Paul Baron gives his review of Amazing.com’s Amazing Selling Machine. His review comes two and a half years after launching his Amazon business, just as he projects $1 Million in sales for 2018. (Read more Amazing Selling Machine partner reviews here)
Through the teachings of Amazing Selling Machine (ASM), Paul started his own Amazon business and began selling physical products on Amazon. His brand is less than three years old but Paul has already grown his business to generate almost half a million dollars in sales for last year alone. He projects that he will be able to hit $1 million in sales for 2018.
In this new Amazon seller success story video and article, Mike McClary and guest Paul Baron discuss how Paul was able to develop his own Amazon business and gain financial freedom in his life. Once holding a job as a waiter to help support his family, Paul now shares the reality that his Amazon business might break a million dollar in sales this year. This year Paul is expected to add 21 new SKUs to his business, develop new training courses for his mentoring group, and speak at Amazing.com’s live event, SellerCon, about how anyone can get publicity and press for their business.
Paul used Amazing Selling Machine (ASM) to start and grow his Amazon business. ASM is an 8 week online web class that trains sellers on every step it takes to make and launch a product on Amazon. ASM provides access to courses and mentors, all of which have sold at least one million in products on Amazon.
In addition, members have access to a private resource vault with information on video and photo services, freight forwarders who help ship products from overseas, templates for speaking with suppliers, and more.
ASM teaches sellers how to pick, market, and sell products on Amazon. Paul warns there are many copycat courses out there, but ASM is the definitive course and the best in the industry. Amazing Selling Machine (ASM) is currently offering free live training videos at ASM2018.com.
Prior to selling on Amazon, Paul had tried to develop 8 to 9 different businesses, all of which failed because he did not have a system in place to make them successful. He worked over 60 hours a week trying to get his final business attempt up and running and worked waiting tables on the side—all in an effort to reach his goal of financial freedom, freedom of location, ability to spend time with family, and to one day be able to help others learn how to build and sustain their own business.
It wasn’t until he saw that an old friend started selling on Amazon and made $15,000 in his first month, after taking the Amazing Selling Machine (ASM) training course, that he realized an Amazon business was something he should try.
After seeing the success his friend had utilizing the Amazing Selling Machine courses and community, Paul decided it was all or nothing with his Amazon business. He stressed that he had no Plan B and was in the mindset that he was going to be successful and make money.
As soon as Paul completed the Amazing Selling Machine training, he spent time doing product, supplier and keyword research. Within two weeks he finalized the product he wanted to sell. Next, he spent time contacting 20-30 suppliers, requesting quotes from 10 of them, receiving samples from 3, and making his final decision based on the quality of samples and the responsiveness of the supplier. He has used the same supplier since developing his Amazon business in 2015.
Paul made sure to follow Amazing Selling Machine steps by the book, developing a landing page, his website, emails, and a simple logo. All of this allowed him to launch his first product quickly on Amazon’s first Prime Day. With 9 sales on his first day and $50,000 in sales in his first 6 months, Paul could not believe his business was actually working.
The success of his Amazon business allowed Paul to move away from working paycheck to paycheck, and into a place where he could save and pay off his debt.
In his first year, Paul kept waiting tables until he began to fully live off the income derived from his Amazon business. Everyone is different when it comes to how they use the income they receive from their Amazon business. Some put every dime they make back into their business to grow it quickly, while other take the money and begin living off that income right away.
- Obtain trademarks and register your brand, sooner rather than later. Amazon Seller Central provides a place for sellers to register your brands if they are trademarked. Check Amazon specific guidelines as to the types of trademarks they accept.
- Follow the training, make use of the community, do not give up when discouraged, and ask for help. Paul’s friend Sherry’s first products were not successful when she first began selling. Because of the ASM community’s support and her belief in the system, she kept at it, and now has a successful business.
- “The big bucks” come from building a brand and learning from the first product. ASM’s goal is to get your products up, running, and making money within 6 months. After launching your first product, you can grow your business using ASM tips and the knowledge you gain in launching your first product.
April 4th – 6th , Paul has the opportunity to speak at his first Amazing.com live event, SellerCon in Orlando, FL. He attended his first Amazing.com live event in 2016 and still uses things he learned at the event today. For those unable to attend SellerCon, Amazing.com is offering live streaming of the entire conference for $397. However, if you become a member of Amazing Selling Machine before the end of March, 2018, you will receive free access to the live stream and a recording of the event to keep.
Mike McClary: Hey, everyone. Mike McClary here with another Facebook Live session from the Amazing Selling Machine and Amazing.com. We’re just getting starting right now, so I’m going to check and make sure that everyone can see and hear me okay. If you hear a little background noise it’s because I need to mute things going on. We’re live, and people can see and hear us. I want to thank you again to another Facebook Live session. We haven’t had one of these in a few weeks, but if you haven’t seen any of our live sessions, feel free to check them out here on the Amazing.com Facebook page. We have all kinds of interviews, and free training available for anyone looking to sell on Amazon.
Mike McClary: If you’re already selling on Amazon, and you want to know how to take it to the next level, check out all the free training we’ve put here on the Facebook page for Amazing.com. Also, we got a really special guest today, a good friend of mine. I’ve had a chance to hang out with him several time. His name’s Paul Baron. We’ll be bringing him on later. I got to hang out with him last, or actually a few weeks ago in Florida and learn more about his amazing journey, but more on that in a little bit. I just want to make sure that everyone can see and hear it. People are commenting.
Mike McClary: If you don’t mind, if you can see and hear me fine, post a comment so I can actually see who is watching now. Then I also want to mention, I’m going to keep going back and forth with a couple of different things. Not only do we have free training here on the Facebook page, we also have free training at AmazingSellingMachine.com, and if you want to get to that even easier, we’ve created a special link asm2018.com. That is where you can go straight to all the free training and also you’ll get access to a very special promotion that we’ll be talking about at the end of this Facebook Live here.
Mike McClary: There is Osman Osman. Hey, how you doing? Liz Cortez, Carmen. Great. Thanks so much guys. More people are joining now. We’re already up to over 30 people. We’ll probably get a couple of hundred by the time that we are done here. Again, thank you so much. Again, feel free to check out all the previous interviews and training. We love doing these. We’re going to do several more next week as well, because I’m going to be telling you later on more of the ASM training offers that we have available will be going away at the end of this month, because we are going to be focusing on a completely brand new version of ASM that Paul actually got a chance to participate in. Maybe we can talk a little bit about how that went down in Florida.
Mike McClary: Also, hey, there’s Paula. Hey Paula. Michelle. Hey, everyone. If you guys have any questions at all during this Facebook Live, feel free to post them. I’ll try to get to as many as possible near the end. If you have questions for Paul once I bring him on, feel free to say, “Hey, this is for Paul. I have a question specifically for him,” and actually what happened during his really amazing journey. I want to, without any further ado, I want to bring on a good friend of mine, an amazing Amazon seller, just an all round great person. He also helps mentor and coach people as well, teaching them exactly what he’s learned over the past couple of years of selling on Amazon.
Mike McClary: I’ll introduce Paul Baron who I believe also has a very special guest with us. Paul, your hair’s back.
Paul Baron: I was trying to hide from the camera so that he could be …
Paul Baron: Can you say hi?
Mike McClary: Who’s this, Paul?
Paul Baron: Tell everybody your name. What’s your name? This is Beauregard. We call him Beau, but he wanted to say hi. He really wanted to show people this. Hang on. Do you want to show them?
Mike McClary: Awesome. Hi, Beau. Great to have you. What is that?
Beauregard: Sword. It lives in a top. Well, the top isn’t inside of it.
Paul Baron: Yeah. It’s a lightsaber.
Mike McClary: Whoa. Is that from Star Wars?
Paul Baron: Yeah.
Beauregard: Yeah. It’s from Star Wars.
Paul Baron: It’s great.
Mike McClary: Do you like Star Wars?
Paul Baron: Do you like Star Wars?
Beauregard: Yeah. I do. I do. I do like Star Wars.
Paul Baron: Where are we going in a couple of weeks?
Beauregard: We’re going to Disney World.
Mike McClary: That is so cool. Have you been to Disney World yet?
Mike McClary: The first trip to Disney is the best. You are going to love it.
Paul Baron: Yeah. You’re going to love it. You want to say goodbye?
Paul Baron: Tell him where you’re going now.
Mike McClary: Bye Beau. Beau, I will see you …
Beauregard: I’m going to the library right now.
Mike McClary: You’re going to the library. Okay, well have fun at the library, but Beau I’ll see you in a few weeks in Disney World. I’m going to be there too.
Paul Baron: Yeah. We’re going to go, and we’re going to see him at the hotel in Florida. Isn’t that fun? Say, “Bye, Mike.”
Beauregard: Bye Mike.
Mike McClary: Bye Beau.
Paul Baron: That was …
Rachelle: Do you want to just blow him a kiss?
Paul Baron: Did he just blow him a kiss? He just blew you a kiss.
Mike McClary: Awesome. Beau, I love it.
Paul Baron: That’s awesome.
Mike McClary: That is awesome. What a great kid. How old is Beau, right now?
Paul Baron: He’s three and a half, so it’s like a hit or miss on cooperation.
Mike McClary: Well, that was perfect. It’s almost like we scripted that out here, but he’s a natural for the camera.
Paul Baron: Yeah. We put him in front of the camera all the time for our business, actually, so it’s 50-50, like, “I don’t want to do pictures now.” Or that, like super-cute.
Mike McClary: For anyone watching Beau and Paul were talking about Disney coming up in a few weeks. We’ll talk about that a little more during this interview, because that’s a part of the SellerCon live event that Paul and I will be attending, and that thousands of other people will be attending as well. Before I get to that, I just want to actually bring up Paul. Paul, thanks for joining us. I know you’re a busy guy. I know you have a business to run. You have a family to let run you, and you also do some coaching and mentoring on the side too, but welcome to the call. How are things going for you?
Paul Baron: Good. Like you said, busy. Getting ready for SellerCon, which is awesome. I’m speaking there, so that’ll be fun. I’ve been preparing for that. We are launching …
Beauregard: Mom, I’m doing that [inaudible 00:06:06].
Paul Baron: … three new products and a relaunch, and US …
Paul Baron: … customs held us up a little bit on that stuff, so that’s fun. I’m sure you’ve never had that happen. We’ve been planning the launch blitz on that for the past, I don’t know, since January actually. It’s like everything is happening all at once. The product’s launching. We’re starting some new training courses in our mentoring group. It’s fun. Life is good.
Mike McClary: Then you’re preparing for speaking at … This is the first time you’re presenting at an Amazing event, right?
Paul Baron: Yeah, at SellerCon. I’ve spoken elsewhere, but this is the first time at the Amazing event, so I’m pretty excited.
Mike McClary: Sweet. We’re looking forward to it. Do you mind sharing what your topic is going to be?
Paul Baron: Our business, we’ve been able to get quite a good amount of publicity and press, so I’m going to be talking about PR and basically how anybody can PR hack and get publicity for their business.
Mike McClary: Very cool. That’s awesome. Publicity equals free traffic, so I’m excited. I’ll be paying attention to that as well. By the way, if anyone sees me looking down and away from Paul, I’m actually paying attention to the comments on the Facebook Live as well, so I’m going to try to do some multitasking. I’m not always the best at it. It’s not that I’m ignoring Paul. It’s I’m trying to do two things at once. Paul, I know that last year we started talking even more, and your business was really starting to take off. I remember that I think you did over 350,000 by the end of September last year. How did last year end up for you?
Paul Baron: Last year we ended just under 500. I think it was like 480 or something, so combined between Amazon and our website. It was pretty good [crosstalk 00:07:58].
Mike McClary: Almost half a million dollars.
Paul Baron: The lion’s share of that was Amazon, obviously. It was a good year.
Mike McClary: That’s sweet, and then this year I mean you’re launching new products and everything. What do you expect to do this year on Amazon?
Paul Baron: This year I’m projecting between 680 and 750. It’s hard to say with the new products, because they’re in the same vein. We already have an audience of people that purchase from us, and so we can just remarket to those people that we’ve already had, that we already have on our list. It could be my expectations could get blown out of the water. Last year I was projecting, so … Last year is 2017, so 2016. Sorry, Rachelle is …
Rachelle: We have 20 SKUs now [inaudible 00:08:49].
Paul Baron: She told me we have 20 new SKUs coming this year.
Mike McClary: You’ll be a little busy.
Paul Baron: Yeah. I do the marketing, I don’t do the planning. That’s her. She’s like product research, operations, planning, behind the camera. She’s the smart person, and I’m the one who just likes to talk and make things. 2016 we finished with just about 250,000 in sales. We almost doubled that in 2017, and I think that it should be pretty realistic for us to break a million this year. I like to be conservative, just because I want to make sure that if I’m setting a budget, I’m not spending more than I’m making.
Mike McClary: That’s smart. You doubled your business after the first year. This year even let’s say you only hit 750K, that’s a 50% increase from [crosstalk 00:09:46] last year. That’s crazy. It’s unheard of in any other business. I don’t know if you saw last week, but Amazon has become the second largest company in the world as far as capitalization goes. Did you see that?
Paul Baron: Yeah. I did. Actually I did, yeah. [crosstalk 00:10:01] Jeff Bezos is like the richest man in the universe now.
Mike McClary: Yeah. I think so. For anyone watching here, Amazon have surpassed Google as far as market capitalization goes, which is just crazy, because Google has always been one of the major powerhouses in the world. Now, Amazon with the purchase of Whole Foods, that means that they are bigger than them, and they also have surpassed a half a million employees. People like Paul I’m not going to say are taking advantage of this, but in ways we kind of are. We’re leveraging Amazon’s incredible power. Let’s go back a little Paul. When did you get started selling on Amazon?
Paul Baron: We launched July of 2015. That was coming up on three years, so we’re almost three years old.
Mike McClary: Almost three years. Not quite. You did a half million last year, almost three years old. That’s crazy. What were you doing, and some of these I’ll just be fully up front, some of these questions I know now, because I got to hang with Paul last week in Florida, and I learned things. Paul and I have known each other a little bit, but I learned things that I didn’t know, even. I’m leading Paul into questions that I know, because I know they’re so cool. Paul, what were you doing before you actually started Amazing Selling Machines selling on Amazon?
Paul Baron: I was thinking about the best way to answer this, because I’ve always been a lifelong wantrepreneur, would be how I would describe it, because I always wanted to work for myself, and I always wanted to try to do things, and I was tallying all the businesses that if I would consider. When I was five, I would take drawings to the grocery store, and I’d give them to grandmas and I’d say, “Do you want to buy this? Do you want this?” They’d say, “Yes.” Then I’d say, “Well, that’ll be 10 cents.” I started selling stuff when I was five. I completely forgot about that until my mom reminded me, but that’s who I am. I have always wanted to work for myself and do my own thing.
Paul Baron: The problem is I’m like the crazy visionary type that start stuff, and I’m not really good with planning. I’m not good with systems, so it’s awesome that I have an amazing wife like Rachelle , because she’s good at that. Why I’m saying all this is up to the point where I found out about Amazing was I had tried to start, I think, maybe eight or nine different types of businesses in my life up to that point, and they’d all just failed slightly less than the one before, and mainly because I never had a system. It was because I’d just like, “Okay. I want to do this.” I’d do it, so I had no problem taking risks, just how I am.
Paul Baron: I wanted to do it, and I’d do it, and then I’d be like, “Okay. This is boring. I don’t know. I hate this now.” The year before I heard about Amazing I had started up to that point in time the most successful business I ever did, which I think … Rachelle , what did we do in Catalyst in 2018? It was like 40 grand. Maybe. It was practically nothing, and that was very successful for me. That’s a thing that most people need to realize that most businesses if you can pay yourself your first year, or you can do anything over a couple of thousands dollars a month is pretty good.
Paul Baron: I had started in July of 2014 a business with a friend of mine. We were doing website design and development, and so my role was supposed to be sales and marketing because that’s just what I like to do and I’m good at it. I did some design, or whatever, but Jesse my business partner was going to be doing all the design and all the development. Midway through the year he got a job, and so I was left stuck doing it all. I was planning on doing all the sales and the marketing stuff, growing the business, he was going to handle the production. We were going to hire developers and all this stuff. It just got really complicated and hard, and I was probably working 60 hours a week just on that.
Paul Baron: Because Jesse got a job, I wasn’t able to finish as many projects as we needed to finish in order to pay the bills, so I picked up a part-time job waiting tables. My plan was that I was, so this is in 2014 when I started this, which basically a year before Amazing. I had spent a whole year just pulling my hair out trying to start this business, working 60 hours a week because I just wanted to work for myself. I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted freedom of location. I wanted to be able to do stuff and take my family on vacations. I know for me it’s not about the money, because money is a tool. I want to be able to use money to donate to charities or do relief work and missions work in Third World countries. That’s just who I am.
Paul Baron: I figured that if I knew how to build up a business, then I could use that skill and then take that into other countries, build businesses there, and then help people by teaching them how to build businesses. Problem was I had never really successfully built a business. I had this desire that I really wanted to do this, but I didn’t know how to do it. Fast-forward to 2015, it was in April, a friend of mine Nate McHenry from high school, he had taken ASM four, and that was in the fall of 2014 was when ASM four started. I remember seeing him post about the products that he was launching on Amazon, you know like you do? You just casually stalk people on Facebook. You see them but you don’t really interact much.
Paul Baron: I had seen earlier in the year I think he had tried doing eBooks. Then I saw that he was launching these actual physical products that he had … I thought that he was working for a company is what I thought. I thought that he was helping this company start their business. I didn’t know it was his at the time. Then he just posted, like it was just a text post on Facebook in April of 2015, and it basically said, “Hey, a lot of you guys have seen that I’ve started selling stuff on Amazon. The course that I took is opening up. By the way, I made $50,000 in sales my first month.”
Paul Baron: I was blown away, because up to this point I don’t even know if we made 20 grand our first year with running Catalyst, and that’s me working 60 hours a week and waiting tables 10 to 30 hours a week. That’s between 70 to 90 hours worth a week, and there’s only 168 hours in every week. I wasn’t sleeping much. We had just had Beau. He was born in August of 2014, and I’m trying to start a business. I’m working another night job and we just had a baby. I see this thing that Nate did, and that spark in me, that little entrepreneurial: “Oh, man. This looks amazing.” No pun intended. I saw it and I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” I wanted to think that I could do it, and honestly I intentionally stopped reading it because I felt it was too good for me to be true.
Paul Baron: I have to give a shout-out to my older sister, because if it wasn’t for her, she actually sent me in a message on Facebook, she screenshot Nate’s post, and she was like, “Did you see this? I think you’d be good at this.” It was honestly because of her that she gave me a vote of confidence that “you can do this.” I was so in my own head of like, “I can’t do that, because I’m trying to start Catalyst.” It was Catalyst Media Group was the name of the company we were trying to start. I was like, “I don’t have time for this.” It was because of my older sister reshared it to me that I actually watched the whole series of videos. I was like, “This just makes perfect sense.”
Mike McClary: [crosstalk 00:18:16] That is awesome.
Paul Baron: It’s funny, because I’ve tried to help Rachelle, or Jessica is my older sister. I’ve tried to help her a bunch do it, and just coach her for free. It’s just something they just don’t really want to do, which is kind of funny to me. I’m like, “Why don’t you guys want to do this?” I feel like I owe you back because you’re literally responsible for … I mean it’s not all her, but obviously I took the choice, but had she not done that, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, because [crosstalk 00:18:50].
Mike McClary: I think a lot of us feel that way. I know that once you get the bug, once you know what it’s like to own your own business and own your own successful business, it’s hard to comprehend that every other person on earth doesn’t want to do the same thing. It’s kind of frustrating sometimes.
Paul Baron: It’s so crazy, and I think the common excuse is that people are comfortable with their job. They want a secure income or something. To me, I’ve thought a lot about this as being on my entrepreneurial journey for the past decade or whatever, I feel like working for somebody else you’re just buffering yourself from risk. As a business owner you feel all the risk, and you buffer that for your employees, but there’s still risk. It’s risky living. You might as well just take the step and live for yourself.
Mike McClary: Totally agree. There is no safe job out there anymore. You’re absolutely right. You took this leap. You already told us how things went. You started selling with a quarter of a million dollars in 2015, almost a half million dollars last year. Your profit margins, what do you think percentagewise what you basically do with profit margins?
Paul Baron: I don’t know if this is technical business lingo, but I have gross and net margins. Our gross margins prior to ad spend and stuff are just about 50%. Basically our take home that we have, like “put in our pocket” income is about 20 to 25%, and it just depends on how aggressive we are in our marketing. They’re pretty good.
Mike McClary: That’s awesome. Congratulations Paul. What a great story. I know I got to hear more of it. I know I may have focused a little more on the waiting part of it. We’re grown men, and the fact that you would do that for your family and for your own dreams, to go out there, that says something about you, and probably why you’re successful, too, that you’ll do whatever it is to make sure your family is taken care of and that you can pursue your dreams. That’s awesome. Congratulations to you.
Paul Baron: Thank you. There’s a bit of a ego check, because you’re trying to do “I’m a business owner,” but the thing is you got to do what you got to do.
Mike McClary: Do you see yourself ever going back to waiting tables again?
Paul Baron: I love waiting tables. It’s a ton of fun. I would do it if I could do it once a month just for fun. I wouldn’t want to be put on a schedule. Just let me come in and wait tables just because it’s a blast. I like feeding people food, alcohol, and having a good time, and that’s like waiting tables.
Mike McClary: Let’s go over a few basic things that people always want to know. First off, if you’re watching this, we got close to 50 people right now. The numbers keep going up, please like this video, please share it with as many people as possible. We love sharing these Facebook Lives so that the word gets out. If you are an existing Amazing Selling Machine member, give me a shout-out. If you’re someone who is not an Amazing Selling Machine member, feel free to post here and [crosstalk 00:22:09] let us know why you’re not. We want to know, and maybe help you figure out whether it’s right for you or not.
Mike McClary: Of course, Paul and I are going to say it’s right for everyone, but the real answer is it’s not. You have to want to really have the freedom that people like Paul and his wife Rachelle and their son Beau and his friends Nate and Ben and Angie and Athena, so many other people have. You have to want that freedom, so maybe you’re one of those people who like being in a normal job. Totally fine. Also, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to go out there and try to sell half a million a year. Some people do this on the side for just a little bit of work per week. That’s totally fine too, but we’ll get more into that later on. Please like, share this. I love seeing as many people.
Mike McClary: There’s Maggie. There’s Rachelle. There’s Carmen out there, ASM8. Henry, welcome. You have ASM8. Those are some of the existing students out there as well. Love seeing all you guys. Athena, love you too. Paul, when you started selling 2015, you took the course. Do you remember how long it took you before you got your first product live and on Amazon?
Paul Baron: Yeah. We were super-aggressive, because I’m sure you probably picked up from my story of … I just do whatever it takes. For me it was such a big investment, and it is. It is a big investment. For me I was like, “Okay. We’re making money.” That was the choice that I made, that there is no plan B. Plan A is it works, and plan B is it works. If you can get into that mindset, even if you have roadblocks and no matter what happens you will make it work. For us, I think course went live May. Spent all of May doing product research, keyword research, supplier contacting, and we went really, really quickly.
Paul Baron: We narrowed down our products, like the final selection within first couple of weeks. To be honest, we didn’t really think that it was a home run. We were like, “Okay. We’re just going to do this.” And then started selling just to start selling, and then we were going to add different … I actually had a different product in mind that we were going to go with later. We just were like, okay, this is quick and easy. We’re going to do this. It meets the criteria, anyway, and so we did it. We contacted something like 20 or 30 different suppliers, requested quotes from 10, ordered samples from three, and then made our decision with the supplier that we wanted to go with based on the quality of the samples and her responsiveness and how good at English she was.
Paul Baron: Her English name is Catherine. We’ve worked with her ever since. I actually consider her a part of our family now. We talk on a regular daily basis. She sent us gifts when we had Laelle, our daughter. She’s pregnant, she’s going to have a baby here soon, so we’re sending her gifts. That’s a side benefit for me, because I love making friends. We have an awesome friend in China. That was all within the first month of May. Then we ordered our products, got them produced, got them shipped over. If you know our brand, and you look at it now, like the evolution, we just did everything by the book ASM.
Paul Baron: Just quick and dirty logo, just got the website up, landing page done, emails done, all that stuff, and just started production of the products with our crappy homemade logo, and got them live. It was actually the very first Prime day ever. It was just crazy incident that when they went live was the first Prime day. It was July 2015.
Mike McClary: How were your sales on that Prime day when you went live?
Paul Baron: It was insane. I remember thinking, everybody says this. Every single person that you talk to about their first sale, they typically will say, “I can’t believe it’s working.” That was my response, was like, “Oh, my gosh. This is working.” The crazy thing for me was we didn’t even have pro photos yet. We just used the photos that our supplier sent us. We put those up, got the regular photos up the next day, and as per ASM teaching our conversion rates went up and our sales went up. We had nine sales our first day, which is insane, and it just kept going up from there. We capped off the rest of 2015, or sorry. 2015 was a half a year, because that was when we started. It was like 50,000 in sales that first year. It was crazy.
Mike McClary: That’s great. Now that people like you and Nate and Ben and other people are much further along down their journey, you think back like 50,000 sales in half a year, you’re thinking, “Wow, it’s kind of a small number.” Realistically that’s huge. Starting a brand new business, half of the year and you do 50K in sales just starting off. That’s pretty crazy for any type of business that’s out there right now.
Paul Baron: Even an extra thousand dollars a month is life changing. We lose track of that, because now we have these business that are further along, and it’s easy to you track of that, but $1,000 a month is a life changing, can be a life [crosstalk 00:27:48] for a lot of people. It could take you from living paycheck to paycheck, to actually being able to save a little and pay off debt.
Mike McClary: You’re so right. It’s amazing. You took the Amazing Selling Machine training. You started making a lot of sales right away, like nine sales in the first day. Probably no reviews. Pretty crappy photos. A log you sketched out by hand. That is awesome. When did it really start taking off for you? When did you realize that, “Wow, this is the business for me”?
Paul Baron: Well, I was so burnt out with Catalyst, the business that we had started, because I’d been working 60 hours a week. I think I kept doing that for a year. I was just totally half-assing because I was just so burnt out, and working 60 hours a week doing that plus waiting tables. I kept waiting tables and everything, and for about a year. To be completely honest, I could have probably gone a little bit longer and used some of that extra income just to put back into the business. You referenced Ben and Nate. They’re good friends of mine and we all hung out in Florida. Ben, their business is like two million a year or something. He’s just now quitting his job.
Paul Baron: The awesome thing about that is that they’ve just had extra income. They can pay all their bills with their business, but literally they’re just taking all their business income and putting it back into the business. I realized it was for me the moment that I started making sales, honestly. I was so over Catalyst that I was just like, “I’m done.” We started living off the income probably a little bit sooner than we should have, but we haven’t missed paying our mortgage. It’s been interesting sometimes when sales go a little bit slow, but it’s just been on a general upward trend, and I don’t know [crosstalk 00:30:04]-
Mike McClary: That’s awesome though, because you know what, your story is indicative of the flexibility this gives you. We talk about it on the course that you can choose, like Ben is doing, to put every single dime of the money you make back into the business, and that way grow it quicker, or you can just say, “Hey, I’m fine with an extra $1,000 a month.” And take that out and live off of it, or you can do something in the middle. It sounds like for a while, for you, you were doing exactly what you wanted to do, which gave you the ability to do things you weren’t doing before.
Paul Baron: That’s basically what we did was we started living off of the income probably a little bit sooner than we should have just in terms of aggressively growing our business. Our business is still growing. Instead of going from 50,000 in 2015 to a quarter of a million in 2016, had we put more money into the business, we could have gone higher. I’m not upset about that. I don’t care. We built a solid brand. Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve been able to get some great publicity, and the thing that I look at this now is that we’re not just building a business that we have income from. We’re building an asset that was …
Paul Baron: I think back in September you guys did something with David and Lilly [inaudible 00:31:24] and talked about how they sold their business. I was just thinking of that, like really it’s like owning your home versus renting a home. When you own your own business, everything that you do adds equity, and if you want to sell it, get it appraised, you can. That’s the awesome thing about building a business like this is that if you want to sell it, you can. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. It’s great.
Mike McClary: No. You’re right about that. Something else I want to talk about too is the training, well, the training. We have the free training that’s out there right now. You took the leap. You joined the Amazing Selling Machine, got all the training, the coaching, the community and everything like that. Have you also attended one of our live events?
Paul Baron: I attended back in 2016, September, and I’m going to include a portion of that in a little bit of story. It’s kind of funny. I’m not going to tell that now, because you’ll have to listen to it at an event. I went out on a limb. At the time they had platinum passes, which were … You had access to the speakers, backroom, and then like a platinum dinner. I met you there and I told you that I was going to buy you a coffee, and I never bought you a coffee.
Mike McClary: I hadn’t forgotten that though. There’s still time.
Paul Baron: You haven’t forgotten that. That was 2016 and it was awesome. The content was amazing. We still use a lot of the stuff that we learned at that event to this day in our business.
Mike McClary: I know. Every time I go to a live event I get a notebook and I just write notes, and write notes in it, and then I look back on that to this day. I can look back to the events that I’ve been to and the masterminds, go back now four years, and it is great, great, great content. I’m looking forward to seeing your presentation, looking forward to seeing the rest of the content as well. One of the things I wanted to bring up, and the reason I’m asking, Paul, about the content is because today we have a very special offer that I wanted to talk about. Before I get to that, if anyone has any questions, we’re definitely going to take those.
Mike McClary: I know, Danny, I saw a question for you earlier on. I don’t know if it’s specifically for Paul. It’s about Vendor Express. Anyone knows Vendor Express is another way to sell on Amazon. They just announced they’re shutting down that program, so they are not accepting any new Vendor Express sellers. It was a way, kind of a hack to get into the backend and get access to Amazon marketing services. Danny, I just got my email two days ago. They’re shutting that down, so they will not be accepting any more people into that. The good thing is, even though we can’t get access, our new people can’t access to Amazon marketing services, inside of Seller Central, like Paul has, they’re not giving you more and more tools in there that used to be only available with Amazon marketing services.
Mike McClary: Paul, have you went and got brand registered yet, or is that on your timeline?
Paul Baron: Amazon changed their brand registry. We did it right away, so we’re kind of brand registry 1.0, and now they’re on 2.0. It’s funny, because that is actually one thing that we’ve had on our list to get a trademark, and it’s stupid because we can literally just go to a lawyer and say, “Hey, can you help us trademark?” We just keep forgetting to do it. Honestly, we’re registry 1.0, and we need to be on 2.0.
Mike McClary: We didn’t do that for a while either, because it didn’t matter.
Paul Baron: We need to do that, so I need Ben and Nate, and I know you’re watching this, so you can hold me accountable. [crosstalk 00:34:59].
Mike McClary: The reason, Danny, I mention that is because you don’t have to be trademarked for all the benefits, but you get even some more special ones, like headline search ads if you are trademarked and brand registered, you can now do those inside of Seller Central and not have to worry about Amazon marketing services. The same thing is true for Amazon stores. Used to be only available for Amazon marketing services. Now you can do that inside of Seller Central. You don’t have to worry so much about having to get access to Vendor Express now. If you’re watching, if you are an existing Amazon seller or a Amazing Selling Machine member, highly recommend getting trademarked sooner rather than later.
Mike McClary: We used to tell people, “Don’t worry about it.” But now once you know what your brand is, definitely go ahead and I’m going to keep on Paul to make sure he does that this year too and get access to all those really cool services. I’m [crosstalk 00:35:51] trying to see if there’s any other specific questions out here. I don’t see a lot. Danny’s saying it takes about one year to get brand registered now. We actually got ours back within six months, so our trademark took just under six months, and brand registry for us went and only took us one month. Once you have that trademark, and you have the logo, it … Don’t get me wrong Danny, it can take longer, but it took us about six to seven months to get that taken care of for us.
Mike McClary: Let’s see. Any other questions. Here’s one for Paul. If you went back to waiting tables, who would you rather serve drinks to: Rich Henderson or Mike McClary? Be very careful how you answer.
Paul Baron: Whoever tips the best. That’s an easy question to answer. I know that most people from the UK don’t know what tipping is.
Mike McClary: Excellent. You know what, that is the perfect [crosstalk 00:36:45]-
Paul Baron: I’m not saying that that’s you Rich, but …
Mike McClary: Ricardo Alexander, where do we go to get trademarked? It’s really simple, so you can either go to uspto.gov and do it yourself. You can hire any attorney, just Google trademark attorney and they can do it, or like we did for our first one you can go online. There is Trademarkia, there is Rocket Lawyer. Just Google online trademarks. Services will do it for you for 150 bucks. You pay all the same trademarking fees. That’s separate to the government, but that service charge of 150 bucks. A lawyer will probably charge you somewhere between 500 and 1,000 for their time, but there’s benefit to that, because they’ll do all kinds of trademark research to make sure that you don’t have any hassles with it. [crosstalk 00:37:33] Just Google it. Lots of places. Yeah, Paul?
Paul Baron: Rich. Sorry, I’m reading. I was just going to say before Rich sidetracked me, Amazon has specific guidelines, too, which there’s different types of trademarks. When you do this, make sure that you look on Amazon Seller Central. They have the questions and Q&A on what to do to get brand registered, and then just if you go the lawyer route or if you Trademarkia, make sure that you do within those guidelines, because I think there’s two or three different categories that they have.
Mike McClary: Absolutely. If you go into [inaudible 00:38:08] Seller Central, and you go to their help and go to brand registry, that’ll walk you through the trademarks that they accept. There’s a couple of different ones that they definitely look for. Wordmarks are okay. You do not have to have the image, but a wordmark will work for you, but just make sure you follow the guidelines there. Let’s see, any other questions.
Paul Baron: Do you mind if I jump back up? I’m [crosstalk 00:38:31] …
Mike McClary: Yeah. Go ahead.
Paul Baron: … because I’m looking at Danny mentioned something about running into a bunch of roadblocks, and I want to speak to, so one of my friends that I met through the Amazing community, her name is Sheri, and I love Sheri’s story, because you have stories kind of like ours where it started working, kind of a slow rise. Then you have Nate who has sold a bazillion dollars his first month. Then we have friends like Sheri who I think she said something like her first four or five products were duds, like they just didn’t go. They just didn’t take off, and I don’t know if it was necessarily that the products were duds or if it was just something.
Paul Baron: I don’t know. I don’t know why they didn’t go, but she stuck at it and she lost a bit of money on those first few products, but her goal was so long-sighted, and she knew that the system worked just because of being in the community. She just decided that she was going to make it work, and so now she’s actually in China. I think she’s in China right now or she’s on her way to China to source more products, but she’s got a really successful business now. She’s really narrowed down her niche into products that are working, but I think it was at least four or five products before she found one that was really working for her.
Paul Baron: That’s something that we tell the people in our group that we mentor, too, that Amazing … Rich has put together an amazing group of mentors in the Amazing community that are incredible. I rely on them even to this day, ask questions. Sue Sibley just answered a question for me the other day. She’s awesome. We’ll do this even in our group where we do private mentorship stuff, and we just always encourage people that follow the training, make sure that you make use of the mentors and don’t get discouraged, like don’t give up. If you get to a point where you’re feeling discouraged, and like, “Oh, man. I’m not going to make this work.” That’s normal. Just you need to let people know and say, “Hey, I need help.” That’s the community for that.
Mike McClary: I couldn’t agree more. The last thing we’re going to go out there and say is that 100% of the people who sign up and start selling are going to have 100% success rates with their very first product, and it’s going to make them a million dollars in the first six months. That would be disingenuous. This is a real business. It’s not a quick make money scheme. It’s a way to build a long-term business, a cash flow business, an asset, and it takes time. It takes several months. I mean the training alone goes for two months, and then all along you’re taking action, and then there will be time to have your products made, and then there’s time to get it launched.
Mike McClary: Our goal is within six months you’ll have your product up and selling, bringing in revenue, and then at that point you have your first product live. You know exactly what it is. That product should be making you a profit, and then really when the big bucks come in is when you take all that knowledge and start building your brand off of that first product. I don’t know, what do you think about that plan, Paul?
Paul Baron: I completely agree, because I think that the best teacher is experience and trial and error, honestly. If you don’t have mistakes and you don’t learn from mistakes, then if you accidentally succeed and you have it easy first, once you hit failure or you hit mistakes, it is actually, I feel, harder. If you can grit your teeth, figure out what it is that you’re doing wrong, or if it’s a product or something and just be honest with yourself, be teachable, you’ll go far, whether it’s in this business. In general, I feel like that’s good life advice.
Mike McClary: The benefit though for everyone watching is just incredible. No matter what it takes and there is no plan B, that’s our motto around here, it’s worth it, because once you learn this business, once you start selling it, once you build your brand, the freedom that you have to do what you want in your life, to have your three and a half year old son come and hang out with you while you’re doing a Facebook Live, to be able to take him and your wife to Disney in a few weeks. There’s more thing. Other opportunities come open from this business. I keep telling people, my life has changed so much in the past year. I know this is about you, Paul, but I also want to share my experience too.
Mike McClary: My life has changed because of all the opportunities that have opened up to me because of being successful in this business, all the people that I’ve met and got to hang out. It’s just incredible. No matter what, Danny, and anyone else watching who is a member and who is selling, keep at it. The benefits are so much worth everything that it takes to get a business going, and we’re there with you the entire way. We’re not giving up. We’re not going anywhere. Paul’s around. I’m around. Rich Henderson. Sue Sibley he mentioned earlier is around, all the other amazing mentors. It’s awesome.
Mike McClary: We’re getting kind of late into this, so I want to talk about something else special coming up. Paul will be at the SellerCon live event we’re talking about. That’s at the end of the first week in April, I believe, April 4th, 5th, and 6 is when SellerCon is. Now, if you are not yet a member of the Amazing Selling Machine and you don’t yet have a product live, you’re not selling yet, totally fine, but we have a very special offer with you today. First off, if you have not watched the free live training, absolutely go to ASM2018.com, go get all the free training that’s out there. There’s no catches. We have tons of free stuff out there, how to actually start the business on your own there. Go get that.
Mike McClary: However, once you see that and once you’re ready to take the next step, we want you to join us and actually join the Amazing Selling Machine. It’s a paid course. You’ll get all the details there, but it’s an eight week online web class that we go ahead and we train you on every step from A to Z on how to make and launch your own product on Amazon. People like myself, like Paul, his partners Ben and Nate, their wives do the businesses with them, my buddies Rich, Matt and Jason, this is how they all got started selling and we have the entire course of Amazing Selling Machine for you. The eight week long course you can sign up for today, and start learning today.
Mike McClary: The moment you sign up, you actually get access to the course. You get access to the mentors that Paul was talking about earlier. These are real, live people who are volunteering their time to give you their help and training, and on average we just … The last time that we asked the mentors what they’re doing in their business, on average the mentors have sold at least a million dollars in products. These are people who really know what they’re talking about. We also, when you sign up for the Amazing Selling Machine, you get access to our private resource vault. These are all the services that we use in our own business, photography services, video services, freight forwarders that’ll teach you from the easiest way to ship your products from China.
Mike McClary: If you’ve never had a product made overseas and never figured out how to ship that from there to where you’re selling, I know I didn’t, a freight forwarder will make your life so easy, and they’re very affordable. We give you the actual freight forwarders that we use. We’re going to give you templates, all these free, downloadable products. If you want to know how to communicate with a supplier so that you know how to sound professional, we give you all those free templates.
Mike McClary: In the training, the eight weeks training, we have downloadable PDFs, so if you want to go back and figure out exactly what was covered in one of the training videos, we have PDFs that actually walk you through a learning guide. It’s not just a summary, it’s an actual learning guide that revisits the PDF in detail so you know what was covered in there. You get all that as a part of the Amazing Selling Machine. Also, we give you a 30 day money back guarantee. Anyone thinking about signing up, if you don’t think this is for you, you have 30 days to try it out, and there is absolutely no questions asked.
Mike McClary: If you realize this is not for you, just let us know after 30 days, and you will get a complete refund. We’ve never not refunded anyone who’s let us know within 30 days that this business isn’t for them. Like Paul talked about earlier, this may not be for everyone. You have to really want freedom, you have to want to own your own business. You don’t have to work 60 hours a week doing this business. Once you get the training, get the product up, you can put in as little or as much time as you want. If you want to turn into a million or a multimillion dollar business, we have people doing millions of dollars a month, you can do that. That will take work.
Mike McClary: I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to say that you can put in an hour a week and build that kind of business. You will have to put work into it. If you just want to have a lifestyle business where you’re pulling in an extra 1,000 or $2,000 a month, and you only want to work a little bit of time, maybe it’s 30 minutes a day, maybe it’s a couple of hours a week, you can do that. We have people doing that, that are living, breathing examples of that. If you want to get in and try it out and realize it’s not for you, 30 day money back guarantee absolutely.
Mike McClary: Now, there’s something else that we are just announcing today that absolutely no one else knows about. There’s a reason I was asking Paul questions about the live event. I forgot that he was speaking at it. I forgot that he and I were talking about getting to speak at it, and I’m so thrilled that he’s going to be at it. I haven’t seen him present on this, but I will be watching it and learning about PR and press releases. Now, to get a ticket to the live event it’s well over $1,000 right now. One thing that we’re making available to people is something called live streaming, which means that if you can’t go to the live event and you still want to watch the entire live event, you can get access to that now for $397.
Mike McClary: Basically $400 anyone can go and get free live streaming, which means also you’ll get recordings of that, so later on if you want to watch those recordings of the live event at any point in time, they don’t go away, you can watch those later on. As a very special offer that is only valid till the end of this month if you become a member of the Amazing Selling Machine, we’re going to give you the live streaming for $397 for free. Instead of paying $397, you will get that for free for anyone who signs up for the Amazing Selling Machine between now and the end of the month.
Mike McClary: That offer absolutely goes away at the end of the month, because at the end of the month we will no longer be selling the Amazing Selling Machine. Like Paul mentioned earlier, he spent some time with me and Rich and Matt down in Florida preparing for the next iteration of the Amazing Selling Machine. In order to get all the recording done and the training done we’re shutting down the Amazing Selling Machine at the end of this month. If you’re watching this and you want to get a headstart before we shut it down, then you will want to sign up before the end of the month in order to get access to the Amazing Selling Machine, everything I just told you that comes along with it, and to get the free live streaming to the SellerCon.
Mike McClary: Now, I know that most people are thinking, “How much value will the free live streaming be to me if I join today and I don’t have a product live by the time SellerCon comes around?” Don’t worry about it. Like I said, those recordings will be made available to you, and you can come back and watch them at any point in time. Like Paul and I were talking about, I still go back to previous live events like SellerCon and I review the information. I review my notes. If you take the training now and you get your product up and selling within, let’s say, three months, you can go back then and watch the presentations at SellerCon, which they’re not just a regurgitation of what you get in the training. Everything is brand new. It’s additional strategies that help you take your business to the next level.
Mike McClary: You can come back at any point in the time, you can watch them now. You can watch them in three months. You can watch them a year from now. These strategies will still be relevant and you can then take your business to the next level. Again, now, the only way to get access to that for free is to get inside the Amazing Selling Machine and join up now until the end of the month. Definitely use the link ASM2018.com. There’s nothing special comes with that link. We just want to track how many people are actually going to be getting access to the free training, the free videos, the free live streaming of SellerCon, so that will take you right to the checkout page on how to get access to Amazing Selling Machine.
Mike McClary: I definitely want to see as many people as possible joining us. We have tons of people that are already in the community. Paul’s one of them. I mentioned his partners already. You have so many other people. There is people watching right now: Mereth, Todd, Benjamin of course, Shaun. I love you Shaun. Shaun is one of our more active members. He helps people. He’s practically a mentor himself [inaudible 00:50:52] too. Ricardo, I don’t know if you’re a member yet, but I hope that you will be at some point in time. Todd. Danny, I know, is a member. I know Danny. Hope to see you really seeing things take off for you.
Mike McClary: So many other people are members already. We want to see as many people as possible. Anyone watching, if you’re not a member, as us questions here. We’ll be answering as many as we possibly can. If you are on the edge or are on the ledge trying to decide if you want to join, please try it out. There’s nothing that says you can’t try it for 30 days and decide it’s not for you, but this will make sure that you get access to the training, and you get access to the live streaming for free. End of the month, this goes away. No one will be able to join the Amazing Selling Machine on April 1st, I can tell you that.
Mike McClary: We will be opening up later on with a new version, and if you’re worried about getting access to the current version right now and not getting access to the new version, you will get that for free. Once we have the new version out, you will get access to that free as well, so don’t worry about that. The benefit now is you actually will get at least a month headstart on anyone else by joining today, and you’ll get the free SellerCon live steaming that no one else has gotten right now. Paul, any final words you have to say to anyone?
Paul Baron: Yeah. Just do what you need to do. If you need to talk to your spouse, or if you’re not married, whatever. If you think this is for you, just biggest thing that’s going to get you motivated is just to take action. Once you take action, then you get motivated. Don’t wait for yourself to be motivated until you decide to do something. Oftentimes you need to just decide to do something and then the motivation will come later. If you feel like you have what it takes, might as well bet on yourself. Like Matt, or not Matt. Sorry. Like Mike said, really there is no risk, because if you go through it and then you decide, “I don’t know that I have the time to do this. I don’t think this is for me.” You have that 30 day refund window.
Paul Baron: You already laid out all the benefits of you get to upgrade for free, which we basically watched every new upgraded version. I don’t know. Are you seeing [Sen Vervit 00:53:10]: “What’s the difference between Amazing.com?” Do you mind if I answer this?
Mike McClary: Yeah. Go right ahead.
Paul Baron: Amazing Selling Machine is basically specifically targeted at … It’s the A to Z compendium of how to pick, market, and sell products on Amazon. Amazing.com has a lot of good information, but I will say this because I’m not affiliated really with Amazing, like you are, but there are a lot of copycat courses out there that have sprung up since Amazing Selling Machine or ASM has come about. It’s because ASM is the definitive course. It’s the best course in the industry. There are people that have tried to do their own versions with less success, and it’s just really, really good. I don’t know if that’s how you would describe it, but it’s just focused specifically on everything.
Paul Baron: We talk about freight forwarders like it’s no big deal, because that’s what we use. Going into this, I didn’t even know where to begin. I didn’t even know what that meant. That’s what ASM teaches you is it teaches you how to find really good product opportunities that you can sell, you could start selling fairly quickly, how to source those products, how to get them labeled with your own name, your own brand. You create everything, and then you start leveraging Amazon to sell, and launch your own business. It’s awesome. It’s A to Z, everything you need.
Mike McClary: Awesome. That’s a great explanation for it and great answer to that. I want to thank you Paul. Looking forward to seeing you again. It’s going to be really cool to see you and your family down there. I’ll have my family with me as well this time. I’m going to see all the other mentors, the speakers and everything. Hopefully several people who are watching this video we’ll see at SellerCon, and then I hope that several people that are watching this and aren’t yet Amazing Selling Machine members, I’ll meet someday at one of these live events, or I’ll at least see them in the community helping answer questions and help them build their own business.
Mike McClary: With that, I’m going to sign off. Thanks to everyone for watching. I know we have a lot of existing members out there. Thank you guys for hanging with us, and helping out so much like you do. All the new members, anyone who’s not a member, hope to see you a member, but if you’re not I wish you the most success possible. Take advantage of our free training. I can’t stress that enough. Even if you’re not willing to jump in, watch the free training. It’s awesome. Then, again, I want to thank everyone. Have a fantastic weekend, and I will see everyone else next week. We’ll have two more of these coming next week. Take care and I’ll see you all soon.
Paul Baron: See you guys.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.