We're going to be straight with you: Starting an online store is not easy. 

Expect mistakes, frustration, more mistakes, and more frustration.

But the good news is, if you can persevere through it and, success will be greeting you at the end of that tunnel.

Having spoken to our fair share of successful merchants and heard their stories, we know just how hard it can be. 

While there's no easy road to success, there are mistakes you can avoid. In this episode, we're joined by Oberlo's very own social care advisor, Gurj Singh.

Gurj has collated a list of the most common things to avoid when you are launching a new brand. Together, we dive into sourcing products, creating a website, customer care, and the importance of transparency and communication.

If you're just starting out or aspiring to become an ecommerce business owner, this will be a knowledge-filled and practical episode for you so definitely tune in.

We have plenty more of such episodes and if you're interested, subscribe to Start Yours so you never miss a single one. 

Prefer a summary? We've got you covered. Here's a seven-point TL;DR version of my chat with Gurj:

  1. If you come into it with the wrong mindset and thinking it's going to be easy, it's already gonna be harder for you to become successful.
  2. Some merchants make the mistake of adding too many products without working on their store design.
  3. Stay away from branded products. Anything that's a large brand on AliExpress is definitely fake.
  4. Look into your product, its features, and advantages and benefits, write them down, and incorporate that into your copy.
  5. Place a test order to know how long shipping takes and have you endless opportunities to take product photos.
  6. When dealing with angry customers, offer actual solutions instead of just saying, "Sorry, no refunds."
  7. Success will take time. Nobody just turns on their laptop, starts a Shopify store, moves to Barbados, and starts making money.

Start Yours is a podcast about ecommerce, dropshipping, and all things launching a business.

Join us as we meet entrepreneurs who have gone through the triumphs and headaches of running an online store, and learn how they managed to survive and thrive.

Having the Right Mindset To Succeed

Aleisha: Oh, look, it's really nice to talk to members of the team who have direct contact with our lovely merchants and people who are giving it a red hot go at running their own business. Gurj, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. You have so much information, I'm bursting with excitement.

Gurj: Yeah, no worries. I'm happy to share it for sure.

Aleisha: This is great. So we've been chatting for months on Slack about this episode, so the expectations are high, and we do have a lot to cover. But in this episode, we're gonna talk about store building and branding, customer service, and shipping. 

And on a day-to-day basis, you talk to a lot of people, so you really are in the thick of it when it comes to figuring out where people are going, not necessarily wrong, well I suppose, are some of the mistakes that you could avoid if you're especially new to this business. 

What's it like having that sort of one-on-one with a lot of people who are really, really trying very hard to build their empires?

Gurj: Yeah, for sure. I've been doing this for three years, I started at Shopify three years ago and I've been with Oberlo specifically for about two years. So I've worked with literally thousands of dropshippers or thousands of business owners in general. 

So you do find out really what people struggle with when they're beginning, and also when we've been in Oberlo, we can work with some of the entrepreneurs a little bit more frequently, so it's pretty cool to see how people who are just starting out evolve in their business, and how Oberlo can also help them or how they've followed our videos to find out how to run Facebook ads, whatever it is. 

I mean, dealing with them all the time, it's honestly pretty fun and you learn quite a bit as well from different entrepreneurs, which is always good.

Aleisha: Yeah, you have a real window into the progress and success of people but also, I suppose, the common little pitfalls that people run into, and I noticed speaking to lots of merchants on this show, and especially really finding a pattern in people who go out there and they see an ad for dropshipping, or for becoming an ecommerce sort of king or queen overnight, and then realizing, "Oh, this is actually pretty hard." It's not all just push a button, find a product, sell it, yay, you're rich. 

There are challenges involved in this, not to say that that doesn't happen, we have lots of very successful merchants, but it can sometimes feel a little bit like we're being sold a bit of a one-step process when that's certainly not the case. 

Let's start with store building and brand strategy. We've sort of tried to bring together some of your tips into these categories, but it would be great to really go through some of your tips and just figure out where we can help people, hopefully, cut a couple of corners when it comes to making these mistakes. So where should we kick it off Gurj? 

Gurj: For sure. Firstly, I'll just touch on your point of... This is one of the most common mistakes. People come in thinking that it's gonna be really easy. Ultimately, dropshipping is just a business model, it's just a way you're gonna fulfill your orders and source your products. You're going into this creating a business and you're becoming an entrepreneur. 

So the number one thing I think that people... If you come into it with the wrong mindset, it's already gonna be harder for you to become successful. If you're going into it thinking, "I'm okay, I'm gonna start a business, I'm an entrepreneur," and you understand what starting a business entails, then you're gonna be better set up for success.

Aleisha: Totally. Really good point.

Sourcing Products

Gurj: Yeah. So starting out building your store, I mean, really, you're starting your online store with Shopify, adding Oberlo, and then you're adding products. 

Some of the things that I think merchants do too often are adding too many products or spend a ton of time on products and add 100 or 200 products without working on their store design. 

And this happens all the time as well. Like someone will add 250 products, I'll check out the website because we're obviously working with them and they've done no website design work, so you've just used so much time already just to add products, and it's probably not the best use of your time.

Aleisha: So if we're talking about sourcing products and then not getting caught up in adding 250 products to your store straight away, where should people start to look for their niche product if they're doing a general store or they're building an ecommerce store around a theme. Where do you suggest we do our research to really ensure that we're getting the right stuff on the page? 

Gurj: For sure. So one thing you could do is to actually tune into our live videos. We share trending products every week on Tuesdays, I think it is. A really common website is ecom product hunt, which is a third party website. You can find some products there. Some of the more commonly used ones are Google Trends as well. And we actually have a blog with, I think, 10 or 11 different things you can use. 

But my personal favorite for finding winning products online is definitely going on to Facebook. 

Any time I see an ad, I just click through it, check out the Facebook page for the product. And if you do that enough times, I actually learned this from Scott Hilse, if you do that enough times, Instagram and Facebook will pretty much only show your dropshipping stores. 

I see tons of different products every single day, and I'll just click through it, go all the way to the checkout, so Facebook keeps showing me these types of products. That's personally what I like to do. 

But yeah, there are tons of different ways. You can just go on AliExpress as well, look for the products that have the highest orders, check out reviews, things like that. These are the most common ways, I would say.

Aleisha: Tell me a little bit about when you're searching for products, I know we've featured merchants recently that have had issues with selling copyrighted products or branded products that perhaps put up a red flag, especially within Shopify as well. If you are selling things that you shouldn't be selling, people find out pretty quickly. 

Give me a little bit of background about what we should and shouldn't be looking for when it comes to those sorts of products.

Gurj: Absolutely, so if you pretty much see anything that's a large brand on AliExpress, like if you see any Air Jordan shoe, it's definitely fake. You wanna stay away from anything branded like Marvel, anything like that 'cause it's pretty much as soon as you launch your website, you're gonna get DMCAs, which is essentially a letter that's gonna ask you to take down your product and overall, you don't wanna be involved in anything like this anyway. It's just gonna land you in hot water, so it's best to stay away from anything. 

And if you're not sure, Google the brand, check out if they're a legitimate brand. A lot of the brands are just AliExpress brands and they've got their logos on it, which are usually good to dropship. But if you're really on the fence, you can definitely reach out to the supplier and just ask them if they allow dropshipping.

Creating Your Website

Aleisha: Great, going back to the process of, okay, hopefully, we haven't added 250 products to our storefront, we've found maybe five products, let's just say, and we're about to build our store. 

Can you tell me a little bit more about how we can make the store look like a proper store, and I say proper. I know we've got great Shopify themes and a lot of different opportunities to make things look sexy and clean and unique. But how do we make it look like something that is a "real brand," and not just something we've hacked together in 26 minutes and put up.

Gurj: So definitely a good logo. You can use Hatchful and there are tons of different sites you can get to get free logos. A domain name, those are pretty much the basic things, and one thing I like to do is actually get brand color kits online, which will give you five or six different colors that is kind of like a brand template, and you can plug those into your Shopify store, but all of the colors work really well together. 

I feel like if you're not very good with branding and you're messing around with colors, you might make the store look a little bit strange, especially if you have neon colors. 

Other than that, the other common thing I would add to make sure your business looks legit and you do want to have these anyways, is a shipping policy for sure, that outlines your shipping. 

This is super important 'cause it's one of the things that people are gonna click on most when they land on your product page, they wanna know how long it's gonna take the product to get to them. That's gonna be one of the main questions.

Aleisha: Yeah.

Gurj: Yeah.

Writing Copies From Scratch

Aleisha: I wanna jump into shipping as well in a second, but can I just also ask you a little bit about the copy, just looking at the website as well. If you are pulling from AliExpress, you can pull the copy straight from their page, but that's a bit of a no-no, isn't it, when you are sort of setting up your site because often, the copy isn't great. 

But how can we improve that? Do you recommend going back and rewriting or tweaking, how do we make it look sort of... I wanna say unique or at least sort of slightly unique to your branded website? 

Gurj: For sure, so I would definitely rewrite the whole thing.

Aleisha: Yeah.

Gurj: Start from scratch. You wanna essentially look into your product, look at what the features, advantages and benefits are, write them down, see how you can incorporate that into your copy. You wanna outline the different ways a product would solve a problem for a customer. 

And I would definitely even Google some product templates or product copy templates, or look at similar products in the niche and look at the copy that different brands are using and not really copy it, but take inspiration from it and adjust it for your own brand and your own niche and your product.

But that's one way that you have, it's another way you have to win someone over. Somebody might look at your Facebook ad and think, "Okay, I need this product," click through it, use an accelerated checkout and buy the product. 

Someone might be a little bit interested and they're gonna land on your product page, and now your product copy is your second chance to sell to them. 

If you have a really strong product copy and you can create a vision in somebody's head of why they need the product or if you're selling clothing, you can kind of make somebody imagine them wearing the clothing, you're gonna have a better chance of selling that product.

Aleisha: Yeah, and can I just say, the website Grammarly is absolutely free, the plug-in that you can use, just check your spelling.

Gurj: Yes, for sure.

Aleisha: I sound like a bit of an old school teacher, and my spelling and grammar can be shocking sometimes, Gurj. But the idea that if you're on a product page, there's something about seeing things that are misspelled or just bad grammar, and there's I suppose an element of trust that goes into it, but also just care that you have gone and just spell-checked something. 

So can I just do a little plug, we're not affiliated with them, but I use Grammarly all the time, and just to say, just run something, run a spellcheck through your pages...

Gurj: Definitely. Yeah, and like you're saying, it really is that trustworthy aspect, and that's a huge part as well, for building your online store and converting those customers.

Taking Product Photos

Aleisha: Do you recommend... I sit on AliExpress all the time, and it's part of our job to know what we're recommending and also getting to know the Oberlo app. But what do you think about product images 'cause there are some suppliers who will give you 50 product images and they're sexy and they look Instagram-able, and there are others that are pretty not inspiring. 

What do you recommend to our merchants and how they can produce beautiful imagery that will entice people to purchase? 

Gurj: For sure. So before this, again, I wanna come back to you're starting a business, you're starting a business, so you should probably check out that product and have that product with you.

Aleisha: Yes.

Gurj: I can go on any dropshipping website for 10 seconds, look at a product and probably figure out if it's dropshipping, just 'cause I've spent that much time on AliExpress. A lot of other people can do that as well, and you can use things like excluding Facebook page admins and excluding AliExpress from your ads, so ideally, you won't show it to people who are dropshippers. 

But again, you're not really setting yourself apart and people landing on your website probably have seen multiple stories that are exactly the same. So when you're starting a business, I would say 100 percent buy the product.

Aleisha: Yes.

Gurj: Most people have smartphones with 4K cameras or something close to it. Just put it on a table with a white background and you can take amazing product pictures with a smartphone, you can take product videos. 

If you're not so good at editing, you can hire somebody on Fiverr and pay them 20, 30 bucks to edit you a nice little ad, but that's gonna help to set you apart. 

And that's not the only thing, if you don't like the pictures, all you have to do is put that product up again, take more pictures of it, record more videos of it, and you have unlimited content to create.

Aleisha: I love this, and it's also, as you said, I mean, Shopify has a whole section called Burst, all you need to do is look up Shopify Burst. We have thousands of free product images, not product, well just sort of lifestyle images that you can then as you said, send it to someone on Fiverr and say, "Hey, can you please put my iPhone case in this photo?" And a lot of people are pretty clever with the way they can Photoshop products in. 

I interviewed a merchant recently who sold plushy toys and they were really cute little fat seals and boba tea, and I was so surprised when I said to him, "Gosh, your product images are amazing," and yes, he did have some genuine product images that he'd taken himself. But he said, "You know, most of it was lifestyle images that I downloaded off Burst and then added them in,” and it looked like the lady in the photo was holding this toy when really he was just a bit good with Photoshop. 

And I was absolutely convinced. And like you, I look at a lot of these sites and a lot of these sorts of imagery, and he had tricked me. 

So yeah, if you can spend a bit of time and if you don't have the skills as well, find someone that does, and it won't cost you very much money, but also it's an investment to make your site stand out from, as you said, seeing the repeated images over and over again, you sort of get a pretty cyclic viewpoint.

Gurj: Exactly. Yeah, you can even use free tools like Canva, upload the image, adjust it a little bit and then make it your product image. Or even add those little words with the point and outline product features. 

There's a lot of stuff you can do, and you can really set yourself apart, again, when you don't look like a dropshipping store.

Customer Service

Aleisha: Yeah, I think that's really important. Let's talk a little bit more about customer service 'cause I think a lot of people underestimate how much of a huge sort of deal this is when it comes to running any sort of business.

Gurj: Okay.

Aleisha: But especially when you are dealing with... You're the middle man as a dropshipper, you are organizing to sell the product, but then you are absolutely relying on someone else to send the product, which we're going to get to in shipping, and I think that's a really big factor as well. 

But can we go through a little bit of the mistakes you've seen people make over the years with customer service, what they miss out on, or underestimate? 

Gurj: For sure. So this... So you're gonna get people that are gonna email you when you get sales asking where the product is. If you can be overly nice or just in general, provide exceptional customer service, the likeliness of them asking to cancel their order or refund something is way lower. 

If you just send out a standard message or, "Hey, your order's on the way," they might ask for a refund. But you can utilize exceptional customer service to kind of get around that long shipping time in a way. 

Making sure that you have a solid return and refund policy, these are super important as well. 

You wanna have those on your page because again, the customer wants to know those things when they're buying your product. And you can use a template as well, but I would always suggest kind of being a little bit fun with it and making it go along with your brand or align it with your branding.

Aleisha: That's a good way. It's a really good point you make, it goes with being able to add a bit of your own personality into these messages. And I always sort of say, the 404 page, the redirect page, we've got in the Shopify template, you've got a chance to jump in and add a bit of sass or something to it.

Gurj: Yeah, for sure.

Aleisha: And I think it's sometimes a missed opportunity to be able to stand out when... If you use the sort of templated responses which are great, but also if you can add a bit of personality, it does make you, as you said from the beginning, not look like a dropshipping store if you don't wanna look like a dropshipping store and be able to carry that messaging through it.

Gurj: Yeah, 100 percent. And one of the other things actually that reminded me that I really like is when your shipping email goes out, you can edit it, right? 

So you can inject your brand into your shipping email and you can kind of lighten up the email a little bit.

Aleisha: It's good. So I know in my ecom store, I bought a template that just matches... I think I paid 20 bucks for it and I've used it for three and a half years, but it just matches all my brand colors, it adds my logo to the shipping template, and I can add gifs and all this sort of silly stuff. 

But it's one of those things that when I ask people to respond, I ask them a question in the email, and I get so many responses from people who probably wouldn't have responded if it was just a black and white normal templated email, like shipping email. 

So yeah, it's good to add that little extra bit of touch, and for me, that 20 bucks has been an investment 'cause I think it really gets people engaged and committed to my brand.

Gurj: Yeah, definitely, but yeah, again, you're not gonna look like a dropshipper, you're not gonna look like one of the 50 other stores, you can really outline your brand there.

What Constitutes Good Customer Service

Aleisha: What do you call good customer service? Is it getting back to people quickly? Is it being able to solve problems? Is it all of the above? 

Gurj: Sure, so getting back too quickly is huge. Offering actual solutions instead of just saying, "Sorry, no refunds," or, "Once you get the product, ship it back." Whatever it is. 

Offering a gift card is one thing that I would highly suggest as one option. 

If the product is taking too long, empathize with the customer, just say, "Hey, sorry about that." I mean, in today's age, everything is gonna take a while because of COVID. Dropshipping products were already taking a little while and now, even longer because of COVID. 

But if somebody asks you for a refund, you can apologize, say, "Hey, sorry about that, we're having delays, " or whatever you may say, and then on top of that, offer them a gift card or offer them another solution, but kind of give them options and try to really provide, again, exceptional customer service 'cause if you can get that customer to take a gift card and just give them the product anyways, they may buy off your store again.

Aleisha: And I think people underestimate it. They go, "I don't wanna lose the money." But also they could be people that are going to come back, as you said, and spend more money. But also, what's losing 10 bucks when you've made someone happy and also then dealing with the barrage of complaints when you don't make them happy. I tell you, I would rather just give them the $10.

Gurj: Absolutely, and you don't want somebody going on your social media and just bad-mouthing your brand because that is not a... Especially with no social proof. If you have an upset customer, like a happy customer, sure, they might leave a review, but an upset customer is probably gonna leave a bad review.

Success Takes Time

Aleisha: Just going back to the idea of entrepreneurship and the idea that a lot of people who start in dropshipping don't necessarily get the wind straight away. Do you encounter people that are impatient... I mean, I'm impatient all the time, it's not...

Gurj: Me too.

Aleisha: I'm not having a go. I just want success. Yeah, yeah. We're all impatient. What's your response to people when they're like, “Gurj, I just want to make money, I just want this to work, but it's not working.” How do you counter that? As you know, in your role for social care.

Gurj: We get a lot of those questions actually. But one thing I would say... I mean, at Oberlo, we've interviewed, I don't know, maybe 100, maybe more dropshippers. Shopify as well has done interviews with tons of business owners. 

Very, very, very rarely is somebody successful with their first business. 

Most dropshippers I know maybe had four or five or six businesses before they finally got it. But every single time you start a business, you're learning something new, right? So the first time you're learning to build your website and add those products. If it didn't work out, the next time you can do that faster and you can learn, maybe, doing Facebook ads a little bit better, you might get some sales and say, "Okay, I've got a better product, go to the next store." 

But each time you're evolving. It's not like you're just failing and you're just losing the store and losing that money. Each time, you're learning things because you're starting a business and you're ultimately forced to learn how to run a business by doing it.

Aleisha: Yeah, yeah, I think it's so important to remember every experience will give you a future success, and I think most of the people that we feature on this show, that's their main message. They have bummed out a few times, but they've gone and said, "Alright, I'm not gonna do that again,” or, “Next time I'll pivot or I won't be so quick to put all my money into Facebook ads in one go,” or...  There are so many lessons that can be learned.

It's inspiring, but it's also interesting to see people give up and sad because it's like, "Man, your next product could have been it, this next business could have been the one.”

Gurj: There are even still successful dropshippers that are still starting stores and they're still failing. Like they're just continuing to work through it, and some of them have five or six. 

But that person who has five or six has probably started 30 or 40.

Aleisha: Wow, that's crazy. But it's really good to keep saying that 'cause I think so many people just feel really despondent by it, but it's actually just really good to hear that you come across these people all the time.

Gurj: Absolutely.

Communicating Shipping Times

Aleisha: Let's get to shipping 'cause this is important, and as you said, we are currently in a situation where shipping has been a bit of a nightmare worldwide, and even domestically, I know in Australia, things could arrive in two days or 26 days, you just have no idea and I think relying on any shipping is hard. 

So let's talk about from a merchant point of view, how we can communicate to customers and although we can't assure that things are going to arrive when they're going to arrive because we're not shipping gods, how do we make sure that this is something we communicate and hopefully don't annoy too many people in the process? 

Gurj: Sure. So offering free shipping, I mean, off the top, I would say you kinda have to do it because your product's gonna take a little while. But also being very clear about how long shipping might take. 

I think if people are deceptive, that's where you're gonna get chargebacks or that's where you can get really angry customers. 

But having a shipping policy outlining... I mean, personally, I like to break it down between the processing time and the shipping time. So it kind of breaks down, instead of just saying “30 days,” you can say “up to 10 days processing time, up to 20 days shipping time.” 

And another thing that's really important about buying your own product is that you'll actually get a good estimate of how long that product takes. I've bought products on AliExpress that say, 25 to 30 days that have come in two to three weeks, I've also bought products that say 14 to 20 days that have taken two months. 

So unless you actually buy the product, you're not gonna know, and that's where it's really gonna help, say you get the product in three weeks, then you can outline the three-week shipping time.

Aleisha: And it's also good just to add on, I've placed test orders and they've turned up and they're not packaged very well, they don't look very sexy when they arrive, and I think, "Oh, I don't know if I wanna put my brand name to this because there are 50 other stores selling something similar.” 

And although it's having to wait for more product to arrive, it's just really good to see how it's packed and to make sure when you're then having to process customer service, hopefully, no complaints or feedback that you can say, "Yeah, okay, it should have been bubble-wrapped,” or, “It will just come in a weed box,” or whatever, so you have that knowledge to then be able to provide that feedback.

Gurj: Yeah. Or a supplier might leave like a little promotional thing, get another product from the store for 50 percent, so yeah, you wanna be on top of that and get that product.

Aleisha: Okay, then go to the how... If... We know that they might be delays or things might be happening, or we can watch the orders go out via the app, how do we communicate that to customers if things are looking a little grim on the shipping side, how do we just keep people happy and hopefully not asking them or they're not coming to you asking for refunds? 

Gurj: Sure, so one thing you can do is if there's a free way to do it within Oberlo, you can send shipping confirmations to your customers that will link you to another tracking website. Personally, I like to use apps like ParcelPanel or Tracktor because they'll let you embed a shipping page onto your website.

Aleisha: How cool.

Gurj: So when that email goes out, you can give them the tracking link, and this is another place for you to outline your shipping times again. The customer will click onto the link to see where their package is and you can just have a little snippet, "Your package is being prepared,” and at least this way, they're always updated. 

And if you're doing the same thing but you're not responding to customers or customers are trying to look for their packages, they're gonna become uneasy. 

They're gonna want to reach out to somebody, try to get a refund, try to return the product, or cancel the order. If the whole way through, you're kind of showing them, "Hey, the package status is updated," or you have a tracking page that says, "Hey, your order's on the way," at least, then they kinda know that this order is moving along, and they're up-to-date with everything.

Aleisha: Yes, I mean, you just wanna be communicating. I mean, I know if I can see something's delayed or I know that it's going through customs or whatever is happening, at least you're aware. But if you are in the dark and there's no tracking information, then as a customer, you get a bit annoyed, "I just want just one information," Something like that.

Gurj: For sure. And you can definitely just put you're having delays because of COVID because it is happening to every company. Like I bought Jordans from Foot Locker and normally, Foot Locker's two to three days. But right away they sent me an email, "Expect delays because of COVID," and it took over a week. 

But to be honest, I don't really mind at all. It's Foot Locker and everything, Canada's having delays. So yeah, to me, it wasn't an issue. And they reached out to me, it was easy, I didn't mind, I didn't even think about it again, and you can definitely do the same with your brand.

Aleisha: Yeah, it's great, and it's such a simple thing to do, and as you said, it's gonna save you a lot of trouble in the future if you are communicative and you're getting that message out, like pre-empting any issues. It's gonna be great.

Gurj: Exactly, you're gonna save a big headache for sure.

Aleisha: Oh my gosh, I couldn't even imagine. And also, having to... I mean, I know you love talking to people, but also saving you people coming and asking the same 20 questions over and over again when it's just there.

Gurj: Yeah, exactly.

Aleisha: Gurj, any other points you wanna share with our lovely listeners to sort of mistakes they can avoid making from the get-go? 

Make Use of the Resources Available

Gurj: For sure. So honestly, the biggest thing I would say is too many people just end up giving up or dropping it when they figure out that it's not that easy, there are tons of resources like our Dropshipping 101 course that really gives you a blueprint to learn how to set up your online business, but...

Aleisha: Yeah, it's pretty amazing.

Gurj: Yeah, and it's super easy, you can just skim through it, get a basic understanding, then you can follow along and build your website. But that's just the beginning. Once you've got your store set up, there's so much you can do... If you learn about, I would personally like to try out Pinterest marketing because their user growth is insane right now, but that's just another...

Aleisha: Yeah. And it's cheap.

Gurj: Yeah, exactly. And there are tons of different things that you can do. It doesn't just have to be Facebook ads, even though that is the most popular, and I would definitely say the most effective.

Aleisha: Yeah.

Gurj: Once you get your business up and running, you're a business owner and you've got to make sales, so you have to start learning about different ways you can do things. But yeah, I think, honestly, get it started and then continue to work through failure

Any time you mess up, it's just a learning experience and you can keep working through it.

Aleisha: That's excellent advice, and my only thing to jump on top of is that it's really not... I think as much as you say people say it, and we certainly don't spread this message in any of our training, but dropshipping and ecommerce is not a set-and-forget business as much as people like to say, "Hey, you just build the site and then someone else sends you, you don't have to worry about it. It's all automated.” It's not true, is it? 

Gurj: No, not at all. And any time I talk to somebody and they kind of come off a little bit that way. I'll try to let them know like, "This is hard,” and I'll share case studies of entrepreneurs who explain their journeys. 

But yeah, if you come into it with the right mindset that you're gonna bust your behind to make a successful business, you're gonna be better off because then you're gonna be grinding, you're gonna be waking up early, working all the time, because that's really what it takes, and the whole jet-set kind of lifestyle where you can travel and all of that is 100 percent possible, but it doesn't start like that.

Aleisha: Sure.

Gurj: You really have to grind in the beginning, nobody just turns on their laptop, starts a Shopify store, moves to Barbados, and starts making money. They put in countless hours before you see what's on Instagram of them in different countries with their laptops, there's a lot of work that comes before that, and then you can kinda enjoy that later on once you have a successful business.

Aleisha: Yeah, I think this is excellent advice. Yes, reach for the stars, but you know you gotta get on the rocketship first. I don't know what that was, but that's worth it. 

Hey Gurj, thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful insights. We should do this again 'cause I know that you have a lot of information to share, obviously, every day you're speaking to merchants and learning new things, so let's pop back again before the year is out and chat again, and...

Gurj: Definitely.

Aleisha: Especially leading into the holidays, it would be really good to just hear some more tips from you about what we should be doing in the holidays, especially leading up to the sort of very busy time of year, and especially this year when no one can really go to stores, we're all shopping online.

Gurj: All holiday shopping online. Maybe next time I'll interview you. Yeah.

Aleisha: I'll be ready. Book it.

Gurj: Okay, done.

Aleisha: Thank you, and we'll speak soon.

Gurj: No problem at all, thanks Aleisha.

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