Garbageman & Artist: Teambuilding In an Ecommerce Business with Michael Michelini

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Just Mike on the Mic today – giving you a behind the scenes look at our GFAVIP member sessions. We are starting up the Ecommerce Gladiator series again, only this time behind the membership with live calls on each topic in building an ecommerce business, with interactive questions and answers during the sessions and break out rooms (if needed).

For those who missed the first Ecommerce Gladiator series, it is on this podcast feed as a sub-series with GFAE (note the E) on the show number. 

And if you want it all in 1 concise book, I wrote a book about it and it is on Amazon kindle (and paperback) here.

So today’s session we are diving into the topic of team building – specifically within an ecommerce business. If you want too see the future sessions we will do for GFAVIP members in this Ecommerce Gladiator group coaching program, check out the list of topics on

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduce the Ecommerce Gladiator program

    Talk about what it is, how it started, what we did in the past.

  • Teambuilding in a tech startup

    Mike discusses his experience in Startup Weekends, tech incubators, startups and compares that type of team to a team needed in an ecommerce business.

  • Can do it without partners

    We have had podcast guests and friends on the show such as Peter Chiang who does a 7 figure Amazon business and has all parts he can’t do, outsourced.

  • 2 Core Skill Sets in an Ecommerce business

    Whether you have a partner or can do this yourself – the 2 core skill sets are – data (spreadsheets) and product knowledge/ customer insights (knowing the market and product)

  • Mike calls this Garbageman and Artist

    No offense to the data guys, but Mike has experience working with huge Amazon and eBay sellers in China who really have no feeling or care for the products – they simply look at the data. It also comes from the idea that there are owners of garbage collector companies – do you think they are passionate about garbage? Most likely not, but they enjoy the process of building a business.

  • The artist is the one who knows the product, knows the customers, knows the trends in that niche / market.

    They are the one who knows how to write the sales copy, understands how to differentiate from competitors.

  • Raising money in an ecommerce business

    Lots of people join our GFAVIP community as they are looking to either invest or to get investment. But it is different from a tech startup investment. Mike is still researching, but a secured note may be a more effective way to make a market for ecommerce startups rather than straight equity (percent of the business).

  • Knowing who you are and who you need

    It is really about knowing yourself. Do you think you are the data drive garbage man, or an artist. Also knowing when you want to exit the business.

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Mike’s VIP Page
√ Join our private membership (application only)
Peter Chiang podcast on running his Amazon business 7 figures with no staff or partners
Daniel Fernandez podcast on Global From Asia about Amazon Hacks
Can Chan podcast on Ecommerce Strategies To Break Through in The New Decade

Episode Length 13:53

Thank you everybody for tuning in!

Download Options

Listen in on Youtube

Show Transcript


[00:00:00] Global From Asia Episode 328, three two eight. It’s a little bit of a free gift. E-commerce gladiator group coaching session that’s totally open for podcast listeners. We’re talking about team building an eCommerce business. It’s pretty interesting one. I hope you enjoy it. Let’s do it. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down, into straight up actionable advice. And now your host, Michael Michelini.

[00:00:33] Thank you everybody for choosing to download and listen to Global From Asia GFA. Can you believe it’s going to be seven years old? In our, this month, October, seven years of this podcast, there’s been a little bit of breaks in between. Can’t say it’s totally been seven years, but there was a couple months off, maybe a year and a half ago.

[00:00:52] And then, but mostly besides that, I think we’ve been mostly consistent 328 shows. There’s also the gladiator series, which I don’t even count in the 328. That was like 50 shows. So it’s technically more like 370, you know, 70 or 80 shows. Plus, I mean, I’m in a podcast or in a few other shows. So if you added all that up way over 400 shows, but, I mean, I enjoy it and I hope you enjoy listening.

[00:01:20] This is the audio version preview. We try to do a little blah, blah, blah session or the audio. This won’t be in the YouTube or in the course. This is just for the audio podcast, this little blurb right now, before we get into the meat of the episode. But this is e-commerce gladiator group coaching.

[00:01:39] We’re starting to do some more of these interactive sessions online for members. If you are a member, I know sometimes hard to keep with all the emails, but I’m trying to keep up with emails. We have Angelica on the team and our community team. Of course me, and we’re trying to keep up everybody up to date with all these amazing things happening.

[00:01:58] But this is a little bit of a free clip that we give for our podcast listeners. One of our, our sessions, you can check out the full sessions that to see all of them. But we’re not gonna put all of them on this podcast. We do have the book. You can get an Amazon or a print version on Amazon paper printing version, Max is actually holding one right now.

[00:02:18] It’s pretty cool. I have a physical book in your hand, but he grabbed that one as well, but let’s just dive in. This is a little, I think is just a shorter clip. So what we did is, so I, I did my talking on there about what we’re learning in that session. And then afterwards we have some Q and A, and some interactive parts.

[00:02:37] So let’s dive right in and enjoy this. Honestly, I. I’ve done this in paid courses and in our membership, I think I’ve talked about it on some of our free podcasts, but I just think it’s a good one for everybody. Cause so many people are always asking about team building. So it’s

[00:02:53] We also have video version they’re free on YouTube and. We do have the paid course in there too. Part of the membership. All right. Enough of that, let’s tune into the meat of the episode. Okay. We haven’t done an event. We’re not going to do cross border summit this year, obviously with the pandemic when we didn’t make an online version, but we’re going to still have an online events, cross border matchmaker.

[00:03:14] We’ve done these offline events and a couple of times in, in Shenzhen, China, and it’s different than the summit in the fact that it’s more about round tables, mastermind one-on-one speed, business dating. And of course, knowledge sharing and we’re putting it all together. It’s going to be at least a one day event or two days with a little bit of extras.

[00:03:32] For those that want the premium package will be a paid events. Mid December, 2020. Stay tuned. will be the event site. And I’m excited to have you we’re recruiting speakers and sponsors as we speak. Okay. So thank you. Thank you everybody for tuning in. This is an e-commerce gladiator session.

[00:03:54] GFAVIP private community. And we decided to get a little behind the scenes sneak peek. So this will also be put in the audio podcast and our free Global From Asia podcast to enjoy. This is one of our first sessions, the idea of this e-commerce gladiator. We did this already. I have a book on Amazon recommend checking that out.

[00:04:17] If you haven’t already. And we built a Amazon business using this program. And now what we want to do is have a more group coaching, group, community kind of environment for people well in our GFA VIP community. So we’re going to have these regular calls where we talk about a specific topic in this agenda. Today, we’re talking about team building and we will put this in the members.

[00:04:44] Membership forum. And this one will only, this one we’ll also put for the podcast and team building, I think is probably the first thing. So the first session is team building and I have been talking to so many people lately about team building, I think is probably one of the most important things. I’ve

[00:05:01] I think we’ll all be learning. And also me as a, as a new parent at a semi new, you know, six year old and a four year old, you know, I feel like team building is similar to being a, a parent, but also as a boss or a manager of a team also to be an owner of an eCommerce company or a business, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re working with other people.

[00:05:24] You’re understanding what they’re good at. You’re understanding what they’re bad at. So it’s very important of course, to try to get the right team. I first think we can talk about, and, you know, if you’re, if you’re in a session with us, you can also jump in and ask questions either in chat or, and in the, in the voice.

[00:05:45] But I think the first question is, do you need a team? There’s some people that don’t want or need a team. You know, maybe I have gone through the happiest myself. I’ll be very honest. I felt like I could just do it all myself, you know? And honestly that is the beauty of e-commerce. There’s a lot of sellers that I know selling a line that do everything themselves, they, or maybe they have some freelancers, you know, contractors, they pay per project or per hour, you know, and they do that work for them.

[00:06:18] And, but they basically do everything themselves. We, we actually had a podcast show with Peter.

[00:06:25] And the whole show is about him doing, he’s the owner of his company. And he works with service providers for almost all of the major parts of his business. And he’s, he’s more of a seven figure Amazon business and he doesn’t have partners or staff. So that is an option. That’s a very legitimate option, you know, and that is a strategy.

[00:06:48] I recommend you check out Peter’s podcast on Global From Asia. We’ll link it on the show notes. So maybe you don’t need partners, but a lot of people I talked to, they don’t, you know, they don’t want to do it on their own. So let me, let’s talk about the different kinds of partners that you could, you could use,

[00:07:04] You could work with. There’s, you know, I’ve worked with startup weekend. I’ve met even, I think even Zack here, we met at startup weekend, right? We met at a startup community. I was also very active in startup weekend, startup sort of events, and a tech startup. The team is usually the tech co-founder and the business cofounder and maybe also a.

[00:07:29] A UI, UX designer or a growth hacker, or a potentially a third kind of co-founder, but tech, most of the time it’s a tech and a business person that is the core team, but, in eCommerce, which is mostly what we talk about in our community here in e-commerce it’s, um, it’s not high tech you’re, I don’t think you need to have a tech co-founder in Amazon business, unless you make a software or you’re maybe doing Shopify apps or doing some kind of development.

[00:08:03] Most likely your core team of eCommerce business is a, send us to my courses. I, my, yeah and  allow my presentations? You, I call it the garbage man and the artist. I think those are your two core partners. And I don’t want to offend the garbage man, but I think they might even know who they are if they hear either you’re artists or a garbage man and no disrespect.

[00:08:29] But I, I picked that myself because a garbage man, when I say a garbage man, I mean, they own the business of garbage. You know, somebody there’s usually private companies I think in some countries or governments. Maybe it’s done by the government, but a lot of times garbage collectors are a private business.

[00:08:50] Right. And I don’t know if you would choose to be a garbage owner, garbage business owner, but the person that starts a garbage owner or business, doesn’t probably like garbage. Right. But they like the process of making a company. They like the data. They look at the, they look at the opportunity in a marketplace.

[00:09:14] They look at you know, the numbers of the business, the cost of that, they would need to pay the price. They could charge that to clients. And they say, this looks like a good business. I’m going to be an owner of a garbage collection agency and they just do it. Right. They don’t really care about the product or service that they sell.

[00:09:36] I don’t know anybody that’s passionate about picking up garbage. So that’s what I mean when I say a garbage man. So, but on the other side, I do believe in, in, actually Amazon sellers, no offense, but they’re garbage man. A lot of them, you know, we call them the Chinese sellers or we call them, you know, the, the, the data analytical seller.

[00:09:57] And I really believe that a successful business owner on Amazon has to be a data driven, analytical person. At least somebody on the core team has to be that kind of person. So in my definition of a guardsman, the data analytical person is the garbage man, because they are looking at the data and they choose the product that they sell based on like supply demand, competition margins in a spreadsheet, calculation, they, and if it says this widget is the best product to sell, they’ll sell that.

[00:10:40] And no offense to Chinese sellers, but a lot of times Chinese sellers have that because they, they don’t really, know the customer in the US right there. They don’t have that cultural connection with the product. They’re just looking at the competitors. They’re looking at the supply demand, and I think they would agree.

[00:10:57] We had Can Chan on the, on a show. I recommend checking it out. He’s from Gwangzhou, he’s Chinese and a seller, and also in the community and he would agree. He says Chinese don’t care about the brand. They don’t care about the product and I’m generalizing. I’m sorry, but they are just trying to find a good product that makes money.

[00:11:18] But I still believe you need the artist. So the hardest, you know, is me, you know? And, I I’ve come to terms with that. I think I’ve known him and about myself, but I’m not good at Excel. I mean, of course I can get by, but, I don’t, I don’t enjoy looking at Excel spreadsheets, which is actually a negative.

[00:11:34] I’ll be honest. It’s a negative to be an Amazon seller to be an eCommerce seller. It’s a negative to not be an Excel person, you know, to not be a data person. Daniel Fernandez, the guy is awesome. He’s spoken at our events. He’s been on the podcast too. He’s a, he’s American. I believe, I hope I’m right, but I believe he’s American and he’s, based in China and he loves Excel.

[00:12:04] He talked about Amazon hacks on our podcast, I think like a year ago or so. We’ll, we’ll link these up on the show notes, so really great content, but, he loves Excel. Okay. He’s got like those V lookup tables and he’s processing, you know, software from like this software and he’s exporting the spreadsheets and he’s important here and he’s running the numbers.

[00:12:29] So you definitely need somebody like that. And it’s definitely a weakness, your artists, that’s not like a numbers person, but there are reasons to have an artist in your team. And on your core team, the artist needs to find a unique angle of the product. They’re usually the innovator. They’re the person that is, you know, knowing the product that will hopefully is not shy to put their name and their face and be, you know, like maybe a spokesperson of the brand.

[00:12:56] If, if they’re willing to be, but not, not totally required, but they’re the person that’s talking to the customer, that’s running the surveys as understanding the sales copy. That’s understanding how to be different in the market. How to know what’s the next product to sell, you know, based on trends. So the, this is the artist.

[00:13:15] I think the core to people in your eCommerce businesses that, uh, I’ve had. I’ve had amazing people in my company. And over the years that have been really, really successful sellers. And they told me they, they said I needed to have, you know, there’s another potential partner, your sourcing partner, maybe you can of course use sourcing agents.

[00:13:37] But, I’ve met a lot of Chinese sellers. They have, they’re my friends and they have like a partner, an equity shareholder that’s in charge of the whole logistics and the supply chain and the sourcing of the factory. As a shareholder, not as an external partner. And they’ve told me that was my weakness.

[00:13:54] Cause I was, you know, when I was an early seller in, in China, they, you know, I’m also not. It’s still the factory deal with the supply chain is a prime, maybe potentially a third partner. That’s if you’re going to get really big that’s, if you’re going to be like a scaled huge seller, you would probably want to have a shareholder or a partner that’s full time.

[00:14:14] Job is logistics, supply chain manufacturing, but most likely, if you’re a new seller, you might not need that third partner. But I would say those are the two and or three garbage men, artists and supply chain person. I’d say those. And those would be the top three. I don’t know if people are here, live, want to give me some feedback.

[00:14:34] We can talk about this after too. So that would be what you would consider. And then of course, the next one is the investor. We have a lot of people in our community that have been joining lately that are looking for investors. They want to, they have their dream product. They’re passionate about their product.

[00:14:51] They believe it will do good on either e-commerce or Amazon specifically. And they they’re looking for somebody to help partner with them, to invest in inventory. So that that could be a potential partner or an investor. And I’ve been studying this. I want to help more people in the community, to do this.

[00:15:10] And I’ve been talking to other more financial experts and they’re saying maybe they don’t have to be an actual partner shareholder, but they could be kind of like a secured note. They could invest, it would be like an option to buy into the company, but it would be more like a loan. So they loan you like 20, 30, 40,000 US dollars on an interest rate.

[00:15:29] To buy the inventory or to start your eCommerce, and then you would pay them back maybe monthly or on a payment plan with interest. And then if a, if later they could convert that into equity in your company, or there’s different terms of doing that. So I’m actually trying to help people in the community structure that, because literally I just talked to another person in the community today and they’re asking me if we can help them get an investor for their, their eCommerce business.

[00:15:56] So I think, I think maybe that’s all for the recording. Cause I know people are always shy to be interactive on the recording. So maybe I’ll, this is the big benefit of joining our community. Our private community GFAVIP is, is not just these sessions, but some of these popping in I, Catherine, do you feel on the, on the show or do you want to say it after?

[00:16:20] I can, I can ask questions after. Yeah. After. Okay. Okay. So then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll kind of here then for the recording. We really appreciate all of you. And it’s seven years now for Global From Asia, and we’ve been working really hard to give even more value to those above and beyond this podcast at, you might be hearing me talking about it more.

[00:16:44] This whole show is about what we do in that membership. And it would support what we’re doing. I would appreciate if you check it out is application only. We actually have not accepted all applications. We want to make sure we’re the right fit. You know, you have experience, you have the will and the desire to make

[00:17:01] Make something happen, check it out See you on a podcast. Take care. Okay. I hope you enjoyed that. I hope you see some of the things we do there. It’s just me and a microphone. We have more guests coming up. Don’t worry. Some really amazing ones about, you know, some of our life, you know, lifestyle.

[00:17:19] I don’t know if we’re trying to mix it up, keep it interesting. And, you know, I’m always here. I’m always here to hear what you guys think and girls think, and people think. But, I mean, I love the gladiator name because you know, some people ask what’s that name from, but, you know, I think to be the seller on these platforms in today’s world is a, being a gladiator is being in the arena.

[00:17:43] You know, the gladiator, there’s also the amazing, Roosevelt quote about being the man in the arena. It’s something that’s motivated me for many years, maybe 10 years or so. I try to think about that. Regularly, but, you know, there’s all these critics, there’s, you know, competitors, there’s the platforms, there’s the suppliers.

[00:18:04] And you have to kind of put all these pieces together and make something beautiful and make something happen and, and take all of those pieces and, and, deliver a quality product, a good experience. And, you know, I don’t want to discourage you, but. It’s not, it’s I mean, I don’t want to say it’s getting more difficult, but you know, more and more people are going in.

[00:18:27] You know, I’ve been talking to more and more people getting into e-commerce and there’s a huge, but there’s a huge opportunity. You know, all these old brick and mortar stores are dying, you know, Black Friday I’ve been hearing is getting canceled. You know, there’s more, more people getting forced to buy online, you know, whole demographics, you know, we’re older.

[00:18:43] People in the US, never really used the internet or bought online, or didn’t like to have to, because they can’t go to stores or they don’t want to go to stores or they don’t have the selection they need. So there’s more and more people going online. So there’s more and more opportunity in my little put my sales hat on.

[00:18:58] I know I’m not good at that, but you know, if you do like this show, did you like what we’re doing? We have I noticed a lot of you, that are supporting, that are in our community already, I also hope you enjoy these new gladiator series and we’re going to be doing these on a regular basis where we go through all those programs on the

[00:19:16] And we actually talk about those and we, it won’t just be, it’s not like a course. It’s actually like group coaching, group community help. And we’re going to bring in experts on those topics and really have Q and A, and these round tables we’ve been investing in. There’s these new softwares and make these round tables.

[00:19:34] And we really want to get as much value to people as possible. So, but of course, I can’t do everything for free. We’ll still have these free podcasts. I’m not slowing that down. And all of the YouTube channel and we have blogs. So don’t, you know, that we’ll see, keep going, but we’re going to keep adding value or we’re adding even more value.

[00:19:53] So if you want even more engagement, interactive, you know, community, and of course supporting what we’re doing here, it would be much appreciated actually. What really got us some good feedback. We’re investing even more with our people, you know, with our tools and software. So it would be awesome to have more people involved.

[00:20:11] But no, no pressure, man. We’re still friends. I really appreciate you just listening to this show. It means a lot to me. I really am about helping as many people as possible. So, you know, keep on listening, keep on enjoying. But of course it is appreciated if you could, chip in a little bit, but I do appreciate it and don’t worry about it.

[00:20:28] I am a, that’s it. And we’re working on an amazing online event at the end of this year. Thinking it’s going to be like a new year event. I can’t wait until 2020 is over. It’s been like what a freaking year, but we’re going to try and work on a pretty big event. Putting together speakers and sponsors right now.

[00:20:44] Cross border matchmaker will be the right name, mid-December. Take care everybody. Bye bye. To get more info on running an international business. Please visit our website at That’s Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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