TAS 300 : (Special RARE Episode) Looking Back On The Path to Success and How to Leverage Your Strengths

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It’s episode 300 of the Amazing Seller podcast and it’s been an amazing ride! To commemorate the journey Scott has asked his good friend Chris Shaffer to come on as the HOST of this episode to help Scott walk through his own journey so that you can see that there’s nothing special about how Scott has gotten to where he is except for one thing – and it’s the thing that you hear Scott say episode after episode of this podcast – he’s TAKEN ACTION!

How Scott Voelker learned that he didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 job.

Scott Voelker has had his share of 9 to 5 jobs, “working for the man.” Right out of school he worked for a local cable company, connecting and disconnecting cable TV, climbing poles, etc. He’s worked as a supervisor or foreman in his Dad’s construction business, and he’s also run his own photography business. Scott decided through that journey that he didn’t like putting in a load of hard work to advance someone else’s business when he wasn’t being compensated for the amount of quality work he was putting in. You can hear how he made the transition from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur, on this 300th episode of The Amazing Seller.

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Why you can overcome any obstacle if you are determined to do it.

One of the overriding principles you’ll hear on this episode that recounts Scott’s journey from 9 to 5 employee to full-time entrepreneur is that he was willing to do the work needed to overcome the obstacles that blocked the path to success. Scott is convinced that if you set a goal and are determined to reach it, nothing can stop you. You may have to stop for a bit to learn a new skill or to find someone to help you, but you won’t be stopped for good if you think in terms of possibilities instead of obstacles. Scott’s journey is an inspiring example of how it works so be sure you take the time to listen!

An important question for any endeavor: What’s the worst that could happen?

As Scott has worked toward building his own online sales and training business he’s discovered that one of his greatest assets has been his wife. At many points along the road he’s been hesitant to step into something new, including the start of the Amazing Seller Podcast. But his wife was always there behind the scenes encouraging him to give it a try. One of the things she said to him repeatedly which you can take as a great tool for your progress is this: What’s the worst that can happen? When you can answer that question you’ll see that it’s usually not as bad as you think and not as difficult to press ahead as you imagined.

Scott says his Wife is his BIGGEST cheerleader and supporter

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I knew if I could help enough people – eventually, I’d be compensated for it.

In this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott was asked by his friend Chris what his plan was for the monetization of his podcast when he first began. Scott said that he didn’t worry about that at first because he knew that the old Zig Ziglar quote was true – if he helped enough people get what they wanted, he would eventually get what he wanted – which did include a certain amount of compensation. It’s proven exactly true and Scott says to this day that it’s his greatest joy to see people apply what he teaches them and then go out to rock their own Amazon or eCommerce business. You can hear Scott’s story on this amazing episode of The Amazing Seller.

Here's a few old pictures that Scott mentioned in this episode.

In this first picture you'll see the car Scott purchased to advertise his video transfer business. He explains in this episode how after starting his photography business how he discovered video transfers as an additional revenue stream.

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[divider]

In this next picture you'll see the video transfer machines he discussed and how he discovered this market. This again is proof that once you start a business and Take Action things start to appear. This little side business generated over $50k on just 12 months.

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Scott's “WHY” is his Family and creating a lifestyle business to spend time with them.

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OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:14] Chris’ introduction to Scott’s show!
  • [1:33] The things Scott did before Amazon – cable to construction to photography.
  • [9:44] How Scott gets past the fear of starting something new.
  • [17:51] Learning to deal with people and problems along the way.
  • [26:00] The first experiences selling products online and the path to Amazon.
  • [39:56] Should you choose to go all-in or part-time? Don’t let the fear stop you.
  • [44:08] Where the idea for a podcast came from and how it has progressed.
  • [51:03] Where Scott sees the TAS movement going.
  • [1:01:58] Why Scott continues to help people when he could only do his thing.
  • [1:04:16] The importance of relationships you build on the journey.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 300

TAS 300 : (Special RARE Episode) Looking Back On The Path to Success and How to Leverage Your Strengths

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:00] Scott: But the reward for me is truly the people that e-mail me that say I've helped them and I've changed their lives. That to me is the ultimate paycheck that I'll deposit every single day…

[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]

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[00:00:15] Chris: Well, hey hey what's up everyone? Welcome back to the Amazing Seller podcast. This is going to be episode 300. And I know what you are thinking. That's not Scott Voelker and you’re right, this is Chris Shaffer. There's a very special reason for that and it’s because we wanted to have Scott on today as a guest on his own show. So Scott, welcome to The Amazing Seller podcast. How are you doing this morning?

[00:00:38] Scott: I'm doing good and this is kind of strange but it's going to be kind of fun too. So yeah, I'm doing great sitting here with a cup of coffee as usual and Brody is snoring like usual as well.

[00:00:51] Chris: Oh, that's good. Is it weird to be on the other end of the mic?

[00:00:54] Scott: It really is. When we decided to do this, we wanted to do something fun and a lot of people have asked certain questions that I think we're going to go over here. But yeah, it is a little different. It's a little weird. I've been on other people's podcast and it's been really fun but never on my own as my own guest, kind of weird.

[00:01:13] Chris: I think it's going to be interesting because you've done some episodes where you've talked a little bit about your background, a little bit about what got you started. But I don't think you've ever had anybody dive into that. So let's just start from the beginning like you would with anybody else. Can you give us a little bit of your background like what you did before Amazon?

[00:01:37] Scott: Yeah, well here's the deal, and whenever I tell this story I always kind of go back to where I started, like all the way back. And I think that's important because a lot of people that are listening or maybe in their own lives, they don't know like if it's possible for them because they didn't have a college degree or they didn't finish college or maybe they never started college or maybe they did and they're not doing what they wanted to do.

I just like to use myself as an example because you know going back to when I graduated high school, I grew up in a family that my father grew up as a farmer and from there it was always just about as soon as you graduate, you go to work and that's what you did. So there wasn't like this college thing being pushed in my head. A lot of my friends were going to college but I didn't. So I just went ahead and started working as anyone else would have. I just found a job, actually, my first real paying job was kind of doing cable. I was the cable guy, actually the cable guy.

I was doing cable for probably about a year, maybe a little over a year. And I like that job actually, the pay wasn't good at all but back then I was making about $6.50 an hour Chris. Yeah, it's quite a bit. For climbing telephone poles and doing all that kind of stuff.

[00:02:58] Chris: You did? You did the full long cable guy, you weren't just the in in home, you were the stringer too?

[00:03:04] Chris: I was the stringer, I was the disconnector, I was the installer, I was the everything. But anyway so yeah, that was a funny story. I learned a lot through that. I like that because I was able to kind of bounce around at my own pace but I was always out there kind of you know doing a great job because that's what Scott did and then I soon found out too that I didn't really get compensated for all my hard work. There would be another guy that was kind of lazily kind of going through the day, he wouldn't keep his truck nice and neat and all of his tools and took care of them and I did. I got like a $0.15 raise, and he got like a $0.10 raise, so I got five cents more an hour. That was pretty good.

[00:03:40] Chris: So what did you pull out of that experience? Because you're clearly not a cable guy now but it's good to know that you always pull stuff from these different experiences. So what was the big thing that you pulled away from being a cable guy?

[00:03:54] Scott: The big thing I got from that experience was that working in a company, it didn't really matter 100%. I can't say this for all businesses but I pulled that you know when you're working for someone, you can do a really, really good job and your boss, like my boss, like the head guy thought I was doing a really great job but his hands were tied on what he could do for me. It's almost like everybody got like the same raise.

So it made me realize like I have no control over how much money I make, there's like no control there at all. And you got to remember, I was on like 19 years old and I'm realizing this at this age. I'm like, “There's no way that I'm going to make an extra dollar an hour.” At that rate it's going to take me what 10 years to make an extra dollar an hour right. And I'm like, “This is ridiculous.” Like how could you even support a family on this?

And then I would go to the meetings and I would hear their meetings and people would be talking about their health insurance, and that they have a family and they still had to pay a ton for health insurance. I started realizing that really soon that I did not want to be like a corporate guy even though I was kind of in the blue collar space where I wasn't like a suit and tie guy. But I pulled that out of there and that's where you know my father and I started talking about entering into our family business. Because my father did not want… My father had a business in construction for probably over 12 years when I entered it.

I thought it’d be cool just to go work for him because I could go work for my dad and it would be kind of cool. But he didn't want to do that, he wanted to teach me the lessons of, “You got to work for someone else before you work for me. Like I need you to see what it's like to work for someone else because I'm not just going to let you come in here and everyone's going to say, ‘Oh you're just working for your dad and you're going to special treatment.’ That's not going to happen.” So that's another lesson I learned very early on.

[00:05:42] Chris: So you were stringing cable lines, you were disconnecting people's service.

[00:05:47] Scott: Yeah, that was the fun by the way. I was threatened a few times, not even kidding.

[00:05:52] Chris: That does not surprise me. You know a little bit about my background. I worked in cellphones for a while which is treated as a utility as well. And people do some really irrational things when they don't pay their bills. And you go, “You know, I'd love to not disconnect your service but you haven't paid your bill in six months.” I don't really feel that.

[00:06:15] Scott: I'll never forget the time. Real quick story. I'd always get my paperwork in the morning and I'd see how many jobs I'd have. I'd have like 12 or 15 stops. And a couple of them were in this certain area I knew that weren't that great and I had a non-pay for like 350 bucks or something like that. I will still remember there was a green tag I used to have to always put on there and going up the pole and I always dreaded them. But I have to go and knock on the door and give them an opportunity to pay.

But a lot of time they didn't want to even have them answer the door because I was afraid that they were going to get upset with me there and I just didn't want to go through that. So I would kind of rub knock. That means that you just kind of go up and you just rub the door a little bit with your fist and then that qualifies as a knock, and then I would tiptoe up the pole and then just disconnect and then get out of there.

And I had a guy that came out as I was climbing the pole and he said, “If you come down, I'm telling you and you disconnect that cable, you're not going to be walking back to that truck.” And so I said, “Nope, no problem sir, you've got cable I'm going to walk down and I'm going to leave.” So I left and I didn't disconnect the cable. So I had to go back and tell him why didn't I didn't disconnect it. But they were okay with it because they always said if your life's in danger, don't do it. But again, I did that for $6.50 because I got that raise.

[00:07:33] Chris: So you were doing all that, you are dealing with the crazies of the world. What did you do after that?

[00:07:39] Scott: Yeah, that was then when I entered into my father's team. We had a nice conversation and my father said, “Listen you know we need help, I need someone dependable, I want to be able to train someone from scratch not someone that maybe has already been trained.” A lot of times and I can talk more about this but as you get into this construction field you start to learn this and there's a whole another animal of people out there. There's a whole other arena; good people, hard workers, but some of them are lazy some. Just like in any business so they were having a lot of turnover and they wanted to scale their business but it was hard because they couldn't find good help. So they were like, “Well, we got Scott here and we can go ahead and train him from scratch. He doesn't know really anything about the business.”

So he took me under his wing in a sense and it was just him and his partner at the time and his and his partner's wife was doing the books and stuff. I entered in there totally green, knew nothing about it. I probably was about 20 at that time maybe nineteen and a half, I don't know. I started learning the trade and was kind of a little worried because I knew nothing about this. And you are talking about like for anyone out there that's in construction, you know that when you're first starting you are like, how do you how do you do all of these different aspects? And it can get a little overwhelming in itself. But I just figured I would just learn and I would do what I could do. Again going back to the pay, I think I started my father's job I think I started there like seven bucks an hour. So I may I made more money, I was really rolling it in at that point.

So yes, so I just started a $7 an hour guy, kind of like a laborer in a sense but I was learning on the job. To me it was like being like an internship in a sense but getting paid for it. Then I also knew and he had also said and his partner like, “One day when we scale this thing this could possibly be yours.” So I was also in the back of my mind knowing that I was building something and helping to build something that I could possibly earn the ability to own it or a stake in it at least.

[00:09:39] Chris: You said something that's really kind of interesting to me given an email that you got the other day. You said, “I was scared going into this not knowing anything.” I know a little bit about your story. You kind of went from that to starting your own business. Another business that you knew nothing about. Then you came into this Amazon thing which was another business that you knew nothing about. So hearing you say that you were scared to do that is kind of interesting to me. What do you do, like what's your trick for getting over that fear or do you get over that fear or do you just embrace it?

[00:10:13] Scott: Yeah, it's hard to say and it's funny you are right. There was a pretty good email that was just sent. I sent it over to you and we’ll probably do an episode on just that email because it's pretty deep. I never thought about like what drives someone? What gets someone to actually get over the fear? Especially someone like me that is just an everyday guy. I'm just a hard worker. I believe I'm a hard worker, always have been. I mean I had a job ever since I was like 13, 14 years old doing dishes. I think my first job, very, very first job I mean, I said my 40 hour job was the cable guy but I was a dishwasher $3.50 an hour. You know just washing dishes and making some money paper boy, all that stuff. I did all that stuff.

It's the fear thing stops a lot of people and for me, I've always had it where if this doesn't work out I've always got this thing to fall back on. I've always had something else I could do. I knew when I went to work my father, if that didn't work out, I could probably go back and do cable or I could probably go work for the telephone company or I could probably maybe even do my own construction thing if I knew enough at that time.

I've always had a little bit of a safety net in my own mind. I always create that safety net of some way. I said to my wife the other day, I'm like, “So many people out there complain of what they could do or that they can't do this because of this.” I said, “Do you know like people out there that are complaining they don't have enough money to me it's just people that are not willing to take what they already know and then just go work for someone or just go figure out a way to make it work.” I could literally go and demolish a kitchen right now like got it, and totally put it all back with granite countertops and the whole thing.

I haven't done it in 15 years but I could do it. I can totally do. It's like riding a bike. I understand it, I know it and I will be able to hire people probably to do it for me now that I wouldn't have to do all the work because I could be a general contractor. But, the thing is I think I've always built these safety nets in my mind. So when I go to do that I don't feel as though it's so much of a risk. Does that makes sense?

[00:12:23] Chris: It does. And I think that's something that a lot of people miss. And that's something that's unique to the “True entrepreneurs.” Which is a group that I would lump you in with.

[00:12:34] Scott: Yeah.

[00:12:36] Chris: People who are willing to go out on that limb because as human beings and as people who want to run our own business, we do experience a lot of fear. But the human body is designed to experience that fear and it makes sense to people who have been on our workshops have heard me talk about this. It makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. You are afraid for a reason, there's a lion you should be afraid. However, it doesn't translate into our modern world where we have fear of things that isn't necessarily a logical fear because we always have something to fall back on. People like you who are able to realize that it's a thing. Yes it's a fear, I need to have a plan to pivot to but it doesn't necessarily need to be an emphasis.

[00:13:20] Scott: Yeah, well…

[00:13:21] Chris: So if everything you're doing went away today, you know that you could go do something else. You would be willing to go flip burgers if you had to. You know you're not going to have to. Everything in the world would have to go wrong for you to end up going to flip burgers but you could always do that if you needed to down the road. That I think having just that knowledge in the back of your head just say, “Okay, I know I'm experiencing fear. It's not “real” if that makes sense because there's always something else that I could do if everything goes up on my face. Having that makes sense. There's a fine line there between having a backup plan and having the knowledge that you could do something else. Having a backup plan hinders you in a lot of cases.

[00:14:10] Scott: Sometimes yeah.

[00:14:11] Chris: But having the knowledge that there is something else you could helps you with that fear. Does that make sense?

[00:14:17] Scott: Yeah, it makes sense. And I'd like to again you know moving forward in the story, we can talk about the whole photography thing and how that came about but I had that same thing when I went and said, “You know what, we're going to go all in on the photography thing.” Again I tested and validated though and again we can talk about that because once I decided that I was going to go all in, I still had the backup safety plan as I can still go out and do side work in construction if I have to. It's not going to be hard for me to find a job or to go out and just get my name out there to start. I mean, heck I've got a guy that I hired here to put railings on my deck. I know how to do railings, my time is worth more now to be doing stuff here in my office than it is to be out there doing that.

I could have saved probably $1,500 maybe $2,000 but I decided to give it to him. But I found him on a little local forum for our community and he's got more business than he can handle. So it's like I know that the work is out there you just have to go and get it. But yeah, you are 100% right. It's like if you have any type of fear again there's a reason it's there but you also have to recognize but you also have to come up with a safety plan or a safety net in your own mind, not even that you're going to have to use it but so this way here you have a clear idea of what you can do.

The other thing is, I've always been really good with my budgeting and my books. So that means I know like right now how much money I need to generate in order to keep everything afloat. Like if I know that, then I know my target. If I know my target, I know what I have to do. So then I can say, “Well, I just need to basically do three decks this month and all my bills will be paid, no problem.” Again I think like that. I need to know where I'm at, at all times. That's again just part of me. Not sure why but that is part of me.

[00:16:07] Chris: No, I think that's a great mindset to have. You and I have talked about this. Was the photography thing, because the next step in your story here, and you just kind of alluded to it for those people who don't know as much about your story as I do but you went from the construction thing and you said, “You know I don't really want to be doing this all the time, I don't want to be away from my family. I'm working seven to eight every day” plus whatever else you're doing. And your wife said, “Maybe let's try this photography thing I think this is kind of cool. What happened there?

[00:16:44] Scott: Yeah, that's an interesting story and it's again another shift in my journey. And it's just crazy now that you look back and you start to kind of lay the journey path out because it does kind of all blend together and fit together as you start to pivot. But yeah I'll never forget. I was working for my father for over probably 10 years I think it was and I soon found that we started bringing on a lot of help.

I was running these construction crews at this time. We were doing over two million a year in revenue and for a small brick and mortar business it’s pretty good. But we were building that and our plan was to build it to a five million. The thing is we started bringing on other family members of my father's partner. And my father and his partner never got along from day one, they never got along. It was a bad marriage at the start. His partner would want to take the cash jobs and split him up amongst the two and not pay for material and my father would say, “That's not right. We got to pay for material we got stuff to pay.” So it was all this stuff going on. We’d have meetings and it was just a mess but it was what was paying the bills for everyone.

So I learned a ton through that, I learned a ton of like how to deal with employees. Like how to deal with people. I was always the one if I was the job foreman, I was the guy still that was in the trenches with you. I was still slinging the hammer. I was still with you. I was never above you and I stayed that way because I think it's important to be with the people that are helping you build your thing.

I was working my butt off, Chris. I was working, like I said, I mean I would get up sometimes 5:30 and then I'd be out the door by 6:15 and then I'd get to our office or our home base where all the guys would come, and I'd divide up all the jobs and then you know get everybody loaded and then out the door and that would be the start of my day. Then I’d start putting out fliers all day. Basically, I just running up to job site, to job site, to job site, maybe doing some estimates in between. And I'd be out until seven, eight o'clock at night.

[00:18:49] Scott: Now, in the beginning, it wasn't that bad because I didn't have any kids yet. Got married yet, had my first kid when I was 21 and then started to see that I wasn't home to see all these amazing things to having a kid and having a kid changed my life just the way that I thought of things and the value of life and all that.

So I just sat down my wife and I just said… I'll never forget, I was in the dining room and I had my hands kind of on my head like how you would be if you had a hard day and you're just kind of like put running your fingers through your head, scratching, you are like, “What are we going to do? I don't know if I can keep this up.” Now, remember anyone that hasn't heard my story. My wife had a really good job. My wife is five years older than me. So she was already in the workplace for a little while. She had a really good job with the electric company here, one of the major ones. And she was doing at that time going back now 20 years, 22 years actually, she was doing $40,000 a year back then.

So we basically wanted her to stay home with our kids and so we basically took a small little severance and she basically got out of that job. So now all of a sudden I'm the breadwinner. Now instead of working 60 hours just for my father, I was working another 15 hours, 20 hours putting on decks and doing other little remodel jobs on the side to make up for that money that we had lost. So again I'm sitting there, I'm frustrated, I'm stressed, I'm just like, “What are we going to do here?”

I want to be home more, it's just impossible, I can't keep up at this pace. Then she was always dabbling with taking pictures of our kids and stuff but our kid at the time and other people's kids with just a point and shoot camera. Everyone said she did a really good job, she had a great eye for photography. Then we took our kid to… My first child here, Alexis who is now 21, we took her to this really nice photography studio in the area everyone loved it.

[00:20:49] Scott: It was expensive, though, it was like $500 to $800 for these nice pictures to be created. We were waiting there and waiting there and the experience was not that good and they rushed us through the sitting. Then we still spent 800 bucks. And my wife's like, “I could do a better job than that, like I totally could.” So I'm like, “Well, you know if you want to do it on the side, go ahead.”

So we went out and we bought her like $1,500 worth of camera equipment back then which was all a 35-millimeter film back then. And no digital, no editing really much and books, we read books. And I helped her with basically just figuring out the camera because she had no background, I had no background but we read books. Then we figured it out. Then long story short, fast forward, we built that into a pretty good little side business. And we were entering the fourth quarter which was a really big for photography stuff and we had to make a decision. We said, “We are either we're not going to take a lot of people or you have to leave your job, that's me.”

And I'm like, “That's scary.” But we knew we wanted that. And so long story short, I put my two weeks’ notice in and I think was October 15th and my last day was like November 1st, I'll never forget that. We had about $10,000 savings, that was it. We said that we're going to we're going to go for it and we did and we never looked back. I always had that back my mind though when I left that if I needed to I could just go ahead and start doing some side work. But never had to, I never once had to do a side job.

[00:22:25] Chris: So you had you had a little bit of a bill in safety net there which is always nice to have. I got to ask, how did Wally take you putting in your two weeks’ notice?

[00:22:33] Scott: It's a funny story because Wally, anyone that's listening doesn't a Wally, Wally is my dad. He's been on the podcast by the way and you should probably listen to that episode…

[00:22:42] Chris: Truckcast.

[00:22:43] Scott: Yeah, there was a truckcast that was a good one. I also had him on I believe just to kind of walk through everything that I've kind of learned through that man. A very smart guy, a hard worker really, really just a great value set that he gave me. But you know I had conversations before that he knew we were doing the photography, he was happy for me to do it. And he actually felt a little bit of a burden lifted. Because he was really sticking around in the business for me. Because now I was providing for a family and he felt a little bit of a burden that, “I got to keep this thing going for him.” If it wasn't for me, he might have handed in the keys to the office to his partner and said, “Adios.”

So I had a conversation with him I said, “Dad, this is what I'm thinking.” He says, “Scott, I want you to go for it.” He says, “We'll be fine here.” He says, “We'll be fine.” So funny story, I gave him my two weeks, that was in November. In December I think it was just after Christmas I think. It was just before the first of the year, my father went in and he gave his partner all his shares and he said, “I'm out of here.” Sold his house, went to Florida.

Not even kidding, true story. So the minute I left, it gave him the pressure release and it also gave him the out. He sold his house in Saratoga Springs. He had a nice little lake house. He sold it with everything in it and he already had a place in Florida. They had this like a little summer home. He sold that house in like I think it was like a month and everything in it and just he left and that was it and he was done. That was it, never looked back. So yeah, it was an interesting story. I never expected that to happen and when it did, I was just like, “Wow, I guess I kind of helped him out too in a sense,” because he had a lot of stress a lot of pressure with that business. Again, having a partner it's not easy if you don't gel.

[00:24:39] Chris: So you went from the construction thing to the photography thing and then straight into Amazon? Was there anything kind of in between there? What happened after you guys went full on in the photography business?

[00:24:50] Scott: There was always things going on Chris, that's part of being an entrepreneur. Yeah, well we're doing the photography thing and that was doing good and we were building that thing. I think at our peak, we did a six figure year which was good for us locally. Again, we made our own schedules. It was great, it was funny at the school. We sent our kids to private school. The schools in our area weren't the best so we went to private school which cost some money. So every morning we would drive our kids to school together and people were like, “What do you guys that you guys can do this?”

Then we would pick them up every single day at like 2:30 and people would just get to know us and they'd be like, “What do you guys do that you can do this? Are you guys doing something illegal or what?”  And we're like, “No, we own our photography business and we make our own schedule.” So we wouldn’t take appointments until like you know nine o'clock in the morning and we would end two at two o'clock in the afternoon and then we wouldn't take any until the evening, and it was it was cool though. My wife's mother, my mother-in-law lived literally just up the hill from us. So she could watch the kids if we needed to during a photo session and stuff.

But yeah, we were always doing things. The funny story about the wooden bridges, I think you've heard that story. Actually my first sale on eBay was actually a piece of software that I had purchased for my Windows machine at the time. I converted to Mac so I wanted to sell that Windows piece of software. I sold that on eBay and I was blown away that I actually could do that. I was like, “Holy crap, I just put this piece of software up there that was in a box for Windows and I sold it in like an hour.” I'm like, “Holy crap, this online thing you can actually make money selling stuff on eBay.”

So then I started looking around, started doing a little research and then that's where we found those bridges that I talked about. Those bridges if anyone hasn't heard that story, my wife and I… My wife likes… There's a store up north called, The Christmas Tree Shop. And she was always going in there just checking things out and she found these wooden bridges, these little cedar bridges. They were four foot bridges you had to put them together.

[00:26:48] Scott: And we seen that they were selling on eBay for like 140, 150 bucks. They were selling for 25 bucks a Christmas Tree Shop. Long story short, we filled up our minivan at the time with about $3,000 worth of wooden bridges and we sold all of them on eBay. And that was my first taste of like online like retail I guess and I didn't even know what the hell I was doing. It was it was fun. It was exciting and that's what kind of wetted my whistle as far as the whole selling something online.

But yeah, I did that. I also that some house flipping, bought a house with a good friend of mine. You know Jimmy. Jim Krill. Him and I were also partners in that and we did a couple houses, found out soon that I didn't want to do more of that because it was a lot of work because we were doing a lot of work ourselves because we're construction workers. And then it was a lot of stress because we had to then sell the house in a certain amount of time in order to come out of it ahead. If not we were going to start paying taxes and all that stuff. I did that I did, I did a lot of stuff Chris. A lot of different things that I've dabbled in, in my journey up to this point.

[00:27:54] Chris: So you kind of bolted on some of those other things. And then what led you to Amazon? What's the story behind that? I actually don't know the story behind that other than kind of the surface level thing.

[00:28:07] Scott: Yeah, okay. Well, okay, here is the deal. Before I do that though let me also… I have to bring this one up. I haven't really talked about this one too much. There's two little stories here. First off going back to eBay again. Now that I was selling a physical product on eBay I went to get more bridges. But then soon competition came in, other people were doing the same thing. So eventually they started driving the price down so I started understanding that but I started wanting to look for other ways that I could control the inventory.

So right away, I had this idea that I wanted to find something that I could sell but not have to go out and really compete too much with people because it was mine and I created it. So there’s two products that I created to sell on eBay and one of them was for a Garage Band. It was a set of loops. Anyone that's familiar with like Garage Band or any type of auto or auto audio like guitar tracking or music tracking or any of that stuff, Garage Band is one of those. They have loops that you can kind of piece together, make your own beats and stuff like that.

So anyway, so I see that there was an opportunity for it because I was looking for more these loops. And all of these is a digital loop. I created a lot of them myself. I created like a thousand of them and I put them on a CD and I sold them on eBay. I started selling them for $24.95. And actually going back a little bit, I was selling them before I had to put them on CD. I was selling them digitally because at that time eBay would let you sell eBooks and digital products and then delivering them. Then people started ruining that like they always do, marketers and stuff. They started to make these penny eBooks and stuff like that. So they started to really crack down on that.

So then all of a sudden they made this big change and everyone said, again just like on Amazon, the world's changing, the sky is falling, what are we going to do? So what did Scott do? He put his loops on a CD and he sent them in now. Because now you could do that, it was a physical product. So again it was a pivot of mine. But did that, sold well? I thought I would sell probably one or two of them a day so it was pretty cool. Then the other quick story on eBay is when I was in the photography business, I also got a lot of requests for people to transfer their old eight millimeter films.

[00:30:11] Scott: I'm not talking eight millimeter tapes and like videotapes, I'm talking eight millimeter reel to reel. Like old school like 40s, 50s, 60s and early 70s reel to reel films. I had some myself too. So I did a little research, found a device that could do this and I started adding that to my business as a photographer. So we started doing film transfers. I actually had a car, you don't even know this, Chris. I had to get a picture of this. I had a Sayan when it first came out. You know those little toasters? I had one of those. My thought process was I'm going to buy this cards, it's going to good on gas. I'm going to have it lettered up and it's going to basically be a video transfer machine.

It's going to be an advertising billboard. I lettered it up… I'm going to dig out that picture, I'm going to post it. I'll try to post it in the show notes to this. So I did that and I had it lettered. I think I spent a thousand bucks on lettering, I paid three hundred bucks a month for the car and I drove that around to drive business for that and it worked. I'd get stopped in the parking lot, going to get groceries and people… My kids, of course, they were embarrassed but hey, I was bringing in business and it worked.

But anyway, so did the whole film transfer thing but then again, the all entrepreneur mind I'm like, “I just bought this device this, this device that I bought all this guy did is he modified this projector and reverse engineered them. And I'm like, “What did he? He just took a projector, he added a mirror, he did this, he took out this.” So I want to head started doing this, Chris.

I started selling these things for 900 bucks a piece on eBay. And long story short, I did that for about a year and a half and I think I made over $45,000 or $50,000 in those projectors. So I would build like one or two projectors a week. Again doing the photography, still do my film transfers, and then I would build one or two of these and sell them on eBay as another source of revenue. Okay, that didn't answer your question you want to know about Amazon, right?

[00:32:07] Chris: I want to know how you got there but that's a really… I have never heard that story and you and I have talked about your journey even more than you've talked about it on the podcast.

[00:32:15] Scott: There is a lot of ins and outs man.

[00:32:16] Chris: That's kind of cool but it sounds like one of your superpowers in addition to taking action, is finding opportunities and seeing when things have potential. Is that what led you to Amazon or saying, “Hey, I'm selling this stuff on eBay.” Or did you read an article? What happened there?

[00:32:34] Scott: Yeah, it totally did. Well, here is the thing. I realized also and to finish up the eBay story. My wife and I created Photoshop templates for our clients. So they would come in they want to custom card created for a wedding or an engagement or they would want one for Christmas and stuff so we'd make these templates. I would make them in Photoshop. I got pretty good at Photoshop. Again Chris, never going to school for graphic design or anything like that, I bought a big old thick book for Photoshop.

It was Photoshop 6 at the time and I learned it. But anyway so made these templates and then I started to say, “Well, wait a minute. I'm selling these loops can I sell these things on eBay too?” So I started selling my templates there as well. So did that and then I started to say, “Well, wait a minute eBay is just one platform, what about Amazon?” And we dabbled a little bit on selling the templates on there but that didn't really work that good. I don't think Amazon was ready. So I kind of just stopped. I'm just like, “No, I'm not even going to try this.”

But I did know that Amazon was starting to really get a lot of attention. I started hearing about FBA, you know Fulfilled by Amazon. I started saying, well you know this retail arb thing was kind of interesting. So I went into a store, I tried it for about 25 minutes and I gave up because I'm like you know what, “I've got too many other things going on. I don't have the time for this. If I had someone else that could do that part for me, I could do the listing but I just don't have time. I'm going to stop for right now and I'll just pause this idea.” And then I just went ahead and started looking at this private label thing.

And then that's where it got me interested because I'm like this is really close to a digital product. You find something that's selling, you find the source and then you just keep replenishing. And that's the closest to a digital product that I've found and that's what got me interested and that's where I said to my wife, I said, “I think that we should give this a try as another revenue stream.”

[00:34:35] Scott: Never intending on making it my primary, still isn't my primary but it definitely opened my eyes after I validated after 90 days of launching being able to put $40,000 in revenue through the door was pretty eye opening. So that's really what got me excited about Amazon.

Again going back though Chris and I don't want to skip over this either because we kind of went from the photography thing as a brick and mortar and then kind of doing all those other little things. But then also we transitioned that photography studio into a photography community where I was now teaching people how we started, a husband and wife team, without going to college or doing any schooling to learn this and we built a photography business a successful one with was just good old fashion work.

And some marketing and some email list building stuff that we did even back then just not as advanced as we do now. But I built that into a six figure business as well. I still have that business today that I still run and we turned that into it like a digital creation club type thing. So I didn’t want to skip over that because that was… That business right there paid the bills for quite a while and still brings in revenue today. So I didn't want to skip over that, there was another six figure business.

[00:36:01] Chris: No, I think that's a really cool transition that you made and then you started the Amazon thing as kind of a side hustle. As a way to pay an extra bill kind of. Hey, if we can take care of the mortgage with this that's bonus. And anything we get beyond that is like bonus time, it's garbage time, it's extra money. It's funny, you and I get this question all the time, “Can I do this with a nine to five job?” And it sounds like you were running three businesses when you started. At this point, had you transition completely out of the physical photography and you were only doing digital?

[00:36:37] Scott: Yeah, at this time we were… My wife had a very select group of clients that she wanted to do. The photography thing started out as she was like, “Oh, this is great, I'll be able to do what I love every day of the week.” And then it soon turned into a job. Because then you gotta take clients sometimes that you don't necessarily care for but they're bringing in the money. So then it got to the point where, I said to her I'm like, “Just do the ones that you want to do and then everyone else just basically tell that you're no longer doing it.”

And that's kind of what she did. So this way or she could at least get that creative outlet still there for her to still enjoy what she loves doing because that is her passion. It’s really capturing those moments and all that stuff. So yes, we did transition out and again that was another like, “What do we do?” We are sitting down at the table like we've got this photography business and that decision came… Actually let me go back a little bit here because this is kind of starting to surface now.

That really happened when we found out that my nine year old actually who's turning nine today, that's when we found out that we were pregnant for her. So when we found out we were like, we got to figure out how we can do this because with a newborn it's going to be tough to do these sessions as much as we're doing them right now. So, how can we do it and bridge that gap? So maybe I could start selling some stuff online.

And that's where the eBay digital product started happening and then I started to learn about this whole building an email list, providing value, and then you know starting to build out that product suite for the photography community. So that's really how that transitioned from, we were doing well in the brick and mortar, we could have scaled that even bigger but it was it was taking a lot more of our time. So how can we manage that and then also add a digital element to it? So that's kind of where that came from. I don't know. Did that answer your question?

[00:38:40] Chris: Yeah. So was that was that another point? You talked about your decision process when you moved from the construction business to the photography thing. Was that another point where in the back of your mind you said, “Well if we have to start shooting totally in, we can?”

[00:38:55] Scott: I could do it today. Like we could do it today.

[00:38:59] Chris: Nothing that’s really changed except for the technology a little bit but the buttons on the camera are still the same.

[00:39:03] Scott: Yeah and the marketing is actually to me easier today for me. Like I think I had it harder back then it was a lot of word of mouth which that's how we grew our business. I still think that's powerful, that's the most powerful that you'll ever get. We totally have that skill set that if I want to do that or maybe I just wanted to do photo restoration. I could do that, I've done that. So there's a whole bunch of stuff that you can do. It's funny I was driving in our neighborhood just the other day and there's a lady here locally that does exactly what we did and I'd seen her out there with a family that she was taking pictures of in the fall and all this stuff and it just brought back memories. I'm like, “That was us on a Sunday afternoon like doing that. Like that was me.”

[00:39:41] Chris: Did she take your course?

[00:39:43] Scott: Probably not. But she was doing a pretty good job, she had some pretty good shots. But yes, it's funny just how things just happen. It really is.

[00:39:56] Chris: Well, and you say things just happen but they don't. Everything that you've done has been intentional and that's something that a lot of people and it's especially people who are on the fence who are saying, “I don't know if I can do this with a full-time job. Or I don't know if I want to make this my full-time endeavor.” They are kind of choosing between the nine to five and making the Amazon thing their full-time gig. And the answer is, and you've said it a couple times here. “It doesn't have to be.”

You can you can do consulting in almost any job. And for you as a construction guy that consulting is “building decks on the side”. If you're in marketing, you can do marketing consulting to bring in a little bit of extra revenue. If the Amazon business disappeared tomorrow, and you couldn't find a job right away you can always do those kinds of things. And there's always people in your local community that need your skillset. Everyone has a skill set.

So whatever you're doing now that doesn't have to disappear. You can continue to do that, you just maybe don't make it your full-time job. Then you can start to see how this stuff plays out. But that kind of fear place is what stops a lot of people from growing not just their Amazon sales or their online businesses. But making that leap to being an entrepreneur at all.

And I know my parents expressed that same thing when I first became an entrepreneur. Which is like, “Well, you're not going to have a steady paycheck.” Well, I do have a steady paycheck and I can always go work for somebody else if I have to. You have the same kind of mindset and that's something that I see over and over with entrepreneurs and people who do this successfully. So they say I know I can always go back if I have to but the plan is to not.

[00:41:39] Scott: It's funny though and I want to just kind of let people know this too. Another little story is that my father when he left, again he left a business. He had a little bit of money but he wasn't retirement age yet when he left. He had a fear but he knew that he wanted to do that. He wanted to get away, he wanted to start clean with his own journey or pivot for him. But here's what he did because he had a skill set. Now, he was a guy that used to do the construction then he turned into the sales guy. That all he was doing was going on sales and he didn't have to wear the work clothes anymore, he could wear his tie if he wanted to. But he went back where he was living. He still lives there in a little community. And it's a 55 plus community.

Well, guess what he did? He was now the handyman in the park. And now he had more business than he could do. He was hanging in curtains, he was hanging ceiling fans, he was doing all this stuff and he was making more, actually more then because he had less stress and he also had you know less overhead and all that stuff but he was doing better there but he had something to fall back on. Now, if he had too much pride he would say, “I'm not going back and doing physical labor anymore. I'm going to just go ahead to be an office guy.” He didn't think like that. Because that's not how I was raised, that's not how he was raised.

You go out, and you make do with what you got and you work hard and you know and he was happy doing it. He worked his own hours, he swinged down the road and put up a ceiling fan for someone to make 150 bucks, like fine. So again just going back to that I think a lot of it comes back to you know going back to my father and my parents for the way that they raised me. It's like there's really… There's no excuses, there's a way, you just have to go out there and find it.

[00:43:30] Chris: It's the all American dream bootstrap mentality. You're going to make it happen and there's not a reason not to. That that I think is something important, it's something we've kind of glazed over. It is a mindset more than anything else. I understand that there's fear there but I can bust through it because I know that it will all work out. If I have to go flip burgers like I said earlier, I can go flip burgers.

[00:43:55] Scott: Absolutely.

[00:43:56] Chris: So you went from the construction to the physical photography, to digital photography and then you were kind of side hustling and selling stuff on Amazon. I got to ask, what led us to 300 episodes of a podcast? Where in the heck did that come from?

[00:44:12] Scott: Yeah, and there you go. Like how does that happen? If we were talking three years ago, this wouldn’t even be part of my story. So this wasn't planned five years ago or three years ago, it just kind of happened. So, going back to like myself I've done the whole online you know selling my own digital products, and building my own email list in the photography space and I've dabbled in other ways to bring in revenue online. Affiliate marketing, you name it.

I've done it so I know that I've got that skill set but I also knew that I, because a lot of people even when I was doing the photography, teaching and all of that, people would always say, “Scott, you just got a really good way of helping people like sharing that.” And I never thought of myself like that because again I'm not a college grad. I don't think of myself as being a smart guy. When a lot of people say, “No, Scott, you really are a smart guy.” And I'm just saying, “Yeah, but book smart I'm not.” So I don't think I'm smart. And that's just the way that I think. Yes, I can figure things out, I can totally figure things out but I think it comes down to… I lost my train of thought there Chris. What the hell was I talk about?

I was going down the path of, oh, the podcast. How the heck did this even come about? Well, again thinking to myself how can I take this information and help people that are like me that don't think that they can do it? So how can I do that? And I've always wanted to do that like people again, have said, “Scott, you really should help people because you're good at it. You're good at breaking things down and making it simple not really complex.” And I'm like…

[00:45:56] Chris: You speak English, you break things down in a way and… This is a straight shout out to you. You break things down in a way that anybody can understand. I don't know if this is what led you to it, but you and I actually met in a Facebook group. A lot of the content that was in there at the time about Amazon was not broken down in English. That's actually how you and I met. You know you would go in and read a comment on something and break it down in English. I would like it and then I would attempt to do the same thing and you would correct me and break it down into English better. Then I would like that comment. That's kind of how we got started. So is that what led to the podcast? You said there was just not enough information?

[00:46:40] Scott: Yeah, well here's the thing. When I was going through it, I was kind of just kind of weaving myself through and I had also seen that there wasn't a podcast that was really tailored towards this. And I knew that if I could help people achieve something, then people were going to then in turn continue to follow and then to continue also to help me reach other people. Meaning people that could help me by teaching me more.

So to me, it's always about surrounding yourself with those people that could bring into that next level. I teach my son who is 18 the same thing. If you want to be a better basketball player, you got to hang around with better basketball players, period. Better work ethics, better skill sets, all of that. If you want to be someone that just lounges around the house all day then hang around with guys a lounge around the house you are going to lounge around the house.

So to me it's about hanging around those people and finding that information was hard for me at that time. Now, I'm not going to bash any courses or anything but there was a course out there and not very well known one but there was also a few other smaller ones. But you know they were over like you know $3,000 to $5,000 for these courses and I'm just like, if I can bring value to people so they can, first off see if this business policy is going to work for them, and then if they want to decide to buy one of those courses then go for it even if you need to you might not have to.

So my thing was, I'm just going to go out there and just try to give as much as I can and then also connect with as many people as I can. So that was my mindset. I had no idea if I was ever going to or how I was ever going to monetize it. But I knew this, Chris, by my past ventures. I knew that if I was able to help enough people, get what they want, eventually, I would be compensated for it. I just knew that and who was that, was that Zig Ziglar with that one?

[00:48:30] Chris: I believe so.

[00:48:30] Scott:  You know if you help enough people get what they want, you'll get what you want or something like that. I'm probably screwing that totally up. But it's totally true and I had no idea how or when. I did say to myself I wasn't going to do sponsorships at first on the podcast. Even if I had people that were you know listening, I wasn't going to do like a sponsored spot on there. As of right now are at 300 episodes I don't have any sponsors on there that have paid me to be on there. Yes, I have some products that I promote because I use them or I know people that have used them and they've had success with, and I get compensated for those. And I've been thrown a lot of money to have sponsorships and I've turned those away.

But yeah, I never thought that it would turn into this. I thought help a few people, that would be awesome because it feels great and then you know meet people like you that I could possibly either build a further relationship with. We can either partner or maybe you can teach me some things that I don't know right now and all of that. So that really has evolved into something just something I can't even imagine. I still can't even imagine where it's come and where it's come from and where it's going to go because it's just it's blown up so, I say fast but it's we've been at it a little while now, but it's still fast as far as to be able to go from zero to five million downloads in eighteen months is pretty crazy.

[00:50:01] Chris: Well it is crazy and again part of it is testament to your ability to break things down into English. Two I think it is an area where I still you know there's so much to learn and I've been in this a little longer than you have. You've been doing this two years now, two and a half years now?

[00:50:18] Scott: Yeah, something like that.

[00:50:20] Chris: I guess two and a quarter years if we want to be technical about it. But there's still so much to learn in terms of testing and tweaking just on Amazon that it's amazing to me that a lot of this material and 300 episodes isn't repetitive. Then you look at some of the stuff that we've talked about like in the growing and we've just started affectionately calling it growing beyond Amazon's stuff, which really is the stuff that you and I have been doing for the last 10 years anyway outside of the Amazon space, the emails and all those kinds of things. And I think you have potential to go an easy another 300 without repeating yourself all over. Which is interesting to me. So where do you see all of this stuff going? I guess is the question, do you have any idea where this stuff is going in 2017?

[00:51:09] Scott: Well, I mean as far as going, you mean Amazon itself or just…?

[00:51:12] Chris:  Amazon and the podcast I guess would be… So let's start with Amazon.

[00:51:17] Scott: Well, I think Amazon is still a great platform as we're recording this and I think it will be. I don't think is going to go anywhere. I think it may become a harder in a sense that they're going to require you to maybe be a little bit of a bigger brand to get started. Who knows? But right now, it's still to me a great platform to get started on because it takes all of the technical issues really out of the mix. Things like a website or a shopping cart or having your own traffic or you know setting up a merchant account or having a fulfillment center or any of that stuff. I think it's still a great place to start and I think it will continue to be.

[00:51:56] Chris: Which by the way all of those things you just listed are the exact reason that I stumbled on Amazon in the first place. Because we were building all of that stuff for a client. So it's interesting to me that that's the power of Amazon and I kind of stumbled on it by accident. But now knowing that, everybody that listens this podcast knows all they have to do is find the product and Amazon takes care of the rest. And that's really what makes it so powerful and that's not going away. Yes, the process is going to change a little bit and it has in 2016. I wanted to throw that out there.

[00:52:29] Scott: Yeah, I mean you know things are going to change. I mean you can just tell by the story I just told with all the different things have changed. I mean even the eBay thing where it went from digital to non-digital and now you've got to make it. You got to tweak that process or you have to figure out another way. It's always going to be happening. It's kind of the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur. It's like you're going to have ups and downs and that's just part of it but she just got to keep riding that roller coaster and figuring it out along the way and you'll be fine. But I think it's a great place for people to start even if you just want to get started to add another $1,000 a month to your bottom line. Maybe it's to pay your mortgage. And Chris I know you and I talked about, we want to have a mission statement for 2017 and we haven't publicly come out with that but this might be a good time to do that.

But really I mean you and I have both talked about helping 500 people to create $1,000 revenue stream every single month would be awesome. That would be a great feeling. Now, there's a lot of people that I've already helped through the podcast and probably doing combined millions of dollars like right now. Like I know those people that were just at our event that are you know, one guy is doing $250,000 a month, one guy is doing $100,000 a month, one guy is doing $75,000 I think he is going to do $85,000 this month. There's just those people or just a handful that I can think of.

But to be able to get people started to me and a lot of people, to be honest with you Chris, a lot of people in this space influencers, you know people that are leaders, they don't want to deal with the newbies. And I hate to say it but they don't because you know there's a lot of repetitive questions. I get people that say, “Don't you get tired of answering those questions?” And I'm like, “No, because I was there once. I understand it.” Now can I direct him to some resources so that we don't have to answer him? Yes, and I do that but. But I just think that there's always going to be a need there for people.

[00:54:34] Scott: And if I can get you started, to me that's the toughest part. If I get you started to where you are profitable or you're making a thousand bucks a month, then you're going to say, “This thing works.” And then it's going to motivate you to then get to $5,000 and then $10,000.

So you and I talked about this and I personally in 2017, I want to be able to help 500 people. Now I don't know how that's going to happen but I'm going to try. And to try to get 500 people where they can pay their mortgage or $1,000 a month and that would be so rewarding for me to be able to do that. So for me personally, that's personal and I know you agree with this and you kind of share this, it's kind of like a mission that I want to go on and I want to be able to go out there and make that happen. So that's something I'm focused on.

So that means the podcast is going to be a driver in that, it's going to be me still helping people for free on the podcast. That also means though there is going to be some opportunities for people to get a little closer as far as like, maybe we do something like we had the TAS breakthrough live that was a paid event. We have our private label classroom which that's evolving that will still be there. And we have a couple other things in mind of possibly even doing something in the retail arb space, in the online arb space. So for me, it's really about a way for people to get started. That's where I see the podcast going.

I also see it going where I'm going to be able to help people now understand that Amazon is great but there's more out there than just Amazon. So we can pivot, we can build our own launch list, we can build our own email list and all of that stuff. And that's where I really get excited about that stuff and I know you do as well, Chris. So that's what I really get excited about today it’s helping the people get started and then also helping the people that are already started build that external list so they can push to that next level.

[00:56:21] Chris: And that's something that I kind of hear and it's interesting to relate this back to your story. And that's what I'm doing as you're sitting here talking. It’s there's two kind of pivots. If you want to work for yourself you want to have the freedom you want to be able to achieve your, why. The first one is, to be able to cover some bills. I think the goal for TAS for 2017 of being able to know that we helped at least 500 people get to that $1,000 a month which we know will cover a mortgage for most people which is usually people's biggest bill. It's rent or mortgage.

So getting to that place, once you get to that place, then you can decide. You as an individual can decide if you want to take that leap of faith that you took, Scott. When you went from construction to photography, from physical photography to digital photography, from digital photography to the Amazon thing. You can decide at that point once you've kind of covered that base if you want to make that leap and then teaching you on the back end of that as the podcast. Once you've made that leap, here's how you grow and expand and do all of those other things that make you rock solid in your foundation so that you don't have that fear anymore of what if Amazon goes way tomorrow. Those are the two things I see coming up that I think are really, really cool.

[00:57:37] Scott: Yeah, I do too. And you know again, I look back at the podcast and it's funny but I go back to my wife almost every time on one of these moments that we have to make this decision and she's always been the one that says, “Number one, what do you have to lose? And then two, what if you don't do this? Will you regret that decision and you'll never know? So just go for it.” The photography business was her saying that to me. So again having a cheerleader or someone in your corner is a big help. So surround yourself with those like minded people that are positive and they believe in you.

So you know that was a huge thing and then going into full time in the photography digital product space, that was another thing that you know she had said, “Yeah, what's the worst that happens? We go back and we do photography full time that's fine.” Then this Amazon thing. I mean really was her saying like, because I was always on the fence, I don't know $5,000 dollars I got to put that out, I won my first order. And she was like, “What's the worst that happens? It's not we're not going to be able to eat, that's just, it's part of our investment money that we're going to be using here to you know to try another revenue stream.” And I'm like, “Yeah, you're right.” And she is you know she is right.

And the podcast. I got to go to the podcast. The podcast almost didn't start. And the reason why I did started I because I was thinking to myself. I tried starting two other podcasts. One of them was more of a broad kind of like a marketing broad audience that I was trying to reach because I was in the photography space, so I wanted to kind of help those people and it was a little bit too broad though and didn't really do much. So I got a little deflated but then I thought about doing one for this and it's more obviously it's more niched down but I had doubts. I said, “I just I'm not sure.” And she was like, “What happens if you do that and no one listens? Then maybe 10 people listening you help 10 people.” And I'm like, “You're right.” And she is like, “Maybe just do 20, 25 episodes and see what happens.” And I said, ‘Okay.”

[00:59:44] Chris: That escalated quickly.

[00:59:44] Scott: And here we are 300 episodes later and a huge community of awesome TAS fans and people that we've helped and it's just so rewarding now. And I can't imagine if I never hit record on episode number one. Like where my life would be right now as far as you know the feeling of being able to contribute and to help. I mean yes, I have been compensated totally transparent here. I have been compensated since the podcast. Like I have made money through the podcast from helping people. Yes, I have. But the reward for me is truly the people that email me that say I've helped them and I've changed their lives. That to me is the ultimate paycheck that I'll deposit every single day.

[01:00:31] Chris: And you get those you get those every single day and you get those in bulk when we do things like you know the unofficial meet up info. The unofficial meet up I guess at the time that this goes live. We did in San Diego. The unofficial meet up that we did in Miami where you get kind of groups of people together. As well as things like TAS breakthrough live where we get to hear where all of this content has transformed people. That really motivates you to not just not just talk about Amazon but all of the other stuff that we can talk about in this space as well.

And that I think and it's funny because people always ask well if you wanted to do this why wouldn't you just teacher it or why do you teach it to everybody instead of just doing it yourself? And that's because you are one of the people and I'll allow myself in with this as well that we really enjoyed getting to help other people and the podcast gives you the opportunity to do that three times a week. And every time you publish an episode you get comments, you get emails saying that this one hit me or this one hit me, that was a good point today from people you've never heard from before. So I think that's a really cool way of getting that validation. That really is the ultimate payback.

[01:01:43] Scott: Yeah, and I also just kind of end on this, I also have thought about that. I'm like you know, maybe I should just focus 100% on my stuff and not help other people but then I kind of myself that's kind of selfish. You know I mean like if you have a way to help someone, and you're good at it, then to me, that's being selfish in a sense. I mean, I think you owe it to the world. I do believe that we're all…. We're strong in certain aspects and certain things. And one of these just happens, I don't mind talking in front of people.

I don't mind getting on here in doing this podcast with you or getting on other shows. Now, some people are deathly afraid of that or getting in front of the camera. But to me that's kind of I guess you would say, it's kind of like my calling in a sense. And I haven't realized that until you know probably the past five years that you know what Scott, give yourself a little bit more credit. I think we don't give ourselves enough credit a lot of times. Give yourself some credit once in awhile.

You are good at something. You just have to figure out what that is and then you need to embrace that. And this just happens to be something that I feel like, and feels weird saying it, but I think I'm kind of good at it. So why not do it so I can help more people and then in the end you aren't just going to be sitting there saying, “Oh, Scott, you built a really good business for yourself,” or, “Oh, Scott, you helped thousands of people build great businesses that help them live the lifestyle that they want to lead.”

[01:03:09] Chris: So long story short, what I'm hearing here as we wrap up 300 episodes is one, that you're not going anywhere.

[01:03:17] Scott: No.

[01:03:19] Chris: Two, Amazon isn't going anywhere. Three that you, in your typical entrepreneurial fashion are going to continue to one, not only educate on what we've what we've been talking about, but you're also going to be sharing a lot of other new cool stuff that's coming up as well that can help people get to that first $1,000 or get from that first thousand dollars to $85,000, $100,000, $150,000, $1,000,000 a month. And so you know in 2017, you're going to be doing a lot of that stuff from what I hear which is really kind of cool and I'm all for it. And any time you want me to annoy your audience I'm more than happy to come on.

[01:03:57] Scott: No, you've been great.

[01:03:58] Chris: So Scott, as we wrap this up is there any other little gold nuggets that you want to share?

[01:04:04] Scott: There is one more golden nugget that I want to share and it's another lesson that I've learned throughout all of this, everything that we just covered. And it's proof here again and I'll demonstrate this. When you're going through these different parts of your journey, you're going to start to pick up relationships, you are going to start to network, going to start to meet people like Chris Schaffer who's here with me today. Who's now not just you know someone that I met on Facebook but he's a good friend of mine, someone that I plan on hanging out with for the 20 plus years.

[01:04:40] Chris: That's good to know.

[01:04:42] Scott: Whether we were to do this podcast together or any of the other things that we're doing together now, it's about these relationships and that's an asset that I have now with Chris. But then other people that I've been able to meet through this journey. Then opening up doors to where I can partner with other people. Because the one thing I have realized Chris with the podcast and doing all of these other things that I'm doing, it becomes hard because now all of a sudden you start saying to yourself, “Why am I doing this? Because now I'm kind of cutting myself thin again.” So then you have to see how you can leverage and the way that really you leverage is you meet people that have strengths that you can also build upon and help them and then you kind of partner on that.

Partnerships are tough but if you can find the right partners they can be very powerful. And that's the one thing I would say is get yourself out there, learn through the process. Meet people whether it's through a Facebook group or a forum or you know on an inside of an event that you go to or wherever it is. Be willing to share, be willing to meet people and start those relationships because you never know where that's going to lead and that could totally be another pivot point in your journey and I just think it's so very important to be able to embrace that.

[01:05:58] Chris: Well, that comes back to the thing that you say all the time which is, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And again going back to an email we got the other day, those people aren’t going to be the same throughout your whole life. You have your good friend Jim, you have your dad, those two guys have probably been there the longest. And then your wife obviously. But the other people that you deal with have probably changed over the last 22 years. Is that an accurate statement?

[01:06:25] Scott: Oh yeah.

[01:06:29] Chris: And you know even for me. You were not in my circle until you were, so it was just my partners. And I have a couple partners and then I was you know whoever we listened to at the time and then you and I became friends, I talked to you probably more than I talk to my other business partners as well. It's just one of those things where you have to understand that the people are going to change but the people that you should be spending time with are the people who are where you want to be because it's going to push you to that next level. Does that make sense?

[01:07:04] Scott: Yeah, I totally does and I totally 100% agree. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable until you get familiarized with who that is but embrace that, embrace that a little bit of being uncomfortable. And you just never know where that's going to lead. And I mean it's proof here today with you and our good friend Dom Sugar now Danny Brewer, Bill. I mean all the people you know now that we really do look at it, it’s like it's a nice little network of people that you know if you have a question or maybe even a partnership opportunity, you reach out and if it makes sense great, if it doesn't, that's cool too.

But it's just, it's really, really awesome to see how that's evolved for me even just in this Amazon space but throughout the years it's happened. But now with the Amazon space it's been since I started to have years ago, I was dabbling and now I'm still dabbling but I'm dabbling in other brands in partnership and it's awesome. It's still a lot of fun.

[01:08:04] Chris: So this has been an absolute blast. It's been an absolute rollercoaster. I think we should probably wrap it up there before we blow people's minds anymore. And Scott, you have you have a way that you'd like to close out each episode and I want you to lead it. I've been kind of rocking the mic but I'm not going to take that responsibility on. I think you should lead us out.

[01:08:24] Scott: All right, cool. We can do that for sure. I want to thank you Chris, for coming on to doing this. This was awesome and it's been a lot of fun. It's hard talking about yourself a lot of times. You don't want to just be sitting here and just boring people but hopefully people got value from this. And I just want to thank you once again. I really do appreciate you and everything that you do for the TAS community and just you as a friend. So I just say thank you. I got to get out of here to be honest with you because right now again, lifestyle guys right my daughter's birthday the time that I'm recording this my daughter's birthday, I'm going to meet her for lunch. So I don't want to be late for that.

So we are going to wrap this up, Chris. But we are going to do it the way that we normally do it. And I want people to realize you can get all of these show notes just like always you can get them. Go over to theamazingseller.com/300. Wow, that's crazy. So theamazingseller.com/300. Transcripts if you want to read through this whole thing you can and if not that's cool too. And I'll probably have some funny stuff over there. Actually there is a picture I'm going to post there of me up on a roof with a nail gun putting down some sheathing on the house I was building. I'm going to post that.

[01:09:33] Chris: I want to see the Saiyan too.

[01:09:34] Scott: The Saiyan I’m going to try to locate that man. I hope I can find that and I’m gonna have my wife start digging for that today that's probably in print that might not even be in the archives. So I'll have to find that that'll be funny. I'll definitely look for that. But any other funny pictures of my past and stuff I'll put in there and you guys can go over and check that stuff out. Again theamazingseller.com/300 and that's it guys. That's going to wrap it up. I want to just say one time here for the 300th time, I'm going to say here.

Remember guys, 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, you're going to do it with me on the count of three and you're going to do it with energy. The last time you did it, you did a good by the way. Here we go one two three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I'll see you back here on the next episode.

[POST-SHOW]

[01:10:00] Scott: Hey I just wanted to cut in here real quick if you’re still listening and I did want to make sure that I said personally to each and every one of you that have listened to the podcast, that have downloaded the podcast, or shared the podcast with someone that you know… I just wanted to say thank you so much for allowing us to record 300 episodes and helping thousands of people and I just wanted to say, thank you so much.

The other thing I wanted to do is I wanted to thank two other people and I didn’t mention them and I haven’t mentioned them, but they do a lot of work behind the scenes. That is Carey Green from Podcast FastTrack He actually does all of my show notes for me and has also become a really good friend of mine now. Kind of behind the scenes because he does make sure the show notes are nice and tight and all that stuff.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Charlie from PodPostMedia.com. He’s the one that does all of the transcripts and does an amazing job. So I just wanted to have a little shout out here for Carey from PodcastFastTrack.com and then Charlie at PodPostMedia.com. I just want to say thank you guys, love you guys and thanks so much for helping make the podcast what it is today.

All right guys, so that is official, that is the end of the 300th episode and here’s to the next 300! Take care.

[END]

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10 Comments

  1. فروشگاه اینترنتی

    It matters to me that the credit of a site is high and your site is very good in this regard.

  2. Tony

    Scott,
    I would love to be one of the 500 you help this year get to $1000 a month and then grow from there! I have started listening to your podcasts and already have Jungle Scout looking for my first product.In your opinion besides your podcasts what else do I need to be doing??I am also someone from the contracting field with two small kids looking for a better way Any advice would be awesome,
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Scott Voelker

      Rock on Tony!

      Focus on taking a few minutes a day to move the business forward. You’ll be shocked at the results you’ll see after even just a few short weeks of consistant action.

  3. Michael

    Hey Scott,

    When researching product ideas on Amazon is there a way to see past the top 100 best selling items in a particular category?

    Thanks!

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey MJ,

      If you’re looking at the best sellers list, they have a cap on it. I generally suggest that people start using the Amazon keyword searches. That way you can see any number of products you want.

    2. Moiz

      Hey Michael,
      Here is a clever method for going past the top 100. It is not exactly BSR, but extremely close to it. Best part is you can filter by price.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6udz05Z9L4
      Best,
      Moiz

    3. Sergiu

      This 100 item limit looked like a problem for me too, at first, but there are so many subcategories that have 100 items each. By going deeper into the subcategories you can find products that have the BSR in the main category ranging from 1,000 to 1,000,000.

  4. Nick Russell

    Hi Scott – thank you for this episode, very motivating. I’m just starting out on my private label journey it is great to hear that this is not a straight-line journey to success and £100k per month. If you take action, put in the hours and figure out the problems then success is right around the corner. Love the advice to start with a small monthly target.

  5. Dave Bryant

    Excellent point on the built in safety net you’ve given yourself. I think that’s one of the biggest things holding people back that they think becoming an entrepreneur has to mean sacrificing everything and the only result can be a massive success or massive failure.

  6. Joe Evans

    Scott helps others by giving of himself. This builds trust in his brand. With trust comes sales to total strangers. That is a path worth taking.

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