April 4, 2020
Earnest Epps on Hiring Team Members for Dropshipping Business and Future of eCommerce

Earnest Epps on Hiring Team Members for Dropshipping Business and Future of eCommerce

are you ready to scale and outsource
your business okay let’s go welcome to the outsourcing and scaling show I’m
your host Nathan Hirsch a show where we talk about everything
Amazon shopify ecommerce and digital marketing let’s get started hey everyone
welcome back to outsourcing and scaling today I am with the one the only earnest
Epps earnest how you doing today I am spectacular thanks for having me on
I’m really excited to talk to you for those you don’t know earnest is an
international speaker ecommerce entrepreneur and CEO of EECOM Success
Academy high ticket econ secrets and earnest associates or this has 10 years
of marketing and sales experience and has been able to take both offline and
online marketing strategies to help people combine them both in the
marketing powerhouse for running successful online e-commerce businesses
so earnest we’re gonna talk about all of that or anytime on marketing e-commerce
growing businesses but first let’s take a big step back growing up what kind of
kid were you did you know you want to be an entrepreneur where you’re a
straight-a student where you’re a rebel take us back yes so I was kind of like
one of those Inbetweeners right like I was like the see guy you know the just
enough to get to the next level right you know really enjoy playing sports
when I was in high school I did football wrestling and track I was in like four
different clubs you know just stay super active but yeah in terms of like
entrepreneurship my mom did her best striving to condition me to be a
employee right so I was definitely very much going down the traditional path
because you know even starting off I think like my late elementary definitely
middle school my mom was having like me and my older sister like think about
what we were gonna do from a career standpoint for college so yeah we we
definitely were more like him we were green for employee mindset like gotta go
to school got a good job I know everyone talks about that so much these days and
somebody listens just like oh my god somebody else talking about that again
but no that’s like that’s literally what like I went to college my older sister
went to college she got a dual bachelor’s degree she ultimately went to
law school did like another four years there um and
then you know she got all the different paperwork and accolades and things of
that nature and hopefully no one’s had to experience this but like what she got
out of school specifically she hates me telling this you know she just couldn’t
find a job anywhere because before when she didn’t have the degree she was under
qualified and then when she came out of school she was overqualified I mean
literally like that’s not ADA that’s what happened to her now for me
specifically like you know went to school and you know as I was working and
going to school full-time obviously you know we have these things
called bills and they’re pretty much residual right we hear about residual
money but like we fall into residual bills very quickly when we become adults
cell phone bill like you know gasps like as technically a bill you gotta put gas
in the car you know all these other things right so I was working and going
to school full-time and then I was having opportunities on in terms of like
promotion and being able to work more at the places where I was working and it
was just like school bill school bills and I’m just like well these bills keep
coming in every single month and you know I can’t get more and more loans
year after year I’m like maybe I shouldn’t like focus more from work and
so that’s the direction that I kind of ultimately went from like you know kind
of like my ascension from like the college to like why I focus more on the
work stuff versus like just finish it out with school so let’s talk about the
work did you get her a real job quote/unquote after college yes so I
typically essentially like starting off I never really had like a kinda like a
real job like I started off like my first technical real job was I actually
went door-to-door selling our actually passing out flyers and trying to sell
themed or remodeling projects that’s what I started off with and that was the
company that actually gave me the opportunity in terms of like promoting
promotions and stuff like that because I figured out it was this thing called
like a commission check which it was foreign to me because when I went to
school they never talked about Commission checks it was like you get
paid this much to do this amount of work and you had
or X amount of hours and so when I was when I started working in out there I
think like the first one or two paychecks I was hearing about this thing
called the Commission around the office of Mike what’s that like what’s a
commission like what do you mean you get an extra check on top of your check like
my mom’s never gotten that before I started because they find out what there
was and it was like hey if the people that thanks you actually brought in four
leads actually bought stuff will give you a percentage of the sale and I was
like oh my god that’s crazy so I need to focus more and that stuff to get these
extra checks versus like what you guys are paying me hourly and so on you know
got really good at that essentially and I started moving out I
became a marketing director for them and then ultimately I got other
opportunities that other companies throughout my journey to run different
marketing and sales programs you know on on my journey throughout like corporate
America so I started really chasing that corporate dream you know climbing up the
ladder promotion at the promotion at the promotion you know which let me let me
tell t’me like no security with the different companies and stuff that I was
working for like there’s a lot of places there’s no such things like a pension
program or like you know anything of that nature like there’s no like loyalty
like you know you stay there for 40 years anymore those things are like
extremely foreign in this day and age so you know that made me just aggressively
want to look to do something else because I was just like I can’t place my
future in the hands of some other individual and you know what maybe
proactively get into entrepreneurship was because you know if we kind of
rewind in my journey a little bit as I’m in corporate like in 2009 I started kind
of poking at entrepreneurship meaning that I think that’s where most people
get started they you know say oh I want to be an entrepreneur I want to you know
start an agency or I want to start a business and then like you get started
and you’re working full-time because you still gotta pay your bills and you do
stuff when it’s convenient when you feel good you know if you like to do
something tonight and you don’t really stay committed to the process like you
stay committed to your job that you go to every single day and so that was
earnest for like 6 years right was that I tried to do those things
network marketing affiliate marketing starting a blog website trying to be
calm on you start trying to started modeling company it was like I failed
and I failed and I failed at all these are the things and the reason is because
I wasn’t really committed to the process of what it need to what I needed to do
in order to create success and you know in order to like really maximize like
those opportunities that I had at hand so in 2013 I gotten fired from a company
I was working for and you know I had two kids one on the way and it was just like
you know if you’re really going to like be able to take care of your family you
might not want to just put that in someone else’s hands not saying that you
know people that work regular jobs or something like that are ever gonna
always get fired or something like that but for me I kind of took it personal
and that’s what made me aggressively look into starting a business of my own
it’s interesting you should have a bunch of stuff there I think that trial and
error approach actually makes the best entrepreneurs because I almost feel like
the people who they have an idea in their head they’re like that’s what I’m
gonna do I’m only gonna do that and they’re not willing to deviate or try
different things a lot of times fail when that idea isn’t good where I mean
back in the day I tried selling everything on Amazon and I eventually
came across maybe products in 2008 and I hit a jackpot and found a big business
but had I been like oh I’m gonna start a video game company I would have failed
pretty hard and and the other thing that I find interesting is I mean I started a
business when I was in college I had no risk if I if I failed I would just go
out and get a real job you said you had one kid and another kid on the way right
yes yeah so we had to be the third one on the way so yeah the ideal time to be
taking big risks in your life the average person thinks oh so so what was
that like what you saying okay I I don’t want to be relying on this one employer
I’ve got people that are depending on me I got my family I’m gonna become an
entrepreneur what was that first year like yeah so when I decided to actually
like take it serious so from 2013 to 2015 I was still kind of in that like
you know kind of hazy phase a little bit saying at a I’m not
go work for someone else and I’m gonna just you know just trying like you know
get educated figure out what it is I want to do and then ultimately like you
know the savings account is getting depleted you know month after month this
is just like eventually earnest you got a freaking do something right like
fiancees looking at me like you know I’m not having some bomb later on the house
and we have to file bankruptcy and so I’m just like okay I gotta do something
so I wait I got a job but when I got the job I was just like you know what like I
really need to start something for myself right now which ultimately led me
to like doing econ and dropshipping and so I remember it like it was yesterday
was September 2nd 2015 and I was just like you know what Ernests like the
reason why you weren’t successful with everything else she did was because you
didn’t really put everything into like you didn’t really like treat the
business like a business you know if you treat the business like like any
business like a hobby it’s gonna pay you like IV but he’d be treated like a
business eventually it’s gonna pay you like a business right and so I held
myself accountable that day and I said you know what for 30 days let’s just
commit to the process and for me I just chose a common dropship and I was like
commit to the process I don’t when everything it is that you’ve been
learning and studying and seeing that you know is what you’re supposed to do
like you know pick a niche build a website I find suppliers upload products
like run traffic like do all that stuff and see what happens so it actually
didn’t even take me 30 days it only took me 22 days and I had everything all
knocked out and so read traffic and I got my first cell like ever like on the
internet within 48 hours like person never talked to me never say anything to
me just but online I was like holy crap this stuff works so within my first year
I was actually able to replace my full-time income and then shortly after
that replace my fiancee full-time income and we’ve been to stay-at-home parents
for like the last like four years so that’s pretty much kind of kind of been
the journey I love it let’s talk about dropshipping I was a big drop here I
sold over 20 million dollars drop shipping and times obviously change from
2008 to 2015 they talk about dropshipping for the
average person that doesn’t understand it that thinks it’s a get quick rich
scheme there’s a lot of quality assurance that goes into it talk about
dropshipping a little bit yeah so uh you know really like in my opinion the best
way to do drop shipping cuz there’s a lot of different strategies once you go
to youtube and you start googling and stuff you want to see all different
things under the Sun and to date this point here you don’t see a lot of people
oh yeah you could put up a website get rich tomorrow that’s definitely not the
case okay so one of the one of my approaches and how I like to look at the
process of drop shipping is I actually like to find like real brands real
manufacturers that are that are here specifically in the US that can actually
you know fulfill orders for a product so essentially the whole process of drop
shipping is like you market a product you have a relationship with the
supplier when you get the order for the product you just send in the order to
your supplier and they’ll ship it directly to the customer right so that’s
that’s what’s what’s like drop shipping actually is so a lot of people like to
go through the process of drop shipping in you know overseas through Chuck from
China directly because you know obviously there’s a lot of products that
get made in China and so the the cost of those products is are extremely low
right there’s a lot of Quality Assurance things that go wrong they can go wrong
with that sometimes your products might not even
get there all sorts of crazy stuff right so I said Ernest I don’t want to do all
the crazy potential headaches already just find real companies here that
actually make the product and have them fulfill those right so like I’m
agreements for like Samsung Panasonic LG like I sell their stuff right and then
when I get orders for their products I just send them in they ship them
directly to the customer so that’s the process of drop shipping and our you
know really like once you like get that that system down in terms of like with
marketing everything like an you start hiring and you know bringing on people
thank you that’s when you really start to have fun with the business and you
know when I started Howard hiring and outsourcing and onboarding people like
that’s why I went from like four hundred thousand dollars a year to like 1.4
million dollars a year is when I brought on the team of people to actually help
me run the day-to-day stuff right then me doing it myself I love it we
have a lot in common I only dropship from US companies as
well I didn’t know that before we we talked about it so let’s talk about the
hiring with drop shipping there’s a lot of stuff going on I mean when I was
doing it there wasn’t even repricing software so I’d actually hire people to
change the prices to go along with the listing products and the customer
service talk about building a team that that’s you’re trying to automate it as
much as possible you’re hiring people for a lot of repetitive tasks what tips
would you tell the listeners that are trying to get their business to the
point where it’s running like that yeah I would say like the biggest the biggest
challenges that I see with people when they look at like actually outsourcing
and hiring people is that you know when they put out there their jobs and they
put out that they’re looking for someone and they they go to hire that person
they just give them like access to like their store or their email whatever it
is that they’re gonna be managing and then they just walk away yeah and then
when they come back like two weeks later they’re like I don’t want to pay you you
didn’t do what I wanted you to do this is just like well where have you been at
the last two weeks um you haven’t even shown them how to do what Elise you want
them to do so is it really their fault is it your fault
it’s really your fault for not showing them like even if someone says like oh
I’m spectacular building the Shopify store if you don’t tell them like what
type of design that you want or logos or like you know color palette like if
you’re mad at the orange you wanted a blue you never told him that you wanted
the blue like you just assumed that they were just gonna do whatever it is you
wanted them to do so that’s like the biggest challenges I see people run into
is like not having that clear direction and then in addition to that is actually
having like material for them to review in the process of actually doing the
day-to-day tasks and doing the actual work and it’s so funny because most
people that are like hiring people for their business like they had a job at
some point like could you imagine getting hired for a company that they
didn’t have an onboarding process meaning that they didn’t like teach you
how to like even like show you what the power button is on the computer or show
you where the folders read that you had to access like they just hired you and
said you know what here’s your computer here’s your desk
you got to do all these spreadsheets all these operations stuff and they don’t
show you where anything’s at right that that would
never exist in a company so why would you think your company is any different
right so yeah really having that like just having it it doesn’t have to be
anything sexy or amazing like and that’s the other part too like the overanalyze
are like oh my god I don’t have like everything in place everything has to be
perfect when I go to hire this person well the thing that you can do is I
create the processes that create the procedures as you bring that person on
so that way they can have it you know not only can they have it as far as like
watching you do everything you want them to do but you can have everything
documented in the process too as well so it’s really like you know having an idea
of like all the day-to-day stuff that you want to have done and having
material that you can walk them through with them showing them how to
potentially do depending on what the job is what it is you want them to do so
that way the expectation level is set properly I love it it’s something I
preach all the time on our blog and our YouTube channel creating those SOP of
holding people accountable giving feedback you obviously hired a lot of
people I’m assuming that you’ve had some bad hires along the way
is there any one bad hire or horror story that stands out that you could
share with the audience I would say I would say not necessarily from a hiring
standpoint because the the cool thing is like I hang around a lot of rock stars
like yourself so I’ve heard other people’s horror stories so like you know
I have different things that I do that they might not have done like an example
is you know instead of giving them access to like my direct account I’ll
create them an email where they have their own email and I’ll share documents
with them and then you know if they’re not gonna be here any longer I can just
remove their access and they can’t go and shut down like my entire business
because there’s admin to everything right so I avoided that by being around
people and learning from them right so um for me I’ve had more challenges of a
business partners trying to partner with people you know the scale of my business
and I really that just came down to like trusting people too soon like let people
like earn your trust like you know a lot of times especially with now and the way
the internet is like everybody could be a superstar everybody could be a
rockstar everybody’s you know running 200 stores a year
you know whatever the case is there’s like no like real proof of that
potentially right so I was a real naive last year 2018 like with a lot of
different people and so it just led to like you know not good
you know productivity it slowed me down and a lot of different things that I was
doing so that would be one recommendation I would have if like
you’re looking a partner with people or bring people on in your company that you
might be like giving ownership to is just like really take your time in
vetting people possibly and you know maybe just work together on like you
know like a personal standpoint like when you say hey like you know if you’re
gonna let’s say for example like you want to partner with someone it’s just
like alright we’re gonna do this 5050 we’re not going to create an LLC yet I’m
gonna create the LLC like and then I’ll add you to it through the articles we’ll
redo everything in a year but let’s work together we’ll split everything even
across the board but if something doesn’t work out you know you can go
your separate I could go my separate but let’s like work together first the see
Tom see how things go because that was the headache I had to deal with was I
getting people off the paperwork redoing all the legal stuff I get all my I was
losing like three or four months per different business that I was running it
was just a headache so that’s actually some pretty good info and for someone who’s dropshipping or
working with different suppliers it’s almost the same way you kind of build
that relationship and trosset I didn’t just get a thousand orders and cross my
fingers and hope they they shifted and that everything was good i I started
small with a few products and make sure they delivered it on time and they
didn’t get returns it complains and then we built the relationship from there and
and all of that so I think that’s great advice so you’re growing the Shopify
businesses you’re having the accessory replace your income your wife’s income
bridge the gap between that and international speaker I feel like we’re
missing a bit yes so just like you Benjamin international speaker so as
I’ve created some pretty decent success you know myself will like my stores you
know I’ve been pretty proactive with like you know talking about it from a
public perspective through all my social media accounts to different groups and
stuff that I’m a part of my online and offline and so really just just by
having like a servant because like when I heard started like
with just kind of helping people like in their businesses and stuff I wasn’t even
trying to get paid or nothing like I was just doing it because when I got started
I didn’t have anybody there like I post a question and someone would
like immediately answer anything in that nature so I’ve always been very
proactive about like just helping people and it just so happened that one of the
people that I was that what ended up being like a coaching client of mine he
him he was speaking with a guy that he liked he was one of the speakers that
was speaking for an international event right in Barcelona and so he was just
like they were on the call and they were just like hey we we want somebody to
come and talk about dropshipping bleep we don’t have anybody yet say oh I know
this guy Ernest and he’s also means amazing and so he put me in contact with
the person and then he put me in contact with the big organizer and essentially
that’s what Mike kicked off like my international speaking career and that’s
what got me actually that was my first paid speaking engagement I had ever had
and shortly after that I had another company reached out to me and this is
affiliate world and they flew me out to Thailand in 2017 and when they called me
it was just like you know I’m a speaker it was just like what do you mean your
speaker I’m like I’m speaking in Barcelona
they’re like okay so you know after that it was just like that and that one
presentation like literally like took off like wildfire it took over the
entire media network like I’ve got the most viewed video on the entire channel
with like the like the biggest marketers that are out here like the Ryan Deiss is
the Neil Patel’s um you know I’m still kicking their butt in terms of views on
their channel specifically so that’s pretty cool and that’s all about YouTube
that we’ve talked before and you’re a very humble guy and I think it kind of
comes from that place where you you were an employee you know what it’s like to
be in that position to have responsibilities to take some risks have
some success and then take take it take the opportunities that come up and
really make the most out of them talk to me a little bit about being a public
speaker because I know last year I spoke on stage for the first time at first it
was terrifying even the year before that I was on being on my first podcast and
now I’ve done like 150 of them but the first few I mean I was tear
fine and there was a brand new element what advice you have for people out
there that are thinking about getting into guests speaking yeah so I would say
like you want to give them the speaking and uh you know that’s something that
you have like some interest in you know really like the thing that you got to be
at like doing the best light and again depending on who you speak with you know
they might have different opinions and it’s like you guys might have read like
the book expert secrets like I have it I only haven’t read it but you know one of
the things that I’ve been told and I again I don’t know because I’ve read it
is the fact that you don’t necessarily have to be an expert on the thing that
you want to teach or sell or speak about or something like that
in order to get paid to do it right like you can just be a few steps ahead of
like you know your audience where and my personal opinion like in order to really
have success from what I’ve seen with the people that I run with like you got
to actually be an expert on the thing right so content should never be an
issue so that’s one of the unique things that happens when people want to bring
me in is just like what do you want me to talk about because I’ve actually done
every single element of this business and it’s not something I’m just making
up it’s something that I actually do there’s nothing that I can’t talk about
a cover in the process of doing this right
and so number one just being an expert on the topic it is that you want to talk
about if you’re not an expert on it it’s okay like go start putting in the work
putting into action like you know doing the things that is that you want to
actually speak about and then that’s gonna make it so much easier so you
don’t have to be worried about the content like any question that Nathan
wants to ask me or Thoreau across my way like I would never have an issue whether
I’m sitting in front of like one person or I’m sitting in front of like 10,000
people which just happen right uncomfortable in both settings with
answering the question because I do the thing right and so then number two is
like one of the things I like to focus on is I like to focus on like you know
the delivery and the messaging just giving right like giving to the audience
and not like thinking like man like are do they see me sweating like you know am
I talking too fast like am I out of breath when I’m saying stuff like I just
let it rip and I’m just passionate about it and that’s kind of like the third
thing is make sure that you bring energy to every single thing is that you do
like even if what you’re saying is corny but you’re excited about
it like somebody’s like man that name is stupid but he is fired up
so yeah you gotta have good energy I love it so where do you see ecommerce
and marketing going in 2000’s 2019 and beyond well I would say man if you guys
are getting connected with free up like market it shouldn’t be an issue like you
know the scaling your businesses shouldn’t be an issue because you know
these guys are betting freaking rock stars and bringing them through their
programming system for you guys to get connected to so I mean like as long as
you’re being plugged into a good community and you got the the right
resources of people that can help you you know with scaling your business you
know I don’t I don’t I don’t foresee like any challenges really coming in the
econ game like have anything like it’s just becoming you know there’s just more
and more opportunity that’s being created when people are like really
really taking this thing say it’s just like the people that get started and
like they’re running the website they drop 50 visitors to it and nobody buy
something they’re just like frustrated I’m just like you haven’t even brought
any grill traffic to your website yeah any money but you come I mean I think I
can’t even remember the statistics cutting anybody could go online and
Google and I would highly recommend but do we see the percentage like you know
sales that are actually coming from econ versus like you know what’s actually
left and it’s just like you know it’s still such a huge untapped market
there’s create as much stuff as we hear about it is just so much being talked
about and then you have the people like what about Amazon what about Wayfair
blah blah blah oh it’s like the same thing of like you know why does someone
shop at a mom-and-pop shop versus like you know a home depot you know because
they get a different type of experience and it’s like that online you know when
you build your business the right way like people who buy from you for
different reasons than what they would you know for like Amazon like I’ve had
like I remember specifically like I had a customer he spent $2,000 on my site
and he said the reason why he bought from us is that he doesn’t like to buy
from big-box retailers right and so you have a lot of people that just like to
support small businesses so you know if you’re thinking about like man where’s
the future econ like where’s this thing going like it’s only gonna get bigger
better and just more amazing especially when you got people like free up this
helped you along the way that you can outsource stuff
– well I appreciate the kind words I really appreciate you coming on it and
spending some time with us today where can people find out more about you and
what are you excited about for the rest of the year yeah so if you guys want to
you know check earnest out you can easily just go to earnest steps calm
that’s ei R and E Stepp s comm and also have a free Facebook group is EECOM
dropshipping for entrepreneurs right so if you guys just want to come in for
free hangout see all the cool stuff that’s happened in the acog get educated
that’s what you can do so really for the rest of year man like I’m just focusing
on out you know really just outsourcing more right like it just it just happens
just you know you own a house or the company so yeah man does outsourcing
more get more off of my plate so I can focus on you know the high level income
producing activities and so that’s what I’m excited about just getting more
things off my plate focusing on scaling I’m bringing on phenomenal people so we
can just you know hit that eight figures a year and Beyond love it have a great
rest of the day and thanks again alright guys later
hey everyone thank you so much for watching
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