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How To Optimize Ecommerce Revenues With Tanner Larsson, Founder and CEO at Build Grow Scale

Joshua Chin 10:54

top center, what exactly is the optimization. So you break that down optimization

Tanner Larsson 10:59

is a, the best way to look at it is a holistic approach to the buyers journey to optimizing every single aspect of the store and the buyers journey. So the other terminology that people who use a lot, and they talk about us too, is conversion rate optimization. Now, I’m not here to knock conversion rate optimization, it’s, it’s where we started, it’s a great model, it there’s a lot of good elements of it. The problem with the we found with it and why we developed it kind of spun off and figured out our own way was it was very limiting. And it was also very tunnel vision. Conversion Rate is truthfully, at when you look at the other deeper metrics of your store. In many cases, it’s a vanity metric, it’s really not the most important metric. And as an example, I can, I can give you a massive conversion rate, just let me drop your price. On your price. Now your conversion rate goes up, but your revenue goes down, you make less money, you’re not profitable. So there’s a sweet spot for that for sure. But until everything else is optimized in the buyers journey, the conversion rate is really not the focus. And CRO also folks is just very, very tunnel vision. And they also focus a lot of times because they don’t, most CRO agencies, I’m not gonna say all but most CRO experts out there do not have the true deep, deep understanding of data. They know, I would say there’s surface level data, which is what you get out of your your Shopify account or your Facebook ad account, then there are secondary layer data that you get from the very top level of Google Analytics, right. Or if you’re using Hieros, that’s your secondary data data layer. Third is like deeper fourth, fifth sixth, like but it keeps going. And to really understand optimization, you got to be able to go 810 1215 layers deep to find out when I make this change, yes, my conversion rate goes up. But what else is affected negatively, or what else is affected positively. And see our CRO doesn’t really do that revenue optimization, on the other hand, is a holistic approach to optimizing the entire buyers journey in a kind of a holistic, and I really hate this word, but synergistic. Everybody uses it as like a buzzword, but I really don’t mean it that way. But it all works together. And the other example, or I can give you that as like a real live one is in cart upsell apps, right? My Shopify. Everybody wants to increase your average order value, which is the critical metric, especially today. That’s great. Now all these upsell apps and bumps and things that have been created, typically focus on creating increases to the average order value by adding a bump offer inside the shopping cart. From a top level view, that makes sense. Okay, the buyer just added something to cart, they’re in the cart, perfect time to offer them something else. Right now. Yeah. And then guess what? You look at your Shopify dashboard, your app dashboard, and guess what it says? It’s working. And then you see that green arrow on your Shopify average order value, you see it’s up 5%? You’re like, Yes, I’m doing it. Okay. Yeah. But here’s what here’s what they don’t know, is this because they can’t go deep enough in their data? They don’t know that while yes, almost all cart, or in cart apps or any kind of order bump apps, yes, they will increase your average order value, of course, they’re there. But what you don’t realize is that in almost all cases, they also decrease your reach, checkout, and decrease your conversion rate. Right, you get a little bump in average order value, but the loss you get from last week you get from not making reaching checkout, and not as many people actually checking out is bigger than the gain you get. So you actually went negative even though you’ve got to gain in your average order value, and every single right, I can’t say that I know one test that we’ve run out of like 1000s, or that’s not been the case. Now, of course, the apps aren’t going to tell you that because obviously it’s on their interest. But realistically, it’s not. That’s not even in their best interest. They don’t know, their app builders, they don’t even know they don’t know their data. They just know how to attribute a sale when a sale is made. But nobody, nobody goes that deep. So that’s that’s something where the data really gets me that’s what we’re revenues optimization is all about how do we maximize the revenue and the money that goes into your pocket? Not just the vanity metrics that don’t really matter.

Joshua Chin 15:09

Hmm. It’s really, really interesting. From from the point of view of a business owner from a brand owner, a brand owners point of view, you know, come coming into this, it’s very overwhelming from, like, working on product development to logistics to scaling the business and thinking about the different channels that are involved. If they weren’t working with BGS, or any other CRO agency, what is the first few steps that you recommend someone take to move in the right direction? When it comes to identifying these gaps they just talked about?

Tanner Larsson 15:52

Yeah. So the I mean, there’s a couple different ways you can do it. One of the easiest ways to get started in this is to use some form of deep mappings, session recording software, Lucky Orange Hotjar, Microsoft just released clarity, which is pretty cool, too. Yeah. And you know, so those are, that’s one of the first things now, nobody knows how to use this, because they don’t want to take the time to learn it out. Everybody puts a heatmap on their site. They’re like, oh, cool heat mapping. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, that doesn’t really help you with the real value is in looking at your your store data and seeing like home, my Add to Cart rates only 4%, which is, you know, 4% Add to Cart, right, that’s sanely low. But that’s 4%. Okay, well, I don’t know why well, if I go into my session recording, which actually creates a little recording of every visitor that’s on your site, and then you go in there and you watch a few 100, or a few 1000 of those session recordings of the add to cart, button and the product page, you probably start seeing a pattern of why what’s going on, you’re like, oh, man, I didn’t realize people were doing that. So then you can go fix whatever that is. That’s, that’s the easiest level, it can be also very powerful. And it can be used in conjunction with date, and everything else to be really powerful. That’s what we do. But that’s easy. Anybody can do that. The next thing they can do is they can go by user tests, where you can go to try my UI, or usertesting.com, or some of these different sites, and give specific requirements to people in your demographic and ask them to do certain things on the site and record themselves doing it and explain it. And if you do enough of those the right way, you can learn a ton, it’s very valuable. But again, you got to kind of know what to do. The but ultimately, it all comes down to you can’t optimize or change anything without data. Okay, you know, the whole what gets measured gets improved kind of thing. Yeah. Well, if you’re not measuring, how can you improve? Yeah, makes sense. You can you’re basically just again, throwing shit at a wall or holding your breath and hoping and praying, right? So data is one thing that every time I don’t care now, it’s okay. I shouldn’t say every, if you are brand spanking new, brand new, getting your site set up, and you don’t have any

Joshua Chin 18:01

next question. Yep. Or budget, then

Tanner Larsson 18:05

then you don’t need the data as as quickly. You need to kind of get things working and actually just get things moving. Now, my opinion, right, haven’t done it all different ways. I would never launch a new store without Google Analytics setup at all, because it’s the thing about Google Analytics is number one, it’s the only accurate data you have your Facebook data is not accurate, your Google aggregate is not accurate. Neither is your Shopify data. So the most accurate data layer is going to be in your Google Analytics. Now, even if you don’t know how to set all the rest of it up. The thing about your Google Analytics data is its forward reporting. So it only collects data from the day it’s installed forward, it can’t be installed and then go backwards and collect. So every day you don’t have it, it’s data you’re not collecting that you can’t later have analyze or have someone analyze or whatever. So the sooner you get that in there, the better even if again, you don’t know how to analyze it, just get it set up correctly, and don’t mess with it and let it collect. But learning how to read the data, and how to do that is one of the most important things of any brand. And it will honestly, it is the secret from taking a brand that struggling at five to $10,000 a month taking them to 100,000 or more. We’ve done tons and tons of case studies and stories and testimonials from people, you know, that we’ve done that with and in bigger brands who do the same thing, like took one brand that she was doing about $70,000 a month and then well, let’s see, last year, she had her first $3 million month that was over, you know, so it doesn’t it can be done with whatever. But that’s not possible. Without the data. We took another brand from 200 a month to 4 million a month in seven months. And the only reason it took seven months was we broke their supply chain three times. So like there’s a you can go really fast when you have the data. The problem is people don’t want to spend money on the data, because they’re like I got my money on tracks by traffic. So I can’t afford pay someone to install my Google Analytics or set that up, or they don’t see it as a value added expense, and you’re going to buy traffic and you’re going to waste all that money on traffic. And then you’re not going to have anything to show for it when they don’t convert, and you don’t have the data. But people don’t look at it that way. Because it’s not sexy, it’s intimidating. And it like, I’m not going to use it. You know, that’s the that’s the big thing. That’s very, very important. Now, you know, one of the things that we do at Bill Gross scale inside of our econ insider program is we’d since we test so much, I mean, we’re talking about, like you said, half a billion dollars worth of results. But all that’s backed by ungodly amounts of testing, data, split testing, panelization, whatever. And then when we have one, when we tested across all the stores in our network, so it doesn’t always win across all those stores. But we find out very quickly what works and what doesn’t in different niches. Now all of that information gets packaged and broken down into, you know, easy use chunks, and we teach that to our students. So there’s a way to get, get the information for people without having to learn all the expertise. But if you’re not doing that, and I’m not saying you have to join our program, or anything, but again, if I can tell anybody, the most important thing that I learned about building an ecommerce business, aside from having a good product, and all of that kind of stuff, like that’s a given

Joshua Chin 21:16

is the data. I see def if you’re listening to this, and you’re thinking, Oh, holy shit, that’s a lot of work. And a lot of it is a lot of work. It is. And the easiest way to kind of navigate through this whole process is to join ecom insiders, I I’m just saying this from from an outsider’s point of view, the amount of data and information and ideas and tests that you guys have done and have is insane. And a single brand owner would never be able to access that amount of ideas and insights alone in a lifetime. I think that the leverage there is his information and speed of information is where it’s key. It’s the same, it’s the same inverse, like the the amount of tests that we conduct across our brands, is leveraged and compounded across all our different brands. If it’s if once the test is winning with brand, a, we’re going to try that same test across different brands where it makes sense. And we feed all of that information back into a community. We don’t have a salary program, so it’s all free to go in. But I 100% agree what

Tanner Larsson 22:30

you have without the testing, your agency would not be successful without a iterative testing and all the data that you’re collecting and analyzing

Joshua Chin 22:36

100% saying if your store that that that is exactly it. And it’s that, you know, a lot of people don’t like that idea, because it’s just so boring. Like, what’s the secret to success? It’s

Tanner Larsson 22:51

so let’s talk about it. Yeah, just success for a second. Let’s touch on that. This is this drives me nuts. Alright. Yeah, um, you know, I’ve been in the business world for a long time, I started my first business in 2001, which literally, in this world of internet makes me a dinosaur, like, like, right? That’s, that’s 21, almost 22 years, right? Of this stuff. 21 years of this stuff. Now, I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for a really long time doing this kind of stuff. I’ve coached and worked with 1000s and 1000s of people. And it’s always like, what’s the secret? What’s the magic button? What’s the one thing what how do I do this? It’s like, I literally want to just slap people. I’m kind of giving all of you guys listen to this a virtual slap even though you’re not on my podcast, you’re on Joshua, but I want to just slap you all across the face and say Wake the heck up. Think about this. Business is hard. If it wasn’t hard, everybody would have a big business, okay? It’s supposed to be hard. Life is also not supposed to be easy. Like, I’m not saying you have to make your life hard on you. But the people who put in the hard stuff and don’t try to pick the easy path everywhere are the ones that have what you want, and get where you want to be. Now a perfect example of this is the best basketball players in the world. Jordan, right. Ask Jordan what his secret to success is, as Kobe ask any of these guys LeBron fundamentals. Over and over and over again, it’s the fundamental, it’s mastering the fundamentals and practicing them over and over again. I’m a competitive pistol shooter I have been for over 20 Actually, more than that, 25 years now, I used to be ranked in the top 1% of the world. Oh, shooting heavily and loved it. Great sport. Now in the top 1% of the world. I was at the bottom of that 1% It was like starting over again, right? There’s guys that 1% that I’ve never beat in my life, because they’re just that good. And what makes them different than what I have. They literally have the fundamentals mastered at such a high level that they’re almost unconsciously robotic in their movements in their actions and the way they do things. It’s not their fancy jump shot or their fancy way to quickly aim aim or check it or pull the trigger. It’s literally just the fundamentals mastery day, right? Same the same thing. Always in my world. Same thing in business. Business is not sexy. Money is sexy. But yeah, the thing that gets you to the sexy is the boring stuff. Okay? Six Pack Abs, shredded shredded body, big butt for girls, whatever toned like, sexy, but the work that it requires to get there, the dieting, the clean eating the working out the sweating, smelly, nasty and all that stuff. It’s not sexy. But the end result is sexy, right? Yeah, this is business guys. Wake the frick up and do it and put the work in. One of my one of my best friends and also a client and a student of ours is Devin Davis. He owns a great jewelry company, and a phenomenal email marketer. Actually, he gets about 40% of his daily revenue from email. Yes, yes. Phenomenal. Actually, he teaches email in our programs now because he’s gotten so good. Now he didn’t start that way. He did the boring work and decided he’s gonna make email work. But one of the things that he says is, you know, don’t treat your business like microwave popcorn. Because it’s that, you know, it’s not good, and it’s never gonna come and you’re like, but like, here’s the thing, you put it in the microwave, and you pop and you push popcorn to pop it and then it goes for about five or six seconds and you open the door, you take it out and go, Is it ready? No. Okay, get back in it. Keep doing that. And you’re like, now if you just let it go, and you kept letting it do its thing, eventually it’s going to pop right you’re going to get the result you want. He said about everybody in this in this econ world is literally just opening the door every five and a half seconds and trying to oh maybe if I push a different button that’ll work maybe if I do this, maybe I’ve turned it over maybe all this stuff. Like and I love the way he says that but he’s like all it is is doing the grunt work doing the unsexy and he calls it EDD every damn day. Yeah, in our in our world we have to there’s two things we have get shit done. That’s what the GST stands for on that plaque. The war cry of BGs and our econ insiders and everything everything revolves around, get shit done. There’s all these white pack things back there, those are all get shit done reports that we mail out every month, but we say get shit done. And then Devin added every damn day, if you do that you’re gonna be successful. But looking for magic buttons and wondering why it doesn’t work and trying to you know, find the next magic thing that’s just not going to get you there.

Joshua Chin 27:18

And I’m sorry, no, that’s that’s good. I 100% agree, I think the pate patience and and just focus on fundamentals is gonna pay off in the long run. And that’s what that’s what stays regardless of, of what changes in the algorithms, the platforms and all the different stuff that’s popping up right now.

Tanner Larsson 27:42

advertising, marketing, optimization, you know, copywriting, all that stuff. It’s the same. It’s the basics that you keep repeating and refining and dialing in that actually make it work.

Joshua Chin 27:56

Talk to me about the the revised version of Ecommerce Evolved.

Tanner Larsson 28:02

Yeah, so that’s my very casually placed a book back here. I don’t know how to decorate an office or make it look fancy like everybody else’s. Everybody else has these amazing bat dado. Mine looks like crap. But I popped the book up because that made me look like an interior designer. But this is the book. I originally wrote it in 2016 and sold over 60,000 copies off the first edition it became it became what like you said people call it the Bible of ecommerce. That’s not me. That’s what people say. And if you look at it, it’s not your average book. Right? The thing. Everybody that we’ve worked with, told me that it should have been three books, because we would have made more money with it if I broke it into three now. Yeah, hindsight, probably. So but my idea is like I wanted when I wrote this book, and I just revised it right? That’s we’re going to get to go I wrote the book. Because I was so sick and tired of what is out there in the market. There’s so much noise and bad information and everything else that people are like, struggling I was like, Okay, how can I reach the biggest market? They’re not all going to come to my event. They’re all not going to buy my programs are not going to listen to those my podcast or anything else. Alright, what’s the next best thing? All right, a book, mass market, low cost, but most people put fluff in it. I’m like, I don’t do that. I’m going to give you the kitchen sink. And literally, it is the complete playbook of if you have what you need to do to build, grow and scale a business. Now when I wrote it, it was cutting edge. But that was 2016. Yeah, we’re in 2021, almost 2022. A lot has changed. Now fundamentals still the same in here. I didn’t change the fundamentals. Yes. Like changing the fundamentals or changing the principles. That’s like manufacturing antiques. You can’t manufacture an antique right? It has its timeless it is an antique or a truth. You can’t didn’t invent a new truth. If it’s a truth. It’s always been the truth. Right? So those kind of things stay the same, but all the supporting elements of what’s new and how we’ve learned how to do things differently that’s in here. Now when I wrote this book is 378 pages in its current form. When I rewrote it and rewrote every single word, I deleted two chapters, added three chapters, and completely revised the other chapters that were in there, because what we found, again, we’re talking 2016 to now over half a billion dollars, or more than that, but of sales results and data collected, we’re talking, you know, millions upon millions of individual sale transactions, and ungodly amounts of split. Now, I’m not saying I split test all this stuff, guys, don’t don’t get me wrong, but 73 full time people in my on my staff. And we’ve got revenue optimization experts that we train internally, through our internship program, we have Google data engineers, we have 15, or 20. Developers, I can’t remember how many we have. Now we have bug checking teams got this whole infrastructure, right. So collectively, through the team, we’ve done all this stuff. And all that data is now condensed down into this book, because the game has changed again, when I wrote the first version of the book, we could not duplicate the performance of a sales funnel on a store. So the first version, the book talked very heavily about using the sales funnel as the front end acquisition lever, and then using the store to back cleanup. Right now, through revenue optimization. And what we know, we have been able to create the sales funnel like results on a store. But the best thing about a store is that stores actually have LTV, nobody buys through a funnel, wants to buy through that funnel. Again, they don’t go through a funnel just in time. Now what they do is if they’re on continuity, you got some LTV. But if you want to sell to your customers, again, you need something else a store lends itself to that much better. It also lends itself to wider product lines, there’s not a ton of stores that lend themselves well to funnels print on demand, for example. Yeah, I don’t know, man in the funnel, not so much. Have I done it? Yes. But with one SKU of print on demand, not Wow, multiple SKUs. Right. Yeah. So this book basically takes you through all of that. And, you know, the first not even the pre Chapter is the the 12 principles of ecommerce. When I tell you, you read the first one, you’re gonna be the exact same, because again, I’m not manufacturing antiques here, the principles stay the same. But everything else in here, the first chapter, see which one do I want you to talk to you guys about. So we’ve got 12 core principles of ecommerce. And then chapter one is my favorite, which is traffic is not your problem, which is where I slap you upside the head and show you why focusing on traffic is the worst thing you can do. And I’ll give you metrics and everything else. Chapter Two is revenue optimization. That’s where we get you into it. Chapter Three is the beginner’s guide to it. Chapter Four is Think before you sell, then we move into your target market competition, exploit your data, Google Analytics, advertising channels, front end marketing, back in marketing, email, marketing, all of that, including advertising budgets, and spends and breakdowns like that. I’m not telling you how to buy traffic, but I’m telling you how to structure your business, like a business. And so that book,

you know, so there was actually this book could be all you ever use. And I hope he said that, but it was always kind of like, thinking like, it could be that way. But the Build Grow Scale live 2019, I had a guy come up to me, and that’s his testimonial. And video is actually on the sales page, if you want to see it, where he came up to me and he said, Hey, I just wanted to say thank you. I actually two guys said that one, one guy, a different story. His is on the sales page, stupid. This particular guy said, Hey, I was broke. I lost my job. I was living in my warehouse. I was a chemist. And he’s like, I bought your book. And I didn’t have any money. So I basically was able to get a little, some concentrated CBD. I diluted it and made it into a like pet product. And I sold was basically $100 And I turned into a $50,000 using your book. He’s like, I’ve never bought any other courses on marketing or business or anything else. I’ve only read your book. And he goes now we’re the number four pet CVD brand in America. Wow, he’s not an econ Insider. He’s not an amplified partner. He’s not in anybody else’s things. He just literally used the book now. Does that work for everybody? Is that what I want you to do? Hell, no. I want you to buy the book, love the book, and they want to work with us more like a business. But yeah, and honestly, if you just buy the book, I’ll never get to know you. But if you’re in our if you join our econ insider program, or built business blueprint programs or come to our event, then I get to know you. And that’s the trade off for me. That’s what I love. So yes, I want that. But you know, the value is in the book.

Joshua Chin 34:17

And you get to reach so many more people so much more people with the book.

Tanner Larsson 34:22

Yes, absolutely. And that was actually the goal. Like I want to that’s kind of a legacy play. Do you make I want it out there. So people have it. And if they’re like, I can’t afford a coaching program. That’s great. Don’t get on Amazon. It’s just the bucks. Everybody can afford 18 bucks.

Joshua Chin 34:36

Exactly. No, about BGS live this year. I’m super excited. Because the last thing you’ve done something that was what in 2019.

Tanner Larsson 34:47

So our last event was August 28. Yeah, it was August or September, August of 2019, I believe. And then there was a couple other events after that, but since that they weren’t really econ but since our events There has not been an ecommerce event I’m pretty sure I you because I hear about all I get invited to speak at all in the world. Okay, there’s been ad conferences and things like that, but not ecommerce specific events. So this will be the first large scale, which is ecommerce live

Joshua Chin 35:15

in person in person event

Tanner Larsson 35:17

since the start of COVID. And all the mess. And, you know, so like you said, it’s the largest ecommerce conference North America, which is a cool woohoo. But what does that mean? It means that it’s where people congregate, like, all the stuff that we’ve been talking about is what we shared our event is not a bunch of random speakers on stage. Okay? It’s our team. It’s the real experts who are doing everything. So and it’s a cohesive system where we’re basically teaching the entire everything that’s working is taught in a cohesive system. So you go in there and you have actionable stuff every step of the way. You’re rather than listening to 10 different speakers, four of which you say Do one thing, and one of them says, No, do something else. And then it’s like, well, what do I listen to?

Joshua Chin 35:57


Tanner Larsson 35:57

which should be fun. But you’re like, if you’re going to go to an event, if you’re, you’re going to do anything you need to go that was an outcome with an expectation of getting something valuable. And that’s what our event is. And that’s why so many people have come to it, this will be our fifth year of doing it. It has been every year up until this whole COVID BS. So anyway, that’s that’s the event, but this year, especially, um, I’m expecting it to be probably our biggest event ever, not just because not because I want it to be but because of the state of the world in the state of the Econ market. Okay, so a couple things. Number one, everybody, including me, is sick and tired of being stuck at home and like not congregating. Yeah, whatever, it’s time to get back together. Everybody believes that we’re starting to get out and everybody’s desperate to go and get back to some normalcy. It’s gonna be normal where we’re at. Right. The other thing is, this is the most upheaval and uncertainty the ecommerce, marketplace and industry has ever seen in one time period. More people are struggling like toys with the ad agencies. They don’t know what to do. Their only way you get through and people get through a time like this is to come together. powwow and use the collective brainpower of everybody to you know, basically push through we will get through this I’m this is not doom and gloom for ecommerce. Guys, I want you to believe that we got everybody’s going to get through this. It’s just going to take time. But kicking off the new year with the best and brightest of the ecommerce world. It’s not just us because all the people who come are all the biggest movers and shakers in the industry as well. All in one room, networking, talking chat, talking shop, sharing experiences, and examples and all that kind of stuff. And it’s all open the kimono type stuff. We don’t hide anything where there we have our entire team on hand in the room, our developers, our data, guys. So if you have a question wave one of our team down, they’ll look at your site right there. Like there’s no other company in the world that would actually make their team available to you as part of the Yeah, the speakers usually are hiding in the greenroom. But we didn’t even have a green room for that reason, we want to be out there with you guys. So highly recommend, if you’re in the ecommerce space, you set the time aside in January and come early bird tickets are still available. So you can save a ton of money. Just go to buildgrowscalelive.com. And I’m not pushing, you’re pitching you the event. I just know the power of what our events do. And I also know how badly badly the world needs it right now in the ecommerce Industry specifically, I know you’re hurting, I know you’re struggling, we’re hurting everybody is everybody’s hurting. You’re not You’re not alone in it. But you feel alone until you get into a room with people like us. And we all get together and then you realize, hey, together, we can do it.

Joshua Chin 38:38

Exactly. I think that the value of just that alone is so, so much more knowing that you’re not going through that alone and knowing that there are options available to you. But people have tried this and that. And I’ll say this Build Grow Scale live is one of the events that I’ve heard off since day one of starting Kronos of my business. And it’s been one of the events that I’ve been wanting to attend and kind of working my way up to being like feeling that I’m qualified enough to be in that group of people because it’s such a high level of high level event. Yes. So high level, I think the quality of people that you have in the event is so incredible, every one day,

Tanner Larsson 39:25

who you hang, like who you hang out with the average of the five people you hang out with or who you attain, right? Yes, yeah. If you’re, if you’re like, Man, I’m too small or whatever. No, that’s the way you’re gonna get up like, you know, right on the shoulders of giants grab on the coattails and let and you know, the model that Bill Gross scale aside from get shit done is our whole belief system is a rising tide raises all ships. And that’s why like, that’s why we have our community and everything else. And if you go to one of our events and ask somebody, like if you say you went around you go, I say, Hey, What’s one word that describes BGS like to the people who are in our community, and we have videos of this all over? The place every single time they say family. Nobody else has that. And that’s, that’s what I’m most proud of that BGS has built, we have built a family of ecommerce, people, and entrepreneurs and rockstars, who all believe that a rising tide raises all ships up, when someone’s down, the rest of us pull them up, when they’re up, they pull us up. And together, we all get better.

Joshua Chin 40:23

And it shows it shows in the results in the the quality of of entrepreneurs that come out of the ecosystem that you’ve built, and that the community. So

Tanner Larsson 40:33

most of the coaches that are out there coaching are my students, or where my students at one point?

Joshua Chin 40:39

I thought

Tanner Larsson 40:40

they’d have to be because I’ve been in Yeah, for so long. And most of these new guys are like 11 years old or whatever. They’re in their 20s. Nobody

Joshua Chin 40:47

ever said, Yeah, you’re

Tanner Larsson 40:50

in talks about me plenty, like what did what what can I help you listeners with what else? What else do you want to dig out of my brain that I can help them with?

Joshua Chin 40:58

I think because you’ve been in business for such a long time, especially in the Econ space, I want to go a little bit more personal in your journey and kind of reflecting upon the 19 years of of being in, in business in the ecommerce space. What are these going to be kind of quickfire stuff? That’s

Tanner Larsson 41:20


Joshua Chin 41:21

What are what are some of the or what’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? As an ecommerce entrepreneur along the way,

Tanner Larsson 41:28

the worst advice? I’ve worst advice? Yeah. Man, I’ve reached the top one advice. Um so the worst advice I ever received, I would say there’s two things. Number one is that General Stores will outperform niche stores. And that the general store is a joke. You know why general stores, people pitch general stores and they sell general stores. Because it’s easy. It’s like, Hey, you don’t have to think you don’t have to put any workout, you can throw up project and they’ll say, hey, what you do is you list this product and you make it sell. And then when it stops selling, you list another product and it just starts selling it. You don’t have to build a new store or whatever. How stupid is that? You’re not building the value there. Let’s say you’re selling a hair curler and you sell 25 million hair curlers. That’s awesome. And then it quits. And then you’re like, Okay, well, now I’m gonna sell a USB charging station, because that’s the next product that’s trending. And it’s hitting, you start trying to sell that you got to start over new ads, new market, new demographic, new, everything that all those sales that you made, 99.9% of them aren’t going to translate to that new market. It’s just dumb. But it preys on your on your greed, emotion and lazy emotion of saying, oh, man, I can make a lot of money. And I don’t have to put a lot a lot of hard work into it. So that was one of the worst pieces of advice I was ever given. The other big, I would say really, really bad piece of advice that I was given is that you don’t need any money to start. And yes, it can be done. Yes. But, um, it’s way frickin harder. And I see this a lot. I see people who were like, I quit my job. And I’m like, Do you have a business yet? No, I’m just dedicated. I burned in the ships. Tony Robbins said burn the ships. And I’m like, Yes, he does say that. But he also said that in context, you’re choosing to hear what you want to hear. You know? It’s so I promise you having your side hustle while having an income that takes care of your bills and your family and everything else is much preferable to having your back against the wall and eating Top Ramen. Can it be done both ways? Yes. Have I experienced both ways? Yes. I’ve I haven’t like this whole overnight success or on this big hot shot or whatever. I’ve seen the lowest of the lows. Like I’ve been in the top ramen, you know how I pay my bills? You know, that kind of thing? Like, I’ve been there been once and this is us. But absolutely listen

Joshua Chin 43:59

to this. Yeah. I think a lot of people are kind of just preaching the idea of, yeah, you just gotta you just gotta burn your bridges and just leave no options behind it. You have no no options, but to succeed. Now, I do believe that’s insane.

Tanner Larsson 44:13

That’s probably true. As certain point like when you’re when you’re, you know what, once your business can, your business can support your lifestyle and you have savings in the bank to pay, then yes, you have smart you have to cut the ties and act to go full time. If you ever want to grow and scale you’ll never hit that success you want otherwise.

Joshua Chin 44:33

But to start with that, that’s insane nuts,

Tanner Larsson 44:35

you’re literally shoot like it takes money to build a business. It takes money to run traffic to buy product to test and the thing is you’re gonna lose money at first. It’s not losing. It’s an investment in the testing process, the iterative process of building a business that’s just how it works. But you got to have some money to do that or a way to you know, to do a lot but you got to have some So, you know, I’d say those are the worst two. I agree.

Joshua Chin 45:04

Perfect, Tanner a lot of people look, look, look up to you and what you’ve built and the stuff that you teach. Many people consider you a mentor to them, whether you know it or not. Who are some of your mentors that you currently look up to? That you strive to live? Up to?

Tanner Larsson 45:24

Yep. Um, so one of my, you know, we’re not, we’re not currently quite as close as we have been. But I consider him a near and dear friend, his name is Vinny Fisher, he owns a company called Fully Accountable. And he’s actually on a bunch of other companies. But he’s definitely a mentor that I have followed and been, like, had as a mentor for for years. And he’s stuck by me through some of the lowest of lows and things like that. And have I always listened to his advice, new path? regretted it? In many cases? Yes. Has it come back to bite me and him be able to say I told you so? Yes. But he’s definitely one that I look up to another one that I really, like, I don’t know him? Well, I’ve only met him, I think once. But I again, like follow him. And I really kind of analyze the way he’s lived his life and built his life and changed around is Garrett white. I don’t I love what Garrett has done. I love how he’s transformed his life. And is also transforming the lives of others through his Wake Up Warrior Program. And, you know, he’s definitely polarizing, which I appreciate because I think you have to be polarizing in this market. If you appeal to everybody, you build a no one. Um, but he’s, he basically doesn’t take you know, it’s got to the point where, like, You’re a liar, everybody’s a liar. And until you take control of yourself and admit that you’re a liar, and that you cheat yourself and everything else, you’re never going to get to where you want to get. And I read like, it’s so raw and real. And I’ve been I’ve found that out of my own life multiple times. When I saw him talking about it. I’m like, Yes, that’s right. And anyway, he’s also a fantastic marketer, super smart business guy. And he just, he just the way he structures and facilitates things is, it’s incredible. So he’s one of the guys I’m watching as well right now. And another one meant, quasi mentor, who I hope to have a real mentor in the very near future is Keith Cunningham. Keith Cunningham wrote The Road Less Stupid. And it is the one of the absolute best books ever. And it’s not a specific econ book or whatever business, it’s a business book. And, but it’s not sequential. So any chapter can be ready to read at any time or whatever. And my habit is, I usually listen to it every morning on the way to the gym. So whatever whatever chapter is on is what on and I listened to it for 15 or 20 minutes. And that’s it. And every I’ve listened to it, probably 20 times or more, if not more, at this time, at this point, some chapters more than others, but every time I listen to it, depending on the frame, my frame of mind, I always pick something else out of it, that I can apply. And it’s phenomenal. And I if you guys don’t know, Keith story, he built $100 billion business in the real estate boom, back in the 80s and then lost all of it and through the lessons learned how to what happened, what didn’t work, and he made all the stupid things and talk to all these people and then they rebuilt it and rebuilt his his success and his fortune and he’s just phenomenal. But he also calls it like it is so anybody that I follow typically is that like

Joshua Chin 48:32

straight shooter, right? Yeah, straight shooter version of that. I was while you’re listening no names, I was just Googling everyone right now. I’m going to buy all your boats right now. Awesome. That’s good. Vinny Fisher Yep, guard white and white. And then Keith Keith is gonna

Tanner Larsson 48:51

know Vinnie doesn’t really he has a book out basically a bit about getting to know yourself kind of thing which is, which is good, but he has his main company Fully Accountable is like it’s it’s bait great for the ecommerce space. It’s an outsource SEO company and bookkeeping service that loves working with econ businesses. So that is really great. But like I was asked, and then they’re with me through my lowest of lows. I actually, one of the things I learned that I teach a BGS is how to this would be I guess, probably the third piece of bad advice is hustle, grind outwork. And you know, just take on more and more and more and whatever and that’s the way to get successful now that’s the way I became successful. But it came at a cost. And right there’s there’s a smart way to work and a smart way to build a business and there’s not and there’s a way where your business owns you versus you owning your business. And I got to the point in 2015 where my business owned me so badly i Yes, I was making millions of dollars a year. I had the life and the cars and the houses and everything that everybody would want. I was in my you know, you know I was young, I had a daughter, my daughter at the time I my wife and everything. We were just like the perfect, you know, everybody. I wish I had what they had kind of thing. And then 2015 I was in Orlando, Orlando, Florida getting ready to host BGS live. And we had the penthouse. It was awesome. My wife and my daughter were there. She was like a, you know, toddler, and I was sitting in the office in a penthouse, and I was doing some work while my wife and daughter were in the bedroom. And this was the day before the event. And my world had just been, like getting so much more intense, everything money was great. But I was basically a business owner, me, I was working myself to death. And I tried to, but I could not drop the balls, right, I had so many balls in the air, I felt it was so important to keep it going and not realizing that, hey, the reality of life is that some balls are going to drop, some balls have to stay in the air. And you have to just make your peace with that. And you and you do and the world doesn’t end when the balls some of the balls drop. But what happened was, I got up from the desk, and I walked around the desk because the desk in the office was here and you go out in the hallway, there’s a dining room and a living room. And then you go down the hallway to the bedroom, you know, walked around. And I made it about four steps past the dining room, which is halfway to the bedroom. And I collapsed. And I was laying there quivering on the ground, my daughter found me. And she’s like, you know, I think she was 333, something like that. And she found me laying on the bed, I couldn’t say your name, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t do anything. She starts crying and screaming daddy, and then my wife comes running out, she sees me she screams. And like that was that was when it all came crashing down. And so I got taken to the hospital. And the doctors pumped me full of drugs and did all kinds of tests and gave me shots of who knows what and everything. And they said, Hey, you look like you’re in shape. I was like I was shredded. I was I wasn’t 7% body fat. I was 885 pounds, like I looked like a bodybuilder. But three weeks prior I had failed a life insurance medical exam. When those are super basic, right? They’re like that you could be a fat slob and still pass a life insurance medical exam. But I couldn’t pass one in the best shape of my life. I told my wife all they made a mistake, we’ll take it again. It’s fine. I didn’t want to believe what was happening. Get to the hospital because I after my collapse, and they said, Hey, you’re six times more likely to die than someone who has heart disease, what your life is killing you. You are and you have to change now.

Because the stress levels, the intensity of everything was just literally killing me. And that was what it manifested in that first that first collapse. They told me I couldn’t do the event. And me being the screw you guys. Like I got 600 people waiting for me. I’m doing the event, but I got to do the event. But the hotel had an onsite Doctor Who every time I came on stage, I had to go check in with the doctor and he checked my blood pressure and adjusted what I needed and everything and then right but after that event, I went I went pretty much dark for a while because I had to learn how to undo what I’ve done. And the reason is I had lots of money but my family wasn’t much happier had I been poor, but alive then if I money and dead right? And I know your your friends and your family and everybody in your life and your your listeners life do the same way. Yeah, I had to learn everything over again. I knew I had I knew how to do it one way, but that’s not the way. And that’s what everybody’s teaching, hustle, grind all that stuff. But there is a smart way to build a business because the only reason we’re building the business is to deliver the future to the people we love. That sets that takes care of us. And so that’s so after that I’ve rebuilt everything the right way. And that is literally what we teach and what I what kind of what my I feel my life’s purpose is and that aspect of, of BGS anything else that I do, I have another book that I’m writing that’s all about that and everything else and it’s not a money thing. But that’s, that’s very important. And I feel people don’t realize that and they get sucked into this money, money, money, hustle. And pretty soon they wind up hating life, even though they may have money, but they hate their life and their health is suffering their family suffering. And during this whole time, you’re not a good person. I was not a good person to my family. Like I was a great provider. But when I was playing with my daughter was I present? No I was thinking about work and I was checked out or she’d come into the office and I get irritated because I’m trying to get more work done. Or my wife you think I had a great relationship with her when I was in this phase? You can’t it’s impossible because you’re so consumed. So you got to figure out what you’re actually doing it for and never lose sight of what you’re doing it for.

Joshua Chin 54:44

I just want to take a moment to properly digest all of that and I think it’s a good wake up call for from for myself and I believe for a lot of people listening. There are a couple of schools of thoughts that schools of thought that I I’ve come across some My mentors have told me that, that life comes in seasons. And at the beginning when you it’s when it’s about survival, you got to switch off some stoves, and some fires have to go go off, and you got to make it work. And once you’ve made it work, you have to be conscious about when the season has passed. And when it’s time to switch up the stove, on family, on your personal health, and all of that stuff,

Tanner Larsson 55:26

that there’s no such thing as work life balance. That’s it. Ah, that’s, this goes back. Now, first of all, I’m 100%, in agreement with seasons, the seasons of life and all that. That’s one of the things I learned from from Vinnie. And it’s, it’s so true, you’re always in a different season, and some things that you that they’re not right for you in this current season may be right for you in a different season. 100% agree, but this whole work life balance thing. This goes back to all the balls in the air, are you spinning all the plates, right? You’re trying to balance your work, your kids, your job, all this stuff, and then all of a seven, then you know, your parents or families or whatever else. Here’s the thing, plates keep getting added. And one of the most powerful words that you need to learn in your language is no. But when I learned how to say, No, I made more money, I had more time, my family was happier at everything else, that’s when you have when you can’t say no, that these plates keep multiplying even plates that seem like they’re a good idea, like a new venture, or a new product line, or a new this or any of that. But the thing is, the reality of work life balance is there is no such thing, something is always going to get more than others. And some plates or some balls are gonna crash. What you have to do is identify what ones can not crash and cannot fall down. And you keep balancing those and you do your best, but other ones are going to come crashing down. And you’re going to realize that after that happens the first time or two, life goes on the world doesn’t end the sky doesn’t fall, and your life continues on and you’re able to adapt. And pretty soon, you have less plates spinning, but you’re spending them better. And but there will always be trade offs, you’re going to focus there, they’re going to focus more on your family sometimes and your business is going to suffer a little bit. That’s a trade off, you have to make this whole thing like build your business so that it works better without you. And then when you’re gone it makes more money if you did that you suck and that means that your business is better off without you. Because if it does better without you in it, you should not be in it. Yeah, okay, that these are this is all shit that like the whole four hour workweek and all that crap. Like can it be done? Yes, in very rare instances, but the reality is, is that most businesses are not for our businesses. And even the ones that do generate four hour a week work week usually took hundreds of hours in prep. You know? I’m fairly involved now and more so and I have been since 2017. But like in crypto, I do a lot of crypto stuff. I’ve been doing a lot more lately right now. NFTs are real popular right? Oh yeah. He’s what do you hear? You hear tons of people talking about right now everybody thinks that NF T’s are this instant Four Hour Workweek type money I’m gonna launch NFT and I’m gonna be rich and don’t have to do any work in there so easy to do an NFT correctly. And or anything. It’s like a product launch. It requires a massive amount of work at the beginning and then consistent marketing to do so. Yes. It’s hype it’s this belief is it that the grass is always greener somewhere else?

Joshua Chin 58:35

And it’s not Yeah. The work has to come in the work has to come in somewhere somehow sometimes

Tanner Larsson 58:41

Yep. That there’s there’s no substitute for a show. Oh, yeah. No

Joshua Chin 58:46

percent kind of respecting your time. Thank you so much for being on the show. It’s been a blast to talk to you i if we get the chance I’d love to do a second episode with you.

Tanner Larsson 59:00

Absolutely. You do it at a good time.

Joshua Chin 59:03

Tanner thank you so much. What’s the best way to connect with you find out more about your businesses and what what you do

Tanner Larsson 59:09

alright so the easiest way to do anything is just go to BuildGrowScale.com forwards not forward slash BuildGrowScale.com

Joshua Chin 59:16

calm just Build Grow Scale.

Tanner Larsson 59:21

Oh yeah. Yeah. Or or the other other one if you want the book, EcommerceEvolvedbook.com Or you can find it on Amazon. You know, if you want me to prime go to Amazon and get free shipping all that that’s awesome. Either of those two ways, but you want to see all the other stuff we do buildgrowscale.com. Now. I will tell you that. We are we are like the river. Okay, when you’re if you’re a roofer, the only person’s house that leaks is the roofers, right? Because he’s so busy taking care of everybody else. If you look at our website, you’re like, Man, that’s a little dated. You’re right. It is. Yeah, because we’re so busy working on everything else. Exactly. Yeah, information is still there. And we’re actually I’m saying that because it’s one of our topics of discussion this week to finally get off Our butt, get our website done.

Joshua Chin 1:00:02

I feel the same way. I feel the same way there. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Tanner Larsson 1:00:06

You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

Outro 1:00:11

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