E265: Getting Into an Ecommerce Business Later in Life

If you’ve been to a handful of ecommerce live events, chances are you’ve met Carole Rains. She’s a regular at these functions and always has a ready smile for anyone.

Carole Rains didn’t become a solopreneur until later in life. She started her career in the pharmaceutical industry and then transitioned to becoming a chef. The years and monotonous pace led her to an interest in ecommerce. Today, she’s the proud owner of two stores, Rustic Artistry and Emu Joy.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Carole’s thoughts about getting more women in ecommerce (3:57)
  • Carole’s take on getting into ecommerce later in life (7:31)
  • How she started her first store (11:22)
  • How she got her second store (11:39)
  • How she makes her businesses work for her lifestyle (14:14)
  • Challenges she faces in running her businesses (23:00)

This episode is part of our Women’s Month celebration. We’d love to see more women in the ecommerce industry, so if you are a female business owner, head over to www.ecomcrew.com/underthehood and tell us your story. We’d love to feature you on the podcast.

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 the 265th edition of the EcomCrew Podcast. Ever so slowly, marching towards Episode 300, that’ll be a fun milestone to hit later this year. Its incredible how many of these that we’ve done, and how far we’ve come since Episode 1. I was just listening to Episode 1 the other day, talking to Grant — we were just talking a couple days ago and I went back and listened to that and it was cringe worthy and its funny how far we’ve come, and I just think that we can continue to do better. We are working on making better content, and I think that this Women’s Month content is a big part of that. 

There’s been some amazing women entrepreneurs that have come on so far, and today’s entrepreneur is no different, no other than Carole Rains on the podcast. Anyone that has ever been to a live event, Carole goes to a lot of them and most people that go to these events end up meeting her because everyone talks about her, everyone tries to introduce you to Carole, she’s just the nicest person ever. I mean, she’s incredible and I look forward to seeing her smiling face and giving her a hug at every one of these events, that’s one of the things I look forward to the most and catching up with her about her life and her kids and all of the things that she’s been up to since we last got to catch up but its always just fun chatting with her and its cool seeing how someone who’s in the older age bracket, has gone off and learnt new skills and done those things and that’s something that we’ve talked about here on this podcast. 

And we have a pretty cool casual conversation about that. Pretty neat, I think and it goes to show you, anyone can do this whether you’re a woman, whether you’re an older person, whether you– whatever background you have, anyone can do it if you set your mind to it, and Carole’s just a testament to that and I think that you’re going to enjoy the roundabout way that she got into Ecommerce, the sites that she has, and some other things that we get to chat about.

So without further ado, let’s get into this episode with Carole, I hope you guys enjoy it and we’ll talk to you on the other side of this break. 

Mike: Hey Carole, welcome to the Ecomcrew podcast! 

Carole: Hey Mike! 

Mike: Its great to have you here, you’re one of my favourites. Whenever I go and travel to all these events, you seem to always be there and you always have this amazing smile on your face and a welcome hug that greets us from our long jetlagged travels and its great to finally get you on the podcast now. 

Carole: Well I have a big smile right now and I’m sending you a virtual hug. 

Mike: Thank you! (laughs) I know what that looks like so I immediately lit up. If anybody is ever at one of these conferences, you go to quite a few of them, definitely reach out to Carole and say hi to her. She’s one of the sweethearts of the industry, everybody knows her. Its funny, you get this reputation of everywhere you go, there’s always people like “hey, Carole Rains is in the house!” when I’m on stage, they see you and call you out and that’s — you gotta be a special person when everyone’s doing that. So thank you for coming in and doing this.

Carole: I’m infamous. 

Mike: Yes, infamous, the infamous Carole Rains. So we’re talking just a little bit before recording this, and the main reason that I wanted to have you on now specifically is cause we’re doing this women’s month thing and I don’t wanna keep going over the background because people that have been listening to this whole series know the backstory. But in a nutshell, you don’t have to be Einstein to realize that there is a lack of women in entrepreneurship in general and I think that its even more profound in Ecommerce and I know that we do have women that listen and maybe some of them are on the fence and my hope is that through this series, we can convince even one person to take that leap and come do Ecommerce or come get an entrepreneurship. 

Along the way, there’s a lot of men that listen, I think that they’ll enjoy hearing all the awesome things that these women have created because there’s definitely some cool stories. You have two ecommerce businesses that we’re gonna talk about here in just a little bit but let’s start the whole conversation off on from your perspective, from a woman’s perspective, why do you think there is that lack of women in entrepreneurship and Ecommerce? 

Carole: I don’t– I actually don’t know and I don’t think that there should be because its– to me, its a gender neutral business to be in and everybody’s got the smarts and the ambition innately to be able to do this whether you’re a man or a woman. And it may just be more guys are talking to each other and getting inspired by them, by each other where as women aren’t having those conversations together. So hopefully as time goes by, there will be a lot more women. It certainly– you know, when I attended my first Ecommerce Fuel live event, there was 5 women there, I think. 

Mike: Out of like a hundred people, right? It was like a hundred– 

Carole: Yeah out of a hundred plus, I think, people and thankfully that’s gone up over the years and now I’ve attended some other conferences, Steve Chou’s event and its maybe 20% or more women there, maybe even higher than that. There is a trend now of women going into ecommerce, and all ages of women too, which is good to see and that’s part of my story too, is getting into ecommerce in mid-life and not in my twenties and thirties which is when most people do. 

Mike: Yeap, I was actually going to mention that too because — we won’t reveal our age, unless you want to but you’re older than me, I think that’s fair to say and one of the things that I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older and its I think, my first exposure to when you start feeling a little bit older because when you’re younger you hear all these stories and you always kinda brush it off but being just honest and raw, I find it definitely much harder to learn new things now like I’ve definitely felt this level of frustration with technology that I never used to feel. 

Y’know I used to just kind of innately just get it, like I didn’t have to be– like I didn’t have to learn it, I would just like immediately understand it and then there was a period where I kinda had to put some effort into learning it and now it feels like as I’m learning it sometimes, I feel like I get more frustrated easier, do you feel that at all? Or do you just power through that?  

Carole: Yeah, because its getting more technical and there’s now so many more options so you know, even when I’m working on Amazon or like Amazon PPC, they’ve added so many bells and whistles that they’ve taken something that was initially fairly straightforward and just complicated the hell out of it with all kinds of upbids, downbids, and…

Mike: Right, right.

Carole: It makes your head spin trying to make heads or tails out of all of this. So its the nature of the beast that, yknow, the technology that we use is getting more complicated and you do have to really study and read about it and test it out to be able to do it because its not innate anymore. 

Mike: Yeah. 

Carole: You know, what we have to do to succeed in Ecommerce 

Mike: Yeah and its definitely, I guess another thing that you’ve been building on that thought process, another thing that I’ve noticed– I’m always talking about this book “Who Moved My Cheese?” and I’ve always felt like I’ve adapted to change so easily and so well, and actually kinda welcomed it. And I think that’s been one of my biggest attributes in terms of being successful. Another thing that makes me feel a little bit older now is I don’t feel quite as ambitious towards change anymore, or as eager for the change because learning is difficult, it takes a lot of work and I think at some point, you kinda slow down a little bit and become more set in your ways or you feel like you put so much effort into learning a skill and get frustrated when it changes. 

And that’s something that I also didn’t– I don’t think I felt that way as much when I was younger. I felt like it was my competitive edge. I guess things change, I’d be the first one to know it and I still feel that way but its not the same as it used to be if that makes sense? 

Carole: Mhmm. I found something a little bit different from that when I got into ecommerce, because I had been– I had the first half of my career was in pharmaceutical advertising and marketing and did all types of things in that: media planning and account work, and print production and from there, I went on to go into the food industry and I was a chef for 17 years and what happened with that was it became very rote and I was making the same things all the time and it would just– I wasn’t using my brain at all. 

And that was part of the impetus for getting out of that and going into ecommerce and starting my own business and so for me, that time of my life learning and reading everything to learn about ecommerce and how to run a business was actually very inspiring and energizing for me to learn about all that and I think its because my brain just needed it. It was just going to start to turn to mush if I made another batch of Chili. 

So for me, the first 6 months when I spent so much time just reading everything I could find and you know, listening to webinars and learning about the logistics of starting an ecommerce business. I found that I really, really enjoyed that and also, it was great to be learning something and not have to take a test on it like in college or in high school. That made it a whole lot more appealing to be able to go at my own pace. 

And I just found the whole thing fascinating to learn an entirely new subject that I only knew about as a customer, that’s kind of why I decided that ecommerce would be good, because I know how to shop online so I know what I’m looking for as a customer so I should be able to give that back as a seller, so that was really a lot of fun but I’ve been a continuous learner on ecommerce and actually, I get teased a lot about always watching webinars, and everything. 

So I have cutbacks so I can actually do some real work instead of just watching webinars, but that’s how I keep up to date with what’s going on and you know, the way this technology and what’s happening in the industry so I find it fun and useful to subscribe to the thought leaders, like Ecomcrew, and different ones, and watch certain people when they put on their webinars, they’re always super super useful, and I get great information about them. 

Mike: Yeah, and I think that that part’s definitely important because we’re just here talking about how things are constantly changing and get more complicated and whenever there’s something new, I think that’s when the biggest opportunities present themselves because when its something new and there isn’t– the supply way exceeds the demands or whatever it is, I mean Facebook ads was that thing for me maybe four or five years ago like there just wasn’t a lot of people on that platform and now its become very saturated and everyone is kinda doing it and its becoming harder and harder. 

But if you can be an early adopter, its great. I think the newer thing for that now is Facebook Messenger where it still works incredibly well but it is getting more and more difficult, and there’s just always something else out there. There’s always going to be some new neat thing to learn which is definitely cool in some respect, and I guess gets kind of exhausting in another perspective. 

Carole: Yeah, that’s kinda what I was thinking, sometimes it just gets to be like, too much stuff in your head and I remember when I started, Instagram was still pretty new but it was up and coming and I could see that but I just didn’t have enough space in my head to do Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram and Twitter, whatever else was– LinkedIn ads and things like that. Eventually you just have to say enough’s enough and I’m one person, I only have so much bandwidth, so I’m going to focus on this and this marketing approach and just I can’t do them all. 

Mike: So speaking of when you first got started, let’s kind of go back to the beginning in ecommerce. How many years ago was it that you got into ecommerce? 

Carole: I started in 2013, my first site RusticArtistry went live in the summer of 2013 and I did that for about a year and thought by that time Michael, I’m so smart in Ecommerce, I like, I get all this, I know how to do that and now I want a second business that’s gonna have more daily sales because RusticArtistry being custom rustic furniture and decor, they’re expensive items for a lot of them and the orders are sporadic. 

So that’s when I first learned about Emu oil, and what Emu oil could do for skin and muscles and joints and pain and all that and decided I would launch that store because I thought “Oh, I have all this knowledge I could just parlay this over to the second business and I didn’t realize that even though the knowledge goes across both businesses, that it does literally double the amount of work that you have. 

So I was just apparently a little naive about that and what it would entail, that being said, I’m still super glad that I started the second business and that’s been going on for 4 years now and sometimes, it makes me a little scrambled, bouncing back and forth between emails between the two businesses and different marketing initiatives, but I guess it keeps me on my toes. So that’s a good thing. 

Mike: Yeah, and Dana, who’s one of the other people who is going to be a part of the women’s month thing here, talked at length about how– cause I’ve fallen into the same trap and I do it in every niche I get into, I don’t know how I can’t learn this lesson, but maybe one day I will but it seems so easy and so sexy to start that second thing or that third thing, fourth thing, and in your head it will be easier next time and I can have this economy as a scale and all these different things. 

The reality is that its not that way. I actually find it to be even more difficult to do multiple things. I’m trying to get back to this “the one thing” or maybe its two things, I’m debating. But certainly, less is more has been the strategy over the past year and that’s the theme for the year this year especially and its been working well. I mean like, our profits are up, we’re going to make some hard decisions and get rid of a couple of things and start focusing more of our time and attention on what we have and not the new shiny object because it is difficult. 

And inevitably, there’s only so many hours in a day and if you’re sending out emails for two different brands, your thoughts, your headspace is divided in two now and are you going to do half as good of a job? Maybe not, but probably not a 100% as good of a job as you could have but was the only way that you had to make money and you were focusing on that one thing. 

Carole: That’s my biggest concern, is that yeah I’m not doing as much as I could for either business by splitting it but everytime I think about picking one over the other, i can’t do it and I’ll think, I’m just going to focus on this one and then all this action happens on the other business and vice versa, so I’ve basically given up trying to give priority to one or the other, I just try to manage them both the best that I can. 

And for me, I also want to really keep a work life balance, and that was one of the biggest reasons that I started my own business. When I was at a restaurant, I had to be there to cook or the food wasn’t going to get done. It wasn’t like I could call somebody else in, there just wasn’t other people so it was really hard to take any time off or to do any travel or go do something with my sister or my kids or whatever and I wanted that time flexibility. 

And I’ve gotta say, that’s one of the things that I love the most about being in this industry is that I can go where I want, when I want and as long as I got my laptop or a phone, I can take care of any kind of business emergency that comes up. I go on a cruise, and I’ll just buy the internet plan and do my work for an hour at most a day. Just check in on the emails and see if anything has to be done. And it works out fine. 

Some days I do a lot of work, some days I do less work and that’s fine with me. I’m not trying to build a giant 10 million dollar business.. That’s not what I want at this point of my life, and I don’t want that kind of stress and management issues. So I purposely want my business to stay fairly small, so that I can manage them on my own and if its a beautiful day, and the weather’s great, and I want to take a walk then I will go do that. And that’s how my priorities go. Its just making this business work for my lifestyle. 

Mike: Yeah, I love it. You know, the “know what your why is, and don’t forget that” type of thing And its easy to– you know, when one business is doing well to get sucked into it and not go take that walk or when you’re at your family’s visiting, like spend all of your time indoors on the computer because you’re trying to grow it and keep pace with that which is very easy to get sucked into, but it sounds like you’ve done a good job just keeping things in balance and making sure that you’re taking care of the lifestyle stuff and prioritizing that over the money. 

Carole: Yeah. I am and you know, sometimes I would like to have more revenue as long as it would equal more net profits but its a trade off. The bigger you get the more issues you have and the more headaches, so at this stage of my life, I’m where I want to be with this. 

And I’ve still got plenty of fires to put out that I have to put out and different things to do. But I have great interactions with my customers, I had somebody call me today and really wanted to talk about some of the emu products and I was on the phone with her for like 20 minutes. But it was just a great conversation and she ordered for a friend and you know, I know this is going to turn into a good, long term customer so it was worth it but those interactions are actually what bring me joy and happiness out of working on this business and its actually having an impact on somebody’s life, so not just selling widgets. 

Mike: Yeap, which I think is really important. Alright, so let’s rewind back to 2013, I don’t know this story so I’m going to be learning along with everybody else out there but you decided you wanted to be out of the kitchen and doing Ecommerce, why the Rustic Artistry? How did you get into that particular niche, out of the millions of things that you could have picked right? 

Carole: So I was trying to think of what I could sell, what product I could sell and what were my interests, and back at that time, I was just trying to think, I wasn’t necessarily looking for something that would be just a good item to sell on paper, you know like how people would research products to sell on Amazon and its because all the numbers fit. And you know, they couldn’t care less about the product but it made sense financially. That was not where my head was at, at all. 

I really wanted to be working on something that had a personal interest for me so at that time, I had always been kind of a girl who liked the woods and being in the woods and was always sort of thought it would be nice to have a cabin, so I was thinking of cabin type furniture, and that’s what I started out with. It was basically things that were manufactured by regular, big manufacturers, not hand-crafted stuff, but just regular lighting and rugs and things like that, things that you would find in a cabin. And I set up wholesale accounts with those and I started with that just to get some listings going and then, I guess one day I saw some things online that were by an individual craftsman, some furniture that I wanted to carry. 

And I just reached out to this craftsperson and said you know, here I have this website, RusticArtistry and this is who my target is, and may I put some of your pieces on the website, and if I sell them I’ll take a commission. So they figured, no sweat off their back, if I sell it, that’s fine and if I don’t, that didn’t cost them anything so they signed on. And then I started finding more and more of these craftsmen through different sources, just google image searches and looking at things like Vermont Woodworkers Association and looking at all their members and googling them. 

And when I found somebody who’s work I really liked, I just reached out to them and pitched my business which is to represent them and to do the marketing for them while they’re busy in the workshop building furniture, or making lampshades or cutting boards or whatever it might be. So eventually I decided, I just wanted to only represent these craftspeople, and have real unique, one of a kind, handmade things as opposed to having items where you could just look up the SKU on Google and find ten different places that sell the same item. So I transitioned into being completely representing American Craftsmen and their made to order items, for Cabins or Western Ranches and Lodges and kind of a mountain-elegant look is what I’m going for with my merchandise. 

Mike: Gotcha. So you’ve already kind of eluded to about a year down the road or maybe to kinda started, I don’t know, your mind was wandering or whatever, you had heard about something else, you suffered from the Shiny Object Syndrome and then got into the emu thing which is a completely different world and you go from a dropship business, that you’re relying on someone else to deal with all the fulfillment and custom made one of a kind type things which presents its own challenges and everything. But also has a lot of benefits, because you’re not having to hold inventory and a bunch of other things like this to a business that’s the opposite of all that. 

(Laughs) How did that happen? 

Carole: The reason that happened, was that I had been reading a blog post that was written by a home decor blogger that I was reading for the Rustic Artistry business and out of the blue one day, she wrote this post about emu oil and how it had been so great for her eczema and her dry skin and whatnot. That she’s like, you guys, you have to know about this product, and so I’m not going to talk about decorating today, here’s the thing about emu oil. And I had never heard of it, never even heard it mentioned. But she got me intrigued and I started researching it and googling and the more I read, the more I thought, this is a really interesting item and this is an all-natural oil that can totally help a lot of people and there’s nothing wrong that could ever cause a problem. Its hypoallergenic, its anti-inflammatory and i think I am the one that needs to let the world know about this product and bring some relief to people with eczema and whatnot, so it was almost like a calling to spread the word about this. 

And it fit the criteria of what I was looking for in a second ecommerce business, which was something that would have multiple sales on a daily business so that’s when I decided that’s what I was gonna have for the next business and then I went about finding suppliers, and I was looking at different Emu farms and different ones, I wanted one that only used natural ingredients in their products and ended up finding one that I really wanted to work with but they did not want to work with me, they apparently had been burned with another private labellers in the past. 

Mike: Interesting. 

Carole: I had to go to my second choice, and I was just about to sign a contract with them, I shot an email to the original people, I said “if you ever change your mind, keep me in my mind”. And she wrote back and said, “You know what? We just got a good feeling about you and we’re gonna give it a try” and I’m so happy, its the nicest– its a mom and pop emu farm and they’re the nicest people, and they take great care of me and I, in turn, give them lots of extra business. So its been just wonderful working with them and the product is so good that comes out of their farm. Their emus are raised really really well and that has a direct impact on the quality of the oil, so I can always sell this with complete ethical good conscience, that I’m putting a good product out there for people that’s actually going to help them. 

Mike: Very cool. Yeah, I mean that’s an awesome story, I like how all that happened but this has presented its own challenges, I know you just from chatting, so what would you say have been some of the challenges of the physical base business versus the dropship business? 

Carole: Oh cash flow, of course. And just keeping track of inventory. I try to keep my inventory so tight which sometimes bites me in the butt, because then I don’t end up getting what I need in time before I go out of stock. Luckily, I’m not importing from China, I don’t have those kinds of long timelines, but still my products have to be– you know, they’re literally made in a lab and all the ingredients have to be poured and mixed and put into jars and labelled and so, sometimes it can take a few weeks, and then transit time and what not. 

So just getting used to the cash flow issue was a challenge, I certainly had my share of issues with trademarks and names, the brand was originally called “Emu Bliss” and when I applied for the trademark, a big company named Bliss opposed the trademark, and I had to then completely change all my labels and all my packaging, my website, everything, all my emails to a new name because I was not able to use the word “Bliss” in my product name.

So that was a giant time suck, but it was– there’s always crap that happens in a business, I don’t know anybody who hasn’t had to deal with some kind of fiasco so you kinda just gotta suck it up and work through it, which I did. I mean, now that’s totally in the past and I like the name that I have now, but man, that was brutal while I was going through that. But you know its a matter of when and not if something’s going to happen so… 

Mike: Yeah and its just how well you deal with it and… 

Carole: Yeah, exactly. And that’s a part of the good thing, I think, about being a little bit older is that I think I’m a little bit more relaxed and calm under pressure, I think that’s part of the one benefit of age is that you tend to take things a little more into perspective. And know that this is bad for this time period but its always going to resolve itself. Try not to lose too too much sleep over issues like that. 

Mike: Yeah. Its something I’ve learned to deal with a lot differently as well, I remember when I was younger and these types of things would happen and I would just think that it was only happening to me, I was the really unlucky one. Its like why is all of this unlucky stuff continuously happening and I would just take it so personally and I’d spend all my time getting spun up about those things and now, like I have a totally different perspective on it, its like obviously this was going to happen. You know, whatever the hell it is, just like, yup whatever, of course whatever this is just happened. 

And we’re actually going through a trademark thing ourselves ironically right now, a somewhat similar thing but its a smaller company that’s opposing it and its just a waste of money and time but its just, yup, whatever. You know, its just like the lawyers are working on it, its gonna cost me some money, but if it wasn’t this, it would be something else and why sit here and stress about it and lose sleep over it or I would spend so much time getting spun up about that when I could be spending that on something else in my company and plus it just would also put me in a bad frame of mind.

I think that it was just bad for my body in terms of stress and my thought process and where I am just mentally  and now its just, yup, whatever. Someone else will deal with it, the lawyers are dealing with it, we’ll work through it and these types of things are gonna happen. We had one of our employees drive the forklift into the garage door a few days ago, its like yup whatever, obviously I gotta deal with it, that’s a $2000 expense that I wasn’t expecting today but if it wasn’t that, it would be something else, and I guess in the grand scheme of things, that’s better than a 20,000 or 200,000 dollar expense so fix the door and whatever, and just move on and not make a big deal out of it and shame the employee because we all make mistakes and he knew that he screwed up and what else are you gonna do? You just get used to this stuff in business and move on.

Carole: Its great that we have a support group too. Now, anytime I run into an issue, I know where I can go to ask the questions and somebody will have been through this and can give me some advice. That makes it super helpful, so that even though I’m working just by myself here, I never really feel like I’m alone because of all the different people that I’ve come to know in the industry and that are so willing to lend a hand and provide advice whenever its needed. Its a very supportive group of people who are in ecommerce. 

Mike: Yeah, I mean that’s why I love ecommerce so much. I’m sure I’ll end up doing something else someday, it just seems to be the way it is for me. This is about the time when I would get disinterested in what I’m doing, I kinda go through these 7-year cycles, it seems like. I was looking back in life and this is one that I just have no interest in going to do anything else right now because its all about the people. I love the people in this niche, people like you, perfect example. 

Why would I want to get into another niche where I don’t have that? Its like the ones I’ve been in before where its so cutthroat, and they’d stab their mom in the back if they can make an extra buck. This is the first niche I’ve been in where for the most part there’s always the rotten apple but the vast majority of people that you run into are just genuinely awesome people and its fun to hang out with them and talk about business and life and all this different things versus the online poker industry for instance, which I used to be in, where it was literally the polar opposite like I’d find the one or two people that were the hidden gems in the whole niche and that was, one of them used to be the podcast host with me, Grant, and a good friend of mine, Jason. 

I mean, there was just so few people like that and I just didn’t want to be in it anymore versus this, its like there’s so few people that are cutthroat, and they do exist, and I’m not gonna name any names. Its few and far between. 

Carole: Yeah, exactly. Its very easy to find people who are very generous with their time and their support and that’s why I think I wish more women would get into Ecommerce because it is actually a kind of nurturing community and even the men are very nurturing. Its not just the women nurturing the women, I’ve certainly been mentored and helped greatly by all the guys that I’ve met.

Mike: Well, you’re welcome Carole! 

Carole: (Laughs) So I think its a great industry for women to get into and at any age really, because you can just start with a laptop and a little space in your apartment really to dip a toe into it. And also without a really huge financial investment. I was literally so ignorant when I started, I didn’t even realize that I should probably put 5 or 10 thousand dollars aside for buying inventory and whatnot.

When I started the emu business, I was putting down $2,000 at a time from my personal checking account into the business. I really hadn’t even thought about, oh you should have some startup capital and whatnot and I was just trying to really bootstrap it. Every month not spend more than what I had there. So that probably slowed down my initial growth, and maybe that’s something– that’s something I think was actually lacking from the training, which is to get your finances in order just to start the business. 

And what you need for filing for LLCs, and that kinda thing, and buying product and stuff, and what you kinda have to have stocked away just to be able to get started. But its not that much, something that a lot of people might have in their savings, or borrow a couple thousand dollars or something to get started so I don’t think people should stay away, because its going to cost too much to do it, its a gradual thing and you just work your way up.  

Mike: Yup, couldn’t agree more. So couple key takeaways that I have that I think that everyone should listen and just kinda read between the lines here. Number #1: Get into something that you have a personal interest in. I think that this is something that I’ve gravitated towards and realized through the school of hard knocks that its just so much better that way. I mean, you have a personal interest in as you said, the rustic type of furniture and being outdoors and this is something you’re personally interested and passionate about. Same thing with the emu oil, its not just numbers on a page. For the most part, the businesses that I’ve run up to this point in ecommerce have been that.

Its been some sort of business case reason that I’ve gotten into it and its worked okay for me I mean but I know that the next things that I do which are gonna be stuff that I have a personal interest in and we’ll be talking about that in ecomcrew as it progresses, we’ll do better. I think it’ll do better in profitability and revenue but it’ll also be better for me personally, like I’ll enjoy it more.

Carole: Exactly. I think if your heart is in it, it makes a big difference. And you know, they say if you’re selling widgets and your business is doing well, then that’ll make you happy, but I think you still gotta have something that you can get behind mentally and emotionally and the world needs another garlic pressor. But there’s other products out there that you can really do something good with and put something good out into the world that’s not just another utensil or whatever. 

And its just more fun to think about that and think about ways that you might be able to bring something positive into somebody’s life by the piece that you’re selling. 

Mike: Yup. I couldn’t agree more. Cool Carole, I think that’s an awesome place to leave it, thank you so much for coming on and doing this today. Thank you for everything you do and looking forward to seeing you in the next event whenever that might be. 

Carole: My pleasure. Not soon enough. Thanks Mike!

Mike: Thanks Carole! 

Alright everyone, that’s gonna wrap it up for the 265th edition of the Ecomcrew Podcast. As a reminder you can go to Ecomcrew.com/265 to get to the shownotes of this episode, Carole would love to hear from you, go leave a comment! If you got a chance also, go over to iTunes and leave us a review. We really need those reviews guys, we’re trying to be the #1 Ecommerce podcast out there and without your review we can’t do that. 

I wanna get some bragging rights with my friends next time I’m at these conferences and tell them that we’re number one, even though we’ll probably never be there, some really great ones out there and they’re all my friends so check those out too, Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job got an awesome podcast, Scott Voelker the Amazing Seller, Andrew Youderian over at Ecommerce Fuel, all awesome podcasts, check those out as well. 

But if you do have a chance to leave us a review, we’ll really appreciate it. Besides that, that’s gonna wrap it up for the 4th women’s month episode, we’ve got 5 more to go. 5 more awesome women coming on and doing this with us, I think that you guys are gonna enjoy all these episodes, we got some great entrepreneurs come and do it. Again, it proves that women can be doing this too. So if you’re a woman listening to this and you’re on the fence, go jump in with two feet. Let’s do it. And tell us that you’ve done it, send us an email, and we’ll have you on the podcast too and talk about how this series maybe influenced you to go start an entrepreneurship or an ecommerce company. So we would love to hear those stories as well. 

Alright guys again, thank you so much for everything and until the next episode, 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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Rebecca Melsky
5 years ago

Mike – I love your podcast. I’ve been listening for a few years now. I appreciate your focus on women in ecommerce since the podcasts and forums out there right now are very male-heavy. I can tell you’re genuinely interested in how to get more women into the ecommerce world that you’re in and how to expand your network to include successful women in ecommerce that you don’t know about. Which is why I’m writing in to let you know that using language like “It goes to show you that anyone can do this – whether you’re a woman or whether you’re an older person or whatever your background is, anyone can do it if you set your mind to it” is not serving your purposes at all. That one sentence undermines what you’re trying to accomplish because you’ve accidentally implied or inadvertently revealed that you believe being a woman is something a person has to overcome in order to be successful in ecommerce.

I’d be happy to talk with you more about this and introduce you to the other women ecommerce entrepreneurs that I know.


Dave Bryant
5 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca Melsky

Hey Rebecca – I told Mike about that too after I listened to the podcast too! I think it was just more him trying to come up with an intro on the fly, but it came across the wrong way.

Carole Rains
5 years ago

Honored to be included with the other women in your July Women in Ecommerce series Mike. Hopefully we are inspiring other women to try out this fun way to make a living.

Dave Bryant
5 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rains

Thanks for being on Carole!

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