We Share Our Goals for 2020

Episode 006

David and Ken share their goals for 2020.  Revenue targets, conferences, and more.

www.Firing The Man.com

David: (00:00)
You’re the same person you were last year except for the books you’ve read and the people you’ve met.

Ken: (00:05)
Cause when I’m comfortable, I’m not growing.

David: (00:07)
My goal is to grow, scale, and I think in order to do that, I need to get out of my own way.

Intro: (00:15)
Welcome everyone to the firingtheman.com Podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and to know you are capable of more than 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 host serial entrepreneurs, David Schomer and Ken Wilson

David: (00:40)
Ken today is December 31st, 2019 and I couldn’t think of a better time to talk about goals for 2020 now you texted me earlier this week and you said, Hey, let’s make a list of goals and let’s talk about them on the podcast and let’s let our listeners hold us accountable and let’s let our listeners share their goals with us. So, um, I’ve got my list here in front of me. You’ve got your list in front of you and uh, let’s share these goals. And for purposes of full disclosure, these, these are the goals that are on my vision board. These are the goals that these are my real goals. I’m sharing everything with you. And not only am I going to share the goals, not only is Ken going to share his goals, but we’re going to talk about how we’re going to implement strategy to accomplish these.

Ken: (01:27)
When you share your goals with someone, and you know, this is kind of a, another layer of accountability, right? I share my goals with you. We’re sharing our goals with thousands and millions of our listeners, right? So they’re going to hold us accountable.

David: (01:42)
So Ken, what is at the top of your list? What’s your number one goal for 2020?

Ken: (01:46)
It’s kind of a, an overarching goal. And I want to make myself uncomfortable in every possible way because when I’m comfortable, I’m not growing. So the first one that I have listed is attending at least three conferences in the e-commerce space. So it’s kind of a wide, you know, wide variety. The first conference that I’m going, the first conference on my list. These aren’t in any specific order and I haven’t identified all three yet. I only have two right now. The first conference that I have on my list is brand accelerator live. This is going to be in Charlotte, I believe it’s in September. It’s with Scott Voelker and his team and I went last year. It’s a, it’s an amazing conference, a really good time. A lot of uh, you know, really high level speakers and you know, they’ve got a mastermind that’s uh, it’s next level. I’ll be going to that again.

David: (02:42)
I remember last year when you got back from that, you were fricking pumped, man. It seemed like a ton of knowledge and content, but you seem to come back with a higher level of energy.

Ken: (02:54)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, that that was, uh, one of my first experiences with an e-commerce conference surrounding myself with hundreds of people that are entrepreneurs, right? And they take, they’re taking action. They were you know, they spent hundreds of dollars to go to a conference and they were taking action, you know, and, and I walked away from that conference with a lot of, uh, you know, a lot of good friends that I’m in masterminds with today, you know, and we’re kind of feeding off each other. We’re learning from each other. We’re sharing. Uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s great and I want to, I want to continue that momentum into the future. The second conference that I’ve identified that I’m going to go to is craft and commerce. And that one’s put on by ConvertKit, which is a, an email autoresponder company.

Ken: (03:37)
And that one, you know, that’s another one where I want to make, I want to force myself to be uncomfortable, you know, um, I think growing an audience is the way to go in e-commerce and serving that audience, you know, you know, I want to be customer-centric and focus on that. Something that I really want to improve in 20, 20 and, and, and, you know, forcing myself to do that. You know, going to that conference and getting some skills, uh, you know, surrounding myself with, you know, people that are really good in that space is going to, is going to elevate me. Something like you always say a rising tide brings all the ships up to the top.

David: (04:13)
Rising tide lifts all ships, brother.

Ken: (04:16)
Yeah, there it is. That one. Um, so yeah, and then the third one, the third conference, you know, I don’t have it identified yet, but I do know what space I want to it’s going to be, and it’s going to be an SEO, you know, I’m really going deep on SEO and, and uh, you know, getting, getting traffic, you know, traffic and audiences, kind of my theme for 2020 traffic and audience.

Ken: (04:36)
So I wanna I want to identify, uh, an SEO conference that that’s going to be really good for me.

David: (04:42)
You don’t want thing, and I know we’re going over our goals, but one thing I wanted to point out, it’s not once, did you mention an Amazon conference? Is that intentional?

Ken: (04:51)
Yeah, it is. Actually. I think I know Amazon, you know, I’ve got that sales channel down, dialed in, you know, and I’m not looking, I’m not looking for the next hack on Amazon. I’m looking to grow a sustainable business that’s profitable. And you know, I, I, I will use Amazon as a sales channel as long as it’s profitable and as long as it, it helps me reach my customers and my audience. But, you know, I, I don’t, uh, I don’t think that’s the way to go is to drill down directly into Amazon and put all my chips on in that. So yeah, I, I’m, I’m diversifying, you know, away from Amazon.

David: (05:32)
Sounds good. And we’ll have to do an entire, another episode on that. Um, but that was something when you were talking about conferences, I kept waiting for an Amazon conference and you didn’t mention one, so I’m glad you shared that with you.

Ken: (05:43)
Definitely. So, David, uh, what’s your top goal.

David: (05:47)
In business? I’m going to eliminate one bottleneck per month and I’ll tell you what you want to talk about. The biggest bottleneck in my, in my business, it’s, it’s me and I know it’s me and I don’t know if it’s a trust issue, but the more things I get off my plate, the better things go. You know, we talk about working full time jobs. I’ve got an hour or two in the mornings and oftentimes I can’t accomplish all my tasks. In fact, I think I work could work around the clock for all of 2020 and never accomplish everything on my to do list.

David: (06:21)
But, um, you know, with that limited amount of time I need to get out of my own way. And so one goal for 2020 is I’m going to sit down once a month and identify something that I don’t enjoy, something that’s causing me a headache or, or pain in my business. And I’m going to go on Upwork, on Fiverr through an EA or through a, uh, some sort of agency and I’m going to find somebody to do that. And, uh, I really think that’s going to help me grow and scale. Uh, but you know, for purposes of my own mental health, you know, there are times where I wake up at two or 3:00 AM and I just am overwhelmed with all this shit that I have to do and I can’t go back to bed.

Ken: (07:10)
The mind of an entrepreneur,

David: (07:12)
Oh man, it’s a freaking curse. And I’m sure there are some people listening that are like, Oh yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. It is a, I think it is one of the world’s biggest blessings, but man, it’s a curse as well. And, uh, and so anyway, I, my goal is to grow scale and I think in order to do that, I need to get out of my own way. So that’s goal number one for my business.

Ken: (07:35)
I have another goal on my list here that kind of goes with the first one. You know, it’s a allocate two hours per week on diversification off of Amazon. And I’ve got a little, a little bullet point here of why, uh, explain why. So like we talked about previously, I don’t want all my chips in one in one stack, right? What happens in, you know, what if happens, if a crook comes and takes your stack of chips, you’re screwed. Right? And, and, and if you have a single threaded business there with one single sales channel on Amazon, you don’t really have a business. You have an Amazon sales channel. I really want to focus on, you know, diversifying off of Amazon, into, you know, sales on my, on my website, you know, funnels, whatever else I can learn and, and implement to diversify. There’s a lots of, you know, lots of reasons why, you know, uh, we’re going to do a whole other episode on, you know, exit strategy and it’s, you know, a good portion of, it’s part of my exit strategy, you know, to have diversification off of Amazon.

Ken: (08:45)
Not only that, but you know, if you’re relying on your business for income to live off of you, you don’t want to have it all and, you know, in one stack. So it kind of goes through that. The other one, uh, another, another goal that I had on my list is I want to continue to build my team. You know, like yours you know, kind of outsourcing tasks that you don’t like same thing. You know, I have a, you know, I have a part time graphic designer, I have a part time VA and I have a part time content writer. Uh, you know, I want to continue to identify, you know, tasks, you know, also I have a full time PPC agency that I use. Um, so I, you know, have four separate, you know, either full time or part time agencies slash contractors and you don’t want to continue to identify tasks or you know, this, this, the, the stuff that I don’t like, you know, if I’m not smiling and dancing a jig, I don’t like that shit and I don’t want to be doing it right.

Ken: (09:44)
So I want to document and I want to put it in a process and I want to hire it out and then I want to go on and, you know, create magic

David: (09:52)
Duse we’re going to have to stay in contact on this one because it sounds like we have a similar goal. And I think that’s a way that both of us can improve our, our businesses and ultimately make life easier. And, uh, you know, I didn’t get into e-commerce to make my life more difficult, but it seems that if you were to watch what I’m doing, sometimes you’d say, Oh, no, you did

Ken: (10:18)
Right I think it’s that curve right, where you get in and you grind it and you grind it and then it’s, you know, it starts paying off and then you start thinking, okay, well in order to grow it more, um, you know, you have to eliminate the obstacles that are in your way and you have to be more efficient, you know? Um, but yeah, it’s that curve of grinding and grinding. And then, you know, when you’re exhausted at the end of the day and you’re like, damn, what, you know, what can I do differently? You know, you start, you find something well like we always say, well like we always talk about, well, you find someone that’s where you want to be and you study them. Right. And you know, yeah. And that, that sound was, uh, a nice Glenmorangie popping.

David: (11:07)
That was Ken’s Christmas present to the podcast. And I certainly appreciate it. Next business goal is to start a second brand and just not any brand. I want to create a brand with products that people really get behind and really get pumped about. You know, if I get honest about my current business, uh, most of the items that I sell are very functional. But when somebody buys my product, it is not the highlight of their week. It is not something that they remember years later. And I, I really wanna to take it a deep dive into some brands that are really crushing it. Um, and creating products that people that are different from what’s commercially and in creating raving fans. You know, people that, that really like it. Um, a couple that come to mind, uh, that I kinda like to build a brand in and kind of emulate would be one is onnit.com

David: (12:10)
I love onnit and I’ll tell you what the Onnit bamboo shirt has gotta be one of the most comfortable things that I own. Um, number two. Manscaped have you heard of this?

Ken: (12:21)
I have not, but I think I need to.

David: (12:23)
Men’s below the belt grooming. They have the funniest shit, man. The funniest.

Ken: (12:28)
Wait a second men’s below the belt grooming.

David: (12:30)
Yeah. Dude, for your downtown. That’s badass. It is in their packaging. My wife got me one for Christmas, the lawnmower 2.0. And they have the funniest commercials man. And I just think like, how fun would that be to, to be making those commercials, you know, that’s, that’s fun. Um, and uh, and the third is black rifle coffee. You know, they, their YouTube channel is, is awesome. I enjoy it. It’s kinda built for, for, uh, the ex military type of person, but I think it just attracts alpha males.

David: (13:04)
And, uh, and I look at that, you know, all three of those brands and I think how, how fun would it be to be a part of that? And, uh, and so that’s what I, you know, I want to start a brand in 2020 another brand, but, but I want it to be something that people are really excited about. Something that, that is the best part of somebody’s week, you know, from, uh, from top to bottom, you know, from, from the actual product to the product features to the packaging to everything. You know, I just really want to deliver. I, uh, as I’ve mentioned on previous episodes, um, I’ve kinda been a volume guy, you know, I have little over 300 sku’s and, uh, and I just, I want to focus on one or two products and make them awesome. And so that’s, that’s my second business goal.

Ken: (13:53)
That’s awesome. Yeah. And, you know, I wasn’t aware of the black rifle coffee until you told me and I went to their YouTube channel and read their story. And you know, that’s a, that’s a really good, uh, branding, you know, and, and not to mention their YouTube videos or bad ass, you know. Um, but yeah, that’s really cool. And, and uh, so, so you want to add fun to your life. You want to make your job fun. Is that, that’s what I’m hearing

David: (14:20)
for sure. For sure.

David: (14:24)
What about you Ken, what’s next on the list?

Ken: (14:26)
My eCommerce brands, I have two brands and you know, they’re, they’re less than two years old each and I want to grow them. They’re in the growth phase where as much money as I can put into them, they’ll grow. And at some point I have to scale that back and you know, kind of put the pump the brakes on those. But, but this year, my, my goal for growth is hundred percent growth across both eCommerce brands with the same or better bottom line margins. Hopefully better. My goal is better. Um, I, I don’t necessarily want to focus on total top line growth. I want to focus on profits, but in order to get a profits I need the top line growth. So it kind of goes hand in hand. Um, and in, you know, some people might think a hundred percent growth.

Ken: (15:17)
That’s, that’s, that’s a madhouse. But an early stage, you know, as you said, you have 300 skews in your brands and minor, smaller but high velocity skus. So I want to continue to launch a skus at a, at a slow pace, a high velocity, you know, a very dialed in skus with a lot of product research and with an audience. And, uh, you know, I want the pace of my business will, we’ll probably do a show, you know, with what the pace of our businesses at some point in time up to this point. Uh, but it’s a lot more than a hundred percent right now. So I want it, that’s actually dialing it back. Um, so yeah, that, that’s at a hundred percent growth across e-commerce brands with the same or better margins for the bottom line. So I’m excited about that one.

Ken: (16:10)
All right, David, what’s next on your list for 2020 goals?

David: (16:14)
So the goal can be described. One word, nets learning. I want to learn and I want to carve off time for learning. You know, I think you, you probably can relate to this when you have, when your to do list is multiple pages. You really, it’s really easy to cut out sitting down and reading a business book or sitting down and reading a life improvement book or go into a conference and it’s easy to get stuck in the day to day grind really. And uh, and that’s something I struggled with in the last year. I would say 2019 if you just look at ours is probably the hardest I’ve worked in my life. I mean between work and full time growing the e-commerce brain, uh, dip my toe into real estate. It’s been a busy year. As a result, I haven’t read as much as I would’ve liked. I haven’t gone to as many conferences as I would’ve liked, but if I look at what’s really helped me in my business, it’s been carving off the couple hours and doing a training.

David: (17:16)
It’s been taken a couple of days and going to a conference. You know, I think as you know, conferences in particular, especially if you’re working out of a home office all the time, you can, you know, we talk about feeling like a caged animal working in a cubicle, but there have been weeks, Monday through Friday where I haven’t, my car hasn’t moved. I’ve just stayed at home and I’ve worked and you know, I think, you know, we talk about firingtheman.com and getting out of that cube. But man, I don’t want to create a cube at home. And so, you know, those conferences, man, great opportunity to, to meet people that are, have similar goals to what you’re doing. You know, if someone is paying a couple hundred or a couple thousand bucks to go to a conference, most likely they’re serious about this. And, uh, you know, the relationships I formed, the masterminds I’ve been able to, to either put together or join from those conferences man those have been way more valuable than scratching off things on my to do list.

David: (18:17)
So again, I, I talk a lot about getting out of my own way. Um, and that’s one thing in 2020 that I’m really gonna work on is learning. And, uh, I think, you know, I, I know this is a problem for me is not carving off time for learning. And, and I always say, you know, Oh, next week I’ll, I’ll read a little bit more and, or I’ll listen to another audio book. And, uh, but I don’t, and so I’m going to schedule it in my calendar Tuesday, Thursday, two hours in the morning, uh, nothing. I’m not going to turn my computer on. I’m going to, I’m going to read, I’m going to do trainings. Um, and I’m really gonna try to, to grow and get better. And I think that will ultimately help me in my business and help decrease the amount of grind and ultimately the amount of hours that I’m working.

Ken: (19:07)
You know, so that kind of brings me to another goal that I have that it’s not on my list, but something that I would kind of want to touch on is, uh, you know, growing, um, you know, co cultivating relationships with like-minded people. You know, my business has probably been impacted, you know, in a, in a positive way more so from the people that I’ve met and the relationships that I have, then all of my tasks that I have on my list. Right. You know, I, I learned, you know, just from going to the conferences or the masterminds or even when you and I are chatting and you’re like, Hey, you know, have you heard about this? Or Hey, you know, um, you know, just off, you know, people offering help me out. Hey, you know, I’m really good at this or I’m really good at that, you know, trading skills or, you know, that’s, that’s huge. You know,

David: (19:54)
Ken one’s saying that comes to mind when I hear you say that, and I don’t know who said this. Uh, Thomas Jefferson is always a safe bet.

Ken: (20:02)
We’re horrible at knowing who says what. Right.

David: (20:06)
Right, but uh, the, the saying goes, uh, you’re the same person you were last year except for the books you’ve read and the people you’ve met and man that kind of highlights a couple of our goals for 2020. And uh, and yeah, I think that’s a place that when I place emphasis on, on meeting people or learning and developing man I never regret it ever. Yeah. So why is it so hard for me to carve off time to do it? I don’t know. But 2020 is going to be different.

Ken: (20:39)
One of the last goals on my list, uh, is to build my email list to 25,000 for one of my brands. And you know, I have a little little bullet here of why. So, you know, right now my marketing is, is mostly on Amazon and I want to, you know, I need to create that audience and really deliver that audience. Lots of things you can do with an audience that I’m learning and, and starting to, you know, to figure out, you know, I can find out what products that they want, what products do they need. They email me and they say, Hey, you know, this product would be better if you added this or you took away this, Hey, you know, the pricing is a little bit high. Hey, you know, um, I wish I had a subscription service for this or you know, just a myriad I’ve learned so much from my customers and just a short amount of time and I wanna I want to grow that email list to 25,000.

Ken: (21:43)
So I think that wraps up my list of goals. Do you have any more you want to, you want to add?

David: (21:49)
For the listeners that are thinking about their goals for 2020, go to www.firingtheman.com go to the contact page and there’s a, on that page, there’ll be a spot that you can contact us. Send us a message, let us know what your, uh, what your goals are for 2020 upload a video, let us know. We want to hear from you. And, uh, we’ll pick a couple people and we’ll check in with them throughout the year.