Welcome to the Million Dollar Sellers podcast. I'm your host, Nick Shucet. Today we have Corey Ganim on the call, or is it Ganim, how do you pronounce that, Corey?
Ah, Ganim, yeah, so you nailed it the first time.
Corey is one of the younger guys in the group. He just turned 28, he mentioned. I know there are a couple of other young guys in the group as well, see the younger guys in the group holding it down and see what they have to offer. So I'm looking forward to hearing Corey tell a little bit about his story, how he got into Amazon, and what being a part of the Million Dollar Sellers group has done for him. But with that being said, I'm gonna kick it off to Corey. And Corey, why don't you just go ahead and give us a little background on yourself and how you got into this whole Amazon game?
Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, Nick, thanks so much for having me. As far as how I got into the game, so probably like a lot of other people stumbled upon some videos on YouTube back in 2017. So that's when I started. I think I created my seller account in April of 2017 and then got started on May 21st, 2017, which was a day after I graduated from college. And I guess even take a couple of steps back.
So the reason Amazon came on my radar in the first place was from a Reezy Resells video. He's been in the game for a very long time. I know he's gotten a lot of people into it over the years. And it was one of his videos. I believe the title was something along the lines of 25 ways to make money online. And this was back, I mean, this was back in 2017.
So he had like three, 4,000 subscribers at the time, and now he's got well over 400K. And one of the methods in the 25 that he mentioned was selling on Amazon. I guess the model of retail arbitrage. And so up until that point, I, and probably like a lot of other people thought that anytime I bought something on Amazon, I was just buying it from Amazon like Jeff Bezos was shipping it to me or something like that.
But come to find out that there's this whole ecosystem of third-party sellers like you and me that are selling products on Amazon. And so that piqued my interest. That was probably, that was January of my senior year of college. And so over the next few months, did a lot of research, looked into it pretty deeply, and had a two-month gap between graduation and when I started my first real job out of college.
And I'm not one who can kind of sit around and do nothing, so I figured hey during these two months I'll go to some thrift stores, I'll go to some stores, start flipping some stuff on Amazon just to make some side income and fast forward about six years and here we are. So that's kind of how I got started.
Nice man. Shout out to Reezy on that. I think that's one of the first people I've heard say they got into it through Reezy Resells. I used to chat with him pretty often back in the day when I was trying to get my social media following up because he was just so damn good at that. But he had great content as well on how to sell on Amazon.
Yeah, no doubt. And I got to, I got to meet him down in Miami for an Amazon conference a couple of months back, and super nice guy, super down to earth, exactly as I expected, and got to pretty much thank him for getting me started. And it was cool.
Yeah, he's very authentic. He's the same in person that he is in the content he puts out. I think he's big into the skateboarding stuff right now. He's making his own skate decks and stuff, which is pretty cool.
Nice, man. So did you always think you would be an entrepreneur, want to be an entrepreneur? How did that play out? It seems like you kind of did, I'm guessing, because of how quickly you got into it out of college.
Yeah, so definitely. I mean, always had an entrepreneurial inclination, I guess you could call it that. My dad's been a state farm agent for 31 years, so he's owned that business. So really growing up, I kind of got to see business ownership firsthand and some of the freedom that that could provide, as well as some of the challenges.
So I know growing up in our neighborhood, I was always going door to door selling something, you know, whether it was candy or whatever it was, I just had a sales inclination in the entrepreneur niche as well. And then in college, I got heavy into flipping stuff locally. So, buy stuff on Facebook Marketplace, sell it on eBay, and always just be interested in buying low, and selling high.
So, the flip was just something that intrigued me. And I saw Amazon as a way to do that at scale. And so, I think that's why the business resonated with me from the start.
Okay, cool man. So yeah, let's talk next steps after things start to go well and you put a little more energy into it. Sounds like you were maybe 22, or 23 when you first got into selling on Amazon and then it seems like you kind of went pretty hard relatively quickly. So tell us a little bit about that transitionary period. I'm sure there were some doubts, and some fears coming out of college.
I’m sure you went to college for a reason, maybe you were working towards getting a job, or maybe there was some pressure from your family. I think a lot of us go through these different things as we go through that stage in our lives. So how did you balance all that stuff and ultimately go with taking that risk of being an entrepreneur?
Yeah, and that's a good question. So I guess when I, after I graduated from college, you know, I had that two-month gap where went hard at it, kind of got my feet wet. And then the first job that I had was in Chicago. And so if you remember the model that I had been, I guess, implementing up until that point was retail arbitrage and then going to thrift stores and selling used books.
So that's something that requires a car. You've got to be mobile to do that. And then living in Chicago, I didn't have a car. So I knew I wanted to keep selling on Amazon. So I was kind of thinking of how to still do that. And so that's when I got into online arbitrage. So using a tool like Tactical Arbitrage, which was still in its early stages at the time, and buying stuff from Target, Walmart, Vitacost, all these websites, getting it sent to my studio apartment, carting it half a mile down the street one way in the snow in Chicago sometimes to the UPS store to ship it into FBA.
And then, I mean, honestly, I got pretty burned out on that, as you could probably imagine. So it was late 2018 and I was honestly ready to call it quits. I was just like, I'm making a little money. It's not great. It's not worth my time. But I was pretty fed up with my corporate job at the time, which was in IT software sales. And about that time when I stumbled upon Watch Me Amazon on YouTube.
And so Larry Lebarski, he's one of the original, like an OG guy in the wholesale business model game. And stumbled upon one of his videos where he talks about the economics of wholesale and how. So, for example, if you spend $3,000 on wholesale inventory and it's good inventory and you sell through it, it might come back as say $3,700.
You spend that $3,700, it comes back as $4,500, et cetera, et cetera. And so really I just saw the snowball opportunity that that specific business model presented. And so that's when January of 2019, I was like, you know what? I don't like my job. I want to have something else to do that, that ideally I can, I guess, step away from this job and do full time.
So went into the wholesale business model full time or not full time, but I guess full speed, In January of 2019, stopped doing the online arbitrage. And then I believe it was June of 2019. So really only five-ish months later, five or six months later, quit that sales job, which was in hindsight, not a great idea because we weren't making any money on Amazon.
But I was just like, you know what? Because the way I saw it, I was like, worst case, if this thing goes south, and I donțt make any money with it. If I have to turn around and get another job, I kind of put myself in the shoes of a potential interviewer and I was thinking like, well hey this kid took a risk because I moved back home all the way across the country back with my mom and I was like if I see a kid that took this risk, was willing to do that and then and you know now has the experience to show for it, well then I'd hire him on the spot.
So that was kind of my thought process. It's like worst case I could always get another job if this doesn't work out.
Very cool, man. I've never heard someone say it like that. And I'm kind of surprised that I didn't even think about it because I feel like one thing I'm good at is putting myself in someone else's position. But I never thought about encountering that scenario, right, and like having that perspective that you just mentioned, like you're spot on.
That is the type of person you want to hire. I think on the other side of that, it's like, all right, is he gonna try and do his own thing again, or is he gonna stick around here for the long run hopefully because it does suck whenever you put a lot of energy and resources into training someone and then they leave, right?
But I think that's where employers can get creative and think about incentives that motivate people to stay here and then you also got it kind of got like the golden handcuffs perspective right which can work in an employer's favor.
So like those are things I think about now because I'm hiring a lot right now and we want to put a lot of time and energy into people but we want those people to stick around so we're getting creative with like incentive plans and things like that just so people like where they're working you know and they want to stay here it's funny like I'm 35 so I've got a few years on you but like when I was younger and approaching college and in college, work was just so negative.
Like you never really heard anyone speak positively about work, right?
Right. That's part of the reason why I wanted to get out of at least the position that I was in because I'm not going to name the company. It was a very large tech company, an old tech company, and people just didn't like it there. And I was like, you know, a lot of them are making good money, but it's just, it just wasn't of interest to me. So that's kind of why I made the decision.
Right on, man. Well, good for you. Like, what was going on at that time? Like, did some of your friends think you were crazy? Like, what were your parents saying? Like, I know a lot of us during that time, like, we have to overcome these objections from, you know, family and loved ones and friends and maybe a girlfriend or significant other. What was that situation like for you?
As far as my family was concerned, my parents were very supportive, and always have been. Like I said, my dad's been an entrepreneur and he was like, hey, if you want to do this. Well, and partially, so he was, he's my partner in the Amazon business. So, you know, selfishly, if you want to call it that, he's like, hey, you know, if you want to go for it, go for it.
But then my mom was also very supportive. I mean, because when I so I'm from North Carolina, like I said, I was living in Chicago at the time. And so to save money, just moved back home and moved in with her. And I mean, she loved it. So yeah, from that perspective, that wasn't an issue. As far as friends are concerned, a lot of them, and it's not like I made it super public or said, hey, this is what I'm doing now.
It's more so just trying to stay quiet, trying to stay under the radar and just kind of do my thing. And I mean, yeah, friends are supportive. I'm sure in their heads they're like, you know, he's got a pretty good sales job with this company making good money. Why would he do that? But you know, I never really got any negative feedback or anything from friends like that so everybody in my life is very supportive.
Awesome, man. That's great. So you take that leap, you go in for it. It sounds like you were hustling pretty hard. I come from an arbitrage background myself, so I remember walking out of the Nike store with 20 orange bags, and I used to have my wife and my daughter, I think I have a picture of my daughter in the middle of a bunch of Nike bags, so she's just surrounded by orange, and I think she was, I don't know, maybe a year old, or something like that.
We used to go out there and I had people buying products too. I was doing profit sharing and that's when we got to scale it very well for Arbitrage. But man, we used to do the U-Haul trucks. We would drive up and down the East Coast. We would load that thing up. We had the storage units, prepping our own stuff. Like it's a grind, man. Yeah, so what was that like for you? What kind of stuff were you doing to help it scale?
I guess to be clear, I started with a kind of retail arbitrage, like thrifting, used books type background, but honestly never really saw a ton of volume with that. And with online arbitrage, Sam, it's like, I don't even know why I kept going because we never really got that big until we got into wholesale, which is our current model. But then, on the online arbitrage side, back when I was living in Chicago in that first apartment, my roommate had to think I was a psychopath.
I swear to you. There were some days when I would go down to the package room to get packages and you know, they give you kind of like that, that like the thing you see at the hotel that they load the luggage on like almost like the bellhop as the bellboy uses. So my apartment had them and I would just load it like top to bottom with packages and it'd be, you know, 30 tiny boxes from Target, 20 from Kohl's, 10 from Walmart, and like they're spilling all over the place and you're in the elevator with 15 other people like shoulder to shoulder.
And I remember it so vividly one day I was in the elevator and I had this thing filled to the brim and this lady, and everyone in the elevator is quiet and this lady looks at me and she's like, man, you've been doing some shopping. I'm like, yeah, I guess you could call it that. But yeah, that's kind of the extent of the scale that we got to with online arbitrage and then it kind of just transformed from there.
Nice, yeah man, I think I got, I could say lucky, but when I hired people to do buying for me, that's when it took off. And then we were able to narrow down to focus just on a couple of suppliers. And then they became wholesale relationships. You're going to the managers, they would open the store early for you, and they would add you if they had a WhatsApp group or a text group.
They would take it to the next level and they were tapping into inventory for other stores across the country and putting in orders for us and having it shipped to us so that worked out well and that's how we were able to scale it. Online arbitrage was tough too man. I had a pretty good system for online arbitrage. But when I decided to stop doing it I was like I'm putting a lot of energy into dealing with canceled orders and random virtual credit card numbers and different logins.
Yeah, and like 15 different logins for one website, and like, yeah, it's all that.
Yeah, and then all the cash backtracking and stuff like that. And even though you had all those tips and tricks, you could still lose it overnight. Your arbitrage business could disappear for a variety of reasons. So I was like, man, I need to start putting my energy into things that are gonna pay off in the long run. And that's when we started doing more wholesale, more private labels. And that's been our focus now as well as a little bit of brand management.
So yeah, let us know how wholesale went for you. What kind of struggles did you face in the beginning? What kind of struggles are you facing now and how have you gotten through some of those things?
Yeah, so I mean, as far as struggles are concerned, there were definitely quite a few. So I remember when, so it was January 2019, I wanna say it was like January 6th, and it's the day that we established our entity, and I was like, we're burning the online arbitrage of boats, and we're going full scale into wholesale. And while I was waiting for the paperwork to clear and just have the business officially established, I was making a list of, just a short list of brands that ideally I would like to have a wholesale account with.
So January 6, papers got approved, started calling down the list, just one by one, cold calling. Probably was doing 20 brands per day, I was cold calling for, I mean, for months, like not just a couple days here and there, like every day for months and months. And anybody that's in the wholesale game knows that it's typically harder to go brand direct, not always, but the reason for that is, I mean, these brands are getting hundreds if not thousands of inquiries like mine on a weekly and monthly basis.
And so it just is really hard to break through the noise. And so I was just getting no, no, no, you know, the door slammed in my face left and right. But I was confident in the model and I wanted to kind of see it through. So it was just a whole lot of that. It was that whole year of 2019, that we focused on going directly to brands. And in hindsight, I would have done it a little differently.
I probably would have gone to some of these distributors that carried multiple brands. Only because they're typically a little easier to work with in the sense that they don't care if you sell on Amazon, at least most of them don't. Therefore they're a little easier to access the products that they carry. Now it was 2020, the beginning of 2020 when we started to not necessarily pivot because we were still reaching out to a lot of brands directly, but we started to add some of those distributors to the mix.
So instead of calling 20 brands a day, it became, well, I'm going to call 15 brands and I’m going to look for 4-5 distributors that carry those brands. So that way, if the brand themselves deny me, then maybe I can still access their products through a distributor. They might be a little more expensive, but at least they'll be able to access them.
And I'd say that's when things started to take off for us. I mean, COVID was part of that and that helped because I'm sure you remember back in 2020, it's like really anything you could get your hands on would sell and be profitable. The issue was being able to get your hands on it. So that year was a challenge in that sense with tons of opportunities.
It's just really having I guess relationships and a strong network during that year would have been extremely beneficial I didn't have that at the time So that's been a focus of mine over the last year starting to build that and the primary challenges these days are just capital. Because access to products is not an issue. I mean, we've got more or less unlimited products that we could purchase.
It's just capital and then, team, having the right people, having them in the right seats, and just executing on the stuff that we know that works day in and day out.
I love how you immediately started off making phone calls.
Yeah, I think that's another reason why it's, I guess why I consider myself good at it. Cause like I've had well over 1000, not just calls, but conversations. And when I looked at our, when I looked at our CRM, now mind you this specific CRM I'm referring to, we stopped using, I think two years ago. And so two years ago when we stopped using it, we had, I want to say it was either 2300 or 2600 suppliers in that CRM.
So, of those 2600 suppliers, I personally have reached out to either phone or email at least 2,000 of them, and then the last You know four or five six hundred were reached out to by VA's But that is definitely I attributed a large portion of the reason that we have been successful Is my ability just to get on the phone and have those conversations when a lot of people are content with hiding behind email.
Yeah, it's funny how that works out. And even me, someone, I love picking up the phone and calling people. I'd say that's something I'm good at too, but there are those times when I don't want to, right? I'm like, man, I just wanna send this email and get the yes and move forward, right? It's funny how we can sometimes deal with that struggle as well. But there are some people, I think the difference is that we are like, I won't let that get in the way of my success. Right?
I hardly let anything get in the way of that. If I have a goal, I'm gonna be pretty aggressive to meet it. But I just because I didn't start out that way. I didn't start out making phone calls, but I was quick to make a phone call. If I wasn't getting the answer I wanted or they weren't following up or if they said no but I wanted the contract, I wanted to know why.
Because there's a lot of value in that no. Like even if they don't say yes and you never convince them to say yes, there is a lot of value in knowing why someone doesn't want you to sell your products on Amazon. Because that gives you a position you can take when you're talking to other brands in the future. It's like, hey, I know you're hesitant because of this reason or that reason, but here's why we're different, and here's how we can help you overcome that.
Yeah, helps you kind of tailor your pitch. And again, I think that that's one of the things that we have done well because I mean when I was starting out calling those 20 a day, I mean, I was clueless. I had no idea what I was talking about. They could tell I had no idea what I was talking about, which is probably why my close rate was so low in the early days, but it's like when you're getting 20 reps per day in, then you get to be at least decent pretty quick. And so we did take those insights.
Yeah, it's such a great perspective to have. And you said reps, it makes me think of the gym, right? Like it's no one, most people go to the gym and they're comfortable with sucking for a little bit, right? But when it comes to business, there are a lot of people, myself included, who like I wanted to be great right away. And I wasn't being patient with myself and I wasn't willing to get those crappy reps in to get to where I need to get.
And I just kept gravitating towards things I was very good at. This is great if you have other people on your team, but back at that point, it was just all me. So some things started to slip through the cracks, and you really gotta put yourself in that mindset of a beginner and be comfortable with it, and actually be excited about it, because that's when you're picking up new skills and you're learning something new that can add value to your business.
It's an exciting thing to be able to pick that stuff up, you just got to figure out how to balance all of it.
It sounds like you used to work in sales, right? Is that correct? Software sales?
Yeah, so that was the job that I ended up leaving to pursue Amazon full-time. And I mean, I will, again, as I said, I won't name the company, but I will say that that experience was a great experience because the really the first year and a half, which I mean, it's pretty much my entire tenure there, was a sales training program. And so this company has one of the, I guess, more highly regarded sales training programs in IT sales.
And some of the stuff that I learned, because like, honestly, in hindsight. it was so valuable because pretty much day one, you're with a cohort so I want to say there are about 30 people in my cohort and so it's everybody that's going into sales. And they throw you into the fire they kind of give you a case study and they say hey study this we're gonna fly up to New York for a week and you're gonna sit down and role-play with people that have been selling at the company for 40 years.
And like when I say people were nervous I mean people were like losing it. And it was and I mean I'm not gonna lie I was too but it was the best-selling training, sales experience, and that translated exactly to what I did when I started Amazon and to what I'm doing today.
Yeah, man, I love that because I think there's a lot of value in things that we may not even necessarily enjoy, right? And I think big business is something we can draw a lot of good information from. There are a lot of things we don't like about it as entrepreneurs, but I can tell, like, you started using a CRM right away using terms like close rate, right?
You had this experience that allowed you to become successful faster at Amazon because you had this blueprint for sales you had this background and you knew what to monitor. And it sounds like that helped you. When I look back on a lot of my experiences as an employee, I start, instead of just thinking of it all negatively, now I just look at the good things that I got out of it and how I can apply some of that stuff to my business as we scale and bring more people in.
There are a lot of things that big business does right that we can draw inspiration from. And I find myself looking to bigger business these days for inspiration on a lot of things versus back in the day it was just showing me the way I didn't want to do things.
Well, it's funny that you say that point right there because that's exactly what I was going to follow it up with. There are a lot of things that I didn't like. And again, I see those as positives too, because they taught me exactly how I don't want to run a business, how I don't want to manage employees, and how I don't want to treat certain people. And so all of them, there were explicit benefits. There are also explicit benefits that came from some of the, I guess, negatives of that experience too.
Nice. What would be your advice to someone in that position now that they're in college, coming out of college, but maybe they wanna do their own thing? What kind of advice would you give them?
So I mean, I'd say do a little bit of research upfront. I mean, that's what I did the whole three, I guess the three or four months that I had between when I found out about Amazon and when I graduated and started implementing. Now I wish I had taken action earlier, but the truth is I didn't have any money. So I didn't have, like, I couldn't go to retail stores and start scanning stuff and getting my feet wet that way through trial and error.
So I would say that if you've got the desire, do some research. In fact, I had somebody give this exact question on Twitter today, and this is my response: Do one week of research but no more. And that one week of research could be anything from watching YouTube videos, listening to the podcast, that type of thing. And then at the end of that week, go out and implement. Whether that means you're going to start with private label, then start reaching out to suppliers and getting quotes or doing product research.
If you want to start with arbitrage, go to Target and scan everything in the clearance section for three hours straight. If you want to do wholesale, start calling 20 suppliers per day, right? But it's just doing that initial information phase and then putting that into action as soon as possible because you're going to learn a thousand times more and a thousand times faster through trial and error and implementation than you'll ever learn from a course or YouTube video or anything like that.
Yeah, man, that's some good advice. I've been, I get people that ask me about arbitrage these days about getting into it, and I'm like, sign up for Inventory Lab, download Scoutify 2, go into a store and scan stuff for like 40 hours, you know, in total, and you'll figure it out, right?
Exactly. And that's, that's, I do that. Skip the whole YouTube phase, just do that. And I, you'll find, I mean, you know, as well as I do, 99.99% of people won't do that. So, you know, it's kind of up to them.
Yeah. And that's really when you start to learn the most valuable information because it all becomes relevant to your own situation. Right, I mean it's kinda like, you know, you're wanting to get healthier in shape and you see the latest bodybuilding routine on Instagram and you start to do it and it like doesn't work out for you. It's like, well, you know, you're not a bodybuilder, right?
Right. So you only did it for a week. Right. Or you only did it for a week or you're still eating McDonald's or whatever.
So it allows you to get the most valuable pieces of information that allow you to just level up in a much faster way.
And it's just those reps like we said, it's just getting the reps in.
Yes, and you're getting them in much faster that way. And you're just getting great feedback that you can process and implement your new information immediately. It's like getting into that flow state, right? If you have to leave and go on a computer and then come back a day later, you're missing out on the advantage of just being able to make a decision at the moment, have a new idea, test it out, and keep up with it.
So, it is such a great way to learn and I think myself included, I didn't get that at first. I kind of went too hard on the information side of things and had to just kind of go through the process that I was going through at that time in my life. But when I look back on it and people ask me for advice, I'm like, if you're ready to go, get this, get that, and go. Just go for it.
So what's business like for you now, man? Like, what's your revenue looking like? What does growth look like? What does the team look like? And what's the goal that you guys are working on this year?
Yeah, so let's see, in 2022, we were at about 4.3 million in revenue. And then, so every year, I guess every year since 2019, we'd grown revenue by about 300%. And so the goal, the goal this year, we don't necessarily have a revenue target. We're just more focused on margins because, I mean, we found that last year our revenue was significantly higher than 21, yet the profit was almost the same.
And so, that's not ideal, so we kind of like: all right, let's take a step back, let's look at our business, let's look at one, our most profitable suppliers. And then two, our most profitable products from those suppliers, and then just double down on those. Double down on the relationships with those suppliers, double down on our best products, because at the end of the day, I know you're familiar with the 80-20 rule, I mean, we found that 80% of our profit was coming from 20% of our suppliers.
And then to drill down a step further, 80% of our profit was coming from 20% of the products from those suppliers. So it's like there's a lot of products that we've been carrying for a while that just weren't so profitable anymore. So we've pruned a lot of our inventory. We stopped buying from certain suppliers that either the orders just weren't big enough to move the needle or maybe we didn't like working with them or for whatever reason.
So we just have taken a much more focused approach this year and said, hey, these are our top 10 suppliers. We're not interested in working with anyone outside of them right now. These are our best brands, let's roll with them. And then from a team perspective, right now we've got four virtual employees all located in the Philippines, and then I have a personal assistant, so she's located over in Nigeria.
And I'm the only, I guess, US-based employee, and so we try to keep it super lean and try to keep Martins high.
Nice man. Yeah that sounds like you guys are in a good spot just raining it all in like really understanding your business gives you a much better position to build off from you know when you've kind of cleaned up the scraps so to say and understand what you're focused on.
Yeah, so that's been the goal. You know, its growth is great, but if the growth is unprofitable, then what's the point? So I know that that's been our big focus is, well, we don't need to be this huge company. We'd rather keep a little smaller, but at the same time, keep much better margins and do things that way.
Yeah, I like it. What kind of stuff are you following these days to gain inspiration on how to run your business?
So, I mean, really I just try to take inspiration from a bunch of different sources. I'm a big reader, so I read a lot of books. I try to take some principles from those books and implement them into the business. One of the big, a very big, or I guess a very influential book that I read for the first time, it's been a couple of years now, but I reread it a couple of times now, and Profit First, which I think you're familiar with.
And so we've taken that framework and modified it a little bit and then adapted it to our business. And so really we implemented that at the very beginning of this year, so the first payout of 2023 got divvied up according to the profit-first methodology. And I mean, I would say that that's probably been the biggest game changer for us in knowing that, hey, every dollar that we have coming in has a home.
Whether it's going into our pocket in the form of distribution, whether it's going back into inventory, whether it's going to operating expenses, or whether it's going to taxes or freight slash 3PL fees. So those are all the buckets that our dispersants go into and that's helped us get a hold on our finances and scale again not rapidly but at a controllable pace and a profitable pace.
Nice, yeah, there's a lot of value and confidence in knowing where every dollar is going. You said every dollar has a home. Versus just selling, selling, selling, and maybe the end of the quarter comes up and you're like, oh, let me see how I'm doing.
Yeah, which is how we've been operating for the last four years. And, you know, it's kind of one of those things where it's like, help get us here, but it's not going to get us to where we want to go.
Yeah, 100% man. And it's always nice to log in and see your profit account just growing. Even if it's, when I first started doing it, I'd be like, all right, I put 300 bucks in there.
Right. It's the discipline though. The dollar amount is not important. It's the habit of putting something in it, whether it's 1%, whether it's 10%, whatever. But yeah, I'm with you 100%.
And I always liked, even though it was a smaller number, I always liked looking at it and being like, this is all profit. Like this is all profit.
Yeah, like this is going in my pocket. Like this is not going to taxes. This is not going to inventory. It will straight up be in my pocket at the end of the quarter. And so that's, yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, that's a good feeling. Yeah, so I'd definitely suggest, like if anyone's listening to that is struggling with their finances and you're still small and doing it on your own, go read Profit first and take some advice from that book because if you're struggling with finances then that most likely means you're not one of those naturally amazing people at finances and this one fit better with the way that my mind thought about these things. Is that kind of how it was for you too?
Oh, totally. Basically, if we didn't implement this, then we’d probably ended up being in a bad spot because we were operating our business from the standpoint that I'm sure a lot of other people do, which is where we've got X amount of the bank account, Amazon's going to pay us X amount on this date, the credit card balance is Y, and the credit card is due on this date.
And it's like, if those numbers add up, we're good. If they don't, we're screwed. And so that was pretty much it. Which is a horrible way to run a business, especially when you're dealing with large sums of money. So yeah, we were like, hey, we gotta get this online.
Right on man. Well, we'll start to wrap up a little bit here. Corey, I want to ask you some questions that will help the audience get to know you a little bit better and maybe help them draw on some inspiration to do their own thing as well.
And here we'll start with a good one here, just really reflecting on like, how does it feel to be you now? Like how would 15-year-old Corey look at, you now, and what would he think of what you've been able to accomplish?
15 year old me would probably be pretty proud. I mean as far as what I've accomplished. I mean I personally feel like I've completed all that much, which you know I feel like that's kind of the entrepreneurial dilemma. Even though you know maybe objectively I have, but yeah I mean I'd be proud of myself and I'd be proud of the fact that I'm not satisfied and that I'm still trying to keep pushing so yeah.
Yeah, man, I like that. I think like the younger version of myself would say something similar, but at the same time I always enjoyed like just being able to live in the moment, you know, and I think that's what being an entrepreneur really gives us. It's like we're in control of our time.You know, maybe I'm still working 60, 70 hours a week, but I'm here because I want to be here, not because someone told me to be here and you know, I've got kids and hobbies and stuff.
So If something important comes up, I'm not going to work. I'm going to prioritize the kids. If there's a hobby I really enjoy and the opportunity comes up to do that, I'm going to go do that because I know it puts me in a different state of mind that elevates my way of thinking and allows me to be better at what I'm doing.
Exactly. Totally agree.
Do you have any hobbies like that, Corey? Like what are you doing in your free time?
Yeah, so I'm super into working out. I mean, that's been a consistent hobby of mine for, I want to say like 11 years now. So that's how I always start my day. Going to, we've got a really cool gym here in Charlotte that's old school. It's just people lifting weights for the most part. And I really enjoy that style of working out. So I do a lot of that.
I've been trying to get into golf. And so that's something that I'm trying to build that habit of going to the driving range a couple of times a week. And I’m trying to see my friends. I’ve got some friends that kind of live all over and so in my free time like to go up to visit some friends in Boston, I'll go out to LA to see one of my buddies from college and just spend time with people that I enjoy hanging out with.
Nice, man. Nice. And I know you went to the Сhapter Meetup, right? The ATV Riding? Yeah. Yeah. I missed that event. I was bummed. For those who are listening, Corey and I are in the same Chapter for MDS. He's in North Carolina. I'm in Virginia Beach. So that's the closest chapter for me is six hours. Down to see you guys.
Well, you definitely missed out because we had a blast. Yeah, we got pretty buddy, but it was worth it.
Yeah, it looked like a good time. I love getting out and doing stuff like that. You have to hit up David, man. Give you some golf lessons.
It's funny, the second I said golf, he was the first person that popped into my head. I know he's a great golfer, so he's kind of been pushing me towards it.
So Corey, as you got successful on Amazon and attempted to scale your business, was there anything you had to change about yourself? Did you realize that something of your own accord was getting in the way of your success? And if yes, how did you overcome that? Or how are you dealing with that?
Yeah, so I'd say just really just delegation. And so this is something that I would, I'd say it's something I struggled with quite a bit at the beginning because I was always on the mentality that, oh, if it's going to get done right, I've got to be the one to do it. And now for better or for worse, I feel like I've almost taken a 180 where I'll just get someone else to do it.
So, and because of that, I guess mindset shift, I think now the challenge is I'm almost too quick to delegate. And so either my instructions aren't clear or maybe it just is simply too soon to delegate that particular task. So kind of have to rein it back in, optimize a little bit, and then take a more disciplined approach to delegation. But that was the main thing.
And oh, and another thing too, and this has been, I mean, honestly, MDS was the catalyst for this. Starting out and really up until about a year ago, I didn't have a network in the Amazon space at all, really not a network in general. So it's never something I focused on. I knew it was important because everybody I've ever met in my entire life who's been successful talks about the value of the network.
I'm a pretty outgoing person, I like being with people, but I was very intimidated to walk into a room of especially people that I don't know and just make contacts, make conversation. And I think that what's really what helped get me out of my shell in that specific context was going to the Mexico City Summit with NDS back in September. I almost didn't go.
Because I didn't know anybody, you know, and I knew that I was going to have to step up and meet some people and put myself out there. And that's what put me over the edge and going, I'm like, I'm going to go, I know it's going to be fun. I'm going to force myself to interact with people and make some contacts. And that's exactly what I did.
And I mean, this is a recurring theme throughout this conversation, but it's just reps, right? So I did that. I remember we had that mixer-type thing the first night. I was so nervous. But made some good contacts. And then the next day, a similar event - a little easier. Then the next day same thing was a little easier. And now it's like I have not that I'm completely you know unafraid to go into a room and talk to people but it's like networking has just gotten so much easier.
At the end of the day, you're literally just having conversations with people and so I think that that's been something that I was bad at but I've gotten better at that I'm trying to keep getting better at.
Awesome. How'd you feel after that first MDS event when you came back home and got back to work?
I mean, honestly a little overwhelmed because it's like I met, oh, I got, there's so much good advice being given, so many good tips and a lot of just like golden nuggets. It's like, how did I never know that? You know, so you've got like a notebook full of notes and all this stuff you're going to implement and then also too, then, I know that's something that we all struggle with.
The comparison trap where you think you're doing great and then you show up to an event like this with 150, literally the most elite Amazon sellers in the entire world, And you're like, dang, I'm nobody. And so, it's humbling and it's motivating at the same time. But yeah, I was inspired when I got back and I think that that trip, as I said, was the catalyst for me doing some more networking. And that was really, it was a fantastic event overall.
Nice man. Yeah, I always come back so motivated. There's a level of motivation I get from going to those events that I don't get anywhere else. So that's always the biggest thing I get out of it. The information is great, but I don't think there's any tip I could get that would be as good as the amount of motivation I come back with. You know, and it'll last like two to four weeks.
I am just overly motivated to get things done. So I just love going to the events. Always such a good time. Has MDS helped you in any other way? Like why don't you let the audience know a little bit about MDS and what it's done for you and your business?
Yes, I mean, MDS has been a fantastic resource. I mean, the network is the, I'd say the main thing, but also just the resources in the portal. People are just so freely sharing documents, SOPs, playbooks, Click-up tutorials, and anything that you think you might need in your business when it comes to operations, you could probably find a helpful resource within the MDS portal that somebody else has submitted along the line.
And, I just couldn't believe that when I was considering joining MDS, I didn't know anybody else that was a part of it. So Frankie put me in touch with a couple of guys here in Charlotte that were members, and he's like, hey man, just talk to them and see what they have to say. And I mean, the and like, shout out Jason Pratt, John Klein, you know, some other guys here in the Charlotte area were just so generous with their time.
When I called them up and said, hey, I live in Charlotte, I don't know anybody in the Amazon space. I'm thinking about joining this group. You know, how's your experience been? And they didn't even try to pitch me on it. They're just like, this has been our experience. These are our results. Basically, make the decision for yourself. And each of them talked to me for well over an hour, just gave me their time freely like that.
And so the quality of people in the group is second to none, not to mention just their actual business acumen. So really can't speak highly enough.
Amazing man. Well, I know MDS is happy to have you in the group and Corey is definitely become a pretty active member of the community. I know you're participating in a lot of the chapter events and I see you posting a lot of stuff in the Facebook group. So it's always great to add another good quality person to the group man. So thank you for being a good member of the community.
Thanks for having me, like I said.
I'm looking forward to seeing you again. I’m not sure when the next Chapter event is but I'm definitely planning on being down there and I might be making it out to Spain later this year for the summit trip.
Yeah, I'm planning on being there for sure. I mean, if it was anything like the Mexico City event, it'll be worth it many times over, so I'm looking forward to that.
Yeah. Right on, Corey. Well, thanks for coming on the show, man. It's good to chat with you and get your story out there. Thanks for being pretty open and honest about everything you went through and what's been working for you and helped you scale your business. And we're looking forward to having you on again sometime soon, man.
Thank you, yeah, thanks so much for the time. I'm looking forward to it as well. I enjoyed it.
Alright, thank you, Corey.