Artwork for podcast Freedom Entrepreneur Podcast
Amazon Retail Store: Can you really make money?
Episode 12619th October 2022 • Freedom Entrepreneur Podcast • Lindsay Sutherland
00:00:00 00:42:57

Share Episode


On the podcast, Ann Sieg shares more about how she started her journey as a network marketer and eventually transitioned into building an online business. She homeschooled her boys who eventually discovered their own interest in online business. Over time, each of her sons played a role in helping her build the E-commerce Business School; a school dedicated to helping people escape the rat race by making consistent income with an Amazon retail store.

Ann's heart-driven mission is seasoned with 18 years of experience helping families. After learning more about her and her team I felt strongly that they're a great resource for the PIE Tribe!

Ann and I hosted a workshop together to help you get more familiar with her program. The workshop details:

- How long does it take to make money with an Amazon Store

- How much time and energy does it take to build an Amazon Store

- How much experience do you need to make a profitable Amazon Store

- Plus, when you register, you'll receive Ann's Profit Projection Calculator that shows exactly how much you need to invest to reach your monthly goals... whether that’s an extra 1k, 5k, or 10k+ per month! You'll get a copy of the calculator to use on your own. And you'll receive a workbook created specifically for the workshop so you can really dig into the training.

I love when we find partners that can illuminate the path and dispel the muddy waters! Click this text to register for the free webinar to see if building an Amazon store is right for you.

Some say Amazon stores are not passive because they can be labor-intensive. This is certainly true if you try to build and maintain the store on your own. This is why the E-commerce Business School teaches its students to build a business that incorporates outsourced labor to offset the time and energy you personally are putting into the business. Although, Ann and I agree that it is vital for each business owner to be well-versed in all aspects of the business and to have a clear understanding of how each element works so that you can effectively manage your investment.

I asked Ann about how many people she has helped build an Amazon store. The answer blew me away! Almost 9,000 people have built life-changing Amazon businesses as a result of the E-commerce Business Schools training. The success of her students is personally a high priority to Ann which was another reason I decided to sponsor her program. I love how she helps people systemize their businesses from the ground up so that they can quickly scale.

When built correctly, Amazon retail stores can be a revenue-generating machine. There is much to know about how to build a successful e-commerce store. Having a trusted guide to help from the beginning increases the odds of success exponentially.

Discover if an Amazon retail store is right for you:

Want more episodes like this?

Automate Your Small Business to Create Massive Growth:

How he escaped the rat race and traveled the world with his family with Dai Manuel.

App developer, author, and multi-dimensional entrepreneur, Aaron Knipp, shares his story:

Mentioned in this episode:

Amazon Retail Store Webinar

If you're looking to start an Amazon business, but maybe you're wondering... ... How much money can I really make? ... How long does it take to actually start making a profit? ... How much time and energy will I need to put into the business? ... How does this whole thing even work? If so, then you're in the right place! We're hosting a special LIVE workshop to show you exactly how it's possible to make money on Amazon... WITHOUT creating your own products, WITHOUT building a website, and WITHOUT filling your garage full of boxes.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable -


Amazon Retail Stores: Are they smart passive income?



Ann Sieg: You got it.

Lindsay Sutherland: Good deal. I was just reading through Ann's bio and just got chills.

I cannot wait to share her story with you guys. This is gonna be so exciting. But before we dive into that, let's just let Ann tell her story. So Ann, tell us a little bit about you and how you got where you are in life.

ly, so I am in now sales and [:

I've been online for 18 years. I kind of got my impetus into this whole crazy world of, of sales actually through my mom. And I'd have to tip my camera a little bit to kind of show this on my bookshelf. You see that there's this panda bear and then a red, white, and green. Those are little Christmas bells and they're there for a reason.

My grandma taught me how to knit those Christmas bells, and my mom said, You know, you could go out in the neighborhood and sell your Christmas bells. So I was maybe eight or nine years old. My mom did not go with me back then, it was the suburbs. It was all more safe back then, but she set up my first store and it was a cardboard box, and I put in all my little Christmas bells, and she even taught me that, Okay, they'll be 50 cents a piece, or three for a dollar, a bundled offer.

t was crisp and cold out was [:

I started with direct sales doing well, I'll just stay it, one of the very popular ones from back in that time. Mary Kay. And I just wanted to find a way that I could be home and bring in extra money. And so I did a lot of different direct sales opportunities and whatnot. But in the meantime, my husband and I being very, very entrepreneurial, we got into real estate investment which is an interesting experience.

It ended up not being our money making opportunity of choice. So we moved on from that, but we also had a windshield replacement business for 12 years. That was our business. And I did all the bookkeeping and calling insurance companies and all that fun stuff. And I also then chose to homeschool our three sons and That was a 12 year journey.

years, which is my massive [:

Then basically it was through my family and working with our three sons that I was exposed to really, the book that made me into this great pivot was Robert Kiyosaki's book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cash Flow Quadrant, which are some pretty well known books from a couple decades ago had my eldest son read those.

He was, by this time in high school, I said, Read every book this guy has written. So what happened is he tried many different businesses during high school, and then what happened is when he was 18 years old, he sponsored me into a company and we got going in that it was a direct sales company again, and he's like, "This isn't working for me."

struggling with that direct [:

This is a full 18 years ago. And then I said, Hey, to my oldest son, "I think we had a partner up together." So he was 21 by that time and he was the top affiliate marketer. For some brands like Walmart in the world for Walmart and Get Response different kind of, you know, affiliate marketing was just kind of coming into its own about 20 years ago.

So he was doing really, really well with Google AdWords doing affiliate marketing. I was becoming very skilled with what I was learning. We came and joined forces and we did 20 million in sales together. As a result of partnering up, who then was with my husband, we brought him home. Oh, regarding the windshield business.

So yes, [:

So we lost that business that my husband really, really loved, but we made the pivot. That actually started between me and my son. So my message here is you have a wealth of opportunity within your own family household, and I'm very resourceful at moving resources around to create an outcome.

y. I'd like to offer you XYZ [:

So he's now 32 and he's my full time content manager and videographer. And it began with hiring him when he was in seventh grade. I gave my eldest son free reign to try many businesses in high school saying, You know, I don't know if you're gonna succeed or not.

More importantly, you're gonna learn something. Why not do that in high? Why not? That was his schooling, obviously at other schooling required curriculum and whatnot. But I was the principal, so I decided what are the values I want for my family, You know, kind of thank you very much. And my parents are both educators, so I had to comfort level with that.

But anyways, so that's kind of the snapshot of how I got to where I am.

s just talk about that for a [:

Kids actually begged me to go back to school. So they're in school this year, but, That is something I really want to impress upon them is that culture of being able to be entrepreneurial and to build things up and teaching them passive income. I talked about it on the podcast a couple times. Little strategies that I've helped 'em with, but they also work for me.

My two oldest do, Oh yeah. My high schooler is my podcast editor. He's amazing. He's better than any podcast editor I've hired. Got really an attention to detail when it comes to sound and he edits videos, so I just haven't moved in that direction yet. But he's ready whenever. And then my other son helps me with more admin tasks and some of the client work I do.

hat family dynamic and maybe [:

Maybe that's how it starts. Mm-hmm. and then all of a sudden they say, Golly, you know, I could teach this to my children. This is not taught in school. This online business stuff is not taught in school, and it is a skill that they can go into the world with and be successful whether they go to college or not, whether they follow a career path or not.

It's, it's a good foundation to have. I've just, I had to go on my soapbox cuz I love it.

Ann Sieg: Well and I carry that with me in our training and mentorship system. So I'm one of the business advisors. We have a team of advisors. So I'm consulting with people one on one and I'm always wanting to assess the full dynamics of what they bring to the table because it's really to do a business, you need to be good skilled at resource allocation.

, [:

She had, her daughter was 11 and basically she had her daughter work alongside her so that by age 13 she was able to run and manage the Amazon business. So I think school is so standardized in cookie cutter, which I do not like, just to be honest. Mm-hmm. because of my parents' educational philosophy.

But I do think children are not given the credence of the tremendous talent and value that they can provide at a pretty young age that just teach them. Cuz when you think about it, the founding of our country, we were primarily business owners because of the farmers we were in agrarian society. And so you had all these small business owners, A.K.A. Farmers, the kids grew up in the farm.

Well now we're in the era [:

Lindsay Sutherland: Absolutely. So, and then a lot of network marketing, sales, direct sales. I also followed in that path. I know a lot of people do and even Robert Kiosaki talks about it in Yeah, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that it's one of the easiest ways to get started in business and it's a great little addition for tax write offs and things like that.

But you know, to take that and then fully scale it. And in your bio you say that, I think, correct me if I'm wrong, 90,000. In a month or something like that, that you did when you and your son teamed up, Is that right?

Ann Sieg: Mm-hmm. , correct?

Lindsay Sutherland: Yeah. That's incredible. That's incredible. And were you guys just selling on Amazon that month? Or was it?

No, actually we were digital [:

This is kind of crazy. I wanna learn how to do this online because this whole burned through your friends and family list. Mm-hmm. I had done it like several times through and then pretty soon they're like, Oh man, you know? Yeah. And I just didn't enjoy that. I did it, but I did not feel comfortable I that, And that's when my son was like, Mom, it's kinda like there's a whole nother world over here,

eir product. So we went from $:

I'm no longer training in that industry and I shifted into e-commerce nine years ago, which curiously enough, my sons, because I gave them such an open pathway to try things, they actually did Ebay.

The eldest was in high school and the middle son was in junior high, and all I did was, uh, the younger son was responsible for shipping, so I drive him to the post office and the elder son managed that whole business. I had nothing to do with orchestrating it, and so we had already begun our foyer into e-commerce when they were in junior high and high school.

And [:

tial that I was glad to make [:

Lindsay Sutherland: Interesting. And there are, I know there are some companies specifically that restrict your online presence more significantly than others. Mm-hmm. or they say you can only do one network marketing company at a time, which I don't think that's even fair.

I could see not doing two competing ones. But anyway, there are a lot of things that once you get going in there, that can, it feels almost like it's holding you back. But then there's so many good things too. There's the camaraderie and the relationships you build with people and with your customers. And I mean, there are some really beautiful aspects to it too.

It's a double edged sword as they say. Now you, so you were already gifted with the eCommerce. What made you choose Amazon? What was it about Amazon that kind of lit you up?

Ann Sieg: Well, the curious thing about that, it was an actual M LM training company that had this offer about learning how to sell on Amazon.

nd using eBay, and I told my [:

So by the time that that happened, we had a very, very strong infrastructure. We had workshops we were doing throughout the country, like we were built to grow fast. And so when we made that shift and then that company kind of furthered away, which often happens to new MLM companies, but we were grateful that it proved to be a transition.

al certification program for [:

When I say automation. And then they are then able to mentor our students. So we have, it's a pretty big operation, so it's not like I'm the trainer. I have a whole team of certified coaches who do the training and my, I'm the CEO of the company eCommerce Business School, and then I'm also, I was the director in marketing until my son, he was with me 10 years.

Then he took a hiatus for six years. He just came back August of this month of this. After six years and I'm like, You know what, You could have that department back .

Lindsay Sutherland: Yeah. Really? So that's exciting.

Ann Sieg: So I can work more. It's, its amazing that he came back and was more excited than ever. So.

is having, not just on your [:


Ann Sieg: three. One in lives, lives in China and he's actually provided sourcing trips in China, but he's now moving to the states permanently.

It's been 10 years and he has a little family.

Lindsay Sutherland: Oh, how exciting. But I mean, and the legacy that that's gonna, this is a forever business. And what else is really cool? And I wanna point this out to you guys listening Ann started this, did you say nine years? With Amazon?

Ann Sieg: When we shifted into e-commerce. Correct. Nine years ago.

Lindsay Sutherland: And how long have you been doing this Amazon focus specifically?

Ann Sieg: It was pretty much nine years ago. Okay. It was specifically, it was integrating initially between eBay and Amazon. Mm-hmm. . And then that particular method, Amazon said you can't do that method anymore. So if anyone knows the terminology, it was drop shipping and in Amazon no, no. You can't do that on Amazon. So we stopped that and we shipped.

t before we do, I just wanna [:

How many students have you had, do you think, in your, in your e-commerce school?

Ann Sieg: It's almost 9,000. And me, actually, we may have tipped past 9,000. Yeah.

Lindsay Sutherland: Wow. Kudos. Kudos to you guys. I mean, think about that. Nine year, Nine must be your magical number today, nine, 9,000 students. It's a proven system Ann really knows what she's talking about.

And when it comes to Amazon. This is one of the things you guys know from my podcast when I started the very first episode is weeding out the legit from the shit, right? Because there is so much snake oil, so to speak, is is kind of the word I use to kind of conglomerate people who are maybe just started their store and now they're teaching people how to do it.

from start with nothing and [:

It's just not, It's a lot of time and energy. You're managing your listings, you're managing your sourcing. You know, it's a very hands on bootstrap type of a business if that's what you want, but I mean, you get the luxury of working from home and you know, all that good stuff. Mm-hmm. but you help people build a business, not just mm-hmm. , create an Amazon store, and I wanna hear about this. I wanna really hear about your methodology and kind of just in a nutshell, what does your program teach?

Ann Sieg: Yeah. I first wanna harken to the whole asset... So if you have an Amazon store, what's really key in terms of that being a true asset?

tection. That being said, we [:

Amazon doesn't require an llc, we don't require it. That being said, once you start cranking that profit machine that happens with Amazon, we do recommend that you get an LLC.

And we guide people through that with our coaching. But I'll just say, I've learned through the school of hard knocks what it feels like to build something that you think is a quote unquote asset and really isn't. And it's the logistics behind it. So know that what you would be selling is your LLC that owns the store.

Then you can sell it. So you can build these to sell.

All right, now let's get in the conversation about the automation. So we have a long track record of training and mentoring. We're constantly monitoring our students. We have a lot of data that we're tracking and following for the main reason we're always aiming for excellent and maximum results for our members.

most three years ago, in the [:

It came down to two things. So on our end, it's the unique fascination. How can we make this better and even better? Two main things. One was, yes, even more mentoring and more handhold. The second one as written by a well known book called EMyth Revisited by Michael Gerber. He talks about the issue when you're a solopreneur, and before you know it, you're wearing all these hats.

Oh my gosh, I've gotta take care of accounting. Oh, now I have to market myself. And now I have you, and you have all these hats spinning, right? And that's because in the example of the book, you're the proverbial pie baker and you're, Oh, I'm gonna make a, I'm gonna have a pie store. And it turns out you need a whole lot more skill sets.

So what we noted with our [:

You can't talk about a six figure income thinking you're gonna do that singlehandedly. That's a rare, rare feat to get to six figures of six figure income for whatever your goals may be. And so we thought, Okay, we're gonna change landscape here to our new mentorship program. Peak Performance Mentoring is one.

y. And it's to increase your [:

That's the soft function of software. So speed up your work, make you more profitable. You need proven blueprints and systems. You know, actual documents that someone has spent hundreds of hours refining and perfecting. We give those to you instead of you going through this goal of hard knocks trying to perfect those.

And the other is you have to outsource meaning, and this is how we stay profit. Is to outsource overseas known as virtual assistance. And so every task that we have in our business model of having an Amazon store, every single task can be outsourced and automated. Now, something I wanna make really g clear, cause I'd really like to have a realistic expectations.

eople that you put in place, [:

And for professional women, they're bar none our best. Oftentimes they're project managers, et cetera. They make a really good candidate to start to develop a team of virtual assistants at a sixth of American wages who will help run your business for you. So it's knowing that if you want that bigger scale and true lifestyle freedom, you're gonna have to accept the reality that you're gonna have to offset the work.

And when you know that you can follow a proven blueprint to make that happen. That's what gives the assurance. So look at McDonald's. If you buy a McDonald's franchise, you can know for a fact you're gonna know exactly how to fry those french fries. You're gonna know exactly the hiring process, the whole nine yards.

try and mentor them through [:

Lindsay Sutherland: Okay, so you said something really important. I wanna go back and kind of put a pin in.

You said the perfect person for this role. Somebody who's already been overseeing a team of people, right? So your mid-level managers, your SEOs, your corporate execs, even mothers. I mean, think about it, we're home. Absolutely. Um, you know, any situation where you're managing and overseeing things and you have that gift of being able to kind of have the, uh, I guess the visual, an awareness. I think that's the word of all these moving pieces, doesn't mean you have to be the expert guys in this exact thing. I mean, although it's important to, I think, learn and understand the system and how it works.

start this, This side thing. [:

Ann Sieg: Absolutely. Our minimum requirement is 12 to 15 hours a week. So Victoria is one of my top performing students in her first 90 days. And I gotta say, sometimes the busiest people are the best producers cuz they know how to manage their time. But when she came in our program, working 12 hour shifts as a nurse, the night shift, mind you, and five days a week, not four, it was five days and three little children.

Lindsay Sutherland: Wow.

irlfriend, you know. So it's [:

Consider it done. And managing the house. My husband does all ours now. I'm like, mm-hmm. you're getting the taste of what I was doing and homeschooling and doing side jobs, you know? And I'm like, thank God he's handling that so I can focus on growing the business, but running a family household with everything involved, especially I'll say at the homeschool moms, you know, you're having to take your, okay, the furnace repair and the this and the that, and it's a thousand things going on in a household.

And the way a woman's brain works, I'm just gonna say, Biologically in general, we're like this, lighthouse and it's moving like this. And I can be thinking about one of the divisions in my company and thinking about someone who's two levels down in management and going, Okay, that's, you know, I got an idea to help, you know, Lisa with that, you know, and I'm thinking about my whole ecosystem.

And in part [:

This is why it's integral you do have to know and understand what's going on in your business and not, I don't wanna learn this, just, Hey, you Filipino here, you know, yo, learn this thing for me. Take care of it. Would you? It doesn't work that way. You have to be a leader. You have to be a leader in your business.

So I'm gonna share one quick story if I could.

Lindsay Sutherland: Absolutely.

Ann Sieg: Okay. So her name is May Mawa. She's from Indonesia and she got a degree, a PhD in microbiology working in, you know, just pretty advanced PhD in microbiology. Had a really, really bad experience. There was embezzlement going on in the company, et cetera.

She's like, [:

Now they're ages four to nine. They all help and work in her business, ages four and nine. She homeschools them. She has two eCommerce businesses. She has 11 VA's working for her. 11. Wow. Four years time more than replaced her income. She's in the driver's seat. Her children are being empowered. They're growing up as little eCommerce entrepreneurs.

It's pretty fun.

them? Or how does that work? [:

Ann Sieg: I wish we did have that.

And that's on my wishlist. And we have a game plan to do it, but one thing at a time. But we do have the very thorough training of what websites to go to. So I'm just gonna say in the, there's, you can get VAs all over the world. What's unique about the Philippines is just like certain countries have their export that they're known for, it might be rice or coffee.

They're exporting what they are known for. Is VA Virtual Assistance Services. So in other words, there's companies all throughout the Philippines. So I gotta tell you, when you talk to people on Amazon, probably Filipinos mm-hmm. and in fact, two of them who work inside the eCommerce business school used to work for Amazon.

cent. The Filipinos, they're [:

So their English is very, very good as a nation. They have a very, on the whole high standard of ethics. Mm-hmm. So we have had great, great success, but so we give you the websites, we give you the job posting, the interview questionnaire. We give you everything to fully execute on this, and we give you our training to give to the virtual assistant.

It's not like you have to create the training. We have created it. They get that. And you also do a test assignment before you hire em. To make sure. Yep, exactly. So you don't do all your onboarding. And then, Oh man,

Lindsay Sutherland: That was always the one thing I wished. Okay. So I don't know if you know my background. I used to run as a call center in a I basically ran a team of salespeople in a car dealership.

Ann Sieg: Oh, okay.

. Right? And I, I can't tell [:

Ann Sieg: Yeah.

Lindsay Sutherland: So is there any other really important factors? Let me, I, I, Okay. My mind is exploding. Hold on. Just lemme reign it in a second. , I got, my mind comes up with like questions faster than I can spit 'em out. But I also don't wanna overwhelm everybody with information. I'm just in love with your program and your passion.

It's just so perfect for this audience. If we were to just kind of summarize what makes your program different, obviously the training aspect is a big key, but when it gets into the nuances of Amazon, right? Mm-hmm. , what makes it so different than maybe say, hiring or even just heck, YouTube University, right?

eos and piece it together. , [:

Mm-hmm. . Besides that though, what other benefits are there to your program, specifically related to Amazon itself that people might wanna know.

Ann Sieg: Yeah. I would say number one all, so this is really a huge distinction because if you run around a YouTube university, it's a slew of information out there. And what you're gonna see just before warn you're gonna, you're gonna trip over the King of Private Label.

sort and know, Should I be, [:

Now, should we start with private label? Should I be starting with Shopify? Oh, print on demand is all the rage. Maybe that's what I'm supposed to be doing. This guy is a guru after all. All right, So it can be very, very confusing. So I wanna liken this and we have taught every, everything I just mentioned, we've taught liquidation, private label, wholesale, private label, Shopify trade.

So trade show sourcing trips to China, you name it. So we've covered the gamet. I liken it to of swimming pool. So as you know, in the shallow end, or with children, you don't take them to the deep end, ring them up the diving, boarding and say, Time to learn swimming, Johnny. Go ahead at Johnny. And you know, we don't do that to Johnny.

the greatest likelihood for [:

And so what I rattled off, those are what are called different sourcing method. Okay, so, which means to find products, so it ranges from the shallow end of the pool, from retail arbitrage all the way over to the most advanced is Shopify. So we want what's called risk mitigation, where things are put most in your favors, so you can have as quick as success as possible.

For example, there's no reason why you can't be selling and in profit building it for 30 days. If you start with the right method, if you start with private label, Nine months, maybe you'll have your private label product into the Amazon marketplace. My son lives in China. He's a sourcing agent. Trust me, your risk factor goes up by a thousand percent if you're gonna start sourcing from China on day one and put an X over Alibaba.

l to say, so we start at the [:

We've been teaching that as the starter method of choice for nine years. After that, when you have a generous cash flow going on in your business, you have a team that's helping to run the operations of your business. Now you have sturdy legs underneath you and you can legitimately go into a more advanced method.

se you don't, you're not the [:

And I've heard so many people do this, and I get it cause I'm gonna do it on the cheap. Man. I tell you what, have at it. You're gonna waste time, money, energy, and effort, and the psychological wear and tear of why isn't this working? So it's twofold. Hand in glove, you've got to have a very clear, linear, step by step process.

And I mean as small step as possible. Not, wait a minute, they want me to go from here to here. Wait just one second, which is frustrating. And then you wanna mentor all along the way and there's another ingredient. This is a big distinction in the online space. You don't know how to sift and sort if someone just threw up their training gig a month ago, cuz there's trainers who teach you how to do this.

r money, has no contact with [:

Those stories are very, very true and real. Do your due diligence. Okay, so make sure you can get as much upfront education as you have possible. So we have a blog, we do workshops. It's extremely in depth because I gotta tell you, I want you to know what you're getting involved with. I don't want a quick sale where you're clueless and you're paying amount of money and you're come in and you're going, What?

Mm-hmm. . I didn't know I was gonna be doing that. That's no recipe for success. So it's the due diligence for me to ensure we're creating a win-win relationship, right? Because we are working with you handing glove so that we can proudly launch new, successful entrepreneurs in the marketplace.

Lindsay Sutherland: Yes, love it. Where can people find out more about your program?

rimarily E-commerce business [:

We're also on Facebook and we do a free Facebook live training every Saturday. Saturday Morning Live, for eCommerce sellers, so there's lots and lots of free information for people to learn about who we are and what we have to offer. And we also have the opportunity for you to get into a consultation where you can speak to a business advisor, will help sit and sort wherever you're at, really taking the full gamut of what you bring to the table.

e. We got lots of guys too , [:

But yeah, so we have a lot of free information out there.

Lindsay Sutherland: Perfect. Excellent. This has been incredible. I just, uh, grateful that we connected. This has just been great.

Ann Sieg: Awesome. I've enjoyed it a lot too. So Great to, uh, help people. Absolutely.

Lindsay Sutherland: Guys, go check out eCommerce and connect with Ann's team so that you can find out more about how you can get started in Amazon.

Ann Sieg: Just one correction, it's eCommerce business school com.

Lindsay Sutherland: Thank you.