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#142 – This Amazon Selling Story Shows That There’s No One Right Way to Have Success in eCommerce

You know how the story goes. For a number of reasons, Amazon sellers-to-be hover around the edges of the eCommerce selling ecosystem before finally jumping in with both feet.

Maybe they’ve heard tales of Amazon selling success from their friends or get a side job doing website work for an Amazon seller, but eventually they see an opportunity they just can’t pass up.

Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, we have an Amazon seller story in reverse. In this episode, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Customer Success, Bradley Sutton welcomes Christi, a former Amazon seller who walked away from $750,000 in sales because her passion involved building high-functioning Amazon eCommerce teams, not selling on the platform herself.

There are so many ways to find success on Amazon.

Listen today to hear one more, this time from a new direction.

In episode 142 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Christi discuss:

  • 01:30 – Christi’s Origin Story
  • 02:00 – No Barbies; She Spent Her Childhood Designing RVs
  • 03:15 – A Degree in Corporate Communications Got Her Started
  • 05:30 – Living in (Expensive) Boston, She Wanted a Side-Income
  • 06:45 – A Popular Necklace on Amazon Helped Make Up Her Mind
  • 07:35 – Walking and Learning
  • 09:20 – A Bad Business Card and Another Pivot
  • 11:30 – Customized Promotional Products Were Her Niche
  • 14:00 – With 750K in Profits, the Demand Was There
  • 16:00 – Scaling Problems
  • 17:15 – Amazon “Team Building” Was Right in Her Wheelhouse
  • 19:20 – “Am I Really an Entrepreneur?”
  • 23:00 – Boston Shaker?
  • 24:45 – Christi’s 30 Second Tip

Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.

Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:

  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
  • Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
  • Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
  • Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation. 
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Bradley: Here’s a story about a former Amazon seller who ended her near-million-dollar business in order to spend her time assembling Amazon selling teams. Find out why she made that switch along with getting some cool sourcing tactics on today’s episode.

Bradley: Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton and this is the show that’s a completely unscripted BS-free, unrehearsed, organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the eCommerce world. I’ve got somebody who I’m not sure how serious she is, but I’m sure she has some serious strategies here. Christi, how’s it going?

Christi: Pretty good. But I don’t know how serious I am because you’ve mentioned that four times, and now, I feel like maybe this is not going to go a long way.

Bradley: It’s all right. Hey, you came; you’re here in California. You’re right here in front of me. It’s always a privilege to have a guest here. Usually, we record these remotely, and so I’m just trying to picture them making faces at me or anything like that. But here you are. Now, you came from Oklahoma, Texas, or where’d you come from today?

Christi: Oklahoma, OKC.

Bradley: Oklahoma. Okay. Now, is that where you were born and raised?

Christi: Born and raised, yep.

Bradley: Okay. Growing up as a little Oklahoman…

Christi: You could go Okey or Oklahomian.

Bradley: I thought Okey is like a derogatory term like “Okey Bob” or something like that. I’ve heard about that. Isn’t that bad?

Christi: We do have some rednecks. I don’t know what I would go by.

Bradley: Let me just put it this way. Growing up, as a young girl in Oklahoma, five, 10 years old, did you already have a vision of what you wanted to do when you “grew up?”

Christi: Yes, I was going to be an architect.

Bradley: Oh, okay. I mean, were you five years old when you wanted to be an architect or are we talking a little bit older?

Christi: No, I can’t remember what I wanted to be at five, but I knew I hated Barbie dolls, so that’s something I can remember. No, but probably young, like a preteen, something between 10, 11, 12, 13. I definitely had realized that math was good for me. I understood it; It was very logical. Two plus two will always be four, no matter what language you spoke. And so, I thought that would be really cool. And I always liked to design, so my hobby was drawing, and so I would always create. I would build houses or I’d design an RV or something my parents want.

Bradley: Are we going to go play with dolls? No, I’m just going to go design an RV. I’m sorry. Maybe hit me up tomorrow. Typical childhood. Now how long did this phase or did this idea last? Until how old were you?

Christi: Gosh, I don’t know. Probably through midway through high school.

Bradley: Okay. Then, you graduated high school in Oklahoma. Did you immediately enter university college?

Christi: I did, yeah. I stayed in my hometown. I’m the youngest of all the kiddos, and my mom was sick at the time, and so, I was the last one, and I thought, “You know what, I’m going to stick around here.” I really wanted to go out of state. I think by the time I was 17 or 18, I figured Oklahoma was a little too small for me. And fast-forwarding ahead, I ended up moving to Boston for many, many years, but now I’m back. But at the time I think I had already known that but I wanted to stick around, so I went to the University of Central Oklahoma, and because of my drama theater stage background, I had decided that I wanted to be corporate communications. Basically, it was public speaking in a corporate setting.

Bradley: That was your major?

Christi: Yes, that was my major.

Bradley: Did you spend all four years there?

Christi: Yes, all four years.

Bradley: And then after that, you immediately went to Boston?

Christi: No, no, no. It was a couple of years later.

Bradley: You’re older than I think you are. I still think that maybe you just graduated from college a couple of years ago.

Christi: That’s adorable. Definitely not.

Bradley: Brownie points for Serious Sellers Podcast here.

Christi: Right. We’re going to figure out how charming you are.

Bradley: There we go.

Christi: No, I stayed there and I got a couple of gosh¾we’re going way back. Okay. I did a couple of public speaking things. I worked for a wholesale travel company. Wow, we’re going way back. I did a lot of sales for them, so I go to a lot of really big events. I would travel all over the state of Oklahoma, Northern Texas, and we would just talk about the travel company. Sometimes it would be a small little audience; sometimes it would be at a state fair. And then, I think the largest was probably maybe like 5,000 people in front of a concert.

Bradley: You spoke in front of 5,000 people at a concert?

Christi: Sure, yeah.

Bradley: About travel?

Christi: Yeah.

Bradley: That would be a terrible concert. (laughing) If I’m going to a concert and then all of a sudden somebody goes up…

Christi: It was a raffle. We were one of the sponsors, so we were giving away…

Bradley: Okay, okay. That’s better.

Christi: Everyone stopped singing now. It was in-between; there was the emcee between all of the artists and in-between, there were different giveaways. And then, of course, you got your 30-second plug, and so, we were talking about that and doing the raffle and giveaway.

Bradley: Until now, I have heard almost zero signals of entrepreneurship or e-commerce. At what stage in your life was your first entry into the world that we’re now in¾ecommerce and entrepreneurship?

Christi: Sure. The funny part is that my family’s full of entrepreneurs¾my dad, brother, and grandparents. I thought that I was, and I figured someday I would be, but it turns out actually nowadays, I don’t know that I really, really am a true by definition, entrepreneur. But I had moved to Boston, and I was working there and I was a project manager. I’m very operationally oriented, and I was a project manager, and I was living in Boston and I was making it a decent income for that job, but it was the heart of Boston, which meant I was broke.

Christi: I wanted to make some more money on the side, and I didn’t want to quit my job like most people. And I just wanted an extra side income, and I didn’t want anybody to know what I was doing. I was like, how could I do something on the side where no one knows about it and I don’t have to quit my job? And I decided, well, I guess I could figure out how to sell online.

Bradley: Well, what year are we talking about right now?

Christi: About 2015. Okay. Yup. And there were a lot of transitions going on at my company and a lot of transitions in life. And so, I just thought, you know what, I’ve always wanted to do this. Why don’t I give it a shot? And so, I think I looked online, and I remember, I knew nothing. I didn’t even know that you could sell on Amazon. I’d only heard of eBay, and I looked online and I think I found something that’s “how to sell online” and it was something like you can sell on Amazon. I thought that was fascinating, because I always bought on Amazon, and I think I heard about private label first. I don’t know how I came across that. And what I did was I found a necklace and that was like a mom’s, I love you¾I don’t know¾sapphire necklace. And I saw it on Amazon, and I didn’t know anything about rank. I knew nothing. But I knew that it had 15,000 reviews. This obviously was a popular item. I put that together. And then, somehow with this article, it was like, you can source from Alibaba; I had no idea what that was. I mean, this was like diving-in-deep day one. And I found that same necklace on Alibaba, and it was like, I don’t know, a dollar or something. It was insane. But on Amazon, it was selling for $35. And I was like, I’m not a rocket scientist; I don’t need to know that, but I know that I can flip that and make some money from it. And I was sold right then and there, and I decided, okay, well this is what I’m going do; I’m just going to learn through a course. I flew back home and then I thought, okay, so I found this course, and so I started walking. Remember, I didn’t want anybody to know. I started walking to and from work; it took me like 30 minutes or something. I would walk there and back; it was over the summer, so it was warm.

Bradley: Are we still in 2015?

Christi: Yeah, 2015. I walked there and back. And I just learned every day that summer. I would just put on whatever the training video was, walk there and walk back. It was an hour every day. No one knew. And then finally, I think I pulled the trigger sometime in July. I opened up my account like July 31st, and I sold my first thousand dollars. My goal was by September 1st, which is my birthday, and I sold that by the end of October or sorry, the end of August.

Bradley: This was arbitrage.

Christi: Yeah, I started with arbitrage, because there was somebody who put out like a pyramid that was like, “You start with the easiest entry.” The barrier to entry was retail arbitrage and then wholesale and then private label and then partnerships. I saw some sort of pyramid. I thought, ”Well, I got to start from the beginning.”

Bradley: Pyramids usually are bad in the business world, but in this case, it was okay, I guess.

Bradley: It was in terms of barriers to entry and knowledge. And I would still agree with that to this day. Anyway, I started selling that and that will forever be my hazing period within this new business of my life. I sold all the way through that Q4. I didn’t go into debt. I didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend on it at the time. And I think I ended up making like $5,000 or $6,000 by the end of that year.

Bradley: Profit.

Christi: Yes, profit. And so, I thought, “Okay, I’ve definitely gotten something.” I went home for Christmas because I was living in Boston. I went home for Christmas and I was like, “Okay, I can finally tell people.” I’m proud of this, so I can finally tell. And then I thought, “Okay, I’ll buy again, and maybe I’ll keep the whole thing up.” And then January hit, and stupid me¾everything tanked, of course: ranks, everything. And I didn’t realize that because it was my first season, and I was living off that high. I thought, “never again, not doing this.” And that’s immediately when I started learning about private label. And I was in my certification course for PMI, project management certification. And I remember being in the middle of this course, and I had this brilliant idea. And so, it was basically this little card. It looked like a business card, and I knew enough to know that it had a rank it was like, I don’t know 4,000. It was a merchant fulfilled; it was like six bucks. It looked like complete crap, and it had like 50 5-star reviews.

Christi: And I was just immediately like, “Okay, I can totally make this. This is just a business card.” I can just go to Vista Print right now and print this off. And so, I did; I made that decision, and I was like “You know what, I don’t know a lot about graphic design, but I had Photoshop.” I went, I recreated this, made it look better. I was going to just source in a bunch of different places, but it turned out that I could source this whole thing and it was like 50 cents or something to do this package. And then I thought, “well, I’ll just do an FBA. I’ll jack up the price to $9.99 and I did. And I sent that out, and I spent less than a hundred dollars getting about whatever’s after shipping. Everything was like, I don’t know, 120 bucks or whatever it was.

Christi: Here I am, good at numbers, not remembering this. But anyway, I sent it in and within the first two days it sold and by the end of the week I started selling multiples, and I ended up getting the number one new release badge, and I went ahead and I posted in a Facebook forum, and I think it was in Jim Cochran’s.

Bradley: This is like the only part of the story, I think, last year you had told me. Now we’re finally catching up to the one part of your life I know about.

Christi: That you know about, yea. I posted there, and it I think I posted it and the title of the post was like “Four weeks, and $100 to a single private label product.” And back in 2016 at least what I had been aware of, most people were not sourcing here in the US; that was not something that you could do that quickly or that inexpensive. And so that caught a lot of attention. I got a lot of the moderator’s attention, and it just spun out of control from there. I realized that I continued to source from promotional companies. Promotional companies are the ones that write your company’s logo on a mug or on some sort of your Helium 10 pins right here. And so that would be a promotional company that usually prints on there. They customize basic products, and then, they sell them to companies who usually use them as giveaways, right? I decided, “Well, if they’re going to customize a product, why can’t they customize it with something that’s not a logo but something that’s more, I don’t know, unique that would be sellable, like the mugs with the world’s best boss or something like that where it would actually have emotional value. Everything was based on emotional value, because no one’s going to buy a pin, no one’s going to buy a mug for $15 when you can go buy a mug at the dollar store for a dollar. The functionality is the same; it’s the emotional value that you’re adding. That was the niche that I got into.

Bradley: Now, were these companies that you’re sourcing from, were they made in the USA, or was it made overseas?

Christi: Well, that gets into difficult things. The customizing plant, usually, what they do, like promotional companies, they’ll buy from China overseas, and they’ll buy half a million units of these kinds of pens. And then they put them there and then they have the custom printers here in the US, so the turnaround time, super short, and they can pass on that cost. It’s really buying it at a wholesale price. You get it customized whatever you want to; it’s unique to you. That was the private label portion of it.

Bradley: Okay. Yeah. How long did you do that? In 2016, was that pretty much the majority of where your sales come from¾that model?

Christi: I never went back to retail arbitrage. Never. I’ve still never done wholesale. I jumped straight to that.

Bradley: In 2016, your first semi-full year of Amazon, how much did you gross?

Christi: Okay. Turning around that year, it was probably just shy of about 650,000. They did a lot with bundling. I mean I think that’s where the next big jump. And I learned a ton of lessons there.

Bradley: You’re bundling, but not all of these necessarily, as you said, had messages on them. It was like your customization was not necessarily putting somebody’s name or a company name, but like design-wise.

Christi: Design. Yeah.

Bradley: How would you make that emotional thing, like you said, if it doesn’t ¾ I mean a design doesn’t really have an emotional connection.

Christi: No, it certainly can’t. A message can. First of all, I’m going to say that your emotional crayon box is like a pack of eight. Right? But there’s like 64 out there. Most people think of emotions where they’re like I watched the movie “Inside Out.” Yes. There’s like happy, sad, afraid¾all this. But then there are things like pride, right? And you have team pride, you have family pride, you have those. I mean you can buy an LA sweatshirt and they can charge $50 for that because it says Los Angeles, because it says something like that. They have given emotional value to a sweatshirt that would otherwise cost $5.

Bradley: I’m still just getting over the fact that you sold almost three-quarters of a million dollars of this thing. Was that your peak? Did you start doing other things?

Christi: That was the peak, yes.

Bradley: That was the peak. Okay. Tell me this. This was manufactured in the USA. Of course, they have pretty good margins because they are made in China, but there’s customization. What was the profit margins on a product like that?

Christi: It was a wide range. When I think about the fact that I bought it, so that thing that was a business card, right? I mean my total landed cost depending on how much I was actually buying was anywhere from 79 cents, I think, to like a dollar and 20 or something. But I was selling it for $9.99 after Amazon fees, which was like five and a quarter or something. I mean there were still several dollars leftover. The problem with that is it was low-dollar amounts but high volume, right? If you only made a couple of dollars off each one, you had to sell a ton, like a ton to get to that point. That’s a different model. A lot of people don’t look at that. They don’t look at parameters. When you’re using tools, Helium 10 tools, you’re looking at things like, “Don’t show me anything that would be under $14.99 or something” and “don’t show me anything that’s going to be oversized or above that price range.” I flew under the radar with things like that.

Bradley: Were some of these drawbacks the reason why you started shifting away, because of course anybody who might say, “I just went from zero to 600,000 a year,” somebody might be listening right now would be like, “Well why didn’t you just keep going? “Is that still a viable way of doing things for somebody here in 2020 to find one of these promotional companies and do things?

Christi: Certainly. First of all, there are promotional companies everywhere. Your print shop is technically a promotional company. You have to open your mind to like even a piece of paper. If it has something printed on here, if I put a sign…. just took off a blank piece of paper and you put a sign that was like Ninja entrance only and I put it on your ceiling, like one of your tiles, Ninja exit, Ninja entrance. You can show how to use that. And that could be interesting with that model. It was not cost-effective for me to send it to a 3PL. It was not cost-effective for me to send it to someone else. Then I started having like next-door neighbor come in and just pay a kid from high school come in and start assembling these things.

Christi: But again, I’m living in Boston in a one-bedroom apartment. I don’t really have the room and space for that. It started being not scalable for that reason. And I also started just not liking to do it anymore. And that’s been a really big theme in my life as you try things and you learn from experience what you like, what you don’t like, what works well and what doesn’t work well. And I really enjoyed the team-building component and getting in more into hiring and cultivating leadership and building a team.

Bradley: How do you go from selling on Amazon to like, “I’m going to build teams”?

Christi: Well, I still say in the realm of Amazon, I just work on the operational side of things. Okay. Now I have a team; we have teams and there are 14 full-time people, and it’s building, finding, hiring those. What the transition piece that you’re probably looking for there was I tried a lot of different things. We did sort of the information piece of things, and I realized that wasn’t really my cup of tea. It was fun while it lasted, but that’s just wasn’t my cup of team. And then, we had the bundling extension, and we did that. And that was interesting. That was mostly for us to be used internally, but then it kind of got external. And then, what I found, unintentionally, as I was pretty successful at hiring people overseas, especially in the Philippines.

Christi: Then over time, over time, over time, I ended up basically building an international recruitment agency, so I had a head-hunting recruitment agency. I would help other Amazon sellers find talent in the Philippines that was specifically had what they were looking for. Most of them with Amazon experience and I was able to work and vet them because I understood Amazon, and you know, sometimes people can write on their resumes, beautiful things, but then I could ask them three basic questions and be like, “Nope, you don’t know any of this. Yeah, you can’t really run an account. “ I started bridging that gap with the people that I knew, the network that I had, and my team over in the Philippines, they were powering the hiring vetting process for me. And then I would do the final say. That’s how I transitioned.

Bradley: Have you yourself completely stopped selling on Amazon in any way?

Christi: Pretty much. Yeah.

Bradley: And that wasn’t difficult to like once you started? I mean, is it kind of addictive? Having the satisfaction of seeing a product go from zero to hero. Isn’t that addictive? How did you give that up?

Christi: Sure. I think I just let them all dwindle, especially when you’re talking about something so simple as once someone recognizes that that’s just a business card, I almost self-sabotaged. Like I would talk to people about it, and I like to be open and sharing and those types of things. But then you realize that really can damage your business. And so, I think the whole thing just came from me. Like maybe this isn’t what I’m supposed to do or this isn’t the best thing.

Bradley: It’s interesting the mindset of somebody who goes from one to the other and then back in and being able to getaway. Because I think for a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s almost become like an addiction. Not in a bad way. I mean like if you’re just addicted to the game and you’re losing money, yeah, that’s bad if you’re addicted, but you’re the first person I’ve ever known to be able to give that up. And obviously you have a smile on your face right now. You have no regrets about that.

Christi: I am so happy where I am right now. I mean, I love it. And the truth is though, you just said entrepreneur, “you’re like most entrepreneurs.” That’s why I say I know that by definition, I’m really a great entrepreneur. I have strong entrepreneurial tendencies. I’m really good at vision. I’m good with creativity, but I’m a lot better at putting systems together and processes and being able to determine, looking at a big, let’s call it a project, but a big or company where an organization and say, okay, we want to go from here to here and how do we get there? Like, what resources do we need? And by resources a lot of times that’s people also not just systems and tools, but it’s all SOPs and all of that. But it’s also just who’s going to be the right fit to go here. And that is a fun game for me. Like that is something that I like to build. And so now again, the agency is 14 people and I’m really, really proud of that. I’m very, very happy staying in this. I’m still in the Amazon space. It’s just in a different capacity.

Bradley: And then when you work as an agency or team building or just doing any management for people, it’s kind of like when you’re in the education space or you know, me being a Zumba instructor before, where’s Bradley going with this one? People are asking like, what in the world is he talking about? But it’s like I’ve talked about it a lot. People don’t understand the feeling that you get when you help somebody at the same, even if you’re getting money for it. But if you see somebody happy and you know that you played a role in it or like, Hey, you can take it; it’s not your product; it wasn’t just because of you, but you can take pride in that even though it’s not your product and it’s a very satisfying feeling for sure.

Christi: Yeah.

Bradley: All right. Now, we’re going to get into your 30-second tip and it could be about your very unique style of how to find companies that you source from before, but don’t worry about that right now. Before we get into our 30-second tip, we are going to play the search volume game. I’ve been going like a madman on my computer trying to find what keywords I’m going to do for you because I sometimes do it based on the person’s name. I sometimes do it based on where they’re from, and I’ve just been having a heck of a time trying to find three. What I decided to do, I found three here in Helium 10 Magnet. And again, for anybody who’s out there listening for the first time, we have this thing we call the search volume game where I give the guests three keywords that are very related to each other and each of these is keyword phrases that are searched on Amazon.

Bradley: And because of Helium 10 Magnet, I actually have the estimated search warrant monthly search volume. In other words, how many times there are search for a month and then I’m going to give you three keywords and three search volumes and then you’ve got to tell me what you think goes to each one. Right? And there’s no pressure here. And all the time I’ve done this, only one person has ever got it right. You know, you think by just law of averages more would have got her. I’ve done this like 12 times and only one person has got it. Right. But that’s the whole point of why I do this is to show people that, “Hey, just because you think something is searched for a certain way or you think something is a certain way, that does not mean that customers, in general, do it.” Always look at the data instead. Right? I’m going to sort this by the length of phrase and the three phrases are Boston Red Sox. Boston shaker, which I didn’t know what that meant until I clicked on it right now.

Christi: I don’t know what that is.

Bradley: You don’t know what that is either?

Christi: No. Is this like a¾?

Bradley: Yes. She was shaking her hand. Yes. Like yes. Okay, good. You guys can look this up too. Don’t you don’t use Magnet guys right now if you’re playing the game and Boston terrier? You know what that is, right? Okay, so the three search volumes are¾. They’re not very far apart here. I’m going to give it to you from most to least: there’s one of these keywords as 5,000 searches a month. Okay. The next one has about 4,000. And then the one that has the least has about 1700. Again, it’s Boston Red Sox, Boston shaker, Boston terrier. Which one goes to which?

Christi: Shaker, Sox, terrier.

Bradley: Shaker is the most?

Christi: Wait, it was Boston shaker?

Bradley: It was Boston shaker.

Christi: Can I see a picture? Am I allowed to see a picture?

Bradley: Let me see. It’s exactly what you said.

Christi: Is it branded? I mean why is it called Boston shaker?

Bradley: I have no idea, but it’s a keyword, Boston shaker.

Christi: But I can’t see a picture.

Bradley: I don’t know. You described it. I mean it is that thing that you like a martini shaken, not stirred. You know, it’s like you put it there and then you shake it and then you take it off. Like it’s kind of hard to do this to the people who are just listening and they have no idea what we’re talking about. But what you and I are making like gestures to each other so we can understand.

Christi: It’s like protein shakes, right? You put it in there. There’s a little ball in the middle and then you shake.

Bradley: Not that. Okay. It’s like a tumbler. You know what a tumbler glass is, right? It’s for alcohol for sure. Okay. You have the tumbler glass and you put another tumbler glass that fits over and then you shake it, shake it, shake it.

Christi: Yeah. Okay. Then, it still stands. Shaker, Sox, terrier.

Bradley: All right, so just like almost everybody else. You got one right. The Boston shaker has 5,000 searches a month. Boston terrier has 4,000, and Boston Red Sox has 1700 probably because they just traded their best player to my Los Angeles Dodgers for no reason, and also people are very upset with it, but anyway, there we go. All right. We want to get to the part of the show called the for the TST or T S T 30-second tip, something that’s valuable for our listeners and that you can say in 30 seconds or less.

Christi: I think a lot of areas would probably come in terms of hiring. When I do hire, wherever I post the job post, I always add to the bottom of the job post at the very bottom five custom questions. Now, usually, three to four of them are based on specifics related to the job. And that gives me a baseline metric to measure against. I know that whatever resumes come in, I know that I can answer this, but the really important part of that is if they don’t, and I’m telling you 90% of people won’t even scroll to the bottom of a job post. If they don’t, I’m not interested in them because they weren’t interested enough to scroll to the bottom. That’s really important. It gets baseline metrics. The first custom question that I ask every single person, does not matter the role, is called in your own terms or your own words. How do you define managing up? And I put that in quotes because what that is, is knowing what your boss’s job is and anticipating and being proactive about it. That is the number one quality in my personal opinion for it. Anyone, anywhere, any job, that’s the best thing you can do for job security. And if they know how to help manage me and make my life easier, I’m going to love working with them.

Bradley: That was pretty good. That was good information. Because I think a lot of other things too. I think a lot of people when I put them on the spot to give the TST, they think that they have to give some hack or strategy like, “Hey, I need to do a Kevin King level thing.” But a lot of people, they miss the operation side of running a business regardless of if you’re in eCommerce or you’re a public speaker or you’re a team builder, there’s an organization around it and there’s SOP. There needs to be SOP and there needs to be a strategy of how you’re going to hire, how are you going to have your company relationships. I mean, all kinds of crazy things that people just don’t want to think about. They just want to think about, “Oh, I’m going to find my next product. What’s my PPC cost? What’s my ACoS?” I think that’s very important that we have somebody here like yourself who gave us this insight. All right, Christi, thank you so much for flying all the way out here just to record this podcast.

Christi: Just for you.

Bradley: Oh, my goodness. We really appreciate it. I appreciate your unique story. Definitely unique. I don’t know if we’ll ever have another Christi here with that backstory, but it goes to show you that there are a lot of different ways to succeed in eCommerce. You can even stop selling on Amazon guys. You can stop a near-million-dollar business and still be successful in eCommerce. You learned that from Christi today. Christi, I’d love to have you back maybe next year and see how now you’re selling on Taobao in China or something since you seem to love to pivot and completely change.

Christi: Oh my gosh, it’s finding what your niche is, finding what you like to do.

Bradley: I’m not making fun of you. I’m giving you props. I love how, what’s the word, flexible you are with your career and you’re successful. it sounds like, in everything you’ve tried, so appreciate it. All right. Thank you so much, Christi. See you later. Quick note guys. Don’t forget that regardless of where you’re listening to this podcast, whether it’s on your iPhone or on Stitcher, on Spotify, that you hit the subscribe button so you can be notified every time we drop a new episode.


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