eCommerce

Strategy, Tactics, and Mindset w/ Aidan Booth

by Ezra Firestone

Video Highlights:

0:02 Aidan is extremely excited!
0:16 Ezra has been incredibly successful online
0:25 Ezra has been on the cover of Internet Marketing Magazine!
0:43 Aidan has learned a massive amount from Ezra
1:00 Ezra is very happy to be here
1:10 Think Act Het is a mindset and lifestyle podcast
1:36 SmartMarketer is more technical and tactical
1:48 What drives Ezra?
2:05 Ezra was looking for freedom of time and location
2:29 Ezra desired more freedom in his life which driving force for most entreprenuers
2:40 Ezra now has a greater goal, he wants to take care of others
3:03 Aidan started in internet marketing for freedom and flexibility as well
3:20 Ezra has a lot of respect for Aidan
3:33 What has been some of the keys to Ezra’s success online?
3:43 Tactics do not equal success
4:07 Strategy + tactics + mindset = success
4:15 Strategy is knowing where you’d like to go
4:30 You’ve got to have the right mindset
4:43 We are taught money is hard to come by
5:03 What was it like for Ezra when he first got started online?
5:15 Ezra got lucky!
5:33 Ezra has failed many times and you will experience some level of failure
5:40 Ezra was willing to learn from everyone
6:08 Was Ezra always focused on Ecommerce?
6:30 Ezra has made the mistake of taking too many things on at once
6:58 It’s easy to get emotionally attached to what you are doing
7:10 Ezra almost went bankrupt!
7:30 Don’t’ kick a dead horse, you’ve got to know when to move on!
7:53 But there is also another side, you’ve got to persevere
8:09 With SEO you’ve got to persevere a little longer
8:30 If your traffic isn’t relevant you won’t convert!
8:42 How does Ezra manage so many different projects?
8:49 You need some level of understanding in order to hire some else to do the job
9:20 Ezra uses the I do it, we do it, you do it model
9:46 This model makes it easy to off load tasks
10:05 Ezra uses Evernote and Mavenlink for to do lists
10:41 Organization is new for Ezra
10:53 Aidan just uses a pen and paper and it’s magical!
11:10 Spend 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of the day to plan out tasks
11:28 Ezra recommends the book Willpower
11:50 Ezra also recommends the book Instant Influence
12:20 Every business comes back to communication
12:40 Another book Ezra likes is Start With Why
12:51 Why are you doing this???
13:10 Aidan thinks you should really identify what it is that’s driving you
13:22 Money has no intrinsic value!
13:39 Ezra believes that all business comes back to communication and relationships
13:52 What people want from you is your attention
14:10 Take the time to put your attention on others

Click Here For Video Transcript

 

Aidan: Hey guys. Aidan Booth, here. I’m extremely excited to what
we’re going to discuss today, because I’m here with one of my good
friends, Ezra Firestone. We’re in his recording studio in his
apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and we’re going to be talking to him
about all kinds of things. Just to give you some background about
Ezra: He has been extremely successful online; he’s involved in all
kinds of things. He’s been the feature of Internet Marketing Magazine.
He’s been a feature of Digital Marketing Monthly. He’s been a guest
speaker all over the world: Sydney, Hawaii, San Francisco . . .

Ezra: Texas.

Aidan: . . . Texas, New York, the list goes on, and on, and on. He
has, of course, has his own events as well. When you’re looking at
people that you can really follow and learn from, Ezra, in my opinion,
is someone that I’ve learned a massive, massive amount from.
Definitely check out his websites. The links are going to be just
below this video; go and check them out. Ezra, thanks so much for
making the time.

Ezra: Yeah, man. I feel really good about myself now.

Aidan: That’s the idea.

Ezra: It’s a good intro. I’m very happy to be here. Thank you so much for
taking some time to hang out with us.

Aidan: A couple of your websites are ThinkActGet.com and
SmartMarketer.com. You can definitely go and check them out. There’s
lots of good stuff on there. You’ve got weekly content . . .

Ezra: That’s right.

Aidan: . . . that comes out on those, as well.

Ezra: Think, Act, Get is what you think determines how you act which
results in what you get. It’s a mindset and lifestyle podcast. If
you’re into mindset and willpower, and things like that, check out
Think, Act, Get. Smart Marketer is more technical and tactical and
marketing information.

Aidan: Of course, you’ve got your Facebook pages, as well.

Ezra: That’s right. Facebook.com/ . . .

Aidan: You’re going to get all those links just below the video. I
want to just dive straight into the good stuff now, Ezra. What drives
you in internet marketing? You’ve had, obviously, prolific success
online with e-commerce stores and lots of other projects, but what is
it that gets you up in the morning and just drives you? What makes you
want to do it?

Ezra: I think that for all of us when we started, when I started in
internet marketing, it was the desire for freedom of time and
location. I was working 60 hours a week as a manager of a yoga studio,
and before that, I was playing poker for a living. My time . . . I
didn’t get to spend my time where I chose, and I was just getting
serious with my wife who’s filming this, by the way. Hi. I wanted to
spend more time with her.

Really, what drove me initially was that desire for more freedom in my
life. I think that’s the initial driver for a lot of entrepreneurs;
they, in one way or another, want some more freedom in their life in
some way or another. Now, I have a greater goal in that we have a
nonprofit charity and I’ve got a lot of people I want to take care of.
I’ve figured out this game of how to make money, and I’ve gotten
pretty good at it. I have this ability that a lot of people are trying
to acquire, the ability to generate wealth. Now I want to take care of
people. My life is setup. I’m very happy.

Aidan: I think the thing you mentioned, the freedom and the
flexibility, that’s what so many people that I know start internet
marketing, and that’s exactly why I started, as well. I think a lot of
people are going to be able to resonate with that.

Ezra: You can achieve that. That is a very achievable and attainable goal.
That’s a good goal to have. Following Aidan is a good way to start on
your journey there.

Aidan: Thanks.

Ezra: You’re the man. Aidan was also . . . I did a training course and I
brought him in as a guest expert, so I have a lot of respect for you
as well.

Aidan: Thanks. What has been the key, some of the keys to your success
online?

Ezra: I see this a lot. Now that I’m in the role of training other
entrepreneurs and marketers in our community, it used to be that I was
just a guy who did e-commerce. This last year I’ve transitioned into
this role of someone who shares their research and shares their
information. One of the things that I see consistently is that people
are very focused on tactics. They want to know what the tactic is
going to be, but they’re not looking from a higher level.

Aidan: A magic tactic.

Ezra: Right. You’ve got to have . . . tactics will not . . . tactics don’t
equal success. What equal success is strategy, plus tactics, plus
mindset? Strategy is like knowing where you want to go: ‘I would like
to build an e-commerce store that sells 10 products a month.’ You know
what you want to do and you have a strategy.

Aidan: You know what finished looks like.

Ezra: You know what the endgame is, and then you have your tactics and
you’ve got to have the right mindset. People come to me and they say,
“I want to build an online business,” and the first books that I give
them have nothing to do with tactics and strategy; they’re all
mindset. They’re all getting people to the frame of mind believing
that they can, changing their viewpoints around money. In our society,
we’re taught that money is hard to come by and that it should be a
struggle, and we don’t have . . .

Aidan: You’re not thinking abundance.

Ezra: Mindset is the first place that I start with people, then I give them
strategy, and then tactics. Tactics is the last thing, and tactics is
where most people start.

Aidan: Absolutely. When you got started online, what was it like for
you? You obviously had to go through some learning curve. I know for
me it was, I struggled 2 years, failing over and over and over again.
Did you fail at first? How was it for you?

Ezra: I got very lucky. The first venture that I started, I actually did it
to impress Carrie, who’s filming this video. I told her all about . .
.

Aidan: It worked.

Ezra: I don’t know if that was what did it, but it was one of the things. I
got really lucky. I hit it out of the park with the first e-commerce
store I did. I ended up selling it for 6 figures just a couple of
years ago. I failed many times after that and I continue to have
failures. You will experience some level of failure, but one thing
that I did that I don’t see a lot of other people do, is I wasn’t . .
. I was willing to learn from everyone. Anyone who had some level of
information that could help me, I was willing to learn that. I put in
my 10,000 hours. I went through every course I could find on traffic,
on conversion, on landing page psychology, on e-commerce. I tested
with my own money. I spent time after work. I built a moonlight
business. 2 hours a night after I got home from work, I would work on
my business.

Aidan: When you were doing this, did you . . . were you always focused
on e-commerce or were you going off in different tangents? One thing I
see is a lot of people are like, “I want to do e-commerce, but I want
to do affiliate marketing, but I want to start my own local marketing
business.” What was that like for you?

Ezra: I started with e-commerce, and in Month 1 I’d had a sale, which was
. . . I was like, “This . . .” and I really . . . . since then, since
that first store, I’ve made the mistake of doing multiple things at
once and being like a shotgun, and not really being able to get
anything done because I’m going in a million directions. I have made
that mistake. I didn’t make it to start, but I did make it after I
started. Carrie’s been really helpful with that. She keeps me on
track.

Aidan: Stay focused. We spoke a little bit about why other people fail
focusing on tactics as opposed to the big game plan.

Ezra: I got one more: Emotionally attached. It’s easy to get emotionally
attached to what you’re doing and not want to acknowledge when it’s
not working. I had this happen. I almost went . . . we almost went
bankrupt over this, because I had this business that I was building a
few years ago. I got so emotionally attached to it because I had put
so much into it that I wasn’t willing to see that it wasn’t working.
It got to the point to where we had very little money in the bank, and
Carrie was finally like, “Dude, this thing is not working. You’ve got
to . . .”

Aidan: You don’t keep kicking a dead horse.

Ezra: Exactly. That’s a very easy mistake to make. It’s one that gets a lot
of people . . .

Aidan: You’ve got to know when is the point to move on. I’ve heard
people say, “If you’re going to fail, fail fast.”

Ezra: Just be willing to recognize when something isn’t working out, and
maybe that’s when you’ve invested X-amount of money or X-amount of
time and you haven’t seen the result you’re looking. I’m not saying .
. . because there’s also the other side of it where you have to
persevere.

Aidan: There’s the other extreme, where if you don’t persevere enough
. . .

Ezra: That’s right.

Aidan: . . . especially with search engine optimization and that side
of things.

Ezra: It’s easier to see when a paid advertising campaign isn’t working.
You can tell that a little quicker because you’re getting direct
response, you’re getting direct actions. SEO, you’ve got to persevere
a little harder.

Aidan: With SEO, you should still be able to notice. If you’re
tracking your traffic, you should still be able to notice if you’re
getting 200, 300 visitors to your site, not necessarily in one day. If
you’re getting all that traffic to your site and you’re not making any
conversions, then something somewhere isn’t functioning properly . . .

Ezra: Absolutely.

Aidan: . . . and you have to address that. Maybe the traffic’s just
wrong, but something . . .

Ezra: Which is something that people come to me and say “My website’s not
converting.” I look at where their traffic is coming from, and it’s
not targeted, it’s not relevant, it has nothing to do with the offers
they have.

Aidan: Obviously, it’s not going to work. The next thing I wanted to
talk about is I know you’re managing so many different projects; how
do you do it? Do you set goals? Are you a goal-orientated person?

Ezra: Ideally. This doesn’t always work out this way, but ideally the way I
do it is I take a process, and I’m like, “This is the thing that I
want to get done.” I believe that in order to train someone how to do
something, to hire someone, or to outsource it, you need some level of
understanding of that thing. It’s hard to outsource something that you
don’t really understand because you don’t know whether or not they’re
doing a good job. What I like to do is have some level of
understanding of the thing I’m trying to accomplish, and then I dofthe
‘I do it, we do it, you do it’ model.

First, I do it. I do this thing and I document it. I document
everything that I’ve done, and then I take the person who’s going to
help me with it, and we do it together. I give them my . . . I do a
screen capture and I do a text file, and I sit down with them and I
say ,”This is how we do it.” Then I have them do it on their own and
show me the results, and that way I’m able to . . .

Aidan: That’s great. I hadn’t actually heard of that ‘I do it, we do
it, you do it’. That’s, for outsourcing . . .

Ezra: It’s a good way to . . .

Aidan: It’s a master stroke. It’s simple.

Ezra: It’s easy to offload tasks that way, because a lot of what you’re
doing in your business is redundant tasks. You’re uploading a video to
YouTube every week; you’re adding new products to your store. I
learned that from Shrampco. You know Shrampco?

Aidan: I don’t know.

Ezra: You guys know. People . . . he runs a blog and he’s a very smart
marketer.

Aidan: I’m going to look it up.

Ezra: He’s good at building teams.

Aidan: Cool. What about to-do lists? Do you have a basic weekly to-do
list where you’re like, “I’m going to nail the most difficult one in
the morning”? How’s that work for you?

Ezra: I use Evernote and I use Mavenlink. Mavenlink.com is the project
management system that I use, and I use Evernote. I do it based on a
project. This is a project; here’s everything that we have to do in
this project. Then I setup a project for it in Mavenlink. Mavenlink
allows you to setup projects for tasks and then assign people to
different tasks. I add my people who are going to help me with that
project, my employees, whatever, and I say, “This task is for you.
This task is for me,” and we just go down the list.

I’ve only recently been this organized. This is not a . . . this is a
very new thing, but I’m significantly more effective. It used to just
be that I had text files on my computer.

Aidan: I personally have tried pretty much everything under the sun to
organize myself. You know the magic thing that I’m using right now?
Just a notepad, a pen and paper.

Ezra: Old school, man.

Aidan: It works wonders. It’s old school, but I tell you what; it
works wonders and it’s been the most simple thing for me because I
just cross it off the list and move down.

Ezra: A simple text file.

Aidan: Also if you spend 5, maybe 10 minutes at the start of the day,
the first thing you do is plan out the most important tasks. I know
for me personally, I like to hit home on the most difficult, hardest
task first, because that’s the one that I’m going to be daunting later
in the afternoon. That was my next question for you: Can you recommend
a couple of books?

Ezra: It’s funny that you mentioned it. This is a book called ‘Willpower’.
They talk about how you only have a certain amount of willpower every
day. In the morning, it’s strongest. If you’re going to achieve
something, if you want to accomplish something, you should do it early
in the day before you run out of that energy that helps you get
through it. ‘Willpower’ is a really good book. Another book that I
like is ‘Instant Influence’. You can’t really see it, it’s black.

Aidan: I’m going to put the links to these below the video.

Ezra: Instant Influence is a methodology that they use in hospitals and
drug clinics to get people off of drugs and to get people to take
their medicine. It’s a way of persuading people to do the things you
want them to do. It’s very, very effective for sales copy and just
understanding persuasion and influence.

Aidan: Which comes in handy pretty much every single web project.

Ezra: Any business. You know what every business comes back to is
communication? Being able to communicate the value of what you have to
offer to someone who’s interested in that thing; it doesn’t matter if
you’re selling services, if you’re selling physical products, if
you’re doing affiliate marketing, it all comes down to being able to
communicate value to someone else. Understanding persuasion psychology
is a really good way to start.

The next one is ‘Start With Why’. I know you talked a lot about this,
but it’s basically understanding; starting with ‘What are you doing
all of this for?’ That’s the first question you asked me, “Why are you
doing this? Why not just have a secure job somewhere down at Safeway,
checking bags? Why not just have . . . what is your goal with all
this? Why are you doing this? What is driving you?” For me, it’s I
want to spend more . . . look at her, she’s amazing. I want to spend
time with her and I want to have freedom to go to yoga class and do
whatever I want to do.

Aidan: I think that’s something . . . and it’s a good way to finish
up, is that you should identify, really, what’s driving you inside
you. It’s not to get to $5000 a month, it’s something else. It’s
probably the freedom that comes with that.

Ezra: Money has no intrinsic value. Your $5000; what is . . . $5000 doesn’t
mean anything. You’re going to use that $5000.

Aidan: To do something.

Ezra: You’re going to trade that $5000 for something that you consider
valuable.

Aidan: Absolutely.

Ezra: Maybe it’s rent on an apartment. Who knows what it is? The last thing
I want to . . . can I say one more thing?

Aidan: Yeah, sure.

Ezra: Mindset: When we talk about communication and relationships, I
believe that all of marketing and all of business success comes back
to communication and relationships. It’s important to understand what
people actually want. What people want from you is your attention.
They want to be noticed. They want you to notice who they are. You can
try this in your life, you can be communicating with someone and you
can stop. Take your attention off yourself, put it on them. Notice
something about them and see how that changes the interaction if
you’re able to actually take . . . it’s hard to take our attention. We
think we . . . we all think that we’re the coolest things out there.
We do. We think we’re the best thing there is, and it’s hard to take
our attentions off of ourself. If you do this in your marketing, your
marketing will be much more effective because you’ll have taken the
time to really think about what is it that this customer base that
you’re talking to is interested in.

Let’s say that you’re selling baby clothing. You’re not just selling
baby clothing, you’re talking to mothers. What’s important to mothers?
That thought process will really help you.

Aidan: That’s fantastic. Ezra, I don’t want to take up any more of
your time. It’s been great to get here with your in your studio and
ask you these questions. I know it’s going to be extremely useful for
everyone watching. Check out the links below and just check out what
Ezra’s doing. He’s doing all kinds of interesting stuff. Thanks again,
Ezra. Thank you guys for listening.

Ezra: Thank you so much.

 

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