Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Custenborder.
Nick, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started selling on Amazon about ten years ago. At first, I was selling things I had around the house and never considered it as a serious business venture. It wasn’t until several years later I was listening to a podcast where people talked about how to flip products using a method called retail arbitrage. Essentially you go into a store like Target or Wal-Mart and use your smartphone to scan products to instantly compare the price in store with the price on Amazon. If you can flip it on Amazon for a profit, then you toss it in the cart and keep looking for more. This was incredibly fascinating and had the allure of treasure hunting. My first arbitrage trip was here in Georgia. I had $100 in my pocket and spent it all. Within a few weeks, I made back my original investment and $96 in profit. I was hooked.
From there, I’ve expanded to importing products under my brands. In 2017 I started an Amazon consulting business helping individuals and companies navigate the complexities of Amazon selling. Within a year, I became the most sought-after coach on the freelance network Fiverr and have helped nearly 1,000 clients from 35 countries.
In early 2020 I co-founded a warehouse and storage business called Seller Shipping Solutions. We specialize in meeting the unique needs of e-commerce sellers worldwide through our expertise and competitive rates.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, there was a lot of fear, doubt, and second-guessing myself. Often I would have a constant repeat of “what ifs” running through my head. Things like: Could I be successful? Why me? What if I lose all of the money I invest? What if I fail?
Eventually, I decided it would be way worse if I didn’t try and always had to wonder if I had been successful. I learned not to let the doubts I accepted that failing is part of the journey. Now I don’t think about failing because that can only happen if you give up. Everything else is just an opportunity to get better. Has every product I’ve sold been a winner? No. Some fell flat and never took off. But they’ve all been learning experiences. I took away the positive and kept moving forward.
Even at the time of this interview, we see some struggles in the e-commerce industry with the coronavirus outbreak. Many suppliers and shipping ports have remained closed for extended periods, causing downstream shortages and stress on supply levels.
So while it’s never a dull moment, I wouldn’t trade any of it to go back to a cubicle. The freedom of entrepreneurship is incredible, and I’m extremely thankful I get to work for myself.
Please tell us about your business.
My business is called Pro Amz Coach or, more informally, Amazon Selling Coach. I specialize in helping sellers at all levels start, grow, and succeed on Amazon. I’ve helped sellers all over the world from individuals and startups to established multi-million dollar businesses. I set myself apart from other coaches and consulting firms through the personal connections I make with clients. It’s important to me that each one knows I am personally invested in their success. I have video calls with nearly all of them regularly to stay current and answer their questions. There are certain thing I bring in other experts for, such as graphic design, but I do nearly everything from strategy to turning wrenches behind the scenes. I know my clients appreciate this and that I’m not handing off their success to somebody else once they sign on the dotted line.
I’m most proud of the success my clients have achieved. Together we’ve generated millions in revenue and lasting success on the Amazon platform. Listening to their goals and helping them achieve growth is very fulfilling. So any time I can be part of that is amazing.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife without a doubt. She has been my biggest fan and supporter from Day 1 and has constantly encouraged me to keep growing both personally and professionally. She also runs an online business from home, so it’s great to have another person that knows what the other is going through. We always “talk shop” to discuss our success, doubts, experiences, struggles, and wins.
In addition to running our businesses, we have three kids under five years old, so it’s quite busy around here. We have a regular schedule, so we know who gets “office time” and who is taking care of the kids. Often we are both working in the evenings too. Without her support, I would not be where I am today.
- Website: www.proamzcoach.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/proamzcoach
- Other: www.sellershipping.solutions