In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA, Mac Schlesinger, the founder, and CEO of Best Seller Listers, a leading Amazon listing optimization agency for Amazon Sellers, shares his journey into eCommerce.
In life, it’s often hard to know what path to follow. The same holds true for business. There are many choices and options available, but you have to be brave enough and confident enough to make the decisions. Even if you don’t think you are, you should just do it because one opened door can lead to many others. Yoni Mazor from PrimeTalk discusses how to navigate the murky waters of e-commerce business.
In today’s episode, PrimeTalk has teamed up with Mac Schlesinger, the founder, and CEO of Best Seller Listers, an optimization agency for Amazon Sellers. Best Seller Listers offers unique services and strategies created especially for your Private Label brand that will help you increase revenue and scale your business.
Mac Schlesinger shares his journey into e-commerce, from his humble beginnings as a sales associate at B&H Photo to finally having the confidence and courage to start his own business. So if you are considering starting an e-commerce business, or you have an e-commerce business, but you want to grow it more, then this episode is for you!
Learn more at Best Sellers Listers.
Learn about GETIDA's Amazon FBA reimbursement solutions.
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Welcome, everybody, to another episode of PrimeTalk. Today I'm excited to have a special guest. I'm having Mac Schlesinger. Mac Schlesinger is the founder and CEO of Best Seller Listers. Okay, which is a leading Amazon agency, a marketing agency. Mac, how you been?
Mac Schlesinger 0:23
I'm doing great. Thanks, Yoni. It's my honor to be here.
Yoni Mazor 0:27
Our pleasure, our pleasure to have you. So today, this episode is going to be about yourself. It's going to be all about you. You're going to share with us your story, where you're from, where’d you grew up, where'd you go to school? How'd you start, you know, entering the business world or the professional world with your first job? And we're going to take it all to the stations that where we are today. So without further ado, let's get right into it.
Mac Schlesinger 0:50
All right, so you want to hear my story?
Yoni Mazor 0:53
Mac Schlesinger 0:54
It’s a little personal, but ah…
Yoni Mazor 0:57
Yeah, you don’t have to tell us how much money in the bank and your tax returns but, you know, the human story, the person called Mac Schlesinger, you know?
Mac Schlesinger 1:06
Okay, I mean, honestly, just the way I grew up is nothing fancy. The recipe is very similar to most people in our community, which I grew up in Monroe. Monroe, New York. It's very familiar with this.
Yoni Mazor 1:18
So, Monroe, New York is, um it's on the border almost with New Jersey. So, in the northern part of New Jersey, that's where it is. As opposed to, so it's not part of New York City. It's what they call upstate New York, correct? Okay, good. So you grew up in Monroe?
Mac Schlesinger 1:32
I grew up in Monroe, went through the whole system, you know, school, yeshivas, and everything.
Yoni Mazor 1:39
When you say yeshiva, yeshiva, what kind of school is that? You know some of the audience here they're not too familiar, diverse, with I guess the, you know, the Jewish world, right? To give us a little bit of context, what’s a yeshiva for somebody listening?
Mac Schlesinger 1:52
Yeshiva was basically once you finish (Yiddish) as you call it, like that?
Yoni Mazor 1:58
(Yiddish) means in Hebrew or Yiddish, a room, right? So you go into this room, there are many students, so basically, it's a classroom we call (Yiddish). So that's which grade is that? From first grade to what?
Mac Schlesinger 2:07
So this isn't until you turn 13. Once you turn 13, you get bar mitzvah obviously, and once you get a bar mitzvah, you go up to yeshiva, which is like, I guess from 13
Yoni Mazor 2:20
Yeah. 13. So essentially either seventh grade or eighth grade and up, that's when you knew yeshiva up until then you're in the what they call the(Yiddish), which is the room which is a classroom, which is if you like elementary, and you know, middle school, and when you enter to the yeshiva. Which, for lack of a better term, is that yeshiva was like the high school stage for, you know, ultra-orthodox communities, correct? Right. Okay, good. So you finished your yeshiva at what 17-18 years old?
Mac Schlesinger 2:48
So there were a lot of yeshivas. Yes. I mean, I went through a lot of different stuff. I went locally; then I went to England.
Yoni Mazor 2:57
Did you go to England? At which age?
Mac Schlesinger 2:58
I was 14
Yoni Mazor 3:01
14? So it was part of your school system or?
Mac Schlesinger 3:05
I needed to change the yeshiva so I went, whatever, I went over there.
Yoni Mazor 3:08
So you were there for how many years? How long?
Mac Schlesinger 3:11
I was there, I think for two years.
Yoni Mazor 3:13
So 14 to like 16?
Mac Schlesinger 3:15
Yeah. And then I came back and...
Yoni Mazor 3:17
And you said London was the place?
Mac Schlesinger 3:18
It's called Hitchin. It's like an hour away from London.
Yoni Mazor 3:24
Okay, that was like a unique experience for you? You felt like it was just the same yeshiva format, just a different country? The accent may be a little bit different.
Mac Schlesinger 3:31
But it's different. Because the whole yeshiva system is other than most yeshivas with how there's more like a camp all year round, you know, like, everyone has a life like that, like a family because we are away from the family, everything.
Yoni Mazor 3:44
So it's a dormitory. It's a community. You guys are like a bit of a village.
Mac Schlesinger 3:47
Right? You all live together all year round, so it's like, uh...
Yoni Mazor 3:51
As opposed to where you're living in New York, Monroe, New York. Where are you going back home after school? Right. Got it. Okay, that provides some perspective on this. Alright, so 16 years old, you’re back into yeshiva and take us from there.
Mac Schlesinger 4:03
Yeah, so basically, I went back to New York, and different yeshivas, in and out. So basically...
Yoni Mazor 4:09
You say in and out because you're problematic, or just you'd like to always kind of change the scene?
Mac Schlesinger 4:13
It's part of my story that I get bored very, very easily, very quickly. So I like to change. I want to do so, and that also helped me with my story. I mean, how I started the business, how I grew. And
Yoni Mazor 4:25
So you felt this new yeshiva; I’m here for a few months, I feel like I want to go to a different yeshiva. I want to give it a shot. So it comes from you. It doesn't come from that yeshiva saying, you know, we had enough of you go to this other yeshiva. Not interested. Okay, good. So when did you graduate? You don't really; you don't graduate, right? Because you guys don't do the SATs, but you know, you turn 18. And then what happens usually? What's the trigger? What's the...Is there a shift when you’re 18-19? Or is there a timeframe where you kind of finish that system, and then you go out to the real world? What's the position?
Mac Schlesinger 4:56
Yeah, so it's once you pass 18 and that range, you either get married, if you don't get married you either going ton yeshiva longer, and yeshivas exist for specifically for older (Yiddish) and
Yoni Mazor 5:09
So (Yiddish) is the older guys, older boys, we have to make sure that the English translation, we're gonna keep it in English, you're going to keep it very open for any type of audience to understand the context. Yeah, it's essential that we keep that. Okay, so I got it. So yeah, basically, either you get married, and you start a family, and you go into the real world where you start working or we kind of stay in the yeshiva format. And there are yeshivas that are kind of built and structured for you know, you know, people over older age, you know, 20 years and up and up and up. Okay, very good. So what was your case? Did you get married?
Mac Schlesinger 5:40
No. So, I mean, I did get married. But uh.
Yoni Mazor 5:45
Eventually. Yeah. When you're 18 or 19. I mean, take us to the next step.
Mac Schlesinger 5:49
So after 18-19, I went out and basically, I found like, it's the same issue which is basically it's a place where you can go in and basically babies are our friends and this and they have like, part-time jobs and stuff like that. So during that period, I started you know, starting having access to my phone, to the internet. So this is when I started getting a little bit familiar with, what I'm doing like, which is basically online, like products selling listing eBay and stuff like that.
Yoni Mazor 6:22
Hold on, hold on, hold on. How old are you again? 19?
Mac Schlesinger 6:25
I was 19 or 20.
Yoni Mazor 6:27
19-20. You basically opened up a little more to the world. You got your first phone and the phone or whatever internet connection. What was the first time you had access to the internet? Let's put it this way. Did you always have access or?
Mac Schlesinger 6:36
Yeah, it always had access or on this canvas, cuz it was my she was
Yoni Mazor 6:42
I got it. Okay.
Mac Schlesinger 6:44
All right. Oh, yes. Officially, I heard about it 19 probably.
Yoni Mazor 6:48
So when you're 19 years old, that's when you discover the internet right? And you're not like 90 years old, you're a pretty young guy. So just to give context to people that you know, first 19 years of your life, he's you know, he's basically wrapped in a community where you know, the values and the mindset are completely different than what many entrepreneurs or online entrepreneurs take for granted. So 19 years old yet understand what internet is what internet means. And inside all of that what e-commerce means online retail means correct.
Yoni Mazor 7:15
Yeah, of course. That was actually really hard because I didn't have any like, not my parents not my siblings, not my friends I mean even between friends, everything was like secret like the internet everything was like sound like okay everything as we have courses and classes everything was like on secret there. So as to find out everything myself so um, since I don't know I guess it's the type of persona personality or person that pulled me into buying or selling products for some reason.
Yoni Mazor 7:46
Got it. So you understood what the internet means, you quickly identify the potential to do trade, to buy and sell products. You start buying products and selling it on eBay and what you do on Amazon immediately as well or no?
Mac Schlesinger 7:56
No so basically back then I didn't have any business experience obviously. I didn't learn that at the yeshiva, I didn't learn at home.
Yoni Mazor 8:03
Forget about the business experience, you didn't have internet experience. That's more challenging. But let's give it some more context of which year was that, when you’re uh, your first year of when you figure out what internet is? Like 2000 what? 2009 was your first date or I guess really settling into the world of the internet right? So 2009, 11 years ago?
Mac Schlesinger 8:27
Yeah. Probably Yeah. So that was really hard so I don't know how I got into it but for some reason, my friends and like in school and just find out about like that I'm familiar with it with the internet and online, whatever. So we didn't know a lot like a business but we did it as a personal stuff everyone had like their own phone their own wallet or something. We always find like I was looking like either to buy new ones or sell the old ones so some reason my friends in school whenever they wanted to sell something or buy something they came to me I should sell it for them or assign it to them so.
Yoni Mazor 9:00
So 2009, you’re still in your yeshiva, but you basically discovered the internet, you started your activities on the internet. So your friends from the yeshiva came to you whenever they wanted to sell something? Okay.
Mac Schlesinger 9:11
So that was just like childhood. Do you know?
Yoni Mazor 9:15
Yeah, kids play, you know, you know, messing around and you know, kind of trying to make some extra income on the side.
Mac Schlesinger 9:21
Hmm. And also since I'm you know, when I was around that age, I was like the outgoing, like a social person, that with a lot of friends and stuff. I'm more or less to my side like quietly on my side. So that's why I had more time to sit on my phone and get familiar with stuff. I even remember back then. I think it was...Yeah, probably back then. I think I fell into a kind of sort of scam like drop shipping. I don't know-how
Yoni Mazor 9:49
This is 2009 say you? Tell us about that. What happened? I guess you know, you were I guess naive. You were not too familiar with the fact that the internet is an amazing, amazing world, but there has this dark side. So what happened there?
Mac Schlesinger 10:02
So there was a company that offered drop shipping officially, they had a website with a lot of products. And they offered that they made it look very easy that I just go into their website, open an account, I sell it somewhere. And whenever I sell something, I buy it from them, and they ship it to the customer. So I thought it's very simple, very easy. And let's do it. Yeah. So the problem is, I didn't have any money, then. I mean, I didn't work then. So I, what I did was I did have some experience in credit cards, like how to get credit, got to get approved, and I had some credit cards. So I signed up for that program. And I started, I went, I started doing it like the whole thing. And then at some point, I don't know where it felt. And I think once I started selling the products, and I wanted to buy the product from them to sell it, I realized that most of the products are not even available. And the files that are available are much more expensive than it was stated on their websites. For example, they said this product you can buy for 9.99 you can resell for 19.99. So I posted for 19.99. The end of the game, maybe it was also because of lack of experience, I don't know. But it was much more than it.
Yoni Mazor 11:15
So they essentially charged you more than what they said they're gonna charge you on the wholesale price? So instead of charging your wholesale, the actual product they charge you retail, for example? Got it? Okay, so that wasn't good taste. And you drop that in and what do you do next?
Mac Schlesinger 11:29
So what to do next, social, there was a book so I mean, what was it? So once I grew older, I decided to quit yeshiva and...
Yoni Mazor 11:42
Let’s talk here. So 2009, you were still there? Did you get stung by a little scam? And what year did you leave the yeshiva?
Mac Schlesinger 11:48
So I probably left in 2010. At first, I didn't really do anything. I was just at home with friends. But I think in 2011 I started feeling that I need to start something and it's not something real. I got a job and you know, start living. Right. So that's 2011 I started working for B&H, B&H Photo in Manhattan.
Yoni Mazor 12:10
Okay, anybody that doesn't know is not familiar with B&H, listening, B&H Photo is a very serious electronics store that's located in Midtown, New York City on Manhattan. You know, they are very active in the electronics world and also a very active website, b&hphoto.com. So you work there in what capacity?
Mac Schlesinger 12:31
So when I went there for the interview, obviously, they saw right away, that I don't have any experience. And I had very little company as well. So when I went in, I was very quiet. I just so obviously they put me in the lowest position possible, which is like working in the warehouse.
Yoni Mazor 12:47
And the warehouse in the city or somewhere else?
Mac Schlesinger 12:50
In the city, yeah.
Yoni Mazor 12:51
So that's a fulfillment center that they had?
Mac Schlesinger 12:54
Yeah, so for myself for the store. So basically, when someone comes into the store, they want to buy something, I have to bring it up from the warehouse. And so basically, when a sales, salesperson in the store made a sale, they had like a system to bring out the product from the warehouse. So I used to do it, like bring products around back and forth. But…
Yoni Mazor 13:09
Oh yeah. So use your muscle right? Literally muscle work. You come from the warehouse into the...with a box to the client. Yeah. Great. Thank you for buying, here's your product. Correct, huh? All right. Cool. So that's 2010 or 2011? Yeah. Okay, good. All right. So how long did you do that for? What was the next station for?
Mac Schlesinger 13:26
Oh, I did it for a while. And obviously, it didn't take long for the managers to see that this is not my I'm in a much, much more capabilities than that.
Yoni Mazor 13:35
Yeah, if you're, if you're listening to this episode in sound, just in the podcast, you know, maybe you can consider jumping into our YouTube channel to see Mac on video. He's a pretty slim guy, you know, is petite. So I guess carrying all these products. He wasn't the best fit. Right?
Mac Schlesinger 13:51
Right. So at the start, they realize that I can do much more than just running back and forth. I mean, obviously, cuz I was very quick was slim. But that doesn't that's not my address. So at that time, I was still single. And I think that was 2011. So in 2012. I got married. I was still working at B&H. That was February 2012. I got married and after my wedding, I got a promotion in B&H which they put me in in the store, like as a salesperson.
Yoni Mazor 14:25
Face to face with clients. Okay, yeah. All right. Direct with consumers. Nice. How was that experience? Was it good?
Mac Schlesinger 14:31
That's pretty good. Oh, by the way, as I'm talking I remember that the name Mac comes from that that comes from there.
Yoni Mazor 14:39
So what's your full name? Like before Mac? Mac is a nickname, right?
Yeah. And my name is Mechy. So I needed something...Mechy, Mechkel.
Yoni Mazor 14:45
What’s that in Hebrew like Mechy, what's the full name in Hebrew? Mechkel, Michael in a different world or different community you would probably be called Mike. But you went to work for B&H Electronics and they called your Mac because of the Apple Mac computer?
Mac Schlesinger 15:00
No, it was also. So basically, in sales. Every salesman had a vest, like a uniform vest and a tag with a name. So the problem was that I already had a colleague in my department, his name was Michael. So they couldn't give me Michael because it was confusing. They brainstormed a new name, Mechy they couldn't give cuz it was very hard to pronounce for a lot of people. So I think one of the managers came up with the name Mac, you know?
Yoni Mazor 15:28
Nice, makes sense, you were probably a hit you know, I want the Mac Oh, Mac’s right here for your No, no, I meant the other Mac, doesn't matter here’s Mac. So you probably got a lot of clients coming your way because they are all looking for a Mac computer. But everybody out there looking for a Mac, the sales guy. Hopefully, you got a lot of traffic into your daily routine.
Mac Schlesinger 15:44
Good branding, but actually, I think I always keep it here in my drawer in my office just for the memory. So this is the tag and if you can see it, can you see it there?
Yoni Mazor 15:55
Yeah. B&H Mac nice. Mac.
Mac Schlesinger 15:58
So I wore this on my vest. And this is just
Yoni Mazor 16:03
Nice, very cute. Very cute. Okay, so. So you were doing some face-to-face sales? And How'd you do that for a while? What was the next station after that?
Mac Schlesinger 16:10
Yeah. So while I was doing sales, you know, it was after my wedding. So I started to feel like it in real life, you know, with expenses and bills and stuff. I lived in Brooklyn, it wasn't cheap. So...
Yoni Mazor 16:21
Oh, that's a big move. You shifted when you got married. Did you shift to Brooklyn? When did you get married?
Mac Schlesinger 16:24
I got married in Brooklyn. My wife's from Brooklyn.
Yoni Mazor 16:28
So the cost of living is in a different league, right? So Alright, so you it's already 2012 you realize, you know, working for B&D, but I needed supplemental income, you know, cost of living is rising?
Mac Schlesinger 16:40
Right. So first I started doing like, like offline, like side jobs. And when I came home, as I do, I did like car service and messenger services just to the income. And while I was working there like at B&H I just have to feel like, I don't know this. As I told in the beginning, I get bored very quickly. Like I always try to find the next big thing, because I've so I've tried to think of what else can I do? I'm you know, I want to do something better, something more for myself. So. And I remember that I had some experience with eBay and stuff like that. So I decided maybe I should try. I don't know, maybe I should try more of that. So I tried to get into like, try to find out what is that? I mean, it was in 2009. Now it’s already 2012. Let's see what it was up to, like..
Yoni Mazor 17:26
Three years in the mix. What's, you know, is there more potential for you in that track? Right?
Mac Schlesinger 17:30
Right. So maybe there are more opportunities out there. So but the problem is I didn't have any assistance. I wasn't so social, social. I wasn't I didn't have anyone to talk to, to ask questions. I never really call home anyone to like, say, or ask anything, everything I did myself and privately. So one day, there was one person, that my brother-in-law, actually he had a business. So one day I spoke to him, I told him that I want to start doing something but I don't know how I don't know where to start. So he has some experience. He told me that you first have to start something you have to get out. Step out of the shirt.
Yoni Mazor 18:13
Step out of your comfort zone, start laying a track doesn't matter where it's gonna get to at the end of the road, but start it because once you do it, you’ll get things in motion. Hopefully, you get to a certain destination, right?
Mac Schlesinger 18:22
So the first thing I did, I'm brainstorming back and forth. The first thing I did was one day I decided that...on my day off at B&H, I had like a day off in the middle of the week, like a Tuesday, Wednesday. So I decided I'm going to instead of just taking a day off, I'm going to spend the day taking action, which is basically there is a mall, like a shopping mall, like outlet mall next to Monroe. Woodbury Commons Outlet.
Yoni Mazor 18:53
Woodbury Commons. Yeah. Big outlet mall. Yeah.
Mac Schlesinger 18:55
Yeah. So that, um, that was like a few minutes away from those but I lived in Brooklyn back then. So I decided, you know, I have to do something out of my comfort zone. So I decided the next day, on my day off, I'm going to wake up like, I don't know, very early like four or five o'clock because I want to be at the mall at six o'clock in the open. I think they’re opening the six o'clock back then I want to be there from the open till basically just after a productive day and see where the day takes me. I didn't have any plans. I just knew. I'm going to go there. I'm going to try to find deals. Basically, I went from I went to a six o'clock I was there. I went from store to store and I tried to find deals
Bargains, what they call, you were bargain shopping.
Mac Schlesinger 19:39
Yoni Mazor 19:40
What was the purpose of that?
Mac Schlesinger 19:41
So it's just basically the idea of finding bargains because I know that I want to do something.
Yoni Mazor 19:47
What are you gonna do with the bargain? You buy something cheap. What's next after you sell it, you resell it and you sell on eBay and Amazon both?
Mac Schlesinger 19:54
Back then I didn't know anything. I didn't know where I'm going to sell it. What I'm going to do with it. All I know is that I need to do something and I need to without thinking, just do it.
Yoni Mazor 20:03
So this is 2012 or 2013?
Mac Schlesinger 20:11
2012, maybe 13 already?
Yoni Mazor 20:13
Okay, around that area that's fine.
Mac Schlesinger 20:15
So I went to the mall, I went from store to store. And it's very funny because this is very important for everyone to know that once I mean, in business when you don't know where to do, where to start, once you open one door, you really break through one door. You open the door and you're automatic, you see a lot of other doors opening for you. So while I was in the mall, I was doing the shopping and went from store to store. I found out about...I was doing some research on my phone like finding deals, like checking the pricing, if it makes sense. Somehow I found out about thrift shops, I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right?
Yoni Mazor 20:54
Thrift shops. Yeah, thrift shops. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 20:56
I didn't know anything about it before. So I found out about that. And after I was done in the mall, I researched the closest thrift shop. Sorry for my this.
Yoni Mazor 21:06
So you found one next to the mall or in Monroe?
Mac Schlesinger 21:08
It was 10 minutes away. I went there. And I was so surprised. I was totally mesmerized because it was interesting. I liked like, antique stuff like expensive stuff for cheap, so I went.
Yoni Mazor 21:23
You were pleasantly shocked.
Mac Schlesinger 21:25
Yeah, I was so shocked. I felt at home. So I saw some like really expensive furniture and clothing. So since I was in the mall, I was buying clothing. Let’s stick to clothing. So I remember I bought some really expensive women's dresses like wedding dresses and stuff and some other man stuff. I don't remember exactly
Yoni Mazor 21:46
But you were selling, you were able to sell it? To find buyers?
Mac Schlesinger 21:48
Basically, I got all of that and I went home with a full car of stuff. I remember I came home to my little tiny apartment and everything will say my wife didn't know what to do. It was
Yoni Mazor 21:59
That’s so funny. Wow.
Mac Schlesinger 22:00
After everything and the next day, I went to B&H and I went back to work and I bought like a cheap camera and then I ordered a mannequin because it was clothing like this a mannequin. Yeah, yeah, it's funny because a day before I had no idea what a mannequin is so it was just...
Yoni Mazor 22:20
So you discovered that you want to take pictures of clothing? And to present it somewhere, you know, a good practice is to use something that everybody calls a mannequin so quickly or to organize a mannequin even though a minute ago you didn't know what it was. That's pretty cool.
Mac Schlesinger 22:35
Yeah, so it's funny because once you start doing everything else works.
Yoni Mazor 22:38
Yeah, it’s a whole reaction, that's a chain reaction that happened which is fascinating to hear. Go ahead.
Mac Schlesinger 22:43
So I bought that stuff and I when I finally got it home I started basically taking one product after the other, taking pictures myself with the camera and everything, and then I figured out progress on the computer, how to remove white background. It's just interesting to remember, sorry …
Yoni Mazor 22:59
So right away even before you know where to sell it, you were thrown into the visual arts, right? That's awesome.
Mac Schlesinger 23:07
Then the writing to find out information about copyright right? So then my mind started opening, this s what I'm gonna do.
Yoni Mazor 23:16
These are the components needed to sell a product online. Amazing.
Mac Schlesinger 23:19
Yeah, so basically I opened an eBay account. I started selling them long story short, I started selling them and I listed them and the next day I was so surprised I don't know I remember that feeling. I thought...my wife like it was so funny because the next day I started getting sales as I listed it. Right away started getting sales like this can't be true. I mean why someone in I don't know where to buy the stuff that I just bought in the mall for this? There are so many products out there.
Yoni Mazor 23:47
Yeah, unbelievable. Yeah
Mac Schlesinger 23:48
I realize that this is what it is and it motivated me to...
Yoni Mazor 23:52
So that was a pivotal moment, you realize that this is a real deal, this is very powerful, this e-commerce you know proposition for you is very powerful because you were able to understand a little bit what's going on. You know, pull on that thread, create something, a position and it's sold and generating revenue-generating income. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, right? So that gives you extra motivation to open more and more doors and lay more tracks. Okay, so what was the next thing for you?
Mac Schlesinger 24:20
Well, the next thing once I got rid of those, I mean it wasn't...not everything got rid of. Some stuff I still have.
Yoni Mazor 24:26
All right. Okay. That's your tuition cost. Yeah,
Mac Schlesinger 24:29
Yeah. So I was researching stuff like where else can I find the deals to resell. So I found out about...so, first of all, I went on Craigslist thing and I bought like local I went to my car to pick up local clothing from people. People want to throw away clothing so I picked it up and I took pictures and I listed and I sold it so there's that. And then I got even smarter about like you can buy lots, it's like websites or like lots of stuff like is this like a...
Yoni Mazor 24:57
Liquidation lots, you buy a pallet or some bundle of a product and it's super, super cheap.
Mac Schlesinger 25:02
So I remember I bought a whole lot of like a pallet of jeans like jeans, pants, all types of like different for men for women everything. So I got it home and I did the same thing. I did the pictures and listed it and started selling it so whatever. That was a...by the way, I was still working at B&H. But B&H the United States..the Post Office is right next to B&H next door. So I used to bring the stuff like a big bag like I was making all this stuff and then I used to bring it up to the post office to ship it out.
Yoni Mazor 25:38
That's awesome. Very convenient. Very good. Yeah.
Mac Schlesinger 25:42
And returns, everything was like back and forth. Whatever. So after a while, I was doing good. I again, I started feeling okay, what's next?
Yoni Mazor 25:51
The next step? Yeah. You know, like, what's the next yeshiva? What's the next you know route where you can learn more and engage with something of a difference? Yeah.
Mac Schlesinger 25:58
All right. So I do some research more like what types of Amazon-like online shopping can be done? So then I found out about Amazon, that Amazon is
Yoni Mazor 26:08
And what year was that? That's very specific about the year. Was it 2012 or 13? Alright, 2013. That's the year where you know, you discover Amazon. Because until now all we talk about just simply, you know, the foundational eBay that you know most people have access to. Yeah, and you get to you swim in the shallow water. And then now you're jumping into the deeper water.
Mac Schlesinger 26:30
Yeah. Okay. So to get my feet wet at Amazon, I found out about this, like some sort of business, which is like dropshipping, dropshipping from Amazon to eBay, basically finding stuff on Amazon and reselling on eBay and ship it to the customer. This is how I got familiar with Amazon, and long story short, obviously, I got bored from it. So I wanted to find something else. So this is when I finally found out about private labels, like private labels...
Yoni Mazor 26:59
And what year was that?
Mac Schlesinger 27:00
That was still in 2013, beginning of 2014.
Yoni Mazor 27:06
So less than a year later you realize, you know, tried a few variations or dealing with Amazon, you realized that you can create your own brand, your own label or what they call private label and market it on Amazon?
Mac Schlesinger 27:16
Yeah. So I was still at B&H then, so I started taking courses about private label. Okay. It was a Yiddish course, as a Jewish course. Then there was just a general course.
Yoni Mazor 27:27
So the course itself was in Yiddish?
Mac Schlesinger 27:28
Yeah. So I took one course it was Yiddish. Yeah. And then there was another one that I was more advanced, which was like a general,
Yoni Mazor 27:37
But it was English? Yeah, got it.
Mac Schlesinger 27:40
So um, I started doing that on the side, like while I was in B&H. And when I was doing that I started feeling that this can be this has some potential. This is more like a real business. It's not like the stuff that I did in the past, which is just fun.
Yoni Mazor 27:53
So it’s not just a hustle bustle business or kind of a gig business. This is something that is more foundational, where you have your own brand, your trademark, your label, you know, you get clientele you grow, you can really grow something out of it. So what do you do about it?
Mac Schlesinger 28:07
So that um, while I was doing that, I started feeling that maybe I should quit B&H and do this full time. It was a good opportunity. Obviously, I was married, and I already had a baby and had a lot of expenses. So I didn't have the guts to quit my job at B&H. Right? So what I was doing here, this so but back then I moved to Muncie, you familiar with Muncie? It’s like an hour...
Yoni Mazor 28:31
Back to upstate New York, it’s a little bit cheaper, yup.
Mac Schlesinger 28:32
Yeah. Because I moved to Muncie, which was a little bit farther than also travel to B&H. So while I moved there, I was trying to find a part-time job in Muncie. So I can run my private label business and still have some income.
Yoni Mazor 28:49
So essentially you could, instead of going from upstate New York to New York City, which was more commute, you tried to find a day job in the area. So you can mix between a day job and your side business.
Mac Schlesinger 28:58
Right. So I went through many different jobs, many different interviews. One job that took me was, it’s funny to think about, was a restaurant like a steakhouse.
Yoni Mazor 29:11
Mac Schlesinger 29:12
I still have no idea why they hired me but
Yoni Mazor 29:14
This restaurant is still active?
Mac Schlesinger 29:16
Yoni Mazor 29:17
What's it called?
Mac Schlesinger 29:18
Yoni Mazor 29:21
The Rich got it. Okay, so what would you do for the Rich?
Mac Schlesinger 29:23
So I was the manager. The daytime manager.
Yoni Mazor 29:26
Okay, good. So you're handling the guests and how's it going, sit down, would you like to order all that good stuff.
Mac Schlesinger 29:31
But the problem is I didn't like to have any restaurant experience. All I knew is I need a part-time job and I finally have something that's part-time and the pay was really nice. So
Yoni Mazor 29:45
Good. You did what you had to do to get by. You did it, you ran with it, you never had experience, but it was paying the bills handsomely and you're able I guess to keep nourishing your side business.
Mac Schlesinger 29:53
Yeah. So basically, yeah, so once I found that I quit B&H and I started working in the restaurant. And while I was working in the restaurant...
Yoni Mazor 30:01
And what year was that?
Mac Schlesinger 30:03
That was in 2014. Okay, so I quit B&H, I was out working in the restaurant. And meanwhile, I was building up my private label brand, um, Amazon store
Yoni Mazor 30:14
Was it also clothing because it sounds like you had a lot of experience with clothing up, you know before with eBay and other stuff. So this was not in the clothing?
Mac Schlesinger 30:23
No, it wasn't clothing, it went through the process with a course like that, but part of the course,
Yoni Mazor 30:27
Was to identify something that will have a good potential of selling. Yeah, got it.
Mac Schlesinger 30:32
One niche, whatever. And I started creating the whole store and the trademark, the brand, and everything that is needed while I was working in the restaurant, so obviously, while I was working at the restaurant, it didn't take long until they realized that this guy is not here. I mean, his focus is not...
Yoni Mazor 30:48
He is not with us. He’s not with the guests, he’s somewhere online, you know, thinking about how to improve and optimize and configure and connect.
Mac Schlesinger 30:56
Yeah, so after a few weeks, I got fired from the restaurant. And I didn't know what to do, because the business wasn't really making money, I was still building it and I didn't know I really didn't want to go back to B&H but I was basically without an income. So I decided I'm not gonna, I'm not going back to a job. I'm gonna, I'm gonna take this business. And this is I mean, I don't get let's do it. Let's focus on it more and like be full time and strive to make something. So I took out an office locally, from nine to six, I used to work like everything I used to follow the courses and do the process to build up the private label brand. And meanwhile, I was doing like, flexible part-time jobs, which is like driving car service, like a local long distance, and
Yoni Mazor 31:43
The gig economy, you were doing gigs on the side. So let me get this straight: you basically, rented office space. So most of the time of your day was already dedicated to your own business and then to get by you or you did all these side gigs, correct?
Mac Schlesinger 31:58
chauffeuring someone, whatever. I did, I did that for around a year. And after a year, I'm feeling like, some tightness in the financial system.
Yoni Mazor 32:08
So the year is about 2015. Right? Yeah. Okay, you feel okay, I'm doing all this, but it's still hard to get by.
Mac Schlesinger 32:13
Right. So I wasn't sure what to do. And I had a friend that knew what I'm doing like Amazon, he saw he knew about my listings, my products, and everything. So he knew of his friend that is looking to hire and he's trying to have a big Amazon company. And he knew that they were looking to hire a lot of Amazon listings managed accounts. So he offered me that, I went over and I did an interview, and I got a job.
Yoni Mazor 32:41
Mac Schlesinger 32:43
Full time. It was very hard because I'm used to coming to my office on my own time now I'm back to a job. So it was very hard.
Yoni Mazor 32:51
But at least it was an industry you were trying to develop your own business with. So that was a good synergy for you.
Mac Schlesinger 32:57
Yeah. And it was all worth it. I mean, helped build up my whole thing.
Yoni Mazor 33:01
Great. So, you got lucky when you got fired?
Mac Schlesinger 33:04
Oh yeah. This is something I had to go down.
Yoni Mazor 33:08
Yeah, it was, yeah. So basically, it was a dip for the next peak.
Mac Schlesinger 33:11
Yeah, a jump. So basically, I worked at a job over there...
Yoni Mazor 33:17
For how long?
Mac Schlesinger 33:19
It was around a year.
Yoni Mazor 33:20
2015 to 2016. You're working full time in a company that's selling on Amazon and your job over there was what? What was your position?
Mac Schlesinger 33:29
Uh create all the listings and manage the account. Make sure the sales are running and ….Yeah. It was a huge company. So there was a lot of work. So...
Yoni Mazor 33:40
When you say huge, what was the revenue approximately?
Mac Schlesinger 33:42
In the millions, I don’t know exactly the number, but...
Yoni Mazor 33:45
Just on Amazon or in general, the whole company?
Mac Schlesinger 33:46
So they sold it everywhere. Like on a website, eBay...
Yoni Mazor 33:49
Yeah. So they had a multi-channel approach in e-commerce but how much was Amazon? Over a million?
Mac Schlesinger 33:53
Amazon was like 50/50 because their niche that they're selling is very big on eBay. So that's why it's 50/50. Okay, so Amazon will be much better.
Yoni Mazor 34:03
Yeah, it's a multi-million dollar, so basically you were operating multi-millions of dollars for this company on Amazon? That was your position? And somebody else was doing it for eBay, correct?
Mac Schlesinger 34:10
Yeah. So um while I was there, I really, I mean, obviously, my job was mainly to create the listings and optimize all their old listings. They had like 1000s of listings. So this is when I realized that this is my specialty because they said I remember...they said that. They gave me confidence. Basically, they operated for years, they never had that when I upload the listing, selling right away. Usually, you create the listing, the ads, and it takes time to build up, since I...
Yoni Mazor 34:40
So you’re saying before you started, the creation of listings for them was slow and full of agony until it really got some traction, but the moment you came in, it was a crop at a speed that comes in it's fully optimized and boom, brings the revenue in. Nice.
Mac Schlesinger 34:56
So long story short, I went through the whole you know, the job, came every day. After a year, I started feeling again: Okay, what's next? I have to go back. I can't do this. I can't continue doing this. So what I did was I think I remember I went to a coach like I mentor, a mentor and I went him.
Yoni Mazor 35:16
Is somebody local? Somebody really famous around the world? What was? Is somebody local?
Mac Schlesinger 35:20
Local like in our community. He actually lives in Monroe where I grew up.
Yoni Mazor 35:24
So you wanna give a shout-out, what's his name? You want to give him a shout-out, to mention his name, or?
Mac Schlesinger 35:29
Yeah, I mean, yeah, maybe he’s listening (name but incomprehensible).
Yoni Mazor 35:33
Okay. Make sure you listen to this episode. Because, okay, what happened with the mentor if you mentioned him, probably something interesting happened?
Mac Schlesinger 35:39
Yeah. So I went to him, and back then I had a unique business idea. Next answer, also, I went to him, I thought, you know what, let me go to a mentor. Let me discuss it with him. Let's see what he said. So I've got this business with him. And then while I was there, I told him: By the way, I also have an Amazon business. And if this is not a good idea, maybe I should take my Amazon business that I started with, like, back then and rebuild it. I'll go back to it and give me
Yoni Mazor 36:06
So by that time, when you went to the mentor, you already had it running for about three years, your Amazon business, your private label brand, right? You started around 2013-14. And right now we're talking about 2016?
Mac Schlesinger 36:15
Yeah, I mean, the plan was that while I was working on the job, I didn't really focus on my Amazon.
Yoni Mazor 36:21
Yeah, you had the infrastructure for it. You were doing, you know, something. It was working, but it was really stretching for a while, so you had to figure out what's the next step before you shut it down, right?
Mac Schlesinger 36:29
Yeah. I mean, I left it like that, and I put it on sleep. And then he says, so I showed him that I showed him my listings, my products, and everything. So he said he's gonna get back to me. So um, so I went home, and I wasn't sure. So the next day, he told me that, he called me back, he told me that the business that you came in for, it's good to use your brain to brainstorm, but it's not, it's not something that I will recommend do this. But I see something in your Amazon business that can really, really has a lot of potentials, I see your listings, your images, your content, everything, you said, you did everything yourself. I mean, he said, whatever. So he told me that I see myself that I a really creative and creative guy. So I shouldn't really do like selling on Amazon because that's not really my potential. Instead, I should do the things that I do well on my Amazon business, which is creating the listing and start offering for other people.
Yoni Mazor 37:25
So basically, he recognized that the best elements so far for you was your ability to create these very compelling and fully optimized listings, which generate the sales and you should do less with, I guess, the buying and selling and identifying products component of the business, because that's really where your talents were really different than you need from for the rest, right? Interesting. Okay. It was worth it. That's a good point. Yeah. So what do you do with that information or that advice?
Mac Schlesinger 37:51
So the first few weeks, I just said, Okay, thank you for the information about the...I went back to my job and actively working and whatever I regularly do so obviously, I kept on having him in the back of my mind.
Yoni Mazor 38:06
He put the bug in your head, right?
Mac Schlesinger 38:08
Yeah, the only reason why I didn't want to do it is that I, I mean, owning a business is one thing. Like sit in my office and sit into this and sell resell, but getting into services. It's more like, I have to communicate with people and talk to people. And it wasn't really me. I mean, I was really shy. But back then I couldn't see myself being in a service business and talk to people, communicate with people, and talk on the phone and go out to shows and stuff. So I said, I don't know it's not for me.
Yoni Mazor 38:38
So internally for your system. You said I want to, you know you're pushing yourself away from that because of, you know, lack of experience, lack of confidence. You're an introvert as opposed to an extrovert. Okay, so you're kind of pushing it away.
Mac Schlesinger 38:50
Yeah. So as time went on, I continued working at the job there. So meanwhile on the side, I was doing some Amazon...one Amazon service on the side, which is like a, it doesn't require a lot of communications. It's just like a quick thing. People send in stuff, and I do it and it's getting done.
Yoni Mazor 39:09
So you're ready. Basically, I just kind of a little nucleus of clients where they send you products and take images, you make some copyright, you send it back to them?
Mac Schlesinger 39:17
No no no...it wasn't anything related to that. It was just one of the servers like a ranking whatever it's like a used to be like all the method that used to work back then when it doesn't work anymore,
Yoni Mazor 39:27
So it was basically a little, I guess hack to improve the listings ranking right for Amazon sellers?
Mac Schlesinger 39:32
Just to make a little bit extra money. Yeah. On the side. So the funny part was that one of the clients that used me for that service one day randomly, asked me if he's looking for someone that does listings. He has a lot of listings, see, but it doesn't work. Also back then it was 2016. That was like the shift where having an optimized listing started to get really important because back before that it wasn't so important if you're listing a product and started selling right away.
Yoni Mazor 40:03
So you're saying, as far as you're aware, 2016 was a year of change where up to 2016 you can, you can get a little bit by having okay, you know, listings, but 2016 that's when the seller starts to raise the bar and Amazon and the algorithm also, where you need to have fully optimized to get the ranks the right position, and you know, keep Rockin Rollin sales, right?
Mac Schlesinger 40:24
Right. So, um, so he messaged me and asked me, his listing doesn't work, he has a lot of competition, and he has to compete. So he wants to optimize the listing if I know someone because he thought that I have connections in the emulator because I offer the service. So first, I wanted to recommend it to someone that did it. And then I started thinking, I'm thinking maybe, maybe I should say that I'm doing it, and I actually take it on.
Yoni Mazor 40:50
And that's how you did it. Sounds like you did that. Right?
Mac Schlesinger 40:52
Yeah. It took a few days till I really broke.
Yoni Mazor 40:55
Yeah, you had to process it, you know, get the courage and say, yeah, you know what, I’ll do it right? Yeah. Good. That was a breaking point.
Mac Schlesinger 41:01
Yeah. So that was a real breaking point. So after a few days, I send a reply. Yes, I’ll do it, I can help you. So he told me that he wants...
Yoni Mazor 41:10
And this is 2016?
Mac Schlesinger 41:12
Yeah, I'm right at the end of 2016. Okay. So then he said he wants to see samples of my listings. So I sent him samples from my products that I had and process the listing that I did for the job that the company that I worked on. So he said, I mean, I remember sending the samples, I hope that he doesn't like it. So you know, I don't know, I don't want to, I want to do it. But I don't want to do it. I don't feel confident. So he came back to me and said he loves the listings and here you have 30 listings of ours. I want you to optimize all 30 listings, and we'll pay you, whatever, I gave my price. And I was so shocked. I didn't know how to handle it. It's 30 listings, I was still working on the job.
Yoni Mazor 41:54
You didn’t know how to price it right? Essentially, you didn't even know how much you charge. That's funny. Because this is a service, you got to determine your time, your labor input, or your creativity, right? As opposed to a product you bought for x you maybe you sell for that it makes a little money in the spread. That's funny. Okay, good. You have to discover that as well. I mean, how do you charge for a service? Brilliant?
Mac Schlesinger 42:14
Yeah. So I first figured out I checked the other companies, what are they charging. So obviously, I charge them lower, because I didn't have so much confidence im myself that I can charge so much money. I gave him a good price. And I remember I was 30 listings, I had to get done, like within two weeks. So I was still working at the job. So I worked late at night or weekends like Friday, Sundays, wherever. And I got done all the listings. And obviously, he liked it. And then he gave me, he kept on giving me more.
Yoni Mazor 42:48
Nice. So you did a good one on the 30. And then he fed you, he dropped more business as the days went by.
Mac Schlesinger 42:54
Yeah. And then at some point, I think he did, that client did it or someone else did it. And there's a lot of Amazon groups, you know, and WhatsApp. Someone for some reason, I guess someone was asking, like, the recommendation for listing, and someone recommended my name. I'm trying to remember who it was. But I really want to give them like,...
Yoni Mazor 43:13
Mac Schlesinger 43:15
Yeah, the credit, but I can't remember who it was. And they posted my name. And I started getting messages. People started messaging me if I can create a listing for them. So since I did that 30 listings and I got more confident. I said, Yes, I can do it. So once I got so many orders, I was like, okay, maybe it's time to quit a job and start doing this. I mean, not as a business, but maybe as a freelancer or something like that. So I kept on, I kept the job, and I kept on doing it. And I started feeling more and more like okay, this job doesn't bring me anything. It's just wasting my time.
Yoni Mazor 43:49
Which job? Your day job? Yeah, the day job wasn't giving you any satisfaction, wasn't really going anywhere. But your business was, you know, getting some sort of attraction.
Mac Schlesinger 44:01
Right. So one day, I quit the job. I gave notice. Obviously, I stayed there for two weeks to train someone else.
Yoni Mazor 44:07
And what year was that when you gave the notice when you detached?
Mac Schlesinger 44:09
Well, it was the end of 2016 December at the time. I quit the job. And then I
Yoni Mazor 44:18
2017 you enter into a brand new year.
Mac Schlesinger 44:20
Yeah. So I remember I went on vacation, I think, New Year’s, whatever that time. And I went on vacation just to plug up on everything, just a little break. And when I came back, I started taking on all the listings that I received and this is what I'm doing now. I don't have a job anymore. This is what I do. And I felt so good. Like...
Yoni Mazor 44:40
This is me, but you felt comfortable. Did you feel good in that position?
Mac Schlesinger 44:44
And the more I did it, I had a feeling okay, maybe I should make a company out of it. So I remember like in January 2017 I opened like a corporation. I came up with a name, Best Seller Listers, and with a logo which is the Best Seller, I did everything myself...
Yoni Mazor 45:00
You started packaging yourself and branding your service.
Mac Schlesinger 45:02
Yeah, I started the business. I mean, I made a nice income, you know, for all those listings and stuff. And back then I only did listings. That was my specialty.
Yoni Mazor 45:12
When do you say listing was mostly what the images and the content?
Mac Schlesinger 45:15
Before the images, just the content.Yoni Mazor
Yoni Mazor 45:17
Just the words, that's the copyright?
Mac Schlesinger 45:21
Copywriting. So it's the copywriting of the listing. So for a time, I did that. And while I was doing that, obviously, you know, we've been out that I always, I'm always looking for more. So then I realized that other companies that do it, or they also offer other services, but the thing is, I didn't know, I didn't know how to go about it. So I, the first thing I did, so people started asking me that if you do the listing, maybe you also do the images like the full package. So I wasn't, I'm not a professional photographer, I knew something from you know, back then from selling on eBay, then all this fancy stuff. But I'm not professional and under. So I basically made a...I contacted a few local photographers where I lived, and I made a connection with one of them, told them, You know what, so I'm going to do the copywriting, you're going to do the photos. It wasn't a partnership or something. And it's just like outsourcing and so the clients didn't know. So I thought, yeah, I can deliver the whole thing, the content, and pictures, and then I went on to EDC descriptions and graphs...
Yoni Mazor 46:27
EDC is enhanced brand content, basically the, I guess, the best content you can lay out there on an Amazon listing.
Mac Schlesinger 46:33
Yeah, also called the A-plus content. So yeah. And also remember, yeah, so that's...I’m actively doing that. And after a few weeks, someone reached out to me, that they're making like a local event, like for local sellers, and asked if I want to be a sponsor. So I have no idea what means a sponsor, like..
Yoni Mazor 46:54
Again everything is fairly fresh. You know, we say, You're very green about everything. Everywhere you go, you're green, you're like a rookie. So what does that mean? And then you have to understand the elements. And then I guess you pick up fairly quickly and you utilize it. And that opens more and more doors. Okay, so you sponsor the event?
Mac Schlesinger 47:10
Yeah. Ask him all the questions. What is it? There’s nothing all I have to show up and bring some business cards, and I'm gonna have a sign with my logo. I'm a sponsor. So I said ok no problem. And I did it. And before the event, I started researching what makes a sponsor like how do I need to, what do I...Do I need to prepare something?
Yoni Mazor 47:31
What’s my role here, what's my, what's my responsibility as a sponsor?
Mac Schlesinger 47:34
Yeah right. I saw online that people like samples like that, you have to create that for sure. And pictures, to see what you do. So I remember it was two days before the event and I knew that if I anyway do it, I should do it the right way. So I reached out to someone, basically create me something, create me like an ad to show to basically tell people what I'm doing. So it got down within a day or two of the show. Thank God, I'm creative. So I had ideas right away. What I want to do, what I want to have. So what I've done, within a day was done, I got the business cards, I got some pens, custom pens, I was ready. I went to the event. And I bring everything over. And that was really shocking because I wasn't used to it. I wasn't used to like meet people, talk to people, you know?
Yoni Mazor 48:22
Attention, you know, not being too used to having it. Once you sponsor something, you get attention, right?
Mac Schlesinger 48:26
And I went to the event, and I put everything out on the tables, and people saw it. So people came, started coming over asking questions. I was so...um my anxiety level was...
Yoni Mazor 48:39
Your anxiety, you were stunned, huh? Yeah, put on the spot. Nice.
Mac Schlesinger 48:44
But it actually built me up because it gave me a lot of confidence that I can do it, I can be that person, whatever. So that was a big, big, big push. We did that event and after the event, I got some recognition and publicity, so after that, I started getting more clients and more stuff and whatever. So I went on back then.
Yoni Mazor 49:08
So you already were catching a wave. You send more and more hot approach and grow your business and reach out and outreach and, you know, put your brand in or it's a service, which is basically becoming some sort of a brand and just growing. And so take us there, let's speed up a little bit from 2017 to 18. You're growing to that aspect and what were the major components in those years in terms of growth or what was the next development?
Mac Schlesinger 49:35
So I continued growing more and more. So obviously there were more events, which is obviously the GTG event. Then there was the JCon Event in Brooklyn. So I started realizing that in order to grow the business I really need to do it. I have to show up there. It was very hard because it was physical Yeah, yeah. And then again, I started reaching out to people like how do I sponsor an event? Like the booth?
Yoni Mazor 50:07
How do I scale this? How do you scale it up? Right?
Mac Schlesinger 50:10
So um, so I started going to shows. I bought all the stuff for the booth, everything, I created everything myself. I had companies do it and got ready for the booth. And, you know, as time went on, I got more popular more on this and, and I started offering more services. So what a shame, I became a success.
Yoni Mazor 50:30
More and more solutions. Yeah, more solutions. So that was 2017, 2018. And what happened in 2019? To 2020? Take us there.
Mac Schlesinger 50:38
So basically, similar, I mean, obviously, it's, it's continually growing, I got more publicity and more lists in 2019. I think I started getting on LinkedIn.
Yoni Mazor 50:50
Social media. Did you discover social media?
Mac Schlesinger 50:52
No, I knew about social media, but I never used it for business. So on LinkedIn, I found out about LinkedIn. And, LinkedIn was a good platform for me to really get out like my personal brand, like started writing content, posts, and promote myself and my business and from there I got a lot of business. And obviously back then there were a lot of LinkedIn events, like local LinkedIn events. Which is also like, this is when I asked, I started feeling like a celebrity people started came over, like, wow, I know you I know from LinkedIn, I was like, how do you know me? And I was always used to my hands. Nobody knows me, nobody is talking to me.
Yoni Mazor 51:34
You're not in the yeshiva days anymore. That says you're in the worldwide web and internet and exposure is simply there. Okay, beautiful. So give us a little bit of context in terms of... Of course, we understand you grew up, more clients come in and you start offering more solutions. So today, you're in a position where you're pretty much a full-stack solution, you can optimize images, listings, or you want to spit out a few more optimizations that you guys are very, really good at. That's one thing. Yeah, I think in terms of staff, or you always just you, I would imagine, at some point, you have to start hiring and growing and become, you know, an organization.
Mac Schlesinger 52:07
Right. So I forgot to mention that. So that's, that's also a big, big part of the business, which is in the beginning, I used to do the listing all myself, the content and the photos I did on someone else. But then I started to start to get requests like people to want to do the whole thing. Like the images and the graphics, EDC, A plus descriptions, and everything. So I need to start hiring people. So, you know, I went through different websites, different platforms, marketplaces, like free up was one of them that I used in the beginning. So I started to outsource all this extra stuff that I couldn't do. And even the listings, I couldn't keep up because I got so...
Yoni Mazor 52:48
Volume, it was prolific, you know? There’re still prolific times in the e-commerce space..it’s just growing by the second.
Mac Schlesinger 52:52
Yeah, so I had to hire writers. In the beginning, it was very hard, because I have my own unique style, how I want stuff to be done. Like, I don't like to be like everyone else, I like to be unique. And...
Yoni Mazor 53:02
You have your own standards and your own edge.
Mac Schlesinger 53:04
Right. Own style. So that was very hard to find the right people to copy what I want to really deliver. So I went through a lot of different freelancers and stuff. And then I had a lot of issues with freelancers because you don't really have control over them. So you can’t really run a business on them. Because one day they decided they don't, they're not here anymore, or they're too busy. So then I realized I need to hire people full-time like they're mine. So.
Yoni Mazor 53:32
Create an organization, fill it up with positions, the staff you can rely on, they're always available. So you started basically just go, what's hiring, what's it, you know? What salary I do, I don't pay salaries, stuff like that. So that was a whole new chart for you to discover. But what's the position today? How big is the staff? How big is the team? How many clients along the US already serve? Give us some context of the scale of growth that you achieve all these years.
Mac Schlesinger 53:59
Yeah, so come on out to 2020. And we already hired over 10 full-time employees, a combination of content writers, photographers and graphic designers, project managers, and everything. It's good to run the whole operation. And I usually don't like to like it, look, everything by numbers beside the money, but I'm like a client. So I just went through with, like all the clients, I went from 2017. It's very close to 1000 brands that we deal with.
Yoni Mazor 54:34
So for the short run of three years, 36 months, you have assisted, contributed, and positively affected over 1000 brands on Amazon and e-commerce? That correct? It’s remarkable. Yeah, beautiful.
Mac Schlesinger 54:46
And that obviously means that it's like a few 1000 listings. The list is crazy.
Yoni Mazor 54:52
Yeah, each one is not just one listing. Obviously, some of them come with one or some of them with plenty. So you effected probably 10s of 1000s of products out there that consumers are shopping, buying, they're connecting with, that's your fruits, you know, from, from the farm, that and all the seeds that you planted all these years, and all these experiences that you've collected all these years, you're able to reinvest it into yourself, your organization and positively affect this, this industry, right, which is very interesting to see how it just, you know, it goes so many places, you can’t even put your hands on it, but it does translate positivity because you get paid, there's an income for you, for your employees, for your staff, for your families, for your community, which is a great way to think to always discovering and see. So beautiful, so I want to thank you, really, I mean for sharing that it was really, really sincere, very, very honest. And I found it very fascinating. So today 2020, you know, you're riding on success, and I wish you much more success. So we're going to close off this episode by doing two things. The first thing will be you're going to give a handoff to wherever you know people want to look out for you and find you where can they find you. And the last thing will be what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?
Mac Schlesinger 55:56
I have to think about that.
Yoni Mazor 55:59
Well, where can they find you first, let's start with that?
Mac Schlesinger 56:01
So they can find me here. I'm writing this...
Yoni Mazor 56:05
That’s a good start. But after this episode ends, you know, they want to stay in touch.
Mac Schlesinger 56:09
Right. So I can be contacted in many ways. So first one is the website, which is www.bestsellerlisters.com
Yoni Mazor 56:17
Best Seller, no S, as an individual.Listers, right? That's plural. Dotcom.
Mac Schlesinger 56:23
Yeah. And then, um, the main point of contact is WhatsApp, Whatsapp. I tried to be pretty active on WhatsApp, I made a separate WhatsApp account for my business.
Yoni Mazor 56:35
So you have a WhatsApp channel or I guess page or location destination for the business. Right?
Mac Schlesinger 56:42
So I keep it separate from personal so I know what business and over there I communicate with clients. And also
Yoni Mazor 56:48
What's the number? You want to give us the number, but do it nice and slow. We're gonna have it running on the screen after when it goes to production.
Mac Schlesinger 56:55
Yeah. 845 288 1740.
Yoni Mazor 57:02
Okay, so look at that number, reach out to WhatsApp say Hi, my name is this and this, so and so, I would like to learn more, or I want your help with, you know, creating listings, and he's always available. So that's the places where they can find you and LinkedIn. What's your handle on LinkedIn? Just your name? Mac Schlesinger?
Mac Schlesinger 57:14
Yeah. Yeah, but better on WhatsApp because well, besides communicating with clients, I also share a lot of stuff on my status and WhatsApp status. I try to keep sellers and clients up to date with the latest news, the latest tricks, and.
Yoni Mazor 57:29
In other words, you run a community. This is a WhatsApp channel, it’s essentially a community where you live updates from the industry and what's going on. So if you want to stay up to date on what's going on, you're welcome to join that group as well. The WhatsApp group or channel are good, then what's your message of hope or inspiration? I Hope, you’ve had enough time to prepare.
Mac Schlesinger 57:48
So I didn't have time to think about it as I was busy with WhatsApp. So what is? The hope and uh?
Yoni Mazor 57:52
What's your message of hope and inspiration or motivation for, you know, entrepreneurs out there listening?
Mac Schlesinger 58:01
Ummm I dunno, for example for me, the only, the whole history and the whole thing is very important, which is the move that I did when I was working with B&H and I had to start something somewhere. And I made the move of waking up early and going to the mall, starting finding deals, and starting selling them on eBay, even though I didn't have any experience, any knowledge of what I’m doing, any plan. The idea is basically if you're stuck somewhere or you're not happy where you are, just take action. Think of something even though it doesn't make sense. Just do it. You figure it out later, even though it doesn't bring anything it definitely gonna bring in something because the fact is, as I said earlier, once you break through like the one door, usually the first door is very high and the hardest. Once you break through that door, you will see a lot of many doors are opening...are open for you. So automatically, things start coming in. I think there's a saying in Hebrew about this. Like, once, whatever...
Yoni Mazor 59:05
One door opens, I think yeah, there's a different thing we say what was spiritually speaking to say, if you open to a person, an inch of a little like, the size of a needle and an opening the size of a little needle, he's gonna, or God at least, especially saying, if you kind of accept God, and I would even with the little slightest size of a needle, he's gonna open the whole world for you. So you're saying for that, I guess for that kind of little Wait if you believe that you're not in a good position and you want to create something, but you're not sure what it is, do something in any direction, you'll see that all of a sudden this you know, a chain reaction will take place and more and more doors will open and you're just gonna continue. It turns into a certain track that if you are passionate about it, you feel positive about, it's positively impacting others, it's going to create a good position for you. I guess we can learn from your case is that You took action, it wasn't clear what it is, were you taking it in like a snowball it created all these elements. Were today looking back and say, you know how I'm able to positively affect 1000s 1000s of brands. Hopefully, you continue doing so but it started from those moments where just you know, woke up at 6 am, go to the mall, start buying stuff because you said you know, find a place to, sell it and reach out to others sellers. And that was a little seed of nucleus for what you're doing right now. Full steam. So, thank you so much for these words and words of wisdom. Mac, thank you so much. We wish you many more years of success. You know, we hope we'll maybe do a follow-up, later on, to see how you are doing. But much more success and whoever is listening, thank you for joining us. Stay safe, stay healthy until the next time.
Mac Schlesinger 1:00:45
Thank you so much.