Why did you decide to start your ecommerce business using the Low Hanging System?
At that time, I had already been in ecommerce for a few years. I’m always looking to diversify my income and so when I heard about LHS there were 2 main things that made it very attractive. The first was the passive nature of the business model where you can continue to get sales from work done previously. The second was the simplicity. I had learned that keeping the process and designs simple was all you need.
Where are you from?
What were you doing to earn money just prior to getting started with LHS?
I had been a full time entrepreneur with other ecommerce businesses selling on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. LHS was and still is a great addition to my income.
How did you get started making money online?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial side in me and always searched to make a buck or two. I’ve done many things including surveys, online poker, making websites, and of course ecommerce. I actually started selling online on eBay in 2002. It was more so of a hobby selling random one-off stuff around the house.
In 2012, I read about Amazon FBA through a group that taught you how to re-sell on Amazon by sourcing stuff at thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army and then started mixing in eBay flips, retail, and online arbitrage in 2013 and 2014. I stopped online arbitrage due to massive competition so then started creating my own product lines through private labeling around 2015. In 2016 I discovered print-on-demand for shirts, and, of course, mugs through LHS. Let’s just say I’ve tried a lot of things!
Did you see success quickly?
Not quite. I’ve had a lot of failures and made plenty of mistakes, but I felt that’s how I learned the most. Just to name a few off the top of my head. Things like making the wrong purchase decisions, not being organized, losing focus, and distractions in life. Doing LHS or just about anything in life requires time and persistence.
You can’t expect to be successful overnight. You just have to keep pushing through. Plant the seeds now and reap the rewards later. In regards to LHS, one thing to note is that a majority (~80%+) of your designs won’t sell. It’s just how it works. Based on this you need to keep listing and listing. It’s purely a volume game (and of course quality has to be at least decent).
What are your top tips to keep your mindset up?
Ohh GREAT question. I can go and on about this but I’ll try to keep it short. I am a big fan of personal development, which isn’t discussed much in any course or just even in everyday life. It should start with your WHY. Why are you doing this? Is this a hobby or do you actually do want to make this a nice supplemental (and even primary) income?
When your WHY is strong enough it should be the primary motivation to keep going especially when you bump into obstacles. In addition, do you have a dream board? What are some of the goals you want to accomplish in life? It can be small or big, but having your dreams laid out is a constant reminder to yourself to keep pursuing whatever you’re doing.
Having the proper mindset is so critical. You need to have the belief in what you’re doing. To strengthen the belief you need to surround yourself with positive like-minded people and great mentors.
Success leaves clues. Follow what the successful people are doing, especially when they are teaching you the ins and outs of what they are doing. I joined LHS right when Rachel released the course because I believed in the potential of it. To add on to that, she’s very involved in the group and is transparent with what she does.
What many people probably don’t know is that I bet she’s gone through a lot of failures herself to get to where she’s at. But she never gave up. It is VERY easy to give up. If it was easy then everybody would be doing it. It’s normal for things not to go your way. The key is to continue doing what you need to do on a consistent basis. Plant the seeds now (design and listings) then reap the reward.
What had you tried before LHS?
I’ve done online & retail arbitrage, private label, Merch, other POD platforms, Shopify, and drop shipping. What I love about LHS is the “passive” nature of it and how Rachel’s warehouse handles all the production and shipping. I’m all about passive and residual income as you get the most bang for your buck out of your time. You just have to put in the hard work, and eventually, your income will catch up to all your efforts.
How are you doing now?
Let’s just say life is an absolute rollercoaster ride. I’ve hit a lot of bumps in the road for the past few years. Business took a huge setback when my mom passed away in July 2017. She was my WHY. I’m doing better now but in terms of business, it’s been picking up again. Business life is very busy though. In addition to selling mugs and shirts online, I also do drop shipping and I’m also a health coach. So you can probably say life, in general, is busy, but you just have to stay focused and keep doing the daily activities.
What have you done to scale your business, and can you offer any advice for people struggling with this?
One of my big mistakes early on in my e-com career was to think I could do everything myself and not get help. At the time I was also working a 9-5 job in my corporate career, then added on 5+ hours a day doing this side hustle thing. This put a toll on my health. One thing many people overlook is their health. Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live. I learned that working a lot doesn’t mean working efficiently. That’s when I started focusing on how to be more efficient. I outsourced and hired a few employees in the Philippines.
My team currently consists of a graphics designer and four virtual assistants (a whole family). Find your weaknesses and get other people to help out. In this case, I have ZERO design skills whatsoever. Therefore, I had to get help. The next thing was how to scale. There was no way I could be listing that many products all by myself as I was busy with doing other things. Now I don’t recommend you going out and hiring 4 VAs off the bat. I would outsource once you’ve generated enough sales to cover the costs of hiring. I’ve developed a very close relationship with my team and consider them my 2nd family. Through trust, trial and error, they are running about 90% of not just my LHS business but other endeavors I’m doing as well.
For anyone looking for a VA or graphics designer, I highly recommend checking out OnlineJobs.ph. There are a few other freelancing sites but I’ve found that OnlineJobs.ph was the best for me. Additionally, not to say anything bad about VAs from other countries, but I’ve found that Filipinos seem to fit what my needs are really well. They are very loyal, hardworking, speak fluent English, and affordable.
Are there any practical tips you can give around succeeding with LHS?
The system that LHS has in place is fairly simple. It’s a numbers game. 80+% of your designs will likely not sell (maybe just 1 here, 1 there). LHS tells us what designs have been working best (which surprisingly shocked me) and what doesn’t on mugs. Yeah, it can get mundane and boring, but that’s why you get through it early on until you get enough profit to outsource.
Set yourself goals and a system in place. The two primary things you need are designs and listings. Don’t complicate things. Many of us get into analysis paralysis when we complicate something that shouldn’t be complicated (I know how you feel because I had felt the same way before). For example, allocate X hrs per day to design, X hrs to list; or allocate to do X designs and upload X per day. Do this consistently every day (or at least 5 out of 7 days). You likely won’t see any results immediately, but over time eventually, it’ll catch up.
One of my favorite books of all time The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. The basic premise is that the little small insignificant things you do today on a consistent basis will yield big rewards in the future. With that mind, don’t give up! We see the potential it can yield based on many people’s successes in the group, including Rachel herself. These people, including myself, are normal average people. I think the difference is putting in the hard work, patience, and commitment. Discipline is the bridge to your goals and accomplishment.
Aside from Amazon, what other selling platforms (if any) do you use and can you offer any practical tips about getting started with / using those platforms?
I’m also currently selling on eBay, Etsy, and Shopify. Each one is different in its own way, especially demographics and SEO.
EBay: One reason why I like eBay is that LHS/GearBubble is also integrated with it, thus creating that “passive” nature again. EBay’s Cassini search algorithm works in that it focuses heavily on the title. Focus on optimizing your title by including relevant keywords in the title that a customer would search for. Don’t include hyphens, dashes, quotes or any of those marks. Use all 80 characters they allow you, too.
Etsy: Although not integrated with LHS/GB yet, I’m excited for the day it will come. Etsy targets a different demographic. There’s also a different way on how to optimize titles (Rachel has training on that).
Shopify: Unless you have a ton of advertising funds to drive traffic and want to start your own brand, I HIGHLY recommend newbies to not venture into this yet. You own your store and have to drive your own traffic, which will get costly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Granted yes, LHS/GB is integrated but this is a beast on its own.
Share some of the tangible things you’ve been able to do with your earnings.
Quite honestly, I don’t spend much money on myself. My family is my WHY and a lot of it goes to help them. However, given this, it pushes me, even more, to try to succeed.
If anybody has any questions or would like to connect, they can add me on Facebook at Minh Chies Nguyen. I’ll try to help as much as I can.
Results are not typical. Ecommerce sellers’ results will vary based on effort and skill, etc.