The benefit of achieving some level of success is that it has put me in a position to pursue additional opportunities – and I’m extremely grateful for that.
Unfortunately, too many pies in the oven can also lead to overwhelm, dilution, and a number of other undesirable outcomes.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you my plans for all my companies over the next 6 months. My hope is that writing about it will help me to clarify my own thinking – and ideally, you will pick up a few ideas along the way, too!
Overview of My Companies
As of this writing, the companies I own include:
- My Amazon wholesale business (which I will simply call Amz 3P for short)
- My Bright Ideas business (including my Wholesale eCommerce Business Sytems)
- My software company
- My motorsports brand
Of these companies, the only ones with revenue today are #1 and #2 and combined, they will generate somewhere north of $3.5 million in 2018 with profits of somewhere north of $600,000.
In 2019, I expect to see significant growth with total revenue in the $5-7 million neighborhood. The challenge for me will be how to best allocate the resources I have available to me (my time, money, and team) to ensure that I get the greatest results possible.
So, with that in mind, here’s how I think my plan needs to look.
My 6 Month Strategic Plan
The primary objective of my 6 month plan is to get all my businesses performing without my day-to-day involvement – which means that I’m going to have to create enough cash flow to be able to afford to hire more people.
Fortunately, we’ve just purchased an 18,000 commercial building with a 3,000 square foot office space, so we’ll have plenty of room for new hires.
Oh…and just in case you were wondering, we don’t need all 18,000 feet. The building has 6 tenants in it, and the rent they pay more than makes the $8,000/mo mortgage payment.
The key to achieving my six month plan lies in making good decisions about resource allocation during each month during that time.
Months 1 to 3
- Devote my time to pursuing new accounts in my Amz 3P business
- Ensure the next WEBS launch goes well
- Launch my software company
Over the last year, My Amz 3P business has grown at 20% per quarter – without my barely lifting a finger, thanks to the team that I have in place.
Unfortunately, over the last 90 days, revenue was actually down to $605,299 from $722,422 in the prior 90 days.
The reason for this is that we didn’t land any new wholesale accounts – which, I have come to learn, was the result of one of my employees (who handled sourcing) mentally checking out while he was looking for a new job.
During this same period, we also lost one major account worth about $50,000 per month in revenue.
Shame on me for not paying closer attention to my sourcing agent’s level of production.
As a result of his departure, I will need to put my “sourcing agent” hat back on for long enough to get things back on track. Once I do that, I will then hire two more salespeople to handle our search for new accounts.
Until I am in a position to hire these two new employees, the activities that I (with the help of my staff) will use to pursue new accounts will include:
- Email outreach (carpet bombing)
- Telephone outreach (Dream 100 List)
- Podcast interviews (with CEOs of companies we’d like to land as suppliers)
WEBS / Flowster
Since coming out just shy of a year ago, my WEBS product has continued to surpass even my most optimistic expectations. In our first six months, we sold $850,000 worth of it.
In case you are new to my blog and don’t know what WEBS is, let me explain.
Back when I started my Amz 3P business, I set out to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for absolutely everything we did so that I could easily delegate all the grunt work to a team of virtual assistants.
Thanks to all the help from my VA team, my Amz 3P did $1.1 million in its first year which put me in a position to hire a number of full time US employees to help me to continue to grow the business – and that was key to being able to delegate myself out of a job within a year of starting the business.
As word got out about what I had created and the results we’d achieved, I was repeatedly approached by other Amazon sellers who all asked me the same thing: would I be willing to sell them a copy of my SOPs?
Ultimately, I decided to try it, and my Wholesale eCommerce Business System (WEBS) was born.
This October we will be releasing the latest version of WEBS and based upon increased affiliate support and product improvements, I’m confident that this release will be our biggest yet.
To ensure that we are able to continue to innovate and develop the product more fully, approximately 6 months ago, I formed a new software company in a partnership with another entrepreneur and we’ve had a team of developers coding ever since.
For the next release, the WEBS product will now reside in our own software platform, instead of a 3rd party platform.
So, until this next release is completed – which I estimate will be the end of October – in addition to putting my product sourcing hat back on, I will also be the one quarterbacking the upcoming WEBS release as well as the launch of the software company in which WEBS will now reside.
Months 4 to 6
Since returning to product sourcing, I have rapidly filled our pipeline with new opportunities and I expect that it won’t take me much longer than 60 to 90 days to land enough new accounts to replace the lost revenue and profits – and then some.
If all goes well, our monthly run rate will climb to over $300,000 and that will provide enough additional cash flow to hire two salespeople.
Thanks to our focus on SOPs, I don’t anticipate that it will take long for these folks to come up to speed – though you can bet I will be paying close attention to their progress!
Once I have successfully delegated myself back out of day-to-day operations at Amz 3P, I intend to put my focus on launching my motorsports brand.
The National Motorsports Owners Association (NMOA)
I have grand plans for this new brand and I’m looking forward to being able to devote the resources (my attention + startup capital) to it.
Why do this?
Before I get into what we are planning to do, let me first share the reason why I’m planning to start this business…
As things stand today, my income is heavily dependent on the success of my Amz 3P business. If that were to fail, WEBS would also fail and my income would take a massive hit.
Obviously, this would be horrible, and the way to avoid it is to create additional streams of income.
Flowster will provide one new stream from its subscription fees, but I don’t think that stream will grow fast enough without another way to attract customers.
By launching a non-Amazon business, and the SOPs that go with it, I will, in effect, be creating two new streams of income.
Stream #1 will be from the motorsports brand itself.
Stream #2 will be when I create another SOP offering like WEBS…but instead this one would be called EBS (eCommerce Business Systems) because it won’t have anything to do with wholesale on Amazon.
Assuming we succeed with the motorsports business, I will have the following 7 different streams of income:
- Amz 3P
- Bright Ideas
- Real estate investments
How I plan to grow the NMOA
Initially, the focus will be on building a large email list, and we are going to use sweepstakes to accomplish this goal. Look for upcoming posts and videos on just how we are doing.
Given that this process will be relatively simple and highly repetitive, my hope is to be able to avoid any significant day-to-day activity in our pursuit of contest sponsors.
As I mentioned, I’ll be creating a bunch more SOPs for this company – which at some point in the future, will also be for sale like WEBS is today.
To recruit sponsors, there are two methods that we’ll be testing.
Method #1 is to hire two salespeople to make calls. (I prefer to hire two instead of one so that they will compete with each other.)
Method #2 is to launch a new podcast in the motorsports space and then use that podcast to build relationships with potential sponsors. I have zero doubt that this will work – the only downside is that being the host of the show will take more of my time.
Armed with a rapidly growing email list, we’ll easily be able to monetize that list by making motorsports-specific offers on a daily basis (think daily deals).
The catch is that running the email marketing will require yet another full-time US employee.
Thanks to my need for US employees, I think it is extremely unlikely that the NMOA will generate any profits in its first 3 to 4 months. In fact, we’ll probably lose a good chunk on our way to break even, so this is one of the areas where I will be investing the proceeds from WEBS.
As the NMOA gains momentum, our portfolio of SOPs that reside in Flowster (for our internal use) will continue to expand, and at some point, once we have enough social proof from our results, this will allow me to launch EBS which will attract more users to Flowster.
In addition, I have a few other strategic partnership ideas that I plan to test.
Should any one of these ideas prove viable, we’ll be able to offer an ever increasing number of “done for you” SOPs in a variety of niches – and that will put us in a position to acquire large numbers of customers at a time like we have done with WEBS.
To make this happen, I will personally be involved in forming these partnerships.
Bright Ideas Blog
Last, but surely not least, is this blog. Excluding WEBS, over the last year, the blog generated close to $40,000 in revenue and that is a far cry from its true potential.
Much like I have been doing for years, I will continue to create the most helpful content I can. Thanks to my foray into the world of non-Amazon eCommerce – as well as launching a software company – I will have not one, but two test labs to work on and write about!
As my marketing experiments play out, you can bet I will be sharing like crazy, which should result in the blog’s audience increasing in size.
As the size of the audience increases, I will have all sorts of opportunities to monetize the audience in the following ways:
- Sales of my own digital products
- Revenue from my eCommerce Fast Track mastermind group
- Affiliate commissions
- Podcast sponsorship income
As you might guess, I greatly enjoy sharing what works for me (as well as what didn’t), so my blog will always receive my personal attention, and it’s not something I plan to delegate myself out of – at least not for some time yet!
So there you have it. Now you (and I) are clear on how I plan to invest my time and resources over the next 3 to 6 months.
While I’d love to have everything I’ve written about pan out perfectly, I doubt that will actually happen due to unforeseen events, overestimations of my talent, availability of capital, etc…
What I can tell you for sure is that it’s going to be one heck of an adventure, and I hope you choose to follow along, ask questions, and share your thoughts with me.
Want to learn more about succeeding with eCommerce?
Click the image below to get access to the Bright Ideas eCommerce Fast Track.
A while back I published a post about how I failed my way to success and in that post, I shared the specific tactics that I used to achieve my goals.
In today’s post, I would like to dive a little deeper into the mindset needed, as well as to share a bit more of my personal story – all in the hopes that learning more about the adversity that I overcame along my journey will help you to overcome any adversity in yours.
Ready? Good! Lets dive in….
Poverty = Violence
When I was very young, my parents were poor to middle class. In other words, they always were stressed about money – or at least it seemed that way to me when I was a young kid.
Unfortunately, this money stress often lead to violent outbursts that were really scary to be around and it was from these outbursts that my child-mind concluded that a lack of money = violence in the household.
Of course, as an adult, I now realize that rich people can be violent, too. However, as a kid, I couldn’t see this and my belief that poverty = violence served as an extremely powerful motivator for me.
Looking back, I strongly remember two things: how much I hate violence, and how I always knew that I’d be rich (some day) – and these powerful beliefs both played a key role in the decisions I made about my career.
My Dad was really good at some very important things; like spending time with me and being a supportive father who instilled in me the belief that I could do anything I wanted in life.
Sadly, he wasn’t so good with money and went bankrupt twice.
The first time was in 1981 when I was 11. If you are too young to remember what happened in 1981, ask your parents. Interest rates when through the roof and a lot of people went bankrupt. My father was one of them.
After going broke and losing our home, we found ourselves living in a welfare apartment, eating a lot of Kraft macaroni, and sitting on the ugliest green couch you’ve ever seen.
As I was only 11, this experience didn’t have the devastating negative impact on me that I think it had on my dad.
As an adult now, I can only imagine how failing financially must have made him feel. The one thing that I do know is that his self-confidence took a major beating – which as you might guess, had a very long lasting negative impact on his ability to bounce back to prosperity.
For me, living in the welfare apartment, eating macaroni, and seeing my dad have such a tough go had only one really lasting impact – it created a burning desire to succeed in life – even though I was only 11 at the time.
Key Take Away: Many very successful people have gone bankrupt at some point in their careers and instead of letting their circumstances permanently defeat them, they maintained a positive outlook, took a lot of action, and bounced back.
Fueling Your Desire
Sadly, I often hear from people who believe that the only thing standing between them and their millions is the next big idea, training course, set of SOPs, or whatever else you can think of.
Sadly, all these folks are mistaken. Their lack of success is rarely due to a lack of any of the above.
Based upon my experience, the biggest thing that people lack is desire – supported by the right mindset and hard work.
Building a business takes time. There is no easy button, and you should expect to fail more often than you succeed. My own journey has been evidence of that.
The same can be said for the 250+ entrepreneurs I have interviewed on my podcast. There isn’t a single one of them who succeeded overnight without failing numerous times along the way.
So how does desire fit into this?
Simple. If your desire….or put another way… if your reason why isn’t strong enough, then when times are tough it becomes all too easy to give up to chase the next shiny object.
Key Take Away: There is no easy button, and you should expect to fail more often than you succeed.
My Big Why
When I was a kid, the reason why I wanted to be rich was so that there wouldn’t be any violence (due to a lack of money) in my life.
As I said earlier, this is a flawed belief, but it was extremely powerful at the time.
These days my big why is pretty simple. I want to ensure that my family has enough wealth – which for me is passive income – so that no matter what happens, we always have choices that wouldn’t be available to us if we didn’t have the wealth.
I guess this could also be described another way. My #1 value is freedom; which I define as having the ability to make my own choices about how I spend my time, where I live, who I interact with, etc… and to achieve that kind of freedom requires a certain level of passive income (aka: wealth).
Key Take Away: Without a strong enough why, maintaining a high level of motivation is more difficult.
By now, I hope that you are starting to realize (if you hadn’t already), that your mindset is absolutely key to your success.
The biggest mistakes that I see people making are that they expect success to come too quickly. The reality is that success rarely comes fast – even for the people who grace the cover of your favorite business magazine.
As a student of business for the last two decades, I have come to realize that in order to achieve a very high level of success, I’m going to need to practice my craft for thousands of hours. Only then can I expect to become a true expert.
My path over the last 9 years is a perfect example of this.
After selling my offline business in 2008 for just over $1M, I realized that in the next phase of my career, I wanted to build a successful online business and to do that was going to require me to learn a lot of new skills.
For the first seven of these 9 years, I experienced moderate success, but never made anywhere near the amount of money that I’m making now.
The lesson here is this: if you don’t expect to fail a few times along the way (or many times in my case!), then you are simply setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.
Instead of seeing each failure as just that, we all have the choice to see that failure as just another ‘opportunity for education’ that is a required part of the process of ultimately becoming successful.
As evidence of this, in my reading yesterday I came across this post from the Shopify blog that shares the story of several part time entrepreneurs who eventually, over a period of years (not weeks or months) were able to transition to full time and quit their jobs.
I’ve not yet interviewed any of these folks on my podcast, but if I do, I will guarantee you that all of them experienced numerous failures along the way and the only reason each succeeded was because they didn’t give up too soon.
Key Take Away: Attitude, supported by a plan and massive action, is a recipe for success.
Successful Entrepreneurs are Resilient People
When I look at my own journey, or the journey of the many people I’ve interviewed on my show, the common character trait is resilience.
Without resilience, your chances of success are zero because when things get really difficult, getting through those times can be really hard. That is why you must develop your resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. If you are resilient, you possess toughness – and that is the fuel that will carry you through the ‘valleys of death’ that await you on your path to success.
So how does one become resilient? The short answer is that you need to practice and study the art of resilience. When I typed how to develop resilience into Google, there were plenty of results to read.
Key Take Away: Resilient people understand that setbacks are a natural part of the process so when they occur, they remind themselves that, relative to the end goal, today’s setback is no big deal.
Strategies and Tactics
I have already written about the specific strategies and tactics that I have used to become a millionaire so I won’t get into them again here.
What I will say is this; I believe that one of the most important things you can do to stack the cards in your favor is to hang around other people who either have similar goals to you, or are already in the place you want to be.
The reason that I believe this is so important is because when you spend time with others on the same mission, you pave the way for shared learning (a huge time saver!) and support.
This is the #1 reason I spend tens of thousands per year on mastermind groups and professional development. I see my brain as a muscle and in order to make it stronger, it needs regular stretching and exercise!
What Do You Think?
Have questions, thoughts or a personal story to share? Please take a moment and leave a comment below.
Want to learn more about succeeding with eCommerce?
Click the image below to get access to the Bright Ideas eCommerce Fast Track.
Who is Trent Dyrsmid?
Trent Dyrsmid is a serial entrepreneur, husband, and father. In addition to hosting the Bright Ideas podcast, he is Founder of Flowster; a business process improvement application used by thousands of businesses around the globe. His company ranked 254 on the 2019 Inc 5000 of America’s Fastest Growing Companies.