My Amazon Story
Hey, I’m Michael. This is how I got started selling products on Amazon.
In 2012, I finally gave in and shut down the consulting company I started 15 years before.
I launched it the year my youngest child was born.
That closure, for me, was the death of a dream. It hurt deeply and it took me a while to bounce back.
I took a job working for someone else, but I was disheartened, to say the least.
A few years later my corporate position was taking me nowhere and after we got bought by a bigger company, things got worse.
That old entrepreneurial itch came back with a vengeance and I started looking for a way out.
That’s when I heard about selling products on Amazon.
At first, I was just curious. I had heard these hype jobs before…
I’ve bought dozens of the latest marketing books. I’ve attended the killer webinars and tried to build several online businesses, including niche content websites.
I tried to sell books through the mail before there was an Amazon.
Remember Amway? If you do, you probably shudder. My wife and I still have scars from that adventure where we alienated our friends.
I have built several service-based businesses. Including my first grade paper route and my two technical careers, I think I’m on try number ten. I have no intention of giving up.
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
~ Chris Bradford
I’ve had modest but unremarkable success. I’m not a salesman — I’m an introvert. I don’t like selling anything to anyone!
I was curious about this idea of selling products, but I didn’t want to disappoint my wife again and I sure wasn’t about to fall for a get-rich-quick scheme.
I was tired of being let down by the hype masters. Still, I tried to keep an open mind.
I was consuming a handful of podcasts… Tim Ferriss, Nick Loper, Pat Flynn, Chris Ducker, and others.
They would interview a successful guest and I’d start listening to the new guy’s podcast. I guess you could say I was a chain-feeding on business audio.
A couple of speakers were talking about their own Amazon business and sharing about their journey.
Finally, what they were saying started to sink in… I got a whiff of the magic of running an online product-based business. It was very different from anything I had tried before.
At first, my learning involved catching a podcast in the car during my commute.
Then I dropped tennis and started double-dipping — walking several afternoons a week so that I could listen to more podcasts. Soon I was consuming several episodes a day from multiple experts.
I became a learning machine, tearing through episodes as fast as I could. I even sped up the podcast audio so I could listen faster.
When I got home, I made notes and put what I was hearing into action. I filled up a journal with my notes on process and product ideas.
The problem was, each guru had a different approach. Plus, they were talking to large audiences, so they had to cover a ton of information that was not relevant to me.
I didn’t care about deal hunting in local stores… a practice called Retail Arbitrage.
I also didn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day scanning for online deals… a.k.a. Online Arbitrage.
These ideas are fine for people with lots of time and a love for shopping, but it didn’t fit my vision of a product business that runs on autopilot.
For me, only the Private Label approach made sense… so I filtered out everything else.
“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”
~ John Carmack
Finally, through my laser focus and rapid learning, I put all the pieces together.
I started drilling down on this in March of 2016. While I was learning, I put a little cash aside from each paycheck.
And then it happened — I ordered my first product.
I was so proud to see my first product arrive — something I created coming out of the box straight from the manufacturer.
I was even more excited to see my product go live on Amazon.
And that first sale notice coming through the seller app — unforgettable!
By August I had my first product up and selling. The process took only five months.
Soon after that first one went live on Amazon, I was working on my second — a similar product but with a different design.
My first product sold out right before Christmas…
As I write this, I have sold out of both products multiple times. I’m already in the product reorder loop — where the business becomes almost automatic — in less than a year.
After I enjoyed my new-found success for a little while, another light went on: This was a nice side-income for me, but for other people it could be life-changing.
I had to pass along what I learned…
That average folks like me with no product experience and no sales skills could start a product business…
And the Amazon Side-Hustle was born.
I spent years looking for a business model that suited my personality and lifestyle.
After discovering Amazon and this methodical approach to launching products, I spent months learning deeply about it.
Now I’ve shared it with you in a very focused, concentrated way.
You don’t have to invest the hundreds of hours I did hunting down all the information, processes, and tools. You can skip to the good stuff and get started.
Poke around the blog if you want to learn more. You may notice that I like motivational quotes. I believe in feeding off the energy and wisdom of others. I invite you to do the same.
When you’re ready to pull the trigger… get my eBook.