How to set up an Ecommerce Business that Funds your Life ⎜ Sumner & Ali Hobart ⎜ EP 65
Ryan Cramer: What's up everyone. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer. This is Crossover Commerce, presented by PingPong Payments, the leading global payment's provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money. What's up everyone. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer. Welcome to episode 65 of the Crossover Commerce presented by PingPong Payments. PingPong provides marketplace sellers and entrepreneurs, global solutions for controlling their domestic and international funds. An account with PingPong enables companies to significantly reduce their costs when receiving or making international payments, all in one platform to increase operational efficiencies. For more information about PingPong, go ahead and check out that link below that I said, where you can save at least 25% on our international FX, that's guaranteed by PingPong. So go ahead and check us out. Learn more information, sign up for free today. But if you are here today, we're not talking about PingPong, we're talking about our guests today. If you happen to be watching this live, thanks for joining us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, or if you're listening to this via download later on, you're joining us on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple, or Google Podcast, truly wherever you can download a podcast. So do me a favor real quick, go ahead and follow, like and share our guests today, where you can find them in the show notes and also PingPong Payments on social media. You can just search for PingPong Payments, or you can search for Ryan Cramer. I'm on LinkedIn, Instagram, as well as not YouTube, on Facebook. So go ahead and follow or like those channels, so that you can be notified of different times we go live. I go live about four to five times per week, which is crazy to think that there's so many people in the space that I'm connected, to that will be willing to share their information. But that being said, I'm blessed to be able to share that information and those people with you on this show. So go ahead and make sure you like and get notified when we do go live and you don't want to miss a single episode. But if you are watching this live, go ahead and tell us what you think about the show in the comments below. If you're watching us on Team replay, go ahead and tag myself or our guests on social media and let us know what you think as well, so we can look at it at a later time. But if you can't catch us live, again, go ahead and download it on our podcast channels as well. But about our guests today, it's not just about me, I'm just the host of the show. I'm just here to learn just like the rest of you. About our guests today, they are with the amazing Escape Plan, that is their business. Our guests are a husband and wife tandem that operate multiple e- commerce businesses together as a team and share their marketing knowledge to help fellow entrepreneurs generate more profit online. Again, teamwork makes the dreamwork. I'm really excited to hear this team, make their dreamwork through e- commerce, like the saying goes. But welcome to the show, Sumner and Ali Hobart. Guys, welcome.
Ali Hobart: Thank you.
Sumner Hobart: Hey, thanks for the intro. Great to be here.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Thanks guys. I had to ask you guys where you are located, because you're constantly traveling the world, like you said, just making e- commerce work for you and your business. So why don't you give us a quick background, where you're located, where you guys are, happen to be this month, this week? However often you guys are inaudible when you can, give us some background on what you guys are doing right now?
Ali Hobart: Yeah. You go ahead and introduce us.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. For sure. We're Sumner and Ali Hobart. Full- time Amazon sellers and e- commerce entrepreneurs, constantly testing, basically different passive income ideas to see if they actually hold up, how well they work and how well they can actually fund our lifestyle. Right now we are in Mexico. Our plan right now is travel as much as possible before we have kids. So that's just the overview. So we've been in Turkey, Costa Rica, Brazil, parts of south Europe, and have a lot more destinations, which obviously right now, a little bit more difficult to travel. So it's been a little bit limited. But on one end, we really love traveling, we really enjoy it, so that's why we're doing it. But also, and maybe we can dive into a little bit more about this, another big reason that we travel is because we can actually keep our personal living expenses and even certain business expenses at, or below our previous expenses living in the United States, which is where we were previously located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ali Hobart: Even with flight tickets and other things, because of the cost.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. So, not just for enjoyment reasons, which obviously that's crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: That's a plus.
Sumner Hobart: It's also a business decision as well, which I think a lot of Amazon sellers and e- commerce entrepreneurs don't really necessarily consider.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I actually personally know a lot of" digital nomads", which obviously if you have internet, you have a laptop, you have everything you need to either record or to watch or see what your business is doing, and you can connect with the proper business entities, you can do this anywhere in the world theoretically. Is that what you guys were like, " Why are we doing this in Cincinnati, Ohio?" As much as I love the Midwest, I live in the Midwest in the United States. My wife doesn't like Cincinnati and that's a separate story. That's because she keeps breaking down on the bridge, going from Kentucky to Ohio, but that's a different story. But anywhere in the world, that's fantastic. Maybe, what led you guys to that decision? Is it, you said before family, is it just like, " Hey, let's go."? As simple as that.
Ali Hobart: Many things.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, Many things. If I don't control myself, I'm going to dominate the conversation. So maybe I'll let Ali-
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. However you guys want to do this. I don't want to make any arguments or anything, but this is the first two on one. So let's let's make sure that-
Ali Hobart: Oh, okay. Let's crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Maybe I'll point out one to the other. Exactly.
Ali Hobart: Yeah. Okay. I'll just say some things on top of my head and you can add on of course. So, a few reasons, first, I'm originally from Brazil and then I moved to the U. S. for college and that's where we met. I lived a little bit in Bolivia and I've always liked traveling and Sumner as well. He moved all over from his family. His dad works for P& G. So he grew up in Canada and always had this mind that maybe we didn't really have a super deep roots anywhere, at least me and I think him as well. So we never felt like, oh my gosh, this is where we belong necessarily. So, that's there. But also, we just wanted to see the world. We wanted to have more quality of life. We kept looking at how much we were spending too in Cincinnati. I mean, we had a good apartment, but first of all, we hate winters, at least, especially me. But so every time it was winter, I'm like, " Oh, why am I here?" Then once we truly became completely online, it was a constant conversation of like, we can do this anywhere. One of the reasons why we started on Amazon was for the flexibility of time and so I could visit my family more often in Brazil too. Then we started visiting them more often and we realized, we're doing the same work that we were doing back in Cincinnati, so let's actually travel to other places and while we're doing this. Then there was, what Sumner said, like the whole cost of living, we saw that there were places where we could live even better than we were living in Cincinnati in terms of quality standards because of cost of living.
Sumner Hobart: For our specific-
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: Because obviously some people, looking at our lifestyle, would be like, " Oh my gosh, I would hate to do that." Which is totally understandable, because it depends on what your goals are and your personal lifestyle choice. But for us love traveling, love hiking. We're, I guess a little bit more risk- taking, we have no problem going to Bosnia, to Serbia, it doesn't phase us.
Ali Hobart: We want to meet new people too. I think that's a big deal for us. We like seeing different cultures and all that. But, did I forget anything? Any of the reasons why-
Sumner Hobart: No. Yeah. Those are overall for me, obviously I've always been very, I guess, more financially focused. I don't know where it struck me, but I remember sitting in our living room in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I think February, it was the winter and just thinking like, oh my goodness, we're paying, what was it? 1, 200 a month for this apartment, we're paying for this parking space.
Ali Hobart: inaudible.
Sumner Hobart: We're paying for maintenance for our car, still paying down the rental and all of these kinds of costs. I was just thinking, I'm like, man, the Brazilian Reais, or Real, which is the Brazilian currency, their exchange rates it's so crazy. I'm like, and it's such a big country, could we like, everything is online, if we just moved to another location, all of our personal expenses would be lower. Aren't there like-
Ali Hobart: We could reinvest that money into the business.
Sumner Hobart: Exactly. Reinvest. I think, for you maybe a little bit more lifestyle. I was definitely much more business or financially focused, honestly, that's one of the big reasons of course, then maybe living a short walk from the beach is a nice perk. But it was definitely both those reasons and we thought let's give it a try, why not? We're young and just try to stay fairly healthy, so let's do this. This would be the best time.
Ryan Cramer: What year was this when you guys made this decision to hop on? This wasn't recent, this was like a couple of years ago, right?
Ali Hobart: Not that recent.
Sumner Hobart: Not that recent. Is it almost a year ago. Right?
Ali Hobart: No.
Ryan Cramer: 2019, 2020?
Ali Hobart: crosstalk in 2019, we had the goal and that falls into a theme of like creating an e- commerce business to fund the life that way you want. So that became our goal. This is what we want to do and we were working toward it for all of 2019.
Sumner Hobart: But we officially started living abroad. Literally we had to an apartment sale. We sold to all of our neighbors.
Ali Hobart: We sold everything.
Sumner Hobart: We sold all of our cars, almost all of our physical possessions. Now we have like two suitcases of just our essentials, aside from our digital assets. We officially moved... when was it?
Ali Hobart: We left one week before Corona became a thing.
Sumner Hobart: We left and basically got locked in to Brazil in a good way, just got situated and got stuck, which wasn't really a problem for us right before COVID hit. Then it's been traveling, since then obviously cautiously and taking precautions where we can, and many countries are shut down. So, we're constantly keeping our eye out for where to go and all that.
Ryan Cramer: It's almost a like blessing too, you got there just in time so that you were able to almost escape for theoretical reasons, that you say like the amazing escape plan. However you guys did it, that's amazing. That's good that you've been able to stay healthy, but also travel as well. So what's it like both revolving business wise? If I'm an Amazon seller, what's your first thing to say, did you do this also, because say like, " Hey, this is something I preach about, but also I'm doing inactively. So it provides almost more of a trust factor like, " Hey, I'm living, I'm doing the things I'm preaching about."?
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. For us, in our kind of online brand, like this and our content on YouTube and Facebook group and all that stuff, that's really secondary. First, basically, we got started Amazon FBA. Without, making a long story short, not so untypically, we're getting fed up with our traditional kind of jobs, great and all that, but just felt that we were being and our towns were being under utilized that we could be doing.... If we did the same amount of effort and work toward our own business that we could potentially, obviously have a much better lifestyle, ultimately. So we came to that kind of thought, did a bunch of research, came across this idea of selling physical products on Amazon, solving pain points, through physical products and the whole sourcing and all of that. Really appealed to us. Launched our first product. First product right off the bat was for us very, very successful. I forget the exact numbers, but I think the one product alone, was making more than I was making.
Ali Hobart: It was definitely making more than I was making.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. So that's when we decided to, oh my gosh, this is amazing and started launching more products. As it changed our life more and more we were like, how does everyone not know about this? If any friends or family are tuning in, you know we told everybody. At first we were super secretive, because we're like, oh my gosh-
Ali Hobart: This might not work.
Sumner Hobart: ...is this going to work? Is this a scam? Of course, I mean, that's my mindset, I'm very, very skeptical in general. We're like, " We'll keep it secret." Once we had success, we're okay, let's get a little bit more success, had our next product, our next product, and had, failures along the way as well and lost money ultimately though. A lot of learning, ultimately successful and start creating content. So that's secondarily. But primarily, we're always looking, I mean, to improve our lives. There's so many ways to improve whether, emotionally, relationally, financially and all of that and realize for me at least, that that lack of financial independence or lack of financial literacy does a lot more harm than people think. That's honestly internally one of my big things, obviously I know I'm big, or we're big in the Amazon FBA space specifically, but overall we have achieved some level of financial freedom, not entirely. We're still working toward many goals that we have for this year and next year. We're still young, we still have plenty to learn, but there's a lot that we have learned and a lot of things that have changed our life and we can't help but share it. We're willing to test, that's what we are. We're like test dummies. We go out, let's see if living abroad. Theoretically on paper, it seems like it could work, but like, oh my gosh, are we just going to get robbed every day, because America is the safest country on earth and everywhere else is dangerous and everywhere else is undeveloped and all of that. We're going to put it to the test and then report back on, does this work or does it not work? We do that with Amazon. We do that with living abroad. I have no idea if that even answered your question, but-
Ryan Cramer: No, it does. So, what have been the most exciting things? I think about the physical assets, like you said, I'm going around in my suitcase. Do you feel like there's been this freedom of connection of physical assets that you're just like, " I don't need this, I don't need that." All of a sudden your life is condensed into a couple of suitcases. I've studied abroad for about four months or so and that's the toughest thing is... I mean, the easiest thing is to travel because you don't have much with you, you can only take so much with you overseas. But then on top of that, do you miss the ownership of physical things, like a car, being to do that? Or, what's that like in terms of that mindset for you guys?
Ali Hobart: Sometimes, I mean, like we said, it has the benefits and there's the pros and cons for everything. But for us, the pros definitely outweighed the cons. I will say, we do have sort of a deadline. We've talked about settling now more at the end of 2022, so at least for me more mentally that makes it more motivating to focus on the benefits of this. Obviously, sometimes we miss the feeling of like home or having a home base or, having even for example, a hairdryer. I don't travel with a hairdryer, because it's so bulky and I don't always use it and then some places don't have it. So I'm like, oh, I miss that, but it's not a big deal. That's just a silly example, but that can apply to several things like a car as well, especially depending on where we are located. But, at least to me, because we have that deadline, definitely focusing on the benefits and knowing that we're definitely going to miss a lot of aspects about this, once we do settle down. Even though we plan on continuing to continue to travel afterwards, after we have our home base. But yeah, I would say what we miss the most is our cat. Our cat Laila.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. We adopted this cat before we left. It was just stray and we took her in and our parents have been amazing and taken her in and taken care of her while we're off traveling around, which is very, very, very nice of them to do.
Ali Hobart: That's for certain what we miss the most. Second would be-
Ryan Cramer: It's a lead up to children guys, let me tell you. You working in with the animal and then with children, that's how you get away.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, I know. That's a big part of the reason. Now, not having kids and that's not really in the short term in our view, but later on, that's obviously definite part of our plan and we'll see what happens. But yeah, that idea, I guess, more of settling down to something we will do, I think at some point, but now just traveling around. Really just, we want to see so many places and we've realized, especially... I mean some people will know that we were not long ago just in Turkey and it was crazy that specific, it was obviously a really cool place. I mean, rich with history, we're both Christian and the amount of Christian history. There's also obviously a lot of Muslim history and just history in general from the Greeks, the Romans, ancient civilizations, I'm really into that. So that was really cool. Beautiful, like the Aegean Coast in Cappadocia and like the hot air balloons and all that. But also just, it was crazy that, number one, being abroad, I read a lot of articles and psychology and things like that, because I'm always just curious, is that going to physically different places that you're not used to will fire different neurons or create different pathways in your mind. So that alone, I think has been going on without us really knowing. But also we've realized like, to be honest, there's a lot of stereotypes negative that we had about Turkey before going. There was one point we never even considered it. We're like, it was one of the few countries that was open, so that's what forced us to do a little bit more inaudible and consider it. Obviously, a really great conversion rate from the U. S. dollar to the Turkish Lira. Very, very good conversion rate. So the spending power in dollars is pretty strong there, but man, it was, I mean, some of the kindest, most hospitable people consistently, people super nice to stray animals, just different random things. I'm like, how-
Ali Hobart: Just as we used to really want to go to Greece and we still do, but after going to Turkey, we're like, that was so similar, the coast over there, a lot of people don't know that it's that beautiful, the coast.
Sumner Hobart: It's literally life- changing aside from like people think about the... we've also realized, you see a lot of these videos on YouTube that look really pretty and really cool and then you go and you're like, " Oh, it's nice, but like seamed like-
Ali Hobart: Yeah, it's color coded. I think its a filter.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. Exactly. Especially with Instagram. In some ways it's definitely, I don't know what the word is, less beautiful or less aesthetic, but then in other ways definitely better. For us overall, it's been better. In terms of physical, because I know you mentioned specifically with what it's like giving up physical possessions. At first it was kind of tough. We were literally watching our stuff go out of our home, selling it and the next person pretty cheap on Craigslist and just seeing it go like, oh my gosh.
Ali Hobart: The inaudible.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. I mean, that's another thing with psychology is that, in general experiences tend to bring more utility than physical products. When you buy that new car right at the beginning, it's really exciting, really cool and really sexy, but you get used to it pretty quick. You forget about it and lose that. So for us, and we're big into experiences, not necessarily spending a lot for those experiences, A lot of, like I said, ton of hiking, go to a museum or things like that. Again, for us personally, I think the pros outweigh the cons, but just like anything, nothing is perfect. So it's living abroad, hasn't just been roses and bright.
Ali Hobart: Yeah. That for me, I actually do get excited. I have a little notes on my phone where I put down things that I ultimately wanted to have. Because of this experience, it's exciting to plan as well. So I think both situations excite me.
Ryan Cramer: What's the most surprising thing to both of you, either in a positive or a negative way?
Ali Hobart: In terms to what > To the traveling?
Ryan Cramer: Something where you started this journey and you're like, " Oh, that was a pleasant surprise." Or, you weren't thinking that that would be a factor or like have this mental either burden on you or also, this is really nice, I didn't think I would actually like enjoy this experience or something like that. What was the most surprising?
Sumner Hobart: For me, as you asked this, I think that's a great question, there's two things that really come to my mind that I share with everyone that I know. But one is on the business side with our Amazon FBA business, where really it's a private label business, main sales channels, Amazon, although now we're expanding into multiple marketplaces. That whole experience has been life- changing in of itself. The biggest change was from thinking, " Oh, that would be nice into, " I can do this." Also, realizing that, there's the real estate space, there's the crypto space and the stock market, there's drop shipping, there's all these different ways and, viable ways to build wealth or to generate income or, whatever it might be. Realizing that, within each of these spaces, it's not really an if, it's, I can do this. For example, if we wanted to get into real estate, which we don't, but if we did, to build wealth and all that, we know we would be able to, we'd make mistakes, but we would know that, okay, there's a community that exists, there's the legitimate people in that space. There's the cons in that space. We know what to do in order to find those legitimate people in that space, learn from them, focus on the longterm versus the short term. So that mind switched from, if, to how, it's not just with business, that's gone from like working out. I'm like, okay, it's not if, if I want to, then I can, I'm still working on that. That's a little something we're working on.
Ryan Cramer: 2021 plan, right?
Sumner Hobart: Yeah.
Ali Hobart: It's working out on that.
Sumner Hobart: Working out on that. That was number one for me, personally. Then number two is, there was one point in my life where I never considered living outside of the United States. Why would I? Because I grew up thinking, oh my gosh, everyone is trying to get in. It's so hard to get in the United States, which it is difficult to get citizenship, that's not a lie. But just everyone's pouring in, everyone just begs and pleads to get in the United States And some people do, but a lot of people don't. I realized, if I wasn't born here, I probably wouldn't be dying to get in the United States. It's a great country. But I realized that there's a lot of myths that I believe about other cultures and other countries, some of them are true. We've realized some evils that exist in the world, including the United States and abroad that we were never aware of before that it's a whole other conversation. It's probably not appropriate for this podcast.
Ryan Cramer: We can just get offline.
Sumner Hobart: On the other side, inaudible positive things culturally. Like Turkey, there's great things about the culture. There's bad things about the culture. But you realize that like you personality wise and with your lifestyle can mesh or certain countries or places may make more sense to live than just wherever you were born. So for me, again, for certain people, U. S. is the best country to live for multiple reasons and it's a phenomenal country, so I'm not dissing it at all. It just that there are other opportunities. For me, that was huge, I never thought to live abroad. Now, I don't know if my parents are tuning into this, we don't know where we're going to end up. This is all we're going to say.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, where's the home base going to be eventually, but we'll leave that for 2022. That's 2022 talk for you guys.
Sumner Hobart: Yup. But, I mean, because obviously, it'll come up soon enough and we've been thinking about that. A lot of factors that go into play, including, visas and residency, citizenship, passports-
Ali Hobart: Taxes.
Sumner Hobart: ...taxes is a big one. But aside from all that, and even with those included, the top two that are on our list right now are Spain and Brazil and specifically Florianopolis, Brazil.
Ali Hobart: Yes. Not just anywhere in Brazil, because there's a lot of parts of Brazil, we definitely don't want to live there.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. Most parts I would never live in Brazil.
Ali Hobart: But if you're tuning in and you think about traveling Brazil, definitely go to Florianopolis, that is the best place to go. It's amazing. It's safe, it's developed, it's comfortable. It's amazing. It's my favorite place in Brazil for sure.
Sumner Hobart: One side note on that, it was funny how this all worked out. I don't know if you know Anthony Cofran, he was a former Amazon employee. Then he albeitly co- founded Virtuous Graphics and now he's like a partner or a co- founder with PickFu.
Ryan Cramer: Oh yeah.
Sumner Hobart: He's in Florianopolis, Brazil right now.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, nice.
Sumner Hobart: Of which is where we're six months on living there and he's there right now. So there's other fellow Amazon sellers that we've run into on our travels as well, which is really cool.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, maybe you've ran into Anthony Cofrancesco of PickFu, he's traveling right now. I don't know if you've ran into him?
Sumner Hobart: Yes.
Ali Hobart: That's him.
Sumner Hobart: Maybe I said Cof.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, yeah. Anthony Cofrancesco.
Sumner Hobart: How do you spell that?
Ali Hobart: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, yeah, the last name, it always catches me, but I made that mistake before doing this live. We did a two part series on that and I said, how do you really say your last name? Let's get this straight out.
Ali Hobart: Oh, no. Because you just said crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: No, that's fine. Where did I see him? He's another person to follow on Instagram too.
Ali Hobart: He lived in Sao Paolo and now he's in Florianopolis, I think.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Maybe that's where he's at right now, because he was stuck in the United States and he couldn't get out because he's originally was living in the Philippines or something like that and then he was traveling around now. Interesting. Yeah. Ali, do you have any what is your-
Ali Hobart: No. I actually was going to say, just actually definitely agree with what Sumner said. But in the way that I put it completely agreeing with what he said, is the reason I love more and more and more our brand that is Escape. Because one thing, when we started, especially with e- commerce, we were thinking, oh, escape the 9: 00 to5: 00, escape the financial illiteracy. I don't know. Did I say that right? Do you know, the escape the misconceptions that you have that you have to work every day to get money? You could actually be sleeping and make money. That's something that for us now in e- commerce who sell online, it's something like, oh yeah, it doesn't blow our minds. But for so many people and for us before, I mean, growing up and going to college, that is the mentality that you're taught and over and over and over, is get a job and then you punching in, like you start working and then you end working and that's how you make money.
Ryan Cramer: Punch in, punch out.
Ali Hobart: Punch in.
Sumner Hobart: Punch in. Yeah.
Ali Hobart: You punch in, you punch out.
Ryan Cramer: That's all right. I got there, don't worry about it.
Ali Hobart: Yeah, you understand inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: No, that's not a problem. I've been to Spain and I love Spain. My wife loves Spain. Barcelona is probably one of the best places to go and travel. So, never been in Brazil, but that was definitely a list that is continuing to get longer and longer as more, I'm stuck at home here in Indiana. But what about, as an e- commerce business, you guys weren't initially in business together. It was Sumner, you started in, Ali, you joined forces. Is that how that worked out?
Sumner Hobart: Ali is great with remembering dates and details. I am not. I'm very always, future- focused. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: There's only one important date Sumner, or I guess two, the day you guys met and the day you guys got married, those are only two important dates.
Ali Hobart: Do you know when we met?
Sumner Hobart: I do not. I remember the month.
Ali Hobart: It was in October.
Sumner Hobart: I remember that it's like cold or it's hot, I can remember that.
Ali Hobart: Right after your birthday. Yeah.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah.
Ali Hobart: Yes. What was the question again?
Sumner Hobart: About getting started.
Ali Hobart: Oh, yeah.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say yeah, well, what was that stor like how you joined forces? Because I know Sumner, when I was with Viral Launch and how he started his business and started getting more and more education. By the way, I had a comment come through, I wanted to share you with you guys. Great course and teacher on Udemy. So, shout out to one of your students.
Ali Hobart: Oh, yeah.
Ryan Cramer: It's obviously a place that you guys can educate. We can use a testimonial right here in Crossover Commerce, great course, sign up for the Udemy course. Right now, if you want to learn how to sell on Amazon. Of course, Lisa, good morning to you as well. Lisa is everywhere. She's constantly listening to five different podcasts at once. Lisa is probably on Clubhouse, listening to us and, then probably like doing research in her time at inaudible. Anyways, what's the story like how you guys joined forces as a business?
Ali Hobart: Right. It started, we both went to college. I went for architecture and he went from marketing and business analytics. During one of his, what do you call it? Internships, with the university newspaper, he started developing the service for marketing, for sales, on flyers, posting flyers for small businesses around campus. He went personally to put it. I think that's what maybe got him started on, on entrepreneurship, but still he kept going on in college and got a full- time job. But as he said, he definitely did not feel like he's talents were being utilized and he was miserable with the whole culture of that full- time job being employee kind of thing. With me, I actually enjoyed my job. I liked my team and all that in general. But like I said, I did not like that box, that mentality of, why can't we do this differently? Or, maybe it's because I'm from Brazil and there are so many holidays in Brazil that we get to relax and forget about work way more often than Americans do. I, at least kept being overwhelmed. We would talk about other opportunities, other things. He always had this entrepreneur mindset. Then he created his own business at that time when he left the internship to do marketing for small business. So he always had that on the side, even if small. Then we went across, we were looking at like passive income ideas or stream incomes from millionaires or something like that and we-
Ryan Cramer: You probably came across a bunch of crap on YouTube then.
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Sorry.
Sumner Hobart: We had our fair share going through that.
Ryan Cramer: No, we're on YouTube, but I know you guys also saw or inaudible YouTube, but we've all been through this like, what is this stuff?
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. It's kind of like the first pill. Now, that we kind of know, and that's what I say that entering other markets. If we ever wanted, for example, to learn more about investing in the stock market or crypto or real estate or whatever, we know to look out for that. We know that that exists, that side of the industry, but it doesn't define the industry at all.
Ali Hobart: Yes. But anyways, so we ran across this and I started watching some videos on YouTube and I sent it to Sumner, okay, I need Sumner for this, Sumner needs... because he's so talented. He's so analytical and creative. His mind goes like goo, goo, goo, goo, goo and I'm like just watching you go. I was like, I need to get Sumner on this. I pretty much say, we have to watch this, let's buy a course. He started watching a bunch, me a little bit. He completely quit his job, his full- time job. He still had clients for marketing, for his small businesses. So, he started on Amazon first and I kept my job. Then when we realized that we were making profits, that it was more than my full- time job, I went part- time and started helping on that. Then eventually I quit and say 100% on Amazon, he still had clients. Then the beginning of 2019, he quit completely his clients and then we became fully on Amazon and online. But it was like this PingPong sort of thing, how we started.
Ryan Cramer: That works.
Ali Hobart: Yeah, I know. Then then we started expanding. He's so good, in my opinion at teaching, not just good, I know everyone says that. But Sumner, more than anyone, he really cares. Maybe our student here maybe can verify what I'm saying. He really cares. That's why, we bought our course for$ 500 when we started and it was crap.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. We won't name any names or anything like that, but-
Ali Hobart: Yeah, we won't name it. But it was crap. Anyways, we were like, oh my gosh, we can explain this so much better. There was so much information missing or misinformation. So he started making videos and he's like, I'm just going to make a course an the affordable course. Our courses on your Udemy are like$ 15, $ 20, because we truly want to help people. A lot of people actually buy the course and never watch it, because it's cheap. But the ones who really want to are always like, " Oh my gosh, I cannot believe this information is changing my life." So, we started expanding into, selling on Amazon is successful, let's teach people how to do it and let's actually live the life that we want. Because now this is possible and show people how they can do it too. That was a long answer, but anyway-
Ryan Cramer: Guys, she's watching real time. She said, he answered all of my questions. Very impressive. Also, if you want to visit China, look at that, you already have a hook.
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: Wonderful. No, we definitely-
Ali Hobart: It's on our list.
Sumner Hobart: Yup, definitely on our list. For business reasons and otherwise definitely on our-
Ryan Cramer: 100%, same here. My boss in China keeps saying, " When are you going to come visit us in China?" I go, " Well, I guess, when I'm allowed to. When it's okay to, I guess. I don't know when that looks like."
Sumner Hobart: I know this great restaurant in Wuhan, let's go grab a-
Ryan Cramer: Oh yeah, well, let me hop on over. Let me drive there. Let me get over there. But anyways, I know in terms of traveling, mostly China, a lot of people are talking about like sourcing from India and whatnot. Sorry, if there's more to start, we'd love to obviously hear. Maybe day- to- day, I would love to get on what you guys do to conquer, divide. But in terms of the traveling aspect, what's on the short list of things to hit up next? Countries or locations or things to do? What's on that list for you guys next?
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. No, for sure. So one thing quickly going back to that, I just wanted to add is, Kevin O'Leary, Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank had some really great advice and it's not new and a lot of people know this. But talking about entrepreneurship and we knew this as well, but we maybe even jumped the gun a little bit too soon in our opinion, looking back. Is, a lot of people think entrepreneurship, if someone's listening and interested in getting into e- commerce or, just starting some form of online business, that it's like all or nothing. I need to just jump in-
Ryan Cramer: Quit everything.
Sumner Hobart: ... quit everything, andjust hope that it works. You're like, no, no, no, no, no, you hustle on the side and maybe there's certain nights that you sleep less, you're working weekends, building up this other business on the side until it makes sense for you to quit. We were somewhat at that level. What we would have done differently is, I think we had a couple products up. I forget exactly.
Ali Hobart: Yes. We should have waited a whole year before we jumped, because we would then go through all of the seasons. We realized our super best- selling product was a summer and maybe spring it wasn't-
Ryan Cramer: Seasonality.
Ali Hobart: Yeah. A season product, so we would have waited.
Sumner Hobart: Exactly, yeah. We realized, and then obviously there's cashflow issues with that and things like that-
Ali Hobart: Stressful.
Sumner Hobart: ...in the beginning. It would have been stressful anyway, but less stressful. So, I just wanted to advice and I think it's wonderful advice, very, very practical, build up your business on the side and then once it makes sense for you to make that switch. Also of course, especially if you're planning on building a lifestyle business or a lifestyle from your e- commerce business, you need to be diversified. You shouldn't be worried everyday like, " Oh, if Amazon shuts down my account, what's going to happen?" Amazon is a great amazing place to start in my opinion for e- com personally. I know people will disagree with this, but I think Amazon is the best place to start tapping into the existing marketplace. Very easy to analyze demand overall, find opportunities for new products and all that.
Ali Hobart: Then expand.
Sumner Hobart: Then expand outside from that to Walmart, eBay, Etsy, your own website, expanding internationally, all that good stuff. So, that's just one thing I wanted to touch on, just because something I wish I knew maybe a little bit earlier on when we started. Actually now I forgot the question. Sorry.
Ryan Cramer: Never mind. I'm thinking like-
Ali Hobart: The day- to-day.
Ryan Cramer: ... day-to- day, how are you guys conquering and dividing for your business?
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: For sure. Basically what we did and we talked a little bit with Sharon Even about this previously, which I think you saw a little bit of that. But we basically analyze our... We're like, okay, once we started getting our business going and realizing all the necessary components, as well as some of the ways that would be good to scale up the business, we thought, okay, here's what we need to do and execute on a weekly, daily, monthly basis. Here's how much time each task takes and then also, what are our overall aptitudes. Obviously we have different skillsets, we're wearing multiple hats, of course, as any entrepreneur is, what we did the best, especially starting off to and what we do now, separate those tasks based on our abilities and based on the time, to where, Ali is not working 80 hours a week and I'm working 10 hours a week, hypothetically. Balancing out as much as we could. So for me, it's a lot of product development and overall strategic planning-
Ali Hobart: Analysis.
Sumner Hobart: ...copywriting, keyword optimization, all paid advertising, some inbound marketing as well. Then Ali, you're more-
Ali Hobart: For me, it's more of the logistics, the sourcing and the shipping, expanding to new marketplaces, all the technicalities with that, finances, graphics and social media presence and all that. Even though I haven't been doing a good job lately. But anyways-
Ryan Cramer: That's a lot.
Ali Hobart: ...yeah, so we separate the departments.
Ryan Cramer: You had the tough job in 2020 figuring logistics.
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Ryan Cramer: I can't imagine that. That's what a lot of people are like, inaudible 2020.
Ali Hobart: It's a balancing boat. I like Sumner said, when you diversify, it takes so much pressure off. Like right now we have about 34 skews, which is a lot less than a lot of Amazon sellers.
Ryan Cramer: It's a lot.
Ali Hobart: But we put a lot of thought into our products. We really want to make it the best. So it's not just like 34 things, drop shipping kind of way. We really put meaning 34 skew, I don't know how many products and then variations. So what's good is that some of them did have more inventory than plan. Some of them completely run out of inventory, but we were able to balance it out a little bit because of the different diversification, even within Amazon having different skews.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. Diversify within your main sales channel or platform and then also diversify outside and the more you diversify overall, the better. Like you mentioned our next plan, we have a lot of goals for 2021. One big goal for me next is outsourcing, that's our big next thing, because we're tapped out at this point with the work that we do and we love it and we do enjoy working. We had a conversation with, or I had a conversation with Neal Hoffman, he's the creator of Mensch on a Bench. He was on Shark Tank. It's basically Elf on a Shelf for the Jewish community, is basically how he kind of describes it. Brilliant guy. A really, really successful product and sells a ton on Amazon. Amazon is I think, his biggest sales channel and does a lot there. He was talking to me and he lived not far from where I did when I was in Cincinnati and he's just like, " Yeah, I'm working like 10 hours a week right now and I'm miserable. I need to find things to do." Because we always think like, oh, this life of just sitting on the beach with a margarita and just all day... that's miserable, honestly.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, entrepreneurship in general is more like, what can I do next? What can I do next? Looking for things to do and have relaxing more.
Sumner Hobart: Definitely. Definitely a balance, because at the other end, it's like working a ton, it also sucks. When you're only working, you get very little dopamine release, you're like, " Okay, I need a little bit more of a balance." We're still finding that balance. But realize that, we're not afraid of hard work at all and never have been and we enjoy the work that we do. But we're realizing, there's a lot of these projects where like, now I want to do this, I want to do this, I want to do this. So to do that, we have to free up the time, especially with some of these, honestly like$ 8 an hour, or even lower tasks that we're doing, we need to free up that time.
Ali Hobart: Yes. But one thing that I was going to say too, actually, to compliment what he was saying and actually to touch on the theme of today's podcast is that, before we separate everything, especially our routine, like you said, since the beginning and we're constantly revisiting this, we meet and we write down, what is the life that we want, seriously. Because that is going to determine not only our routine, but the things that we take on and pass on. So we talked about like, okay, we want to work, like he just said, we don't want to work too little or too much. So we've been finding like, oh, maybe 20, 25 hours a week. That would be like the goal, at least-
Sumner Hobart: Which we're not doing right now.
Ali Hobart: ...while we're young.
Sumner Hobart: That's the goal.
Ali Hobart: So, that what do we want to do, we really want to help people. Like I said, the escape sort of theme, not only escaping the financial side, but also the mentality of thinking that you have to do something a certain way, you have to live in this place because that's where your family is. Or you have to have kids. I don't know. The mentality that you were boxed in. So the escape theme and so on. Then it goes into like the little details of our life, what we want, what kind of place we want to live in, what kind of community do we want to be plugged in? Then we look at the projects that we have, are those projects taking us to that goal? I will say even yesterday, it's not completely done, but we pretty much just passed on an opportunity that could have been huge, but that did not align with our life goal.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. Like maybe on paper, certain opportunities might look good, like revenue wise or even profit or cashflow wise, but they're not in line with your personal goals. Maybe we should have started the whole conversation with this, but yeah, definitely a very, very important first step to of... Period, just anything that every single human being should do, is analyzing based on what you know now and we know very, very little in terms of all that could be known. We know almost nothing. But based on what we know, what specifically, and getting down to hours, dollar amounts, individual names, what do I want my life to kind of look like? Just like describing in detail your ideal life and okay, what realistically... based on what you know or can find just Googling and YouTubing, can I do to best achieve that? This is what Mike Michalowicz mentions, I believe in Michael Michalowicz, in his book Profit First. Was it Profit First or it might've been Clockwork. Shoot, I forget. But anyway, it doesn't matter. He mentioned something that really stuck with me and that is, as entrepreneurs, many times, there's ups and, there's downs. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, when we get into those downs, we will do anything to get out of that hole. A lot of times we think about it like this piece of paper and it's like, we're here and we don't want to be here, so we'll draw an arrow and basically do something to get out of that hole. But that direction that you go could be the opposite direction of your goal. So, always thinking about that, even in tougher times, does this ultimately bring me more in line with my goal overall?
Ali Hobart: Yeah. In that too, I've been reading a book that's called the Nomad Capitalist. I don't know if you've heard about it, but it blows your mind too, in terms of the possibilities of location independence and all that. Because we are digital nomads, but we're like a step up in terms of, we are entrepreneurs, digital nomads. Because you can be a digital nomad and work for a company and all that, but we are building something. There's an extra for example, tax purposes and all that. So he talks a lot about taxes and how to take advantage of different places on around earth, then especially with tax purposes. But what I was going to say is that, he says, and I love that is exactly, a lot of people just run away from something instead of towards something that they want. Yet granted, a lot of times pain is a better motivator than I guess a gain or a pleasure. But, it's much more important for you to realize what you want to run toward than just from, because you could end up in another place just as bad or worse, if you're just running away from something. Another thing about e- commerce, someone just asked me yesterday, because we were talking about in our life plan, they said, "Do you think Amazon FBA is a good way to start?" I said, " Absolutely." I think, like I said, " Because it breaks that first barrier of thinking that you have to work a minute to get one minutes pays of worth." Like Sumner was saying in terms of e- commerce, the audience is there and all that. But with Amazon FBA, you realize that you don't have to handle inventory. You don't have to touch things. You just have to have your laptop, be the middleman, be strategic and creative. That opens up your mind in ways that you don't realize and then you can see the next step and the next step and then-
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. In the same token, because of course in the very beginning, when we were like first starting out and everything and Amazon really started changing our life or our private label business, we start telling our friends and we're so willing to just give free info. We're just so excited to share this with you. Understandably, a lot of people were just like, that sounds like a scam, it sounds like whatever, it's okay, it's fine. I'm like, I'm willing to do this for free. Now, there's things with these podcasts or some of the content, getting more subscribers, all that, people are like, oh. People actually listen to you. I'm like, when I said this would change your life, and I'm scrolling numbers and I'm showing specifics, I'm like, " I'm not making this up, there's real opportunity here." I mean, people started asking us about it. Some, I would say yes, at starting a physical products business. We had a friend of ours who was a product designer, who's in real estate. I'm like, " Let's look at the numbers and cashflow and all this kind of thing. You should definitely consider this." We helped him to launch a product, he's now moving out of real estate, potentially selling his triplex and getting full- time into physical products. At the same token, we've also told people, nope, in this specific model-
Ali Hobart: It's not for you.
Sumner Hobart: ...for e- commerce is not for you based on your goals. Nope. You will do this. You will not be successful. So, it doesn't just work for everyone-
Ali Hobart: That's true.
Sumner Hobart: ...and work for every lifestyle. It's like almost really everything in your life to live a better life period, whether entrepreneurship or not, or e- commerce or not, is, what do I ultimately want out of life to the best of your knowledge? You're going to be wrong about certain things, but-
Ali Hobart: You keep adjusting.
Sumner Hobart: ...having really hard conversation, having the conversations with your significant other, if that makes sense. I think inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, no. Are you guys looking to eventually exit your business or do you think this is something you just want to be entrepreneurs, stay in e- commerce your whole entire life or just exit certain brands, keep building new brands, do that cyclical nature?
Ali Hobart: Yeah. inaudible.
Sumner Hobart: No. I'm personally torn on this.
Ali Hobart: I'm too, a little bit.
Sumner Hobart: I think Ali is ready to exit, honestly, not right now, because it wouldn't make sense, we're still building up our brand and it wouldn't make sense. But I'm so torn, because there's so many things that we really... We really enjoy the work that we do. We really, really do. I love copywriting. I love strategic. I love coming with a new product and crushing competitors. Better images, better copy, better value proposition.
Ali Hobart: Better products.
Sumner Hobart: Running traffic, they don't know how to run the... I love doing a lot of those aspects. I love sharing the information. There's a lot that we really love doing about it. At the same time we're Christian, we think about what is God's purpose for us on this earth. We believe that this has been part of God's plan for us personally, but we feel that we're ready, that if we're called to do something else, even something completely undesirable that we'd be willing to do that. We should be willing to do that at the drop of a hat. But we don't really know what the future holds. We don't know if we'll get more in the digital marketing or sorry, the digital nomad kind of space, or if we'll stick with e- comm or what it looks like.
Ali Hobart: The different products.
Sumner Hobart: But for now, yeah it definitely doesn't make sense for us to... we really enjoy what we do. Obviously, I mean, it's funding everything. It's funding our life and we're so blessed that God has blessed us a lot.
Ali Hobart: We've gotten more efficient too with the things. even as we expand, some things become easier when you expand, it's easier to manage. Actually, you might think that it's the opposite. But I think he said, I'm ready to leave, because I mean, the logistics side is tricky and sometimes I get overwhelmed. Like the way we take our business, it's not just make money fast or whatever. We truly want to build a business and a brand and have quality products, have good customer support, we want to do everything. So we want to do things with excellence.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, for sure. If our faces on it, ever, this is since high school-
Ali Hobart: Or, our face or our name.
Sumner Hobart: ... if I wasdoing a project, we're going to try to execute the best that we can. We take a lot of pride then into our branded... it's kind of sad, the thought about selling it. But like I said, at this point, it's going great for us. We don't really have any plans, but I'm sure at some point we will. I think we would exit at least with our brand.
Ali Hobart: With our physical products brand, we might.
Sumner Hobart: Physical minds. Yeah, but we'll-
Ali Hobart: But we definitely want to have a business. We definitely are going to be entrepreneurs. I don't know if it's going to be digital products or, teaching other platforms. I don't know, but we'll see.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I think that's the thing is, I see a lot of people, especially on the show or I hear them on YouTube or whatnot, they exit, then it's like a year later and, " I'm going to do that again." They're like, " I'm crazy to think about this, but I'm going to do it all over again." crosstalk from you guys.
Sumner Hobart: I totally understand that. Especially when at that point, I'm assuming, you have a pretty substantial amount of capital that you can reinvest-
Ryan Cramer: You have a nest egg.
Sumner Hobart: I could totally see that makes sense. I don't know if other entrepreneurs feel this way as well-
Ali Hobart: No rush.
Sumner Hobart: ...especially those that are a little bit further down the road than we are right now. Who've sold maybe multiple brands and built and sold. But, oh shoot, now I've totally-
Ali Hobart: There's a rush, is that what you were going to say?
Sumner Hobart: Well, there's that. Also, the starting from scratch thing, again, we try to execute as best as we can with all of our brands, social media, on Amazon, with our campaigns and all of that. But starting fresh from complete scratch, just that idea, I'm just like, " Oh, that just sounds nice." Maybe if we would do, it'd be, a little bit more efficient and better, but...
Ali Hobart: Yes. Wait, I want to actually answer your question about the next places we want to go because that excites me. So we have a little list and we're like, okay, we're going to be happy settling down after we hit these places. If we can not travel ever again, at least we're going to be happy traveling these places.
Sumner Hobart: These could be some good options as well, or ideas of certain Amazon sellers. By the way, this guy that we follow, especially you, he's known as like the Nomad Capitalist.
Ali Hobart: Oh, yeah.
Sumner Hobart: All about digital nomads and international arbitrage, earning in pounds or dollars or strong currency and spending in a weaker currency. So, he has this service side of his business, one of his biggest clients for consulting are Amazon sellers. That's actually something interesting as well. So, we're doing it, but we know that there are many other Amazon sellers or just e- commerce sellers in general that are doing something similar.
Ali Hobart: Yes. Seriously, look up his book, Nomad Capitalist. He has a YouTube channel too. I devoured all of his YouTube videos.
Sumner Hobart: Really eye opening.
Ali Hobart: Especially with this traveling thing. Exactly. There are a lot of places we would love to visit, but just like with... One thing we forgot to say, sorry, before we say that, is that with our goals, a lot of things that we look at, is the amount of time that something's going to take. Because of the lifestyle that we want, the amount of time something is going to take before the return, obviously the size of the return and the type of maintenance afterwards. Because, we wanted obviously as passive as possible with time especially. With that too, we also look at... yo, that's right. He shared the link. So we also look at places that we get the most for our money, to not only for, so we can have a better lifestyle earning the same thing, but also, so we can reinvest more in our business. So it's not just out of wanting luxury, which I don't actually think we seek luxury most of the time. For example, we would love to go to New Zealand, but New Zealand is so expensive and there are other places that in my opinion are just as exciting, that do not cost as much. So in the Americas, the biggest place we want to visit next, because we've been to Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil and the biggest place we want to visit next is Peru.
Ryan Cramer: Nice.
Ali Hobart: Definitely, that's the top one in the America's. Is there anything else that we-
Sumner Hobart: No. Peru, Mauritius.
Ali Hobart: That's in Africa. Mauritius in Africa, the island, and then in Europe.
Sumner Hobart: Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia-
Ali Hobart: inaudible Spain.
Sumner Hobart: ...of course Italy, Spain, Portugal-
Ali Hobart: Which we've been, but we want to go back to.
Sumner Hobart: ... Singapore,go to China, Japan.
Ryan Cramer: That's a lot.
Sumner Hobart: Some of them typical, some of them not as typical. But yeah, those are definitely crosstalk as well.
Ryan Cramer: With more Eastern Europe, which is I heard is just as beautiful. It's a tricky, that you guys have been in. If you guys know Daniela of Mindful Goods, she's actually living in Peru, so you should reach out to her. She's all the time-
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, for sure.
Ali Hobart: That's awesome.
Sumner Hobart: That's our next destination depending on how things work out with COVID-
Ali Hobart: If it opens up, yeah.
Sumner Hobart: ... but,for sure.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. She moved from Chicago, she was doing winters in Peru and summers in Chicago, which makes sense. Dah. But she's not full- time in Peru. So yeah, you should reach out to her.
Ali Hobart: Nice.
Sumner Hobart: Oh, for sure.
Ryan Cramer: She's doing copywriting. I mean, if you know Mindful Goods, she's copywriting SEO, Amazon. She's doing the Branded By Women event too.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, I did not know that she was in Peru. That's awesome.
Ali Hobart: Yeah, we'll definitely reach out.
Sumner Hobart: For sure.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Definitely reach out, tell her I got it right. I said she was in Dominican Republic, so I mean-
Sumner Hobart: Close enough, right?
Ryan Cramer: Well, not close enough.
Sumner Hobart: I'm just kidding.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, that's not even close.
Sumner Hobart: No, it's not.
Ryan Cramer: It's insulting to think that. But trying to keep, where everyone is in the Amazon world, it's straight, like I said, it's a mind boggle. A really quick question before we have to hop off for you guys. We had someone from LinkedIn, actually Rajesh Gupta ask, what is the investment required to start Amazon FBA? I will prerequisite this. It depends on your product. It depends on where you're going to sell. So with that caveat, do you guys have a suggestion?
Sumner Hobart: For sure, 100%. This is something that we get asked this all the time.
Ali Hobart: All the time.
Sumner Hobart: Number one, choose your model. Anything that you want to do will cost time and money. Certain things will require a lot more time and a lot less money. For example, if you want to start a YouTube channel, go start a YouTube channel. It'll take you a while to start getting subscribers and all that likely, it doesn't cost hardly any money, just some equipment. Where in other cases, more capital is needed and maybe a little bit less time and sometimes a lot of capital and time. So there's that. There's those two things that are unavoidable that everyone wants to avoid, you can't avoid them. So for example, if you have a low budget, maybe drop shipping, print on demand type products, would be more of your route. Otherwise, for what we do with-
Ali Hobart: FBA.
Sumner Hobart: ...Amazon FBA, physical products that we sell on Amazon, not drop shipping on Amazon FBA or anything like that, but actual creating our own brand of products, buying in bulk and selling those on Amazon, making profit, reinvesting that profit and all of that, it completely depends on your product. It will cost thousands of dollars. You cannot get start with hundreds of dollars for that specific model in almost every case. There are ways though, if you have a lower budget, because that's what people ask this question, because they don't feel they have a large budget or they don't want to get started.
Ryan Cramer: For a side hustle. Yeah, exactly.
Sumner Hobart: Because more capital, more risk. Totally understand that. Don't go after all these ridiculously competitive products, the higher the competition and the higher, generally the search volume on Google, on Amazon, the more competitors there will be and the more difficult it will be, if you're new to marketing, new to e- commerce and the more capital to get more products. If it sells better, you're going to need to order more products. We can go into a lot more detail, we have videos about this, of course. But identify specifically less competitive products. They may not generate as much revenue, or as much profit, in terms of dollar amount per month, but really great to learn the ropes, especially with just Amazon FBA and getting started. You can potentially get started, there's certain products, I think we invest like 3K or 4K.
Ali Hobart: 3, 000. The lowest we did was 3, 500.
Sumner Hobart: We do some of the work ourselves as well, so maybe around 4.
Ali Hobart: We do. Yeah.
Sumner Hobart: But usually for us again-
Ali Hobart: Five to seven.
Sumner Hobart: At least.
Ali Hobart: I mean, it depends. It depends how much you buy, because you could buy less and go a lot slower. If you don't want to run out of stock and all that.
Sumner Hobart: It can be done for 5K to 10K.
Ali Hobart: Definitely.
Sumner Hobart: I know there's other sellers that have been here that have invested far above that for multiple skews and all of that, of course. Those that have more knowledge of the industry and done it before. But low competition products with a few to maybe several thousand dollars. But, if you're like, " Hey, that's not for me." All right, then if that's your mindset, keep in mind, then you're going to spend a lot of time in something else. You can't escape that, it's either a lot of time or a lot of money or sometimes both.
Ali Hobart: Yeah. Also, at least the way we do our business and that we teach is that, we don't chipping out. We don't go for the expensive, we always do our research. But if this is truly an investment, don't just do any product photography, " Oh, let me just put it up there and see if it works." So many people go about it with that in mind.
Sumner Hobart: I know we're already over at the time.
Ryan Cramer: You're fine. Go ahead.
Sumner Hobart: I know there's certain sellers listening, that probably definitely need to hear this and I wish I heard this, but number one is, oh yeah, I'm going to give Amazon FBA a try.
Ali Hobart: A try.
Sumner Hobart: If that's your mindset, you're going to give it a try, you're going to fail. If that's your mindset of, I'm going to try it out. No, it's, I'm going to make this work to the best of my ability. I'm going to put my best foot forward, is what I'm saying. You're still trying, there's still risk involved, but it's the mindset of, oh, I'm going to give it a try. I have people messaging me all the time, " Sumner. I tried drop shipping. I tried investing in stocks. I tried Amazon FBA and I failed." I'm like, " That's because you're just trying and you're probably also listening to bad information." That's number one. I forget what number two is, but that the most-
Ali Hobart: The chipping out, maybe that's what you're going to say.
Sumner Hobart: Oh, yeah.
Ali Hobart: Because a lot of people just with the images, especially, or just like, " Oh, let me see if I get any traction and then I'll actually do something." That is a completely different product. If you just try it and don't actually improve the product, or you use whatever image.
Sumner Hobart: Me Too product, with images from your supplier and absolute crap copy and all of that. Then, " Oh no. I'm spending all this money on launch and-
Ali Hobart: Or like what? Amazon FBA didn't work.
Sumner Hobart: ...I'm falling off the first page." Oh my gosh, you've got negative reviews. It's like, you got to use common sense with it. It's not magic.
Ali Hobart: Common sense.
Sumner Hobart: It's a lot of common sense and people treat it like it's magic. So don't treat it like it's magic. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: That's a good shortened way to say, you're investing either time or money. Even for me personally, I've built an e- commerce brand with other people's products, but me personally, it's like selling on Amazon, again, it is either time or it's money and it's, when are you going to jump into which one, how are you going to, what's that roadmap? I think that's what you guys painted beautifully here on the show. I would love to talk more with you guys, but I know you guys have things to do. I have to hop on with the PR company here. I'm already late for them.
Sumner Hobart: inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: No, no, no, this is more important. I want to thank you guys for hopping on this podcast and sharing your information. I know we put your YouTube channel Sumner on the show notes, but what's the best way if people have questions, learn more from you guys, what's the best way to reach out crosstalk?
Sumner Hobart: Yup. No, for sure. You can find us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok as well. We have some content there. You just type in Sumner Hobart. We're actually currently working on branding and rebranding. Again, this is a side thing for us. Our main thing is our actual business.
Ryan Cramer: Actual inaudible.
Sumner Hobart: Sharing of that information has been for a while our side business. We've not put as much effort into that branding wise and everything. You can just find us Sumner Hobart on all those platforms. There's plenty of free content, that's actually valuable. Actually, we're very tactical. We don't talk about high level, general stuff, we get really specific on, here's how you make a shipping plan, here's how to set up profitable Amazon, QVC campaigns. Here's how to do product research for low competition products, all of that.
Ali Hobart: Yeah. For our travels, we have the Hobarts Abroad. Instagram and-
Sumner Hobart: Yeah. Our last name Hobart, it's Hobarts Abroad. If you guys want to follow and see some of our videography and stuff like that. So in case you're interested, but yeah. Thanks to all the people that are... I see the comments and crosstalk.
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Ryan Cramer: Comment. Great info. Again, on LinkedIn. Again, if you're watching this or listening to this later, go ahead and check them out on social media. Again, all of them are in the show notes. But Sumner and Ali, thank you so much. You guys have been fantastic.
Ali Hobart: Thank you. Thank you so much guys.
Ryan Cramer: I love this comment, more than happy to have you guys come on, let me know. Again, we'll be more in touch about other things. I can't wait to see you guys grow and travel more and keep living that dream. I'm glad you guys are finding success in what you guys are doing. That's awesome.
Sumner Hobart: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having us on, this has been a real blast and we're really blessed for sure.
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: We'll have to meet up again in person whenever that is, whenever all this-
Ali Hobart: Yes.
Sumner Hobart: Either in Cincinnati or, maybe in China who knows? Like in 2022, like one of the comments that... But yeah, thank you so much for hopping on guys. We appreciate the time. Again, that was Sumner and Ali Hobart guys. Thanks for joining us again on Crossover Commerce. This has been a blast, again, episode 65 of the show. We go live about four to five times per week. So if you guys have questions or would want to see certain people, go ahead and reach out to me or comment below. Tell us what you think again on the social media comment section. Go ahead and share this later if you didn't catch the whole episode. Again, great content Sumner and Ali today about funding your life through e- commerce businesses. I'm Ryan Cramer. Again, we'll be off tomorrow, but on Friday I'm really excited to bring on another Cincinnati and actually we're going to be talking with Mark Mayer of just his business and what he's doing and how retail fits in the e- commerce space. So definitely tune in live then. It'll be 11:00 a. m. Eastern, again, as well as it was today. I'm Ryan Cramer, of this show Crossover Commerce. Thanks for joining us again, live on this channel. Go ahead and tell us what you think. Or if you have comments or questions, definitely reach out to us. We'll catch you guys next time on the show. Be safe, everyone.
Ryan Cramer of PingPong Payments talks with Sumner & Ali Hobart of The Amazing Escape Plan, about setting up an ecommerce business that funds your life.
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