This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeff Lieber. Jeff is the founder of Turnkey Product Management, a boutique Amazon consulting firm, which helps brands at every level sell their products on Amazon.
Jeff started by selling his own products on Amazon and identified the fundamental strategies to help sellers to stand out among the competition and see their full potential on Amazon. TurnKey offers everything from Full-Service Amazon Account Management to Consulting to Amazon Ad Management. He’s been so successful that he’s been asked to work with some of Mark Cuban’s Shark Tank portfolio of companies and has helped clients go from $0 to $100k+ in one month in sales. His secret had been mastering Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising, key word research and optimization, listing optimization, and other areas that when put together give him and his clients a big advantage.
Amazon is one of the most accessible places to start or grow as an entrepreneur and I’ve asked Jeff to come on and share his secrets with you.
Jeff graduated college in 201o and got a job at a health care company in San Francisco. But, he had always been interested in entrepreneurship and been on the lists for some of the top internet marketers. In 2014, he saw an opportunity for Amazon where people where sourcing and launching their own products. That model made sense in that he could source a product and create a brand around it. He decided to take a leap and do it on the side. He started with “puppy training pads” of all things. He paid the bulk of his life savings for a container of it, $15000. He started out slowly but got better at marketing and soon had success. He then launched other products and after about a year, he had replaced his income and decided to focus on it full time.
A friend of his launched a product on Kickstarter that did well but were not having success on Amazon. They tapped Jeff to help, and he doubled their sales pretty quickly which led to more referrals and helped him build a consulting practice. He got overwhelmed and was stressed to the max. He decided to sell off the businesses and keep just Turnkey and focus on that, which he did.
Because he could focus, it really took off.
What does it take to become a successful Amazon seller and what are some of the best practices on how to do it well such as product sourcing and branding?
Share a case study of how you doubled sales with a client…
Any other tips?
Any niches you see that are up and coming?
Anything else people should know about selling on Amazon?
What surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?
Best advice for entrepreneur’s starting out today?
Best Quote: You can have the best product in the world, but people can’t touch or feel it when shopping on Amazon. You need to create that experience for them on your Amazon product page.
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Hello Misfit Nation! I am excited to bring a special weekend episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur. Occasionally, I find something I truly enjoy and when I do I like to share it with you. In 2021 I’ve started listening more to the immersive shows on Wondery. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to do so.
Recently, I was able to connect with them and they offered to share a small sample of one of their new shows with the Misfit audience and that is what I want to share with you in this short special episode because it focuses on one of my favorite topics – the stories, successes, and failures of businesses and what we can learn from them to help our success.
With that in mind, I want to tell you about a new podcast from Wondery featuring Marcus Lemonis called 100 Percent. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WITH MARCUS LEMONIS is a masterclass, cocktail party, and Sunday drive wrapped into one. If you are thinking you’ve heard the name before, that because you probably have. Marcus runs a fortune 500 company and is host one the most successful business shows on TV. In his new podcast, he talks with exceptional entrepreneurs such as Kathy Ireland, Charles Barkley, and many others about their businesses and how they got started. He asks entrepreneurs if they know their numbers: revenue...sales...gross margins...But the numbers are just one part of the equation. On the show, they get personal. Marcus digs deep and understands the stories behind these companies. Where did their idea begin? Who inspires them? What are their goals? He’ll identify what they're doing right and he coaches them on what may be holding them and their business back.
Some of his celebrity friends stop by to offer inspiration, advice and sometimes...tough love. Friends like Kirsten Bell, Howie Mandel and even Gayle King. Together, they’’ll help entrepreneurs identify what they need to do to take their business to the next level
You’re about to hear a preview of ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WITH MARCUS LEMONIS. While you’re listening, follow ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WITH MARCUS LEMONIS on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, or listen early and ad-free by joining Wondery Plus in the Wondery app. Just go to wondery.fm/100PercentMisfit.
Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
I recently re-read the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The book is a metaphor for one of the most important journeys of life – finding and pursuing your highest purpose. It is written as sort of a fable of a shepherd boy who leaves behind the trappings of comfort and what he knows to pursue a dream, his dream, to find a treasure. He goes through many twists and turns, challenges, and has to overcome internal strife and the urge to quit and delay gratification many times to make it through the journey. In the book, this journey is called realizing your personal legend.
What I love about it, is that #1, the book is very accurate about this journey in life and #2, it presents great wisdom and lessons that are needed in life.
Let me share what I mean with some quotes from the book.
“Dreams are the language of God.” How true. When we dream (not so much the dreams of sleep), but when we dream of pursuing something great. Something seemingly beyond our capacity and even comprehension. When we have that vision and it keeps coming back to us in our lives, I believe that is one way that God speaks to us and shows us what is possible for us. And sadly, most do not listen. How many never realize their true potential and possibilities simply because they did not act on their dreams.
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So, it’s better to listen to what it has to say.” If you think deeply about this quote – it is about that voice inside you that is telling you what you know you need to do. Our heart and soul will guide us if we desire something enough and steer us in the right path if we are willing to truly listen to it. And same as with the last quote, sadly many do not listen. They do not listen because of fear. They do not follow their dreams because of fear. They are afraid of failing and possibly losing what they have. In fact, in the story, the shepherd boy loses everything he has multiple times and each time he is faced with a choice to give up and quit or accept something less than his dream. And each time, his heart tells him he must keep going and because he keeps pursuing his dream and listening to his heart, his soul, and the language of God, the next quote happens.
And that is “When you want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Hannah as you go through life, you will understand this more, but when you truly desire something that is good and true, it is amazing at how the universe opens up ways for you to get it. What you focus on truly does expand in your life. And God told us this in the bible in Proverbs where it says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Listen to your heart and pursue your dream and you can and will get it. You will have to overcome many things in your way, especially fear, but if you keep pursuing and resolve to not give up, even if setbacks take you off track for a while, you will get there. In fact, the shepherd boy after one of the times losing all of his money, works for an entire year in little store in a town, in a foreign land, where he was a stranger and did not even speak the language - all in order to get back on his feet. And in doing so, he helped make the store more profitable than ever, making himself more money than he had lost, and learns many valuable lessons that he uses down the road to reach his treasure and fulfill his personal legend.
Speaking of personal legends, the next quote I want to share from the book is “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” I agree with this in principle but would add that to “realize one’s destiny in the context of serving God and being right and true by his word is our obligation.” But the point is the same. We all have a great purpose in this world from the God that created us, and we need to fulfill it. In fact, another quote from the book states, “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.” The world is a huge place, and it can feel like each of us are just there, but everything we do has an impact and when we pursue our dream guided by our heart in a good and true way, we play our central role in the history of the world and become that which we were created to be.
Lastly, another theme that is quoted throughout the book is “Maktub, it is written.” This quote references that everything that happens, happens for a reason and is pre-ordained or written by God. Every choice we make, every decision happens because it is supposed to in the grand context of the universe. We may never understand it all or why, especially when bad things happen to us, but that is a question that only God can answer and someday when you meet God, he will. The lesson from this for me is to trust in God and trust in the bigger picture. And I have seen this throughout my life. The story of finding you and us becoming a family is a great example of this. Everything that had to happen for us to become a family had to happen exactly as it did, good, bad, and everything in-between. It was a journey, a dream of all of ours that was just and true that we pursued until we fulfilled it together.
Hannah, there are many more lessons, but if you can understand that you must listen to your heart and God’s voice in your biggest desires and dreams, and then pursue them because they are good and true to the end; the universe will help you realize them and fulfill your personal legend, or legends, because Maktub, it is written. It is your obligation to realize your destiny and play your central role in the history of the world. I know you will and cannot wait to watch you do so!
I love you,
Best Quote: To realize one’s destiny in the context of serving God and being right and true by his word is our obligation
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Greg Salsburg. Here’s the first line from his online bio: Greg Salsburg has been ostracized by society since birth and became a disappointment to his family and all those who came in contact shortly thereafter. His freakish nature, early adoption of donning loud footwear and love for all things “Seuss’ian” made him a pariah on the playground.
Intrigued? How could you not be?
Greg is the CEO and Founder of STiR Communications. STiR-communications is a business consultancy firm that leverages the ubiquitous channels of distribution to advance clients messages and bottom line objectives.
Greg’s success has spanned decades and is truly impressive working with everyone from Four Seasons to JP Morgan and even having Muhammed Ali and The New York Yankees as clients. He’s won countless awards and has been a 20 under 20 recipient, 30 under 30 recipient, and 40 under 40 recipient. How’s that for consistency. Although his forward facing role is directing STiR-communications strategic and creative forces, it’s his transformational work with business leaders behind the scenes; through his mindful practice and real word acumen, that has earned him the nickname the “Consigliere Consultant.”
But, for Greg it was not a straight up rise to success. He was a multi-millionaire who lost every penny and had to re-invent himself. He did this by embracing humility and seeking wisdom. It’s this journey and what he learned and put into practice to create his success 2.0 that I want him to share with you today.
Greg started off in news and sports in New York and with NBC TV and sports. He transitioned from there into marketing because it just wasn’t fulfilling. He met someone who was starting a business called Café Hollywood which was later changed to Planet Hollywood and became the worldwide director of marketing and public relations.
This changed the trajectory of his life. Greg had a unique ability to communicate, and it shined through. It was a leap of faith to go from journalism to marketing at a global level.
He was always very impressed with those that had an entrepreneurial spirit and could build and create something from nothing vs. seeing it and reporting on it from the sidelines. This eventually led to him creating his own marketing and PR company after his success and learning journey at Planet Hollywood.
At one point you had everything and were living a rockstar lifestyle, then lost it all. What happened and was there a moment or an epiphany that changed everything?
What did you learn on the journey and what did it teach you?
EQ is misunderstood and not thought about that much. Define it for us and then tell us more about the 3 areas we need to understand.
How do the 3 areas intersect with EQ?
One of the things I like about your messaging is the blend being bold and audacious with a hint of sarcasm and comedy – is that the secret to standing out in today’s world?
Explain the significance of why STiR is spelled the way it is…
What are the elements of a great communication strategy?
Any company really doing it well?
What is the changing dynamic of business and important to understand post-pandemic?
Best Quote: You must find your honesty and authenticity and move it away from the center to the edges where the most excitement is.
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alicia Jarrett. Alicia is your quintessential entrepreneur. She is an international real estate investor with offices in Australia and the US, an educator, and founder of multiple companies including SuperCharged Offers and Global Citizens HQ which includes multiple other brands in its holdings.
She left a 6-figure job to start her own businesses and as she says “build something great.” And now years later she has done so and has also founded groups to foster women in leadership around the world. I can’t wait to dig into all of this with her and get her best advice on how to succeed in real estate investing, so let’s get to it.
Alicia and her partner Matthew have had great careers. Alicia was in HR and consulting for 18 years and Matt has a background in global transportation and systems. Things were going great in their 6 figure jobs. About a decade ago, Alicia started thinking there was something bigger she should be doing. Why was she there? Why was she was in this job? She loved what she did, but knew there was something bigger out there. So she started a consulting practice focused on leadership and developing people. At the same time, Matt and Alicia were doing some real estate investing. Investing in Australia was much different and limiting compared to the US.
They were doing fix and flips and rentals, but asked what could do they by combining their skills and building something bigger for themselves. The goal was to build a business they can do anywhere in the world. They ended up landing in the US doing fix and flips from Australia. They had some successes and some failures.
They then worked to combined their talents utilize data in a bigger way. They figured out a process for how to wholesale land and invest. As they had success, they decided to go further and better automate their marketing and lead generation creating their SuperCharged offers platform. This led to other businesses being created to help build their companies as they are today.
Tell us about your strategy, system, and what you do…
This discussion is the bulk of the episode, so it’s best to listen…
What is your take on the current real estate market?
What are you doing to prepare for when this real estate bubble ends?
Tell us about the B-RAFT method for leadership…
Best quote: Do things that scare you. Do the things that make you cringe a little.
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This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur Alan Payne. When I say Blockbuster Video, what comes to mind? If you are younger, you may be saying “What’s Blockbuster video?” If you were around through the spectacular rise and fall of Blockbuster, you are probably thinking something along the lines of colossal failure. At one point, Blockbuster was the pinnacle of entertainment where everyone went on a weekend evening to rent a movie.
And most think that the downfall happened because of Netflix and streaming and the company not adapting to the new world of content. While those things had an impact, the real reasons started much earlier and Alan Payne was there. In fact, Alan was one of the most successful franchisees and his stores outlasted Blockbuster’s bankruptcy by over a decade. They did so, because Alan realized the company was Built to Fail and decided to run things differently drawing on his storied history of success in business. In fact, his book is called Built to Fail, which tells the story and lessons learned from the failure of Blockbuster as well as what Alan has learned on how to succeed in business over his 30+ year career.
I’ve asked him to come on the show and share his story, his experience, and wisdom and how you can use it succeed where others have failed.
Book: Built To Fail by Alan Payne
Alan didn’t come to own a business in the traditional way. He was working for a grocery company called HEB in Texas in the 80’s. HEB is regarded as one of the best and most well-run companies in the nation. At the time, they were looking to add video rental into their stores as it was becoming almost an expectation of customers. But HEB had decided to take things further. Blockbuster was just starting out in the mid 80’s and because HEB owned so much real estate, Blockbuster wanted to lease space from them. HEB decided to do it themselves and have their own brand called Video Central. They tapped Alan to lead it.
They opened the first Video Central store right across the street from a Blockbuster. It was the first video store run by a mature, capitalized company with a massive track record of success. Video Central was very success against Blockbuster doing 3x the sales of an average Blockbuster. Alan grew the business to 35 stores and then HEB decided to sell it to focus on the grocery business. Alan left with the stores and joined a Blockbuster franchise group with stores from Alaska to Texas.
Within a few years, in 2000, he got the opportunity to buy the stores and did so running them for another 18 years outlasting Blockbuster by almost a decade.
All of this was due to using a business model that he developed at HEB.
The reason he wrote the book was that what he saw from 1993 to ultimate demise of Blockbuster was frustrating as it could have been avoided.
What really killed Blockbuster? Why was it built to fail?
What did you do differently that allowed you to outlast and survive and thrive where Blockbuster didn’t?
At the 16 min mark, Alan talks about how Netflix and Redbox came to be and how Blockbuster missed out because of complacency when it was right there for the taking for them.
What were lessons learned from HEB on how to run a great business?
You covered several important lessons in Built to Fail, share those with us…
These lessons/principles are what Alan applied to his business to make it so successful. Talk about when you finally had to close your stores and any lessons learned…
Any other advice?
Best Quote: It is fun to continuously get better. That is the challenge of running the business, the fun part, constantly asking – how do we get better tomorrow?
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