Over the years, we’ve managed to generate a very consistent six-figure income through our FBA business. Today, we share some very helpful advice on how we got there. In this episode, you’ll hear about the six critical questions that you need to think through in order to start earning a high six-figure Amazon income. These six questions will help you figure out your next steps, identify the cause of your procrastination, increase your intensity and focus, stop working on less important aspects of your business, pivot your business model if necessary, and realize the value of the right partnerships. To discover how to make your six-figures-a-year goal into a reality, listen today!
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Key points from Episode 198:
- Why these questions are not something to take casually.
- The One Thing question: What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
- The Perfection Question: What have I not started doing in my Amazon business because I’m pursuing perfection?
- The 10X Question: In what areas of my Amazon business can I easily double my intensity or focus? (Then try to 10X those things.)
- The Letting Go Question: What aspects of my business can I let go of because the average person can do this for a fair wage?
- The Starting Over Question: If I could start all over again, knowing what I know now, what changes would I make to my business model?
- The Partnership Question: Who can I partner with in my business, who has already experienced meeting and exceeding my goals, who can show me the way to do it?
- How you can partner with Stephen and Rebecca.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- The ONE Thing
- The 10X Rule
- Resources about outsourcing
- Resources about private label and drop shipping
- Full-Time FBA Coaching Program
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 198 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] REBECCA: Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the Full-Time FBA Show. We are on episode number 198. Today, we’re going to be talking about six critical questions that you need to think through in order to begin earning a high six-figure Amazon income. As always, with me here to talk about our topic for the day is my co-host, and my husband, and my business partner, Stephen Smotherman. Welcome to the show.
[0:00:48] STEPHEN: I’m glad to be here. We’ve been able to experience six figures on a pretty consistent basis. I thought through, there are certain things that have helped me with thinking through how to get there. So, we want to help you too. We’ll talk about that today on the Full-Time FBA show.
[0:01:08] REBECCA: Many Amazon sellers would love to be pulling in six figures a year in profits, especially if they’re only working part-time hours to make that happen. With over a decade of experience helping people like you, listening to this podcast, make a full-time income selling on Amazon, we’ve realized that answering these six questions will help guide you in the right direction toward making that six-figure-a-year goal into a reality.
We’re going to warn you upfront that these six questions, they’re hard questions, but by taking the time to really think through your answers and to just go over what you’re experiencing right now and what you want for the future, you’re going to be better equipped to get on the right track toward that six-figure income. Stephen, start us off with question number one.
[0:01:55] STEPHEN: All right, I will get you question number one, but I also want to reiterate. These questions are not something to just casually think about. I know a lot of people binge-listen to our episodes and they’re like, “Well, let’s go on to the next one. Then to the next one.” We love that, but this might be one you might want to pause from time to time to think through. Maybe pause at the end, maybe pause after each question to really think through the answers to what we’re asking.
[0:02:23] REBECCA: Yeah. You might even want to take some notes and write down these questions so that you can come back to them when you have time to think about it. If you’re not really in a place where you can do some critical thinking right now. I don’t know if you’re into journaling. This might be something that you would journal over. Anyway, back to the questions. What’s question number one?
[0:02:40] STEPHEN: All right, so question number one. We’re going to start off small, but this question is one that could really help you know what your very next step is to grow your Amazon business towards six figures. It’s called the one thing question. What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? This question might sound familiar. We’ve talked about it from time to time on the podcast, because it comes from, when I top recommended books, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
You can find this book at fulltimefba.com/theonething if you’re wanting to go deep on this. But this question is going to help you whittle all of the things that you need to do in order to discover the next best step to grow your business. If you are in the learning process, what is the one thing that you need to learn such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary? If this is about sourcing, what’s the one sourcing thing that you need to do or focus on such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary? What is the business task you need to do such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?
I think you get the idea by now. Maybe it’s like, “Oh, I got to send in this inventory that I’ve already purchased. Maybe I shouldn’t do any more sourcing, because I got the stuff to get into Amazon.” That might be the best step for you or if you’re at the beginning, why I need to learn something, I need to sign up for coaching and figure out how to do this thing in reality. What is that one thing such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or unnecessary? I will stop saying that phrase.
[0:04:13] REBECCA: No, I think it’s good. I’m sitting here looking at — Stephen has on the wall next to where he is seated with his microphone right now, a sticky note with this quote on it, it’s been there probably for years.
[0:04:24] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:04:24] REBECCA: I was just thinking, I should put one of those on my wall in my office, too.
[0:04:28] STEPHEN: It’s a good reminder.
[0:04:29] REBECCA: Yeah. Now that we’re not in the same office, I don’t see it as often. Okay, so the second question we want to talk about today is the perfection question. I’m just realizing, Stephen, did you give me this question, because of my perfectionism?
[0:04:42] STEPHEN: You are an enneagram one.
[0:04:44] REBECCA: I am a perfectionist, by default. That is a fault of my personality. I think it’s a blessing and a curse to be a perfectionist. Maybe you have that tendency too. The question that we have related to that is, what have I not started doing in my Amazon business because I’m pursuing perfection? A lot of times we can get stuck in our business, because we’re avoiding taking action until we have the confidence to proceed knowing that we’re going to do it perfectly. This can be helpful because it can help you to avoid some mistakes and it can help you to make sure that you’re gaining the knowledge and the skills you need over time in order to do a good job. It can also really easily turn into procrastination.
Many of you listening to this probably can relate to that. You may have taken a course on selling on Amazon. You may have been listening to this podcast or others, or maybe you have read everything you can in a Facebook group, but you still haven’t opened up your Amazon account or you sell via retail arbitrage and you want to start online arbitrage, but you’re just not confident yet to start away.
Here’s the truth about all of this. Learning things doesn’t make you money. It’s taking action on the things that you learn that leads to actually making money. Whether it’s actually starting your Amazon business or taking your Amazon business to the next level, we need to stop seeking perfection and just do it, to quote Nike. Actually, Stephen and I recently watched a documentary. You can see it on Hulu if you look at their sports documentaries and it’s on the Savannah Bananas. It’s called Bananaland, almost a baseball land, but it’s called Bananaland.
It’s about the Savannah Bananas baseball team and their team managers often quoted in the show saying, “Ain’t nothing to it, but to do it.” This can apply to your Amazon business too. Most of you know what to do, so just do it. What have you not started today in your Amazon business, because you’re pursuing perfection? What are a few steps you can take today to get the process started?
[0:06:59] STEPHEN: Yeah. One other thing that I was just thinking about, when we seek perfection and we actually do it and we’re not perfect, we feel like a failure. Sometimes that can stop us. So, not only don’t seek perfection but in your doing, accept failure. It’s all part of the learning process. Forgive yourself. Give yourself grace. Then you can move forward.
[0:07:18] REBECCA: Yeah. Progress is better than perfection.
[0:07:21] STEPHEN: Amen. Question number three of the six questions we’re going to talk about today is called the 10X question. Here’s the question. What areas of my Amazon business can I double my intensity or focus? Now you might be saying, “Stephen, wait, wait, shouldn’t you be calling this the two X question?” No, wait, wait, just a second. No, we start by asking what we can double our intensity or focus on. Then we think about the answers. Then we make the goal of 10xing our intensity or focus on it instead.
Now, you can double if you can double your intensity or focus, then at least attempt to 10X your focus or intensity, and you’re going to shoot way beyond two X. If you shoot for 10X, that’s fun to say. The question is inspired from the book, The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I’ve read the book and I can sum it up for you. You don’t need to buy the book. This is the summary. Set massive goals and take massive action massively. I mean, serious – if the book had the words massive, or important, or goals taken out of it, it would probably be five pages. But just take massive action by skipping that book and it’s –
[0:08:24] REBECCA: That’s not normally the advice we need. Don’t read.
[0:08:27] STEPHEN: It’s true. It’s true, but it is summarized really well. If you want to read it and like get all the details about it, you’re welcome to do that. Anyway, skip the book, spend your time instead on figuring out what actions you can double your outcome on. Then seek to 10X those tasks. Again, you’ll end up way beyond 10X. What areas of your Amazon business can you double and 10X your intensity or focus?
[0:08:51] REBECCA: Question number four. We’re going to call the letting go question. What aspects of my business can I let go, because the average person can do this for a fair wage? You just heard Stephen talking about 10xing your output and your brain might naturally assume that doing something 10X more means you need to do more. You need to do more. To be clear, we’re not pushing hustle culture here in order to find those results that you want. In reality, the only way to get 10X results is actually thinking of ways to not do more, but how to do less.
If you’ve listened to us for any amount of time, you know what we’re about to say. The way that you can do that is through say it with me, outsourcing. Outsourcing is how you can 10X your results. We talk about outsourcing a lot. We’ll just put those links for those episodes and other resources for you on the show notes page. Check that out fulltimefba.com/198 for the show notes.
Outsourcing is simply this. Think about all the tasks in your Amazon business that are required on a regular basis and then ask yourself, can the average person do this task for a fair wage? If the answer is yes, then you as the CEO of your business don’t need to be doing that task. Can the average person take price stickers off a product? Yes. Can the average person box up my inventory? Yes. Can the average person go to multiple Walmart or Target stores and buy certain items I tell them to buy? Yes. The list goes on.
Stephen has a sign in his office that he had our son Peter help him make. It says, “Only do what only you can do.” It’s a helpful reminder to help us continually outsource anything that almost anyone else can do, so that we can get to that 10X level without having to burn ourselves out.
[0:10:48] STEPHEN: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of those things where once you have someone else doing that work for you, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t outsource that sooner. Get on that wagon.
Question number five is called the starting over question. This question is more of those of you who have already been selling on Amazon and you already have some experience, but it’s a great question to ask yourself, maybe if you plateaued with your profits or you’re seeking to give new life to your business. The question is this: if I could start all over again, knowing what I know now, what changes would I make to my business model? What is preventing me from making those changes today? Maybe you started selling on Amazon via private label and it’s not going so well or maybe it’s comparably bad. I’ve heard some stories.
Maybe you’ve tried drop shipping and you realize that it’s really hard to keep good seller metrics with drop shipping and your sales are dropping like a rock or maybe it’s something else. We want to give you permission to pivot your Amazon business to another strategy. We have our reasons why private label and drop shipping are not solid strategies. We’ll put those links in our show notes to exactly why, but maybe you need a new strategy.
With what we teach you with our Full-Time FBA blog posts, podcast, coaching program, we can show you our strategies of finding items locally and online that are selling well on Amazon consistent pricing, consistent sales, how to find those items and how to sell those items in a way where you can continually go back and reorder the same items again and again. When it sells out, go back and reorder them and get some stability. If you’re not saying stability in your Amazon business, think about like, “Hey, if I was to start over, would I still do what I’m doing right now or should I pivot a little bit?” Keeping the same focus on Amazon, but pivoting to a different strategy. If something else is going to work out better for you, maybe see about making those changes today.
[0:12:33] REBECCA: Our sixth question for the day, we called the partnership question. Who can I partner with in my business, in doing my business, who has already experienced meeting and exceeding my goals, who can show me the way how to do it? When you connect with someone who’s already started their Amazon business has found success and has overcome the beginner obstacles and found a way to consistently and predictably keep that success over many years, and they’re willing to show you the way, then you’ll want to stick close to that person, learn from them, and take the actions they suggest.
I know most of you selling on Amazon are probably doing this as a solo gig. You’re on your own trying to figure out how to successfully sell on Amazon, or you may have a spouse or partner doing it with you, but you’re not part of a big business. We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to go through this alone. We’re here to help. Right now, we’re offering you the opportunity to join the Full-Time FBA coaching program. With our coaching program, you’ll get access to five of our most powerful courses, as well as group coaching calls every other week. During those coaching calls, you can get customized support for your Amazon business from someone who has found consistent success with Amazon.
[0:13:50] STEPHEN: Yeah. When you think about partnering up with somebody and finding somebody who is already experiencing what you want to live. It’s important to find someone that you can trust, and it’s important to find someone who’s willing to share and willing to be open about it. I think about the movie Star Wars, and you got Luke Skywalker. He’s trying to learn the Force. Obi-Wan is there to show him the way, show him how to do it. Obi-Wan was a great trick. We want to be your Obi-Wan, basically. Hopefully, we’re not going to die, and then Yoda has to take over. But you know what?
[0:14:20] REBECCA: Spoiler. For anybody who hasn’t seen it.
[0:14:22] STEPHEN: If you haven’t seen the movies in the 70s and 80s, it’s just – sorry about the spoiler. But you know what? We want to be there to help guide you, show you the way, show you the ways of the force, I mean, show you the ways of Amazon, and we want to help you do that. When you think about that, we would love to be the ones that you partner up with. fulltimefba.com/coaching, you can learn about our coaching program. It’s a 12-month-long program.
Our goal during those 12 months is to get you to a full-time income on Amazon. We have the information that you need. You can sign it for a connect call. If you have any questions for it, fulltimefba.com/connect. We can talk about if you have questions about the coaching program. Of course, if you want to stay on with us beyond 12 months, that’s an option as well. We want to help you, and we’re here for you. Let us know if you have any questions about that or if you’re ready, fulltimefba.com/coaching, sign up, and you can be on our very next coaching call.
Those are the six questions that if you think through them, and you put some time and thought into them, and really try to think it through with where you are in your life and what’s going on, these will help you get closer and closer to experiencing six figures in your Amazon business and beyond.
[0:15:35] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the Full-Time FBA Show. As always, you can find the show notes at fulltimefba.com/198. We’ll have all six of those questions there for you, as well as any other links that we mentioned in the episode, with the transcript as well. fulltimefba.com/198.
[0:15:54] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, I’m going to be interviewing the owner and operator of an Amazon prep center. The prep center that you can send your online arbitrage orders or wholesale orders. If you live close, maybe you can drop off retail arbitrage stuff, and using a prep center is a great way to outsource. We’re going to talk to a prep center owner about how to maximize your time using a prep center. It’s going to be really good. They’ve also given us a special deal for those who would like to sign up for that prep center, so be sure to check that out next week on the Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:16:28] ANNOUNCER: That’s all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. Head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will 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 have learned today, so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.