like you just learned to adapt and work with what you've got and make it happen.
Stephen: 00:09:02 So that's one of the important things. Well, let me, let me, let's get some perspective about Todd before, and we'll go into your background, but you know, you're a mega seller, I'll call it that. Um, but you also have a warehouse 10,000 square foot warehouse, which is impressive. Um, you have bunches of clients and as you sell yourself in all four categories, um, and I'm interested to hear about eBay or Amazon Canada cause not many people sell there. So I'm interested to hear about that. Um, but you also on the carry and on eBay, so you've really built out a pretty good size business, um, for yourself there. And you're touching a lot of, I mean, you're spending a lot of plates as we like to say here.
Todd: 00:09:43 Yeah. You know, one thing I've, I've heard previously and um, it's nothing new is that you need to have multiple streams of income and, and granted that, you know, we were online sellers, um, but we've always tried to really branch out in any way that we feel that like we can make money and be profitable, then we're going to do that. Uh, and most of the stuff too. And you know, I, I personally don't touch, so, you know, we've hired people outsourced it, if you want to call it that. I mean that's all in house, but we've hired people to maintain these, you know, like for example, eBay, when we first started, of course it was all me. Now I can't tell you the last time I actually shipped that on eBay item or lifted anything. We have a full time person that does that.
Stephen: 00:10:18 Oh yeah. I am not at that scale. Now we have, there's four of us here. Um, including my wife and uh, I tend to ship still quite a bit. I mean, I, I do touch a lot, not every day. Um, there are lots of days and I can get away, which is really good because, uh, we, uh, we brought on my son and another guy, uh, this year and they can fill in when I'm traveling. Uh, but we definitely have not scaled to your level of sophistication. Um, now on clients, you, you do some different than we do. You actually prep, we do not prep. How many clients do you prep for?
Todd: 00:10:55 Um, right now I believe as of today we have 27 people that we, we offer prep services for.
Stephen: 00:11:00 So that's pretty significant. That's a lot of moving pieces.
Todd: 00:11:03 It is. Um, and, and it didn't happen overnight. You know, we've, we usually pick up two or three clients a month as word kind of spreads and you know, people refer people.
Stephen: 00:11:13 And are they sending in mostly online arbitrage stuff to you? Is that typical?
Todd: 00:11:17 That's, that's the typical customer? Yes. Um, once we get somebody in there though and they kind of see how the process works, we also do people to have wholesale. We've had people send us private label stuff. We also have people that send us a large bulk buys of closeout merchandise. So we actually store that for them and then prep and when it's ready. But our, our main customer is an online arbitrage.
Stephen: 00:11:40 How, how difficult is that to manage? Cause I, I, we don't do what we do with ourselves, but we don't do it for any other person. Um, online arbitrage or anything like that. There, there's a seller, um, I store his stuff. Um, and he has, he has sent me some things, but I just do it as a, because I'm friends with them, you know, as a convenience thing. Um, we have not managed that. What, what, what are some of the pitfalls, um, if somebody's thinking about getting in that cause I want to get to one of the reasons why we both do warehouse services, but what are some of the pitfalls, especially for online arbitrage people?
Todd: 00:12:16 Well, if you're not an organized person, um, I really think that's a detriment if you're going to, we'll use a prep center because for us there are certain items that we require certain data, um, you know, as far as communication and to make sure everything's accurate and on point. Um, there's that also, you know, the level of expectation is sometimes people, in my opinion, sometimes people over prep items like they want it to look so immaculate when it gets there. And then yes, we want it to look good, but you know, they're gonna, they're gonna board fold a tee shirt and make sure it perfectly Chris. Um, but the time it gets to the customer, you know, we all, we've all received, I'm an Amazon items that
Stephen: 00:12:53 a 17, 17 inch by 40 inch box with a, you know, a pack of, uh, yodels and it, right. Or something like that. Right.
Todd: 00:13:01 And 64 ounces. Yeah. 64 ounces of like laundry fluid in there too, or laundry detergent. Yeah. Guaranteed to leak. But, you know, and so we, that's not saying we don't prep items the right way and then we're not careful. We are, but there are some people, you know, even it's just, they, their, their expectation is a little too high. Um, and they want everything to be absolutely perfect. So for us, it's speed and efficiency, um, accuracy and, and I think if you talk to some of our clients that they would attest to that as far as speed, especially even doing Curt Q four, we, we very rarely got past a 36 hour turnaround time. Um, we were pretty close to that 24, you know, if you, if you wanted your stuff shipped daily, it was shipped daily. Um, but you know, it's, and also, you know, when you start sending stuff to a warehouse, there is a learning curve for both people, especially if you've never done it before and you gotta learn the processes and the systems.
Todd: 00:13:54 Um, but you also have to realize that, you know, if you think we've got 27 different customers right now, we have multi, multi, multimillion dollar customers and then we have people that send us 50 items a week or 50 items a month. Um, and so you have to realize that, you know, there, there's not necessarily an order, but there is, yeah, no, they're there. They're has, you know, the people that, that are sending us stuff and we're shipping daily. Those are the priorities, not that are not that everybody's not important. Um, but there are people, you know, I think sometimes you, you send somebody 10 items and you want to know why it hasn't shipped. So just kind of the expectation level there. And honestly, you know, we tried to have a phone call with people at the very beginning, um, to really go through the expectations, what we expect, what they expect. Um, and I think if you can do that and actually have a conversation as opposed to a Facebook message or an email that a lot of that can be ironed out
Stephen: 00:14:43 for us. Uh, the customers that have been at other prep center, not prep centers, other warehousing, especially the more, um, non, uh, non Amazon, uh, warehouses. You know, the ones that have really, you know, the more professional ones they love when they come to something like where I can actually talk to a real person, it's going to be the same person and I could, I could have a problem and you could fix it where when you get to those larger places, but that's the trade off, right? Uh, we can't turn, um, I don't have 50 guys here to unload your container. I have to bring in people to do that kind of thing. So that's part of our challenges. Um, do you do any a container? Are you getting anything by container from China?
Todd: 00:15:24 Uh, no we're not. No. We, we've, we receive truckloads of merchandise, you know, full full truck loads. Um, but that's usually close out merchandise, but nothing as far as the container, we have that ability. We just haven't,
Stephen: 00:15:35 yeah. That if when you get to that place in your first one's coming in or if you need to price it, talk to me, I'll help you with that. Cause that is, that is a challenge. Um, but it's also, you know, it's awesome, but it is a challenge because you only have a couple of hours to do it. And you know, uh, when you're not, you're not designed for that. It's not like our warehouse has automation, you know, some of those things have the things that extends in the back of the container and it's, you know, rollers that, you know, conveyors is done. We don't have that, you know. So we're, we're a bunch of people that have always done and lift. You might've seen some of the pictures of Andy doing some of that work. We, uh, we, it's a good workout. It is a good workout.
Stephen: 00:16:09 Um, I guess I should go back, um, because I, I hope people at this point understand scope. Um, we're talking about somebody who sells over seven figures himself, um, as a business and all the different channels in multiple countries on multiple platforms and has a large scale, I would call it a large scale warehouse, uh, for a small, large scales, small warehouse, maybe that's the right term. Um, so from a perspective point of view, that's, that's a lot. How do you get to the place that your life is this Todd? How do you, how do you get to, to be at this point in your life? Cause that's a lot of responsibility.
Todd: 00:16:49 It is. You know, I, I actually enjoy the responsibility that's part of it. Um, I enjoy not necessarily the pressure, but I enjoy that. Uh, but honestly it comes from relationships and building your team. You know, I, I've, my background, I've probably hired thousands upon thousands of people retail. Correct. I was in, I was in retail. Yeah. Um, I ran a couple of different stores and then I was a district manager. And so I've hired tons of people. I've hired tons of managers and you kind of learn what to look for in people. Um, and you learn what you need and of course, what your strengths and your weaknesses are. And you know, like for me, for instance, as far as our, our actual side where we sell on, I really don't enjoy online arbitrage or sourcing. And so I outsource that. We have teams of the A's that do that. Um, so we've just worked on team building relationships have been huge for us this last year. Um, really just investing our time into people, finding their relationships with people that you can trust. And it's crazy when you can really invest into somebody else. And when are you going to relationship and you're not just looking to take, you're looking to see what else, what you can provide that those relationships blossom and they open up doors that, you know, I would have never thought would have happened.
Stephen: 00:18:04 Who is harder to hire? Uh, because you're LinkedIn a Wentworth who is a district manager to and had 17, um, type a cats that he was trying to hurt every single day and it was insane. You've, you've done similar, who is harder? The hire that, that manager who's a type a who kind of, you know, independent or that staffer who's down there and peel and stickers off or Baggin or you know, stack and boxes.
Todd: 00:18:30 I think the staffer is harder interpersonally. Um, I, I am a type a, I kind of know how to handle that and what, what motivates me and how, how to speak and communicate with somebody like that. Um, but the staffer, you know, it's
Todd: 00:18:46 there, there are certain things that you have to have and certain things you have to do, um, in order to get the job done. And, and sometimes it's very tough to find people that are, that are that motivated when you, when you start getting into management and people that will manage part of your business. Like they're, they're usually wired for that or they have some type of skill set that's already there and it's you just really transitioning them and training them in that area of your business, um, and then what you need. Whereas, you know, if you're just looking at somebody that's working for 10 or 12 or 15 bucks an hour, um, that's gonna appeal stickers. You know, there's not always that motivation there. And, and it's, to me, it's tougher to, to find those good quality people
Stephen: 00:19:23 and to get them to stay. Well, how do you, because this will be interesting to understand. How do you get a store manager to stay? Right? So you have people that maybe run part of your divisions, right? Or we're doing, you know, overseeing it maybe the right term. Um, how do you get them to stay because that type a, like you, um, they've got their own ideas, their independence, they have plans for themselves. How do you get them to stay?
Todd: 00:19:48 Well, first of all, you have to realize why you hired them. You hired them to manage your business and manage a certain part. And a lot of that is to free for, for me anyways, to free myself up so I can do other things.
Stephen: 00:19:59 So are you giving them rope? I mean, is that what you're doing is you're giving them the hair, the hair, the offenses that you could stay in, please just stay in there. But when you're in there, it's your yard.
Todd: 00:20:08 Absolutely. And you know what I mean? The thing is, we just talked about, I think we talked about this or maybe before, but like everybody makes mistakes. They're going to make a mistake and you've got to realize that and you got to let them know that it's okay to make a mistake. I'm like, we're, you know, their most, most of mistakes that, that happen. You can't, you know, you can fix them. We prep something wrong or yeah, it's stuff that can be fixed. I mean, um, and so yeah, you give them rope and, and you encourage them. And the thing for me though for us is, you know, one thing, the reason why people stay with us, I believe, and I had somebody tell me this, um, was that we're flexible. You know, if you, if you think about somebody that's been in a store management position or worked for a corporation like there, there is huge expectations.
Todd: 00:20:50 You're almost expected to work all the time. And I remember when I was a district manager, like I was really home one day a week and I was traveling the rest and working at night. Um, and so you gotta figure out what's important to them, but giving them flexibility. Like my people, we, we work seven to two 30. Right? And my staff does. And if they need to go to the doctor or they have something come up or a dentist appointment, like they don't even, I mean they just say, Hey, I have this. Um, and so for me, the flexibility, we don't pay the absolute most, but the flexibility and, you know, the ability to come in and enjoy your job, having fun, um, working with people that you like. I mean that's, that I think is more for that type of employee and even for, for management to, to have that flexibility.
Stephen: 00:21:34 I always used to use this example, why was it okay for me to go and see my son play soccer? But it's not okay for my employees. I mean, am I that much more important? Forget it. I always insistent on that stuff because that's, that's life, right? You don't want them to miss that part of life. So you know, there is a balance. Sometimes you can't have it too often, but, but it, it just, you gotta think about other people because you know, they let you flex. Right?
Todd: 00:21:59 Absolutely. I mean, I think about the time that I travel. I mean I look at my first quarter or first half of the month, first half of the year, sorry. And I'm gone seven or eight times. They're allowing me to do that. I mean, we built a team and we built systems that I'm able to do that. But you get, you have to think, I don't want them just, what you said is I don't want them to be grudging me. Have a grudge toward me because I'm able to do that. And they're not,
Stephen: 00:22:22 yeah. 100%. Why? Why you get a vacation and they see your picture on Facebook and then they're not allowed to. I mean, come on. Yeah. Um, he just got me thinking about something. When you're on the road for that many trips, how are you managing from afar? I mean, is it a high level discussion or are you just dealing with a couple people?
Todd: 00:22:42 I'm really just dealing with two people. Yeah. And my, my managers, you know, I just let it kind of trickle down from there. Um, I mean I'm, I'm in constant communication with them, so it's, it's nothing, nothing like mind blowing. You know, we, most of our stuff that we do is on Google sheets or Google docs and so everybody can see the workflow and all that through there. Um, um, you know, if I'm in a situation, I get a phone call from him, like, you know, I know that they're not calling me just to chat something important. So I'm always available, but it's, uh, just putting trust in your people and that's something that you have to learn as well. Um, and eventually you just kind of let them, you know, I, there are days that I don't even go out really in the warehouse and look over everything or, or feel that need to, cause I know every time that I do, I, when I spot check stuff and I look at stuff, the feedback from the customers, like I'd trust them. So.
Stephen: 00:23:34 So how long did it take for you to get that confidence? Um, I mean you've been selling on Amazon since 2013 when did your warehouse open up for other customers?
Todd: 00:23:44 Um, well I've done prep for people, like friends is kinda, you talked about for probably four or five years.
Stephen: 00:23:50 Okay. So, so for five years. So how long back go back? Five years. How long were you in there where you started to say, okay, I can truly step back. I mean that first hire, the second hire, third hire. What was it?
Todd: 00:24:03 Uh, I mean it was probably the second or second or third hire. I mean really, probably six months to a year end. Um, cause like for even now we have people that come in at night and prep and there's, um, I'm not there.
Stephen: 00:24:12 Interesting. So they're getting a jump for the next day, is that what they're doing?
Todd: 00:24:17 Yeah, we have, we have several people that worked full time jobs and they just wanted the lecture and come to the Chemin at night and do certain things. But it's, it's all about your communication and, and you know, laying your things out the way you should have an actual processes in place. So that way there's no question really when, when, when you're communicating what exactly should be done.
Stephen: 00:24:35 Why, why are you on this side of the business not working for someone else? I mean, because you know, I mean, and I know, I know somebody who's way up in, I guess I shouldn't say their company, but I mean like regional, um, whole East coast and one of the giant brands. I mean way way up there. I mean it's, he's, he's on the president level conversations he's having and it makes it ungodly amount of money. Huge benefit. However, like you said, he's chained to the, to the, uh, airplane pretty much cause it's all he does the travel. Um, but the, for him I could see that that's his thing. He could never do this side of it. Why are you on this side of it? Cause you have those abilities.
Todd: 00:25:16 No, I and I did have those aspirations. You know, I, I wanted to be a regional manager. I wanted to climb a ladder. And honestly that's what I did from probably 2008 until 2012 or so. Um, and I loved it and I thought that's all I would want to do. And then I stumbled into Amazon, stumbled into being an entrepreneur is another something that I chose or wanted or had dreams to do. It just kinda happened. Um, and for me, like I have a seven year old daughter and the freedom is what keeps me here. And, and also it's to me, I've you entrepreneurship as a game just to see how good you can get. And I'm very, uh, competitive. I love sports. And so, you know, it's not that you're comparing, cause I think that's, that's one of the biggest challenges people have is comparing themselves to other.
Todd: 00:26:05 But if you can beat yourself every day and you can become better every day and you've set your own goals, um, and you're, and you're not answering to anybody else, to me, that's, that's what's going to happen. And I don't want to show my daughter, uh, those certain things like I, you know, just like most people you talk to, you, not everybody grows up in an ideal situation and you're, you feel like if you would've been given different opportunities or maybe other opportunities, um, the things that have turned out different maybe. And so I want to be able to get my daughter every opportunity to succeed. And to me, entrepreneurship is the way I think I can do that.
Stephen: 00:26:38 Well, and you're teaching her that, that she's not defined by somebody else. Right. She's defined by herself. I mean that's, especially for a young woman, that's huge, that she didn't have to rely on some man, you know? Oh, I'm gonna get me started on that. Cause you and I both feel, I know, I feel, I know we feel the same way. It's just, it's nonsense. Um, Oh, so you said something. Are you a natural entrepreneur or a learned art entrepreneur? Oh, I'm definitely learned. You're learning. Cause there are people that you meet and you and I've met that don't believe they are not. I'm not, I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm definitely risk averse. So I am not the traditional entrepreneur, but I'm definitely learned on that side too. So you can do,
Todd: 00:27:18 Oh, I think you can. I think it's a skill. I mean I, I, there are certain qualities that you'd have to have. What are, Oh my gosh. Now you're gonna put [inaudible]
Stephen: 00:27:26 bye. Yeah. Sorry. Well, no, but I, I'll give you one that I would say I'm a noticer. I notice things for whatever reason, I could walk in and say like, huh, that's different. That's unusual. That's peculiar. That's odd. And so I'm naturally inquisitive on that. And so boom, that, that leads me to, you know, opportunities.
Todd: 00:27:45 Okay. Yeah. I mean I, I've always had the appetite to learn and not necessarily in school. I did not enjoy that. But as far as, um, learning how to make money, learning how to become better at whatever it is, um, to me, I mean that's, that's one thing that I've, I've always enjoyed learning, trying to get better, whether it's a new process or whether it's how to do this or how to do that. Um, and sometimes you get the shiny object syndrome and you gotta reign yourself in. But, uh, I've always had the appetite to, to be better at whatever it is I'm doing.
Stephen: 00:28:18 You, you're a process person or you, you aspire to be better at process. Correct. Forever. I don't think there's any way you could ever, I mean, uh, until the day when you don't even have to think about it then. I mean, that might be the ultimate process, right? When it just magically happens, nobody thought about it. And boom, magic. Right? So when you're making changes, and I think this is important for people to think about too, you're not making, wow, I shouldn't put words in your mouth. We are not making sweeping changes in our business. We are making small incremental changes. Can you talk about that in your business?
Todd: 00:28:53 Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, if you have a team, you need to listen to their feedback, especially if if you're not the one out there, you know, for me it's, it's really wouldn't be ideal for me to go up there and change a process in the workflow of how we prep things without consulting my team because they are the ones doing it. And, you know, I, and I do encourage that and I say, Hey, you know, if you find a better way to do this or you think there's a better way to do this, um, or to, if we can be become more efficient or however it is, like, bring that to me. Um, and so we really encourage that. And so, you know, the small changes you can, you can either adjust or, you know, counter correct if it doesn't work. Um, but if you're gonna make a huge change, you know, it's my friend Gary said, little S little hinges swing big doors. Um, and I think that's kind of appropriate for this. If you're going to make a huge change in your business, um, you, you better consult quite a few people. Um, kind of play out every scenario. I and, uh, even even ask for advice outside of your circle.
Stephen: 00:29:53 Yeah. You don't want people to say, yes, I needed that. Because the other thing is that skillsets don't, you might not match, you know, it makes that there are some people who are just natural. They could just do that. That doesn't mean you could do it. And that's hard as a guy to admit, but it's the truth.
Todd: 00:30:08 Oh, absolutely. And you're going to, you bring up a good point there too. Your whole process may be predicated on the skill set that you have with your team right now. And you make an, a change does not line up with their school's skillset. Even though you know, at the core of the change of your processes is a good, it's an idea that is probably gonna in the long run work. Um, your, your team may not be capable of that.
Stephen: 00:30:28 Hmm. And that doesn't mean you failed. Right. I mean the market changes, you know, I don't know about you Todd, but Amazon keeps changing things and they don't call me and ask me and they don't. They don't say, Steve, what do you think? Nobody ever calls, I'm waiting. But those changes affect, right? I mean, how many things have affected you last year?
Todd: 00:30:50 Oh, plenty. I mean, whether it's a small change in inventory lab or the way Amazon does box content or shipping or whatever it is. Um, and you know, that's probably a, that's another entrepreneurial, I think quality is that you have the ability to adapt and you're not as really, we have to do it this way. Cause, cause the bottom line is, is that my income comes from Amazon. Whether it's prep or whether it's me selling. And if we're not, we, we, if we don't have the ability to adapt and adapt quickly, then we're going to lose money. We're not gonna be profitable.
Stephen: 00:31:20 And, and to be fair, none of the channels have made sweeping changes. They've made small incremental changes. When you sit back and look at it, you know, box level content, you know, some people were doing it, some people weren't. It's, it's pretty simple, right? Uh, it's simple. Not easy is the phrase we use a lot here, but it's really not drastic changes to your model or your, your actions. Correct?
Todd: 00:31:42 Correct. Yeah. I mean, at the time when you first [inaudible]
Stephen: 00:31:45 Oh, it's devastating. Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?
Todd: 00:31:49 Then you think about it and you three months down the road, or even 30 days later, you're, it's really not even an issue anymore.
Stephen: 00:31:55 I struggle to remember the things that we didn't do. You know what I mean? Like you just, you know, we've been FBA for so long. It's just like, I mean, yeah. If somebody is like, Oh, do you remember when I'm like, no, not really. I guess the days just blended together. I knew we did something different, but I can't retain it. This is the way we know how to do it now. Maybe it's like wrote in my mind, it overrides my computer brain. Um, let's talk about, uh, why we have warehouse service businesses because I think this is an important conversation is that, yeah, cause you're in, you're in a. Gaye and Gary's group, um, the, uh, the tribe and you see a new sellers coming in and they don't have the capital because this is a capital intensive business. Um, for us it was a great way to supplement our capital to allow us to invest into inventory. How about for you?
Todd: 00:32:49 Well, I mean we, we kind of have a prep center by the fault I guess. Um, and that necessarily wasn't something we went after. Uh, we had the warehouse space. We actually had a retail store, a liquidation store for awhile. Um, we decided to close that and keep it. Um, and we had prepped stuff previously, but every time that we have seen growth as either when we've hired somebody to do a process that we didn't want to do or didn't enjoy or needed to alleviate a bottleneck, or when we moved to a warehouse space and we moved several times, um, and so for us it was just the next level. But
Stephen: 00:33:22 ask your question again, sorry. Well, no, and I don't know that I asked it. Well because I think I, I don't want to lead you into what your opinion is for us. Might I'm saying is that it allowed us, um, cause we're, we're, we both have similar revenue numbers when it comes to, uh, warehouse services pretty similar. Um, and it's scaled. I mean it's pretty scaled now. Not, we're not a warehouse. Like we don't have that many clients, but ours are just a little different type. Um, but it allows us to have paid staff here that allow us then to do all the other things. And that's what kind of works for us. For you, I think, I think your sounded like you were similar to what you were explaining.
Todd: 00:34:01 No, I w yeah. Yeah. We, we have, I mean it's, it's extra income of course. And we use that. I use that too. When we live in a really small community. We have 2,600 people in our town. Um, we have 12 people that work for us in our warehouse, not all full time. Um, so we provide,
Stephen: 00:34:19 that's a lot of jobs for small town.
Todd: 00:34:21 Yeah. Yeah. Um, so there's that. And then also, you know, for us, for me to be able to grow, I mean I have aspirations to do of course more than what we're doing personally. Um, if, if I'm going to go out and really just scale my business, I have to have people ready, um, and, and train. And so part of that is, is that, um, having extra clients, um, we, we are able to, I mean the warehouse space where we are is really, uh, cost effective. It's super cheap compared to anywhere else. Um, we have the cheapest tax rate in the state of Missouri. Um, so if people, you know, as far as sending stuff to us, so for us, part of the thing is, is being able to provide, uh, a, uh, a service for people that really need it to be able to help them, um, succeed.
Todd: 00:35:07 You know, there are people that work full time jobs or people that, um, they can't afford warehouse space where they are. And for them to send it to us makes it make, makes sense. And so for us to be able to say that we've maybe had a little bit of part of somebody's success just by us helping them, um, outsource some products or outsource some areas. And to me that's, that's great. Um, it also does, you know, my whole goal really is to pay for all of my overhead with the warehouse or with, with my, with, with the prep is the ultimate goal. We're not quite there yet, but we're, we're getting close. And then that allows me, you know, we're not really huge and a private label yet, but that allows me to do that or to branch outside of Amazon, like our mastermind group. We've got some ideas on, on business ideas outside of Amazon. So for me to have that cash that I don't really need, that I can pull from my Amazon businesses is ideal.
Stephen: 00:35:59 We, we, uh, when I usually describe it, I'd describe it as foundational. So that's our foundation, right? That that money comes in and we can count on that. Our rents cover, this staffers covered this, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And by doing that, now this little piece is gravy on top of that and this piece is gravy on top of it. So pretty similar. Hm. Yeah.
Todd: 00:36:18 You know, one thing I've heard too is with streams of income is not all of them are going to be huge lows. I mean, some are going to be a little trickles, um, but they all up in the same place and they all count.
Stephen: 00:36:27 Well you said something earlier too that I think is really important. I don't know that you planned it this way, but you're a better seller on your stuff because you see the flow of other, your, your staff gets better workflow. So you get the best of them. Does that, does that make sense? They're the best train because they've done all these other people's stuff. So when you bring in your own products or whatever, you're just, you're getting the best of the best.
Todd: 00:36:49 Oh, absolutely. With 27 customers, like you see stuff that, I mean you, they'll bring me something and be like, I have no idea how to prep this. I'm like, well let's, let's walk through this and figure it out. Um, and so when that's my stuff, I, I mean I would just left the warehouse, um, to, uh, to, to talk to you and like my staff is just, they're prepping. I don't touch anything. I don't know what I ordered cause I have a buyer do all that. Like it's, yeah, they are, it does make them better and going to keep them efficient, keep work. They're not, we're not buying this stuff for them to do. Like they're always busy and they enjoy that too. I think
Stephen: 00:37:21 I at one more thought I would think is that probably it's more organized has to be when you're moving that much, you're spending that many plates. You have to be organized. There's no way you couldn't be.
Todd: 00:37:32 And that is not one of my strong suits too. Believe it or not. I am not a very organized people but I've hired people that make me be organized and yes we are my, my manager is super organized. Um, and like he, he keeps the warehouse spotless. He keeps everything in the right spot. You don't want it to be out of the wrong spot cause you don't want to talk to him about it. Cause you know he does that for me.
Stephen: 00:37:55 Now one of the things we're doing a little different this year too is we're upgrading some of the tools. Like we bootstrapped everything we have. So like all my shout and then we do a lot of merchant fulfilled, like scaled merchant fulfilled. So that adds to the complexity sometime. So we have shelves as far as the, I can see that we bought from closed stores in the back rooms and stuff. But one of the things like pallet jacks and things like that, we bought those used years ago. I mean we've been using them, I don't know, 10 years probably. But you know, they were old then when we got them. And so this year we're investing in some of those things. Can you talk about investments you've made into your business or you're planning on making to try to make it easier for your staff to do the work?
Todd: 00:38:36 Um, you know, a lot of it for me is technology. Um, you know, I, I, I will always invest in technology as far as, um, computer system, bigger monitors, whatever. They really need to make sure that they're super efficient.
Todd: 00:38:54 That, that to me is where the frustration lies. Um, a lot of times. And so I want to make sure that they have,
Stephen: 00:39:00 they're obsolete, such darn quick. Correct.
Todd: 00:39:02 Right. And stuff changes so quick. Um, you know, and it's just for me, I'm a technology guy anyway. I enjoy that stuff. I enjoy super fast computers and big monitors and you know, I want, like, I, we have our stations. I mean they have, everybody has a 32 inch monitor.
Stephen: 00:39:16 Well, I was going to ask you that. Can you go through, can you go through what you would recommend somebody who's setting up a station? So you see a 32 inch amount. I mean, that's huge. That's not, you're not playing around there.
Todd: 00:39:26 No, I mean, I, you know, it's, I want them to be able to see it. It's, it's screen married with our, with our laptops. Um, everybody has this, of course, a barcode scanner, we have demo printers.
Todd: 00:39:42 That's, that's the kind of stuff that, you know, I want them to, I want them to be comfortable. They're on their feet all day. So, and I, and I want it, I don't want them squinting and bending over. So I, I, I will always invest in technology.
Stephen: 00:39:54 Now we, we, like you say on the feet, we actually put mats now, those fatigue mats, because that's, you know, we're big concrete weren't, uh, our building was built in 1960. So it's eight feet of concrete on the underneath. It is not comfortable
Todd: 00:40:07 table risers on every table. So they're not, I mean, so it's, it raises them, I don't know exactly what the measurement is that eight or 10 inches. So, I mean, everything is right there. They're not bent over. They're not hunched. So
Stephen: 00:40:18 again, thinking, uh, what it takes to keep, cause when somebody leaves, it's not one reason. It's, it's a hundred reasons, right? Those table risers are one of the a hundred, right? That, that cart right. Making it easier or the big screen. All those are reasons that people leave by eliminating those, uh, you know, when people are awaiting the job, Hey, it's more good than bad.
Todd: 00:40:42 Yeah. And I think what a lot of people don't realize, um, is that training a brand new employee is one of the biggest costs any business will ever have. So for me, employee re, you know, retaining your employees, whether it's being flexible or whether it's making sure that they have what they need. I mean, I don't buy stuff. I don't, I don't just run to best buy and buy a 32 inch screen. Like I do a little bit of research and so for me to spend 150 or 200 bucks on a 32 inch monitor so that somebody is comfortable so they can see what they're doing and not be frustrated. Like to me that's a no brainer. Right? There's no decision. No. I mean, longterm, that's, that's going to pay off and pay for itself many, many, many times over as opposed to us training somebody brand new and our systems and our process slowing down.
Stephen: 00:41:24 Well, you're setting them up for success, Todd. I mean, that's really it, right? You're, you're trying to eliminate all the reasons that they could stumble. Um, and that's, that's what a good leader does.
Todd: 00:41:34 Yeah. I guess that's a good way to look at it. I'm gonna start using that. Thank you.
Stephen: 00:41:36 You can use that. It's true, but you set them up for success. Why? Why would you set somebody up for failure, right? Hey, have you ever had somebody set you up for failure in your life? If you've been in a corporate world, the answer's yes. I was the CFO. My job was to cut. They, they brought me into save them money not to enhance the money. Right? Yeah. So yeah. Why, why? Again, we're back to, if it was good enough for you, why, why not for somebody else? And I just think more people need to think of other people or how they want to be treated. I guess the golden rule, right? How you want to be treated, you should be treating others.
Todd: 00:42:10 Yeah. And invest in your team. Invest in people. But that's, that's the key. I mean we, we do simple things. I mean the back half of our warehouse isn't heated or cooled. Um, and that's probably about 5,500 square feet, maybe 6,000. Um, and so, so like if they're back there on a winter day organizing stuff, we get a truck with them. Like, I'm freaking buying a pizza and I'm giving them, I'm bringing them donuts and just little stuff like that. Like I'm, and you know, they're eating on the clock, like they're not clocking out for lunch. Um, it's that little stuff. I think that when you think about things, think about your team. If you're, if you're really trying to invest in your people, you'll find ways to, to make them feel special and appreciated.
Stephen: 00:42:46 I think your hours are a huge help. I mean to be done by two 30, you could still have a life. I mean, you could get out of there and actually stores are still open. Doctor's offices are still, I mean, you could actually have a life.
Stephen: 00:42:58 Kids, kids aren't home from school yet. I mean that's, that's real.
Todd: 00:43:01 That's we, we have a couple ladies that have kids in school, younger kids. Um, and they, they're allowed to come in at eight after their, after they dropped their kids off at school or get them on the bus and they still leave at two 30. Some of them leave right at three. But yeah, they're, they're working whether kids are at school. And that is tough to find and that is a benefit and that's a perk.
Stephen: 00:43:20 Hmm. Well, Oh here, here's the uh, determine what to use work perks. One of the guys you work perks. W E R K perks work first. I'm writing this down. That's a good one. Your staff will like that work part cause they like work [inaudible] the work per, Oh, a jogging pants. Uh, one of the guy goes, he can, and that's what he said it to me. He goes, Oh, Steve, work perks. I'm like, what? What does that, and he's a, they're younger, you know, and they're things they say are crazy. Um, how about, how do you deal with, uh, you know, diversity of staff? I mean, uh, are they, like, I have young guys that work for us right now. Um, so I'm talking to age, uh, diversity. Um, how do you, how do you manage that? Um, or is everybody the same age in your place?
Todd: 00:44:02 No, we have a pretty wide range. Uh, we have, our youngest is 19, our oldest, I don't know, and I'm not going to say even if I did, um, but there, there's a, there's a wide range and you know, I, I don't manage it honestly. It just kinda happens. Um, we really don't have any, any rifts. And, and I think that goes back to them being happy or as trying to make them as happy as they can with the stuff that we can control. Because if, if you're, if your staff is disgruntled or it doesn't want to come to work, they're going to find to, to cause conflict, whether it's with you or another staff member, um, or the process. And so I think you can really, uh, kinda head that off if you are looking at it from a standpoint of how, how can I make this the place that they want to come to work? How did, how can I make this something enjoyable?
Stephen: 00:44:48 Hmm. So I think being mindful is just so important. The fact that you're paying attention to that stuff. That's hence the reason for [inaudible]. I already wrote your, uh, title, um, your team is the real secret to your success on Amazon. That's clearly a what's driving your business?
Todd: 00:45:03 Hands down. Absolutely. I will, I will say that a million times. I, we would not be anywhere close to where we are. Um, without a team.
Stephen: 00:45:12 Hmm. Um, a team will, will push you. You don't have to drag them. They'll, they'll push you. Um, what are you doing this year to invest in your business for yourself, um, or your management? Um, I mean, I know you're getting ready to go, uh, on a, I guess a training, I guess I'll call it that, but you're going to visit another seller, uh, process. Um, what are you doing to invest in yourself this year?
Todd: 00:45:36 Well, you know, I therefore, I think last year it was, we went to a ton of different conferences and some of them didn't have anything to do with Amazon. I know we really didn't get anything out of that, honestly, when we came back with a bunch of ideas that we never implemented. And so
Stephen: 00:45:50 yeah, the two notebooks full usually had a conference. I don't know where they're at, but they're good stuff happening.
Todd: 00:45:57 You know, life happens again. Um, but so this year we decided we're going to invest in relationships, learning how to, um, master the art of relationships. And so for me, uh, it's, instead of spending money to go to conference, I'm gonna spend money to go be with another seller, to build a relationship, to learn their process, for us to hopefully give them something back in return. Um, and, you know, relationships were a huge key for us last year. And I, I, that's, that's what we're investing in is, is building those longterm relationships. I mean, I just think part of it has come where a lot of it honestly has come from Gaye and Gary's [inaudible].
Stephen: 00:46:34 Yeah. And you shouldn't be in, you're too big of a seller. Why are you in one of these small groups that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? I mean, it's probably people are looking down their nose at you. Like, what's he doing in here? He's, he's a big seller.
Todd: 00:46:45 Yeah. W I, I, I believe that I can, I can still learn a ton of different stuff. Um, and, and I, that's, that's again, it's part of the game. Um, I mean, even Jordan, you know, he knows even as peak you can get better. And so you want to surround yourself with people that will push you and will make you better. And I, one of the big things I gathered from that group is, is belief mindset. Yes, absolutely. Um, I mean, there are people in there, you know, that do millions and millions and millions of dollars. And so for you to be able to see, especially when you talk to them, that they're, they're just like you. They, they've, they've maybe done a few things differently. They maybe been selling just a little bit longer. Um, but it's, it's attainable. And I think that's, that's the big thing is that the belief and the mindset from the group and you know, the relationships that we've built and the doors that they have opened even in since we, we've been in, I think the group since June or something like that. But even the relationships that we have built during that time have changed our business dramatically, even, even in a short period. And it's not just business.
Stephen: 00:47:55 It's a big statement on, I just want to pause for a second that, that's a big statement. You were doing seven figures before you got there and you're saying that they have changed your business dramatically.
Todd: 00:48:11 It is. And I, and I could give you, I mean, I could spend the next hour probably giving you very specific examples.
Stephen: 00:48:16 No, I, I wouldn't mind to, um, I don't want to go too much deeper in that because she has asked me, Gaye has asked me to do, uh, uh, an interview with you and someone else, um, for them. And I said I would do that. Um, and so I, I don't want to go too deep on it, but I do want to, cause I do get a lot of people like, well, Hey, should I join this particular group? And I get contacted by all the groups? And my answer is always find the people that you connect the most with. You know, where you don't feel like you're a leech and they're just sucking you dry. Right? That, that balance of where you can add value and you're getting value added to you, you know, um, to me that's what you look for. Um, so, so give us, give, uh, give me two examples. Yeah. Two examples where you think that they've added value to your successful business.
Todd: 00:49:05 You're talking about the relationships inside of the group that we built. Yup. Yeah. So, um, we had, uh, part of their, you know, the group as a coaching program, um, that they offer, which is the tribe, which has been hands down the best that I've went through.
Stephen: 00:49:22 Well, that's a big statement. Again, you've been in corporate America for a long time. You might've been to a lot of training Avenue,
Todd: 00:49:27 but as far as actionable content that you can implement right there, that you will see almost immediate changes in your business, sometimes immediate, depending on your level that you are. But that I, I believe that. Um, and so they had a meetup at one of the, at Gary's home. And, um, I was fortunate, I invited two guys to come stay with me and one of them, uh, introduced me to a new part of my business. Um, and it's a part that I, you probably couldn't get in without knowing very specific people. And so just by us, you know, reaching out and asking them to stay and building a relationship. And we're friends and I just talked to him last night on the phone, uh, just kind chit chatting or some about business, but you know, we, we've been able to spend a huge, not huge but a significant amount of money, um, just in the last couple of months with the stuff that he's introduced us to. So, and it's coaches just along the way, kinda sh, you know, it's, it's a niche, niche market. Um, he's really offered us advice, let us, I mean like let us in on the secrets how to do this, how to do that, what's worked for him. And this is the guy that does millions and millions of dollars and so,
Stephen: 00:50:44 but they don't [inaudible] nobody does that. That doesn't exist. Yes, it does.
Todd: 00:50:47 It is. It's rare. I mean, honestly it's rare, but I find,
Stephen: 00:50:52 I don't think it's as rare as you think. That's probably true. I just, we just haven't put ourselves in the position. Yeah. I think you got, because you gave, right, you didn't go in and suck their information dry. You had to develop a relationship.
Todd: 00:51:06 Yeah. And like, we now we prep his products for some of the stuff, um, form. And so it's, you know, it's, and the thing is that we, for us, for it to work, we've got to provide some value to, we can't just want, want one take, take, take. There's gotta be that, that balance.
Stephen: 00:51:20 I told you, I know when we were doing our pre-call, we were talking a little bit and I, we have a client that won't be coming back with us next year because it was a wind one position. I call it, you know, you and I, and I literally said, do you when you, I'm not arguing with anybody. I refuse to. Um, even when I said I'm losing money on your products, and they knew it and they weren't completely clear with what it was going to be. And it's just like, Hey, I'm like, here's the situation. And here it is. And I think back to the times that somebody would've came to me and said, Hey, here's the situation. I would've made it. Right. You know, maybe like, Oh, okay, let me make it right for you. You know, I don't want, you know, but I don't want those kinds of relationships in my life. I don't want them not healthy.
Todd: 00:52:00 No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. So, so that's one. Uh, the second one, I mean, I could, I'm trying to figure out which one I, I mean the other one is, is one of the leaders there. I mean, I, I think I've developed a pretty good relationship with him. Um,
Stephen: 00:52:13 it's going to be, Gary is Gary, you know, I think he's one of the best speaking people I've ever met in my life. Oh my God. It's so good beyond gifted
Todd: 00:52:24 the way he communicates. And, and you know, I, I thought at first it was just because we're very similar and he kind of knew how to talk to me and, and, and get me motivated. Um, but I, I think overall just the way he communicates with people and he loves people and he really wants to see him succeed.
Stephen: 00:52:39 I will tell you this, every single person sitting in the audience when he speaking feels exactly the same way he's talking to me cause he's like me. Every single person.
Todd: 00:52:49 That's again, to me, he is, he is very gifted. Yes. And he's also successful on Amazon too. So, um, but you know, for me to be able to communicate with him and, and I, I just like him and he will tell you this, we a lot of times get in her own head and the belief thing, you know, we, we'd sometimes doubt ourselves. And, and I think for an entrepreneur, that's the mindset and the way you talk to yourself and working on yourself, um, is, is key. And for me to be able to chat with him or talk to him or for him, like I can say something and he's already been through it and he knows how to talk to me about it and, um, it's me that is worth its weight in gold. Um, I and I, and he's, he's helped me through seasons in my life that, you know, I, I struggled in and, and so for as far as me as being a friend and, and really wanting somebody to succeed and to become a better person, that, that to me is, is, uh, has, has really changed me in the last six months.
Stephen: 00:53:46 Andy said something to me yesterday, he was here and he was like, uh, we get into the, something about imposter syndrome, you know, everybody has that, you know, and he's like, in other words, Steve, get off your ass and do some work or whatever. I don't remember how he kicked me in the butt, but it's that relationship, that person that you can trust to be able to have that kind of conversation. That's what you find. Um, and that's what I found in their group too. I mean, and I haven't told anybody this, um, I paid to have, they give it to me for free because their sponsors on my show and everything, but I paid them. I insisted that I get to pay them as I have my son. I paid to have him join the tribe because of the value that they offer. I've not seen that from, at least from the groups that I'm in. And I'm sure that other people have different relationships at different things. The value that they bring is so strong and every person bar none. I haven't talked to anybody who hasn't had that same exact experience that you had, which you think is unique to you. Todd. This isn't a criticism, but how awesome is that that 200 plus people are having the same experience.
Todd: 00:54:49 Yeah, and it goes right along with their, their goal just to create the most seventh of your sellers.
Stephen: 00:54:54 There's teachers. Yes. You know, when you think back to your corporate world, did you run into that in a corporate world? I did not,
Todd: 00:55:04 no. I mean I had people that I, you know, can maybe consider mentors or that I, you know, had had a relationship with but nothing like this. I mean, nothing that, I mean, seriously, you go to one of their, if you're in the coaching and you go to one of their mastermind events, I mean, seriously everybody there is, it's, it's like something I've never experienced open, honest. I mean you're, you're talking about your business and your process and this and that, sharing secrets, um, or you know, they're not necessarily secrets, but stuff that you maybe have kept or confided in the past, you just know that you're there to help people and it's, it's a great experience
Stephen: 00:55:45 and then they get value and it didn't cost you anything and then all of a sudden you realize, wow, I do have something I can add. And you stand a little bit taller. Right. You get, you get an inch taller every single time. You, you know, that's pretty awesome when you see somebody else's light bulb go on, that's pretty, that's almost as rewarding as yours in it.
Todd: 00:56:03 Oh, for sure. Absolutely. Yes. I mean, I, and again, like I said with the prep, you know, if we're able to help somebody succeed, whether it's quit their job because, um, the income or whether it's just for them to have enough money to pay their car payment or, or whatever, you know, if for us to have any part in some of success to me is, is so valuable for them to allow us to do that. And, and to trust us to prep the product. Um, I mean we take it serious. So
Stephen: 00:56:28 that's what he, awesome. Okay. All right. So, um, if are you taking prep clients on still? Are you open to considering some,
Todd: 00:56:37 yeah, we are. I mean, we, we want to have a conversation with the individual or group at first. Um, make sure that we kind of hit it off and we talk and then, um, you know, to make sure it's a good fit for both of us.
Stephen: 00:56:48 Yeah. And sometimes that's okay when it's not, you know, I mean, that's, that doesn't make it wrong. It's just, Hey, we're not the right one.
Todd: 00:56:55 No, we had somebody who today as a, as a good friend, uh, I wanna say, Oh, well I guess that that's a friend. Um, and it would have helped them out tremendously. But we, we both agree that it just wasn't a good fit. And there's like no hard feelings. It's just how it is. So
Stephen: 00:57:10 do you have a website for that or is it just contacting, you know, I just contacted me. Okay. I'll put their contact there. Okay. All right. So, um, the last question I usually ask people, um, and I, and I'm, I'm guessing, eh, maybe this will be a different perspective because you have 27 clients. I'm sure some are doing really well and some are, you know, probably stumbling along like most of us when we first started in this business. What's your advice? If you take your, your stumbling client, what's the advice you would give them or you are giving them to help them push past that, uh, to start attaining that level of success that you, you know, that they have the potential to be?
Todd: 00:57:52 Uh, the first key I think is momentum is momentum is really hard to get, but it's really easy to lose. Um, and so, you know, you see people that when they first start off, they'll send you a good amount of product. Um, and then maybe things didn't go as well as as they wanted. Maybe they lost money, whatever it is, and they stop or they slow down. And when you do that, you're, it's very tough to regain your momentum. And I know this because of just different times in my life and my business. So if you're able to keep that momentum and keep your money moving and just learn from your mistakes, fix your mistakes, then, then if you're going to have an easier time. Um, and it's the people that, that, that send us tons of product every month that they just, they're, they're successful because they, they, and they, they also, when you first started out, you know, um, they're very, there's two questions we always get asked, always the very first questions, what's the cost and are you tax free?
Todd: 00:58:54 And those are the two questions we always get asked at the very beginning and [inaudible] put apart, you know, the people need to realize is a, it's not a cost. It's an investment, right? You're, it's, it's an opportunity cost if you don't do it. Um, if you keep doing things the way you're doing because you're probably reaching out to us because there's something either broken, there was a bottleneck in your, in your system and you need to alleviate that. And so if you're, if you go into it looking at it, I'm going to invest into this and this is what my investment shouldn't let me. Um, then I, I think that's, that's a mind shift that people need to change. And then also the tax free. Um, I understand the tax is a big deal, but also, you know, if, if you trust the people there, turn around as quick, they're efficient, um, and they're accurate. To me, that is more valuable than not paying.
Stephen: 00:59:42 Yeah. Think about, think about your best employee that you lost. You would have pay him more money to stay with you. I mean, things are over your life, right? So why are you trying to get in? It was the wind won guy again. Right? Why are you trying to squeeze me and then make it not profitable for me? You know, I mean, it just doesn't make sense. So what you're describing is you shouldn't be the cheapest Cod because you're going to give them more service,
Todd: 01:00:05 right? Absolutely. Yeah. We're not the cheapest. Um, we're not a tax free state. You know, you can, you can, you can do that if you want, but if you're looking for personal service, I mean, I, I communicate right as of right now, um, I communicate directly with every client that we have. They don't talk to anybody else. They have my cell phone. They, if they need to call me, we, they're, they're, they're more than willing to or text me. Um, so like you talked about earlier, that personal service, like I'm, I am personally as the owner in their success and I have, yes, I am 100% responsible, and if we screw up, I'll admit it and we'll fix it.
Stephen: 01:00:39 Love it, dude. That is, uh, hence the reason you're having so much success. I mean, just, it is really cool to sit back and think about that. You're not even like you're just getting started. I mean, that's, that's what blows my mind. I mean, you're like, you're, you're a 10 X guy, aren't you?
Todd: 01:00:57 I am. And actually that's one of my favorite books. Um, and I, and I do feel like, I mean, I was talking to Gaye about this the other day and just about some things about the tribe and all this and, and she even said like, your guys are getting ready to step into your own. Like you're getting ready to turn the corner. And that's going to always change. Like the corner is always going to change no matter what part of your business you're in. But you know, when, when somebody breeze that life into you, like that, the confidence that you get. And, and I, I do believe we're, we're, we're poised to have our best year ever.
Stephen: 01:01:27 And you're breathing it into your daughter. You're demonstrating for her. And so what's, what's potential. Oh, I love it. All right, so I'm going to put your Facebook contact. That's the best way to get in touch with you. I really appreciate you taking the time and I wish you nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Stephen: 01:01:46 How cool is that guy? Uh, just know so much offers so much and um, you know, admits that he wants to work on himself as a person. That's cool. That's 100%. I can relate to, you know, why not be a better person? Why can't we all, you know, and why not build other people up? Why not invest in other people? Why not help? Kind of one of his missions is to help other sellers achieve success that they probably couldn't get on their own. Um, and he'll tell you that it's because he's gotten lots of help from other people. So there's a clue
Cool voice guy: 01:02:20 right there. Help other people and magically you get helped. E-commerce, momentum.com e-commerce, momentum.com take care. Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be firstname.lastname@example.org under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.