Go All In or Don't Even Try

Hosted By Andrew Morgans


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Ep. #1120 - Go All In or Don’t Even Try

In this Startup Hustle episode, Andrew Morgans welcomes Kevin King, a MEGA eCommerce entrepreneur and Head Dude of the upcoming Billion Dollar Seller Summit. They talk about why you should go all in or don’t even try when pursuing your goal. Listen to them discuss social media influencers, the Amazon community, and more.

Covered In This Episode

Kevin King’s impressive track record and expertise in e-commerce make him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the field. With over 20 years of experience selling on various platforms, including Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, King has honed his skills and built a reputation as an expert in Amazon selling.

Enjoy Andrew talking with Kevin about his entrepreneurial journey. They discuss why it is better to have an all-in mindset when pursuing your goals. Kevin and Andrew also share what makes the Amazon community unique and wonderful. Furthermore, Kevin explains why you should attend the Billion Dollar Seller Summit. Finally, they emphasize that being able to execute is the greatest skill, and why they want to teach what they know.

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Join Andrew and Kevin in this Startup Hustle episode to learn why you should go all in.

Business Innovation


  • Selling since childhood (1:37)
  • Internet selling in 95 (5:35)
  • Selling T-shirts and getting into trouble (11:36)
  • How Mystique got started (16:49)
  • Building an email user list (23:35)
  • Being able to execute is a greater skill (24:09)
  • From TV productions to Amazon (27:03)
  • Helium 10 (34:49)
  • You gotta know what you are teaching (37: 53)
  • Launching 5 brands and getting shut down (42:38)
  • The big aggregator buyout (55:01)
  • Is Keving still working on brands and selling on Amazon? (57:26)
  • Why the Amazon community is different (1:05:03)
  • Billion Dollar Seller Summit (1:07:54)
  • What’s coming up for Kevin (1:14:03)

Key Quotes

They say that it’s not about what you can memorize anymore. It used to be like, you know. what you could retain as facts that was a level of your intelligence, and, like, what you could regurgitate and quote. And now they say, like, you know, the greatest skill is being able to know where to go for what, you know.

Andrew Morgans

I think a greater skill is being able to execute, so many people may know where to go or have good ideas, but they can’t execute execution is what sets apart all the good opportunities from The good ideas.

Kevin King

I’ve been a part of someone’s foundation, I guess, so to speak, and, you know, helping them on their Amazon journey. And that’s why I love the community, honestly, because it’s like, you get something from here, you get something from here, you get something from this guy or this girl. And it’s really kind of like, I think the Amazon industry, the Amazon community is just different than a lot of other communities.

Andrew Morgans

To me, life is about the experiences you have and the people you meet. That’s all that matters. It’s not how much money you have, those are the two things that matter. And so everything I do is around that. I try to kind of put around that, that, that goal.

Kevin King

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Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!

Andrew Morgans 0:00
Okay, all right, cool. What’s up, Hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology. Here as today’s host of Startup Hustle, covering all things e-commerce, Amazon startups, and events around e-commerce, you name it. Today’s guest is a friend and an absolute Amazon powerhouse. And before I make that introduction, I want to give a shout-out to our sponsor; today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit fullscale.io to learn more. Without further ado, Kevin King, welcome to the show.

Kevin King 0:39
What’s up, Andrew? How are you doing? Man? Good to be here.

Andrew Morgans 0:42
Fantastic. I’m super excited to have you on the show. We had a great time chatting it up on a and pm podcast. Getting into my story a little bit, and I’m hoping today, we can get into yours. I know I’ve obviously heard a lot about you and seen in the space. I’ve been in the space about 12 years, and you’ve got me beat. So you know, excited to get into that and excited to share kind of with the Startup Hustle community. Do you know what you’ve been doing? The last 20 years and e-commerce, the things you’re doing today, the things you’re working on, the things your r&d in the r&d budget. And I know you’ve got things going on, you know, all over the place all the way down to NF T’s, I believe in projects around that. So we won’t be able to cover it all today. But I’m hoping we can get into at least a part one of who Kevin King is and what you’re doing. So welcome to the show.

Kevin King 1:34
I’m glad to be here, man. Yeah, I’ve been doing this. I’ve been selling my whole life, as my father says. I came out of the womb selling, so when I was like three years old, I was going to the grocery store with my mom and buying bubblegum you know, back then it was like one cent that’s you know, that big sugary bubblegum they blow a big bubble. Bazooka, like, Yes, something. Yeah. But you could get them individually wrapped back then. I don’t know if you still can’t now they have

Andrew Morgans 2:00
the comic is on the inside. Yeah, that Yeah, exactly. Like a little, that was okay.

Kevin King 2:05
Yeah, you could buy those for like a penny or two cents or something. This is, you know, 70s. And I would take them back, and it’s up a little shop in the garage and sell them to the neighborhood kids for a nickel. Like three, four years old. I was so I’ve been. I’ve been not an all the way through high school. And through grade school high school, middle school, I was I was selling something

Andrew Morgans 2:27
flat and doing something, and I was picking up. You got that from I don’t

Kevin King 2:31
know, my dad is the most conservative, no-risk type of person, not an entrepreneur, and all worked for the government. And then my mom, she’s a little bit more risky, but I don’t, I don’t know, maybe it’s a little bit of rebellion against my father or something like I don’t want to be, you know, I don’t want to be controlled. So I was picking up cans on the side of the road, throwing newspapers, painting street numbers on people’s curbs for their address. Doing self buying us doing my own Casey case on top 10 list of music. And then having taken it to school and having people say which album do you want? I want the Queen. Another one bites the dust and have my mom take me to the record store, buy it, bring it the next day, and mark it up $1 and sell it to the kids or anything. But so I’m in my 50s. Now, I have not worked for anybody since I was 17. So the last time I actually got a paycheck, or what do you call it w nine or w two, whatever it’s called, was when I was delivering pizzas around 1718 years old. Okay, so

Andrew Morgans 3:33
where are you in the world at 17

Kevin King 3:36
Dallas in the Dallas area

Andrew Morgans 3:37
you’re in, and you’re

Kevin King 3:39
I grew up in Dallas I live in I live in Austin. Now I went to Texas a&m, graduated from Texas a&m, and moved to Austin, slept on the couch with some buddies for about a year selling T-shirts on the UT campus. We got one of my buddies was in the engineering school. And so we got permission. And we donated a certain percentage of the profits as a fundraiser to the engineering program we could sell on the campus. So we would sell, you know, during football season, football shirts, you know, whatever team was coming in that weekend, sell something that’s, you know, bad-mouthing them in a way or whatever. And then we would do game football games, and the football games, you get 100 back then I think it’s like 80,000 people come into the stadium. And so we’d set up tables at strategic high-traffic places as people are walking in from the parking lot and sell shirts for 1015 bucks apiece. The first time we did first time we did it. We sold, I don’t know, four or $5,000 and a game, you know, which when you’re 22 and sleeping on the couch at your buddy’s house, you know, three other roommates. That’s, you know, that’s good money.

Andrew Morgans 4:45
Like or something you know.

Kevin King 4:47
Yeah, but, but then we’re like, you know what this is? This idea is good. But people, there’s such a crowd. No, but everybody can’t see our table. So these guys, my buddies in it, were engineers. So they’ve developed this catapult. The system that they built, built it out of wood, it would fold completely down, and then fold completely up after we transport it, and we would hang the shirts high up in the sky, you know, like a clothesline high up. So everybody walked, and you could see you see them. And our sales went from three or $4,000 a game to 20 to $30,000. A game. Wow. And there’s like six or seven home games. And so we were, we were cleaning up, and that evolved into a whole bunch of other stuff. I was involved in the Internet; I was selling on the Internet back in 95.

Andrew Morgans 5:32
What does the internet look like in 95?

Kevin King 5:35
It was tough, man. It was there were all these shopping cart systems; you have to know HTML and plug it in. I still, to this day, the processor that I have a processor to run the credit cards company called Plug and Pay. There’s a bunch of them out there now. Most people probably never heard them. But they were around. They were one the first, and like Danny Ford, I remember I was having a call to get my sales rep from plugin pay and said, how do you FTP into the server? How do I change this? How do I fix this? And he was like, my mentor, whatever. And he was just helping me for free because we were running some serious numbers. So I had no idea. So what were you

Andrew Morgans 6:13
selling at that time? We were selling

Kevin King 6:16
baseball cards featuring hot chicks. And then and then calendars. And then that evolved into a company that we were doing a daily email to Around 50,000 people a day, I think, subscribe. Subscription emails right now are a hot topic. And it’s nothing new. We were doing this 20 years ago. And we had built it up to 250,000. We run the Howard Stern Show all the time when he wasn’t on before he went to the satellite. So it would blow up our server. This is back when servers cost, you know, a T one line, which is slower than what most people have in their house right now, was $3,500 a month. And a server was a three, four, or five grand for a basic little server. And it would blow up our server every time we’re on Howard Stern because he had to plug us, and we would have to literally have someone at the facility actually flipping the switch to turn it back on 1000 1000s of signups every time we had a model or somebody on Howard Stern. So it was we built that into a business. We did a lot of television production. We did a lot of travel all over shuts things for Playboy TV for Pay Per View television. No, this is not porn; I’m saying pretty girl. So the first thing that comes to people’s minds Oh it’s not porn; it’s like Sports Illustrated swimsuit model type of stuff. And then we have a cat, we developed a calendar line out of that, we still I still do that today, we still do that today, I have an annual set of calendars that goes out sells on Amazon sells on in stores, and sells you know, we wholesale those out calendars.com, stuff like that. And then, I started selling on dabbling on Amazon in 2001. And we were selling the calendar. So we set up a count called an advantage account. And it was kind of like a consignment account, kind of like a first-party consignment account. So we would send in, they would tell us we need 200 calendars, you know, today we sell that in a day back then 200 would carry you through the season on Amazon. And then they only paid us for what they sold. And then they would send back the rest. And it was only for books, media, and DVDs. Then I was selling; I was using Amazon to sell some of the stuff in our office, you know, instead of eBay, you know, if I had a printer or something or an old hard drive or whatever I wanted to get rid of it I where it says sell yours on Amazon, I would click to scan the UPC and scan and sell it. Now remember when PayPal first came out, they were offering $10 per subscription. So we actually used our list, and like said, Hey, this new thing called PayPal, you should sign up for an account. We’ll start taking it, and you get we got you to get $10 just for signing up, and we get $10 for giving the lead. And so we made a ton of money off of Pay Pal trying to get the word out. I remember before selling stuff before Google existed back when AltaVista and Yahoo.

Andrew Morgans 9:08
Alright, so pause there. I

Kevin King 9:09
got Lycos.

Andrew Morgans 9:10
You got to pause. I got some questions. So number one. So in, let’s say, 95, I would have been nine years old going on 10. I wasn’t computer. So I’m a little bit your junior, mid-30s. But I was early on computers like my dad was building them at home. I lived in Africa, Moscow, different places like that, where I had a ton of time to sew. You know, computers were super expensive to have something in your house. You were building it like if you get it, you get a lot better computer if you built it yourself, and there weren’t laptops really. So you know, Dad was always building them. And he also worked at PayPal for a time. I mean, I’m really in the city, but he drove to Nebraska in the early days of PayPal; I think it was in Omaha. He worked at PayPal in the early days. So I was I’m aware of PayPal at a young age, right aware of eBay; Dad was selling stuff on eBay, buying and selling cars. Because we would, we’d go to Africa on these trips, but he would, when we’d be back, he’d be like raising a bunch of money, finding a way to flip money, flip cars, flip houses, you know, a short amount of time, kind of get money together, and then go back over. And while these weren’t like, they didn’t turn to actual businesses; it was still making me very aware of the internet, aware of technology, aware of marketplaces at a very, like, early age, I feel like in comparison to like, allow the rest of the world you know, and so Amazon was, was not really on my radar until a little bit later. But eBay selling stuff on Craigslist when it came out, you know, understanding like I was hacking a satellite in Kinshasa that the telecom, you know, because they were holding back my speeds, and I was, you know, trying to get better speeds, we were back then we were hacking the back into porn sites actually, is how you would share files back then, yeah, kind of, like 100 images, they’d be rare files, or AR files, or, you know, our 01, or 02, or three, something like that, combine them all, and turn them into, turn them into games, turn them into, turn them into movies, turn them into TV shows, and I’d sell those, you know, those hacked versions of games or something like that. Or just simply to get access because I couldn’t get access in Africa. And I was, you know, I was bored. So just relating a little bit to even being a little bit behind you, but like, encountering these things as they came,

Kevin King 11:32
you’re ahead of you; you’re ahead of the game. Yeah, for sure. Especially at that age,

Andrew Morgans 11:36
so I’m just thinking about, like, the internet and the time, like, you know, it was we used to download our emails onto a floppy disk in 2001. I was in Africa at the time, but like, just to be on the internet was so expensive that you downloaded all of your emails onto a floppy, took them home, took your time to read them, respond to them, maybe put it in a Word doc, then went back to the internet, you know, plugged in and sent your emails is kind of when like Yahoo was first coming out, or I remember getting a Yahoo email address at that time in 2001. But I have a question around Okay, so you guys, you’ve always been selling. You always have this mentality to sell, you know, and you do t-shirts, and what’s interesting is my first brand was Kansas City apparel. So chiefs, Royals, all that kind of stuff. I ended up getting a cease and desist for one of my designs, even though I was super careful and ended up slinging them out at the tailgates you know the game because I’ve done that.

Kevin King 12:30
I’ve done that too. I’m like, Well, I got trouble. I got trouble similar with The Simpsons when the Simpsons first came out. 1990 8990 Somewhere around in there, that’s when the substance came out. We had my roommate in college who had a buddy in New Hampshire that was making Simpson’s T-shirts, you know, unlicensed, and, you know, funny sauce. And we would set up in the Texas a&m. We’d set up in the student center, like get a little table, you know, to say we’re doing a fundraiser for some group or whatever. And sell the heck out of these shirts. And then we took it to were like, Hey, we’re selling good here. Why don’t we take this on? Let’s take a road trip. We want to drink some beer and see some chicks at other schools. So we actually loaded a whole bunch of these in the back of a station wagon, me and one guy, and we drove from Texas to Louisiana to go to like LSU and any school in Louisiana, and we went to Auburn and Alabama, Florida, Florida State. Anywhere we could go, and we would put up go and put fliers in the dorm rooms at the end of the staircases. And those were you tear off a piece of paper, and you call and have an 800 number on it. And back in Texas, we had someone sitting a special phone in the apartment for this 800 number, and anybody they would call in with one of our oh, the roommates would answer, Hey, this is a Simpsons or us or whatever the hell we call it. Yeah, I’d like to get two of the shirts. So they take their credit card over the phone and like process it by hand or actually on one of those sheets of paper like then you didn’t write it on a sheet of paper. Turn it into the bank like you would a cheque. And then they call us each day and say hey, you got 18 deliveries, you got this dorm, this dorm, and we were like holed up in a Motel Six or something. And we did that for like a month. Why just excuse making a road trip have some fun, and see some different places? So I love that we got a cease and desist just like you from somebody. Kansas City. Actually, coincidentally he had the, I guess the, the company that owned the rights or licensing rights when I was out of Kansas City. And yeah, that scared the bejesus out of us when we got that, so we just quit now. Nothing ever happened with it. We just like, Sorry, we’re throwing everything away. We don’t ship us anymore. We’re good. So yeah, I know what you mean.

Andrew Morgans 14:36
Yeah, so Okay, so you’re early on. So one thing I think about being like a front runner is that there isn’t really a model to look at. You’re not looking at other sites crushing it; you’re not looking at a Helium 10 Or a Jungle Scout and saying, Hey, a bunch of people is selling Homer Simpson shirts, or they’re selling Texas shirts, and don’t hold this against me. My family’s from Claremore, Oklahoma. So we’re Sooners fans. I grew up as a Sooner fan but

Kevin King 15:01
I’m an Aggie. I’m an islander sitting in Austin behind the curtain here. So

Andrew Morgans 15:05
you know, you know, Texas, it’s all we both hate. Yeah, we both hate Texas. I was the only Oklahoma fan, and Austin recently out of Texas, watching the Texas Game, and Oklahoma come back, and I just like had to be real quiet like this is like, I’m excited. We won. You know.

Kevin King 15:24
I listened to local radio during the football season. That’s my big sport. And I love to listen; I don’t want to hear when they lose when tech the Longhorns lose, and during football season, I’ll turn on the sports talk radio just to enjoy the misery.

Andrew Morgans 15:37
Just enjoy. That’s a real thing, I think. But I just want to give like kudos, I guess, essentially to like, you know, being a front runner. I feel like I was pretty much a front-runner in the service side of the Amazon industry. There weren’t a lot of agencies doing what I was doing. And there’s a big difficulty to that as the first time I think I did something that was truly novel. And, like, there wasn’t really a roadmap, and there hadn’t been people doing it and stuff out. And it’s amazing. It’s super fun. But it’s also there’s a big challenge to it. And just everything you’re talking about hadn’t really been done. There weren’t people saying, you know, so get on Howard Stern Show us an influencer, basically, like, you know, we’re offering marketing strategies and push push sales, and you know how to do it. And I think there’s a lot of fun, and that’s true entrepreneurial stuff, but I want to I want to jump so you’re, you’re learning the Web, doing calendars, you still have that business, you still continue to like, you know, produce calendars and stuff like that for, for Amazon, one of the brands that you’ve built. But I know just a little bit of your story. So I want to get into, like where this production side really grew. I guess, like, you know, kind of going around shooting model shooting stuff for the shoots. Is that really where you’re like, well, let’s create a business around production?

Kevin King 16:49
Oh, yeah, we had a company. It’s called mystique. And we actually, me in a partner, the guy that produces my billion dollars solar Summit, he was a fashion photographer by trade who used to shoot like Cindy Crawford, and all the top fashions do like high-end fashion for Neiman Marcus and all that he and I hooked up, I was actually the way I hooked up with him was in 1991. Right after I got to college, I was always an entrepreneur. And I was like, You know what, I’m gonna create these little care packages for college kids. So when they have exams, I’m gonna create a little care package, and I’ll get the mailing list from the schools. Because under the Texas Sunshine Act, you can get the actual list of people it’s public information. So I would go to the registrar’s office at like UT. Say, give me a list of all the freshmen and sophomore students, their parent’s names and addresses, and I pay to have them put on little Peel and Stick labels. You know, it cost me like 50 bucks. And then I would mail a flyer to them saying, hey, finals are coming up, get your kids to take care of your kids. We have these care packages ones like all these junk food ones, like all this care, the healthy food, and we would go to Sam’s and just buy all kinds of shit put together in a box and make it look a little nice, and then go deliver it to them. I need someone to take a picture to make this look good for the flyer. So I looked in the Yellow Pages and found this photographer turns out to be yellow pages, Yellow Pages, Yellow Pages, Exactly. I called him, and you know, then we’re shooting my candy and stuff. And then he’s talking, I see on the wall. He’s got a calendar of some pretty girls; I was like, you do that too, like, Yeah. And so, from that day to this day, we still are partners in that calendar business. But we develop that into an entire line. We did hardcover coffee table books, like really high end like Victoria’s Secret Fashion type of really nice books that would sell for 50 to $100. This is not, you know, this is not porno stuff. And then we would shoot pretty girls all over the world. You know, you know, when you’re 2223 2425 years old, that’s pretty cool to go, you know, to some trans amazing

Andrew Morgans 18:47
36. So,

Kevin King 18:49
especially at this age, when you have around half-naked women on a tropical beach; you know, it’s every guy’s dream. And so we turned that into a business where we had a membership website, we use that email list. That’s just that email that’s just talking about a daily email that had jokes of the day news at games that had all kinds of stuff in it to build an audience. We would go on about how it was with our publicist that got us on. She used to work for Hugh Hefner. So she got us on Howard Stern all the time. So that would blow up, you know, our numbers that you said. It’s like it what’s funny to me is like everything now that people think is new to the younger generation, the 20s and 30-year-olds, they think all this influencer marketing this is new or subscription emails as new as Nothing is new. Yeah, we were doing this before. It’s just different, and the technology is different, and it’s repurposing it’s easier. It’s modified. But we were doing this like Like I’d never thought of it in the way that you just said using influencer, but that’s kind of like what Howard Stern was. So we built that into we did a whole lot of products, DVDs. We did little baseball cards. That was a big thing. At one point. We did the calendars,

Andrew Morgans 19:54
question Russian television. I want to get a little insight into some of this. You Got a lot to share. Okay, so one, building a 250,000-user email list, you just kind of breezed over that, like, we just did that, like, you know, that’s something that people can spend years doing. Number one, it might have been easier back then. I don’t know. But not everyone had emails when the internet first came out. And then two, there’s no Alibaba at this time. But you know, so how like, you know, going from getting T-shirts made to getting like books and calendars and baseball cards and CDs and all that kind of stuff. Like, where did you, I guess, like what was? Just give me a little bit about how you went to source that. Like, how are you figuring that out?

Kevin King 20:35
So the names, I mean, we would get them up out, we’d go on Howard Stern with a model, but every two months, and we would get five to 10,000. Probably signups off of each of those; we did that, like, seven or eight times. So that’s half of it right there. Okay, the other half is just word of mouth; it’s we were doing a little bit of advertising backward. Before there was Google, there was a company called goto.com. And you could do one or two cent clicks. And you know, we would do some of that. Some of that’s just referrals; we would have in our game, tell your buddies, you know, and then we also made a partnership, probably the key one was with a company called a Bonus, bo m, I S, and they were basically one of these. Back then, there were what were called ring sites. So you would go to one site and, at the bottom, would be like a four button and a back button. So you go to one site, and it would be like, say, it was a pretty pretty girl. And then the four buttons would be like to see another website of her as a pretty girl; the Back button would go to some other girl and their rings, which is the way to get traffic and to kind of share traffic. It’s before affiliates and all that stuff. But boneless was one of them. And we made a deal with them. And they had a lot of traffic, they had figured out the traffic, and they were getting a lot of traffic of people that liked they figured pretty girls bring traffic. So let’s put pretty gross, but they had all kinds of stuff on there. They had travel; they had everything. It just wasn’t pretty girls with the pretty girls with the lead. The same thing happened with all the cell phone carriers. We sold a lot of stuff to cell phone carriers in the beginning because they needed people to try their service. And the way to get people to try services was to put some pretty girls on there. So we sold a lot of our content licenses . But Bomas ended up being. It was started by if you ever heard the name Jimmy Wales? No. He’s the founder of Wikipedia.

Andrew Morgans 22:13
Okay, well, I know what you do. So before,

Kevin King 22:18
before Wikipedia, he had bomas. And he and another guy and I would talk to Jimmy on the phone. And I just remember one time as a partner this is, I don’t know, the late 90s, I think maybe early 2000s, late 90s, early 2000s. I don’t know the exact time. He said, Hey, Jimmy is leaving the company. He’s going to do this dictionary encyclopedia kind of thing. Like, oh, okay, that sucks. Good luck with it. And then two years later, you know, here’s Wikipedia, and he’s the founder of Wikipedia. So he knew what he was doing. So we were able to leverage that. As far as the other question about Alibaba. Yeah, there was no Alibaba back then. So it was, and you couldn’t Google, you know, manufacturers of whatever. So I was literally going to the Library at the University of Texas, and I live here in Austin. And looking at the Thomas Register, they had a whole like series like an encyclopedia set of like, 30 volumes, it’s called the Thomas register, and it will come out, I don’t know this year or every quarter, it gets updated. But you can look in there; it’s like a yellow page like a book, you know, you look by subject; I only have a manufacturer, I need a printer that can do embossed printing. So you look under printing slash and boss, and you flip to page 917. And, and have a list of all the people around the US that could do that. That still exists, I think online; I think they learned it all online. Now, I haven’t touched it in a long time. But that’s how I would find people, or locally, I would find somebody in the yellow pages, or word of mouth. Because we’re printing calendars with pretty girls, a lot of printers wouldn’t want to touch our stuff. Like, we can’t have your calendar coming off the press with a girl in lingerie when the local church is coming in to pick up their flyers, you know, or something, or we can have a chat, so we just don’t touch it. So I did find specialized printers; there’s a ton of them in LA. So you get resourceful that the Thomas directory was probably the number one place, and then

Andrew Morgans 24:09
I would have never guessed that because it’s not something I knew of. But, you know, they say that it’s not about what you can memorize anymore. It used to be like, You know what, you could retain his facts that were a level of your intelligence and like what you could regurgitate and quote and now they say like, you know, the greatest skill is being able to know where to go for what, you know. Yeah, and I think that’s always been the case. But you know, back then, it could be like, you just knew this, and you could go with it. You couldn’t find information as fast as you can today. And now it’s more so I don’t need to memorize everything. I just need to know where to go. I think what

Kevin King 24:44
I would take that one step further. I think you right and what you’re saying, but I think a greater skill is being able to execute; so many people may know where to go or have good ideas, but they can’t execute execution is what sets apart all the good opportunities from The good ideas?

Andrew Morgans 25:01
Yeah, not 100%, And I don’t necessarily mean ideas more so like, you want to get something made, you gotta know where to go to find it, you won’t, you know, even I’ve been launching apparel brand that’s got a little tongue in cheek, you know, it’s a little bit of like, frat boy kind of humor and club kind of like apparel, and not going misogynistic, but just like a little tongue in cheek, right, a little humorous. And I had three photographers cancel on me. You know, they just saw kind of what the brand was about, and they didn’t want to be part of it. You know, people? Yeah, well, people, I guess. So I took the shots myself.

Kevin King 25:38
Yeah. I mean, that’s, yeah, society has definitely changed. I mean, you look at some of the, you know, sometimes I’m playing around on tick tock, I get old all in the family. Or there’s some of these old shows. I’m like, Man, how the heck did they used to get away with that on TV? Oh, my God was married with children. And nowadays, that just would not fly.

Andrew Morgans 25:57
It’s for some for the better, right? Some

Kevin King 26:01
for some for the better. But some, like you said, it’s tongue in cheek. It’s, it’s not. But yeah, anyway, we can go down.

Andrew Morgans 26:09
Like, you know, I’m a ginger. So I appreciate that. We’ve evolved a little bit; I get teased a lot less, you know; it’s kind of nice. So, okay, so I didn’t mean to derail this, but I wanted to answer those questions. I think those were kind of interesting. And something that I wanted to know, like, how back then, like, how are you going about fine kind of finding those things. And now the world is so small in regards to being able to get on a Zoom call with China or Zoom call with Mexico or talk to people. You know, when I was in Africa in 2001. The last time I was there, it was $10 a minute to talk to Kansas City, you know, so it wasn’t easy to just call different parts of the world and do whatever you wanted. Okay, so you and you and your buddy, the photographer, traveling the world taking photos, getting you to know, calendars, you’re on The Howard Stern Show, you know, you’re working with models, you’re having the time of your life. At least, it sounds like that to me. What’s next? What’s next from there?

Kevin King 27:03
Well, we rode that wave for a while. We actually did television, too; we had to deal with Playboy TV, we had to deal with all the big pay-per-view networks like DirecTV and Dish and Time Warner, and all that we had an agent that would actually place this and this and we would, we would shoot behind the scenes. So I was the guy; I’m not a professional photographer. But when we would go to St. Lucia, to shoot three models, I would take a camera. And I would just film behind the scenes, you know, film a little bit of behind the scenes, and then Mark would film a little bit, you know, the shoot, nothing, no big production anything. And then, we would turn that into an hour-long program. And we had three editors at one point editing this stuff for us full-time. And we were providing content to all these different television networks and pay-per-view. And so what was happening is the Pay Per View networks back then, when they didn’t have wrestling or boxing, they needed to fill the air; they just dead air. So that gave us some bikinis. It wasn’t porn; I mean, emphasize that, but we need something that people are going to buy. So we would create these programs, they would sell them for originally 1295. And we would get 30% of that. So we were bleeding heart to me; Kevin sounds like exactly it’s arts. So we would get six-figure checks from these people every month for basically a byproduct of what we’re doing. But we were able to write that way. But then the pricings, YouTube came out in 2007, I think 2006 2007 YouTube came out. And then all the porn companies started copying YouTube ads, basically doing free stuff, just as lead magnets. And so when someone watches a pay-per-view show for 1295. To be honest, most people don’t watch the whole show. They just watched enough to they just watch a little bit. But when you could go online and get a minute or two and have the same effects, you don’t need to pay for this. So they had to start lowering the price to 995. They cut us to 20% and 15%; it became fewer and fewer people were buying because the internet was just exploding with free stuff. So that market was able to ride that wave until 2012. A roughly in 2012. We basically shut down everything because we just the money was just just going down. And I was getting creative just because I was, as we talked about on my podcast, where I was traveling a lot. So we were I was just writing that, that wave and I would create an I would take a hard drive, I would go to Amazon and buy a one terabyte hard drive for $39 back then. And we took all of our content and dumped it on the hard drive just copied. I had three Macintosh computers just copying back and forth off a USB two hard drives from a master. And we would sell that for anywhere from 250 to $700. And we tell all our old people that were on this list of 250,000. We’d say, hey, you got these photos of the day, but you know what? Your favorite model? You’re missing some stuff. Here’s the complete collection. The only way to get it is to buy this hard drive, so we repurposed everything, and we’re able to make hundreds of 1000s of dollars selling Hard drives of just the old and recycled new work we’ve already done just recycling the asset. And finally, we still, to this day, sell those, but I only sell about 20 or 30 a year. But back then, we were selling 20 or 30 a day in some cases. But so, in 2012, we kind of wound that down. And I was like, What am I going to do for the next? Well, so I started looking, I was like, maybe I’ll go into real estate because it has allowed me freedom, I’m not gonna go work for somebody, I a little bit of money, a little bit of cushion that can live on. I looked at a couple of other businesses, and right around 2014 into 2014, amazing.com was doing a webinar that, you know, they’re the guys that kind of started this whole sell third party on Amazon thing was in 2012. And they were doing a webinar, and it was like a four-part webinar. It was a four-part series to actually go to the webinar to buy their $5,000 course. And so this four-part series is a warm-up, they basically get to know us to get comfortable with us so that when we can sell you on a webinar, I watch what they’re doing. Because, like I can do this, I’ve been buying stuff from Asia. I’ve been printing stuff, I’ve been selling stuff online; I don’t need their course. I could do this. I didn’t realize that I’ve been selling on Amazon all this time as a third-party vendor, but I didn’t know that you could go find something on Alibaba stick your logo on it and sell it. And there was a couple of rudimentary software tools back then. And so I said, I’ll just do this. So I launched for brands in 2015. With I went with a partner, she, put in a couple of 100 grand, and we launched four brands, two of those three of those are the traditional find something Alibaba changes a little bit, put your logo on it. The other two I developed from scratch. One was a dog slow feed dog bowl hire designer have had molds made the whole nine yards. The other one the Apple Watch was, coming out in 2015. The very first Apple Watch, so I created a dock. Everybody was selling these wooden bamboo docks for like 1015 bucks. I’m like, if I have it 500, Whatever, it costs a $500 Apple Watch. I’m not going to put it on a $15 piece of shit. Bamboo dock, I want something nice it looks like an Apple product. So I created this metal charging stand that would charge your watch, your iPad, and your phone. It had a Bluetooth speaker in it it had hid all the cables. So you’d have his mess, you know, on your table, cables going everywhere. And little developed that from scratch had the prototypes made. So this thing for $89. And did really, really well with it for about a year, year and a half until I just had to like to step away for I’d milked it as much as I could. So I did those. And doing that run in 2016, I was listening to the am pm podcast as a podcast. I now host there was this guy named Manny Oh, by the way, Manny Coats had started it in late 2015 to document his journey as an Amazon seller. And so he was doing these weekly podcasts and talking about, here’s my sales for the week. Here’s what we’re doing. Here’s how I’ve launched this. And that evolved into he was developing tools for himself, just like doing keyword research or to do make his listings and making sure you included all the keywords. And so that evolved into a software tool, which is now Helium 10. And well,

Andrew Morgans 33:12
I just had one question. Just when you said you first started out, there were a couple of rudimentary tools, like in 2015, 1415 years.

Kevin King 33:21
precursor to ManageByStats. Okay, there was a Yeah, I don’t remember the exact names. I don’t remember all the exact names, but they were super basic. They didn’t have near ,you know, you couldn’t even really do keyword research, you could, you could type in a subject, they would tell you this is a good opportunity or not. So, you know, based on some, some formula that I was using, Google literally thought I was going to the top 100 list on Amazon. You know, that’s how I picked the Apple Watch Doc; I looked at the top 100 list. And when I when I first started before, I actually sold on Amazon as my own business private label stuff. I actually said I want to test this out. I want to see if what they’re saying in these webinars is really true. So I found this water balloon filler. This guy had this water balloon filler that it ended up getting knocked off and all these infomercials, but you would you know when you’re filling water balloons for a water balloon fight, you gotta go to the hot hose or the faucet and like one at a time. This thing has, like you hook it to the faucet that had, like, I don’t know, 20 or 30 Little spouts that you connect balloons to so you could fill up 20 Balloons really fast. And they happen to be in Dallas. So I call this guy up. So he’s selling will say, hey, I’d like to sell these as a jump on your listing, basically. And he’s sure, so I drove to Dallas. It’s 10 grand. What 10 grand to these within building my car and drove back or settlement to Amazon from Dallas. So like 30 $40,000 in a matter of

Andrew Morgans 34:44
days. What was it he was selling that many as well? Yeah, yeah, he was selling a lot to

Kevin King 34:49
it. Then he saw what I did. He’s like; you can’t have any more ticket sales for me. And so I was like, Okay, this Amazon thing works, and then I sold a beauty crane. I saw there’s some beauty eyelash thing that was working really well, so I bought it off a d h gate I think it is. It’s one of those Alibaba cat, but a lot of stuff on D H gates is not really authorized. It’s backdoor gray hats, whatever. And so I bought this stuff off of there and sold it, and I was selling like crazy until I got shut down. I was like, alright, this Amazon thing. This Amazon thing works. So that’s what I developed, start developing the products. And when Manny started the podcast, I was listening to it. Then he had a Facebook group called FBA High Rollers. And I joined that group. And there are people posted in there about you got to use a landing page for this, you gotta do this. This is how things work. There’s so much misinformation from other sellers that had no clue. Like, this is not how marketing works. This is not this is BS, and so I would call them out. And man, he saw me doing that, he’s like, this is a, I want you to come on my podcast. I’m like, no, no, I’m just keeping my head down. I’m watching a bunch of brands; I’m not interested in being a public figure. They now do just come on the podcast. So in 20, spring of 2016, I went on his am pm podcast. And I think to this day; it’s either the first or second most downloaded podcast ever. And I just said it like it is, you know, that didn’t sugarcoat anything, just said like it is it resonated. And from there, all these other podcasts started calling me, people started asking me to come speak at events, and it just snowballed. And so you know, I’ve spoken at 5060 different events, different events, some of them multiple times I’ve been on, I don’t know how many, probably 100 Plus podcasts. Now I’m hosting that podcast that evolved into me hosting doing stuff with Helium 10. I don’t work for Helium 10. But I have an independent contract; they pay me good money to host the NPM podcast and to run their elite training program for elite sellers, called Helium 10. Elite, it’s a monthly training. And I do their course called the Freedom ticket, which is how to sell for beginners, which they give away free to anybody that has a membership. So that’s given me a ton of exposure. I’ve had close to 200,000 people go through the Freedom ticket, or at least not all finish it but at least started. So I get recognized. You know, even not at Amazon or EECOM events, I get recognized at the grocery store in Austin are at Uber in New York, Uber driver in New York knows who I am. And so that’s a pretty good reach. So that’s helped me get my name out there. And so I was like, I might as well leverage this. And so that’s why I do the billion-dollar seller summit for high-level sellers. That’s why I do some of the other stuff. It’s, and I enjoy it. So a lot of people they will, that’s all they’ll do, they’d start out selling. And then they say this is tough, you know, you got to tie up a bunch of money in inventory. And then they evolve into being a service provider and running a PPC company, or they still develop a software tool or whatever. And that’s what they focus on then, but I’m still selling, I still sell the calendars and have two other brands starting another brand right now. I think that’s important if you’re going to be teaching it or you gotta be doing it.

Andrew Morgans 37:52
In agreement not doing it,

Kevin King 37:53
then how can you teach it? I mean, you’re teaching what was spoken? A couple of years ago, things changed. I mean, the fundamentals stay the same. Yeah, there’s always new shiny objects, right? The principles stay the same. But you got to know, you know, I lose respect. There’s one big influencer in this space that was early on, I’m not gonna name the name, but he ran some conferences and was very well known. And I remember listening to a podcast of him. And he didn’t even know how to create a label, a shipping label, and Seller Central use giving that wrong information because he’s never done it. And so on that podcast, when he’s telling somebody how to do that. I was just listening. Dude, you just lost all credibility with me. Is anything specific to Amazon? I’m not gonna believe a thing you say. Yeah, cuz you don’t know. But the guy has been successful. He Was the in Right place, the right time to sell a company for eight figures. But yeah, it’s; I think you still gotta keep your hand on the pulse. I mean, it’s just like, you see, what’s the CEO of Uber just recently said that once a month, he drives Uber. So he actually goes and sits in and drives an Uber as a regular driver, just so he can get a feel for what’s going on. And as a result of that, they’ve made changes to the app. And so the way they do things, because he’s like, Oh, holy cow, these people, you know, that got in the car stuck to high heaven, you know, we gotta have a way to deal with that, or whatever it is, he’s made some changes. And that’s, you have to do that. And so any company out there, I think, should always insist that their top-level executives get out of their chair and go to the front lines, at least periodically for half a day or a day and answer the customer service calls or whatever, just so you can know what the heck’s going on.

Andrew Morgans 39:32
Totally, I just watched a brand for someone else, kind of like a fractional CMO on this one, because I was pulling the shots on who did the video and the Tick Tock and the website and everything else, not just Amazon, but purposefully did it myself because I just I wanted to know, you know what the nuances within PPC right now and, you know, am I evaluating a launch correctly? Am I coordinating it right, you know? Do I understand how it’s set up? attribution for tick tock Nothing crazy, a single SKU brand, right with a tick-tock and PPC launch, but just keep my hands dirty, so to speak, you know, Mark Knology really is set up more horizontal, I guess in risk in regards to like hierarchy. So we all work alongside each other, there’s, there’s accountability, you know, as far as like leaders, and each in each area, but like, we definitely are like a horizontal team. And I, that one, just because I like that I’m, I’m the owner operator, like I was the guy that liked tweaking, tweaking with things and tinkering. And, you know, there’s some businesses that were built just because they’re good business people, and they saw an opportunity to build, you know, in this Amazon space, I was growing, and hey, I know how to build a team, run an agency or do whatever. And then there’s ones that have, like, actually done it. And I think the same thing can be said in school. And when I was mentoring, I Not to toot my own horn, but I got Mentor of the Year at the local university in 2019. And, um, someone’s dealt with impostor syndrome and all that kind of stuff. So it surprised me when I won. But, you know, I learned something when I was there in regards to mentoring or teaching a course or being a guru, or, you know, being a leader that, you know, me at the time at 30. You know, 33, was closer in age to the students, and able to actually, like, speak into their lives about what’s actually happening and social and e-commerce and web because of the proximity and age and like, I’m actually still doing it, versus a lot of the teachers there have years of experience and, you know, wise in their industries. But maybe they’re 10 years removed or 20 years removed? Yeah, they have a lot of mentors there. And so, simply by me being in the weeds of digital marketing and social media, you know, I felt like I connected with the kids in like a completely different way than the educators that were, you know, more book-driven or career is driven in the past. Just validating that heart. I had, I had a simple question. I wanted to go back. I didn’t wanna interrupt you, but you launched in 2015. For brands, you said,

Kevin King 42:00
actually, actually five, okay, five, yeah, five. Okay. Like I said, four was actually five. Okay, so five,

Andrew Morgans 42:07
you had a little bit of practice proof of concept by like selling the balloon fillers and selling some stuff off the other Alibaba site. So you’re like, I want to see kind of as this stuff works, you saw that it works, then you’re like, Okay, I’m gonna go in big. And I understand that building, getting molds, and inventing a product from scratch is different than tweaking a product on Alibaba and making a few changes, but what was your thinking? What was your mentality around doing five at the same time?

Kevin King 42:38
I want to see what, you know, at that time people say to stick with one niche, I’m like, No, I want to see which of these five I know a couple of them are gonna fail or a couple of one is gonna take off it’s spreading my odds, spreading my risk. So I did; I did one in the Home and Kitchen. It was a crate maker in the Home and Kitchen that was just an Alibaba; fix it up a little bit and just put my name on it. Really nice packaging, and just position it differently. I did stuff in the beauty category makeup brushes and serums those were also just, well the, the makeup brush set is one that I put together I went to all the makeup artists that we’ve been working with with models and said, what would you like and a makeup set makeup brush set what would be your dream set and put that in a nice leather case and stuff. And then you’ll mark up my partner for the calendar as I was doing all my lifestyle photography. So I killed her lifestyle, and a plus or back then was called EBC content, and I had really good marketing, good packaging, and everything. Then I did another one and sported it outdoors. I did like an ab roller and a couple of different app rollers. The pull-up bar did some stuff in that space that I did in the pet space. I did the dog bowls that I created from scratch; it’s just something that I wanted to differentiate. It’s something that I wanted. I’ve seen all the pet bowls that are slow-feed dog bowls that slow your dog down. For me, they’re just ugly plastic pieces of junk. I want something that spirals; I want something that looks cool. It’s so mine looks like a bone, and it’s got two colors and silicone, not just plastic, and it’s nice. I still use it today with one of my dogs. And that’s that that’s what I did there, then that branched into treats, and so one of the products that I did were bully sticks at the time bully sticks. They’re so high. Yeah, they’re huge. And the company that leads that market called Best bully sticks around the East Coast, and I was looking at the bully sticks, I saw an opportunity. This is 2016, ish I guess I want to get into bully sticks, so I start this is before we get the tools to read the reviews I would download the review or copy and paste to download the all the reviews the competition, I found a pattern in there where people are saying these Bully Sticks are because Bully Sticks are the penises of a cow. That’s what they are. So that it’s just using all the byproducts of a cow. But a lot of stuff people are worried about where’s the meat coming from. Is this Chinese meat this? Where’s it coming from? So I’m like, okay, checkbox number one. I need to have us sourced meat; then people were saying these are thin. And yes, they’re full of errors. I was like, it’s a checkbox. Number two, I need to make sure these are full and thick, you know, meaty sticks. checkbox number three is like; people were saying these are, these are with a dog choose them. That is how it stinks. That’s because sometimes they don’t get all the urine out of there. And so it’s just got residue, you know, built into the skin or whatever. Like, I gotta fix that problem in other ones because of that residue. Sometimes the dog jumps up on the couch; it’s eaten it, you know, the couch gets stained. So like, I fix that. So I called around in the US. And this one manufacturer and I think in Utah, referred me to this guy in New Hampshire, New England. I think it’s New Hampshire. And he said he’s a classically trained French chef. So I was like, that’s perfect marketing. I can have my bully sticks made by a classically trained French chef that uses us meat, uses really thick sticks, and they’re really nice and really good. And I can do all my marketing around this, and so I can’t, but his price was ridiculously high. Everybody else was selling 30 Bully Sticks in a plastic bag with a label on it for 30 bucks and all competing for dollars, you know, super small profits and juggling. So what I did is I was like, I’m gonna differentiate this; I’m going to put mine in a cigar box. So actually had a custom-made cigar box with a really cool texture label on the outside. I only put three sticks in this cigar box. They’re big and thick. And I sold them for 5495, an extra 54 Naira; everybody else is selling 30 for $30. And then all the marketing, I had really good imagery, I really good comparisons, I create cartoons to show why these are better. You know, I would show you by the competition, and I’d show a bunch of dogs in a car driving through like a McDonald’s like fast food. And then I’d have like a split screen. And on the other side would be three dogs sitting in a nice steak house with a waiter with a bow tie on. And he’s handed on to him on a silver platter. Like Which do you want to give your dog and people care about their pets? Some people are fanatical about it. So that’s the market I was going after I was niching down. It works. I started selling. I wasn’t the best-seller; the other guys are selling 100 A day. I’m selling 20 a day, but I have better margins. And I couldn’t keyword bully stick; I couldn’t rank on page one. Because it’s just at my price. We’re just like I could get there about, you know, through a launch. But I would never stay because of the price. But I could get I could crush it on more niche keywords like Bully Sticks, no odor Bully Sticks made in the USA, or some of those other words. And so I did so well that the guys that best bully sticks they saw our doing they call them and he said, How the hell are you selling three 650 $5 This is crazy. We see your numbers; we see what you’re doing, and you’re obviously selling these, let’s partner up. So I partnered with them and to dead duck treats and dead pigs feet and antlers and whatever else. And we did dothat for a while until the pricing just got to be a little bit too much. And so I quit doing that. And then, on the Apple Watch doc, it’s something that I wanted. As I see these cheap bamboo things, it’s like, I’m not gonna buy that from, and there’s nothing at the time. There’s cool stuff now that exists for your charging your watch back then, there wasn’t. So that’s why I created it from scratch. And I’ve been creating products when we were doing the calendars we had collectible. So I was creating high-end collectibles, like a baseball card in an crystal case with a gold leaf signature on it. You know, so I was experienced and actually some product about not at the level of having what I had to do with the Apple Watch charging up as electronics and stuff. But I had a good manufacturer that I found on global sources that that did all the work for me and all the prototyping back and forth and took like eight months. I was literally taking the charging dock to the Apple store in Austin and saying can I test this with? I had a prototype of a 3d printed version; I need to make sure that all the different watchbands fit on it. And so they would open their little drawer and let me play with all the different watch bands and had to make some adjustments. So I was doing true product development.

Andrew Morgans 49:16
That’s cool. Thanks for sharing the details. Yeah. Okay, so 2000 for people listening, 2015 PVC comes out. It’s a huge, like, huge growth, you know how he’s the kind of growth on Amazon. PPC is coming out, so everyone has batted SEO, and all those kinds of things are able to get visibility on their products, and you know what? It was easy to win. I feel like it was pretty easy to win if you had a decent product I was selling at that time, but I was definitely building brands for other people at that time. Was it in a different capital level at that time, and I was really just trying to find a bit of work on the side? So I was having a lot of fun with the supplement companies were really the ones kind of leading the way in regards to trying In a lot of the r&d Like, you know, innovative things like inserts in the bottle or you know, so buy one get get get a free one when they sign up to the email list to get the next one launch and you know, continuing to have bestsellers and you know, all those things and content didn’t really search, find buy was a thing and super URLs and kind of all these technical hacks, I guess, to launching products. That’s just evolved. It’s just evolved since then to different things and different tactics. But of those five, how many were successful? You said you wanted to diversify into different niches. It sounds like most of them did pretty good. Out of the five, what was the success rate?

Kevin King 50:38
The dog or the dog in sports are the two most successful. The ASHA Apple Watch was very successful. I was selling Christmas 2015 Selling 15 $20,000 A day of those, which back then was good, really good. could barely keep them in stock and got so bad that I actually had to have to charter a plane; they bring like 15 pallets over. It cost me like 30 grand or something or some ridiculous, maybe more than that, some ridiculous amount of money to actually bring these over, just not run out of stock. But then what happened with that product is it was doing really well. I was, you know, page one on all the top keywords. Even though I was $90 at $9. And everybody else was 10 bucks, but I started having cash flow issues. So because I needed so much of this and working and turning it so I ended up having to get some high-interest loans as Amazon lending was barely around at that time. And having to go with a company called kick further, not Kickstarter, but kick further, they’re still around. And there wasn’t all these sellers funding is now all these other places like they are now ready to get creative and use credit cards to finance this. It was growing beyond my financial means. So I had to put the brakes on a little bit. But then what really killed it was right around that time, someone posted on a Facebook group Hey, Amazon, this is before good Tita and those guys existed. Amazon, you’ll lose this stuff. When you ship something into the warehouse. You say you said 100 units, and they say they only receive 90? Well, you canhere are. Here’s the Steps to Open up a claim. And you can get paid for those 10 that are missing. I was like, holy cow ,I have this happening quite a bit. So I follow that process. I get a notice from Amazon saying no problem. Well we’ll investigate, but in the meantime, we’re suspending your sales while we investigate

Andrew Morgans 52:27
what pool all the product

Kevin King 52:29
benches have been checked or whatever. And so then I was calling him. What are you doing? Well, we gotta check two different warehouses, and, you know, do this cross; they had some mathematical formula to figure stuff out. And, like forget about it, forget about these 10 that are missing; I don’t care, but the listing back up, and they wouldn’t do it. So I was down for three weeks. And that just killed it. So when I came back up, I had to, like, you know how it is with what I had to relaunch it couldn’t get the traction back. And I had big payments to make for the inventory. And with the high-interest rates that I’d taken. And it just spiraled where I just had to close it out; I had to close that

Andrew Morgans 53:06
and stop it. Man, my loss levels were high.

Kevin King 53:10
They were. I mean it took me at one point selling on Amazon. I got as high as I was doing well enough. So I had over a million dollars in debt, I ended up paying it all off. But in 2020, That’s not the only time I’ve lost; I’ve made a lot of money, and I’ve lost a lot of money, and in 2020 and four other partners got into the hand sciences or Hinweise business, and we lost 1.6 million on that. So between us not, not individually, there’s a whole nother story, some time on that did a whole case study on it. But that doesn’t deter me from selling on Amazon still the best thing ever. The best marketplace, the best place, is just you win some, you lose some

Andrew Morgans 53:52
100% I spend a ton of money I spent a ton of money in testing, software tools, testing off Amazon strategies, you know, taking coaching and different areas that I need. You know, just trying things that, you know, if you’re going to be a real entrepreneur, I think if you’re gonna win on Amazon, you have to continue to just keep innovating, keep trying different things, figuring out what’s working, take a chance on a gut feeling sometimes on products or niches and that’s just the way that it is and I think anyone that’s actually like, ever had success multiple times because some people can get successful one time and not really take any crazy chances. They just took it and took one shot. Maybe it didn’t work, but you know, someone has been doing it for 12 years and working with 350 brands plus over that time. You know, I’ve lost a lot of times; I’ve lost a lot of times when I felt like I could win and

Kevin King 54:48
to me, success without failure is luck. Yeah,

Andrew Morgans 54:52
I can’t disagree with that either. I just know some people, you know, they hit it and they and they they were successful right out the gate, you know, and others.

Kevin King 55:01
Now with that, you know, that big aggregator buyout in 2020 2021. There are a lot of people that got started in 2014 and 2015. Right place, right time; they built up a massive amount of reviews, and their product was just killing it. They sold, I know several people that they sold for good multiple, and then they’re like, You know what, I’m gonna try this, again, I’m gonna launch, you know, some other idea that I had. And they fail almost every time because they don’t know what they’re doing. They were right place, right time, able to write that

Andrew Morgans 55:33
way. And as an agency owner, where I haven’t just done one product, or five or 10, you know, different categories or products. I’ve seen it; I’ve seen it all. So I’ve seen I’ve seen some a hit and been crazy successful from launch. Even without PPC, I’ve seen some, you know, launch just with PPC and be fine. I’ve seen some launches just with off Amazon efforts if they’ve got a great email list or influencer marketing or any number of things. We’ve seen so many different things win or lose. You know that it’s not just. Is this probably going to do well on Amazon? Well, there are about 50 factors that go into that. Yeah, and whether we’re going to be successful or not. Okay, so we’re coming up a little bit on time, I still have time; if you do, I don’t know for sure if we got a hard stop or not. But I’d love to get kind of like up to date with where you are. So you know, we had, let’s say, 2020. You’re doing hand sanitizers that are not working. I know you’re still, you know, you’re our cellar Summit. For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s just a very high-end Amazon. mastermind, or I guess, like,

Kevin King 56:31
it’s a comp; it’s an event. Yeah, it’s a call to do one virtually and one in person each year.

Andrew Morgans 56:36
Okay. And so for anyone, this is definitely not a one-on-one; this is like, you’re going to get some of the best stuff. You’re gonna get the

Kevin King 56:43
last one, we’re loving people doing over 100 million a year. Okay.

Andrew Morgans 56:47
So I mean, there you go guys, over 11 people doing 100 million. I know, I’ve met some of them, you know, some of these guys in this space, and they’re just, you know, absolutely amazing; a lot of them are still going to this kind of stuff, just because they love the community and they love giving back. It’s not that they need to gather a tip or something like that. They’re there to help people, you know, find their own way on Amazon, you know. So doing that in the podcast, helping with the courses in education and Helium 10 selling your own brands now. And so, you’re still selling; you still got the catalog, business, things like that. What are you still working on today in regards to brands in regards to selling on Amazon?

Kevin King 57:26
But one of I still have, I have three Amazon brands calendars, and two others. And then I’m working on another one right now with some partners out of Hong Kong and the UK, which we’ve been working on for a couple of years. And we’re tying web three to products. And so we’re doing something in a sustainable space. So all of our products are from bottles that came out of the ocean to the rivers and turned into fabrics that are then made into dog jackets or baby carriers or whatever it may be. So we’re doing that. And we’re tying that to web three with NF T’s for transparency and traceability because you can tie an NFT to an invoice. So when someone says, Yeah, this is made, I’ll recycle, there’s a lot of greenwashing or people just jumping on the bandwagon, and it’s just BS, but we can actually tie in NFT. If some bottles come out of the ocean in the Mediterranean, there’s a company called Plastique that will tie it NFT to the invoice for those bottles and go to a factory that melts them down, that empty follows the invoice and then that the then it goes to a factory that makes them into strings or fabrics or whatever, you’re going to have an NFT tie the whole way. It’s all in the blockchain transparent, so people can see. Holy cow, this is you know, this is for real. This is not just greenwashing or them saying they’re doing this; we can see it with their own eyes. So that gives you a lot of credibility, and people want to support that. And then we’re holding one of our NF T’s these are not NF T’s to like, let’s get rich like aboard a, you know, buy it for $100 and sells for 100,000. That’s not the goal. The goal is the NFT is basically your membership card. It’s the community and your membership card but it also gives you the right there’s a limited number, but it gives you the right to ship to you can’t actually profit share because there’s so a rule SEC rules around it. But we can you we can give rewards. So if you hold the NFT for every unit that’s sold, you earn a certain number of points. If you go buy the unit yourself, you earn even more points, or you can scan an NFC, not NFC but NFC code, and maybe airdrops, a special bonus on into your open sea wallets, or whatever. And the more that we sell, the more that you get these rewards, and those rewards could be free products, the rewards could be present events having a say in what we’re going to do the next cleanup, we’re going to do a big cleanup and in Palm Long Beach, and so your points are worth so much money. So that money is going to be put into the fund to actually do the cleanup, that type of stuff. And then we’ll have these incredible we’ll have these communities that can then launch products. They’ll have a say, so we’re like, what kind of product Would you like unsustainability, and they say, Oh, we would like a baby carrier. So we’ll go to Amazon and Walmart and look, can we can we do a baby carrier? Does it make sense to do a baby carrier? If it does, and we’ll have them, what would you like it, they’ll have, you know, some say in the product development. So then when the product comes out, you know, if we have 10,000 people that hold our nfts and and 500 of them want a baby carrier, then they’ll go and buy that baby cares instant launch. And then we’ll get more people, and it creates this flywheel into the ecosystem. So that’s what we’re doing, then we’ll take others, we’ll develop our own products, then we’ll also take other people’s. One of the partners is on the sustainability VC fund. So he sees all these deals come through with people like Shark Tank type of people, or, you know, incubator type of people that have these good ideas, but they don’t know, they don’t know, squat about Amazon or Walmart or E-commerce, you know, they’re the type of people in the past would go do a Kickstarter. And then, you know, the thing wouldn’t come out for two years because they don’t understand how to work with factories, and all that kind of stuff. So we’ll take, we’ll take some of those under our wing as well as accelerate the product lifecycle in the product products that we have. So we’re not going to develop everything. So it’s kind of along those lines. It’s called real impact labs. And that’s something that I’m really excited about; it’s taken us a while to get it off the ground, hopefully, this fall. It might be next spring, but we’re pretty close. There’s a lot of technical stuff that we have to work out.

Andrew Morgans 1:01:23
What’s the big idea I think big ideas take time, you know, they’re not easy; I saw you actually present on it at the selling skill summit in Las Vegas to Helium 10 telescope. So I was in there for that presentation. And it was a lot. But you know, I’m still learning about NF T’s and FCS and all that kind of stuff, web 3.0. These are all things I’m trying to learn and get up to speed in. So when and the other thing

Kevin King 1:01:47
we’re doing now is to sorry to interrupt you, but they are doing now that we just added, as I just went to an AI conference in Vegas. And one of the big things right now is subscription newsletters, email subscription newsletters for niches. So there’s one called the Hustle that was developed and sold for $27 million. There’s another one called Milk Road, that the guys that do my first million podcasts while those guys helped start that within eight months, he sold that for some crazy eight figure. So so, if you could build an audience, it’s going back to what we talked about earlier, where I had that audience of 250,000. I know how to do that. We build an audience of people who love sustainability and they love pets. And that’s the products that we’re going to use sustainable pet products or something like those lines. We can use that to help launch products on Amazon to actually become affiliates for other products. At some point, that’s going to add so much value to what we’re doing when a buyer comes in to buy this because I’m trying to, we’re building this to sell. I need to. I need a fu exit. That’s what I want. I want to FU exit. And so, for those who don’t know what fun is, it’s the EFA rhymes with with with hockey sock.

Andrew Morgans 1:02:55
He’s talking about fucking money. He could say that. Yeah. And I think that you know, that is definitely the goal. Like, for me, it’s not that I need that kind of money to be happy or to have a fulfilling life. But as a competitor, as a Brand Builder, as an entrepreneur, there’s a freedom attached to that that is just unmatched, you know, for you, for your friends, for your family. When you have that kind of money. There’s not a lot you can do.

Kevin King 1:03:21
Yeah, there’s not a lot I’m not. I’m not one of these competitive as you’re talking about imposter syndrome before. I’m not someone that’s like, I need to hold on to a million dollars or 100 million documents. I just need enough, you know; $ 10 million is my number. But with $10 million, I can do whatever I want for as long as I want, and I can play and not have to worry about anything. So it’s not an I don’t need 100 million. What am I doing 100 million? I don’t need to buy a fancy yacht. What are you gonna do with the difference so you can live a decent life if you do things right with 10 million? So that’s my goal, but I have people that have gone to the freedom ticket. This just happened in Vegas at Prosper. I was standing in line to go to that party in the Mandalay Bay that was on the top of Richardson’s party. No, not rich Goldstein’s.

Andrew Morgans 1:04:06
It was the Mandalay Bay

Kevin King 1:04:08
foundation, the foundation room, econometrics party. Yeah, it might have been that standing in line to go up the elevator, and there’s a guy to two places behind me, and I’m just waiting my turn. I hear this. No way. No way. No effing way. I turn around and see what’s going on. The guy’s looking straight at me. And I’m like, he’s like Kevin King, I have to shake your hand. I can’t believe it’s you. I took your freedom ticket course about four years ago. And I just have to say thank you so much. So my company is doing $50 million now. Like, congratulations, that’s awesome to hear. I didn’t, I didn’t. I’m not the reason he’s doing 50 million. But I gave him the foundation as the course I teach is not Here’s your 10 steps to 50 million. It’s this is what you need to know. Implement what I teach you and see where it goes. And that’s, that’s what he did. And he’s six, So I’m not doing 50 million on Amazon. He’s waking

Andrew Morgans 1:05:03
me up a little affiliate commission on some of those, you know, exactly. I think my number is I’ve; I’ve actually been involved in making 12 millionaires. So just, you know, through the years, like guys I’ve worked with, like, we, you know, help them build a brand and they found an exit, are they their cash flow, and at that level, I’ve been a part of now 14 exits, from brands I’ve built and worked with. And those were not ones I’ve built myself, but being hired to do it, right? I’ve been on the services side. So I’m building brands myself now; the last couple of years, I have yet to exit one of those. So I’m building. I’m in the building stage. But I’ve seen the roadmap, you know, and I’ve been a part of someone’s foundation, I guess, so to speak, and, you know, helping them on their Amazon journey. And that’s why I love the community, honestly, because it’s like, you get something from here, you get something from here, you get something from this guy or this girl. And it’s really kind of like, I think the Amazon industry, the Amazon community is just different than a lot of other other communities.

Kevin King 1:06:05
I was talking about that with someone else on I recorded a podcast, I am pm podcast today with Joey Roberts, and we were talking about that exact thing, how when you go to conferences, it’s just different than when you go to some other type of conference. It’s a whole different. I don’t know what it is; there’s something about the type of entrepreneur or the type of hustler that’s in this Amazon community that’s, that’s different.

Andrew Morgans 1:06:24
I think it’s so unique that it’s, it’s almost like it binds us together a little bit because the Amazon industry is like, you know, I can’t go around at the mall, or at UMKC, here in Kansas City or anywhere downtown and talk to people about selling on Amazon or building a private label brand. Just not; there’s just no one there; they’re not going to understand exactly right. It’s just so rare. That it’s like it’s very unique. And so when you find other people that are like dealing with the same problems or have the same passion, or ambition, even around what you’re trying to do, it just kind of feels automatic like wow, this feels really good to be around people that care about the same thing I’m trying to do. It’s not like you’re a realtor, you know, you can find a realtor, probably at a networking event. You know, if you’re a realtor, you go to a networking event gonna find another one, probably they’re some kind of broker or someone else in your industry. You’re an Amazon seller, you’re an Amazon service provider or software, and you go to a normal networking event; you’re probably the only one there. If it’s not an Amazon, it’s probably not. You even go to a branding event or an e-commerce event. You might be the only Amazon person there potentially. So, you know, while we’re looking at the industry at small to

Kevin King 1:07:32
tell you that this AI conference is like 400 Something people, it’s Perry Belcher that did it. And I think there’s about 2025 Amazon sellers, that whole bunch, which is if you go to like a Funnel Hacking live, you know, Russell Bronson’s, you know, he’s got four or 5000 people there. And it’s a very small group of Amazon sellers. So you’re right. Yeah, it’s, there’s not a lot of

Andrew Morgans 1:07:54
Yeah, I think it kind of brings us to the reason why I think the ones that have been successful in this space give back. You know, just because it’s a lot for a lot of people, have changed our lives. And you don’t want to give back to the community that cares about the same stuff we care about. As we round out, Kevin, I want to give a plug to the billion-dollar salary, something we did a little bit. But you know, as we run out of the show this, this episode is going to be released before. Are you guys already maxed out? Have you sold out to the conference? Tell people a little bit about a billion-dollar seller Summit.

Kevin King 1:08:24
Yeah, the next one’s coming up in June is June 11. To the 15th. I’m doing it in Puerto Rico. The way I do these, you know, there’s a lot of conferences in this space, there’s tons of them. But this one is more than a more expensive one, it’s about five grand to actually come. So it’s not cheap. But that’s on purpose to weed it out to serious people as serious sellers. Like, As I said, the last one done in Austin last August was a loving people doing over 100 million; the median in the room was 10 point 5 million. So this is, you know, you’ll occasionally get a new seller. But this is mostly more experienced econ people. And we do hand select the speaker, so a lot of speakers, you see them at all kinds of different events. And then they just kind of recycling the same presentations, or it’s very corporate II. And you don’t get a lot out of most presentations. Unless you’re brand new and you’re just your eyes are wide open. But if you’re experienced in law, those are wasted time, like at a proper show. They’re a waste of time. But these guys are actionable, like do this, do this, this is what’s going to happen. And so if you’re doing $10 million a year on Amazon, and you paid five grand to come here plus your hotel and airfare, you got a little bit of investment and your time. All it takes is one trick or one thing that gets you thinking up that can make 100,000 200,000 $500,000 difference your business that size. So that’s why a lot of the people come and then the speakers are motivated because I put a cash prize on them. So in the end, everybody votes who is their favorite speaker’s favorite content, and I publish the list, and the winner gets five grants so I’ll have like 15 speakers, and I don’t say who’s in the bottom, I published the top 10, But you know, if you didn’t make the top 10, you basically suck, and nobody wants to suck. And you know, in these this Amazon space, people are competitive. So we play on that, and that that helps drive the content to another level, then we do a lot of that working. It’s not just, Hey, let’s have a cocktail party and everybody comes, we do interactive stuff. So like when we’ve done them in Austin, we went and race go-karts at the f1 track, and we went and played paintball wars, or through axes or went and drinking at the vineyards. This last one that everybody loved. In August, we did a scavenger hunt; everybody’s grouped up into four and we had to go all over Austin doing all kinds of crazy stuff. And people said that was the most fun. They’ve had that conference ever the way we did it. And they get to bond with everybody else in the car. So we do those types of things, as well. So it’s not just sitting at a conference to take notes and go have a drink at the bar. And then there are usually satellite parties. So there’s, there’s, I think, the one in Puerto Rico. The guy from Entrepreneur on Fire is actually speaking, John Lee Dumas, I think, and I a lot of the top speakers, but there are parties that carbon six is doing a party one night, the MDS million dollar seller group is doing one night I think seller systems, Brandon young, and Anthony are doing side party one night, so there’s, there’s stuff happening every night. So it’s gonna be really, really cool. If you can, check it out at billion-dollar seller summit.com billion dollar seller.com. If you’re interested in coming, I’ve limited to 150 people by my contract with Helium 10. I think we’re sitting around 100 right now. So it’ll probably end up about 120 to 150 people. But anybody that’s interested, I’d love to have you out. And if you can’t make that one, I do a virtual one in February every year; it’s a little bit cheaper. But we just do it virtually with this conference platform. It’s not like Zoom. So more interactive. But so yeah, billion dollar solar summit data. Appreciate that. Awesome,

Andrew Morgans 1:11:53
thank you for sharing that. I just wanted to give everybody a chance to, you know, hear about that; they’ll have some time to actually play in and potentially go to that. And for me, I have yet to be at a billion-dollar solar Summit; I’ve done the online seller cruise a few times with Carlos Alvarez as a speaker; inwhat I can say about that event is where you get this chance to kind of like these networking events where you get to, like, hang out and do real life stuff, you know, go on a waterfall hike, or go on a dune buggy roll, you know, ride or it’s just different than just regurgitate or just taking in information the whole time, you know, these chance to meet other sellers, doing the same thing as you maybe they’re ahead of you, maybe they’re below you. But I can say after two years on the cruise for me, I feel closer to a lot of the people that I spent time with there than anyone else I’ve known in the industry for 12 years, just that proximity of being able to do real-life with some people instead of just business goes a long way. You know, and a chance to, like, whenever I see them at conferences, or I see them at different stuff, it feels like, like we’re family. So I highly encourage anybody that’s, you know, maybe got a smaller community, they’re in a city like Kansas City doesn’t have a big Amazon community, I have to travel to go to stuff and to kind of be around other people doing what I’m doing. There are brands here, and there are some individual sellers, but there’s not a big community. So anybody listening, it’s definitely worth checking out. And if not, you can get them on a podcast am pm podcast for free all the time. And you hear a lot from Kevin King, but it’s going to be an awesome event. I’ve heard about it for years. So, Kevin, I could go on with you forever, you know, picking your brain, you know, learning from you what you’ve done, what you’re doing. And we just got into a little bit about the NFT project and the eco-friendly project. I know you’re doing a lot. But usually, I sign off by asking a question, one, what’s something you’re working on professionally or not? What is the NF T one that you’re excited about? And then what’s something that you’re maybe focusing on or doing as Kevin on a personal level and 2023 that you’re kind of focused on or you’re excited about whether that’s a mindset or traveling or trips or whatever, something about the business and something personal.

Kevin King 1:14:03
Something on the business side is that I’m stoked about right now. It’s during seller con, which is happening. January first to the third in Austin, the amazing.com guys 1000 plus people econ guys come into it, mostly Amazon people. I’m hosting a party one night, but we’re doing a we’re doing it. It’s called a circus of dreams. And so we’re actually setting up this warehouse-like an Arabian Nights type of thing. We have all these gypsy types of performers coming. They’re doing fire breathing and juggling and magic tricks and all this stuff. So it’s gonna be a very interactive kind of party for about 200 people during that, so I’m pretty business-wise. I’m stoked about that. It’s to promote million dollar seller summit and just to get my name out there and to give back and have people have something that the next day that there’s going to be FOMO people that didn’t go, oh man, I heard about this kick-ass place. You know, I just love creating experiences for people. That’s one of the things that I really love to do I’m willing to spend money when I have a buddy that he can afford to go eat at a nice restaurant because he can’t afford it, because he doesn’t make enough money. I’m like, Screw it, dude, I paid 300 bucks just kind of have the experience about giving experiences. To me, life is about the experiences you have and the people you meet; that’s all that matters. It’s not how much money you have; those are the two things that matter. And so everything I do is around that. I try to kind of put around that, that, that goal. So that’s the business side; on the personal side, I’ve been losing a lot of weight. And so one of my big goals, I work out three, I have a trainer that works me it comes to my house three times a week, I have a chef that’s cooking all my meals, I do therapy every two weeks, I have a therapist, even though I don’t have any like issues, you know, mental issues or whatever, just to talk and to challenge me, you know, he’ll challenge me on different things. I do massage weekly; I do some acupuncture and chiropractic. I so I have a concierge doctor that I use, you know, I’m really on top of all the tech stuff, you know, measuring your blood sugar to whatever I do full body scans is to call DEXA scans to see you know how much fat you have around your heart and whatever is like your full x-ray, the body, all that kind of stuff. So on a personal level, that’s one of my one of my big goals is to actually, I want to live another 30 or 40 years; I still got more to do more to give back. So I gotta make sure take care of the house. So that’s a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, that goes to the wayside. Yeah, so that’s, uh, that’s, that’s been important to me. And then I’m going to be doing a little bit more travel as well this year, just for fun, just to have a good time.

Andrew Morgans 1:16:41
Well, me and you are very aligned, Kevin, in all those things like I live my life, about people and experiences. You’re gonna, you know, if you ever asked me what’s coming up, what do you what are you doing Drew, I’m going to a show or a festival or traveling to a city. If it’s not for Amazon, it’s usually for music. And I’m usually bringing a friend or two along because, you know, you can experience all the things in the world by yourself. It’s not that I can’t be alone. I just love, you know, sharing experiences with other people. You know, getting to see them light up the first time they’ve been somewhere, seeing something, or experiencing something is unique. And I don’t have kids, so I, you know, invest in my friends and my relationships, my school that that’s awesome. And and then secondly, on a personal level. You know, for me even, massage has been a way to deal with stress of growing a business, growing an agency running a big team. You know, I think that personal health is like just very high up there. You know, I had a couple of injuries this last year, but a big goal of mine, too, is, you know, I’m back in the gym four times a week. You know, I am working on diet and rehab in my hand and my foot which I broke, you know, just trying to stay like, what’s the point of having all the money in the world are all the things in the world if you can’t enjoy them because you can’t exactly hike that mountain or you can’t walk the beach or whatever that so absolutely loves that. And one more time, just for me, the event in Austin. Can you get those dates again?

Kevin King 1:18:09
The seller con Yeah, it’s January June 1 to the third. And first website, seller con.com It, ‘s a big used to do. They’re the guys that started this whole industry, amazing.com they kind of disappeared and 2019 for a while because some of the partners went their separate ways. And the bank guide Matt, who started it all and kind of got sidetracked with a big Shopify project, grew this coffee company to like 35 million a year. But now they’re coming back, so they’re gonna be talking a lot of omni-channel stuff as well as Amazon. They have a huge list and a huge audience. So I think it’s you’re gonna have some OG guys and a lot of new people there, and it should be a good mix and a lot of fun.

Andrew Morgans 1:18:50
I love it. I love it. Thanks. Thank you, Hustlers for, for tuning in and listening with us today. Thanks to our sponsor FullScale.io. Do you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders? Let Full Scale help when you visit full scale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let the platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders at Full Scale. They specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Kevin, thanks for being on the show. Thanks for all the value and sharing your time with us. Really appreciate having you on, and

Kevin King 1:19:20
it’s been great here, man. We have to do this again sometime.

Andrew Morgans 1:19:23
Okay, we’ll see you next time, Hustlers.