EcomCrew Podcast

E296: The Best Episodes of 2019

Today's episode of the Ecomcrew Podcast is the final episode of 2019 and because of that, we have a bit of a treat for you. Dave Bryant will be joining me in this episode and together we'll be going through the Top 10 Ecomcrew Podcast Episodes of the year. To come up with the rankings, we took into consideration several statistics such as average minutes played, total downloads, pulling data from all the places that we host the podcast, like Spotify, iTunes, and even from the blog itself.

Now this does mean that we won't have an episode for next week, just to give you guys the opportunity to spend the remaining days of 2019 with your friends and family, and to get ready for the New Year as we approach 2020.

As always, and for the final time this year: Happy Selling, and we'll talk to you soon.

Full Audio Transcript

Mike: [00:00:38] The Ecomcrew podcast is a candid look behind the curtain. I listen to a lot of ecommerce podcasts – and Mike and Dave are by far my favorite. They are honest and genuine about the true benefits and challenges in ecommerce, with a bit of fun personal highs and lows too – which I like – it makes the podcast more interesting and gives context for their views on their own businesses. This is the one podcast I try not to miss – even when I am busy – because it both motivates me and gives me real actionable steps to improve my own business. Thanks so much for that review, KDS. And now, on with the show.

Mike: [00:00:00] This is Mike and welcome to Episode 296 of the Ecomcrew podcast, the final episode of the Ecomcrew podcast in 2019. Where did this year go? It's crazy. Absolutely nuts. We are going to take the week off next week between Christmas and New Year's. Most people are kind of off in La La Land at that point anyway. And even this week it's kind of a crazy week. So we wanted to do this wrap up episode right now. Thought it was a good time to do that. The Best Ecomcrew podcast of 2019, little commentary and banter back and forth with my boy, Dave Bryant. We weren't gonna do this episode. I mentioned this in the actual episode, but we weren't gonna do this episode because we thought no one would listen to these. And last year we just did it to kind of fill a hole in this schedule and we were doing two per week and I didn't want to put a bunch of fluff out there. But it turns out that it was actually one of the 10 most episodes listened to last year. And I don't know, I guess people like recap episodes. And so we decide, obviously that it made sense to do it again this year. So I hope you guys enjoy the recap episode, we go through and talk about the 10 Most Listened To podcasts of 2019 on the Ecomcrew podcast feed.

Mike: [00:01:49] And we combined a blended score of the number of Raw Listens, the number of minutes consumed and the number of comments that were left to come up with the final score of the most popular podcast of the year. Podcasting is a really weird medium to just pick one of those metrics alone to measure success because you might have a really short episode that gets a lot of plays. You might have a longer episode that that does really well. Dave Couillard's episode on DropShipping, which was over an hour, just crushed it on that metric and it was just a great episode from that perspective. And we had the Four Burner Theory, which also did really well but didn't get a lot of minutes played because it was a shorter episode. So we took all this into account and blended a score and came up with what we think was the fairest way to name the Top 10 Podcast of 2019. With that said, this is the last opportunity that I have to beg, plead, and grovel with you guys for a review over on iTunes. We really do appreciate it. Again, think of it as a New Year's gift for Dave and I, a holiday gift. These reviews make the world of difference for the Ecomcrew podcast getting rankings. And I'm very competitive and we're trying to become one of the top four ecommerce podcast because when you type in “ecommerce” into iTunes, that shows the Top 4 Podcasts if you're on desktop.

Mike: [00:03:03] And I want to be on that narrative, I want to see if we can be up there. We're on page 2, we're getting close. It's pretty cool even being up there. It's actually very humbling being in that conversation. We were just on a Top 10 list that Summa put out earlier this year of the most influential people in ecommerce. And so, man, it's been a crazy year. Things like this keep happening. I got invited to speak back at a bunch of conferences. I just did this online one with Ezra and he was texting me like, just telling me what a great job on that. So it's really cool to just see where things have come. And it really shows you if you stick with things, that it pays off. And we really appreciate you guy's support. So again, if you can leave the review, awesome. If not, I'll probably still love you anyway. Give you a hug next time I see you. That's just how we are. But we do appreciate the review if you can do it. Alright, guys, let's get into the Top 10 podcasts of 2019. I hope you guys enjoy this episode with my friend, Dave Bryant. Let's do it.

Intro: [00:03:57] Welcome to the Ecomcrew podcast. The Web's most transparent podcast from two seven-figure sellers who share the good, bad and the ugly about running an ecommerce business. You'll learn how we build our brands, find products and develop marketing strategies that will help you start and grow your own million dollar ecommerce brand. And now your hosts, Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant.

Mike: [00:04:23] This is Mike.

Dave: [00:04:24] This is Dave.

Mike: [00:04:24] And welcome to this edition of the Ecomcrew podcast, the final Ecomcrew podcast of 2019. Where'd this year go, Dave?

Dave: [00:04:32] I think it went eleven months ago.

Mike: [00:04:34] Right, yeah, okay. That was the answer, kind of the answer I expected from you.

Dave: [00:04:38] I am always very insightful. That's why I'm on here.

Mike: [00:04:41] Yeah.

Dave: [00:04:41] That's why I am part of the Ecomcrew.

Mike: [00:04:43] You're so insightful that none of your podcasts made it onto this list we're talking about today.

Dave: [00:04:48] Well, I haven't done many solo episodes this year, so I believe that is a challenge that I am going to have to do solo episode for the rest of December.

Mike: [00:04:57] Nice so you'll start the next year out, doing all the solo episodes and try to get on this list for next year.

Dave: [00:05:02] I'm going to try to game the system.

Mike: [00:05:03] Yeah, well, we have a pretty packed episode for today and we try to keep this at 30 minutes. So we're going to keep the banter to a minimum. But basically what we're gonna be doing today is going through the top episodes of 2019. And we thought about not even doing this episode again this year because we felt like this would be an episode that people just don't care about. It's kind of a filler episode.

Mike: [00:05:23] We're doing it during the week of the year that a lot people are on vacation. But it's interesting, as we were researching this episode, last year's recap was on the list. So I think people do listen to it, which is pretty cool. So we're gonna count down from the 10 Most Listened To Episodes of 2019 getting up to #1. And this is a combination of both downloads and minutes listened and comments that we got. We kind of did a blended score for these. And Dave, kick it off with number 10.

Dave: [00:05:54] Alright. Number 10, the 10th most downloaded or listened to episode, however you want to look at it is Episode 215: Amazon or Shopify? Where to focus on maximizing your efforts? And this was an Under The Hood with an Ecomcrew premium member, Yolanda. So the big question was where should somebody focus their energy when developing the brand? Should it be Amazon or should they be focusing on their own website off of Amazon?

Mike: [00:06:19] Yeah, we're gonna try to keep the commentary on these first few to a minimum just because we want to talk about some of these other ones more in depth. But if you are struggling getting started and trying to figure out where to focus on whether it's Amazon or Shopify, I think this is a great episode to listen to. And all these episodes you can get to episode number. So in this case.

Dave: [00:06:42] Yep. And so what are your thoughts on where should somebody focus Amazon or Shopify?

Mike: [00:06:46] I think if you're just getting started, you should be focusing on Amazon. As much as I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon, if you're just getting started and you're kind of an ecommerce neophyte, and you're a solopreneur, Amazon makes things a lot easier than doing it on your own site. When you start doing your own site, you have to be responsible for so many more touch points. And I think that, you know, the reality is that Amazon is the place to start.

Dave: [00:07:12] Yeah. And with that being said, I don't think it should be a “one or the other” type thing. Setting up a Shopify store, setting up a Google feed — which is essential to actually getting sales go through your Shopify store, getting all your products on there. That's a couple hours on the weekend or a couple days' work. It's not going to take you months and months of effort. So the answer is both. But yes, definitely the majority of your time should be spent where the majority of the sales are coming. At least that's my opinion.

Mike: [00:07:39] Yeah and I mean, so what you said there, I completely agree, it's just Amazon has all the built-in traffic and that's the part that's more time consuming to take care of.

Dave: [00:07:47] Yeah, absolutely. So I think we're in agreement there. Amazon, spend your time there, but hopefully don't disregard setting up your own website altogether though.

Dave: [00:07:55] So Episode 216 was the 9th most listened to episode and that was “Plan of Action on Starting a Physical Products Business”, and this was another Under The Hood episode with a member whose product is in pre-launch stages right now. So he actually hasn't launched it. He's just kind of developing it and working out the prelaunch, I guess, process he's gonna go through when he actually does launch the product once it's finished being developed.

Mike: [00:08:18] Yeah. So just another great kind of beginner type episode. If you're just getting started out there in ecommerce land and don't know where to even start with developing a product. We kinda went through some step-by-step things you can do to finding a manufacturer, to making sure you get things inspected, to the final step of getting it actually over here to the United States or wherever it is that you're listening from. And I just think, again, not surprising that this was on the list. It's a great kind of step by step action item type podcast, and those seem to do really well and things that we're learning from when developing content in 2020.

Dave: [00:08:56] Yeah, I think it's a good opportunity here, too, to give a plug for Under the Hood. So I believe the URL, Mike help me out here, it's

Mike: [00:09:04] That is correct. Yeah. We're not very creative so yeah just if you're interested on being on your very own Under The Hood episode just go over there and register. Abby will do a pre-interview with you. But basically the whole concept here is it's a free hour of our time doing a consulting call. We record the call and make it a podcast episode. So we end up winning because we get really good content from someone who's out there listening, which I think is awesome. And we also get to give back to the community and help someone out for an hour where otherwise they wouldn't be able to access us. Again, it's all 100% free of charge and they're among my favorite episodes to do and every year that we've been doing them, several of these Under The Hood episodes have been appearing in the Top 10 list, which is pretty cool.

Dave: [00:09:49] That's something you can stick on your resume for the rest of your life. So apply to and get that coveted Top 10 Podcasts of Ecomcrew in the year that you're applying.

Mike: [00:09:59] Nice.

Dave: [00:10:00] Alright. Number 3, Episode 218. We're almost in sequential order here, so a little bit of background here actually, in January we had a really high number of downloads for a podcast because our good buddy Alan Walton was on the Tim Ferriss podcast and he actually gave a shoutout to Ecomcrew. So we got this huge surge of traffic here. So the episodes from January are a little bit skewed in January just because of that Tim Ferriss mention that we did get.

Mike: [00:10:27] Yeah, and mentioning Alan just real quick, which is actually ironic in terms of timing. He just launched his first physical product, which is pretty cool. He runs, definitely go check that site out. It's just a really great resource for people who are looking for hidden cameras or spy detector stuff and things of this nature. And he's been selling other people's products and doing quite well, making a nice living for himself but now he launches his own product. And I was just down in Dallas for Brand Accelerator Live and got to have coffee with Alan and see the product firsthand and just see how excited he is to get this thing launched. And I know he's in a big social media push right now. But basically, the product he's doing is a hidden camera finder for AirBNBs and ironically, as I'm recording this, another ironic thing, I'm in a AirBNB and I wish I had one of the spy finder things right now, make sure I'm not getting looked at right now.

Dave: [00:11:15] The ironic thing is, is that we have an AirBNB right below us right now and somebody could be using their spy guy camera detector on us.

Mike: [00:11:23] Are you recording people in the AirBNB, Dave?

Dave: [00:11:25] Just in the living room to make sure they don't break anything.

Mike: [00:11:28] (Laughs) Okay.

Dave: [00:11:28] We're not those creepers who put them in the bedrooms or washrooms. We just want to make sure that you're not breaking any cups, you're not leaving any debris there. So other than that, only cameras in the living room.

Mike: [00:11:36] It's all of Kayla's like unbreakable cups anyway, so I'm not really sure they're gonna break them.

Dave: [00:11:41] Well, of course, we only have plastic in our AirBNB.

Mike: [00:11:43] Right, yeah.

Dave: [00:11:44] Alright. Moving on, episode #7, Episode 236. How to establish authority in your niche? So this was another Under The Hood episode with basically the interviewee tried to figure out how do we establish authority for his product and how to actually become an authority in this niche and hopefully help his conversion rates and his sales out as a byproduct of it.

Mike: [00:12:07] Yeah, this was a– I keep saying these are all good episodes. Maybe I'm biased towards the podcast, I can't imagine why. But a guy that was on Five Minute Pitch. If you haven't you heard about Five Minute Pitch, you can go over to and learn more about that. But this was a contest that we ran earlier this year with Greg Mercer, Scott Voulker and Steve Chou and myself. The winner eventually got $50,000 and this gentleman made it pretty deep into the contest. And he makes nets for growing cannabis and super niche thing. And if you're not into cannabis, you're gonna care less about this product. But if you are into growing, which is a hobby for a lot of people, it's something you can be really passionate about. So it really mixes a lot of things that we talk about at Ecomcrew. One of the things I think that's really important, as you're developing a new brand going into 2020 is having a niche with passion and all this content can come out of it. And listening to this guy talk during Five Minute Pitch and Under The Hood, I mean, he knows so much about Cannabis, it's crazy.

Mike: [00:13:10] Yeah, I guess we shouldn't talk too much about this on the podcast, but it was just really, really interesting, like you should be putting out all this continent, becoming an authority in your niche. It's so easy to do, like people, when they're thinking about growing at home, should be thinking about you and your branding, your products. And I haven't gone back to follow up with them because it's happened back in April. But hopefully he's been putting that content out, you know, established himself as an authority in that niche. I think we did a good job with that with ColorIt. You know, and I think that this is what people are going to need to be doing in 2020 and beyond to create a good brand.

Dave: [00:13:46] Welcome to 2019. How to become an authority drug dealer in 36 states in America and its legal, a legal drug dealer. I could have been a very good authority in this niche about 15 years ago.

Dave: [00:14:01] It's just on that note, actually stepping back to seriousness here for a second. One thing I've learned several years ago, the quickest thing you can do to become an authority and so many people are afraid of doing this. But put your face out there, be the face of the brand. That actually means putting your photo on your website, having video content with you talking. You might hate the sound of your voice. I absolutely do. I hate doing a podcast, but I do it because hopefully somebody out there thinks I'm an authority. So you got to put yourself out there if you want to become an authority. And that's the hardest part for most people there. They want to stay, I guess, behind the camera.

Mike: [00:14:36] Yeah. And this is why I think it's so important. If you can get into a niche that you already are an expert in or its your hobby or your thing, because you can become the face of the brand and now, you're not having to hire someone else or rely on someone else to be that person. And as much as I love Erika, she's my cousin and we had a great relationship with ColorIt. You know, it still wasn't me. And so I always had a– there's always that delay. And as an entrepeneur, you want to be able to get something done immediately, I'd have to wait on her to do it in her schedule, which was fair. But, you know, obviously when you're growing at the way that we were, you want it now, like I want my Oompa Loompa and I want it now. And if you can do that yourself and you know, it can get done quicker and it can get done cheaper. And so that's something that I believe in advocating for.

Dave: [00:15:18] Wow, that's exactly how I feel about you as you are basically the face of Ecomcrew. Come on, Mike. Get it done.

Mike: [00:15:25] This makes it so you have to be nice to me, which I like.

Dave: [00:15:28] Well, I guess. Moving on just in terms of time here, we've got to keep things rolling. So I'd love to jab you a little bit more, but we have to move on here. Episode 246: Why I Sold Color It and that was done in May, I guess, just after you sold Color It. And of course, this was the episode talking about why you eventually made the decision to sell Color It. And like Mike just mentioned, his cousin Erika was also a part of Color It there. So this was just kind of an overview of all the decisions that went into your decision to sell that brand.

Mike: [00:16:00] Yeah. And I don't know that we need to because we're already kind of chewing up a lot of our time here. And I want to spend some time talking about these other ones in depth. So if you're interested in knowing 45 minutes or whatever it was about why we decided to sell Color It and all the decision-making that went into that. Go to and listen to that episode.

Dave: [00:16:20] Alright. The next one is, “Yes, a Successful Dropshipping Business still can Succeed”, and that was with Dave Couillard and that was done just a couple of months ago in October. And this was an episode talking about basically Dave's perspective, the other Dave, on how he runs a successful nearly million dollar business, strictly Dropshipping.

Mike: [00:16:41] Yeah and it's interesting that this episode popped to the top of the list. I mean over the last 60 days, it's actually #1 for us right now because we're looking at some of the more recent data and it's #1 by a lot. I mean, like it's crazy, like how many minutes of this episode got listened to. We got a lot of comments on this episode. I love what Dave has done there. So I think if you're looking to build a drop shipping business, man, what a model to follow, right? Where you're really adding a lot of extra value, the website looks better than the actual manufacturers themselves. He's a subject matter expert on all the products. He's a photographer himself and he's really into protecting his equipment. So I mean, again, something he has a personal interest and passion for. And if you're gonna be running a drop shipping business in 2020 and beyond this is the model to follow, not all the gurus out there that give us a bad name. They have these YouTube Ads that say you can become a millionaire overnight by selling on Shopify. That's just complete BS.

Mike: [00:17:33] I mean, he's put in years worth of work into this and has developed just an amazing brand and product. And as much as I like to knock drop shipping because it didn't work great for us when we did treadmill. I'm also very jealous of Dave because he doesn't have inventory and he's just as much of a legitimate ecommerce company as any of us are. And he doesn't have to worry about a 3PL or having his own warehouse and all these other things that cause a lot of headaches.

Dave: [00:17:54] So question for you. Why do you think drop shipping is still such a hot topic even today in 2019, when a lot of successful ecommerce brands are basically saying, “No, drop shipping doesn't work anymore, it's dead”. So why do you think there is still so much interest in drop shipping?

Mike: [00:18:10] Yeah, I mean, just being completely honest here and raw, I think that it's something you can–

Dave: [00:18:15] No money.

Mike: [00:18:16] What's that?

Dave: [00:18:17] It takes no money to actually buy inventory. I think–

Mike: [00:18:20] Yeah, exactly. And I think that, unscrupulous people that are looking to make money themselves by selling people a dream. It's very easy to convince somebody that drop shipping's super easy and you're gonna make a bunch of money, just follow this $500, $1000, $5000 course they have, whatever it might be. And it's something you can convince somebody in 30 seconds to 2 minutes that it's so easy. All you gotta do is go out there, find these products, throw them up and and you're going to start getting sales when that's obvious BS. So I think that that's why, unfortunately, is the reality. And no one's ever going to talk about how doing a drop shipping business is going to take you multiple years to establish and really get right, the way that Dave has because he's doing amazing now. He's doing seven figures now. But it wasn't like that in year one or two for sure.

Dave: [00:19:05] Yeah. I think a big part of it is too, that a lot of podcast listeners and a lot of our audience tends to skew a little bit younger. Younger people don't have as much cash when you're 20, just graduating high school or in the middle of university. You don't have a lot of cash. So you're looking for these business models which are not capital intensive. So for whatever reason, that just tends to be where people gravitate towards when you don't have a lot of money, but you want to have an ecommerce business. So you kind of gravitate towards drop shopping. So that's my theory.

Mike: [00:19:36] Yeah. is the drop shopping episode, even if you're not into drop shipping, Dave Couillard doesn't come on the podcast very often. He has this sexy French accent. So if you're into that, definitely give that episode a listen.

Dave: [00:19:52] Episode 291. No sexy French accents. It was done by Mike Solo. So it had a little bit of a Brooklyn, New Jersey accent and this was “10 Things I'm Looking For in my Next Ecommerce Business”.

Mike: [00:20:07] Yeah. I mean, we're on the prowl, right. We're out there looking to acquire a partner with another business. There's lots of really cool things in our orbit. I want to thank everyone who's listening that did submit your ideas. There's been some just absolutely incredible businesses. A couple of which we aren't going to buy, but are probably going to be on the podcast because they're amazing stories. And I'm looking forward to interviewing them and getting them on the podcast. But we learned a lot about ecommerce since 2012, getting into ecommerce and selling tens of millions dollars of stuff. And I think that if you've look at the book Outliers and putting in 10,000 hours into something and becoming an expert at it, we've done that. And moving on to something else seems stupid at this point since we've gotten all this expertise. And I definitely want to leverage that into the next thing and hopefully level up another time and the next sale will be instead of selling for seven figures, maybe selling for eight figures. We'll see how it goes.

Dave: [00:21:06] Yeah, it's funny how things go. You get kind of bored of an industry that you've been involved in for years and years and years, like ecommerce. But then it's also what you're naturally good at. And so you kind of fall back towards those things that have worked in the past, even though you might be a little bit bored with it, disinterested with it. But like you mentioned, you build on that cumulative experience and eventually just get better and better at it. So I guess that's kind of the way of the world.

Mike: [00:21:33] Yeah.

Dave: [00:21:33] Okay. Episode 287 Flipping Domain Names. And this was an episode that we did talking about buying and selling high value domain names.

Mike: [00:21:42] I didn't want to do this episode because I thought it was a stupid topic and this is like one of my closet obsessions or whatever that you like to make fun of me with. And also remind me often that things that I think are no big deal, people find interesting. And I think that just comes with we were just talking about when you've done something for so long, it just seems like no big deal. But, you know, I've been buying and selling domain names and launching websites and all these types of things for a long time now; more than a decade, getting close to two decades. And obviously got some experience there and some interesting stories that we talked about. And it's crazy to me that an episode that I didn't even want to do came to fruition and was in the top three for the entire year of downloads, listens, comments, etc. And it was fun doing it. And I appreciate you, nudging me a couple of times, Dave, to get this one done.

Dave: [00:22:34] Yeah, it was an interesting episode for me too, just for the fact that you're actually a little bit of a role model for me and someone I look up to in terms of anything domaining, just because you do have such extensive experience there, you have a pretty big portfolio. So yeah. I think you are getting back to I guess, Episode 216, you're an authority in the Domaining niche.

Mike: [00:22:55] Yeah and I do think that domain names are an important part of ecommerce. I think that we've put together some pretty good domain names. Obviously we had,, — I love these like exact match keyword type domains. They've done well for us in ecommerce. I also think a brand like ColorIt is another really good example, an important brand name exercise where we were embarking on this new project. And the way that I feel about things is like I'm going to do it all in and I'm not going to do it like half assed. And so beginning with the end in mind, I didn't want to call it or, you know, something that was going to be really wordy. I wanted something that wasn't descriptive. So I didn't want because we wanted to make something that was going to just be a little bit more of a wider net than that.

Mike: [00:23:46] And something that made sense was a brand name because coloring books doesn't really make sense as a brand name. So we looked at 5 to 10 different domain names and reached out to all of them that we were interested in and ended up with ColorIt because they were willing to give us the best price. And I think we paid something in the $2,000 to $3,000 range, which is obviously a decent chunk of change, especially if you're first getting started. But looking back that, $2,000 to $3,000 probably saved us tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the three years because we didn't have to rebrand our company later. We had something that had legitimacy from day one that was easy to remember, easy to type in. So these are things that I think that are very important when thinking of branding and domain names when it comes to ecommerce.

Dave: [00:24:28] Yeah, I think the other thing with buying a high value domain name is it gets you more invested in your project when you make that commitment of a few thousand dollars or even four-figures, five-figures for a domain name gets you more invested in the project, you have more money on the table, so you're more apt to put more effort into it rather than if you buy a $13 kind of just generic domain name with five words attached to it.

Mike: [00:24:50] Yep. No doubt about it.

Dave: [00:24:52] Okay. And the last and final one is episode 290. And this was just a few weeks ago. And this is the Four Burners Theory, and this is where– another solo episode by you, Mike, and you talked about the Four Burners Theory, which is basically saying that you can only have three burners on at one time.

Mike: [00:25:11] So first of all, I think that this is the second to last. I think you missed one here on our list. I don't know.

Dave: [00:25:15] So I was going to see if people actually noticed. So what happened is, we actually skipped over one. So we only have nine here. We actually skipped over Episode 288, Getting a High Touch Business back on Train with JP of Pro Teeth Guard. And I think that was the 7th episode and we skipped over it here. But the astute listeners, I guess, would have picked that up, too. So, yeah, we skipped over that one. This one technically is the Four Burner's Theory is technically the most listened to one, though.

Mike: [00:25:43] You want to talk about just real quick the one with JP? Then we'll get to the Four Burner Theory.

Dave: [00:25:48] Sure. Let's circle back to Episode 288. Like I mentioned, it's getting a high touch business back on train. And this was about Pro Teeth Guard. This is kind of like a retainer or I guess teeth guard to protect you from grinding teeth at night.

Mike: [00:26:01] Yeah. So this for me was a fun episode to do. I mean, first of all, it was an Ecomcrew Roadshow. And so if you're interested in that, we're gonna be doing more of those next year — So it's taking the Under The Hood segment and putting it on steroids where I will literally come to your facility for a couple of days and talk with you and do some consulting and record an episode at the end. So there's just way more meat and potatoes to be able to create a podcast, rather than just doing an hour long consulting call. And on top of that, in this particular one, JP is a good friend of mine. He's someone that I hang out with personally as much as I can. Whenever I'm in town, we get together. He's come to our pool party. We've hung out, you know, just outside of ecommerce quite a bit, just a super awesome dude. And I loved spending a couple days with him. By the time I left, I wanted to buy his business but it's not for sale. It's a family business that they've been doing for a while. But, you know, it's just a great, great story. They're hopefully going to get back on the growth train here in 2019 and 2020 and beyond. But, man, just an awesome episode. So definitely check that one out. And if you're interested in the Ecomcrew roadshow again, That's another free thing that we do. Go over there and check that out.

Dave: [00:27:13] Cool and getting back to the last and final one and actually I guess the #1 podcast, Episode 290 the Four Burner's theory. So why don't you talk about the Four Burners Theory a little bit here, Mike.

Mike: [00:27:23] Yeah. I mean another episode that almost didn't happen. It's so funny how two of the top three episodes are ones that just almost never came to be. But the main ones already mentioned this one because it was way outside my comfort zone. You know, I think of the Ecomcrew podcast as an ecommerce podcast and you know, the technical nits and bits of running an ecommerce business or something that's directly tied to ecommerce and not necessarily a therapy session or being a bartender and all these different types of things that also come with running a business. And so I almost just didn't do it. And this is an episode that just came out in November, already shot to the top of the list.

Mike: [00:27:58] And basically the Four Burner's Theory is that there's four burners in life. You have work, family, friends and health. And, you know, you always hear about work-life balance and these types of things but the four burners theory basically says that if you want to run a successful business, you have to turn off one of the burners or dramatically turn it down. It's not literally an on-off switch. If everything is running perfectly efficiently, they're all at 25%. If you start working on work more and get the work burner up to 45%, one of the other burners or three of the other burners are going to suffer in some way. And, you know, we only have so much time to talk about it on the podcast but basically, you know, I was talking about how for me, health is usually the first one that I start to turn off because I don't have to ask anybody else for permission.

Mike: [00:28:45] And my poor wife is usually second with family and usually friends are one that I'm pretty good with, making sure that we always keep in touch with friends. And I guess it really hit home. And obviously it got not only just a lot of listens, but also just a ton of comments. I mean, the number of comments that we got both on the podcast itself, emails that I got to my personal email box to the Ecomcrew support box was pretty dramatic. I mean, and so it tells me that, number one, this is something we should do more of in 2020. And so I'll definitely be releasing more episodes about things like this. And number two, you know, it goes to show you that everyone struggles with this stuff, right? It isn't just me and Steve Chou, who I originally had this conversation with, or the guy who wrote the article that he read that first got to his attention. You know, this is something that every entrepeneur is dealing with, because if you're a true entrepreneur like business is kind of like your addiction. And your addiction can often lead to focusing on that thing too much. And there is a shadow to it. As Sherry talked about in one of the other podcasts we did. And this all kind of gets into that and so some really interesting stuff. And I definitely encourage you to go listen to Episode 288,

Dave: [00:29:56] Yeah, absolutely. So I guess on that note, what three burners do you think you have on right now?

Mike: [00:30:01] Well, definitely focusing on family more for sure and work a little bit less knowing that and I think that it's in cycles. You know, I'm not going to say that work is off, but it's certainly not above 25%. And knowing that we were getting a little bit burned out and making sure that took some time to kind of get back into the swing of things and kind of recharge the personal batteries up a little bit and knowing that another thing is on the horizon and probably going to be in a similar cycle again next year or the year after that and just trying to take advantage of it while we can.

Dave: [00:30:32] Interesting. So I guess next year one of those burners is going to be switched on and one is going to be switched off.

Mike: [00:30:37] And the thing that's interesting, I did not do this episode with you. So what are your four burners and the order of your four burners? Which one do you have to sacrifice first?

Dave: [00:30:47] You know, it's sad to say, but probably the three burners on are business, health for sure and that's probably up in the air between friends and family.

Mike: [00:31:00] Now I know why you never return my call.

Dave: [00:31:02] Yeah, that's true. Not true actually, it's the other way around.

Mike: [00:31:08] It's interesting and I encourage people out there to ask this question of your peers in ecommerce or in business. The answers that you get back are interesting. You know, like I would say, you are very good with health. I mean, you are in really good physical shape. And Dave Couillard, same thing. So you guys never let that go, no matter what. And you get fat slobs like me that that's the first thing you let go is it isn't as big of a priority, which is stupid. That's really, really dumb. I'm not advocating that I'm right here. But, you know, it's interesting how we're all wired a little bit differently and it's cool to talk to other people about that and be more aware of what's actually happening behind the scenes. For me, when I first heard this, it was something that I had been struggling with for a long time, but never quite understood until I had it put this way to me. And I found it very interesting.

Dave: [00:31:53] Yeah, no, absolutely. I wish you would have had me on for that episode, I think we could have had a nice little discussion, back and forth there and yeah, I think more than anything, rather than looking back, I'm kinda looking forward to 2020. And what burners do we want to focus on and kind of get reflective on the podcast.

Mike: [00:32:09] I did email you and asked you to come on at that episode but you told me you were too busy at the gym.

Dave: [00:32:18] Sorry. I'll get back to you next time though.

Mike: [00:32:20] Nice.

Dave: [00:32:22] Alright. Well, I think that's legitimately a top ten list. We even got JP's episode in there, too, which I accidentally skipped over. Sorry JP.

Mike: [00:32:30] No worries, it happens. We're not exactly professional over here at Ecomcrew.

Dave: [00:32:34] We try to be.

Mike: [00:32:35] Everyone out there listening. Thank you so much for an amazing 2019, obviously without people listening, and your support, the Ecomcrew podcast just simply wouldn't exist. And it's brought a lot to my life. It's been something that's just been a huge positive and in 2019. And I know it will be as well in 2020. And I'm looking forward to cranking out another 50+ episodes in 2020 and having at least one or two of those with my buddy Dave here, if he can get out of the gym and come over and do this with us.

Dave: [00:33:07] I got to work on these biceps. My wife always tells me if you looked like you looked when you were 19, I would not be with you right now. That basically is getting back to I used to be a little bit chubbier when I was in my teens, in my early 20s. So, you know, sometimes you got to focus on one of the burners to keep the other one lit.

Mike: [00:33:28] Yeah. That's very true. Excellent. Dave, thank you so much for everything in 2019. And until next time everyone, Happy Selling, and we'll talk to you soon.

Mike: [00:33:38] Alright, guys. That's going to wrap it up for the 296th edition of the Ecomcrew podcast. Didn't quite get to 300 this year, but it does mean that we're going to kick the year off in January with the 300th episode towards the end of January, which is gonna be amazing, crazy and everything else in between. It's amazing how far we've come and it's a time to reflect. You know, this is the last words of the podcast in 2019. So I mentioned at the top, but I wanna thank everyone who has left a review, if you get a chance to do that, thank you. I wanna thank everyone who has been listening and supporting Ecomcrew. It's amazing to see these numbers grow month after month after month. And then you look at it on an annual basis, its even even more crazy.

Mike: [00:34:21] All the speaking events and engagements we've had, the people that let us into their homes and their businesses throughout the year for the roadshow, people that allowed us to be in their ears and do coaching with the Under The Hood segments and just so much more. It's just really crazy to look back at the year. This is a problem that most entrepreneurs fall into, right? You don't think you're doing much of anything day to day because you're getting hit by the fire hose and it feels like nothing is actually happening. But I encourage everyone to just take a minute, look back, think about the year, where you started in January. All the things you accomplished, if your top line revenue has increased, great, even more important, if your net profit's increased, great. But even if it hasn't and you've had a tough year, those are the years that allow you to build, you know, fail forward for the next year.

Mike: [00:35:09] And so even in those years, I look back and I'm like, man. Things might not have gone right on paper, on the bottom line. But these are the things that I learned. I think these lessons can really help me move forward the following year. So just think about that. You know, I always look at the bright spot of things. I can tell you tons of things in ecommerce that were learning experiences. And I'm always reflecting back on, which to me was a failure, right. It was not the success that I wanted it to be. We didn't actually lose money on that project, but it was the least amount of money that I've made in a very long time, working a couple of full years on something. And it just didn't pay off the way that I wanted.

Mike: [00:35:48] And it was something that I had really thought that was going to be one of the biggest things we ever done. It was and it certainly didn't work out the way that we wanted it. But again, that was a learning experience that got us into IceWraps, which we paid $50,000 for. And if we were to sell that in 2020, it would bring pretty substantial seven-figures at this point, which is just crazy, you know. So it was all a learning experience to get from that point to that. And that's also what led us to do ColorIt. You know, all these things that we learned were things that helped us launch ColorIt, which we did sell this year, which is amazing. It's crazy that this has happened, which led to all kinds of other opportunities to do traveling and things of that nature. It's been just an awesome summer. We drove 11,000 miles since we sold our business and been to a dozen states and all of western Canada. And that's all, again, building blocks and things that happened because of that. So keep those things in mind. Sometimes in the moment it doesn't feel great.

Mike: [00:36:42] But learn from those things and fail forward and if you've also knocked the cover off the ball and had a great year, Congratulations on that too. If you got any stories like that you want to share, you know we're always here for you guys. Love to hear them, good or bad. Shoot an e-mail over to, we'd love to hear from you. Alright, guys, that's going to wrap it up for 2019. So for one last time, Happy selling and we'll talk to soon.

Outro: [00:37:09] We hope you enjoy this episode of the Ecomcrew podcast. If you haven't done so already, please head over to iTunes and leave us a review. It helps more than you know. Did you know that Ecomcrew has a ton of free content, including ecommerce courses? Head over to to check it out today. That's going to do it for this episode of the Ecomcrew podcast. 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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