The following is a transcript of Bonus Episode 2 of Return on Podcast, the show where we help e-commerce sellers improve their ROI in business and in life. For more episodes, subscribe to our YouTube channel or listen on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
All right. Welcome to Return on Podcast, where we talk about the experiences, obsessions, and habits of the most successful e-commerce entrepreneurs. I’m your host, Tyler Jefcoat. And I wanna welcome you to this episode of ROP. You’ve heard of return on investment. Well, this is Return on Podcast, where we are going to guarantee that you’re gonna get a return on these precious moments, these minutes that you give us listening to the show. Glad you’re with us today. In today’s episode, I wanna talk about Walmart. We’re gonna talk about how to communicate value to your customers and which products, which brands are gonna win on Walmart, which ones are gonna really struggle on Walmart. And so my guest today is a good friend of mine, Ryan King, go ahead and bring you in here so I can see you, Ryan. Ryan is the CEO of an agency called BlueRyse. Now the rise has a Y, R-Y-S-E, BlueRyse.com, also owns a private label brand. Ryan. Welcome to the show buddy.
[00:01:06] Tyler Jefcoat:
Hey, I wanna make a quick addition here. Our audio, for some reason, didn’t record for about five seconds. Ryan introduced himself as the CEO and co-founder of BlueRyse.com. And he talked about how they’re really geeking out right now on the nitty gritty, the data related to being successful on Walmart.com, and I responded by basically saying, “wow, the fact that we can even use a phrase like nitty gritty in Walmart and people would actually listen to it just tells you how nichey this podcast is.” And so I just wanted to give you 30 seconds to fill in that tiny hole in the recording. Thank you.
[00:01:38] Tyler Jefcoat: “Let’s talk about the nitty gritty of Walmart” tells you and me that we are in a nichey world here. Right? But that’s exactly what we’re gonna do Ryan. But listen, before we talk about Walmart there’s strategy, there’s things that you’re learning that are gonna serve the audience big time. Give us just a little bit, Ryan, of the BlueRyse background. How did you get where you are right now with this agency?
[00:01:58] Ryan King:
Yeah, I’ll give you the the short version here. Myself, my business partner, Daniel, we both have our backgrounds in private label on Amazon for many years. Launched, goodness, probably five, six years ago, a brand that was focused on classroom supplies. And so did that alongside kind of masterminds and round tables with various sellers, they were at seven or eight figures, learned a lot alongside them over time, as well as launching and optimizing products on our end.
[00:02:27] Ryan King:
And then you could guess what happened, kind of COVID hit and classroom supplies was not one of the ones that took off like a rocket ship. And so there was kind of a bit of a pause. And so that gave it an opportunity to reflect and say, okay, you know, any entrepreneurs thinking through, all right, when we see these potential roadblocks or obstacles temporarily assessing, what’s it look like to pivot a little bit and take advantage of the opportunity. Look at what the opportunities are out there surrounding these issues. And as we looked around, we saw Walmart at the same time, e-commerce was exploding everywhere almost except for travel and classroom supplies. So we looked at the Walmart marketplace and realized this was a great opportunity maybe with the acceleration of e-commerce and with the investments Walmart was making.
[00:03:10] Ryan King:
We had some other internal signals from Walmart saying, okay, this, I think there’s a need here to do a deep dive and learn. What, what does it look like to apply everything we’ve learned over the years, whether it’s from high level strategy to kind of even tactics that have been successful over time on Amazon and apply them to an emerging marketplace.
[00:03:29] Ryan King:
And so Daniel and I started BlueRyse, which is kind of, is named after kind of, not necessarily blue, meaning just Walmart. But blue, meaning blue ocean strategies, where are those opportunities to apply what you’re doing and get a higher return on investment where the competition isn’t as fierce, where there’s not as many, not as much blood in the water, not as many sharks in the water and capitalize on being an early mover. And so we positioned ourselves to be a full service agency that was focused on helping guide brands through transitioning onto this new emerging marketplace, knowing that the 80/20 might be for them to remain with Amazon, ’cause that’s still kind of the 80/20 for most brands, seven and eight-figure sellers.
[00:04:06] Ryan King:
But they recognize the first mover advantage potentially in exploiting a new marketplace and partnering with a new marketplace. And so we’ve created a turnkey agency that focuses on brands, aggregators, even retail brands that are already in with Walmart, helping them with Walmart.com. So we can, we could probably pick apart any of those pathways, but that’s where we are. So we’ve been doing it January of 20. Goodness, what year is it now? It’s flown.
[00:04:29] Tyler Jefcoat:
It’s 2022 right now.
[00:04:31] Ryan King:
It is. So a little over a year now a year and year since last January is when we started. So it’s been a fun ride.
[00:04:39] Tyler Jefcoat:
So obviously every seller out there that has a brand has this picture of kind of where Walmart is relative to Amazon and, you know, clearly Amazon has a pretty big head start in the market space, the marketplace business, but like kind of state of affairs right now. We’ve just kind of in the middle of Q2, 2022, like where, what is Walmart’s position right now in this landscape that is dominated by Amazon, kind of Shopify as a distant second. And then Walmart has the fire power, but where are they in terms of their maturity?
[00:05:10] Ryan King:
Yeah. Great question. So they are continuing to accelerate. Actually, I think the the statistics I’ve continued to see when you look at purely e-commerce sales, as a marketplace goes, Walmart leapt over eBay back in 2019, 2020 to become second in the US in e-commerce sales. They’ve kind of held that position, continued to gain some market share. You know, obviously if you aggregate all webpages through Shopify, maybe into one platform, so to speak, that might be a different factor.
[00:05:37] Ryan King:
But as far as a consolidated marketplace they are the closest competitor to Amazon. Now, Amazon might be in the 30 to 40% range of e-commerce sales. Walmart’s in the 5%, four to 5% range of e-commerce sales in the US. For the first time there’s a recent headline that Amazon has just recently eclipsed Walmart in total retail sales globally. That was kind of a big one. But that’s not, that’s not gonna be a huge shaker for Walmart. They’re doubling down on the e-commerce space. They’ve dedicated, I think last year, over $14 billion into logistics, just to service e-commerce. So they’re focused heavily on it. I’ve aligned a lot of the strategies around it. And so they’re, I believe they’re gaining ground significantly on in the e-commerce space. We’ll see, we’ll see what moves, you know, with Amazon doing the Purchase with Prime, kind of, they’re trying to get to other spaces as well, but it’s gonna be a fun battle. If anybody can do it, it’s gonna be likely Walmart.
[00:06:32] Tyler Jefcoat:
Yeah, so like if you had asked me a year and a half ago, Ryan, and people would often ask me as if I knew anything about Walmart. I didn’t know much, but like if they were to ask me, what are the things that Walmart is struggling with in order to actually be able to compete with Amazon? The two I always mentioned were Walmart’s really, really good at you know, pallet, container fulfillment, but they really stink at parcel fulfillment. That was the first thing.
[00:06:53] Tyler Jefcoat:
And the second thing was that their, Amazon has just won the battle early on in terms of the number of buyers, the number of buyer intent, eyeballs that are on the website. I mean, are you, first of all, are you still seeing those as being the two main challenges for Walmart if they wanna compete, and then what’s the kind of state of affairs right now? What would you say is the biggest hurdle that Walmart’s trying to overcome as they kind of claw their way into the market?
[00:07:16] Ryan King:
Yeah, I’d say they’ve made major gains on the fulfillment side. So with the addition of about a year and a half ago of Walmart fulfillment services prior to that, they were reliant on Deliverr and some other things, and that coupled with their own seller center kind of platform.
[00:07:30] Ryan King:
It was a bit clunky. There’s still some clunkyness, but with WFS they have dramatically improved fulfillment. So they’ve you know, they’ve opened up partner rates for inbound freight to their fulfillment centers. They expanded from one and originally in Kentucky to multiple, they’ve got ’em all the way across the east and west coast now. So anywhere in the US, there’s a warehouse and proximity, and their receiving times are pretty dramatically short compared to a lot of Amazon FBA receiving times. They’ve now opened a beta program for LDL inbound freight. Prior to last month or so they were just small parcel delivery, but great rates.
[00:08:08] Ryan King:
Their rates are competitive and in some cases cheaper for fulfillment now than Amazon. And so that’s a side conversation around comparing revenues versus contribution margin for sales on each marketplace. And then so small parcel delivery to the customer. They’re making dramatic strides there. They’re in the works of even utilizing their supermarket superstores as a last mile delivery solution for e-commerce orders. And so they’re, you know, if they’re in 10 minutes of 90% of the households in the US, they recognize that, they know that, and they’re looking at creative ways to utilize that fulfillment network. So that’s one they’re solving. I think the other elements are how to – what we’re hearing consistently is the desire to continue to build out the number of quality products that are offered.
[00:08:57] Ryan King:
So, you know, the strategy is the more products you have online, the more eyeballs you’re probably gonna get to keep coming back to that resource as a place to purchase. And so they’re heavily focused on driving external traffic to the site, but also they’re focused on getting more sellers onto the site.
[00:09:15] Ryan King:
So that’s probably their biggest goal, I would say over this next year. One of them is to continue to attract and incentivize quality brands, quality sellers onto the marketplace. So they can provide that selection, that breadth to ultimately the shoppers. And that’s what they’re focused on just like Amazon. They wanna be a low price leader, but they also wanna be known for serving customers really well when they come to the destination.
[00:09:39] Tyler Jefcoat:
So it’s so interesting because like Amazon and this kind of Bezosian flywheel, right, that’s everywhere. Amazon was willing to sink billions for a decade to create the momentum in that flywheel. And I think what makes me excited right now for the opportunity on Walmart, Ryan, is that unless some other disruptive player comes in and figures this out, Walmart in my mind is the most likely disruptor of Amazon because they already have that, you know, they have that, they’re already within 10 miles of 90% of the families in America, they have the money, they understand the threat.
[00:10:19] Tyler Jefcoat:
They’re probably not gonna get the first mover advantage that Amazon got, but they also are going to be able to – ’cause Amazon, even though we have over 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers. I learned that last week now. It still is skewed for Amazon towards your higher end customer. And so there’s still a pretty strong position for Walmart.
[00:10:37] Tyler Jefcoat:
And so my question to you is there’s a little bit of a different product strategy. I’m sold on the idea that Walmart is gonna want to invest to make it possible for me to make money on Walmart because they need that flywheel to start turning. But what kinds of products or brands should really have their antenna up right now for Walmart as an opportunity versus ones that you would say, eh, you may wanna wait a minute?
[00:10:59] Ryan King:
Great question. So I would say if you’re looking to launch a brand, Walmart’s probably not your gonna be your spot. For various reasons. They have gates in place where sellers can’t get onto the platform, unless you have previous sales history. And so if you’re not selling a US based entity, and you don’t have previous sales history, you’re probably not even gonna get through the application phase.
[00:11:18] Ryan King:
But from there from a product strategy, if you already are selling, I would say it makes sense for those who are already established probably a seven- to eight-figure seller, maybe the high six figures as well, where you already have proven out a good catalog. Like you said, if it’s a, if you’re an ultra niched, like the, you know, if you’re a bamboo recyclable coffee filter for pour overs and that’s what’s been successful for you on Amazon, that’s probably, and it’s one or two SKUs or ASINs from Amazon.
[00:11:47] Ryan King:
That’s probably not gonna be the heavy hitter on Walmart. What we see actually on Walmart is the successful sellers usually tend to be, like I said, the larger sellers that already have some knowledge about their catalog. I would say if you have, you know, 10 to 30 SKUs, somewhere in that range, so you can learn.
[00:12:04] Ryan King:
And the reason is we’re seeing the products that actually perform on Walmart aren’t necessarily the same hero products that you have on Amazon. Often it’s more like you said, maybe more of the products, the surprise ones, the dark horses are the ones that are maybe a little more commoditized. They’ve gone through a little bit more of your product cycle on Amazon and you’re still holding on and trying to figure out, is it worth keeping this one or not? Is it getting more competition? Am I getting the sales out of it that I want? Those are the ones that if they’re a little bit more commoditized, not hyper niche and they’re a value based type product. Those can do really well right now on Walmart. And so a couple of reasons as well is review moats aren’t nearly as big. So if you compare a good litmus test, if you compare Bluetooth earbuds on Amazon, you know, every listing on page one’s probably around 40,000 reviews, something like that, probably two or three pages deep.
[00:12:57] Ryan King:
Your top listings, maybe have a thousand, maybe 2000 reviews on Walmart, right now. Majority have somewhere between a hundred to 400. You’re probably even seeing some around 50, maybe on page one. So if that gives you any indication, there’s a way to get those products over now and start building that moat.
[00:13:13] Ryan King:
So large catalog size, established seller, or medium to large catalog size, established seller, and maybe you have some products that aren’t hyper niched and hyper premium. Then it’s probably some low hanging fruit over on Walmart.
[00:13:27] Tyler Jefcoat:
Just, I wanna try to rearticulate a little bit of what I think I heard some clear advice from you there. Let me say it, and I want you to correct me if I’m wrong here. So an avatar that’s pretty common in my CFO practice is someone that has a product that has matured a little bit on Amazon. Meaning there are a lot of new competitors putting pressure on advertising budgets and pressure on margins. And, but they were still the former hero products on Amazon.
[00:13:51] Tyler Jefcoat:
And as a result of them being a former hero product, this seller bought a whole bunch of it back in November or August, September, or October for a big Q4, but Q4 was disappointing. And so we’re sitting on nine months of inventory right now, and we’re trying to decide whether to liquidate or whether to just get out of this SKU altogether, that kind of thing.
[00:14:10] Tyler Jefcoat:
Am I hearing you correctly that if something has had traction before, needs a blue or ocean to get into, maybe we’ve got some inventory. Is that maybe a good moment to consider Walmart as a marketplace?
[00:14:21] Ryan King:
Yeah, I would say that’s a great opportunity. What I would add to that would say, if you’re willing, you know, it’s not gonna be a just raise the sails and the winds are gonna take you off per se. So if they’ve been successful before they know what it takes to be successful, and so same things would apply. If you’re willing to give it the shot, you know, and saying, I’m gonna dedicate probably minimum three months to saying, will this succeed on Walmart? You can’t just drop the listing over and expect it to float to the top, those kind of things.
[00:14:48] Ryan King:
But if you’re willing to dedicate a little bit of ad spend, dedicate optimization, those things and give it a trial, I think there’s a good chance you’ll be happy with the decision of giving it that shot rather than just giving up on that product. Yeah.
[00:15:01] Tyler Jefcoat:
And so like some of those things, I mean, obviously you guys have BlueRyse is a great agency that does this. And what I found is, you know, an accounting firm is just an agency, Ryan, but like you and I have technical things that we do. And the reality is that most of our seller clients just don’t wanna do these things. They don’t enough time. They’re too busy. And so there’s gonna be two different kinds of people listening to you and me talk right now.
[00:15:22] Tyler Jefcoat:
One guy is wanting to know what the next two steps he should take is to get into Walmart because he wants to try to do it himself. And then the other guy is gonna realize I actually am that seven-figure plus brand, and I really need some help. And, you know, obviously we hope that they hire you, Ryan, to do that for them. But like, what are those one or two steps if you’re gonna be taking, hey, I’ve never, I either tried this and I failed or I’m looking at trying it for the first time in Walmart’s marketplace. Like what is step A and step B that they need to be looking at?
[00:15:52] Ryan King:
I would say do a little market research. There’s tools like Helium 10 that now, I guess, as of March actually started releasing actual or much more accurate search volume data from Walmart on keyword tools. So they claim about 93% accuracy on search volume. So now you have a data point you can go to if you’re already using Helium 10 or that tool. Jungle Scout, I think also has a similar tool that has a similar type accuracy now on keyword searches. And so do a little bit of research and see what the search volumes are.
[00:16:20] Ryan King:
And we would say, you know, the goal probably, you’re looking at anywhere from four to 12% revenue. So consider is that worth it to me right now, to look at four to 12% of revenue that I might be getting on Amazon already? And look and see who your competitors are right now in Walmart. Couple things I would look for real quick is what’s the review count on these products, as well as what’s advertising looking like? Is, are people showing up sponsored?
[00:16:44] Ryan King:
Are they relevant products to those search terms? And if you’re looking to do it yourself, do those first couple steps. And if you like what you see, fill out the application. There’s no cost. There’s no cost to apply. There’s no cost. There’s no monthly fee to be a seller on Walmart. And so once you get accepted there’s no cost to you to apply.
[00:17:03] Ryan King:
The only thing would be if you decide to apply and not use it, don’t forget. Don’t lose those emails, ’cause you might need to revive your application over time. But that’s the first two things I’d say. And if you do get on, I’d recommend utilizing, if it makes sense based on your product size, those things, utilizing WFS because Walmart would itself say they see about a 50% boost in revenues for those who are using WFS now. So there’s a lot of reasons I could go into, but those would be like steps one through three.
[00:17:32] Tyler Jefcoat:
So good Ryan. That’s really, really, that’s really, really helpful. I can imagine there’s a, again, there’s a, you guys do this for your keyword research on Amazon, but we’re looking for pockets of opportunity. Where are there low barriers to entry in terms of review counts with my competitors? Where is there enough keyword search volume that I believe there’s an opportunity, and that’s on the one side. And then on the other side, I’m gonna take a look at my return on investment in my current channels, whether it’s Amazon, Shopify, or whatever else it is and say, okay. Of these five ASINs that popped up as potential opportunities. I don’t have a ton of energy right now, but what are the three that I’m gonna say I have the most extra inventory for, or I’m gonna be best perched, I can tolerate a slightly lower margin for three months while I get this new listing off the ground and kind of get the review going and that kind of thing.
[00:18:20] Tyler Jefcoat:
So, I mean, I just think that’s a really, I mean, first of all, most Amazon sellers love the analytical part of it. So I think that’s a really straightforward, everyone’s already paying for Helium 10 for the most part, like do the keyword research and see if there’s any low hanging fruit in your portfolio. And you know, like Ryan says, this doesn’t cost anything to apply to Walmart. I will say this Ryan, I’ve heard of a lot of sellers that get frustrated with the application process with Walmart. Is the process itself getting a little bit better or is it still pretty frustrating?
[00:18:48] Ryan King:
It can be frustrating. The bots that kind of, like I said earlier, there’s some gates that they put in place that they’re trying to curate their seller list and the bots will react to the tiniest little thing.
[00:18:59] Ryan King:
So the advice I’d give is make sure do your due diligence before you fill out the application. You know, things like is the seller name you’re putting on that application matching your EIN according to the IRS. Is your place of business address matching those documents? Fill out all the fields as complete as possible. And just do a simple double check through those. That’ll save you probably 90% of the headaches ’cause what’s happening to a lot of sellers is a bot will just see something that’s not exactly the way it should go, and the automatic reply is your application’s been been denied and there’s no appeal.
[00:19:35] Ryan King:
It’ll say there’s no way to appeal this. There is a way to appeal. But that’s what’ll happen. And so a lot of people just are left with no information on why they were denied. No real recourse to know can they follow up. So that’s probably the single biggest thing most people are getting tripped up over.
[00:19:50] Ryan King:
But we work with, yeah. Sorry, go ahead. I was gonna say we work with we go to the human level at that point. Yeah. And it’s not just through seller support kind of things. Everybody knows the jungle that any seller support on any platform can be. But there’s a strong business development team that’s tasked for Walmart.com with bringing new and valuable sellers onto the marketplace. And so we work alongside them. We reach out to them and highlight that seller to them and help them navigate through the process so they can get successfully on the platform if we run into that barrier.
[00:20:19] Ryan King:
So happy to help if someone runs into that obstacle or has run into that obstacle previously. But the best thing you could do is just make sure any documents you’re submitting as proof match what you’ve put in any of those fields. And you’ll probably clear the initial gauntlet there.
[00:20:36] Tyler Jefcoat:
Well, just, and what I was gonna say, and you said it really well there is I also think that if you are that seven-figure seller, you’ve got a slightly larger catalog, you’ve mined and identified that we may have 10 or 15 ASINs that could be Walmart SKUs successfully. There is a pretty strong, and I’m not, I’m not on this show to sell your services, Ryan, but there’s a pretty strong argument, it sounds like, for probably bringing in a pro.
[00:20:59] Tyler Jefcoat:
Think about the early days when you’re trying to become a seller on Amazon, where there was at one point no gate. And then it was impossible because of the Chinese kind of hack shops that came in. Not just Chinese, but from other places where they were bad accounts and Amazon just had a hard no to everyone in a particular category. During those moments, when there’s a incentive on the part of the marketplace to raise security, it’s actually really important. It’s a good thing by the way, ’cause it actually keeps some of your competitors from getting on, but it can be a bad thing if you flunk the test. Right? All of a sudden you get Gandalf saying you shall not pass. Right. And then you don’t get to pass. And so I’m assuming Ryan, that that setup service is part of what you guys do at BlueRyse. Am I right about that?
[00:21:38] Ryan King:
Sure. Yeah, if someone’s at the very beginning and they’re just trying to figure out how do I get on, we’ll walk with them through the process. There’s some things that they’re gonna fill out on their own, but we’ll advise ’em on, and then we’ll track with them through the process. And in the event that there is a hiccup. If they, if something trips that’s when we’ll engage further into the human a element, but we’ll go everywhere from account creation all the way through walking through WFS enrollment, helping in the creation of listings, optimizing ad management, all those things.
[00:22:05] Ryan King:
But we try and be as turnkey as possible so that, you know, majority of our clients are saying, we value this. We want this with this marketplace, but we’ve gotta keep our eye on this ball right now. And so that’s why we’ve designed it that way.
[00:22:20] Tyler Jefcoat:
Love it. And so I wanna talk about hobbies and hacks for just a minute with you, but if somebody wanted to get ahold of BlueRyse and learn a little bit more about your services, how should they do that?
[00:22:28] Ryan King:
You can reach out on LinkedIn. We’re there, reach out, connect to us. Ryan King. You see my name right here on the, on the deal. Ryan at BlueRyse, that’s B-L-U-E-R-Y-S-E.com. You can go there. You can go to www.BlueRyse.com. There’s a contact form there as well. Any one of those ways, feel free to shoot me an email, or LinkedIn’s very responsive there as well.
[00:22:47] Ryan King:
One other note Tyler, I would mention is in the assessments, this is for a smaller fraction of sellers, but one thing that’s very compelling about Walmart, and it goes back to our first question too, about how serious is Walmart about this is – and I just find this interesting. This is where I geek out on the Walmart side is what’s unique or what’s different.
[00:23:04] Ryan King:
What’s a different value proposition for Walmart is Walmart is actively utilizing Walmart.com as a potential pathway for in-store retail. Now for some sellers that may not make any sense for them. They might not desire that. And again, their product might not be a fit. But I was in Bentonville last week. Sat in a line review with an established retail customer, a retail client of Walmart’s, has historically been with them for a lot. And we heard it straight from the horse’s mouth, the merchants and a director of merchants was sitting in the meeting. And they said before we add any more dot com, any more retail items in this existing relationship, can we see the dot com sales data?
[00:23:43] Ryan King:
That’s going to help us make these decisions. We’ve also heard that for new suppliers, when they’re considering, they’re actively courting marketplace sellers saying perform and show the dot com data, and that’s gonna help build the case for in-store retail contracts. And so if that’s something someone’s interested in, that’s something to add to that initial assessment of what are your planned channel for sales as a brand, as you’re building a brand. And if retail in a big box store is one of those potential channels you wanna look at, that’s another reason to consider Walmart. So, sorry. That’s just one more pathway I wanted to highlight there and emphasizes the seriousness that Walmart’s taking with their marketplace side of things.
[00:24:21] Tyler Jefcoat:
It’s beautiful. I think that’s such a great point. If you aspire to do the traditional bricks and mortar wholesale business into retail, finding the largest bricks and mortar retailer in the world and finding a way to sell on their website seems like a pretty good strategy so I completely agree with you there.
[00:24:35] Tyler Jefcoat:
Speaking of geek out, you mentioned geek out. Let’s go there for a second. So when you’re not geeking out on Walmart data and retail data in Bentonville what is it that you like to do, Ryan, that really just brings you joy in your life?
[00:24:47] Ryan King:
Yeah, well there’s several things. Man, my family is a huge one, and at home I think that the big one’s just continue to be present with the kids and celebrate with them and walk with them through things. We’ve got married with three kids, and so they keep me awfully busy. And so hobbies are fewer. And so focusing more on just being present with them and enjoying what they enjoy.
[00:25:07] Ryan King:
That’s kind of what, one thing I think a parent starts doing more and more some is learning how to focus on what you value or what your kids value as well. And so focusing with them, whether that’s, you know I’m a man of faith. So whether that’s just walking through them, helping them learn what it means to walk with wisdom in this world or taking in, you know, loving the soccer games and helping my son improving his skills, those things on one side.
[00:25:31] Ryan King:
And then. You know, I used to love to work with my hands when, you know, you work with your mind and so rest with your hands, so to speak. And so woodworking was something I did. I mean, not, you wouldn’t see me with a lathe and a tool making a well rounded, you know, table leg, but I’m talking a little more blocky, but building things outta wood, but with the lumber cost these days, I’m just that that’s a no-no.
[00:25:52] Ryan King:
And then but now, so reading. I love reading. I consume a lot of non-fiction a lot of, lot of trade book kind of stuff. But I’ve pivoted to fiction just to give my brain, just chewing gum for the brain, you know, so. Got into, I got hooked on Brian Sanderson. He’s a fantasy/science fiction/ epic fantasy kind of writer. He’s been doing it for a long time and he is prolific, but so I got hooked on his stuff. He just cranks out content. And so I’ve been reading a lot of that. He actually had, fun fact. You can tell I’m geeking on it. He had the largest – this is fascinating from e-commerce perspective, and it’s kind of, he had the largest crowdfunded, largest Kickstarter campaign recently ever. Something over $40 million was funded. It was insane.
[00:26:29] Ryan King:
But one of the reasons I love doing it is not only is it chewing gum for the brain, but the way my brain works, I’m always looking at potentially disparate areas, and then I love, what I really love is to start and find where those things potentially connect. What are the learning points that superpower what we’re doing in e-commerce because we learn something in a different discipline in a different way.
[00:26:47] Tyler Jefcoat:
Love it. Wow. That’s so good, dude. Thank you for sharing that with us. I’ll have to check out some of his books. I’ve never read any of ’em, I’m ashamed to say, but, so let’s talk about hacks for a second. So Return on Podcast. We have this section at the very end of each show, ROP. If somebody were to somehow make it 30 minutes into this show, listen to this, and they were to choose to put into practice one or two things that you are getting an unusual return on investment in your life. Putting those things into practice, we are hoping would give them an unusual return on investment in their life. And so what’s giving you ROI in your life right now, Ryan, what are the habits, hacks, practices that you’re really pleased with right now?
[00:27:21] Ryan King:
Yeah. I’ll say one on the personal life, I kind of mentioned it and one on the professional side. And they’re very different in some ways and somewhat, almost they compliment one another and they could also potentially contradict one another in a way. One of ’em is very, I mean, somewhat intangible in a way, but it’s presence on the personal life.
[00:27:38] Ryan King: I think that for any entrepreneur, the narrative is repeated over and over again of focusing so much on the work and in the work that not focusing on presence with, you know, setting your mind on, why am I doing all this work ultimately? Like what is the real goal? And what’s gonna bring me joy and satisfaction for me, with my family too. What is going to bring my family kind of satisfaction. So presence, practicing presence. Like each day, trying to think through before I get in my day, what am I gonna do to be present? What are the situations I’m gonna be in? How do I – big battle for me is untethering from my phone.
[00:28:17] Ryan King:
And so, you know, talking to my wife about, you know, don’t ever stop repeating, Hey, can we untether from the phone right now? What’s the habit for doing that and being present with the family, making balance in your work hours and family time, that’s yielding a lot of joy that I think is outsized from it’s more than just putting a phone down and putting a phone away. It’s making eye contact with my kids when they’re talking about what their day is. I think that’s the long term investment that’s gonna far outweigh anything I do right now as an agency. So that’s the personal life.
[00:28:46] Ryan King:
On the professional life it’s nothing earth shattering, but it’s thinking through things in terms of processes and systems. I’m a systems guy and process guy. So thinking through what are the things I’m doing that really could be done repetitively, whether it’s through a team that has the right process in place, or whether it’s a automation, leveraging something like an Air Table or other kind of database or different things. There’s so many tools out there that I dive into the processes so that I have more free time to work on the high value things. But early on for any seller I think it’s, considering it’s going back to what’s the 80/20, what are the things you need to be working on? What are the highest value drivers and anything else and focusing how you optimize that through process.
[00:29:26] Ryan King:
But then secondly, what are the things that just aren’t the high value things and thinking through how do I put this into process so that I don’t have to keep working and spending time on those things? It’s nothing air shattering. If you’ve read E-Myth or E-Myth Revisited or any of these other authors out there about this, these are the simple principles, but that’s the more I implement those professionally, I think the better you can scale and the more high value time you can spend on other things.
[00:29:51] Tyler Jefcoat:
I mean, Ryan, I actually think those are very complimentary. E-Myth, E-Myth Revisited, very good. Gerber, Michael Gerber wrote that one, a book I just finished two weeks ago that was just exactly what you just said, Ryan, about being present with your family is called Stolen Focus. Book out there called Stolen Focus. It’s a pretty, it’s got a bit of a journalistic kind of academic view of like, you know, everything that – if you haven’t seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix, right, where it talks about the algorithmic reprogramming of our brains and how we can’t sit still for like 20 seconds.
[00:30:22] Tyler Jefcoat:
And you know, Ryan, I have two small kids also. So like, can I look my second grader in the eye when I’m talking to her at her day? No, I need to be staring at my phone. And so Stolen Focus was a really, really kind of convicting book for me and just, it was helpful actually to help me understand what was happening neurologically when I was doing certain things.
[00:30:41] Tyler Jefcoat:
And so I’m with you, dude. These are great hacks. And I actually think that having clear processes that allow you to do deep work, another great book by the way, Deep Work, but doing deep work and, you know, trying to get away from distraction, actually that’s the whole ball of wax right there. Like how can I be present right now where I am.
[00:31:01] Tyler Jefcoat:
Be where my feet are, that kind of thing, like grandma used to say, and also choose to do things that are not constantly being pinged, buzzed, distracted, so that I can actually get real work done. That is the, I’m passionate with this, cause this is exactly where I am in my life right now, Ryan, where I realize just how distracted American knowledge workers are, really just how distracted parents are, how distracted Tyler Jefcoat is. And I think I’m on a quest.
[00:31:27] Tyler Jefcoat:
By the way, think I may have mentioned this hack a few weeks ago. I just wanna say it again. If you open your iPhone and go to notifications and just turn off the notifications for the apps you don’t care about. I’m not even talking about trying to rip the baby out of your arms of like turning off like Facebook or whatever it is that you love to get notifications for. If you just turn off the notifications for the apps you don’t like getting bugged by, it will increase your productivity immediately. I just wanted to add that cause it’s so connected to Ryan to what you said. Ryan, anything else for the good of the group here, man, before we close the show today?
[00:32:00] Ryan King:
Man, no, other than we’re happy to help in any way we can. It’s always great talking with you, Tyler. I got some nuggets talking, a couple books I need to read here as well. Good recommendations. And yeah, if anybody wants to talk to us about learning a little bit more about if Walmart’s the right fit for them or what their strategies are, we’re happy to talk about that. Or just you know, we’re, the way I’m wired, I’d love to, I’m happy with giving away value for free.
[00:32:23] Ryan King:
I mean, I’m happy with answering a question. If anybody just has a question, they’re saying I’m not, I’m not looking to hire an agency to do something, I just need this one thing clarified for me, hit us up. We’re happy to share. I think we’re at that early stage with Walmart, there was a lot of cloudy things there and the more we can help people take advantage of that opportunity, we’re happy to, so feel free to reach out, I guess, is what I’m saying.
[00:32:44] Tyler Jefcoat:
Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, buddy, thanks for joining the show today. And for those of you listening, thank you for listening to Return on Podcast with me, Tyler Jefcoat. If this content served you or you grabbed some nuggets out of this, please share it with your friends. Feel free to like, or subscribe in our channels. And we’re gonna talk to you next week. Until then, hope you kill it. Take care.