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[Progress] The Road to a wholesome Unscripted Life

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Xeon, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    My introduction is here: Introduction - 75% through the Unscripted book and about to launch my first real business soon!

    After soaking in the aura of this positive and informative forum, I've decided to start a progress thread for accountability. I did something like this many years back (but for art-progress and not business) and I saw the benefits of this sort of thread.

    I can't guarantee I'll be able to post here regularly as I intend to spend most of my time working on my business : pet industry, product-based business.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
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  2. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Monday today. Morning now. In the office with my boss sitting right next to me, occasionally looking at my screen. This is the Ultimate Scripted Life.

    There's one thing I hate about MJ's book : after reading Unscripted, you start to really hate your Scripted Life. I was immune to the Scripted life previously but now I can see how meaningless it is.

    Tonight, when I get home, I'm gonna make a list of the final product samples I need, then email the supplier, and have them shipped over to me via the fastest delivery possible (though it will cost more).

    On top of that, I'm gonna note down the issues in the website and compile them, so that in the next 2 weeks when it's done, I'll send them to the developer for fixing.

    Seems that in the meantime while waiting for final product samples, there's nothing much for me to do as I'm still in the product development phase (nearing the end though). I'll also pin down which are the marketing channels I'll focus on, but it'll be mostly Instagram as I'm active there, and I might consider paid advertising in reddit too (there's an active sub-reddit where my audience is right there).

    On a side note, tonight I'll dream of the Lamborghini Veneno and how awesome their horsepower level is compared to the average car on the road. It will definitely make girls swoon!
     
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  3. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Finished Unscripted yesterday.

    Near the end, I skipped that small section on the 3 money pots, because that's way too far ahead for me.
    The part before that, where MJ talks about making choices in life, makes me feel he should write a 3rd book wholly devoted to self-improvement. Best darn advice ever.

    Unscripted showed me a world that I never even knew existed before. Through Unscripted, I learnt to think bigger.

    I've always thought people who drive BMWs / Mercedes Benz cars were the biggest baddest gods in town.

    The start of this year 2017, I aimed for a US$120 salary increase yearly at my 9-to-6 job, and aimed to earn approx US$3200 / mth when I reach 40 yrs old, by trading time for money.

    After reading Unscripted, I laughed at all my old pathetic goals and what a sorry sad excuse of a human I've become!

    MJ showed me a world where all of a sudden, BMWs / Benz started feeling like Toyotas to me.
    I'm gonna try my best to incorporate CENTS into my business and try every possible method to value-skew the crap out of my business.

    Unscripted also taught me that it's POSSIBLE to get rich without scamming people and resorting to unscrupulous business tactics.
    I always assumed to get rich and drive lambos, one has to lie and cheat his way up the corporate ladder!

    I'm reading chapter 3 of TMF now at Google Books (trial version).
    I will buy it next Tuesday once my pathetic paycheck comes in. Nowadays, I'm scared to see my bank balance.

    Yesterday, while reading TMF on the train, I chuckled loud. LOL.
    See this sentence in the book:

    [​IMG]

    I've also subscribed to this daily free viral growth loop newsletter which seems pretty legit.
    If it ends up like some "back-end sales funnel" crap as mentioned in Unscripted, I'm gonna mark it as spam.

    I've placed an order for the product samples, they should be arriving within 5 - 9 working days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  4. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Today, while reading TMF, on page 42 of the book, MJ wrote about how wealth = community, impacting the lives of others, and how the richest moments of his life occured when he's surrounded by family and loved ones.

    Once again, this is a bit of a shocking revelation to me, because I always thought wealth = buying super cars and watches and taking photos of these and uploading to Facebook to make everyone swoon and envy you. Kinda like a penis contest. I guess the gist of it is to be genuine to people and live life together with them happily, and not about showing off how financially successful you are on social media (although I would love to have a few "big-breasted models" as mentioned in the book).

    I'm now beginning to see things in a different light, hopefully, this will also influence my thinking towards people, that $$$ cannot buy real relationships, and that trying to earn more $$$ in order to buy super cars will not solve all my life's problems.

    Still waiting for the product samples to arrive. In the meantime by the end of next week Fri, I'll be making a list of value attributes where I can skew my product towards.
     
  5. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    cool to see we are in the same industry, will be following!

    have you made any sales?
     
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  6. Brander
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    Brander Bronze Contributor

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    The only wholesome way is wholesomeness.
     
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  7. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Nope, will only be launching in end Oct. Are you building your brand on FB? I'm using IG and find that it helps to give genuine comments on my followers' posts. Instead of saying generic things like "lol cool!", it works better to say "that's a nice blue bow he's wearing, I want one too!"
     
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  8. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    ah ok, yes using facebook to build brand. have a youtube channel aswell although it has 0 views. would like to get an instagram setup eventually just dont have the latest phone atm.

    maybe one day we'll sign an 8 figure deal together! lol
     
  9. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    check out alex becker on utube, i find his videos very informative, are you doing merchandise or food?
     
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  10. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    U should use IG as soon as u can. The engagement rate there is a lot higher compared to FB. Also, since IG is a highly visual platform, it's just nice to post memes and cute pics.

    I'm doing merch for a start but my end goal is to sell non-merch custom pet products under my brand.

    So what colour of Koeniggsegg Agera are you looking at?
     
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  11. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    hm, for sure insta in the future, merchandise is the way to start! maybe in the future ill consider food/treats.

    no koeniggsegg for me, ill start off with a porsche!
     
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  12. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I went through a list of value attributes that I can work on yesterday. The list is from Unscripted but I added a few that were specific to my business:

    PRODUCT / PRICING VALUE ATTRIBUTES

    Brand - My business model is based on the brand concept. I'm selling a want rather than a need (customers can still eat and breathe without my products but it will cause great inconvenience to their, and their pets', lives). So based on one page in the Unscripted book, I need to work the marketing angle. My logo design and website photos are all crafted to reinforce my brand.

    Product design - In terms of aesthetics, my products look way better than most of my competitors out there. As a day-job designer who's been doing this for 5 years now, this is one of my USP.

    Price - Slightly higher than average. I'm banking on the concept of selling a mid-end brand that jives with my target audience's lifestyle and interests. Sometimes pricing a product too low = people think it's crappy. I'm going for a mid-end pricing approach (think Samsung rather than Apple).

    Product features - About average, might be slightly better but not stellar. All my direct/indirect competitors are about the same and they're all banking on more of the marketing/aesthetics factor. Just like white-label sports supplements / moisturizing creams. Two different companies sell the same moisturizing cream manufactured from the same maker (but sold under different labels and brand), but Company A sells better on Amazon.

    Price Ambiguity - Not sure what is the book's definition of this, but I assume it's the same as the Ambiguity / Risk-aversion effect. I've this covered since I'll be offering product guarantees. See " CUSTOMER VALUE ATTRIBUTES" list below.

    Packaging - Not enough money to create fancy branded novelty packaging now, but this is high on my to-do list once sales start coming in. I want my brand to have a flashy and high "ommph!" factor.

    Comfort - My products are comfortable to use. Not top of the line yet but I'll look into that once sales comes in. No money for this now.

    Included / excluded ingredient - I'll check with my manufacturer to see if they use toxic elements in my products. If no, I'll use that as part of my marketing.


    SOCIAL PROOF VALUE ATTRIBUTES

    Compelling Story (About Us)
    - My About Us page isn't emotional enough. I don't have an inspiring story like Zuckerberg/Gates/Jobs/Henry Ford/MJ. I'm going to work on this since About Us pages are one of the most visited pages on most sites. I'm still apprehensive about putting my own photo up there as I don't want my day job employer to find out LOL. Should I use an alias too?

    Bribed reviews - Wanted to buy reviews from Fiverr but I'm scared to sleep at night. As they say, karma comes sooner or later.

    Affiliation / Associations - Not affiliated with any organization right now. No street cred. Nothing much I can do.

    Public reviews - None at this point. Business not launched.

    Celebrity endorsements - Zero. But I pray that Kylie Jenner will stumble upon my product, use it and take pics of it, post it on social media, then it might go viral, and I can immediately tell the salesman "This is a cashier's check of US$4.2 million. I want that Koeniggsegg Agera S over there. I want a Yes or a No."


    SHIPPING VALUE ATTRIBUTES


    Shipping cost - About industry average (slightly lower than some of my competitors) but there's a lot of room for improvement. Once the business gets bigger, I'll see if there's a way to bring this down even slightly. I'm impressed with how Amazon / other eCommerce retailers can offer free shipping in some cases. Maybe they absorbed the cost in the product selling price?

    Shipping speed - Processing / turnaround time for my products is a few days faster than most competitors. Shipping speed itself (USPS, UPS, FEDEX) is outside of my control. One of my to-dos in future is to reduce the processing time to 1 - 2 business days. Not sure what's the average processing time for most eCommerce shops in general but it seems to vary wildly.


    CUSTOMER VALUE ATTRIBUTES


    Professionalism - I'll be professional in my dealings with customers. When faced with customers who come out from the asylum, I'll just ignore them only after all efforts to serve them goes down the drain.

    Customer engagement - I comment and like my target audience's Instagram accounts daily (not generic comments). Once business launches, I'll be hosting giveaways a couple times per month to drive eyeballs and subscribers to my website/email list. I'll offer vouchers to customers who send me pics with them using my products and I'll post those pics on my site as social proof! Everybody wins and I want my customers to feel good about being associated with my brand.

    Customer Service - See Professionalism above. In addition, I will listen to and fulfill all unreasonable customer demands as long as they are low in number compared to the overall customer base.

    Guarantee - I offer 30-day product guarantees on my products with no need for returns.
    Refund policy - See Guarantee above.


    WEBSITE-RELATED VALUE ATTRIBUTES

    Ease of Ordering - Standard WooCommerce shop. I've PayPal Express on my store in addition to the normal checkout. Not sure if Stripe is worth the hassle but I'm leaving it out now.

    Website design - Clean website design with a single purpose : for customers to shop. This is the 8 - 9th iteration of my website. The previous ones look messy in comparison.

    Ambience - If it's "website ambience", then it jives with my target audience : young hipster people with dogs aged 18 - 35 who are active on social media.

    Security - My website has SSL and payments go through PayPal. I also subscribe to a popular brand of anti-virus that runs daily malware scans on my site and has the anti-virus site seal displayed.
    Payment Options - PayPal only. But via PayPal, customers can also pay via credit cards.

    User interface - Website UI is pretty straight forward. If a customer can use Facebook (complex UI, IMO) or Amazon, then my minimal site would be easy.

    Website recently updated - I will be updating my site every month when new products are added.

    Crisp clean photos - No money to hire professional photographers + models right now. So I'll look for good looking girls/guys from my target audience on Instagram who already have quality pics, and offer them my products + some money as compensation.


    NOT APPLICABLE VALUES

    Cleanliness - Probably not applicable to my case as I don't do food.

    Employee photos - One man show. Not applicable.


    Side Note : I'm taking a big risk on the 30-day money-back guarantee + no need to return thing. If customers return my products in droves, I will have to, quoting MJ, "prostitute myself to an older woman" due to financial losses. Problem is I'm not well-hung.

    I mean, I've confidence in my products to offer this sort of guarantee, but the uncertain factor is how much of my customer base will abuse my goodwill and trust.

    But from my reading up on others who do this, they often say it's worth it in the end, so I'm gonna sell my products in limited quantities and see how things go after that. 30-day product guarantees are like the Joker card. It could swing either way. I guess in business, risk is unavoidable.

    This list is not final, I'll continue to go through it and improve on them as time passes.
     
  13. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    do you currently have lots of traffic as in potential customers?

    out of the 4k or so people that ''viewed'' my fb page i had no interest or inquiries
     
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  14. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    No traffic as I haven't launched my website. :cool:
     
  15. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Met my first setback last night. Product samples came in, and it wasn't what I thought. TBH, I feel very disappointed and dejected.
    Based on what the company boasted on their site, I was expecting something awesome and impressive, but it looks below average!

    This is not acceptable, and not something I would want to sell to my customers.
    I don't want my business/company to be known as "That Low-Quality Company (tm)".

    I'm looking at other manufacturers who use different techniques of producing the product.
    The costs are higher but the quality is way better.

    Now I understand the meaning of "you get what you pay for". f*ck This!
     
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  16. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    part of the process
     
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  17. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    How bout you? How's progress there? :smile2:
     
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  18. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    not so good, but have relisted at a cheaper price with new pics. will see how it goes over the next few days
     
  19. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    That's not true. This is an excuse to be unproductive. There is always something do do. If you're waiting for product samples, keep scanning ideas. Look for problems. Read a book on sales. KAIZEN never ends. I say this because I've used "I'm waiting for X" as an excuse to do nothing.

    Family photos could be a part of your brand build if a STORY is a part of your brand build.

    Thanks for sharing your progress.

    Don't forget to get your badge by posting here.

    Book - I've Read UNSCRIPTED!
     
  20. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @MJ DeMarco, hi MJ, can you move this thread to the Insiders' Progress/Execution section? Thanks!
     
  21. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'm still doing ok in the desert of desertation! Haven't given up these few months, never had and never will.

    The company I'm working in now has extended my contract for another year. Because I have nothing to do during office hours, I spend the whole day reading mindset/execution articles here, especially the treasures in the Insiders'.
    Hopefully they'll renew my contract again next year.

    [​IMG]

    This is what my daily screen at work looks like. The FLF window is tucked in front of a graphically-busy background window. When people come near, I Alt+Tab on keyboard to switch to background window ("busy looking for interface references and trends").

    [​IMG]

    For those who don't mind a low-paying job that has lots of free time for you to hustle at work, try looking for start-up companies (the right ones). You know, the ones on government / VC funding, run by young guys who spend all their time at "start-up meetings", "accelerators" and "incubator" that kind of cool sh*t who burn funding money like no tomorrow? Those are the companies you want to work for.

    The bosses of these "start-ups" have no idea what they're doing everyday, except drawing complex diagrams on the whiteboard which lead to nothing, and no concept of deadlines. If you're lucky, you can even go to pizza/Nintendo/coke parties every Thursday night at those start-up meetups. Love this life to death!

    Next week, I'll be making the order for the inventory, and I'll post more serious stuff then.
    I feel this hustle has a 55% chance of succeeding, but regardless of the outcome, I need to try this to see if it works. It's better than wondering about it when I'm 85.

    If it doesn't, I'll move on to the next idea.
     
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    • nikita • Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Lol'd at your set up because it's exactly like how mine was in my last job. I was reading books and listening to podcasts, running ads for my (completely unresearched but at least I tried) business. Only I'm a huge introvert so those startup things like meetups, "beer Fridays" etc I f*cking hated. I saw it as more hours in the office, not a benefit. I think they were monitoring my emails and search history because they fired me a week after they told me they wanted to keep me for longer. I have glorious dreams of wiping that idiot's business off the face of earth one day just because I can, but I should shut up before this gets too off-topic :D

    A remote job is even sweeter, absolutely no boss breathing down your back. In your field it's easy to find one if you wish.

    Anyway, good luck!
     
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  23. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    In before this thread is moved to INSIDERS... (OP requested)...

    When you mention pet niche, you mean pet owners or Vets?
     
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  24. Xeon
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    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Made My Move - Ordered Inventory

    Costs ~US$1200 including shipping, and additional US$120+ for setting up account with a fulfillment centre.

    Initially, I wanted to use a US manufacturer with some components shipped from China to US for final assembly, before shipping the whole thing to the US fulfillment center.

    However, I'm now using an asian manufacturer to do the entire thing and ship direct to the fulfillment center. The resulting cost is about 2x cheaper than before.

    This gives a larger margin per product. I'm using the excess margin to offer free shipping + free returns. I believe this will skew the value a bit, since I read free shipping alone will improve sales, let alone free returns.

    The product is about 25% (approx between US$6 - US$8) more expensive than my competitors'.
    However.....

    Marketing Game & Value Skew


    I'm going for a different angle in the marketing approach, which I have not seen my competitors used yet.

    My humble hustle cannot be considered a "lifestyle brand" but that is my final destination which I want to build it up to, since my product and market is suitable for this sort of thing.
    I'm not too sure how to pull this off. I've plans and ideas but have not nailed down the exact path, which I'll do this week while the order is in production.

    I've been looking and studying "cult" brands like BeardBrand, Johnny Cupcakes, Lululemon, Harley Davidson, Black Milk, Apple etc.

    My target market consists of mostly part-time enthusiasts making a quick side buck from this, they're not serious about the whole thing and mainly doing it for fun. There are some small-to-ok sized competitors but no strong superpower, nowhere close (unlike the case of operating systems/search engines/phones = Microsoft/Google/Apple).

    Also, the free shipping + returns will give me a boost.
    On top of that, the quality of my product is better than most competitors who use a cheaper and less-durable way of manufacturing.
    One more thing: I can ship out the product within 1-2 days while my competitors need 4-7 days.

    I prefer not to state my USP here as I'll be using it throughout the website and future marketing.

    Here's a screenshot of what my suppliers' comparison table looks like. I've left out the left, middle and top columns for obvious reasons. The last few rows are the unit profit margins, gross profit margins, revenue, net income calculations etc. I spent about 2+ months searching and digging for suppliers from various countries. I really wanted to use US ones, but the prices are just too expensive for me to add any profit.

    [​IMG]

    What's Next

    Waiting for the products to be made and shipped to the US, which will take approx about 2 - 3 weeks from now.

    During this time, I'll continue reading FLF and watching Shark Tank, and also draft out a marketing approach in detail.


    Side Note

    My sport shoes of 12 years fell apart.
    I was walking back home in these crap last night in the mild rain, and it has only spurred my desire to get out of the slowlane.

    I've also spent about US$105 on buying a gym bench and total of ~120 lbs (60 KG) of weight plates so that I can gym at home.
    Based on calculations, this can save me TONS of traveling time to the gym and several hundred dollars per year! I only need to go to the gym once a week now (instead of 3) to do the squats and deadlift.

    Lifting weights keep the mind fresh, the body healthy and makes me feel more manly.

    I still have a HUGE PHOBIA of spending money on my fastlane hustle.
    My heart feels painful now as I'm typing this, it's my hard-earned day job money which I'm spending on this hustle which I'm not even sure what's the outcome. o_O
     
    STF, jon.M and Rockford like this.
  25. Xeon
    Offline

    Xeon My Lane Is Fastlane. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Production is about to begin! They'll start the production of the first product this week, and once I approve it, they'll go on to make the rest of the units.

    Based on the manufacturer's timeline, this will unfold in the following weeks:

    7 Feb - Factory's completion of first product
    28 Feb - All units get made and ready to ship to US
    7 Mar - Shipment will arrive in US
    11 Mar - Will send out 4 pieces of my product to IG influencers for photo-taking, after which I'll post the pics in my own IG and website
    19 Mar - Launch

    There's still so much time now in between that I'm going to start running IG giveaways next week to get more followers and have a better feel of connecting with my potential leads. I'm also looking to sponsor stuff for the occasional meetups that some of the IG folks do.

    In short, get started on building up a community and connecting during this period. Then I can show that on my IG saying "We're proud to sponsor part of this event...."
    That'll give social proof, perceived authority and street cred if I do it long enough.

    On a side note, I paid a setup fee to a US fulfilment company and now I've decided not to use them and is currently discussing with another one.
    The current one has poor attitude and a messy fulfilment system. I can see how this is a big red disaster flag if I decide to continue using them.
    I chose them initially cos' they were the cheapest. U get what you pay for.

    I'm also looking into researching for the 2nd product in the series so the store doesn't look weird with just one product one design lol.

    Also going to continue watching Shark Tank.
    I learnt many valuable tibits from Mr. Wonderful ("All roads lead to Mr. Wonderful") and Mark.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    dzackb3l and jon.M like this.

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