2021 Goal Results – Did We Hit Our Goals?

Episode 105

Take a look back at 2021. How are the goals you set at the beginning of the year? In today’s episode, Ken and David review everything; The good, the bad, the ugly, the goals that they achieved, and what lies ahead for them in the new year.

[00:01 – 02:49] Opening Segment

  • Back in episode 57, we laid our goals out for 2021
  • Listen to that episode here!

[02:50 – 18:12] 2021 Goals We Did and Didn’t Achieve

  • What we achieved
    • Ken
      • Join a new high-level mastermind
      • Focus on diversification off of Amazon
      • Build a team with the focus on removing tasks from my plate
    • David
      • Trim the fat on unprofitable products
      • To fire the man
  • What we didn’t achieve
    • Ken: Attend 3 live conferences
    • David: Launch a slam dunk product

[18:13 – 31:56] Goals That We’re Carrying into 2022

  • Make one acquisition or do a deep dive on 20 companies in the shopping phase
  • Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
    • Promo code: FTM400
  • 100% top-line growth across eCommerce brands with a huge focus on driving growth profits and decreasing expenses
  • Long term initiatives
  • Grow the email list to 50,000
  • Focus on building an audience

[31:57 – 36:17] 2021 Year End Review

  • Add another layer of accountability by sharing your goals
  • Goals allow you to focus your efforts. Don’t just stay busy!

[36:18 – 37:50] Closing Segment

  • A challenge for the listeners
    • If you’ve found value in this podcast, please leave us a review
    • Head over to Firingtheman.com and send us a voicemail about your goals for 2022
  • Final words

 

Tweetable Quotes:

“In sharing goals, I think whether you’re sharing with your business partner, your friends, your mentor, whoever, you just add another layer of accountability.” – Ken Wilson

“I think that one thing that’s held me back is discomfort. I’ve been waiting for discomfort to pass… And when that discomfort passes, then it’s time. And I don’t think I’m ever going to reach that goal, I think there’s always going to be a level of risk in leaving your full time job.” – David Schomer

“If you’re setting goals, and you’re meeting every single one of them, then you’re not setting your goals high enough or lofty enough.” –  David Schomer

Resources mentioned

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David 0:00
Are you looking to grow your sales on Amazon? Chances are if you’re not selling on Amazon’s international marketplaces, you are leaving some serious money on the table. What keeps a lot of people from selling internationally are all the confusing hoops you have to jump through to get started. That is why we worked with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing e Commerce on our international expansion. Kevin and his team, take care of the details and guide you through the process of expanding so that you can grow your sales and reach new customers. If you would like to find out if working with Kevin and his team is right for you head over to www.maximizingecommerce.com/fire fire. Once again that is www.maximizingecommerce.com/fire.

Ken 0:46
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s been invaluable. You know, the first time I started doing that was at the end of 2019. I repeated the process in 2020, and then again in 2021. And each each time I’m able to do that, it’s like it’s adding more value and more value. And, you know, I think last year when, David, you and I decided to do a podcast on our goals and share them with the world and be vulnerable. You know, I think it adds another layer of accountability, right? Because hey, we’re publicly saying, hey, these are our goals, let’s go and achieve these. And, you know, we have other people besides you and I to hold us accountable for, in sharing goals I think whether it’s you sharing with your business partner, you share them with your friends, your mentor, whoever, the universe, I mean, I think you just add another layer of accountability.

Even though it seems like eons ago that we we achieved it, you know, it’s good to see that and it makes me feel good. And I also think it allows you to focus your efforts on what’s most important. So, you know, I know I, everyone probably, but I know me in particular, I can get in the habit of just trying to stay busy and not necessarily working on the right stuff. And by having these goals and by not having too many, it really allows you to focus your efforts. And so I’m happy with how we performed this year in 2021. I’m looking forward to 2022. We’re going to be recording that episode soon once we get our goals dialed in and ready to announce to the universe but it’s been a great year.

Intro 2:19
Welcome, everyone to the firing the man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more then join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your hosts, serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

Ken 2:44
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode, Ken and I review the goals that we set at the beginning of 2021. We will share the good, the bad, the ugly, the goals that we checked off our list and the goals that are going to stay on our list until 2022. Ken, what’s going on man?

David, what’s up, man? Happy Friday to you. It’s exciting to get on and tape a podcast today sharing our, you know, kind of year end wrap up. What goals we set for ourselves, and then how did we stack up? You know, it’s cool.

Yeah. And so for those of you who haven’t listened episode 57 is where we outlined our goals. In today’s episode, we’ll be reviewing those and giving you results. But yeah, let’s get into it, Ken. So what was your number one goal for 2021?

Yeah, absolutely. And so I don’t know that I have them ranked in order. But the first one that I have got on my list here that we shared on episode 57 was join a new High Level Mastermind. And so this is crucial and the reason why it’s on here, it’s you know, I truly believe surrounding yourself with like minded people and finding people in your space or space that is find someone that’s like a step or two ahead of you. And then you know, you can you can ask them questions on how they got there. And so, joining a new high level mastermind was one of my goals. And I’m happy to say that that goal is complete. So I joined a new mastermind a few months ago, and it’s, we’re spinning it up. And it’s been really good. So that is complete. Success.

Awesome. And I can, just as someone who’s watched you participate in those masterminds, boy, has there been a lot of good information that have come out of there that are helping us on our businesses. So yeah, tons of value there.

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I never really considered masterminds or paying for mentors or doing any of that just, you know, 3 4 5 years ago, and now today, it’s like it’s unlocked so much more for my business just by joining these masterminds and reaching out to mentors. And so if you’ve never done that, I would encourage you to research a little bit and give it some consideration because like David mentioned, it’s extremely helpful in progress. David, what’s your first one?

Yes. So I went back, to prep for this episode I went back and I listened to our, this podcast where we set our goals. And this was in January 2021. And at that point in time, I was employed full time at the accounting firm. And my goal the previous year had been to fire the man. And unfortunately, I did not achieve that in 2020. And when we recorded this podcast, and here’s a little sound bite from this, I think, yeah check out this sound bite from when I set this goal. Alright, so my last goal for the year, and if you tuned in two weeks ago, we recapped our 2020 goals. And, you know, I shared on that episode that one of my 2020 goals was to fire the man was to quit my full time job and do e commerce full time. And I was too nervous to say that, you know, on our goals episode, and so I just kind of skipped over it. And at the end of 2020, I was still employed at my job and my full time job. And this year is different. I am putting this out to the firing the man nation, I am putting this out to the universe, that I want to fire the man in 2021. And I want, Ken, I want you to hold me accountable to this. Fans, I want you to hold me accountable to this. I think that one thing that’s held me back is discomfort. I’ve been waiting for discomfort to pass, there’s always something that is you know, like, what about insurance? What about you know, my wife and I are talking about having another kid? Like, what if we want to move? What, there’s always something. And what I’ve been doing is I’ve been saying alright, keep focusing on E commerce in your free time. And when that discomfort passes, then it’s time, and I don’t think I’m ever going to reach that goal. I think there’s always going to be a level of risk in leaving your full time job. And that’s something that I’m going to need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable here. And so I’ve got a plan in place. And I think I can do it. I think I can do it in 2021. And stay tuned for that. So as you can hear there, I announced it to the universe, I put it out there, I told all of the fans of firing the man, I’m doing it, I have a podcast called firing the man and damn it, I am going to do it. And I am proud to announce that I have fired the man. I am no longer working for the accounting firm that I was at for eight years. And I am doing e commerce full time. And it brings me a lot of pride and joy to to say that out loud. And Ken, you know you put the heat on me. After six months of starting the podcast, you fired the man and so, but you were incredibly supportive throughout my journey and I feel good about it, I feel good about it. I’ve been working, you know, on my own for, you know, coming up on nine months, and it’s been great. It’s been great. There’s been a lot of twists and turns this year. But overall, it’s been a net positive for me, for my family, for my happiness, for my sleep, you know, all kinds of stuff. It’s been great. So that is goal number one. And that is, I’m very excited about that.

Yeah, awesome. Yeah, you know, out of all of these goals on our sheets, I think that one there is like the pinnacle, you know, it’s the top of the list, you know, being able to fire the man and work for yourself, you know, spend the time doing what you want to do is really, yeah, very proud of you. And I’m excited for you that you did that and accomplished that. It’s a massive goal. Awesome, very cool.

What’s next on your list, Ken?

The next one I’ve got here is to attend three live conferences. And I wrote them down as, you know, in the years prior, I would just go to like ecommerce conferences. And so I said, Okay, I’m going to attend three conferences, one ecommerce, one advertising and one SEO. So as I look back on the year, I did attend one ecommerce conference, and I did not attend an SEO conference or an ADS conference. And I don’t necessarily have any excuses for those, for the SEO conference, I did attend a virtual conference. And I bought a new course on SEO, but I did not attend to any ads conference. So that is a what a 33%. That’s, on my grade for attending three live conferences. So, it’s definitely something I’m gonna likely push forward to the new year to keep well rounded. Just keep involved. And as we come out of you know, as the travel lifting has been, you know the restriction on travel is lifted and everything and conferences are starting to come back more of them. And so, but yeah, one out of three on that one. If I was in baseball, that would be pretty good at bat.

Heck yeah, you’d be a Hall of Famer. So one thing I want to point out about what you just said and what you’ll hear through the rest of the podcast is, you know, there are some of these goals that Ken and I did not hit, and we could tell you that we did but that’d be dishonest and lying. And I think that this has been just a healthy exercise for both of us. One, put the goals out there. And then two, be honest with yourself, did you achieve them? And the answer is no on some of these, and as I, you know, as I bring up my next goal, this is another failure, this is one that I did not achieve. So, the next goal was to launch a slam dunk product. And by slam dunk, I mean a product that people get absolutely excited about. They are checking the tracking number when it’s going to show up at their front door. It’s something that really sets the tone for the week of being an awesome week. You know, in the last episode, I gave the example of a Sitka coat. Sitka, they make hunting gear, it was a, it’s a slam dunk product, I was pumped to get it. And so I did not, I did not achieve this goal. And now we I think we took steps towards achieving this goal. But I don’t think we’ve unlocked what the slam dunk product is. The other thing that I would say, and this is not an excuse, I take full ownership for not achieving this goal, but I do think it’s important to mention that we started self manufacturing for a good bit of our products. And now we have coverage on about 150 SKUs, that we were going out and buying these from a third party manufacturer. And so that effort was quite a bit, getting tooling, getting manufacturing equipment, getting a place. And so I am still, this is going to be one that rolls over to 2022. But I do just want to put it out to everyone listening that we weren’t slacking in this category. I think we kind of made a mid year pivot to, you know, manufacturing what works and what’s selling currently.

Yeah, absolutely. And I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a failure. I don’t think there’s any failures. I think we just learn, you know, but like you mentioned, it was a difficult year, especially if you’re selling on, you know, Amazon, it was a difficult year launching products with supply chain and everything going on there. But I would say, you know, some of those bullet points on there were accomplished and like David mentioned, you know, there was some pivots going on throughout the year into other avenues like self manufacturing and stuff, which were, in hindsight, more important than launching one slam dunk product, but I’m happy that you know, you’re choosing to move it to 2022 to kind of push it forward, and continue to strive to achieve that. So it’s good to hear. The next goal on my list, build a team with the focus on removing tasks from my plate. And I am happy to say that this is a, this has been completed, and it’s in progress in motion. The team, I think, I believe at the beginning of the year, the team was one or two, maybe two people, and the team is 13 or 14 now. And so the goal was not necessarily a number of how many to add to the team, but taking tasks that I was doing and moving them to a team member, someone that’s hopefully better than me. And so I’m happy to say that that’s been completed,

You know, it’s been really fun to watch that unfold. And what we found is that a lot of these people that we’re hiring, have skill sets that we don’t possess and can do certain tests better than we could anyway. And so, you know, that’s not a knock on on our Photoshop skills, but Ken you and I are not the guys for that we have people on our team that are better. And so I think there’s been strength in bringing high quality people to the team. And what we find is that a lot of stuff on our to do list is things that we’re not good at, right, because if we were good at we’d knock it out right there. And so, you know, going from, you know, one outside of you and me from one person to 13 has been, boy, it’s been, we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants, but it’s been great. And I see there being an overall net positive to that. And while we’re talking about it, one thing I want to mention is, you know, that’s we expanded pretty quickly, in terms of staff, which has been great. But one thing that I think that we did that I’ll pass along to the listeners, is we would bring somebody on part time for two to three weeks. And that was to, for them to get a feel for the organization. And for us to get a feel for whether they would be a good fit for the organization. And then generally, we would transition them to full time. And I liked that process. I really did. And so, you know, as we continue forward with hiring and building out the team, I think we’ll continue with that, that two to three week trial period.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Like you said, it’s been fast, but it’s been a huge value add and a learning process. You know, it’s like exercising that muscle but something that I always think about what you said, David, is you look at your your to do list and if something is on there and it keeps getting pushed forward, week after week and month after month, that’s something that you do not want to do and you’re avoiding it at all cost and that’s something that you should hire out whether it’s outsourcing it to a contractor on, you know, Upwork or fiver or whatever or hiring someone inside, that is one thing that I’ve noticed is like, I reject stuff I’m not good at or I just I don’t want to do it. So, yeah, I always think about that, David what’s the next goal on your list?

Yes, so trim the fat on unprofitable products. And this was something that one of our portfolio companies has over 300 skews. And I’ll tell you the inventory restrictions on this kind of pushed us forward on this goal, and so just as a recap, and I’m going to use this particular company as an example, because it had the most fat and needed trimmed. But when we had inventory restrictions, you know, this particular account generally had about 10,000 units in inventory. And that got sliced down to as low as 3700. And so what we, even by doing daily and weekly shipments into Amazon, we could not keep certain products in stock. And so, what we did was we looked at, what are the 20% of our products that are making 80% of the profits, and that rule of the universe definitely applies to profitability. And we prioritized getting those back in, you know, in stock all the time. And some of our less profitable products, we did not restock. In fact, we did some removal orders on those and have not restocked on them since. And so that’s something that we did it because of inventory restrictions. However, it’s been a good move for the company, overall, it is trimming out those unprofitable products. And you know, I talked in, you know, the goal setting episode about how it’s hard to kill a product, right, you’ve got 500 bucks wrapped up in photography, 300 bucks wrapped up in a video, you’ve got professional listing, you have keyword research, you’ve got a lot of hours and money tied up in launching a product. And I’d be lying if I didn’t include pride, you know, I’ve never launched a product that I thought was gonna be a total dud, you know, and not sell, I always go into this optimistic and so, but sometimes you just gotta look at a product and look at the numbers and say, Hey, I swung and missed and I’m gonna kill this product. And I’m gonna move on to things that I know are working.

Yeah, absolutely. And I remember, you know, kind of going through those exercises early on. And I’m glad you kind of explained that too. It’s an interesting concept, when you have a product that you’ve already taken to market, it’s a year or two or three old, whatever. And for whatever reason, it’s not profitable. And staying with that product can hurt you long term versus, you know, like you mentioned, David, just doing away with the product and retiring it, you know, and so if you have a catalog of products, and you’ve been selling for a while, you know, like what David said, go through that exercise of what is your most profitable products? And what are the very, very bottom outliers tht are just not profitable? And it’s a tough decision to make, but it is, the numbers don’t lie. The numbers point to what they point to. And so, yeah, it’s been good to, I think, kind of make those pivots.

Absolutely, absolutely. So Ken, what’s next on your list?

Alright, next one I have on my list is five hours per week spent on focusing on diversification off of Amazon. And so this one, I am happy to say I have, I didn’t measure my hours spent, but if if I had to, you know, throw a dart at the board, I would say this is complete. I spent a lot of time focusing on other marketplaces. You know, we’ve turned up Walmart, we’ve turned up three international marketplaces, we’ve focused a lot on our website sales. And so this one is complete, and it feels really good to begin moving that needle off of 98%, Amazon sales, moving that needle down more and having more diversification. It’s better for the business, it’s better for me sleeping at night. It’s good. David, what’s your next goal?

So it was to make one acquisition or do a deep dive on 20 companies in the shopping phase. And the reason for this goal was Ken and I had interest in buying a company. And I would say that that was largely driven by all the m&a activity going on in this space. And, you know, we this year laid the groundwork for international expansion, as well as getting into Walmart. And we really haven’t reaped the benefits of that, you know, there’s been a lot of time and effort involved in just getting those off the ground. And so when we looked at, are we better off reinvesting our resources back into our current portfolio companies or making an acquisition, we made the decision that we were better off reinvesting. And I’m glad that we did that. And I’m looking forward to 2022 to reap the benefits of the groundwork that we laid in 2021. Now we did do a deep dive and a full blown due diligence on one particular company. And that was great. You know, I’m glad that we went through those motions, we met with a seller, we looked through financials, we did, you know, market research. And I think just the very act of going through that exercise made us better at just business. I know that sounds very general, but it was a good exercise for us to go through, we decided that that company, there were too many risks, and that the purchase price relative to the amount of income that it would spit off, it didn’t make sense. And so we were done with that. But man, there was a couple of weeks there where things were getting hot and heavy, and we were talking to lenders and getting stuff lined up. And so that one is, you know, we’ll see in 2022, I will never rule out making an acquisition. However, I do think that, you know, we have higher priority things to focus on right now. Sorry to interrupt the episode, you may have heard Ken and I talking recently about a new tool that we’re using for Amazon refunds. Now I have used other refund tools like this. However, I can tell you in the first seven days, they scrubbed the back end of my Amazon account going back 18 months, and found $5,000 of refunds. And the nice thing about this is, it’s my money, Amazon made a mistake, and they are just auditing my account. The other thing I really like about this tool is there is no monthly fee, they only charge a commission if they are successful in getting you your money. Go to www.getida.com GETIDA and enter promo code FTM for firing the man FTM 400. This is an awesome tool. I can’t say enough good things about it. Now back to the episode.

Yeah, absolutely, definitely agree. The next goal that I’ve got here 100% top line growth across ecommerce brands with a huge focus on driving growth profits and decreasing expenses. So it’s a lot to unpack. So 100% top line growth across ecommerce brands was not achieved. This was a difficult year in terms of stockout, supply chains, inventory restrictions. And so I think those are, you know, if I had to kind of boil it down, those really hinder the progress on growth, I would say number one is supply chain. And then, you know, having a huge focus on growth profits and decreasing expenses, I would say those are small wins out of those three, you know, David, you know, you’ve broken up tons of modeling and reporting and really drilled into gross profits. And we’ve slashed any expenses that we don’t need, we’ve really consolidated. And so I would say those are those are two wins out of that one, but the growth, the 100% growth, we did not reach this year, that’ll be something that we’ll likely modify a little bit, I think it’s always good to, to reach for, you know, to, you know, there’s no sense in setting a goal of hey, I’m gonna try to I’m gonna try to get 7% growth in a market space that’s averaging 80 you know, so it was a lofty goal, we didn’t hit it this year, but we’ll modify it and probably push it out to 2022. David, any thoughts on that one?

Yeah, you know, if that was a lofty goal, and if you were to say, like the the president of GM, if they were to come out and say, Hey, we’re gonna double top line profits, people would say that’s unreasonable. And so, you know, that was a very lofty goal is doubling in size. And I, you know, here’s what I’ll say is, on Walmart expansion, and on international expansion, it just quite simply took longer than we thought. And so I think we were banking on a lot of those new marketplaces to contribute to that. And, but boy did we prime the pump for 2022. And so I would love to see that one roll forward to next year. And I do think 100% growth is possible. And so, you know, I would also add that, listen people, if you’re setting goals and you’re meeting every single one of them, then you’re not setting your goals high enough or lofty enough. And so that was a lofty goal and boy did we grind hard to get there. But we just we didn’t hit it. And that’s, that’s life, so.

Yeah, it is. Awesome. So David, what’s your next goal?

Yes, so schedule time on calendar for certain long term initiatives. This one, we can check off the list. And I’ve got some notes here of specific long term initiatives that Ken and I have weekly or monthly meetings on. First is product lifecycle where we’re looking at new products to launch. We’re keeping conversations rolling with suppliers, and we’re also looking at, hey, what products do we have that we’ve seen a lot of competition come in on and you know, maybe we don’t want to invest as heavily in that particular product. And so that’s one. Number two is profitability. This is something that we’re looking at on a weekly basis and making decisions based off of that. And I’m glad that we’re doing that kind of one thing that ties along with that is inventory. We’ve been having weekly inventory meetings, and, you know, we’re in the business of selling inventory. So I think if you’re not dedicating time every week, if not every day on inventory, then you’re probably leaving some money on the table. And then the last thing is hiring. We have a hiring meeting once a week, we’ll talk about, you know, what positions have we filled? Where do we have gaps in skill sets? And what needs do we have? And so, you know, I think we’ve checked this off the list. And it’s been funny, I think, at the beginning of the year, we had a real, there was a deficit here. For us putting time on our calendars and most recently, you and I have been talking about, hey, maybe we trim some of these one hour meetings back to 30 minutes, because I have no time to actually get work done. And so I think there’s going to be a constant, you know, system of checks and balances on that. But I yeah, I’m proud to say we checked that one off the list.

Yeah, awesome. And then you’re right, you know, it’s just a constant push pull of, you know, the universe is always in flux, right. And so sometimes you go one way and get pulled in the other. But that’s a huge win. The next one, I have on my list, build my email list to 30,000, to which David challenged me to go to 50,000, and I accepted that challenge. And this goal was not hit. Yeah, that was a lofty goal. And the email list is still strong, it’s driving good sales, but it did not increase to 50,000. This is one of the goals that, and this is like coming from me being vulnerable, coming from an engineering background. And you know, email and communication is probably at the bottom of my list of things that I want to do. And so it gets pushed over to list but you know, so it is definitely high on the list of things that I want to accomplish, and it’s going to get pushed into 2022 for sure. This is also something that’s difficult to translate into, you know, you put $1 in, you get $1.60 out, it’s really tough to invest in knowing what the ROI is. So yeah, that is definitely a goal is going to get pushed into 2022.

I’d like to step in here and say that yes, I did challenge you. I remember, I re listened that episode, I did challenge you to get to 50,000. And I would say that as kind of acting CFO, I have not given you the resources in terms of cash to build that list. And so that’s something that, you know, as we were looking at growth, and certain long term initiatives, obviously, ROI was top of mind. And so I have something to do with that, with that goal not being achieved. But you’re absolutely right. I think it’s, you know, moving forward, it’s an important piece of a business. And we’ll get to 50,000. But for the resources that I gave you for your email list, virtually impossible to get there. And so, but hey, that’s business. And so.

Yeah, you got to pivot and make it happen. So awesome. Yeah, definitely moving that one to 2022. We’ll modify a little bit per the needs of the business. So David, what’s the next one on your list?

Yeah, so it was focus on building an audience. And this was something that has come out of listening to Ryan Daniel Moran and reading his book, oftentimes, he will build an audience before he even launches a product. And here I am five years into business and don’t feel like I have a really solid audience. And so there were some sub bullets with this goal. And I would say generally, I have about half a checkmark next to this one. I don’t think I completed it fully. But there are certain things that definitely took step forwards on and first is build 20 raving fans. And when I think of raving fans, you know, I’m going to give an example, my dad, when he buys jeans, he does not even think about what brand he’s a Levi guy. He’s always bought Levi’s. And like, there’s, he would never even consider anything else. Because that’s what he wears. And so I think, you know, that’s my goal for some of our products is for when people buy them, they don’t even consider something else. It’s just, that’s what they buy. That’s what they wear. That’s what they use in their house, so on and so forth. And so, a couple things that we did to, you know, that are in line with this initiative is we stepped up our game on product packaging for some of our products. And that’s something that, from a customer experience, I think, you know, if you have solid packaging, it’s a good first impression. And so I think that was a step in the right direction. You know, another sub bullet to this was drive website traffic of 5000 visitors per month. And we’ve been doing weekly blog articles and have been religious about that we have 52 blog articles posted this year. And we’re starting to see some visitors come in from that. And so that is, I think we’ve taken the steps necessary and will continue to hit that mark. But I don’t think we’re quite there yet from a visitor standpoint now. But I am really, really proud of the blog piece of building out the website. And I would say, the last piece of this is we’ve stepped up our game on social media, are posting more frequently, engaging with our audiences. That’s kind of, it was something that at the beginning of the year, I was self managing, and doing, honestly a piss poor job, and brought in a social media manager, she’s been doing an excellent job. And so we’re starting to see that audience grow. And I think this is something as business owners, Ken we always have to be focused on building our audience. And from my accountant brain, it doesn’t always, you know, it’s hard to factor in, what’s the ROI on this, of a social media following? Or, you know, what’s, you know, I look at like, a lifetime value of my dad to Levi’s. I mean, every pair of jeans he’s bought for last 40 years, he’s going to Levi’s, and so, we’re trying to build that type of trust with our customers. And I think we took a lot of steps forward on this this year.

Yeah, absolutely. Just to add on to that, you know, the focus of this goal was building an audience. And so we’ve laid a lot of groundwork and, and built a strong foundation, there’s email, we’re capturing emails every day, the website traffic is the organic website traffic is increasing every day, we’re, you know, applying SEO, doing all that we’re hitting all the checkboxes. And regards to the raving fans, you know, like, we’re one of the things that we’re doing is we’re training our team members in the operations group to really communicate with customers, you know, anything that customer needs, we’re they’re like, hey, if, if this thing doesn’t fit what you needed it to, hey, let’s get you a refund, let’s get you a replacement product, what is going to make you happy, what is going to make your customer experience better? And I think that’s a, that’s a long term process, that doesn’t happen overnight, that’s slowly built, because that customer is going to go tell their friends and family, oh, hey, this brand, you know, I bought this thing, and maybe I didn’t read the instructions, and it didn’t work or whatever. And it’s gonna just, it takes a long time for that to go around and come back. And so we’re kind of at the investment phase right now of laying all this groundwork. So I agree that’s a small win for that goal.

Absolutely, absolutely. So Ken, now that we have reviewed our 2021 goals, and we are putting them out to the universe, I’d like to ask you, you know, generally, when you think back on 2021, what are going to be your thoughts? And what do you think about this process of writing down your goals? Having a mid year check in and doing a year end recap? What are your thoughts there?

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s been invaluable. You know, the first time I started doing that was at the end of 2019. I repeated the process in 2020, and then again in 2021. And each each time I’m able to do that, it’s like it’s adding more value and more value. And, you know, I think last year when David you and I decided to do a podcast on our goals, and share them with the world and be vulnerable, you know, I think it adds another layer of accountability, right? Because hey, we’re publicly saying, hey, these are our goals, let’s go and achieve these. And, you know, we have other people besides you and I to hold us accountable for, in sharing goals, I think whether it’s you sharing with your business partner, you share with your friends, your mentor, whoever, the universe, I mean, I think you just added another layer of accountability, you know, that they’re out there. And also, it goes with anything with like journaling and writing down any kind of goals or statements like when you write something down, I think it becomes more realistic, right? Like you’re writing this down and so it’s going to happen, it has a higher chance of happening. But yeah, I really enjoyed the process and if you don’t have one, if you’re listening to the show, if you don’t have this process reach out to us, we’ll kind of share our framework what how we do this. Because I think it is crucial adds a ton of value. What are your thoughts, David?

Absolutely. No, it’s been, I’ve really enjoyed these episodes and the act of going through this. If I’m being totally honest with you, I think before the podcast had I had goals, of course, had I physically written them down, scheduled time to review them, and then did check ins, no, I’d never had a formal process. And this has been tremendously valuable. And obviously most of what we shared today was all focused on business but I’ve seen this bleed into my personal life too where you know my wife and I are sitting down in and instead of just talking about what we want, we’re making goals and we’re putting an action plan in place to get there. And so, I’ve, I don’t know, I am a big fan of this process. And you know, it’s been fun. I think as entrepreneurs, boy, do you get stuck in the day to day grind. And you know, you come into the office and you have a to do list that’s longer than, you know, your arm, and, you know, it’s fun to look back on these and be like, Oh, hell yeah, we did that, you know, we checked that off the list. Even though it seems like eons ago that we achieved it, you know, it’s good to see that, and it makes me feel good. And I also think, it allows you to focus your efforts on what’s most important. So, you know, I know I, everyone probably, but I know me in particular, I can get in the habit of, of just trying to stay busy and not necessarily working on the right stuff. And by having these goals, and by not having too many, it really allows you to focus your efforts. And so I’m happy with how we performed this year in 2021. I’m looking forward to 2022 we’re going to be recording that episode soon once we get our goals dialed in and ready to announce to the universe, but it’s been a great year.

Yes, absolutely agree. And one other thing to add to that is a, you know, something that I’m trying to get better at is the wins, you know, sharing the wins, whether they’re small or large, you know, it’s every day, it’s if you make it a grind, it just wears you out. And so taking that time to really take a deep breath, pause and say, you know, this was a win, or you know, it’s a small win or a big win. That is crucial. It’s like a breath of fresh air, you know, and I was never good at that. And I’ve been working on that this year. And it’s made a huge impact. So actually, yeah, so David, like you mentioned, whenever goals are finalized, we’ll get back on and do a 2022 goals announcement. So I’m excited for that. And yeah, excited to share it with everyone.

David 37:04
Absolutely. And our challenge to you, the listeners, two challenges, one, only if you have found value in these shows, leave us a review. If you haven’t found value, don’t worry about it. But if you’ve gotten some value out of our shows, we would love if you’d leave a review. And the second thing is go to www.firingtheman.com click on the microphone and announce your goals to us. I promise you that just telling someone about your goals will help you achieve them. And it’s definitely been a net positive for Ken and I, so thanks for tuning in and we’ll see everyone next week. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com and check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services. That is www.firingtheman.com\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man, and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer

Ken 38:18
and Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 38:36
Before you go, fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there when you start selling an international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size in landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing ecommerce and he has made the process an absolute breeze walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to www.maximizingecommerce.com/fire and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai