Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
Intro: 00:00 From ABC News Radio, KMET 1490 in Southern California, this is BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio, with your host, Tyler Jorgenson.
Tyler: 00:12 Welcome out to BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio. This is your host Tyler Jorgensen. And I have Alison Prince with me. If you haven’t heard of her, you’ve probably given her your money some time by shopping on one of her websites. So welcome to the show, Alison.
Alison: 00:30 Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Tyler: 00:32 So what I love about our wonderful entrepreneurial world is that you and I have run into each other in Dallas. We run into each other in Boise, neither us are from either of those places. We both thought and we ended up having mutual friends that I met in Africa. That’s how our wonderful world always shrinks and comes together. What is one thing that people that are not entrepreneurs in your life, how would they best describe you and what you do?
Alison: 01:02 A serial entrepreneur, one constantly loves creating new businesses.
Tyler: 01:10 Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Alison: 01:13 No. I actually got my degree in, as a junior high teacher, Math, and Science junior high teacher. And when I went and got my first paycheck, they also said I qualified for food stamps… that wasn’t going to cut it.
Tyler: 01:29 So that’s interesting because I think the scientist has an advantage in entrepreneurship. If they can get a little bit creative because you know, they understand numbers and metrics better than some of us that maybe were more creative, less a numbers-based. So what was, you know, I know we’re going to go into things like, how you, your daughters have sold $100,000 worth of products? Some of the things that you’ve done, but what was, when you had that moment of, hey, here’s your first check your, it’s so little money that you’re also qualifying for food stamps. What was the first thing that you did? What was your first entrepreneurial step?
Alison: 02:07 So right after that, so my husband was going to school full time and we had a new baby. Like I had been told my whole life that if I got my college degree then I would have financial security. And that was the biggest lie ever. Right, right? Like I know teachers can make a lot of money, but I was just excited to buy like towels or go to dinner with my husband and I have to split a meal. We made $9,000 students and my first real job paid me 20,000. So I’m like, it’s going to increase three times. I’m going to be like, this is a financial success, financial freedom at age 21. And then after all the taxes and the insurance and everything, I was like, we can’t live off this. We can’t even afford toilet paper. So I actually started tutoring job and I started tutoring a couple of students at night and that was just getting more and more of my time.
Alison: 03:11 And I said, I’ve got to figure out how to not eat my time. So I hired three other teachers. They actually did the tutoring and I just ran the books. I made money and I’m like, oh, oh my gosh, this is like magical. Why didn’t anybody teach me this? And so that was my first business. It grew. And then we moved. So I had to dissolve it because it just didn’t work. And then I did real estate during the boom and that was amazing. And then remote. And then I started a third business and it was a crafting business. Uh, and I had four babies and I just couldn’t do it. So then I’m like, okay, so much chaos is going on. What’s going to be pretty steady? And then that’s when I started, uh, how does she, with two of my friends, and that’s a blog. So if we go, if we move or if we have more babies, it doesn’t matter. We can work during nap time, we can move and keep the business going. So that was my first entry into the online world.
Tyler: 04:12 There are a lot of people that were blogging during that time, but not everyone was turning that into a business. So how did, like how did you shift from just being a blogger to actually running, turning into a business? What was kind of the difference between what you were doing, what other people are doing?
Alison: 04:27 We went into it knowing that we wanted to make money. It wasn’t like we had a plan, how are we going to figure out how to make money if we had extra time we wanted to spend with our family. And so we were saying, okay, we’re willing to dedicate time, effort and energy into this to build a business. Now did we want to create a community? Absolutely. And at first we didn’t know how to make money. So our first like in our first thought into it was let’s create this amazing community. And once we have that, then we’ll figure out how to monetize it. And so we went out there and we tried to figure out who our audience was and what they related to. And then we started, um, like the sponsorships and the ads and affiliate. Because at first we didn’t know who we were or who our audience was. So we just started putting out stuff, collecting eyeballs and then figuring out, uh, what to do after that.
Tyler: 05:23 Yeah, know, but a lot of people don’t get over that first hurdle of being able to sell that for a sponsorship. And then there’s people that obviously do like I, um, early maybe 2010, like I w I was able to advertise on the site, our best bites for pretty cheap cause guys and they’re great. And I think they were actually in Boise too, but I didn’t see them anyways. So, and I was able to advertise pretty cheap and then they got signed by like a big right when their book was coming out that, you know, things the world changed for them. Um, so, but you know, I think a lot of um, entrepreneurs that kind go that direction have a hard time getting that first like windfall or first set of like big jump in eyeballs where they, it’s gone from a hobby. Even if they started it with the desire to make money, like, you know what’s, what’s, was that, was it a snowball effect that kind of built, was it something like that?
Alison: 06:15 No, we worked hard. Yes. Okay. I think you create your own luck through how hard you work. So like the first sponsorship we got, you’re like a free tee shirt. And we were like, yeah, we’re super excited about it. And we’re like, hey, how can we do that again? Yeah. That again. And it wasn’t so much the amount it was us learning how to pitch ourselves better. It was us learning how to talk to uh, advertisers. And even if it was a $5 button on the side of our blog, which buttons don’t really exist anymore, the five color button, we were perfecting who we were. And if they said no or like, okay, what did we do wrong? What can we do better? Um, we knew we were going to get nos and we were okay with that and we just kept trying and trying and trying.
Alison: 07:11 And we were told no so many times, but we didn’t let that stop us. We had something, we knew we wanted to make this work. We’d heard these magical stories of people making tons of money online. So we want to to to, but, and honestly, like people come up to me and they’re like, but Allison, you have so many followers. And I say, yeah, I do. But I started at zero. If I would have jumped into it right now with so many followers, I had looked like a complete idiot because I didn’t know how to talk. I didn’t know how to talk about my brand or how to talk to my people. So I’m glad I started with zero. And then I had one follower and then I got some feedback and then two followers got some feedback and then I could, I could figure out what I wanted more
Tyler: 08:00 And kind of and discover your voice a little bit. Right. And kind of figure out, also not only what you should be talking about, but how do you even communicate in this yes world, right? Yeah. We could probably spend a mass amount of time really breaking that down to the granular, but, but you also, um, you guys, do you still run? How does she, which, I want, I love that you still are doing, that’s so cool. And then, you know, what did, how did you say, well you’ve done other, what was the next thing that you do after that?
Alison: 08:27 So then I, so how did she start with my two business partner, Shelly, Missy and Marcel business partners and they’re fabulous. Um, but when I would write a blog post, I would be sending them to like other stores, other shops, and uh, and at one point I’m like, why don’t I start sending it to my store, right? Like I, we 10% affiliate or whatever. Like I want to make money than that. I’m going to start sending it to my store. So I started to say it called pick your plum. And in the beginning I didn’t know, I didn’t have hardly any money and it was one product today because I couldn’t buy a whole bunch of inventory, right? Like I didn’t have a lot of money. So I would get, I would look out there and I would sell a product and then after I sold the product, buy the product to fill all my orders, come in, and then I’d ship it out and then I’d get a little cashflow started and then the next day I’m like, oh my gosh, what am I going to sell tomorrow? And then the next week, oh my gosh, am I going to sell them?
Tyler: 09:33 You’re literally like planning a day to two days ahead. Like that close.
Alison: 09:38 Yeah. In the beginning because I didn’t have cash flow. Right, right. The, if you had cashflow and I made it a lot easier.
Tyler: 09:45 What kind of eyeball? Like what kind of view count, what kind of sales were happening in those first few days, weeks, months of pick your plum?
Alison: 09:53 Uh, that was six years ago. I don’t remember what I had for dinner, but we grew up like, I grew up very, very quickly, very quickly. Within a year and a half, it was a million dollar business. Um, I was pretty excited about that. I mean, going from teaching like food stamps, right. To having no clue about any business strategy at all. Just seeing a need and filling it and then working hard, staying focused now getting distracted and making things happen. Like I literally like I would sell the product and it was still out in a couple hours and then I would sit dead for 22 hours. And in that 22 hours I had to find a new product get listed and get the photography done, the description and the pricing then for the next morning. And then I would do it again and do it again. And it probably took me about three months before I could get like two or three days ahead.
Tyler: 10:54 Holy Cow. So you were just chasing those first few months. Absolutely. Absolutely. And then what are you emailing out or, or what people all just kind of knowing, hey, we’re gonna check ours, check the site every day.
Alison: 11:05 Oh yeah, for sure. Emails or gathering or email. Really quickly, we started working with more influencers, so other bloggers, uh, to start during traffic, we set up an affiliate program and then it just started taking off. Just started like crazy. Taking off the actual, the people that you started at or we worked with here in America, they couldn’t fill our orders. So I called a friend and I said, Hey, do you want to go to China with me? She said, no, absolutely no, I don’t know Chinese. You don’t know Chinese. Alison that sleep on the other side of the world. Am I going out? You want to go? Said No. So after the third time, she finally said yes. Literally China. I don’t know any Chinese. I still to this day don’t know any Chinese. Um, and then we went over there and started finding any fractures we’ve never imported before.
Alison: 11:57 Never works. Never worked out of the country. Right. Did it? We’re totally out of our comfort zone. My husband’s like, you’re going, you want to go where? I’m like, I want to go to China. Hi. I’d like to find manufacturers because we can’t put sell our products here. You don’t have enough inventory. And so we went to China and we just started a little bits, little tiny bits. We started like with $1,000 order and then a $2,000 and then by the end we were ordering, I don’t know, one year like $1 million of product, but you start small, everybody starts small and you just do a little bit and test it. Because if you start big, it’s too risky. Sure. You don’t know your audience, you don’t know your product, you’ve got to test it to make sure it works.
Tyler: 12:47 Yeah, absolutely. And then you know, and you can always throttle the inventory, like you would, where are you selling out of product? You know, how much they could buy. Right?
Alison: 12:56 Uh Huh. Yeah. And honestly that helped be excitement like when we’d sell out in two hours. Cause like, no, I wanted that product. Yeah. Six weeks later. And then it was just so exciting. So it was just one product. Today
Tyler: 13:11 we’ve learned like urgency and scarcity, but at the time it was more just, you were just, that’s all we have, right? Yeah,
Alison: 13:17 yeah, yeah.
Tyler: 13:21 There’s, there’s like science there. What? Um, okay. So, and we know that, that that company, I mean it’s still around. It’s, it’s anyway, one of my sisters, it was like her favorite site. Oh, but you’re a serial entrepreneur. So even though you’re saying stay focused, even though you’re saying, um, you know, grind everyday and just kind of really make it work. Um, you’ve done more since then. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about, um, the zero dash a hundred k and like what your daughters have been able to do and what you’ve been helping people do.
Alison: 13:48 Okay. So what I do is I focus really hard on a business for about three years. Okay. And I bring in people, um, in that process to help me to keep it going because I am an entrepreneur and I don’t have three after three years. It’s just hard for me to, I don’t know, stay focused. Right?
Tyler: 14:09 No, I get it three years. As long I’m not, I’m impressed you can stick.
Alison: 14:14 So that’s what I do. Like I go super, Super Tunnel Vision, um, in these three years, building up the best community, building up the best people that I possibly can. Uh, and then after this three years, then I start looking at something else. So pick your promos going. Great. We brought in, um, a crew that, uh, ran up for a little while. It actually didn’t work out. Their vision was here, my vision was over here. But in the meantime, um, I built three ecommerce businesses as well as my daughters. They decided to, well, they didn’t decide to, we as benign helped them decide to start a business. They are sleeping in a little too much. They’re are 10 and 13, and sleeping in a little too much on the weekends. So he said, do you want more chores or do you want to start a business now? So, uh, they ended up, uh, in nine months actually saying over a hundred thousand dollars and 13 year old, my 13, it was in junior high. She would come home crying and just say, mom, I can’t open up my locker. And so frustrated. And I said, honey, go look at your website and you go look at her website and it was like $4,000 in sales. I’m like, honey, you just made $4,000 pay someone to open up your locker for you.
Tyler: 15:33 Oh, that’s funny. Now I’m sure that you have like the uh, the people that like, well, it’s really easy for them to do it because their moms are already like figured it all out. Now I do believe in the process. Right. But a so how much of it was like, you teaching them and how much was them figuring it out?
Alison: 15:51 Well, it’s a system, right? I wanted them to do it. I didn’t want to hold their hand the whole time. They did not sell on my ecommerce sites. They had to go out there and they had to figure out how the guy said, cave, this is what you do. You need to do this and this and this. And then they had to go do it. And I said, and pick your plums off limits. I’m not going to let you use that site because that’s not, I, it might not always be there or I dunno, just figure out a different way and this is how I want you to do it. And they were as super successful, right? They’ve already at, if they decided to go to college, their college is paid for. Like they already have that ability to walk out of college debt free. Now hopefully they’ll get an education, not just a college degree, like I need to call them gems. Right?
Alison: 16:45 And then, so I said to my sister, I said, hey, um, will you try this process that, and my girls just went through and she’s like, sure. She ended up making $129,000 in nine months. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is, I can replicate this. And so then, um, I’m, I met these, well, I, I’ve known them for a little while, Matt and Joe, they were selling a craft at a craft show and made $80 and they said, hey, you guys want to try this? And they’re like, yeah, we’ll try it. Alison, anything. We don’t want to make 80 bucks at a craft show. Um, Matt or Joe just quit his job and Matt started quit his job. They paid their cars off, they’ve paid rental properties off. They’re about to be off their own house. They get is seriously changing lives. Um, and so after that I kept going with more and more people and then we launched a zero to a hundred k course because I had proven that it was like you could replicate this in the process. It’s not in the product. It is the process that works. Right. Do the process, then you can grow, you know, zero to 100 k like it is super possible
Tyler: 17:54 For a minute there. I thought, like we were going into an MLM pitch.
Alison: 17:58 Okay. I’ve never done an MLM not no, never done one.
Tyler: 18:04 And it’s just like this and no and but you did, you figured out a pattern, right? Yeah. And you’ve been able to help people do that now. Um, you mentioned, you know, obviously that’s your secret sauce and if people want to learn more about it, they go to zero dash 100 k.com. Right. Um, and I, I encourage people to go there and probably going to have my wife go sign up. But what I’m, and a lot of what you talked about was like affiliates and bloggers and influencers. Is that a big part of your launch and growth strategies?
Alison: 18:33 Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, people are huge, right? And connections and communities, like I’m such a big believer in communities. Um, so you have your community of customers, right? And then you need your community, uh, people that are going to support you in the business world and that you scratch each other’s backs and it doesn’t cost to advertise. Right. But you’re still helping each other grow. And I believe in the abundance model versus a scarcity. Um, when you start growing your business, there’s so much out there. Why not help each other out? There’s so much out there.
Tyler: 19:13 Yeah, absolutely. Um, and so let’s, I mean you, you skirted over and we don’t need to go into depth on it if you don’t want, but, um, turn it over that like, you know, when you hand it off, pick your plum, it didn’t go the way you wanted. Um, what if, what are some of the obstacles that you faced as like three throughout your journey and how’d you overcome it?
Alison: 19:36 Um, I think my biggest obstacle was trusting myself. I think that honestly, like if I could go back and Redo things, it would be to trust myself, trust my gut. I, because I thought that I was a, and I didn’t think I, because I was a junior high teacher and then I would go talk to these smart business people. I thought they knew my business more than I did. I thought they could do better things than I could when an actuality that no, I had the vision right. And then when I started to feel like things weren’t right, I should’ve fired them faster and I didn’t. And that, and that’s happened a few times. Um, hopefully it doesn’t happen again. I have a hard, hopefully doesn’t happen again, but I think there’s, I know was so basic and I wish I could say, you know, it’s, you know, don’t write with a black ink pen and you’ll have success. Like I wish it was that concrete, but it’s not. You really have to listen to your gut and how you feel and if something’s off it’s off. It’s hot.
Tyler: 20:48 Yeah. And I’ve heard, I’ve heard that saying, um, you know, hire slow, fire fast. Yeah. And I think that same principle, um, is also like in partnerships and in, um, and really even in businesses like I do believe in moving quickly and I believe in ready, fire, aim and I believe in that kind of stuff. But it’s also like ready, fire, aim, not fire ready, aim. Right? Like so, there is, there is still that patience of, you know, like when to strike and when to make the move and then, but then once you know something, right, trusting yourself.
Alison: 21:23 Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Tyler: 21:26 They, they say that the minute that you know, a decision is right is the easiest, that decision will ever be. But that we often still will put it off thinking maybe it will be easier when other circumstances change, but from that point forward it’ll only be harder. Right. So yeah. Uh, definitely something I’ve had to learn, um, have definitely burn time more than once. Um, you know, do you believe like entrepreneurship is, is a, is a path to freedom for many? Oh my gosh, yes. Okay. So yes. Yeah. So I guess that’s the angle I’m really taking right? Is um, if, if it, you know, if we see entrepreneurship as a way to a better life, so yeah. And, and they show that interest. I guess what I’m asking is then what’s that, what do you encourage them to do as the first step?
Alison: 22:17 Uh, um, watch my masterclass.
Tyler: 22:24 Where do they do that?
Alison: 22:26 then I want it to get him into the community because when you start a business, there’s a lot of questions, right? You Start Your Business and then the next, how do I take it to the next level? If you can get in a community that can help push you and drive, like answer your questions and work together, like your business is just going to grow. So that’s why I put so much emphasis on my community, uh, because we’re all geeks about entrepreneurship, right? Right. And we have some people that are new, some people that are seasoned and everybody needs support to be able to do this and not only support to do it, but to help systematize it. So it doesn’t take over your entire life because there’s entrepreneurs like we can work 20 hours a day and be happy, right? Uh, but if we can figure out how to systematize it, so we’re only working, I don’t know, six or eight and then spend more time with our family. Like, what are your tips? What are your tips? Um, and just makes us stronger.
Tyler: 23:29 So I’m fully with you. Community’s massive and incredibly important. I think. Um, one of the big mistakes early on in entrepreneurs that I took is I didn’t have, I didn’t find those communities right? And so, um, it’s easy to feel like the loneliness of entrepreneurship. And it sounds like you’ve almost build your own communities to kind of solve that. And I was only for yourself, but for those that are getting their, taking their first steps.
Alison: 23:55 Well, when I first started, I didn’t have a community of entrepreneurs. I really felt alone. I, it was very lonely. Uh, my friends, uh, they didn’t understand why I was working 23 hours a day sleeping on the warehouse floor. Right? They didn’t, they didn’t understand it. It would’ve been nice to have a community of entrepreneurs. So say, Hey Alison, don’t work 23 hours a day. Like systematize it and then help me walk through the process of my first hire because first hire is kind of scary. Right? And then your first fire firing’s hard too. And then what’s the next step and what’s the next step and how do you grow your team and how do you interview and just to have a support. So you’ve got your community from Your Business, right? But then also have a community of entrepreneurs. That’s fabulous. I’ve learned that I missed out a lot on my first little bit of starting my journey and now I’ve, I’m in an amazing communities right now and I count my blessings a lot for them.
Tyler: 24:58 That’s awesome. What, um, so you’ve got something that I, I saw recently that I just really like the energy that you’re putting into it and there’s, it’s fun to see like there’s a group of my, you know, friends of mine in there. Um, you have the, because I can clan. Yes. Tell me about that and that, what’s going on there?
Alison: 25:18 Yes. So honestly when I started my zero to a hundred k I wanted something inspirational for people to like, you know, when you get to the top of a mountain, you want to stick your flag and it’s got some lowing statement on it, right? I wanted something that people could feel empowered for. So we need that the, because they can and then plan is the family. Sure. Why can we start a business? Why can we travel and still make money or sleep and still make money? Like make money in our sleep or go to Disneyland and make money because they can because we can and it empowers people. And then whenever anybody in my group has, we call it a clan, went I send them a clan tee shirt because it’s exciting and we get to celebrate them. Last week alone we had eight people have a clan wins, which is so exciting. So I was writing notes and shipping them shirts and they were so excited to get it. And they take pictures of themselves, put it up in the group and everybody gets to celebrate. Um, right. Does need to be celebrated. Sure. So it’s really, it’s like our flag of freedom.
Tyler: 26:28 Absolutely. And I mean you have, um, so you know, you’re a serial entrepreneur, you’ve got your ecommerce stores and you still have to pick your plum. And how does she in Zero Dash 100 k, um, if someone’s just getting started, where do they go to learn more about you and maybe get started on their,
Alison: 26:44 um, you can go to alisonjprince.com. It’s going to be laid out nice. If they want to go to, because I can clan if they want to take the mastercourse, if they want to see what businesses I have, um, where I’ve been featured my daughter’s story of how they, you know, I mean that’s a really cool story. Very cool. Uh, I mean my 10 year old was in elementary and she was out learning how to take pictures of her sister and editing and figuring out how to put them on a site and doing inventory on the weekends. Uh, and they were super excited about it. So it’s got their story on their, um, links to Facebook. YouTube. I started the YouTube channel. That’s crazy.
Alison: 27:25 Um, and just giving tips and tricks and like, I’m still any commerce every single day that I love it. It’s not that I stopped e-commerce to sell a course. Like that’s not it. Like I’m so passionate about e-commerce that I keep doing it. And then I’m like, I’m going to go over and tell the group, I’m like, guys, we just sold $30,000 and $40. Look how we did it. Um, or this week I just got done editing a video and it’s going up of how to get free email subscribers, like the best, easiest way to do it. And there’s a little video of how we did it. Uh, and then there’s a little bit of my family in there because I like people to know that I’m real sure. And like I’ll get on there and I, like I said, I won’t have any makeup on my pajamas, but I’m so excited about what just happened then. I, it’s, I’m not a fashion blogger. Like I want people to make money, I want people to be successful.
Tyler: 28:19 Awesome. I could pick your brain and talk about your journey for hours. But so I know that you’ve done some other podcasts recently, so I’ll probably link to a few of those so people can go and learn more about you. But I encourage everyone to check out alisonjprince.com. Now, I know that you’ve traveled a lot, but this is my question that I end with everyone. So business and I know you agree with this is about creating your lifestyle and not overcoming your lifestyle. And so what is one major item on your bucket list personally that you’re going to do in the next 12 months?
Alison: 28:53 Well we’re going to the Macy’s Day parade with my daughter. She is in the band in the Macy’s Day parade. And honestly, I’m excited to come in. Cool. We just got back from almost a four week trip to Thailand. We did a service trip over there and to be with my family. I don’t care where we are or we could just be sitting on the couch. I love being with my family. So my family is my bucket list.
Tyler: 29:22 I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on this show and juggling. I know our schedules and everything like that and so I encourage everyone. Go check out alisonjprince.com. It is your turn to go out and do something.
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