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…a four-part series and in this four-part series, we are going to be talking about something that we’re going to be referring to as PACE. Is your business on PACE to be successful? And are you building a brand that will last? That is what we’re going to be talking about. And to do this, I’ve got my good friend back on the podcast, Mr. Chris Schaffer. How's it going, my friend?
[00:00:37] Chris: He’s going fantastic.
[00:00:39] Scott: Are you pumped to talk about PACE?
[00:00:41] Chris: I am and that’s the thing that I was about to say, man. This is something and we’ve talked about this kind of in general and over the next few episodes and then we’re going to be diving deeper into each of the pillars that make up PACE, but this is something that I really like because we sat down, we spent a lot of time thinking about it and it really does apply to every business that we are able to find that is successful over the long-term. So, it’s something that I think is extremely important for people to have a real deep understanding of and I’m pumped that we’re going to be diving into it for everybody.
[00:01:10] Scott: Yeah. And I’m going to also remind you guys if you did not hear the episode which is actually three episodes back, 542, is where Chris and I talked about the overview or really what makes up those four pillars and what we wanted to do now is really deep dive into each one of those pillars. So, today we’re going to be talking about the P in PACE and that is preparing the foundation of your business and we’re going to be talking all about that but if you did not catch that episode, definitely do that. That’s going to be linked up in the show notes but I’ll just give you the direct link, TheAmazingSeller.com/542 and that’ll take you there but inside of this episode we will link to that one as well and again like I said, we’re going to do these in order so this way here, number one, we’re going to be able to teach you in order but then also if you’re listening to this at a later date you can start with part 1, part 2, or then go to part 2, part 3, part 4, but also listen to the overview of the PACE method, the four pillars to successfully build your brand.
And the thing I like about this, Chris, before we do jump into the P of PACE is you can really use any one of these pillars no matter where your business is and that’s the cool thing about it. Yes, you might not be able to use the E as much right now, the expansion part, but once you get to that part, you can always go back and start working more on the foundation of your business and strengthening the foundation, ensuring it up a little bit, and doing all of those cool things that we’re going to talk about today. So, that’s the cool thing that I like about it. It’s like no matter where your business is, you could pretty much apply something to your business from one of these pillars.
[00:02:47] Chris: Exactly.
[00:02:48] Scott: Cool. So, alright. Let’s get started. We are going to start like I said we’re talking about the P in PACE. Now, before I do, let me just also I’ll just go through them really quickly. P stands for preparation and the foundation so basically preparing the foundation. So, it’s really about the preparation of your brand. The A is for attention and then C is for cultivation and then E is for expansion. Again, go back to Episode 542 and it will make a lot more sense about each of those pillars. But let’s dig in, Chris. Where do you want to start with preparing the foundation of your business, the preparation and foundation? Where do you want to start?
[00:03:25] Chris: I think, Scott, we got to start at the foundation of the foundation and I know like we have a list of all the different stuff that falls into the space but for me there are two things at the very beginning that really make up the getting started portion of the preparation foundation which is finding good products and having a why and understanding your why so I think maybe we should start there unless you have a different place that you think makes more sense for people.
[00:03:48] Scott: Well, I actually do want to start at a little bit different place and you’re absolutely right, products and the why, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. There are actually five different things that we’re going to talk about here and the first one and I think when we were kind of going through this ourselves, we were like what makes up these different components in this? And I think it really starts with the market. It starts with the market like no matter where you are in your business whether you’re starting or whether you’re growing your business, I think looking at the market that you’re in and seeing if that is the right market or if you’re struggling in that market, is there a submarket or something below the surface that you can dig into so that way there you can kind of get your wheels going and get that momentum and then you can start to expand into the broader markets. So, I think really we should start with the market and figuring out the market selection piece of this but also is it a good market? So, what do you want to talk about as far as the market to make sure that people understand what that means and kind of like even if they can cross reference in their own business they have right now if it’s the right one or if they have to go ahead and start exploring a little bit deeper.
[00:04:50] Chris: Well, in terms of market selection, you and I have talked about this a couple of different ways. We talk about finding products that lead us to markets and markets that lead us to products and it’s not like a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes to identify your market you’re going to need to start with a product. Others may have something that they’re super passionate about and, Scott, they’re super passionate in fishermen so we’re going to start at the market level say I love kayak bass fishing, what are some products that I can sell? But I think regardless of your approach to that thing that everybody should be keeping in mind here is that we need to look at the criteria of a long-term market. We want to find something like if our goal is to have a business that’s going to be here for a while and that’s what you and I talk about. It’s not about flash in a pan, it’s not about making some quick money so that we can go buy a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. It’s so that we can have something that’s truly an asset for us for the long-term. That means that market also needs to be there for the long-term. Does that make sense?
[00:05:45] Scott: It does and I want to give some people as we’re going through this, I want the people that are listening, I want them to know that there are some things that you can do to make sure that you can kind of look at the market and then see where you want to enter the market or where you think that is a market that you want to explore but is it really there or is it something that is going to fizzle out? So, why don’t we talk about that really quickly and I’ll let you kind of lead this. Where should we start to look at the market that we’re considering going into?
[00:06:16] Chris: I think, I mean, for me once we have an idea of the market we want to pursue we need to see where there are people hanging out in that market so that we can start to understand whether they're talking about the market itself or they’re just kind of there to see what’s there. So, for me, social is probably the first place that I would start. I’m not necessarily going to go to Google and type in the niche that I’m looking at. I’m probably going to start by looking for the audience and I’m going to do that through either Facebook or YouTube. That’s probably where I would start. Where would you start, Scott? Is that the same kind of thing?
[00:06:48] Scott: Yeah. It is. I would add another thing to it. I would to the social so like you said, and we’ve talked about this before in some of our workshops. It’s like really figuring out where they’re hanging out. Again, moving through these four pillars, that’s going to come in handy when we get into the attention phase here or that pillar when we start addressing that. We’re going to need to know that anyway. So, I would go and like you said, I would go to YouTube. I would go to Facebook, I’d go to Instagram, I’d go to any of the social platforms that I would think that my market would be hanging out and then I would say, is there a market? I was looking at Spin, the bikes where you do spinning so it’s actually the Peloton bike and I was looking at that bike and I started to explore that market and I’m like, “Wait a minute. It’s not just that. It’s actually spinning. It’s a form of exercise but it’s also a part of cardio.”
So, it’s like I’m starting to understand that market, so I wanted to know is there pages out there or groups out there that exist right now? I did, and I soon found out, yes, there’s a massive market for just spinning, not even Peloton which Peloton their own little culture out there of those people but, yes, I think you’re right. We want to go there because it’s easiest to do that. I think the other thing that I would add is I would go to Google, but I would go to Google trends and I would type…
[00:08:05] Chris: That’s exactly where I’d go.
[00:08:06] Scott: Yeah. And I would go there and just do a quick little search. I would just go to Google Trends totally free and I would type in your like high-level niche or like your base level. So, if it was like cooking, I would go cooking, or maybe then I would take it one step maybe further and I might say something like, I don’t know, if I would to some type of certain like paleo diet let’s say so instead of it just being a regular diet it would be paleo or it would be keto or whatever. I would try to drill it down a little bit more specific versus just fishing. I do bass fishing and see where that trend has been in the past five years and where it’s going and then that would give me an idea, even traffic, it would give me ideas of like other maybe markets that are surrounded in that one market. So, that’s some things that you could do right away, social and Google, like, boom, do it.
And if you currently have a market that you’re in right now and you might be struggling or think that it’s really competitive, I would do the exact same thing. I would just try to find something where we can niche down. And you and I talk a lot about the bass fishing market lately and we found kayak bass fishing is also a submarket inside of bass fishing so fishing, bass fishing, kayak bass fishing. So, we just drill down below the surface. So, if you’re already in a market, this is something you should be doing as well because you could explore other parts of the market and maybe it’s going to be easier for you to gain some traction there that will also lead people back to the main market. Makes sense?
[00:09:32] Chris: It does, and I want to kind of dive back into something, Scott, because I’m doing it just here on the fly. We know going back to the spinning example, we know there are some groups that are out there around it but if we take a look at Google Trends we know that Peloton specifically which is one brand in that space spend a metric boatload of money during the Olympics to try to get their name out there. I mean, it was every commercial break.
[00:09:56] Scott: Every, yeah.
[00:09:57] Chris: So, inside of Google Trends what I did is I just went back to 2004 just to see what the search history was like and the reason that I do this is because I want to see if it’s something that people have been looking at for a while or is it something that’s brand-new. And when you look at this, it’s a line graph? Yeah, it’s a line graph. All of my math teachers are rolling in their collective chairs right now. And what it shows you is over time how much people have been searching for that. If we see a big spike in this right now and it goes from 0 to 100 over the last two months, that’s not necessarily a market that I feel comfortable going into because it might be here for a while but if there was nobody searching for it a few months ago and now everyone is searching for it, that to me is an indication of a flash in the pan.
Now, if we look at spinning on Google Trends as of doing this, the 100% mark which is when you look at Google Trends when the most people searched for it was actually May of 2017 and then it dips and it’s actually, it actually dips in the winter which is kind of interesting to me because I think – or in the fall at least and then it starts to come back up in winter throughout basically the rest of the summer and then it dips a little bit in the summer because it’s nice enough to go outside that people don’t want to write a stationary bike at home. They’re going to go outside and ride. But if you look the whole way back, and Google tracks this data and a lot of cases back to 2004, the second biggest peak in here is actually January 2004 and then it dipped and ever since 2005 it’s been on an upper twend. Trend. Not twend. Trend.
[00:11:36] Scott: Right. Kind of like a trend.
[00:11:38] Chris: So, that to me is an indication that this would be a very strong market. Yes, there are going to be some seasonal dips. That’s going to happen in any market but what we see is essentially from left to right on this graph, an upward motion, which is exactly what we want to see. We want to see that there are more people searching for it or at least the same a very similar number of people searching for it. If we see a lot of movement in this and big spikes and dips, then it’s probably a much more seasonal product and something that I want to stay away from and obviously if the 100% mark is the hallway to the left and we are now at 25% then that’s a market that’s going away because there are fewer and fewer people searching for it.
So, just I want to kind of dive into that just because I was looking at it on the fly and spinning here is kind of a primary example of exactly what we want to see. From left to right it’s getting bigger, not smaller. There was one big spike before and it was probably something like the Olympics where somebody that had a stationary spin bike did something and spent a lot of money and you'll see that but for the most part, there are more people coming into this market. So, if this was a market we are interested in, this graph would help to validate that for me.
[00:12:48] Scott: All right. Cool. So, that is number one in the P of the preparation and the foundation is really the market like where is your market, what market are you going after, understanding that there’s different niches or “neeshes” depending on where you come from, how you say it, same thing. Where are there these submarkets inside of your main market? So, it’s something to think about, something to sit down with a piece of paper and start writing these out and you’ll probably be surprised that there’s going to be a lot of markets that cross each other that you could possibly go into and one of them could be easier than others and going back to like once we go through all four pillars here, we can always come back to this and say, “Let’s go ahead and try to find a submarket that could link back to our main market.” So, just again, I want you guys walking away with something you can do right now in the P of PACE.
So, number two, is like you say, Chris, products. Good products, not just products, good products. All right. And these products I think one of the biggest things that people need to understand is these products need to lead back to the market meaning that they have to work well with the market. I don’t want to launch a product and then launch a second product that doesn’t help promote the first product or vice versa. The more products that we’re adding here, good products, the more chances that we have to get more sales but also get different types of customers in the same market because there are different parts of their journey or parts of the process. If you’re learning to play guitar, you’re at a different place when you’re learning to where you’re more advanced. So, we have to think about that. There’s like a customer journey that we’re taking people on then I also think that thinking of products as a way to introduce people at different price points. You might start off with a lower priced item and then you might have one that’s a more expensive item. There’s always going to be people that are going to buy low and high and you should have a variety of those in your brand. So, Chris, what do you want to talk about as far as the product’s little part here?
[00:14:50] Chris: Well, that I think, Scott, is something that’s really critical and you touch on that. I want to make sure people don’t gloss over it, right? Obviously, product selection is the key. Once we found a good market, we need to know how to enter that market. Now, when you look at something like fishing, we could sell fishing boats, we could sell fishing rods, we could sell whatever but it’s a lot easier if we go inside of that market and validate a submarket because we can find products in a variety of price points that will appeal to those people which means there’s less competition. So, yes, we can start with a bass fishing kayak, but we could also start with wiggle worms or something silly like that that would still appeal to that market. And having a good base of those products that all complement each other is something that is, in my opinion, one of the most critical and also one of the most overlooked things that most businesses have. And you see it all the time if you watch something like The Profit, Marcus Lemonis will come into a business and will go, “We don't know why we're struggling. We have 1,000 SKUs.” Well, none of them are related to each other. It's not really a surprise.
And in the Amazon “world” for the longest time a lot of people would just launch what we always call an open brand and that was okay but as things have started to change inside of that ecosystem, we have to do more things that are things that a real brand, a business that is on PACE that are related and that can go together so that, just like you said, we can bring in people from different price points. We can have a premium option, a middle option, and a low-end option so that we’re capturing the full end of that market. And in doing so, we set ourselves up for much easier long-term success than we would if we were just going out and grabbing some random things. The other thing and you did say this a minute ago is the products have to be good. We have to actually do the real work to improve those products or differentiate those products or do whatever that is. And yes that is more work upfront but it’s also the thing that’s going to set you up for the long-term and that’s something, Scott, like even in our new brand, we’ve had some people try to knock us off and when we improve the product or we iterated on the product, right, we changed it a little bit, they didn’t do that and we’re still actually able to outsell them at almost double the price in some of those cases because we have a product that is different. We have a product that’s unique and people know that. It’s not just something that looks the same.
[00:17:06] Scott: Right. Yeah. Go ahead.
[00:17:10] Chris: I don’t know where I was going. But it’s one of those things, right, where we can pick just products or we can pick good products and we can actually take the time and put in the effort to differentiate them. That’s what’s going to set us up for the long-term success.
[00:17:22] Scott: Yeah. And I think also adding those different products in different submarkets and everything might also allow you to open up a whole another part of your business or another revenue stream that you weren’t even aware of that could lead people back into your brand. So, I just want people to understand that you can’t be so broad in a sense. We do have to niche down but that can also bring people like if people are into fishing, they’re probably into bass fishing and they’re probably into maybe fly fishing or maybe deep-sea fishing so those things can definitely link together. It’s not going to get everyone, not everyone that’s in the bass fishing is going to be into those things but that definitely will play well together, and I think it’s a huge opportunity but – go ahead.
[00:18:05] Chris: I love the fishing example for that, Scott, because if you look at something like kayak bass fishing like that sounds like a ridiculously small niche in the grand scheme of the fish world. It’s a small fish in a big pond.
[00:18:16] Scott: That’s right.
[00:18:17] Chris: See what I did there?
[00:18:17] Scott: Yeah, I did. I like that.
[00:18:19] Chris: But the thing that’s interesting is like, yeah, if we have a kayak bass fishing brand, obviously not every fisherman is going to buy a kayak for bass fishing but if we create the best lure and market it to kayak bass fishermen, do you think that other bass fishermen are going to try it?
[00:18:36] Scott: Yes.
[00:18:37] Chris: Do you think that trout fisherman might – I don’t know if fish respond to the same bait or not. I doubt it but whatever. You guys get the point.
[00:18:44] Scott: We get the idea. Yeah.
[00:18:45] Chris: The largemouth bass fisherman, the smallmouth bass fisherman, and the kayak bass fisherman, the boat-based bass fisherman, the shore-based bass fisherman and the, I don’t know, tree-stand-based bass fisherman, probably isn’t a thing, all would be interested in that because it’s bait that appeals to bass. We just happen to be primarily marketing it at the sub-niche, but it crosses over into those other areas. And then we let the market tell us where we should go from there. If we find out that everybody that’s buying it is not a kayak bass fisherman but it’s a tree-stand bass fisherman, then we start to change our marketing message to fit that market a little bit better or the next product that we add is going to be more for them than it is for the kayak-based bass fisherman.
[00:19:28] Scott: Right. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there’s probably not a tree-stand fisherman but maybe there is. If there is, that’s great but I just want to go out there and say that I don’t think…
[00:19:35] Chris: Googling this right now.
[00:19:36] Scott: I don’t think there is but anyway, we’re going to move on. So, that is number two in really in the P of PACE and that is preparation and the foundation is really having a good market, having good products that serve the market so those are the two really, really big things and I also want to say before we get into the last three in here because there’s five total is the things that we’re doing right now, that’s why we call it preparation and we call it the foundation is because these are things we need in order to really include the other pillars for us to get into the A for attention and the cultivation of our market and then the expansion. We have to have these things in place or at least a good foundation set so we can go ahead and do those other things. If we have those other things, if we’re going to do those other things, we need these things. If we don’t, we can’t really do it. So, we need to make sure that we have a good market, a market that is out there that wants to consume content but also is interested in more than just one product or sub-niches.
We want to make sure of this stuff because that gives us a lot of room to really go out there and market our brand and our products so that’s why I just want to say we are going through this part of it in PACE, in this four-part pillar, little miniseries here that we’re doing for you. These are so important and after we’ve kind of analyzed a whole bunch of businesses including our own even in the past, I mean, I’ve had businesses in the past that I look back and I go, “Everything that we’re talking about is exactly this.” It follows it to a T. So, I just want you guys to know like sometimes it might seem like, “I don’t really need this stuff. I want to move on.” Make sure that you look at this stuff and really analyze your own business or if you’re starting a business, make sure that it has these components.
[00:21:27] Scott: So, let’s move on to number three and again, this is another big one but gets overlooked and that is the why. And there are two different whys that I want to talk about, Chris. There’s one, the one why is why do you want to create your own business, number one, because by you doing this you are going to be working. There is going to be work involved here so if you’re going to make this thing work you need to know why you are building this business. So, that’s the number one why. The second why is why this market? What is your story? Do you enjoy fishing on the weekends with your son and you guys just keep talking about it and you just love talking to other people at the barbecue about it and you would love to have your own YouTube channel and you love to have your own blog and you love to just continue to talk about this stuff and then make money in the process? Is that your story because you love enjoying time together, father-son or whatever? Like, if you can have a story, why did you create that certain lure that allowed you to not get hung up in the weeds when you’re going bass fishing? And I know that is a thing because that happened to me. So, I came up with a lure that helped…
[00:22:32] Chris: It’s just you though.
[00:22:33] Scott: Yeah. It’s just me. It helped me I guess not become frustrated with this one aspect of bass fishing along the edges because I know that’s where they hang out, but I keep losing my $5 lure or my $10 lure and I keep getting upset, I’m frustrated. Guess what? I created my own and then I’m going to share that story and I’m also going to share that I enjoy fishing with my son so then it ties the story back to the brand and who’s behind it. So, those are the different things that you want to start thinking about as far as the why. So, there are two different parts there. There's the why, why do want to start a business, and then there’s the why, why this market and what is your story? So, what do you want to say about that, Chris?
[00:23:12] Chris: I want to dive into this and this is something that’s kind of coming to mind as we’re talking through this, Scott. The why am I doing this, why am I building this business I think is super important and that’s something that a lot of people miss out on. And you and I kind of rant on this every few episodes but it’s not just about the money. I said this in the beginning. The reason that we’re building this is so we have a long-term asset. The money is nice but we’re not doing this so we can go buy a Lamborghini and be done. We’re doing this, so we can set ourselves up for long-term success and that’s why we’re talking about PACE in general. But for everybody that is different. Is it so that I can pay my husband’s medical bills? Is it so that I can get my mom out of a job that she hates? That foundation of your why like what will this business being successful do for you is the thing that will motivate you when everything else goes wrong.
[00:23:57] Scott: Yes.
[00:23:57] Chris: Right? And it’s the thing that will keep you on track when everything is going right because if you look back at that, you can say, “Okay. Well, I could do this. I could go source five more products right now but the whole reason that I’m doing this was to get my wife, husband, mom out of a job that they hate. Maybe we set this capital aside right now so that we can do that, and he and I can grow it together.” Looking back at that why, when everything is going wrong and when everything is going right is going to set you up for what is right in your business. The other side of that is the story and this really comes in, in the C in PACE, that connection cultivation section but having this upfront and understanding the angles that you’re going to be using and it sounds kind of like markety to say the angles that you’re going to be using but it really is, what is the approach that we’re going to take when we start to interact with this market and how does that affect me?
And to me, I think there are three different ways that you can come up with your story, three different characters if you will and you and I have talked in the past, Scott, about the reporter method and this is something we’ll talk about more in the future but you’re just someone who is interested in a market in general and you’re going to be sharing useful information, useful products. That’s one. Number two I think would be the expert, “I have been bass fishing for 20 years. This is my life.” And number three would be the fumbling novice or the newbie, the reluctant newbie who, “I found this thing, I think it’s really interesting, and everything that I’m going to share from a product perspective and from a content perspective is going to be to help new people move forward.” Do all three of those make sense, Scott?
[00:25:39] Scott: Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:25:41] Chris: And I think the example you just shared so let’s go back through the example that you just shared and see if we can fit into one of those boxes. So, you’re a bass fisherman who got frustrated about the lure. So, in your example, which one of those three do you think would apply most to that story?
[00:25:59] Scott: Well, I don’t know. I mean, where are you thinking that you would go, I guess?
[00:26:05] Chris: Well, I know you’re not a lifelong fisherman.
[00:26:07] Scott: No.
[00:26:08] Chris: And so, for me, you would probably fall into that fumbling novice or the reluctant newbie.
[00:26:15] Scott: Yeah. I would not be the expert for sure like I guess I could be a cross like you can kind of be an expert but…
[00:26:22] Chris: And it can definitely be a hybrid of those three.
[00:26:24] Scott: Yeah. And I think that that’s where I was struggling is to come up like no, I’m not going to be the guy that’s like I’m on the board of fisherman like no, that is not, and I don’t think I would want to be, but you could be. If you are, be that, but I would say more of a cross. I would say like a hybrid for sure.
[00:26:42] Chris: And I think you just have to figure out where you are right now and then where you want to go and I’m looking at our new brand and I’m thinking, okay, so it’s kind of the reluctant newbie and now we’re perceived in that market as an expert even though we’re not necessarily expert in that market but because we shared enough newbie content with people and we helped people because we were in the same exact place that they were, we are now perceived as experts in that market. So, as we’re starting to develop our story, we just have to figure out where we need to start, and we can go from there. If this is a market, if you have been in the health and fitness your entire life, having your story come from the place of a reluctant newbie is kind of weird but the reporter or the expert are both places that you can talk from and be congruent with. I know I’m using big words.
[00:27:32] Scott: They are big words. Yes.
[00:27:34] Chris: You know, that’s kind of the thing as we start telling that story is it has to fit with who we are and where we are in the market at least right now and so if we can find something that is the right fit for us right now then we can start to figure out where we need to go over the long-term to make that brand successful.
[00:27:52] Scott: Right. So, the action steps here really for number three, for the why in your story is to really sit down. I keep saying that, Chris. I think so many people they expect a tool to help them in this or something online. I always like to grab a legal pad or something, sit down, and write out, number one, why you are doing what you’re doing and start drilling down into that like why are you building this business? That’s number one. Number two is why do you want to build a business in this market like why? Is it just because you use Jungle Scout and you found that there are some great numbers there? If that’s the case, I’m okay with you doing that but you are going to have to come up with a story and if it’s not your story, it’s going to have to be someone else’s story so this way here your brand isn’t just like all the other brands like you have to have a reason why you are doing what you’re doing. And I just did an episode not that long ago about like how to not be the face of the brand but find someone that could be. And it’s pretty simple.
You just go out there and you find other people that are passionate about this market and then you can have them be the content creation and then you can share their story because then you can ask them, “Why are you so into this?” and they’re like, “Well, because when I was a kid I got a guitar at 12 I just fell in love with it. I couldn’t put it down and I started taking lessons and I was struggling with lessons and I went to another teacher and they taught me this and now that’s how I teach.” Like that’s the story. They were frustrated because when they were young they could then figure it out and they finally figured it out, and they wanted to be the one to help. Like so that’s the story. So, just you have to figure out what that story is going to be. Now, I’m not saying make up a story, not at all.
[00:29:23] Chris: Well, that’s exactly where I was going to go. I think that’s hilarious that you just went there because I was going to say the word story when we say find the story, we’re not saying make up a story. We’re not saying lie. We’re saying what is the real reason that you are interested in this market and if it’s because you’re an expert, great. If you’ve been fishing for 50 years and you want to sell fishing products, awesome. If you wanted to go fishing with your son because it was something that your father did with you and you kind of stopped doing, but you got tired of being frustrated because you consistently were terrible at it, you got your line caught in the bushes, so you came up with a way around it, that’s a story. That’s more of your like reluctant newbie or, “Hey, I’m just interested in this market. I’m not an expert by any stretch but I am a consumer of all the information and if you have questions you can come to me and in doing that I’ve been able to find and build some of these products that are going to be useful for everybody.”
[00:30:14] Scott: Yeah. You’re like the reporter like you said in that case like you are learning and you’re reporting on what you’re learning.
[00:30:21] Chris: Right.
[00:30:22] Scott: You know, and it’s pretty simple.
[00:30:23] Chris: And any one of those works to build the brand for the long-term. You just have to figure out which one is truly applicable to you and your situation and it’s the same thing with your why, why I’m doing the business in general. We can all sit down and say, well, it’s for the money but that’s not the real reason. There’s something else there and if we take the time and honestly it doesn’t take that long. You could do this in an hour or two if that long.
[00:30:50] Scott: And the other thing is your story now might not be as good as it will be maybe a year from now. The story can be improved. The story can be tailored as you kind of like go through this process and you become even more aware and you become even more passionate or just more knowledgeable. So, don’t think just because you’ve written down a story, it has to stay to that story and your mission. If you have a mission for why you’re doing it, that mission might even get bigger because you’re getting more like interested or you’re learning more and you’re getting even more passionate about it or whatever. That’s the stuff that can change and evolve. It doesn’t have to stay the way that you put it down on paper today, so I just want to realize that.
[00:31:29] Chris: I think a really good example of that is this podcast, right?
[00:31:32] Scott: Yeah.
[00:31:34] Chris: When you started this podcast, this was a way to document your journey inside of Amazon and to connect with some people. You were the reporter. You were going to let people know what was working, you’re going to talk to other people, and in growing the show and being successful in doing other things, you told more and more of your background and you realized how much of that actually plays into success in business and that’s really where PACE came from in general. You and I sat down and talked. You said, “Look, here’s all the things I’ve done in the past.” The rest of the team said, “Here’s all the things we’ve done in the past,” and we look at what was successful. Now, we have to change that mission because it’s not just about selling on Amazon. It’s about building real businesses and so by changing the core mission of what this is doing, Amazon is still absolutely a part of that, but that’s not the only thing that we’re going to need to talk about if we want to help people build real successful businesses. We need to talk about this stuff too and that’s an example of a change in the messaging and in the way that we approach things with that market and how that story changes because you’re not just talking about how successful your first product was. We’re talking about all of the things and all of the businesses that we’ve all been involved in that were successful and here’s how we can apply them right now. It’s a very different message to the audience than just here’s the story about my specific experience on the Amazon side of things. Does that make sense?
[00:32:52] Scott: Yeah. It totally does and it’s what we a lot of times revert to as pivoting. It’s like you have permission to pivot and you may start in one direction and then go into a sub-niche or something and then you might say, “You know what, I want to go a little bit broad or a little bit more broad now,” and when you do that, you have to almost change a little bit and we’ve done that in numerous occasions in past businesses that I’ve been involved in, my wife and I’ve pivoted so much throughout our journey, but it also adds to the story. It always comes back to adding to your story if it’s related to the brand that you’re working on or the marketing that you’re working on there. And a lot of this stuff that we’re talking about like creating this stuff, you may also start learning more of that when you start connecting more with your audience or with the people that are your customers and that will happen in the cultivation stage when we get to that into that pillar but again having this stuff in the preparation and foundation will help us once we get into those pillars and we start to be able to speak to the market and get feedback from the market and all of those things.
So, just understand that we’re not just doing this to do it, we’re doing it because there are reasons in the future that we’re going to need this stuff that we’re going to pull from. So, with that being said, let’s move on to number four and that is creating your roadmap or your plan. So, when you’re doing this preparation and really figuring out how you’re going to build this foundation so it’s strong and so this way here you have all these things in place, so we can go ahead and start building the rest of the business or the brand, we got to have a roadmap of some kind. Now, it doesn’t mean you have to have everything planned out, but it means that we need to have a direction. We need to have milestones. We need to have things to shoot for. So, you know what, at this stage, just start writing down where do you want to go like what do you need to do in order to really take the business to where you want to go or the brand? Where do you want to see this in 12 months? And then from there, work backwards.
[00:34:51] Scott: What do you need to do first and then start creating that roadmap. So, there’s going to be little mini roadmaps. There’s going to be a bigger roadmap. And what I would advise doing is do a one-year and maybe even a three-year and then from there be willing to adjust that roadmap but, in the beginning, we got to create that roadmap of some kind so this way here we have a plan, so we can go ahead and execute that plan. So, I think that’s really important that a lot of people don’t do that. They just go, “I’m just going to launch the product, see what happens.” That’s fine but if you do all these other things first and then you create that roadmap, you’ll have a lot more direction which will also give you milestones to hit and from there you can kind of look and see what you’ve done along the way and then you can kind of start to react to what’s worked and what hasn’t worked. Anything you want to add to that, Chris?
[00:35:36] Chris: So, I have a question for you on this, Scott.
[00:35:38] Scott: Yeah.
[00:35:39] Chris: You’re talking about doing a one-year and a three-year roadmap. Are you going to go in here when you sit down to do this and write down every single thing so you say, “Okay. In one year from now, I'd like to free my wife from her job. She makes $70,000 a year which means one year from now I need to be able to pull out $4,500 a month in profit.” Are you then going to go in and say, “Okay. Over the next 12 months here’s how many products I need launched. If I’m going to sell 10 a day,” I’m trying to do the math here on the fly, “I’m going to sell 10 a day at $10 profit, that’s $100 a day in profit so I would need to launch what is that? Two products, 2.5 products?
[00:36:20] Scott: Something like that. Yeah. I’ll call it three.
[00:36:22] Chris: In the next 12 months to be able to do that. So, that’d be $300 a day. That would give was $9,000 a month in profit. That’s actually double where our goal is. So, is that the level that you’re going to do that? Are you going to break that down and say, “Okay. So, month one I need to do this, month two I need to do this, month three I need to do this,” and like outline everything or are you going to come in somewhere in between like, “Okay. I want to make $70,000 by this time next year,” and writing every little thing down?
[00:36:50] Scott: I honestly think that the first one that you illustrated there I think that one has to be done regardless like if you don’t have the end in mind of that one thing like so if it is for your wife or even for yourself you need to know that number so we have a target but that’s like one roadmap like that’s your freedom roadmap. There’s another roadmap that’s going to be about executing so this way here we can take the business and move it forward. So, there are technically two roadmaps in a sense. The first one is like, “Okay. What business model am I going to choose? How am I going to make this happen?” But then once you then say, “Okay. This is the direction I’m going to go. I’m going to build a business, an e-commerce business,” and you maybe even incorporate some digital products in it, which I think is a smart move like how am I going to do that? What does it look like? And then I start looking at which we’re going to talk about the number five is like the assets. Like what are my assets that I currently have? What am I an expert in? Am I already an expert in something? You might already be an expert in something and then you can say, “You know what, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to create content around that. I’m going to build an audience in that,” and so that’s what I’m saying.
So, we have to have two different roadmaps. The first one is really going to just establish what that end goal is for short-term to get you maybe your freedom that you want or maybe to free up so you don’t have to work 90 hours. You can only work 60 hours, whatever that is. I do think there are two different roadmaps there so this way here you have a target financially and then the other one is really like the components to make that happen. And then I would actually chunk those into 90-day sprints in a sense of that roadmap, but you have to have things to follow or to me you won’t start anything, and you’ll just be like, “You know what, I’m going to start,” but then you never have a direction. I think everyone needs that direction in that plan.
[00:38:34] Chris: Yeah. I think that’s kind of what I was pushing for because what a lot of people will do is they’ll either write down just their freedom goal or they will spend six weeks creating this roadmap and writing down every little detail. “By week 2 I need to have contacted 17 suppliers. By week 3 I need to…” I don’t think you need to get that granular, but you need to set the direction and you need to understand where you’re going. And so, for me, the very top of that sheet of paper would be what is my goal? Is it to build the brand that’s going to impact inner-city teens? What is that? And then what do I need to do to actually make that thing successful? If it’s just having that freedom number and then building a brand that enables you to have that freedom, then that needs to be at the top of that sheet of paper and then over the next year, what are the big things that I need, right? I need two products, I need my email list, I need this, and then over the next 90 days, what are the things that I can do to move me there? I think anything beyond 90 days is not only kind of intangible for us as human beings but it’s also really easy to push it out.
90 days like 60 to 90 days honestly is more than enough to take a huge chunk out of anything that you want to do, even if it’s just an hour a day. And for those of you guys who are into a 9-to-5 job, you work “40 hours a week”, right? You’re sitting in an office right now listening to this. How much work you actually doing in that 40 hours? But what we’re talking about is like a concentrated hour of work a day or two hours of work a day and if we can do those things in the next 60 or 90 days that are going to get us our biggest impact towards that large goal right now towards that why then in 60 to 90 days we can see what needs to change, what needs to stay the same, and what we need to double down on. If we say, “In this 90-day period we’re going to do this,” and we get to the next 90-day period and we already have that planned out, I actually think that’s detrimental to businesses because we’re not as flexible and we need to be flexible and agile especially as small business owners to say, “Well, this is working. I could go do something. I could go learn Twitter ads or over the next 90 days I could double down on Facebook ads because I’m doing really well with that right now.” Well, if my 90-day roadmap for Q4 says I’m going to do Twitter ads, you’re not necessarily as flexible at that point. Does that make sense?
[00:40:48] Scott: Yeah. And what I do want to say here though especially when we’re creating something that we can do because I think that’s part of it. It’s the plan, it’s the roadmap, it’s the thing that we are going to say, “You know what, we have to do this one thing,” like you said contact 16 suppliers. That might be to get you to the goal of where you are going to be able to have that first product launch and that to me is important but to a certain degree because when you sit down, and you have that hour or that two hours blocked off, you need to know what you’re going to work on because if you don’t, you’re just going to be like wandering around the Internet. So, you have to be able to sit down with a plan and then execute what you’re working on right now. What is that thing if it’s to find your next product then, yes, you are going to have to contact. I wouldn’t put down, I have to contact, I’m going to contact as many as it’s going to take before I can go ahead and get this product selected and start getting my samples and getting those things or if you’re going to do like different versions or whatever like you need that done.
So, to me, it's about creating what needs to get done and then putting a timeframe on that to get it done and then blocking out that time to sit down and actually work on that thing and I think that’s important because a lot of people don’t do that. So, creating the roadmap but also creating the plan or the take action plan of what you’re going to do when you sit down to work on your business which I think is also a little side note here. You should be blocking out time chunks that you can specifically work on this or work on your business. Whether you are successful right now and you are doing really well, you still probably are thinking to yourself, “How am I going to do this? How am I going to grow my business? How am I going to expand my business?” I mean, Chris, we have people right now in our inner circle, in TAS inner circle high level multiple six figures, some seven-figure sellers and they still have these issues that, “What do I work on?” So, just understand that no matter where you are in business, you still have to be focused and you have to be able to know what you need to work on to move your business forward.
[00:42:52] Scott: So, just keep that in mind. I think it’s really important that if all you did was map out your week, seven days, an hour a day, what are you going to work on and know what you’re going to work on, you’ll get seven hours of like a lot of work done in a small amount of time really and it will be laser focused and you’ll get a ton done.
[00:43:10] Chris: Well, and that’s the thing that’s really interesting and, Scott, I don’t know how you handle productivity on your side of things but for me it’s something like Pomodoro has worked really well where I say I’m going to do and I don’t – you guys can look up the Pomodoro technique but basically, I set a 40-minute timer. I don't know if it's 25 or 50 minutes, what the perfect length there is but 40 minutes for me is enough to get anything done like anything that is on my list, I can probably do in 40 minutes but the trick there is you have to only look at that for 40 minutes. You jokingly say that when you sent me a message on Skype like I will reply within the hour and it’s because it’s at the end of that 40 minutes I will, I’ll take a look at Skype, I’ll take a look at my email, I’ll screw around for a couple minutes and then I look down on my list and I will only do that next thing for that 40 minutes. And the thing that’s really interesting is whether it’s writing email, whether it’s contacting suppliers, you could contact 35 suppliers in 40 minutes.
[00:44:09] Scott: Absolutely.
[00:44:10] Chris: It’s not that difficult to do but the thing that we all run into is we all check our email and then we email a supplier and then we go, “Oh wait, was that email perfect?” And you go back, and you read it again, and then you see a cat picture on Facebook and then somebody sends you a YouTube video and if we can sit down and focus on one thing at a time for a time-bound thing, like the time-bound set of time so 30 minutes, 40 minutes, you'll be shocked at what you can get done. There's a saying around productivity that a task will always expand to meet the time allowed for it.
[00:44:43] Scott: Absolutely.
[00:44:44] Chris: Right? And if you look at the engineering world which Angel is from, Angel’s on our team for those you guys who don’t know that, you could spend six years developing new hardware for something but if you’re running out of money in the next three months guess how long it’s going to take to make that same piece of hardware? It’s going to take 90 days. Because everybody’s going to want to get it done to get it out of the door, so they don’t lose their jobs.
[00:45:06] Scott: All hands on deck, right?
[00:45:07] Chris: Right. And so, what I tend to do, and I don’t know how you do this is I set a timer on my phone for 40 minutes and I turn on some music with no lyrics for 40 minutes and I do whatever it is that I need to do and then I take a break and then I come back, and I do the next thing on my list in a 40-minute chunk. And if my timer goes off and I’m not done then I’ll use that for my next 40 minutes and if I get done before then, then I’ll take a break then and then I’ll come back and figure out what else I need to do in the next 40-minute window. And the thing that’s kind of funny is I found myself become much more productive doing that and if I get five of those in a day which doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s only 200 minutes so not even three-and-a-half hours. If I can get four or five of those in a day, I’m substantially more productive than if I “work” for eight hours.
[00:45:57] Scott: Absolutely.
[00:45:57] Chris: I can get a weeks’ worth of stuff done in five or six of those and it’s not like magic. It’s just how the human body works. When we try to eliminate as many distractions as possible, and only give ourselves one opportunity, you go there and so that it’s something that I think a lot of people need to pay attention to and that’s why when we say you can do this you really can do this in an hour a day, it has to be a focused hour. You can’t be on Facebook watching cat videos, but you can if you focus and actually work for that hour because you get substantially more done than you ever thought you’d be able to.
[00:46:28] Scott: Yeah. Absolutely. Okay. So, so far, we’ve covered, number one, which is getting a good market or choosing a good market like that is like number one. We have to have a good market. We have to also know if we have submarkets, all of that stuff. Number two, products. We need good products that serve a market or that market. Number three, figuring out our why and also our brand’s why and our story. And then number four is then developing a roadmap whether that is your freedom roadmap and then also having a brand roadmap or the first 90 days or maybe it’s the first year, whatever it is, you need that so this way here you can have a plan so that way there you can sit down and block out those 40 minutes as Chris just said and using that method and knocking out some work to go ahead and move the brand and your business forward.
So, number five is it’s pretty important I think is assets like what assets do you currently have right now that you might not be utilizing? And I want to talk about this for a second here, Chris, because I think some people would think like, “Okay. Well, an asset means that it’s an email list,” and yeah, you’re right, that is an asset but there’s also some assets right now that you might not even be considering assets. One of them is you. What are your strengths right now? Like, what are you good at? Maybe you’re a good graphic designer. Maybe you are good at writing ad copy. Maybe you are good at, I don’t know, maybe on video. Maybe you’re good at fixing jeeps and that’s the market that you’re going into. Whatever it is, you need to figure those out because those are strengths that you’re probably not even utilizing right now. The other place I want to take this is what other assets do people have that you are familiar with or that you are connected with that you could then leverage and bring into your business? That’s another set of assets that you could then leverage that don’t even have to be your own. And really assets when I say you is your own education.
[00:48:27] Scott: You’re expanding your knowledge, your skill set. If you learn how to build an email list like we’ve been teaching, and you build that, that’s an asset. If you know how to do maybe a landing page for an email to make it convert better and you can write copy, that’s an asset. If you learn how to find products and sell them on Amazon or on your e-commerce, that’s a skill set. So, these are all skills sets that are also assets that you bring to the business. Chris, what do you want to talk about as far as assets?
[00:48:56] Chris: I think the two places that people get caught up is they say, “Oh well, I either need to have time or money. I either need to be able to do this really slowly or I need to be able to just throw money at the problem until it goes away,” but you have a lot of assets that you are not aware of and I think, Scott, you touched on something that a lot of people miss. This is not a question of resources when we’re talking about assets. This is a question of resourcefulness. What can I do to move this forward? And if I can’t do it because I don’t have the knowledge or I just don’t understand it. I sat through the list building workshop and I don’t understand it. The next step that is to knock you up, it’s to say who can help you with that? And building that list of assets is really about being resourceful. It’s not about having those resources. It’s about going out and finding one. And figuring out what you are strong in is really the place that you need to start. Now, as we start to go through the A and the C and E, we also need to know what we’re not so strong in but right now we need to understand who we are and how that can help us push this forward more so than anything else.
[00:49:59] Scott: Yeah. And I think like you touched on, the assets of ourselves or like you said going out and finding the people like being resourceful like that just means even having a connection. I know one of our members in the inner circle has all kinds of connections that he didn’t even realize were really that valuable and landed him a potential huge deal of building another company, multimillion dollar company that he’s going to have a great opportunity to then grab some equity in that brand but again, not knowing that or when he was maybe two years ago not doing the e-commerce thing, he wouldn’t be able to really see them as assets. Now, it’s a major asset that he can tap into and really pull from that. And then the other cool thing is now that he’s part of our inner circle, we kind of get to maybe get a little bit of a heads up or maybe a connection or an introduction. So, your connections and your networking, all of that stuff, those are assets as well and so to have a good skill set of being just personable or be willing to give without receiving like those are assets to me because it’s you and no one can take that away from you like a lot of people will say, “Well, how do I compete with that brand over there?” Like, they’re major, they’re big. No one can replace you like you are you, so you have your own unique abilities that you’re probably not even giving yourself credit for which I think is huge.
[00:51:31] Chris: And I call that the Shark Tank question and if you watch a bunch of episodes of Shark Tank, anytime that something’s not defensible so it doesn’t have a patent on it, they’ll ask, “What makes you different? Why would I give you $100,000 when I could build something similar for $200,000 and own 100% of it?” And what it comes down to is the personality of the entrepreneur, the determination. If I’m going to outwork you, it doesn’t matter how much money you have to spend. I will win in the end because you can’t outspend pure determination in a lot of cases. And so, what we have to figure out is, one, do we have, first of all, do we have the financial assets if we do great? If not, how do we come up with substitutes for some of those kinds of things? Is it that I just refuse to lose? So, it’s just pure stubborn determination. That’s a great asset to have. But you have to take inventory of those things, both tangible and intangible stuff, Scott, like the personality traits. I am a good graphic designer. That’s a tangible asset. I’m determined. That’s kind of an intangible asset. I can’t sell determination, but I could sell graphic designs if I have to. So, we need to understand what those things are that make us different, that makes the business different, and that will really start to set that foundation for us.
[00:52:52] Scott: Yeah. And here’s what I want people to do right now, listening to this right now, you got a lot of little homework. Little pieces of homework to do like I want you to go through this stuff and really start analyzing it. This is a great exercise. All of these that we’ve went over are great exercises to just analyze your business, your brand, your direction but in this one right here of assets I want you to write down in a quiet place and I want you to think of what you are valuable at. Now, give yourself some credit. What do people ask you about when you’re at a party? What do people come to you to fix? There’s always something that you do. When I was in the construction business, everybody would be asking me questions about building a deck or remodeling their kitchen, doing a bathroom over, whatever, then that would always lead to me going over and probably helping them out which I kind of started to not like because then it was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to have any of my own time,” but it’s also letting me know that people are saying like, “Wow. This guy knows what he’s talking about,” so that’s something that I have a skill set and that’s an asset for me.
So, give yourself credit where credit is due, and I want you to sit down and do that right now or if you’re driving I want you to stop and I want you to do it, but you get what I’m saying, right? I want you to take some time. Take that 40 minutes that Chris just talked about and sit down and make that something that you’re going to do and list it out. Think about things that you’ve done in the past that you might not even be utilizing right now but you were good at that you’re just not using because it’s not in your current profession or maybe you’re not playing a sport anymore but you’re really good like write that stuff down because there are assets that you're probably sitting on that you're not even aware of and start asking yourself these questions because if you ask yourself questions, the answers will appear. Your brain will automatically go look for that and then you will go ahead and start writing them down. So, Chris, what do we want to wrap up with here on the P of PACE and really kind of letting people know that this is to me a huge component when building a brand whether you’re starting or whether you’re already running a successful brand or you’re struggling, whatever, like I know that this is important but what do you want to leave people with?
[00:55:04] Chris: I think just an understanding of what those five are so if we recap those really fast for everybody, it’s finding a market. Inside of that market, finding products that are good, that’s number two. Number three is having your why and why the business exists. So, your personal motivation and the motivation for the business. Number four is that roadmap or that plan, what are we going to do over the next one year or three years and what are we going to do over the next 90 days to make our why a reality? And then what do I have that can help me execute that roadmap? And what we see, Scott, all the time is that the businesses that are struggling the most are missing one of those five pillars especially when they’re just getting started and missing one of those five pillars upfront is long-term one of the worst things that you can do. So, what I would do is go back through and see if you hit all five of those points. That’s probably where I would leave everybody today. I know you guys have a lot of little homework but go back, make sure that you’re in a market. Double check the trends on the market, not on the product itself but on the market, make sure that you’re sourcing good quality products that you’re doing something to improve or differentiates.
Number three, Scott, I think is probably where the most improvement can be made for a lot of people because a lot of us started. This is a side hustle. It’s just something we were trying to do to make a little bit of extra money but if we want to grow this, if we want to scale this, if we want this to be here for the long-term then we need to have that strong why and the story behind the brand. And then number four would definitely be knocking out that roadmap and making sure we know how we’re going to execute on that why.
[00:56:35] Scott: Yeah. Absolutely. And then again, sitting down and really figuring out those assets that you’re sitting on that I know you have, we all have, and you have to start giving yourself some credit so definitely do all of those, make this episode here or this session something that you actually put pen to paper. I want you to do that. I want you to write down PACE and I want you to circle the P and then write down preparation foundation and then list out these five and drill really deep into these. And then as we move through this miniseries, we’re going to go through the A, the C, and the E, and the next one will be attention, getting the attention of your market because if we have all of these things but we don’t have the attention of the market, it’s going to be kind of hard to sell our product eventually. So, we want those things in place so this way here when we get the attention which I think getting the attention isn’t going to be that hard especially if you do it right and we’re going to cover that in the next session.
[00:57:30] Scott: So, all right, guys, and what I’m going to also do is give you that link again to the downloads, so you can go ahead and do that. That will be TheAmazingSeller.com/545 and I’ll also link up to the first overview session of PACE and that is 542 and I will do that in the show notes as well and, guys, get out there. Make it happen. I mean, all you have to do is go through this process and I’m telling you, it will all start to be a lot clearer for you, but it will also make a lot more sense especially when you put pen to paper. All right, guys. So, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. Remember, as always, 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, Chris is going to say it with me on the count of three. One, two, three. Take action!
[00:58:17] Chris: Take action!
[00:58:20] Scott: Have an awesome amazing day! And I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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