Kyle: Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Jim: It’s truly great to have you here, buddy. Let’s get right into your story, man. I’m anxious to hear it.
Kyle: Yeah, I mean I started – honestly, my story’s a little bit crazy because I’ve never been an online person at all, at all. I got my first Amazon Prime membership four months ago or something like that. I’ve never, ever bought anything online. My story starts with me wanting to better my family. Right now I currently work a full-time job where I work about 12 hours a day at a car dealership as a manager. I was noticing I was making good money, but I wasn’t making the kind of money to be able to retire, or enjoy with my family, or just get away from that toxic environment. I had the opportunity come up where an ad came up and said, hey, you can make money online. I clicked it. It was those private label people.
They confused me with Amazon, really like you preach, the gurus. I saved enough money. I was in part of the PAC community. I found your coaching program. I listened to the podcast. I’m like, you know what? I’ve got to get into this. Here I am. We’re three months later. I’m about ready to have my 20k month. I’m on pace to do my 20k month. That’s my background, with no e-commerce experience whatsoever.
Jim: Wow, okay. Let me unpack a few things. If I’m hearing your story for the first time, which I’ve heard bits and pieces of this already – you and I have corresponded, but let me just get everybody up to speed. You said 12-hour days. Is that five, six, days a week? You’re still doing that, correct?
Kyle: Six days a week, correct.
Jim: Six days a week, 12-hour days. You’re not speaking very highly of it. Is there any chance that people at work are going to see this?
Kyle: No, it’s not that it’s not – it’s such a stressful environment. I think everyone in retail can say when you’re dealing face-to-face with customers, it can be tough. Then it’s grueling on top of that with the long hours. My biggest thing is, I didn’t really have great parents. They weren’t really in my life. I’ve been able to accomplish one thing where I can make the money to give a lot of my kids a lot of the things I never had growing up because we were poor, but I’m not able to see them. That’s where I really feel like Amazon’s going to be able to push me so I can stop and step back from that. That’s why I’m pushing it so hard.
Jim: When you hear us say bringing dads home, that resonates with you.
Kyle: Exactly, yep.
Jim: Yeah, man. We want to help you make that happen, dude. Okay, you’ve – doing the math, dude, that’s like 70-plus hour weeks. Yeah, that’s a grind, and you’ve managed to build an Amazon business in a very short period of time. I didn’t realize you were a coaching student. Who was your coach? Which coach did you get?
Kyle: I listened to one of your podcasts where it was the replens because that’s what everyone kept saying. I didn’t know anything about it.
Jim: We’ve got several replens coaches.
Kyle: Oh, it was Karl that did it, but I listened to your podcast and that ended up telling me about it. I said, “I don’t care the cost. I want to hit the ground running and go.”
Jim: Yeah, that’s the way to go. You can do our intensive, short-term, where you carve out – what did you carve out – three or four days and just plowed through it, right?
Kyle: One hundred percent, yeah. I used my vacation time just because I wanted to learn how to do it.
Jim: Wow. I take this stuff very seriously. That’s a serious time commitment. You’re a guy, obviously, who takes his schedule seriously. You take providing for your family seriously. You do things. You go all in, fast. People have different personality types. We’ve dealt with all different. You’ve got a certain personality type, and I feel a great weight of responsibility with someone like you because you’re like, you know what? Here’s my checkbook. Tell me what check to write. Let’s go. I want to carve out time. I only get two weeks a year, dude. You know I’m taking this seriously. Man, here’s one of those weeks. Let’s do it now. I take that seriously. I love that. I didn’t realize that. I knew some of your story, but not that much. Here we are three months in. Fill in some gaps. How’s it going so far? You mentioned you’re about to have a $20,000 month, you said?
Kyle: Yes. Right off the bat, Karl set us up for success. We knew exactly how to do replens, how to search for them. We didn’t know what Rev Seller, Inventory Lab, anything is. We were in the same boat, me and these people who come in the community are at.
Jim: Right, completely green.
Kyle: Completely green, but he hit the ground running. I didn’t realize, as soon as you do this, how, in a way, how easy it can be if you set your certain parameters. I get a lot of people who message me after I post things. They say, hey, I’m having a hard time finding the five-dollar items that are profit. I don’t really follow that. I may be getting off tangent here a little bit. I know you say you do that, too. I find all different kinds of profitable items. The weight’s the biggest thing that’s important to me. If I can make a dollar on one item and I can put 100 of them in the box, I’ll do that. A pack of gum I sell and make 300 bucks from packing these, and they sell great. I think a lot of people get caught up on that. I have a lot of people ask me. One lady asked, “I have ten replens and I don’t know how to source them. They’re impossible for me.” I asked her. She’s going through and she’s like, everyone is saying, do five-dollar profit minimums, and this and that. There’s just so much that people get hung up on. That’s where coaching, I think, really helped us accelerate past that, too.
Jim: Yeah, sure. You’re talking about setting your parameters of what’s a good product, what isn’t. If you stretch that open a little bit, yeah, I’m very happy to make a dollar once everything’s said and done. Why not? It’s a profit. I think the reason we like to tell new people especially, try to make at least five dollars per sale, so there’s some cushion in there. You don’t look at your numbers three months in and go, wait a second. I didn’t calculate all my expenses, so now I’m breaking even or underwater. That’s where we encourage that higher benchmark. Once you’re good at it, you can find replens very quickly. How many replens total have you found? It breaks my heart to hear someone’s only found ten.
Kyle: Yeah, exactly. I’m at – I have to guess because I have a virtual assistant. I know you know this. I have a virtual assistant. She has probably about 150 replens for me to check. I just haven’t had the time. I have 100 active. I could potentially have 250 after I go through all of her replens that she found for me as well.
Jim: Sure. How many of the current replens has she found? Is she responsible for any of your winners yet?
Kyle: Most of them, yeah because I taught her everything because that’s what I do. Like you talked about before, you write the check. You say, here you go. I got it. I learned it. I feel like I could teach someone else. I taught her, and she’s off. It allows me to still focus on my family. Then now I just, in three hours a night, pack on top of that after I get home from work.
Jim: Hire someone to do that and you’ve got an autopilot business. Putting tape on boxes does not require the kind of skills – you could free up your time. That’s hanging out with the kids time from you pretty soon it sounds like.
Jim: Beautiful, wow. You’re on the borderline to be transparent, maybe a couple hundred ASINs, about three months in, about to hit a $20,000 month. What is the margin on that? What are the parameters that you’re going for, like ROI, margin? Where are you playing around?
Kyle: I try to stick, and we talked about this as coaches when I did it. He said somewhere around 50% ROI, correct. I would have to say when I look at Seller board, I use Seller board, which I know you – I watched your podcast. That was really good.
Jim: silentjim.com/numbers. It helps you keep track of all your numbers. Seller Board, it’s a good tool.
Kyle: Yes, and it’s fantastic. They say I’m right around 70%. I think it was 69% ROI. Then it was right around 22% profit, but I don’t have them calculate my shipping because it throws off their orders, like how much they tell me an item’s profitable. It’s probably a little less.
Jim: Yeah, once you pull that out, you’re probably a little less. You’re around 17, 18%, something like that.
Kyle: Yeah, probably, yeah.
Jim: All right, got you. For the amount of time you’re putting in and what you’re getting back, how are you feeling so far?
Kyle: I’m looking at a long-term goal. Amazon definitely isn’t a get rich – I know you’ve said this, too, a get rich quick scheme or anything like that. You have to really work. I think Oscar’s the one who said it when I went to the Proven Conference. He was like 80% of it’s just hard work. Then once you get going and you have the ability to hire people, and you look at that big picture unless you just want to make a small amount of income, then for me, I feel like it’s worth it. I feel like two or three months from now, I’m going to be making almost what I did at the car dealership.
Jim Cckrum: Yeah, you’re ramping into it. You’re going full speed ahead, ramping up fast. You’re on a nice trajectory. A lot of those fixed costs of the initial learning curve and picking up some of the tools, and mainly time spent figuring out the process, you’re already over that hump. Your numbers are going to climb in a beautiful way, especially if you’ve got a VA.
I want to dig into that just a little bit more because we’ve heard a couple of times. We’ve actually done that ourselves just this week is we’ve got a VA who’s – we just take pictures of store shelves. Now, for us, ideally, it’s not the same store shelves that everybody else has access to; it’s more of the local, regional stores that have fewer than say 100 stores in the US or fewer than 200 in the US, not a Walmart necessarily. Although I’m telling you this right now, man, put me in any Walmart in the United States, give me two hours. I will come out with 30 profitable replens easily.
Kyle: Oh, 100%.
Jim: Half of them will still be around a year from now, at least.
Kyle: It’s crazy because sometimes you drop off. A lot of people have complaints of the price tanking. What I’ve noticed is that people will send in – you’ll see the jump in buyers. Then you’ll freeze. You just have to freeze your stuff because eventually, people are going to – there’s going to be – it’s like playing chicken in cars, right?
Kyle: There’s going to be someone that drops the price, wants to get rid of their stuff, just wants to bail out. A lot of people freak out. I’ll go back and I’ve checked a lot of those I jumped out of a month ago or so and they’re right back to being profitable again.
Jim: Yeah, within a month, literally. We put them on the calendar. A couple of months later, we check. More often than not, if it was good once, it will be good again soon.
Kyle: Oh, 100%.
Jim: You can just sit on them. They’re going to be profitable again. That’s where it’s nice to have that doesn’t necessarily expire. You can get into the food.
We’ve learned some hard lessons there, especially the food that expires quickly. That price tanks, what do you do? You bring it home and you eat it. Give it to a food pantry, man.
Kyle: Yes, oh my gosh.
Jim: Try some new foods that you’ve never tried before.
Kyle: I donate it; I take it to my work. I bought these Jack’s Link’s beef jerky, oh my gosh. I didn’t check the expiration date and just went and found a whole case of it. I spent $200 on it. Instead of shipping it all the way back to this wholesaler, I’m like, no. Everyone at work enjoyed it.
Jim: Stocking stuffers for Christmas, right?
Kyle: Yes, right.
Jim: You get creative and have some fun. What are you doing to ramp – you’re the kind of guy – even today before we hit the record button, you’re like, all right, Jim, I carved the whole day out for you, man. That’s a big deal for you. You’re a guy putting in 70-plus hours a week, ramping up a business. Is this a day off, a vacation day? How did you pull this off?
Kyle: I get four days off guaranteed a month. I choose this one to be one. I’m using it simultaneously to train the person that I just hired. I just hired a full-time employee. I kept watching my watch. I’m like, okay, I’ve got to meet with Jim. Now my wife’s taking over inside.
Jim: Then back to it. You’ve got your first full-time. You’ve got a VA. Talk us through that process. I want to talk with the person you just hired and the VA that you’ve got working for you.
Fill in some details. How did you do that? How did you pull it off? What resources did you use?
Kyle: For the VA, it was actually really simple.
Jim: It is.
Kyle: I got lucky. I hired a lot – I went through a lot of interviewers. I like to find someone who can understand me really well. That’s one of my key things is their English. I think you might have hit that in one of your posts as well in our group. I want to make sure they understand and then follow directions because I’m going to take pictures just like you.
I put pictures on there. I do remote desktop, so they have access to everything in my local prices. I give them complete access. I bought a laptop that’s just theirs. It sets on a computer – or on a table. They log in every night and search stuff just like that.
They’ll go through the store shelves and find things based on my ROI, how many drops I want. She’s phenomenal. She finds 10, 15 a month – or a day, or yeah, a night for me. I would say based off – if I have to take off multiples and things I’m not ungated in yet and stuff like that, little stuff, I probably get around five to eight a day from her, real replens that I’m reordering already.
Jim: The beauty of it is it’s off local store shelves. These are pictures from local store shelves, so you know that you can go source this stuff.
Kyle: It’s crazy. One of the things that I know, I’d be telling you right now, I’d be at 30K if I could keep inventory in stock. It’s ridiculous.
Jim: Yeah, having a shopper who’s willing to just go full-time and that’s all they do for you may be a good next step. We’re in the process of – that’s the bottleneck for us right now is just a shopper. We’ve got so many great replens. We need more people that can consistently shop. It seems like when one shopper goes down, two, three, four shoppers go down because it’s a part-time thing for all of them, myself included.
Kyle: Oh, no.
Jim: After this interview, I’m very likely to go get in my car. I’m like, there’s $50 bills sitting all over this town. I’m going to go out and put some in my car, dude. I don’t know if I can just relax and watch a ballgame if I’ve got $50 bills sitting all over my town. That becomes a challenge at some point once you’re so good at finding the replens and you can find more anytime you want. Here you are, your new student; you’re new to e-commerce.
Kyle: Amazon for three months, man, Prime count for four.
Jim: That’s just incredible. Obviously, you’re a go-getter. I want to talk more about the employees, but for some reason, I’m going to skip back. Talk about jumping around here a little bit. What’s your routine? What time do you get up in the morning? What’s your day look like?
Kyle: Oh my gosh, it’s grueling. I get up at probably 7 o’clock in the morning. I have to wake my daughter up, feed her, get her dressed, everything, get her to daycare by 8:30. I’ll be at work shortly after that, maybe 10, 15 minutes. I’m there until about 8 o’clock at night. That’s about it. Sometimes I’m there a little bit later.
Then I come home and I like to carve out – my wife’s cool. She lets the kid stay up a little late. I know some people are against that, but at least I get to see them. I hang out with them for two hours. Then they go to bed. Then I lock myself into a bedroom that we have that’s just – we redid for this, and just pack all night, probably until 3 o’clock in the morning. Then I go back, get another four hours of sleep. Now, the problem is why I hired the person is because they caught me; I fell asleep at my desk at work.
Kyle: I had to. I was like, you know what, I got to.
Jim: Yeah, if I was your counselor, I’d be like, have we ever talked about sustainable and unsustainable, Kyle?
Kyle: I don’t want to burn myself out because I know that would be the next thing.
Jim: Yeah, exactly. Use caution there. It’s truly impressive what’s possible and what you’ve accomplished, very impressive.
Long-term, a year from now, this will be a very different interview if you stay on this course. You’ve got to make some changes somewhere for sure. Is there any way you can taper back the hours at work as you ramp this up or what’s the – what are the next steps for you before we talk about your employees? I haven’t forgotten about that topic.
Kyle: That’s a great question because I’m hoping I can fully automate it between my employee I’m hiring now, my wife who’s going to be here but is really – we have an infant, so she’s always – has her hands full, and my VA. Hopefully, I can get it all fully automated. Now, there’s a lot of downtime at my work when we don’t have people buying cars. The cool thing about my boss is he’s really okay with me doing this.
He says, you know what, you can go ahead and order your stuff. I would always order it online, have it shipped to my house, things like that. I can work on the business a couple of hours there, so maybe I can scale back. That would be hopefully an ideal.
Jim: Yeah, I was just curious what the plan was. Again, we love you, boss; you’re awesome, man. Thanks for being flexible. I love seeing families build their schedule in such a way that they can just be present, be together. Stick around with me long enough, I’ll talk you guys into homeschooling, too, but that’s a different subject for a different day.
Kyle: Oh, yeah, sure, absolutely.
Jim: There’s so many benefits there. We’ve done it. Our oldest is 24 now. Our youngest, who’s just getting back from horse lessons, I just saw her walk past my window out here, she’s 14. We’ve done it for quite some time. Just the benefits of having them under the roof where business happens, life happens. It’s not so much about balance anymore; it’s more about blending it all together.
Kyle: You see such a huge difference.
Jim: It’s there. When my office door is open, my family knows, hey, come on in. When it’s shut, dad’s recording with a cool dude like Kyle. We know unless it’s an emergency, we’re not going to pound the door down. That’s really the only family rule we have. I’m able to be here. I get the sense that where – that’s your preferred thing. You’re trying to get there.
Kyle: I was so impressed when I went to the Proven Conference that your family – just how far they’ve come. I didn’t know that you guys homeschooled, which is really cool. If that’s the reason why, that’s impressive. It was Trey right that has a multimillion-dollar business already?
Jim: Trey presented, yeah. He’s grown quite a business. He’s got a multimillion-dollar consulting agency. Yeah, several people from our community are using his services. We’re doing some projects together that we’ll be announcing soon, we’re excited about for sure.
Kyle: You can tell that they’re growing up great, that they have an amazing drive.
Jim: Thank you, man.
Kyle: I’m sorry; I’m just trying to say that’s – if homeschooling actually does that, that’s –
Jim: Oh, 100% does that. Since we’re on the subject, just two dudes chatting, sometimes people will ask me, Kyle, they’ll say, man, how do you homeschool five because that just sounds like a lot of work. That sounds so hard. I have two things that I respond with. I’m being completely serious as I say these things. One of them is I don’t know how people who use the public system do it to be honest with you because parents are responsible for the education of their children, 100%, if we can agree on that.
Jim: Ultimately, you’re responsible. If I’m responsible, not only do I have to track everything they’re learning in the school building, then when they get home, I’ve got to make sure that it resonates with my worldview and is taking them in life where I want them to go, I also have to make sure and add on anything that’s missing and unlearn anything that’s not right, which our culture right now, most people would agree is in decline in many significant ways. You’ve got to compensate for all that.
You know what? How about I just keep all the junk out of their head and give them the stuff they really need at home. It’s really not that much. You’d be amazed, the one on one attention time with siblings in the room working together how much you can cover so quickly. A couple hours a day and we are blowing away any public school system setting or private school setting.
Kyle: Yeah, I wonder if – like me, I think my biggest fear would be having the confidence to do that. Am I good enough?
Jim: Oh, we hear it all the time.
Kyle: Yeah, I think that’s probably most of the objection all the time.
Jim: That is one of the most common. The one that we hear typically if people are being truly transparent is what about socialization? What do you do? I’m telling you there are so many opportunities, homeschool sports and groups. The kids are plugged into the business, interacting with adults.
You saw at the event. There are quite a few homeschool families there. Eight, nine, ten-year-olds, fourteen-year-olds that will walk up and shake your hand and look you in the eye. You’re like, wow. What planet is this kid from?
Kyle: Yeah, 100%,
Jim: Because you have time to work on those skills and the things that we truly value as a family. It’s just not a long list of things that you’ve got to hit to really educate and prepare a child for adulthood. I would argue the school system spends a lot of time on stuff that just doesn’t really totally matter. You talked about my son Trey. His take on college and school and all that is like, why wait for someone else to tell you what books to read? I’m just going to go read the great books and start doing it.
We’ve got another kid who started a business, a landscaping business, and more clients than he can take care of as an 18-year-old. The world out there is just waiting for people ready to work. You don’t have to wait until you’re in your mid 20’s and a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt to hit the world running. We’ve got an advantage I think from that perspective.
Kyle: You do, absolutely.
Jim: Kids are off and running faster and building businesses. They don’t have to be business owners.
Kyle: You guys have a great family for sure.
Jim: Yeah, maybe we could do – we’ve had a lot of people request – and I imagine that this episode too will spark that again like, hey, I want you guys to talk more about homeschooling. Andrea and I were talking just this morning, my wife, about starting a group where we address what’s it like to do family business-homeschool all under the same roof, juggling all those pieces. I look at the people around me who are doing it the other way. I think they have a much harder road than we do. It’s come together. Not that it doesn’t have its rough edges, but it’s a blessing.
Kyle: Yeah, for sure.
Jim: Thanks for asking about all that, man. Thanks for the cool things you said about the conference and the family.
Kyle: Yeah, no, I was just saying I learned so much from that conference.
Jim: Yeah, it was incredible. To experience it live is completely different than just watching the content.
Kyle: Yeah, absolutely.
Jim: Okay, let’s go back to the people you hired. You talked about your VA; you talked about the person you’ve hired on full-time. How’d you find that person? They’re actually at your house right now you said, right? That’s the first time?
Kyle: Yes, I did the same thing I do with my VAs when I’m searching for them. I know you do the same thing where you say, hey, comment your favorite color or something like that so you know they read through everything. I posted on Indeed.com. I said, this is what I’m doing. I’m growing so fast. I’m looking to get a warehouse. I just basically put the whole thing like by the end of the year, I’m looking for these goals. If you want to join me, I’m looking for someone full-time commitment, blah blah blah.
One of the questions I said was what interests you most about my business. I had about 40 applicants over the weekend and probably 10 of them answered the question. It gave me confidence. That’s where I found her is she’s like, I’m growing into e-commerce. I know TikTok, which I have no idea what that is.
Jim: Borderline useless as an Amazon seller, but yeah. You keep your kids off it; that’s my take.
Kyle \: We went into Walmart. No, it was so crazy. We went into Walmart today. She’s like, oh my gosh, they found this thing. Some guy advertised it on TikTok for Amazon. We had looked at Keepa and stuff and it’s selling. I’m like, all right, let’s just grab it and try it.
Jim: I love that.
Kyle: Maybe she’ll teach me some stuff. That’s what I’m hoping for.
Kyle: She was really into this business. She understood wholesale and all that stuff. She’s 18. You know what I mean? She’s ambitious. That’s how I found her. I gave her the option. I kept quizzing her to see what she wants to do. Today, we got done shopping, so I’m like if you want to help me set up the garage, you can for – because that’s where she’s going to work. I just put an AC unit in there. She’s like or you can go home and enjoy the rest of your day. She’s like I’ll stay.
Jim: Let’s keep rocking.
Kyle: Yeah, let’s keep going.
Jim: You found a winner. What are you paying her, just out of curiosity? What’s the arrangement?
Kyle: I’m paying $11 an hour, but right now she’s sitting at the computer. We’re teaching her how to find replens because I’m going to pay her 20% profit on anything that I can take off them that she finds.
Jim: Day one and you are – you are rocking.
Kyle: She can handle it.
Jim: I like to say if you’re a stock, I’m buying. You’re doing all the right things. You’re hitting it hard. I would caution you seriously. I hope your Sundays are just laying around doing nothing hanging with the family, man, because you need that to be sustainable at all in what you’re doing. You really truly need that. Just dad to dad, you’re going – three months of what you’re doing is going to be too much, three more months from now.
Kyle: I totally agree. I’m hoping that when she gets up and running that at least will allow me to take a breather. At my full-time job, I can manage that, and when I get home, I can completely work on the family and go to bed, not have to worry about packing, and she’ll hopefully have that all handled for me.
Jim: Beautiful. You’re very close to it. You haven’t been afraid to hire people. That’s a good first step. What are you paying your VA? We haven’t talked about that. What country are they from?
Kyle: Philippines. I’m paying her – I started at $3 an hour, but she’s killing it, and when she told me that she was so far behind on her bills, and she said that she got unemployed for three months. She was with someone from Amazon, and I guess the VA competition is really intense there. She said that she was like three months behind on her bills, so I ended up paying her bills for her without her asking. I just sent it to her in a paycheck. It wasn’t much. If you think about it, they’re in the Philippines, it’s like 200 bucks. That’s three months for them.
Jim: It’s significant money for sure.
Kyle: Yeah, she has a family, and apparently, she’s widowed and stuff. I paid that. I decided to up her to $4 an hour, then I made it fun. I’m like let’s have a competition. For every day I beat you at Replens, finding them, I won’t pay you an extra, but if you beat me, I’ll pay you an extra $5, and truth be told, I haven’t found a single Replen for a month, so she’s been winning.
Jim: She’s been winning every day, her little daily bonus.
Kyle: She wins every day. I just give her a little bonus, and she’s excited.
Jim: What occurs to me Kyle as you’re sharing that story, man, is just how incredibly blessed we are to be able to change someone’s life for a few dollars in a significant way, right? I’m not talking about donating to a charity. We’re not sure where it’s ending up, but no, you’re building a relationship with this person, and she’s working hard for you, and that money, that $4 an hour – just so everyone understands if you haven’t heard us say it before – you have to multiply it by five to ten times to get to how it spends in the Philippines. That’s a lot of money. Four bucks an hour is 20 to $40 an hour depending on how they spend it in the local economy, so that’s not a bad gig, but we’re just so blessed that we get to use resources like that.
I recently applied – I don’t like to tell people what website to use to search for Vas because there’s so many. I haven’t run – if you go to Google and say hey, I want to hire a VA, there’s so many great ones out there, so I don’t want people to get to thinking I want to use the one that he uses, but we got 800 applications in 24 hours when I posted for someone to do some shopping activities for us. Let’s throw a couple tips out there for people because I think some people – we’ve had this as a theme recently, and you talked about that Facebook post that I made. We’ll stick a link to it in the show notes so you can go see the discussion, but basically like you said, you want to put a little test in there, and a test I like to use is an audio message from me. Not necessarily a video because that can be too big of a file and sometimes the sites won’t let you upload a big file as part of the process, but upload an audio file of you saying I need you – first thing you want to say is I need you to listen to this entire message. You describe what it is you want them to do. Then at the end you say as proof you’ve listened to this entire message, when you respond in your written response, I need the very first line, the title of the line – first line of copy to be – and you say a magic phrase, whatever it is.
If you’re scrolling through those hundreds of applications and you don’t see that phrase, you know they didn’t listen, or they don’t understand English, or maybe they didn’t pay attention to detail. It’s a great way to narrow that list down dramatically. It’s a huge help. You know instantly you’re dealing only with the people that paid attention, they can understand English well, and they followed instructions. That’s just a little tip, but then it’s just a matter – within three months – another thing that jumps out at me – we breezed past it. Within three months, you’re at the point where you’re able to train people on all the aspects of this business.
Kyle: Yeah, can you believe how much of an expert I am?
Jim: You kind of are. There’s always more to learn, always more to learn.
Jim: If you and I sat down with Keepa and went to Walmart right now, I could blow your mind with a few things I do and things I’ve learned over the years, and you’ve probably discovered some things already that I’d be like whoa, wait, I never knew that was there. New people discover all the cool – you’re not afraid to click the buttons and try things. I’m stuck in my ways, set in my ways. There’s always more to learn, but you’ve picked up enough that you’ve built a pretty incredible business, so kudos to you, man.
Jim: Talk me through the story of your VA now. What did you say that they were going to be doing, and how long did it take you to hire them? Just talk – because some people who’ve never done that process before.
Kyle: I hire at my job as it is now, and I have very low turnover, so I think I have a really decent judge of character, so when I talked to her – I put in the ad – I had the applications go out, and I was trying to get – I probably interviewed three people. It wasn’t very many, and it was her, and she was just so upbeat and enthusiastic about it and wanting to learn. I just felt like it was the perfect fit. She didn’t have too much of an Amazon history. I guess where they – In the Philippines, they have some university they go to, and it sounds like a lot of them go to this university to learn Amazon, but that’s all she really had. I said hey, if you’re willing to learn, I’ll do it. I spent maybe three, four hours training her instead of packing my boxes, and it was well worth it. I log in, and she has so many things on there for me every day. She’s just – yeah, she’s well worth the money.
Jim: Pretty soon, she’ll be trained to the point where she’s finding them better than you are.
Kyle: Yeah, absolutely.
Jim: You can tell her we rejected this one for this reason, it’s meltable, and we can’t do that right now. Oh, okay.
Jim: Right? She’s going to be better at it than you ever were, just like putting boxes on tape or any other aspect of your business.
Kyle: Absolutely, and people like you and I, we think about what our money will do for us. We think hey, if I spend $500 a month on a VA, what’s going to be my overall outcome, three, four, five, six months down the road? Now I’m making my money, it’s paying her – like paying it off every month just for what she does.
Jim: She pays for herself multiple times over.
Jim: You can start to envision a team where she’s the manager and there’s five or six people doing these things, and they’re placing the orders online too for anything that can be ordered online and sending them to your preppers homes who live around you. It’s being delivered on their porch. It’s like whoa. You can start to scale this in your mind.
Kyle: It’s insane.
Jim: Yeah, think about it with an entrepreneur’s hat on. Instead of I’ve got to find something to sell so I can make $20 on an item I bought for five, but start thinking about it from a business owner’s perspective, which you’ve been forced to do very quickly because your time is limited. Congratulations. That’s quite a story. What else do you want to share with the people who are listening? Any other tips or strategies or any part of your story? You feel like you’re new to all of this, but you really do have quite a bit of experience in these short three months.
Kyle: I do. All I can tell people is that they shouldn’t get frustrated or stressed because there was a point – I think I made a comment on it on a post before where I was so disappointed that I spent hours and hours – Karl made us find 30 Replens, I think, when we were going through training in one day, and that sounds like a lot. You listen to Jim, and he’s like just get a few a day, whatever, and you’ll add up. We had to find 30, and we – my wife was just finding them left and right, left and right. Oh, look at this. I was just sitting there for hours, man. I’m like no, no, no, is it the wrong store? Is it me? I started questioning everything. Is it these guys getting it cheaper? What am I doing?
Long story short, I ended up – actually, I listened to your podcast. You had a guy on there who mentioned that he – he’s in the army, and he went into the store and picked up an item at Walmart that – he even told us what it was if anyone wants to listen, but he told us what it was, and I did the same thing. I thought back to that. I’m taking a break. I’m going to do that. I typed it in. I found 10 Replens. Then I went and I started searching pack of varieties. I went more and more and more. By the end of the night, gosh, I was like the expert. I knew exactly what I was doing. I found my groove. What I say is just people just can’t get frustrated. You can’t get hung up on it and just quit. If you need to walk away, clear your mind, because as soon as you have that ah-ha moment and you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find them everywhere. I bet I can – I bet you and I are very similar where we can walk down an aisle right now and I’ll say oh, my gosh, I know that item right there probably has an ASIN that I can make some money on. Let me scan it.
Jim: Yeah, almost all items do. If it’s price tanking right now, give it a couple months, and it’ll be back to a solid ASIN. The reason it’s on a retail shelf is because a lot of people buy that thing. There just aren’t enough people doing this business at this point. People who say it’s saturated, they’re nuts.
Kyle: I can’t keep anything in stock, man. I had a thousand items in Amazon. I took a week off just to prep for my garage, and I’m down to 400 items. I’m like I’ve got to get it going.
Jim: Yeah, once you know how to find the winners, they’re just everywhere. What a fun business. You can scale, you get to hire and train a team and do it from home. You can see why we’re so bullish on this business opportunity. I’ve been doing e-commerce for 20 years, and I haven’t seen anything like this come along where it’s the closest thing that I’ve ever been able to say. Hey, if you’re willing to do the work, I can get you there. Let us show you how this works. We can get you there. Whether it’s the Proven Amazon Course, or you took our intensive coaching. I’ll stick links to both of those. Work at your own pace.
Maybe it takes you – I’ve seen people take six months to ramp up and slowly figure it out, and then you have guys like you that’re like hey, here’s a blank check. I want to be going tomorrow. What have you got? We’ve got something for everything in between, but if you follow the steps we teach, this works, and even internationally, doesn’t it just blow your mind how you’ve got people in other countries doing this, man? How inspirational is that? I was just texting one of them earlier today. From another country, doing the same thing that you and I are talking about doing. They’re shopping in the US and sending it to a prepper in the US. It’s going to Amazon, and they’re getting paid.
Kyle: Isn’t that great?
Jim: Slovakia, right? Find that on a globe real quick, right? There’s no Amazon there. He’s buying and selling in the US all day every day, so it’s international too. It just blows my mind. The opportunity is just so expansive.
Kyle: When you say just the Replens. There’s so much to Amazon. At the Proven Amazon Conference, you had – I forget her name. It was like Delia or something like that?
Jim: Delia, yeah.
Kyle: Oh, my gosh. Blows your mind. If anyone buys the thing and watches her, it’s worth it just for that.
Jim: Theprovenconference.com. Yeah, the videos are on sale now. Thanks for the plug. I haven’t even seen her session yet.
Kyle: You haven’t?
Jim: She’s on our team. Not yet. It’s all kinds of creative stuff. I was so busy with the event, I’m only halfway through the content. Yeah, she’s brilliant talking about the private label just on the Replens.
Kyle: Oh, my God.
Jim: The mugs, right? Did she teach you guys what she does with mugs?
Kyle: Yes, I had no idea what I was walking into. I was like I don’t really think I should overload myself with this stuff. Bam, got that. Then you’ve got Rich Potter talking about wholesale. I got with him afterwards, and I’m like you’re where I want to be in a year or two, so you have to be my mentor.
Jim: Yeah, there’s no reason you can’t get there. Rich, you can listen to. He’s been on the – Rich and Shelly have been on the podcast three times now, and you can go back and see the history when they were getting excited and having their first thousand-dollar month and deciding if they want to do this full-time or not and slowly taking those next steps. Again, with an entrepreneur’s hat – you’ve got your Miami Dolphins hat on, which I’m very sorry to see that, actually, to be honest with you.
Kyle: It’s actually just because I’m outside.
Jim: Okay. I’m a Colts fan.
Kyle: Are you a Colts fan? You had one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
Jim: Bad memories back there in the day killing my Colts, but you’ve got to wear that entrepreneurial hat and think of it as a business owner. I love how you said we know where to put our money so that it benefits us later. If you can think about this business that way, you can really scale something special very, very quickly, and that’s what I think the Potters have done. They look at it as – they’ve approached this as a business.
Jim: You’ve got to take it seriously. It’s not a hobby. It’s not a little extra money for the weekend. It can be that, but if you look at it as a business, a real business, you can build something truly special very, very quickly.
Jim: What other lessons pop to mind? You’ve done a lot of hiring. You’ve been in business. You’re good at reading people. The guys who I think are really good at reading people are the guys who work at pawn shops and car dealerships.
Kyle: That’s because that’s what we have to do. We get lied to so much.
Jim: You’ve got to get good at it.
Kyle: Yeah, absolutely.
Jim: What’s your take on this community as a guy who knows people, and you were at the event. Give us some observations.
Kyle: Oh, my gosh. It’s amazing. When I looked for a community to join – I wanted to join something. There were so many choices out there, and I think I found a review about the Proven Amazon – the PAC to train to get into Amazon because I knew nothing about Amazon. The only knock they said is that apparently – they expected you to do all the training videos, you to do them all, so that was the only knock they said is that there’s all these other people doing them. I was like whatever, alright. I’m going to join it. I joined the base community that was free, right? Super cool. Everyone’s helping each other. I think I even messaged you, and you’re like hey, man, welcome. I was like that’s cool. Then I started listening to the podcast. Then I started feeling the success stories, and you could just see that there was actually true camaraderie, and everyone was helping each other versus a lot of the other ones that I was seeing and hearing about. I think the community’s fantastic. I think everyone has each other’s backs, and they know – we are selling against each other in a lot of aspects, and we’re still there to help each other, which is cool.
Jim: There’s plenty of people in the community where – I just love these stories. They find ASINs, and they text their group. They’ve got a group of four or five of them, and they just – there’s no price fixing, Mr. Government. Please don’t come get mad at us, but they just say hey, here’s a good ASIN. You should go check it out. They’re sharing those ASINs. Why not? It’s selling a couple hundred units a month. There’s only three or four of us selling it. Hey, come on in. One more. What’s the harm? There’s a lot of that. Truly lifelong relationships, friendships. You got a little taste of that as a new guy in the community. I was just curious what your – especially while you were there among them too in Tampa, it’s a pretty family-friendly vibe, right?
Kyle: Yeah, it’s really cool. I sat next to people, and there’s always that nervous thing. I came by myself. My wife couldn’t make it. I’m like should I say hi, what should I do. Finally, I looked over and I greeted this one guy. Found out he’s doing $4.5 million wholesale a year. The other guy to my right does a million dollars in Replens. I’m like oh, my gosh. I could learn so much just between these two people, and then you can personally go up to every single person that we look up to in the community like yourself and Nate Bailey and talk to them. Jimmy’s right there. You can go and pick his brain at any time and just be like hey. It really felt like a really close, open family. I can’t tell you how many, when I look back, maybe even stupid questions I asked Jimmy in private message, and he always – he’ll record me voice messages to answer him. He’ll write me. It’s just such a cool community. You do it as well, and I know you’re super busy.
Jim: Thank you, but it’s intentional because we see this as more than as a way to make money and build our own businesses. We really do see this, Kyle – and it kind of goes back to home school comments I was making a little while ago. Me, personally, I’m scared for the direction our country’s heading, a little nervous of the cultural decline that I see, and we need more entrepreneurs. We need to keep this entrepreneurial spirit. 80% of our economy is small businesses, and those guys are just – we’ve been getting pounded. That’s why I call us business building warriors. We’ve got to stick together, man. We’ve got to have more entrepreneurs. We need more kids being raised up with the entrepreneurial spirit, starting businesses, using the internet creatively. It’s a mission to us. You’ve heard me call it maybe even a ministry. We take this stuff seriously. I think that vibe filters out to – yeah, we’re going to make money. The stuff we teach works, but we need community, and we’re on a bigger mission than just making sure my family makes a better salary than I could if I had a 9 to 5 gig. It’s bigger to us than that.
Kyle: The only thing I can’t get Jimmy to answer is what his best Replens are. Maybe that’s a stupid question.
Jim: I can tell you this, he does have a circle of buddies that they do some cool stuff together and swap ASINs and all of that, so there’s guys that you get to know. The longer you’re around, the more you get to know guys. I’ve got coaching students from time to time I’ll just randomly – I’ll find a cool ASIN. Hey, how’ve you been, man? Just checking in. Wanted to make sure you’re doing alright. Here’s an ASIN you should go check out. I know you have one of these stores near you.
Kyle: That’s cool.
Jim: It’s an open-handed community in that way. What else you want to share, man? Anything else that you’ve got on your mind that you think might bring some value to some of the new folks hanging out with us?
Kyle: No, my biggest thing is just don’t give up. That’s the one thing I get when I post my success is people ask me how are you finding your Replens, things like that. You’ve just got to get on a roll. If you can – I know I’m not trying to advertise for it, but coaching is going to get you there fast. It’s going to fast-track you if you can take advantage. If you can’t, then there’s people in the community like ourselves that will still do everything we can to help you. I would love to – one of my ultimate goals would be to be a coach in the community at some time because I’d love to be able to help build people – build them up.
Jim: That’s awesome.
Kyle: And grow the community.
Jim: I love to hear that. You’ve heard the only two requirements we have for coaches. Have you ever heard me talk about that before?
Kyle: No. Mm-mm.
Jim: It’s two things, and we’ve built – the premise behind this philosophy, and I think you might appreciate this as a guy who’s hired a lot of people, and tell me if this resonates with you. It actually comes from some Hebrew biblical principles. If the only thing I know about you, Kyle – like we’d never met, but the only thing I know about you is you’ve built a successful business, not that you’re a Miami fan. If that’s the only thing I know, then game over. As he points to his Miami Dolphins hat. We probably should say that for the audio listeners. If the only thing I know about you is you’ve built a successful business over a significant period of time serving happy customers who had good transactions meaning they liked what they bought six months after the fact – there’s a good way to measure a good transaction, right? That’s all I know. I know nothing about you male, female, educational status, where you live in the world, nothing else, you are in my book a safe bet because the skillset it requires to serve others well enough that they’re paying you and you’re profiting enough that you can continue serving others well, that’s a skillset that’s significant, that takes a lot of character. It takes a lot of sacrifice, perseverance, all those qualities that go into making what most people would consider a good person.
So all I know is you run a profitable business, that tells me a lot about you. The other thing is, do you have a teacher’s heart? When it comes to our coaching program, we’re looking for two things. One is, are you running a profitable business? Can you put your money where your mouth is? Are you actually doing what it takes to make some money online? If you’ve got that one nailed down, all right, you’re a safe bet in my book. Two, do you have a teacher’s heart? That comes out in the way that you interact with others, answer questions in the forum, that sort of thing. Without any interview process needed, in many cases, some of our coaches have been people that I’ve only met maybe once, twice, talked to on the phone briefly, that’s it. We don’t have any intense interview process. We just know that they have those two things. It is a phenomenal recruiting process, just a phenomenal recruiting process that relies heavily on us being good at what we do and teach, because if we’re not, it dries up real fast. If we’re not producing guys like you that are actually getting results, well, there you go, step number one, because they’re not building successful businesses. What do you think of that process? How does that hit you?
Kyle: Oh, I think it’s a winner, absolutely. I mean, it’s worked really well.
Jim: Over the years, we’ve probably had 60 coaches, about 30 of them are with us right now. People move on, different seasons of life, they get too busy. They’re making too much money. We don’t want to have a coaching program that charges $50,000. That’s getting crazy. We can’t afford you anymore. You’re making so much money that working one-on-one is just out of reach for most people. We pay very well in the industry, our coaches, not that that matters right now for this conversation, but if you look at what the industry pays, most people pay script readers, like we’re going to go through the workbook now and check balances, it’s like a $12, $15 an hour gig to be a coach and they hire people and burn through them. Not so here.
Kyle: We’re going to keep good ones, yeah.
Jim: We pay them well. It’s something to keep on the radar as your time frees up and start to share your life experiences with new students coming through. I love it. Anything else on your mind before we start to wrap this one up? I think this was a great episode. We drifted around quite a bit but I loved it.
Kyle: We’ve touched on everything from everything. I appreciate it. My whole goal was to honestly get on here and just let people know in three months I’ve had – I never even bought a thing on Amazon. I always wanted to go and touch the item, feel the item, never anything online. With the drive and motivation, you can do it. You just can’t give up. All the tools, all you need is RevSeller and Keepa and you’re going to be fine.
Jim: I promise, I did not pay this guy to say any of this stuff today because you’re like an infomercial for the stuff that we talk about around here.
Kyle: It works to a T. That’s it. That’s what people are doing here that are successful are doing. You just follow it to a T and it’s right there.
Jim: Just yesterday, we passed 1,000 success stories in our Facebook group, success posts, I should say, from people who hop in and go, hey, guys, just had a record setting month, or hey, I just started a couple months ago, and look, I’m at $15,000 or $20,000 in sales, 1,000 of those. That’s significant and fairly recently. We haven’t had a Facebook group – we’ve had it for several years now but certainly not the full 20 years that I’ve been doing this – so just passed 66,000 members in that community.
Kyle: It’s all word of mouth, right? All people telling people.
Jim: Yeah, and I’m starting to hear more and more from people in the industry going, Jim, you’re freaking nuts, dude, because I’ve never put any money into marketing and it’s just all word of mouth. It’s all organic. Hey, if it works, tell somebody, kind of like I’m saying right now, hey, send someone to silentjim.com if you like what I’m saying now. That’s it. That’s our marketing.
Kyle: It brings the right people though, like me who just want to make a difference or want to learn from what you have to offer, which is great.
Jim: You’ve done most of the work. We’ve provided the formula and you’ve done the work. Kudos to you, man. It truly is a significant accomplishment. I don’t care what your background or experience is. One of the interviews that I did here just a couple of days ago was someone – they’d been in pastoral ministry their whole life. They’re like, “I don’t know anything about numbers, business, nothing, just clueless,” and they’ve built a beautiful business. If you’re ready to pay attention and be serious and do the work, this stuff works. It’s just that simple and something I love about it, too, Kyle, is we’re not talking about investing tens of thousands of dollars and hoping it works out later or months and months and months learning new technical skills. It’s a few dollars. Now, you went in a little harder, a little faster, but even there, it’s nothing compared to, say, buying a franchise for a few thousand dollars.
Kyle: Oh, yeah, absolutely. You can start at whatever amount of money you want, but Amazon, yeah, you’re right, anyone can do it, $1,000, $500, whatever, it can be an income stream.
Jim: Beautifully said. I’m going to talk to the listeners for just a second, Kyle. It’s been cool hanging out with you. As we wrap this one up, I just want to make sure the listeners realize a couple of things. One is, like I said, we don’t do any marketing, don’t spend any advertising dollars, so if you’ve enjoyed this episode today, we’d really appreciate it if you’d send a few friends to silentjim.com and say, hey, check out this podcast. That’s how we find new great candidates for our coaching program, for our courses, the Proven Amazon Course, that sort of thing. Leave a review, if you don’t mind. We love that, too. That helps spread the word as well. We truly appreciate that.
The last thing is, if you’re watching us on YouTube right now, you need to realize that most of our episodes are audio only, meaning you’re missing out on a lot if you just scroll through our videos. Go back and see several great guests who have been on – or hear several great guests who’ve been on our show who really didn’t want to turn the video cameras on but they had incredible stories to share. Go to silentjim.com for all that, subscribe there and you won’t miss a show that way.
To all the business-building warriors out there like Kyle, all the dads who want to come home, all the single moms out there trying to make ends meet, all the people who have a dream in their heart to get away from that grind, man, we are here for you, we want to see you succeed, we’re about so much more than just Amazon. We’re about using the internet creatively to launch and grow the business of your dreams. We see it happen all the time around here. God bless all the business-building warriors. We’re praying for you. We’re in your corner. We want to see this work for you. Let us know how we can help. We’ll have another great episode for you again real soon. Talk to you then. Thanks, Kyle.
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.