No one likes to fail! But the truth is, as Amazon FBA business owners, we’re all going to fail occasionally. This episode is dedicated to how you can improve your mindset about the failures you might experience, how to best respond to your failures, and how to lower the chances of failure in the future.
We discuss how to manage your own expectations around mistakes and failure at every level, how to set yourself up for future success, and how to find the appropriate support for large-scale failures along the way. You’ll also hear a real-life example of what it means to fail forward, and some motivational advice for anyone on the verge of giving up on their business journey. Listen today for plenty of resources to help you navigate the ups and downs of selling on Amazon, and be encouraged on the road to success!
Listen on the podcast player below.
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Key points from Episode 212:
- The reality of failure as an Amazon FBA business owner.
- Why, if you’re experiencing failures, congratulations are in order.
- When to expect failures as you grow your Amazon FBA business.
- How to avoid failure by revisiting the Amazon Guidelines once a year.
- Unpacking John C. Maxwell’s quote: “Fail early, fail often, fail forward.”
- A real-life example of what it means to fail forward.
- Navigating larger failures and finding the appropriate support.
- Advice for those on the verge of giving up.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Full-Time FBA Coaching Program
- Riverbend Consulting
- e-Growth Partners
- How to Read and Understand Keepa Graphs
- Amazon Guidelines
- Podcast Episodes Focused on Overcoming Specific Fears & Failures
- Overcoming Your Fear of Starting to Sell on Amazon
- Top Amazon Sellers Share Their Biggest Mistakes and Failures
- 10 Mistakes Even Smart Amazon Sellers Make
- The Most Expensive Sourcing Mistake You Could Ever Make
- The 2nd Most Expensive Sourcing Mistake You Could Ever Make
- Q4 Mistakes Even Smart Amazon Sellers Make
- The Sneaky Mistake That’s Sabotaging Your Amazon Business
- Seven Beginner Pitfalls to Amazon FBA Success
- Seven More Beginner Pitfalls to Amazon FBA Success
- The Bad Habits of Unsuccessful Amazon Sellers
- The Biggest Amazon FBA Failures We’ve Experienced in 10+ Years of Reselling
Selling on Amazon sounds easy… but it’s not. Too many Amazon reseller “gurus” will try to get you to fall for an Amazon reseller “get rich quick” scheme, but we’re here to tell you the truth:
- Selling on Amazon is hard, especially when you’re all by yourself… BUT it’s so much easier with a guide — and we’re here to help.
- Selling on Amazon is not a “get rich quick” scheme… BUT it can be a “get rich slowly” plan. With commitment to working hard, combined with our expert guidance, you can start making a full-time income selling on Amazon within about a year.
That’s why you’re invited to join our 12-month long Full-Time FBA Coaching Program. No matter if you’re brand new to selling on Amazon or if you have a few years of experience, our coaching program will take you from where you are to making a full-time income in about 12-months.
Find out more about The Full-Time FBA Coaching Program (including how to set up a Connect Call with me to ask your specific questions about the program).
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Episode 212 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:20] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 212 of The Full-Time FBA Show. Today, we are going to be talking about how to overcome failure in your Amazon FBA business, because we all experience it, so let’s deal with it and know –
[0:00:32] REBECCA: Just deal with it.
[0:00:34] STEPHEN: We’re going to deal with it and move forward with it. To help me deal with it is my wife and business partner and co-host Rebecca Smotherman. How are you doing, Rebecca?
[0:00:42] REBECCA: Good. It sounds like our best parenting advice, too. Just deal with it. That’s what we tell our parents. That’s what we tell our kids. Just deal with it.
[0:00:51] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:00:52] REBECCA: That’s not really –
[0:00:53] STEPHEN: That’s not all we say. Yes. We help them deal with it.
[0:00:56] REBECCA: Yes. We’re good at giving advice.
[0:00:59] STEPHEN: We are.
[0:01:00] REBECCA: Or we like to give advice.
[0:01:02] STEPHEN: That’s true. Yeah. Whether or not they take the advice, that’s a whole another podcast. I’m about to say episode, that’s a whole another podcast.
[0:01:08] REBECCA: The teenagers. Okay, we’re getting off track.
[0:01:11] STEPHEN: Yes. We’ve failed with our introduction with this episode.
[0:01:14] REBECCA: Let’s overcome that failure and talk about how to overcome failure in your Amazon FBA business, too. Well, obviously, no one likes failing.
[0:01:26] STEPHEN: Fail.
[0:01:27] REBECCA: I mean, if you do, that’s your business, I guess. But most of us do not like to fail. We all know that failure is going to happen, though, from time to time. The truth is that your Amazon FBA business, we’re all going to fail. We’re all going to fail at different times. We’re going to have those failures that we experience. Sometimes it’s going to be a small failure. Sometimes it’ll be bigger. Interestingly enough, how we respond to failure can be a good indicator of how we’ll actually succeed well in our endeavors. Responding to failure the right way can actually lead to success.
Today on the show, we’re going to talk about failure and how to best overcome your Amazon FBA failures as they happen in your business. Just to be clear, we’re not going to be discussing any specific mistakes or failures that we’ve made or that you could encounter in this episode. We’ve done that before. We’ll probably do it again in the future. If you want to see a list of those episodes, we’ve had about 10 episodes where we’ve talked about specific Amazon mistakes and failures. You can find that list in the show notes for this episode at fulltimefba.com/212, but instead today, we’re going to be helping you to improve your mindset. It’s a mindset episode. We snuck that in on you here. We love mindset episodes.
[0:02:44] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:02:44] REBECCA: We’re going to help improve your mindset about the failures that you might experience. How you can best respond to those failures. How you can lower the chances for failure in the future.
[0:02:54] STEPHEN: The first thing that we all need to recognize is this. If you’re experiencing failures, congratulations. That means you’re actually taking action. You’re actually doing something. You might not realize this, but the fact that you’re out there and doing something and failing at it, that’s a huge thing. Too many people don’t ever actually start their Amazon business, because of the fear of failure. If that’s your fear of actually starting your Amazon business, we’ve got you covered with episode number 37, fulltimefba.com/37, a whole episode about the fear of starting.
Again, if the silver lining of failure is that it’s a sign you’re actually working on your business and taking action. Failure is a natural part of learning anything. Think about riding a bike. You don’t just immediately pick it up. You don’t know the skills and know the balance needed to ride a bike. It takes time. It takes falling. It takes failure before you get confident enough to ride the bike.
[0:03:48] REBECCA: We can also take this riding a bike analogy even further. Once you get comfortable riding a bike, maybe you want to start to learn how to do some tricks, like jumping the curb or riding in a straight line with no hands. Each of those new skills involves the possibility and to be honest, and to be honest, the likelihood of experiencing more times of failure, more times of falling over.
Then with selling on Amazon, most people understand there will be mistakes and failures at the beginning of growing in Amazon business, but there’s also going to be mistakes and failures during each new stage of growth in your business. There’s an old saying that says new level, new devil. That is true with growing in Amazon business too. Maybe you started with retail arbitrage and after you got some confidence in that, you added online arbitrage. Well, you’re going to have occasional failure with that and that’s normal. That’s okay. That’s part of the learning process. Understanding that it’s normal can help you overcome your failures.
[0:04:47] STEPHEN: Failures, they’re going to happen. We’ve established that. But obviously, we want to eliminate or avoid as many instances of failure as possible, right? What are the best ways to do that? Well, first of all, one of the best ways that you can avoid failures is to learn a lot about the process of selling on Amazon before you even get started. Notice I didn’t say learn everything, because that is a never-ending process. I’m still learning stuff about selling on Amazon and I’ve been doing it over a decade.
There will always be something to learn with growing in Amazon business. If you’re stuck not starting, because you’re still learning, then like we said before, don’t let that fear of failure and the comfort of learning stop you from finally starting your Amazon business. I would say if you’ve taken a foundational course selling on Amazon, like our JumpStart Amazon course, then you have all that you need to get started. Taking a foundational course, that’s going to help you avoid many of the mistakes that newbies make.
[0:05:44] REBECCA: Another way to avoid failure is to just read the Amazon guidelines. This is pretty basic, but it’s so important. A failure you never want to experience is breaking one of Amazon’s rules. Be sure that at least once a year you familiarize yourself with the Amazon guidelines. To help you with that, we’ve created a quick link that goes directly to the Amazon guidelines page in Seller Central. Just type in fulltimefba.com/guidelines, and that will take you directly to Amazon Seller Central to the guidelines. It’s a big read. It’s a boring read.
[0:06:17] STEPHEN: Boring.
[0:06:19] REBECCA: Be sure to schedule some time here and read over those guidelines. You think you know the most important guidelines, but even continued breaking of the lesser important guidelines will ruin your seller rating and cause you to be at risk of losing your seller account. Read and understand those guidelines, and you’ll greatly lower your risk of experiencing failure in your Amazon business.
[0:06:41] STEPHEN: There’s an old saying about failure from John C. Maxwell that I’ve heard for a long time. The saying is, “Fail early, fail often, fail forward.” So, let’s break this quote down and apply it to our Amazon business, okay? Failing early basically means that during the early stages of your business, you’re going to fail a lot, and that’s okay. It’s okay, because failing during the early stages means that the consequences of the failure are usually not huge, and that fixing what went wrong is usually easier. In your Amazon business, if you’re a newbie, be okay with failure, because failures at the beginning are going to be easier to fix, and the results from that failure are going to be easier to clean up than the failures that come in the future.
[0:07:21] REBECCA: Then the next part of the saying is, fail often. That means you’re taking chances, you’re not staying stagnant, you’re not afraid to try new things. Again, the failing often mantra is more for beginners, but if you’re a seasoned Amazon seller, it can also work for you too. Don’t be scared of failure. With each new way you try to grow your Amazon business, there will be an opportunity for failure. When you add a new category to selling on Amazon, you’re going to fail often. When you try a new sourcing method, fail often. When you hire help, fail often.
[0:07:53] STEPHEN: Finally, in the John C. Maxwell quote, “Fail early, fail often, fail forward.” The fail forward means that when you take chances in your business, and you experiment, and you try new things, and you experience failure, try to learn as much as you can from the lessons that come from your failure. Obviously, the person who fell off a bike probably thought, I wish I was wearing some type of pads to protect me for next time. You can learn from your mistakes and make changes.
Obviously be sure the chances that you’re making they’re somewhat controlled. They’re not too big, but the more failures you experience, especially early, the more you can learn from those failures. That’s the real lesson we want you to grab on here. Fail often, but fail forward. Learn from those failures. If you make a mistake and experience failure, then dissect what went wrong. Don’t just feel bummed, because you made a mistake, but diagnose what went wrong and see what you can learn, so you can avoid this mistake in the future.
[0:08:52] REBECCA: Here’s a real-life example. Imagine that you bought 30 of the same item to send in to Amazon. You have the item priced at $35 when you send it in. Then a week later, all of your competition is selling that same item for around the price of $19.99. This is hitting really close to home. These things happen.
[0:09:13] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:09:14] REBECCA: But what happens here? Well, you can find out for yourself and see if it was maybe possible that you could have avoided a sourcing mistake there. Maybe while you were sourcing that item, you looked at the Keepa graph incorrectly, or worse, you just didn’t even use Keepa at all. Why are you doing that? We’ve asked you so many times to use Keepa. It helps you make great sourcing decisions.
[0:09:35] STEPHEN: Yeah. A real quick video for you, if you want to learn the ins and outs of Keepa on an intro level, fulltimefba.com/readkeepa.
[0:09:43] REBECCA: Yeah. Maybe you’re not looking at it correctly, maybe you’re not looking at it. You probably shouldn’t have sourced that item in the first place or maybe you source the item at a big store target during an end of the summer store wide clearance sale. You didn’t think about how every target in America right now, it has this specific item on clearance. Amazon warehouses are about to be flooded with this item from sellers across the country who are sourcing the same item, so the price is going to drop, because of that increase in competition.
[0:10:14] STEPHEN: Yeah. That simple love, supply and demand work in there.
[0:10:16] REBECCA: Exactly. No matter what the reason is for the failure in this example, figure it out, think it through, and then just don’t repeat that failure in the future.
[0:10:25] STEPHEN: Yeah. That’s definitely good advice. So far in this episode, we’ve covered how to overcome some of the smaller failures in your Amazon business, but we also know some of you experienced some real doozies in your Amazon business. If you’ve experienced maybe an account suspension or an ASIN suspension. Those are big ones. Ones that honestly, you really can’t overcome by yourself. So, you might need the help of a professional service that has extensive success in helping people get their Amazon businesses back, or the ASIN reinstated that you’ve been suspended from selling.
Again, you might need some professional help. We recommend two services that can both help you in this situation. We’ll put those in the show notes, but the links are fulltimefba.com/riverbend, which will take you to Riverbend Consulting. They help out with both of these situations. There’s also e-growth partners. You can go to fulltimefba.com/reinstatement. Again, we’ll put both those links in our show notes, fulltimefba.com/212.
[0:11:23] REBECCA: Maybe you haven’t had something as big as an Amazon account suspension in your business experience, but you’re just experiencing smaller failures again, and again, and again. Maybe you’re wondering if this thing of selling on Amazon is even worth all the time and money you’ve invested into it. All of those little failures are really adding up, and you’re feeling like the whole thing might be failure. If that’s you. I want to tell you two things.
Number one is a quote from Zig Ziglar that I’ve heard from Stephen and his dad over and over again. That quote is, “Failure is an event, not a person.” Don’t let those business mistakes make you feel like a failure, because you’re not. You are not a failure. The second thing I want to tell you is, maybe you currently don’t have the support you need to really succeed. Having that right support system and accountability is essential to being successful at selling on Amazon and finally making a full-time income selling on Amazon.
We would love to help you make that dream of making a full-time income with Amazon into a reality. We have a 12-month-long coaching program that we offer called, The Full-Time FBA Coaching Program, where we outline, teach, and coach you toward making that full-time income selling on Amazon. You can find out more about it at fulltimefba.com/coaching. We would love to help you, since we’ve not only been there and experienced it ourselves, but we have experience helping others to achieve that big goal of a full-time income.
[0:12:55] STEPHEN: Bottom line, obviously, failure stinks, but it’s not always the end. It’s only the end if you stop getting up from the ground. Let’s all overcome failure together. We’re going to grow our Amazon FBA businesses toward making that full-time income, maybe even with part-time hours and let us help you. Again, that link fulltimefba.com/coaching.
[0:13:19] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. As always, we have the show notes and transcript for this episode at fulltimefba.com/212, because this is episode number 212.
[0:13:31] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, it’s the Q4 motivation episode. We are already a month in the Q4 with two months to go. Let me motivate you to finish out Q4 strong in next week’s episode of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:13:46] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. Head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you’ll find the show notes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter, where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you’ve learned today, so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.