TAS 501 How This One Failure Turned Into HUGE Success (Never Give Up)

Did you know that little bumps of encouragement and positivity can go a long way? It’s true! Surrounding yourself with the right message day in and day out can have a profound impact on your mindset and your actions. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they share a story from a TAS follower like you. From that story, you’ll learn about the importance of refusing to give up, why there is great potential for success in the ecommerce industry, why it’s important to pay attention to your competition, how making a plan can set you up for long-term success, and so much more! Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from Scott and Chris on this engaging episode!

Get into the right mindset!

If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is passionate about helping sellers like you embrace a healthy mindset. You might not put a lot of stock into the concept of your mindset but you know that there are things that will influence you positively or negatively. Dwelling on positive and constructive ideas and surrounding yourself with sources that provide you those ideas is what having the right mindset is all about. Learn more about the significance of having the right mindset and how it can help you on your journey toward success by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller with Scott and Chris!

You can avoid failure by refusing to give up.

As a business leader, you want to avoid the dreadful experience of failing. What if there was a way to avoid failure altogether? According to Scott, the best way to avoid failure is by refusing to give up! Does this mean that you won’t have setbacks and challenges along the way? Of course not! But it is up to you to decide if those setbacks and challenges will knock you out of the game. If you want to succeed, you’ve got to cultivate a thick skin and a relentless commitment to staying the course. To hear more insights and lessons from Scott, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!

Pay attention to your competition and learn from them!

Did you know that one of the best ways to create an unstoppable brand is by researching your opposition? Seriously! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they explain how studying your competition and the feedback they receive can help you improve your brand. With Amazon, you have a significant advantage at your fingertips! Check out your competition and discover their customer’s complaints and the things they love, then use that data to improve your product. Hear more from the guys on how you can best position your brand for maximum profitability on this episode!

Embrace a long-term expectation for success.

If you have any hope for significant growth and profitability in the ecommerce industry, you’ve got adopt a long-term expectation of success. Your brand will fail if you bank all of your hopes on getting rich quick or finding some overnight success. The road to long-term and sustained success comes down to planning, losing some money, and making the right adjustments along the way. Listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller as Scott and Chris expand on adopting a long-term view of success and so much more! You don’t want to miss it!


  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:40] Scott welcomes Chris to the podcast.
  • [5:00] Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
  • [7:30] Scott and Chris share a lesson they learned about failure.
  • [9:00] The potential for ecommerce success is great!
  • [12:00] Why you need to get the right mindset.
  • [15:00] There is no failure until you give up.
  • [16:30] Why it’s important to pay attention to your competition and consumer reviews.
  • [20:00] Scott talks about some experiments they are doing with their new brand.
  • [24:30] You’ve got to have a plan.
  • [27:30] Be prepared for the long haul, don’t expect instant success.
  • [32:00] Scott and Chris recap some of the lessons covered.
  • [36:00] Closing thoughts from Scott, TAKE ACTION!


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TAS 501: How This One Failure Turned Into HUGE Success (Never Give Up)


[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 501 and today I'm going to share with you…

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… a recording that I did with my good friend Chris Shaffer in a co-working space. We were there together in Orlando and what we did was we went over a story that someone shared with us. We broke it down and that story is how this one failure turned into a huge success and how to never give up. I ran into a gentleman at an event that I was at. He came up, he said that he was a huge fan of the show. A listener, has been listening for about a year and a half and has always followed the advice of never give up and take action.

And just keep taking action. And that's what he's done and you're going to hear the entire story, I'm going to break it down for you. I'm going to have Chris Shaffer break it down with me and we're going to really riff on this for you guys. So just before we get in, let me just remind you that the show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/501. Again, that's theamazingseller.com/501 and you can go there and grab all the show notes, the links, everything we discuss will be there. Also the video that we shot of us doing this because we actually recorded this for YouTube as well and Facebook live and if you want to watch that video of him and I riffing back and forth then definitely go over those show notes.

I'll embed that into that blog post for you. I'm going to stop talking so you can enjoy this conversation, this riffs session, or this jam session with myself and Chris Shaffer so sit back, relax and enjoy.


[00:01:42] Scott: Chris, we are going to record this episode here today because we are in a co-working space. We've been here all day and what I really wanted to do is I wanted to try to record a video but I also wanted to talk about something that happened while we've been here inside of this event and actually I had one of our listeners come up to me and share a story with me. That's really what I wanted to do. That's what made me want to record this episode because right now a lot of people in this space of ecommerce they get stuck because they might try to launch a product and after they launch a product everything is judged by how well that first product did.

And they want to know like well I launched the product, I did I thought right, but it didn't work, so I guess it was a failure. Well I actually had someone come up to me and randomly just said, “Hi Scott. I've been a listener. I just wanted to say thank you because since I've listened to your podcast, I've been listening for about a year and a half now and the biggest thing that's helped me really was the take action, you constantly telling me take action no matter what, just take action.” And I was like, “Okay, cool. Tell me more about that. It's not just about saying take action, it's about doing something.”

He went on to tell me that he launched a product, went through the whole process, launched a product and once he released the product it didn't do as well as he'd hoped.

[00:03:11] Chris: It's kind of everybody's biggest fear not failure. And it is something you and I get asked all the time, “What if it fails?”

[00:03:20] Scott: And the thing is I think that I've noticed and I'll a little more about the story because I wanted to share that because I think anyone listening right now can probably relate that we've had failures depending on could be an MLM that you wanted to do that you're out there doing multi level marketing or maybe you've done something in the real estate and it just didn't work out. You've learned so much from it but really it's what you do with the failure. We were here at Funnel Hackers Live and hacking live.

[00:03:53] Chris: FHL 2018.

[00:03:54] Scott: Yeah, and the one thing that Russell was talking about was like most of the funnels that they launch fail. And it's okay. It's expected. But it's what you do after the failure is what really counts and what you've learned but also that mindset that it's not supposed to really work right out of the gate. I mean you'd love it to. It's like, “Yeah, I won the lottery.” But you know what, how many people go and buy another scratch off hoping that they win. That's one of the biggest things.

So I want to get your take on it as far as… And I want to help people with this mindset thing because I think it's a big thing for a lot of people that they don't know what to do with it once that happens and how do you keep going and pushing through after you might launch and you think that things are going a certain way but they are not really going as planned.

[00:04:51] Chris: I think it's actually funny because you and I always hope for the best and plan for the worst. I think that is the model that a lot of people should have. Like you and I, the talk yesterday where he brought that up was interesting to me because couple of months ago we launched a product, a couple of weeks ago actually we launched a product and we were like you and I were on the phone you were like, “We're going to sell a couple of hundred of these right away.” It's like that would be awesome.

However, what if we don't? We need to have that backup plan. We need to know what we're going to do. But I think the thing that a lot of people struggle with is they do still just have that fear point of what if it fails and they don't think about the alternatives of either clearing it out or doing what your listener friend did which was building a brand off of Amazon and clearing it out there.

Because he found that his product was actually pretty saturated on Amazon. He messed up in the product selection thing. We've been talking about, there's going to be a boot camp today. That's where like 50%, 60%, 70% of people make a mistake. It's in the product selection phase but instead of just saying, “Oh this Amazon thing doesn't work,” he said, “How can I make it work. I have a product on hand. I know that it's going to sell. I know that there are people buying it. What are the things that I can do to make this work?” Whether it's to turn this into a successful brand or whether that's to recoup as much money as I can.

I think we all need to try to have that backup plan just in the back of our mind at the very least. Having a partner helps a lot in that because we force each other to have that conversation and the rest of our team forces us to have conversation. I'm looking at them on the other side of the room. You guys can't see that and they are laughing at me. But if you don't at least give that some thought then when it doesn't blow the doors off on your launch, if you don't sell those hundred units in a couple of days through your email launch or you just can't get traction traffic and organic search for whatever reason that you just don't throw up your hands and give up because this thing does work. This is a business. And in business sometimes we have to pivot.

[00:06:49] Chris: We have to say just like when Amazon got rid of reviews in exchange for compensation. We had to pivot. We had to change how we were… The sky is only falling if we let the sky fall. If we realize that there's another room for the house we're still safe.

[00:07:07] Scott: And here's what I want to do though. I want to give people what he did to make this work. Because a lot of people are like, “Well, that's awesome and all. Fail, great, fail fast, learn, yadi yadi yada. Sounds all great,” but a lot of people want to know like what does someone do when this happens. We can give a real life example of what happened to us and a new product that we just launched and it blew up in our face. And it wasn't necessarily out fault but it did and if we were to launch that product as our first product would that have made us say this process doesn't work or that market doesn't work.

The answer is no. We just picked a product that our quality control on it wasn't where it should have been. And it wasn't really our fault. We were trusting other people but it just didn't work.

[00:07:51] Chris: Ultimately that falls on us. We've shared a little of that story and I think it's important maybe to dive back into that here because it's definitely different. It wasn't a volume issue, it wasn't a reviews issue. It certainly wasn't a ranking issue. We were selling more that what were thinking we were going to sell. It wasn't a product selection issue. It was a quality control issue and we have some people on kind of the Facebook Live side of this now. They are chiming in to say, failure is just part of the experience. When you give up that's failure.

But challenges are going to be part of the process. Failure and loss is what you learn from. And in our case we learned that our quality control probably needed some improvement because people were getting literally exploded versions of the product which wasn't something obviously that we intended. When it's supposed to come in one piece and it comes in 28 that's not an ideal customer experience.

[00:08:44] Scott: And you didn't really know it until it started getting shipped. We didn't know it when we even seen it. We actually unpacked it. And we didn't notice anything. But the way that it was packed and being shipped after the fact was not good. So anyway, I want to talk about like his failure and like you talked like he messed up technically but he didn't really mess up. Here's the deal, he might have messed up as far as saying like well if he was only going to sell on Amazon then he messed up. And I think any one going into any market right now, like I was just talking to a friend of ours who's actually behind us here but I was talking to him yesterday about it.

I'm like, “Listen, you know what, forget about Amazon for a minute. Just forget about them. Go ahead and launch your little mini funnel, go find Facebook ads in your market and drive traffic to that funnel and make it work.” That's it, there's components to that that you can just forget about Amazon for a minute. We could make that work. Like if Amazon goes away tomorrow, could we still sell physical products through our own funnel? The answer is yes. Why do we start on Amazon? Because it's an easy platform to get started. We have the traffic, we have the refunds that they take care of.

[00:09:58] Chris: They take care of a lot of the heavy lifting.

[00:09:58] Scott: Yeah, they take care of the tech issues. All of that stuff. So that is the reason why. I'm not going to sit here and preach that that's the only model because it's not. And I told that to our mutual friend. I'm like, “Listen, forget about Amazon for a minute. Just go through and build a free plus shipping offer. Find that product that you know people are looking for and on the back of the net sell them two or three more of they just got for free plus shipping. That's the simplest thing to do. Find the traffic. That's exactly what this listener did. He goes, “Listen, I seen after the fact that Amazon was too saturated. So instead of just bailing on it. I knew there was a market in this. I went out and I said, you know what, let me learn Facebook ads.


Let me go out and find a way to get traffic to a funnel and he built a little funnel and then from there he drove Facebook ads and he is now successful selling that product and he actually other products to go along with that. Now is he abandoning Amazon all together? No. But he found a way to make it work. Just that channel didn't work for that product so he didn't bail on it. So, all he did was he pivoted his attention to a different platform and away to go out there and find the market and then sell through that. You don't have to go and major like big website with shopify or anything like that if you don't want to. You can just go build a little mini funnel and then just drive traffic to it, get it convert, and that's what we're talking about yesterday.

You have a funnel or you have even in Amazon products, you have certain components that we can reverse engineer if it's not working. If it's not converting, why isn't it converting? Are the images okay? Is the listing okay? Is the optimization right? There's these different components. In his case he was like it's just way too saturated and the only way I'm going to win is if I compete on price and I can't compete on price because I won't make any money. So let me go where everyone else isn't and that's over here on Facebook and I'm going to drive traffic to try to make it work and that's what he did and he was successful. And he's like, “Scott, I started listening to your podcast and I took the take action thing to heart and I just kept taking action and you know what, this happened and I just pivoted and I kept taking action on what I could control and I've learned so much through this process.”

[00:11:55] Scott: So what did he learn? How to list a product on Amazon, how to launch a product on Amazon, how to build an email list, how to run Facebook ads, he learned all the stuff because it forced him to learn the stuff. So to me, successful all the way around. He's learned a lot of stuff and he's selling product.

[00:12:09] Chris: I think the real model behind that story, the reason that he's successful is 95% mindset, 5% determination. You can have all the determination in the world but if you have the wrong mindset and you just say I failed, I'm determined to make way but I failed. If you treat it truly as a failure then you're never going to go out and actively do something about it. You're just going to hang it up on the shelf and say that sucked, let's move on to the next thing. And if you have the correct mindset in that and like Baron said on Facebook Live, it really is a learning experience. What can we pull out of this? How can we diagnose it? We have to go from entrepreneur to doctor when those things happen. What is broken? Is it the elbow? Is it their shoulder? Is it their fore arm?

We need to figure out what's broken so that we can fix that thing. Is the heart beating? Is it not? So in this business it's actually fairly easy to do because we know volume, so we know if the demand is there and if we made a mistake there that's a little harder to fix. We have to go find traffic and his case the demand was definitely there but the demand and the competition were so big that it essentially had the same effect. So instead of just shelving the product and giving up, we then have to go find the demand. And basically what he did, correct me if I'm wrong on this but he found a submarket which is really what we preach anyway. Go after the kayak bass fisherman and he said okay, this product is selling to a whole bunch of different audiences on Amazon, who on Amazon is the most passionate buyer of this product?

That's exactly what he did and he then was able to translate that over to Facebook and identify some groups or some pages on Facebook that had that buyer there. If you put the right product in front of the right person they are going to buy it every time whether it's on Amazon, whether it's on your own site wherever it is. But he was able to diagnose the problem and then had the correct mindset of saying it's a problem. If it's a problem it's fixable. If it's failure it's not.

[00:14:11] Scott: Well, is failure failure then. It's like something that didn't work but is it a failure…

[00:14:17] Chris: Failure is when you give up in my opinion.

[00:14:18] Scott: That makes sense and I agree.

[00:14:20] Chris: There may be a point in your business that you can't figure out what the diagnosable issue is. It's possible. But that's what groups like this are for. That's what podcasts like these are for. That's why we're here. And when you surround yourself with like-minded people it's very, very easy a lot of times for somebody outside of the scope of the problem to go it's his lungs, he's not breathing. He turned purple. He turned blue. It's clearly something… It's from here to here. That's it. And then that gives you some place to look and that's one of the things that's really powerful in our community as well.

[00:14:58] Scott: So again, to keep going over this and keep and keep drilling it in. It's really important though that I think that I look at anything that you do especially in business as there's no failure until you give up. Like you were saying one of the things that he did was he was reading through some of the reviews of his sales and his competitors and he was seeing used differently. It wasn't being used on what it was being sold for if that makes sense. It wasn't for the same thing.

[00:15:31] Chris: They are using a garlic press to press ginger.

[00:15:34] Scott: Exactly. So then what he did is he went outside of Amazon even and he said, “I'm going to go after the ginger pressing market and I'm going to find those people and I'm going to put my product in front of those people because I know that people are buying for that, when most people are selling it for the other thing.” And he said, that was it. Like it was a total turning point and now he since has built a brand in that market specifically targeting that sub niche. Like going into a whole another arena in a sense with that same exact product. Yes, you're going to maybe customize it or tailor it or even brand it differently but again not everything is positioned to the market the same.

Again looking at reviews is another great thing. Whether you're going to sell on Amazon or not you better be looking at reviews. Years ago, I talk about this a lo, in the brick and mortar business if we could have went down the block and heard what their customers were saying bad about them, kind of what they are doing on Yelp now and stuff, how much of a better job could we have done and served our customers?

[00:16:37] Chris: I think that's a great example. We decided last night at dinner that there should be a Yelp for restaurants to review consumers as well. But if you take the restaurant example, if you were going to open a new bar would you not want to see everything and everyone in the area thinks about all of your competition. “Hey, BJ's Taphouse, they have 65 beers on tap. I really, really like that. Their liquor selection is terrible.” Okay so if I have a lot fo beer but terrible liquor selection then maybe that's not the right thing. Or their food is great but their alcohol is lackluster or vice versa.

They have an awesome selection of drinks but their food is terrible. We can start to do those kinds of things or service stinks, service stinks, service stinks. The thing maybe I should focus on is customer service. Revolutionary idea but it's the same kind of a concept. If I was going to open a bar that would be the very first thing I would do. It's I would take a look at everybody on yelp in that area and Google reviews and all of the other services that offer that and I would see what people like and what people don't like and I would build my establishment around those two things.

Now obviously you're going to have theme and all the other things acquainted to that but if you can focus on the core elements that people like and don't like no matter where you are and whether that's Amazon, whether that's your own ecommerce, whether that's starting a restaurant or building a school it doesn't matter. The same principles apply.

[00:18:01] Scott: Yeah, I mean again going back to, you have to get started number one. And so many people are afraid to get started because what if I do this and it fails? What if it doesn't work, I should even say fail? What if it doesn't work? I went and bought that scratch off and I didn't win. Well, what do you do? You either decide to go buy another scratch off for another chance or you can do something like build a business and you have a better chance but it's like I talk about like baseball, it's a lot like a game. It's like does someone that strike out in baseball do they fail? At that one at-bat maybe. But they get another at bat. They get another swing.

[00:18:39] Chris: That's the thing. Russell actually gave the example yesterday when he was a junior in high school where he wanted to be the all state wrestling champion. He lost his very first match of the year and he didn't want to do anything. His dad is the coach and so his dad made him drill those moves that he lost on every day for the next year and it turns out that he got to wrestle the same kid he lost to in the state championship and beat him with the same move. If he would have given up that day not only would he have never wrestled again but he wouldn't have gone and been the state champion. He wouldn't have gotten a colored scholarship for wrestling. He wouldn't have ended up running the business that he runs today.

It all comes back to giving up or moving forward. And if we can identify the thing that was the issue. Again, his dad played doctor and said here's where you got beat, here's where you got beat, here's where you got beat. Here's the problem. Fix these three things, you're going to be fine.

[00:19:33] Scott: But again going back to consistency too it's like he was doing like he said everyday just about you're going over those moves. You're going over the stuff…

[00:19:42] Chris: They did it right before the match.

[00:19:43] Scott: And they did it right before the match. Again, what you're kind of doing is you're watching the replay of what happened by looking and seeing what has worked. For example, we in the new brand we have been talking here while we are here and we wanted to spend a little more time on that today but we kind of got consumed with other things. It's been a little busy. But we were talking like we want to basically build a little mini funnel that we can drive external traffic. Not even talking about Amazon and we want to get that to a successful channel all by itself.

[00:20:21] Chris: On par with Amazon hopefully.

[00:20:23] Scott: Yeah, hopefully. Our idea here is to take one of our products that we feel we'll fit this funnel, create some content, a video on the front end, maybe a Facebook live and then from there talking about maybe a free plus shipping offer or maybe just a discount on that product and then seeing how it works. So now we can look at all those components. How is the video received? How long are people watching it? That's again, something we would address. We would look at all these components in these pieces.

There's only like four pieces really if you think about it. And then so when you're looking at these pieces you're like, “Okay cool. I had these many people come here that I paid for by Facebook ads we can track that. Okay, I had 100 people come here and out of those 100 people 25 people stay to the end.

And then only like one person bought.” I don't know what the math is on percentage wise but it's not terrible but you would look at those numbers and go how do I increase that? How do I get more people to stay to the end? Maybe the video is too long, whatever. So I can fix that first because I know if I do I've got a better chance of someone buying the product. So there's these different components that we can do so we would say okay let's take 500 bucks and let's throw at it. Let's get some data and then after we get that data we can reverse engineer what has happened and what different pieces can we improve?

Same thing with pay-per-click.

[00:21:41] Chris: Same thing with just Amazon in general and you and I have talked about this. When we do hot seats you and I walk through a fairly specific process that I'm sure we've talked about. Is the demand there? Double check it because sometimes we get that even we have gotten that wrong. Now, we've learned from that and we've taught you guys the lessons from that so you don't have to get that wrong now but we got that wrong in the past. If the demand is there do we have enough traffic to even give ourselves the chance to reach the sales volume that we thing we're going to have. If we're converting at 10% because that's the number that we throw out there and I did this on a podcast a couple of weeks ago and we got an email from a listener making fun of us because I made you do math.

So I'm not going to make you do it. Somebody sent us an email. It was if we're converting at 10% to sell 10 units a day over 30 days that's 300 units. That's one tenth of what we're getting, that means if we need three thousand sessions in a month. So let's log in, let's look at that report. Did we get 3,000 sessions this month. No. Okay. That's our problem. If we're converting at that 10% then that's the one problem. If we're getting less than that and we're not converting at 10% then we've identified both problems. If we're getting those sessions but we're not getting the 300 sales then it's a conversion problem.

If we can diagnose it as one or of three of those things potentially then we at least know where to start and that is where most people get lost and it's where they give up. They take three swings and then they just walk away.

[00:23:18] Scott: I think also to a lot of people and I'm trying to do my best job through this podcast, through the YouTube stuff, Facebook all that stuff, I'm trying to make it very, very clear that if you're just going out there trying to find one product that's going to get you rich it's not good business model. Like we just actually recorded some video for our product discovery boot camp which by the way we're wearing our shirts today, so if you're watching this on YouTube or Facebook we're wearing our shirts so we're pretty excited about these shirts and they are very soft. But we're really just, we're talking about like people are going out, I get people that email me they're like Scott, I did everything and I went out there and I'm only getting two sales a day on Amazon.

Well number one, that's not terrible. Like it's better than we had like a month ago. We had nothing. But with that being said then I ask like, okay so what products do you have? I have this one.” “Okay, is this going to be a brand?” “I don't know.” “Okay, what are you going to do if Amazon channel doesn't work for you?” “I'm going to liquidate and get out of here.” So to me there's got to be more planning about like what you're going to do to build this as a brand even if it's a small brand. I like to see three to five products. That's what we talk about but it's really going out and identifying a market and then from there figuring out those three to give products that you could sell on or off of Amazon.

If you can do both, number one that gives you a better chance of succeeding. Now, a lot of people would say, “Well that means I go to learn  another platform.” Yeah. You do but it's like you don't have to learn it all right now. Do the Amazon thing first, see how it performs, see how you can tweak it, look at your numbers like you were just saying, do everything you can there and then when the time is right if you want to pivot say let me go ahead and see if we can sell this thing off of Amazon and let me start learning Facebook ads or Instagram or any of that other stuff. You don't give up. But you got a plan.

[00:25:22] Chris: The thing that's funny is like all of the stuff that we're talking about that you can do to pivot is a logical outgrowth of what we're going to be doing anyway when we have success. It's another thing to try. I think something else that's important to point out Scott is like you and I the way that we pick products and the way we talk about picking products whether it's in the workshops or it's on the podcast or whether it's in Product Discovery Bootcamp is we're looking to validate the demand on Amazon so that we don't have that specific problem. If you want to pick products based on some other methodology that's fine. Just keep in mind that if you're not validating the demand you might have to pivot and do those things faster.

You might be forced to, versus choosing to being able to learn it on your own time. I think that's something important to point out because if you're choosing the right products and I know I said our friend failed to do that but I don't' know necessarily what method he was using when he was doing that. And when we look at historical demand and when we look at volume and all of those kinds of things it really does set us up for success and that's why we do that. But there's always going to be something that comes up and for example somebody that's watching on the Facebook Live, Anabelle just said, if you're in a category that's very expensive, how do you even get enough sessions? That's going to come up.

So if the demand is there how do I get enough sessions because I don't know what the PPC cost is upfront. The answer is I don't have to rank really highly organically. So either I need to drive to drive PPC upfront so that I rank organically or I need to lower my price or I need to email my email list to get pushed up in those rankings so that I can get a higher share of the organic traffic there. You're not always going to know that up front but you can set the foundation and set the fundamentals to really set yourself up for success. You can swing and bat in practice. You can hit balls off tees versus having never swung a bat, stepping in front of a major league baseball player that can throw a 95 mile an hour baseball, you're going to strike out every time.

[00:27:10] Scott: I would also say that if you're going into this business or any business like let's just say for example you're going to go and open up a brick and mortar store. Are you just go and open up shop, open the door and put ‘I'm open' sign? No. So a lot of people and again I'm doing my best and you're doing your best to really educate people and also prepare people… Scream very loudly that you know what, you can't just expect to throw something up there and it's going to sell. The phone is going to ring just because I am on Amazon. It's not going to happen. That's why we talk a lot about building your own email list, building your own channel in a sense or doing influencer outreach or just doing that type of stuff.

But you also have to be prepared to spend a little bit of money. Like we talk about that, like your pay-per-click campaigns I'm almost going to guarantee you are not going to be successful out of the gate. No.

[00:28:08] Chris: That's why we always say we shoot for break even there. If we can get break even that's a success. Same thing with the first order and this is another question that we get all the time and people consider it a failure to not make a ton of profit on their first order. That's all right, that's fine. Sorry Facebook Live. Joel is staring at me because I yelled a yeah. Our team is across the room just laughing and making fun of us. I have no idea where I was.

[00:28:36] Scott: Chris doesn't know where he was because we thought we lost connection but we're back, we're on Facebook as well and we never lost the podcast. So we're cool. You were talking about the pay-per-click.

[00:28:49] Chris: So people get very confused and a lot of people get frustrated because they don't make a ton profit on their first order or they have an 80% ACOS on their PPC which means they are probably losing money unless they are sourcing product for a few cents, they are losing money. That's something that again, we set ourselves up with low expectations there. We plan for the worst and hope for the best. So that's why upfront we pay for air shipping. We at least get a quote for air shipping up front so that we know if run out of product that we can get it faster and still make money. Not lose money trying to fill the gap of not losing money. And we do a lot of those things and we say okay, if we can break even on this first order that's great.

Now, that general that doesn't end up happening. We usually make at least a little bit of money on our first order if not a lot of money on our first order but if we plan coming from that mindset we've already prepared for the potential learning experience of having something go wrong. I'm not going to call it a failure. It's a learning experience of having something go wrong. There's going to be a curveball. Period.

[00:29:55] Scott: You will miss swinging at that curve ball. But it's okay.

[00:29:58] Chris: In my case, every time.


[00:30:04] Scott: You're a left handed batter?

[00:30:05] Chris: Yeah.

[00:30:05] Scott: I am too. I throw right handed but I bat left handed.

[00:30:08] Chris:  Me too. Everybody thinks I'm a freak.

[00:30:10] Scott: Yeah, me too.

[00:30:10] Chris: You write right handed though right. I write left handed.

[00:30:15] Scott: Let me ask you this, my wife's going to want me to ask you this, do you like black licorice?

[00:30:18] Chris: I do.

[00:30:21] Scott: See, that's crazy. I got to let my wife know that. Everyone that's left handed because she's left handed so is my daughter, everyone that we ask they generally like black licorice.

[00:30:28] Chris: Podcast poll. If you're left handed email Scott and tell him if you hate black licorice.

[00:30:32] Scott: If you like black licorice and you're left handed please go ahead and comment or if you're listening to this on the podcast go to the podcast episode and let us know. That's a very important number we want to definitely address. Are you leftie too? No. All right so we just established that which is pretty amazing. Okay, cool. I want to wrap up here but I did want to jump on here and really just dig into this but also bring it up because it was brought to my attention from one of our listeners and I thought that was pretty cool, it was just kind of walking from one room to the other.

He's like hey Scott. I just want to let you know I'm a big time listener, I've been taking action and that's one of the biggest action that's helped me just constantly hearing you say taking action and John Gamble… Oh, leftie too. Nice. Likes black licorice. We got another one there. So while we were here recording this we got another one yes, on the black licorice. It's awesome. So we're going t to wrap this up Chris but I did want to wrap up just by kind of going over what we kind of wanted to get the message out here about is really a failure isn't really a failure unless you give up. You need to understand that you're going to learn from this and the big takeaway here is if the thing isn't working, that you're working on it doesn't necessarily mean that it's ever going to work but you have to decide is it time to pivot with that product but maybe try to do outside stuff.

Maybe try to figure out how to build an outside sales funnel that will work for you if you want to drive Facebook ads and then get traffic there or get traffic from YouTube. There's all these other sources of traffic. Traffic is so much easier today than ever. We were going to have some tests running this weekend after we get done there in this room that we'll probably have some data back in the next 24 hours.

[00:32:39] Scott: We can look at these numbers and the same thing with pay-per-click. Generally you can get some numbers back in probably about 48 hours and you can start to see what the campaigns are doing and all that stuff. So just understand, it's a learning process and you have to get started. You do have to take action or you'll never get a result. I mean sitting on the sidelines you're never going to be able to get in there and get that hit unless you get into that batters box. Or get hit.

[00:33:06] Chris: I am. I had a fantastic on base average. I was like a 0.0 batting average, 100% on base average. Just lean in and take it. I think the thing that I want to leave with Scott we're talking about like failure is about learning experience but a lot of people that do the giving up version of failure other than the learning problem version of failure treat failure like a systemic issue. Systemic, meaning system-wide meaning I failed, arego, I think everything must be broken. We just throw in the towel, we all hate to lose but the real lesson here is everything is not broken.

In 99.99999% of cases, I'm not going to say it's all of the time because there's the potential that you picked a terrible product with absolutely no demand and there's no way to rank and there's no PPC in the category and there's not nothing we can do but I've yet to find one of those cases and if you think you have one we have hot seats for that. But you have to diagnose that problem. If you're able to find that one tweak, you're then able to make that successful. It's not the entire thing that's broken. It's a traffic issue. It's a conversion issue. It's an audience issue in the case of our friend that approached us about this.

If we can find that one thing we can turn that dial. Now, after we turn that dial, we might find out that something else is broken. If we don't have the sessions to support 300 sales and we get the sessions and we're still not getting 300 sales well guess what, now we got pull this lever but it doesn't mean that entire thing is broken. We have to take it one step at a time. Shank it down as you like to say, and diagnose the actual issue so that we can fix it so that we can treat it and so that we can move forward.

[00:35:00] Scott: I will end here by saying that this is exactly what we are teaching and talking about inside of Product Discovery Bootcamp. It's really not about just going out there and finding that random product that you think that you can sell. It's not about that. To me it's about finding a market. Now, those products that are in your life right now can lean you to a market and that's really where we want to be but then finding three to five products to support that brand inside of that market and that market could be a submarket or a sub sub market and in a fishing example fishing, bass fishing, kayak bass fishing. That's what we're talking about. That's exactly what we've done inside of product discovery boot camp, looking at your shirt which I love by the way.

That right thee is to me the ultimate way to go out there and number one find that market, find those products because if you do that regardless if you're on Amazon or not, you will have a better chance of succeeding and you're building the foundation of a real business.

Okay, so there you have it. Another great conversation or riff session, jam session with my good friend Chris Shaffer and we're going to be spending some more time together in person these next few months. We're going to be doing more of those. A lot of times they are just random things that happen that we want to share. In this case, it was random, I was literally walking from one end of the event to the other someone seen me, pulled me to the side and shared a story with me. I think we can all relate to those types of stories and that's why I want to share them with you. I'm big about just getting started, taking the action, getting a result like that's my big thing.

And it's not always going to work. And a lot of times, it's not going to work exactly how you plan but that's okay. It's what you do with that “failure”, it's what you do with that that really matters. This one gentleman that shared this story with me he's doing big things now.

[00:37:01] Scott: He's doing big things as far as he's learned Facebook ads because that was something that he was doing to try to use to sell this product now because it wasn't the product that wouldn't sell. Just wouldn't sell well on Amazon right now because he didn't have any leverage to actually get that thing selling. So he says you know what, let me go ahead and pivot and let me see what I can do over here with Facebook ads, driving it to a little funnel and then we can go ahead and try to get sales through Facebook ads or Instagram. Or any of those. Now he learned a whole another skill set so now if you want to launch another product on Amazon, he'll the research a little differently obviously.

But he's also got an email list now, he's also got the resources to go out there and run Facebook ads and he knows how to do that. He knows how to build a list. He knows all that stuff that he wouldn't have known if he hadn't pivoted and then said wait a minute, let me just figure out another way to sell my product. I think there's a lot to that as far as a lot you can learn from doing that. I think you guys should also think to yourself like okay, maybe that first product didn't sell or maybe the second one didn't sell. The first one did, the second one didn't, what can I do from this?

What can I learn from this? Do I continue trying to sell this on Amazon or do I pivot and try to sell it off of Amazon or do I liquidate it? You have to ask yourself these questions. I've said that in past episodes asking yourself questions I think can really be a huge resource for you that you are not probably tapping into because when we ask ourselves questions we're normally or naturally wanting to give ourselves an answer and we search for that answer and that solution. Go ahead and ask yourself some questions and I'm sure you'll figure it out. So that is going to wrap up this episode.

We did mention our Product Discovery Bootcamp in there and I would definitely recommend checking that out if you are stuck as far as figuring out what market to choose or what products to serve to your market that you are already currently in. Any of that stuff. Definitely check that out. We've created this training to go after a market or sub markets that you can sell multiple products in and you can also sell them on and off of Amazon.

[00:39:10] Scott: So if you're interested in that definitely go check it out Product Discovery Bootcamp. You can get all the details over there. All right, that's it, that's going to wrap it up. The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/501 and go grab those show notes, the transcripts. I'll also embed that video of Chris and I if you want to see us jamming together there on this topic. You can go check that out at the show notes too. That's it. That's going to wrap it up.

As always remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm 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 and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.


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