Episode Summary

Dustin Kane of Sellozo talks about going from Playing Professional Tennis to Selling on Amazon. 

In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Dustin Kane – Account Executive of Sellozo – talks about going from Playing Professional Tennis to Selling on Amazon. 

About Dustin Kane of Sellozo Sellozo was created to do one thing: Place control back in the hands of Amazon sellers everywhere. Whether you’re just beginning, or you’re already running a successful business, Sellozo has the tools, resources, and support you need to manage with clarity, scale with confidence, and succeed with consistency.

About GETIDA We not only identify potential FBA reimbursement claims, our case managers file and follow up on all of your Amazon cases, providing a premium quality service for you and your business. You can join GETIDA for free and quickly discover the FBA reimbursements data on your Amazon account, get free consulting on how to improve your Amazon business, and much more!  


Find the Ful Transcript Below

Yoni Mazor  0:06  

Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of Prime Talk. Today I have a special guest today I’m having Dustin Kane. Dustin is an account executive at Sellozo. And Sellozo is an advertising management software for Amazon sellers. So Dustin, welcome to the show.


Dustin Kane 0:19  

Thanks, Yoni. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I love talking to you because we’ve had you on our podcast before as well and you’re so much energy, so much inspiration. I love feeding off of your energy. So glad to be here.


Yoni Mazor  0:35  

Thank you so much. That’s likewise vice versa. So today I’m really honored and excited to have you and I’m looking forward to feeding off your story, your insights, and your energy. So yeah, so today Today’s episode is going to be this review right the story of Dustin Kane so you’re gonna share with us now, who are you? Where are you from? Where’d you grow up? How did you begin your professional career all the way to where you are right now. So I guess without further ado, let’s jump right into it.


Yoni Mazor  1:01  

So you may start from the beginning. We’re at the hospital. Birth certificate, the whole nine yards.


Dustin Kane  1:07  

I love it. So I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. So I grew up, loved sports, growing up I played baseball and tennis. My father was a tennis professional. Growing up it was so nice. I had a lot of love and just did a lot with sports.


Yoni Mazor  1:26  

So when you’re growing up and he was playing tennis professionally, Did he used to travel around the country or what was it?


Dustin Kane  1:33  

By the time I was born, he was actually coaching and teaching at a club. So it was nice. We didn’t have to travel anywhere. He was teaching at a club here in Kansas City. And so I just kind of grew up, just played baseball, played tennis, loved it. ended up moving around a lot. My parents did get divorced. So I ended up traveling around. I lived in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Yoni Mazor  2:03  

When you moved around, if you don’t mind me asking so you moved around with your mother or your father, my father. Yeah, got it. What was it? Again? Chicago.


Dustin Kane  2:12  

I went from Kansas City to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh to Chicago, Chicago to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Wow. And then we’ll get back to when I come back to Kansas City. Gotcha. But that was an I think, in general, that was a good experience. Man. It wasn’t what I wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. But…


Yoni Mazor  2:34  

Seems like you always had to reinvent yourself. Because every time it’s a new community, it’s a new classroom. What was the age of years that you traveled around like that?


Dustin Kane  2:43  

Basically, from second grade on we traveled around a lot.


Yoni Mazor 2:48  

Actually all the way to school, like when you graduated?


Dustin Kane 2:52  

I stayed in my high school for all four years in the same school. So that was good. That was in Tennessee. But yeah, I went to 13 different schools in my 12 years of elementary.


Yoni Mazor  3:05  

For the most part of these 30 schools you fill us you’re able to some point just fit in quickly, or you never even bothered fitting in or what was your…


Dustin Kane  3:12  

I think that was actually a good development for a skill for just, you know, being outward, you know, outgoing, meeting people.


Yoni Mazor  3:23  

Just to network and connecting and making friends. You know?


Dustin Kane  3:27  

Yeah, I think when you’re forced to do that in your formative years, like middle school and stuff like that, especially, you’re constantly thrown outside of your comfort zone. So I think that that was, you know, obviously not ideal. I would love to have been in one place the whole time. But in hindsight, I’m glad for that experience.


Yoni Mazor 3:47  

Yeah, I think if you were able to take the upset of things that are phenomenal. Had the ability to adapt quickly is when you do business, it’s really good.


Dustin Kane  3:57  

Yeah. And I think it just made me feel like I was all over the country. So as you know, different cultures are different. I mean, I just, I kind of just became able to fit in with a lot of different groups. And I think that allowed that opened my mind and opened my perspective too, you know, other personalities.


Yoni Mazor  4:17  

Other personalities, characters, qualities, communities, different communities. Some might be more upscale this upscale, she learned to appreciate everything, for sure. I like that. I think that’s very unique, very different. Okay, so high school you finished in Chattanooga you’re graduating?


Dustin Kane  4:31  

Yep. And so I was at that point. I was big into tennis. I mean, I was playing tennis all through high school, ended up playing tennis in college, so I played it. Middle Tennessee State University, which is just south of Nashville, played tennis there. Ended up transferring for my grad for graduate school, went to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. played one more year of tennis there. I had one year of eligibility left and got my MBA from UTC.


Yoni Mazor  5:00  

So what do you study? What was your major?


Dustin Kane  5:06  

My major was finance and undergrad and then I got my MBA for grad school so…


Yoni Mazor  5:12  

Let’s put this love that years on there so what year did you enter college In which year did you graduate?


Dustin Kane  5:16  

Great so now we’re going to date myself we’re going to tell you how old I am. I love it.


Yoni Mazor  5:20  

Oh you started when you’re 10 years old Oh.


Dustin Kane 5:22  

No, that’s right. I started college in 99 so and then ended grad school in 2003 Yeah, those are the years that I was playing tennis in college. I loved it. That was a lot of fun. college sports are a lot of fun being a part of a team is a lot of fun and I got to travel.


Yoni Mazor  5:43  

Let me, take me for just a second you said tennis team. How does that work? What is it like in this individual sport out how do you play in a team?


Dustin Kane  5:52  

It is it is an individual sport but in high school and college there’s team tennis so you’re playing a team and there’s every time you play another school you play six singles matches and three doubles matches and then whatever team wins most points out of that.


Yoni Mazor 6:10  

So because you’re a team how many athletes, how many tennis players are here?


Dustin Kane  6:15  

There’s usually about between nine to 11 players on the daily that much wow yeah so not everyone starts not everyone plays you know.


Yoni Mazor  6:25  

You play a basketball team you need to kind of five and you have a roster of five more.


Dustin Kane  6:30  

You play six six players obviously play the singles and then six more play the three doubles but that could be the same six people.


Yoni Mazor 6:41  

The second realize it can be that robust on a team level tennis so that’s anything I picked up I appreciate in full disclosure. I like watching tennis never played tennis not even once in my life. I’m really sad about it. But my daughters aren’t tennis school, so they’re not really sure. Yeah, if I have a tennis court, two minutes from my house, I just walk them there. And the teacher is she’s to be the Olympics. So she’s very curious. She’s very like army-style training. So at least I can pass the torch to you know, from you to my children.


Yoni Mazor  7:09  

How old are your daughters?


Yoni Mazor  7:10  

Oh, they’re eight and five earlier? Are they


Dustin Kane  7:12  

Okay? Well, I’ll just tell you I’m biased. Okay, I’m a tennis fan. I’m biased. Learning tennis as a kid is such a great skill for the rest of your life in so many ways. It’s obviously hand coordination the movements, it combines every aspect of it like it translates to other sports really well. So it’s great and also there’s nothing in my band…I love so I played baseball and I love basketball, football, and all sports. But individual sports are so I think integral for development as a human as a person as you cannot blame anybody.


Yoni Mazor  7:54  

That’s true nobody land full ownership yeah.


Dustin Kane 7:56  

You can try to blame the sun. Or yeah he cheated or whatever you can try to make up all the excuses that you want but at the end of the day you lose you lose. So that’s where college tennis actually in high school tennis but it really hit my pride more in college but that was the combination of you got nothing no excuses when you’re playing for yourself but you’re also a part of a team so you can really you know you might lose that day but the rest of the guys win and they all pick you up that’s life.


Yoni Mazor  8:31  

And I think that’s a combination and never realize that you know that dynamic is available or those dynamics are available in tennis pretty cool.


Dustin Kane 8:38  

Yeah. And it can be a double-edged sword. I mean you have to learn a lot of things. Meaning you have an individual sport you have a lot of ego involved. You have a lot of you know, I would say psychological games that people try to play outside of the actual match.


Yoni Mazor  8:51  

As you’re talking when you play tennis people in the crowd.


Dustin Kane  8:55  

Yeah in college, it’s wild. So people don’t know me. You think tennis is like this quiet sport where you know you’re a less elegant high class right? Yeah, but in college it gets, it’s that there’s a lot…


Yoni Mazor 9:06  

Going on so we can get dirty it gets dirty on the field.


Dustin Kane  9:10  

It gets dirty. I was also in a fraternity and was in college and I mean that fraternities have come out for the get matches, of course, they would go wild and trash talk but it was a fun experience. I really really enjoyed it. And you know, it really prepared me for my first career.


Yoni Mazor  9:29  

There we go. Let’s get there. Let’s hit 2003 after college, what’s your next station?


Dustin Kane  9:34  

So I just I think this is going to speak to a little bit more about how my mindset works and my journey but I didn’t graduate with my master’s. During college. In the summers, I would go back to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is only about an hour and a half away from school and teach tennis at a club. So it’s a great summer job for a college guy who was able to make for college first A really good my man could make like 4050 $60 an hour teaching tennis lessons and you’re in it’s like, okay, that’ll work so you do that all summer and then when I graduated I had a really good relationship with a guy who ran the club who was gonna end up being one of my early mentors and we can talk about that as well. But he was the head pro at the club and he offered me a full-time job when I came out of course all of my colleagues all of my counterparts and friends coming out of grad school they’re going into entry-level jobs as accountants whatever is world right finance world yeah so whatever jobs are opening entry-level jobs are going out there and I just my mind could I couldn’t go there like I actually it just the thought of being in an office and working like working nine to five I don’t know what it was why that was really difficult for me to process logically I’m thinking okay, well you know, don’t you know three four or five years from now this could be $100,000 job with benefits and you know just pay my dues but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. My mind would refuse to go so I actually decided let’s look at tennis. I could teach tennis on my own terms. I could do what I want. I’m going to make way more money right now than all my colleagues are going to get entry-level jobs so I went into the tennis world and really found that I had a good knack for it. 


Yoni Mazor  11:36  

I think that knack comes from your passion. I can see the passion in your eyes for tennis I don’t think ever had the privilege of meeting somebody who was so passionate that’s pretty cool. Well yeah so it made sense right the passion plus earnings was okay it was a good morning so when it was a good earning.


Dustin Kane  11:49  

Yeah, you learn something, later on, we could talk about that there’s a ceiling when you work manual hours there are only so many hours I can possibly do. So at some point, there’s a ceiling but for that time of my life I found out that I was good at it for whatever reason I was good at seeing somebody play and then relay the information in a way that was easy for them to understand and replicate. I think some people either have that ability to convey information and some people don’t have strength somewhere else.


Yoni Mazor 12:25  

I got a small question about any of the people you train anybody was worth mentioning or won major titles?


Dusitn Kane  12:32  

So there’s a lot of good college players who ended up being good college players that I trained a guy that I used to hit with quite a bit when I was early on in my career, ended up doing really well. I went to the junior US Open Junior Wimbledon Junior French Open.


Yoni Mazor  12:53  

So there’s always a ranking. I know there are the rankings. Oh by ranking and tennis what was the right the top rank that yeah when the juniors.


Dustin Kane  12:59  

I don’t know, but up there, I’d have to look it was a long time ago, maybe the top 100 or so? But here’s the interesting thing about tennis. If you’re talking about soccer or football, anything. The amount of professional positions open is massive. Massive. I mean.


Yoni Mazor  13:25  

Yeah, so many leagues. You got national leagues, but you got international leagues. And so many teams in each League, it spreads out and it’s a team sport. You got 11 players on the field plus another 11 players off the field to train as part of the team. Yeah, I guess it’d be replacing them but so what you’re saying is very limited. Golf is the same, right?


Dustin Kane  13:43  

Golf is very similar, like in tennis and golf. Maybe the top 100 in the world makes it global, and as well yeah, it’s global. So the top 100 of the world are really making a lot of money. They’re really professionals. The other ones might, you know, if you’re two 300 in the world in tennis, you might make enough money to cover your expenses.


Yoni Mazor  14:06  

Hey, you’re hungry. Yeah, you already want more? 


Dustin Kane 14:11  

Yeah if you’re a top 300 NFL player, you’re a millionaire.


Yoni Mazor  14:17  

I never thought about it, but that makes a lot of sense. So yeah, it’s kind of in a way a beautiful sport. But in terms of making a professional and making a living it’s brutal. It’s just brutal. You have to be so good on a global level because it’s almost like e-commerce. Oh, you know, we have a listing, right? Do you have the top rank? Everybody’s on it from every corner of the world, right? It’s not like a local domestic just in us, just kind of everybody’s eyes on it. So it becomes very competitive.  Alright, so in 2003 you you entered that position. How many years did you stay?


Dustin Kane 14:47  

For a long time I thought I was a tennis pro, and still do some on the side. I still do teach a little bit on the side because it’s a lot of fun, but professionally from 2003 all the way until 2000 And 17 I was a full-time tennis pro and it took many it took, a bunch of different like titles.


Yoni Mazor  15:08  

Like for those 14 years, the professional tennis within the tennis industry was your main like income generator?


Dustin Kane  15:15  

Yes, now I did start my e-commerce business before that. I started my e-commerce business in 2014 which we’ll talk about. That was kind of a heyday, that’s when a lot of people started there especially Amazon FBA but yeah wasn’t 13 14 15 was a revolution. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I taught tennis and I did a lot of things . I was a coach of a high school as well as a private high school in Tennessee. My claim to fame there as we won state seven years in a row in the Chattanooga area. All Chattanooga. Yep. Which is a great town by the way if anyone’s listening this has never been to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s beautiful. It’s in the mountains.


Yoni Mazor  15:55  

Why? Take us there. Yeah, take us why it’s so great. 


Dustin Kane  15:58  

If you’re any sort of outdoorsy type person, if you like climbing or hiking or mountain biking It’s unbelievable. It’s the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains. Blue Ridge Mountains also the Blue Ridge Mountains are a part of it yeah, that sort of goes into Georgia Yeah, Appalachian Blue Ridge but it’s gorgeous rivers run through it the cities built right in like this river like knock so there’s the river plays a big part of the city great food a lot of stuff to do.


Yoni Mazor  16:26  

Are you guys from Asheville, North Carolina? I used to live there so I’m just wondering.


Dustin Kane 16:31  

Oh yeah, you know about mountains.. 


Yoni Mazor  16:37  

Yeah, very far. You just go knock you guys are right there. Is it Kentucky or Tennessee right next to North Carolina? Forget Okay, Tennessee. Oh.


Dustin Kane  16:43  

Yeah. Tennessee.


Yoni Mazor 16:45  

Touch, no there’s a South Carolina border with North Carolina.


Dusitn Kane  16:48  

Tennessee touches North Carolina cuz Yeah, you could go over to…


Yoni Mazor  16:52  

I just love that region and just haven’t heard through mountains the whole flow, the nature just so I relate to what you’re saying. So God willing, I hope to get an opportunity as soon as possible to hit Chattanooga. Okay, so you’re saying you’re doing high schools, private schools, the tennis club, right? Where would you mentor maybe you want to touch about your mentor for a little bit.


Dustin Kane  17:09  

Yeah, so his name is Ned Caswell. He was ahead tennis professional he played professionally in his career and then turned it into teaching but instead, he had a really specific way of teaching tennis that was a little outside of the box. Okay, but it worked so well and I was able to adapt that sort of with my just energy and my passion for the sport and just sort of I was able to make a niche especially in the way we teach doubles and different strategies stuff it was it was different it was outside the box but it worked for a lot of people it’s an easy way to have people that were like medium to beginner level people to get them to success quickly and so it was fun to have a mentor that was willing to like go kind of anti what the status quo was.


Yoni Mazor  18:06  

There he swims against the current. He’s not afraid.


Dustin Kane  18:09  

Yes, so I was able to learn that early on and then be proud of it and believe if you believe in something really go after it and I that really elevated my career in teaching as well ended up having you know, lots lots of people that take lessons from me lots of groups that I worked with. Tennis is sort of a lifetime so I was working with groups of 90 year old ladies and kids that were five and everything in between, and it was a lot of fun.


Yoni Mazor  18:39  

You get a lot of satisfaction when you can really see tangible processes. I mean in their game.


Dustin Kane  18:45  

Yeah, the best I think is when you see somebody really believing in themselves that they’re improving like they’re good. That’s really that’s really satisfying to watch somebody like get their first win against somebody that they know…


Yoni Mazor  19:02  

That was a barrier they felt inferior. It was a challenge for them and they hit it.


Dustin Kane 19:05  

And then to see them really enjoy the sport. You know, I absolutely love tennis. I’d love to see people get involved in and passionate about it.


Yoni Mazor 19:12  

So real quick. Talk to players that you love and tennis just spit out their top three idols were the top three?


Dusitn Kane  19:20  

In order Roger Federer, Pete Sampras on it Andre Agassi.


Yoni Mazor  19:24  

Okay, and I know all three of them so I’m feeling pretty good.


Dustin Kane  19:27  

We could go into all the reasons why I like all of them.


Yoni Mazor  19:31  

Guys, give a shout out to your mentors, shout out to your players, your top three players, I’m okay with your permission, I want to jump I guess into 2014 you mentioned that you hit the world of e-commerce. Now I’m interested in the evolution of things. Why, why, how come this dynamic enter your life and well because if possible.


Dustin Kane  19:50  

So just as we touched on before, but I just have I think in an innate entrepreneurial spirit like I was allergic to the office, job I don’t know why I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do it even when I was teaching and I could see peers surpassing me, people that I was making a lot more than early on. I could see Oh, now that now oh my buddy Oh, good. He’s now vice president of finance or whatever, you know, you can see them. I was happy for them. But I was like, I don’t want that. I can’t bring myself to do it. So I always dabbled in things. Because tennis by itself. My job was entrepreneurial. I had to get my own clients, I had to give them a product that they really liked. I had to market them to get back. You know, what I did on the court was 40% of my job.


Yoni Mazor  20:41  

Yeah. And you own it. Yeah. So you, you own all day, it wasn’t like given to so yeah.


Dustin Kane  20:46  

It’s all you, and if you want to get better and bigger, you have to expand on different things. And how can I get more people onto the court at the same time? You know, there’s all kinds of things that are entrepreneurial about it. And so I really liked it. So I dabbled in all kinds of stuff. I did affiliate marketing for a little while. I, at one point, briefly started to try to start a tech company where it was online scheduling for tennis pros. I actually got an investor. It’s good because I did it. But it’s bad because it kind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *