Episode Summary

Danny McMillan of Seller Sessions talks about how East London found success in Amazon FBA. 

This Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA – Danny McMillan – Founder of the Seller Sessions Podcast discusses how he transformed his life and found success in the world of Amazon FBA.

Seller Sessions is the largest Amazon FBA and Private Label podcast for Amazon Sellers. It is the first of its kind and offers no-nonsense, and straight-to-the-point Amazon insight and up-to-date information. Seller Sessions is published 3 times per week and often breaks new trends in the industry.

Host Danny McMillan is a world-renowned public speaker and veteran Amazon Seller. Danny is also the co-founder of DATAbrill. DATAbrill manages Amazon PPC and advertising automation for 6, 7 & 8 figure Amazon brands.

Danny also works with Amazon in the UK to provide webinar content for their 3rd party sellers. Each year he hosts Seller Sessions Live, the annual conference for Amazon Sellers in the UK. The event brings in the world’s best speakers on the cutting edge of marketing on and off of Amazon. He is also the founder of SellerPoll, the official annual awards for Amazon Sellers and Brands.

Get $400 Free in Amazon FBA Reimbursements with GETIDA.


Find the Full Episode Below


Yoni Mazor 0:06  

Everybody, welcome to another episode of Prime Talk today. I’m really excited to have a really, really unique and special guest. I’m having Danny McMillan. Danny is a lot of things. And a few of those things, just for you guys, to brush up your brains. So he’s the founder and host of Sellar Sessions, which is, the largest podcast for advanced Amazon sellers. He’s also the founder of Seller Poll, which is a very popular award, one of the main awards for Amazon, and the Amazon seller community. He’s also the co-founder of DATAbrill which is an Amazon PPC technology company. And he is in charge of a few more things. Well, he’s probably going to share with us during our conversation today. But Danny, welcome to the show. 


Danny McMillan 00:45

Thank you for having me. A pleasure, really. 


Yoni Mazor 00:47

So today’s episode is going to be the star review the story of Danny McMillan you can share with us everything you know, who are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? How did you begin your professional career all the way to where we are now. So I guess without further ado, let’s jump right into it. 


Danny McMillan 1:04  

So I was born in East London. Anyone who knows the Bow Bells, which is East London, so that makes me a bit of what they call Cockney. If you are from the UK, you understand what that is. People joke about her Jason and lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and stuff like that. 

Yoni Mazor 1:22

That’s where you’re from?


Danny McMillan 1:06

I’m from East London. Yeah. So I moved out as I got older, I moved out to Essex but born from London. Farber from Hackney, my mum’s from Poplar, and grandparents are from there as well, you probably tell by my voice. So yeah, I don’t know where it really starts. Didn’t do well, in school. I left school, barely could read and write. I was always like a grinder. You know, like I had paper rounds and worked in everything from about nine years old. So I always had that work ethic that was instilled in me.


Yoni Mazor 2:00  

What were your parents doing for example? Give us the context of your background.


Danny Mcmillan  2:05  

Well, how do I put it, that’s an interesting one. My dad left me when I was very, very young. So my mom was the main thing in my life in terms of foundation. Yeah, foundation, you know, had some stepfathers along the way, etc. But yeah, so should you know, childhood is your childhood, you, you get on the new you do that. I did leave school, formal education. So I have no exams behind me or anything like that. I barely could read and write when I left school, I wasn’t very active in school on net side wonders.


Yoni Mazor 2:46

When did you leave school? How old are you over the year? 


Danny McMillan 2:49

I left school when I was 15. And the reason why I was on a life support machine. So 15 and three months you’re able to work? Like officially right? So at the time, I was dating a girl and I went and done some work for her father, at the British Gas building in London, service, suspended ceiling, partition walls, and everything. Like that kind of work. So mainly in office blocks and stuff that you can do. On a week weekend. It’s all very legal, aboveboard cuz you have to wait 15 three months in order to be able to be paid and go through the government and do it the right way. So I was doing that as weekend work. And what happened was I pulled down a sheet man a guy Garret were working and it was like a wet floor area. What happened was half a ton of plasterboard collapsed and fell on top of me. So I have half a pound or have half a ton? Yes. plasterboards in glasses. Yes. So they come out that the massive boards that we would have to run them upstairs. So what you do is you read the sheet roundup to protect them, as I’ve pulled down the sheet on the board to come over and have landed on top of me and I’m like, it’s okay, give me a little while, and everything else, but they called an ambulance and I was taken to St. Bartholomew’s hospital. And then I went on to a life machine. So they did emergency surgery. So four broken ribs, collapsed lung, liver, laceration, broken diaphragm, broken and broken ankle, and I had like 10% chance of living, but they said, look, you know, it was a fire report for you. So I was in life support for about three days, two and a half days. And so yeah, so that that took some time to recover. Obviously, we’ve broken ribs, you’re usually public and bedside for broken three or four broken ribs. And so that took about eight or nine months to get through that recovery. So the route I was on as a child was, you know, I was on the council stay and you know, you in different crowds and stuff and….


Yoni Mazor 5:09  

What was the year when you got hurt and when you got injured?


Danny McMillan  5:15  

I think it was 1991. Right. So that would have made me in that period it was in August I think it happened. It was summer. My birthday is November. So I was 15 years old. So Born in 75. So yeah, it was around 1991.


Yoni Mazor 5:34  

So you’re 15 almost 16 already, after recovering. What was the next station that used to go back to school? Or was it…


Danny McMillan  5:39  

No, no. So I never went back to school to complete school because obviously, I was in recovery, not that I would have completed school. I’d been suspended and stuff from school a few times.


Yoni Mazor 5:49  

What was the reasoning, just to brush on that a little bit was a reason for you to get suspension grades, or was it? What happened then?


Danny McMillan  5:56  

And what happened was I was overweight as a child, and both on both occasions, especially on the second occasion, so I would get bullied at school. And then they got to a point that one day there was a kid called Egg his name was always nickname was Egg. And I’d come in because I was bunking off school all the time and I came in and he said to I’m just gonna come beat Danny up and he can swing. But I’ve done boxing since I was younger. So I’ve always been kind of look, I’ll retreat, but when it’s on, it’s on. So bullying was more verbal and stuff like there are a few things but in boxing you, you learn to fight, right. And so he came in and he went to attack me and I stood to the side and just took him cleanout. And he was on the floor and he’s a big lump come upon his head. And we called him Egg, and his nickname was Egg. So he looked like he had a big egg on his head. And the pe teacher didn’t like me at the school anyway, he said we’re going to get Danny out. I need you to come in and da da da. So I was never expelled but suspended a couple of times. But that was Yeah, school wasn’t something that I enjoyed. And being able to barely read and write. I wasn’t attending lessons. And so there was no point in going back to do anything.


Yoni Mazor 7:19  

Right. It wasn’t your mold. You found it early on. And that’s not your mold. 


Danny McMillan  7:24  

Exactly. And then I had various different jobs being unskilled you know, I used to work the markets, Romford market and some of the markets in London. And so I wasn’t going anywhere, you know, living in our council place, with my mom. And, but what the been on life support machine. What that did for me when I woke up is like, I really wanted to do music. And it didn’t matter what he was going to take, but I’m going to do music. And I remember right into my local MP. And he basically wrote back and said you should be a carpenter because back when I was an MP, like the, you know, like the local mayor and stuff like that it’s a local government. And so you write to people like see if there’s any funding, back then engineering schools were like, three or four grand a term and being from a single parent on the Council of State, he can’t afford that kind of thing, then people would turn around and say to you look, just can’t get a proper job can leave the music thing alone. And, but obviously to means because it was like, What do I do, I’m going to end up either dead or in prison. If I carry on the route I’m going and where I was. So I had to make that change. So I left home at 17 and I got some, you know, usual manual labor kind of jobs and stuff. But then I landed a job at a record company. And by the time I’ve got to when you’re 17 Yeah, Rosie, when I left home at 17 right, I’ve done various different jobs. I met my wife, I think when I was yet 19 18 19 and then I landed a job very light, low-level record company, local area. And nobody was around 1994-1995 ish year round 94. So then effectively that started everything off and because I put into a claim for my accident, I was able to claim a claim on the insurance. So that took four years to go through. I was on my second record label by then I’d worked at one place and move to another year worth mentioning artists or now what do you mean I come from the world of dance music. So dance music isn’t like your pop charts and everything else. But you know the if you were the drum and bass and hardcore and stuff like that, it was the second label called Strictly Underground Records, which was one of the formative like Jungle Drum and Bass. What was the name? Strictly underground record recording. Yeah, so that was one of the record labels.


Danny McMillan 10:16  

It’s a movement right so you’ve got an underground you’ve got dance music you’ve got like mainstream house music and then you’ve got drum and bass and then you’ve got your back then you had speed go age and there’s a hip hop, you know, like in hip hop, there’s an underground and then there’s the mainstream so you’ve got the same thing with dance music as well. And so what happened to accumulate with that by the time I got to the second record label should be underground. I had a situation where the money came through for my claim. It was for 11 and a half 1000 pounds with that 11 half 1000 pounds. I put the deposit down on our first home which was in a place called Harold Hill but it was slightly 48,500 pounds for this house. Again, it was on the Council of states.


Yoni Mazor 11:06  

Let me get this straight so the claim from the injury when you’re 15 kicked in and it took about four years you got 11 and a half 1000 pounds you bought a house close to 50 pounds so you put about 20% down?


Danny McMillan  11:16  

No no no I put I think I put about three grand down but the rest of it I spent on studio equipment so I could learn to engineer a home so worked in his day job but being in the music industry that’s like a foot in and then I went and bought studio quick most people waste their money right especially in 19 so bought the house for me and my wife You know, we were already married back then you got married? No, no, no, we didn’t get married to we’re coming up to 20 years in July. But we met when I was 19 and chose 18. So we bought the house we’d already been living together renting and stuff, but we bought a house and invested the money in the recording equipment. So I could learn to engineer and I set up a small record label for myself. So I’ve put through all the money went back into the business so I didn’t put a big chunk of money down. But that was probably one of the best decisions earlier in life that I did make because I set my first business up. I was working daytime in an industry that I wanted to do. And I’ll put roots down with my wife with a property you know.


Yoni Mazor 12:24  

Nice very good mix. I’d say this is the next station.


Danny McMillan 12:27  

So for now what happened we got to 1998 and you know the labels doing well. I’m traveling around the world with the label. We’re going to places like the Miami winter music conference who went to the medium conference to Hong Kong before it was you know. We headed back to Hong Kong that year, back then that was 1999 I think that Yeah, I’m not sure no, actually the Hong Kong I think was 96 when they handed back 90. 97 was the first time I went to Miami the music conference when I got there. I’m getting a shiver down the spine now. So when I got there, I heard all this Florida breakbeat music, right? So you know it’s 130 BPM and it was like, This stuff’s not in the UK and you know like things can just happen for reasons so I get I was already writing record reviews for Record Mirror and so I’d get free records when you write reviews. Yeah, you obviously you’re going to give your honest opinion them but you’d be on the main list for these PR companies your record. When I got home from Miami when I’m like this music or got to do something about it. One of the promo companies dropped an album called Coastal Breaks by a guy called Adam Freeland. Now he was the figurehead of that music. And then I’ve got a record called a place called Asad sent by another guy called Ronnie Pilgrim. And so I managed to meet these two guys, just as I got back from Miami before there’s a burgeoning scene. And what happened was, I had all my experience working at strictly underground weird kiss compilations, drum and bass speed. Garage house IP for compilations says well versed in putting CDs together and doing campaigns and we’re running radio ads or he was running a radio to hold the door to PR and promotions and stuff around it. So it was a vehicle and they also did vent revelation at Wembley as well on New Year’s Eve. So we were kind of really involved at a young age. I’ve got to learn all this stuff from dealing with the media. I’m sending out records, I’m on the phone trying to plug to get things locked in. And then at night, I’m in my own studios. So what was happening, I was making records around that same time. And I spoke to these guys. I said, Look, I’ve just made this breakbeat record. At the same time as simpleton cooks label Fatboy Slim, slim label, not himself. We’d like to put that out. And then I went back to Randy. And I said, he said, No, no, no, I want to put it out. And then I went to a label called Kicking Records. And I said, Look, I want to do a compilation is called New School breaks, right? So this was running, mixing the compilation mean him compiling it and using our experience together. So he was the figurehead, the front end. And they also have a night called frictional, of barber in London, which was sold out down the road, you know, it’s like one of those legendary kinds of events within your genre, it was packed. We had left field come in called Cox or the big name from the dance world, you probably don’t know half of these people.


Yoni Mazor 15:47  

It’s all news to me. I’m learning a lot. I’m catching you know, catching what I can do, right? 


Danny McMillan 15:52

The synergy of the story is that when things just come together, right, so you’re in Miami, you hear this music, you get home, an album drops on your lap, a vinyl drops on your lap, and you’re like, wow, we got to do think about and it wasn’t a thing then. Then we dropped an album called New School breaks and it exploded. We’re all in the press music magazine. Mix mag magazine.


Yoni Mazor 16:15  

That was your label, the one that you own, or the one you work for, just to clarify that.


Danny McMillan  16:18  

The one that I end up going to work because, what happened is when we dropped that album, Kicking Records, offered me a job off the back of it and said, Look, you’ve done really good You brought this out into it. And they’re ready to turn around, so he said to me, look, come and work for me. Don’t go and work for him come work for we’ll build this we’ll do this thing together. And both of my decisions at that time is very good. Because I could have gone the Fatboy Slim route, which would have never had this, this won’t be part of my life.


Yoni Mazor 16:46  

So Fatboy was more corporate side because that’s a big, that’s actually a record I recognize.


Danny McMillan  16:52  

Exactly so he’s mainstream. So you’re gonna remember him, but for me is that I went with my gut and it was like, this is a new scene, right? I’m turning down Fatboy Slim, but not him himself. His label. I’m turning this opportunity down to invest in this person. There was no scene, there’s none of that. And what happens when we drop New School Brakes, effectively, we help create a community, right of people that want to make this forward-thinking breakbeat music with a bracing twist on it. This is before dubstep and everything else that came along. So we’re kind of trying to pioneer this, the sound and exploded across the press off the back of that, I was able to them come to market myself with what I do. And my sound was much more melodic. So I had my own kind of own sound. And people used to call me the book on the book of m’break be which is a DJ which is the famous drum bass DJ. I don’t know if you’ve heard him, but it’s that kind of liquid funk kind of sound. I was into the more melodic…


Yoni Mazor

And say what was your nickname book and what the book of m’break be (inaudible)? 


Danny McMillan  18:05  

Yeah, so a drummer, you know, where people like to refer something to someone to say, Oh, they sound like this, or they’re a bit like that. And so that’s what happened was, whereas everyone else is doing like the heavy bass line, kind of more hard edge stuff. I was doing more the liquid melodic musical kind of thing. And so there weren’t many of me doing that sound right, right. Yeah. pioneering all the way. So then I dropped an album called New Shapes n Breaks. For me that exploded my career as a DJ to fly around the world internationally. And so who was featured like in DJ magazine was in 1999 also or ? This is 99. So 98, so we dropped New School Breaks in 1999. We dropped new shapes in breaks my album, and that meant that I exploded. So what was happening is I was working behind the scenes support and Rennie then it was my time for the come up you know, so I dropped my album on the same label kicking records because this seemed what I done. I said Look, I want to present saying no, will you back me on this you’ve seen my track record what we did with and I said let’s this go for it, we put it out and for me, it took off and DJ magazine voted me as a DJ to watch in 99 one to watch so they do who’s to come next year kind of thing. So I’ve become one to watch. And I also got voted the number 3/3 best compilation of the year behind pick Tom and Josh week. Nice. So that was really the real kind of foundation and kick off by believing in something trying to see what’s there and take your risk rather than going that route of that’s the safe route. But I have a feeling about this. You know when you get something you probably when you set your company up you know that feeling as an entrepreneur. When something’s right we’ll get into the Amazon story later. There was something right there. We’ll get into the Amazon story later.


Yoni Mazor 19:56  

Yeah, there’s a flame. Yeah, you feel the heat? So you wanna…


Unknown Speaker  20:02  

Yeah, yeah, you get a click. So from there from 1999 to 2001, or done 19 tours of the US, landed a show on kiss 100 I was remix in records like new order with my various different recording partners and stuff. And then around 2002, with Limewire coming in 2001 of that in the things collapsed. I mean, what happened? What happened was, we had Limewire, so everyone was downloading. So as an independent record label, the way that you make your money is you put records out on your own label and you sell vinyl, right? You put a mix CD out of that vinyl, so you make money on CDs, HMV, Virgin our price, and all that kind of stuff. And more importantly, you making money from your DJ. So I had a kiss FM show on a weekly basis. So I’ve got syndication where I can play my own records and other people’s records. And the bigger your records are more responsive the dance floor is promoters are more likely to book you and record companies then want to pay you to remix records. So you’ll go from not knowing anyone to get in paid 510 grand to remix New Order or do you know and what happens is hype is built and on that train that you on. That determines the amount of money you can make as a DJ. So I’ve never made any hit records, never charted. But I made some reasonably big underground records with various different recording artists we’ve made like as collectives, right? Yeah. So we had, you know, tracks played on Kiss One, like on Kiss Radio One, and things like that. And I’ve DJ’d on the radio. Does anyone have BBC? Yeah, yeah. BBC Radio One. So a good friend of mine is Annie Nightengale. I hosted the Breaks Power walked with her for about seven years. So this the reason I know about her Ward now, and I host this one is because for six or seven years, I was the host, every year of fabric in London of the brakes poll, awards Nice. Yeah. And we’ve got Seller Poll for the seller community yet. So make sense. So I understand the dynamics of voting, the issues that you face because it polarizes opinions, you’ve got to know how to take this on. Every year, it becomes more and more difficult, because people don’t always admit it, but they get more competitive at it, city awards don’t want that. But it gets really competitive. And people complain and everything else. Right. And so you are not in a position to do anything other than do the awards and just get on with it. You know, I mean, so


Yoni Mazor 22:47  

Yeah, it’s a lot of politics involved, you got to stay neutral somehow and keep that.


Danny McMillan 22:51  

So I only get called Switzerland in this community anyway, because I’m, I don’t get up in people’s businesses, right? If someone’s got a problem over there, I don’t have a dog in that fight. And I always make it clear to people look, I take sides. It’s nothing to do with me. That’s your business with them. So some people see that as a cop-out. The way I see it is that you can be excluded and ostracized by not taking sides. But the moment you waver, that’s where the problem comes. So the way I see is, look, if someone’s good to me, and we have a good relationship, I’m not going to go off to this camp over here. Because that isn’t fair on that person. Because we’ve got a good relationship, who for me is like, war is bad for business. Unless you’re selling guns, but yeah. And I suppose at the age of I’m 45. Now, at the age of 45, have already done the music industry, I’ve had to deal with big egos, and issues and stuff like that, as you get older, you just mellow out. It really doesn’t matter. I know, it matters to individuals in the politics that go on between people. But it’s not my job, or to take it on to me. So I show love. And I show respect to everyone. And I always say to people, my door is always open. I don’t do shout enough my platform and stuff. Like if there’s an issue, pick up the phone, let’s break bread. Let’s take care of that.


Yoni Mazor 24:21  

Like I want to go back to the point where he said a melted down, it was 2001 or 2002 when your industry…


Danny McMillan  24:26  

2002 it kind of collapsed. So just after I traveled just after 911. So a lot of my touring was based on going to the US. So I’d go from a Wednesday, DJ Friday, Saturday, and then fly home Sunday, and then I’ll do that alternative weeks for a period of time. So I’d done about 19 tours when 911 clicked in and they started up in security and everything else and what was going on with the economy. It almost dropped overnight from that September 11. I done a tour a couple of times after. But I remember going out on the 19th of September and I’m in the been in. Where ia it Charlotte, and I go out Oh, yeah. And I remember speaking to people, and they were like terrified. And so why do you get on the plane? What’s going on here? Yeah.


Yoni Mazor 25:18  

So yeah, so then so 911 water-cooled off your halo, your whole industry, and whatnot. 


Danny McMillan  25:22  

No. no, what happened is that when you ride in a wave, you hit its peak. So I picked there and it was only down from there has still operated in the industry. But it wasn’t the same. It took the wind out the sails, you know, over a period of time, the gigs started to slow down. I then moved into teaching music production, audio and engineering. I retrained the two best colleges in London, which is…


Yoni Mazor 25:48  

This was 2001 or 2002?


Danny McMillan  25:51  

Yes, 2003 456, and seven, in that period there. I was still DJing. I still have my own studio. It wasn’t, I wasn’t doing as much. So I would take time off teaching, like one of the first things I did do in 2002 to 2003. When that, like what happens, when the, and this is why I always say to people you can’t be entitled. I remember I think it was mid-2002. Right. I had, 911 came around. I had put an album out. I’ve done a joint venture with a company called Castle Communications. So it’s like a mini-major over here in the UK. And the albums didnt perform as well they should my gigs slowed down from 911 and then Kiss FM dropped me all within the space of 90 days. The Fairweather friend thing kicks in. Do you shoot me because you’re not as hot as you once were? And I remember doing my last big tour. This one’s a bit more of an extended tour. I got off the plane. I went home. I showered and then I went down to Forts in Dagenham and started to work in trailers because that was what I needed to earn money. So I’ve gone from game paid a few grand to gig, DJ into from anywhere from 500 to 2000. depends if it’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday night to normal the bigger raves and stuff. Go from there rocking a dance floor to then going under a trailer and repairing trailers at Ford Motor Co in Dadgum in f1 Motor Company and working for a friend of mine under the trailer until I worked out what the next thing. So I’ve had a few times in my life where you’re up here and then you go down here then you got to b

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