E162: 2018 Goals – The Half-Way Mark

It’s the middle of July. Man, where did the year go? So much has happened since I last gave you guys an update in April so this one is due.

The last couple of months have a been marred by struggles. However, our wins definitely rank higher than our struggles. As a company, I’d say we are in a good place and poised to be in an even better one before the year is out.

So, let’s get to it. Here’s a status update for each of my 18 goals in 2018.

1. Develop 50 new products – on-track, have hit the halfway mark in terms of purchase orders
2. Launch on Amazon Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and eventually, Australia
– we’re already on Amazon CA and the UK, eyeing a launch in Germany & France by the end of the year
3. Optimize our Amazon listings to increase sales by 50%
4. Optimize Amazon PPC – definitely ahead of the curve here, cost of advertising has gone way down for us while sales continue to go up
5. Implement the concepts in the book Traction in our business – we’ve gotten more organized since implementing the concepts in this book; individual goals have been set out for employees prior to Q3
6. Reach $10 million in revenue with a 10% net profit – we’re frustratingly behind on this, problems in Q2 have set us back and currently, we are still at the $2.5-million mark
7. Lose 12 lbs – have already lost 6.3 lbs
8. Record 100 episodes of the podcast – on track to get this done; we’re at about 55 episodes right now
9. Launch a new version of ecomcrew.com – we’ve already done this twice
10. Launch 4 new courses – we’re on track here as well; expect new courses for Facebook Messenger and Facebook Advertising for Ecommerce to go live in August
11. Speak at least 4 industry events – have already spoken at 3 events with several more lined up
12. Hike 80 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail – will need to replace this with a new one as conditions in the PCT are no longer ideal for hiking at this time
13. Take an epic 2-week vacation – might opt for a local destination where I can drive instead of having to get on a plane
14. Visit the Philippines office at least once – visited the guys out there in April, might visit a second time in October
15. Read 4 books – have read Traction and Ready Player One so far
16. Hand off my Facebook ads to other people within the company – I’ve since hired a marketing person to take care of this
17. Come up with at least one new tactic that no one else is doing – we have a lot of new ideas in the drawing board
18. Never lose sight of the bigger picture: create 5-star products that people will truly love and continue to enjoy what I’m doing – have been getting positive feedback on our products and will work on raising employee satisfaction even further

If you haven’t been keeping up with my previous updates, here are the other podcast episodes to listen to.

My 2018 Goals

2018 Goals Quarterly Goals

Other Useful Resources:


Importing From China Webinar

Thanks for listening to this episode! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy selling!

Full Audio Transcript

Mike: This is Mike and welcome to episode number 162 of the EcomCrew Podcast. Don't forget you can go to EcomCrew.com/162 to get to the show notes for this episode. And this week, guys, believe it or not, it's already halfway through the year. I'm sure you realize that too. But man, it just goes by so quick. So, today I want to go over our 2018 goals. It has become a tradition of sorts here on the podcast to go over our goals every quarter.

As you know, we published all of our goals at the end of the year last year what our 2018 goals are. We'll link to that in the show notes. We did a quarterly review after the end of the first quarter. And now that it's the end of the second quarter, let's see what our progress has been. So right after the intro, we're going to dig right into 2018 goals.

Hey, everyone, I want to welcome you again to the 162nd edition of the EcomCrew Podcast. So glad to have you guys along with us today. And as I mentioned in the intro, I’m going to be going over goals for 2018. Let's check in on our progress and see how we're doing. It's been an interesting first half of the year. I feel like for the most part, we're on track for a lot of this stuff, but definitely not fully on track. And it's one of those things when you publish your goals and you don't get all them done, there's a little bit of egg on your face.

So there's always that fire under our butts to get the stuff done. But even the big bad Mike Jackness as some people have jokingly called me, I'm definitely human. And not all this stuff is easy. And sometimes we set goals as a company just to always have the Big Hairy Audacious Goal kind of thing out there. But also we're trying to set goals and really reach them as well. And for the most part because it's really important as a business for planning and stuff like that to be able to do this stuff.

So, let's dig into them all. Again, we're going to be going over the whole list of 18 one by one and talking about how we're doing so far throughout the year. I did a couple of other episodes about this already. We'll link to them in the show notes. But at the beginning of the year, we released these 2018 goals. And then later on at the beginning of April, we did a review of 2018 goals. And now that we're into July, and the second quarter is done, let's dig into the halfway point and see what we're doing so far.

So goal number one here was to develop 50 new products. And I think we're on track for that right now. Actually, I know we're on track for that right now. We've developed a ton of new products. We have a bunch of products that are all over the place in the pipeline. We have products that are literally in my office right now that are brand new, about to launch next week. We have some products that we've already launched. We are actually in the middle of launch week of one of our biggest products of the year as I record this, and it's going very well, which is exciting.

But we also have other products that are still in the dream phase and everything else in between. But our goal was to develop 50 new products by the end of the year, meaning that we would have placed a purchase order for at least 50 different new things this year. And so far, at the halfway point, we're definitely at the 25 mark. But I'm not sure that we're going to get to 50 on this. I think that we might be more at 40. We'll see how the year kind of plays out.

But as the year goes on, we're trying to develop, put more effort into product development on each product, and develop more quality than quantity. We’re kind of in that boat anyway. We've been kind of focusing on that anyway but even more so. And also I can just feel the stress on our team as we've been trying to keep up this pace. And at some point, we just got to back off of something. And I think that this pace of developing 50 new products may kind of roll throughout the year, but we are still on track for that right now.

So far, we do get a check mark on that which is exciting. As I said, a lot of them — a lot of those products are things that we ordered a couple of months ago and they're just now arriving. As I mentioned, we're already in the middle of launch week right now for one of our new products. That was our biggest product of the year as far as first order. It was an entire container of a product, really exciting to see that doing very well. It's a number one new best seller right now as I record this. It's really exciting to see that. So definitely on track there so far this year, and a bunch of stuff launching over the next six to eight weeks, which is like super exciting around here. There's a buzz around the office.

Number two, launch on Amazon Canada, UK, DE, France, Italy, and AU. So we've already completed a good chunk of this. We're on Amazon Canada, we are on Amazon UK, but we have not launched yet on DE, France, Italy, or Australia. So, the Germany and France and Italy part is going to be very easy because we're going to be fulfilling that out of our UK inventory and UK fulfillment center. So, that's going to be a pretty easy thing to do before the end of the year.

And I'm still kind of up in the air on Australia. We had an asterisk next to Australia, even at the beginning of the year waiting to see how that pans out and what other people are doing there before we jump all in with another logistics headache. So, we'll see how that goes throughout the year. But definitely a way — I had a progress with that. We're definitely happy with how things are going there.

What we basically did was we sent a test shipment to Canada and a test shipment to the UK to see how it would go. Canada has been doing really well. I'll talk more about that here in a little bit. And the UK hasn't been doing as well. But we are still sending all of our products there that they will accept and we'll see how it goes as the year progresses.

So number three here was to optimize Amazon listings to increase sales by an average of 50%. This we are also on track for I mean, the halfway part of the year. I prefer that we'd be further ahead because I think we can do a lot more with listing optimization. We've proven at this point, like how much of a difference listing optimization helps. But it's also a really like tough project when you're talking about hundreds of skews, like retaking all the photography, rejiggering keywords and doing infographics and enhanced brand content and getting Amazon like will all this stick because they tend to give us problems with some of the listings that we've taken over from another company that had stuff and vendor central before.

So, we add all this up, it becomes a ton of work. But throughout the year so far, we've definitely seen a huge uptick in sales from listing optimization. I'm not sure if we're going to get to 50% by the end of the year on these listings. But I feel like we're going to get there. It's definitely making a huge difference. I mean, we've seen some things have more than a 50% uptick. What ends up happening, a lot of these is like keywords that we never ranked for before, all of a sudden, like skyrocket out of nowhere, once we make the improvement. So it's pretty exciting to see how that's progressing.

The next one here, number four, optimize Amazon PPC more effectively. You guys know that we're definitely ahead of the curve on this one because we've done a couple of episodes about Amazon PPC so far this year already, and we've had really good results so far with that. Our cost of advertising has gone way down, but our total sales from PPC has gone up. And that's making a huge difference in our organization, definitely helping with the bottom line. In a low margin business, this is really important to get every penny out of everything you can because margins are typically relatively low in e-commerce.

The next one here, number five, implement Traction, goal setting, being better organized, and everyone's on the same page. Well, we've definitely implemented Traction and I feel like we've done a much better job with goal setting. Pretty much everyone in the company, the person that is going to be producing this episode, Abby, it's actually kind of funny, we misplaced her in the goal setting thing because Dave and I do that together, and Jacqueline, and I set the goals for everyone else.

So, that was an interesting snafu if you will. But everyone else in the company had goals set over a week ahead of time before the second quarter started, which I'm really happy about. That's a huge achievement for us. And it's tough man, when you got 19 people and trying to get all these moving parts to come together and set goals for everybody and get organized, it's a lot harder than I ever would have thought on paper. But it definitely has helped get everyone on the same page. And I feel like we're moving along there quite nicely. And it's definitely a journey, that it's not a destination. We need to continue to work on this.

But if I'm fair to ourselves, and I look at where we're at now, versus where we were at the beginning of the year, you probably won’t to even recognize this company. So in the daily life, you feel like you're not doing enough, you want to do more; you want to make this better. But realistically, we've come a long way. And for our employees that have been with us for a year or more, they definitely have seen the difference I'm sure with this. So, pretty cool with that.

Number six is to generate $10 million in e-commerce sales at a 10% net profit. Yeah, this is definitely one that we're a little behind on, actually very behind on when it really comes down to it, pretty frustrating. I mean, I really kind of have my hopes and dreams and sights set on $10 million this year. That's one of those numbers that just looks really cool on paper, right? You got an eight figure business; I've had another eight figure business I started a few years ago. And it's a nice big feeling, ego I guess, if you want to call it that. But it's also just — it means something that at the end of day it's just a number on a piece of paper. But it definitely means something.

And I'm not an ego guy. Being able to say that we have an eight figure business to someone else doesn't necessarily make me feel good in that respect. But internally, without fooling myself as I was mentioning before, it definitely is a cool feeling to just know that you've done that again. And it's trying to look less and less like we're going to actually be able to cross that number this year. So let's go through where we're at so far this year, I pulled up the number. Through the end of Q2, we're at $2,560,026 in sales so far for this year.

And what we had done was put together a month by month forecast of sales throughout the year. And basically what we did was we took our sales from last year and put a multiplier together on all that for things we thought we can do improvements for. And I've talked a lot about that on the podcast before. But basically, we had three areas of improvements that we were looking to make. And we thought that we'd be at $3 million in sales through the end of Q2. That was our forecast.

So at 2.5 millionish, we're 15% behind or something like that, which is definitely frustrating. So, even us, it's definitely tough getting all the pieces of a company like this to come and align, and have everything go perfect I guess to be able to hit these aggressive forecast numbers. And I would say that the shortfall came in a couple of key areas. Number one, we were out of stock on our second best selling item for almost two months of Q2. And man, it was a crushing blow. It made up a big portion of us not hitting this goal of six figures. It’s just brutal.

And we weren't out of stock because of poor inventory planning. We were out of stock because Amazon decided that they want to mark one of our products as hazardous. And I'm not sure if anyone else listening to this podcast this has happened before, definitely a really frustrating experience. This is a product that we had sent in the MSDS for the Material Safety Data Sheet before we even shipped it in knowing that it could be something that would be flagged. And then randomly they flagged it for hazardous.

We sent the MSDS in again and with within a day, obviously, because we were panicking that this really good seller of ours was taken offline. And then it was almost two months before they actually got the listing back up and running for us again. It was approved for MSDS but something in their system was a glitch. And of course, the frustrating thing about Amazon is they don't seem to care about stuff like this. So, our product was offline.

This was a product that we sell about a container of a month and it's a relatively larger product physically. And, we got inventory piling up; we're paying for storage in Amazon. We're paying for storage at our 3PL. We've cash flow jam because we can't sell the thing. And Amazon couldn't get the thing up and running. And I even got involved with calling Amazon to try to get the thing back up and running. And I'm really persistent, like I wouldn't hang up the phone kind of attitude. And there was just nothing that they could do with their ineptitude with this. So that was really frustrating.

The other thing that's really hurt with our forecast is UK sales. We had kind of forecasted for the UK to be this magic bullet of uplift of X number of dollars. And it just hasn't been anywhere near that. Canada has done really well for us. We're right on track in Canada. But for whatever reason, our products aren't really responding well in the UK yet. And I think that yet is definitely the right way to put that because I do think that by the end of the year and as time goes by, we're going to get this right.

We're going to kind of figure out the magic pill for this. But I think that that's a combination of the price is a little bit higher, because we had to factor in currency and transportation, and other things. So I think that over time, we will definitely get that right. But for right now, it's definitely this void within our forecast of where we are planning on doing a bunch of sales, and it just hasn't materialized.

And then the last thing we had forecasted launching several new products in June. That all got pushed to July. And that definitely hurts our forecast because I can tell you, like I said, we're in the middle of a launch right now of one of those products. And it's doing phenomenal, like in the first few days. And that was cash and sales that we were predicting would be a part of Q2, but they weren't, they'll be a part of Q3.

But looking at our forecast throughout the rest of the year, we're going to continue to fall further and further behind. Because the way we had it set up was like a hockey stick kind of curve of a lot of this stuff would really start to get traction throughout the beginning of the year and it would pay off towards the end of the year. So, while we're behind by about $450,000 right now, I think when I come back and report on Q3, the picture is going to be a little bit worse. And we'll see how Q4 goes.

We definitely forecasted a ton of sales in Q4. I think that we're going to have a good Q4. But I think that when we add up all of our sales for the year, unfortunately, we are going to fall short of that $10 million mark. Now, the thing is, there's a saying that I learned back in the online poker days and just the gambling days or whatever, but there's a saying of losing feels worse than winning feels good.

And you keep on setting these new bars for your business and in your life. And it's funny, because last year at this time, if we had been at this pace, I would be like thrilled to death because we're still on pace to do at least 8 million this year, probably nine something in that range. We'll see where it ends up at, which is going to be a huge increase over the 5 million we did last year and we will be in a much better position to continue to grow at the end of this year than we were at the beginning of this year.

So, from that perspective, if you would ask me two years ago, would you be able to do $8 million in e-commerce sales, I would like run out on traffic for you to get that result. But now in the grand scheme of things, in the moment it doesn't feel good, because I feel like we didn't hit a goal that we have set and it sacks. I mean, as an entrepreneur and a competitive person definitely it’s something that makes me cringe. But again, I mean, looking at things in the grand scheme of things, we're continuing to grow; we're continuing to grow at a rate way faster than most of our peers and a lot of other companies out there.

So, not all is lost and I think next year, we'll hit that 10 million mark for sure and probably pretty easily, obviously, since we're going to be close to that this year. And we'll see that. This is still a long year to go. We still got six months. A lot of things can continue to go right. But also things can go wrong. And we'll see how that kind of pans out. But that new product launch that we're banking a lot on is going well so far this month. So, we'll see how that continues in the Q3.

The next one, number seven, lose 12 pounds in 2018. And I remember kind of having a bite my tongue on this one high in the corner because I had not had any progress on this last quarter. But now I have lost 6.3 pounds this year so far, all of which has happened in this last quarter. So it's definitely going in the right direction. I'm actually; I have a weight loss bet with someone here at the office to lose 15 pounds. So, I'm actually trying to push this goal even further than 12 pounds. And we'll see how that goes.

At the end of the year, hopefully, I will have lost at least 12 pounds if not 15, or maybe even 20, we'll see how that goes. 20 is really my target. I’m not severely overweight but definitely want to get down to a healthier weight for sure. And I think a lot of people listening struggle with weight. It's something that unless you are really young and have a great metabolism, it's tough to deal with. And you get sedentary in this type of job.

And I think that's really help with this as I've been focusing on trying to have a little bit more fun. And I focus on every day trying to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, which I think might be one of the other goals in here, maybe not. I have to remember, I had to go through these as we're doing these. But every day, pretty much every single day I've been going out on a two mile hike. There's a park right down the street from our house, really beautiful around the lake and in the woods and everything. And it's obviously beautiful in San Diego.

So, I've been doing that every evening or in the morning I go out for a walk. Unfortunately, today is one of the days I'm skipping in lieu of doing this podcast watching the sunset outside to make sure that this podcast is ready in time. This was an atypical day. But on most days, I would say at least five days a week on average, I’m going out and doing that hike.

So, I get 30 minutes of good exercise every day at a minimum, and on the weekends I try to get even more in. And that's definitely helped I think towards this goal of losing 12 pounds and 2018. Again, through the end of the second quarter at 6.3 pounds lost. So I am just slightly over the halfway mark for that which makes me happy.

Number eight was to record 100 episodes of the EcomCrew Podcast. Well on our way for that. We're at something like 50 so far this year. We've only missed one or two podcasts so far the entire year. Dave slipped in and helped me last week, and got one in as a solo podcast. But yeah, we're really on track to do 100 episodes of the EcomCrew Podcast this year which is definitely not an easy goal.

Launch a new version of EcomCrew. We've actually done this twice this year. We launched the new version at the very beginning of 2018, and we just launched a new version. You guys should go check it out at EcomCrew.com, Dave Qa in the background doing just an amazing job. The website now looks so flipping good, just unbelievable to me like how good of a job he's done with the design there. It’s lightning fast loading now and everything which is super important for SEO.

So, we're pretty happy with the state of affairs with EcomCrew.com as far as the look and feel of that goes through the rest of 2018, really happy with that. Launch at least four new courses in 2018. We are well ahead of pace on that. Our next course is going to be on Facebook Messenger and Facebook advertising for ecommerce, really excited to launch that. We're a little behind when I was hoping to launch which was July, but I think it'll definitely go live in August.

So, if you are an EcomCrew Premium member, you have that to look forward to because it will be included in your subscription. And if not, a little plug for EcomCrew Premium. Go over to EcomCrew.com/premium and sign up for that. You'll get access to all the courses we have done so far in 2018 along with our webinars which was not even on our goal list. So we've exceeded what we're looking to do there.

Speak at four plus industry events. That is not going to be a problem, already spoken at three so far this year. And there's several more coming up this year. So, it might be double that goal. We'll see how it goes. I'm actually thinking of skipping a few things towards the end of the year just because it's been so exhausting. The travel schedule gets kind of tough, but definitely got a few more events to speak at this year, and was invited to go speak at Retail Global this year which is neat.

It's going to be my biggest talk yet. They get like well over 1,000 people at that event. So that should be cool, and along with a couple of other new events like Rhodium weekend which I'm excited to speak at, Chris Yates event and I’m possibly going to be speaking at another night called Accelerate. All that’s in October. So, October is going to be a loaded month for speaking, but looking forward to doing that.

Number 12, hike 80 plus miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. I was hoping to do that in March so that that goal is gone for the year. The PCT runs out of water, becomes a pretty eerie place after March and April. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to fit this in. I have some things up my sleeve to try to go hike 80 miles or something else to replace this goal with. We'll see how that goes.

Definitely been doing a lot of hiking every day, definitely going to get more than 80 miles of hiking in for the year, but we'll see if I can get all that done. Basically, the idea here was to do 80 miles in a ten day period. And we'll see if I can find another 10 days which would be taking a week off of work plus the four days of a weekend to try to tie together a vacation to go do 80 miles of hiking in that time period, we'll see how that goes.

Take one epic two week vacation, definitely got that on the books planned out. We'll see where that actually ends up. We are planning on going to Europe earlier this year. But man, I tell you, I am so exhausted from traveling. Like I just I got in a mode of not ever go on airplane again. A couple of years ago back in the online poker days; I used to travel 150,000 miles plus per year. I had to make three trips to Europe per year plus a bunch of other traveling. And it got to the point where I was so sick of being on an airplane that we actually bought an RV and pinky swear that we wouldn't get on an airplane for an entire year, which we made that and didn’t go and I didn't miss it one bit.

After a while I kind of did miss getting on an airplane and traveling some, and now all of a sudden it's got back to that same point again, where you a couple times a year going out to Asia, going to the east coast a couple of times a year, other trips, man, it just really adds up. And I'm just so sick of being on airplane. And it's at a point where it's no longer fun and exciting anymore like it used to be especially when it's for work and you're doing it at a high pace where it just go, go, go, go. We were out of town all but like three days over a seven week period earlier this year.

It was really exhausting just being on the road that much for that period of time. So we'll see what we end up doing for the vacation. It might end up being something more just localized like Yosemite or something where I can just drive up there and not see an airport or have to listen to engine noise. So we'll see what we do with that

Visit the Philippines office at least once in 2018. Well, that's checked off, did that a full week over in the Philippines. And I want to say April, I think it was April. Again, when you travel so much you kind of you lose track of time. But I do believe it was April. It feels like it was mid April before Global Sources and the Canton Fair. We actually have plans to go out there a second time this year. We'll see how that goes. I'm actually thinking of taking another one or two people from the office. Again, it's just a matter of can I physically handle another trip over there this year. If not, we'll go back over there in April of 2019.

Read a book a quarter, on track for that so far. The book I read in the first quarter was Traction. And the book I read in the second quarter was Ready Player One. It took a second to think of the title. I read that while I was in the Philippines, actually. And I read it in like a day and a half. It was awesome. I love that book. It had been recommended to me over and over again by some friends and I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. I knew the movie was coming out and a special shout out to a friend of mine who bought me the book. I know he listens to the podcast from time to time. But he's also bashful, so I won't call him out.

But it was a very nice gesture to give me the book. And it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I had it to read on vacation. So, I’m going to read another book here this quarter. I haven't picked the exact one yet. But definitely looking forward to that because reading once a quarter has definitely become something I've enjoyed. I enjoyed reading Traction. I enjoyed reading Ready Player One, it helped pass that vacation. So perhaps when I do this other vacation this year, I will read that other book.

Hand off Facebook ads, train two other people in the company. So that's requiring a lot of training. And we're on track for that. We've hired a new marketing person. She started a few months ago now. She's doing a bang up job. And so as a part of her goals for Q3, she has a bunch of Facebook ads goals of like hitting certain return on ad spend, and launching a certain number of ads and getting below a certain cost per lead.

So, Q3 is the quarter that that's going to happen. And we're already I would say ahead of schedule with this because I think by the end of Q3, this will mostly be accomplished, which is really exciting because I spend a lot of time doing Facebook ads. And if I can hand that off to someone else, that means that something else I can do within the company, which would provide more value, at least in theory. So, we'll see how that goes.

Number 17 is to come up with at least one new tactic that no one else is doing. I haven't done that yet but we have a lot of new ideas on the drawing board. Actually, literally on our whiteboard here in the office, we have a dry erase wall I painted with dry erase paint. So we don't have that yet but I hope to be able to do that. I mean we will definitely be looking at things to do throughout the year that no one else is doing and try to become a leader in something else. I feel like we do that, and a bunch of other things but hopefully we can come up with one new thing to continue to be that leader.

And the last one number 18 is never lose sight of the bigger picture, make great products that customers truly enjoy while enjoying to come to work every day, and ensuring that we're creating jobs and opportunities for employees to where they're excited and enjoy coming to work. And I feel like we are — this is, again, another one of these journeys. It's not a destination but I feel like we have done that. We work still tirelessly on making great products.

I think the product we just launched that we're in this launch we processed for, the initial comments and reviews have been pretty awesome. Like the people, I'd say over 100 people; maybe 150 people have already got it in their hands. And you can see on our Facebook feed and in our email, and we just to ColorIt live. The feedback so far has been just awesome. And it makes me feel really good.

So, we continue to work on making great products, enjoy coming to work, we just did our first employee survey. And our goal was to have over a 9.5 satisfaction, 95% satisfaction rate. And what the survey was, it was three questions rated on one out of 10. Number one, I forgot the order, but one of them was rate Terran as a company to work at overall, one through 10. Let us know if you feel like you know what the company's goals are and your goals are one through 10. And the other one was, oh man, it was, shoot I forgot the third question.

I feel like Rick Perry when he was doing that, the bait, but I wasn't preparing for this to do that. I’ll have to think of the other goal later and let you guys know, but we were like about a 9.57 overall as a company to work for. So, let's say 96%. And if you look on Glassdoor, there just isn't a lot of companies that can say that they are 97% rated, 96% rated on Glassdoor as a company to work for. So, I'm really proud of that. That’s something we work really hard on.

I hope that all of our employees know how much I appreciate what they do for us. And if they don't do a good job, they know it and in another way, unfortunately, in a bad way. But the people that are here that do — everyone does just such an amazing job, really appreciative of the things they do for us. And it makes me want to continue to do this and come to work myself because it's infectious just seeing how much they love it. And so, it's a two way street. And seeing that survey come in is awesome.

And I can tell you just how much I care about this stuff because you get a 9.57 or whatever I was saying which means that some people didn't rate us a 10. And I went through and read all those comments really diligently. There was one person that rated us, I think an eight. And it was all anonymous, by the way. So people could say whatever they wanted and raise whatever they wanted. I really have no idea what each individual person did. I just know that all of them did submit, because we had a cumulative total number of surveys that matched the number of employees that we have, which was 17 at the time that we did this.

And yeah, we didn't get a 10 from a couple of people. And it bothers me, it really bothers me that a couple – oh, that was the other goal, I just remember now. One of them was do you feel appreciated for what you do. That was the third goal. It just hit me when I was thinking about those comments. And one person had actually rated us a six on that one and another one a seven. And I was just like, devastated. Like I read that comment and saw that. And so it just means that we have more work to do. And I know that we will never make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. But I'm going to die trying basically when it comes to our employees, at least.

Customers I'm a little bit more forgiving on because it's on a bigger scale and I can't control them or talk to them a lot of time because it's through email or just through a receipt. But for our employees it definitely is something that we strive to do, making sure that people enjoy what they do because this is a 30 year life and it's a third of my life, and I want the people that are around me enjoying what they're doing for that third. I can't control the other two thirds of their life. I can't make them get good sleep and I can't make them have good friends, but we can work on their work life while they're here.

So that is the 18 goals so far for the year. I hope you guys enjoyed listening to this podcast. And as you can tell, this is real stuff, real business, or some of the stuff where I hit on some of the stuff we're struggling a bit with. But as you know, one thing that we strive to do here at EcomCrew is be as transparent as possible. If you have any thoughts and comments, please go to the show notes for this episode. Again, EcomCrew.com/162 to get to the show notes for this episode.

If you got any comments, questions, let us know what a bunch of failures we are on the ones that were missing if that's what you want to do. Or leave us a comment about the things you're excited about. Or let us know how your year is going so far. I'd love to hear from you guys. That's the thing that really propels me to continue to do this podcast is our community, our listeners. And I know it's tough, you're probably listening to this podcast away from the computer. So, going over the iTunes and leaving a review or going to EcomCrew.com/162 is something you think, yeah, I'm going to go do that and you don't. But try to remember and let us know.

We'd love to know how you're doing. We just got our 100th review on iTunes, which is really cool. Our listenership of the podcast goes up every month. So, it means that we're doing something right, and I definitely love hearing from you guys. So, take a moment, let us know. And until the next episode everybody, happy selling, and we'll talk to you then.

Michael Jackness

Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.


  1. Are you developing completely new products ? Or are you improving exisiting niches on Amazon ? Where do you get products’ inspirations from ?

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