061: The Unlikely Entrepreneur – Robyn Johnson II

Robyn Johnson is not your typical entrepreneur. She never had a lemonade stand growing up, and before starting her business, she was in about the least capitalistic profession possible – working for a church. She doesn’t possess the typical credentials associated with running a successful business. She doesn’t have an MBA; not even a Bachelor’s degree. She was a mom with two young children who built her business with only $100 taken from their emergency fund. She started with buying items from one garage sale to another and resells them on Craigslist. From selling on Craigslist, she and her team moved to eBay, Amazon, their own website, coaching, consulting, web design, and creating courses. They have sold over a million dollars’ worth of products on Amazon and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth on eBay.  Robyn is the author of the book Unlikely Entrepreneur which is now available in Amazon and Kindle.

Interesting Notes

  • Robyn has a team of incredibly valuable people, whom she enjoys and likes to work with. She hires people that she wants to partner with and work together.
  • She is a believer of building a system because the more efficient you are, the more you get paid for an hour. Putting a system is like giving yourself a valuable gift.
  • She described Fourth Quarter (Q4) as less like magic and more like harvest. She likened it to a farmer planting the seed, nurturing it and making sure that the plants have what they need, and when harvest time comes, he take his resources and harvest all that he has worked for.
  • Robyn and her husband get ready for all year but don't buy things for Q4. She only buys things that are good and going to quick turning today. Then at the start of Q3, they start to really get hard and invest and make sure they have lots of inventory and lots of things listed to build up their inventory the whole year round.
  • For someone who is just starting on eBay and desires to have a decent Q4 without spending thousands for inventory, Robyn's advices are: 1. Make use of your time efficiently because every second count in Q4. 2. List and ship what you have first. Check the shelves of things that you are not listing. You have to list what you have that you are not listing now because you are losing money every day that those items are not listed. 3. Look at any inventory that you have and look for levels of dust and ask yourself: a. am I going to liquidate it? b. am I going to give it to somebody else who could use it better? or c. am I going to wait because I feel like there's going to be a big payoff at the end? Then act on what you have decided. Don't be afraid to get rid of stuff. 4. When it comes to sourcing, don't buy on speculation. 5. The same strategies that work in Q1 work in Q4. So trust yourself. Trust your experience. And if you run out of capital, go back to basics. Go back to finding cheap inventory. 6. Take advantage of the promotion manager because it can make a huge difference in the search results. Make sure that your listings are good and your photos are good too.
  • Robyn prices her items based on supply and demand. The less there is of something, less supply there is. If there is a demand for it, the more expensive it's going to be.
  • For better profit, she advises to look for things that are unique and then price them where they need to go, but don't overprice them.
  • She uses auction pricing for her items that are rare and make it sure that it is on Pinterest or on a Facebook group.
  • She mentioned the distinctive advantage to drop shipping, that is, you don't have to buy the inventory and you don't have to touch it. However, there is a price into it, that is, you don't have control over your customer's experience, but you are going to be held accountable for your customer's experience. So, she cautions sellers to be aware of the risk because you are risking your account.
  • Robyn is the author of the book Unlikely Entrepreneur which is now available on Amazon and Kindle. In her book, she talks about some of the secrets, foundations, and the milestones of going into a business.

Quotes

  • “You can really create whatever you want. It is just about having the hustle and the unstoppable spirit – go and get it!”
  • “You can have your eyes on the prize or your eyes on the hurdle. But if you watch the hurdle, you'll never going to get over it.”
  • “It (Q4) is really a great opportunity to practice scaling up and growing your business really fast.”
  • It's not too late to prepare! Q4 happens every year.”
  • “You can grow any time of the year. It is just having the right products for the right time of the year.”
  • “Find something that fits your thing.”
  • “Don't leave money on the table and buy on speculation.”
  • “Don't be afraid to find a way to hustle things to make it grow a little faster and grow really wide.”
  • “When you get people together, it is almost like there is a third mind – the Mastermind. When you work with people, you get synergy. You get ideas that you would not have on your own.” – adapted from Napoleon Hills
  • “The only thing that stops people is when they get caught up on themselves.”
  • “You can do it. You just have to surround yourself with the right people who are going to support you and help you get the tools you need.”
  • “The rare something is, or the more unique something is, the better you are going to sell it for.”
  • “Find your audience and cultivate your audience.”
  • “Provide value in what you do.”
  • “You should look at your business as an opportunity to serve others.”
  • “When you have something really of value to provide to somebody, you almost do them a disservice by not giving them the opportunity to buy it.” – adapted from Sharon Napier
  • “All magic comes with a price.” – Rumpelstiltskin

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