The Lifestyle Amazon Business Can Give You with Adam Heist: Interview with Adam Heist

by Tomer

April 5, 2022

The Lifestyle Amazon Business Can Give You with Adam Heist.mp4

Tomer [00:00:00] All right, guys, we have an awesome guest today. Adam Heist, right? Chris and Adam have a background of a decade in the energy space spanning the marketing MNA and the GM roles it moved to Europe to lead the operations of an outer product spread over four years before they were able to take the breadth from eight to nine figures, which is amazing.

Lifestyle Amazon Business Can Give

Through that experience, we discover the power of the Amazon marketplaces. And after two years, it was able to scale and sell its own brands and is obsessed with marketplaces and the power of selling physical, digitally native products brands. In addition, Adam runs the famous YouTube channel. Adam Harris is an investor and advisor to the Amazon aggregator D1 Brands. We just raised 123 million.

Adam, it’s really an honor to have you here. I’m sure we’re going to learn a lot from this, from the stock. How are you today?

Adam Heist [00:01:01] Doing awesome, man. I’m thinking I might need to hire you as my pitchman, that was a thunderous introduction, so I appreciate it, brother.

Tomer [00:01:07] That would be a pleasure for me to do so. Yeah, I saw that you were traveling a lot lately, lately for the holidays, and I hope you had a good time this holiday season and a good Q4. Once like I told you before we recorded this to hear about your story. A lot of times you see people successful on Amazon or other things that they do in life, but you don’t really know what they went through before.

And a lot of people just start Amazon and they fail, and they don’t quite understand the reason. And I think sharing the background of other successful people here, that’s what I like to do. We can all grow, and understand better what we have to do more or go through to become better.

And I love to hear about other people’s stories. And you know, just why don’t you show a little about yourself? How old are you, where did you grow up? Things like that. And maybe we continue to the point there that you started Amazon and where you are now.

Adam Heist [00:02:10] Sounds good, man. So yeah, so I’ll throw the age out there to start out. No one’s ever asked me that, but I’m going to be turning 40 in June, so I’ve got a couple more months left in my thirties. I would say, you know, I was kind of a buttoned-up corporate guy for the vast majority of my career.

So I spent well over a decade, as you mentioned, kind of been in the energy space, probably too much time, if I might, as I think, Oh, sorry, my computer is flip there. I’m probably too much, probably too much by my honest. I mean, I flirted with entrepreneurship a couple of times. In 2009, I started a hockey apparel brand. This was like early, early days of Shopify before people knew what it was to be kind of around that for, I don’t know, like an 18 month period, something like that.

And then, you know, life responsibilities of life take over. You get the mortgage, you get kind of responsibilities, you start making good money, you buy nice things, and you kind of get sucked into that, that American dream trap. And I was very much kind of a part of that. But I was at that age, right? Like, I always felt like, you know, there was something else to live. And the rules of corporate America weren’t perfectly aligned with how I wanted to live my life.

But now, so we ended up I spent a ton of time in the energy space and a lot of MNA that MNA activity actually parlayed into. We started the energy companies working for wanting to buy a physical products brand, so the company bought a brand out of Utah called Gores Euro, which at the time was kind of fledgling but had a really good product line around portable power and backup power, things like that. So about six months after the acquisition, I moved out to Utah from Houston, so spent. I’m from Canada originally. I spent about 14 years in Houston and then moved out, and it was trial by fire.

Let me tell you, I mean, you go from an industry that you knew, like the back door hand and could kind of do it in your sleep did it for a very long time to the world of physical products. It was a completely different kind of business. Mathematics around it was completely different, but it was fascinating. I mean, my first three weeks on the job or going to China.

So I spent my first three weeks in China, touring about 18 factories and drinking too much, and eating a lot of like salty saturated foods. But it was kind of a trial by fire. And then really, just as we were turning over rocks to scale, that business discovered Amazon through that business.

So. And I was just like, it was like, these perfect things line. I had enough money where I could kind of risk it. I was at the point in my life where I was ready to take a risk. I had the information, the knowledge. I’m like, You know what? Screw it, let’s do this. So I ended up launching my own brand and my first brand and two years later sold it and kind of been in that world ever since man called me. Amazon is. It was an interesting path to get there, for sure.

Tomer [00:04:40] Yeah, that’s an awesome story. And I want to just maybe focus more on a couple of things you mentioned right now, but you mentioned that you went to China for like through with just the beginning when you just started.

So I guess just to be familiar with the product lines and build the connection stuff like that. I have never been to China. I was supposed to go when it started, but obviously, it was canceled. But what? What do you do? Do you think it’s required to go to China, to understand better the culture? Or if you have an established line of products, just create better relationships? How was that experience for you?

Adam Heist [00:05:17] Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely not required. I mean, especially in this new kind of work environment that we’ve kind of graduated to the last couple of years. I think virtual is definitely fairly common. In the case of working with China, you kind of life and breathe on WeChat. But I think like anything in life, right?

Like, I think if you and I were to go, you know, have three or four beers one night and like, grab a meal, we can know each other a lot. We can have four or five Zoom calls. I could text you every week, but there would be something about us breaking bread together that deepens the human bond. And I think that the same could be said about China.

So I don’t know if it’s doing business in China explicitly more so than just the human condition of there’s just something that happens when you’re in person. I would definitely say that there are pretty massive advantages. There are some specific things in Chinese culture. I think it’s called Quan Xi, where it’s basically like, if I do something nice for you, you kind of have to replicate it and it’s almost like this invisible force or karma or something. And so by visiting Asia and going to the factory, especially as a foreigner, you’re kind of giving them, you know, face, so to speak, and so they want to replicate it.

And so there’s never been a visit to China that I haven’t had pretty material concessions for some strategic item, whether it be, you know, terms on product payment, you know, bending over on some pricing something like that. But it tends to deepen the relationship and there’s definitely a kind of relationship leverage that comes out of visits to China.

And then when you’re back home, wherever you live and you have an issue coming up where you know the factory is getting shut down due to COVID and you’ve got to get the shipment out when you message them on WeChat, there’s just there’s something there that deepens the relationship because you went out and you’ve got disturbed that human connection, so definitely not required. But I think it amplified amplifies both the leverage that you have and just it’s fun to do business with people that you have a connection with, and I think that helps, too.

Tomer [00:07:08] Yeah, I think that once you have like established brand that you already have a few products and you want to take it to the next level to create that trust, maybe then it makes sense from the goal of the trip back then, which didn’t happen was to get better payment terms. I feel that you know, we’re just asking this on Skype or in a virtual meeting wouldn’t have the same effect as, you know, me going there, showing them as a live presentation or what?

Why do I need to get payment there? Yeah, you know, just going to China and presenting this knowledge to them live, I think would have a better effect. But I agree with you, you know, I do everything on WeChat even yesterday that at night that WeChat video call with the supplier. And by having this, this is another level of communication. If you can do a video and they have good English that is always better than 100 percent because she was able to just provide me, you know, better.

So I want to create new products from scratch. Custom built, a custom made, and she just told me, Look, our previous customer just do a 3D. And does the 3D file, and we printed, and that’s it. And you never mentioned this in regular texting, so always try to create a closer communication line like it’s the real thing, you know, that’s a hundred percent better. Yeah. And you mentioned that you went there several times how many times you’ve been to China?

Adam Heist [00:08:32] I think it’s about four. So again, I did like the full world tour. I kind of I had like 18 plus factories up first trips I went. I usually start in Hong Kong and I work my way up to Shanghai and fly back, but I’ve got it down to a science now. I can do it in about eight days. It’s nine days to factories a day and do it.

So in pre-COVID time, I try to get out there once a year at least, and they obviously haven’t been out there for a couple of years. But I really enjoy it. It’s pretty fascinating going out there and it’s always a fun experience.

Tomer [00:09:01] So yeah, when I go there for the first time, maybe you can give me some tips.

Adam Heist [00:09:05] 100 percent. Yeah, I’ll give you my cheat sheet.

Tomer [00:09:09] Yeah, for sure. And while you started your Amazon when you still worked in the corporate job or did you just stick with everything and you went all-in kind of starting your own Amazon brand?

Adam Heist [00:09:20] Yeah. So I kind of call my and I guess probably one of the reasons I spent such a long time in corporate life is I call myself a bit of a chicken shit entrepreneur, right? So I kind of I’m the kind of person that likes to have a low probability of bad things happening. So I basically work the executive job egg, and it was tough to say goodbye, to that big salary.

So I had this kind of a nice salary going, and I just wanted to start it as an experiment. I’m like, You know what? I think I’ve got a vehicle here to escape this. It’s going to take me a couple of years, but let’s just do this.

So I talked to my boss at the time. I said, Hey, in turning over all these rocks and diving into Amazon for the time goal zero, which was a 1p business that we had to transition to 3P, I basically like discovered the end of YouTube for all the Amazon content, and I was like, you know, again, I knew the physical products world a little bit through China. I’m like, I’m just going to do this.

So I almost hey, if it’s not an issue. And so this is again a problem. Just don’t let it interfere with your work. And so I started it while I was working there. And then about a year later, I started a secondary brand. My first brand was home goods. My second one is much more around my passion, so I started that. So I just kind of grew those and I didn’t leave my corporate job until I actually sold that first brand. So after I sold, I’m like, OK, I’ve got no excuses now. Money’s not really a concern. It’s time to kind of fully live life on your terms and do this so.

So shortly after selling, that’s when I kind of said farewell to the Executive Day job and been a full-time chickenshit entrepreneur ever since.

Tomer [00:10:41] So yeah, I’m also like that. You know why taking risks when you don’t really need to, you know, always. And I think sometimes when you do such a move, you have the benefits process for that because when you are all in and you have no other choice, you kind of have no way. All the way, you must succeed. But, you know, on the other end, it could lead you to do some mistakes, you know, because you have the pressure of a unit salary or you can grow slower.

So I guess that’s what because yeah, in the other job you were able to put all the money back. I did the first year, invest it all back, so I was able to grow kind of fast, faster pace. But yeah, I’m also like you. I think that you know, always I like to look at at a risk. I try to really break it down. OK, what would happen, you know, and what could go wrong and kind of have a plan in case something would go with my plan as I planned?

And so you sold your first brand, you mentioned and then you left your corporate job. That was like after a year, like after two years, after all.

Adam Heist [00:11:43] Yeah. So I started the brand. I mean, as you know, you kind of like you start saying Amazon, a thing and then you do research on it and you study it. You maybe buy a course, watch YouTube videos, whatever else. I went through that kind of six-month learning process. So not counting that learning process kind of from when I once the first product, the selling, it was just about two years to the door on that first brand that I sold.

Tomer [00:12:03] Yeah, that’s pretty impressive. You know you hear a lot of people just starting after two years to understand what’s going on. And that led me to the next question what or how do you think your background, the all this corporate job experience helped you grow with that and be able to sell it after two years?

You know, what are the things and lessons you learned in your previous job that kind of gave you confidence, you know? Oh, OK, I did it before, you know, it’s easier. You know, the MNA and acquisitions world, I think, prepared you for, you know, maybe thinking big or being more prepared.

Adam Heist [00:12:38] Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic question. And honestly, one of the things I’ve kind of philosophically thought a lot about over the last couple of years, especially is like, what makes you who you are and all these things?

And I ultimately do feel like it’s these incremental bricks that get stacked over your life over decades, frankly, that there are lessons learned their experiences, there, you know, emotional things that happen to you. They’re pragmatic knowledge and experience. All these things kind of slow stack in your life.

And I do feel ultimately like that experience culminated with a combination of all those things that happen in my life, right? I think some of the bricks that mattered the most for success on Amazon for me was number one. I come from a business background. I mean, I went to business school in undergrad, you know, as always, you know,

Tomer [00:13:23] One of the worst wasn’t numbers wasn’t like you know, something that you were.

Adam Heist [00:13:29] Yeah, I mean, you’re just like, just like doing business foundations, you know, ultimately, you know, I’ve had teams of 50 plus people in my career. So I’ve kind of understood the mechanics of managing people, lots of different functional access to different parts of the business. So I think that certainly helped. I think in terms of, you know, mental side, the huge, huge part of being an entrepreneur, right?

Like you, just it’s not an easy linear path. There are a lot of deep, deep lows and there’s a lot of super big highs, but you’ve got to be able to weather the storm on both of those fronts. I come from a sporting background, so I grew up playing hockey. Obviously, a good Canadian kid can’t be a Canadian unless you play hockey, so that toughens you up. I mean, frankly, you got to get kind of mentally tough to play. I played rugby football pretty seriously as I got older.

And then just actually probably in the years preceding before I got into Amazon series, they got into like cycling and mountain biking and started racing and kind of getting you that seriously. And you know, it’s a sport of suffering, right when you get on the bike for three or four or five hours. There’s a mental game of mentally pushing through stopping and suffering and not listening to the voice in your head and doing one more going five more minutes, going 10 more minutes.

And I think that physical to the mental connection of learning how to suffer frankly and kind of toughening up and pushing through stuff match with that business and life experience that comes with I’m kind of a career in schooling and all the rest of it for me kind of culminated. It was a good combination of things. I think that helped mix it.

But yeah, I wasn’t, you know, it’s a two-year story and it was the Amazon story, but it’s a life of lessons and scars and wins and losses that I think make you who you are in life and you can take those things in any venture that you decide to pursue.

Tomer [00:15:04] So, yeah, yeah. Well, it’s certainly I love your answer. And did you read the book Outliers?

Adam Heist [00:15:11] I have. Yeah. Malcolm X.

Tomer [00:15:14] Yeah. So your answer kind of reminds me so a lot of things like hockey, you know, he talked about it and who you are, where you grew up. And like you said, all these things you went through kind of stacking together to help you in, you know, in every new journey in your life, kind of.

And when you understand this, you know, I feel that it gives you more patience. It’s kind of you are like, OK, you know, let’s not rush things. Things happen when they need to happen, you know? And I also love the fact that you mentioned suffering. So you know what, my little girl now going through something in school, and it’s not something that’s nice. And I’m like, Look, you suffer now, but make you better. It will make you grow. It will make history.

So, you know, always look, look at this is an opportunity to be stronger because, you know, when you go through life and you get everything and everything is easy, that’s not when you go or really achieve or having a desire or this hunger, you know, to achieve things.

So I think that’s something I always say. It all starts with how hungry or how bad you want. That’s like, for me, it was a point like, like you, I think that you know, I didn’t like what I do is so I just wanted to change, you know, I wanted there was no other option. I said, You know, I don’t want to leave or build something big or to other people. I want to build it for myself. Maybe it’s selfish, but you know, it’s also from the point that, you know, I like to think to be like, according to my vision.

So that’s, you know, I love this answer, and that’s exactly what I wanted to show people. But that’s really cool now. What what you do now, what are your plans after selling that brand? You mentioned your focus on other brands that are more your passion. So tell us more about that. Yeah.

Adam Heist [00:17:02] Yeah, I would say probably call it like 70 to 80 percent of my time is what I call mine on my brand’s businesses. So I’ve got two other brands that I own straight-up kind of started from scratch and then I’ve got more than I’ve got other advisory equity in or I’ve looked at investing in.

So I’m kind of involved in a suite of different physical products brands. So that’s like the crux of what I enjoy doing. I really enjoy building those brands. It’s just got a knack for it and it’s really enjoyable. I’ve been pretty focused around building like systems and teams a lot now, so kind of starting to hire a lot more built out like 300 plus recipes and pretty intricate systems. So I kind of it’s fun to like put in the hard yards and then that scales and leverages.

So I’m really focused on leveraged like, what can I do once or focus on incrementally that will pay off in perpetuity in the future? And then I’d say the rest of the 20 percent is more on kind of media. So I think the YouTube stuff, as you know, kind of takes on a life of its own and you don’t really know exactly where it’s going to go.

But I’ve had a ton of opportunities come through YouTube. So kind of follow that path and really, really enjoyed it and made a lot of connections. So that takes the rest of the 20 percent is, you know, focused on media YouTube stuff, which again, is very high leverage kind of similar physical products, brands, which I really like, you know, do some speaking throughout the year from time to time. I have a kind of a private community that came out of that.

So. And yeah, and then I think now I’ve got kind of the luxury of being able to kind of pick some spots and invest in stuff that I think is cool and see where we go. So yeah, it’s. And then lastly, I would say, you know, my other focus is to bike and ski as much as possible. So I try to bike or ski for about a couple of hours a day, at least. So that’s kind of high on my list just to make sure that I do that. So yeah, if it does not work, I’m probably skiing or on a mountain bike.

Tomer [00:18:51] So yeah. Tell me more about it. How you can actually do that for me. You know, I like surfing. I like martial arts. I also have a lot of old ways to do many hobbies. And I find it very hard to leave what I do like the work and actually spend like two hours on something.

Tell me how you look at those things, like because, you know, life is short, you know, to just focus on work. This is these are the important things. That’s why we work right to be able to do that. And sometimes you’re kind of in a trap. I feel that, you know, I work more hours than I work in my previous job. Yeah, obviously, I enjoy it more and it gives me satisfaction and it’s a big thing in the other end. Sure, how do you look?

Adam Heist [00:19:33] I think it’s a great question. And honestly, this is heavily rooted in my why and why I pursued this. And we kind of talked about having a reason or kind of a deeper reason why why you pursue things in life.

And one of my biggest things was that I thought corporate life was bullshit. You know, I loved what I didn’t accomplish. I loved the people. It was super fulfilling in many respects, but the fact that I had to get into a car drive to work for forty-five minutes, get into work like being in six hours of meetings a day, you know, you know, look over my shoulder if I was like going to check my Facebook on my computer because I didn’t want my team to see it like there’s just all these, I think theatrical things that we go through in normal life that are kind of bullshit.

So one of the big reasons I didn’t want to do that. I mean, my life philosophy now is to work on things that I really enjoy with people. I’m really aligned with that have a value system like me and working when I want and how much I want. Like I could do those three things.

For the most part, I’m happy. And so I try to live every day what I call the perfect average day. Like, I think a lot of people think like this grandiose stuff. I’m going to sell my business. I’m going to buy a Lamborghini. I’m going to move, have a place in Puerto Rico and I’m going to go to this and I’m going to go to Dubai. And I’m like, for me, like, those are dopamine hits and they seem good on paper. It’s like this Instagram facade where I’m most happy and this is how I kind of live.

My day to day life is I wake up in the morning without an alarm clock. Sometimes that’s between, like I’d say, between seven and eight 30, depending on the day. I’ll hang out with my dogs, I love my dogs in the morning. They’re super fun and key, like I just like that time with my dogs, I chill. And then I either like, meditate, chill, have a coffee on the patio, like, I don’t really get too busy. And then I call it like my hyper-focused on from 10 to 12 is when I work every day. Now do I do more than two hours of work at a? Yes, most days I do.

But when I talk about work, I mean the work that matters. So for me, it’s all about high leverage and high scale. So what’s something that I can do once that will have incremental benefit in perpetuity?

So that might be shooting a video to teach somebody else how to do something that might be having a conversation with somebody that I know is going to pay dividends down the line. It might be focused on something that’s going to perpetually improve conversion rate down the line, but it’s it’s something that I do once that has an outsized effort for that incremental effort.

So I try to do really deep work for two hours a day. That’s high leverage, really high focused and gets a lot more done pound for pound than anything else I do. I don’t consider email work. I don’t consider meetings work like for me, that’s not work. That’s stuff that has to happen.

For me, work is those deep, high leverage tasks. So I do that two hours a day. And then at 12, I basically that’s my kind of fun times. I’ll go for like usually two hours and I’ll go ski mountain bike, get back at like two. I’ll have like food on the golf. I’ll be like, Watch YouTube. I love consuming content like anybody else, and I don’t consider that work, although I get a lot of value from it.

And then I usually block out two hours every afternoon for meetings. So you’re kind of hit by meeting calendar for the afternoon. What I like about meetings are it’s kind of just like having a conversation with somebody, you know, you’re not using the same intellectual horsepower that I did from 10 to 12 for the high leverage stuff. So it’s easier. It’s more flow state. And then most of my teams overseas, I’ve got I’ve got one person in North America, but most of them are overseas will kind of set the bar when they get on Slack early evening for me.

And obviously we chat stuff. If you’ve got to coordinate stuff with suppliers and then, yeah, then whatever. Have a couple of beers in the patio, chill, enjoy life, watch a movie, enjoy the sunset and then rinse and repeat. So. So how do I do it?

I mean, it’s just you got to be really deliberate about the things that you decide to work on. You need to divorce yourself from this concept that one hour and is an hour out like this, I put in an eight hour. I get a paycheck like divorce herself from that concept because time does not equal output. It’s what you focus on, how you focus on it.

Are you focused on the right things? Are you building the systems and people behind the scenes? So the engine runs without you being involved? Like, I put a ton of time the last couple of years on that and the benefit of it is I can bike to two hours a day and I can wake up with an alarm clock. You know, some people might think it’s lazy, but it’s for me the most high, high impact, high, effective way to to work in structured life.

Tomer [00:23:42] So that’s what I love about this. This, you know, the life you build yourself kind of. And you know, I feel a lot of it is related to the last breath you mentioned. You build systems. And so is that the business or whatever you can do can kind of run when you are not there and the fundamental understanding that it’s actually two, three hours because for me, it’s from six o’clock in nine 10 that I have this deep work.

And then after that, yeah, just like emails or YouTube video recording and stuff that don’t really require my full focus and I’m with you on that, you know, it doesn’t you don’t really need two to three hours. That’s how I built my business because when I had my other job, I had to, I had to wake up. Not quite three am still seven a.m. and work three hours on me, and I was able to build a business like people doing full time.

So, yeah, it’s true. You can your focus. That’s what you need. You don’t need two to three hours in what actually happens for people that work from nine to five. If you actually check and measure the actual work they do, it’s bullshit. Yeah, no, I because it’s like bullshit.

Adam Heist [00:24:48] I actually don’t think mentally we’re capable of doing more than three hours of work a day, real work. When I talk about that, not going through the motions, not in a meeting, not sending emails, not talking to your colleagues, whatever. I like really getting shit done that matters. It takes a lot of mental energy to do that. If you’re focused on the right things. And I think, you know, for me, two hours is plenty, but two to three hours, I think is the cap on it.

Tomer [00:25:10] You’re the breaks between.

Adam Heist [00:25:12] I’m usually not, I mean, of your no phone, whatever else. I mean, you know, maybe every 30, 40 minutes, you kind of get up to stretch and go grab another coffee or something that I’ll definitely like, break it up a little bit.

But for me, it’s more flow state stop. You kind of get in the zone and run with it. And I think that’s the beauty of frankly, Amazon in physical product brands is the high leverage business. I call it work in bursts, right? Like it’s a lot of work to develop a product, identify it, whatever else. It’s a lot of work to launch it, get the structure in place.

But once it hits its stride, it’s like you got to make sure that you order the inventory and check on the things that matter. But I don’t need to do that. Like, that’s not something that I need to do, and I’ve got folks in the team that can do that. So I think that’s what’s cool about it. You put it, you put an effort and you can reap the rewards for months and years ahead.

And I think that when you orient your life. Around high leverage and focusing on those things that reap greater rewards over a long enough timeline for the effort, you put in. That’s where the magic happens. I think for commercialized businesses and living a good life.

Tomer [00:26:07] Yeah, that’s why I choose amazon too because you can scale with relatively small and little system or theme to crazy heights. And you know, this is amazing. You see those stories. I met a lot of people that, you know, so I just met this guy last year and the end of last year sold his business for 30 million with like one team member, everything automation.

And I was like, Wow, this is this is what I want to be able to build a massive business with one or two people because I’m tired of managing a lot of people and you don’t just want to make everything with my pace. You bring more people, you have to, you know, it’s more headache, but you know, you will know your team how you look at it, you being a manager, that’s going to manage them or you deal with that in one. How what is your plan for that?

Adam Heist [00:26:55] Yeah. So I think it’s different. So I’ve got somebody who kind of heads up my Filipino operation. So I think I mean, you start with one, everybody have one and then you kind of add some incrementally over time. So I like to try to like get layers so that not every employee or process or activities to come through you.

So and it takes time to build that right. I think that’s one of the things that people see success or see seeming success, but it really takes years to kind of get to certain points and you graduate, you know, everybody levels up their game over time, and it’s definitely steps that take place.

But how I structure is, I basically have like a Filipino team manager so that they help hire. I manage teams managed task in the Philippines, and we have kind of a weekly meeting on Sunday evenings, U.S. time to kind of set the stage for what’s going to happen during the week. And then they kind of run their own structure in the week and check in on Slack if they’ve got questions. And then a more recent movies is I’ve actually hired somebody in the US.

The challenging thing is, is like to get really like great talent in the US, like the director level talent like senior manager. Exactly. Well, the talent. It’s hundreds of thousands of businesses, right? Yeah.

So again, one of the cool things I think coming through the Amazon ecosystem, you get to know people with the YouTube channel, you kind of get to have relationships with folks. I basically hired a guy that’s already a multi-seven-figure seller himself does really. He knows more than me, frankly, is just absolutely insane.

A great guy. One of my best friends do, which is kind of funny. I’ve never met him, but interacted. So I said, Hey, do you like, as you know, one of the downsides of an Amazon business, especially if you’re growing, you can become a victim of your own success with cash flow. You got to go order double more than you were last time, and taking money out of the business is you’re going to impede growth if you do that.

So I’m like, I’ll tell you what. I’ll pay you like half of what you would normally get at an executive salary, so you can like not have to worry about cash flow, you can pump all the money into your business. Can you continue to scale?

And again, I’m not looking at things like hours like you need to put in this many hours. I’m like, I know that the effort and the hours and the knowledge that you can contribute will far outweigh. Even like, I have tons, I’m like, give me like two hours a day and some days of my you might go three days without doing any work, and maybe you work an eight hour thing on a weekend.

But like, I don’t care when you work, but I’m basically buying a portion of your time to help me uncover and scale and do those things to take my business to the next level. And guess what? Like, I basically got like a CEO level talent that’s in the business and can help incrementally chipped away at things, and then we’ll hire out the things that we need to kind of implement.

And so that kind of thinking get it’s not like you’re your typical thinking, you think like corporate America, these nine to five jobs, and that’s how you work. I think that this incremental economy and thinking about, you know, labor arbitrage and getting really, really incredible people.

I don’t care what time zone you’re on. I don’t care when you start and end your day. We’ve got an objective as a business. We’ve got the systems to execute on it. And then we just do that. We can make mistakes and learn and whatever else.

But for me, that’s a fun environment. That’s the kind of company I always wanted to work for and the kind of environment I always wanted to be in. And so that’s the culture in the system that we’ve set up.

And it’s and it’s worked really well for us. So but it’s definitely inspiring abnormal, you know, it’s not if you looked at my company, it’s, you know, there’s not a playbook for it. There’s no like textbook on how to build stuff like this. But for me, it’s been super rewarding.

And I think it’s the kind of company that I wanted to have. Some like should build it and see if it happens. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t, but I’m doing it on my terms, so we’ll see how it shakes out.

Tomer [00:30:22] Yeah, that’s fascinating because I never really I mean, I always think like that, you know, things change the world change. You can just come and force people to work. You have to bring them to you to have that. They understand the reason why things are happening and and be part of the goal.

And you know, I think what you do here with this guy, this is an awesome idea. You know, it’s untraditional. And then I think it will pay off big time because at the end of the day, one hour of him bringing something that works for his business or for his brands, you know, it just works like many, many hours. There is no price for that. And that’s brilliant, I think. You know, I’ll take a lot from this. We’re sure you know the the way I look at things.

So thank you for sharing that. That’s really amazing. I want to wrap it up. I could talk with you for four hours more about this piece and stuff like that. That’s really fascinating and very passionate about it. And I can tell you are as well. And but yeah, that was great, and I hope to have you again in the future is against that. I hope that any time in touch with you, it was really a pleasure. I enjoyed it. I’m sure it will inspire a lot of people here that’s going to watch it.

And for anyone, who knows what follows, one last thing I want to ask you is about your amazing growth in your YouTube channel. Just out of nowhere, it grows to become one of the best channels on YouTube, with Amazon FBA keeping it real while very entertaining. I love the way that you present things, and it looks awesome, but at the same time, usually, there is no alignment with those that are very good at presenting things and with the knowledge.

So you bring them both kind of. And I think that’s what contributes to the success. But tell me about that just a little bit. What you do about how you approach it is how you learn from this, how you improve and you know.

Adam Heist [00:32:16] Yeah, first of all, thanks a lot. I really do that. It means a lot for you to kind of recognize that. And so. So anyway, thank you for that. A couple of lessons learned for and I’ve learned so much from YouTube, one that I mean, when I first started YouTube, I knew it was kind of like, you got to play the game a little bit. Do you like the thumbnails and all that stuff? And it feels really weird when you shoot your first video or looking to the camera.

And I got my buddies from various points in my life. We all bust each other’s balls, so they’re like standing up legs. Hey, look at Adam’s latest thumbnail. I mean, you’ve got to you’ve got to be willing to go through the gantlet a little bit. But a couple of things I’ve learned and what is really a philosophy that I have for business, which is it just works across the board. Seth Godin came out. The book is probably over ten years now. It’s book called Purple Cow, and the whole concept is basically a lot of marketers kind of do a lot of what is expected of them and the like.

And because they do what’s expected and they don’t take risks and they don’t stand out. It just is very Bonnell and it doesn’t have an impact. And the analogy he uses is if you’re driving down the highway as an example and you look out and there are fields of cows everywhere, you wouldn’t really think anything. It’s just like, it’s like if you see cows all the time.

But if you saw a purple cow, you’d be like, Holy shit, I’m actually going to pull over. I’ve never seen a purple cow. You get out. You probably take a photo of it. You posted to Instagram. You’d say, Holy shit, I saw Purple Cow today. Like, it was an extraordinary experience.

And so whether it’s an Amazon listing or a listing image or a brand that you’re creating or a product idea, it doesn’t need to be as insane as a purple cow. But I think what you want to have is you want to have an experience for somebody that’s taking it in. That’s different. Do you know what I mean?

Like, I don’t see this every day. There’s something unique about it and compelling about it. And so when I started my YouTube channel, I think one of the things I really dislike about the Amazon space is there’s just a lot of dirtbags. There are a lot of people I’m not aligned with. We talked about like, do things you want with people you align with, like not many I’m aligned with, and it’s just not how I like to do business. It’s not not even ethical, it’s just not my kind of people. I just like it a lot of that time.

There was a lot of that on YouTube at the time, and I also felt like there wasn’t like a professional perspective not to say that I was like, I’m the most professional and knowledgeable person in the world, but I do come from a corporate background. What’s going on?

There’s a different set of experiences I went through and I’m like, You know what? This is where I think this space is going. I’m going to bring this to the table. I’m not going to sell anything for you. I’m just going to do a video week and just put out high value content on things that have worked or not worked in my business. And I feel like there’s other people like me in their thirties going through the corporate thing and are using Amazon as a vehicle to get out that it’ll resonate with.

So that was the philosophy, and I think so being a purple cow kind of thinking about how can you do things differently, but living aligned with your values system and be who you are? People will say people can smell out bullshit and they can smell out inauthentic people. And I think when you live in alignment. The you magnetized people there like you to that, so I think that was a big part of it. And I think the second part and this is very difficult. You talked about patients earlier on, but like don’t be focused on the outcome or have a predetermined notion of what the outcome is so.

Not to say that you shouldn’t have a goal like I want to build a seven-figure business or I want to exit for two million bucks or a million bucks or whatever that number is because it gives me and my family life and freedom how those goals and those yardsticks, I think I’m not sure I said was they shouldn’t have those, but you shouldn’t focus your happiness or your success, nor star on some outcome. And so I said, you know what?

I don’t know where this thing is going to go. I don’t know if I’m going to like it, but what I can do is I can do a video week for a year. I can not care about subscribers like how much money it’s made, who I’ve met, or whatever else. Let’s just see what happens as a personal challenge, whether it’s fitness or building a business, or whatever else. And like, I believe something will happen positively. I believe I’ll change and improve. I believe that maybe money might come from it. Partnerships might come of it. Business opportunities might come.

Like, I believe that stuff will happen, but I’m not focused on those outcomes as the reason that I’m going to be doing things on an incremental basis. And I kind of feel like it’s kind of weird human psychology stuff. But like when you don’t focus on those things and those yardsticks, they tend to happen faster and in a more magnificent way than you ever imagined. And so I think it’s those two things man creating kind of a unique, you know, airline experience that you know, people will resonate with.

And then, you know, being outcome independent and realize that good thing happen to good people. If you do things in the right way and you can’t say what time it’s going to happen or how big it’s going to happen, but it will. So those are my two things. And again, I don’t think it’s like a crazy channel, but I think that’s kind of the some of the DNA of the things that have happened positively through the YouTube experience.

Tomer [00:37:05] Yeah, that’s amazing. Especially, I think what actually helped you grow it rapidly is the approach of the Purple Cow. And that’s my approach to Amazon in general. But to be honest, they didn’t look at YouTube in the same way. And that’s a really nice thing to share there. I call on Amazon as the main image opportunity. The first thing I think is if I can come up with a different unique picture that would stand up and just the people we have would have to stop and say, What is this product?

Yeah. So that’s really something that if I don’t have it, I don’t even go to the next step with the research. But yeah, thank you. Thank you for sharing all of this knowledge. Your story inspired me. I’m sure it’s going to inspire a lot of other people here. So thank you for your time and for not doing some other ski or biking stuff. Appreciate it.

Adam Heist [00:37:57] Already skewed earlier today, so I got it out of my system. We’re good.

Tomer [00:38:00] Yeah, you have to rest for tomorrow, right? Yeah, exactly. All right. So thank you again for people. Could you share again? What is your YouTube? How can people reach out and find more about your consume more of your content?

Adam Heist [00:38:14] Yeah, honestly, the best thing is honestly, just type in Adam Heist on YouTube, and you’ll find a ton of content usually focused around Amazon-specific strategies and kind of entrepreneurship e-commerce.

So I just type in Adam Heist to find me there. And if you like the stuff you hit, subscribe and come along for the ride. And likewise, Tomer, I mean, part of how we met, I commented on one of your productivity videos. You do a lot of really amazing content, too, and I’ve gotten a lot of value out of it. So kudos to you, man. I appreciate, you know, gamer respecting game, and I definitely respect what you put together, too. So I appreciate you having the honor.

Tomer [00:38:45] Thank you. I appreciate it. All right. Thank you. See you next time.

Adam Heist [00:38:48] Cool. Cheers.

Tomer [00:38:50] Now, please, my friends, do me a favor and share these videos with other people that might benefit from this video. It will help me grow the channel and I will really appreciate it, and I’ll see you in the next video. Thank you very much for watching.

About the author

My name is Tomer, and I founded Sourcing Monster to share proven tips and methods that I use every day for my Amazon business to provide value and growth for you as well as you journey through your own business!

Feel free to comment or share any feedback down below!

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