Sellers Helping Sellers

Sellers Helping Sellers

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Andrew Morgans welcomes Carlos Alvarez, Founder of Wizards of Ecom back to the show. Hear about more this eCommerce Wizard’s journey and his incredible passion for building a community that helps Amazon sellers.

Covered In This Episode

Carlos Alvarez returns for another episode in the Startup Hustle. In his previous session, Carlos Alvarez and Andrew Morgans talked about how to use community and content to drive sales.

For this episode, the two eCommerce wizards discuss how Carlos Alvarez is creating a safe, ecom-rich learning environment for online sellers, especially on Amazon.

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Highlights

  • The Online Seller Cruise (3:10)
  • Recent exits (8:51)
  • FBA and FBM: how it helps protect your Amazon selling business (09:45)
  • What are aggregators trying to learn what they’re looking for on a brand before buying? The 7x Exit (14:40)
  • Growing through the pandemic (16:30)
  • Adapting to thrive during the pandemic (23:30)
  • Sellers helping sellers, nurturing the community (23:50)
  • The Content Machine (29:46)
  • Carlos’s motivation in starting as a seller helping a seller (49:21)

Key Quotes

My major motivation to do that is I want to do something with the community. I want more practical instead of theory. To be able to go on in the community, and I should do this by leading first.

I think if people really saw our careers and why we get excited about them in work in the details, people would understand why we’re so passionate about what we do.

But we know that there are no failures behind that win. So it would be impossible for me to start another brand regardless of how long I’ve been selling and not have setbacks.

Be sure that you listen to this new episode with e-com wiz, Carlos Alvarez. Also, don’t forget to check out his previous episode, “Using Community & Content to Drive Sales.”

Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:01.68
Andrew Morgans
What’s up, hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology. And here is today’s host of Startup Hustle, covering all things e-commerce, Amazon, you name it. Today, we’re gonna be talking about sellers helping sellers, and we’re definitely talking about Amazon sellers. And I’m excited to have, back for the none time, Carlos Alvarez from Miami and the Wizards of Ecom. Carlos, a friend of mine and colleague, thought leader in the Amazon space serial entrepreneur. The list goes on and on. We’ve shared his story already in the none podcast, and today we’re going to be getting into a little bit more recent stuff, a little bit more current stuff that he’s doing and involved in. Carlos, welcome to the show. Good good to have you back. I think the last time I saw you Prospered in Vegas; I’ve missed a couple of conferences lately. But.

00:44.66
Carlos Alvarez
What’s up, man? Always a pleasure to speak with you.

01:48.76
Andrew Morgans
We’re always chatting by WhatsApp or email or Instagram or something. So, really good to have you on the show, and I’m excited to just spend the next thirty forty-five minutes talking about how you’re helping sellers and what you’re involved in.

01:34.68
Carlos Alvarez
Absolutely man. Yeah, Prosper. I forgot about Prosper. I kept thinking the cruise was the last time. But yeah, Prosper was definitely after.

02:30.70
Andrew Morgans
The cruise was big, I mean—For anyone that doesn’t know the online Seller Cruise, I think there are two cruises a year at least going forward since the pandemic. I was honored to be a speaker on that cruise; I absolutely had a blast, honestly, just cornering the other speakers. And just getting my free time out of them was really the benefit for me. Carlos put on an amazing cruise. Let’s talk about that. When’s the next one, Carlos.

02:38.56
Carlos Alvarez
The next one was going to be the none one per year, which is in August, and I called it audible, and I was like, let’s try something. That’s not carnival and just explore, and I picked princess. And just the back end of my experience with the backend of trying to put together an event of that size with the princess, um, didn’t make sense, and then it was too late to scramble. So there’s no none. The next one is definitely none 2023. I already have my template ready and tweaked. To invite you as a speaker. Hopefully, I can get you back. I got to meet a lot of the Marinology crew. The fam on the ship was definitely a highlight of the sailing. Yeah.

04:28.94
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

04:45.56
Andrew Morgans
It was incredible, and it was awesome to be around sellers and brands and speakers and vendors and aggregators. They were all there, and it was just nice to be around where everything wasn’t rushed. You know it wasn’t just like a 10 minutes let me get out of Carlos like what’s up. What’s he been up to, and just like you know, it was more about relational getting to know everybody. Sellers helping sellers, right? as the title today. So I wanted to bring it up because that’s really what it felt like, um, you know, on the cruise, we had people from Europe, we had people from Asia. I think we had people from everywhere. Um. Really great, and it’s a yes for me before you send it, so ah, and make it easy. Um, I’d love to be back. Cool, I was trying a new one. I was trying a new topic. I do that often just because you know I like to.

05:35.24
Carlos Alvarez
Heck yeah, man, you closed it too. Man, you brought the thunder.

06:40.20
Andrew Morgans
Um, if I’m out of an event, whether it’s a home run or not, you know, I think the people there might be like, what’s he bringing? You might have something new. Ah, you know, because I could talk about branding or PPC, these topics I’ve loved and obsessed about for years. Um. I can try to just bring a little different perspective on something and kind of try to shine some light, maybe get somebody thinking differently. We talked about intentionality on that one. You guys made me wrap it up. I was honestly like, you know, there were so many speakers there, and it was ah. Thirty-minute slots and everyone had so much to say that I honestly was waiting almost till the last minute to be like, okay, what are the final notes I’m going to put in here. Um, a great time. I’ll bring something special in February too. Don’t doubt it. Awesome. Well, speaking of sellers helping sellers.

07:17.98
Carlos Alvarez
I’m looking forward to its broth.

08:11.12
Andrew Morgans
Um, let’s talk a little bit about your recent exits, I think if I remember right? You’ve ah we can talk to some sellers today about kind of how that went down I believe you sold to elevate brands. Um, two brands, am I correct, two different brands.

07:52.32
Carlos Alvarez
Um, well, well, I didn’t sell to elevate brands they were. They were a sponsor on the ship I sold. I mean, nothing wrong with elevating brands. I think they’re awesome. I actually got um, I guess my hand slapped by um, the company that did buy.

08:43.92
Andrew Morgans
Okay, okay.

08:27.40
Carlos Alvarez
Ah, my brands because I was like talking openly about it like hey look, it’s my None time dealing with an Amazon aggregator. Ah, I’ll just say that they were an Amazon aggregator, and they rolled up. They did what they’ve called a rollup, and they grabbed 3 of my brands. Um, wound up being a little over well, just as I call it 7 x, which I think is insane, and I told them that um.

09:17.40
Andrew Morgans
Got it.

09:06.92
Carlos Alvarez
But it was before I really started building up the relationship with elevate brands, which was like like you mentioned they were the platinum sponsor on online seller cruise which they were amazing. It was amazing to be able to party with them and pick their brains, but um. the exit, you know, the exit was supposed to happen. I didn’t know that it would be None exit, and like a rollup, the exits were going to happen in 2019, and we were wrapping up. You know the due diligence and all of that. Well. I’m like, okay, look; we’ll wrap this up. Ah, finally, and you know we’ll everyone will get paid when I get back from the cruise, so it was online Seller Cruise of 2020. So then we come back. We come back like in February from online Seller Cruise 2020, and I’m not feeling that good. Everyone on the cruise is thinking, you know.

11:12.00
Andrew Morgans
Um, okay.

10:50.00
Carlos Alvarez
We must have ate something bad. We’re just like in bed. We can’t move. We’re exhausted. No one’s heard of covid at this point, and then um, Tim Jordan, he’s doing an event in San Francisco, and I’m like, all right, let’s go, so I suck it up, and I go to San Francisco, and I land in San Francisco they’re shutting San Francisco down like.

11:42.98
Andrew Morgans
Right.

11:29.00
Carlos Alvarez
Ah, quarantine this covid thing happening so when I’m flying back to Miami which is home for me um, they backed out of the deal and um, and I’m like I thought I really messed up I’m like oh my god how could I do this like.

12:31.34
Andrew Morgans
Okay, okay.

12:02.98
Carlos Alvarez
Um, goofing around on a cruise and event because ultimately, in the grand scheme of things. The cruise is an important event for me. Um, it’s my baby but exiting three brands a cruise event like your priorities are really not in order rate there Carlos you know so I right exactly.

13:07.10
Andrew Morgans
One of them you spent you probably spent money and like we’re chilling and having fun. Yeah, exactly.

12:38.28
Carlos Alvarez
Exactly right? So I’m like, really bummed out at myself, and then, you know, a couple of days or like a week later, Amazon is saying only essential products to fba, so like the sky is falling. It’s obvious now that ecom was going to explode, but it wasn’t. There was like a six-week period that was like. It wasn’t so obvious, right? It was. It was like the sky was falling, so I was down in the dumps. But then all of a sudden, like you know everything, everything took off, and at that point we were, you know, in aggregate we were over 100000000 or a nine-figure, you know a None figure Seller, so your percentages of growth are not like they’ve gone down as I got bigger. Um, so here we are. We’re like used to seeing something like None 15%, and in 2020 we have close to 70% growth, and around mid-year, you know, the aggregator comes back the same one. And is like you know they’re interested now, and I’m like yeah no like trailing twelve months is everything here, and I’m killing it. Um, so then 2021 comes a similar story. We’re still talking. But I’m like yeah yeah, for sure.

15:16.72
Andrew Morgans
Yeah.

15:40.00
Andrew Morgans
Can I ask a couple of just like seller questions like okay, so so where were these essential items? Were these like brands that like could still use Fba or? Like I’m just wondering if they were like you benefited because of that were they outdoor products where there’s something that benefited from like necessarily like the effects of the pandemic or did it just happen to be that it grew as off with the along with eCommerce like everything else does that make sense. Okay.

15:49.80
Carlos Alvarez
Ah, both, so yeah, but both of them. One of them was ah was a food product and that fell into essential even though like you really didn’t need this type of food product right? It was like an artery-clogging bliss type of food product, and then the other two were.

16:42.94
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

16:56.40
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

16:23.41
Carlos Alvarez
In the tobacco and um wine Accessory Space. So What kind of happened, there is similar to like 2008 when the economy Crashed. It’s like no matter how bad things get people or the more stressful things get, people seem. They’re still going to go to their vices. So here you have them in their house there maybe like around their significant other or the kids or whatever they’re in a much more stressful environment and having to perform at a higher level and do things they’ve never done before, so that’s I think the explosion of ecom plus that had a lot to do with 2 of the other brands.

17:38.38
Andrew Morgans
Yep.

18:07.56
Andrew Morgans
I love it, and ah, you know that’s what we saw at metrology was there was probably a nine-month lull from when the pandemic really hit to brand signing up, so we’re the agency, not just a seller, right? So we’re an agency. There weren’t. The brands we had were doing well mainly because we also had almost every brand on a hybrid model of fba fbm because the sellers helping sellers pay attention to that if you can. It’s great to a great way to protect yourself from things that you can’t see, like a pandemic. Ah, you know, so those brands that are running out of stock or couldn’t get inventory and or couldn’t get into a three p because it was blocked up. We’re still shipping products, but we had, you know, quite a few different food brands. Um, we had outdoor brands, right? We sent we had ah at home. Um, ah. Alcohol accessories and things like bar kids and, you know, different brands like that just um, it was just a strange, strange time because we were essentially trying to solve problems that we hadn’t seen before even if we had No ears of experience. You know, it was just like we don’t know what’s going to happen. It was still kind of that way. With ah China compare to 20202021? Um, okay, so those were just a couple of sidebars I wanted to know specifically if like it was just growing because you were there at the right time for a pandemic or was it like specifically catapulted because of like you know the um. The categories and whatnot. So okay, so one, I didn’t know your brands were that big, so that’s and that’s really impressive. Um, two, I love that you tell them the original aggregator, like, hey, I’ve got a new price. Ah, you know I love that? Ah, um, and none so i. When did thoracic, I guess, come out with was it 2019 or eighteen that they like none started saying we’re buying brands like you know that kind of thing or I’m trying to just remember if it happened right before the pandemic or if it was kind of because it was picking up steam. It was kind of picking up speed.

21:30.20
Carlos Alvarez
Um, yeah, I don’t know when. I think it was 2018 when it was like None started 2019 was just 2000. I think it’s 2019 when they were coming out with this stuff; I was just on the empowering mastermind call, and they clement.

22:22.98
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

22:05.84
Carlos Alvarez
If you’ve ever if you don’t know the climate is just a genius and and and climate met said um remind made me remember, and he was that’s when the thoracic and all them were saying you know where we’re buying brands and the average growth that these brands have after we buy is about 145% which I love the guys at thoracic, and they’re awesome, and I don’t want this to be like a pick on their thing. This is like aggregators as a whole kind of jumped on that, and I don’t know, that feels like kind of Bs to me. Um, it felt it just felt like, I mean, come on, you’re, and you’re one of the brightest in the Amazon space, right? So like what. And I know a thing or two too. But you know, if you give me a couple of new brands every single week and they’re not the same category, There’s no economies or scale-like. I don’t know. I have. I have chills right now just thinking of that. I imagine the amount of Advil and tums that I would need to get to so not just maintain but grow, and you’re saying you’re doing this on average at 145% growth on some of these brands that might be close to capped out anyway, it just doesn’t make sense.

25:04.52
Andrew Morgans
Yeah, one thing I’ve realized I’m kind of thinking about is like, so I’m at 300 plus brands, and I’ve worked with, well, that’s a lot of event bats, right? That’s a lot if you want. If you want to have an average of like how much of the growth c after working with you, 300 would be a good sample size, right? Um.

24:37.84
Carlos Alvarez
Oh yeah, okay.

25:41.50
Andrew Morgans
And while I do feel like we’re among the best, I’ll put it among the best. Um, and I would say that on average, we have probably a strong over probably over 25 or 30% growth like whenever we come on with a brand. Um, definitely shy of saying None plus um, and it’s just getting harder. So I mean, I think a 30% growth and sometimes that’s not the case we’ve 200% growth 500% grow. We’ve seen crazy if you’re taking standalone things, but like if you’re looking at averages and None thing I’ve really been thinking about is like a completely different model in that we’re not. Purchasing a brand for none or anything like that. But whenever I’m choosing to work with a brand, I’m really thinking of the same exact things that an aggregator would think about whenever they’re thinking about being successful because you know you don’t get a reputation of being the best by losing the number None you learn by losing but you don’t get a reputation of being the best by losing and so for me as an agency I’m looking for every time I lose a client that’s a loss. You know we lose money. Is it churn, right? So you got it on board. You got engaged, got it, and these aggregators really, I think as a whole, not Thoracio but just as a whole a general statement. We are still trying to learn what exactly ah they are looking for in a brand when they buy it outside of the financials like does it have a brand story? Have they expanded already? Are they capitalizing on Seo? Do they need more capital for advertising? Can we help them with the supply chain? You know I’m asking these things whenever we’re on board, like whenever we’re even talking to them about working together, and there’s not even a $10000000 purchase behind it or that that stress of a big big-equity plate to then get that growth right? So um, that’s where you said you’re getting chills thinking about it. I’m like; I’d have ulcers.

28:34.42
Carlos Alvarez
Um, yeah.

29:17.72
Andrew Morgans
If it was like, you know? Ah, if we were making that every week, right? That’s just that’s crazy. But I do know that, um, I feel like that is what brought you to know a lot you talk about None x exit, right? and I think that it was the start of that. Um. And I do believe if you have the right one. It is worth None x personally; if you get the right brand that, like you know the right brand, the right business, the right category, the right team may be that you’re acquiring like there could be plays there, but those are amazing numbers. Um, and. How are they coming up with those? I’m still trying to figure it out in some ways. Um, you know exactly what’s next for us sellers in general, but okay, I want to get focused because I’m just I’m thinking about some things that you know aggregates are doing. I want to give a shoutout to our sponsor real quick full-scale io. Helping you build software teams quickly and affordably if you’re looking for a software team. You should start at full skill io and at least give them a call and check them out. Absolute great team. Okay, so Carl, let’s go back to the story. You told them you told the Originals. No, I’m sorry, trailing, trailing, None mine. Ah. Sales are up. Did you renegotiate with them, or did you just say I’m going shopping?

31:05.92
Carlos Alvarez
Um, I didn’t even think that would imply that I have more business sense than I do, right? So like that, I negotiate. It kind of sounds like I’m on a shark tank. It wasn’t. It was the growth that year was. You grow that much at any level. It’s a lot. You grow that level with all the uncertainty and everything; plus, I’m working from home, which has been my Achilles heel. My biggest fear of 2020 was just trying to do the best I could day in and day out, and I just told them, hey, I’m not interested right now. Um. And I think at one point, I almost got sarcastic with it and kind of gave the same line. They gave me that crushed me right after the cruise like there was this specific, you know, verbiage that was used, and I just used it pack. But after that, a lot of the time. No. It.

33:17.56
Andrew Morgans
Can You can you share that was it cursing? Was it just a little sassy?

32:51.62
Carlos Alvarez
It was a little too it. It was a little too Cardigan sweater for me, is how I would describe it like yeah, it was a little too. Ah, it was like really like like that, all right? But at one point, I got a little. I think I might have like parroted it back and.

33:39.32
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

33:51.90
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

33:24.70
Carlos Alvarez
And then the rest of it was just focused on growth, focus on keeping my team together, make sure everyone’s healthy, um, cross-training, which sounds awesome that I had never really done. But when someone gets sick. We’re not firing them during covid. We’re going to continue paying them, but we still need to get the job done. Um, so then end of 2020, I’m about as burned out as I’ve ever been 70% growth at that low. Yes yeah, and in 2021 it was probably my least joyful year as an Amazon seller. This was a very robotic shell of a person. It was like.

34:46.76
Andrew Morgans
Yeah, I remember I remember talking to you, then I remember, like you know, different things. Yeah.

34:35.70
Carlos Alvarez
I felt like it was almost like a PTSD shell shock stage. But everything’s growing around you, thanks, so we grew another 40% that year on top of 2020, and then I was like, okay, the biggest problem now is everyone’s out of inventory.

35:31.40
Andrew Morgans
Yep.

35:07.00
Carlos Alvarez
I went nuts and got like, I think it was like 40 containers at like sixteen Thousand five hundred a container, and I’m like, I ain’t running out. Everyone made fun of me. But next thing you know, I’m sitting on what would normally be considered a healthy amount of inventory, and it definitely put a hamper on like cash flow. But I’m good. So so now, at the end of this, I’m like, I don’t remember my son being that tall. My daughter’s not talking to me. My wife says I’m only there physically but not mentally like at some point something’s gonna break, and at this point, I think it might be me, so I’m like it’s time. I was like, we’ve had this conversation. I feel common courtesy is like starting the conversation with you again. We did, um, I got significantly more, but it’s also because the business was worth significantly more. Um, I got significantly more, and that’s a wrap and it. It was awesome.

37:46.58
Andrew Morgans
No, I Love it. Okay, so I’m gonna ask some more questions about this. Okay, so exit’s cool sellers to sellers understanding not just like hearing, I think the path of like um, you know for me I work I Love to work I know you do too. It’s why we get along. Um, we love what we do. We give out value; Every podcast is free. Do you know what I’m saying? I’ve been doing this for years; I’ve never charged for any content I put out. Um, that’s just. I’ve just been building this agency. It’s really been my main play, and now I’m building brands and all that kind of stuff. But.

37:49.40
Carlos Alvarez
That.

39:01.80
Andrew Morgans
Um, as far as like sellers helping sellers, I think that’s what that’s None thing we have synergy on. Do we love what we do? Um, but for me, in 2020. It was absolutely brutal too. I don’t think I, you know, there might have been some small stints of depression. I don’t know if I wouldn’t; I don’t have to label that. But. Definitely, some very lows because, for me, I need to be inspired. I need to be inspired, and it’s not just about the money for me. It’s about like, you know I like solving problems, and I like seeing new things, and I like. You know that’s why I like the agency side is that I like getting None different attempts at different products and brands across the board with all different problems, and I like the challenge, you know? So um, but I was I remember linking up with you in Miami and ah at ah, an event and just you know we were just having a drink and just talking about. Man, we’re just crushing it. My agency’s growing like brands are growing and just not doing great. You know, as a person just like you know feeling worn out and for me it was just that the pandemic I mean honestly, it was a big part of it and then just um I live for shows, and I live for travel and. Seeing my people even like you guys and in the community and not being able to do that was just like I’m just dealing with problems like dealing with problems and stacking money, and it was like you know I’ve already got enough money for me to be like I don’t need this. Ah, you know, so it was like. Super low and I’m sure there are a lot of sellers that related to them just being alone. I think that’s why the year 2021 was so much about conferences and the beats and sellers helping sellers in that way because we were helping with mental health as much as anything else, and you know, I would say arguably the last None you know twenty-four months the trailing twenty-four months have been the hardest and com I’ve ever been a part of um I’m blessed to be like positioned where I am with an agency where we’re working with you know these holding companies that have None or None brands or manufacturers going wreck or. Us manufacturers, so supply chain things like that are solved for some of my clients and things like that. So we’ve been blessed to like, in some ways, be positioned here in other ways have None None 7 None brands sold out from under us as an agency has had. Grown brands too much that cash flow becomes an issue for them because they’ve always been b two b um, you know you name it. You know, poached employees. Ah, you know, costs are rising and getting more competitive. It’s just been absolutely brutal, and everyone’s, you know, everyone wants to be 2020.

44:11.34
Andrew Morgans
Because we’ve been growing every year since the beginning of time in the com and ah, but when you have a year like 2020. It’s like guys; you have to have these conversations of like we can’t expect you know for you to have 40% growth after None growth or 70% growth is insanity. Ah, you know, so when we were. Pulling out numbers like that, I was like, well, we were growing. You know, way crazier in 2020. I’m like everyone else wasn’t even on Amazon because they couldn’t get stuck, so you were winning like crazy just hard hard hard hard and really made me think not just myself but people like you other sellers just really reevaluate like do I love this do I hate this like. Ah, you know I’m feeling like you said, um, mentally physically there but not mentally there. What’s, um, what’s something that’s kind of turning it around for you.

45:04.62
Carlos Alvarez
Um, you know, I’m getting a little more confidence in saying this, but as I mentioned in the last episode, I started this meetup group, you know, going on six years ago. It was for Amazon sellers, and it was to get together and.

46:13.60
Andrew Morgans
Yeah.

45:41.20
Carlos Alvarez
I’d say up until the pandemic. Well, no, not. I wouldn’t say like up until the pandemic it was like ah I have ah an awesome leadership team there, but it was like me doing all the content me doing all the presentations, and the pandemic forced me to you know I thought I thought my community was going to die like you know, maybe some physically but like. I was just going to Peter out, and then I had to learn the Zoom thing, which I was just like allergic to pre pandemicdemic, and then the group thrived, and it thrived beyond South Florida, which was already massive, and I felt I feel like don’t get me wrong. It’s a very give and take in the community. But. Feel like, during the pandemic, it was. It was a lot of giving on my part, and sometimes I was giving more than what I had to give and of myself, and that happened in 2020, but you know what in 2021? Um, going into 2022 when I was just like falling apart. You know, like good great good friends like you and Mike in the community. Then the wizards of Amazon Community, specifically like they really stepped up and they really rallied um for me, and they were my rock and all this, so I’ve. I’ve really changed the way that I’m just doing business and like how I’m approaching brands like I’m getting ready to launch a brand called fish stock like Doc Doctor fish stock and it’s gonna be the none brand that I do, and I’m going to work on public I’m going to work in public I’m going to work on this brand in public I’m going to document all the wins and the losses and.

49:06.12
Andrew Morgans
But enough.

49:20.82
Andrew Morgans
Me.

48:41.82
Carlos Alvarez
Ah, a major motivation for me to do that is, which could be a total bomb, by the way, but like my major motivation to do that is I want to do something with the community like I want more practical instead of theory um to be able to go on in the community and I should do this by leading first and. You know I’m going to be a seller helping a seller, and I want to move this towards we don’t like come on. That’s your brand. I want you to wear it on your hat; I don’t want you to hide it from your closest people like I want to buy that hat, and I want to support your brand like let’s try. Yeah, exactly like you’re, you’re a walking testament to that. So like, I want to do that. And I feel like for that to happen, I need to get vulnerable. Do I need to do that first? Um, for my community and anyone that’s not yet in the community. Um, so that’s a motivator, so I’m finding myself doing a lot of things and making a lot of decisions. Obviously, I consider my family my loved ones, but it’s more of a. How is this going to impact my community and is this going to help me um, expand to open more locations is this gonna is this going to raise the bar on the quality of the content we’re going to offer this going to allow us to you know, bring the Andrew Morgans of the world so but ah trick you down in Miami to present again like is it going to do that if it’s not I’m not really that interested.

51:51.92
Andrew Morgans
Yeah, I love that answer, Carlos, and I think that that’s an authentic answer. Um, just as someone that knows you and if I was looking from the outside in, you know a friend of friend colleague to colleague, I’d say you know. You have so much you’ve been blessed with so much you have an amazing community. Amazing Amazon people around you, you know Vanessa Hung and Tim and um, you know all of them, ah to support you, and I think that there is this like as an Amazon seller versus as a thought leader. Right? There’s this difference in the way that you go about things because you’re kind of in guerrilla warfare mode when you’re in a seller, right? Ah, speed is your ally. Having a product out in front of everyone else being innovative, like not letting people know because everyone comes and copies us like we know that, right? So it’s not till you’re from a place of abundance and security. That you can give um without fearing, you know, without fearing someone else taking that from you, you know? And I think that really going probably going through the pandemic with your community and seeing that they’re not going anywhere and in fact, it’s like you know adversity makes it thrive had of been very like. Kind of just validating and securing, and no, so I absolutely love that, and I think that was one of my best presentations with the one in Miami. We just got real authentic with the story, and I was trying another new one again, but I just had a great time down there. It almost felt like. Yeah, it felt I know it’ a big I know it’s a big group digitally, but it felt like a meetup, and you know, I actually found startup hustle in 2020, and I used to not be able to talk in front of people at all I would stutter, and you know just get caught up not being able to say anything and the podcast is actually. Probably been the best thing for me, even mental health-wise, the last two years because I’ve just been getting to talk to people like you getting to talk to amazing, inspiring people not just in the Amazon space but above and beyond and just getting to talk to the real talk about what’s going on basically value. You know and just getting basically being like, is this align with like what I’m about ah or not and if it’s not I’m gonna try something else. What you just said about documenting the story is crazy because I’ve been talking to David Dayon, um, one I’ve already tried to document the story, and then the pandemic happened with a couple of brands locally in Kansas City.

56:04.98
Carlos Alvarez
Oh yeah.

56:48.80
Andrew Morgans
It’s easier said than done. So it’s going to be fun, but um, and it wasn’t like I wasn’t developing a product from scratch. It was more like taking a brand and then, you know, launching them on Amazon doing that. But I told David it’d be super fun to take like 3 3 amazon experts or three agencies or None teams. And over the course of like six months kind of just document those different teams this process like to launch a brand maybe in ah, a different category but around the same price point or something like that more of like ah a friendly competition. Sure. But at the end of the day, we’re going to have three brands, or you know, a winner loses, and it would be a lot of fun. Um.

57:17.16
Carlos Alvarez
I you know? Yeah, and I don’t know if you know, um, Dave Bryant, Mike Jackness, and them from ecom crew. Um, phenomenal podcast too. By the way, you should check out. Um, but they’re doing something similar like they’ve they went out.

58:03.92
Andrew Morgans
Kind of just see the different ways that people go about it.

58:24.60
Andrew Morgans
Okay.

57:53.94
Carlos Alvarez
And they’re talking about this openly. That’s why I’m sharing it here, but they went out. They paid $80000 for knitting dot com, and so they bought this premium domain, and they’re talking about like these guys don’t just go out there, and you know how many giveaways can I do for rebates. So you know what I mean these are like. These are brands like they’re getting into all the branding they’re talking about the content machine that they’re going to create, and they’re not. They’re really not holding back. It’s been I subscribe to it, I know I’m going to learn something there, but it’s almost like my form of Novella like like this is this is what I get excited about, right? So and they’re documenting it, I’m hoping that this is a trend. That continues, and that we people talk more openly about it, and we create defensible stuff.

59:57.96
Andrew Morgans
Um, I think it’s it’s ah it’s a trust thing. Okay, so that’s something I think I learned to like when I was really coming into the space and marketing, and I would see all these people put out content that I knew wasn’t right? How did I know it wasn’t right because I was in there doing it myself? I wasn’t like trying to learn it; I was actually a doer, and I was just like. Sucks this person’s saying this about Amazon. It’s not right. This person saying this I was like I’m going to go I’m going to double down on trust like I’m just going to double down on and the and the way to get that falls Gary Vee which is like the jab right? Hook, right? This is just like giving people value, giving people value, and if you need to make the sailor ask, then you go for it. You know, with the right hook. But I’m like, um I; I do believe that’s the way to do it, and you know you might miss on some of this like I won’t say low hanging fruit but some opportunities because you’ve given something out. There’s going to be someone to go do it themselves. Ah. But the team that’s has been looking to hire, or that’s been looking to bring somebody in to speak on something or all the other opportunities that can come from just sharing your story and sharing what you’re doing and what you’re working on I think can just attract things to you that you would never even be able to see otherwise, so you’re going to have to definitely connect me I’ll sign up. And watch the ecom crew or whatever they’re doing that sounds absolutely amazing.

01:01:39.40
Carlos Alvarez
Ah, check it out http://eecomcru.com/secretsauce, so you don’t even have to get their premium membership which I think is not even open right now. But it’s, I think it’s like thirty bucks a month. This is like 10 x Netflix. You know, I mean this is it’s really amazing. They have like for yes, absolutely.

01:02:49.16
Andrew Morgans
For you, if this is for our space. Yeah, this is better than Netflix.

01:02:17.86
Carlos Alvarez
So so, I plan on being inspired by that. It may be the modeling of some of the stuff they’re doing and and and and and and then applying that towards the fish stock. Um ah, journey and what I’m going to do and you know I’m um, um I’m really excited ben.

01:03:22.38
Andrew Morgans
I Love that we have to get on a call after this because I just want to share some of my ideas with you. We won’t share them all here so people can tune in to watch it. You know, but just some things, you know I’m always looking for innovative ways to make what we do interesting because.

01:02:51.84
Carlos Alvarez
Um, absolutely, absolutely.

01:03:57.50
Andrew Morgans
Suppose you’re not a super nerd about it. It can be just kind of like what they are even talking about. But it’s almost like I think of it almost like Storage Wars, you know and all these shows that came out really with like storage Wars you think about just people going through like storage containers or like truck rain ah wrecked trains or you know different things, and it’s like a man.

01:03:26.94
Carlos Alvarez
Oh yeah.

01:04:36.88
Andrew Morgans
Not that exciting. But the way they film it and you just see what these people are doing. They’re finding. It’s almost like they’ve turned it into treasure hunting is really how that career comes across, and I think if people really saw our careers and why we get excited about them in work in the details, people would understand why we’re so passionate about what we do. Ah, you know, because you make that tweak and you see that change happen, or you see you get a review. You start getting reviews back on a product you’ve developed or something, and you start getting that feedback loop back. It’s just like it’s incredibly exciting. Um, I was talking to the brand yesterday. Actually, this is the none time ours. Short career as a company, but we’ve had people fly in brands fly in to meet the team in the new office. You know, so this is a cool thing for me and a growing point, right? and these are midwest brands, so coming in by trying or flying in, and I was telling them for me. You know, if I’ve got None keywords in a listing, I’m trying to validate or figure out if they’re the right ones? whatever figuring out that 4 of them. Maybe I’ve wasted a couple of hundred dollars figuring it out but figuring out that 4 of those ten keywords don’t work to me is just as exciting as the six that is working because I’m like is. Some might see that as failing, or some might see that as it not working or a product having some flaws, but I’m like, ooh. Okay, now I know exactly what to do next, and you know, so ah, being able to share that kind of stuff is amazing. I’m ready to tune into yours, too, so sign me up for both. If I can get into both of them for a hundred bucks, I’m excited, so when’s the thought process like on releasing this is something like fall winter don’t know yet, just kind of like ah working on soaking on it.

01:06:46.30
Carlos Alvarez
Oh man, Hell yeah.

01:07:08.66
Carlos Alvarez
Um, you know you just mentioned earlier that it that it’s harder to do than people think, and I’m already seeing that like for example, um, like like a lot of the times if I’m talking or if I’m presenting somewhere I’m sharing some really cool win.

01:08:25.86
Andrew Morgans
Yeah.

01:07:47.80
Carlos Alvarez
And not to be cheesy, but we know that there are No failures behind that win. So it would be impossible for me to start another brand regardless of how long I’ve been selling and not have setbacks, so then it was like, what do you document and what do you not document like what. Is boring. What is it not like? I find myself trying to short circuit the process, and I’m like, well, why don’t I just do this because then I won’t have to document these 14 things. But this thing is ah is a thing that I don’t think is a good eye. And I’m talking very vague but like a ranking strategy that’s hot right now but that to me I would never touch otherwise, and I’m like no, you know what I normally for me when I say I’m about to launch a product for me. That’s four to six months of trivia quizzes, polls, and contests branding social. Building content and building this machine off Amazon I’ve always done that, and I did that initially because I didn’t have the funds to not do it that way, and I just dialed it in, and it works, so I’m going to keep doing that, so I’m in it. So so, as far as when a physical product’s going to come. Um, let’s just say I’m assuming the documenting process is going to set me back some more because I’ve never done that either, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s like None to nine months from now when there’s a physical product but the content portion the branding the packaging. All these different cool certifications. You can get like compact and small and like things that I’ve not done before for my own brands, you know, because they just weren’t around when I created the packaging for this other brand. Um, you know, building. Ah, it’s a fish product. It’s for fish aquariums and conditioning the water, so like building a Youtube channel. In this image-rich content that that’s fishes fish in aquariums have not done that before. So I think that’ll set me back a few months, um, from the physical product. The other one is I’m sourcing it all from the USA. Again I selected this based on stuff in the USA. We’re not going to deal with like four months of shipping time.

01:12:21.20
Andrew Morgans
Smart.

01:11:52.72
Carlos Alvarez
Um, like you know what? I mean, so like, there’s a lot of pieces that are a None for me as well. Yeah, new pieces. Um, and what? Ah.

01:12:39.70
Andrew Morgans
Um, new pieces. I think people would love to see that. That’s what I’ve always loved about the agency side. I know people some people hate Amazon sellers hate the agency side because you have to deal with these other brands and the relationships and humans on humans suck. You know, 99% of the time. So you know there are struggles there. But for me, it was, oh, I’m getting another attempt with this, you know, almost like a weird process that they’ve done it. Oh, another weird process that they’ve done it. Oh, this is a manufacturer that prints this way and does this. You know, it was essentially like what you’re about to do, which is a new process sourcing in the Us. Um, a phishing product maybe filming it with like you’re going to have to film water. Maybe when you’re testing it to see if it works right? or you know there’s going to be some fun stuff there that setting up the cameras might be a trick, or I think you should film it all and then work on getting the right editing team. Um.

01:13:42.10
Carlos Alvarez
Agreed. Yeah, and you and you know I just rattle off a list of like so-called Cons, but on the pros like for example I’ve already had somebody that designs packaging, and I mean this person.

01:14:28.64
Andrew Morgans
To pull out the best stuff, I think you should film all of it. Good, bad, and ugly.

01:14:14.18
Carlos Alvarez
They don’t want me to put their name out there yet, but it looks like everyone’s gonna hear it, but they designed some, so I would have never considered them. It has been way beyond the budget of anything that I would ever do, and instead of me not being able to do that. They pretty much came in and be like, if you’re documenting it all, I’ll do it for free like.

01:15:32.16
Andrew Morgans
For the influence, I think ah.

01:14:51.10
Carlos Alvarez
This is so so, right? So I’m starting to get people to reach out and tell me that, and they’re kind of like, hey, I want to be part of this, and I know there’s going to be some cons here, and there might be some people that want to sabotage your list, but we can offset it with you know insert thing here. So I’m excited.

01:16:02.76
Andrew Morgans
I love it, and I’m excited for you because I think it’s going to be a level up in you as a person just um, you know you have you are one of the best in the space arguably like your so your exits and all those things prove that much less beyond what I’m saying. But. Now being able to share some of that even with this community that you’ve already built, I think it’s going to absolutely explode wizards of com. Um, as the leader of that is the None doing this kind of show, and this is the kind of content that I didn’t know. I didn’t know the content, even like this podcast, would really have as much value as I now know. You know, but after you do something for a year or two years, you really start to see the results. You know it’s like organic SEO. It just takes a while to get going, and I think, um, whenever you’re transparent, authentic, and showing those kinds of things. It’s like, wow, there’s ah, there’s a lot of people that will just be um. Think blown away by some of the stuff that we do behind the scenes to make these brands come to life that most people have no idea about. Man, this is gonna be this is going to be amazing ah I think I was going to come to a geek out the event there in Miami; I was hoping to maybe be able to link up. I think it’s even happening this week.

01:17:23.78
Carlos Alvarez
Agreed ben.

01:18:32.12
Andrew Morgans
But I’ve broken my foot, so I’m skipping. I’m skipping some events for the near future. It’s okay, no surgery, just ah, broke it in a few spots, but good thing I work in Ecom where I can just prop it up and stay right at it. So maybe I’ll put on a low weight which I could use. Um.

01:17:53.22
Carlos Alvarez
And.

01:18:15.10
Carlos Alvarez
Man.

01:19:09.70
Andrew Morgans
Carlos, I could talk about this all day. Ah, and we’re ramping up on the hour, so I want to just give you a moment here at the end. You know we talked about some content coming out. We talked about just kind of ah the desire to just grow this community even further, you know it wasn’t five-six years ago there wasn’t even really a community at all. And now we have a community that’s busting at the seams and continuing to grow. I think it’s it’s honestly the one ah field or industry that might be bursting our university’s ah model in just regards like they’re just talking about. People are going from, you know, without skipping school basically skipping school skipping university if they’re into e-commerce and you’re just going right into the industry and not needing it, and it’s kind of paving the way for a lot of other things I think so I think that’s just I mean that’s really cool too because. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been speaking at universities and colleges, and things like that aren’t just, ah, almost like a volunteer to help entrepreneurs and students and things like that, and I have no credentials to be there doing that. So it’s pretty cool stuff, and I know that you help so many sellers. It’s insane. We. You need to work on boundaries if anything just ah, you know, but what’s wrapping it up. Do you know what something that you would leave with some aspiring sellers or even some very successful sellers is? What’s a piece of advice. Um, you just want to leave with them. That’s from your heart or from ah something you’ve been thinking about recently.

01:21:17.96
Carlos Alvarez
Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but I just have to say, I think I’d be untrue to myself. I didn’t say this, but it’s like, I think you should follow your passions in this. Like I think you should get into something you love, and my reason for that is not, and I mean obviously do your research to make sure what you love. There’s a market for it. But I think when you get into something you’re passionate about, it will increase the likelihood that what you’re going to do is going to just have an amazingly positive impact on those around you in the world. And why settle for just a couple of dollars on a disbursement, right? Like we have an opportunity. We have a skill set to do this. I feel like we have a responsibility to do this, so that would be my cornball-like thing to say do it.

01:23:33.14
Andrew Morgans
No, that’s the bible. You know my upbringing, and that’s the bible. As you know, be a good steward with the talent you’ve been given. If that’s business, if that’s making a dollar, if that’s a hustle, if that’s educating others, if that’s fishing and being really good at it, if it’s, you know, whatever that is. Like I think that whenever you use the kind of what you’ve been given or what you’re passionate about, love it, just attracts the right things, and it gets magnified. So it’s obviously the case. Is everyone listening? We’re going to have Carlos’s show; you know, contact information. The show notes. Maybe there’s some information on some of it social. We can hear about this documentation that’s going to be happening on the fish doc, and I know I’m extremely excited. And this is part 2. Carlos, I think we’ve got about a 10-part series between the 2 of us. I’m going to just keep picking your brain for years to come. So.

01:24:34.92
Carlos Alvarez
Thank you so much for having me, man. You’re the best.

01:25:18.86
Andrew Morgans
Thanks for being on the show. Thanks. Shout out again to our sponsor for today’s episode, fullscale.io, for helping you build software teams quickly and affordably. We’ll see you next time, guys.

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