It wasn’t always roses and honey. In this episode, an honest in depth discussion with Kevin King sharing what it takes to be a King in Amazon and the struggles he went through to be a Master. Plus an important tip at 1:28:00 of the podcast that all sellers mus do ASAP!
A bit of a background
- Never worked for a corporation.
- Worked in a fast food as his first job, then delivered pizzas in college.
- Started selling at 3 years old and his first product was selling bubble gums.
- Moved lawns and made $100 a week as an 11 years old
- Used his money to buy his games as a kid.
- Always trying to make money in everything he did.
Did you get frustrated with people, waiting for them to catch up with you?
- Saw some people as lazy or unproductive.
- And got frustrated with people because Kevin saw ways things could be better.
- Kevin has now 6 sources of income.
- He has 2 Amazon businesses, 1 partnership, 2 trainings and a calendar business.
- Learned coding early in his time and started to teach people how to use internet and code. This is the beginning of his journey into teaching other people.
- Started using listings at an early date.
- Started creating manuals on how other people can accomplish things.
- These small steps lead towards what he does today.
- His first official business is selling gaming cards.
- Kevin discovered the power of marketing using lists.
- Leveraged direct mail in sending out flyers and mailings
- Sent out mailings to parents to send care packages to their college kids.
- Sent out flyers to a targeted list for selling anything.
- Developed employee manual in his business.
- His first business failed due to lack of capital but he learned a lot from it.
- In ’92 to ’94, he found Compuserve and the power of internet and started his online business printing trading cards. This business did not continue
- This evolved to the calendar business he has today.
The Calendar Business
- The calendar business is a bit seasonal– they go hot on November and December. Start selling in October and done by early January.
- Mostly men buyers.
- Travels to different places for this calendar business.
- Business evolved in mid 90’s.
- They now have a DVD club or behind the scene videos (not pornographic).
- They had behind the scene videos shown on TV networks. But no longer active cash flow. YouTube ended this.
- The calendar business evolved to coffee table catalogs and outfit catalogs.
- YouTube Impact: reduced staffing
- Didn’t remit taxes in that business and the IRS caught up.
- Avoiding taxes is straight up stealing and the company had to pay and was hurt.
- Had to file bankruptcy, sold the assets and started a new company.
It wasn’t always roses and honey..
- YouTube killed the DVD and video production part of the business.
- Bankruptcy stayed on his record for 10 years.
- Kevin was unable ti buy a house or take out a loan.
- Also had to pay a lot of back taxes.
- Leveraging payroll for cash flow. It was difficult.
- Lesson: be very careful and be very lean. People depend 100% on you.
- There are people out there who are successful with the Amazon business who don’t even talk about the pains of growing the business.
- A good example of growing pains in Amazon is Ash Thompson’s podcast episode.
- These stories has to be told. It is not like people started with nothing and grown it into millions — that is bullshit.
- You have to have capital in order to start a business.
- People have to focus on the struggles and learn from the growing pains.
- The people who have won lottery tickets or who were in the right place and the right time are very few. That is very difficult to repeat winning chances.
- Hire good people and partner with great people.
- Go to people who have things in place and let them do the things for you.
- Let them use their traffic, let them use their resources which are in place, for your business.
- Mix business with pleasure when you can.
- You can get the best education from travelling.
- Get a really good lawyer when in trouble.
- Travel while you can walk and enjoy the sights. Invest in this.
- Have freedom and be your own boss.
- Structure it in a way that you can do what you want.
- Spend your money on experiences.
- Do a lifestyle business — be able to do what you want when you want.
Content is King
- When you own content, you can always make money out of it.
- Keep your content and make sure you license it.
- Kevin made money by re-purposing content.
- This allowed Kevin to travel and make money from 2007-2014.
Starting in Amazon
- Amazon is a cash flow business.
- Kevin wanted to do it differently — he started with the FBA model.
- He stumbled across ASM course where they give four free courses and the fourth one pitches the course, and got the idea.
- Kevin realized he has been doing these for years!
- It was a perfect fit of all his experiences all in one.
- Learned more from Facebook, YouTube and so on.
- NOTE: There are courses out there who do not teach you anything.
- First product: Apple watch dock
- Stumbled on finding additional capital to put into business.
- Loaned from an alternative loaning option.
- NOTE: Make sure you have great margin if you do this.
- Account got suspended after a claim was submitted for filing a claim on missing inventory/ shipment.
- Lost two weeks on that.
- Finally sold all inventory and threw in the towel on that product.
- LESSON: How much cash you really need in this business to be successful and there are a lot of factors out there that are out of your control.
- Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities for learning.
- The next ship is still Amazon!
- It is still the best way to leverage.
- It will keep on expanding and it is a real business.
- It is not a passive income! Listen to Michael Hartman’s episode about this.
- In 2017, Kevin was frustrated with all the misinformation and started the Freedom Ticket for new sellers. It is not a cookie cutter. It teaches you how to think.
- There are so many people doing this wrong.
- You’ll see major disruptions in this business.
- Amazon is constantly changing!
- IMPORTANT: Download ALL YOUR DATA. Go back from one year and a half. Use this as your lead magnets! There will be a time in the near future when you can not download your data.
- Do what you love to do and make money doing it.
- Think of stuff that people would want to buy with your best selling product.
- Consumables are the best type of product to have.
- Brand new version of Freedom Ticket in October
- This is for new to medium sellers
- Not a seller hacks session.
- Billion Dollar Seller Summit in Austin Texas — this is for high six figures to seven to eight figures sellers.
- Limited to 50 tickets
- Next session after this will be next year.
Join us in these key events!
September 12-14 – Sellerfest Lithuania | Check event HERE
October 1 – Birmingham Linn Academy | Check event HERE
October3 & 4 – Amsterdam PPC Congress | Check event HERE
October 17 – AmaFest Manchester | Check event HERE
October 22- 23rd – Cross Border Summit and China Magic the same week!
October 27 and 29 – Global Sources | Check event HERE
October 14-20 – India Sourcing Trip | Check event HERE