Nick Shucet 0:19

Welcome to the Million Dollar Sellers podcast. Today we have Jon Klein on the show. Thanks for coming on Jon. It's always great to chat with you man and I'm excited for the group and the listeners to get to know you a little bit better. I know you've done some really cool stuff during your journey on Amazon.  You've taken four brands from zero to seven figures which is amazing and I know you just have a different way of thinking which impacts me a lot and how I operate.

I'm excited to share that with the community, but go ahead and just let everyone know a little bit about you, your background, what life is like for you at home and what you got going on these days for work.

Jon Klein 00:59

Sounds good. Well, thanks Nick for having me on. First and foremost, I'm super stoked to be here. I've been a long time listener of the show. You kill it. You do an amazing job. So thank for all that you do for us to deliver us awesome content and awesome stories from sellers and stuff. A little bit about myself. Born and raised in Long Island, New York.

I lived there my whole life about five years ago.  Moved down to Charlotte, North Carolina, married to an amazing wife for, we're going on around 12 years now. I've got to make sure I got that right, and I've got two amazing kids, a 12 year old boy and an eight year old girl. Our boys have had a chance to connect and become friends, which is really cool.

I have been involved in digital marketing for also like around 12 years.  I started actually working for a friend doing affiliate marketing, landing page design, conversion rate optimization, stuff like that. That was my entry point to the business and then had the opportunity in around 2015 to launch our own skincare brand.

I can get a little more into the ups and downs of that whole journey because we did not hit it right out of the gate, had a lot of struggles, trials, and tribulations making the business successful but we finally did shortly after launching on Amazon. These days I am still running the skincare brand. I run a growth and consulting agency helping Amazon-focused brands and I also more recently have launched a pet brand and launching a home decor brand.

Nick Shucet 02:59

Awesome, man. What is it about you that has allowed you to accomplish these things, right? In my opinion, a lot of this stems from the person that we were back in the day, the experiences that we've been through and then we shape that and turn it into an asset these days that really allows us to specialize in something. What was life like for little Jon back in the day and how do you draw on those experiences to best represent yourself today?

Jon Klein 03:34

That's a really good question. I think for a lot of people in MDS, they've kind of had this entrepreneurial mindset from a very young age. I think I had it, but hadn't really started any significant businesses until after college but I knew that I always wanted to work for myself and didn't want to work for somebody else. I think the biggest thing that allowed me to find success was just like pressure over time.

It's like a very silly saying, but it's so simple, but it's so true. It's like you can't build a diamond overnight. You've got to just apply pressure slowly, but surely over time. I think just like what the common thread that makes us all successful is the ability to show up day after day, get knocked down, get back up, show up again, and just keep taking consistent action. 

I think in certain ways, I took a long time to develop into the entrepreneur I am today, but it wouldn't have happened without that. Just like showing up and doing more each day.

Nick Shucet 04:50

Right. Was there anyone who inspired you back in the day that allowed you to just keep showing up because I think that a lot of people will have similar experiences, but I think that's what sets us apart is we keep showing up. Back in the day, I thought, what was wrong with me? Why do I keep doing this? Why am I not giving up? But you're right. That's what makes a good entrepreneur. We have a vision and we're just stuck on it and chasing it. I think a lot of us draw on inspiration from other people for that.

Jon Klein 05:25

Yes, that's a very good question. I think that I was fortunate to have some good examples. My father had his own business. He was a dentist and that's actually part of my origin story was working in his business and helping to grow it. Both of my uncles were entrepreneurs so I saw all these examples of entrepreneurs around me. I think that that's such a key piece, right? 

You need to really feel like it's possible from seeing people directly around you having success. I think it's very difficult for someone to see something on YouTube or something on Instagram or whatever it may be and have no real-world examples of it in their lives and believe that it's really possible.   I think a lot of the privilege is just seeing real examples of entrepreneurs.

I was just fortunate to have some good mentors in digital marketing early on who showed me what was possible. Maybe it was also I worked in the bank. I worked for Chase and Wachovia and I was tired of that and I just really didn't want to work for somebody else anymore.  Just that feeling of desire for freedom, right?

I'm not necessarily looking to become a billionaire doing this stuff, but as long as I have freedom and I could have a business that supports my lifestyle, that to me is worth fighting for. It's something that's always given me a lot of inspiration and motivation to keep going each day.

Nick Shucet 07:07

Awesome, man. Wachovia, I haven't heard that name in a while, that old bank.

Jon Klein 07:14

Right around when they were messing up everybody's mortgages and they were there paying out big commissions and it was funny to see it from the inside because as we all know, just a few years later, we had the financial crisis and it was all because of us.

Nick Shucet 07:32

That reminds me, man this moment's so vivid in my mind. My dad and I were riding around my grandmother in the car. She must've been like 97 or something, kind of losing it. She always read everything she saw as we drove along and she saw Wachovia and out of nowhere, she just said, “They better watch over your money.”. It's just so funny man. Older people and little kids. They just say things out of nowhere that make you laugh.

Jon Klein 08:05

No I think Wachovia missed out on an awesome catchphrase with that. We'll make sure to hire your grandma.

Nick Shucet 08:09

100% man. Is there any moment in your life you reflect on that's vivid for you that you like I'm gonna do this entrepreneur thing, like this is it, this is for me, the other way is not, and I'm gonna go after it.

Jon Klein 08:27

I would say that it was that Wachovia experience, just getting towards the end. They were merging with Wells Fargo, and it just became apparent to me that I was never gonna get ahead, and I was never gonna grow in the company to a high role. There was a lot of nepotism and a lot of just messed up stuff going on so I was like, I gotta take a shot at this thing. 

I think for the first five years when I was an unsuccessful entrepreneur trying a lot of things and failing at a lot of things, I wasn't so sure but then when you start to get like a little bit of traction, then the light bulb goes on and you're like, okay, wow, this can actually happen for me. I think it's like my first online sale, right? As soon as I saw the cash register ringing, I was hooked and I was obsessed.

I think that was the point where there was no looking back for me, but I definitely had some trials and tribulations early on where I wasn't so sure if I could do it.

Nick Shucet 09:38

I think that's what happens to all of us, right? I think it's important for anyone thinking about that, that they understand it's going to be tough, but that the grass is greener on the other side in this scenario, right? We always hear people say it's not using that phrase, but it really is, and you've got to be willing to go through those tough times and see them as lessons and learning opportunities, not failures, right? 

As soon as we labeled it as a failure, now we've turned it into this negative thing, and we've made it harder for ourselves, right? What were some of those things as you got started with your journey that you struggled with, and how did you view those and overcome them?

Jon Klein 10:27

Good question. I'll talk a little bit about the history of our skincare brand. The way it started, my father is a dental practice. When I left Wachovia, I joined up with him as the marketing director to help grow the business and work on some other entrepreneurial projects that all failed at the time. We met a world-renowned chemist who was working with a particular type of technology. 

He was VP of R&D at several public companies during the 80s, and we were looking to put the technology into an oral rinse. We basically started down that path and ended up pivoting into skincare because there were some issues with some of the ingredients not being generally recognized as safe, GRAS. There were FDA, FTC issues, and skincare was an easier path for us. 

We actually wrote a couple patents on the technology as it relates to skincare and created the initial product, which is a three-step acne treatment kit. Our initial play was like we felt like we were a platform technology. We felt like we were like a science company because our technology actually works on a wide range of skin conditions, so not only will it work on acne, but it'll work on anything that's bacterial or fungal related. 

After we developed it, I was spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to out-license some aspects of the technology. I was trying to figure out how to sell to a dermatologist and estheticians on a private-label basis. I was trying to figure out how to partner with a really big direct-to-consumer like we were looking at DRTV type of partners.

I actually went pretty far in negotiations with a couple of them, but they all fell apart.  I had basically plan A, plan B, plan C, all slowly failed over a few years and plan D was to launch my own brand because rewind like five years prior to 2015 when we launched, but it was like 2010, it wasn't so easy to launch a brand, right? I mean, aside from Amazon, which we didn't really know about, it could require some pretty big financial investments. 

I just didn't really see how we could do that. I felt like that was going to be the hardest of all the options but lo and behold, we made our way to plan D and created our own brand and brought it to Amazon. Immediately when we brought it to Amazon, we did half a million in sales just with one product in the first year and a million in the second year.

Nick Shucet 13:31

What year was that?

Jon Klein 13:33

That was in 2015.

Nick Shucet 13:34

2015? Nice.

Nick Shucet 13:36

Nice man. What was the market like on Amazon at that moment? Would you feel like it's gotten a lot more competitive with your specific technology? Have other people adopted it?

Jon Klein13:51

Still the only ones that have the technology. When we came in during the first few years between 2015 and 2018, we figured some stuff out that the big brands hadn't really figured out yet, like how to get reviews, how to use Pay-Per-Click to drive organic rankings. I think a lot of the bigger brands in the space were looking at Pay-Per-Click and they were like, “Oh, like that's not acquiring a customer in the traditional sense that we're used to.”. 

“You're acquiring a customer for Amazon so why are we going to do pay-per-click?” I think they just didn't know how to get reviews and stuff like that. I guess around 2020, if I'm not mistaken, is when Amazon really democratized the reviews with the request review button. The big brands caught up to us. 

We ended up having to release a bunch more products just to maintain the same level of revenue that we're at right now but it got a lot more competitive once the big brands in our space caught up so that's part of the reason why I diversified into some of the other business models the brand management consulting and also some some new brands that are in niches that are a little less competitive.

Nick Shucet 15:05

Okay. I'll ask this question. I feel like I know the answer because I've drived down and see you, we kick it all the time and hang out. What are you best at? What is your area of expertise that you focus on in the business?

Jon Klein 15:21

I love growth and marketing. I'm a berry squeezer so that was the analogy that we talked about, right? It's funny, I've spent my whole career trying to figure out how to squeeze all the juice out of a berry, right? What are all the different traffic channels you can do, all the different hacks and tactics, and things you could do to get the most out of a given product, right? 

That's where most of my knowledge comes from. More recently, I've learned that, hey, maybe it's not about squeezing all the juice out of the berries you have. Maybe it's about picking some more berries and squeezing as much juice out of them as possible, but still just focus on more berries, which is more products, right? It's been a little shift in focus for me over the past year. but that's my background and what I enjoy is just chatting about growth and marketing.

Nick Shucet 16:26

Nice. I love the berry analogy was really hit home for me when you said it because we were talking about one of my brands and what I was doing, right? We're pretty similar, right? We like to do the growth and the marketing stuff. You said something along the lines of like, “Nick, you need more berries, man, you need more berries to squeeze.”

Right?  I was doing all this cool marketing stuff, but we only had one product, right? We didn't really have anything else to sell the customers to increase the value of what we were doing. That's not the only time you've said things that have really immediately shifted the way I think of something. I'm reminded of the experience on one of the affiliate platforms, right? 

Where everyone's trying to pay less, everyone wants a deal, and you're just like, I'm paying them more. At first, I was like, what the hell, but then you explained it, and it makes sense, man. If you have a list of a thousand people and 80% of them are paying you less than 20%. Well, when things get rough or you have to prioritize something, who do you think they're going to prioritize? 

Of course, it's going to be those people that are paying a premium for the service. It just shifted the way I think, but it's common sense. What led you to develop? Was that something that you just made sense to you right away or was that a lesson you learned along?

Jon Klein 18:02

It was a lesson I learned. I went to the Affiliate Summit about five years ago and also my previous experience with affiliates and just chatting with a bunch of them and they explained to me very clearly. It's like they have 20 slots on a calendar, right? You've got five days in the work week, four weeks in the month, and they view that calendar as their inventory, right?  

Whatever they do, if they're an email affiliate or they're creating content or whatever they're doing, they have a limited amount of bandwidth and inventory so if you want to get on the top of their pile, you need to do that with incentivizing them appropriately. Of course, the conversion rate is another big factor in that, and then and then brand and relationship as well. 

I think just more generally, it's thinking empathetically, right? I think a lot of business owners are inherently very selfish. There's a fine line to walk there, right? If you're too empathetic, you're just giving away the farm all the time. I probably have a tendency to do that.  I feel like empathy is such an important trait for entrepreneurs because your team members, your partners, everybody who you work with, if you can really put yourself in their shoes, it's like a superpower, right?

It's like people will stick to you and your relationships will be longer and employees staying with you longer and all those wonderful things. I think it requires empathy to do that.

Nick Shucet 19:47

Right. I definitely agree with that man. I think it's even more important in today's world, right? Where you can't hide anything really, right? You can be blasted on social media in a second, right? Everyone knows who you are. Everyone can find information. You can't really hide behind anything these days, right? That's more motivation to really be that empathetic person, which I think is great, right? 

It motivates everyone. to be a better version of themself. We're all human, right? We all have selfish desires. We all have things we want to accomplish. I think knowing that it's harder to hide that side of ourselves, not that it's bad, right? It's just natural human behavior to want to take care of ourselves and our loved ones and stuff, but it really motivates us to think of the world as a community.

When you do that, you see people giving that love back to you in a variety of ways.  I think that's what we see in the community, right? In the MDS community, the more you share, the more you get back. I'll let you speak on what the community means to you and how you navigate that here in a minute, but first I want to understand something else that you've shared with me.

Your idea of mastering the fundamentals before you go on to other things, making sure you have enough berries before you start squeezing all your berries, right? What are some other things that you really make sure you get right along the way so that when you go hard on growth and marketing, you feel confident in what you're doing?

Jon Klein 21:37

Really good question. To start off the answer, one of the big growth levers that a lot of people pull is obviously DTC, right? Getting off Amazon, Shopify, whatever platform you're going to use, but building a direct channel, right? I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do this for my acne treatment brand around let's say 2020 and 2021.

We pulled every lever.  We worked relentlessly on our email flows, post-purchase, pre-purchase, cart abandonment, browse abandonment, retargeting ads, all these different things that impact the lifetime value if you do these things correctly. What we found was even though we did a pretty good job of those things and a pretty good job of our acquisition efforts testing various creatives and channels and all these different things, our lifetime value was not high enough relative to our competitors. 

One of the big things they say in digital marketing, in general, is he who could pay the most to acquire a customer wins, right? If you're in a niche where you're against behemoths that have these really big catalogs and really huge lifetime values, they can afford to drive up the price of acquisition, right? If you're a little guy in the same niche of big guys, you're all competing in the same area, it's going to be really hard for you to grow your direct-to-consumer past a certain point.

What we decided to do was take a step back and focus on just more berries with the plan of coming back in a couple of years and trying again because once you have more berries, you can cross-sell, you can upsell. I think at the end of the day, the most predictable way to grow your lifetime value is not with email flows, not with the remarketing, but it's with the berry quantity, right?

Of course the related products, right? I don't necessarily mean a superstore of all sorts of stuff. I mean, products that the same customer can buy, right? That way you're driving up that AOV, lifetime value. I think that that's such an important fundamental and I'm using that for my new businesses too.  The new niches that I'm going into, part of me wants to do everything at once and hit D2C, whatever.

I'm like, no, let me just grow the product catalog, focus on that for the first couple of years just on Amazon, and then when we have a decent catalog, then go into these things. That's what we've done, focused totally on product development and having more berries.

Nick Shucet 24:55

It's interesting how we get more advanced in our line of work. We start to do less, but we start to do better, right? In the beginning, it's like, oh man, I could do anything, right? I would figure it out. I had all this energy, but I also only had one kid instead of four, right? At one point I was single it's like, I had nothing else to worry about and I could just stay on the computer in my pajamas all day and list products on Amazon and answer customer messages and stuff like that. 

As we mature in life in a variety of ways, I think it's real important to change the way that we're thinking as we have all these clashing priorities happening in our life. I know you've got two kids, you've got a wife, you got a house to take care of, you got to take care of yourself. How are you navigating those situations in life right now?

Jon Klein 25:58

I think to some extent the old adage is true. When you have kids and you're active in their lives, you're playing the entrepreneurship game on hard mode. I think that's definitely true but I embrace that. For me, I like what I do. I have no problem doing this for a long time. I try to work at a pace where, like you said, I'm really effective, focusing on the most important things that are going to move the needles. 

As I mature in the business, doing more delegating, doing less of the action myself, being okay with somebody else working at 80% of my capacity and just really trying to have that balance. We spoke about this extensively, our time with our kids, you're not getting that time back, man. I soak it all up. I think we're all very fortunate to have something where we can have that time. 

I spend a huge amount of time with my kids and also on myself, making sure that I'm getting my exercise, getting out in nature, getting some sun each day, the important things, because life is too short and I had the experience of my father was working like 80 hours a week as a dentist and I didn't want to be like that. That's what drove me to come into the business side instead of becoming a dentist myself.

Nick Shucet 27:42

Nice man. What kind of things have worked really well for you to allow you to do that? When it comes to delegating or hiring or leveraging a third party to handle some aspect of the business. Is there any advice you would give anyone listening now that would want to delegate some work off their plate?

Jon Klein 28:06

I don't think I'm super great at hiring and managing so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but one thing that I think we do well that I like is we use Upwork a lot. If I have a particular project, I might find somebody from Upwork and then if we work really well together and there's a more full-time need later. I can turn them into a full hire. 

The other thing that I do is I spend a good amount of time training my people. I think part of what I promised to them is not just a paycheck and I want them to really advance in their careers and advance in their knowledge in the business. I'll spend one-on-one time training my key people as much as they want on any topic they want. 

That's definitely an investment of my time that I'm happy to make to be able to better delegate and be able to have people stick with me for longer. Those are a couple things off the top of my head that we do, and like I said before, I think the biggest tip that I got that has worked for me is being okay with somebody else doing 80% as good of a job as you. 

The old Jon of three years ago, if there was a landing page I had to make or something, I'm gonna sit up all night and geek on it and just make it perfect and watch Ezra Firestone courses and just nail the whole thing, but the new Jon today will let somebody else work on it and then bring it to me and then I'll make it better and just like a collaborative approach or whatever.

Nick Shucet 30:06

How's that been? How's that worked for you? What have you noticed once you made that change?

Jon Klein 30:13

I think it works really well. A couple years ago, and actually about 18 months ago, tried to hire a brand manager for our skincare business and I tried to really step away. That's the only hire that I've ever had that didn't work out, so what I did around nine months ago is had to let go of that brand manager and now the core team is just myself, my partner, and our Filipino VAs and some other services gluing it all in between. 

Being a little more involved once a week to do work sessions together, being very available on Slack and stuff, the team that we have now is actually working better than ever. I was really scared that I was taking a huge step back by losing the brand manager, but it feels like we're just, we're working better than ever with the current team and the current structure.

Nick Shucet 31:23

Nice, nice. Are there any roles you would recommend an Amazon seller look at delegating first if they were thinking about doing this? Maybe they're in the one to five million range.

Jon Klein 31:37

Customer service is definitely the first thing that you should delegate. I think operations for me is something I absolutely hate. I like setting up systems, thinking about them, and letting other people run with them. I think after customer service, it should be things that you're not great at, right? Operations is one of those things. Graphic design, stuff like that, that's really hard to do on your own.

I think that the things that are directly related to growth and revenue, you should keep it to yourself at the beginning, but then, as you grow, just continue to outsource those things.

Nick Shucet 32:25

Are there any third-party services you want to give a shout-out to that have helped you delegate work that you're just not able to able to do yourself?

Jon Klein 32:36

I love No Limit Creatives like I've told you a bunch of times. They do all sorts of stuff for us. They do branding work for us. They do product design work for custom products. They'll do website landing page design. They do ads. They'll do your Amazon images, A+ Premium. Whatever we've thrown at them, they've managed to do. They're not totally perfect. 

Sometimes you'll get like a new designer, but if you just keep requesting your favorite designers, you end up with some really good people and you build that familiarity. You get a lot for your money with them. I split a subscription with a friend of mine. We get the unlimited images and unlimited video for 800 bucks a month and you get four active projects at all times.

We really work it. We really get our money's worth with them so I've enjoyed working with them.  Now it's to the point where I have some projects that I will manage myself in there, but most of the time I'm giving it to a VA and I'm just helping them out in Slack and they're managing the whole thing with No Limit Creatives.

Nick Shucet 33:48

Very cool. Actually, we're gonna sign up with them as well and check them out now that we have a creative branding person on board that can really just take the lead on that stuff and make it all happen.

Jon Klein 34:01

That's nice.

Nick Shucet 34:03

What kind of stuff have they done really well for you? I know you shared some Amazon images with me that they did and how much of it has to do with you, right? I think a lot of people will use these services and they think it's just going to be like a magic bullet, right? Then it's not, and they blame the service.

Jon Klein 34:26

Yes, yes, perfect question. I'm my own creative director. I don't have somebody else doing that so I think it's totally the clarity of the directions you give them, but also the inputs, right? If you want to make a branded video, and you don't have any custom content that you shot, what are they going to do? They're going to get a bunch of stock images, a bunch of stock videos, and your video is gonna look like kind of cheap.

I like to make the analogy, it's like a soup. If you don't have really good ingredients in your soup, it doesn't matter who's mixing it up, it's gonna be a crappy soup. I think those two elements are really key is having good inputs for them and good direction, like really super clear.

Nick Shucet 35:17

Okay, man, you're like a whiz at the analogies, right? It’s just the way that you bring them, right? It's like everyone makes soup, right? That's like a worldwide analogy, right? If you can understand the word soup, you can get what Jon's saying here. I think you do that very well. I definitely think I know you do that well compared to other people, right? You're able to really connect the dots on a lot of things.

Jon Klein 35:43

Yep, thanks man. I love the analogies.

Nick Shucet 35:47

Man, that makes me think a little bit about comparing. Sometimes I look back on myself back in the day, and how I would look at myself now and what I've done and what I've accomplished. What's that like for you? What would 15-year-old Jon say to Jon right now?

Jon Klein 36:05

I think he'd be pretty happy. I think this is pretty darn cool what we're all doing now. I think 15-year-old Jon had an incorrect sense of how easy it would be to be an entrepreneur one day and just like, hey, your uncle's doing it. These guys are idiots. You could do it too, but hey, selling physical products, this is so cool being a product guy. I think 15-year-old Jon would be super proud. 

The other thing I think 15-year-old Jon would be proud of is just continuing to put myself out there. You do an amazing job at that too. I have this internal dialogue sometimes. It's like don't do it, don't do it. Whenever I have that dialogue, I just do it. Right? Even if it's something that I don't really want to do, just do it. I think that's the biggest thing that 15-year-old Jon will be proud of the almost 40-year-old Jon that I am today.

Nick Shucet 37:10

I like that. The thing that you mentioned there as well. It's almost identifying a trigger for when you're about to trip yourself up or something, right? I'll do it too. I have these things I'll start to think about stuff and then I just shut it off and do it, right. It's like you hear be scared, but do it anyways, or something, right?  I think children deal with that as well, right?

They can get this idea in their head, like, oh, you don't want to be scared. Don't be scared. You need to be brave, and they think being brave means not being scared, but really it means being scared and doing it anyways, right?

Jon Klein 37:55

Yes, totally. A lot of it is just like growing up to not really care what people think about you. I think young people are very naturally concerned with what will other people think of me? Letting go of that is just one of the most freeing things that anybody could ever do.

Nick Shucet 38:13

Absolutely. I know I struggled with that significantly when I was younger. Just trying to please everyone, not really knowing how to please myself. You just end up getting yourselves in these positions where you get screwed over and over again. It wasn't until I really figured out who I wanted to be and how I was gonna get there and the people I needed to surround myself with in order to have that support that I was able to tell some people to get out of here. 

I don't care what you think, right? Then it's funny because you go through that phase where people think now you're an asshole, right? Now Nick is just mean and doesn't care about anyone. It's just no, I'm not here to serve your needs or your idea of who I should be, right? I'm here to just be me and be myself and be comfortable. I think it's like marketing, right?

For me, marketing, I'm big on qualifying, right? The first thing I do is think about who the hell I don't wanna market to, right? I need to know who I'm not talking to in order to really talk to the right person. I think that it's the same thing in life, right? It's understanding who's gonna add value in your life and then adding value back to them. I think that's what we see in MDS a lot, right?

What makes it so special is you have all these like-minded and driven people just adding value significantly. What does MDS mean to you? Why don't you talk a little bit about your journey into MDS, when you got in there, what it was like coming in, and what you do now? I know you head up the chapter down in North Carolina so you're very involved with all that stuff.

Jon Klein 40:14

No, totally. Coming in I knew that I was under networked. I was really lucky to meet Brandon and Hassan back in New York. They pushed me in and I'm like, I really need a network. I need the answers to my questions. I need the right answers to my questions now, right? That just on paper is insanely infinitely valuable, right? That's true and that happened. 

What was unexpected was it becomes your community. At the beginning, I definitely felt like an outsider. I think everybody, right? When they first join, they're like, there must be cliques in here. There must be like, these people know each other for a long time and I'm just coming in. I definitely felt that way, especially because I joined around COVID, so I didn't have a chance to get to an in-person event for a while. 

Once I got to my first in-person event, that's when it really changed. I'm like, oh crap, these people are like my friends now. 

Nick Shucet 41:17

Was it Puerto Vallarta?

Jon Klein 41:20

Yes, that was my first event, yep, it was Puerto Vallarta. It was just a game changer to really meet people I consider like friends, like lifelong friends, dude. Just feeling like I belong. Then it's obviously super inspiring that my friends are achieving these great things. That adds more fuel to the this is possible type of fire. It's just immeasurable and it just makes me feel like I have a team and a culture. 

Part of remote work being really hard is you're far away, but the fact that we all get together, we're doing the chapter stuff with the holiday party and stuff. It really means a lot to me that we have all that. It's hard to put into words, all the different layers of what it's meant for me, but it’s been everything.

Nick Shucet 42:22

Right on man. It's been great. I know that's how we met, right? I think the first time we met was at that event in Puerto Vallarta. My wife and I were down there and we instantly connected and then I don't even really know. It feels like we've always been friends, right? I don't know how it unfolded after that, but now I've been down to your house a few times, not that long ago, me and my wife and all the four kids were down there at your house for the weekend and everything was great. 

You can imagine four kids coming to your house. It could get a little hectic, but just like the way that you guys view things is just laid back, right? You don't let kids being kids stress you out. They're just kids being kids. It's been great, man. I love kicking it at your place. You got a great house. We love Lindsey, she's amazing. Your kids are super cool too. We're just always excited to come down and visit you guys. Thanks for always having us man.

Jon Klein 43:25

Thank you, man. The feeling is very mutual. I'm really glad that we got a chance to get closer and kick it all the time. Thanks to the MDS chapters for facilitating us getting closer and stuff. It's definitely like working to bring the local communities closer together.

Nick Shucet 43:48

I drive six hours down there. That's the closest chapter for me and I'm happy to do it. It's well worth it. I definitely never regret making that drive so I'm looking forward to the next event.

Jon Klein 44:02

Hell yeah dude, we appreciate it.

Nick Shucet 44:04

Well Jon, thanks for coming on man. It's been great to share your story a little bit, hear about the struggles that you faced and how you've overcome them which I really think if we summed it up, it's mindset, right? It's mindset, you keep going, you don't give up, you change the way that you view these tough scenarios that you're encountering because no matter what you know, you're gonna face them, right? 

You can know all the hacks in the world. You can ChatGPT your way through it, but you still have to have that view of I'm going to get through this. This is a lesson. I'm making myself better by going through this and not giving up. I think that's what you do really well also is you just keep going.

Jon Klein 44:56

Hell yeah, man. I appreciate the kind words. That's really the way to sum it up.

Nick Shucet 45:03

Well, is there anyway, if anyone was interested in your online brand growth services or anything like that, or they just wanted to chat a little more about some things you spoke about, why don't you let the listeners know where they can find you?

Jon Klein 45:15

Just find me on Facebook, holler at me, send me a message. In the vast majority of cases, if you're in MDS, I'm just going to help you and give you any advice that I have in my head. If there's a good fit, we feel like we could add value. Happy to do some services if it makes sense. Just holler at me. Shoot me a message.

Nick Shucet 45:37

All right. Thanks, Jon.

Jon Klein 45:39

Thanks Nick. I appreciate it. It's been a lot of fun.

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