You are in for a rare special episode of The Amazing Seller! On this episode, Scott sits down with TAS follower and fellow podcaster, Gordon Light from “Fit Successful Dad.” Gordon, an avid fan of Scott’s left a message for him on the “Ask Scott” line and the two connected. With a flip of the script, Gordon interviews Scott about life as an entrepreneur, parent, business leader, and more! If you’ve ever wanted to climb inside of Scott’s head for an hour, this is your chance! Don’t miss Gordon’s excellent interview with Scott on this episode!
Making time work for you
How do you structure your work week? Has it been an effective use of your time? Scott always seems to be fired up and running on all cylinders. Part of his success is due to the fact that he has a very well thought out schedule. He has standing appointments for key business meetings, time planned to be with family, and time scheduled to work on passion projects like TAS. If you’d like to hear more about how Scott organizes his time and makes it work as a devoted husband and father, don’t miss this episode of The Amazing Seller.
How it all started
Some of the best ideas start off in the smallest ways. Scott found himself looking for ways to supplement his photography business when he started dipping his toe into online sales. Before he knew it, his business selling items online took off. There were many ups and downs along the way but Scott’s story goes to show that sometimes it takes just a little push to get things moving. What’s holding you back? What steps do you need to take to put you on the path toward success? Check out more of Scott’s inspiring story on this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Imparting values to your children
How did you learn from your parents? Did they sit down and impart wisdom to you or was it more from observation? What is YOUR plan to pass on your values to your children? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott talks about his personal life, more specifically his parenting. He describes how his life as an entrepreneur has impacted his children and influenced the way they see the world. You can tell that Scott is super proud of his kids and he loves to share how they are taking the values that he has imparted to them and building off of it. If you’d like to hear more about how Scott teaches his kids about his values, you’ve got to check out this episode.
What is your “WHY?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came along and waved a magic wand and granted your wildest dreams? But would that “Dream come true” be satisfying? Isn’t half the satisfaction in looking back at what you did to make the dream a possibility? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott shares the advice he would give to parents who are considering becoming entrepreneurs. He emphasizes the need to understand your “Why.” Figure out what that dream is, write it out, print out images of it, and make it your goal. Be as specific as you possibly can so you know when times get hard, and you want to quit, you have something to look to and remember the reason behind what you are doing. To hear Scott expand on this concept further, make sure to listen to this episode!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [2:20] Gordon’s Ask Scott Question.
- [7:50] Gordon Light joins the podcast.
- [16:00] What has Scott pumped up right now?
- [23:30] What is Scott doing to generate revenue today?
- [32:50] Scott talks about how he connected with his latest business partner.
- [34:10] What does a typical work day/week look like for Scott?
- [40:15] How did Scott build his first FBA brand?
- [46:40] How has parenting influenced Scott’s business decisions?
- [51:00] Scott talks about his journey pursuing supplemental income.
- [57:30] How has the entrepreneurial lifestyle impacted Scott’s children?
- [1:05:30] What was the decision like for Scott to leave his construction job and work for himself?
- [1:09:00] What would Scott say to parents who want to become entrepreneurs?
TRANSCRIPT TAS 339
TAS 339: (RARE Personal Episode) What's the Secrets to MY Work Life Balance to Being a Good Dad and Husband[INTRODUCTION]
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 339 and today I’ve got a rare personal episode for you it’s a little bit different I’m going to warn you…
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…but I think that you guys will get value from this and I’m going to tell you exactly how this thing even came about. But the topic is really ‘what’s the secrets to my personal work-life balance to being a good dad and a husband?’
A lot of you know that it can become at times really, really overwhelming, it could become stressful, creating the lifestyle that you want, all of that stuff, how do you do it though? How do you manage that without it interfering with your personal life because you don’t want to take away from that because a lot of times, that’s what you are striving for.
So, what I’m going to do here is I’m going to play for you a message that was left on the voicemail for Ask Scott. Now Ask Scott is generally questions about how to sell on Amazon or how to sell on ecommerce or just business marketing questions. Well Gordon Light had emailed or actually messaged me and I listened to it and on my bet I didn’t listen to it, I must have missed it as I was going through my calls and I went back and listened to it and he really asked this question.
I’m going to play it for you so you can kind of see how this whole thing took place but just to kind of give you a little bit of a heads up. I reached out to Gordon after the fact, and I said, “Hey, Gordon how about we do this, how about you come on the podcast, you go ahead and interview me on all of these little questions that you have, about my personal life and I’ll answer them?
Then we’ll share it with my audience and we’ll just a have a casual conversation about this,” because I do think it’s interesting and I always like to kind of go back and try to almost see where these things came about, how it kind of came into fruition and all of that.
So, that’s what I want to do here so hopefully you guys are going to enjoy this, I think you will and he seemed to think that a lot of my audience would probably get a lot of value from this and that’s why he asked the question.
[00:02:04] Scott: So, let me just play the original message so you can see where this all came from and then from there I’m going to play this interview where Gordon actually interviews me and that we dig into some really deep personal topics. I think that you’re going to get value from that. So, let’s go ahead and listen to this message from Gordon.
[00:02:20] Gordon: Hi Scott my name is Gordon. I’m from Massachusetts and first and foremost I want to tell you that you have changed my life in so many ways. I’d love to have the opportunity to tell you, all the ways that, that’s happened. I can’t really do it in here on this recording but you have completely flipped my around, 180 degrees in my mindset, my whole approach to everything that I do on a daily basis. I feel like I owe you a hug. Really I appreciate everything once again.
So, thank you, thank you. All the content you’ve been putting out over the years is just incredible and I’ve gotten so much value out of it. Moving on I do have a question for you, it is unrelated to selling on amazon and it’s unrelated to FBA. But before you hang up on me, just hear me out. I have an invitation that I’d like to extend to you, to be a guest on my podcast that will be coming out this winter, it is called Fit Successful Dad.
It is podcast that is focused on interviewing and dissecting the brains of inspiring successful entrepreneurs like yourself who are also parents and seen to be successful in parenting. You are a textbook example of what I would consider a person who is a successful entrepreneur who also doubles as a parent. You’ve done so three times. You’ve got two daughters, one son and they both, both your older son seem like they are doing incredible.
Your youngest daughter is well on her way. She seems like she is following the same paths in terms of having good strong work ethic and broadening her mind and thinking and just not being a linear person. She is growing and developing and you talk about that and it’s awesome.
[00:04:19] Gordon: So, I would love to bring you on the show to talk about how exactly you have gone through all of the stages of your business life while having and raising children and how you manage to do both.
You’ve talked a little bit about scheduling time in your calendar for family time and scheduling time for work time and you never cross the two and that’s awesome. That’s a really good strategy and that’s a really good tactic for making sure that you dedicate time and you are efficient in everything you’re doing. But if we take a step further and we look at the specific things that you do in your family life specifically raising your children, how do you tackle the morals and ethics and values and teachings and all the things that you consider super important to pass on to children?
How do you tackle the execution of doing that? And how does that affect your business and likewise how do your business strategies and your way of doing business with people and talking to suppliers and talking to contractors and hiring VA’s employees, how does communicating with them and talking to them and teaching them, how does that affect dealing with your children?
There is a whole, there is many layers to this that I’d like to get into with all the guests that we are interviewing. We’d like to interview one guest a week or air a podcast episode with one guest per week in addition to probably two other episodes per week. They are a little bit shorter that really just include me speaking on a topic that I and my audience find important. So, we are putting together the initial guest list now, I knew you had to be on it, you are one of the first people I thought of when I started assembling the guest list.
I think you’re an awesome guy, I love your story and the people helping me out with this podcast also love your story and they love everything you stand for. It’s incredible. So, we’d really love to hear back from you and hopefully have you on as a guest. So, again my name is Gordon from Massachusetts, go Bruins. Give me a shout back, really looking forward to hearing back from you Scott. Take care, have an awesome day. Bye.
[00:06:42] Scott: All right so I’m just going to cut back in here real quick. So that was the phone call, that was the voicemail that Gordon left and then initially I just thought I was going to play that message and then just talk about it but I said why not have him come in and ask those questions that I might not even think of. So, that’s what we’re going to do here. Now I just will warn you, it’s kind of long, it’s going to be over an hour long. It was funny we planned on just 30 minutes and it just kept going and going.
He even cut down on some of the questions he wanted to ask. So, anyway hopefully you get value from this. Let me know in the comments on the blog or email me, just let me know what you think and I’d really be interested to know if this has been helpful because I know a lot of people out there, whether you are a husband, whether you’re a wife, like work-life balance time, how much time do you devote? All of that stuff is pretty important and a question I get asked at ton.
So, hopefully this is going to shed a little bit of light on my personal beliefs and also a lot of the structure in my life and how I create a lifestyle business to support my lifestyle. All right so enjoy this interview with me and Gordon Light.
[00:07:51] Scott: All right Gordon I am excited man because this is something that we talked about doing and you sent in a voicemail about wanting to know a little bit more about how you balance life as an entrepreneur and family and being a husband all that stuff and you thought it would be interesting to dive into this deep.
I said you know what let’s do it, but let’s do it where you interview me on my show and then if you want to repurpose it, that’s fine, you can use it on your show too, I don’t care. That’s what we’re going to do here. So, thanks so much for coming on and hanging out with me.
[00:08:22] Gordon: Oh! Scott it’s really a pleasure. It’s funny too because I left you that voicemail gosh I think it’s a while ago, a couple of months.
[00:08:30] Scott: And that’s my bad, that’s totally my bad. The thing is, is just for people to know too like when you submit a question on Ask Scott it’s generally about a month to a month and half out. It looks like yours might have got pushed down for some reason and when I went to listen to it, I was like, “Oh man! I should have probably responded to this earlier because maybe he wanted to have me on his podcast earlier.”
So, anyway I apologize for that but I’m so glad we are able to do it now.
[00:08:56] Gordon: Hey no I really appreciate it and for those who don’t know and probably for you a little bit, the purpose of my podcast and the purpose of my brand, it actually is tied in with TAS a little bit. Now I’ll just tell you a little bit why.
[00:09:13] Scott: Cool.
[00:09:13] Gordon: So, a couple of years ago… First of all my name is Gordon Light and I’m a father and I am a husband and I’m an electrical engineer and I’ll talk a little bit about that but dialing back the clock a couple of years, I came across the TAS podcast in it’s very, very early stages. I was really just kind of looking for something, I was looking to scratch that kind of entrepreneurial edge that I knew was there but I didn’t really know how to even start, actually taking action on it and it was pretty cool.
The timing was absolutely perfect, my sister was the one who recommended you. I listened to it and I immediately started carving out little windows of time in my very, very crazy schedule. I went from just kind of a 9:00 to 5:00 job to also creating a brand and launching that on Amazon and I had and I still do. I still have multiple products with multiple variations and they weren’t as you call them home runs.
[00:10:14] Scott: Right.
[00:10:15] Gordon: But I did hit multiple base sets.
[00:10:16] Scott: I love base sets.
[00:10:16] Gordon: Yeah base sets are great.
[00:10:19] Scott: Base sets are… Hey in the baseball world I’ll take a guy that hits like 10 base hits versus one home run for every 30 at bats.
[00:10:25] Gordon: Absolutely, right?
[00:10:27] Scott: Absolutely.
[00:10:25] Gordon: Base set every time is better than nothing. So, it’s going great and not only have I made my money back, I profited considerably, I’ve gone on to explore Amazon Merch, that whole platform which is really, really cool and talk about a program that almost requires, it’s almost like a completely passive thing. I highly recommend anybody who is considering anything to check that out.
[00:10:50] Scott: Currently though Merch is still by invite only as far as when we’re recording this right now. It still is as far as I know right?
[00:11:01] Gordon: Yes.
[00:11:02] Scott: Okay because actually it’s funny I’ve got three brands that I’m working with and every one of them I said apply because that way will give me three chances to get on that platform and we just literally got and I got an email two days from someone that said that I’m working with that said, we’re in.
So, we are just about ready to start getting into that. I think also it limits you also to only having 10 designs up at once, is kind of what it gave us as our threshold right now. So, if you have 10 designs, you can launch them and then if you want to launch another one you got to get rid of one and then start another one. That’s at least how it’s working right now.
[00:11:40] Gordon: Oh wow! That means they made some changes.
[00:11:43] Scott: Yeah.
[00:11:43] Gordon: Well first of all welcome to the Merch Club. I think you’ll be really, really successful with it based on everything I know about you. But that’s interesting that it changes to 10 because when I got invited and accepted it was 25.
[00:11:56] Scott: Oh wow!
[00:11:55] Gordon: Then I believe you have to hit a 100 sales total and then they start tearing you up. I mean it seems to be different for everybody but 10 is the lowest that I’ve heard.
[00:12:05] Scott: It’ll probably work the same way too. Like now if you hit 10 and you get a 100 then it will probably bring you up to maybe the threshold whatever that is. I think you got to prove yourself before you just throwing up shirts and stuff right?
[00:12:16] Gordon: Yeah back in the day… No it is. That’s what it is. Back in the day I think there was no threshold limit, so you could literally be invited and get accepted and then throw up 1,000 designs and just kind of monopolize it.
[00:12:30] Scott: Exactly.
[00:12:29] Gordon: But anyway dialing back a little bit. So, yes I went to launch a brand and a couple of different products, physical products, then I got into Merch, and then I started to explore some other things outside of Amazon and where I found myself almost two years later is supplementing my income with this whole separate side gig that really it’s not something that takes an extra eight or nine hours a day on top of my eight or nine hours a day that I was working my full time job. It’s almost like this, I guess you might call it a side hustle.
[00:13:02] Scott: Right you would.
[00:13:02] Gordon: But I haven’t had to forego my family dynamic at home, my relationship with my son, which is probably the thing I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. Relationship with my wife, my social life. I mean these are things that I was able to do in just small pockets of time, pretty much throughout the week and I still have my weekends. So the goal of my podcast and the goal of my whole brand here Fit Successful Dad is really to reach out to other parents and then almost entirely applies to parents is kind of my target niche, my target audience.
[00:13:32] Scott: Sure.
[00:13:34] Gordon: And just kind of show them that having kids in the house and being married and having these domestic things going on it’s not a hindrance to kind of chasing an entrepreneurial lifestyle. It’s actually in my opinion, it’s more of an enhancement, it’s more of something that can actually be a motivator to creating that lifestyle.
[00:13:52] Scott: Right, I agree.
[00:13:55] Gordon: So, that’s that and you’re a perfect kind of like a textbook example of that and it’s based on the…
[00:14:00] Scott: Well thank you. I appreciate that.
[00:14:02] Gordon: The TAS podcast and the story that you’ve been telling over the past few years, which I think is great and I think it resonates really well with your audience and also I think it will resonate with my audience and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to kind of dive a little bit deeper into what makes Scott Voelker so successful.
[00:14:21] Scott: Yeah I want to say going back to your voicemail, my first thought was like, “This is cool. This is a cool topic. I’d be excited to talk about this.” I mean I love talking about business, I love talking about like Amazon, I love talking about different platforms, building your email list, I love that stuff. I can talk about stuff for days, for hours. But this topic or any other topic around just lifestyle and the why of why we actually do things and creating that plan. To me it’s all about building the lifestyle first and then building the businesses around that to support it is key.
So, whenever I get a chance to talk about this, I love it and I initially just said, “You know what, I’m going to play his voice mail like I do on Ask Scott and I’m going to then create a podcast about it.” And I’m like you know what, “Let me go ahead and try to flip this around and have Gordon come on and kind of interview me but then he can also share with his audience.” It will kind of help both audiences and I think some people are going to be interested and some people might be like, “I want the next Amazon tactic,” and that’s fine.
But this session I think for us, will be really just deep diving into that. Like I told you before we even got on here and recorded like I like taking these wherever they go. So, I know you have a little bit of a direction you want to go but I’m sure that I will take different paths and different turns because of so many different things that go into this that a lot of people will just look at well, you just wake up and you kind of go to work. There is planning in that to create the lifestyle. So, yeah I’m excited man. This is going to be fun.
[00:15:45] Gordon: Awesome all right cool let’s jump right into it then.
[00:15:47] Scott: Let’s do it.
[00:15:47] Gordon: Okay so, Scott Voelker before we get into all of your the vast list of business things you got going on, why don’t you tell everybody, myself included, what has you excited right now? What just has you, what has you pumped up right now?
[00:16:00] Scott: Oh! men there is so much, that is a tough one and I know you gave me some questions before hand but I really didn’t think this one through but on a personal level, just life in general. Like I’ve got a nine year old daughter, I’ve got an 18 year old son who’s going to be 19 in April, I’ve got a 21 year daughter who will be 22 in July she is getting married. My 18 year old is in college and he’s pursuing his dreams right now and I’m helping support him in that.
That’s really exciting to see how… And again we can talk about this a little bit later about how he’s kind of, and my older daughter, how they’ve kind of… Because they’ve been brought up in this lifestyle, they’ve taken on a whole other mindset that a lot of kids their age haven’t. Which I think it’s pretty cool and I’m pretty proud of that. So, we can definitely dive into that.
My nine year old just really keeps it fun. I mean today we’ve got volleyball like at 4:00 o’clock. So, my calendar is cleared, we’re going to volleyball we watch her practice then we watch her play some games and it’s just a lot of fun.
So, that’s what has got me the most excited like enjoying life. Like enjoying the time that we have here today together and really embracing that. Being grateful for everything that I have the chance to explore and to enjoy.
So that’s in a nutshell, like that is what has got me most excited in life. The other part which is pretty, it’s right up there, is being able to help more people through my podcast. This has been something that I again never planned. I had hoped that at one point in my life that I’d be able to share my story, or share a message with people and have them actually use it to their advantage and to create a better life, kind of like yourself like you are actually a perfect example of what I love to hear because it means that you actually listened, and you were inspired enough to actually take action and from there it has made some changes in your life. Even if it’s the smallest, it’s done something. So, that’s what has really got me the most excited inside of like, outside of my family is helping more people, and reach more people.
[00:18:04] Scott: And those people that are doubting themselves because maybe they have done other things and they don’t think that they are capable or they don’t have enough time. They come up with excuses to try to allow them to not try something so they don’t fail.
Because that’s a lot of time the reason why they don’t start is because they just don’t want to fail. It’s not really the time, we can all fit time somewhere like watch one less show or something. But it just comes down to figuring that stuff out. But that’s got me the most excited. The podcast because that helps me reach thousands of people on a regular basis, and Facebook Lives and all that stuff.
Then just, I have got little programs that I am creating to also help people. We’ve got one right now called the 1K fast track, which is helping people make their first $1,000 because I think if I can help them make their first thousand, then will go on to make their next five, and then ten and then 20. So, yeah that’s what really has got me the most excited right now for business and in life.
[00:18:59] Gordon: Scott that’s, it’s not what I expected. The reason I love that answer so much is because first and foremost was your response about your family.
[00:19:08] Scott: Yeah.
[00:19:11] Gordon: You just got very specific about your three kids and their current situations. That was kind of number one. Then number two was your podcast and how you are helping people. Now those are two things that, they don’t make you money.
[00:19:19] Scott: No.
[00:19:20] Gordon: Those are just two things that are just you do and you get fulfilment out of those things which is awesome. I ask that question a lot to a lot of people, when I interview them and a lot of times the response is how many six figure things they’ve got going on down the pipeline. So, it’s pretty cool to hear that, and some…
[00:19:40] Scott: Yeah, Gordon on that though, let me just say, because when I started the podcast. There was no money being generated through the podcast, as of right now just to be totally transparent. There is money that’s coming through the podcast. But it was never the plan in the beginning as to when, so there wasn’t like a plan to go out there and set out. So some people would say, “Yeah Scott, you are just going to keep doing that because you know you are monetizing that now.”
And the answer is yes but for the first 50, 60 episodes there wasn’t a dollar generated for the podcast. And there was hours upon hours of dedication and to me, you know on the front end like you, like I don’t even know… Like you didn’t purchase any of my stuff currently. I mean like any programs. You might have did some tools like an affiliate or something but nothing really like a program. So you know because I helped you, that doesn’t mean that you’re less valuable to me. But I just know it’s kind of like Zig Ziglar, right? The more people that you help get what they want, the more that you’ll be able to receive.
I’m not sure that’s exactly what it was but it was darn well close. Let’s just help more people get what they want out of life and good things will happen. Like that’s the motto. So for me, I want to go out there and wow people with the free content that I can deliver to hopefully change lives and if I do it will start to really create almost like a movement in a sense, to where then we can just create this amazing community that supports each other on a regular basis.
So I just want to be clear like, the podcast yes it doesn’t generate money on the podcast itself, like there is no sponsorships. As of right now I don’t currently have sponsorships and I’ve been offered… I’ve actually been offered six figures to be on the podcast for like a six month deal and I’ve turned that down. Because I didn’t want to dilute my content and I didn’t want to take away from my message and from everything that I believe in. So just to kind of be upfront there. I just wanted to kind of, again I’m honest and transparent with everyone. I just want people to understand the entire picture.
[00:21:35] Gordon: I was a TAS fan. I mean I certainly appreciate that. I do think that you are in a position now where you probably should consider monetizing but you are so passionate about not, like you said diluting the content.
[00:21:45] Scott: Yes.
[00:21:46] Gordon: Which is something that you know is a term you came up on your own and that’s something you feel very strongly about.
[00:21:51] Scott: Yeah.
[00:21:52] Gordon: So you know it’s your own thing. But I see absolutely no issue with someone like yourself monetizing and in fact I’m a person who has reached so many benefits from listening to TAS that I have gone on to make a considerable amount of money from it and you’re right, I did not purchase anything from you and everything that I got from you, that education was entirely 100% free.
[00:22:13] Scott: Exactly.
[00:22:14] Gordon: So I feel like I must be thanking you actually.
[00:22:16] Scott: Yeah. No and that’s into me though but it’s awesome. Again I want to stay on course here but I was never planning on creating any type of training or anything like that. That wasn’t like my thing. But I had a lot of people that weren’t like you, that were like “Scott, I just want step by step, I want paint by numbers like I want you to walk me through every single step.”
And I had that over and over and over again and that’s where we came up with our PLC classroom. So that’s kind of how that kind of happened. Like it was my audience telling me what they wanted and again another lesson for anyone listening, like whether you are selling physical products, whether you are selling digital products, listen to your audience and then help them and give them what they want. Like it’s that simple. Like don’t try to make it too complicated. That’s the win-win for everyone.
[00:23:03] Gordon: Yeah, I know. That’s great. That’s great. Okay, so I know just from listening to you podcast that you have several brands, you don’t talk about them and that’s okay. You know, specifically what they are. But what specifically and be as specific as you can, what specifically are you doing on top of those brands and maybe dig in to how many different brands and variations and SKUs maybe you have? What are you doing to generate revenue today?
[00:23:29] Scott: Well there’s a lot of things. If we go back to even the front of my story which I shared in episode 300 of my podcast, so if you’re listening to this on my podcast it’s theamazingseller.com/300. If you’re listening to it on yours you can still go to that link and you’ll get that podcast episode and that was really like the whole all the way back to the beginning when I was 18 years old. I had graduated high school and how I got started and all that stuff. My wife and I own a photography business and a brick and mortar.
We grew that pretty successfully into a six figure business and then we moved that to a digital products business where we were selling templates and stuff for digital photographers and we still run that today. So that brings in money, it still brings in money and it’s almost passive. We work on that maybe a few hours a month, we have paid members that pay every single month to be part of that and then we deliver products to those people every single month. So that’s a steady flow of revenue. And then like you said, then there’s brands inside of, I have a personal one that I started from scratch before I even started the podcast.
That one there is kind of been unpassive, just kind of like letting it go. And the reason for that, a lot of reason is when I started I didn’t really know like a lot of people what direction I wanted to go. So one reason that I kind of just let that stay where it is I haven’t added any more SKUs in a while, I think right now we have probably counting variations probably about 10 SKUs maybe eight to 10 SKUs and I haven’t added one in probably a year. And that still generates between $15,000 and $20,000 in revenue every single month and we are probably about 30% to 35% margin. And when I say that one is passive, I mean like literally we just order inventory and replenish like a little bit of pay-per-clicks, sponsored Ads. I really use it as a testing ground as well because know I can kind of test certain things in there. And the other reason is I’ve had people email me and this will probably get people to do it even deeper but I’ve heard people say, “Scott I know what you sell. You’ve exposed yourself.”
[00:25:32] Scott: And so I didn’t cover my tracks because I didn’t know I was going to have a podcast. So it’s kind of like, “All right, cool, so now what should I do? Should I keep filling that and kind of you know pushing more product to there?” Because as you know some people when you get into the space you get into the spotlight, some people want to take you down as well. So I’ve had haters, I’ve had negative people come try to attack me. So because of that I’ve kind of let it go but even though I’ve let it go, it’s still consistently been at $15,000 to $20,000 and someone is approaching $25K a month with literally about less than an hour a day.
Probably like 15 minutes a day. And that’s no exaggeration. So that’s been a nice little set and almost forget type of thing. The other one I did is a test brand with someone that I was helping on the side and I’m an equal partner in on that. And the idea there was, “Can I start this person off with a very low budget and grow that to where they can make between $5,000 and $10,000 a month in profit?” And we did a really good job the very first year which last year was our full year on that, and the products there are only around 15 bucks which goes against my rules. My rule is usually $20 to $45 and making about $5 to $7 profit per unit. That one there has probably about right now 18 to 20 SKUs and that one last year did around $100,000 in revenue total for the year at a 33% margin.
And that one there I literally spent less than again an hour a day. So that one there is again… That’s doing something. I partnered also with my good friend Dom Sugar in an open brand concept. He’s got many brands but he said he was thinking about doing an open brand. I said that would be good also because then I could be involved. I could still have my hands in it and work on the marketing side of things and maybe email list building, funnel building, all that stuff that I’m really passionate about. That’s kind of like my thing. I like that stuff a lot. So he agreed and so we are working on stuff there and I think that one there currently has like 15 to 20 SKUs and minus fourth quarter because fourth quarter was crazy, over like $90,000 in revenue.
[00:27:44] Scott: But I think right now, I think he told me the last update was like $30 to $35 and that was also because we ran out of one of the top sellers. So that one is doing well, I’m excited about that because the open brand concept is really how you can take multiple kinds of products, multiple types of markets and then merge them into one account and I wanted to do experiment with that. And he had already started it so I said if I come on and help you with the marketing stuff then we can kind of partner on that. So that’s what we’ve done there. And then the most recent one and this one I’m really super, super excited about and that one is a brand with a front person that will be doing all of the face on video, on blog, on all different social media platforms and going to be the driving force behind the brand and then I’ll be the marketing guy behind the brand and all that stuff.
And then I will be a 50-50 partner on that. And that one there is… We are probably three weeks away from launching two products and we’ve got three other ones in pre-production. So just to kind of throw all that stuff out there. So that’s all that stuff and on top of that I have a podcast which you guys are listening to now and that publishes Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And I have training and I have affiliate deals that I work with partners on that stuff and that brings in revenue as well. So yeah, there’s a lot of different things going on for revenue.
[00:29:09] Gordon: Wow, there’s a lot of moving products. Just to make sure I have my count right here, so you have four, essentially four brands that you are involved in on.
[00:29:17] Scott: Yep.
[00:29:18] Gordon: Okay. And this last one, the one that’s about to launch. You said there’s about two to three weeks out and you’ll be launching about two to three products? So you went and found a friend or a colleague or a partner that’s going to be doing all the social media face, ambassador type stuff?
[00:29:35] Scott: Yeah, exactly. I was basically kind of like seeing what this person was doing from a far and they were doing it for years but I felt like they were doing a poor job as far as how much more potential they had and they didn’t realize it. So I seen an opportunity there and that’s where it was kind of like, “Hey, do you mind if we talk about this?” And of course they said, ‘Well sure, what do you got?” And then I kind of went through the plan of what I had seen and that person was excited because now they can do what they love to do and not do what they don’t love doing which is marketing and funnel building and list building and all that stuff. And it’s just to me it’s the perfect marriage in a sense in a relationship for a business because I don’t have time to do all that other stuff nor do I want to do that stuff because I’m involved in so many other things.
And I’m able to work on things that I really enjoy and the other cool thing is I get to kind of report on this whole almost like a case study. So I get to kind of show like the play by play. Like phase one of this brand and how it came about. And then from there what we are doing to find what products we want and then how are we going to get the word out and then how are going to launch them? What platforms? How did we build the list? You know we built the list in this brand already without even having products. Like we built a list of over 5,000 people in this market of raving fans that I know are going to be ready and lined up to buy our first product.
We actually had a kindle book written already for this market and we launched that kindle book and we drove it to almost the top 100 in all of free kindle books for three days just because we had an email list of 5,000 people. Yeah, so I’m just super excited about it but that’s kind of how it kind of came about. It was like I seen… And anyone that sees someone. Like you might be at a party, you might be just online, you might see someone that’s doing really good things or has a huge following but they are monetizing it or they have no idea how to do it and then that’s a great way for you to step in and go, “Let me help you with this and if I do, do you want to be 50-50 partners?” To me that like a huge asset for you because if you can do that you are going to separate yourself amongst your completion like crazy.
[00:32:01] Gordon: Oh, yeah.
[00:32:02] Scott: Because you are able to build an audience, a loyal audience, a following that will basically buy anything that you put out or recommend it to other people. Like whether they buy or not, they are going to recommend. I’ve had people that say, “Scott I don’t need your information because I’m not into that, I’m into something else but I found your podcast and I loved it because I just like listening to you but I’m going to recommend you to three of my friends.” Like that’s how it works. You build that audience and then they’ll help to promote you and your stuff.
[00:32:31] Gordon: Wow, that’s awesome. So this person is going to be this kind of a face man of this company or woman you found them completely just like by looking at social media or is it someone you knew personally or did you just see their content online? How did that work?
[00:32:46] Scott: Yeah, well I basically found them through my move and as I was moving I started to create a relationship because I was moving for those of you that don’t know. I moved from upstate New York to South Carolina. And during that move, we had a lot of back and forth and stuff and a lot of communication with people here and then just one thing led to another, a person that was helping us with the move, I actually struck up that conversation because then I think maybe I’d seen that they’d posted something about the area or about maybe how to get through a move or something like that.
I forget. And then that turned into a communication online and then ends to a Skype call and then to video chats and all that stuff. So that’s kind of how it led so if I never was going to move to South Carolina, I probably never would have found that connection. So again one of those things. Like, and if you go back to listen to my episode 300 you see every single thing that I’ve done has led me to where I am because of a certain situation or a moment that it happened. So it’s pretty awesome to kind of go back and retrace your steps.
[00:34:00] Gordon: That’s pretty cool. It’s always good to have your eyes open, you never know what opportunities are going to present themselves. How long would you say at this point that you spend daily working?
[00:34:11] Scott: Okay, again it depends with what you classify as work. I really don’t feel like what I’m doing is work. I love doing this stuff. You and I right know this is technically work for me. I’m not spending time with my family. This is work.
[00:34:24] Gordon: We’ll consider for the sake of this, we’ll consider the TAS Podcast work.
[00:34:27] Scott: Yeah, the TAS podcast, very simple. I scheduled that out, so basically on Mondays is kind of like my pre-prep day for my Tuesday which is themed. I theme my days. So my Tuesday is really my record day. Now today we are doing an interview on a Wednesday and that’s usually what I would leave that day open for. And I say the day, it’s usually between nine and noon is my block of time and I’ll take breaks. I just got back from a walk before I got on with you that I took a walk and while I was on that walk I did a Periscope. So I took my periscope followers with me on a walk and we talked about sponsored Ads and hijackers and all kinds of stuff.
But I took them on a walk with me because I wanted to do the exercise and I wanted to kind of get ready for this interview. So I guess work for me and that’s what some people say. Like when you are retired, what do you…? I’m like I’m retired, this is what I am going to do when I’m retired. I’m going to travel, I’m going to speak, I’m going to talk to people, I’m going to help people, I’m going to hopefully inspire even young kids like my son is already talking, like he wants to eventually help young kids that don’t think that they can be successful because they don’t have the skills set or whatever like so many cool things that I can see happening in the future. That retirement for me is just more fun for doing what I’m already doing.
Just spreading it even further and building even more brands and helping people build brands and all that stuff. So yeah, I would say work, how much time do I work it’s really hard to say but I do schedule out that time that I don’t do anything other than focus on time with the family or volleyball or if my daughter is visiting, my 21 year old just visited with her fiancé and I blocked out pretty much everything for those three days. So I didn’t do anything for those three days, I mean a couple emails here and there but pretty much anything like this I didn’t do. I kind of batched all my stuff so I was prepared before they got in town.
[00:36:21] Gordon: That’s awesome. So it kind of varies and if you were to remove things like podcasting or Periscoping or that kind of stuff. If you are talking about just maybe dealing with your supplier or dealing with a VA or something, it’s sound like it's only maybe couple of hours.
[00:36:37] Scott: Yeah. I mean honestly I have a meeting. See know I’ve got someone that I’m working in that test brand that I said that I helped him getting set up and know he is kind of running that and I’m kind of like the advisor in a sense. I meet with him on Mondays, every Monday at 11 o’clock and we go over what happened the week before and what we have coming up. Now he does a lot of that reaching out to the suppliers, the sourcing and stuff like that. So that kind of took that off my plate. So really it’s about a meeting, so really I’ll sit down, I’ll have a meeting for an hour and I’ll discuss anything that he has for me that I need to address in order for him to move forward.
So that’s really it and right now I’m kind of going through this whole sponsored ads or sponsored product ads stuff and we just kind of did this whole week is themed around. Actually the time that this is recording it won’t be but we are doing a whole week where we are talking about sponsored ads for Amazon. So I’ve been really consumed in that so I’ve been in my account more just playing and just setting up new campaigns and seeing what happens and looking at my old data and pulling in search terms reports and stuff like that. So this week is actually more than usual but even still at that no more than an hour. You know really…
[00:37:49] Gordon: That’s awesome. I want people in, if I could be so bold, even the TAS community just to realize you know just how little time in the course of a whole 24 hour day, how little time is actually needed to run one of these businesses. It’s not an 18 hour day hustle
[00:38:08] Scott: No, no.
[00:38:09] Gordon: And I think that’s something that a lot of people, they think if they are going to start a side business, even an online business and especially a physical products business where you are dealing with suppliers, shipping and all that stuff that it’s going to be just like 10, 12, 14 hour thing all day every day, weekends and it’s, it’s just not. It’s just not.
[00:38:27] Scott: Yeah, and I think though in the beginning stages, when you’re first getting your brand going, it will take more time, like that’s normal.
[00:38:32] Gordon: Absolutely.
[00:38:33] Scott: Like your product research. It going to take more time. Your sourcing to find the right suppliers, it’s going to take time. Communicating with maybe a freight forwarder, it’s going to take a little bit more time. But once you’ve been through it and once that product or products are up, now it’s a matter of maintaining. And then maybe thinking about the next suite of products. But honestly when you do create like a brand the next products become easier to find because then you are going to launch relevant products to that brand.
The open brand is a little bit tougher for us, I don’t even say tougher, it makes it a little bit looser but it’s where you can launch new products every single day because it’s an open brand. It’s multiple different types of markets. But our whole philosophy, there is really how can we test five different markets all at once and see the one that sticks really well and then go really deep with that one. That’s really the plan moving forward.
[00:39:23] Gordon: Right. Right. And so for the workload, it’s really, I agree it’s kind of more front loaded
[00:39:28] Scott: Yeah, totally.
[00:39:29] Gordon: Because a lot of that is learning the process, right?
[00:39:30] Scott: Yep. And you’re learning.
[00:39:31] Gordon: And tools.
[00:39:32] Scott: Yep. And again you are learning, though I think we should highlight that. I mean what people don’t realize is they’ll launch a product and it might not do as well as it did, but what do you learn from that process? You learned how to source a product, you learned how to get it here, you learned about customs, you learned about packaging, you learned about FNSQ’s and UPC’s and you learned about all that stuff. You’ve been through it now. So now the next one is going to be a whole lot easier.
[00:39:55] Gordon: Yep. I totally agree. I totally agree. So before we kind of branch off from this, I just have one more question about that
[00:40:03] Scott: Sure, sure.
[00:40:04] Gordon: And it’s to kind of tell everyone how you built that first FBA brand from nothing. This is going back a few years, so it’s just a concept in your head maybe or maybe even before that concept, how did you build that from just an idea into what it is today?
[00:40:18] Scott: I was pretty much where everyone is right now that’s starting. Like I had no idea. Actually the first product I was thinking about launching, I was literally like really, really close to launching it and I changed gears because I wanted to try go into a brand or a market that I was interested in. That I thought that I’d be interested in, in the future. Now does that mean I have to be that way now? No. The person that maybe I’m building the brand with, I want them to be totally like passionate about it maybe because then they are going to be able to drive that business with content.
I think if you can build a business around content, I think that’s always like the best thing that you could do for long term and even exiting if you ever want to. That’s a whole another topic but I started where everyone did and I just, I really didn’t know what direction I wanted to go and then I settled on it and then from there I did it the hard way though. They didn’t have tools like Jungle Scout. So I basically went out and I looked at the first page of results for this one product and then I took a spreadsheet and I took all the ASINs and I copied them in or the links so I could go back to them every day and then I would look at the BSR and then I would look at the reviews, I’d look at you know how many sales I estimated they were making and that I would do by using the 999 trick which is basically just seeing how much inventory they had in from one day to the next.
And then I would just record that stuff and look at it for seven to 14 days and that’s what I did. And then I launched the product very similar to how I do it today with the exception that I think I gave away 100 units when I first launched that and now I literally don’t even do that. I mean I’ll allow 100 units for promotions but I won’t give them away. It will be more like a discount or maybe I’ll just drive a lot of pay-per-click to them really, really fast. So yeah, I mean, I wish I can make it sound like more intense but it was literally like everything that I talk about. It’s like I went out there and I looked at a market that I knew wasn’t trending down.
[00:42:24] Scott: It was trending like even or up and I knew it was going to be around for a long time and then it was something that people needed and it was something that people wanted and it was going to better their life and so I felt good about it. Now again, if I was to go back and pick that product over, I’d probably won’t pick that product. I guess the next question would be why? Well because it’s an easy product for a lot of people to source, so because of that I either have to either find a way to make it more unique or I have to… When I go looking for it, it’s harder for me to find. Know I think that’s a tip for anyone. If you can go on Alibaba and find that exact product, and all you are going to do is take that product and then resell it, it’s probably a bad sign because the next person is going to be able to do the same thing.
And in this new brand that we are working with, we are running into right now, it’s hard to find certain manufactures that will build what we want them to build. But once we get it, we are going to be the only ones there basically that’s going to sell. If you want to sell it it’s going to take you a lot of work to find out how to make it all work. So I would say in the beginning it was a little bit like me just kind of like, “Let’s just see what happens.” And then I just kind of led down that path. Second product that I launched wasn’t successful at all. It only I think at the highest it might have sold like five a day, and then it might have dwindled down to like three a day and I ended up liquidating it and I just got out from under it.
It wasn’t a huge deal. And then the third product had four SKUs and that one still sells today on a regular basis. And that one did well and then I’ve got another product in there that we dabbled in the supplement world. And then that one there we are still selling about five a day but it’s one I’m probably going to phase out. I’m not really excited about it and I’m also seeing that it’s going to be a huge uphill battle to stay on top. And I don’t really have a brand. Like when I decided to get into that brand, I had a guy that I thought was going to help drive that brand and that fell through. So one of those things. So I’ve earned from it, I’m still making money, I’m making about I don’t know 13, 14 bucks a sale and I sell about five a day on a regular basis. I’m going to liquidate them once they are done and we’ll move on, just recoup the money.
[00:44:43] Gordon: Wow, okay. So that’s yeah, it is like just what you just described. It’s just follow the process, right?
[00:44:48] Scott: Just follow the process and you know some people will say, “Wasn’t it easier back then?” Yeah it was a little bit easier but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible now. It just means you have to do a little bit more digging a little bit deeper and try to make the product better. Like that’s the whole secret. Read the reviews of what people are saying they wish it had or they wish it did and make yours do that and then sell against your competitors. Like it’s that simple. And have good packaging. I think packaging is another thing that I would do differently if I was to launch over from scratch. You know back in the day, I think I would have spent more on packaging. And the reason is because then again, it makes your product look more legit, it looks like it came off the shelf and if someone wants to give it away as a gift it's possible. It’s not just coming in a plastic bag.
[00:45:33] Gordon: Right, right, yeah. And I agree. I think the biggest thing out of everything you just described is not picking something that is right upfront on the Alibaba homepage. Picking something that’s very, very difficult to find, a supplier to build definitely.
[00:45:51] Scott: But that doesn’t mean that you can’t look at that one product that’s similar to your product or that is related and then from you to say, “Okay I know they make these types of products, maybe they’ll make the thing I want.” And then that will lead you to that factory that then you can have your customized thing made. It’s again for you just to know that, that company makes garlic presses, they might make this certain kitchen device that you want. But it’s not on Alibaba. You know what I mean? So it leads you to the supplier.
[00:46:23] Gordon: Okay, so you’ve got, I mean you’re obviously a subject matter expert in this area but I would consider you a subject matter expert, been doing this for so long. How has being a parent impacted not just this business but all the business that you’ve grown from scratch?
[00:46:39] Scott: Okay. So let me just understand the question. So how has being a parent, so how has it impacted like my decisions for starting businesses and stuff?
[00:46:46] Gordon: Let’s say, decisions, your ability to like fight with risk financially, energy wise.
[00:46:52] Scott: Oh, yeah. That’s a big one. Yeah for sure. Okay. So number one, to me, once I left my father’s business when I was in the construction business with him, I was working there for about eight years, working 60 plus hours, that’s what actually got me wanting to create my own business because I wanted my own schedule. And he had a partner, it was bad, it was an ugly marriage, it was terrible. And I also learned a lot about business and I also learned that I didn’t want to have a partner. But anyway, so basically what I wanted to do was create a lifestyle business so because of that it made me see you that my kids are very important to me. I want to spend time with them, so how can I take and create a time schedule that fits around that.
So what would that look like? Well if I’m a photographer I’m able to create my own schedule. I can say we only take sessions at 9 o'clock in the morning because we dropped the kids off at eight and then we’ll go up to 2 o’clock and then you know between two and five or six we don’t do anything and then from six to seven we might do one session outside because the lighting was perfect at that time. That was kind of like how we structured that. So having kids, it made us have to figure out a schedule and then we built everything around that so to me that’s what really got me kind of like figuring out the schedule thing and the lifestyle.
As far as taking risk, like once I started… It was funny because when I left my father’s business I think I had about, gosh maybe about $5,000 in the bank that was it. So I was like literally like, I’m just going for it. But we had already build our photography business on that side. We were doing a little side hustle and we knew that we were approaching, I left in November and we were approaching our busy season which was Christmas because that’s when everyone comes for family photos and all that stuff. And so I was taking a risk because I knew I was leaving and I knew my father wanted to leave too. He wanted to kind of get out of that business so I knew I was just kind of leave a little bit of pressure for him but from there it was scary.
[00:48:55] Scott: I’m like, “What do I do? I’m like what if this thing doesn’t work? I’ve got 5000 in the bank, I think we are going to get, I think we’ve got enough customers to help us get through,” and we did. But I always the backup little safety net that if it doesn’t work I’ll just go back and I’ll just… Not to my father’s business but I’ll just go do some construction. There’s always work to be done there. I was a good contractor, I knew all facets of the business, so I could go remodel a kitchen, I could go do a bathroom over. I could go do a deck, whatever.
I could make money. So the risk wasn’t really there, I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to have to that but it wasn’t really I was like losing sleep over it. I was excited because I was going to be able to work from home and I think that was the most exciting thing. So I think to answer your question, I think I did is the kids really motivated me to want to create my own schedule and the risk side of things to me there was no option. So there wasn’t really a risk because I had a backup plan.
[00:49:44] Gordon: So how many kids did you have at the time when you left your construction business?
[00:49:47] Scott: Two. I had my son who was only two and my daughter was four I think. They are two years apart, about two and a half years apart. So yeah. They were young and I think my son actually was he two? Yeah he was just about two. So he was young. Yeah, and I think it’s funny to even look back at it. When we would finish our photography fourth quarter like all of our sessions that we would take normally, we would probably have about $10,000 to $12,000 in the bank to carry us through the next month or two because you know business slow down after that because people don’t want to get their pictures taken.
And we thought we were living large. We were like, this is awesome, like we just, we knocked this all out. We had our lifestyle business, we knocked all this work out, people are happy, they got their pictures for Christmas, they are giving away as gifts and now we got to basically just kind of hang loose and again I mean hang loose we are still marketing our business and still updating our website and figuring out ways we could maybe get customers in before Easter and stuff like that but we didn’t have to. We had a little bit of cushion in the bank but you still had that thought of what if we don’t get customers coming back in for Easter. Well, that ten grand is only going to last so long.
[00:51:02] Gordon: Right. So you’ve got two kids?
[00:51:04] Scott: Yep.
[00:51:05] Gordon: You’ve got a two year old and a four year old?
[00:51:06] Scott: Yep.
[00:51:07] Gordon: And you’ve got enough money to get you through a couple months after Christmas? This is you and your wife, both of you, your primary source of income?
[00:51:15] Scott: Primary. Yep.
[00:51:18] Gordon: Okay, so how did you deal with that? When you are talking to your kids and you are wondering, “Oh, men, if I don’t get any clients what are we going to do in three months?”
[00:51:27] Scott: Yeah, you try not to think about that but in the same breath as an entrepreneur I’m always thinking of ways that I can supplement my income. Even back then, so going back to that day and I’ve talked about this on episode 300 but I’ll revisit it, is you know I started dabbling on eBay. We’d seen they were selling things on eBay, things that little trinkety things and stuff and I think we put up something that we had laying around the house and sold and that was like, “Holy crap, this thing works. You can actually sell stuff online.” And my wife was at the Christmas tree shop, there was a Christmas tree shop. I don’t know if they have them where you are but it’s a…
[00:52:02] Gordon: They do.
[00:52:03] Scott: Yeah. They don’t just sell Christmas stuff, it’s just like a whole barrage of just different stuff and they had these little wooden seed or bridges. They were about four foot bridges people would put in their gardens. And we’d seen you could purchase them for $25 and they were selling on eBay for 140 bucks. So we ended up buying two of them, we sold them like literally in like three days and then we went back and bought 20 more. And at the time, just to mention too, we were putting our kids through private school because we wanted them to go to a private school because our school system where we were living wasn’t the best.
So we put them in private school. So that was costing us. So this actually helped supplement our private schooling to take off a little bit of that weight off of us. And so then after that we just kind of tried to keep on doing that. I think we did that for a good six months and we just kept buying like 10 more or 15 more and then eventually other people started doing it and drove the price down and people were selling for like 50 bucks and then we just stopped doing it. But then again, being an entrepreneur I’m like what other things do my customers want in the photography space. They keep asking me for video transfers or doing 50th wedding anniversaries or doing slide shows for that or a graduation or old 8mm film transfers.
So I’m like, maybe I should start offering this service. So what did I do? I started offering the service. And then I turned that into a side revenue. I actually had a car lettered with our video transfer name on it, buy our brand. So we basically had our main brand and this was a sub brand off of our main brand and I drove that thing all around, I’d get stopped in the parking lot when I was getting groceries, “Hey do you transfer this kind of stuff?” I was like, “Yep, I do. Here is a card.” And then I’d get business that way. I’d go to home shows and I’d set up a little shop there with my video transfer stuff and I knew nothing about it. I just knew I was in that business and my customers wanted it. It was another extension of our photography and that really did well. That was, I think that probably did $40,000, $50000 dollars a year once I got that thing rolling. But here’s the side thing.
[00:53:59] Scott: I mean your audience probably doesn’t know, my audience probably already does know. But then I started seeing that there was accessories being built for this business that I needed and one of them was a transfer station to transfer old film reel to reel film and I bought one. It cost like $1,200/$1,500 at that time and I noticed all it was was like a reconditioned old film unit that was just converted to process this type of film. And so I just kind of reversed engineered it and I started building them and selling them on eBay for like 900 bucks.
And so I would build one or two of those in a week and I think I paid 150/200 bucks for all the parts to make it happen. But again having my construction background helped me with that because I knew how to kind of put things together and figure things out like that. So and that there and I know the number on that one there, that the first year that we started doing that, we generated about $50,000 in sales on eBay.
[00:54:53] Gordon: Wow. I have to ask. I have so many questions.
[00:54:56] Scott: Yeah, go ahead. That’s fine.
[00:54:58] Gordon: So, you had a couple months between Christmas and maybe Easter time frame. You had obviously some excess time to think about ways to generate income and you maybe came up with some of these things like selling on eBay and doing some other stuff and trying to find other sources of income through your photography business? When did this reel to reel transfer thing happen? When did you build those and sell those.
[00:55:23] Scott: Yeah, that was probably about when I was getting into the 8mm. I started with doing slide shows. I started just taking peoples pictures, 4 by 6’s or 3 by 5’s and I’d scan them and I’d put them to a slide show, put music and transitions and all that stuff and then I started looking into how to transfer 8mm film because I had people ask about it. And I noticed the company near us was doing it, they were pretty successful in doing that and they were charging so much a foot to transfer that film.
And then I started looking for that device. And then once I started looking for that device and I bought and I was expecting it to be like a new machine from like a factory and all that it was, was a reconditioned thing that someone bought and modified. And I’m like, “All right, well I can do this. Let me build one and see if I can actually build one and see if it works and then if it does I’ll try to sell one on eBay.” And that was it. And then it was game over and I then I was just like telling my wife, and I’m like, “I’ll build one of this a week, we’ll make an extra 600 bucks a week.”
[00:56:18] Gordon: That’s awesome.
[00:56:20] Scott: And that’s basically what I did. And funny story on that, the transfer place that was my competitor, actually reached out to me and then had me start transferring their film for them. So I did all their 8mm film now. So then they would call me once a week, I’d go pick up a big giant box with a whole bunch of jobs and then I would transfer them and I’d give them a discount and then they would upcharge their customer and they might make, I might charge 25 cents a foot, they would charge, I would charge them you know 10 or whatever.
[00:56:48] Gordon: That’s awesome. So this is going on for some period of time. Years I’m guessing?
[00:56:53] Scott: Yeah. Yeah we were probably doing that for at least seven. Seven solid years. Five to seven, yeah seven years.
[00:57:00] Gordon: So this is a really good segue into my next questions. So your wife and yourself, neither one of you are working a traditional job a 9 to 5 job at this point. Your kids are getting older and they are kind of around, you’re around. How did being an entrepreneur and finding all these different kinds of sources of income and running your own business or businesses, how did your kids take to that and how did being an entrepreneur affect or impact the family dynamics at home?
[00:57:30] Scott: Well, it was pretty cool actually how it all kind of went down now that I look back at it. Because know it’s starting to get actually show itself. Like you don’t realize when a kid, I mean we all know kids listen. They listen to everything we say, we don’t even realize that what we are saying we’re influencing them every single day. Like every day we’re influencing them in some way good or bad. So that’s why you gotta be careful. I mean even growing up, I mean my father never swore in front of me. And my uncle used to swear in front of us kids all the time. And I thought my uncle was cool because he swore in front of me but my father never did.
Now that I look back and I don’t swear in front of my kids, at least now my older kids will maybe exchange a few fun words here and there but my nine year old no. And I just think there’s a time for that and so I’ve kind of learned that from my father, that you should kind of keep that down to show yourself as an example. But now that we’ve kind of been through the cycle already a couple times, my 18 year old and my 21 year old, it’s really interesting to see how they are doing. My daughter who’s 21, she didn’t want to go to college and I didn’t go to college so it was kind of like what do I do? I know it’s kind of like in society it’s the right thing to do but do I make her go to college?
And she just fought us on it a little bit, I mean didn’t fight us but she was kind of resisting it and like you know not really wanting to do that. So we started to kind of explore like what do you want to do? And she was always into hair and makeup and that stuff so we started looking into Paul Mitchell’s School which was near us at the time and we sent her to Paul Mitchell’s School, it was a 10 month program and then they get her trained and then they send her off on her way. Well most students leave there and they go work at like a express hair place or a Sam’s Cut or something like that. Well she kind of took from our advice as far as us talking about like in photography, like you want to be a middle to an upper tier. You don’t want to go out after the low tier because then you’re going to be the Wallmarts and the Seers of photography, you don’t want to be in that.
[00:59:32] Scott: So where can you make a good living as a hairdresser or as a makeup artist or anything like that and it’s weddings. So she basically went out there and built herself a nice little business and I think her first year she did just about $40,000 in sales doing basically bridal like updos and all this different hairstyles and makeup and bridal parties and all that stuff and built her business from scratch, from using social media and building a little email list and doing Facebook Ads and all that stuff that she’d seen and heard from just casual conversations that I had with my wife. So us talking in the mini-van back in the day like driving to an event and I’m talking about something that I’m working on as we are in the car, they’re listening.
Even though that I think they might not be interested they are still listening. It’s funny my nine year old just the other day because we have been talking a lot about retail arbitrage lately because we have our 1K fast track class and my daughter, actually my daughter Alexis who is the older daughter the 21 year old, she is actually doing retail arb right now as a side hustle. And they are doing really well, her and her fiancée, and my youngest daughter, she picked up something in the store. She said, “Dad what do you think? Could we retail arb this?” And I’m like okay, well she’s listening. So you know what I mean? I just think that people need to understand that what you are doing is also educating in giving them a life lesson through your good times and your bad times.
My son, he really made me proud the other day because he was talking to a friend of his that was struggling with what to do and he started talking about you know, “Don’t worry about where you are going to go right now, just worry about creating your story and the story will take you to where you want to go because later you’ll be able to share that and help people.” And I’m thinking, where did he hear that? And now he’s talking about like you know, he just talked the other day about when I get older… It’s funny we just had a heartfelt conversation the other day because he’s kind of struggling, he’s in college, he’s not struggling with grades, he’s just struggling with where he wants to be, what he wants to do and he came out.
[01:01:40] Scott: And he goes, “Dad when I get older I want to be able to do what you did. I want to be able to coach my son or my daughters like you know team. I want to be able to go to all those events. I want to be able to work from home when I want to. I want to be able to have that schedule.” And I’m like, “So you saying I did a pretty good job.” He goes, “Yeah I think I would love to be like you.” And I was like it kind of choked me up a little bit to hear that. I’m like, “Damn that’s pretty good.” And so he right now he’s like I want to be able to work on something that I’m excited about and he’s in the basketball, he’s into the sneakers and all that stuff. So I’m like, “Go for it.” Just go out there and just creating some really good resources or content around that space and eventually something will come from that.
And just understand that you are investing in the process. You are not investing necessarily in making money right now. And he gets it. He gets it. It’s not about making a million dollars in two years, it’s about getting out there, getting experience, getting results and then from there if you want to share them, then everything will come back to you. And just doing something that you are really excited about. So yeah, I mean, it’s just like I said, it’s really starting to come full circle right now and I’m starting to see all different aspects of it now that they are kind of getting out there in the world.
[01:02:54] Gordon: That’s awesome. Do you think that if you stayed either in your old construction business with you dad or even if you went back to construction after that photography venture, do you think that your children would be who they are today?
[01:03:09] Scott: I really don’t. I mean you can’t say for sure. But I really don’t because I don’t think we would have been talking necessarily about that. If anything, they would have been hearing about partnerships and us complaining about you know this worker because a lot of it was, a lot of our problems in that business in the construction business was, it was my father and his partner and then our families getting involved. So know all of a sudden you got this person just started working and they’re making the same that this person is making. And this person gets to do this but this person doesn’t get to do this. This person wants more time off and we’ve got to give this person time off. So I think that they would have heard all of those arguments about what we were complaining about versus what we are excited about. You know what I mean? Like I truly do.
[01:03:56] Gordon: Yeah. That’s awesome and also the things about that you were saying about being home at times of the day when most parents who work on 9 to 5 jobs are not at home. And you are there to coach your kids soccer or basketball or whatever. That’s one of my primary wise also is my son plays hockey and I can coach at night and I can coach on the weekends, I can coach at 4:30 practice every single day and that’s something that I absolutely want to be around for as much as possible and I know that that’s a huge component for a lot of people. Huge reason for them, huge why, one of the many why’s. So that’s really awesome. I’m really happy for your kids. That’s really insightful stuff that your son said, that’s really cool.
[01:04:47] Scott: Yeah. That was amazing and I was blown away, I actually got goose bumps when he told me a few… Again, he actually elaborated even deeper and obviously we don’t have time to go into that story but it was just very, very touching and it showed me he was a very mature kid for his age. A lot of kids his age are going out and they want to hit the next party and he’s talking about like ways that he can get started and start his story now on the right track and that was pretty awesome.
[01:05:13] Gordon: Yeah, of course I know this interview is getting a little long, we’re up to about an hour, honestly I could talk to you all day. You’re such a cool guy but I just have a couple more questions.
[01:05:23] Scott: Sure.
[01:05:24] Gordon: What would you say was the hardest part about making that leap from your construction job to being an entrepreneur?
[01:05:32] Scott: I mean honestly even looking back at it, it wasn’t like a hard, hard thing. I think it was, number one I felt a little bit like I was leaving my father but he told me it was cool. Like him and I had a lot of conversations about me wanting to leave and he was happy for me and I think also because then it took pressure off of him to not have to try to keep that business afloat because of me. If you think about it he had to have pressure on him to say you know, I need to keep this business running so my son’s family is taken care of like and that’s got to be a burden. So that was one thing. I just didn’t want to let him down and leave him there which he told me like, “Scott, go man. It’s good.”
And then like literally three months later like him and his partner parted ways. So it literally after I left it kind of gave him the okay to leave. So you know, I would say the hardest part for me was that just feeling like am I going to be able to… Or is he going to be cool with it and then the other part was am I really going to be able to make this work? Because part of me leaving before we even started that photography business, like I sat down with my wife and I’m like, “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to keep up at this pace.” Like I’m going 60 plus hours a week, I built a house in 11 months on the side while I was working 60 plus hours a week and that’s when I just had my daughter and I just said to him like there’s got to be a better way.
I don’t see any growth potential unless I can own the business one day and if I did, do I really want it? Like I don’t know. Like, you know what I mean? Like what is it? There’s some company tracks and there’s some debt. Like you know what I mean? There’s a lot of debt in the business for a product that needs to be purchased and you know problems and partnerships and all that stuff. So I think the hardest part though is just believing in myself that I could do something other than be a contractor. And I think we semi proved it when we did it part time in the photography space but I didn’t really know if it was going to be enough to support us. But I had that safety net in place that I could always do side work if I had to.
[01:07:32] Scott: But I think that would be the hardest part and in any business it’s always the doubt of the unknown. It’s always the uncertainty. I mean I’ve talked about this, starting the podcast was kind of like I want to start this thing but is anybody even going to listen, am I wasting my time, am I really going to be able to help people, does anybody care? Now if I never did that, I wouldn’t be here talking to you and I won’t be impacting thousands of people through the podcast. The FBA business, I wouldn’t have did that unless I took a chance and said let me give this thing a shot and see what happens. And having my wife coach me and basically say you know through the times that I’m doubting myself, to be the one to say, “No you got this. I mean, you know, what’s the worse that’s going to happen?”
So I had a good cheerleader. My wife is a huge supporter in what I do and what we do. So I think the biggest thing is just always the doubt and the unknown but I always create those little safety nets. You know it’s kind of like well it doesn’t work than this. What’s the worse that’s going to happen? I still got my family, I still got my wife, I’ve still got my support group of people and so you know, I think it’s always the uncertainty of the unknown. I think that’s the biggest thing for me and a lot of people.
[01:08:39] Gordon: Yeah. That’s awesome. Okay so I just have one more question.
[01:08:43] Scott: Okay.
[01:08:44] Gordon: And it is a perfect segue for that. So I want you to imagine yourself for a second. A podium around a stage or something. You are in front of a vast room, this huge room and full of parents. People who are out there, they’re dying to pursue their entrepreneurial path and create the lifestyle they really, really want. Basically do what you were able to successfully do and they feel that they can’t because of the energy, time finance responsibilities, and all the things that come with being a parent when you are working. They are all looking up at you Scott. They are looking for wisdom.
[01:09:15] Scott: I’m nervous, man. You’re making me nervous.
[01:09:18] Gordon: It’s okay. You are allowed to be nervous. What would you tell them?
[01:09:22] Scott: Yeah, what would I tell them? Okay, I did think about this a little bit because I want to kind of give the best advice that I could give and I think the very first thing that I would say is number one, number one thing is you need to establish your why. Before you can do anything, you have to know what you are doing it for. So before you can ever figure out a plan to make that happen, you got to understand the why. So I would take time, I would tell that audience, listen, go take a pad of paper and write a list of why you want or what you want as far as what you want to do this for. Like who is it for? What is the experience? What is the lifestyle? Like what is it? Like create that perfect day, that perfect week, that perfect month.
If you could create that, you can snap your fingers and it would happen, what would that be and why? A lot of people they start off with I want to make a million dollars. Why? Why do you want to make a million dollars? So a million dollars is going to make you happy. Why? And then they are going to say well because I wouldn’t have to work. Okay, why would not working be good for you? Well because I could spend time with my family. Good. What do you want to do with your family? I want to go on vacation at least once a year. Where? I want to go to Florida and visit my family. Cool. What do you want to do when you are in Florida?
Like so go deep inside and ask yourself questions upon questions to really get a clear picture of why you’re doing it. And then have pictures and I know it sounds kind of woo wooy but it’s kind of like, have pictures of your family or the why that you are trying to achieve to remind you on a regular basis. Because a lot of times, you’re going to get involved with this stuff and you are going to get discouraged and then you are going to say, “Why do I do this?” You are going to go, “Oh, I remember why. This is why.” So to me that’s a big one and a lot of people they kind of glaze over that because they don’t think that’s important. They think about, okay give me the plan to get to making $10,000 a month. Like that’s what I want. Because that’s going to make my life perfect.
[01:11:18] Scott: And let me just tell you, when you do get there, you are also going to find there’s a struggle waiting for you or there’s another thing you are going to strive for. It doesn’t matter what level you get to. You’re always going to have struggles, you’re always going to have the next thing. You’re always going to say, okay once I get this one task done, I’ll be able to relax. The thing is if you don’t allow yourself to relax you won’t relax. It’s just the way it works. Anyway so I would say that and then I would say the other thing is now figure out what’s the number? Okay. What’s the number, financial number that you need to live your life or that life that you created? Okay? So what is that number? Like right now you might say, “If I could take home $2,000 a week, I mean that’s you know eight grand a month, that’s decent wage.
If that’s what it is, okay cool, now we got it. Now we’ve got that number. Right? Let’s make it easy $1,000 a week, that’s $52,000 a year. So I want to make $52,000, that would make my life easy and I could then enjoy my life and then go after my why and just really have a great life. Cool, now we know that number. So now we’ve got to create a plan to go and get that number. So there’s a couple of different vehicles that you can do this. There’s a lot of different ways you can do it. Now the way that we are talking about it here because it’s my show and your show people may know about Amazon and FBA and all that stuff and maybe not. But I would say, use Amazon FBA and FBA is fulfilled by Amazon depending on who's listening to this. They might not know what that is.
That’s where you are allowing Amazon to do a lot of the work for you. They are doing all of the fulfilment. All of the customer service. All of the refunds. All of that stuff they are doing so this is why here you don’t have to. A lot of people want to start a brand new website because they have a great idea for a product or a brand but it takes a lot of work to get that stuff set up, to get traffic, to get all that stuff. I like to tap into existing platforms or markets so this way here, we can kind of cut down on that time. So I would use Amazon FBA and if you don’t want to use FBA or as far as your own private label product, then I would do retail arbitrage.
[01:13:23] Scott: Right now literally we had a 1K Fast Track group go through. 50 people went through and it was a six week training. The first week we had them do a pre-challenge which was basically go to your house and find anything that you have laying around that you are not going to use, that you are going to throw out or that you are going to donate. And I want you to sell it or list it on eBay tomorrow. And we did that and within one week we had $3,500 generated. And basically you got to say that’s pretty much profit because these people already own the product. So we were able to kick start that. So if anybody is out there, like the first thing is just to do that.
You are going to learn the eBay platform, you’re going to also get a little bit of that taste of what it feels to sell something online. And then I would then graduate to Amazon FBA, I would take retail arbitrage stuff. I would buy stuff low and sell it high, find stuff that is in off clearance or you know on sale, really deep discounts and I would resell that on Amazon. And then that way there again you’ll get your feet wet on the amazon space and then you can graduate to private labeling which is really branding your own products. The other thing to do depending on your skill set or your expertise, you might be able to you know create your own personal brand. Like if you are someone right now that’s a coach and you coach basketball and you are a gym coach maybe what you need to do is start creating training for coaches.
So a lot of people don’t realize the things that they are doing right now. There was a guy I was at a picnic over the summer and he just retired, he was a gym teacher, a Phys Ed teacher for 25 years. And he coached that high level baseball and he had training camps every single summer. The thing is he wasn’t selling anything online. I’m like, “Do you realize you could film one of your workshops and then you can turn that into a product and then you can sell accessories, you can sell like hitting instructions and like different devices to help you with your hitting or pitching or anything like that.” So again, if you are one of these people that already has like a skill set that you aren’t taking advantage of, I would do that. I’d start a personal brand around that.
[01:15:19] Scott: You could be a consultant. If right now you know a lot about a certain thing or a business, you could help other people like you know I’m kind of doing with these brands that I’m partnering with. You may already have something that you are good at but you don’t even realize that you could help other people and they’ll be the one to pay you for it. So for me, I would just figure out what you could do that’s the easiest to get started, to get revenue coming in the door, so you can start to get momentum. There’s a book I love to refer to called The Compound Effect and that one there is a great book because it’s all about small little things to get momentum and once you get momentum it keeps you moving and it keeps you excited.
So that’s definitely one. So again we have to create that plan though. So let’s say it was $52,000 that’s one $1,000 a week. How do we do that? Well, like if we are selling on Amazon, we have to then reverse that back. How many products do I have to sell a day if I’m making 10 dollars a day or 10 dollars per product, it’s 100 bucks a day, that would be $3,000 a month like so where is the number? I just got to do the math and then just reverse it back. So that’s what I would do there and again now when you are doing this process, okay now if you are doing this process and you start to get results then eventually if you want to, you could share what you’ve done with other people and possibly be a consultant or a teacher in that field.
So again everything you are doing right now is to get results to generate revenue so you can live that life that you want to and get your why but again in the future… Like my son, first thing I told him is, “Listen, go out there and get results. Either for yourself or for someone else. Prove that what you are doing works. Generate revenue and then after that’s all done and you’ve done this consistently, well now you can go out there and help people with it and that might turn into a personal brand.” So everything we are doing, we are creating that story but we are also creating the results that we can then share later if we choose to. And then I would create a schedule, and I would stick to it. Like I would map all that out, the numbers, I would have everything so precise, even though it doesn’t have to be 100% if we don’t need them. But I want a plan in place and then I’m going to create a schedule and I’m usually going to stick to 90 days sprints.
[01:17:26] Scott: So basically I would do, I’d break them up into even 30 days but 90 day would be like the marker. And then I would re-evaluate and I would re-adjust after 90 days and those goals are going to change. A lot of people say, “Go make your one year and your five year goals.” That’s cool, but you’ve got to be able to pivot and adjust through that process. You know what I mean? And then the last thing is, I would say just believe in yourself. Just believe in yourself that you can do it because there’s no one out there that’s got something over you because you always have something I’m sure that you don’t even realize it, you’re an expert that you are good at. If you are at a party that people are always asking your advice for something, that’s probably a good sign that you know something that they don’t know.
And you just gotta believe in yourself. I mean I’m a perfect example of not believing in myself. I never would’ve thought that I could do a podcast because I’m not good at English. As far as speaking, like my wife is always like, “Man, I hope you don’t say a word that doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t really go there.” And I’m like you know what, if it does, it does. Like I had to take that away from me or else I won’t speak. So if people don’t believe in themselves because they feel as though they don’t sound smart or they don’t have the education or they don’t have the credits of saying that I was you know this certain ideal like student at this certain college or whatever like don’t worry about any of that stuff. Just go out there, believe in yourself, create all of the things I just went over and from there you can create any lifestyle that you want. Like that’s what I would say.
[01:18:59] Gordon: That is so incredibly powerful Scott. There were so many different things to take away from that and I think that when I air this, I’m going to recommend that my audience listen to that several times and maybe even take some notes.
[01:19:11] Scott: Yeah.
[01:19:12] Gordon: I’m going to have some notes in the show notes of the podcast.
[01:19:14] Scott: Yeah. Absolutely.
[01:19:15] Gordon: It’s incredible. Very inspiring, very motivational and it’s awesome coming from someone like you who's proved it over and over again.
[01:19:23] Scott: Yeah, it’s a simple formula. It really is now that I look back at it but if I was listening to this when I was 18, I would have been like not me. But again, I’m telling you that I was that 18 year old kid that graduated and I thought that I was just going to work for my father’s company, build that with him and then own that business and I was going to be successful and then that didn’t happen. But I learned a ton through this process and as I keep learning, I’m going to learn things tomorrow that I’ll be able to share the next day. It’s like somebody has to be willing to go out there and learn and share and also you know admit when things don’t work because they don’t always work. So this has been fun man and again I told you I was going to go on different directions because that’s how we roll here.
[01:20:07] Gordon: Yeah. For those who are curious we probably only hit about 60 percent of the questions but we filled out more time than I expected too and I actually think that this is leaps and bounds more valuable than if I just write about the questions and you provided a quick answer.
[01:20:23] Scott: It’s awesome.
[01:20:24] Gordon: These are the best types of interviews. So Scott, thank you so much for your time man. I really, really appreciate this. I got so much out of this and I know my audience and your audience actually are going to get a ton of value out of this as well. So thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
[01:20:36] Scott: Yeah, no problem Gordon and I thank you and I wish you all the success in the future and also keep me posted on everything that you are doing. It sounds like you are doing awesome and amazing and you are having a really cool family and you’re enjoying that and I think that’s top notch stuff right there. So I want to thank you Gordon and again thanks for reaching out because again, you know people that take action like you Gordon, you left a voicemail and then here we are, like who would have thought. Like who would have thought that would happen but it did and it just goes to show you that you know, unless you actually do something, you’ll never know the results. You got to get out there.
[01:21:10] Gordon: You never know. Two years ago I never thought I’d be on a podcast talking to you and bearing it on my own podcast. It’s a lot of fun, this is really cool and we’ll definitely reconnect in the future and I’d love to have a conversation about where I’m going and where I’ve gone since this conversation and likewise with your new brands and all the stuff that you got going on.
[01:21:32] Scott: Awesome. Sounds great Gordon. I want to thank you again and this has been a lot of fun so take care and we’ll talk to you soon bud.
[01:21:39] Gordon: All right, take care Scott. Bye, bye.
[01:21:40] Scott: All right so I’m going to go ahead and make this the shortest outro ever because I know that, that was extremely longer than usual. Like we went for like an hour and fifteen minutes so I’m going to definitely wrap this up. I did want to just remind you though, if you wanted to download or if you wanted to grab the transcripts, some people want to download the transcripts to read later, maybe can’t listen to the entire episode, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/339.
This one will definitely probably go into the archives of one that I’ll come back and revisit time and time again, for people that asked this question. So if you want to grab them, go over and do that and I did want to give a shout out to Gordon Light one more time. He has a website and a podcast that he’s doing called fitsuccessfuldad.com. So definitely go check him out, a great guy, a family guy, reminds me a lot of me when I was a little bit younger than I am right now. He’s got a small boy right know that he is enjoying and a wife and all of that stuff. And I can totally remember those days like they were yesterday. So once again, I hope you guys got value from this. Let me know, comment on the blog, maybe just send me an email, heck even send me a voicemail. I don’t care.
Go to the Ask Scott page and leave me one there. I just definitely want to hear how this resonates with you and if it’s been helpful. All right so guys that’s it, that’s going to wrap up this episode, remember as always, I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Check out Gordon’s website – Fit Successful Dad
- Check out Scott’s story – HERE
- BOOK: The Compound Effect
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