In my last post, I outlined how I got into selling on Amazon, and that the first three years were profitable, but always felt very busy and not particularly directed. If you’re thinking of selling on Amazon or just want a bit of an idea what it’s all about and the opportunity, I’d recommend you start with Amazing.com’s 4-part free training series.
In June 2019 we started a three month road trip, and while we were travelling I got an email from Amazing.com about a free webinar series entitled ‘Accelerate your profits on Amazon’. It sounded like a good growth program, so in July 2019 I spent a few days sitting by a caravan park pool in the outskirts of Darwin watching these webinars. It was helpful in terms of putting a structure around your work. And like all amazing.com ‘freebies’, there was something they were selling at the end! One gets to know this pattern after a while (although it’s interesting also to analyse how they work and learn how to grow one’s own business). I wasn’t ready to jump into anything else just then so I finished the free webinar series and that was it.
However I knew something had to change. I was busy doing ‘stuff’ in my business, but the business wasn’t growing; which was a bit demoralising. Things I was doing were helping, but I’d find other things I wasn’t watching would go wrong so things wouldn’t improve. No matter how I looked at it, my business had basically stagnated, in fact in 2019 it went backwards.
Fast forward three months to September 2019, and I was thinking forward to my return to work and that I really wanted the business to grow some more. We had loved our travelling time and were seriously contemplating doing a longer trip in 2020, but for that to work the business really needed to crank up a notch. I couldn’t hope to live off a business that had stagnated and was going backwards.
So I looked back at the Amazing Accelerators program to see if this might be what I needed. It was set up for people who already had an Amazon business but wanted to take it to the next level of growth. It sounded exactly what I was after. So having seen the benefit of the free webinar series, I decided to plump up the $US3500 for the program, which also came with a 2 day in-person workshop in Las Vegas.
I cracked through the program, went to Vegas, met some great people and learned a lot! Amazing Accelerators helped me look at the business in a new and more structured way – it helped me create a vision for my business; a 12 month goal; some structure around my work. But at the time, the most valuable things it helped me with were:
- Understanding my ideal client so I could break out of the very specific niche I was selling in and consider entirely different types of products which still may be appealing to my ideal client
- Finding two new potential products in my existing niche
Two weeks later I was at a trade show in China with plans for my new products and had a valuable several days finding potential suppliers for my new products. So I finished 2019 with a better idea of where to move the business and suppliers for two good new product ideas.
Unfortunately Amazing.com no longer offers the Amazing Accelerators program which I think is a real shame, however I’ve found something else which I’ll share in a future post which has helped me perhaps even more. However if you’re interested in getting some free training if you’re just starting out on Amazon, check out their 4-part training series in the meantime.
Quitting the day job
As I mentioned we’d been travelling for half of 2019, and with the age of our kids (11,13,15) we felt 2020 was the last opportunity to do any more travelling with them. I tried to get time off work for six months in 2020 but I had basically no leave left and work couldn’t give me the time off. We were unable to reach any agreement, even considering revising it down to 3 months’ leave. So I was left with the option to either quit the year of family travel or quit my job. I chose family over work. So in January 2020 I had my last day at my day job of 20 years – my security blanket, my regular money in the bank and food on the table, turning instead to an online business which had potential but had yet to prove itself.
It was a real test of faith I can assure you, but at the time I felt it was the right decision.
In the next post we’ll look at 2020 and how the business fared during our year on the road – and eventually we’ll get to the main point of this series which is how my own mindset and work structure has changed and the astonishingly positive effect this has on me personally!