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IAM505- Founder Helps Shopify Owners Find Hidden Revenue Streams

Podcast Interview with Tyler Sullivani

Tyler Sullivani is the founder of BombTech Golf, an e-commerce store with over $15 million sold online since 2012. Tyler also runs EcomGrowers where he and his team have helped countless Shopify owners add 6-7 figures in additional sales to their e-commerce stores by optimizing email systems and ad campaigns to find hidden revenue streams.

Over the years Tyler has come to learn the formula for running successful and profitable eCommerce businesses. He believes that even with online companies there is huge value in having real conversations with customers and potential buyers.

Tyler is hyper-focused on the customer experience and operating a lean business that doesn't just drive revenue but drives serious profit and cash flow.

  • CEO Hack: Going to the gym
  • CEO Nugget: Be self-aware and open to advice
  • CEO Defined: Aligning the right people with the right goals

Website: https://www.bombtechgolf.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-sullivan-494b5426/
Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/blog/bombtech-golf-personal-messages

https://www.klaviyo.com/customers/case-studies/bombtech


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Transcription:

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Intro  0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless  0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Tyler Sullivani of BombTech Golf.

Tyler, it's awesome to have you on the show. 

Tyler Sullivan  0:38  

Awesome, to be here. 

Gresham Harkless  0:39  

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Tyler Sullivani so you can hear a little bit more about all the awesome things that he's doing. Tyler Sullivani is the founder of BombTech Golf, an e-commerce store with over $15 million sold online since 2012.

Tyler also runs EcomGrowers where he and his team have helped countless Shopify owners add 6-7 figures in additional sales to their e-commerce stores by optimizing email systems and ad campaigns to find hidden revenue streams. Over the years Tyler has come to learn the formula for running successful and profitable eCommerce businesses. He believes that even with online companies there is huge value in having real conversations with customers and potential buyers.

Tyler is hyper-focused on the customer experience and operating a lean business that doesn't just drive revenue but drives serious profit and cash flow. Tyler, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”] 

Tyler Sullivan  1:30  

I have cash flow that's the name of the game.

Gresham Harkless  1:32  

That's doing this make it happen. I wanted to kick everything off and hear a little bit more about your background. What led you to get started with your business? 

Tyler Sullivani  1:39  

Yeah, so I was an accidental entrepreneur. I was in sales for about 10 years, and really had no intention of starting an E-commerce brand. I literally was obsessed with golf. No matter what I was doing, I was out there hustling, just trying to play as much as I could. It got to a point where I was trying to compete in a world-long drive, which is like homerun Derby golf. I wasn't that good. But during that process, I ended up breaking like seven drivers. It was like super expensive. I was like if I'm going to compete, I gotta learn how to assemble my own.

So I started assembling my own drivers. I started building some firsts and buddies. Then I made the world's worst website. This is like 2012. I sold nothing on it for like, I think five, or six months. This is like before Facebook ads before Shopify, it was a much different time. But then I remember the actual moment that happened. I was on a boat, wasn't a yacht, or anything. I had my phone, I got an email and it was my first order ever. It literally blew my mind. So I was like, Wait a second. I'm not actually doing the work right now. But I just got paid. So I'm like, Let's do more of that.

So through that epiphany, I ended up starting BombTech and ended up working with a group of college kids at the University of Vermont where I graduated, barely graduated, partnered with four engineering students for a year. We designed our own branded driver, it was a really fun, cool process definitely took some risk.  But they made a design that I thought was worthy. I went all in, I cashed in my 401 K to automate, it ended up being a great product. Then that next year was like a slow growth. I was doing well. Side hustle and it's still a full-time job.

Then my wife got pregnant and I got fired from my day job, the week before Thanksgiving. So it was just like the timing was crazy and bumped I was doing like 15-20k a month. But with an e-commerce business, there's not much cash flow you can pull from that. But that was the kick in the bud I needed. From there that next year I started scaling it up, and it went from like 100k to 450 K to 1.2 million to 4.2 million to 6 million. Now every year, we do between 5 and 6 million depending on product launches, and I have only two employees.

Because of that, we had a lot of case studies come out and we recently last 12 months started helping other retail brands. So that's been the next step. It's been that's the top growers. We do email marketing for other income brands like mine so that's the journey man. I'm here.

Gresham Harkless  4:08  

Well obviously sorry to hear I too have been laid off. I don't think it was around Thanksgiving so I do have that I guess I could count it as a blessing but I know that's definitely a difficult time where sometimes you see an opportunity but it's maybe not the best possible time but sometimes circumstances just push kind of push you towards that.

Tyler Sullivani  4:27  

It was the worst time and the best because you got a kid on the way. It's just what needed to happen I don't know if that didn't happen if all this will just happen or if we're just been side hustle forever, you never know but I'm happy to not be employed by someone else for a long time now. 

Gresham Harkless  4:43  

Yeah, that sounds awesome and I know that obviously you've been able to build your brand and then bigger company but then you're also helping out so many others. So could you take me through both of those aspects and tell us what we can find on BombTech Golf and then also EcomGrowers? 

Tyler Sullivani  4:57  

Yeah, so BombTech has gone through so many iterations. But right now, I have it pretty well optimized to a point where I only have to work four to six hours a week on it. I could work less if I wanted. I took myself completely out of the business with that brand, which allowed me to start another brand, another business, and really like so I have all these epiphanies that are situations with my own life, that if they don't happen to you, you may never see it in this light. I had my first kid, I was working like 20 hours a day, seven days a week hustling to get BombTech to grow.

I was doing all the wrong stuff, spinning my wheels, and didn't have a clear direction on how to move the needle. Then I figured out okay, I had my second kid come in. This is now this is like three years ago, two and a half years ago. I was like, I'm gonna take six weeks off before she's born, to take six weeks off straight up and see if I can do it. It took six weeks off and our sales, what do you think happened? They went up or down and I was gone? 

Gresham Harkless  5:53  

I want to say up and I think you're gonna tell me down.

Tyler Sullivani  5:55  

No, they went up. 

Gresham Harkless  5:56  

They went up. Okay, great. 

Tyler Sullivani  5:57  

So that was my aha moment. My second or third aha moment. I'm in the office in a traditional sense, I was working a lot of grinding, moving all these buttons on a website and in the copy, and just doing all these things that made me feel busy. Then I took the six weeks off and said, what am I doing then after having a second kid, and realized I could step away from the business and only work on real high-value things. I have an extra set in place, I've got an ad guy who runs my ads, I have an email guy who's now my partner and the other business runs all email, and I got three PLs that do all the fulfillment so what I don't talk for see products.

Then I have two customer service guys as my main house, guys. That's the whole team. That's what we can do, we can scale out the beauty of that business, we could scale up and do 100k In a month, which we did already in our 50k and my time didn't change. So I'm very happy, and thankful that I've been able to build that business. That was really built on a couple of things. Hitting things early, like I hit Facebook Live really, hit Facebook video early, I put myself on video on days that I didn't want to be on video. I was not having a good day, but I just slowly built a personal brand. Alongside that which accidentally allowed my customers to relate to me, which helped increase our brand recognition.

Just all we did with that was take those conversations on social, I just moved them into our biggest revenue channel, which is email. I took asking questions, but how far to hit this club, what driver do you want next? Just the conversational aspects of what we do on social. I took that to an email that allowed us to be, I would consider it a real brand and safer if like pay traffic gets more expensive, which it is. Our email list is so engaged that we can exist now because we're having conversations at scale. So now that we've learned to do that, we had actually started our job as Clay did a case study on us, on BombTech about two years ago, people kept hitting me up like, Hey, can you help me? Help my e-com brand?

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I was like, No, I can't help you and then Chris, who was my first employee who runs all my email? We're crushing it because it goes right up to us, like, how are we doing 50% of your revenue from email? It varies and he's like, do you mind if I do a side house? I was like, Alright, cool. Do I go ahead? Good luck. He went out and closed three clients. I said, Why don't we partner up? Now what I do is it's really, business has been great. We scale that up, and we're at almost six figures a month with that with retainers, but it's really better, more importantly, what the outcome is. We're working with brands like my own.

We're driving serious revenue and profit that allows their return on ad spend to be lower, or higher, excuse me, their CPA to be lower and allows them to scale more. So it has a real impact and as a whole reason why I used to say no. Now we've got a very specific offer and only one thing that we do. So that business has been really fun to grow. It's a little different e-commerce service base. You need people so I'm learning that business, we're growing and we're trying to scale that up. But I've got two companies and I'm working more on the agency in terms of like, figuring out things to scale. Then I'm gonna build out a system hopefully hired to replace myself like it did with BombTech. So yeah, that's it. 

Gresham Harkless  9:13  

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. I think a lot of times when I always believe at least the true definition of scale is to be able to, to not have to work more to generate more revenue because you have the systems and everything in place that you can just fix it and forget it to some degree and just it'll continue to go how you needed to go.

Tyler Sullivani  9:32  

Exactly. That's the dream. 

Gresham Harkless  9:34  

Nice. So this could be for you personally or for your businesses, but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and it's the thing that you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique.

Tyler Sullivani  9:44  

I think my skill set now is that I can see what moves the needle and what doesn't. That's the biggest thing like my personal thing that I like to bring to the table is that like in our own business right now for like the agency we're trying to grow, when we whiteboard it out, like all this stuff, we want to do all the crap we're doing day to day. We either try to automate it, or we try first, delete it, can get rid of it. We even try to automate it next, and we can't delete it, or we try to hire some or delegate it. So really just taking that mindset. So first my whole process, now, I just wrote this down there, days I FAO, which is figured out, then I build a system. So once I figure something out, I know it's worth doing, I build a system that's good enough that I can then hire someone, have them do it, and then scale it.

That's really what the hardest part is the first part figuring it out, then, but if you can do that, and then I think this is where a lot of people, especially in the agency and e-com world, they do figure it out, and they actually do figure it out. But then they never systematize and handoff. They just feel busy, they're grinding, they're working a tonne and they may be doing well. But it's just like, once you've had that freedom, or like, for me, it was my epiphany with my two kids. Once I said, Hey, I'm gonna take that time off and I really doubt was such a clear indication, I did not work at all, and sales went up. Therefore, I'm not that important. It's just that stuff.

I built the system and it's kind of crazy, think about it because I've worked so many hours, so long on stuff that didn't matter to finally figure that out. It was really the kids and the life events, that made me have those moments where I was like, Whoa, because if I was single, I didn't have those moments, we didn't get fired, I could probably just be working 100 hours a week, and probably doing less revenue, because I'm not actually working on high impact stuff but feeling dizzy what do I mean? So that's probably my biggest skill. Then also with that, it's like running lean, like we are so profitable on both brands, because I can tell what's stuff is not working.

We just don't want excess overhead because I have been there when we had a big office with more employees. It's like unless they drive revenue, or they actually help have a better customer experience. If they don't answer those two things. We don't need it. So that's been cool to see, I just get sometimes impatient with figuring it out. A lot of good things go faster but it's like that's the magic is if you can figure it out, and do it and then replicate it in the system. 

Gresham Harkless  9:45  

I appreciate that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you most effective and efficient? 

Tyler Sullivani  12:02  

Really been going to the gym, I hurt my back about two years ago, and it really took such a toll on me. No matter what, I go to the gym, and I used to lift heavy weights all the time. Now I switched all the cardio and hung out for 45 minutes every day. That alone, and then like, this sounds crazy, too. But I do spend my mornings with the kids, get them up, get them ready to hang out and have breakfast. Just doing that, like gets me ready for the day gets them ready for the day. But also it makes me feel accomplished as a dad and feel like I did something important. Then my head is clear to like to do work. 

Gresham Harkless  12:58  

Nice. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self? 

Tyler Sullivani  13:07  

I don't know if anything I would say to a younger business self would even make sense. Because it's one of those things where like, not necessarily clients were talking about you become owners and stuff. Yeah. And they're at various stages of their business, especially early on, I can give them the advice that they need to take, but they may not be ready to take it. So I would tell myself to first be open to advice. But really, I don't know if that person would take it and that's kind of the thing with business.

At least I've learned that you need to be self-aware enough to know that you're not the smartest person. It's okay to learn from someone else. But for me, I don't think I would take that advice. That's a nugget. But it's just being self-aware and being open to someone who's done it if they're telling you to do it and not and get out your own way. Because a lot of ego gets involved with it especially early on like, well, I have to do this laughs actually, you don't. 

Gresham Harkless  14:01  

Exactly, you have to be aware of everything that's happening. I appreciate that those nuggets. Now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show.

So Tyler, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tyler Sullivani  14:14  

I don't really think of myself as a CEO, to be honest. But I would think the ability to put the right people in the right places and have an overall mission or goal for the team to align with so it's just aligning the right people with the right goal.

Gresham Harkless  14:33  

Definitely appreciate that perspective. I appreciate your time, even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know. Then of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out the awesome things you guys are working on.

Tyler Sullivani  14:45  

Yeah, no, I appreciate your time. Hopefully, I brought some value. I mean, our expertise is we helped Shopify Bigcommerce and WooCommerce stores be profitable with email. That's ecomgrowers.com. You can fill out a form and schedule a call with Chris, we'll just talk to you about whether your ran seats are a good fit. But that's another thing in terms of what we talked about with like, what to focus on a night, it's like fundamentals are the key.

I think one of the big struggles I had is so much so many shiny balls, so many apps, so many hacks, so many tricks. I think that you can focus on your fundamentals, which are traffic, email offers, and then a good team.  That really is a bigger opportunity and that stuff is harder to focus on because it's not as fun and shiny. It's not that big a hacker trick. That's the reason that we offer email is because we know the fundamentals. It's just a something that is so overlooked. It has such a big impact. That's why I'm excited about EcomGrowers and helping other brands with that.

You guys should check them out at bombtechgolf.com. If you guys are golfers, or so check out the website, and see what I'm doing there from an Ecom angle, but you can also email me directly solely at ecomgrowers.com. If you guys have questions or want to talk to Ecom, feel free to hit me up. Let me talk to him.

Gresham Harkless  16:02  

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. We'll have those links and information in the show notes. Thank you for the reminders as well because a lot of times we do gloss over the fundamentals of small things that actually have a huge impact that isn't as sexy, aren't as popular as a lot of times but are very, very necessary to be successful.

I definitely appreciate that reminder and hope you have a phenomenal day.

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Outro  16:21  

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co.

This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Tyler Sullivani of BombTech Golf. Tyler, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Tyler Sullivani 0:38

Awesome, to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Tyler Sullivani so you can hear a little bit more about all the awesome things that he's doing. Tyler Sullivani is the founder of BombTech Golf, an eCommerce store with over $15 million sold online since 2012. Tyler also runs EcomGrowers where he and his team have helped countless Shopify owners add 6-7 figures in additional sales to their eCommerce stores by optimizing email systems and ad campaigns to find hidden revenue streams. Over the years Tyler has come to learn the formula for running successful and profitable eCommerce businesses. He believes that even with online companies there is huge value in having real conversations with customers and potential buyers. Tyler is hyper-focused on the customer experience and operating a lean business that doesn't just drive revenue but drives serious profit and cash flow. Tyler, are you ready to speak to the IMC community?

Tyler Sullivani 1:30

I have cash flow that's the name of the game.

Gresham Harkless 1:32

That's doing this make it happen. I wanted to kick everything off and hear a little bit more about your background. What led you to get started with your business?

Tyler Sullivani 1:39

Yeah, so I was an accidental entrepreneur. I was in sales for about 10 years, and really had no intention to start an E commerce brand. I literally was obsessed with golf. Like no matter what I was doing, I was out there hustling, just trying to play as much as I could. It got to a point where I was trying to compete in a world long drive, which is like homerun Derby golf. I wasn't that good. But during that process, I ended up breaking like seven drivers. It was like super expensive. I was like, if I'm going to compete, I gotta learn how to assemble my own. So I started assembling my own drivers. I started building some first and buddies. Then I made the world's worst website. This is like 2012. I sold nothing on it for like, I think five, six months. And this is like before Facebook ads before Shopify, it was a much different time. But then I remember the actual moment that happened. I was on a boat wasn't a yacht, or anything. I had my phone, I got an email and it was my first order ever. It literally blew my mind. So I was like, Wait a second. I I'm not actually doing the work right now. But I just got paid. So I'm like, Let's do more of that. So through that epiphany, I actually ended up starting BombTech and ended up working with a group of college kids at the University of Vermont where I graduated, barely graduated, partnered with four engineering students for a year. We designed our own branded driver, it was a really fun, cool process definitely took some risk. But they made a design that I thought was worthy. I went all in I cashed in my 401 K to automate, it ended up being a great product. Then that next year was like a slow growth. I was doing well. Side Hustle, and it's still a full time job. Then my wife got pregnant and I got fired from my day job, the week before Thanksgiving. So it was just like the timing was crazy and bumped I was doing like 15-20k a month. But with an econ business there's not much cash flow, you can pull from that. But that was the kick in the bud I needed. From there that next year I started scaling it up, it went from like 100k to 450 K to 1.2 million to 4.2 million to 6 million. Now every year, we do between 5 and 6 million depending on product launches, and I have only two employees. Because of that we had a lot of case studies come out and we recently last 12 months started helping other retail brands. So that's been the next step. It's been that's the top growers. We do email marketing for other income brands like myself so that's the journey man. I'm here.

Gresham Harkless 4:08

Well obviously sorry to hear I too have been laid off. I don't think it was around Thanksgiving so I do have that I guess I could count as a blessing but I know that's definitely a difficult time where sometimes you see an opportunity but it's maybe not the best possible time but sometimes circumstances just push kind of push you towards that.

Tyler Sullivani 4:27

It was the worst time and the best because you got a kid on the way. It's just what needed to happen I don't know if that didn't happen if all this will just happen or we're just been side hustle forever, you never know but I'm happy to not be employed by someone else for a long time now.

Gresham Harkless 4:43

Yeah, that sounds awesome and I know that obviously you've been able to build your brand and then bigger company but then you're also helping out so many others. So could you take me through both of those aspects tell us what we can find on BombTech Golf and then also eCommerce growers.

Tyler Sullivani 4:57

Yeah, so BombTech has been gone through so many iterations. But right now, I have it pretty well optimised to a point where I only have to work four to six hours a week on it. I could work less if I want. I took myself completely out of the business with that brand, which allowed me to start another brand, another business, and really like so I have all these epiphanies that are situation with my own life, that if they don't happen to you, you may never see it in this light. I was having had my first kid, I was working like 20 hours a day, seven days a week hustling to get BombTech to grow. I was doing all the wrong stuff, spinning my wheels, didn't have clear direction on what move the needle. Then I figured out okay, I had my second kid come in. This is now this is like three years ago, two and a half years ago. I was like, I'm gonna take six weeks off before she's born, to take six weeks off straight up and see if I can do it. It took six weeks off and our sales, what do you think happened? They went up or down and I was gone?

Gresham Harkless 5:53

I want to say up and I think you're gonna tell me down.

Tyler Sullivani 5:55

No, they went up.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

They went up. Okay, great.

Tyler Sullivani 5:57

So that was my aha moment. My second or third aha moment. I'm in the office in a traditional sense, I was working a lot of grinding, moving all these like buttons on a website and in the copy, just doing all these things that made me feel busy. Then I took the six weeks off said, what am I doing and then after having second kid, and realising I can step away from the business and only work on like real high value things. I have an extra set in place, I've got an ad guy runs my ads, I got an email guy who's now my partner and the other business runs all email, I got a three PL that does all the fulfilment. So what I don't talk for see products. Then I have two customer service guys as my main house, guys. That's the whole team. That's we can do, we can scale out the beauty of that business, we could scale up and do 100k In a month, which we did this already in our 50k and my time didn't change. So I'm very happy, thankful that I've been able to build that business. That was really built on a couple of things. Hitting things early, like I hit Facebook Live really, hit Facebook video early, I put myself on video on days that I didn't want to be on video. I was not having a good day, but I just slowly built a personal brand. Alongside that which accidentally allowed my customers to relate to me, which helped increase our brand recognition. Then we just all we did with that is I took those conversations on social, I just moved them into our biggest revenue channel, which is email. I took asking questions, but how far to hit this club, what driver do you want next? Just the conversational aspects of what we do on social. I took that to email that allowed us to be, I would consider a real brand and more safe if like pay traffic gets more expensive, which it is. Our email list is so engaged that we can we can exist now because we're having conversations at scale. So now that we've learned to do that, we had actually started our job as Clay did a case study on us, on BombTech about two years ago, I people kept hitting me up like, Hey, can you help me? Help my ecom brand? I was like, No, I can't help you and then Chris, who was my first employee who runs all my email? We're crushing it because it goes right up to us, like, how are we doing 50% of your revenue from email? It varies and he's like, do you mind if I do a side house? I was like, Alright, cool. Do I go ahead. Good luck. He went out and close three clients. I said, Why don't we partner up. Now what I do is it's really, business has been great. We scale that up, we're at almost six figures a month with that with retainers, but it's really better, more important what the outcome is. We're working to brands like my own. We're driving serious revenue and profit that allows their return on adspend to be lower, or higher, excuse me, their CPA to be lower and allows them to scale more. So it has a real impact and as a whole reason why I used to say no. Now we've got a very specific offer and only one thing that we do. So that business has been really fun to grow. It's a little different ecommerce service base. You need people so I'm learning that business, we're growing and we're trying to scale that up. But I've got two companies and I'm working more on the agency in terms of like, figuring out things to scale. Then I'm gonna build out a system hopefully hired to replace myself like it did with BombTech. So yeah, that's it.

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Gresham Harkless 9:13

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. I think a lot of times, when I always believe at least the true definition of scale is to be able to, to not have to work more to generate more revenue, because you have the systems and everything in place that you can just fix it and forget it to some degree and just it'll continue to go how you needed to go.

Tyler Sullivani 9:32

Exactly. That's the dream.

Gresham Harkless 9:34

Nice. So I wanted to ask you and this could be for you personally or for your businesses, but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and it's good is your thing that you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique.

Tyler Sullivani 9:44

I think my skill set now is that I can see what moves the needle and what doesn't. That's the biggest thing like my personal thing that I like bring to the table is that like in our own business right now for like the agency we're trying to grow, when we whiteboard it out, like all this stuff, we want to do all the crap we're doing day to day. We either try to automate it, or we try first, delete it, can we get rid of it. We even try to automate it next, and we can't delete it, or we try to hire some or delegate it. So really just taking that mindset. So first my whole process, now, I just just wrote this down there, days I FAO, which is figured out, then I build a system. So for once I figure something out, I know it's worth doing, I build a system that's good enough that I can then hire someone, and have them do it, and then scale it. So that's really what the hardest part is the first part figuring it out, then, but if you can do that, and then I think this is where a lot of people, especially in agency and ecom world, they do figure it out, and they actually do figure it out. But then they never systematise and handoff. They just feel busy, they're grinding, they're working a tonne and they may be doing well. But it's just like, once you've had that freedom, or like, for me, it was my epiphany with my two kids. Once I said, Hey, I'm gonna take that time off and I really doubt was such a clear indication, I did not work at all, and sales went up. Therefore, I'm not that important. It's just that stuff. So I built the system and it's kind of crazy, think about because I've worked so many hours, so long on stuff that didn't matter to finally figure that out. It was really the kids and the life events, that that made me have those moments where I was like, Whoa, because if I was single, I didn't have those moments, we didn't get fired, I could probably just be working 100 hours a week, and probably doing less revenue, because I'm not actually working on high impact stuff. But feeling dizzy what I mean? So that's probably my biggest skill. Then also with that, it's like running lean, like we are so profitable on both brands, because I can tell what's stuff is not working. We just don't want excess overhead. Because I have been there when we had a big office more employees. It's like unless they drive revenue, or they actually help have a better customer experience. If they don't answer those two things. We don't need it. So that's been cool to see, I just get sometimes impatient with figuring it out. A lot of good things go faster but it's like that's the magic is if you can figure it out, and do it and then replicate in the system.

Gresham Harkless 9:45

I appreciate that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you most effective and efficient?

Tyler Sullivani 12:02

Really been going to the gym, I hurt my back like two years ago, and it really took such a toll on me. No matter what, I go the gym, and I used to lift heavy weights all the time. Now I switched all the cardio, and hanging out 45 minutes every day. That alone, and then like, this sounds crazy, too. But I do spend my mornings with the kids, get them up, get them ready to hang out and have breakfast. Just doing that, like gets me ready for the day gets them ready for the day. But also it makes me feel accomplished as a dad and feel like I did something important. Then my head is clear to like to do work.

Gresham Harkless 12:58

Nice. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine. What would you tell your younger business self?

Tyler Sullivani 13:07

I don't know if anything I would say to a younger business self would even make sense. Because it's one of those things where like, not necessarily clients were talking about you become owners and stuff. Yeah. And they're at various stages of their business, especially early on, I can give them the advice that they need to take, but they may not be ready to take it. So I would tell myself to first be open to advice. But really, I don't know if that person would take it, you know, and that's kind of the thing with business, at least I've learned is that you need to be self aware enough to know that you're not the smartest person. It's okay to learn from someone else. But for me, I don't think I would take that advice. That's a nugget. But it's just being self aware and being open to someone that's done it if they're telling you to do it and not and get out your own way. Because a lot of ego gets involved with it especially early on like, well, I have to do this laughs actually, you don't.

Gresham Harkless 14:01

Exactly, you got to be aware of everything that's happening. I appreciate that those nuggets. Now I want to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Tyler, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tyler Sullivani 14:14

What does the CEO, I don't really think of myself as a CEO, to be honest. But I would think the ability to put the right people in the right places and have a overall mission or goal for the team to align with so it's just aligning the right people with the right goal.

Gresham Harkless 14:33

Definitely appreciate that perspective. I appreciate your time, even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know. Then of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out my awesome things you guys are working on.

Tyler Sullivani 14:45

Yeah, no, I appreciate your time. Hopefully I brought some value. I mean, our expertise is we helped Shopify and Bigcommerce and WooCommerce stores profitable with email. That's ecomgrowers.com. You can fill out a form schedule a call with Chris, we'll just talk to you about your ran seats are good fit. But that's another thing like in terms of what we talked about with like, what to focus on a night, it's like fundamentals really are the key. I think one of the big struggles I had is so much so many shiny balls, so many apps, so many hacks, so many tricks. I think that you can focus on your fundamentals, which is traffic, email offer, and then a good team. That really is a bigger opportunity and that's stuff is harder to focus on, because it's not as fun and shiny. It's not that big hacker trick. That's the reason that we offer email is because we know the fundamentals. It's just thing, something that is so overlooked. It has such a big impact. That's why I'm excited about EcomGrowers and helping other brands with that. You guys should check them out at bombtechgolf.com. If you guys are golfers, or so check out the website, see what I'm doing there from Ecom angle, but you can also email me direct solely at ecomgrowers.com. If you guys have questions, want to talk Ecom, feel free to hit me up. Let me talk to him.

Gresham Harkless 16:02

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. We'll have those links and information in the show notes. Thank you for reminders as well too because a lot of times we do gloss over the fundamentals of small things that actually have a huge impact that aren't as sexy, aren't as popular that a lot of times but are very, very necessary to be successful. I definitely appreciate that reminder, and hope you have a phenomenal day.

Outro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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