Michael Jackness | Finding Success & Purpose in Ecommerce

Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA, Michael Jackness and Yoni talk about finding success & purpose in Ecommerce. Michael is the co-founder of EcomCrew, a platform that supports e-commerce sellers, shares his personal journey into e-commerce.

 

As an e-commerce business owner, one of the best things you can do is join a community of like-minded people who really understand the e-commerce universe and the struggles and challenges you might face in it. Finding that sense of belonging will also help to inspire and motivate you to improve and develop your business. Yoni Mazor of Prime Talk discusses the types of communities available out there for e-commerce business owners.

 

In today’s episode, Prime Talk has teamed up with Michael Jackness, the co-founder of EcomCrew, a platform that provides useful advice and a sense of community to Amazon sellers. EcomCrew is a community of over 2000 members where you can find useful and actionable advice to help you grow your own business.

 

Michael Jackness shares his inspirational e-commerce journey starting from his first post-high-school consulting firm to his online poker affiliate business to EcomCrew. So if you’re looking for motivation and inspiration to get your business either off the ground or scaled into something bigger, then this is episode is for you!

 

Learn more about EcomCrew!

Learn about GETIDA's Amazon FBA reimbursement solutions.

 

Find the Full Transcript Below

Yoni Mazor 00:06

Hi, everybody, and welcome to another episode of Prime Talk. Today we're having a special guest, we're having Michael Jackness. Michael is the co-founder of EcomCrew, which is a platform to support e-commerce sellers. So Michael, welcome to the show.

 

Michael Jackness 0:20

It's good to be here. Happy to do this with you guys.

 

Yoni Mazor 0:22

Our pleasure, our pleasure. So I'm a little bit excited here because, you know, we just met just a few short moments ago. I see good things, I kind of hear good things, but it's always best to hear from the source. So today's episode is going to be all about the story of Michael Jackness. So you're gonna show ...

 

Michal Jackness 0:36

Yeah, we paid all those people to say those things. So don't read too much into it.

 

Yoni Mazor 0:39

Wow, anyway. I love your budget. Yeah. That's great. That's great. So today, we're really gonna focus on your story. You're gonna share with us: who are you? Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How did you begin your professional career, station by station to where you are now? So I guess without further ado, let's jump right into it.

 

Michal Jackness 0:58

Sure. Yeah. I mean, as the years go by, the story gets longer and longer. It used to be, you know, I graduated high school last year. And that was about it. So

 

Yoni Mazor 1:08

Take your time, you got all the time. Don’t worry.

 

Michal Jackness 1:10

Yeah, I mean, I've been an entrepreneur, pretty much my whole life. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, my parents owned some stores and stuff growing up. And...

 

Yoni Mazor 1:20

Like give us some names, give us some context. So what state are you in? Which town? Are you in this country? Where, I mean, which country?,

 

Michal Jackness 1:24

Yeah. Well, we were….I was in the Washington DC area. So I grew up in the Washington, DC area, Northern Virginia, and lived there pretty much my whole life until we started, like, our first online business. And then and then we left, which happened later on, but right out of high school, I started a consulting business doing computer consulting, because I mean, I was a kid of the 80s and 90s. And computers were just becoming prevalent then and luckily, you know, I had a PC and I was playing around with that, and was one of the few people on my block at least that knew how to use one of these damn things.

 

Yoni Mazor 1:59

So when you graduated high school, what year was that? 

 

Michal Jackness 2:04

1990….Jesus, man that's horrible. Uhh 1994.I had to actually think about that. Wow. That’s...

 

Yoni Mazor 2:09

Yeah, we're gonna dive into memory lane, and we're gonna extract all these memories out of you.

 

Michal Jackness 2:12

That’s when you're, you know, you're getting old. I literally had to think about that. And there's a funny story behind that, I'll tell you in a minute. But yeah, I graduated 1994.

 

Yoni Mazor 2:21

So 1994, you graduated out of high school, right? You're in, you know, Northern Virginia, in the Washington, DC area, you know, and you essentially open your first business, and it is selling computer parts?

 

Michal Jackness 2:31

It was called Discount Computer Consultants. And what I did was just help people with their home computers, you know, I would go in and install, you know, word perfect for them or whatever the hell existed back then.

 

Yoni Mazor 2:43

Basically, yeah, the fundamentals of the PC that we all rely on today, that early early. I mean, not that early, early, early 80s, I would say, the 90s is a bit more mature, but still it kind of clunky. 

 

Michal Jackness 2:54

I mean, this was pre-Windows, right? More floppy disks, I mean, there were hard drives, obviously. But all the software came on floppy disks, or, actually, at that time, they were literally floppy disk, and then the three and a half inch disc came along, and it's hard to even think back that long ago. But yeah, I mean...

 

Yoni Mazor 3:11

The screens were kind of green, you know, monitors, right?

 

Michal Jackness 3:13

It was around that time.

 

Yoni Mazor 3:17

That's VGA, 486 types of computers probably.

 

Michal Jackness 3:19

Yeah, right in that time, you know, some VGA monitors came out. So we actually had, we actually had some color screens by them. They weren't just amber. But yeah, I mean, it just, you know, computers were foreign to a lot of people, you know, but they knew they wanted one in their home. So I started, just like, through friends and people kind of knew that I was into this stuff as a kid. It just was a hobby for whatever reason, I was into that and a bunch of other hobbies as well as a kid. But yeah, I mean, I knew there was...

 

Yoni Mazor 3:48

So you opened a business instead of going to college, or this is before you went to college, you went to college at the same time, what was the dynamic there?

 

Michal Jackness 3:55

I opened the business instead of going to college, and I shouldn't even say instead of going to college, going to college was not ever really an option for me. I mean, you know, I just didn't have the grades and didn't really care about school. I was already kind of like an entrepreneurial, hustler type mindset.

 

Yoni Mazor 4:12

So hold on, so that's your first major business? But you know, up until the age you are, you know, the moment you're 17 or 18 years old, what are we doing that you can identify as being an entrepreneur back back in those days?

 

Michal Jackness 4:23

Well, you know, yeah, my parents owned some, some stores and stuff. So growing up, I was helping with those things. Yeah, I think that the moment that I kind of, it wasn't just just that, but it was kind of married with a moment that I really remember. I was going to go get a job at a computer store, a local computer store in town called CompUSA. It's actually a pretty large computer store.

 

Yoni Mazor 4:47

It’s still around, right?

 

Michal Jackness 4:48

I think they might still be around a much not sure. I'm a Mac guy now. So things have changed a lot of my life. But yeah, I went down there and asked if I get a job and He offered to hire me at like 5.25 an hour, whatever the hell it was, it was, you know, something ridiculous. And I was like, you know what I think I can do better on my own. I think I can, if I can get just two hours a day of work at $20 an hour as a consultant, you know, finding people, then I'll be doing just as well and then have more hours to fill and make more money. And so that was my, I actually can remember back to the exact moment, it's where...it's, I think it's the only other time of my life I applied for a job, which is also kind of weird, I didn't take the job, but I did apply for that job and was awarded the job. But...

 

Yoni Mazor 5:35

I find that a little bit interesting that you mentioned in your school, you weren’t the highest rates, the one who isn’t that sophisticated, but when it came the moment for you to understand the mathematics of things, pretty simple too. I can do this for 5.25, you know, slave myself or find something that is unique, that I can probably excel at, and, you know, make a better living, and I have a better setup for myself, and that compelled you, that pushed you? And I guess from that moment on, I didn't really look back, and you just opened the business, you know, consulting and helping with the computer industry? And it's kind of early days, it's pretty interesting, how you were able to, at least that mindset of putting yourself in the right direction.

 

Michal Jackness 6:13

Yeah, I think, you know, a lot of, you know, I was always really strong at math. Math was never a problem. For me, the grades in school were more from I was just bored, you know? And, I have ADHD, and it's hard for me to sit still, hard for me to focus in the classes, you know? Public schools taught to the lowest common denominator, like, I would get that two plus two equals four, like, let's move on to the next thing. And there's still a half an hour later, trying to draw chalk on the board explaining why two plus two equals four. And I would like fall asleep in the back of the class and get in trouble. And no one could quite understand this is you know, back at a time where these types of things weren't really diagnosed, I didn't have you know...I was in public school. And this is where I think that, you know, now that I'm older and understand the way the world works better that you had, maybe I've been born in a really affluent family and was in private school and had better attention, life probably would have been very different. But, you know, in the public school system in the 90s, where this stuff wasn't, you know, identified, I’d come home, my dad would hit me for falling asleep in class and say, pay attention, son, and I'd be like, you know, I'm bored. And like, you know, it was just a different time and just the way it was.

 

Yoni Mazor 7:18

There were different tools. And I said, yeah, hopefully, I want to believe as a society, we have, you know, adopted more tools and more ability to enhance the experience for the younguns, who are in the educational platforms and systems, you know? But between you and I, we can probably agree that, you know, learning is a never ending process, right? But after that, it's really all up to you, and you got to channel stuff to the right places. Of course, that's what part of the things you guys are doing is heavily focused on educating, you know, entrepreneurs and e-commerce sellers, we're going to get to that. Okay, so I want to start moving the storyline along. So in 1994, you're in the computer business, what was the next station for, you know, how many years were you stayed in that position until you will find the next track?

 

Michal Jackness 7:56

Yeah, I mean, I was doing a computer thing for quite a while actually. So I had this consulting business started, I started migrating kind of from home user customers to some business customers, I got lucky that one of the home customers I was working with also owned a business and so like one and started working on their stuff on the office and kind of realize that, you know, business owners had more money to spend on this type of stuff, and also got more value out of having computer technology in their offices when they were previously...

 

Yoni Mazor 8:25

So you were able to b2b or add another layer?

 

Michal Jackness 8:29

Mostly B2B, pretty much eventually got rid of all the home user stuff and went to business. And eventually, I ended up getting a client that was doing basically the exact same thing I was doing. They were another consulting company, they were a little bit bigger. And they had this client that was in Northern Virginia, where I lived, and they were based closer to Baltimore, which is geographically only, like 30 miles away. But in Washington, DC traffic, it's like 17 hours away. So they were just like, will you go take this client for us, you know, and we'll pay you your standard rate or whatever, they were marking my rate up, which I was fine with, and go help them? And I was, they were just one of my stops on my weekly, your monthly journey. And eventually they offered me a job, which was really interesting, because I always thought that like that would never happen. I would never want to take...

 

Yoni Mazor 9:21

A job as an employee or just a contractor?

 

Michal Jackness 9:23

As an employee, as a full-time employee. They were a growing company. And they were like, We need a full-time mike and they offered me this job. And the money was really good, but it wasn't quite as much as I was making doing my own thing. But at that moment, I was starting to get kind of burnt down and frustrated doing my own thing.

 

Yoni Mazor 9:44

The hustle a little bit. Yeah. So what year was that when they offered you the job?

 

Michal Jackness 9:47

That was in 1998.

 

Yoni Mazor 9:49

So four years into the mix. A job opened up? You took it?

 

Michal Jackness 9:53

I did take it. Yeah, and I'm glad I did. You know, one thing I thought that it would be a learning opportunity. That was one of the main reasons I did take it. And I thought, you know, it's time to kind of just get into something a bit more stable, I'm getting a little bit older, I was like, ready to like, kind of do my own thing. And I wanted that stability. Like, it was difficult to, like, get an apartment to rent with the way I was doing things. And...

 

Yoni Mazor 10:14

Yeah, there  is a moment where, you know, you're hustling and they give you some oxygen to have some stability, at least. And then you schedule your, okay, so how many years did you stay in that position? 

 

Michal Jackness 10:24

I stayed there seven years. It was a long time.

 

Yoni Mazor 10:26

Way to go, you know, from 98, until what 2005?

 

Michal Jackness 10:32

2004 was when I left.

 

Yoni Mazor 10:34

  1. Alright, so stayed in kind of the same position, or you grew inside the organization?

 

Michal Jackness 10:38

Yeah. So while I was there, I mean, things...It's funny, I had the same title. From day one to the day I left, I was never, you know, in corporate America, typically people are so title hungry, and all these different things. I just never cared about that. I was like, you know, call me anything you want. As long as the pay keeps on increasing, and responsibilities are increasing, and I'm learning, I'm gonna be happy. And that was definitely the way it was. I mean, it was a really fast growing company. For me, it was super exciting to be part of all of that. I was a fly on the wall at basically, every moment. I got promoted to the executive team, I got more and more responsibility, my responsibilities grew outside of IT. I was a part of like, the whole operations of the business.

 

Yoni Mazor 11:21

So you got immersed. You got immersed in it, you know, with tremendous experience, tremendous know-how, you know, track record of, you know, performing well, and in the highest levels and standard. So that's a good package to leave with. So, let’s bounce into 2004, what was the next station?

 

Michal Jackness 11:34

Yeah, so I mean, while I was still working at this job, the entrepreneurial bug was still always there, you know, the side hustle type thing was always there. I was actually selling stuff on eBay, you know, in 1996-area, started doing that when eBay was just kind of coming to be, and was like a power-seller on there. So I had this side hustle doing that. And the parts important because when it up happening is that the thing I end up doing, the next business I created was kind of launched off of eBay, which was I was really into playing online poker. And one day I'm just playing online poker, and I find out about affiliate marketing, they had a link on the bottom with affiliates. I didn't know what the hell that even meant. And it said, if you send one to nine players a month to us, we'll pay you $65 a player, if you send us 10 or more players will pay you $75 a player. I remember there's like it was yesterday. It's funny, I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday but 20 years ago, I remember this moment.

 

Yoni Mazor 12:31

Yeah, it’s a pivotal moment. Milestones, yeah, humans tend to kind of absorb. But what year was that when you saw that poker opportunity?

 

Michal Jackness 12:36

That was 2000...end of 2003.

 

Yoni Mazor 12:39

Got it. So you still with that company 2003. Now even though you had a customer, you know, online selling in your belt. 2003, this poker opportunity presented itself through affiliation, and what’d you do?

 

Michal Jackness 12:49

I was like, I don't know that many people, I'm not going to be able to...I can get 10, 15, 20 people maybe to sign up. But I'm always...I'm thinking bigger, like, no matter what it is. 1000s of players and millions of dollars, you know, kind of immediately, whatever it is, right? And so I was just like, Well, let me maybe take this eBay asset that I have, and try to figure out a way to like, marry it to online poker. And so what I did was I created buy-it-now auctions for a penny to give away a free product, which was the most popular poker book at the time. And as the payment instead of paying any money, you had to sign up for online poker. And it worked pretty well. You know, I got a….

 

Yoni Mazor 13:34

So hold on...What’s the package you buy for a penny?

 

Michal Jackness 13:37

It was on eBay, an eBay auction that was...the cheapest you could do was a penny for buy-i- now. Right? And in terms of like payment, it was in order to get this free book, basically, you have to,

 

Yoni Mazor 13:50

You're able to create that payment. So basically, you're able to connect the checkout process to this, I guess you built this funnel where the..

 

Michal Jackness 14:00

It wasn’t a part of the checkout process. It was, you know, it was on the page. You know, when people read like, I want to get this book for a penny, here's what I have to do to actually get the book for a penny. And then after they completed their auction, I would send them a link. Not everybody did it. Some people complained. And eventually they ended up shutting it down because it was ultimately against their terms of service, which I didn't realize at the time. But it got me started, which was the important thing because like you need that initial traffic to get you going.

 

Yoni Mazor 14:29

Yeah, so you found immediate traction by doing great this combination until you got busted for TOS. Got it.

 

Michal Jackness 14:36

Yeah, exactly. And that took a while. Took like three, three months, four months, maybe for eBay to finally shut it down. But by this point, a couple of really important things happened. Number one, I contacted the poker room and I was like “is what I'm doing okay?” I wanted to make sure that I can offer something for free to incentivize them to sign up and they're like, yeah, that's fine. And I also asked them like, Can you give me more money if I send you a lot more traffic? And they said, If you send us 200 players in a month, we'll pay you $200 a player. And I was like, holy crap, like, that's not...we're not we're really going to, you know, obviously some substantial money. And so, again, the way my mind thinks it isn't just like that I can make more money per player that I sent them, but I can give them a better gift and get even more attention to this. So we started giving away or I start giving away a set of free poker chips instead of a book. And if you think to like...

 

Yoni Mazor 15:27

But where’d you do it? On eBay, on your website? 

 

Michal Jackness 15:30

This was still on eBay, at this exact moment. So this is now early 2004. If you can think back to that time, poker is like the biggest explosion in America. Everybody wants their own set of poker chips to have their home poker tournament. And I'm giving away a set of poker chips, people want to also play online poker. It was like a match made in heaven, and it took off like wildfire. eBay ultimately ended up shutting our account down. And it's actually sometimes funny just how you create your own luck, or you get lucky in life sometimes. But we had been working on making our own website because I felt like that was the way to go. It wasn't that I thought that eBay was going to shut us down. I just thought that like, I wanted to have my own platform. I wanted, I knew some stuff about

 

Yoni Mazor 16:13

Yeah you can have the experience of, you can just, you know, create your brand identity doing that. Just makes much, much more sense. 

 

Michal Jackness 16:19

Yeah, yep. And so...one night at like, 2am, we launched this website. And at this point I had partnered with my cousin to come help me do the fulfillment, because he was a DJ on Washington, DC morning radio. And so he had a 6am to 10am shifts slot. Yeah. And when he got done, he would come over to my house, and package up all these poker chips, because I had a full time job. I couldn't, I couldn't keep up with the demand. Like when it was 10 a day, I would just go home and do it. But now we're doing 100 a day or more. I just couldn't even remotely keep up with it. So he was coming over and doing that. And he calls me like..I had just gone to bed at 2am launching the website. He calls me at like five something in the morning on his way into the radio station, saying like eBay just shut our account down. And so like, we had this like three hour overlap of like, we got lucky. It was like we had just launched this website. And so what we did...

 

Yoni Mazor 17:11

So really perfect timing. 

 

Michal Jackness 17:14

Yeah, perfect timing. I mean, couldn't have been more lucky. And we emailed all of our customers at that point from eBay, and said, Look...

 

Yoni Mazor 17:22

I just want to remind you for context, what's interesting with eBay, I don't know, it's just today, I assume it's still the situation, they actually give you access to their email. So this is required especially on PayPal, you see the images, you're able to harvest that and you launch a website and boom, you reach out and say, Hey, remember, you bought with me? You had that experience? Now we have a website and so on. So right, that was kind of the dynamic.

 

Michal Jackness 17:41

Yeah, exactly. Exactly what happened. So I sent an email out. And this is back when people actually open up their email, because there wasn't really spam and all that crap yet. And so we sent an email that said, Look, we just launched this new website, we have another poker room that we've added. So even though you've already signed up, now you can go get another set of poker chips, or a different free gift if you want. Or we also launched an affiliate program of our own, we'll pay you $20 for everyone that you sent to us. So we went from like doing a couple 100 of these in a month to a couple of 1000 because like I mean, it was like overnight, and this was in like, April of 2004.

 

Yoni Mazor 18:20

2004 got it.

 

Michal Jackness 18:22

Yeah. I put my notice in to quit my job on July 1. It was pretty quickly thereafter that it was time to move on.

 

Yoni Mazor 18:31

I got it. Okay, so 2004 July 1, you’ve given notice you got your online website growing in the poker communities. But this is really kind of a you know, it's all e-commerce related. You know, this, all this commerce is happening online. Okay, and what was the next station for you? What happened next?

 

Michal Jackness 18:49

I mean, there were some big moments in there, I mean, first of all, we decided to leave Northern Virginia, my then girlfriend and I, but then I in, I proposed to her before we left, I was like if I’m gonna ask someone to move across the country with me, as I should probably put up or shut up. I asked my girlfriend to marry me. We moved to Las Vegas. Which was like the center of the poker universe at that moment.

 

Yoni Mazor 19:14

Total sense. Yeah, that makes total sense. Yeah.

 

Michal Jackness 19:16

Yeah. And we were there for about a year and then we ended up moving to Costa Rica, because we felt like we could save on some taxes down there. And we could have cheaper labor and kind of use that as our home base. It was also kind of another center of the poker universe from the perspective of there were a lot of operators down there, and we felt like being there would be good for us.

 

Yoni Mazor 19:36

What year did you go there?

 

Michal Jackness 19:38

So we left Northern Virginia in 2005. Went to Las Vegas for a year and then we went to Costa Rica in 2006. And stayed down there for three years and we went to the Cayman Islands for a year. And by 2010, I was like I'm burned out and kind of done with poker and so at the end of 2010 is when I….Well, in the middle of 2010, I went to my partners. At this point, we had got a couple business partners involved. I was like, look like I think I'm done. I don't wanna leave you guys hanging, let's do like a six month plan. By the end of the year, I'd like to be out. I don't want to be, I don't want to give up my ownership necessarily, but I'm willing to give up some equity to have someone else run it, I just want to be like, just I mean, the check. You know, I don't want to even know anything that's going on. I want to be completely removed from this thing. Let's do this over the next six months. And so that's what happened. So at the end of 2007...

 

Yoni Mazor 20:30

And you were in  the Cayman Islands? That's when you're in the Cayman Islands? 

 

Michal Jackness 20:33

We had actually come back to Las Vegas at this point, like, we were in the Cayman Islands when we made this decision, then we came back to Vegas. Because it was like the last known address that we had, and we felt like that was a good place to go back to at that point.

 

Yoni Mazor 20:45

So let’s do the route again, Northern Virginia into Las Vegas for a year and then three years Costa Rica, one year Cayman Islands, back to Las Vegas?

 

Michal Jackness 20:51

Yep, that's exactly right. Yeah.

 

Yoni Mazor 20:53

Okay. And when you land by Las Vegas, that's when you created a six month track for you to, I guess, kind of start heading on into a new track, which is out of poker.

 

Michal Jackness 21:01

Yeah. And at that point, I didn't really know what that was going to be. I just knew that I was burned out. I didn't really like the people necessarily in the industry. And I just, I know I wasn't going to retire. But I knew that I didn't want to do anything for a while. And so we bought an RV, a big 45 foot bus, and took our dog in our car and started driving across the country for quite a while. For we did that for a couple of years. And while we were doing that, I started, you know, getting a little bit bored. There's only so many waterfalls you can hike to and you know, new restaurants you can try or whatever. And...

 

Yoni Mazor 21:40

Yeah, limited amount of trees...not limited. But you know, after hugging a few trees, you know, you get the hang of it. Yeah?

 

Michal Jackness 21:45

Yeah. And it's not that I don't enjoy doing that, we still go out and do those things. But I was doing that every day. You know, it was just like, it's cool. Like, don't get me wrong, but I was still in my 30s. I mean, you know?

 

Yoni Mazor 21:56

Yeah, you need balance, everything in life is balanced. A little bit of this a little bit that then you just you find a lot of joy, if it's too much of anything, you lose that joy, the purity of joy, nothing.

 

Michal Jackness 22:05

And that took a while to figure out I didn't quite understand at that time that I was like a pendulum. I would swing way too far in one direction, then I would come back and go too far. And this just kind of repeated over a while.

 

Yoni Mazor 22:16

At least that gave you the ability to discover at least financially the ability that's important. That's great, that's amazing. Yeah. Discovering yourself is huge. So how many years did the RV journey happen till you were able to start balancing the act? 

 

Michal Jackness 22:29

It was, well, the RV journey didn't balance anything. It just got me bored. And then I went too crazy in the other direction eventually. But as we were RV-ing, I started thinking about what skills do I have? You know, what's a good way to start making money again? So I started buying domain names, you know, we had done a lot of SEO and affiliate marketing and content marketing as a part of poker, but I was like, let's get into doing a similar thing, but in a quote unquote, more legitimate business because like people always rolled their eyes when you told them that you were doing online poker, especially if you went to a bank or something, you know, they didn't want anything to do with it, which was frustrating cuz we weren't doing anything wrong. They just didn't understand that. And so we bought domain names.

 

Yoni Mazor 23:07

So you were experiencing...the online, I guess, the gambling, if you like, it was experiencing those days, or what Las Vegas was experiencing in the 70s and 80s. Exactly right now, but now it's corporate America, it's Disneyland, you know, big money's there. Oh, you're in the online gambling? You're worth a gazillion whatever it is. Today, if you're in that domain, you're crushing it, nobody can even almost visit a casino because, you know, without having a mask or all these difficulties. So it’s a Boomtown but yeah, just to have some context back in the days wasn't as glamorous as you know, probably it is right now.

 

Michal Jackness 23:37

Yeah. 100%. Yeah, I mean, I think it's probably way different. I don't have any desire to go back to it now. Because it's just kind of like, I've done that thing. But, you know, it was just something new. I felt like I could start buying these domain names, they were good investments. And eventually I could develop affiliate sites on the back of that. And we did you know. We started developing some pretty…

 

Yoni Mazor 24:00

When you say we, you mean yourself or your wife or, I don’t know, your partner?

 

Michal Jackness 24:02

I mean my wife and I, you know, at that time it was just us. You know, super simple, easy lifestyle, you put up a WordPress site, start putting some content out. Definitely life was simpler in that moment. We owned www.wordpresshosting.com, we owned...

 

Yoni Mazor 24:17

And this is what year when you guys launched that?

 

Michal Jackness 24:19

Oh, this would have been like 2004 at this point, you know.

 

Yoni Mazor 24:22

So for about four years, 2010 to 2014 to kind of rumbling around.

 

Michal Jackness 24:29

Yeah, I mean, it was, well, it was the end of 2010. So we had 2011-2012 was kind of like, we weren't doing a whole lot, started buying some domain names. Then I started actually developing them and found some pretty instant success doing that. I mean, you know, it just we had, we had the knowledge, we had the assets and the capital to like, infuse that and get it going right?I mean, it was just the perfect combination. And so you know, these affiliate sites are doing very well. And one day when I was still not, at this point, I wasn't having to work tons of hours, because these are actually relatively lifestyle-type businesses where you can, you know, just...

 

Yoni Mazor 25:14

Mix it a little bit, let it run, let it simmer and then you come around, it's okay. It's like a crock pot, you don't have to monitor the pot every second.

 

Michal Jackness 25:21

Exactly, that's a really good way to put it. And I was actually out on a hike, you know, kind of joking about being on hikes and tree-hugging trees. And I was just like, you know what, like, I think a couple different things here. First of all, I think that Google eventually is going to come down hard on sites like this, I just feel like I was being honest to myself that, you know, I didn't really add a lot of value to the world by what I was doing, at least I felt that way. Even though I was working hard, and I had, you know, a skill set, I felt like I could be doing something better to serve mankind through this process. And one of the sites we have was www.treadmill.com. I was like, you know what I want to, I want to get into e-commerce, I want to start selling people treadmills directly, instead of having them come to treadmill.com and like, reading one of my reviews, and click a link and end up on Sports Authority and wonder what the hell just happened. Because those people don't understand how the internet works. I was like, I want to sell them the treadmill. And we owned treadmill.com like every treadmill manufacturer is going to want to work with us. I was a little bit arrogant and cocky and just didn't think you know how a business thinks.

 

Yoni Mazor 26:25

That would be interesting. If you own something.com - that's it, you own it. But today you can just put the brand name dot com you're good to go.

 

Michal Jackness 26:31

Good to go. And we learned a lot of lessons through all that. It didn't work out quite the way I thought it would. But it got me into e-commerce which was the important thing. And you know, again, that was 2013. And now it's now 2021. And I'm still doing the same thing because I absolutely love it. And there definitely is a burnout factor to some extent because there's a lot of challenges dealing with e-commerce I didn't have to deal with in the affiliate world.

 

Yoni Mazor 26:57

But let’s separate the track. So I want to make sure I'm getting the elements correctly. So you have, you know, kind of a business buying domains and reselling it or renting it. That's one track.

 

Michal Jackness 27:06

Well, we didn't rent the domains, we just bought them and either sat on them or developed them.

 

Yoni Mazor 27:11

Alright, so if you sit on them, I mean, that's pretty, you know, you can resell later. But if you develop them, you develop content, which leads to other websites, and that creates affiliation.That’s one kind of a track and the other track is where you buy inventory, sell it, you're actually a retailer.

 

Michal Jackness 27:24

Well, I mean, when we started treadmill.com was a drop shipper. And so we didn't buy any inventory, that came later with the next website that we did. And so...

 

Yoni Mazor 27:34

Take us there, so you're in retail and drop shipping, you know, we go to all these brands or manufacturers, you put them on treadmill.com, your order comes in, you send them the notice, they ship it out. So then that developed into the next website, which was?

 

Michal Jackness 27:47

Well they didn't ship it out, which was one of the challenges, right? Yeah. And so, after a couple years of doing treadmill.com, I realized, I really love this challenge of doing e-commerce. I really enjoyed it. It was something different. I love learning. And I felt like you know, I wasn't really learning anything new in affiliate marketing content. If by that point, everybody I figured it all out. But selling treadmills was tough. I mean, you're competing against manufacturers themselves, you sell them on their own website, you got net pricing, they're the ones that are drop shipping for you. Half the time you place the order with them to ship the thing. They tell you Oh, sorry, we don't have any, then you had to go back to the customer and explain to them, get them into a different model. The thing would show up damaged, it would show up late, they missed their delivery appointment, you know, the returns, all these other things, it was just miserable. And the majority of the people that bought from us were unhappy, like over 50% and that drove me insane. We were making money. It was a decent business in terms of making money. But from my personal well being in terms of the way that I am as a human, I hated it. Like I just could not take another phone call of someone being upset knowing that...

 

Yoni Mazor 28:57

Yeah. Too much heat. It doesn't, you know, doesn't settle well with you, even though the money is okay. It does compensate maybe financially but you know, you had to once again balance things out.

 

Michal Jackness 29:07

Yep. And so I hired someone to help. I was like, you take the phone calls. But I'd be in the same room cuz we got a little office, and I’d hear and I looked at it. I'm like, you know what we got like, at the end of the holiday season of 2014, we did, we went through the Christmas season. Now it's like January 1, 2015. And I'm like, I am done with this business. We've got to sell it. Like I just can't do another day of this. And we got really lucky. I mean we ended up selling it in under 30 days. Like the thing was just gone by the end of the month. And for more than we were expecting to get for it. I mean, we ended up doing pretty well with it. We had this one employee that I really loved. Like the guy that I just mentioned that I hired he did a great job. You know he was a...

 

Yoni Mazor 29:52

By the way, geographically you're based in Las Vegas? You’re back home in Las Vegas?

 

Michal Jackness 29:55

At this point we actually had moved to California. We were in San Diego.

 

Yoni Mazor 29:58

San Diego. Still there today?

 

Michal Jackness 30:01

Nope, we actually came back to Vegas now. It's hard to keep track of us. We spent...

 

Yoni Mazor 30:07

Catch Me If You Can, I dunno if you saw the movie?

 

Michal Jackness 30:10

Yes, I love that movie but I'm not unethical like that guy but I am...

 

Yoni Mazor 30:13

Nah, but this guy's doing a great service to the world. He works with the FBI and he helps out. Yeah, now he's, you know, he's helping. So yeah, there's always that shift between the negative and the positive. Right? Always the opportunity to make that shift. He did it and obviously you're doing it now with you know, with the treadmill, we're in that part of the story. So take us there.

 

Michal Jackness 30:31

yeah. So I mean, we ended up selling  treadmill...

 

Yoni Mazor 30:33

What was the story with the employee?

 

Michal Jackness 30:35

So the guy that bought it didn't want the employee. And I'm a big people person. And again, he was doing a great job and anybody that's ever been in business knows it's hard to find a good employee or good employees, you know, whatever. And it was like the only guy that I had been working with at that point like we were running just a really thin staff. I didn't want a complicated life or business and you know, he was his wife was a stay at home mom they had a challenged kid and two other kids and so she had her handful...hands full with that and I was like you know what, I'm going to find something else to do in e-commerce and keep this dude and so...

 

Yoni Mazor 31:12

You’re saying I'll find another boat to ride on and have him as my sidekick.

 

Michal Jackness 31:16

Yeah, have him be my co-pilot, my Skipper. And so I got on bizbuysell and I found this business called Ice Wraps and negotiated with the guy, bought it, flew to Michigan to get all the inventory and let the people that were currently working there go because the business was failing. It wasn't like...

 

Yoni Mazor 31:38

What was his business? What is this?

 

Yoni Mazor 31:39

It's a business called www.icewraps.com that we still own today. And it sells hot and cold therapy packs for various injuries or post surgery stuff.

 

Yoni Mazor 31:48

What's it called One more time? We'll put it in the show notes. Yeah,

 

Michal Jackness 31:50

www.icewraps.com 

 

Yoni Mazor 31:52

Yeah.

 

Michal Jackness 31:54

Yeah, it's been a great purchase. I mean, we've done very well with it. We bought it for $50,000 that included the domain name, you know, icewraps.com, icewraps.net, .org, all that good stuff. The website, all the past customer list, and some inventory came along with that.

 

Yoni Mazor 32:12

So the whole infrastructure came into your lap.

 

Michal Jackness 32:15

But it was a struggling business. Okay, it wasn't in business. It was a business that was losing money. The guy...It was a fire sale. And the guy was like I can't keep the lights on for another month. You know? So like, whatever I can get out of this thing, I'll take it. And it met all these other things that I wanted at this point. Like I didn't want to sell. I didn't want to do dropshipping anymore. Because I want to control so like

 

Yoni Mazor 32:37

You wanna own your brand, you want to own your customer, all the whole ecosystem and yeah, you know, and have faith in it. Enjoy it. And I guess now these packs are helping people. There's more joy in it too.

 

Michal Jackness 32:49

It's been a really great business. It's been...And then now we've created our own brand on top of it, which has done really well. Got it. And so yeah,  I flew up to Michigan, threw all the inventory and...

 

Yoni Mazor 32:59

I have to ask, which part of Michigan because I used to live in Detroit. So I just have to ask that.

 

Michal Jackness 33:02

I flew into Detroit, and I drove south and west towards Ohio, or towards...Yeah towards Ohio.

 

Yoni Mazor 33:08

Toledo area right? Toledo?

 

Michal Jackness 33:09

Well, no, it was like, I had to look it up on the map. It was a small little town. It had like one traffic light. I mean, it was...

 

Yoni Mazor 33:16

I got it. Shout out to Michigan. We did it. We did it.

 

Michal Jackness 33:19

It was about 90 minutes southwest of Michigan, or southwest of Detroit. I mean, but still in Michigan, but close to the Ohio border. But it wasn't close to Toledo, it wasn't near anything. I mean, it was...Yeah.

 

Yoni Mazor 33:30

Middle of nowhere. No worries. That's awesome. Yeah. Okay, this is 2015.

 

Michal Jackness 33:37

January, end of January 2015, February 1, 2015.

 

Yoni Mazor 33:42

And you still own the business today, six years after and...

 

Michal Jackness 33:45

We do, yeah, it's been a great little business. Man, it's been from a business standpoint, in terms of investing and buying a business, the best thing we've ever done, I mean, it's worth well in the seven figures now. You know, it just been a great...it's been a great pickup. And I and I enjoy the business, you know, it's a good business.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:05

Got it. Okay, what else transpired? So, you know, in those six years, this is where it starts and it ends in e-commerce? 

 

Michal Jackness 34:11

No, there’s a little bit more to it now.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:13

There we go, take us there.

 

Michal Jackness 34:14

You know, in typical Jackness fashion, as I said, there's the pendulum and so I kind of like I got addicted to this e-commerce stuff. And at this point, like I started doing well. And I was like, you know what? This is something I want to build into, like into a really big enterprise. And so we started either creating or buying other brands. And so we started a brand called ColorIt which was coloring books for adults, and all the mediums for that. It turns out that grandma-age type people love to color, you know? It's like a hobby.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:46

I like to color. I will pick that up.

 

Michal Jackness 34:47

Yeah, it's a fun hobby.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:48

It’s therapeutic, very therapeutic.

 

Michal Jackness 34:51

And that business did incredible. We started a business called WildBaby, which is some stuffed animals, heatable stuffed animals.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:57

How do you spell that? Wild Baby? How do you spell that?

 

Michal Jackness 34:59

W I L D Wild.

 

Yoni Mazor 35:02

Wild Baby. Got it. Yep.

 

Michal Jackness 35:05

One of the other domain names that we owned back from when I was talking about, you know, a decade before this that we had purchased we never developed was www.tactical.com.  And so tactical.com, so we started developing that as a content site. And now I've made an e-commerce brand to go side by side with it, really marrying the old disciplines with the new, right, the old content, SEO, marketing type stuff with physical products. And so now that's kind of interchanged in to that, intertwined.

 

Yoni Mazor 35:36

What kind of products though for tactical you guys have?

 

Michal Jackness 35:38

Tactical gear, so tactical flashlights, gloves, shovels, you know, things that you would use in a bug out.

 

Yoni Mazor 35:47

And for the most part, all these are you selling on your own website? Your own domain, your own dot coms, right? 

 

Michal Jackness 35:54

And Amazon. We sell on Amazon as well.

 

Yoni Mazor 35:56

Right. So all these brands have a presence, their own presence, on Amazon, correct?

 

Michal Jackness 35:59

Yes. Yep. 

 

Yoni Mazor 36:01

Got it. Yeah, they have their own storefront? Or you have a storefront for each one, or it's one storefront that embodies all the brands?

 

Michal Jackness 36:06

They're actually separate companies, we keep them very separated for a very...there's just all kinds of different things, they don't really fit together, you know, baby stuff with ice packs with tactical gear, they're just kind of random brands, the coloring. The coloring brand we did sell. So like having them separated now makes it a lot easier to sell a brand if we want to, you know, sell a brand but not purchase another brand. And so we kind of have an umbrella structure that has these different companies. And the goal was to kind of cycle through some, you know, because I think that there's opportunities to get business those to a certain point where they make sense for us to sell them, have a good exit, and then bring another brand in that is a good business, but hasn't checked the boxes of the things that I feel like that we're the strongest with, right? And so I think that there's certain things that we've learned really well over the years, like we're really good at sourcing from China, because we've been doing that now for quite a while. And a lot of people are worried about, you know, just don't know how to do that. We're really good at content marketing and SEO. So if they have a great brand, but they don't have any organic traffic, and we think that there's opportunity, that's a good checkbox, maybe they have an Amazon presence, but we think that we can do better. Maybe they aren't doing email marketing. 

 

Yoni Mazor 37:21

Yeah, you see the businesses are doing okay, but if you check the boxes that you know how to do very well it becomes an amazing business, right?

 

Michal Jackness 37:27

Right and so the idea is for us to throw like jet fuel on the fire, they have a great business with a great fire going, we throw some jet fuel on it, and you can see it from space. You know, it's like, that’s what we want to do. 

 

Yoni Mazor 37:39

And I guess I have a question about Amazon. So what was the year when you entered it, what was the year, the moment you entered into Amazon? And what was the reason? It was just to supplement your dot com? Or was this a...take us to those moments?

 

Michal Jackness 37:50

Yeah, this is where it's always funny how life works out and the different journeys and you can...I think if you look back at life, like everything is like a connect the dots moment, for sure. Sometimes you don't really read...

 

Yoni Mazor 38:00

Like those books, you got to connect the dots, you know those ones? You gotta connect the dots  and then you get a nice picture, to borrow from your old business. 

 

Michal Jackness 38:06

Yeah, you know. And so the dot here was the ice wraps died. We had bought ice wraps, as I mentioned, and it was 99.9% on its own website, it was www.icewraps.com was where all the sales came from. But they had tinkered with selling on Amazon. And so we got an Amazon account that came along with the business. And about six months into owning ice wraps, and redoing the website and getting the traffic back and seeing some explosive growth I was super excited about, I was starting to get a little bit bored with the business, I didn't really know what else I could do to make it better at that point. Like I was actually looking at other...

 

Yoni Mazor 38:41

How to throw more fuel, and like you said...

 

Michal Jackness 38:45

This wasn’t really about more fuel, like I did it, you know? And so I was looking at another business to buy at that moment. But I also simultaneously was like, well, let me look into the Amazon part of this that they never really did anything with. I didn't know anything about it really. And it turned out that that happenstance was probably the best thing that ever happened to us in terms of e-commerce. Because now like our business is 90% Amazon, and all the explosive growth has come through that platform.

 

Yoni Mazor 39:13

So you’re saying if I got it correctly, Amazon was your back pocket? As it you know, when you bought the whole business, you don't know what was gonna be really able to be utilized. But the money was it, you became the 900 pound gorilla. So you're doing 90% today from that moment on and the rest of your brands because that is a dominant force that you cannot avoid in e-commerce and you know, the.com they do what they need to do there maximize or optimize. And that great combination of balances is a great thing to have as a business.

 

Michal Jackness 39:39

Yeah. It's been awesome. And now there's a lot of struggles with Amazon. I mean, that's another whole story maybe for another day, but um, you know, I think the opportunity that exists in 2015 with this wide open lane of Amazon has now gotten way more crowded. It's way more difficult. Amazon's got in….You know, I think there's like this business life cycle I saw happen on my poker where like, companies need you way more than you need them. They're desperate to get more people to sell on their platform and fill up their warehouses for them. So you can pay them, you know, help them supplement building warehouses and be the first person to sell an ice pack on Amazon because you haven't even filled that void yet, versus today, it's the opposite. Like, they can’t give a crap about you, their warehouse is full, they have 20 other people selling the same product. And now you're just a fly that they want to...

 

Yoni Mazor 40:32

Fly on the wall. That other company you mentioned back in the early days, so I gotcha. Alright, so let's take us to the moment where I guess you will start to invest more to the content or EcomCrew. What's that? What's it...what's the birth of EcomCrew? How did that happen?

 

Michal Jackness 40:48

That actually was born in 2015. A similar time that I bought ice wraps. When I bought ice wraps, I also joined a community called e-commerce fuel, which is a great community. www.ecommercefuel.com. And it's a private forum, a private community for e-commerce sellers, for seven-figure e-commerce sellers. And so I joined this community and was talking about a lot of the stuff I was doing. And they were kind of like, all blown away. And to me, what I was doing was like the same thing as breathing. I wasn't doing anything in my mind that was difficult at all.

 

Yoni Mazor 41:24

It wasn't unusual, wasn’t extraordinary. Yeah.

 

Michal Jackness 41:26

And this is because a lot of e-commerce sellers, so I'm jealous of them. It's always you always have I think, strengths and weaknesses, right and anything in life. And so for me, like I was just super impressed that they could create products and branding and invent things and just, you know, have that, but they had no idea how to do content marketing, or how to build a website or, and so the things that were so simple to me, were amazing to them. And so we just identify...

 

Yoni Mazor 41:51

Yeah, your core competency and different fundamentals, which kind of supplement each other. That's nice to have that community environment. Yeah.

 

Michal Jackness 41:57

Yep. And so that's actually when we started EcomCrew. I was like, you know what? I'm gonna start documenting what I'm doing.

 

Yoni Mazor 42:03

How are you doing it.

 

Michal Jackness 42:06

How I’m doing it. All those things. Be very transparent. You know, it was...I wanted to do something different that wasn't being done at the time, and still really isn't being done, actually. I mean, most gurus or e-commerce people don't talk about their products or their brands or don't even really sell themselves. And so it was, I'm going to tell everybody about everything I'm doing if you want to go copy and sell ice packs too, fine.

 

Yoni Mazor 42:27

Best of luck. Yeah, you know, you're, you have your position, every competency, you're not even, you don't even flinch. In some way Bill Gates can talk about Microsoft, it's not easy to create the next market thing.

 

Michal Jackness 42:37

Yeah, go develop, you know, windows, whatever...

 

Yoni Mazor 42:40

Go handle all these years. Yeah. Right. It's a lot of pain. And anything that you do is and nothing is a copy paste mechanism.

 

Michal Jackness 42:46

Exactly. Yeah. And so I was also, you know, I'm older at that point, and more secure financially and as a person, and I legitimately love helping people. And so it was just a great way to document what I was doing. Unlike in online poker where everybody was like, clamoring over the same exact customer, right? Like, if you own an online poker affiliate website, like everyone wants to rank number one for online poker, and everybody...it’s a very dirty industry, they'll back over your mother and their mother and then drive over them again, just to make sure they're dead to like, get to get that position from you. That means like, it was a very, very dirty industry. We're in e-commerce, you know, it's like a trillion-dollar marketplace or industry. And almost certainly the person you're talking to doesn't sell gel packs or ice packs, right? They're selling dog chew toys, or home gym equipment, or alcohol or whatever the hell else. You know, there's all kinds of things that you can...and even if they do sell gel packs, I'm never going to sell all the world's gel packs or ice packs.

 

Yoni Mazor 43:44

The marketplaces are tremendous for every type of product, category, niche whatever it is, this is a tremendous world out there and e-commerce only what less than 20%? At least in the United States retail. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, we can bet that it's gonna go to 21-22 to 25% every percentage humongous opportunity for so many entrepreneurs. Definitely a lot of space for everybody to grow. So why not pass it forward and support the growth of sellers?

 

Michal Jackness 44:10

That was my mindset. And I, like, you know what, I'm just gonna start doing this. I don't know what will come of it ever, one day. But I know from past experiences that whenever you have knowledge that someone else wants, and you keep on putting out good content over a long period of time, good things come with it. That was like literally the only conversation I have with myself in terms of like, let's just go do this. And so that's what I did. And so for like the first year, I was just writing blog content, started getting some following, some traction. Then we launched the podcast, which we're still doing, we're close to 400 episodes into it as we’re recording this.

 

Yoni Mazor 44:44

Wow. What year did you start the podcast?

 

Michal Jackness 44:46

That would have been I think a year later, so would have been 2016, we’ve had millions of downloads at this point. And it's crazy. I mean, it's really amazing to look at how it's grown. We have a community now and people pay to be, you know, behind a paywall to be able to have access to my partner that I deal with and I. And it just been, it's super enjoyable. 

 

Yoni Mazor 45:09

Do you want to give a little shout out to your partner? Tell us who he is? How you got to connect with him?

 

Michal Jackness 45:13

Yeah. So I mean, he's actually someone I met through that e-commerce fuel community. And that community has been amazing, it's opened up so many doors, which is why I think it's so important to be a part of a community or a mastermind of some sort, as a part of the community, he was one of the other guys there. You know, I felt like, I'm not really a very strong writer, like I don't, I can do it, but like, I just don't...it takes me, it takes me longer than it should to put out written content, but he's really good at it. He's prolific, like, he doesn't really like doing on mic content, like he'll do it, but it's similar. And so like, we're just really great together because I come to us and I do all the videos and, and for me, it's like no big deal. Like for me to have this conversation. I can do it with like, almost zero prep, and it's no big deal. Like, I know this stuff in and out becauseI do this every day. His name is David Bryant. Yeah, he’s awesome. And he's also in the trenches, he has another e-commerce business, you know, we both have the same morals and moral compass, we don't want to be telling people this is super easy, and you're gonna make a million dollars overnight, and just buy our course and you'll be a millionaire. Like, we're not like that, it's the total opposite. We are very real, like, This is hard. It takes a lot of capital and takes a lot of patience. It's incredibly rewarding, I love it, I wouldn't change it for the world. But like, this is not easy in any way.

 

Yoni Mazor 46:33

And this is a profession. This is...Yeah, this is a profession. This is a game for professionals. So if you're serious about you know, like, if you're gonna go to medical school, you know, you're gonna you're choosing a profession, you're gonna be rich, overnight, you're gonna have a whole, you know, work to do to get to it to a position where you have a sustainable income from this, you know, the same mindset should be addressed to e-commerce. Maybe more, the complexity is probably more superior, because it's such a Boomtown industry. You know, alright, very good. So if I got it right, you guys are focused right now, of course, you know, on your own private label brands on the dot com. And the marketplaces, but also on the education and content level, where you’re supporting the sellers with the EcomCrew. Alright, let's do a little quick recap to see what we got so far. So we can package the episode. You know, ‘94, you start your own business after high school, you know, with the computers. And then you did that for about four years. So 1998, you were able to score kind of a job or in the job kind of sucked you in into this corporation, all the way to about 2004. 2004, during that time frame, you picked up on affiliate marketing and connected that to the online poker industry, which had its kind of Renaissance online, and it was booming. And you did that till about 2010. You also circle around, you lived in a few places all throughout the years, you mentioned Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, and back. Then 2010 until 2014 kind of roaming around, you know, enjoying the world, taking it easy, hugging trees and watching waterfalls. Yeah, 2014 you know, I guess e-commerce or entrepreneurship bug itched and you bought you picked up a business selling, you know, the ice wraps. And you know, these are, you know, consumer products. You also picked up the employee, from treadmill.com?

 

Michal Jackness 48:22

From the treadmill. So the entrepreneurial itch, which was like right before the treadmill era, but yeah, same thing.

 

Yoni Mazor 48:28

Right. So the treadmill was kind of a tough business. That's why you ...oh you started treadmill in  2014, or that was 2013? 2013, for kind of a year, and then you picked up, you know, the ice wraps, and things start clutching well, from there. Yeah, and this from 2014 until our days today, you're able to kind of replicate your success with, you know, having your own dot com website and your own brand and selling them in marketplaces, in addition to that, connecting to, you know, a community and from that community, you created kind of your own community, the EcomCrew community where you're supporting sellers, with your partner, and you involved also with education and seller support. So did I  get that all correctly?.

 

49:00

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. It feels like I haven't done much.

 

Yoni Mazor 49:04

No, you did a lot, a tremendous story. I appreciate you sharing that. I learned a lot. It was fascinating to me to learn. Okay, so now that we have all that I want to kind of focus in on the two last things and we'll get to quickly, you know, if somebody wants to connect and find out more about you guys, give them a hand off, and the last thing will be what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?

 

Michal Jackness 49:26

Yeah, so, the place to connect EcomCrew is you know, it's kind of the central point for all the e-commerce stuff: E C O M C R E W dot com. ecomcrew on iTunes, ecomcrew on all the social media handles we got it all consistent. If you want to email us support@ecomcrew.com. That'll find its way to me. In terms of inspiration? You know, I would say that there's a caveat to it first, to make sure that you you really want to be an entrepreneur. There’s a lot of “wanna-preneurs”, you hear a lot of stories about people wanting to quit their job and go do these things. Not everyone's cut out to be an entrepreneur, everyone can be an entrepreneur, you know, we society needs people at every level, you know, I talk about all the time, like I mean, everything you do in your life, not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Otherwise, like the whole society would collapse, you know, you go to the grocery store, someone has to stock the shelves, check you out the register, you need a waiter to bring you food at the restaurant, you need a doctor to check up on these different things, but certain people are cut out to be entrepreneurs, want to be entrepreneurs. And so in terms of inspiration for those people, I would say the biggest thing is to just never give up. And one of things we didn't really get into in this episode, it sounded all like roses, but it's kind of like there's poop in the room and I sprayed a bunch of Poopouri in this episode, right?

 

Yoni Mazor 50:42

There's another way without touching the smelly things.

 

Michal Jackness 50:44

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's not easy, you know. And there was several moments through all of this where the average person would have gave up, I mean, it takes some insanity to do some of this. You have to have the ability to run into a fire and disregard all common sense at some level, to be able to get through the hard times. And there were several of them along the way, both in the poker times and the affiliate times and in e-commerce, like all three of those generations of my life, have come with some really horrible moments that the average person would...I will admit, it gets tougher and tougher to keep doing that. You know, as I get older...

 

Yoni Mazor 51:27

It takes a toll, it takes a certain toll on the character of a human to endure this, the endurance that you need to stay successful in business when you're an entrepreneur. But the key factor for this endurance, as you're saying, is don't give up. You know, at least when you’re in those hard moments.

 

Michal Jackness 51:44

I look back and I realize now that, you know, all the successes came like just after the moment where it was the darkest, right? It's just...and I don't want to, you know, convince somebody that they should continue on something that is a clear failure. Like, I mean, sometimes you have to know when to jettison.

 

Yoni Mazor 52:03

Yeah, sometimes you gotta quit a few things, not the whole mission, not the whole purpose. But you know, things you're trying along the way, you know, you're gonna fail. 

 

Michal Jackness 52:10

But if you believe in something, and know in your heart that it's going to work, and you've got to,...yeah, I just lost a bunch of money or time or like, I worked all this, thinking that this thing I was going to do was gonna be the big win. And I just was like, man, I feel like, this is awful. You got to figure out a way to pick yourself up, and put that same effort in. And the next thing and...

 

Yoni Mazor 52:30

Keep going, just keep going.

 

Michal Jackness 52:32

If you feel like you have something. Again, at some point, the harder part of the conversation is when they give up, but the inspirational thing is, I think you gotta you gotta fight through it. And you got to learn a way of life your way and if you don't have the ability to do that, then you should go back and find another job. And I'm not saying that in a mean way by any stretch of the imagination. Because...

 

Yoni Mazor 52:50

Yeah, do your best. Don't worry about it. If you really truly do your best and you give up that's fine as long as you do your best. Because if you don't, you're gonna say oh, I could have done better. That's an issue later on. Ok beautiful. Michael, thank you so much. I enjoyed it a lot. I hope everybody else enjoyed, you know? Stay safe and healthy till the next time. 

 

Michal Jackness 53:07

Take it easy you guys.

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