Imagine spending $100 000 just on producing the videos for a free training course. That is exactly what Adam Hudson has done. His education business, Reliable Education, teaches people how to make millions selling goods on Amazon.
Adam is a serial entrepreneur having created several multi-million Dollar businesses. In this episode of the Knowledge Industry Podcast he tells Mark Egan what he has learned on the journey…and what advice he has for you if you want to be an Amazon seller or an online educator.
Adam Hudson 00:02
I had a really strong success in Amazon as a seller, build a seven figure business, doing really well selling 33 countries around the world in the make money online education space, it is a snake pit. And it’s full of really sketchy oily, questionable operators. And so I was always, I was really weary and aware of that. And the reason I decided to go forward with it, aside from the entrepreneurial business reasons my formula works, and to the point now, where our students have done $1.5 billion in sales on Amazon, Amazon is actually the process that you can learn.
Today’s guest is Adam Hudson, who’s built a string of multi million dollar businesses. Now through his company, reliable education. He’s teaching people how to build a business selling on Amazon. But get this he spent $100,000 just to making the videos for his free training. So what is the opportunity for people like you and I on Amazon? And how is that I’m teaching people to take advantage of that?
Do you sell online courses or run live workshops? Do you have expertise that can help people in life or business? Are you even running an online training Empire from your kitchen table? Then you’re part of the knowledge industry, a fast growing industry that means that you can learn almost anything, and anyone can create a business around what’s between their ears. Welcome to the knowledge industry podcast with your host, Mark Egan.
mark egan 01:31
Adam, thanks for joining us. Whereabouts in the world are you exactly describe the scene,
Adam Hudson 01:36
I am on the beachfront at the Gold Coast of Australia, which is about an hour flight north of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. And I’m right here on the beach. That’s beautiful.
mark egan 01:48
Living the dream and living the dream. say I’ve been to Australia, I went to Sydney, which fantastic city went to Canberra, which doesn’t feel like the capital city when you’ve been to Sydney but fantastic place. I’ve never been up to Queensland, are you affected by the lock downs and all that kind of stuff that’s been happening?
Adam Hudson 02:07
We’re probably we’re in the state of Queensland. And we are probably the one of those lucky states in the world, not just Australia with hardly been touched by COVID. We’ve had one case today, and they’ve made the Navy has put on masks from midnight. So in a state of like 3 million people or something, one case, they’ll just lock it down so bad. It’s kind of locking us in paradise. So we’re very, very blessed. Well, yeah,
mark egan 02:32
exactly. We’re very jealous. So coming back to your story. Now, when I’m speaking to a guest, I always think you know, with a good starting point. So, for instance, if they’ve maybe done one thing, or they’ve had too much of a complex life, we can go deep into sort of their early life and what shaped them. If they’ve done a lot of things, maybe we pick it up straight in their career. With all the things you’ve done, it’s probably better if we start with last Wednesday. Right? What have you done you Amazon flight simulators? Education businesses? Okay. Right? Where do we start here? So let’s sort of go maybe from when you’re finishing school, so I use somebody who is like an entrepreneur and everything you touch is kind of you flip into a business where you always like that.
Adam Hudson 03:17
Yeah, look, it’s really funny because my I got an email two days ago from my 15 year old kid in Tasmania, and I get emails every day, and I don’t respond to a lot on Instagram and all the other things. And he sort of wanted some guidance, and it made me relive this part of my life quite vividly. And I gave in quite an extensive reply. But yeah, from as early as I can remember, the idea of making my own money was appealing, and I actually graph in camera where you mentioned, and so I used to mow lawns, wash neighbor’s cars, worked at a mechanic’s workshop, planning tools, ransom shifts at McDonald’s. Anything to make some money I was into I just loved it from a kid. And I’ve always been that way. And I haven’t had a job since I was 20 years old. That was the last time I had a job working for someone else. I’ve been working for myself 27 years.
mark egan 04:07
And it’s I mean, that’s just the way you’re wired in the sense that you’ll just be a terrible employee.
Adam Hudson 04:12
Yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, I think so. I really do think it’s I didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. I grew up in a church in a middle class, family, family. And I never really knew anybody with a lot of money until I met one guy at church who had a red porch and I thought he must have been rich. And that was my first encounter with somebody who was financially successful and was a priority in their life. Prior to that, I just come from my parents, both English I come from a working class family and money was never an issue like we weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor. It was it just wasn’t something that was central to our lives, so so to speak. But once I discovered this idea that I could, you know, create a business and make my own money. I just, I’ve always been excited about that idea.
mark egan 05:00
By the way, I wasn’t knocking Canberra, I was just saying that Sydney felt like the capital city. camera camera is fine. So just before. So what was the first business that you set up? Because, like I say, there’s been a whole chain of different ones, obviously some work, some didn’t. What was the first one that sort of really kicked it off?
Adam Hudson 05:18
Ah, look, I mean, I actually I got recruited into a multilevel marketing thing. Somebody told me I could sell products all over the world turned out to be Amway. And what I got from Amway was personal development, I learned to read I get they handed me a book called The magic of thinking big and said, read that. And that was the first book I’d ever read that I enjoyed, apart from some, you know, Roald Dahl books and things at school, you know. And I loved that idea that I could set goals and do all that stuff. But I think the first business that was a real business was when I was in my early 20s, I was 20. And I was reading a magazine American magazine called the ROB report, which is sort of a magazine for very rich people, or those who want to be and like looking at those things. And there’s a little ad saying, looking for people to sell our mindset courses from this guy in Canada, Phil Ross was his name. And I rang him out, my first international phone call was to this guy. And he told me about this business where I could sell these tapes and seminars of theirs and that I would get to keep this profit if I did it. So I ran ads in the little local newspapers before email, and had a pager which people used to call up and say, welcome to Adam Hudson’s office, and I used to call it on my lunch break, I was working in a picture framing shop at that time, is to call it just hear my own office. And I take messages that I call people back in the lunch breaks, I’ve got a presentation, everything at my, at my home on Wednesday night. And I get to people and for people that invite people and then 10 people, I’d sell these sort of mindset courses from America. And I did very, very well what time I was 23, I made my first million and spent a good deal of it in a year or two after because I had no financial education at all. But basically, that was my first real business.
mark egan 07:04
So you were kind of into the education space pretty early on. Because those are the days that we used to get these big kind of either binders or those big huge things. It was like big huge books, which had like loads of tapes in there were like enormous, but listen came to the door, you think I’m getting my money’s worth now, because this is absolutely huge. So I mean, that must have opened your eyes early on, because you know, later organ talking about your education business you run now, that must have opened your eyes to the fact that actually people’s knowledge, their inspiration is something you can monetize.
Adam Hudson 07:32
Yeah, it is. And there’s always been a huge gap in the education system between what you learn at school and what you need to learn to have a successful life. And so I was involved in that industry. And then at the age of 30, I think it was I said, All right, no more of that industry, I want to go and build what I call a real business, you know, with staff and products and cost of goods sold and all that stuff. And then I spent the next 10 years in traditional business, not information products, because I wanted to save all this stuff I’ve learned would actually apply in business outside of this industry, where you’re selling books and tapes and things that have really very low cost basis. And that was very, very good. 10 years as well of just learning I got a very deep respect for small business people and what it really takes to build a small business that most people go down that line. So that was a really great decade as well.
mark egan 08:25
So what obviously a lot of people probably know you for is Amazon. You didn’t start Amazon just to be clear. So how did that all come about? Because I know there was this kind of point where people woke up to the fact that actually, you could sell something on Amazon. So when did you get into the game? And how did you get into it?
Adam Hudson 08:47
Yes, it’s an interesting story. I I went through a really, really hard time in 2008. I had a finance company. That was a good era for finance companies. Oh, yeah, exactly. We started in 2004 2003 2008. We were killing it the first half of 2008. By that time, there’s massive momentum, the markets were on fire with just taking the company public. And then the stock market crashed, and we had the financial meltdown of 2008. And so I, all my shares were escrowed because we’ve just gone public, I put what I sold some houses that I had, I pretty much lost everything to save the company. And then I spent two years digging it out of a hole and then I moved. Then I managed to get to the point where we salvage the company saved it from going bankrupt. And then I sold my shares to a high net worth guy. And I had a little bit of money left and I said you know what, I’m burned. I’m tired, I need to change. And so I moved to the United States from Australia. And I didn’t know what I was going to do. But I started an animation company in Hollywood. And that’s such a random switch from five answear we were raising capital for early stage businesses, to animation and the thread that linked the two was that when we were doing capital raising, we saw that companies that were using these little animated videos that explained how their technology works, we’re why we’re always raising 60% more money and half the time. And it was because these videos explained very simply to investors and stakeholders what they were trying to do. And so when I got to the States, I contacted some of these companies that had gotten these videos and said, who’s making these videos? How do I get in touch with them. And then I asked if I could resell their products in the US. And as I created my own business in in Hollywood, I opened an office on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And I started running Google ads, and people would ring up and then I would sell them the video, then I’d outsource the production initially to third parties. And then that just blew up, I was in the right place at the right time. And so that took off. But I realized while I was in America, in 2011, when I first got there, I saw these Amazon boxes outside of the people’s doors, I lived in an apartment building. And I thought I’m either in an apartment building with the world’s most prolific readers, or there’s something going on with Amazon. And they’re not just selling books anymore. And as it turns out, I was selling everything. And as we know, they called the everything store. And that’s where I first got exposed to it. And then I funnily enough, saw a course online learn to sell products on Amazon, which I bought. And it blew me away. And I tried to start it, I almost failed, I met some people who were doing really well, they looked at what I was doing, and then they helped me. And then that’s how I started in 2011. And I did it because I wanted a side hustle that I knew, eventually I’d leave America. And when I did, I’d sell the animation company, I wanted an income source to take home with me to Australia, which is ultimately what happened.
mark egan 11:51
That one thing I just want to wind the back on here is you said, you know, you’re going to start animation company. And I know from reading a bit about you is you’re a fan of Richard Branson. And I think we both met Richard Branson. And the one thing that always blows my mind about him is like he will go sort of, hey, I want to start an airline when I start I mean, I met him at Virgin Galactic, which is their space program. And it’s just like, how do you I would know nothing about if I were to say, I’m going to suddenly make combine harvesters for the agriculture industry or something like that. But there’s obviously a mindset where you see something and even though you know nothing about it, it’s like, bikers still do it. And you seem to have what is that? How does that work?
Adam Hudson 12:40
Well, I think the art of entrepreneurship really is, is being a conductor. And most of you, you know, so you don’t play any instruments. It’s like in that, that movie with Steve, where they did the the biopic on Steve Jobs. And you know, Steve Wozniak got really upset in the movie and said, How come you don’t know how to write a single line of code, you don’t know anything about engineering. And every time I open a magazine, Steve Jobs, the brilliant entrepreneur. And he said, That’s because you are a world class violinist in the best orchestra in the world, but I’m the conductor. And that’s what entrepreneurs do. They bring together talent, and resources, and they mobilize money and talent. And there’s really three components. There’s an idea, there’s capital, and there’s execution. And, and you can get capital, and you can get talent, and your job is to execute. So I really don’t think there’s a lot of limits to what you can do as an entrepreneurs, it just never occurred to me that I couldn’t I figured I could hire animators, I can run ads, and I can, you know, just be the salesperson until it’s proven and then hire one of those as well. And so what it’s a, it’s a good question, because when I got to the States, that fact that I couldn’t do anything that was required to be an animator forced me to build a real business, and when I sold it, four years later, I could sell it to anybody because I could say, I can’t draw, I can’t animate. Nobody wants to hire me as a voice actor in the US because of my accent. So I literally cannot do any aspect of this business other than own it. And so I saw that really quick, but more than I asked, and because of that, those things, and I never got the opportunity to be stuck as a technician, I was always doing the working on your business thing rather than working in it because I couldn’t work in it.
mark egan 14:29
Yeah. I mean, I used to work for the BBC. And when I left, I went through exactly the same thing you’re talking about where there’s that gap in education. And I do you know, the book, The E myth, which that was a big eye opener for me is that actually, lots of people leave because they’re gonna we’re gonna have that freedom, but what they really end up with is just a job. So if they are printed in my industry, lots of people who may be our camera crews and they go out and they’ll sell themselves as camera crews, they don’t set up a business. They just start charging out by the hour. And there’s obviously a limit to that. Now, connecting those you now part of your portfolio, obviously, you have an education business where you’re teaching other people to do this. So what is this? And that that mindset you’re talking about? Can you teach people to have the success if they don’t necessarily have, you know, the history that you do? And naturally the mindset, the
Adam Hudson 15:26
mindset, always a tough one, right. So there’s, there’s so much in that that goes right back to people’s childhoods, and experiences very early in life, that can genuinely be very, very challenging for people. So that that’s always going to be a tough thing. And it’s a real pickle trying to unravel that piece. And when I went into the teaching side of Amazon, so I had a really strong success in Amazon, as a seller, build a seven figure business, doing really well selling 33 countries around the world. It despite that story. And reality, I was still cautious of going into the core selling business or in the information business, again, because of that very issue you’ve raised, which is that a lot of people are just not fundamentally structured to be entrepreneurs. And secondly, because in the make money online education space, it is a snake pit. And it’s full of really sketchy oily, questionable operators. And so I was always, I was really wary and aware of that. And the reason I decided to go forward with it, aside from the entrepreneurial business reasons which selling courses, if you get it right as profitable business, because it’s high margin, or that most of the money is in traffic and staff was that Amazon is actually a system that you can teach, as long as they’re willing to sort of learn the fundamental principles, they’re still going to make mistakes, they’re still going to have biases that they have to learn through doing. But but there is actually a process to identify legitimately through a combination of soft and hard skills to sell. And so I decided, yes, and my formula works. And to the point now, where our students have done $1.5 billion in sales on Amazon measured through software that we use, so it’s not just a made up number. So we have a system that works. And so that last piece, yes, that’s always going to be there. But Amazon is actually a process that you can learn.
mark egan 17:36
You know, that the whole idea of social proof I literally disrupting their like 1.5 billion is like, you know, just you know, so nothing number really, but that what that does prove also is lots of people I’ve spoken to said, Oh, you know, if you got into Amazon 10 years ago, yeah, fair enough. But now it’s saturated. You’ve missed the boat. What would you say to them?
Adam Hudson 17:57
Yeah, it’s a great question. So I’d say two things. First of all, everyone said I’d say three things. The first of all, they said that when I joined in 2012, that was saying you should have joined in 2008 2007. That was the time right. Second of all, Amazon has quadrupled in size, since I joined, so it’s gotten substantially bigger. And then there are markets like Australia, so Australia, opened four years ago. And they, they did only 14 million in their first year. By the fourth year, they did 1.1 billion. So they grew 65x. Now Australia is 1/30 or sorry, 1/13 of the size of the US. So if you put the US revenue of Amazon and you put the Australian revenue of Amazon and a billion, there’s still 30x growth in Amazon, Australia, which they’re predicted to hit by 2030 over the next nine years, just in this marketplace. And there are products on Amazon Australia right now. Like for example, car covers. So in the US the top car covers do 200,000 $300,000 a month per car cover, and there’s 50 of them on page one. Now that’s a category you can never get into today for the average punter, they just because you need three months of inventory for example, you go in you need to be in stock three months, you need, you know, a lot of money just to enter that marketplace to be in stock and last. But in Amazon, Australia, that same thing might do 10 or $15,000 a month right right now. And there’s like three competitors, I kind of feel the first page and nobody’s advertising. So there’s these huge opportunities in market by making a note of this. By the end of today I live on Amazon Australia. This is something I teach right now is like Amazon Australia is like people don’t realize in America how wealthy Australia is a small country, but There’s literally products right now doing five and $10,000 a month on Amazon here, that will go up 10x in the next five years, just by virtue of Amazon’s organic growth here, in the US, it’s a different game, you’ve got to be in the game has changed. Amazon is a race to the bottom price wise. That’s the power of market economics. That’s how they grow. So small sellers have to be very savvy, they have to be very selective about the niches they go into. And they have to innovate in a way that they can protect, ideally, through a patent or, or something like that. And if you can do that, and it’s not as hard as you think we actually teach people how to do it, how to patent something. So it’s something unique about it, you can have a very profitable business in the US still just a little bit more work at the front end.
mark egan 20:48
I mean, that’s physical stuff. What about digital products on Amazon? I mean, that courses, books, digital books, that kind of so what’s your take on that?
Adam Hudson 20:58
Yeah, we don’t touch anything in the digital space. Amazon marketplaces, unless you go to like Audible, which is a subsidiary of Amazon, there’s very few digital products available on Amazon, marketplaces, or physical. So we only deal in the physical product space. And what’s different, I guess, what we teach, to most people out there is don’t go for people perceive that the to reduce their risk, they need to invest as little as possible, and just get started. But the truth is, if everybody’s trying to do that, that’s where the risk lies, because you’ve got the greatest amount of competition, it’s actually far less risky to go for a higher priced item. Because you haven’t got like 10s of millions of Chinese middle class chilled university students who are trying to get their finances on the go competing with you for like trying to sell Robert doorstops or, you know, things like that you can buy for 50 cents and sell for $5, there’s millions and millions of people trying to do that, you know, or not millions, but hundreds of 1000s of people try and do that, as opposed to creating a quality product that myself 50 or 100, or even $200. Lower volumes look far less competition. And and just much higher. Gross dollar margins, not percentage margins, but gross dollar margins, which gives you ad budget, if you need it. So you know, if you’re selling like an iPhone case, for 10 bucks, a click on Amazon might cost you, let’s say 80 cents, or $1. If you’re selling the stand up desk that I’m in front of right now, the state of the click only sells for $1 as well. The difference is you can buy 100 of them, if you’re selling it for 300, you got $100 margin, you can buy 100 clicks, and still get out of this desk alive. Whereas you can buy 10 clicks here, and you’re done. You’re done. You know. So it’s, it’s really interesting.
mark egan 22:59
Because I have to confess, I bought a course years ago and started going down, it never actually got it together to start shipping things. But I could see, you know, most of the time you will make your product, you’re thinking Well, how do you find an audience, whereas with Amazon, the audience is already there, you just have to find products they actually want. Now, when you come to your course, you know, watch some of the videos you do in a very high quality. It’s really nice style of teaching. What you said earlier about how this whole online education space is really bad reputation. And I’m aware of those as well, even near some of the things I’ve been doing, you get a few direct messages and say, Are you going down that whole road of you know, make money online? And it’s all sort of scammy? How have you approached it with that in mind, to not be like that to be authentic and good, basically?
Adam Hudson 23:48
Yeah, that’s a really good question. My business partner and I, Joe, we made a pact when we started, which was that we would we just wouldn’t be like a lot of those skeezy operators because we hate that stuff. Usually what happens is you say really highly produced slick marketing presentation. And they spend all the money on that, then you log into the course and you’re like, kidding me, you know, like you. It’s all selfie sticks and crap, and I just don’t care. If you go to the event, and they haven’t even got a coffee machine at the back, you know, there’s literally nothing there. And so we said we’re going to invest in the details by for example, we paid 50 US dollars to a team of sales, not salespeople. Phone call people whose job it was when somebody bought one of our online courses. And our courses are like three grand us and we sell 15,000 of those. When somebody bought one, they would get a phone call and they would have to book a phone call with one of these onboarding people before we let them into community and we interviewed them And we would ask them a whole bunch of questions to make sure that their expectations were correct about the journey ahead that they had the appropriate funding to start their business. And if they wasn’t, we would proactively refund them. In our highest year, we refunded just under $2 million of refunds on the basis of those interviews, because we said, Look, come back in a year, when you’ve got a bit more money to get out, and you haven’t got zero to start with, because you’re going to need it. And word of this sort of spread. And then we started running events. And we hired, you know, the former Prime Minister of Australia to come and speak we hired you know, the captain of the Americas to Captain America’s Cup winning team, we hired ita buttrose, who’s one of Australia’s most respected business women, we got the types of people you would never expect to see at these events. And we’ve spent $2 million dollars to put an event on we put on proper food and catering and, you know, as we spend $700,000, on on catering and our last event, and so people would turn up, and it’d be entertainment, there would be world class speakers that from outside of that sort of sphere. And then and students were celebrated. So we, we had awards, where we said if you get make 10,000 a month, you get this award, then 25, then 50 and 100,000 a month, and then if you make over a million dollars in a year, you get the white rhino award. And so people would take photos, and there was it was a big deal. We didn’t realize how how much people would love that. And on their name badges, I got a pin that I would wear, they turn up and they were the pins that are conferences, and every summit, every event has a different wristband, and people would stack these up to show I’ve been to all of them, you know, and we created this sort of culture. And that all came down from this concept of vision standards, recruitment, you got to have a vision for what you’re trying to build, you got to set standards around what how that translates. And you got to recruit people who are excited about and able to uphold both. And that’s what we do and, and we develop that reputation. If you look at our website, you look at these huge auditoriums and, and the testimonials and the results, it all just lines up because we weighed all the all the dickheads out upfront,
mark egan 27:18
I’m still sort of thinking about that figure was at 3 million, you said back again, which is so different, because I mean, literally, I was just in a Facebook group the other day, and there was a high ticket course that was being offered. And people were putting in there about how, you know, they’re hugely in debt and all this kind of stuff, and they don’t have the money. And, you know, they’re being egged on to say, you know, just, you know, find the money somehow and everything like that, and I can understand that, because sometimes you can take action by the course and whatever. But, you know, from that position of maybe being huge, hugely in depth. You know, some of the sales tactics were very pushy. So, um, yeah, I don’t know what whether you think in that situation between presumably you would say, look, if you’re not ready for this, you don’t have the money, get yourself sorted, come back in a year or something like that.
Adam Hudson 28:07
Your Mark, I mean, it’s funny, we were probably one of the only education businesses of our size that doesn’t have any sales people like now, there’s, it’s just been me and a webinar. And you know, we’ve done I think, I don’t know what the numbers now but probably 50 million bucks, of course, sales now in five years, and our private coaching without one salesperson in the business, every single sale has been made through a webinar. And I did a couple of large speaking gigs with Tony Robbins and Gary Vee and Grant Cardone and those guys, but I would get on the stage. And I would literally say, this is really hard, you’re going to get screwed over every which way and then some. And don’t do it unless you can afford to do this without stressing yourself out. We are not a life boy that you hang on to you’ve got to be prepared for it. And it’s gonna take, you know, three years, probably before you’ll see any profit. And the promoters are first of all, like, You’re insane. Nobody is going to buy your course if you say that. And I’m like, No, I think they will. And because I explained it to them. You know, in Amazon The biggest problem is if you launch iPhone cases would you buy $5,000 worth you sell them out? And you know, Amazon says send more or you go send you get your profit, you buy more and you put the profit back as well then they send more and they can go we got a student who was in a category, they just sell the business for several million dollars this year. They started off with you know, 50 grands worth of stuff then it was 100. And then they spent two years figuring out how much potential was there. And in the end they were doing a million dollars in a month selling a simple product. You wouldn’t even you just got you got to be kidding me right on Amazon. Because that’s how big the market was. And so you don’t have any money because it’s like Nike, if you read the book of Nike, Phil Knight said I was broke. Until the day I took the company public, and we were doing Chairman $40 million a year at that time, and I was still broke, because all his money kept going into more inventory, more inventory, more inventory. So I tell people this on stage and the when I did a gig with Tony Robbins, he now has 4000 people there, and the other speakers got a you think I’m just kidding, get out there and say, like, three years, it’s gonna be hard. And I kind of like laughing guy, there’s no way that this is gonna happen. And then we crushed it, you know, the audience just got up and went straight to tables. And when that day was for real, and we did really well, and it sort of created a brand and, and so that’s what we did. Plus we did our charity stuff, we’ve given a lot of money to charity. And we’ve, you know, we took our students to the charity work. So we know if they gave $1,000 to the charity, we would meet them in Indonesia, we would pay for their hotels, their food, the buses, we take them to the sites where we were doing the surgeries, because we do blindness surgeries. And I would spend two days on site participating and helping the 4 million people that are blind in Indonesia, get their vision back and actually watching a blind person walk in blind and walk out with vision. And that also was pretty powerful. We’ve become one of the biggest diners, we bought them on a mobile hospital and $250,000 donation off the back of one event that we did. So yeah, some pretty cool stuff in that area, too. So we wanted to sort of build a company that we because we you know, we were in our 40s when we started this. And, you know, so you know, we didn’t start off as desperately broke. People who, who would just take money off anybody at any price. This is not us.
mark egan 31:42
Yeah, I mean, how motivated you’re going to be the next week to go into work when you’ve been on one of these trips. And you’ve seen that’s what you can do, obviously, you’re going to be right, right, let’s find out even more, donate even more. And I loved your story about being honest with people. Is that right? Was it the Shackleton one of the trips, you know, to the Arctic or whatever, where they post an ad in the newspaper, which said, you know, treacherous journey, terrible conditions, you’ll probably die. And they got loads of people looking to sign up. But the reason they did it was because they wanted the kind of people who would see that ad and say, Yep, I’m up for that. So it sounds like you’re being honest, is actually better people believe you. You mentioned about Amazon and how that’s growing and predicted to grow. What’s your take on online education? Because, you know, I’ve seen Despite all these problems with scammy, courses, a huge growth. And I think a lot of people now don’t have a job for life. They’re often having to rescale they’re having to learn new things. I mean, I always use the term toll road education, because people say to me, why in Africa teaching stuff online, because everything’s out there on YouTube, people can learn anything for free. And I said, Well think about it like a toll road, because you can get from, you know, London to Manchester, or you can take the slow route, or you can pay the toll. And what they’ll get you is the shortcut, and it will save you time. And you know, it’s like the best route there. And in a sense, that’s what education is. Now there’s lots of information, there’s so much noise, that if you know if I come to you, and you can say, Look, don’t do that, don’t do that. Do this, follow the system, and it will get you that that’s what you’re paying for. So what do you see the future of this whole kind of online education business?
Adam Hudson 33:23
Yeah, look, it you’re spot on. I mean, it’s, it’s finding a voice that you can trust. And the other big thing is community. People really want to be connected to other crazy people who are on that particular path. But I, you know, there’s an old saying, information wants to be free. And that’s true. Unfortunately, it can’t be at scale. For most people, at some point, somebody’s going to pay, you’re either going to, you’ve either got podcasters, and YouTubers that produce a high quantity of stuff, and then you pay for it through advertising or some other way. Or you’ve got people who are just sharks who just get and then there’s some people who I think we are that genuine business, people that are running a real business that are trying to build trust, build community. And we bring and bring to it strategies that are actually measurable and work and make sense. But I think trust is definitely the future of it and connecting with that sort of approach to it. There’s many, many ways to sell products on Amazon, but you’ve got to find somebody who has a, I think he has a business mind and who understands where it’s going and can say, you know, like, for example, in the US, Amazon has anti tread on antitrust issues that are before the house, right and they’re trying to go to them for any trust now As an Amazon course seller, you’d think I would be going, Oh, that’s so bad. They should know, I think it’s actually the best thing ever, for Amazon sellers, because Amazon has treated their sellers like crap for a long time. And I think there’d be nothing better than them getting a massive shake up from the cabinets. This is the kind of thing that you’re paying for is to find people that you that have that sort of, I guess, approach to the business, and then other people are just salespeople the whole time and just they’re not to be trusted.
mark egan 35:30
Would you recommend just a couple of things to finish up with if somebody? Yeah, maybe a course creator, and they put out the digital courses. And they thought, well, it’s kind of either or, either you’re going to go and sell some physical goods on Amazon, or you do your courses, presumably, from your background, trying different things is a good thing. But like, if you if I just said, you know, bought that course, would you say, if you’re going to start an Amazon business go all in, and that should be the main focus? Or is it something that you can kind of do on the side, while you’re doing other things,
Adam Hudson 36:03
definitely not going all in. So I think you should just do it one side hustle, not several. But Amazon is a linear business. And what what I mean by that is you the steps that you have to take one in front of the other, you can’t create your product listing till you get your product, we can’t get the product. So you’ve done the research, you can’t do the research. So you got a basic understanding and education of what you’re looking for. So you start with some education, once you get the education, a little bit of software, when you get the software and then start researching, once you start researching, you got to start bouncing it off a mastermind of other people, students to get that third perspective with you to sanity check your idea, then you’ve got to reach out to suppliers who are then going to say, that’s great, I can do that. And you can order, you know, five samples from five companies and you’re waiting for a month. So it’s not something that you can just get I’m gonna go hardcore and be live in a week, you can’t, the first time through is gonna take you six months from education to having a product live. After that scaling is a lot easier, because all that groundwork is done, and it’s easy to build the app or down. So definitely a side hustle and have it you know, I always say to people, don’t put pressure on yourself, because, you know, give yourself a realistic timeframe to start something you know, and and have expectations that don’t make you feel stressed or anxious. Or like if you go and say I’m gonna make 400 grand a year on Amazon in my first year, all you got to do is burn out, you’re better off saying if I can make, you know, $100 a day by month number 12. If I’m up to $100 a day in profit, I’m winning, because that will quickly turn into $1,000 a day at the three year mark, if you keep going. So that’s sort of the approach we encourage people to do is to set yourself up to win. And a huge part of that is is setting expectations about the journey ahead that are realistic, and then stay the course. Now
mark egan 38:09
just wanted to check. Is it true that you were behind I love to review? Yes, because I was actually on your list. So if anybody’s not familiar with I love to review, basically Amazon sellers who wanted reviews, and then you could be on a list and you would get either free or discounted products. And on them. You had to give a review, once you’ve given a review, good or bad, you would then get the next product. And there are still things around my house today that I didn’t realize I needed. And then I sort of thought that’s interesting. I’ve got that game review and Blitz, I remember at the time thing, whoever thought of this is just pure genius is such a win win clever kind of business. So just thought I’d throw that in there compliment you at the end there. Because I just distinctly remember that I didn’t know anything about you at the time. And just to wrap up, as I know, you’re busy, you’ve got probably going to walk on the beach and enjoy the sunshine and all that kind of stuff. You know, you said that you earlier on that, you know, a 14 year old sent you a message and you wrote some sort of detailed advice. A lot of people now especially with COVID, and maybe lost jobs, or they’re kind of now they’re home and their whole life has been turned upside down and might be listening to your story and think Yeah, I kind of would like to do that. What would be your besides of obviously buy your course which we’ll come to is to finish off, what would be your main advice that if you could, you know, go back in time and tell yourself something what what’s the big takeaway, the big learning point that you would like to get across to people? Yeah, you mean starting your own business right, generally, innocence pulling it all together, because it’s not just the businesses. It’s a lifestyle. It’s their approach. It’s the the charity work. It’s the whole kind of the whole package because I think it’s connected, isn’t it? So if somebody sees what you’ve done and they think right, I would like to start the journey. To end up kind of doing what you’re doing, what? advice?
Adam Hudson 40:04
So to answer that just for I do this for the people who are Amazon, people watching this, back in the day with I love to review that was legal, it’s not legal anymore. But back in 2013, and 14, you can actually buy reviews, as long as they were ethically sourced. That’s all changed now. But I get asked that question. Yeah, look, I think there’s a few things number one is really not tuning into knowing who you are like, what what, what are your skills? What are you good at what are you bad at, and, and you don’t have to be good at everything, you just need to know what you’re good at and what you’re bad at. And you’ve got to do something that genuinely, logically makes sense in your mind. You know, a lot of times people get sold into something, they don’t sit back and really consider it and think about, can I really like with Amazon? Can I really put in their two hours a night for four nights a week of deep work to, you know, consistently for a year, to get to the point where I know nothing about how to make money online to maybe ending the year with $100 a daily income online? Can I really do it? Will I really do it? And am I really prepared to make the sacrifice? And who do I need to make deals with around me in order to support that decision. So I need to talk to my wife, my kids and explain, hey, look, dad’s got to work from eight till 10. And this is why I’m working. And I want to make sure that I’m okay with you guys, if I if I’m left to do that work, because otherwise, you break other really important things in your life, like your relationships, or your health or whatever. And you also need to accept that it’s tough to have it all. You can’t be in the best shape your life, start this two hours of deep work, and not give something up, right? Like, Something’s got to give you life’s only got so much, you only have so much energy and space to give an entrepreneurship side. So there’s always going to be risk, there’s always going to be challenged. The upside, of course, is really thinking about what you want to have happen in your life, you know, and I have some young people that I mentor and I share some of the amazing things that I’ve been able to experience my life and all of them have been linked to the fact that I’ve no more money than most people earn in jobs. And because I work for myself, I’ve had the time to go and travel the world and have unbelievable experiences that I would never have had had it not been for business and learning how to have agency over my own time and money. So really deeply think about the fact that we are on the on the dance floor for you know, 100 years at best. And what do you want to do in those 100 years? And will the plan you currently have a way to do it? Because it’s not guaranteed? How are you going to be here and you know, really get in touch with that side of things as well and then go for it. Everything’s risky. You know, most people tiptoe through life hoping to get safely to death, you might as well have a crack. That’s probably one of the biggest things that liquid. Yeah, don’t get safely to death. That’s the typical
mark egan 43:16
side, but I can have fun. And you know, I could probably get you back on to a whole episode, by the way on I love to review because yeah, just to stress, that rule did change and changed overnight. And presumably, you’re just in a short time we got How was that? That That day when it’s like By the way, they changed the rules, your whole business are based around paper, she can’t do anymore.
Adam Hudson 43:40
We were in dollars a year in sales at a very high margin after 18 months. So we went from 08 A month later, we’re doing 2 million bucks a year we’re probably pulling 1,000,005 out is profit. And it got shut down overnight like that. And he’s like, welcome to entrepreneurship.
mark egan 43:57
Yeah, no, I said genuinely, because I was on the list. I got the email and I was just like, what’s happened to these people I just genuinely felt for you. And also, you know, I’d had you know, one glitch and something I didn’t want to send out he had really good kind of customer support. It was just seemed like a well run company. So yeah, burden on putting yourself back out after that experience. But obviously a lot of people gonna want to sign up now and then figure out how to do the whole Amazon thing and actually see your approach to community building and online education. So where should they go? What’s the process? Should they go and watch your webinar first? Where should they go? to Best
Adam Hudson 44:29
Buy Cisco reliable dot education, so www dot reliable dot education, the whole word. And on there, there’s two courses, there’s our paid course. And then there’s a free course do the free course first. Just love opt in is gonna put your name and email. We spent 100 grand shooting the videos in that course. So we literally flew myself my film team to Seattle, we take in into Amazon’s head office like big glass balls in Seattle. take you inside a fulfillment center. We Show you how Amazon worship meets successful sellers, I take you to my offices in Los Angeles, you meet the software companies that we use, it really gives you a very, very good insight into our methodology and how it works. If it resonates with you from there, then you’ll be invited to buy the main course. And if not keep looking, but that’s the place to go. Just come check it out there. And on Instagram, I do coaching pretty much every day for free just on life and entrepreneurship. And that’s Adam Hudson official. And yeah, you’ll just see me all the time there. If you liked the vibe so far,
mark egan 45:33
by the way, 110 second question, because if you could just stop being interesting, that was really, really helpful. I can grab the free course. What was your what’s the thinking about giving people a free course? Instead of Yeah, like lots of the other techniques people use to sort of lead people towards them the paid course? Yeah, well, the
Adam Hudson 45:51
free course does lead into the paid course. So there’s five videos, the fifth one has the pitch in it. But the the idea is to build trust, right? Like you’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to demonstrate to people that you know, what you’re talking about, and all of that. So I’m a big believer in building trust over time with people. And so that’s what we did. And we invested a lot of money into it, because we wanted people to use a big decision, you know, like starting a business is a big decision. It’s not like starting a 30 day health challenge that you can quit. This is a this is a big thing that’s gonna take time out of your life. So yeah, that’s been really successful. People love that free video series, because even if they don’t buy that course, they come away going, Wow, that was bloody interesting.
mark egan 46:38
Great. Well, I really like your approach. I like your approach to trying to do things well, like you say, the amount of money spent on the free course. The whole, you know, you seem to have an ability to not only do something to to think back about why do we do them? What do I learn about that? So every step of experience, you’ve come away with something that’s actually shareable, useful, you can build on say, congratulations on your success. And I think I’m about to go into your free course now, cuz you’ve completely sold me on that already. But thank you very much. And yeah, I wish you continued success. Thanks, Max. Pleasure. Don’t forget to join the knowledge industry group on Facebook. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please leave us a good review. And if you want to connect head to http://www.markeganvideo.com