E234: EcomCrew Roadshow Update – On the Road to Phoenix, AZ

To recap for those of you who missed Episode 222, we’re launching a brand-new segment called EcomCrew Roadshow where we help ecommerce entrepreneurs come up with a plan to take their businesses to the next level. The premise is we will come to your city, spend a couple of days with you at your office, go over your business, review things, and come up with a plan to grow your business.

This episode is a preview of my sessions with first-ever Roadshow participant, Lance Robinson of Wall Charmers. It's a fun sneak peek of what the EcomCrew Roadshow is all about.

If you ever want to become a participant, just fill out the form here to let us know.

See you on the road!


Full Audio Transcript

Intro: This is Mike and welcome to episode number 234 of the EcomCrew Podcast. So glad to have you guys along with us today. Today we're going to be doing an update on the EcomCrew Roadshow. If you don't know what that is, go check out Episode 222, where I first announced it, or you can just listen to this one as well, because I'm going to talk a little bit more about what it is and how things are going with it. But the idea is to go visit people in person for free, give them advice and turn it into a podcast. That's the long and short of it.

And the first one of those is complete, at least the recording part of it is complete, the editing part is going to be a lot of work. And we're still going to have to spend a lot of time figuring out exactly how we're going to do that because there's like eight hours of footage that we're going to turn into a 30 to 60 minute podcast, one or two episodes, depending how that edit is down. So we have a lot of work ahead of us. But I guess the other part the hardest part, which is to actually go and do something, that part is done. So, I want to do an update about that.

But before doing that, I do want to mention we have the EcomCrew mastermind coming up in Hong Kong on April the 26th. I think you guys, if you're going to be in Asia would love to be there because it's an awesome opportunity to meet a whole bunch of like-minded entrepreneurs, and be able to meet Dave and I. The format that we do with our masterminds is a round robin, so everyone gets an opportunity to participate. And the idea is that each person talks about something that's working well in their business.

And it can be anything from I just quit my job and it's working well that I'm getting started in e-commerce to something that's way more advanced. And then everyone gets an opportunity to ask a question to the group and either have Dave and I answer it, or someone else that's participating answer it, or a combination of all of that. And then on top of that, you get to meet again, a bunch of other like-minded entrepreneurs. I know several friendships came out of the meetings from last year because there's awesome people that go to these things and people keep in touch, and you never know who that next contact is going to be that's going to make a big difference in your business.

So, go over to EcomCrew.com/mastermind to find out more about it. We're charging just a minimal amount to be able to cover the cost of the room and lunch for our premium members. And if you're not a premium member, you can still come just for the normal price of a ticket. You can find out again more about that at EcomCrew.com/mastermind. All right guys, let's get into today's episode and talk about the EcomCrew Roadshow.

Mike: There is a few things I think about when I think of the progress and the history of EcomCrew. The day that I hit publish on my first blog posts way back in 2014, the day that I hit record on that first podcast episode, the day that I went and spoke on stage for the first time about e-commerce, and now it's time for the EcomCrew Roadshow. And I think this is going to be another one of those things I will look back and it'll be a monumental thing that happened in the history and the progression of EcomCrew.

Waking up this morning in Lake Havasu, Arizona, heading out to Phoenix, Arizona, going to be meeting with a gentleman named Lance with a company called Wall Charmers and put in the key in the ignition here at the RV and get ready to fire up and head down the road to Phoenix, Arizona.

Hey, what's up everybody? A little bit different environment here today for the podcast, you're going to hear some background noise. That is because I am on the road; I'm literally recording this while I'm driving. I thought this would be a cool podcast to record and it's because I am going to Phoenix today with our new RV which is pretty cool. Many of you may or may not know that my wife and I owned an RV in the past and we traveled around the country in the RV, even full time, did it for a couple of years. And we're going to do that a little bit more here in the future. We got a new RV, a little bit different setup than in the past.

Before we had a 45 foot bus with a tow vehicle behind us, and it was a beast to drive and to park someplace and to get in and out of places. And we learned that to make it anywhere near enjoyable, we had to only drive the RV once a week. So, once a week I’d get on the RV, pack it up and get going and hook up the tow car, and that was on Saturdays. Saturday's was moving day basically and we’d go drive someplace new, park the RV in an RV park for a week and then disconnect the car and drive around for a bit. And that made it tolerable.

But this time around, we learned just like you do with anything else in life, there were some things about that that we didn't like. Again, the lack of mobility and the nimbleness, so we bought a 25 foot leisure travel van. This is what they call a B plus motorhome. It's got a full size shower, it's got a kitchen, it's got a fridge, it's got heating and air conditioning, it's got a queen size bed, it's got a living room, it's basically everything that you would ever need. The only thing that we don't have in this that we had in our bigger coach is a washer and dryer. So, we will be going to laundromats while we're doing this road trip stuff to do laundry in laundromats but that's about the only convenience that we don't have.

What we have gained though is the mobility, the nimbleness. I'm getting ready to head to record this first episode of the EcomCrew Roadshow which I'll get into more about what this is in a second here. But I'm going to be pulling into those guys’ apartment or condo complex and that would have been something that would have just not been anywhere near possible with our old coach. I would have had to find an RV park, checked in, disconnect the other car and then drive over there, which is just extra time, extra hassle.

So, I'm going to  drive right to this guy's condo, I can find a spot to sleep later tonight, come back, drive anywhere I want. And I just feel like at any moment, I can pick up and go do anything without having the inconvenience of that. So, that's the setup that we have for this. And I announced the EcomCrew Roadshow in a previous episode. I'll throw out the link again real quick. It's EcomCrew.com/roadshow.

And since announcing that, we've had dozens of people apply to be on the show, lots of really interesting entrepreneurs I can't wait to meet. And now that we are in the process of actually driving to our first recording here for the EcomCrew Roadshow to meet a gentleman named Lance, it's real. It's here, it's exciting thinking about this. I've had a few hours on the road today to really be thinking about the content that we're going to provide, what I hope to get out of this, what I hope to provide to the person that I'm doing this with, what I hope to provide to our community by doing this.

So, I think everything will change and evolve. Just like I think our blog has changed and evolved, just like the podcast at the 250ish whatever episodes we’re at, at this point has evolved. I think that the first episode of the EcomCrew Roadshow will probably be very different from episode 50 of the EcomCrew Roadshow. But going into it, my hope is, first of all, that this is something that I will enjoy because I think that you have to be a little bit selfish first, from the standpoint of if it's something that's growing that you don't enjoy that you don't want to do, you'll end up not doing it anymore.

So, the way that I did that with the podcast to make sure that this was something that I would want to continue doing when I very first started up and thought about it, I knew that if it was going to take too much time, too much effort on a weekly basis that I would eventually give up and fail at it. So, for the roadshow, for me, it's important to make sure that I'm actually providing substantial help to people. Because from a selfish standpoint, and what I really hope to get out of this is to first of all the intellectual stimulation for me is being able to talk to other entrepreneurs at a high level. I love that stuff. I am like a super nerd when it comes to talking entrepreneurship, to talking numbers, to talking e-commerce. I love that.

So for me, I hope to get a lot out of that. I also hope to make a substantial difference in the entrepreneur’s life for themselves, for their wife, for their kids, for their family. That's really what I hope to be able to get out of it. So, if I can't do this in a way over the couple of days that we're going to spend with each entrepreneur to make a substantial difference, it's going to probably wane, the interest level will wane for me.

So, it's important to me to try to figure out a way over eight to 10 hours is about how much time I think we're going to spend with each entrepreneur, that we can be able to produce good content for the community. And also be able to give very actionable advice to the entrepreneur that they can then take and implement in their business over the next many months, and we can follow up with them afterwards, and see how it went.

And then the last thing is providing really great content for the community because we obviously want to be able to use these as a tool to get more notoriety for EcomCrew. I'm still an entrepreneur at heart, I still get my kicks off of seeing our numbers grow, seeing the analytics continue to grow, see the number of downloads on a podcast grow, see our revenue grow. All these metrics, getting invited to speak at larger and larger events, getting more recognition in newspapers and media, being recognized now when companies are doing awards each year of the influential e-commerce people being mentioned in that conversation, these are all things that strike by entrepreneur fancy which I think are also important. And hopefully, this EcomCrew Roadshow will be a way to light that fire as well.

So, that's really what it's all about. Now, who is this for in terms of you should apply to be on EcomCrew Roadshow? I think the real wheelhouse is going to be an existing business first of all. I think it's going to be difficult to go spend this much time and help somebody who doesn't have a product picked out yet. So, I think that a business that's got at least a half a million dollars in revenue a year, maybe 300,000 on the lower end which is fine, just someone that's started, someone that's committed to this, that they're looking to quit their full time job if they haven't already and do this thing full time but they're committed to e-commerce.

I want to make sure that I’m helping somebody that this is what they really want to be doing and probably up to like the $2 million, maybe $3 million mark. Anything past that, there's definitely things that I can do to help without question because I’ve been there towards creating an eight figure e-commerce business myself. But I don't think it's as actionable for — someone just coming out to get to hear the horn. I don't think this is actionable for our community as that that half a million dollar to a $2 million seller. So, I think that that's going to be the real wheelhouse, and I think that a business of that size has an astronomical amount of challenges and problems that they're dealing with the unknowns, but those types of things where I can sit down and really help answer all those questions.

I think about the questions that come into the EcomCrew Premium, the questions that come in there that sitting down and talking to these types of entrepreneurs I can really help with a lot of these unknown type things. Someone today was asking about the start selling date for instance. I was just answering a bunch of questions, I took a break earlier. That's something that I know because I’ve done it before how you set the start and selling date and what happens specifically when you do change the date and how do you do that and what's the launch process for that?

We had a question about labeling products, FNSKUs and things of that nature. These are all types of things that again I know like the back of my hand because I have been in the trenches, done it day in and day out, and I think that these are the things that over an eight to 10 or maybe 12 hour period sitting down with an entrepreneur that we can really make a big impact. So, I’m excited to be able to do these types of things because of that. I think that that size of company is going to be really in the wheelhouse.

So, if you have a half a million dollar give or take to a $2 million business that you think would be fun to be on the EcomCrew Roadshow, head over to EcomCrew.com/roadshow and apply today. Now, there's a couple of caveats here. I’m looking for companies that are willing to do almost full disclosure. There might be a few things that you might not want to disclose, I get it, like you're not going to disclose your manufacturers and stuff like that. So, there's obviously a level of respect that we got to adhere to.

But I don't want to be hearing about how you don't want to talk about your product or mentioning your brand name, but those would make for good content for the community. And that's selfish. If you don't want to do that, that's fine. But just don't expect to be on the EcomCrew Roadshow. We are looking for businesses that are willing to be very much like Dave and I have been; a complete open book. And if you are willing to be a complete open book, that means you probably have a defensible business that I will enjoy talking to you about and helping you grow.

So, I look forward to meeting a lot of you this summer. We're going to be doing an extensive roadshow. Right now we're – by the time this episode comes out, this is going to be kind of an abbreviated tour just hitting a couple of different entrepreneurs because we're getting ready to head to Asia for a couple of months. So, we have to take a break from the roadshow and go do our Asia tour of the Global Sources Summits and our Philippines office and I'm flying back and going to Miami to speak at our summit, then we have something we need to be in Mexico City for. So, we have a couple of months of traveling coming up.

But this is going to allow me to get these first couple of episodes out of the way, start editing them down, thinking about how we can improve the future episodes. And starting the summer, we're going to be doing this extensively traveling around the United States and Canada. So, if you're in the United States or Canada, please head over to EcomCrew.com/roadshow. Apply for this if you have that half a million dollar to $2 million business and you think you can use our help.

And the one thing I didn't mention, this is all completely free, no strings attached, you don't have to be an EcomCrew Premium member to apply for this. You don't even have to listen to the podcast that much. So, if you know people that that are interested in that and being on the roadshow, please let them know or if you're interested yourself please apply, I’d love to hear from you. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of you out on the road and connecting the dots along the journey of driving around the United States and Canada giving e-commerce advice. All right guys, that's going to do it for this episode and until the next one happy selling and we’ll talk to you soon.

Man, it was fun actually listening back to that recording that I did on the way to Phoenix, Arizona. So, I left that morning from Lake Havasu, went to visit Lance and Victor in Phoenix, they actually live in Scottsdale. I drove to their condo, spent about a half a day with them, going over their business, getting kind of like a discovery phase. But I got to ask several hours of questions from them to really understand their business, their life goals and all that kind of good stuff.

We then went to dinner afterwards, talked more shop, and then went back to the RV, took some notes and started thinking about all the different ways that I could help them, spent the next morning, about a half a day thinking through how I was going to be able to help them. And then we reconvened right before lunch, we went to lunch, and then came back and spent four hours going through their business, going through actionable tips. I have my notebook here, we went over 11 things that they could do to improve their business. I don't want to give away too much of the roadshow ahead of time. But 11 things that came out of this that they can do to improve their business moving forward.

And what we're going to do is follow up with them a few months from now, and to complete the episode and eventually release this episode. But I think it went really well. And I think that the timing of things and just kind of trying to figure out how to put this together worked pretty well as well. So, I think the way that we're going to do this moving forward, is that half day, followed by me having a half a day to myself, without spending time with the entrepreneurs in the morning and then spending that next afternoon with them, so two half days with the entrepreneur.

The first half day is just discussion about their business and learning about them, how they got into e-commerce, their struggles, their trials and tribulations, all these really cool things about their businesses and stuff like that and the things that they think that we can be helping with. And then going back the next day and trying to do actionable advice and opening up the computers, the laptops, and going over specific things. It was really fun doing that with Lance and Victor. But the cool thing that I want you to hear here is some clips of what they thought how the EcomCrew Roadshow went.

All right, we are at the tail end here of the very first episode of the EcomCrew Roadshow. I can't thank Lance and Victor enough for their hospitality. They allowed me to park the RV here at their condo, which worked out great. It turns out that Scottsdale is a very popular place in March because of spring training and every RV park was sold out. So, the combinations here were great. Also, they treated me to an awesome dinner last night and took us to a great spot for lunch today.

But the most important thing is it's just been fun hanging out with a couple of other entrepreneurs talking about their business. It feels like we covered a lot. We have 11 things on their priority list. And I'm going to let them tell you how they think that this went. So, hopefully, this will encourage you to go over to EcomCrew.com/roadshow and sign up, I’m looking forward to meeting a lot more entrepreneurs. But let's turn it over to Victor first here and get his take away on the experience. So, let me switch the camera.

Victor: Mike, thank you, man, thank you for your time and kind of going through our business and basically doing an Ecom boot camp.  You've identified our weaknesses, our strength, things to focus on, and I think we're ready to kind of triple our business in the next year, like we did before, and really excited to tackle everything we've learned in the last two days.

Mike: Awesome man. And what about you Lance, how do you think the experience went?

Lance: Literally priceless to spend a couple of days with you and go through every piece of the business. Things that we even thought we were doing well and just have you pick apart and just expect excellence out of everything that you do and just being able to learn from you and learn all the intricacies of what can make a business hum was just amazing, just blown away by how much we learned. And I mean, we literally have a year worth of stuff that can triple our business when implemented. So, thank you.

Mike: cool, man. All right, so that's hearing it from them firsthand. It seems like they got quite a bit out of it. Like I said, I had a blast doing this. It's been fun hanging out in Phoenix. So now we're going to head on down the road to Tucson to see my buddy Andrew Youderian, spend a couple of days there and then on our way down to Austin to do another EcomCrew Roadshow and finally over to Dallas. So again, if you're interested in doing this, go to EcomCrew.com/roadshow. We're going to pick it up again this summer, so if you're interested go over there and apply now, EcomCrew.com/roadshow. All right guys, until the next video, happy selling and we'll talk to you soon.

All right man, it was awesome hearing these guys’ experiences firsthand. I really appreciate them opening up their home to me and their business, and hopefully they got a ton out of it. Like I said, it was 11 actionable items. Hopefully these are things that really take their business to the next level. They share with me that the things that we've been helping them with on the podcast and with EcomCrew Premium have actually tripled their business. I couldn't believe when they said that. I actually stopped what I was doing at that moment and put the camera in their face and said; please say that again so we can use that as a testimonial. It was really awesome to hear that.

My hope is that the stuff that we did at EcomCrew Roadshow has the same effect on their business, and I have a feeling it will be. I think we helped them identify some really tough decisions they have to make in their business, things that they can do to move towards their life goals, and their business goals. And I'm excited to see what the outcome is. And hopefully this episode here gives you a good idea of what the EcomCrew Roadshow is going to be about, what to expect when these episodes drop, and hopefully gives you some excitement to want to be on the EcomCrew Roadshow yourself. I want to see a whole bunch more applications.

I'm looking forward to traveling around the country throughout 2019 and even 2020 interviewing people, helping them and turning these into some awesome pieces of content for the EcomCrew Podcast. I think it's going to be a very exciting couple of years to come. If you're interested at all in the EcomCrew Roadshow, head over to EcomCrew.com/roadshow, apply today. Just because you apply there's no guarantee that you'll be selected, but we do look at every single application, read every word that comes in. And we're mapping out coordinates of all the different people, obviously realize that geography here is going to play a big part of it and we're going to try to string together a whole bunch of these as efficiently as possible.

And we'll do them in segments throughout the year, so there might be like a north east roadshow at one point and maybe a northwest roadshow, and right now I’m kind of doing a partial southwest roadshow. So, you kind of get the idea, I want to string them together to make it efficient to record as many of these as possible. We have the RV, we have all the equipment with us and makes it easy to go from place to place and makes it a sense of adventure for us to do, and I’m really excited to be doing this.

The next one I'm going to be doing is going to be in Austin and hopefully another one in Dallas after that. And then from there, we're going to take a break over the summer, like I said, or take a break for a couple of months until we come back in the summer to do more. So, we're looking forward to doing a whole bunch over the summer and possibly this fall, EcomCrew.com/roadshow folks. All right, that's going to do it for this episode, episode 234 in the books.

I want to thank you guys for all your support of the EcomCrew Podcast. It means the world to Dave and I that you guys still listen after all this time, and we keep on getting more people telling other people about the podcast. It keeps growing every single month. It's really exciting to see us become one of the top e-commerce podcasts and it's taken a long time. It is a lesson in if you put your mind to something and apply constant pressure to it, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, whatever the cadences or whatever it is that you're doing, over time, it will continue to grow. And this is definitely an example of that.

So, hopefully that's some inspiration for you in your business and something that you're working on and thinking about, put your mind to it, stick with it and don't stop doing it, and eventually it will get traction and pay off. All right guys, it's going to do it for this episode. I want to thank you guys again, and until the next one, 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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