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E-Commerce Business School

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When your clients or students fail, it's your fault. It wasn't their “mindset.” It was you. You made them a promise and you didn't deliver.

My guest today used data to understand the psychology of her students – what caused their success or failure – and then built systems on that data to get the best client success rates in the eCommerce Education spsace.

Ann Sieg is one of our clients and the founder of eCommerce Business School. She teaches her students how to build cashflow generating eCommerce business in as little as 2 weeks. And build a systemized, automated business in 90 days so they can scale.

Being in the coaching/consulting space, I'm always “peeking over the fence” to see what people in other verticals are doing. And I gotta say, eCommerce looks super attractive right now.

You'll Discover

  • How Ann Sieg made $4.2 million selling an eBook in 2007 [04:30]
  • Why flipping products is better than flipping real estate [13:01]
  • Why “First Value” and “Time To First Value” are your most important client success metrics [23:20]
  • How Ann rebuilt her client success systems based on data and understanding the psychology of the people she was coaching [23:20]
  • My ultimate pet peeve in this industry – blaming client/student failure on “mindset [33:50]

…And much more!

Helpful Resources

  1. Free case study: discover how our “ATM System” can help you get off the phones and scale from 6- to 7-figures in under 6 months [Watch Now]
  2. Join our free Facebook group, 7 Figure Agency Owners And High Ticket Coaches [Join Now]

Episode Transcript

Mike Mark:

We are on. I am excited to have you here today. I think, what you're doing is really interesting. And, I know when we initially started working together, we had a conversation. I was mentioning that like, I feel like all of us are in a lane, but we're always like peeking over at what people are doing in the other lane.

And so, you know, a lot of our works in the agency and coaching world, and that's like what we've really mastered. And obviously you're rocking it with the coaching side of things in the business as well. But, you really got your foundations in e-commerce, and that for all of us in the agency space, I feel like agency people where it's like, well, we know ads and let's speak over there.

And same with real estate we're all kind of looking at each other's stuff sometimes trying to get inspired or figure it out and it's interesting cause I was mentioning to you when we started working together that we have a client who basically he uses his real estate investments to buy eCommerce stores and then you started telling me about the arbitrage [00:01:00] opportunity that you guys do, which is a little bit different than anything I've ever heard. And I thought, well, this, I think would be something that's awesome for anybody who's at the point where, you know, once they start hitting these multiple seven figures, they start trying to figure out well, what do I do with all this money in the first place? A lot of the times too, you know, we're looking at options like for example, maybe I put it into real estate, maybe I put it back into my own business, maybe I put it into, you know, some sort of digital assets.

And, I, when, when my client was saying how he was buying eCommerce stores, I was like, that's amazing and the cashflow and pay themselves back so much faster than an actual real estate asset, which I thought was pretty interesting. So I'm excited to pick your brain here and really learn about arbitrage, how you're doing arbitrage w, what it is, and, as well, how you transitioned into the process of teaching others how to do it, and then, tell the listeners as well about your guys's [00:02:00] reorganization and how you've dramatically increased your success rates.

Cause I think that of, of anything you guys are going to want to stay till the end for that, because what you told me was amazing. And I think that anybody who's building a coaching or training business needs to hear that in order to be able to, to set their students up for success, you know? So, so everyone, this is Ann and, Ann, why don't you introduce yourself a little bit and kinda tell them who you are, where you're from, what you do. And I know I covered a little bit of it, but we want to hear it from you.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah. Awesome. Well, thanks. Great to be here as your guests. I came on line actually 15 years ago, 16 officially, and I had done real estate investment. We also were in the automotive industry up in St. Paul, Minneapolis of the twin city area of Minnesota.

And, it was a new law that came out that wiped out that business and we're doing real estate investment at the same time. And I was also homeschooling our three boys at the same time. So, dribbling a lot of balls, very, [00:03:00] very entrepreneurial, very, Oh, do a few things, kind of a deal. Anyways, we ended up moving on from real estate investment.

Cause we moved South was one reason and, you know, real estate in terms of that turnaround one you're depending on that monthly cashflow, through real estate investment, that is, and that can vary so much because inevitably you got a water heater you have to replace. So, this, so that this and that and that monthly cashflow really, it's not like the study consistent thing that they talk about.

Home ownership is home ownership and there's always snacks along the way. And plus we did it more as rookies. We didn't really have, we didn't have someone to take care of it for us, you know, it was just one or two properties. So, we basically had our sons help us out in that business. So, I've had a taste of that, and we actually ended up selling it the worst time in the market. Missed out about $70,000 profit by one year, it was right up to the crash, but we just wanted to unload. Our CPAs said, Hey, you need to stick with your wheelhouse, which is online marketing, where we [00:04:00] really succeeded. So, actually came online as a digital marketer and I helped three training manuals. So, we did 4.2 million. What are, my first eBook in 2007, and then built a subscriber list through that, through the two free eBooks that funneled into that paid book.

And we really didn't you know, starting down, and this was many years ago, 2007, didn't have the whole backend dialed in. And it's kind of that thing about, well, when you're getting going, you can only have so much dialed in and then it's a little bit of learning as you go. It's really hard to have everything perfect from the get-go.

So our experience was we really crushed with the front end. And built a really good list out of that. We actually transitioned into eCommerce in 2013, the fall of 2013. So, it's been seven years, but my wheelhouse has always been training and mentoring and coaching. And that's what I, when I first came online, it was teaching, mentoring people how to, how to have an online sales funnel.

So, that's my main expertise. So, that's what I continue [00:05:00] to do as the digital marketer of my training company. And so, I'm the marketing director of the company and create all the funnels, et cetera, et cetera. So, we shifted a mean commerce. And I'm gonna just tell you, it was sometimes the market pushes you to make a pivot and basically the market is dead. So I was in the direct sales industry and none of the advertising channels, as it turns out is very fond of the drug sales industry. So, no sooner would be up and running in Google ad words and bammo, me and another 10,000 direct response marketers lost our accounts now back on, of course, and thankfully, and then same with Facebook.

And so, I kind of got tired of it. Just basically getting really high converting funnels going and then having the doors slammed in my face. Whereas with the eCommerce, yes, it is a home business up, but I think it's, it's definitely seen as more legitimate than the direct [00:06:00] sales/network marketing industry.

So just to put it all into context, primarily I'm a digital marketer and my expertise is developing out the training and mentorship program and creating the marketing pieces to promote that.

Mike Mark:

So, how did you discover the e-commerce opportunity that you're doing? And then, give us a little background on sort of that when you found it and then how it came to be in its current form.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, it was kind of all by accident, so to speak, first of all, so, I homeschooled my son for 12 years and I taught them to be entrepreneurial cause we've always had a number of businesses. They did eBay when they were, one was in junior high, the other one was in senior high. And so they were doing the eBay and I had my little job of running the youngest son off to the post office to make sure the products were shipped out.

Very fascinating, mom, we got to have a five-star review. Got it. Okay. So that was my contribution to that, but they pretty much ran that business by themselves. It was Lord of the ring’s memorabilia, Marine memorabilia. We had a [00:07:00] lot of sorts in our house. Three points. Yeah, that's right.

Anyways, we had already had a taste of it. And, what happened is because I was in direct sales and I'd built many teams through that is then there was an network marketing/affiliate program. I really saw that's an affiliate. It was a, yeah, it was a two tier, two tier affiliate programs. And it was actually my, a, coaching mentor from 16 years ago. He was testing it's like, and this thing works. And so, I told my husband about it. He said, yeah, I'll give it a shot. My husband's starting to make money. And he's not very non-techie and I'm like, well, Okay, if my non-techie husband can do this, then I'm pretty sure my current members who I was teaching attraction marketing, or funnel building to, I thought they should do really well.

So, it was a new year's Eve promo, everybody signed up and everybody started making money, [00:08:00] almost immediately. And so, and they would have to create listings and do keywords, which is something that I taught and train them on. And that really caught my eye. I thought, okay, this is a whole lot more fun to be selling something that creates success so quickly for my members that it's, it's gratifying, right?

We like to do things where the results come back quickly. And I didn't mention earlier I was a gymnastics coach for 15 years. So this whole thing about teaching, training, coaching is just something that I really, really have an affinity for, but nonetheless, so that was successful. And then of course, we're, I have been a top affiliate marketer for many years, and I had a top affiliate program as well.

So, we put together all our affiliate marketing pieces of our own to promote this particular direct sales company, including our added value events. So we've been doing events as it was for about five years prior and we're like, Hey, let's start [00:09:00] doing our own events and pretty much what happened is when I was providing them, ended up being a more value than the actual company that we were referring to. Subsequent to that, and this is, you can just watch this historical phenomenon, that company went under and it's like.

Mike Mark:

Which company was it?

Ann Sieg:

I don't know if they want to say the name, but they ended up, I, I can kind of spot those things from afar and go yep, here comes the decline and, and that's exactly what happened. And it was, it was sad cause they had a lot going for themselves. It really did.

But I could just see the writing on the wall and I'm like, well, I was good and set to go because we had such a solid infrastructure before promoting it. And then we were really quick to build our own back office, our own affiliate, marketing materials, et cetera. So, then the term that I've coined since then is to deep blue oceans and beyond.

And that is that e-commerce is just [00:10:00] so deep, so deep. I'll give you a quick example of it. So, we have our 90 day peak performance brought in a member January 1st. We've interviewed her twice. Once after 30 days, she had her automaticity come as business setup. We just interviewed her Saturday. She's now got a lead generation company as a auxiliary business around her eCommerce business. And that's what I love is when our members can come into this space and have so many opportunities available to them to really strengthen, instead of, you know, sometimes you throw it on your roots and the roots, ah, there goes that industry. You have to swim over and find another one now. Been there and done that. ECommerce is not going away.

Mike Mark:

Yeah. It's only growing and it's, I mean, with everything going on right now, it's become more and more obvious that it's here to stay. And it's, you know. One of the things I've found has been interesting and I've, I've often thought about this like what percentage of people are going to go [00:11:00] back to buying stuff in the store that had to convert now? That, that this is all happening, right? So, I, I can't imagine it like, eh, you know, my mom, for example, she's now ordering food as well from Instacart and stuff like that. and they've never done that.

Ann Sieg:


Mike Mark:

And, to me, it's like, I can't even imagine going back to a store once you do it. And so, with e-commerce, we start to realize how easy it is now that it's necessary. It kind of took away a lot of the objections, which everybody's is almost always the same. I want to see it. I want to feel it. I want to try it on. I want to, with the ease of returns and whatnot, those almost go right out the window, which is interesting.

So, it's really, unique. I think, your journey is almost that you had already done the coaching and training and you built the organization. You took your sales skills, you took your marketing skills and your problem was different than a lot of people's, which is [00:12:00] how do I get the sales and marketing skills? Your problem was where do I channel them?

Ann Sieg:


Mike Mark:

And so you told me a little bit about arbitrage and how you're doing e-commerce arbitrage. What, can you explain it to the people watching and sort of what this opportunity is, and then how you discovered specifically e-comm arbitrage.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah. Just so people are clear, so primarily we teach through Amazon and then they can scale from there and move into Shopify. I always believe in starting with the path of least resistance for a member so that you mitigate the risk factor as much as possible. And new sellers have no clue of the big picture view of am I stepping into the deep end of the pool with this method? Or am I in the shallow end of the pool?

And so, we have taught every method from arbitrage on up to private label sourcing from China and, Shopify. And so obviously it's fast when someone's brand new that you start with that path of least resistance so that you can [00:13:00] better ensure their success and help them build their foundation.

So, arbitrage is simply, and it was in part through this original company that I was with, but we layered on and then built a book flipping program. And then we built online arbitrage. They basically taught local retail arbitrage. So, arbitrage is just a fancy word, that means buy low, sell high. So if you've been in real estate, that's kinda like flipping houses, except you go in and you fix them up and a whole lot more risk when that return on investment, the market can change, so many factors that you got, all that money in there, whereas with product flipping, you're, you're basically at its most fundamental form through local retail arbitrage as you download an app from Amazon. It's called the Amazon seller app and it's free. And so, with that app, you use them through the camera on your phone, you're going to scan the UPC code of products. And what happens to that app is it's searching, and it will identify if [00:14:00] that product is on the Amazon catalog.

So, this product, for example, right there, this is Burt's bees hot, very, very well-known brand. Okay. I strictly only buy through Amazon now because I just can't find this particular product to my local stores, even though I originally did, but nonetheless, so when you scan the UPC code it's and this happens in a microsecond, it's just boom, like that.

And it will identify if it's in the catalog, then it dishes up these beautiful, gorgeous data points and the data points are for you then to make a calculated decision, essentially as an investor. So, I tell people, okay, you're thinking you're a shopper. Yeah. You're shopping at a store. But what you really are as an investor.

And so, you have so many data points that you can make a really smart savvy, calculated decision to put that money into, let's say this product and uhm, know how many other sellers there are? Know what the sales velocity is? No, what the profit is. There is no gotcha. [00:15:00] I know everyone always, they look really high and low.

There's gotta be a gotcha. There's gotta be a gotcha. The only, gotcha is this, is other seller could jump on that same listing after you had bought it, when you determine, Oh, there's only five sellers. I should be good to go. And then opps, it lands in the store, especially during Q4, there's an extremely high level of velocity that it's just, it's like a bucking Bronco. It's quite, q four is amazing, which we had a repeat of that with COVID by the way, but nonetheless local retail arbitrage, that's what you're doing is using your smartphone and scanning. We also have a specialty program for book flipping cause our master trainer had done that five years generating a six-figure income just flipping books, use books to sell on Amazon, which is how Amazon got started.

But the one that we really, put together our high ticket, so to speak is with online arbitrage, because that meets all three pillars of the eCommerce success that we teach our members, which is to generate [00:16:00] cashflow, automate systems and build assets.

And so our promise to them, our value proposition is that in 90 days, when they follow her instructions and we've proven it over and over, you will have a profitable, automated eCommerce business set up in 90 days. So, that's where we landed because we found that the biggest point of failure was life gets in the way, they're no longer consistent in their business, this is why they need, for example, VA's who then do the grunt work so their business keeps working with or without them.

Mike Mark:

Yup. I think it's really interesting. and I want to highlight what you're saying for anyone watching this, which was how do I design my product and how do I design my coaching and the training to go to the path of least resistance?

How do I get that fast, easy, low hanging win, and then start to be able to compound that win and then take them to the more advanced levels if they want to go there. And [00:17:00] if they don't, that's great too. But I think there's a something for anyone out there that's watching this right now, when you're designing your offers, when you're designing, how to deliver the offer, how to make the promise, how to be able to make sure that you're making a promise and then within integrity, delivering on it in a tight timeline, thinking like what Ann's saying there.

Because that's like it's so subtle when you said it, but it's just such a big difference whereas like, if you were to start at private label, now, now we've got to go buy bulk. We don't know if the supplier is good or not. There's so many things variables that could happen. You get the money's tied up as it's coming on a barge over here.

So, you got, you know, however, for many, three weeks before you even see it, if you're lucky at that point could get stopped in customs. And if it does get stopped in customs, you know, God forbid. And if that person's tight, too and they're, they're really like trying to make anything work, that those two months can [00:18:00] really hurt someone.

Whereas it's what you're doing is smart. It's like, okay, what's the low hanging fruit, what can we get them that first sort of like taste of it and then take it, rinse it, repeat it, and then scale it.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, we call it proof of concept and we want them to get that as fast as possible. Call it a dopamine hit, whatever people want to call it is, it worked Eureka. And it's like, I mean, I remember the first sale, my son and I made online, I was just like, Oh my gosh, it worked, it was a sales funnel selling the product, you know? And I was like, it's just, it's. And I always tell people, I can give you a proof of the wazoo, but until you do it yourself, It's not the same.

It always will seem like, yeah, and so, and so did it. So, we always want to really make sure they get to that proof of concept as quickly as possible. And we've got people there in profitability in two weeks. I mean, it's because of Amazon, it's just an unreal machine. Did you want me to dive into the nuances [00:19:00] of, I, you know, getting the, I mean, for me, I feel like I'm in the lucky bucket.

Cause it, it just is a faster turn than when I taught building sales funnels. And that's so much of a fast turn. You got to have traffic to test, your squeeze page, you this and get that. But when it comes to this Amazon, they've done the marketing. Yeah, you've got the customer less, they got the prime buyers, it's it's done, you know, so it's like super cheating and in a good way, but I, I've done the other kind of stuff too. Not as an agency, but as a training and mentoring and coaching program.

Mike Mark:

Yeah. It's interesting as well, right? Because a lot of the pricing of the products are technically going to be lower. So, it's an easier barrier to get them to spend, it's on Amazon. We already trust Amazon anyway. And then, I think that, with Amazon now, the other thing that you have to your advantage is all the tools like being able to see, you know, keywords, how many searches are you getting per month on a [00:20:00] specific keyword?

And you know, the advertising inside of Amazon, there's so many tools in and around Amazon that make your life easier if that's where you're going to go first. So that makes a lot of sense.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mike Mark:

And when you said with the, the teaching sales funnels, you meant for the students, it was harder for them to get the, that first value. Is that what you mean?

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, it was my former training company, that was more difficult because it always has to start with traffic. So, they're going to have to either learn paid advertising. They got to be real good at direct response marketing, or they're going to have to do social media one or the other, but no matter what you put in a fair amount of sweat equity before you start getting up that flow and then that's got to go through the offer to see if it converts. And, there's a lot to that entire process and it would take longer, we did people got results, but it was nothing like ecommerce. It, you know, [00:21:00] and speaking of what the real estate investors and people have extra cashflow, eCommerce is just such a simpler model.

You know, once you get your systems in place and your team in place to run them for you. And I mean, we've seen what we've got, some people are really good at project management and they're, they've got great, awesome teams that are running their business for them. So once you have that part of the formula done, it is, I'm not going to call it set and forget because you know, there's always fluctuations in the marketplace and this kind of thing, and someone leaves and this and that, but, it's just such a simpler, cleaner model than these more sophisticated, advanced, you know, whether they're agencies or whatever other options are, what I previously did. They're just more sophisticated.

Mike Mark:

Makes sense. That makes sense. A lot of sense. And, what I think specifically with what you're mentioning, it's like selling a product doesn't require the same level of [00:22:00] copywriting, direct response skills. And I did notice that, that was a sticking point for a lot of people.

And in fact, like with a lot of what we do, you know, we chose to serve the upper end of the market because it's the people who have already developed those skills. And now I don't have to teach them. I can just help them scale their team and their sales team specifically. And that was our choice. And I think a lot of like, what we're describing is this concept that we talk about internally a lot.

We actually, it came up in our weekly meeting today, which is first value, right? The first value is that first moment that your customer experiences like that, the joy of using or owning or buying your product. And in your case, your first value is when someone gets that first sale on Amazon. And then in, in our case, our first value is when someone gets the first sale from the sales person that they've got onboard and, with the sales funnels as [00:23:00] well, it's, it's someone getting their first sale.

But what we're looking at is back to that question, I think is kind of the key of everything, which was what is the fastest and easiest and lowest hanging fruit that I could get someone to first value. And then how can I crunch that timeframe down? And then at that point, it also is cool because your product's more sticky and people want to work with you longer because now you've delivered on your promise much quicker.
It wasn't as difficult. And that comes out of the product engineering side, which that's kind of where I'd like to segue our conversation cause I know you guys mentioned, when we started working together that you had spent so much time last year, just kind of like pulling your product apart and then reconfiguring it.

So, walk us through the before and then the after of how you overhauled the product and what that all looked like and what the results have been there.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, definitely. So, it's called e-commerce acceleration. We developed it, fall of 2017, [00:24:00] which was an upsell through an Ascension funnel. We had started with the $37 product, and then it went to a side hustle, a 997 product, and then it went to the 3K and it was definitely, you know, worked really, really well.

And, and then it was this past, primarily December where we stepped back and it's like, okay, how can we make this thing even better? The eCommerce acceleration program. And it was, two of my main team members who really put their heads into that to pull it apart. And how can we improve upon it? Especially our master trainer.

And he noted it was really a behavioral issue. More than anything as a point of failure for our, I should say more circumstantial issue on the end of our members in that many of them, you know, probably 70% is B to C for us. And 30% are B to B business owners, a realtors, people want to add in an additional cashflow where they lost [00:25:00] their businesses and now they want a new one, et cetera, but the B to C and so, looking at that, what we saw as the biggest problem was disruption in their life.

Cause there are mostly seized consumers and, you know, grandma got ill, son broke his leg, you know, this, that and everything. Life got in their way, and then they're losing their consistency of their business. And so that's what is, as he studied, and I agree. And I said, yeah, you know, cause it's like, they're clipping along. And then, Oh, and now they dropped the ball because they gotta stop for a month because of XYZ.

And so from his own experience, so it was, well, once I got a VA in place and a team of VAs, that's when it was sky's the limit. You know, and so that's when we restructured it, that was part of, it was just one, one piece because that's where we always like to do. Where's the point of failure and how do we correct that? How do we mitigate that?

And so, it became not, we're [00:26:00] just, we moved beyond, we're not just selling another method, another sourcing method. We're providing a system for them to create an automated business. So now, you know, usually the distinction in the eCommerce space.

If you go out there and you scope it out, Oh, he's teaching Shopify. Oh yeah, they've got private label. He's got sourcing China. And that's how they are known is by their particular, where are they hanging their hat for their particular sourcing method. We wanted it to be that from day one, being that if they didn't have systems in place and a team to run them for them, they just couldn't get to the big numbers, the big scale.

So that was definitely built into it one way then layered on what's come to be known as 90-day peak performance. So, we quantify things and the brain in marketing works a lot better when you have your value proposition. And in 90 days you tell me I can have that's on us. That's what I'm telling you.

And [00:27:00] so, so that made a really big shift in the marketing. But it has literally come true that started on New Year's Eve day and a gal who joined on that webinar, in 30 days she had all set up. She went actually further. It's like she decided to get a Shopify store set up and this and that, but she was making sales by day 13 and made sales every single day with the exception of three in the month of January.

Mike Mark:


Ann Sieg:

And had VA's, she hired two. And she had already set that work. She already hired someone to run the account for her. And so, it was like, yeah, it was proven very, very quickly. So, that's just one part. The other is this, and this comes somewhat from my, in the sports world is tracking. Now, I've taught tracking for 12 years since I've been in line.
And we have a end of day tracker tool in our back office, but I'm talking about, accountability and a public setting. And I remember when I went through consultative, selling way back when I came online, there was this public [00:28:00] disclosure of your numbers in the, this and that and I thought, Oh fine, it's going to be public isn't?

Long ago and after it, I like it. And you know, it's going to make those stars writes up kind of a thing. And so we do in our weekly calls, there is, and this takes a lot of care and attention. It's not, you'd have to have the staff to accommodate this. Everyone is tracked. And it's shown in front of everybody. You're there, did you finish this homework?

And we had already done that for almost two years through our 10 day accountability bootcamp, which everyone gets when they come into the program, know what, no matter what training product, but so when we took it to a whole another level, and I remember a coach I had, when I came online, he said, you know, when you make it public, it's a whole different game.

People are watching. And then there are four, typically people won't perform better, especially those who are performance driven. So, yeah, so it really made a big shift. [00:29:00] And in our big claim is there is no one who can come here and say they didn't get the help they need. And I say it in my promos and I said, well, what could happen on the other hand is you don't show up.

And that will be the biggest point of failure, but we're done on the football, we're around the field, ready to run with you to the end goal. So anyways, yeah, it was setting it up so that they would get into automation a whole lot sooner, pushing them out of their comfort zone through this whole training and mentoring to get them with their VA's and whatnot. And we have the systems to give them the blueprint, but also that high level accountability.

Mike Mark:

Interesting. So. I just want to unpack that the it's first was okay. We did the analysis of our data. And then I just out of curiosity, like when you guys went through the data, how did you guys come to the conclusion that it was circumstantial or something personal that was causing people to not be able to figure it out?
So, I'd like to explore that. And [00:30:00] then also one thing, just to clarify, cause I think it, it didn't come up, but prior you guys were doing like a, open-ended or a yearlong program. If I, I think it was a year, right?

Ann Sieg:

It's a good question. It ends up being a monthly, so they have their initial 3K and then it's a recurring monthly because we have 12 small group coaching sessions a month.

I mean, I've just touched the tip of the iceberg of what we offer, in terms of the high touch high help so that they can, can come back and say I didn't, but I didn't get help. We also have a private mastermind group and it's very, very, very active. So, the point of failure ends up being them, but we even have a system after the fact, you miss a week, boom, we're on you with another email. Miss two weeks? And so, on full data spreadsheet because our fight, if you will, is we want the best performance out there in the industry. Now we're never going to know that we [00:31:00] don't know what other people's is, but that's our own personal quest is we care enormously. We put in a lot into our folks. So, we want maximum performance is what we're going after.

Mike Mark:

And so, so you went from that open-ended month a month to we're now at 90 days, we know like, Hey, let's put the blinders on, let's say focus for these 90 days and get this set up to where it's automated.

Ann Sieg:

Yes. Yeah.

Mike Mark:

Okay. So, that's interesting. And I want to highlight that cause you know, if you're here and you're listening to this and you're, you're trying to figure out your fulfillment, you can see like, not only did that help you on the marketing side, but it also helps on the delivery side because people have the end date.

And so, they're running towards something and they know that, Hey, this is going to end. And so, there's nothing like, I think anyone who's marketed long enough knows there's nothing like a deadline to inspire us. And so, by putting in that deadline, rather than that open ended, I'll support you for everything, you end up getting better results, which is [00:32:00] counterintuitive. But it makes perfect sense when you really unpack it.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, it's totally that they want to get that slam dunk come in 90 days, and then we have a graduation. We actually send out physically mail certificates of completion and then.

Mike Mark:

Oh, that's awesome!

Ann Sieg:

Yeah, it's physical. And then, so the marketing is salacious. Then we bring them into a zoom call, and everybody hold up your certificate. And then, you know, we do content expansion through our marketing and still it's like gorgeous. And then them sharing what their experience was like. And many say it's unlike anything I've ever experienced. It's meant to be super hands on. It's meant to really serve the performers, the producers who, if they just get the help, they need step by step along the way. And they take off like a rocket. That's what we're doing.

Mike Mark:

That's cool. One thing I also want to say that I'm like, I love that you did this and I just have to highlight it because the thing that gives a lot of what we do about rap and to me, it's my ultimate [00:33:00] ultimate pet peeve is to blame it on mindset.
And instead you guys went, you unpack the data, you found that, Hey, it's not mindset, it's a circumstance. And there is a real problem that's occurring in these people's lives. And how do we solve that problem? What if we automated it? And we automated it as quickly as we possibly can. So, if they're there or they're not there due to whatever life events happen, they're still going to get the outcome that we're promising.

And like, that's just going that extra step. And it's dramatic when you see the outcome. Cause I know you mentioned like when we started talking, your, your completion rates and the actual success rates of clients has, I think you, how many, multiple times over has it been?

Ann Sieg:

I at least doubled, you know, they'd go through it. They're coming in every day. So, this completion part to get the full stats in this start at the beginning of the year, but the first go through it was astounding. Cause it was a [00:34:00] whole new batch that we brought in, so to speak when we kicked it off, it was on New Year's Eve that, you know, then we're all watching and then there's these three phases.

Everything is very documented. And just this morning we had a staff meeting and we're making further up optimizations, you know, iterations to. It's just this kind of some study and I'll tell you where it comes from for me personally. So having been in the sports world I had, my first coach was terrible.

She was good that she knew technique and such, but she certainly, we didn't know psychology if I were to work with people and she was like the proverbial German, she was German. She just barked and yelled and there were a lot of injuries jump. And then I go to someone else's gym to learn, and he says, if you're going to be teaching under me, I'm going to teach you how to teach.

Sign me up, you know? And, he taught progressions. She didn't teach progressions. All of a sudden I'm being, I'm doing a pair of hands free on the balance. No, I couldn't do one on the floor. That makes no sense. [00:35:00] And I ended up wiping her in the face when she was fighting me. Well, it was illogical. It's got, there's gotta be a measure of logic in it.

And so, what I learned from that was these two coaches by contrast, secondly, was just because someone is a really great gymnast, does not by any means mean they're going to be a great coach because they don't know how to think in the deeper analytical phase of, wow. that's not working for, I wonder what we could do differently.

For them, it was like bringing in their natural and what's her problem anyways? Must be mindset. And so, when I was teaching my kids and I, both my parents were teachers, so, but I would go, Hmm. All right. I wonder if I can break this skill down more. I think she's lacking flexibility here. She needs more strength there.

And I, it was my job to study the student and look for that optimization that was deeper nuances that would, that, I could held this gym, this perform XYZ, that other, yeah, soon as Dan, a chance, you know? [00:36:00] And so, and I will say there's a lot to be said for what that person brings their A game or not.

We can all agree on that. But you can also help elevate people into an A game. I can't say we do it across the board. I'm going to say, we still have people and it shocks me, they pay their money down and they never show up, but you know what? I am them. I have bought programs. I buy a lot of programs where they got this, they're selling it now and they won't be selling for another year.

And I know I'm going to need it. So, I get that because I buy a lot of training for my own staff. and that's what happens, but we're really trying to get people really that's part of that qualification process too, though, right? Cause I want them to be actively engaged, but everyone buys for their own reasons. Right? So, anyways.

Mike Mark:

Yup. And it's interesting. I mean, sometimes you only need that one thing out of the product to make it all worth it. As well, you know, I've bought plenty of products and all I got was one idea, but that idea was all I needed out of the product, you know? And so, not everybody needs to read [00:37:00] the whole book.

Of course we like it when they do read the whole book, but as long as they get what they need, that's what matters. I also find it very interesting, what you're describing with the progressions, because, so I had two coaches in high school, for wrestling. So, I had very similar experience. But the one coach, we've never had a state champion ever. We had only one person in the time that I was there go to States in the first place. And we actually got a second person. So, but we were just terrible. Then we got this new coach after they kind of pushed that coach out, we got a new coach and right now he wins States every year.

And like, all the, all the kids went to States, the team win States. Like it's, if he might not have one or two weight classes that win States versus the other guy, it was just like, well, this is just what it is. And we just thought that's, this is what it is. We're just this way. And he [00:38:00] just systematically did what you're talking about.

He made, he made it all about progressions and it's, you know, you need to learn this and you need to learn this and you can go, where are they deficient? Well, they're not strong enough, so we need to hit the weights harder, or we need to do this. And then he, he was able to like systematically transform the organization and that's always been something that's really interesting for me to see that juxtaposition of their coaching styles.

And the one would teach you everything. But it wasn't always in that progression, like what you're saying. Whereas the other guy, he wouldn't teach you everything and it would be annoying because I want, I'm make my curiosity, wants to know everything, but he would limit you to what you needed to know at the moment when you need it to know it.

And then that was what compounded and built you into a much better wrestler. So it's cool. It's very much like when you said it, I was like, Oh my goodness, it's the difference, it's the tale. And it is this funny thing too with us, like it's same thing as with teaching salespeople, like [00:39:00] my first time teaching a sales person, I always joke, but I mean, it's real, like, I feel bad.

The guy quit sales after I tried to train him because I was so bad at trying to train them out of the sell because I was an amazing salesperson and I thought I knew how to train sales. But I couldn't, I had no clue what I was doing and it wasn't until I like unpacked it and then built those progressions that then that the training of sales started to work.

But initially, it's that same thing, like, Oh, what's wrong with him? Why can't he do it? And you just think that it's so intuitive and second nature for you. You feel like everybody else is stupid or but taking the time to slow down and unpack that work and take the ownership of every part of it and then build it into a strong product.
That's what I really find exciting. And like, to be honest, I'm way more excited about the customer that buys again than the customer that buys the first time, even though we are doing the sales stuff, [00:40:00] when you have a product that consistently delivers, there's nothing better than that.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah. Well, it's mastery and it's really having the love and they intrigue, you know, call it a chase, you know. I know sales and chasing sales. This is the chase of optimization for changing people's lives and the results. And so, ours is an end outcome that has a bigger view philosophically on my own and is, I do believe that the more entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs we have, the better the world will be. Because, and I have this, I always speak into it because it is truly my, point of reference.

So I tell people I'm not, and I'll tell them very clearly during my promo webinars, I say, here's who we're not, we're not just selling yet another digital marketing program. You can go out and find a thousand other digital marketing products. That's not my business model. My business model is developing entrepreneurs.

And so [00:41:00] it's when you're developing people, that's, that's like the highest-level science out there because it's not easy. That's where if you hit a wall of frustration, and it's really, truly not your space to be there with people are people and there, they're sophisticated and they're nuanced and all this. And how do you create, you know, behavioral shifts, et cetera, and take ownership of being able to create that optimal environment, that's a love and a passion all onto itself for that unique space that is vastly different. And pumping out digital marketing programs, which I know there's, I've been here 15 years, so there's a ton of stuff going on out there, but it's a completely different individual organization where the focus is actually truly on the individual.

And so, I want to, I always tell people I'm powering the family economy cause that's my backstory is all my sons grew up in my business. They all have done the business with me. They've gone on, one is my full time [00:42:00] videographer right now. I have a son in China, et cetera, et cetera, but all to say I'm, I'm in the people entrepreneurial development space, which is so rewarding and so cool.

I don't want to just sell a product that doesn't, that I don't get to track what happens to that individual, you know, like I was just sharing. So we do this, it's called Saturday morning live, I'm in to a Facebook, you know, like what we're doing right now and featuring this gal who's, she's now six months out and she's launching a new business on top of her Amazon business. Yehey!

And it's got, it's just going to just get six years now, you know. So, she is going to another level as an entrepreneur and building out a whole new economy. And so,, I just find that shifting the world ever so much, every time we have an entrepreneur like that.

Mike Mark:

Yeah. It's a, it's a pinch me moment, always, when you have to think about too, like, you [00:43:00] know, there's her and then her direct family, then the VA's and all their families and like whatever that ripple effect is and how far it goes. It's always really amazing to me, like.

And I think what you're describing is, is something that I, I talk a lot about with, how we design our product, which is that when you're dealing with people, people are complex systems. They're not linear simple. Do this, then do that. You know, of press A get B, it doesn't work that way. Like there's a motions.

There's an, and it's funny cause you know, my wife, she's a mechanical engineer by nature. So sometimes like her brain is, everything's a linear, it's all Newtonian Physics. And the fact that people don't behave sometimes in alignment with Newtonian Physics that like frustrates her and, and when we're dealing with it, you know, we have to take in that new Newtonian physics.

So how do we design the systems, but then how do we add that people element to it [00:44:00] and then create redundancies or, make sure we're removing any potential errors and you have contingencies. All of these things built in it's really. Sometimes it's a painful problem to solve, right? You know, you're like, Oh, you bang your head against the wall day sometimes.

But then once you find that, that like, that's it and you see it work, there's nothing more rewarding.

Ann Sieg:

Yeah. Systems drive behavior. So, I think of, for example, well, the accountability and how they develop their, their peer friendships through the accountability pro, the 10-day boot camp alone.

But also, just putting out in front of some people is we have a certification program. So, we don't really pronounce and sell it out front per se, you know, but it's just that that's a trigger for some people. She's got a system where I can get certified. And for the certification mode kind of people, which is when I came online, the program had a certification program and I thought, and I thought, man, it better be [00:45:00] based on results. So, I'm so not interested. It was for sales.

And then it, Oh, no, they had the parameters I'm all in then, cause if it's not results-based and you just getting a certificate to put on the wall without real proof and results behind it. But, that's just an example of us, a system in a system that we have that, and that cultivates certain behaviors to draw people towards that as a magnet that, Oh, when I get successful, I could potentially be a coach and trainer and your sister, man. That's what we're talking about, you know? So, it's always looking for the behaviors that reward positive behaviors and not the negatives.

Mike Mark:

Yup. I've loved it. This has been a really fun conversation. So, anybody who is interested then in potentially getting into arbitrage and kind of getting that first taste of success in e-commerce with you guys, where would they go to find you or learn more about what you guys are doing?

Ann Sieg:

Go to [00:46:00], that's our website, ecommerce, You'll see a, kind of an overview of who we are, what we do. And then also there's some free training at the top, right. There's a button that you can go through that. And that's where you find out about our arbitrage offer.

Mike Mark:

And I think it's just like, compared to everything I see out there when you started mentioning it, I, I was like, Oh, that's a home run, especially because of how easy it is, the low hanging fruit, the not being tied up in inventory, not being tied up with all those issues that are going to get someone tripped up in the beginning. It, I think it's really neat what you're doing. So.

Ann Sieg:

Thank you. It's a lot of fun.

Mike Mark:

Yeah, thanks for, thanks for joining us. And you guys, if you have any questions, just drop them below in the comments and then we'll circle back and get to your questions after the interview. So, we'll periodically check it out throughout the days.

And if there is any question that we can't answer, we'll tag in and then she'll be able to help you guys out as well. And then go check her out [00:47:00] see what they're doing. I think that what they're doing is really unique. And again, I appreciate you for coming on today and chatting about what you're working on.

Ann Sieg:

You're welcome. I appreciate being here.