EP 41 - Regina Peterbergsky - Building Brands with 13 Amazing Secrets of Amazon Entrepreneurs
|Awesomers Origin - We'll talk to an Awesomer about where they came from, the triumphs and tribulations they have faced and how they are doing today. An Awesomer Origin story is the chance to hear the backstory about the journey our guest took on their road to become awesomer. These stories are incredibly varied and the takeaway is that awesomers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, creeds, colors and every other variation possible. On your awesomer road you will face adversity. That’s just part of life. The question as always is how YOU choose to deal with it.|
|After 30 years without a “salaried” job, Regina Peterburgky considers herself to be unemployable. |
In fact, when she had a realisation just about 3 years ago that the business she was in would not get her the financial or freedom goals she had set herself, she was propelled into becoming one of the new breed of Amazon entrepreneurs…… ordinary people who have managed to escape the 9 to 5 rat race and build the lifestyle of their dreams through their Amazon businesses.
Regina has tried her hand at many careers in life – succeeded in some and failed in others. She has done everything from selling advertising, cars and insurance on commission, to travelling the world as a Tour Director for 10 years and more recently owned a fashion business with manufacturing, wholesale and 2 retail stores to manage.
And it was during a difficult time in this last business that the “lights literally went on” and Regina saw the opportunity that an Amazon business could offer.
As a successful Amazon seller, Regina now spends her time building Amazon brands and helping others do the same in between single handedly raising her 9 year old daughter and acting as house maid for their 2 opinionated cats!
Having met and been inspired by so many successful Amazon sellers who do NOT come from e-commerce or even business backgrounds, and in the spirit of sharing her knowledge and inspiring others, Regina is currently writing a book about ordinary people who have changed their lives through the Amazon opportunity.
The Amazon Marketplace is a great place for any entrepreneurs to start their E-commerce business.
Today’s guest is Regina Peterburgsky, Online Entrepreneur, FBA Seller, Mentor and Coach. Regina spends most of her time building Amazon brands and helping others do the same. Here are some key points on today’s episode:
How Regina started in the E-commerce space.
The ups and downs she encountered in business.
Her book Thirteen Amazing Secrets of Amazon Entrepreneurs.
And her website www.13amazingsecrets.com.
So listen to today’s episode and learn more about building a successful Amazon brand and E-commerce business.
Welcome to the Awesomers.com podcast. If you love to learn and if you're motivated to expand your mind and heck if you desire to break through those traditional paradigms and find your own version of success, you are in the right place. Awesomers around the world are on a journey to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. We believe in paying it forward and we fundamentally try to live up to the great Zig Ziglar quote where he said, "You can have everything in your life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." It doesn't matter where you came from. It only matters where you're going. My name is Steve Simonson and I hope that you will join me on this Awesomer journey.
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1:38 (Steve Simonson introduces today’s guest, Regina Peterburgsky.)
Steve: Well you're listening to another Awesomers.com podcast. This one is episode number 41 and you can find the show notes and relevant details that we talked about today's show at Awesomers.com/41, at Awesomers.com/41. Today my guest is Regina Peterburgsky and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing her name but Regina is an extraordinary entrepreneur. And I'm thrilled that she is able to join us. And listen she's worked for 30 years without a salary job. Regina considers herself to be unemployable which is a trait that I think is common with a lot of different entrepreneurs. In fact, she had the realization about three years ago that the business she was in would not get her financial freedom. The goals she set for herself propelled her into becoming a new breed of the Amazon entrepreneurs. These are the folks that often call Amazon cornerstone businesses where they have decided to be in the E-commerce space but they're going to focus first on using the Amazon Marketplace. Gaining some leverage, gaining some scale, carrying on from there and it was a really great revelation she had. Within the episode, you're going to hear it live coming up just in a minute and a really great journey that she was been able to take herself through. She's been able to escape the nine-to-five rat race and build a lifestyle of her own dreams through building her business. Regina has tried her hand at many careers and life; succeeded in some, failed the others. That's just kind of how things go for us all. She's done everything from selling advertising, cars and insurance on commission, traveling the world as a tour director for ten years and she most recently, before her Amazon business owned a wholesale manufacturing and fashion business with two retail stores to boot. During the difficult time in her last business, the lights literally went on as she says that aha moment, if you will. And she saw the opportunity that the Amazon business was able to offer. And now as a successful Amazon seller, Regina spends her time building Amazon brands and helping others do the same. And she's also single-handedly raising her nine-year-old daughter and acting as a housemaid for their two opinionated cats. We're going to be loving the fact that we have Regina on today. And I'm glad you're here. Okay Awesomers we're back again. Steve Simonson today joined by fellow Awesomer Regina Peterburgsky. How'd I do?
3:43 (Regina starts to talk about her origin story.)
Regina: You did great Steve, well done.
Steve: See, I'm trying to get my average on pronunciation up but I'm not that good at it. I'll be honest with you. So I appreciate the positive reinforcement of getting that right. Regina joins us all the way from Australia today, is that right?
Regina: That's right Melbourne, where it's chilling, about ten degrees Celsius. I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit. But we're in winter anyway and it's just after 5:00 a.m.
Steve: Yes, I'll do the math for those who can't do the Celsius - Fahrenheit math that is 900 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a chilly time of year down there. It's wintertime and Regina was kind enough to get up at 5 in the morning to get a timeslot here. So thank you for your extra effort to join in the department.
Regina: I'm honored to be here Steve.
Steve: Well it's definitely my pleasure to get you on here. So I always like to have you start with the summary. I've already read kind of your bio, some of the background to the audience out there but maybe tell us in your own words, what takes up your time day to day? What's consuming you day to day right now?
Regina: Consuming me... right now? I'm heavily into chatbots but generally. I live in Melbourne. I have a 9 year old who I am raising on my own. So she takes up a lot of my day, as do my two very demanding cats. But how I make my money is I'm an Amazon brand builder. I do a little bit of coaching as well. And I'm currently in the process of writing a book about amazing, awesome Amazon sellers.
Steve: I love it. Yes that is a book that probably will have pretty high demand. There's so many extraordinary examples out there. I just love meeting the folks just like yourself. And then how long have you been in the E-commerce space in general?
Regina: In general, I launched my very first website which was built by my brother in law, good string I think. About probably 14 years ago? And of course that was right at the cutting edge certainly here in Australia. A fashion website and it was the dismal failure. Sold absolutely nothing but it was an interesting experience. Then probably about seven or eight years ago I had somebody who I paid a lot of money to build a website for me. And I was selling baby clothes which actually went quite well. I got very deep into SEO and that did quite well until Google did one of its penguins or pandas or some animal update. And I lost of course all of my rankings and at the same time I was still in my retail business. So my energy was taken back into retail. And so that website which was doing quite well for some time all of a sudden was not doing quite well. So if you've got any children or grandchildren coming up, I still have a few baby floods in my garage.
Steve: I love it. This is a great example for folks out there especially if you have men around the E-commerce space for a long time. To remember that magic pixie dust that was Google SEO worked really great for a long time. And if you told any of us at the time before the menagerie of animals attacked. This thing ordered us. That this magic pixie dust would suddenly dry up. That a lot of people would say, “Oh no that's not possible. Oh there's always a way.” There's always a way but Amazon basic or not Amazon in this case Google got really good their algorithmic and machine learning and AI kind of implementations. And they basically discounted so much of the things that used to work. They took us out of that SEO business. Is that how your experience what?
Regina: Look for me it was a combination. It was partly that but it was just as much my own personal attention. That my retail business needed my energy. So I had to take my focus off the website daily SEO things that I was doing very very white hat. So I had to take my attention away because my retail business needed me. So it was a combination of those those things. I wasn't able to react to the animal update.
Steve: Yes. Boy they were wild animals for sure. Well listen before we dive a little bit more into your background, we're going to take a quick break. But as always I love to kind of get to the root of the Awesomer origin story and we're going to do that right after this.
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Steve: Okay we're back everybody and we're talking with Regina today all the way from Down Under, if I can use that term. Is that…
Regina: On top. It’s upside down, we're on top like. We flip the globe up.
Steve: We are now down under.
Regina: That’s right.
Steve: I like that. Okay so let's rewind and go back to the very beginning. Where were you born Regina?
Regina: I was born in one of those shithole places. I was born in Kiev in the Ukraine. When it was part of the former Soviet Union which of course nobody knew who the Ukraine was or where it was. So of course I used to tell everybody we came from Russia. And of course now people know that Ukraine actually is its own independent country. And we emigrated as refugees to actually New Zealand when I was seven years of age. So English is technically my second language.
Steve: It sounds pretty good so far. Keep you honest if it goes into. So you should probably speak Ukrainian or Russian?
Regina: Russian was my first language and I very rarely speak it these days. I still understand but I am not a fluent speaker anymore. Because my parents, when we immigrated they wanted their children to integrate. And so we as a family made a concerted effort to learn English. So that my sister and I didn't have very strong Russian accents.
Regina: When we grew up because as I said to my own my parents, it’s very important that we integrate into a new country.
Steve: Fascinating. I like that. Tell me if you will or if you can, what did your parents do at that time?
Regina: Well my parents did pretty much the same as a lot of refugees. They did anything they could to support themselves for the first few years. They each worked two or three jobs. My father worked as a manual laborer on building sites and then became... you'll remember this Steve from a previous conversation, he actually became a meat boner.
Steve: Oh yes, one of my favorite terms ever. I just have to say. What is a meat boner?
Regina: Meat boner is like the surgeon of butchery. So between the abattoir and the butcher there is a person or a team of people who actually takes the meat from large animals off the carcass, so that it's small. So that the butcher's can slice it up. So it's a very hard actually manual labor but yes it's quite precision. So he was often coming home with knife wounds in his various body parts. So yes and then my mother worked at a telephone exchange and then a bank they also both worked extra jobs in fast-food restaurants. As I said anything they could to get us on our feet. And funnily enough a few years later when they were able to afford quite a nice house in a nice neighborhood and people would say to my father, well haven't you been lucky. His response was always, “You know what the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Steve: That's true first of all I believe.
Regina: Isn't it just yes.
Steve: I just love the beginnings of the story because it just reminds everybody that it doesn't matter where you came from, it matters where you're going, right? And nothing to give you guys opportunity to create opportunity for themselves. And they earned what they got along the way.
Regina: Oh absolutely and it was all about us. That there's bear life. It's toughest probably would have been better if they had remained back in the old country. But they certainly did it and then went through a lot of struggle. My father was in his 30s already. My mother was in her late 20s when we came. And they did it all for us, for my sister and I. The opportunities that we could have opportunities they never had.
Steve: I love it. That's the beckoning of freedom really does call people.
Regina: Oh absolutely very much.
Steve: So you mentioned your sister and I'm wondering if she has any entrepreneurial band or what type of work she does.
Regina: She is a total opposite, she is a lawyer. She has two university degrees. So I joke my sister and I have an average of 1h. So she has two I have none. And she is actually a senior lawyer for one of our government departments here in Australia. She is non entrepreneurial. So it's sort of loophole polar opposites.
Steve: Yes there's such a fascinating the same parents, same kind of refugee story, same upbringing and the two different paths are so…
Regina: Totally, in two totally different.
Steve: Yes fascinating. So obviously you did not go to university?
Regina: Oh I did yes. I just failed. I failed miserably. I went to two different universities. So I gave it to go’s but formal study was not for me. Because I had sort of sailed through school, did quite well, never learned how to study. So I failed yet twice about two different universities.
Steve: You did literally gave it the old college try but you didn't take to college because you didn't like the studying and didn't like the environment.
Regina: Well it's I just didn't get. I didn't have the discipline of actually going and study and also I was out in the workforce. I was myself working three jobs by then. And I was having such a great time earning money, going out, having fun. That I decided that the work force it was for me.
Steve: I love it yes. That is so when you were in that experience in university. Did anything stand out? Did you have any memory of things you liked or didn't like? Anything you care to share?
Regina: Well what I was supposed to be studying economics. I spent most of my time in the library poring over Salvador Dali art books. And when I was supposed to be studying pharmacy which was my first training. I was actually getting really interested in psychology. So a psychology of human behavior was what really interested me most. So my second course was the economics and psychology. Unfortunately when I got to the university side of psychology it turned out to not be so much human behavior. But all about rats and stats as we say over here. So statistics and rats. And so I didn't find that was really what I was very interested in. There was more human behavior that was of real interest to me. It was only what I actually got into sales that I discovered the bets where you really learn about human behavior.
Steve: Yes, quite right. Rats and stats can only do so much. So tell us about your first proper job maybe after university or dipping your toe into the some water.
Regina: Oh look. My first proper job was actually while I'm still in high school was. I was working in a retail store in a pharmacy. Just shop assistant, after school at Saturday mornings. And after university I again went back into retail sales because that was the only thing that I've sort of had experience. So I was working in a retail store selling clothes until that store was bought by a new owner and that owner wanted to run it herself. So I couldn't run it anymore and I was absolutely devastated. And so I went and found myself a job actually in telephone marketing way back in the 80s. And I think it was possibly this was in Perth in Western Australia. It was possibly the first telemarketing operation as such as we know them today but back then it was brand-new. We used to bring people on the phone, give them a sales pitch and ask for their credit card right there and then. It was unheard of. And so that was really my first true foray into what I consider sales, and I absolutely loved, and I did better than anybody else in the volume. I think 19 at the time and felt I deserved promotion to be a manager with the company because I did so well. And I did so well because I was going out after, we only did four hour shifts. I would go out after my four hour shift and instead of working through, I don't know do you have those done a Bradstreet lists that we used to guess for yet but there was like we used to get these done of Bradstreet lists. And I thought well that was far too hard because we were trying to call executives of companies.
Steve: So you we’re called calling company.
Regina: So our firm was called calling company managers executives and I thought this is far too hard. So what I used to do was go downstairs and actually for the Hilton Hotel. We were selling those dining privileges cards. I don't know if you remember them way back then. So I would go after my shift and walk around the office buildings around the hotel and take them list down the names of the companies that were in the office buildings within walking distance of the hotel. And then I would just ring directly. I sort of basically forgot about dun and bradstreet. So I would just call them because it was easy it was like they just around the corner. They're likely to come to the Hilton. And then the other thing that I used to do which nobody else did was, I was always asked for referrals and that was. So those were the two things that I did that were different that put me on top of the sales letter. And when they were looking for a new manager and I put my hand up they said no you can't do it. Because you're too young. Had nothing to do with my productivity but at 19 I was far too young to manage people. So that was the first disappointment, big disappointment of my career as such in sales. But that really got me a taste for sales and talking to people and solving problems for them. Problems that I didn't even know they had.
Steve: A common theme in sales is helping defining a problem. Well you're actually presenting a solution to a problem.
Regina: Exactly, here's a coda for four years later. Went back to that same company as a manager just to tell it. Just to show that I could.
Steve: Now we're going to have to pause and do some Australian language translation. You said a coder, here's a coder?
Regina: Coda. I think that may even be less and that's a postscript a story.
Steve: All right. So that's everybody a coda.
Regina: Look back, it's a something that happens at the end all four.
Steve: Okay it's like a place. Sorry all right coda everybody we're expanding our… as a little side note and not to steal your thunder hear but I also did telemarketing and I was in high school at the time. And I was a carpet cleaning telemarketer but I got to call warm leads general customers into say hey it's been a year we should come over in suck your uggs. And I did not like it although I was pretty good at it and it was easy enough to kind of hit my numbers and so forth. But I did not like it and I'm very intrigued that you did like it. You enjoyed the...
Regina: Well I enjoyed it once I got onto the referrals. I did not like the cold calling it was, “Hey Steve I'm calling you because John told me I should. And did he call him to let me know I'll be ringing?” Bet that's when I loved it because it was so easy. It was like oh you want five no problem tell me you know I'll take your credit card.
Steve: What a great example of kind of breaking the existing paradigm that was there here take this list dial these numbers into going to the high rises. Figuring out what's what and by the way for those who don't know that's how Alibaba started their sales training, their sales. Is they assigned one salesperson per high-rise building and it's like go get all the companies in they're onto Alibaba and until that building was done. that person did not move on to a new building. And so they literally hired thousands of sales reps to do kind of what you just talked about maybe you were pioneered the idea from there.
Regina: You guys cool? Check Mar and say hey.
Steve: Put in a good word for me while you're on the phone.
Regina: We'll do it well.
Steve: So how about is there any defining moment that stood out in your mind along your journey from then to now? Whether it's from university forward or whatever anything that default kind of help you, kind of solidify your values or had a big takeaway for you?
Regina: Look I've had so many over the years. I have spent a lot of time, energy and money on my own personal development. So even though I never finished University formerly I have spent certainly more than ten thousand hours filling what's between my ears. I got involved with personal development program called Money In You which I think is still around. But this was a long time ago it was actually courses that were being taught by Robert Kiyosaki before he was Robert Kiyosaki on personal and business development. So there was a lot of things that I learned back then that I still held in in my life and business today. But really it's for me it's all been about goal setting. And yes goal setting and sticking to your goals and also knowing when to cut loose when things are not working. So I guess my most recent sort of aha moment was probably four years or so ago. And I was doing some serious looking at my life and goal setting for what I wanted for myself and my daughter in the future. And I came to the realization that the business that I was in was not going to get me there and I had been so sort of attached to that. Yes this is my business, this is my business I'm going to make it work, I'm going to make it work I'm going to make it work and of course the balance sheets had been telling me for years that that was not going to happen but it took for me to sit down and look ahead to realize that no that was not going to happen. So all of a sudden my mind was open to more opportunities and when I was in that frame of mind to be more open that I came across a person that you and I both know called Jason Flatland. the most amazing sales pitch I've ever seen. When he for the third time actually put the Amazon FBA opportunity in front of me and I finally took it. And it changed my life and it changed my daughter's life. And it's you and I know you're changing a lot of people's lives. So yes probably the most recent life-changing event for me.
Steve: I love that as a defining moment because there's so many little pieces mixed in there right. First of all the evaluation of where wherever you are is it going to take you where you want to go. And that's a hard conversation to have with right.
Regina: It is a very hard conversation especially when I'd invested a lot of time at that point. it'd been eight years in their business and a lot of my personal money and energy and my only ego obviously attached. And I think that may have been the hardest to let go just say, okay well this is not really where my life is going to go, moving forward.
Steve: It often is our own egos that put a stop to progress. And I would definitely encourage people out there especially if you do not find satisfaction fulfillment when you wake up every day. If you dread waking up in the morning. it's time to take one of those personal inventories whether it's your business, your job whatever it is. And decide if you're on the path where you want to go. Is this path going to get you the level of fulfillment or success or whatever it is that you're looking for? And I'll salute you for taking that. Did you find what once you kind of got past the difficult part of that right? There's always the tumultuous reconciliation of oh no I don't want to do this. How am I going to undo this right. Because there's the unwind there's all of that kind of noise that goes on once that cleared up a little. Did you find yourself a little bit more free in the mind?
Regina: Well yes. Well once that made the internal decision that this was not going to be my future then my mind opened itself to opportunities. And so I probably so made that was like New Year's Eve 2014-2015. And so right through that first quarter of 2015 I was looking at all sorts of things because once your open opportunities start coming up. So I was like looking at this looking at that and the Amazon opportunity I had seen before. For I'd said it in 2013 and I've seen it in 2014 but because in my mind I was not open. I wasn't ready for it. And so when I saw it for the third time, I was ready for it and all of a sudden it just made sense and went oh okay that makes sense. So I jumped in and I did that while I was still in me but I didn't leave my previous business. So I started my first Amazon brand while I was still in my retail store.
Steve: Nice. It's a good way to kind of transition when you can have whatever level of existing support or income that you have and you can kind of start to experiment with business small or a new idea. I love that. That's a great defining moment. How about it has there been any lesson that stands out along the way? Anything that just jumps out in your mind and says gosh I wish I would learn that thing earlier.
Regina: Oh I think for me we all have 20/20 hindsight. I wish I had jumped on the Amazon bandwagon when I first saw it. I think before I'm not sure if Jason Flatland was even in on their stage. When Matt Clark and Jason katzenback were first selling asm1, I actually saw that opportunity and didn't recognize it for what it was. Well because in Australia firstly Amazon at that point nobody knew anything about it. But more importantly because I wasn't personally ready for it. I was still attached to my fashion empire that was going to be.
Steve: Yes it's the lesson you take away is…
Regina: The lesson is to be more open and not tired as it to my ego and to really be more open to opportunities.
Steve: I think that's such a smart approach you know is it doesn't mean that we're going to get shiny object syndrome and chase every little thing that we see. But it does mean again particularly when those indicators are going off like this is not fun, I don't like waking up every day. I had a retail operation at one time more than one time but I remember the early nineties maybe it's mid 90s. And I was comparing my retail operation to my E-commerce dreams and I looked at my retail operation almost like working in a mind. I had just watched a show Homer Hickam launching missiles. I forget October sky it's called. And it's a great great movie anybody watched the end and his dad works in this coal mine and the coal miners literally are the ceiling is maybe four feet. So they're all day long they're walking with her theirselves, hunched over and then they do whatever digging or whatever they did. And just that was a metaphor for you know meat being stuck in my retail stores being bent over and just kind of dark. And I wanted to launch rockets with the kid. So that was what ultimately gave me the confidence and they know the wherewithal the kind of jump all in into e-commerce. So a very similar story I love that recollection of yours. How about along the way particularly as it relates to the entrepreneurial side of things? Is there ever been a time where you just simply want to back away and just kind of give up and maybe even go back to the old sales jobs or cubicle?
Regina: Like go get a proper job? Oh look if proper job whatever that is. Whenever there's a setback of course you know I had one not. So long ago where you know quite a detailed marketing plan that I put together a spent a lot of time and money on sort of failed absolutely miserably. And I sort of took myself to bed and gave myself a pity party for about 24 hours. But then as we do as entrepreneurs we understand that we've got to pick yourself up, dust ourselves off and come up with a new marketing plan or whatever it is that we need to do. So yes it happens quite regularly but I think the difference between entrepreneurs and what do you call the Normies is that is that we recognize that 24 hours is just about right for a pity party. And we do need to get back out there and do what we're good at.
Steve: Yes I definitely saw a kudos to you for the nomenclature usage but the contrast between Awesomers and Normies is often found in this idea of are we in control or somebody else in control right. Are we going to say you know kind of figure out how to solve the problem or are we going to blame somebody else for the problems that exist. And honestly that accountability is one of the singular most important details that kind of separates the people who break the paradigms of normal and and kind of find their own level of success and achievement. They define that for themselves by the way. But by breaking those paradigms is often because they just take accountability and responsibility. They're like this ain't working I'm going to do something different instead of lamenting over and over. Well put me down and you know most Awesomers and in general entrepreneurs will find that just doesn't work. You can't blame somebody else you just gotta take control.
Regina: Who gets you sympathy but it's not going to pay the bills.
Steve: Yes I checked my recent bank account, sympathy was not a line-item on it.
Regina: That's right, yes.
Steve: So let me let me ask you to reflect maybe on a best day that you've had whether it's recent or early on in your career. Was there any days that stood out?
Regina: Oh you know what, the one that I keep coming back to was my very first Black Friday on Amazon. I had launched my first product in mid August of 2015 and by Black Friday it actually had to reorder because I'd sold out of my sample order in three weeks. And so Black Friday actually took myself off to the movies because I didn't want to sit there and scroll watching the sales come in. I need to take my mind off and because of time differences and whatever I think it was around 6 o'clock p.m. our time was when midnight Rock tucked over in your time. And I was sitting in a bar by myself and the numbers clicked over to 200 units. Now, these days you know we look at 200 units again but back then I remember it was 200 units it was about four thousand three hundred dollars in sales. And Steve I'm not kidding I was literally crying tears of joy because for me it was a validation that hey this could actually work. So as I said it's not the biggest day I've had today by far but it's the one that had the biggest impact on me. And I remember I was calling my friends, he knew of my journey not many people knew what I was doing at the time but I had a couple of very dear friends who I called. And I was crying saying this is actually going to work. For me that was the defining moment of this particular business.
Steve: It is such a great thing to take that victory lap right. We get the pity party that's a 24 hour run but we should take the victory lap back. I really I just love reflecting on those moments where things work. And it's funny because I remember my first online business. And we had a store, this is back in 1998 we had an online store and we had a secure shopping cart the whole thing. But the way we got our orders was the system would fax the orders to us.
Regina: I remember faxes, a fax machine yes.
Steve: So we would just when we first put up the site no sales would come in obviously right. It's just it's up there, it's in the clouds. We don't understand what's happening. We bad content, we don't get an email from here time to time but sure enough the fax machine would rumble up and that first time you get the fax like hey you know and you do the victory lap. And then while though the fax machine it's going all the time and that one moment is not as savory.
Regina: Exactly, exactly, exactly that's right.
Steve: You find new thresholds I bet.
Regina: And look I've had my best selling day. I did two hundred and thirty thousand dollars in one day which which was amazing but again I still go back to that four thousand dollar day as probably more significant for me than all of the successes since.
Steve: Yes I definitely think that is a great best day. And before we cut to a break and talk about the future a little bit I wonder if you could share just a tool or a piece of software and app anything that you use day-to-day that you think other Awesomers out there would like to know about.
Regina: Look my one that I can't do without is managebystats, shoutout to Philip and his team over there. I also like to use selects and at the moment I'm playing around with chat bots. As I say so I'm actually using both Manny Chad and Paul Harvey's cellar chat BOTS, thanks for the recommendation. So I've actually am using them in tandem at the moment doing all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff. But really my one if I could not use anything else but it would be managebystats.
Steve: Yes it's a great great program. Phillip Jepsen is a great not just guy but a great engineer and his vision putting together that program has been very very well received especially if you're an Amazon seller and you want to manage your business. So that's a great shout out there and well earned by Philip and the team. So now that we've got a little bit of background we're going to come back into the future a little bit and we're going to do that right after this.
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Steve: Regina Peterburgsky.
Regina: Yes, well done again.
Steve: That's two for two everybody I'm going to send out those baseball… well you know I'll have these in Australia but we have baseball scoring sheets and it'll be how I get the name right of my guest like I say 50/50 might be an optimistic guess.
Regina: Okay all right. Well you did well with me.
Steve: Whoo I'm back on the boards. So as I'd like to think about things in fact I'll reflect a little bit. I was on a message board on Facebook the other day and maybe I'm breaking bad news to you so you might want to sit down for this it appears you know…
Regina: I'm sitting down yes go.
Steve: Well it turns out that the private label business is dead on Amazon and this is really a post on Facebook. So it's real of course that now the private label business is dead on Amazon and there's a litany of reasons. Reviews are hard to get and sales are hard to get and China's taking over the world. And that kind of the normal things that you see out there. And I have my own response but I'd be interested to hear what your response to that.
Regina: But you know I love this. I love it. One of the my very favorites quotes and it could even be a Robert Kiyosaki but I'm not sure was somebody said if the business is so easy any idiot can do it all the idiots get in. And I think we're now at a phase where all the idiots are getting out. So if I'm glad to hear that things are getting tougher because it means that the people who are serious about business and who are serious about the opportunity have got a great opportunity to go out and build a proper proper business. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme and I think for a while it was but you know anybody can come in and slap their name on any product and off they go. 100 thousand dollars a month, luckily. I think those opportunities still exist but I think moving forward and people I talk to all agree that it's very much around building your brand, building it steady, building something of value rather than just slapping your name on any old silicon product or vitamin product or evolve serum or whatever those first products were. So now I'm glad these things are happening because it's going to weed out the people who are looking for their next get-rich-quick scheme.
Steve: I think that is excellent kind of reflection and advice because the reality is there has been a series of efforts out in the marketplace to make this into kind of a get-rich-quick scheme. This idea of sell on Amazon whether it's retail arbitrage a private label without really understanding that a real business takes real work. That's the nature of the business and I would point out to people that the idea of private label is different maybe than branding right. Private label is what you describe Regina which is somebody takes a piece of equipment you got the little cell phone selfie stick, you stick your own label on it. That's a private label. And who cares because anybody can copy that.
Regina: Anybody can do that. That's right and they do and then it becomes a race to the bottom. They're not adding any value they're not servicing a consumer need or want.
Steve: Well to me the original sin is when they they found that product by searching on Amazon. Found something it was really selling they knocked it off.
Regina: And then they're outraged when somebody knocks someone else does the same thing exactly.
Steve: So that the principle is private labeling on the face of that information I'm not a big fan of but whereas I have no problem with branding right creating your own brand. And you can even use that origin product as your basis and then go ahead. Now how can I make my own unique and different? What am I going to add to it that maybe it's a patent, maybe it's licensing, maybe it's just some new twist and it makes it your own. And is true browning and that's where equity comes from.
Regina: Yes and that's what I've been doing a little bit of coaching recently and that's very much where I'm sending my Cochise is that what we call people who are working with? Helping them build their brands very much in that direction is. Don't just do what everyone else is doing. What's your spin? What's your personal spin? What value can you add and what equity can you add to your brand?
Steve: Yes that though there's such sage advice because again a business is not a little baby that we're trying to grow and rear up and grow into a big business. That's how businesses feel when you're first starting out it's like oh this business has so much my identity in it and and that's why our our ego gets in the way if the business isn't working right. And so we've got to separate that emotion to it and say how do we actually deliver real value to a customer, real value and that if you can do that. That's when you're going to get real loyalty and real equity and all the other authentic things that comes along with a real brand. So very very good advice there. I want you to take out your crystal ball for a minute Regina. No fines in the shop. So I'm going to rely on you. What do you think is going to happen in the next five years in the Amazon marketplace? Care to kind of pontificate with me?
Regina: Oh look, I don't know to be honest. I think it's going to consolidate a little bit. I think some the good players that are going to stay in. I think there's going to be a big washout. Well there really has been a big washout the people who sort of come in slip their label on a product and do well for the first six months. And then competitors come in, they get just disheartened and they'll get out. I think there's a lot of room for new sellers who want to do it properly whatever however you define that. Amazon as we know is growing. Australia has has opened up very slow here still but we're getting there. I think they're going to continue opening new markets. I think there's a lot of opportunity both in the Amazon and in the online space.
Steve: I definitely agree with you. How do you feel about the the concept of Amazon or not the concept this the reality that Amazon has basically said hey if you want to buy a yeren estriol you're going to buy from our site.
Regina: Look as a seller who sells in Australia I think that's great. As somebody who buys from Amazon U.S. not so much. Look I can see both sides of the story here. I can see why they've done it they're using the excuse of our GST which is a very valid to be honest. It's very valid excuse so they're using that to drive people to the Australian platform which needs more sellers and it needs more customers. It's the circle until they have more customers. They're not going to have more sellers and until they have more sellers they're not going to have more customers because the variety is not there yet. So I can very much see why they've made their decision. As a consumer I may not agree with it, as a seller I love it. But as an Australian based seller that's right oh absolutely. So as of a straight exactly as an Australian based seller I very much think it's fantastic but I can see both sides today. And I can see how consumers are not happy about it but it's partly because our government has changed our GST importing laws. That's what all websites that are selling into Australia now have to charge a GST and I guess Amazon decided well we've got a platform here why should we.
Steve: Yes, it is interesting to see the kind of constant battle between consumers and governments and platforms in the response to it. I do still think it's a it's a wonderful opportunity for sellers and even Amazon at large. I'm a critic from time to time on Amazon about this policy or that policy. But I still believe those who are willing to do it properly it represents an a very unique and extraordinary.
Regina: Look the fact that you can build yourself a multi-million dollar business with almost nothing to start with, I mean you and I both know in retail even if you start a retail from scratch by the time you fit out a shop hundreds of thousand dollars in the hole before you even open your doors to get into a business which you and I both know. People who have sold them for tens of millions of dollars after a couple of years. So to get into a business with almost no financial investment just your time and your brains and you know obviously you need a little bit of funds but not a lot compared to pretty much any other business out there to be able to do that. Today is still the best business opportunity I've ever come across. I mean seriously.
Steve: It totally is and you alluded to this earlier but Amazon's growth rate alone gives you ample opportunity.
Regina:There's a 20% justice, here's a 20% something like that?
Steve: I think it's trading even higher than that in some categories 30%. So it's remarkable that it continues. So for all the things that Amazon is not doing well I'm going to call them out on it but when they do stuff that's really great. I want to also recognize that and give them my full credit. So there's a lot of really good stuff that's out there and E-commerce is more than just Amazon just to be clear.
Regina: Absolutely I mean that that's very much where my focus is and I don't know if I've told you I'm writing my book very exciting. Yes so I'm actually doing pretty much what you're doing as a podcast. And talking to just some everyday ordinary people not the Ryan Moran's and Kevin Kings of the salt even though I adore both of those people. But every day people who've come from non-business and non-ecommerce backgrounds who have been able to change their lives through this opportunity. And I think they've got some amazing stories to tell and not just tips and but also inspiration for other people who perhaps are looking at the opportunity. So that's what's consuming a lot of my time right this minute.
Steve: I love it. Well those types I call them origin stories those are so inspiring to me and especially it's the everyday examples that aren't going to necessarily find their way to the stage those can be the most recognized.
Regina: I have some friends here in Australia who live and work in middle of nowhere like a little country town. and he used to be a bricklayer and she used to sell clothes in a retail shop and she actually got five because the retail shop got shut down. And they have think something like five or six kids between them and they three years, four years later are running a multi-million dollar business out of their land rips. And you know inspiring like totally inspiring stories of people and if you met them in the street you never know what they're doing. And again this is people who would as you say would never be on a stage. They're not doing training courses, they're not marketing themselves, they're just quietly changing their lives. And changing the lives of their families. That's what for me is inspiring.
Steve: Totally inspiring. I love that. I can't wait now how long will it be before your book comes out?
Regina: Well hoping to launch before Christmas. So I'm putting a call at I have a lot of people that I want to interview but I'm also putting a call out for anybody who themselves thinks they've got a great story or knows of somebody who's got a great story. I would love to hear from them to be able to interview them for the book.
Steve: We'll make sure in the show notes, whatever contact info you wish to provide, we'll put that in the show notes. Folks out there, I truly believe in kind of networking in general and this is a type of networking. Virtual, right? The podcast is virtual. When people really see that with proper work. Not this idea that I'm going to click a few buttons and I'm going to retire to the beach. The ones who want to do the work, they can earn their way into some life-changing situations, it really is a revelation. So I can't wait to see the book and when you're getting close to the launch we'll try to get you back on here make sure we would.
Regina: I love that. That would be that would be a real honor. I would love that.
Steve: Yes, it's been a great time talking to you. So before we go, I wonder if you have any final words of wisdom out there, maybe for the Awesomers who may be paying attention.
51:20 (Regina shares her final words of wisdom to Awesomers.)
Regina: Oh look really don't wait, really I think that's probably it. If there's something that you really want to do and you're waiting for the right time, you know the right time is now. Don't wait just do it. Take something from Nike there. It's a tribute, the correct attribution to whoever the copywriter was they came up with that branding that's beautiful it really is. It's really just don't wait, don't wait. What are you waiting for. It's how is your situation going to change tomorrow if you don't actually take the step and do whatever it is that you've got to do. We all know what we have to do really. We know it. We just often too scared to take that step and as I tell my daughter what's the worst possible thing that could happen. And if that worse possible thing that can happen you can just go. Okay, so I lose a little bit of money. Okay, if I lose face can I live with that. And the answer is usually yes because you know if you lose face in front of people who love you. They're not going to care and if you lose face in front of strangers. Well they're not going to care either. So what does it matter just go out and do it.
Steve: Ah I totally, I just love that premise because nobody cares about your failures. Nobody.
Regina: Exactly where we get so tied into looking good and looking successful and playing the game that we forget that nobody else cares. They might gossip about it for a day or two until somebody else's failures is more exciting than yours. And then to get everybody gets on with their lives and so should you.
Steve: Yes there's no point in waiting on somebody else's schadenfreude to slow you down.
Regina: I like that one.
Steve: I'm a huge fan of fail fast and I think that's very very good advice. Thank you again Regina for joining us today. Awesomers everywhere appreciate you taking the time and we really do like thank you.
Regina: Thank you. Can I just quickly plug? I forgot to plug the name of the book. Well they're still working title but at the moment we're calling it Thirteen Amazing Secrets of Amazon Entrepreneurs and that will be the website. So it’s 13AmazingSecrets.com. So it's not yet up. So don't everybody click on the website because it doesn't exist yet.
Steve: But it will exist that's the point.
Regina: It will exist. The name has been registered the domain has been bought.
Steve: A lot better than mine already.
Regina: Yes so I can tell you that that website in some form will exist in the next couple of months.
Steve: Well this is a great thing about a podcast is you never know really when people are going to listen to this the butcher if you own it maybe out for a year by the time they listen to this which is good. Exactly the whole office, let's get to all of your friends.
Regina: Buy a copy for a friend. That's it, all of your friends.
Steve: Well this has been again a great pleasure. Thank you for getting up so early and you know committing to the Awesomer audience that your time and for Awesomer out there. We will be right back after this.
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Steve: I just never can get enough of origin stories of Regina's no exception and I'm so excited about her new book right. Where she's kind of taken a similar concept of this origin story. The everyday people that are having their lives changed and one could say even turned upside down but not in a negative way right. They're turned upside down and they're engineering their own lives in a way that is positive and productive. That's going to be an exciting book and I hope that any of you who are interested will reach out to Regina and see if you can be a part of that project. It's so important. I love hearing a good origin story and Regina's you know kind of ups and downs as she's gone through her. Our paths are no exception really really wonderful. And again I'm thrilled that she was able to join us. It's a difficult thing for somebody that all the way in Australia to get up at 5:00 in the morning. Now I do want to remind you this is Awesomers.com episode number 41. So all you have to do is go to Awesomers.com/41 to find all the show notes, details, etc.
Well we've done it again everybody. We have another episode of the Awesomers podcast ready for the world. Thank you for joining us and we hope that you've enjoyed our program today. Now is a good time to take a moment to subscribe, like and share this podcast. Heck you can even leave a review if you wanted. Awesomers around you will appreciate your help. It's only with your participation and sharing that we'll be able to achieve our goals. Our success is literally in your hands. Thank you again for joining us. We are at your service. Find out more about me, Steve Simonson, our guest, team and all the other Awesomers involved at Awesomers.com. Thank you again.