November and December 2017 Brags

In October I mentioned I wanted to re-start my monthly brag posts, where I’d post about my wins from the previous month.

I love having these to look through at the end of the year and it’s a nice way to stop and smell the roses.

Although my intention was to post a new one every month, my warehouse got very busy in December. I didn’t have time to eat or sleep, much less blog.

I’m going to combine November and December in this post so that the momentum keeps rolling.

Here are all the big wins I can remember:

1. Although not perfect, Christmas at the warehouse this year was WAY better than last year. We learned a lot from the year prior and orders were a bit more seamless. We still had some issues, but 98%-99% of orders went out on time.

2. My warehouse printed, made, and shipped out well over 150,000 unique items in just under a 6 week period.

3. For our first Christmas in December 2015, we went from 0 to 10 employees. In December 2016, we went from 7 to 22 employees. This year we went from 15 employees to 70+ at one point. Pretty cool.

4. I went on Santa’s Little Helpers on Reddit and helped out a few families with getting gifts for their children.

People would post their children’s Amazon wishlists and I went and cleared a few out. It was a ton of fun and based on the responses, helped a bit.

By the way, if you ever feel like randomly helping, these are my favorite spots on Reddit.

5. Before living at the warehouse for the Christmas rush, I got to spend tons of time with my nephew.

The picture to the left is a picture of him putting a toy in the donation box a Toys ‘R’ Us. I love showing him that it’s important to give back to others.

6. We spent Thanksgiving with my family and went to Wichita for Christmas. That was really fun. I love Don’s friends and family.

Here’s a picture from Thanksgiving with my mom, nephew, and I:

7. I purchased a second investment home in December. My first one has proven to be a great investment, so I thought I’d try another.

I’ve actually never been to either of my investment homes. I have a realtor I trust to vet the houses, a property manager, and a great contractor. It’s all pretty hands-off.

I was so busy with the warehouse that I didn’t even make the closing on the second house. I gave my sister power of attorney to purchase on my behalf. Ha.

8. A pure-content webinar I ran as a bonus for Low Hanging System made it to the top 100 GoToWebinar webinars in 2017.

A Low Hanging System webinar hit the top 100 before that.

9. Tons of results rolled in for LHS students during the Christmas season.

We had everything from “my first 5 sales!” to $59k in 30 days and a ton in between.

10. My ecom sales did pretty well this year.

There are a bunch of selling channels I use, but some of the top ones:

Amazon$516,594.21 in 2017. Of that, $205,317 was from November 1 to December 25.which was 39.74% of total sales.

Etsy store #1 – $8,677.68 for the year, $4,484.31 from November 1 to December 25.

Etsy store #2 – $8,955.20 for the year, $6635.40 from November 1 to December 25. (This store opened in May 2017.)

Etsy store #3 – $1,823.70 for the year, $1,292.70 from November 1 to December 25. (This store opened in May 2017.)

Etsy store #4 – $10,287.97 for the year, $8,558.80 from November 1 to December 25. (This store opened in May 2017.)

Etsy store #5 – $9,354.25 for the year, $7,885 from November 1 to December 25. (This store opened in May 2017.)

That’s a total of $39,098.7 for the year and $28,856.21 for November 1 to December 25.

The stats aren’t entirely scientific since many stores opened later and products were added in over time, but the pure numbers say that 73.8% of sales were from November 1 to December 25.

eBay – There are people in LHS doing far better than me on eBay, but my numbers were $6007.47 for the year (1266.48, 827.97, 632.26 3,280.75) $2915.85 was from November 1 to December 25. That’s 48.54% of sales during November 1 to December 25.

11. I still have to run the numbers for my other businesses, but it looks like all my businesses combined did between $5m-$6m this year.

12. I have a couple crypto investments that I did very well on.

A few alt-coins got over a 1000% return, I invested money for my mom and got her a 465% return, and my sister has gotten a 177% return so far.

Of course crypto is very volatile and we’re in a bubble and all that, but if you pull money out responsibly and invest the rest, it’s pretty cool.

13. These are in no particular order, ha, but we also had some AWESOME results from Holiday Jumpstart.

One woman told me she was able to pay off a $6630 debt that had been causing her a bit of anxiety. Other people sold out of their FBA boxes. Others told me of all the sales they made, the majority were from the designs we made them.

That was spectacular to see.

I feel like I’m missing a couple, but I’ll update this if I think of more. For now – here’s to an awesome 2018! And please feel free to share your wins. :)

October 2017 Brags

I used to publish monthly brag posts, where I’d look through the previous month and post about all the wins that happened.

It was a fun way to savor all the great things that happened. It’s very easy to jump into the next big thing, so I liked celebrating recent achievements and then having them to refer to at the end of each year.

I stopped posting in October 2015, which was right around the time I started a new fulfillment company. Life got very very hectic around then and I wasn’t online much.

In the last 2 years there have been some pretty big wins. I purchased a school with Pencils of Promise, have been running two 7-figure companies and one high-six figure, visited Indonesia, Thailand, and I can’t remember where else…. spoke on stage to thousands of people in London, lost 20 lbs, bought an investment house…. and…. see!? I forget!

So now, 2 years later, I’m resuming these posts.

Here are the big wins I can remember from last month:

1. On a plane ride to Boston, I put together an offer for a program I called Holiday Jumpstart. It was a higher end offer than I normally make ($2k) and a little outside of my comfort zone, but I felt confident in the value. Over 100 people signed up and I feel very excited about all the people we can help with this.

2. I went to Boston for an event with my mentor, Randy. It was fantastic and I learned a lot.

One big takeaway I got was that I needed to stop wasting time day trading, lol. I’d been having fun day trading on stocks and cryptocurrencies but it ended up becoming way too emotionally exhausting. I was talking to another attendee who had “been there done that” and as he put it – when you’re winning, you’re a genius and on top of the world. When you’re losing, you’re the biggest idiot on the planet.

Before I “retired”, I helped my mom invest in some stocks and cryptocurrency. As of this moment she’s +42% on stocks and +100% on cryptocurrency. I’m a bit more cautious with hers than mine. ;)

3. Don’s birthday was on the 11th and I did a good job making sure he had a great time. He’d treated me to an incredible birthday week over my birthday on Sept 25th and I had big shoes to fill. We did all kinds of things for his birthday (great dinners, massages, presents, etc) and I canceled a trip to New Orleans to spend more time with him before his big Asia trip which he was really happy about.

4. I finished up a little freebie course that I’ll be using as a lead-gen for LHS. I’m waiting for the sales letter to come back now.

5. Speaking of lead-gen for LHS, a webinar I ran for it sometime in 2017 was a “Top 100 marketing webinar of 2017” on GoToWebinar. Pretty cool!

Go To Webinar - Top 100 For Low Hanging System

6. On the warehouse business, we’ve had some big wins.

We have a potential $2.6m deal in the works, took on a pick-and-pack fulfillment client who was so happy that he sent our team a huge gift basket, and another client we’ve been making print-on-demand coasters for who sent this testimonial in:

To whom it may concern,

In July of this year, we found ourselves in a difficult production position when our sublimation facility had mechanical issues. We reached out to Sawgrass Inks who recommended Sean Comeaux of Custom Happy with accolades.

Over the last 3 months, we’ve found Custom Happy to be a joy to work with.  Their attention to detail and commitment to quality are unmatched in the production world.  Every PO has shipped on time or early and they’ve made communication a breeze.  Not only did they help us out of a difficult situation, Sean and the team have continued to provide excellent customer service, a commitment to quality, fair pricing and quick turnaround time.  Though they are a young company, we only foresee growth in their future and consider ourselves lucky to have them as production partners now.

Warm Regards,
Erika F.

VP Purchasing & Production

7. 133 more people purchased LHS in October.

8. This is mostly all passive income that was earned via Amazon last month:

Amazon business - $20k

9.  I used to post about my social media followers on my brag posts. I am not sure if I’ll continue doing that too much as it’s not something I focus on anymore and it’s probably more of an ego metric, but I noticed that in October 2015 I had 89,000 followers across TwitterPinterestInstagramYouTube and Facebook.  I have 119,599 now.

Gabe and Rach - pumpkin patch10. This is clearly not in order of importance, because another big win is I flew back to PA and have been spending lots of time with my nephew! He’s one of my biggest sources of happiness in the world and I’ve been thrilled to spend time with him.

The picture here is from when we were on a hay ride visiting a pumpkin patch. We were going to get pumpkins to paint but he couldn’t find any small ones and definitely did NOT want a big one since that could “break the truck”. Cute boy. ;)

11. We posted a blog post on holiday trends that we’ve gotten some great feedback on.

I’ve gotten seen posts about it on Facebook, gotten text messages, and seen many emails over it.

So, that’s it for me I think – how about you? What were your October wins? :)

Top 5 Things I’m Doing To Prep For The Holiday Season

Ever since I realized that 73.8% of my sales for ALL of 2016 happened in November and December, I’ve been working hard to maximize holiday sales for this year.

I believe in the 80-20 rule, and that taking the time to narrow down the 20% that yields 80% of results is time well spent.

This post goes over the action steps I’ve found to be the most important for making holiday sales. As I was writing it, I realized I’ve been (unconsciously) focusing on these steps… and my year-to-date revenue is almost 5x what it was at this time last year.

Though I’ve written mostly about my Amazon print-on-demand biz, the majority of this information can be used with any ecommerce model.

Here’s what I found to be the biggest “bang for your buck” steps, in no particular order:

#1: Keep adding products.

Platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay reward you when you list more products with them. You scratch their back by adding more value to their marketplace, so they scratch yours by rewarding you with better search engine rankings.

Even traditional sites get SEO love from Google when products are added. Google loves to see actively updated sites.

Beyond that, though… more products = more money.

The more buy buttons you have for people to click on, the more opportunity you have to make sales.

If you’re doing the LHS model, this is crazy-easy. I’m not trying to sell LHS, ha, but this picture was sitting on my computer and I thought it made a great point. Check out the power of one design:

One design = 10+ more ways for people to buy from you 

Adding more products to your catalog is HUGE in maximizing your holiday season.

#2: Make sure your products are the right ones.

Last week I posted my my 2016 review where I went over my sales numbers for 2016 and assessed what worked well and what didn’t.

When I saw how helpful that was, I ran through my 2017 reports.

The time spent doing that was fantastic. An hour of poring through this information helps you get laser-focused with your time and lets you concentrate on what will earn you the most sales.

If you have any selling history, take the time to review it.

If you don’t, feel free to use mine.

#3: Send bestsellers to FBA.

I’m a firm believer that you don’t need FBA (where you pre-send inventory to Amazon) to make great profits on Amazon.

During Mother’s Day I sold $54k worth of one mug in a few days and most of the time it was was not an FBA item. Most of my sales are not from FBA items.

That said, FBA does help increase your conversion rates. More people buy products when they see the “Prime” button on your listing. It’s an indisputable fact.

I’m sending some of my bestsellers to FBA this year.

If you plan on doing this as well, I recommend you do it soon. Last year Amazon stopped accepting shipments sometime in November and if I recall correctly, there was no warning given in advance.

If you want my warehouse to ship items on your behalf, either email rachelreports or check out The Holiday Challenge if it’s available when you’re reading this.

#4: Outsource whatever you can.

Last year during the holidays I didn’t have time to eat or sleep (#joysofowningawarehouse) and I did NOTHING in my Amazon business during November and December. I’m not counting on having time this year either, so I’m spending a good amount of time working on outsourcing systems so that progress happens without my being personally involved.

Even if you do have time, outsourcing is a no-brainer if you can afford it. It helps you multiply your efforts (creating and listing more products), supports you as your business scales up, and helps ensure that progress is happening even on your off days.

Now’s the perfect time to get help with adding in new designs, listing products, and finding slam-dunk niches to sell in.

#5: Learn from people who are doing well.

I was recently considering buying a product from some Amazon mega-sellers. It wasn’t an easy decision because I didn’t know if I’d have a ton of time to go through it, and because the investment was very sizable.

To make a decision, I decided to look at what I’d get instead of what I’d give up.

Instead of having to “give up” time, I realized that I’d ultimately be saving time. Learning from experts means you don’t try and reinvent the wheel yourself and that you don’t waste fruitless hours doing things that won’t work.

Instead of having to “give up” money, I looked at it like I was getting the knowledge of people making 10x what I was for a fraction of the cost of the knowledge inside their head.

The course had a limit of 100 students and ultimately I squeaked in at #99. (And yes, I did confirm they weren’t lying about the 100. ;))

I haven’t regretted joining at ALL. It’s been a great decision and even though I may not ever make it through even half the information, what I’ve gone through already has made it worth it.

Whether or not you invest in something, I recommend taking the time to learn from people who have gotten where you want to go. You save a boatload of time and aggravation and reach your goals a lot faster.

Hopefully this helps give you at least some insight on where to focus your energy this year. Even if your list doesn’t match mine, hopefully you at least have some new things to think about. :)

Want my personal help this holiday season?

I’ve crafted a Holiday Jumpstart package that specifically takes these 5 factors into account. It’s a high end package where you get everything you need to make this holiday season incredible: 100 done-for-you designs, cases of mugs shipped to FBA for you, coaching from me, gives you software to find hidden-gem niches, and a LOT more.

I’m closing this down over the weekend, so I recommend you check it out ASAP.

Full transparency: there’s a slight chance I re-open, but I want to make 100% sure that everyone gets a great experience before I do. Either way, the time you have left to rock this season is ticking, so  I recommend you start making your moves now.