Updated: Jan 16
Last year was by far my most profitable year ever. So in this article we’re going to cover the most important lessons I learned last year in eCommerce.
I learned all of these the hard way…so hopefully you can use this video to make sure YOU don’t have to.
The first lesson I learned was I was thinking way too small. For a while I was in my own little bubble doing Online Arbitrage & Wholesale part time.
Then I stumbled on dropshipping and it really opened my eyes to the earning potential of eCommerce.
I was able to scale Facebook Marketplace Dropshipping & Amazon Dropshipping way past what I had ever done before.
So much so that I literally had to shut my stores off for 2 weeks b/c I couldn’t keep up with the cashflow and I needed to wait to get paid out.
A good problem to have….no doubt. But if I had been thinking bigger from the jump, I wouldn’t have faced this issue. I would’ve been ready when it happened.
The second lesson I learned was not to put all your eggs in one basket and not to rely solely on one platform for all your revenue.
I should’ve already known this b/c it’s happened to me time and time again on Amazon when I would get suspended and my revenue would come to a screeching halt.
But for some reason, that lesson escaped me last year again.
I was seeing so much success with Facebook Marketplace and Facebook shops, that I put everything else on the backburner and really jumped into those.
Right after I did that, I lost my main facebook account…and about 20K in consistently monthly profit evaporated.
But if I still had been scaling Amazon Dropshipping and other websites, it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal as it was at the time.
The next lesson I learned was that Dropshipping on some platforms (as good as the money was)…ultimately, ending up just being a high paying job.
I had to spend night and day listing products, doing product research, doing customer service, and fulfilling orders.
And even when I hired a bunch of VAs, I still had to manage them and put out fires constantly.
Don’t get me wrong the money was great, but losing my main Facebook marketplace was definitely a blessing in disguise.
Because it let me realize that moving forward I mainly want focus on businesses that ARE….THAT scalable….BUT also more hands off.
Because once you set them up they are about 99% hands off. The software manages EVERYTHING for you.
Again, don’t get me wrong, you can make great money on facebook marketplace. But once you scale past 10K/month profit it can become REALLY time consuming to manage.
Lesson number 4 is a simple one. To be successful in any business, you have to be willing AND able to adapt There’s going to be situations where a major change affects your business in some way.
How you’re able to solve that problem and adapt will determine how successful you are long term. Just list Darwin said, “it isn’t the strongest that survive…it’s those with the most ability to adapt.”
Lesson number 5 is reiterating the 80/20 principal. It’s so true in any business.
I’m constantly testing new platforms dropship on. Mainly so I can see for myself and report back to you guys. And also so I know which platforms are worth it and which ones aren’t. There’s many platforms you can make money drop shipping on. But that doesn’t always mean you should.
Sometimes you’re better off focusing on a few (notice, I did NOT say 1… I said a few). More isn’t always better. The reality is we all have finite amount of time and energy every day.
And often you’ll get a lot further by consolidating that time and energy on the 20% of things that are producing 80% of the results.
Lesson number 6 is to pick a few good mentors and ignore everyone else. Because listening to too many people will just confuse you and you’ll end up pulled in a million different directions.
This is perhaps the biggest mental revelation of the year for me....the biggest hurdle almost all of us face is arrogance.
Most people think they know way more than they do (even though they don’t have any receipts to prove it). I do this too. Often I have to catch myself being closed off and not listening to people that are more successful than me.
But the smartest people in the world are aware of just how much they DON’T know. Confucious said “Real Knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance.” This is true in eCommerce…and in life.
And often when you’re seeing success is EXACTLY the time you need to be open to new ideas and fight the “I know it all” bug….b/c that’s precisely when you get stuck in your ways.
Lesson 8 is that in order to scale, you need to be able to let go and find talented people to help you.
Hands-down the best thing I did last year was Master Outsourcing. It allowed me to buy back a lot of the time that I was spending IN my business. So I could then spend that new found time improving my processes and doing more R&D.
I also realized I wasn’t the only smart and capable person in the world. And if I could just build systems on how to implement specific tasks, I could then hire a competent VA to implement them.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s still some things that ONLY you can do…. But trust me it’s A LOT less than you think.
Finally, lesson 9 is what you DON’T know is costing you A LOT of money.
For example, I was finally able to get tax exempt on lots of my suppliers (which meant another 5-10% profit on every order - which is huge). I probably left 50K+ on the table not knowing this before I implemented it.
It pains me to give this last example….but it’s the unfortunate reality. I was also able to find cheaper VAs that could do the same jobs by outsourcing to the Philippines specifically.
Prior to that, I had hired from fiverr…and then brought those people on full time if they were good. And the people I hired were absolutely fantastic….the only issue (which I didn’t know at the time)…was that I could find people for literally 20% of that cost.
For a year+ I had people working for $10 an hour…and others at $6-8 an hour. But if I had just found people from the Philippines from the start, I literally would have netted at least 60K more last year in profit.
2 Prime examples of how what you DON’T know costing you lots of money.
Key lesson here….always be learning and never just accept something at face value. Always be trying to improve.
If you'd like to watch the complete video explanation of this, check it out below.