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February 21, 2024

When to quit and when to Stick in E-commerce [PART 2]

If quitting is going to be a strategic choice, then decide in advance what your criteria are for quitting.

There’s an ultramarathoner, Dick Collins who says:

” Decide in advance when you’re going to quit. And that does not include- if you’re running an ultramarathon- feeling dehydrated, sleepy, tired, and it’s cold and windy. If you’re making a decision based on how you feel at the moment, you’ll probably make the wrong decision.”

Your criteria for quitting don’t include, ” I don’t like all the hassle I’m getting from Amazon, they’ve suspended my listing.”

Those are not strategic quitting reasons. They’re just you’re getting a bit fed up and stressed.

Hi, I’m Michael Veazey from Amazing FBA and I’m the leader of the 10k Collective Mastermind, a mastermind for private label sellers and product brand owners who sell at least half a million dollars a year or more on Amazon.

Over the last five years we’ve had members triple their revenue in one year, grow to eight figures and one member get to a seven- figure exit. Now we’re taking it to the next level. I’m excited to introduce the 10K collective Uber mastermind.

It’s a unique combination of peer group support in person and online and specialist coaching.

If you’re ready to take your business to seven figures and beyond, then click the button to find out more about the 10k Collective Uber Mastermind today.

If you’re listening to this on a podcast, just go to TheAmazonmastermind.com. that’s theAmazonmastermind.com to find out more today.

Hi folks, this is Michael Veazey.

Today I’m going to talk about the superpower, the secret power, of quitting when you can grow a business or a career by stopping doing stuff and starting to do other things, making space for other things.

Ways to Fail…

Here’s a little failure list from Godin.

“Seven reasons you might fail to become the best in the world.

Number one, you run out of time and quit.

Number two, you run out of money and you quit.

Number three, you get scared and quit.

Number four, you’re not serious about it and you quit.

Number five, you lose interest or enthusiasm or settle for being mediocre.

Number six, you focus on the short term instead of the long term and quit when the short term gets too hard.

Number seven, you pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world because you don’t have the talent. ”

Be honest

Now, that sounds like a bit of a depressing list, doesn’t it? But let’s be honest. If you are honest with yourself, you can probably tell in advance that you don’t have enough time to launch a new product this year, or start a direct to consumer site that you’re going to do properly. That you don’t have enough money yet to go and launch 60 new products this year.

I had a client who did that at some point- 60 new products in one quarter. But the guy had borrowed half a million pounds against his house. He had the money. He was taking the risk. He believed in what he was doing and it’s worked out incredibly well for him. It’s 10 X’d the revenue of his business since he joined the mastermind

“You’re not serious about it.” 

You’re not serious about it.” I’ve been guilty, many of us do, if you get pitched into doing a business model or a type of work that looks attractive, but you’re really hoping for a quick buck, you’re probably not serious about it. I’m not going to condemn you for that because I’ve done that and, we’re all vulnerable to that kind of marketing, but it’s just a good idea to recognize if that’s the truth and then just walk away.

“Focusing on the short term instead of the long term.” 

“Focusing on the short term instead of the long term.”

If you have given a business model less than 12 months, then you’re just not even, again, you’re not serious. Which is fine, but don’t bother. If you’re going to go into something for three months, I just don’t think you should bother doing it at all.

Whatever it is, new product line, new sales channel, new business model even a new significant employee. Yes, if it’s a low level employee, maybe three months is what you give them. Or even if it’s a super simple task, , you give them a couple of weeks and then fire them. Fine, but , if it’s any serious level thing, at least give things a year.

On the other hand, as Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank says, if your business hasn’t really made a profit in three years, you take it behind the shed and shoot it.

A bit brutal as he often is. But three years is a long time to have something that doesn’t make profit.

“You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world, because you don’t have talent”

” You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world, because you don’t have talent”

Let’s be honest, people try and start businesses based on the idea that the business model does all the work.

Well, no, I don’t think that’s true. If you don’t have a feel for or a passion for a particular industry, product type, or consumer type, I think, you’ve got to rethink your choices. Because talking about losing interest or enthusiasm, if you don’t really, really care, you’re not going to stick at it long enough to get the benefits.

Again, I’ve been so guilty of doing that. Totally get it. Nothing here is things that I’m not guilty of or that I’m condemning anyone for.

But if you’re in any of those situations, then you may fail to become the best in the world. In some of those, if you don’t have the enthusiasm, if you don’t have enough money and you don’t have the talent, you should probably not do it anyway.

If you have the passion and expertise but not enough money…

But if you’re running out of money and you have got the passion, the enthusiasm, the expertise, then guess what? Go and get somebody with money. There is money out there looking for a home. There’s always money out there looking for a home.

Not easy to raise or borrow. But If you’ve run a reasonable business and you’ve got some kind of proto success or early level success in your hands, you can raise it.

I’ve had clients who’ve sold parts of their businesses, whole businesses, borrowed half a million. You’re not going to get that without some proof of concept, but if you haven’t got proof of concept, it could be a signal that it’s time for you to quit, couldn’t it?

8 Dips

So Let’s talk about a couple of other things. There are eight dip curves or types of dips that Godin talks about. I’m going to mention the ones I think are most relevant in e commerce.

Manufacturing dip 

Manufacturing dip. It’s easier to start building something in your garage. It’s difficult and expensive to buy an injection mold or ramp up for large scale production.”

That’s true. Now, we all tend to outsource stuff very early in the game in, in the models that that most people I know follow in e commerce. That said it is not easy to ramp up and keep the product quality. So that’s one more area where you can fail or choose to push through.

Risk dip

Risk dip. Bootstrappers learn the hard way that at some point they can’t pay for it all themselves, especially out of current income. It takes risk to rent a bigger space or invest in new techniques.”

Okay, so investing your own money, somebody else’s money, or borrowing money. Those are normally the options and at some point most successful people I know have to move beyond bootstrapping or at that point they sell the business to somebody else with the cash, which is fine.

But at some point you probably are going to hit a point where you cannot just continue to expand organically. Not always true. Some people choose to grow slow and safe and there’s nothing wrong with that, but often that is a dip that you are going to have to reach and consider.

Relationship dip

Relationship dip. As Godin says, “There are people and organizers, organizations that can help you later, but only if you invest the time and effort to work with them now, even though now isn’t the easy time.”

So you go and form relationships with people who might potentially buy your business in three, four or five years time, even though it’s not a sellable business yet. And even though you’re busy running your business, why? Because the long term payoff is huge.

Conceptual dip

Conceptual dip. This is another huge one.

Godin says,” You’ve got this far operating under one set of assumptions and abandoning those assumptions and embracing a new and bigger set may be exactly what you need to get to the next level.”

Particularly true if you’ve been a solopreneur and you need to start moving on to creating teams, that’s a real inflection point. Not everyone’s going to be suited to that. Which is fine, but I would urge you to sell your business while it is still an attractive early stage proposition. I want to say early stage, it might’ve been a business for several years, but early in terms of its potential for expansion, if that’s not you again, either go all the way through the dip of hiring a team and expanding, which is a different type of business.

And I’ve worked with a lot of both in the mastermind or sell it. As a solopreneur working business, getting stuck in the middle, are you kind of half built it and half not, and your profits are lower, but your team isn’t there yet, not a good place to get stuck. So push through or sell.

Ego dip

Ego dip. When it’s all about you, it’s easier giving up control and leading into the organization gives you leverage. Most people can’t do that. They can’t give up the spotlight. ”

That’s what Godin says as well.

Again, that is so true. I’m guilty of every one of these. I think for solopreneurs, again that is really common. Again, that’s related really to the conceptual dip that I was talking about. If you cannot build a team, sell now; or build the tea m go through it.

Planning when – or whether – to quit

Okay, let’s talk about the never quit quote. That’s spectacularly bad advice, Seth Godin says. So quitting a short term strategy is a bad idea. Quitting for the long term is an excellent idea.

Seth Godin says, “I think the advice given meant to say never quit something with great long term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment. Now that’s good advice.”

So that again comes down to that advanced planning for really, you know, when are you going to be prepared to quit? And when are you not? So decide in advance.

Decide in advance when NOT to quit

There’s an ultramarathoner, Dick Collins who says:

” Decide in advance when you’re going to quit. And that does not include- if you’re running an ultramarathon- feeling dehydrated, sleepy, tired, and it’s cold and windy. If you’re making a decision based on how you feel at the moment, you’ll probably make the wrong decision.”

So that’s tool number one. If quitting is going to be a strategic choice, then decide in advance what your criteria are for quitting.

And they don’t include, “I’m stressed, I don’t like all the pressure I’m getting, I don’t like all the hassle I’m getting from Amazon, they’ve suspended my listing.”

Those are stressors of the moment. Those are not strategic quitting reasons. They’re just you’re getting a bit fed up and stressed.

 Questions before Quitting

The other things are some questions that Godin comes up with.

So three questions to ask before quitting from Seth Godin.

Am I panicking?

Question number one. Am I panicking? Quitting is not the same as panicking. Quitting when you’re panicked is dangerous and expensive. The best quittersdecide in advance when they’re going to quit. They have objective criteria.”

And by the way, you have to therefore have objective measurements by which to measure stuff. A number of hours you’re working a week or if you’re looking at your lifestyle and the output of your business, but also, you know, financial ones, not just revenue, please, profit and, and cashflow, but also your personal income from your business now and the personal income you might expect if you sell itand the probability of selling it. That kind of thing.

“The decision to quit is often made in the moment,” says Godin, “but that’s exactly the wrong time to make such a critical decision.”

Who am I trying to influence?

Question two. Who am I trying to influence? Are you trying to succeed in the market? If you’re trying to influence just one person, persistence has its limits.

It’s easy to cross the line between demonstrating a commitment and being a pest. That’s typical for job hunters in a very specific industry. However, if you’re trying to influence the market though the rules are different. Some of the people in the market have considered you and even rejected you, but most of the people in the market have never even heard of you.

The market doesn’t have just one mind. Different people in the market are searching for different things. So if you are trying to gain market adoption. You need to stick at it for a lot longer than you think, probably.”

Back to Seth Godin’s book, The Dip.

What sort of measurable progress am I making?

Question three: What sort of measurable progress am I making? If you’re trying to succeed in a job or relationship or a task, you’re either moving forwards, falling behind, or standing still. Those are the only three choices. To succeed, to get to that light at the end of the tunnel, you are going to have to move forwards.”

And you’re going to have to measure that progress, right? So measuring progress doesn’t have to be dramatic. It can be, it’s got to be more than just a mantra, it’s not just surviving. So if you’re trying to influence an entire market you need to get some metrics about it, but it’s really not a good idea to flip from one market to another.

If you don’t hammer away at it for a while, you’re not even going to know whether there’s any kind of chance to succeed.

Then that comes down to strategic quitting. So they quote from ultra marathoner Dick Collins again, deciding what you want to, when you’re going to quit. in advance, not based on the pain of the day.

The 10X Rule

The 10x rule, which is another book, which. I’d recommend it, but frankly, not as much as Seth Godin’s book is by Grant Cardone.

He’s a hard charging alpha male sales type person, not always my favorite but he does say, I think a very truthful thing, which is, it’s probably going to take 10 times the amount of money and 10 times longer to get a market. product adopted by a market than you think.

Following the advice of lucky people is risky

Now, not always, but a lot of the success stories we hear from otherwise very bright and capable entrepreneurs. I know a lot of them, of course, partly through the podcast, partly through my friends in the Amazon world in the UK. They often were somewhat lucky. They’re smart people. They’ve made great products. They’ve got great feel for marketing. And I’m not saying they’re not genuine entrepreneurs, but they’ve often gone in with a modest amount of money and it’s worked, which is great.

But I just think that that is not a good starting point for robust likelihood of success. If you think it’s going to take 10, 000 to launch a product, ideally you get 20, 000 available. And that’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to beg, borrow and steal it. And going to have to show some success.

So it’s an iterative game.It goes in stages. You might start with 10, 000 seed money and then go and borrow another 5, 000. And then. By the way, that is not the same as selling products at a loss and keeping throwing bad money after good. You’ve got to get to a point where it makes a profit at some point fairly early on, right?

And there’s lots you can discuss around that, but you get the idea. Sometimes it takes more. I’m just saying.

Grant Cardone’s book’s not bad. The basic concept is very strong. Think how much effort and money you’re going to need to put in and then be prepared to do a lot more than that.

Key Takeaways

So look, there’s a lot to be got out of this, but let me try and summarize the, the really key takeaways.

It’s rather dramatic, but this is what Godin has to say about quitting:

“If it’s not going to put a dent in the world, quit right now, quit and use that void to find the energy to assault the dip that matters.”

I’m resistant to that, and I’m sure you are. But part of you knows that it’s true as well. And you’ve got to wend away between day to day practicalities. Winding up a business can be more expensive in the short term than just running it for cash. So look, there are always ways and means of doing these things.

If you have inventory and a product isn’t really selling, you can sell it through for cash. You don’t have to Instantly just stop it or just destroy the inventory. But you can sell it through and not water some more, right? If you’ve got a sales channel, it isn’t really working. You can put it right in the back burner. You can have it there. So contributing, but without distracting you from other things.

You can fire people that are not working out for you. There are other people out there, business partner firing. That’s another, that’s a special type of quitting isn’t it? That’s something really important, but quite often a lot of us know that it’s going to be done. It’s painful as heck you have my sympathies. If that’s the case, it’s not an easy one.

Create a void and…you have to fill it

But there are lots of things that, that we know in the end that we have to quit. And making a void, even if you do it one step at a time, incrementally forces you to think, oh my god, now I’ve reduced my revenue by getting rid of the products that don’t make a profit. Now I’ve got to rebuild that and then you’re going to rebuild from stuff that actually makes profits.

One of my clients is going through that right now. He’s had a cut down, had no choice for various financial reasons, had hiccup, some big challenges and being forced to reduce the revenue and reduce his product line to that stuff that makes profit and turn over, turns over stock pretty quickly. I think that’s actually a really healthy starting point for rebuilding.

So, wielding a knife and getting out there and quitting stuff is never fun in the short term. But, as Seth Godin says,

” We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have guts to quit. We succeed when we do something remarkable.

We fail when we give up too soon. We succeed when we’re the best in the world at what we do. ”

Hi, I’m Michael Veazey from Amazing FBA and I’m the leader of the 10k Collective Mastermind- a Mastermind for private label sellers and product brand owners who sell at least half a million dollars a year or more on Amazon.

Over the last five years we’ve had members triple their revenue in one year, grow to eight figures and one member get to a seven- figure exit.

Now we’re taking it to the next level. I’m excited to introduce the 10K collective Uber mastermind. It’s a unique combination of peer group support in person and online and specialist coaching. We give you everything you need to grow your business to high seven figures, and finally start to get that lifestyle you were promised when you went into this.

You’ll get clear plans from world class specialists on things like intellectual property law, e commerce, image and video marketing, financial engineering and paid advertising to name but a few. You’ll create bulletproof plans to survive the recession. You’ll double check with your peers that they make sense and then you’ll make a plan to make a killing on the rebound.

Most importantly, you will actually transform your business.

You’ll create listings that convert, build a brand that connects and get premium pricing. You’ll learn the latest advertising hacks and master stock management, as well as avoiding Amazon curveballs. Above all, you will create a big, bold, three year plan for a seven figure exit. And unlike other programs, we don’t just hype you up and then abandon you.

You’ll have your peers in the mastermind, giving you insights from their own businesses and keeping you on track through peer accountability and a little bit of friendly competition. And we’ll also have those experts double checking. Everything you do makes actual sense.

If you finally want to start becoming the entrepreneur you’ve always known you can be, if you’re ready to take your business to seven figures and beyond, then click the button to find out more about the 10k Collective Uber Mastermind today.

If you’re listening to this on a podcast, just go to TheAmazonmastermind.com. that’s theAmazonmastermind.com to find out more today.

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