TPE S2 11 | Amazon Guru

 

Amazon Guru Steven Pope founded My Amazon Guy. They fully service and manage over 200 Amazon seller brands on anything that generates traffic, including search engine optimization, pay-per-click, or anything that improves conversion rates, such as design, catalog management, copyright, and merchandise. He founded his company just 48 hours after getting laid off from his previous job, and within a day, he secured a $3000 monthly contract. Now, he has over 200 employees. How did he do it? Don’t miss out as Steven tells the secret to his entrepreneurial success with host Don Williams.

For information on how to work with Don visit Work With Don Williams
 
You can also reach out to Don Williams at https://donwilliamsglobal.com
 
Please join Don and his businesses in support of St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in its Mission to cure Childhood Cancers. You can donate to St. Jude at stjude.org/donate

Listen to the podcast here


 

How Amazon Guru Steven Pope Went From Unemployed To Founder In 48 Hours

I have got a great guest for you. Many times, we have a guest who is one of the guys at whatever they do but in this episode, we have the guy for all things Amazon products. Known as My Amazon Guy, he started his career as a television reporter in Idaho. He has a 200+ Amazon agency that he founded and runs. On YouTube, he has a couple of videos, almost 1,000 that are free content for you to learn how to work on Amazon. Welcome to the show, Stephen Pope.

Thanks for having me, Don. I appreciate it.

I am thrilled. Thanks for being here. I am excited myself. I am going to learn something about Amazon. I do not know about Amazon. We will fill a large book. Tell us about My Amazon Guy, how you got started, what you do and who you serve. Tell us your story.

I have an agency called My Amazon Guy that has 200 brands that we fully service and manage. Anything that generates traffic that includes your search engine optimization, your pay-per-click or anything that improves conversion rates such as your design, catalog management, copyright and merchandise. We have over 220 employees across the world in 10 times zones. It has been a fantastic run. It is fun being a founder. I have no idea what I am doing though, Don.

If you have gone from no staff to over 200 people in several years, it sounds to me like every day, you are walking on ground that you did not walk on before.

It is, “Figure out how to do this today and figure out how to restructure a department tomorrow.” It is like, “How many different things do you have to do to run a business?” Thirteen more pop up and then, “We are going to double the company again. Here is a new barrier. Let’s push through that barrier. That is lots of fun.” Read seventeen business books this month to see how I could become a good to great company somehow.

Meanwhile, I started an IT department and a sales department for outbound calls, which is how Don and I got together for this episode. I was like, “Don, I need some of your advice. I am starting a sales team from scratch. What do I do?” Don gave a big, wow moment, “Pay your salespeople as often and as much as you can.” After our chat, he invited me to join him on his show.

Let me take you back to young Stephen, all the way back to age five up through the high school. In the household where you were raised, that takes different shapes for different folks but whatever that shape was, in that household, was there an adult who was an entrepreneur who set an entrepreneurial example for you as a young boy?

Nobody taught me how to be an entrepreneur. My father is a very hard worker but if you were to read Rich Dad Poor Dad, he would be Poor Dad. He made lots of money but did not become an entrepreneur. He was well-educated and had a degree in Meteorology. He became a weatherman. He wanted to be a weatherman since he was a kid and he did it. He was on television. He had a good career. He works for me on my sales team, ironically. When I was five, I wanted to be an entomologist. For those non-nerds out there, I wanted to go around collecting bugs and insects.

I was that super-nerd kid. I had bug wars and bug fights like a praying mantis versus a black widow in a jar ready to go. I liked chaos from a young age. My mom was a stay-at-home mom. She did PTA and was there for the kids. I had two brothers. My older brother may have been a slight influence in the sense that all of a sudden, this thing called eBay started showing up. He started hocking goods on eBay. I am like, “What is going on? What is this? I want to get in on that. He is making money over there.” I have never thought about this until you brought this up, Don. You are pulling it out of me.

He started selling bobbleheads like Karl Malone, John Stockton and NBA bobbleheads on eBay. I do not even know where he got them to be honest. Some guy he knew or something. I was like, “This is cool. I am going to open up my account and do this.” I signed it up, did that and bought a game cube. Except for the guy I bought it from on eBay who did not ship it for 90 days. That was my first eCommerce experience. The first product I ever sold was and I am continuing the nerd trend here is the Magic: The Gathering trading card called the Sliver Queen from the Stronghold edition. It was $20 for a 10 or 11-year-old kid at the time.

 

For those always looking for that entrepreneurial motivation, many of you are at your desk job asking the same question, “What am I doing with my life?” Click To Tweet

 

I got into teaching chess lessons. I started selling chess sets. I was like, “This is cool. I am never going to go work in retail or do any of these boring other retail jobs that all of my peers are doing in high school and junior high.” I bypassed it all. I taught chess lessons. I was in over 75 different elementary schools in Utah. I had hundreds and hundreds of chess students and then found a wholesaler who sold chess sets. I was like, “All my chest students need chess sets.” I will buy them from him. I bought low and sold high and gave all my chest students chess sets, which was cool.

When I first started the show and we are about 100 interviews in, I thought that most entrepreneurs would, as children, have had someone set the example. It is about half and half. Some did, some did not. It means that if you did not, you are not wired that way but ultimately, you are going to end up there. Tell me this. What was your first job as a child or your first entrepreneurial venture, the first time that you received money?

Receiving a lot of money came from the chess teaching and the chess sets. I am sure I took a job to babysit here and there. I was making $15 an hour as a 12-year-old kid teaching chess lessons. I went around the neighborhood. I had my flyers out. I knocked on doors and said, “It is the summer. Your kids are playing Nintendo. Hire me and I will teach them chess, get them to think and use their brain.” They loved that.

I had a huge following because they would refer somebody else. It was cool. Nobody taught me how to do that. I was like, “I am going to do this.” I started charging for it. People paid me money. I was like, “This is fantastic.” I had money in the bank growing up. All my needs were taken care of by my parents. They bought the clothes and paid for the car. I had that fortunate rearing. All the money that I made was play money. You got to go out and date, buy dinners for girls and go bowling.

How many people in America have ever played chess?

I imagine it is a strong majority. It is less than Russia but it is a lot. Anybody that has played a board game ever has probably played chess. It is a big target audience. Everybody always wants to get better at chess. They are like, “This Bobby Fischer thing. There is a Finding Fisher movie.” I played very competitively. I played in the Florida US Open back in 2005. I was ranked high and did all that fun stuff. Those are six-hour chess games. Those are long games.

Leaving your childhood behind, when you graduated high school, did you go to university, climbed Kilimanjaro and did oceanic exploration for a couple of years? What is your story? What did you do?

In college, I did debate to pay for college. I was in a collegiate debate. The coolest thing that I did was I beat Harvard’s B Team at a national debate tournament. I had fun doing that. I won on a cheap shot. They did not read their plan text. I beat them on that in policy debate. You got to read your plan. Otherwise, you cannot win the debate. That was important. It was a TKO. It is interesting to think about because that is what debate is. It is TKO’s all the time. Nobody is persuaded when they watch debates, ever. If I went back to college, that is what I would change. I would go back and learn how to persuade.

I do not believe that I am a persuasive individual. I think that I am right all the time but I do not think anybody believes me. If I had to go back to school, I would learn how to persuade. I did that and then broke into television. I coat-tailed off my father. He was in weather. I did the hard-hitting investigative reporting. That was my stick. On a Monday, I might be interviewing the Mayor and asking why he has a mistress. True story. On a Tuesday, I might be in the national aquarium covering a crazy cat attack. That is also a true story.

I have a good friend here in Dallas, Jeff Crilley who was a reporter for Fox for 25 years.

 

TPE S2 11 | Amazon Guru

Amazon Guru: If you do not have the drive, do not become an entrepreneur because the moment you are an entrepreneur, and you start making work for yourself, it is a different environment you will find yourself in.

 

I hired Jeff for my public relations firm. I have been in 30 media appearances since I hired him. I was on LA News with a story about people buying Ukraine flags on Amazon.

Jeff is a rare talent. He has his PR company. He is one of the nicest guys on the planet. What you find very common in the entrepreneurial community is they have got companies, making money and hiring people but for the most part, they are nice people. Jeff certainly qualifies. Between the two of you, you have some stories that we cannot share here but it is fun stuff from that time. The debate thing, I did not know that about you either, Stephen.

I went to college for 1 minute, maybe 2 but in high school, I am from Kansas and we were the state runner-up high school debate champions. If you are from Kansas and you were in a high school debate, it was rare air. I learned to communicate and communicate clearly. I then became one of those sales guys. I do think about it. It is my normal thing.

Your art of persuasion is probably stronger than mine. I suspect.

I will humbly say thank you. I hope so. After college, what did you do?

I went into television and became a TV reporter up in Idaho and Wisconsin. I did lots of fun stories. I got to fly in a stunt airplane with Greg Poe, which was cool. I interviewed celebrities like Don Wells and David Archuleta. I moved up the guild and went over to a bigger market in Madison, Wisconsin. I did not last long there.

You said you did college for a minute. I did Wisconsin for a minute. A big ice storm, the biggest blizzard Wisconsin had seen in a decade, hits up in Wisconsin. I had to do a live weather hit at 10:00 PM in the middle of the blizzard. My hair froze. I could not see the cameraman. I missed my cue and stared at the entire television mark for twenty seconds out in the cold and felt like an idiot. That was my coming of age moment.

That was the moment I said, “What in the world am I doing with my life?” For those reading, always looking for that entrepreneurial motivation, many of you are at your desk job asking the same question, “What am I doing with my life?” That was the moment I decided I was going to stop being a television reporter. I am going to throw out my college degree and find something else. I did not know what that something else was but I decided that was the moment. It did not take me long. It took me about a month. I ended up getting fired from that television station before I quit.

I was that unfit for being on television. I decided I am going to go back to school. I started a Master’s in Communication. I got in, finished the semester and was like, “This is also stupid. Why am I doing this?” Then I am like, “I will get an MBA.” I transferred over and got an MBA. I was like, “That was cool.” I did an MBA in three and a half months through a program called Western Governors University. It was a competency-based program. You did not have to do the crap. You just had to prove you knew it. I was a lifelong entrepreneur. I sold chess sets and Magic: The Gathering cards. I did all those things online and was like, “I know this stuff.” I went and it worked.

The day I finished my MBA degree, I was working at an in-between job as an enrollment counselor at Western Governors University. I randomly applied for a job. I needed a job to get back to Utah from Wisconsin. That was that job. I applied for a leadership position as a team leader in the enrollment division. I finished my capstone MBA project.

 

When you become the boss, things get easier in some ways but harder in others. Click To Tweet

 

I had proven that I could quadruple the retention rate of cold leads. That was my capstone project. I had a proven process. Not only did I do it but I gave my SOP and process to three other people who had similar numbers by following my process. I was like, “I am going to go into marketing and become a leader.” I did not get the promotion. I walked in and said, “I have all the answers. Follow me.” They said, “No.” I said, “What am I going to do?”

They have a sister company called StraighterLine. I reached out and said, “I finished this capstone project. I could do this for you too. I could increase the number of students enrolling for you. Hire me as a marketer.” They did. In less than three days, I had a job offer for double the money I was making but I had to drive out to Baltimore, Maryland. I knew nothing about Baltimore, Maryland. I am like, “Tell me about Baltimore, Maryland.” The first thing you find on the internet is some sketchy TV shows about drug deals in Baltimore, Maryland. I had high hopes on that one but I ended up going over to Baltimore, Maryland. I did that and was in a marketing manager position.

I bypassed being a specialist. I was straight in corporate marketing manager, working in Corporate America. I was super unqualified to do that job. I had a massive drive. I learned about SEO during that job and did some cool stuff. I learned how to drive traffic. In the next four jobs that I had done, I ended up failing at four failed startups in a row. Every single employer that I had, liked me but for whatever reason, every company failed.

I go in there and do my thing. I felt like I was doing a good job and then there was something missing from the equation somewhere somehow. At one company, I worked for the British. It was the dumbest company ever worked for. It is called Nisbets and they sold restaurant equipment. They bought a $5 million warehouse in Baltimore and filled it to the brim.

They were a $250 million company a year over in the UK. They were a number one, dominator, a beast of a company. They were recession-proof and knew the answers to all the questions. As one example of how dumb this company was, they sent plastic spoons that were so flimsy that if you put the plastic spoon in yogurt, it would bend on the way to your mouth. They were so stupid that they printed catalogs in the British language and asked Americans to buy rubbish bins on the front page of the catalog. They thought they could visit San Francisco on the same day from Baltimore like, “Let me walk on down over to San Francisco,” not having any idea of the size of the United States.

I have seen some stupid stuff on the corporate side. They laid off everybody after 6 or 7, maybe 8 months max, while I was at that company. Every single failed startup I did was the dumbest example. I worked for some good startups that failed anyway. I ended up getting a job offer for a minimum of 30% higher pay within 7 days every single time. I was like, “It is them, not me.” I did one cool corporate stint at a company called APMEX. I improved their organic traffic by ten million uniques year over year. That was my biggest corporate win in America because ten million people showing up to a website that was not there the previous year is a big number.

I felt like I could drive big results. Finally, when the last startup failed, it was a lighting company, they lay me off and gave me a three-month severance. “You did not do anything wrong, Stephen. We are closing shop because our competitors are killing us.” A lot of people would have taken a vacation. I did not. I said, “I am going to solve my problem in 48 hours.” I made a LinkedIn post and said, “I am going to start doing some consulting. I have been doing this Amazon thing for eight years, side hustling.” My wife is like, “What are you going to call this consulting thing?” I said, “I do not know. Nobody cares who I am. They just say, ‘Talk to my Amazon guy.’”

She said, “That is a great name for a company.” We are folding laundry in the laundry room. I married well. I met her in Baltimore. We started an agency in less than 48 hours. Within one day of a LinkedIn post, I was on a sales call with a company called FitLife Brands, a supplements company. I convinced them that I was the answer to all of their problems and they should hire me and I would grow their sales. They signed a $3,000 per month contract with me. This was my first contract as an agency. I am like, “This is fantastic. I have all the answers. I started an agency in less than 48 hours and got my first contract.”

It was a lot of hard work because, within two weeks, I realized what I signed myself up for. I am the guy who makes work for myself. Not work for others. I was in the growth center at all these companies I had worked at for a decade. I have made work for other people my entire career. I am good at making work for other people. I am my own boss and make work for myself. If you do not have the drive, do not become an entrepreneur because the moment you are an entrepreneur and you start making work for yourself, it is a different environment you will find yourself in. I decided within ten days I had to hire an assistant. That is how quickly I tapped out, Don.

The next day, I had an assistant. Everything that I do, I make a decision and then I act. “The action dictates the strategy,” would be my motto. Another motto that I would say would be, “Live long and prosper.” I am ripping off Spock here. I am Spock because I am 97% introverted and 99% driven. I could not be more polarized on the spectrum here. That means everything is a data point to me. This is why I could not persuade anybody, Don, because I am like, “You are just a data point. I need to talk to 100 of you, I get 7 sales and then I am good.” No does not mean no but it means not this contract, not this sale or not now.

 

TPE S2 11 | Amazon Guru

Amazon Guru: I had to find a data-centric way to make talent hiring and management a scalable process. The answer was the culture index.

 

I did that and within 3 months, I was making $30,000 a month. I started hiring employees but I have to admit to you, Don, it took a long time to burn my ships. I will bastardize the actual storyline here but there is a book out there that talks about a group of people landing in the new world. To make sure that they knew they could not go back to the old world where all of their comforts were, the leader said, “We are going to burn the ships.” They burnt them to set the stage that you have to be successful in the new world. I did not burn my ships for six months. I was still interviewing for jobs because I was like, “Agency life is so hard. It is the hardest business to run.”

If you have ever talked to other businesses, you talk to a SaaS company, they are always talking about starting an agency. If you talk to a product business, they are always talking about starting an agency. If you talk to an agency, they are always talking about launching a SaaS company. The grass is always greener on the other side.

It is like, all actors want to be musicians and all musicians want to be actors. They think it is so much better over there.

It is not. Running an agency is the hardest company. There is no doubt about it. I am 100% confident. If you run a product business, all you need is income and capital. If you own a SaaS company, you need a developer. I got all the answers. All these things are easy.

You do have a lot of answers that you have accumulated along your journey. Let me ask you to think back across your career. I am looking for a hard lesson. An event or multiple events that happened that at the moment of recurrence or when you were going through those, it is like, “This is brutal,” but maybe looking back, it turns out it propelled you along your journey. Do you have a hard lesson you can share with us?

If you are the data guy, people are hard to work with. When I was in the corporate world, I was the guy with all the answers. I would show up to the meeting. A question would be asked by the leader or the CEO, “What should we do?” I raised my hand every single time. I was like, “I know what to do. You do this.” What would happen almost every single time, they would say, “Yes, but that is hard work. I am not so sure.” I am like, “Seriously, here is the date. I grew your traffic by ten million uniques. You should do what I say. I have a proven track record.” I would be in the boardroom and say, “Look at the data.”

They would not look at the data and believe it. They would come to their conclusions and resist me. I am like, “You should turn over the entire website to me and give me full control. Here is what I will do with it.” This is what happens when you have maximum autonomy and no team player inside of you. I could not work in the corporate world effectively. When I became the boss, things got easier in some ways but harder in others. I have no idea.

When I first started hiring random people, I was like, “You are in my church? Cool. You are within five minutes of me, you are a neighbor and I am hiring you. Come to my house. We are going to stick desks in my office here and work together.” I ended up finishing the basement of my house. The max we hit was eleven. I had eleven employees in the basement of my house. Mind you, this was a nice basement. It was nicer than most corporate businesses. There were windows, a nice new desk and a finished corporate environment.

Your wife was thrilled about the eleven people who came and worked in the basement. She likes that.

It was the first employee that she was most pissed about. She is like, “This is my sacred territory. You are bringing work to my home.” I have four kids. Tying live long and prosper back to that, everything that I do must be prosperous. I do not run my business this way. I run everything this way. I cannot tell the difference between my personal life, work life, family life and spiritual life because they are all the same way. When I started to merge them though, my wife was a little resistant. The irony here is I started hiring people. I made lots of terrible hires. It was absolute garbage. I had no idea what I was doing.

 

It is a constant evolution to make sure you hire the right people. Click To Tweet

 

I got lucky in my first few hires but then as it started to scale, I did not do too well. I finally hit employee number eleven there. The fire marshal shows up and says, “You are illegally running a business out of your house.” I am like, “Yes, that is me.” He says, “You have 48 hours to vacate the property.” I had to become a remote business overnight, which is fine because as you heard from all these other examples, I made a decision. Within 48 hours, I had the solution. We are a remote business hiring people. I had to learn how to hire people without ever meeting and managing them without being face-to-face. This was all pre-COVID, mind you.

I had to solve problems that nobody had solved before. Let alone, I solve them. Long story short, I had to find a data-centric way to make talent hiring and management a scalable process. For me, the answer was the culture index. I give everybody this two-question survey. It takes them five minutes. I know what motivates them and can, within 30 seconds, dictate whether they were going to be a fit for my company. It is a brutal process. It knocks out 75% of the people that apply but it works. I got 220 employees with data points that say it does.

All of us are in the people business. I do not care what we do.

I am not sure about a SaaS company with one developer.

Even then, people got to buy it. We are all in the people business. A culture index is a great tool based on 100-year-old research but that is based on stuff that goes back to Aristotle and Socrates. There is a limited amount of personalities. “Helps you get the right butts in the right seats,” is close to their unofficial tagline.

I keep Traction on the side of my desk. I quote from it frequently. I have Extreme Ownership behind me. Measure What Matters, which was written by an EO guy, are all books that I am living that. We demoted one of our leaders and I had to say, “I need you to read chapter two of Extreme Ownership. Let’s have a chat about this.” There are ways to move people up and down. There are ways to get people in the right seats and move it all around. It is absolute chaos all the time at agencies. I hire impatient, eager individuals all the time. I hire detail-oriented individuals because we have nonstop deliverables to our clients.

If I cannot maintain that at scale, I will lose clients. My mistake was I am face blind. I cannot read a room and I needed a data tool to deliver scale to my weakness. That is what I overcame. I am a culture zealot and I talk nonstop about core values. I rolled out a core value of impatience to my business, which has massive negative connotations. I rebranded it. It is eagerness. It is a constant evolution to try and make sure we hire the right people. I run a people business.

I have a friend here in Dallas-Fort Worth who is the number 1 real estate broker in the state and maybe number 5 or 6 in the country. He does a ton of residential commercial real estate. Talking about the culture index, he requires that his clients take the assessment so that they know the best method to communicate to deliver what the client wants.

I do that for my clients too. I need to hire that real estate agent.

I will connect you. He helps people buy and sell real estate all around the world based in Fort Worth, Texas. He is like, “All the real estate is not in Fort Worth, Texas. It is everywhere.” He helps them everywhere. Let’s talk about a warp speed moment. Things are going along pretty well in your business. You make a couple of hires, change a strategy and do a 48-hour implementation but all of a sudden, even though things are going well, you have a hockey stick, explosive growth. Do you have a warp speed moment? Mr. Spock would certainly understand the term. You can share with us.

 

TPE S2 11 | Amazon Guru

Amazon Guru: Never been a better time to sell on Amazon but also never been a harder time.

 

I do not have a warp speed of 1 or 2. It is warp speed 9 all the time. When you asked for the warp speed moment, that has been my life since 2018. There was no pause or stop. I have not taken a vacation since then. If there was one cup that is a little less full than it should be, it would be time to take care of myself and go take a vacation. That is the one thing I need to correct.

The warp speed has been nonstop growth in a growth sector. The Amazon space is an absolute gauntlet of growth. Half of the economy goes through Amazon. They have vertical control. If you think about it, it is not just half of the things that are being bought and sold on Amazon but Amazon also controls all of the data. They are in bed with the CIA and run the government’s data even. They are the largest monopoly that has ever existed.

They are not the most profitable company in the world. Apple still has that win but Amazon is the largest, most important company in the United States without a doubt. It has more control. It has vertical control and logistics. They are buying boats and planes. They are going to put FedEx out of business. They are doing so many massive things. They have all of these fulfillment centers across the country. I am in the fastest-growing sector in my opinion. There is so much growth in my space. I estimate that 50,000 jobs cannot be fulfilled in the Amazon sector.

That has been such a hard thing to deal with and manage that I had to hire 60 interns in 60 days. I completed this capstone project, another big, hairy, audacious goal. If we do not start telling people to go to college for Amazon sales or to train them, the entire sector is going to implode. We have, on the left, $13 billion entered my space in the form of one sector of Amazon aggregators.

I made a website, AmazonAggregators.com, if you are curious where 100 different companies, venture capital mostly, came in and started buying Amazon brands. The largest of which is Thrasio, with a $2.5 billion capital raise. They are so big that at least 40% of the households in this country have received an item from a brand that Thrasio owns. They are going to be a household name eventually, Thrasio.

There are many other ones like Perch, Boosted, Heyday and a laundry list of 100 more. I have interviewed half of them on my podcast because I was wondering, “Am I going to end up working from an aggregator soon?” That was this massive sector change happening. I decided that the answer to that question was, “No, I am never working for anybody ever again.” I am big on the whole Gary Vee style.

On the left, you have got $13 billion in Amazon aggregators in this space. On the right, you have the Chinese going direct to consumer for the first time selling commodity products at dirt cheap prices. On the top, you have Amazon squeezing the mom-and-pop seller. They are making policies and making it harder to even run the business, to begin with.

Amazon is entering its maturity phase. Never been a better time to sell on Amazon but also never been a harder time. This concept that Amazon is #PassiveIncome, I will criticize that all day long. Also, it is job security for me. Amazon is the number one customer-centric company in the world. Nobody serves its customers better than Amazon but it treats its sellers like dog crap and absolute garbage, which is why I am in business and why I created My Amazon Buy. We can navigate all of those challenges and overcome them.

I did not know that but one of my talks that I give on the stage on Romancing Your Customer is about treating customers the way they want to be treated. I treat my wife the way she wants to be treated. That is romantic. It is seeing things from the other person’s point of view. I tell the crowd, “I can tell you your two biggest competitors and I do not care what business you are in.”

They always want to know, “Who are they?” I am like, “It is Amazon and Google.” It is Google because they give you an answer to any question you want in 27 hundredths of a second and they are probably right. That perpetuates instant gratification. It is almost impossible for everybody else to even come close.

 

Amazon is the largest monopoly that has ever existed. Click To Tweet

 

When you think about Amazon, with as quick of a search, deliver me umpteen zillion choices, tell me what they recommend. I can buy it with one click. Two days later and maybe even the same day, depending on what it is, it is on my doorstep. If I need to send it back, it is no problem. When you talk about delivering exceptional experiences where customers say, “That was amazing,” they are the best. There is nobody who can touch them.

Don, you are the wow guy. You would know. If you are not on Amazon, you are irrelevant if you are a product business. They were the first company to solve two-day nationwide delivery. Two days was too slow, Don. I cannot wait two days so then there was next-day delivery nationwide. Don, next-day delivery is too slow. They have Prime Now where you get stuff in two hours. My wife had a hankering for French fries and she ordered Prime Now, a dry fryer. It was on our doorstep in 1 hour and 36 minutes.

My wife was a little frustrated with me because I may never go to another store ever again for anything.

Are you introverted like me, Don?

I am a speaker, a facilitator and a coach but I am a very hard introvert.

That makes you a great world-class presenter though. Introverts are the best presenters.

We have some unique skills. Sharon Birkman, her father founded the Birkman method, which is Myers-Briggsation, cultural index and all that. She can talk at great length about the inner strengths of introverts and their weaknesses. I can be as gregarious and charming as anybody on the planet, maybe more than most but it drains me. If I speak on the stage, I will not speak to my wife that day. I will speak to anybody.

When I go onto the stage, my batteries are on a full charge. When I leave the stage, I will have about 5% power left. It will be Captain Kirk saying, “Scotty, I have got to have more power.” Scotty says, “We are about out. Say your thank you’s, kiss the babies, shake the hands and get out of here because you are going to pass out quick.” That is the way it goes.

For this next piece, I am going to put you in a time machine, transport you back through time and give you the opportunity to share some wisdom with twenty-year-old, Stephen. A thought or two of something you know now that you did not know then that would have been helpful to know if you would have listened to yourself. Sometimes, for twenty-year-olds, that is a challenge. Into the time machine you go, all the way back. Here is twenty-year-old Stephen. What wisdom do you share?

College is a waste of time. Do not become a television reporter and start your business at age eighteen.

 

TPE S2 11 | Amazon Guru

Amazon Guru: Amazon is the number one customer-centric company in the world. Nobody serves its customers better than Amazon, but it treats its sellers like dog crap and absolute garbage.

 

Mothers and fathers all across America are not listening. I thought I was going to be an engineer. Math and science were always my strong points. I never took a book home in my life. Academia liked me. I was one of those kids who is going to bring in exceptional grades but I took a sales job at 18 and in 6 months, I was making more money than my parents. In 3 or 4 months after that, I was the number one guy in the country at age 19 out of 450 salespeople. I looked at what I would make after another 3 and a half years of college as an engineer. I make more than that now.

Being an entrepreneur is not for everybody. For the true born ones, do not waste your time. Just do it.

They will not be happy doing anything but entrepreneurship is one of those things where you work 135 hours a week for yourself, maybe for nothing, as opposed to working 40 hours a week for somebody else for something. If it is your calling, your zone of genius and your purpose, you cannot be happy and content unless you follow that purpose. Stephen, how can we support you? How do we reach you? What is the easiest way to connect?

If you liked what you read and you want to say hello, send me an email to Podcasts@MyAmazonGuy.com. If you are an Amazon seller reading this, I would love your business. We can grow your sales. I can grow anybody’s sales. We will give you peace of mind. It is all taken care of so can focus on your business. Check us out at MyAmazonGuy.com. If you are a culture index nut, I like to geek out on that stuff. Hit me up on that too. We have 900 videos of content over on YouTube where I talk about how to run a company and grow sales on Amazon. It is super technical in the weeds. It is built like a television reporter. It is 2 or 3 minutes of sound bites in and out.

That takes us to the finish line. Stephen, thank you so much for coming to the show. It has been my distinct pleasure and I do reserve the right to recall the witness. I would like to have you back and we will cross some other bridges. That is it for this episode. Thank you so much. We will see you next time.

 

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About Steven Pope

TPE S2 11 | Amazon GuruFounder of My Amazon Guy, an 80+ person Amazon Seller Central agency out of Atlanta, GA. We Growth Hack eCommerce and Marketplaces through PPC, SEO, Design, and Catalog Management. I am a Eagle Scout.

Degrees: MBA and BS In Communications. Amazon Advertising Sponsored Ads Accredited.

I can help you identify how to grow your company through marketing and eCommerce. I offer fresh, bold, innovative ideas for challenging problems. I am a journalist turned digital marketer with strong analytic skills and an MBA. As a marketing manager and director I have overseen a myriad of programs that impact the P&L through both onsite and offsite channels such as SEO, SEM, retargetting, analytics, affiliate, CSE, display, Amazon, social, and email.

I also have the technical knowledge an eCommerce manager needs to implement changes to a website to improve the conversion funnel and have overseen several major projects and integrations including changing of ESP/CDN/DNS/Security Certificates and other integrated platforms. I build upon the philosophy of the digital marketing trifecta of Earned Media / Paid Media / Owned Media through strategic planning.

While at Weber State University I was on scholarship in the Collegiate Debate program. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Great Debaters”​ I relate to it as I’ve beaten Harvard’s B-team at a national debate tournament. At Woods Cross High School I was the Sterling Scholar in Speech and Drama.

Before my career began, I taught chess lessons both privately and at more than 50 elementary schools in Utah. What I have learned as a chess player is simply put, “Think ahead.” If you want a digital marketer who will do exactly that, I’m your guy.

Bow ties are cool. I have nearly 2-million views on my YouTube Channels.

 

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