EcomCrew Podcast

E227: 19 Goals for 2019

It’s the end of February and I’m behind on sharing my goals for the year.

But here they are. My 19 goals for 2019. I made it a little bit different this year by coming up with three themes – less is more, doubling down on ecomCrew, and focusing more on “me”. As you read through my list, you’ll find that each goal fits a theme or two.

1. Sell a brand. I feel that it’s time to de-risk and take some money off the table so this year we will be actively working towards selling one of our brands. I will also be creating a series on this with Joe valley from Quiet Light Brokerage.

2. Position another brand for sale in late 2020. We’ll start thinking about this now in anticipation that we will be in a better spot with whatever brand we’ll be letting go of next year.

3. Getting back to location independence. We were digital nomads before that was even a thing but we’ve been grounded in San Diego for 5 years but I miss being location independent so we’ll be working on that this year.

4. Reducing debt to zero dollars. My aim is to have zero debt in the business and in our personal lives.

5. Hike the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. Supposedly one of the most beautiful trails in the world. Dave and I will be doing this 5-day hike along with some other guys

6. Take at least 10 weeks of personal travel. There will be a significant amount of personal travel. I’ll be incorporating it the trips that we’ll be doing for the EcomCrew Roadshow. I’d like to visit Iowa and North Dakota – the last two out of the 50 states that I haven’t been to. I’d also like to visit some new countries this year get past the number 50 mark of countries visited.

7. Record 6 or more episodes of the EcomCrew Roadshow.

8. Invest in at least 1 ecommerce business. Leveraging our resources to be able to help other people and businesses grow.

9. Lose 10 more pounds. The plan is to lose about a pound a month.

10. Visit the Philippines office in 2019.

11. Start selling our services for EcomCrew. We’ll start small, offering services to Premium members initially.

12. Significantly improve the quality of the podcast. We want the podcast to be really noticeable so we’ll be hiring a professional audio and video editor and refining our process of getting people to be interviewed on the podcast.

13. Film season 2 of 5 Minute Pitch.

14. Break each of our brands out into different companies.

15. Start hosting personal events for EcomCrew. Not full-fledged conferences but small gatherings of ecommerce entrepreneurs with a mastermind-like setup.

16. Speak at 6 industry events.

17. Shift to doing things that only bring me immense personal fulfillment.

18. Do intermittent fasting for all of 2019.

19. Not to drink the rest of 2019.

Tune in to the 5 Minute Pitch. New episodes published weekly until the final round in May at the Sellers Summit 2019.

Join this month’s giveaway and get the chance to win an annual Premium subscription for free.

Need onsite and personalized advice for your struggling ecommerce business? Sign up for the EcomCrew Roadshow. Read more about it here.

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If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy selling!


Full Audio Transcript

Intro: This is Mike and welcome to episode number 227 of the EcomCrew Podcast. It is the end of February and I am cutting it right down to the wire of having my goal of telling you guys what my 2019 goals are by the end of February. Normally, I like to get these out in January. But there were some things on this list that we hadn't finalized yet, so I needed Dave Bryant down here in San Diego for a few days, which he just recently did. And we had another big announcement we’ll be talking about here as well to just make sure that before we say these things out loud, that we're going to be able to move forward with them. And that's going to be a part of our goals for 2019. So, without further ado, right after this introduction, we're going to go over all 19 goals for 2019.

Mike: All right guys, so it is here, the 2019 goals list. And I'm sticking with the theme of 19 goals for 2019. Last year we had 18, there's a lot more going on this year, so it was easy to get one more goal on there. I'll probably have 20 goals for 2020. We'll see how that goes. At some point, maybe we'll just stick to 20 goals. But there are 19 of these. There's only 30 minutes to do the podcast. I'm going to jump right in. But I do want to mention, I put together overall themes here for these goals. And they will be in no particular order. I just kind of shuffled them around and didn't really put them in any particular order here.

But there are three themes that I want to mention. The first is less is more. You'll be understanding what that's going to be about as we talk about some of these things here. I definitely feel like the chasing rabbits and both will get away effect has crept into my life which just happened to a lot of entrepreneurs. I want to do less things and do them way better rather than trying to do too many things half assed. It's definitely been a lot more difficult to do that than I thought back meaning that I thought it would be a lot easier to just cookie cutter parts of the business and replicate them and do them at the same level that we did when we were just focusing on fewer things.

At least for me, it's been difficult to do that. And it was a great episode where Dana and I were talking about this at one point about stepping. I think we were saying stepping more accidental, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. We were I think drinking a few drinks when we were talking about it. But the point was that it's not as easy as it seems. Most entrepreneurs get themselves caught in this trap. At least for me, it's happened more than once. So, you'll see some themes in here about this.

The next theme is doubling down on the EcomCrew. And there's more than one reason for that which I’ll be talking about in the goals here but looking to bring a lot more content, do a lot more things, take things to another whole level with the EcomCrew over 2019. And the last thing here is me, focusing more on me and things that I want to be working on, the things that bring me more joy and fulfillment and a healthier lifestyle and things of that nature. After five years of some insanity intensity that takes a toll on you, it's a little bit time to shift gears a little bit and think about that stuff. And I think everything goes in cycles and that's a cycle that I want to focus on as a theme for 2019.

All right, so without further ado, let's crack into these 19 goals and talk a little bit about each one. And again, these are not in any particular order, but here they are nonetheless. So, the first one is to sell a brand in 2019. I think I talked a little bit about this on previous episodes. So, this is definitely something that we're going to actively be working towards doing. We'll also be doing a series about this in 2019 with Joe Valley from Quiet Light. There'll be a lot more about this throughout the year as this progresses, and we find which brand and how we're going to go about doing it and all these different things but there's definitely a goal to shut a brand in 2019.

The reasoning behind this is first off on the less is more theme. There is also a theme of it's just time to de-risk a little bit and take some cash off the table, something I talked about, we’ll link to it in the show notes. There was an episode I did about risk levers in e-commerce and I just feel like we are at the upper limits of what I feel comfortable with. And again, everyone has their own comfort level. I don't profess to tell people to run their lives the way that I like to run my life by any stretch of the imagination. Some people have more risk tolerance than others.

But for me and where we're at with the amount of inventory, where we grow a business to, the fact that we haven't taken any money out of the business, basically just poured every single penny back into it to have hyper growth over the last few years at growing at 100%, it's definitely time to reap some of the benefits of that and I'm looking forward to that. It's already just from the headspace just knowing that we're going to do it that we've committed to doing it has already changed my disposition already at the beginning of this year. So, it's exciting to see what progresses and how that progresses throughout the year.

The second thing is to position another brand for sale in late 2020. Again, there isn't any particular one yet that's earmarked or planned for exactly how that's going to go. But we're going to start thinking about that now at the beginning of 2019, and through the middle of 2019 and being in a better spot than will be with the brand that we saw in 2019. And again, when we do this series with Joe from Quiet Light who we are going to work on selling a business through because he's a friend of mine and I trust him more than anybody else in the industry, you'll understand why this is really important.

And unfortunately, I'm in a headspace where this is something I want to do more so now than wait six to 12 months to get as much as possible. It’s not really about cashing again the money right now, but more just the themes of the goals of 2019 and beyond and making sure those things fall into place. So, we're going to leave some money on the table in that regard, but position ourselves better in 2020 when we work on the goal number two here which is to position a brand for sale in 2020. And we'll talk a little bit more again about why I want to do this when I get into some of these other goals. But it definitely isn't the theme of less is more and it's also going to be in the theme of doubling down on the EcomCrew, which I will talk about as we go through these goals.

Number three is going to be getting back to location independence. This is how we lived our life. It's funny how all these “young kids” these days are talking about being a digital nomad and all these different things. My wife and I were doing that since 2006. We started a business in 2004 that had the ability to be location independent. And we took full advantage of it from 2006 when we moved to Costa Rica, then the Cayman Islands, and lived in an RV for a while and traveled around to dozens of countries all over the world and got our work done in that environment.

And since then we've been kind of grounded for five years in San Diego, which if you're going to be stuck someplace, this I think is the best place in the world to be “stuck.” It's been great but I do miss the location independence part of it. And we're going to work on that through 2019 and work on becoming a lot more if not completely location independent before the end of 2019 which is going to lead into some of the other goals. But that one probably if it was going to fit a theme, it probably is me that that fits and also in the doubling down of EcomCrew, which we'll talk a little bit more about as well. And also it works well with less is more because the less things you have, the easier it is to be less may be location dependent.

Number four is going to be a big one for me, reducing debt to zero dollars. This is something that I've gone back and forth with in my life. When I was younger I was living the American dream of being up to my eyeballs in debt. Unfortunately, this is just how things are and I didn't have guidance from my parents to do a better job with this. So, when I got a credit card, it seemed like the like I won the lottery, even I didn't really think about how I was going to pay for it. And as I started my first business and started getting some money, I started just paying off debt and had no debt for quite a while. And in fact, at one point in our lives, we actually had zero debt in our lives and then we started e-commerce. And it's funny how things change when you have a very cash demanding business.

E-commerce is a very cash demanding business. So, it has required us to get into debt. We got a mortgage, we borrowed money from Amazon, we had a line of credit from before through a friend of mine that extended us interest only loan for a while that we could use as a line of credit. And just again, e-commerce now that we have $1.3 million in inventory, there was definitely a time where we needed lots of debt to be able to build to that level when we were growing at 100% per year. Since we've taken our foot off the pedal, like we talked about at the end of 2018, we've been able to reduce that significantly because the cash flow has been coming in and there hasn't been a lot going on in terms of new products, which has been great. It's been a great feeling.

But by the end of 2819, my goal is to get back to this zero dollar number. And that's going to mean some pretty drastic changes in our business and our lives, no debt for the business and no debt and our personal lives, literally zero for anything. And I'm looking forward to getting back to that level again. I think we made the right business decision and the right personal and life decisions to do it over the last several years for this business, and I think I know 100% for certain we would not be where we were at if we didn't take on those debt obligations. But this is going to focus on again, the less is more. This is going to focus on the ‘me’ thing, because I've realized that it is stressful.

And again, everyone deals with stress a little bit differently. For me, I don't think about a lot of it kind of, I think I deal with it pretty well. But at some point because I kind of bottle it up, it explodes at the time that it happens and I don't want to get to that point. It definitely hasn't gone to that point. But I do realize when I'm dreaming about Amazon shutting my account down and the repercussions of that and every morning when I wake up, the first thing I think about and the first thing I check is my phone to see if I got an Amazon suspension email, not because I'm worried about our business imploding, but because I realize that we're upside down in our business when it comes to adding up debt and assets because of how much inventory we have.

And I would have no way of selling that inventory if that isn't for Amazon and having all my eggs in that basket. That's the part that adds a lot of stress. And again, it's gotten out of balance. There was a time when we had 100,000 or 200,000, even a half a million dollars’ worth of inventory where for me and my wife and I am and where we are in our lives. And again, you realize every once in a different spot, there are people that have way less than us and I'm very grateful of what we have and what we've been able to do. It's something I think about all the time.

And I also realize that there might be other people listening to this podcast that are like, you're such a wimp, half a million dollars is nothing and that's good for you as well. I'm really proud and happy for you that you were you're at a point in your life where that's not a significant amount of money for you. But again, everything is relative. And for us, it's gotten a little bit out of balance. And I'm looking forward to living just a little bit less stressed life in that regard.

So that is number four, which will require some big changes. Certainly selling a brand in 2019 will pretty much take care of that all in a nutshell if that does happen and materializes. For me, it won't be I want to go buy a Bentley or something shiny or another house or a boat or whatever, because that is just not the way I'm wired. It will be to just have no debt obligations whatsoever again, and hopefully have some money in the bank on top of that as well. So we'll see how that plays out. But that is definitely a goal for 2019.

All right, the next one here is to hike the West Coast Trail. I told you guys these are in no order. These are going to seem like they jump around because they do. The West Coast Trail is a trail I believe it's around 80 miles that is on Victoria Island or Vancouver Island, as I've been told now. It's actually not Victoria Island, it's Vancouver Island. So, it's the island just west of Vancouver up in Canada. My buddy Bryant is the one that made me aware of this. We were actually talking about hiking at some mountains. I'm not a summit climber, that's not my thing. So we came up with this instead.

So, if you guys remember, I wanted to hike 80 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail last year. I wasn't able to do that because of work stuff. We'll talk about some of the things in here focusing on me. I can pretty much guarantee you that this is going to happen this year short of me getting hit by a bus. We've already booked the tickets for it because it's a very popular trail. It's hard to get tickets. We got very lucky to pick up some dates the summer during a great month, a great time of year to do it and we're going to have a couple other guys join us. It will be a five day hike for the West Coast Trail.

It is supposed to be one of the prettiest trails in the world, not just in Canada or in North America but literally in the world. I’ve watched some YouTube videos on it. It seems amazing. I am very excited to go do it. I love these types of hikes. Again, everyone is different. Some people would think it's crazy to throw everything in your back and go backpacking and be without cell service and bathrooms and restaurants, all these different things for five days.

But I love getting out in nature, just detoxing mentally for a while, getting away from technology and my business and all these different types of things. It will be a welcome thing that I'm really looking forward to doing, very similar to what we did in Alaska a couple years ago, definitely really looking forward to this and looking forward to start training for this basically imminently because it will definitely take months of preparation to be able to pull it off. But I am excited to go do that and that is number five.

Number six here is going to be taking this as a kind of — this one is kind of in order a little bit because it does go hand in hand with number five, but this is going to be to take at least 10 weeks of personal travel in 2019. Definitely have not been getting away from work and the office nearly enough. There will be a significant amount of additional travel in 2019. There are some things that I haven't really quite mapped out exactly all the things I want to do, but we'll incorporate this into the EcomCrew road show which actually happens to be the next thing here that I’m going to talk about.

So, I think that going from place to place and in between doing some personal travel as we're doing the road show will be a great opportunity to do this and see some parts of the US that I really want to. We'll talk about that here in a minute but 10 weeks of personal travel at a minimum in between all that. I put on here to visit Iowa and North Dakota. For those of you who follow the podcast, you know that I've been to 48 states. I have not been the Iowa, I have not been to North Dakota, not very exciting places. If we can pull that off as a part of the road show as we're driving from a business to another business and that can coincide there.

I've been looking at the map of all the submissions we've got for this so far, and I'll talk about that here in a minute. And there is a great opportunity to drive from Oklahoma up to Minnesota, which would clip Iowa off. And then going west to Montana and some of the Pacific Northwest states that have applied could easily get those two states off the list. I'd like to say I’ve been in all 50 states, and instead of saying I've been to almost all of them. Just one of these things that doesn't really matter but it does in some level or two because I do want to be able to say that. So, hopefully we can cross that off.

Another one is to go back to Guatemala. Our dear friends and Guatemala, we haven't seen them for a couple of years. And I really want to schedule some time to go down there and spend some time with them, like some of our best friends in the world, they just happen to live in Guatemala. We met them back in the poker industry days and they're one of the few people that we really still keep in touch with from that era. We love them to death and they have kids as well that we’d like to see and have them still remember us when we go down there.

So that's another thing and then also visiting one new country this year at a minimum, but I've been stuck at 49 for me for quite a while, and crossing that 50 mark, I think would be awesome. So, there's some things on the list. I had scheduled to go to Vietnam already this year. I might not be able to do that right before going to Hong Kong and the Philippines later this year, just because of some other stuff that's come up during those same dates. But hopefully later in the year or even still, hopefully get that Vietnam thing crossed off and be able to visit one more country, get the 50 so then I can set my sights on 100, because I really do want to hit that hundred mark and maybe eventually all of them.

But I realize that there's just a lot of stuff going on in the world that will make that very difficult even if you put a 20 or 30 year time horizon on it, it's still there always be places in the world that are tough to visit. But getting to 100 I think can be pretty easy. There's definitely 100 countries in the world or 50 more countries on top of the ones I've been to that are plenty safe enough to go visit and I'm looking forward to that. Candidates are things like all of South America basically with exception to something like Venezuela which is in a little bit of turmoil right now and Argentina unfortunately but I've already been to Argentina.

Southeast Asia, still I haven't been to, several of those Australia, New Zealand, things of this nature. There's some islands in the Pacific. So, there's still plenty of places in the world that I haven't been to that I'd love to go see and we'll start working on that in 2020 and beyond.

All right, number seven here is to record six or more episodes of the EcomCrew road show. I made this an entire goal on its own because this is something that's going to be quite the endeavor to go do visiting six businesses in person, we’ll link to this episode in the show notes. If you haven't listened to our announcement of the conquer road show, you can go to to apply if you're interested.

Basically what we're going to be doing is offering multiple days of consulting of our time, helping dig into your business, talking about how you can cut costs in your business from sourcing or shipping and logistics, things I think that we've gotten really good at after multiple years of doing e-commerce ourselves, building out landing pages, doing Facebook ads, email marketing, all kinds of things like that nature, all the stuff that we talk about on the podcast, whatever you think that we can do to improve your business as much as possible. That is our goal.

And our ultimate goal is to basically brag about that for lack of a better word when we do a follow up and talk about how much we've helped improve the business. And the idea here is to number one; obviously help improve people's businesses. That is the ultimate goal, but produce content that no one else is doing out there. Really no one else is doing something like this in e-commerce and hopefully that gets links. I mean, we're big SEO people. So this helps get EcomCrew’s footprint bigger and just people knowing about it more, which eventually just is a math game, ends up getting more sales which obviously is still as a business and we want to get more people signing up.

But we want to do it in a way that proves that we are experts in the industry; that we can go out there and help people make their businesses better and we aren't selling a pipe dream, right? I mean, this is what Dave and I were just talking about, again, reiterating that you will not hear us talking about how easy e-commerce is. And that you can make a million dollars overnight selling stuff on Amazon and just go buy something from Alibaba and you'll be a millionaire before you know it. For those of you who’ve been following the podcast, you know we never say stuff like this. In fact, we talk about how hard it is, and we probably bite off our noses, spite our face in terms of talking about that stuff because that probably gets us less people interested in signing up for our courses.

And I’d much rather do that than not being able to sleep at night selling people a bunch of snake oil, it's really important to both of us. And so, it's just really important to not do that. And I think that the easiest way to not have to do that is to show that you can actually help people instead of just worrying about making money that you can actually help people in their businesses. We've been able to do that already with the EcomCrew Premium but it's all behind the scenes. It’s stuff that we don't talk about, mostly for privacy and stuff like that, but if we can have some people sign up for the road show, we’d talk about this publicly, and we can show that the stuff that we do actually does work in a very public way. That's really exciting to me. Plus the opportunity to help people hopefully grow their business by 30, 50, 100%, whatever it might be, is really exciting.

Number eight; invest in at least one e-commerce business. This is where we see EcomCrew going in the future, something that we're going to work on here. We’ll probably take a little bit of time to get it right. But this is kind of taking road shows to another whole level but basically like a working board seats. And for me, this also focuses back on the ‘me’ thing. And something else that's another goal here that I'll talk about that maybe I should have put these in order, this makes little bit more sense but working on things that just bring much more personal gratification, working on things that are more of a challenge that can affect other people's lives in a positive way.

I'm at a point where I'm going to always be fine, my wife and I, our families always going to be fine. We know that at this point, but there's lots of other people out there that are struggling. We can you help them and impact their lives in a way that brings just a lot of joy to me on a personal level, it's been awesome. Looking at things like the Five Minute Pitch, which I'll talk about a little bit more here because that's another goal, things that we've done with EcomCrew Premium, other things that we've done where we've given away free consulting and seeing how that's paid dividends for other people in their lives is pretty badass.

And I'm looking forward to doing that more and having that personal gratification thing and by having less is more type of thing. Being able to help other people and give back in that way I think is going to be pretty amazing. And then leveraging our team that we have built in the Philippines and in the US to do that is pretty awesome as well, because that was a lot of work. We have 13 people over there and two here, and continuing to grow that team and leveraging them to do these types of things, I think is going to be just absolutely amazing.

So, it'll start with the road show. There's some other businesses I've been talking to potentially of investing. And we'll probably officially announce something here and have a forum for people who are interested in potentially having us do that, where we potentially take over, at least for the first several months of redesigning a website, putting all the email flows in, redesigning packaging, just making the brand way stronger. The things I think that we're really good at, helping with logistics and cost savings and getting your own team involved and all these different things in exchange for some equity percentage of doing that and the business being willing to be as transparent as we have ourselves throughout this entire process with their business so we can talk about again, just being able to show that what we can do with EcomCrew really does help other businesses.

And again, hopefully through a trust building exercise and relationship building exercise with everyone listening to this, and people that are on our list and consume our content makes people more interested in joining the EcomCrew Premium, which is our ultimate goal, obviously. But again, to do that in a way where we aren't salesy, or snake oil salesman type people, which has been cool. We've been able to get hundreds of people to join to this point without having to do more than just talk about it on the podcast. And we don't promise anything in terms of you are going to become an overnight sensation when you sign up for EcomCrew Premium. We've been very careful not to do that because that's not who we want to be. And we want to continue to build this type of content and do this other type of stuff that helps further that cause. So, that is number eight.

All right, number nine is going to be another personal goal working on me again is to lose 10 more pounds. I think it was eight pounds or seven pounds at the end of the year. For last year's goal was to lose 10. I didn't quite get there but I want to get there this year. And by having 10 more weeks of vacation, personal travel, doing this hike, doing other things that are on this list, I'm pretty convinced that it won't be a problem this year. And I'm going to work hard to basically on average lose about a pound a month. So it's a lifestyle change that I've already implemented. It worked pretty well last year, we're just going to refine it and make it even better in 2019 number.

Number ten is to visit the Philippines office at least once in 2019. I did this in 2018. I might even try to do this twice in 2019, but I'm committing to one time. That office is a lifeblood to this business, going continue to be that way. We are looking to hire even more people there and grow that team to do all these other endeavors that we have. They are the ones that will allow me to have 10 weeks of personal travel to focus on me more, to focus on the things that bring me a lot of fulfillment because I know that they're taking care of the things that they need to take care of and I don't have to worry about it. And over the last couple of years, Mia and her team as I've been able to get the confidence in them that we can do that. And it's been a critical part of being able to set these goals for 2019 and move forward with this stuff. So, I'm very excited about that.

Number 11 is going to be another big one here which is to start selling our services for EcomCrew. One of the things we get asked in EcomCrew Premium specifically a lot but also other parts of email or comments on the blog is EcomCrew willing to do these things for me? Or can we hire your team to do this stuff? And the answer has always been no. We're going to change that to a yes, and we're going to start small and work our way to getting bigger. But it'll probably be something exclusive just for EcomCrew Premium members to start with until we can get this big enough and get a big enough team to be able to open up to others but probably going to stick with the EcomCrew Premium members only for quite a while.

And the idea here is to really help people at the earlier stages get this stuff done that I know we talk about all the time that seems so easy for us to do but I realize is difficult for others to execute on, because we've had multiple years to do it. We got incredibly lucky with Mia and the fact that she even exists and that she can run that team over there. And we've been able to train them up to do a better job and I'm excited to see what we can do here. I was talking to someone about this just today at lunch as to why we're looking to do this.

This is not a money thing for us, this is helping people get this stuff done that I see as a constant struggle on the EcomCrew Premium all the time. And it's just so frustrating to me that we can't at our current capacity help them get this stuff done. Let's say we're talking about images on a listing and like you need to add infographics and some lifestyle images and just better quality photography and this, that and the other to get your stuff up to another level. And then they go off and do it and show me the results and it's just like, not good enough.

And we're able to do that with our team. And it's hard for us to find the people we've been able to slowly hire to do this, but the idea would be for us to be able to do that where it's a menu of services that we go off and do this stuff at a fairly reasonable price where it makes sense for us, makes sense for you. And again it would just be like an exclusive for premium members that just make it more enticing to join that program which we want to have one thing that people gravitate towards and not have all this different stuff. So, I'm excited to see where this can go in 2019 and we want to start this in 2019 and grow it from there which will be just growing our team in the Philippines in the process.

Number 12 here is significantly improve the quality of the EcomCrew Podcast. We want to continue on the path of having at least one episode per week. We might reduce it down to one episode per week, but there'll be at least one episode, maybe two, we might stick with two. There's definitely lots of content to roll out. It might even be a thing where we have a third episode. But whatever it is, the quality is going to go up significantly. We want it to be noticeable. We want it to be really noticeable. We’ve committed to hiring a full time audio and video producer that we're going to start working on.

And Abby is probably listening right now and thinking we have because I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it quite yet. But it's because Dave and Dave were just here and we just talked about it and this is what we're working on. So, we will talk to our team about this and let them know all the changes we are looking to make here. But the idea is to have a lot more editing.

Right now as good of a job as our team does and I'm really proud of especially Abby the fact that she learned all this on her own to do this, we want to take it to another level, have a professional that has more time to edit out every single um and uh and click and pop and things that aren't perfect in the podcast especially when we have guests on, maybe start recording two hour podcast to get edited down to 30 minutes and the quality of the stuff that's talked about is just significantly better, looking forward to doing that. And also doing a lot more pre interview work and pre podcast work, and then post podcast work and things that we just haven't had the time to really do, do more journalistic type pieces.

Again, EcomCrew roadshow, think about the amount of time and effort that will take to go out there for both my perspective to get all the footage than somebody having to watch all that footage, put it in some type of chronological order, edit that down and make a great podcast episode out of that or YouTube videos. That's going to take a lot more work. And we're really looking forward to rolling out something that is just on another whole level that can really help the community, help EcomCrew become the best out there because as you guys probably can tell anything I like to — I'm competitive, even though it isn't about the money part of it.

But I am competitive and want to put out the best possible thing and I feel like we can do better. I always feel like we can do better with a lot of things. We just got done recording another whole course. And if Dave Q is listening to this, he knows that that's my saying. I can do better. We can do better. We record the second or third time to get it done better, to make it a higher level, and as far as we've come with the podcast, I think that in its own rating it's a good show and we do a decent job with it. It can be better and I know in my mind what we can do to make it better and we're going to work on executing that in 2019.

And this is one of these nebulous goals where most of these ones I put on here I wanted them to be very definitive, lose 10 pounds, very black and white number. Record at least six roadshow episodes, very black and white number. Visit North Dakota, very black and white thing. So, this is subjective but I'll know in my heart whether or not we hit this target. I'm pretty critical and if I don't feel like I hit it, I'll be honest with you guys as we're going through this.

Number 13 here is to film Season Two of Five Minute Pitch, looking forward to doing that. It's already on the calendar. It's one here because it eats a big week of our time, so it's a pretty big time commitment to do this and a financial commitment to do it as well. We also want to make this better. Probably my favorite thing of 2018 was being with Scott, Steve and Greg doing Five Minute Pitch. It was amazing, not just with them, but the contestants that came on, the joy that we brought to their lives, the help that we did. I’ve have talked to a lot of the contestants that were on the show since then, and gotten to know them better and understand how what we were able to do for them affected their lives in such a positive way. It's actually amazing.

And this is something anybody can take away from this. It's amazing how something that seems a little trivial to yourself. It was 10 minutes of your time, 20 minutes of your time taking time to say hi to somebody, thanking them, complimenting them for something or whatever, helping them with something small can have such a big impact on someone else's life. So, your time is amplified to the amount of time that they're thinking about it or it helps them. And we were able to do that with Five Minute Pitch, we've been able to do that with other things in EcomCrew. This is something I want to focus on more. But knowing that that's making that difference highly motives me to put this goal list together and a lot of the things that are in here, all these types of things, including Five Minute Pitch. So, really excited about that.

Number 14 here is something I talked about early or sorry late last year in 2018 but we needed to cut this to come to fruition, which is to break each of our brands that we have out into their own companies. We'll talk about other reasons why this is important but a lot of them ties on to goal one and two, which is to sell a brand in 2019 and positioning a brand more importantly for 2020 for sale. Having things in their own company, individual tax returns, individual Amazon accounts, individual employees, no discussion of any black or gray areas and due diligence or in a financial package or anything else is really important, among other things like liability and all the things that make it easier having things broken out.

So, we are going to work on and this is a big endeavor This is a nightmare of an endeavor, this is one of these things that for me I will not enjoy but I know is necessary and once it's done I'll feel much better about it. But number 14 is to break each of our brands out into their own company. So, each one of our brands as in ColorIt, as in Ice Wraps and WildBaby, each one of those will become ColorIt LLC, Ice Wraps LLC versus just being Terran LLC as one big commingled hunk of stuff.

Number 15; start hosting personal events for EcomCrew in 2019. I use the word regularly here but let's just say at least two or three in person events. The first one we're going to do will be in Hong Kong in April, probably another one in Vancouver the summer around the time that we're up doing the West Coast Trail project, we can also try to get together an EcomCrew thing. This is not going to — when I say an event, this will not be a conference where we want 200 people coming. These will be small, intimate things. We’ll see how these kind of evolve over the next couple of years.

We want to keep these always to 20 people or less, and it'd be some sort of workshop where we're actually opening up our laptops and doing things there, or some type of mastermind, where other entrepreneurs get to meet people and develop a mastermind setting and help each other, which I think is really important. So that is number 15. And we'll have more information about that as we have it. But if you are going to be in Hong Kong at the end of April, around the time of Global Sources, I would keep the date open there around I think the 26th of April. If you're able to attend that, it would be awesome to have you there. We did it last year and it was a lot of fun.

Number 16 here is to speak at six plus industry events. It shouldn't be a problem but it's on the goal list here just because it is a big time commitment but it's something I like to do to give back. It's also another great way to increase the footprint of EcomCrew, to meet people to have on the podcast, to meet people to discuss trials and tribulations of running an e-commerce business with. I really like doing these but it is it is a commitment to get out to six events a year. I'm hoping to do at least six this year. I think I did seven last year and it probably is going to be seven or eight this year by time they're all added up.

Number 17, this is one that is a little bit more nebulous but again I’ll know in my heart whether or not it's done, which is an obvious shift towards only doing things that bring me immense personal fulfillment. And I use the word only here, maybe I should say vast majority because nothing's ever 100% perfect. But there's definitely been a lot of things over the last year that I have not enjoyed doing, the list is kind of long at this point. A lot of that comes from once I kind of have things figured out in business and in life, whatever it is, and the challenge of you, there's no way or how will you get that done is kind of at that point, it becomes a lot less interesting for me.

But what I found is that there's immense personal enjoyment and fulfillment in the stuff I talked about earlier in this list, things like the EcomCrew road show. I know it'll be a lot of work, but I know I'm going to love the hell out of it. Investing in another company or maybe two or three down the road as we do that, I know it'll be a lot of work but I know that working with other businesses and making that massive impact for them, doubling, tripling their business even though we'll have a small piece of that, it'll make the world of difference to them, bring me a lot of personal enjoyment of fulfillment and keep me very involved in e-commerce and relevant and be able to show on a bigger scale the same things we were able to do for Terran, but now we're doing it for somebody else.

So, I'm really looking forward to that part of the next phase of my e-commerce business career, but also the personal fulfillment side as well. So, going to be focusing on that being very cognizant and self-aware of this stuff throughout 2019 thinking about it on a daily or weekly basis and not letting it get away, and we'll talk about that as the year progresses. There will be some shifting that has to happen. This can't happen overnight. So, we will work on this slowly but surely, but hopefully by the end of 2019, I'm in a position where I can say that the vast majority, like 90% plus of my day, every day is doing stuff that brings me immense personal fulfillment and as a result also makes a positive impact on others around me and around Dave as well as we're doing EcomCrew stuff. That's really important to both of us as we talked about what EcomCrew will look like moving forward.

Number 18, I want to intermittent fast all of which basically, for me, means not eating breakfast. I've been eating within an eight hour window of the day between noon and eight, noon and 8pm. Even when I travel, even when there's people in town, for the most part it's been pretty easy for me at this point. A couple of times here and there, I had to kind of break that but the goal was basically 350 or more days of intermittent fasting. And every day that goes by that I continue to do it, it becomes easier and I think there’s supposed to be a lot of health benefits to it plus I’m eating one meal less per day, which is less calories.

I don't starve myself or anything like that. I eat whatever I basically want but I do want to eat less meat, which is the other part that I put on here, not cut it out completely not become a vegetarian, but just eat less meat and more plant based products, vegetables, fruits, whatever it might be. I've already made a big shift for that over the last many years. It's all a slow incremental lifestyle change, but something that I want to work on even more and it's become easier and easier because over time you get less dependent on sugar and salt and all this other crap and vegetables at some point eventually start tasting good and you start enjoying them, which is where I'm at now. And you realize that you don't probably need 14 or 16 ounces of meat at every serving throughout the day. That's probably not the best thing for you.

And the last one here, number 19 is something that I already announced. But it's still going on my goal list because it is not an easy task, but not to drink the rest of 2019. It was basically, this started in January. It's been a month almost exactly to the day today that I haven't had an alcoholic beverage. I want to continue that through all of 2019, the rest of 2019. It's reporting on this just so people know that are kind of keeping tabs on this particular goal, it's actually been significantly easier than I thought it would be, which for me I feel like is a really good sign. I think it kind of submits the fact that I'm actually not an alcoholic which I was starting to kind of honestly worry about just a little bit, not joking about here.

I mean I know this is actually pretty serious, but I was starting to worry a little bit because I had a hard time when I did drink controlling it. But I think that it's pretty obvious that that isn't the case. It's something just more of a self-control issue than being an alcoholic because I haven't craved it or wanted. I had a promise of saying no to it; I had to think about it. The only time I even really realize it is in a social setting where I usually would drink, I'd be having a few drinks, like last night I was at the Million Dollar Sellers meet up and just normally would have ordered a drink at the bar to kind of be socializing and drinking with people and then figuring out how the hell am I going to get home in an Uber because I had more than I probably should have to drink.

That wasn't an issue last night; I just didn't have a drink. And I didn't have to worry about driving home and it was kind of nice and didn't feel like crap the next morning. And Super Bowl Weekend was another example of where normally I would have had probably way too much to drink and felt miserable the whole rest of the weekend or Monday morning I should say, and that wasn't an issue either. So, there's definitely been a lot of positives and I'm excited to do another 11 months of this.

I am probably going to not continue it past the year because I do enjoy a glass of wine here and there with my steak, which I’ve been eating less meat so I don't need as much wine, but I do miss that component of it and want to probably also be able to visit wineries and stuff which is something else I enjoy but we are going to go another 11 months from here and fulfill that goal that I set not to drink for the rest of 2019.

All right guys, that is going to wrap it up. That's 19 goals. I can't wait to hear you guys’ thoughts. Usually as soon as I post this, I start getting text messages and emails thinking or saying you're out of your mind doing all this stuff in one year, been pretty good about it. The last few years we've checked off almost everything on the list. We did make a major shift in 2018 and had to set a few things aside to be able to pivot and mostly because of the risk levels episode I talked about and I think that that's important. You don't want to get so stubborn that again butt up your nose and spite your face with some of these things where you set a goal and you're going to do it no matter what because I think that that's a little bit dangerous.

But for the most part, I like setting goals and I like sticking to them under almost any circumstance unless you there's a reason for it, a good business reason, or a personal reason, whatever it might be. But I'm looking forward to checking off all 19 of these things through 2019. And as always, we'll do quarterly updates to talk about how things are going. The first quarter probably will be delayed a little bit just because it's already pretty late in the quarter. So, we'll start with those probably at the middle of the year but we'll definitely be keeping people up to tabs on how things are going here with the goals and looking forward to checking this stuff off the list.

So, that's going to do it for this episode everybody. I hope you enjoyed listening to the goals list. As always, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about this stuff, you can go to slash the episode number. In this case it's 227, to get to the show notes for this. Let me know what you guys think. I can't wait to hear from you. Until the next episode, everyone happy selling and we'll talk to you soon.

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.

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