July 13, 2022

Launching Profitable Ecommerce Products With Bry Shields


 Bry launched and exited an insurance agency and then launched an ecommerce business focused on building high quality brands and launching on the Amazon marketplace. As a successful entrepreneur, Bry talks to us today about launching profitable products.

Transcript

Josh
 Good day fellow dealmakers. Welcome to the deal scale on this show, we talk about deals ranging from lemonade stands all the way to SPACs and all the deals in between. We've interviewed a couple, almost a couple hundred entrepreneurs, investors, deal makers to learn their story, the origin story, how they got started, some of the things that they've learned along the way and give you an opportunity if you want to do a deal with them. On today's show, we're going to have a conversation with a guy who just loves being in the game of entrepreneurship. We're going to hear his story built and sold the company and just wanted to get back in the game. He's doing it over and over again. With that, Bri, welcome to the deal scout. 


 Bry
 Thanks Josh. And be here. Yeah, 


 Josh
 Man. All right. Right off the Batman unique accent, where are you located? Where are you from? 


 Bry
 Well, I'm from some people call it the sticks of Alabama. I'm from lower Alabama and in mobile, 


 Josh
 Mobile, Alabama. All right. So surprised. Why don't you tell us about who you are? 


 Bry
 Yeah, well, women lower Alabama born and raised here, went to school here, including college, got out of college and got into the insurance business because I felt sales suited me well, and I enjoyed the freedom of that lifestyle. I pretty quickly found that I like doing things on my own. I started trying to build businesses on the side and eventually realized, Hey, I've been learning how to do insurance all of this time. Why not just stick to what I know. I went and launched my own agency, built that up for three and a half years and then sold it a year and a half ago and working through an earn-out that company now went ahead and I wasn't necessarily planning to do this, but came across some people who were launching businesses in the e-commerce space and teaching others how to do it and said, Hey, I want to learn how to do that. 


 Bry
 I got involved in a coaching program and I'm now launching, I have three brands. E-commerce brands that I'm in the book launch and right now. 


 Josh
 Cool. All right. Before we unleash the second part of your entrepreneurial journey, right? You would, you were always involved in building businesses on the side, doing side hustles, building stuff, and then you're like, you look down one day and you're like, why don't I do an insurance agency? Right. Give us an idea of what kind of side hustles, what kind of businesses where you build up to the agency? 


 Bry
 Sure. Well, and it was mostly not much to note, but, I guess like in college I was involved in starting different like nonprofits, community groups. That kind of sparked my initial interest in starting things. Then, not it wasn't, for-profit based, it was, more of a political and charity components to it, things like that. When I got out of college, I was involved in a civic organization and had a junior component for young professionals. I helped launch one of those here in the community to try to bring people together. To this day there's a big fishing tournament that raises 20 to $30,000 a year associated with that. And so that was kind of fun. I was like, okay, I like building stuff. I got into my brother-in-law actually came up with the idea. He was like, Hey, the sunglass business, it's a great business, high margins. 


 Bry
 I just watched this documentary on, I can't remember the name of the group. It's a huge group. They have like 70% of the global market. He's like, we should go start a sunglasses brand. I was like, okay, let's do it. Went and did that and we didn't have a clue what were getting into didn't were severely undercapitalized, had no knowledge and we ended up after four or five years, we just couldn't scale it. We sold it to some people that came in and basically got us out for what we had in it. And they're doing great with it. Now. It's doing great. It's going to break line off. 


 Josh
 That's pretty cool. So, all right. It started your entrepreneurial, like bugs started in impact space, right? Started with nonprofits, pulling people together, focused on a mission and M and then one day someone's like, Hey, I watched a TV show. I watched a documentary, we should go build a business and sunglasses. Right. While learning that about the consumer brands, right? From, from your impact side to consumer brands, what was different? 


 Bry
 I guess the that's a good question. Cause there's so many similarities, right? I mean, I think, and actually one thing that I've has taken me time to kind of pull together is to be able to kind of merge. I used to think of them as two totally separate things. Now I've started thinking of them more as overlapping more in the sense that your business can drive impact. You don't have to divorce those two concepts. That's kind of where I'm trying to go with my next journey now. 


 Josh
 Super cool. All right. You guys built this company with your brother or brother-in-law. 


 Bry
 His brother joined us as well. It was kind of a family affair. 


 Josh
 I'm sure there were never any arguments with a bunch of brothers getting together to build a business. 


 Bry
 We got along pretty well. 


 Josh
 That's good. That's good. Do you still have a pair of the original BreakLine optics of? 


 Bry
 I do. Yeah. I where I love them. They're great glass. 


 Josh
 Oh, that's super cool, man. All right. You built it, you guys sold it you broke even what you put into it, you got out and you're like people. Okay. That when you're like, maybe it's time to start an agency build an insurance agency? 


 Bry
 Actually, that was one of the catalyst for getting out of it. Sometimes you get emotionally attached to them, especially one of your first ones. Were kind of having a hard time letting go of it, to be honest, but I hadn't decided I'm, I'm like, okay, the sunglasses thing, it's a great product, but just from a business perspective, something by working here for us. I, I decided to go ahead and go out on my own in the insurance business. And, and we had simultaneously brought these other guys in to help us run the business. That just bringing people in after you've been doing something for four years just doesn't work. We finally were like, Hey, y'all just take this thing and run with it. We'll back out away. That's where, so that kind of overlap as far as timeline is. 


 Josh
 Super cool. All right. Now we're at the agency part, right? I've interviewed a lot of insurance agents and people who built agencies of different types. You built it and sold it in three years. 


 Bry
 Three and a half. Yeah. 


 Josh
 Three and a half years. All right. You got to give us an idea because you started it from scratch, right? Or did you acquire another group? 


 Bry
 Well, I kind of acquired, so I had built up a book of business at the agency I worked for. When you're an insurance producer working for another agency, those clients have a relationship with you as their agent. If you would leave, even though you have a non-solicitation, it's often in the agency's best interest to try to work with you and sell you some of the accounts, because they're probably gonna lose statistically 40 to 50% of it. Anyway. That's essentially what happened is I had the opportunity to buy my, to buy some of the accounts out of my non-solicitation. So that gave me a base. I mean, I ended up at 40 or 50% of where I was as a producer, but I, you gave me a good start. 


 Josh
 Super cool. All right. So what made you set apart? As a producer, you built a book of business. Not everyone could do that. Not everyone has this sales mentality, the producer mentality, some are better at managing. Some are better at hunting. Like where did you find your greatest skillset and give us some tips on what you did? 


 Bry
 Yeah. Well, one thing is I really had to develop a business owner mindset and that's been, that's taken a lot of school of hard knocks as well, but because I spent so long being trained as a salesperson, ? Every time you feel that anxiety of, Hey, I need to do something to build my career and to advance myself. My initial mindset always was go sell more, go, find more customers. Network and I came across a book called the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, who I'm sure a lot of the listeners here read it and know all about it. Basically I realized at that point that I was doing things wrong because I needed to think about building systems around it as a money-making endeavor. Because I, as a producer, as a salesperson, your all your training is, Hey, stop doing non-revenue bruising activities with they would call it. 


 Bry
 Now I needed to do what I used to think of as non-revenue producing activities. I needed to go build out in N refined the process to where it's repeatable. I started to get to work on that. 


 Josh
 As a sales person, one of the biggest things to become a great sales person is only focusing, like learning how to only focus on revenue producing activities. Right? 


 Bry
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 As a business owner, there are a lot of things that aren't revenue producing. How hard was that to make that shift? You, you talk about the school of hard knocks. What were some of the lessons learned there? 


 Bry
 Oh gosh. I don't think I ever fully made the shift to be honest with you. I started to write when I sold, but it was a good time to go ahead and sell 2020. I, I would say the biggest thing that helped me make the shift though, was when I hired someone for the first time to be my employee. Because when I hadn't done before that is I had used services. There are outsourcing services that have virtual customer service reps before virtual was cool. They would in people were blown away. They'd come by my office and be like, I want to be Katy. And I'm like, Katie's in Minnesota. We had these, so I had these virtual, it started and they were fantastic and they fall in processes so well, and that was where I saw the power of that. I was like, oh wow. 


 Bry
 If you give people a process to follow, and what I learned from that is you can take a fantastic employee who wasn't a star player company. You took them from, if you put them in the middle of the chaos, they're not going to perform well and that's not their fault. That, so those are the kinds of things I learned. I learned, I don't think that there's any such thing as a bad employee, I think were employees who were in the mom job. I think that there are employers who suck at training and bullets. 


 Josh
 Awesome. Yeah. My, my business partner is in charge of hiring and training because I'm not the best at it. It's. 


 Bry
 Not a skill. 


 Josh
 Set I have. 


 Bry
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 So, all right. At what point you built an agency, you're doing well. I, I assume were you guys doing pretty well? Did you hit some decent numbers for your agency? The book? 


 Bry
 I think, I mean, I had not reached the level that I wanted to be at yet. I mean, I was at, what was it when you think back on this, I guess I'll give premium dollar amounts. I was probably at three and a half million in premium. So, we had yeah, a little ways to go for where I wanted to get to, but by joining hub international who acquired me, I just have a lot more resources to keep growing the earn-out. So, so they basically came to me and said, Hey, you can still reach your goals. You can just do it with us. So that was kind of their pitch. And it was a good one. 


 Josh
 It was pretty good. All right. You went through this process, you start, in an earn-out, what does that look like in generality? Right. Like you can approach, Hey, we want to buy you. You can probably make more and hit your goals through an earn-out. It was for someone who's never been to an earn-out thing. What does that look like? 


 Bry
 Yeah. In the insurance space, it's really good. Like e-commerce, I don't know if I would be as interested in it, but in the insurance space, the reason it's so appealing is because really what these companies are buying is yeah. They're buying your book of business, but not really because of book the businesses, depreciating assets that you're going to lose back and percent your accounts every year, even with the agents still there, they're buying the book of business with an agent who is broke. For that, from their perspective, it makes sense to buy the asset up front and then pay a trail on the end, a carrot on the end that says, Hey, reach this goal and you'll get X, multiple. So, you, and I'm under a confidentiality agreement. I can't disclose all of the specifics, but I'll talk in generalities that the multiples that insurance agencies get are probably two to three times higher than an e-commerce business. 


 Josh
 Got it. Super cool. 


 Bry
 There's an earn-out. Yeah. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Super cool. Did you decide that, like, Hey, maybe it's a good idea that I do sell versus a, I could stick with this and I could grow it to seven in premium. What, what was the turning point? 


 Bry
 Had a child, 


 Josh
 They mess up everything. I have three of them and I love them, but they, 


 Bry
 There was going to be, I really, I needed more capital as well. It was kinda like, cause I had some debt through it. Cause when I bought my book from an employer, I didn't have any money. I had to go borrow the money and I had a, awesome banker that Hancock bank. I mean, they're awesome. They gave me the money, they put me in business and, but I owed them money. That was taken away from family income. I had, and I just saw the mountain of what I had to still build out and hub gave me the easy button. 


 Josh
 That was easy. Right. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Congrats on the kid. Super cool. From there you got the easy button, you hit it being, did you have any idea what you were going to do next? 


 Bry
 Well, I spent the first year, really, it was a lot more work than I realized getting, I see why they do the urine out, keep you on board because there was a lot of work on the backend, bringing all our account data into their ecosystem and then letting my account manager get used to their workflows and how they do things simultaneously I'm out trying to generate business. I, I, it's not like I'm, sitting around sipping on Margaret Reed is, I mean, I still got plenty to do, but I just, now that I don't own the business, I just have to have something. I don't know what it is. I didn't plan it. I just, there's something there's like an itch that I have. So, when I came across this, I said, I, I gotta put this capital to work. I mean, I'm not going to just do a drop in the stock market. 


 Bry
 Like, thank God I didn't. I, I was watching I'm part of a group called wealth without wall street. When I say I'm part of the group, I mean, I'm a client of theirs and I buy whole life policies from them and build infinite banking systems using their methodology. They have a podcast and like a community of people who collaborate. They had a guy on there in Daniel SP they interviewed him and he gone through this coaching program called Asian 360. He was talking about how he learned to sell on Amazon and all this money he was making. Well, when I was in a sunglass business, that was, we should have listened to people back then. They were like, you need to be selling things on Amazon. You gotta get Amazon. We were like, I mean, I, it to be on Amazon, all our retailers gripe to us about Amazon and how they're ruining the world. 


 Bry
 We just, we didn't ever pursue it. When I listened to that, I was like, wow, this is amazing. This is like, this is like, if you could take your product, like my sunglasses, if I could have walked him into bass pro shop and just put them on the shelf and and then gotten people to start buying them and then had them spread all over the country. I mean, that's what, that was the, my analogy on that. I'm like, so it was really intriguing and I just, I bit. 


 Josh
 Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. All right. So you're working right. A lot more work than you expected, hit the easy button then you're like, oh wow. This is actually a lot of work here. You're going through this process. You're like, man, I still need to have something on my own. I've got now some capital and I go, I need something on my own. I don't really want to do the stock market. I would love to hear your thoughts on why. Right. I want to have something on my own. What was the one or two main thing where you're like, screw the Scott market? Not for me. 


 Bry
 Yeah. Well, I guess I wouldn't say necessarily stock market. Not for me. I mean, I did, I did do some things in the market as well, but in general, I don't like the activity of the market. And I don't like how it is. I hate to say this because I don't want to sound like I'm, big people have preconceived notions with buzzwords, but I don't think it's rig, but I think it's very much geared towards the large institutions. Think that the insiders have more knowledge about it. I just think that it's a much better way to build wealth. I don't know anyone who's gotten wealthy from the stock Connie. I literally don't know a single person who's done that. I know a lot of it we've gotten wealthy from real estate and for building bids. And I know I hear stories. I see them on the internet, so they must be true. 


 Bry
 Right. I see all these stories on the internet about people who trade for it in their account and they become multimillionaires yet that I don't know nobody ever sees them. So, I think that's kind of interesting so that's, that's kinda where I am on that. I guess. I think, I think the stock market is great for busy physicians who need somewhere to stick money passively. For those of us who can put time and energy behind our money, I think that entrepreneurial pursuits are a better path personally. 


 Josh
 Super cool. You, once again, you hear someone who's, you listened to a webinar or you went to a training and they said e-commerce and you're like, that's it I'm in. Right. What happens after that? Right. Like you just like sunglasses back in the day, watched the documentary. Okay. We're in, Hey, Amazon. I think it's right. I saw I missed the opportunity to, with the sunglasses. Right. Cause you guys didn't at that point sell online. 


 Bry
 Yeah. We, we sold on our website minimally. 


 Josh
 Okay. Copy to this point where it's just like I, is it because you saw the missed opportunity back then that you were so open to it now? 


 Bry
 I think, I think that the groundwork that was laid with already having a consumer brand helped lay the groundwork as I learned so much from it. I guess I did always have of adventure that where I wanted to still try to conquer consumer brands. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Bry
 I'm sure that played a role because most, I don't know. I also just, I have a lot in my insurance business, I insure a lot of real estate developers, investors, people that syndicated apartment deals. I see how that goes. I've seen what they go through. I know that is definitely not always either. Yeah, I mean, you can build a lot of wealth in real estate and I've been able to invest in some deals with some of my clients. But, but yeah, this, this appealed to me, I guess I don't a hundred percent know why, but it definitely build a me. I like being able to innovate around products and solve problems for people and being able to launch the way that the e-commerce world is. Now you can launch so many products and test things on Amazon. I mean, it's just, it's amazing. 


 Josh
 Okay. Cool. All right. You're like, I see the direction new, new kid work it throughout, you now have time and resources. Right. You choose e-commerce as your next play. What other things did you consider? You're like, okay. Stock market. Nah, maybe not. E-commerce okay. High potential. What are the things, did you compare it to, in terms of opportunity costs? You know, 


 Bry
 I really didn't. I didn't, I didn't have time to think that much about it. The other thing I guess I would have compared it to would be, I guess so I guess that's not a hundred percent true. I hadn't had a couple of rental houses at one point and I sold those. I did crunch some numbers of like, what about when I'm bought like a 20 unit apartment complex or 50 unit apartment complex and cashflow. And not that wasn't that appealing. Cool. Compared to what I thought I could do this. 


 Josh
 10, four. I understand. All right. So now here we are today. You're like, you're in the e-commerce game. Talk to us about from where you had the idea. Okay. I want to be an e-commerce to where you are today. Give us some idea of how far you've come. 


 Bry
 Yeah. Golly, I've come so far yet, so far to go. I, these guys that Asian 360, I mean, they're the real deal. I really was kind of skeptical of anybody that has coaching programs. I didn't, sign up for stuff here and there. Back when I was in my twenties, I can miss my dad and sign us up for this stock market investing thing that was going to, solve all our problems. My dad put a bunch of money into it and we didn't really, it didn't really pan out. I had to, I'd been kind of burned skeptical on this, but I talked to Neil for a while and Daniel Guy who I had heard on that podcast. I could tell that these guys have done it themselves built millions and millions of dollars in value in the Amazon and e-commerce space. I just, I had a good feeling about it. 


 Bry
 They have just troves of information inside this portal that you get access to. They give you a group coaching calls one to two times a week, and you can schedule one-on-one coaching calls, basically, anytime you want. The support I got to get started was unbelievable. In fact that you can get inundated with studying all the information they give you to where you feel like you're not ready to launch it. Cause there's so much still to learn and read the guy that you really do your coaching with. He he'll start saying after like three weeks, he's like, okay, where are you telling me? Like, go order product and start putting stuff on Amazon and so on and just see what happens because he got it. That's the only way to learn. So, it'd be like, go find a factory that will sell you 20 widgets and go sell it. 


 Josh
 Really? 


 Bry
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 So that's so cool. I think for me, I've looked at Amazon and I missed for, to be honest, man, I missed the mark cause I was looking at it when it was early and the FBA that things were coming out fulfilled by Amazon. I was looking at it and I was like, man, I got analysis paralysis because I looked at thousands of different ideas and products and I'm like, well, I like this. Don't like that. I looked at all sorts of different white labeling this. Right. I didn't pull the trigger to this day. I've never sold anything on Amazon. Right. Having someone to go, okay, it's time to go do your homework assignments, go buy something and sell it right now. 


 Bry
 Yeah. And, and it's not even that now that's definitely not the business model. That's just you that's just to get you, get the juices flowing, to learn how it works. It's interesting because the whole mantra is to just launch products, the more products you launched, because there's maybe if you were to just randomly like a blind monkey launch products on Amazon, you could probably launch a hundred products in like two of them would be successful. 98 of them would flop. Obviously the idea is to learn how to launch products and to narrow that down and increase your chances. Point being that you can do all the research in the world. If you're only going to launch one product, it may not work or it may not work. It's probably going to sell it just like, are you going to make enough money for it to be worth your time kind of thing. 


 Josh
 This is super interesting because it's a single point of failure. If you launch one product, right. I've I've I have family members that have launched a product on Amazon and they've made it in a different color or whatever, and it was a single point of failure. It just didn't do as well as they expected. They're like, well, we did that. We'll never do that again. Versus a portfolio approach of saying, oh, here's, I'm learning, I'm accelerating my learning. Super smart. I didn't think of it to do that kind of stuff. So let me ask you a question. You mentioned that you joined up with a group that I know you decided to join up with a group. What, what made you decide to do that rather than just go kind of learn it on your own, buy an online course or something like that. What, what made you decide to go that route? 


 Bry
 The sunglasses business. 


 Josh
 You've learned? I mean, 


 Bry
 I wasn't going to flat around like that again. I mean, I'm like, okay, I'm in my late thirties now. I ain't got time. It's like, I gotta figure this thing out and I gotta go do it. And, and I'm not gonna waste time anymore. I've got, I learned things that the hard way before, and now I need someone with immense experience to show me the path, need my, I need my OB. 


 Josh
 OB. 


 Bry
 Obi wan Kenobi, 


 Josh
 Obi wan Kenobi. Okay. I connected the dots there. I was like, all right. I think he's talking about obiwan. Okay. I understand. So this is interesting, right? For me as a deal maker, I grew up on a construction site, spring in hammers. Then I got into real estate. I got into other things in my younger years. Now I'm 40 now in my younger years house, I'll just learn it. I'll do it myself. Right. And I can work ton of hours. I can put in time and I could afford to lose a lot. I slept under my desk. I work and I'd work around the clock. Doesn't matter. Get married, get a few kids under the belt time. I don't have anymore. I don't have time to waste. Now we focus on how do I invest in stuff. So I don't lose time. I'll lose. I don't mind losing of money. 


 Josh
 I don't want to lose a lot, but what I can't lose this time. Right. That's super, I mean, you pick that up. You picked up that golden nugget a lot earlier in life than I did so kudos to you, sir. But it was funny. It's like, why did you choose to do this? Because of the sunglass business, you had a, you had something that wasn't as successful as you thought. So awesome work, man. All right. So let me ask you the question. You looked at this group and you said, I don't want to waste time. W what other, so you're accelerating, you're working through this group. What other things did you, before making a decision with a group to work with? Right? What were some of the things that you said this group must have this or not have this cause you've been burned in the past, right? 


 Josh
 I'm sure that was in your mind when you were looking at groups to work with, what were your thoughts? 


 Bry
 Well, I guess it was kinda like this. The same, the last business, I didn't have a mentor in that business space. The insurance, I looked at, what have I done that has been successful in my life? Every time I've been successful with something it's because I had a mentor or a series of mentors. I, when I was in the insurance business, the agency that I went to work for had highly successful partners that showed me the way. I emulated them, did what they taught me to do over time. When I've started different community groups that I mentioned always had somebody there or some group who was showing me a path forward. When I did the sunglasses business, were trying to reinvent the wheel and we spent so much time and money doing things that we didn't need to do, because there was already proven processes out there that you could just innovate around. 


 Bry
 You could pick the ones that, have worked. With the e-commerce space, I've got these coaches who have done it a million times. They've seen all the problems with a thousand different ways that it can be presented. I have somewhere to go to solve problems. I've been, I've learned so much. I probably know more about selling on Amazon now than people who have done over six years, because they have to go look on YouTube for information. I have people who have been doing this for 20 years, right. At my fingertips. I can message them. Read will literally respond to messages at 10:00 PM answering these questions. 


 Josh
 Yeah. What is the difference? Right. So in ways to learn, right? Like this is the old way Josh did things. When it, when it came to learning, I'll go to YouTube, I'll download a podcast, I'll read a book, I'll buy a online course. I'll join, versus like, I'll join a mastermind group or get some mentors. Like, what are some of the differences like between course program mentoring? Like. 


 Bry
 I see. Yeah. Yeah. That, I would say, first of all, I do all of those things. I listen to podcasts, I read books. I I'm not knocking any of that. I think that's all extremely important. A lot in some people, that's all they have done and they've been really successful. The, I think the mentorship component and the one-on-one component is really important. The experience of the person teach because there's a lot of people out there launching courses and doing things and they don't have the experience to back it up. I think, and so that was one of the biggest things for me that I looked at is I want the person who's teaching me how to do this, to be someone who has done it on a level that exceeds my goals meets or exceeds my goals. 


 Josh
 Got it. 


 Bry
 That that was an important criteria for me. 


 Josh
 Okay. To where you are now, give us an idea in terms of how far you've come in the e-commerce with some numbers, like how many products maybe have you launched and sold. Can you talk to us about specific volumes or something like that? W what do you feel comfortable sharing? 


 Bry
 This is another thing I learned from the sunglasses spaces. Inventory is key to this business. Any, any widget selling business, I'll call it as opposed to when you sell information or for intangible products like insurance and financial products. And that, that just isn't a concern. When you run out of inventory erectors year, but if you buy too much inventory and it's not selling fast enough, so it becomes this really difficult balancing act. That's kind of where I am now is trying to gain my putting on that. I have three brands I mentioned, and some would say that's a mistake in itself, but I'm kind of, I, again, I took the mentality of, let me launch several things, the eco space and see what works. The, so I have a golf brand called true view CR UVU, and I have a survival brand called survive. S U R V I V D survived has been my most successful brand. 


 Bry
 I am launching in August, a brand called slumber out. Our first products are going to be mattress protectors. We got, they're made out of bamboo top, so that they're really quiet and soft. And they also, we sourced the sipper. The biggest problem with the zipper encasement is different brains pretty often on it. Were able to find a supplier that claims to make the best zippers in the world. They're in China, not going to reveal who that is, but they're fantastic zipper. So I'll just say that. We're going to have a, I think that's going to be a good launch. We'll see you in a few months here, but we're going to be launching at a price point. This is the kind of thing that I was taught to look for is look for products that have high margin, where you can still come in cheaper than the best sellers in your category with a better product. 


 Bry
 That's how you start gaining that traction and grow a brand. You can launch into other e-commerce spaces, retail, if you want to. That's why it's, I'm not finding it to be overly cumbersome, to have multiple brands when you launched you on Amazon, once how to use the Amazon space. So, so the slumber owl, I don't have any sales yet. I did a test launch and I sold like a hundred units, but that was, that just validated that I could sell them at a profitable margin, which I was able to survived. I sell tourniquets and trauma kits, things that hunters and hikers and campers and military and police personnel purchase from us. We've been able to source very high quality products at a good price and found the right region of China to source that from. I did not anticipate that this would happen, but I launched like tourniquets. 


 Bry
 I launched in February and I, I was moving and he was a test launch. So I had 57 units. I was like, I had launched it a couple of weeks before nothing happened. I was like, let me start a PPC campaign. I started a PPC campaign and we're in the middle of moving. I looked down at my phone on my Amazon seller app and they were gone. Wow. And so I was like, okay. I called readings like, oh, you gotta win or go back. That was one of those relaunch, they sell, they come in waves now. I sell, maybe 60 a month for those right now I have, but every now and then, like police divisions or military basis would come in and buy them in large bowl. Same thing with the trauma kits. A lot of people would just like to have these trauma kits. 


 Bry
 You're, I mean, they're a great product for anybody. Who's going to be in our situation as basically all the essentials you need. People like those so that when I'm doing about 600, 800 units a month, and I don't have very many reviews yet, I don't want, I've done surveys. You can do split testing all these different websites compared to my competitors. Not that product is going to pick up a lot as I, as the listing matures. 


 Josh
 Oh, that's super cool, man. Congratulations. I just pulled up the, some of this stuff and it is stuff that I love. I'm a, I'm a former firefighter medic and, I was just playing with my go kit the other day. I have survival gear and some bullets and some cool stuff. I have some old gear, but this is packaged very well. Nice work, man. So let me ask this question. How do you go about give it, give us, I know you're not going to give away all the secret sauce, right? Cause you're, you're launching more products and more brands and such, but give me an idea. Right? Cause I get analysis paralysis and I have tons of ideas. I'm an idea guy, give me an idea on how I can, narrow into finding a potentially high margin product, get that could beat out the competition, based on who I am. 


 Bry
 Yeah. So I I'm like you. In fact, I've done personality tests and I score on all the points of an entrepreneur, the downsides that you have with that personality it's follow through because you get passionate about ideas and then yet it's hard to follow through with it. Having a good system in place to do that is really helpful. What, what I learned to do is we use this thing called the green lights spreadsheet, which by the way, Neil has given me a version that I can share with masons I'm coming on here, kind of promoting them indirectly. He said that if anybody wants it, they can text me. And I can. He gave me a link to, I can share with anyone wants it. For anyone who's in the e-commerce space already, especially Amazon, what this spreadsheet will do for you to show your margin after netting out the costs associated with Amazon fees. 


 Josh
 Okay. 


 Bry
 So, so in what the idea is you go through and if you join this program and even if you don't, you can do this on your end. If you're interested in launching an e-commerce business, which you want to do, you want to go create a major list because big list, you want to have 500 products on it. You see, this is your chance to go and be creative and passionate and come up with every idea you can think of. There's data there's even systems for how to do that. You go in and you start plugging them in one by one in the Greenlight spreadsheet. You start with the numbers and if there's a margin in it, what you can sell it for. When you evaluate what you can sell it for, you look at what the top sellers in your space are selling a similar product. 


 Bry
 You say, okay, if I come in 10% cheaper with a better product, have where does that leave my mortgage? If your margin checks out, then you go further, keep launching tests. You do a test of 20, 30, 40 units, and you see how it sells. Then you go for the big law. There's a methodical approach to it so that you could easily go blow money quick. 


 Josh
 Yeah. If I bought, 400 med kits and they're sitting in my house, my wife will not be very happy. She'll she'll say you need to go buy more diapers. So I like this idea. All right. So I want that, that checklist. Where, what, how do I get that? Or how do I, how do our, how does our community get that? 


 Bry
 All right. Let me give you phone number that they can text to. 


 Josh
 Okay. While you're looking while you're looking that up, that's super cool. I'm sorry to put you on the spot with that. Awesome. 


 Bry
 Ready? Yeah. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Well, don't worry about that. As you're looking for that, one of the things that, that I'm trying to learn and grow is have multiple streams of income, have multiple things going that I could come and pull different level levers, and have other people, operate things and pull levers and such like that too. That's what I'm trying to build in the next stage of my life. Early stage of my life was figuring my s**t out and get in, learning and getting beat up . Second stage is like I'm investing in systems, processes, and people to build stuff with me and for me. So this is super cool. I'm super interested in the e-commerce world. I think it's going to get more and more of that in the future. Did you get an opportunity to find that? 


 Bry
 Yes, I do have it. All right. You want me to just call it out? 


 Josh
 Yeah, I don't. 


 Bry
 Put it in the notes. It's 2 5 1 2 8 9 0 9 1 4. 


 Josh
 Okay. 


 Bry
 And that's just, it's my phone number. It's going to come to me on a Google voice line, but I set it up because I don't, I just didn't want my personal cell phone number getting blown up. If anyone who's interested in this, if they'll just text green light, just the words, green light, then I'll know what it is. 


 Josh
 Cool. All right. Text Greenlight 2, 2, 5 1 2 8, 9 0 9 1 4. I'll put that in the show notes. All right. Let's let's let me ask a few more questions about as you're building this out, what does the future of your group of businesses and brands? What does, what does the future look like for Bri? 


 Bry
 Yeah, I'm going to continue to work my earn-out and hub and find commercial shirts clients. At the same time, I'm going to continue to build these brands, kinda got my systems going, and it doesn't take that much time. I'm going to continue to be launching more products. Next phase, I would say with brands as they get to maturity phase is going to be defined influencers and to get a kind, build out a tribe brand followers. I still need to get a social media platforms going. That's the next journey or that's a continuation of spanning the journey. 


 Josh
 Super cool during this interview. What question should I have asked you? Cause I mean, I'd like to have you on again in the future to just go, Hey, we're here we are a year later or something like that. We're, a hundred products in, and this is what we've learned and such like that. Investing in e-commerce to me is super interesting. I want to continue to follow your own journey, but what questions should I have asked you about your life personal or business that I should have asked? 


 Bry
 Oh, I don't know. I mean, I think we did. I think it was a good interview. He did good. I guess one thing that would be interesting to talk about next time do, would be people like the talk about that you should do probably your passion and do what you launched products and things you're interested in or know things about. It's probably challenged that a little bit. 


 Josh
 I can't just leave that there because in my mind, as I was looking at these med kits and these trauma sheers and the tourniquets and the stuff that I used in the field to me, I was like, yeah, I'll buy a bunch of that stuff. I love it. I could talk about it. I'm passionate about it, but you're saying I might want to challenge that. Why? 


 Bry
 Because when I've been taught to do is to follow the numbers, launch products that are profitable first. If that, if you happen to find some of those that align with your interests, great. For me, my passion actually, as I've discovered, is entrepreneurship building, launching and building businesses that make a difference in the world and for the consumers. Hopefully selling them on to someone else who can continue that at building back. For me, I actually liked to sell it the more boring the product, the better because it, people aren't gonna go do it like sunglasses, everybody thinks is cool. Everybody wants to go launch a sunglasses brand and tourniquets are not that cool. I mean, it's like, 


 Josh
 Unless you need one, 


 Bry
 You need one there. My wife is a physician, she's an emergency physician. That also kind of got me into this because when I started looking at those products, she already kind of knows about them and they would have counseled me some. I think having somewhere that you can access information about products is helpful, but I, I would say that your number, one thing that you should do is find a product that has a high margin and a high demand. 


 Josh
 Awesome. High margin, high demand, that's numbers versus passions. I like that, man. That might be the follow the numbers, man. That is so good, man. I've spent a lot of money investing in passions and sometimes passions haven't paid me back a good profit. So. 


 Bry
 If you get your passions on the golf course, the boat and shooting range, , 


 Josh
 Sounds good. It sounds good. Bri, where could people, so they, we got your number to text Greenlight to, if people want that profitability spreadsheet to help them create a brand that's profitable. What's a, what's a way for people to connect with you. Do you have any social handles or a website or something that people can connect with you and do a deal? 


 Bry
 Yeah. That actually that phone number, you can reach me there. I'm on LinkedIn and hit me up on LinkedIn bribe, try shields. I'm on Facebook and I'm on Instagram. You can find me in any of those places. 


 Josh
 Awesome. Awesome. Awesome, Brian, thanks for being on the show fellow deal-makers. This is the purpose and mission of the show is to learn about different types of deals and the dealmakers behind them to get advice, wisdom, and to give opportunities, to find cool deals. Cause I'm going to go buy a tourniquet right now. I hope you guys are having a lovely day. If you're working on a deal or want to talk about a deal here on the show, head on over to the deal scout.com, fill out a quick form and maybe get you on the show next to talk about your cool deal, which I'll probably buy. Talk to you guys on the next episode. Bye-bye. 

Bry Shields Profile Photo

Bry Shields

Chief Brand Builder

After launching and successfully exiting an insurance agency, I have now launched an ecommerce business focused on building high quality brands and launching on the Amazon marketplace. I live in lower Alabama (i.e. "mo-beel") with my wife and three children.