In this episode, Anton shares his highs and lows of 2019. You'll also hear his advicefor what to do now, so you can have an amazing 2020!
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Hey, what's up everybody? Anton Kraly here and welcome back to the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. Today's episode we are going to do something different. What I wanted to do is talk about 2019.
I figure it's a good time being today is what Monday December 30th. So right about the end of the year, and I wanted to just do a year in review. Talk about some of the things that worked out really well and then also some of the things that didn't. Hopefully, you can get takeaways from either scenario and apply it to your own business and be better off for it.
At first, when I was thinking of this I was like, "This year it wasn't really that eventful." Right? I don't know why. I always think that not that much is happening and maybe you're the same way, but then when you go back and you look at a calendar or you actually think through like month by month, a lot can change in a year.
And for me, my family and for the company, a lot did change. Just on one personal note, we relocated everything. So we were living out in Austin, Texas for about three years. Now we are back on the East Coast. That was definitely more of a personal decision than a business decision, but nonetheless, right? That was a big thing that happened this year.
So the first thing this year that worked really well and better than I expected for the business was when we launched this book, Drop Ship Secrets. My first ever book. You might remember if you're on our email list or follow me on social, we promoted this for 10 days and wow, within 10 days we shipped over a thousand copies of this all around the world. Which is just crazy to think that right now on a thousand bookshelves or on a thousand desks, there's a copy of this book sitting there. Which I am just super proud of and super happy with.
As far as the actual process of selling a book, this was the first time that we ever did it, meaning the team and myself. So there, there were definitely things that could be improved with the whole operations process. Again, lessons learned. And when the book becomes available again, we'll definitely have those things cleaned up. But just the simple fact that again over a thousand copies of this shipped all around the world within only a 10-day window that it was available. That is pretty amazing. So for everybody that picked up a copy, thank you for that.
Something else this year that I'm really excited about because with Drop Ship Lifestyle, we've been around since 2013, but we've only ever been an online program other than our retreat every year. We never shipped our customers anything. But starting literally now, like literally right after this video, we are going to begin shipping workbooks to everybody that enrolls in Drop Ship Lifestyle Version 8. So again, this isn't something that's actually in customer's hands yet, but I know once it is they're just going to be blown away with it and it's going to help everybody build a better business faster.
The Drop Ship Blueprint workbook, the team put a lot of time into this, of course with myself as well, and now it is ready to be in the hands of members all around the world to further their success. So even though this could be still considered as a 2020 project, in 2019 all of the work that went into making this possible as well as the whole Welcome Kit was done in 2019, so really proud of that. And I know once people have it in their hands, it's only going to increase their success rate. So that was definitely another win looking back in 2019.
So something else that I'm super proud of from this past year was our retreat. It was our sixth annual Drop Ship Lifestyle retreat. It was in Prague, in the Czech Republic in September. We had about a hundred Drop Ship Lifestyle members come out from all around the world. A lot of people from Europe this year, which was awesome, and just an amazing experience.
Just a great time meeting people in person, hearing real stories, being able to provide feedback while someone has their laptop open and help them grow their business and just experience my favorite city in Europe, Prague with everybody. So that was definitely a win this year.
By the way, if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, you're probably aware of this already, but in 2020 in September our retreat is going to be in Portugal, in Lisbon. I've never been there, but I am super excited to experience it with you if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle and you plan on coming out and joining us.
Another big win this year on the Drop Ship Lifestyle side of things is just seeing how many new students we welcomed from countries that aren't really in our wheelhouse. So as eCommerce grows, as Drop Shipping grows, and as more people know about my company, dropshiplifestyle.com, the global reach we have is just growing like crazy.
So whereas even a few years ago, I would have never expected, we have success stories from countries that I've never even heard of in some cases. It's happening more and more right now and I'm just grateful for that, that even though we're still a U.S.-based company, this is where we are.
We still have the biggest markets in Australia, in the UK, in Canada, but now seeing so many more countries pop up on the map and seeing them have success with my system at Drop Ship Lifestyle, I'm super happy for that. Something that really took off in 2019. And I'm super grateful for everybody no matter where you are in the world for being a part of this, putting it into place and making it work for you.
Now on the eCommerce side of things, probably the biggest win of the year and the biggest thing that I'm excited about is where I am right now in our new studio. And if you haven't seen on YouTube, I did a walkthrough as we were building this out. Still some work to be done, but you could see there what it looks like, how we're going to be using it.
But this is a place that I have big plans for as we move into the new year. It's already set up; it is ready to go. We're having our quarterly meeting here with our team actually next week and then we are hitting the ground running with all of the unique media we'll be creating here on the eCommerce side of things. And I'm just super excited about that. So definitely something I'm proud of and a big win that we accomplished in 2019.
Okay, so you might be thinking like Anton, that's great, but what, you just had an amazing year and nothing bad happened? No, not true. There were definitely some failures this year. I as always take full responsibility because I am the person behind all of this. I'm the person that either signs off on things or comes up with ideas and I got to tell you, this year we had different projects both on the info side of things and on the physical product side of things that came out of the gate a lot slower than I expected.
I don't want to say it's just cockiness or arrogance, but there's definitely some of that mixed in with what happened with some of our promotions and product launches. The reason I say that is because I know personally that I didn't put enough time into the marketing plans and into the marketing execution on these different promotions and products.
It's not that it's anybody else's fault, it's that personally I just thought, we've been doing this so long. I feel like I know not everything, but I know a lot about how marketing works. So I kind of just got lazy and went through the motions with the team on a lot of these promotions where I didn't go 110%. What that led to was slow starts out of the gate, expectations not being met in terms of conversion rates and sales.
Confusion on some part of the team, like why aren't things working? And when I look back, a lot of the things that didn't work, it was because again, I just thought we can go through the motions. I know all this stuff. We've done all this stuff, let's just do it again. Send the emails, put up a couple ads. But not enough thought and time went into marketing, and I think this is a huge lesson that everybody can take away from this.
When you are doing something, even if you've done it a million times before, you have to treat it like it's something brand new and know that just having your knowledge isn't going to make it successful. You have to actually use that knowledge like somebody that is hungry, like somebody that feels like they need to just put everything into it to make it work.
Because I'm not saying you won't get sales if you go through the motions, but you're not going to get anywhere near your potential. Again, even if you know 99% more than everybody else, knowing it does not matter. Executing on it matters. Drawing out your whole marketing plan matters. Making sure that all those things you know are actually being sparked in your brain and then implemented into your promotions because that is how you can fix a failing promotion and that is how more importantly, you can be successful right out of the gate.
So biggest lesson I learned this year is when we are doing promotions, when we're launching new products, whatever it may be, it's not about just making sure we have the boxes checked. It's really about going deep into what's going to make it work, the marketing behind it, setting up a foolproof marketing plan and then executing it with the team.
So hope you found that helpful guys. Again, overall, this has been an amazing year. I am super grateful for my team, for my family, for everybody watching or listening to this and for everybody that I've been able to connect with over this past year. So as always, guys, thank you for watching or listening. I appreciate you and I look forward to sharing a lot more with you on the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast over the new year. So thank you everybody. I appreciate you and I'll talk to you in the next episode. Bye.