Betsy Launched her own game on Amazon and it’s going great

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We last heard from today's guest a few years ago and her business has really taken off since then! Betsy started out as a ProvenAmazonCourse.com student, and she's slowly moved from selling random items to selling a product she's passionate about! Betsy's product is a simple card game that helps make learning math fun for students of any age. You'll love hearing how this project moved from a passion project to a profitable, exciting story full of marketing genius! We share some very creative ideas in this episode that sure to inspire! Today's guest: Betsy Mays of GamesByAbsoluteZero.com Check out our sponsor https://helium10.com and use our special member discount code SSMR

Transcript

Jim: Let’s jump right into it. Get us filled in. What’s been going on?

Betsy: All right, well, I think it was, oh, shoot, two to three years ago that I visited with you, and I was just starting my – we’ll call it a private label brand. I was on Amazon. I’m one of your PAC students, so that was where I’d learned the tools of the trade.

Jim: Thanks for the plug.

Betsy: Like many people, I wanted to not have all my eggs in the Amazon basket. I’ve had a couple issues with them that’s been hard to resolve, and so I’m like wait; I don’t want everything in one place. If they shut down my listing, I’m SOL, right? Also, as you know, you don’t have a relationship with your customers. They’re the Amazon customers, so if I had a new product or something, I had no way to reach them. I decided to retire from the school district, so in 2019, the end of 2019, I told my school district that I’d be retiring at the end of my contract, which was July of 2020. My goal then was to start my own website, but really, how I was reaching people was attending conferences. I’d go to homeschooling conferences or math teacher conferences. I’d have a vendor booth. I’d present, and that’s how I met a lot of people.

Who knew when I decided to retire that we’d be having a pandemic? All the conferences were shut down, and that was what I had planned to do this past year of being retired was travel with my husband. We’ve got a trailer, and we were going to camp and go to conferences across the country. I really started focusing on building my own website and all that went in with that and how to find customers and drive traffic to my website. That’s been a huge learning curve, but I’m pretty proud of all that I’ve accomplished so far.

Jim: That’s great, so yeah, keep the story going. I’m intrigued. For those who haven’t listened to the last episode, the last time you were on the show – and we’ll stick a link to it the show notes as well. What is the product we’re talking about here? Give me your elevator pitch that I’m sure you’ve worked on many times.

Betsy: Okay, so my name is Betsy Mays. I’m a mom and math teacher on a mission to make learning math fun, and I do that with games. In my classroom, I created games for my students, and then with my own children, we’d play games at home to help learn math facts or whatever we were trying to learn. Then the story behind how it got started, a game I played in my classroom with a regular deck of cards was called – I called it Absolute Zero. Red was negative. Black was positive.

Jim: Absolute Zero, right?

Betsy: Right, it was hard for the kids to remember which was which, and the Jacks were 11, Queens were 12, Kings 13. I was looking for a deck of cards that had positive and negative numbers on them. I couldn’t find one. My own children said, “Mom, you should create the deck,” and so I did. Here it is. It’s called Absolute Zero. They’re cards with positive and negative numbers on it. There’s quite a few different games you can play with this. I’ve received the Parents’ Choice Foundation Award for this game. It’s really been a big hit, and from this, I now have three other games that I have.

Jim: Can you back up?

Betsy: Oh, sure.

Jim: For those that are listening only, you’re – you can jump over to the YouTube link. It’s going to be in the show notes, but just want to see – for those who are watching the YouTube version, what do those cards look like? Just give us a visual.

Betsy: There’s my logo, Absolute Zero, and then red is negative. It says negative 11 on the card and shows the number negative 11, and then positive just says this is 1 with a positive 1. What’s so cool about this, because I was…

Jim: It’s like UNO cards a little bit, right?

Betsy: Similar, right. I couldn’t find any other deck with negative numbers in them, and that’s so important for middle school math.

Jim: Yeah, I’ve never seen a negative number on a card but that’s such a great thing. I’ve never heard the rules of the game, but I’m guessing you’re trying to get to zero.

Betsy: Exactly, so you want to combine the cards in your hand to make zero. You draw and discard until the three cards have a value of zero.

Jim: Okay, that makes total sense.

Betsy: Yeah.

Jim: You’ve got a 4 card and two negative 2 cards. I play them down.

Betsy: Exactly.

Jim: I’m trying to get rid of my cards.

Betsy: Exactly, yeah.

Jim: That’s such a simple concept. No one ever came up with that before until you.

Betsy: Not that I know of, yeah.

Jim: I love it.

Betsy: You could play it with three cards, four cards, or five cards in your hand, and it really changes the strategy. You can keep score, and whoever has the lowest score after so many rounds wins. What’s so cool about this too is I was starting just a mom math teacher. My daughter was my graphic designer. She took graphic design in high school, and then my son helped me with the rules and how to play the game. Since then, I’ve hired a graphic designer for my new cards. My daughter is now a chemistry teacher, so she’s like, “Mom, I don’t have time to graphic design for you anymore.” We had a family run business there for a while.

Jim: That’s great.

Betsy: Go ahead.

Jim: Back to the game for a second, I’m just curious. There’s a lot of homeschool families who are listeners to this show. Actually, I’ve heard from a good number of them that part of their required weekly regimen is listening to this show for the students to try to instill an entrepreneurial spirit. Talk to those families for just a second. Is this like a game for kindergarten through third grade kind of thing, or can it be – can you make a more advanced like, hey, the adults are having fun here to kind of thing?

Betsy: Oh, no, this is – I have a funny story. New Year’s Eve two years ago, when my son who was 21 at the time, guess what he was doing with his friends?

Jim: No way.

Betsy: Playing Absolute Zero around the kitchen table.

Jim: What age is that, like college age?

Betsy: Yeah, but it’s the same for middle school so sixth grade. Eleven-year-olds and up would be good for Absolute Zero. Consequently then, I have Absolute Zero Junior, which is a version that has some – it has ten frames on it to help kids, so it’s for younger children. Then my newest game is Ten Fish. It’s like Go Fish but you create tens.

Jim: You’ve got three games now or more?

Betsy: Four, I have four, yeah. These cards, I don’t know if you can see. They have fish on them in ten frames. It’s like Go Fish where you say, hey, do you have a 2? Then you can put your 2 and your 8 together and lay them down to make ten. Making ten is a very foundational math skill, and we want kids to be very fluent in making ten. You can combine two or more cards to make ten, and so this is really a fun game for little ones. Four-year-olds can start playing this game all the way up through elementary school.

Jim: That’s phenomenal.

Betsy: Ten Fish is another Parents’ Choice Foundation award-winning game that I have created.

Jim: Can I take a little sidetrack for just a second?

Betsy: Sure.

Jim: The reason I’m so excited about this – some people might think, well, it could just as easily be a science, or a history, or any other subject that you might come up with, the reading, writing, arithmetic, the three Rs, right?

Betsy: Right.

Jim: Math specifically for me is a point of passion. Literally, ten minutes ago, before this podcast recording started, I talked with my wife about some math challenge. We homeschool so math challenges we’re having with our daughter and trying to – we got to make this more interesting for her. We’ve got to figure this – what perfect timing. Please send me a set of all your games.

Betsy: I definitely will.

Jim: I don’t know if I pointed this out the last time we talked or not, but I’m going to take occasion to do it right now. There are in the Hebrew tradition, which you know I pour myself into studying, biblical principles that can be applied in a timeless fashion regardless of your belief system. We’ve got this culture that has accomplished incredible things based on some pretty simple basic timeless truths, and there’s three things according to Hebrew tradition that go into a great education. Do you remember us talking about that, Betsy? If not, I’m sure…

Betsy: I do, but I don’t remember exactly what you’re going to say.

Jim: When the topic of math comes up, I get excited for this reason, so I’m going to repeat that for those who haven’t heard before. Basically, the first two are spiritual and relational. The first two are understanding spiritual truths. It’s like the vertical. The next is horizontal, understanding male/female relationships, friendships, what it means to be a son, a daughter, a dad, a mom, an aunt. Understanding what it means to be family and a friend, those are vital. If you don’t have those down, in the Hebrew tradition, you’re at a disadvantage. The third one is what we’re talking about right now, math. That’s basically logic.

Betsy: It is.

Jim: That’s being able to apply facts to a scenario and make a good, sound decision, and even in the Hebrew tradition, the word for wisdom has a very strong element of math. Until you know the numbers, you’re not operating with full wisdom when you make decisions, right?

Betsy: Right, it’s just that number sense, having a number sense, how numbers work together.

Jim: Yeah, the ability to estimate and the ability to say that doesn’t look right. The ability to look at two products on the shelf at the store and go that one’s a better deal without bringing the cheat code, without needing your calculator. Those basic life skills really translate into a life well lived, so that’s why I’m so excited about math and spreading the word on your games and so they can…

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: Let’s drop the website a few times. If people are excited, can we still get you on Amazon?

Betsy: Oh, yes, I’m still on Amazon, and then I also have my own website, GamesByAbsoluteZero.com.

Jim: GamesByAbsoluteZero.com, we’ll stick that in the show notes too.

Betsy: Correct, thank you.

Jim: I want to hear from you when this podcast goes live and just hear, whoa, what a sales week.

Betsy: That would be fabulous.

Jim: I want that for you.

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: I’m so excited for what you’re trying to accomplish with this, and I love the simplicity of it.

Betsy: Right. I taught middle school math for over 20 years, and then I was my district’s math curriculum instruction specialist in math. Then I raised my own children, and it just hurts when people say they don’t like math, right? What’s not to like? We don’t go around saying we don’t like reading. We’re not good at reading. We don’t do that, right?

Jim: To me, it’s like I don’t like making good decisions. That’s what I just heard you say.

Betsy: Then another thing is I can’t tell you how many times I had parents say I don’t know how to help my kids with math. I don’t know how to help them, so I’ve created games. Now parents have a way to interact with their children in a positive fashion and help them with math. That’s really what I’m on a mission to do is just make learning math fun.

Jim: That’s fantastic. All right, so let’s pull some lessons from this for – our audience is a lot of people who sell on Amazon. A lot of them, that’s their primary or if not their only source of income. No need to make those folks nervous. Just as a sidebar, I’ve been teaching – what are we? I mean, we’re well past a decade at this point. I have to look at a calendar to get the exact numbers but thousands of students. We’ve had less than a handful of people – when I say handful, I’m talking on one hand who made a mistake in their account and were permanently suspended as a result of something that we just scratch our head and go we don’t know what just happened there. It’s not like you’re playing this high-risk game.

Betsy: No.

Jim: Now, there’s temporary suspensions that happen quite frequent.

Betsy: Yeah, one of my listings got closed down for a couple weeks because – and actually, Amazon made the mistake. I do all my own prepping, so I sent my stuff in. They relabeled the games the wrong one. People were ordering Hunch, and they shut me down. I’m like wait a minute. Luckily, a friend had ordered it, so I could show Amazon that – I pulled off the one sticker, and the sticker I put on was underneath it. We got it fixed, but that took two weeks.

Jim: You got back up and running.

Betsy: Right, yeah.

Jim: That’s the worst case scenario. 99.9% of the time it’s going to be something that can be fixed. You’re just temporarily inconvenienced, but still, we are a multiple income streams community. This is a multiple income streams podcast, and one of the things we love about the initial models that we teach is they trail very nicely into other organic streams of income where you can tack on. You said you got your own website now. You’re selling your product there. You’re able to grow a mailing list. You’re able to interact with your customers more.

Betsy: Correct. It is so much fun.

Jim: Have you heard the story about the highest level executive I ever spoke to at Amazon, the conversation that we had…

Betsy: Mm-mm.

Jim: …about this exact topic. This was a very high-level executive. It’s hard to go much higher. I’ll just leave it at that, and I had the privilege of having a lunch with him. He asked me point blank and said, “If you were in charge of Amazon, what changes would you make?” I was blown away by, wow, he actually cares. Why ask me that? He was interested in hearing my opinion and my thoughts. What I fired back, I mean, instantly without having to even prepare myself and think through it was, “You’re not allowing your buyers and your sellers to connect and to grow communities.” I told him, “You could probably take over Facebook’s territory if you would do that.”

Again, to jump back to Hebrew tradition, a transaction in Hebrew is basically the beginning of a lifelong mutually beneficial relationship. That’s all a transaction is. Both parties win initially, and then they win in bigger ways going forward, which is what you’re able to do with a mailing list, new games, a community, parents helping parents. Hey, we figured out a new way to combine these two games, and you never even thought of it, Betsy, right?

Betsy: Right.

Jim: All that stuff becomes possible with a community. Amazon’s saying, hey, there’s no communities allowed. There’s no friendships, no communication. I said that’s a huge mistake that Amazon’s making and not allowing buyers and sellers to connect and form a community. That’s the whole point of a transaction in the 2000, 2500 year Hebrew tradition. That’s the only reason we have transactions is to start a mutually beneficial relationship.

On that note, let’s transition into there’s some great reasons for you to grow your own mailing list. Amazon’s not letting you do it. How’s that going for you? What are you doing? I want to know what prompted you to get there.

Betsy: Right, so on my website, I did a lot of research with what my ideal customer would be, the buyer persona, what keywords I would want to try to rank for, all that kind of fun stuff, right? Then people told me you have to have a blog then, right? You have to offer content so that – to attract people, so I started a blog. I’ve been doing that. I don’t consider myself a writer. As a matter of fact, I don’t like to write, but I’m doing it. It actually gets easier the more you do it, so that’s been going along pretty good.

I’ve been developing content besides the blogs. For example, math and art was something I did with my kids in my classroom, so now, on my YouTube channel, I have 11 math and art projects that you can follow along and create with me. It doesn’t cost you anything. I do have a little booklet that you can purchase for $5 if you wanted some more activities and the right paper and that kind of stuff, but you don’t have to. You can do all the math and art projects for free. What else did I do? I have some other free content that I put together and I promote.

The newest one is I have a new game, a fifth game, actually. It’s called Prime Line. It’s like Dominoes, like Mexican Train or Dominoes, except you’re matching numbers that are multiples or factors of each other. If the end is a four, you could put a two with it because two times two is four, or you could put an eight with it because two times four is eight, but it’s free. It’s a free print and play download. I have this whole new game. I’ve hired a graphic designer to help me with it. I’ve got two pregame activities that go with it to help build fact fluency skills. Answer three questions on my website for me and you’ve got those nine pages for free, so that’s something I just started two weeks ago.

Jim: Love that.

Betsy: Two weeks ago and I’ve already got hundreds of people that have downloaded it.

Jim: That’s fantastic. Do you have a Facebook page or group?

Betsy: I have a Facebook page for my business. I don’t have a group. It’s just a page, but what I’ve done is I’ve joined other relevant Facebook groups and I participate. I don’t spam. I don’t sell my stuff.

Jim: Of course.

Betsy: Now, if someone asks, hey, does anyone know of a good game, in the comment I might say, hey, check this one out. There I can promote my free stuff, right? I might say, hey, guys, check out this YouTube channel for these great videos or here’s a free giveaway.

Jim: That’s great.

Betsy: I found that to be very successful.

Jim: Hey, just as a tip for you, Betsy, and for all the listeners – and you may already be doing this. I’m not sure. For others who are out there and they think I’ve got this product or this idea and – just to back up one step before I say what I’m about to say, I love that – I’m thinking the research and development in the first few editions of whatever you made, a few hundred bucks? I mean, I’m hoping you didn’t pay a whole lot more than that.

Betsy: Right, oh, no.

Jim: This wasn’t like a 15,000, $50,000.

Betsy: Oh, no.

Jim: Oh, I hope it works. We just mortgaged the house.

Betsy: No.

Jim: This is where you stepped slowly into this territory. Something any of us are thinking right now. Oh, I could’ve done that, right?

Betsy: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Now you’ve got the math, the teaching, the background, the passion for it. As you’re jumping into these Facebook groups, the thing I was going to say is have you spent much time approaching the – I call them gatekeepers. The gatekeeper strategy, have we talked about that before?

Betsy: No.

Jim: The gatekeeper strategy is – well, the best example of a student of mine that used it and went on to succeed wildly has got to be Mike Brown of Death Wish Coffee, and that’s one of the concepts that’s in the – my 101 Free Marketing book. I’ll stick a link to that in the show notes. Probably should just stick a link to the PDF download.

Betsy: I’ve got it right here.

Jim: No way!

Betsy: Of course I do.

Jim: Okay, you’ve got to make sure and tell everybody right now that we did not plan that.

Betsy: We didn’t, no, but this is one of my go-tos. I can’t get through it all. You read it, and you stumble across something. Oh, I got to go try that. I have to go do that, and then you come back. You read a little more. You find something else you have to use.

Jim: Oh, my gosh, you got me a little misty eyed.

Betsy: No, it’s right there.

Jim: I haven’t had anyone flash that book. I wrote that book in 2000. I’m not going to forget where I’m at because I’ve created three trails we got to hit at this point, okay?

Betsy: Okay.

Jim: Since you flashed that book, I got to point out that book was written in 2011. A week doesn’t go by that I’m hearing from someone that doesn’t pick it up and apply. My goal when I wrote that book was to make it evergreen, meaning I wanted people to be able to pick this up – literally, I was thinking ten years from now. I’m not going to put, hey, go to this website and sign up for this offer. I’m going to put here’s the concept. Here’s the principle. The websites will change. The traffic sources will change, but here’s the principles. I had to come up with over 100 ways, free and low cost ways to drive traffic to your idea, or concept, or business, right? That was a challenge. I didn’t want to just fluff off a few of them.

Interestingly enough, I just talked to the guy. Every penny of that book that’s ever – including the advance I receive from the publisher has gone to a great inner-city ministry that has a very entrepreneurial heart. I’m going to have him on the show soon. I just talked to him recently, Kevin Ramsby. I’m proud of that book, proud to promote it. If you buy a copy of it, you’re supporting a great ministry. I haven’t taken a penny from it.

Let’s get back to where we were before you got me all emotional showing me a cover right there next to your desk. I love that. The point is one of those chapters – it sounds like maybe you haven’t gotten there yet is – it talks about gatekeepers, the gatekeeper strategy. My buddy, Mike Brown of Death Wish Coffee, which is the #1 social media brand coffee on the internet – it’s the #4 best-selling last time I talked to him grocery item on Amazon, #4 best-selling grocery item on Amazon. That’s no joke, folks.

If you just type in the keyword coffee on Amazon.com, any given day will be in the top three or four coffees next to Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts, and there’s Mike, Death Wish Coffee, right? He wrote me a letter. The first correspondence he ever sent me was he had deployed this completely free concept of gatekeeper marketing. What that means is you’re in these Facebook groups, Betsy, or any of us that do this with the concept that we have.

Betsy: Mm-hmm.

Jim: We go to them, and we basically find a creative way to, one, earn their respect and trust. I’m not here to siphon off what you’ve built. I’m here to support what you’ve built. I’m a huge fan of what you do. I love what you do. I’m not just going to show up and take a bunch of your audience and go away, so you establish that rapport, that trust. You let them know who you are. You tell them what you respect and admire about what they’ve built.

Actually, we just illustrated that, Betsy. Here’s a book that sold – I don’t know how many copies we’ve sold of that book that you just showed me, tens of thousands, but it gets me emotional when – for example, I had someone walk up next to me in an airport. This happened one time. Don’t think this happens to me all the time, one time, and he’s carrying a copy of that book that you just flashed. He said, “Oh, is this you?” I’m like, holy cow, someone’s reading my book and came up to me in an airport with it in their hand. Someone I never knew.

That’s a huge deal when people recognize and appreciate the work that you’ve done. I’m sure the same thing happens with you. If someone were to come up to you with a game or you see some kids in an airport sitting there or in a restaurant, they’re playing your game.

Betsy: That would be cool.

Jim: They would actually connect the dots and be like this is yours? Wow! It touches you, so you have that opportunity to do that with gatekeepers. Those are the people who have taken the time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, energy. It’s not easy to have an audience of people listening to you. It’s actually a high pressure situation. If you come in, Betsy, as someone that says, hey, I’m here to support you – I’m here to make you look good. I’m here to be Oprah Winfrey’s favorite guest, if you will.

I use the Oprah analogy a lot because she never had a guest on her show that made her look like a fool. She never had a guest on her show that in the end burned her because they were just there to take advantage of the platform. She did her homework. They made her look good and created a three-way win, meaning Oprah won, but more importantly, the guest also won, which is you, Betsy, or whoever it is approaching the gatekeeper. The third, perhaps the most important, I would say inarguably the most important is the audience wins somehow. What’s in it for them? What are they getting? If you can create three-way wins, that’s the gatekeeper strategy.

With these other Facebook groups you’re in, it’s one thing to just provide free content and interact. It’s another thing to be very intentional about approaching the person who owns, operates, manages, and – the gatekeeper, the person keeping out the crazies, that’s a pretty significant job. If you can make their life easier and bring value to that community, that’s the gatekeeper strategy.

Betsy: Great idea.

Jim: I always say approach them boldly. Share your story. Say I want you to be a part of the story. It could be as simple as saying, hey, I want you to get a cut of every sale I make. Let’s do a promo together. The way you find these people, you write down a list. You get a pad of paper and a pen, and you write down the names. I need actual names, not websites, not blogs, not YouTube channels but people, individuals. You approach them, and you earn their trust. You give them compliments, and you support them when they have an article.

That’s a very long – I just took the microphone for a long period of time, but that’s a significant strategy. If you ask Mike Brown to this day – I mean, he ended up winning a Super Bowl commercial because of the support of our community, and we got behind him and these strategies. That’s a big deal. The stuff works. If you ask him to this day what was it that – it was the gatekeeper strategy, contacting influencers, people who have the audience you wish you had. Rather than try to take it from them, cooperate. Why not?

Betsy: Yeah, sounds good.

Jim: Just go in and add value.

Betsy: Fabulous!

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Jim: The stuff works. If you ask him to this day what was it that – it was the gatekeeper strategy, contacting influencers, people who have the audience you wish you had. Rather than try to take it from them, cooperate. Why not, right?

Betsy: Yeah, sounds good.

Jim: Just go in and add value.

Betsy: Fabulous!

Jim: That’s the long pitch. We just had the mini coaching sessions.

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: Next time we have you on the show a couple years from now you’re going to have five or ten gatekeeper strategy success stories for us.

Betsy: I will.

Jim: I’m even thinking about Khan Academy. Why not?

Betsy: Right, mm-hmm.

Jim: Why not approach those guys and say, hey, I want to do a video on Khan Academy? It’s one thing to see a teacher write scribbles on a board. Every video I’ve seen, that’s what they do. It’s another thing to put something in a kid’s hand. You’ve got to recognize that, right? I almost want to be your agent and do it for you.

Betsy: I’m not sure I could afford you, Jim.

Jim: Totally free.

Betsy: Then yes.

Jim: I mean, what have I charged you to this point? You bought the Proven Amazon Course, right?

Betsy: I did.

Jim: I’m all about win-win proposals. Hey, just give me my 10% if it works out. How about that?

Betsy: I love it. Okay, I’m going to take you up on that.

Jim: Hey, we’ll talk later. I’m not kidding.

Betsy: I’m not either. Thank you. A couple other things I wanted to share with the listeners, though, going along with having an audience. I found that one of my best ways to connect with people that wanted to hear what I had to say was through other bloggers. There’s a lot of homeschool bloggers. There’s a lot of math – mommy math people out there. I’d reach out to them and say, hey, I’ve got these really cool games. Would you be interested in reviewing, giving me an honest review? Some of them do it for free. Others want you to pay them something for it, which if it’s reasonable I’ve done a few of those.

What’s happened because I’ve done that, other people are hearing about it and reaching out to me. Now that I have my own website, now that my product’s getting out there in different channels, I’ve had some brick and mortar stores contact me wanting to carry my product. I’ve had an online pretty big catalog company for educational supplies contact me saying can we carry your product? This is something I hadn’t planned. I just thought I’d be a retailer selling a few decks on my website, a couple hundred on Amazon, and that’s what I was going to do.

Jim: Any stores we recognize? Where can we look for your stuff?

Betsy: Not yet. They’re small. They’re just some small mom and pop type stores and the other ones…

Jim: Oh, they’ll look for you soon enough.

Betsy: Right.

Jim: My instinct is you’ll have someone hear this show and reach out to you and go I can get you in Barnes & Noble if you’re interested.

Betsy: Oh, that would be so cool.

Jim: You’re inches from those kinds of things happening. There’s so many little mini lessons pop into my head. I hate to take the microphone over again, but here’s another really, really good one is you are benefiting from the law of specialization, which is another timeless Hebrew principle. Once you say you know what, I’m going to be known for this inch wide, mile deep thing, this is – I’ve got many aspects of my life. I enjoy art and music and do things with my kids. When it comes to professionally, if I’m on an elevator and someone says so how do you provide value to the world – in other words, what do you do for a living? My elevator pitch is the same. It’s consistent. It’s solid, and I go deep on that little tiny thing.

There’s a benefit to that versus, aah, you know what? I know how to use the internet to do interesting stuff. That’s not going to get your phone ringing.

Betsy: When I first started this journey and I had your program, I did sell other stuff. I did retail arbitrage. I did online arbitrage.

Jim: Nothing wrong with that.

Betsy: Right, and I was learning how the system worked. Then I decided, wait, I really want to focus on this one thing for a while. I want to give this all my time and energy and resources and see where I can take it. Now, on Amazon, that’s all I have are my four games, plus a bundle. I created a little fun coloring book to go with Ten Fish, so I sell the coloring book with this. I did that on KDP, right? I made my own on Kindle Direct Publishing. I also have a Merch account, but my Merch account, I just – I play with it when I have time. Anyway, so yeah, that specialization, I decided this is what I’m going to do and focus on. That’s where I really started seeing…

Jim: Multiple streams can flow out of that too, meaning consulting, teaching, people coming to you and saying, hey, okay, you’ve launched your own brand with some degree of success. I can tell you right now, Betsy, if we put together an offer and said you get to work with Betsy one-on-one to help launch your brand and grow your brand and use the strategies that she’s learned over time and we’re going charge X dollars for that, there’d be people sign up for that, but that’s all flowing through your specialty. That’s not opening up a dog groomer and a cat groomer. Some people think multiple streams is like spreading yourself so thin you don’t get anything done. No, it all feeds into the same stream.

Betsy: Correct.

Jim: Which flows into the same river. It’s the same big body of water at the end, which is you’re known for Betsy who uses the internet creatively to help kids learn math through games they can hold in their hand and have fun with their parents. That’s the image I’m painting.

Betsy: Exactly, thank you.

Jim: If any of the topics ever come up, I’m like, hey, that’s my friend, Betsy, and her website is – remind us again.

Betsy: GamesByAbsoluteZero.com.

Jim: GamesByAbsoluteZero.com.

Betsy: Correct. Thank you.

Jim: This is so great. Anything else for the listeners? Give us some inspiration or lessons or some – did you stub your toe along the way? Did you wake up panicked anytime along the way in the middle of the night thinking, oh, no, what have I done?

Betsy: No, I don’t think so because I really thought about this and planned for it as far as leaving my fulltime job and taking this on. I just think that you always have to be learning, so I’m always taking another little course on this or learning about this. I know you’ve got a new course on Pinterest coming out. I think this week it was – anyway, that’s something else…

Jim: If you’re not in it, I’m getting you – I’m forcing you into it. You’re in it.

Betsy: Okay, sounds good. I do have a Pinterest account that I try to do. Those kinds of things, you just always got to be learning. My thing, though, would be maybe not to – like you said, don’t spread too thin. There’s so many social media platforms. I went ahead and signed up for all of them right away because I thought I had to have a Twitter, a LinkedIn, all those things. I don’t know how to use them all. I don’t have time to use them all. Maybe pick one or two that you want to specialize in first and get really good at, and then you can expand to the other ones. It’s too much to take on all at once.

Jim: Our publishing director, Nathan, he calls it spokes in a wheel, all these different strategies that you can – and the more of them you get, the stronger your wheel gets, but you don’t have to get into all of them. Absolutely, you don’t need it. Over time, why not? I mean, there’s so many free options available to you.

Betsy: There are.

Jim: Just be in constant content creation mode. One of the tips that comes to mind for you, Betsy, and for those out there who are trying to start to launch their own thing, having contests to your community or in other communities is one, having user created content. I’m thinking you could have a contest. Have some kind of significant prize or something where win free games for life from us for you and five friends. Any new game we come out with, every game we have, you’re going to get it free for life and something creative. Say all you have to do is film your family playing this game and upload it to YouTube. That’s all you got to do to enter, and you send us a link. I mean, just those – have some fun with it, so you’re not the one creating the content. It’s your users, your consumers.

It’s those kinds of ideas that – to go back to my buddy, Mike Brown, Death Wish Coffee, I mean, they’re masterful at this. They’ve got people getting tattoos of their logo on their shoulder. I don’t know if Mike’s okay with me telling everybody this or not. It seems like he’s pretty public about it, but he doesn’t even drink coffee last time I talked to him. He’s got the Harley Davidson crowd of coffee drinkers. If you saw him, he’s like the – he could be an accountant. He would never get a tattoo. He’s running this company that has this culture of just – because he turned the content over to the people whose product appealed to, and they’ve run with it. In a little way, there’s a lot of good lessons there.

I really need him to write a book, actually. I think I’m going to get on about that. He’s done a masterful job well beyond anything I ever trained him to do. They’re just doing some phenomenal stuff. The lesson was get your crowd creating content with you and for you. Now you’re appearing in places you wouldn’t have otherwise, and you haven’t had to do the work. You’ve given them an incentive to that with you.

Betsy: I wrote that down.

Jim: Awesome! I think it’s in the book somewhere. Probably one of the chapters you haven’t got to yet.

Betsy: Yeah.

Jim: I love it. What else, anything else, Betsy? You’ve been a true delight to hang out with today.

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: I’m excited to get this episode out to people. I think you’re going to get a lot of fun, positive feedback. Where are you on Facebook? You gave us your website. I’m assuming there’s a link on your website to your Facebook page.

Betsy: There is, right, yep. I believe it’s @absolutezerogame. I have to double check what that is.

Jim: No, that’s okay. As long as it’s on your website, people will find you.

Betsy: Yeah, it is. It is, definitely.

Jim: I just want to encourage people to get on the mailing list. This is a great gift. By the time this episode’s coming out, maybe you’re starting to think about holiday gifts and such. If you got anyone that middle school age or even your college age…

Betsy: Pre-stocking stuffers.

Jim: Exactly, right? Seriously, if I could put in a request – not to put you on the spot but with thousands of listeners right now listening and wondering what you’re going to say, would you send me some of your games, please?

Betsy: I definitely will. Shoot me your address, Jim.

Jim: I will. I definitely will. I won’t do it on the air. It’s not like I’m hard to find.

Betsy: Yeah, everyone shows up at your door.

Jim: Yeah, I will. We will put them to good use, seriously. No joke, we were just talking minutes before this episode with my wife about our youngest and some math challenges we’re having.

Betsy: One thing, Jim, you asked me what advice I’d give or what I – it’s do what you enjoy, right? I’m just trying to think, if I was trying to sell a widget that I wasn’t passionate about, I don’t know how well I’d do with that. Because I’m passionate about math and math education and kids enjoying it and families enjoying time together, that’s why I think I’m being so successful. It’s my passion. It’s truly what I believe in.

Jim: That totally resonates, totally resonates. I could launch off into lesson land there, but I think I’ve dropped enough Hebrew bombs on everybody today. I’m not going to do that again, although I’ve got – we could do another half hour on what you just said. When you’re serving others well, man, it’s easy to get passionate about that, and that just resonates with you. I can just tell, without you having told me, you’ve received positive feedback from people, from families, and others who think we’re using this. It’s helping. It’s working.

Betsy: Oh, definitely.

Jim: This is good stuff. That fuels you in a way that nothing else can, including financial success, but the financial success always follows if you’re serving others well, right?

Betsy: Right.

Jim: Indeed, you are. You didn’t share any numbers with us. Are you comfortable with that? Is that something you could do?

Betsy: Right now, so Amazon’s holding steady. I sell several hundred decks a month on Amazon. I’m still just getting my website up and – my website’s up and going, but the sales on there, they’re just trickling in just a few a week. It’s not many right now. What I am finding, like I mentioned, was people contacting me for that wholesale aspect, right? I’ve had some school districts reach out to me and want class sets of my cards, or I’ve had brick and mortar stores ask if they could carry them. Those are the kind of things I wasn’t expecting that are really nice to happen.

Another thing, I just got an email from someone, a pretty big math guru in the math world, and she wants me to be a guest speaker at her next virtual conference. All these things are coming about because of that free content I’m putting out there, the videos I’m making, and the emails I’m sending. That’s just things I wasn’t planning on or thinking would happen but that are nice benefits and probably bigger than I could’ve imagined, right?

Jim: If you were a stock, I’m buying. I’m telling you right now.

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: As you get on all these platforms and you’re exposed to new audiences, you’ve got to get those email addresses. You’ve got to be very intentional. Send them straight to a very specific offer. I want to get you and engage them. A good book for you at this point might be StoryBrand. Have you read that yet?

Betsy: Yes, yeah, I’m a big follower, yeah.

Jim: Okay, cool, so there’s some good concepts in there that’ll be beneficial to you where the premise is you make your user, your customer the hero of their own story kind of thing. Especially when you’re dealing with kids, there’s some very great things you can do. You can build incentives in and speed games and such just to where the heroes are emerging from your community and so many fun ways to engage with what you’ve got rocking. Hopefully, many lessons are being pulled from this conversation for those who are thinking, oh, I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve always wanted to do – and we’ve got other game inventors and creators and authors in our audience.

Betsy: Something else just came to mind that I’m in the work on. There’s a lady that’s writing children’s books on math, and Everyone Can Learn Math was her first book. I actually reached out to her through Facebook and said, hey, we have a similar mission. We want kids to like math. I make games. You write books. Let’s get together. We’re just going to write about each other’s product on our blog as a start, promote each other, and then we’re going to look at ways together down the road to work together. That was really exciting. She’s in Canada, so now I’ve got to get my cards on Amazon CA so that I can sell them there.

Jim: We can help you with that. It’s not complicated. It’s not complicated. It’s easily, easily done. It’s just international. Wow! What a great story.

Betsy: Yeah, so I’m excited. Thank you.

Jim: I just have a feeling that – and I’m quite frequently correct on these, and I probably said something along these lines when we first interviewed, although I didn’t go back and review it. You’re on to something very, very special, and it’s because your heart’s in it, one, and you’re well qualified. You know what? I would encourage you to begin – this is just another little tip. This is one of the tips from the book, I believe. You may have read this part, but begin calling yourself a world’s foremost expert. Have you done that?

Betsy: I read that part. I haven’t done it yet.

Jim: You need to do it. This is me saying please begin to do it. A world’s foremost expert on – and you could be more eloquent at this point than I am, but begin calling yourself that at making math fun for kids by putting the right tools in their hands. Something like that. That’s intriguing. That’s interesting. That’ll get you interviews. That’ll get you who are you to call yourself a world’s foremost expert? You can come back and say, well, who do you know that’s created a game that thousands of kids have used to go from thinking math is boring to math is fun? Do you know anyone? Call yourself a world’s foremost expert.

Not necessarily the but a world’s foremost expert. If you’re comfortable and confident, hey, go for the the word, the word. There was a guy that did that with dating books. He just decided to start doing it. He called himself the world’s foremost expert. I can’t remember who it was but suddenly just started selling tons of books. He’s like I just decided to call myself that one day. I didn’t necessarily have any qualifications outside of anybody else, but I just called myself that.

Betsy: Love it.

Jim: You’re actually well qualified, and so I would encourage you to do that. Same goes for the listeners as well, that whole law of specialization, inch wide, mile deep. There’s something very special that can happen there. Betsy, it’s been awesome hanging out with you for a few minutes.

Betsy: Thank you, Jim. This is great.

Jim: I can’t wait to get a new update. Seriously, we’re here to support as you go on this journey, and if you want someone to make a few phone calls and get a little commission out of what you’ve got, I’m your guy.

Betsy: Let’s do it.

Jim: No, I want this story to be huge. I think you’re going to have a hard time keeping me from spreading the word on this one, and I’m not looking for more clients. I just love when this community produces success stories, and I think you’re onto something pretty special.

Betsy: Thank you.

Jim: I’m sure the listeners enjoyed it as well, so Betsy, thank you.

Betsy: Appreciate the outcome.

Jim: Your husband, you said he was guarding the door from deliveries.

Betsy: Right, yeah, we have some furniture being delivered today, so he’s standing watch.

Jim: Appreciate him standing guard so we could get this episode in, and for the listeners who joined us today, man, I sure hope you appreciate and value as much as I do the time that we get to spend with such great people from our community. It’s been a great time with Betsy Mays today. Your website once again, Absolute…

Betsy: GamesByAbsoluteZero.

Jim: GamesByAbsoluteZero.com.

Betsy: Dot-com, yep.

Jim: GamesByAbsolutZero.com, that link will be in the show notes, all the resources we talked about today. I’ll try to find a PDF link to that 101 Free Marketing book so no one has to go buy it, but keep in mind, if you do buy it, all the money’s going to an inner-city mission guy who’s – you can read about him in the book, actually. He’s got a very entrepreneurial spirit, so that’s what you’ll be supporting with that book. It’s been a blessing to be able to do that but all those links and stuff in the show notes.

Hey, all the business building warriors out there who joined us today, God bless you. Please spread the word. SilentJim.com is all you have to share with your friends, or neighbors, or whoever it is that’s interested in using the internet creatively to launch and grow income streams. That’s what we do here. We’ll have another great episode for you again real soon.

Announcement: Hey, before we go, just a quick thing. I wanted to remind you that Helium 10 has become a great sponsor of this show. They’ve got an offer exclusive for the audience, the listeners, the business building warriors of this community. If you go to Helium10.com and use the discount code SSMR as in Silent Sales Machine Radio, you’ll get the tool that’s being used by over one million Amazon sellers at this point. They’re actively tracking over two billion different products on Amazon at any given time, providing data and helping you make good decision on what products you should and shouldn’t sell, as well as an entire suite of products to help you run your entire Amazon business instead of piecing it together a little bit from here, a little bit form there. It’s a great tool. Many, many coaches on our team use it, the content creators. I know that Nathan, our coaching director, swears by it as well, so we were very excited to bring them on as a sponsor. Again, Helium 10, discount code SSMR, and they’ll take good care of you. Hey, God bless you, business building warrior.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to Silent Sales Machine Radio. Visit SilentJim.com for a link to our free newsletter, our free Facebook group, and all of our resources mentioned on today’s show.

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Go From $0 To $100K Per Month In Amazon Sales

The Simple, Sustainable, Amazon Arbitrage Course

Proven Amazon Course (PAC) is the #1 highest rated Amazon Course with Thousands of verified reviews from average Joes and Janes) that followed a simple, proven, step-by-step process to build successful online businesses.


Over 1,000 verified reviews

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