In-Depth with Paul Harvey

We go in-depth with Paul Harvey talking through his Amazon successes and failures, the move from a successful cage fighter and how that prepared him for teaching in public and private schools in South Africa and the UK, plus his love for Gorilla Suits.

  • OG on in-depth selling on Amazon
  • Former cage fighter and school teacher
  • Co-owner of Sellerchatbot for Amazon Sellers
  • Ability to breakdown complex information

What did your parents instil in you as a child?

  • Do hard work and don’t stop
  • They kept working day in and out sick or otherwise
  • Parents would do anything for Paul and he didn’t realise the sacrifices they made
  • Realising this now as a parent of two children
  • Parenting is playing with another version of yourself – awesome
  • Paul wants to beat parent’s parenting

Earliest entrepreneurial memory

  • First job was selling counterfeit CDs at the side of the road in South Africa
  • The Sun wore Paul down over three months
  • Was Mr Bats the Gorilla at the local theme park
  • Wore a huge gorilla suit and the two biggest fears
    • Kids run into you at groin height – hurts
    • Lots of tourists yank you in all directions
  • Sweating in the suit and sharing the suit with others was not pleasant

Is school important to a waste of time?

  • Been a teacher and a Head Teacher in South Africa, UK and Private schools
  • Kids were in and out of jail
  • Headteacher of a PRU – People Referral Unit
  • Hurt Paul being there 6 years and made some huge differences to the kids lives there
  • A year after school they did nothing
  • Aim was to get kids into mainstream schools as £1,500 in a mainstream school and £40k for a PRU kid place
  • Did not get a single kid into mainstream from the PRU was Paul’s disappointment
  • School would have been helpful if the kids had a stronger foundation

Schooling was good for Paul

  • Schooling was good for Paul
  • His parents sacrificed a lot for him to study
  • Majored in maths & Psychology which was not a good move as they clash
  • Education needs to fit the person – some people education is not built for
  • Being a teacher Paul knows what’s involved

First meaningful job

  • First taste of internet marketing
  • Did not want to keep being a teacher
  • Had 6 weeks of holiday
  • Wife was working had nothing to do
  • Read a book about how to create mobile apps – knew nothing about coding
  • Then stumble on internet marketing to build mobile apps in 1 hour
  • Paid $500 for the course – started at 11pm one night, spent all night
  • In the morning started creating apps and a week later published apps on Google App Store
  • One was the FIFA13 news app – tips and tricks
  • All Paul did for 6 weeks and got £500 / month generated for the next 2 years
  • First taste of entrepreneurship
  • Was a learning success but not a long term business (spammy apps was not Paul’s thing)
  • Tried cold calling restaurants to create apps for them
  • Learned not to rock up in hoody and jeans
  • Turned Paul right off cold calling and sales

Something no-one else knows about you?

  • When teaching in Schools – the number of times Paul wanted to punch the kids back
  • Paul was not respected as he had an accent, taught maths and was Deputy Headteacher
  • Learned restraint on the kids when they punched you as a teacher

A Book that has influenced your Life?

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill
  • Paul listened on Audible
  • Loved it as an old school gentleman

Who has been the biggest influence and why?

  • 100% Paul’s Father
  • A very unhealthy man and diagnosed with MS and passed away in 6 years
  • He didn’t change who he was going through all the distress
  • Did not change as a person

Three positive habits on a daily basis

  • Love data and checking everything
  • Has an 80 point checklist to check every day for his personal goals
  • Teeth brush, shower, exercise
  • Every task has a point – teeth 1 point, meditation 5 points
  • To improve every day by 1 point every day
  • Stack ranking method
  • Biggest habit do everyday – this overflows into business
  • Also do Wim Hoff (breathing) – a Wim Hoff instructor qualified
  • Climb a mountain in not top and -20 degrees
  • Can do crazy things – mind over matter

Cage fighting

  • Paul does not look like a cage fighter
  • Back in SA in 2003 UFC was beginning
  • Longtime UFC Fan from UFC110
  • Paul watched and wanted to do that
  • He joined in SA and it was a day of trying to knock each other out
  • He did that for 10 years and took an IQ test before and then a few years in – it was not good
  • Now medically can’t take knocks to the head as too risky

Biggest weakness

  • Perfectionism – get this from Father
  • Moving the whole team to Asana for CRM for Management

Darkest Hour just before Dawn

  • Two years after quitting job and going to Amazon full time
  • Second biggest weakness is teacher training – taught how to be a teacher not run a business
  • This came home to roost
  • Was supporting family on Amazon income
  • Had a big shipment that had to pay £20k of stock and £100k in retail
  • Container took 8 months as it went back and forth 3-4 times
  • The money for the stock was loaned from a friend and respected him so much – think he burnt his bridge with him
  • The loan was for 6 months for the stock and give it back to him in 6 months
  • This friend had to pay his £20k back but Paul could not pay
  • His friend sent a lawyer and Paul had to go to his Wife’s parents to ask for a loan
  • That amount was a fortune in South African rand – a really tough one to ask them
  • Paid them back in 3 months with interest but really tough

Best comeback from adversity

  • Paul also has MS similar to his Dad in his 50s
  • Paul got it in his 20s and the cage fighting was the catalyst
  • Biggest achievement in climbing the highest mountain in Poland in shorts with Wim Hoff
  • Paul when he passed the 5 year mark of having MS he’d beat his Father’s time and went on the Mountain trek as a celebration

Most common advice to people

  • Just get it done
  • Fail as fast as you can and just get it done and figure it out later
  • The amount of people that did not sell on Amazon because of fear of tax
  • Don’t worry about what-ifs

What advice should people ignore?

  • No matter what the in-depth marketing says – it is not easy
  • Kicking a ball – is easy but not easy
  • For you it is for Paul it’s not

When did you find FBA for the first time?

  • Was designing apps and launched own consulting for businesses
  • Not going well – only the spammy apps were making money
  • Saw and Amazing Selling Machine
  • The Amazon storefront is very similar to the App storefront
  • Thought it was an opportunity and paid for the course using some of his wedding budget
  • Paul was upset that his Brother surprised him with a Vegas weekend because he wanted to complete his course

Breaking down Technical Information

  • ASM one was the course that Paul got in on early doors
  • Paul put a post out about starting a Mastermind when ASM2 came out
  • Paul chose five people and Paul was the lowest earner out of them
  • One is now doing $8m / month
  • Paul formed partnerships in the Mastermind with those 5 and Paul got invited to speak with webinars and coaching
  • Paul wanted to teach so this was all cool
  • Helped a whole bunch of people – been around since ASM1
  • Some people stole Paul’s strategies and used them in their coaching and Masterminds

Sourcing Process?

  • What makes you think of the products you choose?
  • It’s such a valuable thing
  • About 5 years ago had a goal of finding an amazing sourcing agent
  • Spent £5k in testing sourcing agents but it was a great investment
  • His agent was working out of their garage when they started but now are $100m a year with a large team
  • Has a very strict checklist for his assistants to do product research
  • Paul then sends the URL to the sourcing team in China to get quotes from 4-5 suppliers with the tweaks he wants
  • He gets a sample and if happy gives the go ahead and a month or two later it’s in Amazon

Metrics you track?

  • Record the daily traffic, sessions, sales, conversions and everything
  • If we make any changes to the pricing we can see it
  • Had one product doing reasonably good sales (60-70) and in 6 months was doing only 10 per day
  • Caused by tons of new competitors undercutting one another and so sold out and left the niche
  • Give team about 6-8 weeks and the conversion rate is through the roof due to these metrics

Most important channels for marketing

  • Fear of Facebook Ad account being closed
  • Also the Amazon ad account
  • Facebook are not as forgiving as Amazon
  • Purely just do facebook

Product Failure

  • Kids musical instruments
  • Musical maracas – one day an email on Facebook page was about a child swallowing a small little ball from inside the toy
  • Asking if they are poisonous as they small child had swallowed it
  • Paul had it all safety tested but not the balls inside
  • Fortunately there was no problem and the child was fine
  • It opened up a gaping hole for Paul in his business and this was a shock
  • Had to close out this product and it was in 4 x Separate Listings (ASINs)
  • A big heavy problem
  • If you sell anything in kids toys make sure it’s all checked and safe

Biggest Win as an Amazon Seller

  • Eight-Nine years in and had to rebuild the business from scratch 3-4 times
  • Every partnership has failed
  • From no-money and doing it fulltime
  • Win was to restart everytime and relaunching Amazon brands

Worst advice you’ve heard given to Sellers?

  • Person reached out to Paul – “I don’t understand you seem to always be working, I don;t understand why after being on Amazon for years should you not be on a beach with a laptop?”
  • This is a fallacy and it doesn’t really work that way

Advice to Advanced Sellers today?

  • Focus on external traffic because
  • Facebook is Amazon’s biggest competitor
  • The winners will be those with a big presence in-depth on Facebook so when Facebook starts competing with Amazon you’re in a good place

Seller Sessions Live

  • Teaching a lot of what he teaches his clients in-depth
  • See himself as an Amazon Seller first
  • All is tested in his own Amazon Business
  • How to use chatbots to make your customers do your bidding and bend over backwards for you
  • Leveraging search and buy, asking customers what you should sell
  • Build a subscriber list so you can send traffic to

Amazon is…

  • a rollercoaster with epic highs and epic lows
  • When you learn how to ride the rollercoaster then you can have fun
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