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A Look Back at a Challenging 2020 – Soaring E-Commerce and Important Life Lessons – 223

I don’t have to tell anyone that 2020 has been a wild ride. Though, when it comes to entrepreneurs and e-commerce sellers, we have a lot to be grateful for. E-commerce business is absolutely booming throughout the entire online-selling ecosystem. 

As we gradually adjust to a new (and hopefully temporary) normal, as entrepreneurs there’s a good chance that our lives have changed less than most of the population. Because of that, in this episode of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan takes the time to walk us through his experiences in the last year. 

While on that entrepreneurial walk, Tim goes into depth on what he’s learned since the COVID pandemic hit. Yes, selling online is increasing exponentially, but it’s the kindness, and resilience of people that have made the greatest impression on Tim. 

If you’re a fan of positivity and good news, this episode is for you! 

In episode 223 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim discusses: 

  • 02:30 – A Year of Challenges (and Exploding E-Commerce)
  • 04:15 – Online Selling is Increasing Exponentially
  • 06:15 – Lesson Number One: People are Absolutely Amazing
  • 09:15 – A Bike Shout-Out Business is Born of Resilience   
  • 11:30 – Entrepreneurs Don’t Just Create Income, They Also Create Opportunity
  • 14:00 – Mixing E-Commerce Mortar 
  • 18:00 – Obstacles are Leading to New “Verticals” 
  • 21:30 – Focusing on What’s Important
  • 25:00 – A Family Health Crisis Makes Tim’s Priorities Much More Clear
  • 33:45 – Success is More Than a Perfectly Built Sales Funnel
  • 36:45 – Does Your Job Define You? 

Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “join” our Facebook Group and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen to our podcast.

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  1. Get the Ultimate Resource Guide from Tim Jordan for tools and services that he uses every day to dominate on Amazon!
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  3. Trying to Find a New Product? Get the most powerful Amazon product research tool in Black Box, available only at Helium 10! Start researching with Black Box.
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  6. Protect Your Amazon Brand with a Trademark! Protecting your brand from hijackers is vital. SellerTradmarks.com provides a streamlined process for obtaining a trademark for your business and shielding your products from fraud!
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Tim Jordan: Hey, everybody, normally on episodes of AM/PM Podcast, I’d bring in special guests that have some thoughts to share, but fortunately, I get to learn a lot as well, and sometimes I have a few things to share as well. So in this episode, we’re going to be talking about some thoughts that I have kind of wrapping up 2020 going into like the prime of Q4 and also some thoughts leading into 2021, some lessons we’ve learned along the way, especially as I think back to some of the past guests that we’ve had some valuable lessons that I’ve learned getting to do the host. I hope you liked this episode. Stay tuned.

Tim Jordan: Hi. I’m Tim Jordan and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans, we all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast.

Tim Jordan: Hey everybody. Welcome to the AM/PM Podcast. First. I want to thank you for being here. I want to thank you for listening. This has been a crazy year in a lot of ways. And for me, there’s been some pretty high highs and pretty low lows, but one of the highlights was becoming the host of this podcast. And I know it’s not the end of the year yet, but we’re wrapping up to the end of the year where, month and a half out, my opinion, like once you hit Thanksgiving here in the US, you’re basically wrapping things up. So as I’m kind of musing and reminiscing about this year, I just realized that I need to thank you guys for supporting amp and podcast for being part of the community for listening. I appreciate the opportunity to be the host here. And I really honestly hope that you guys have found some value. If you’re listening to this, I suspect you have found some value. Otherwise you wouldn’t be back listening to another episode, but one of the great joys for me getting to be the host is learning along with you. I’ve had some very candid conversations on camera, sometimes off camera that have substantially helped improve my life, my business experience, my wisdom, as little of it is there is.

Tim Jordan: And just my perspective, I think that some of you that follow this podcast regularly have got to witness me having some breakthrough moments, talking to these guests. So it’s been a real joy for me. I hope it’s been a joy for you, but I just want to take a second and thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting. And as we wrap up this year, push into the busiest time, which is December for us, e-commerce sellers and then move into 2021. I hope that we continue providing really high content or high levels of content, really high value, and that you guys stick along for the ride and keep listening in. So as I think back to 2020, I think it’s an understatement to say that a lot of ways it’s been pretty rough year. We’ve had, you know, obviously the pandemic, which has led to lockdowns, which has led to family issues, which have led to friends, family, we’re all either scared or some of us have been sick.

Tim Jordan: I personally know people that have died of coronavirus. And I know a lot of people that never got the virus, but were locked in their house for six or seven months. There’s been riots. There’s been political unrest in many places. We see on the news a lot of talk about the US but there’s been stuff going on all around the world. There’s been extreme poverty, which has gotten worse in places that are near and dear to my heart. Like Central America, didn’t get to make the headlines, but it’s a real deal. We had this crazy election cycle in the US that as of what is today’s date, 11/26, it’s not quite over, we’re still battling some of the stuff going on. There’ve been a lot of bad headlines, right? And going into this year, I had high hopes.

Tim Jordan: I thought everything was going to be awesome best year ever. And then COVID hit. The good news is e-commerce is booming. And if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re at least familiar with e-commerce, whether you’re an e-commerce seller or not. It is one of those sectors that is growing like crazy. My role at sellers funding, one of the companies that supports sellers in multiple marketplaces, I was just looking at data minutes before recorded, talking about how the e-commerce industry in itself is up like 40 or more percent. Your target, their Q3 report is they’re up 180%, Walmart up 80%, Amazon up over 50% from Q3 of last year, looking at Q3 reports. But as much as the e-commerce marketplaces are growing, what’s interesting looking at the data that sellers funding has is that e-commerce sellers are growing at an even higher rate, right? So I don’t have the exact math in front of me. It’s something like overall e-commerce industry has bumped up 40% from this time last year, where e-commerce sellers have bumped up like 80%, which is crazy. So, I know that there’s been some bad headlines. There’s also been some good ones, going back to bad headlines in the e-commerce industry. There are a lot of things that were wrecked. I mean, restrictions to logistics systems, fulfillment centers being locked down, fulfillment centers, being slow to receive stuff, shortage of shipping containers in China, all sorts of crazy stuff happening. So even on top of the bad are on top of the good, the good news of e-commerce sellers. It hasn’t been easy. There’s been a lot of struggles for me. I can tell you that this year has been topsy turvy. I had a business that was completely wrecked the end of last year.

Tim Jordan: And I started off this year trying to overcome some broken up business partnerships, but I had really, really high hopes for the business that does events. And we do trips to China and things like that. That was completely wrecked. And we were looking at a seven figure year, potentially in that business and it’s done. It’s dead. But other initiatives were started like the AM/PM Podcast. I’ve recovered from some bad business dealings, some bad relationships. I’ve started new partnerships. I’ve got other ventures going on and I’ve got deals in the works for 2021. They’re going to start me off even stronger. So, as I think about this year, and I think about like the good things and the bad things, I start thinking about some of those thoughts that are relevant to all of us entrepreneurs, right?

Tim Jordan: And that’s what I want to share with you today. As we enter the heart of Q4, as we enter like depth of Q4, I want to be thinking about exactly how we can take some of these lessons that we’ve learned good or bad and apply them to the end of the year as we wrap up. So, some of the thoughts in no particular order that I want to share, I hope you’ll grant me the time to share those with you now. The first thought that I’ve had one of the first lessons that I’ve learned from this year is that people are absolutely amazing, right? The headlines are occupied by the bad guys. The guys that aren’t necessarily those that their mothers are proud of, but really people are amazing. In the midst of the lockdowns, this entire meeting education industry. I mean, it transferred online. There has never been as rapid and swift of a transfer of focus and capabilities as there was when all of this– not just hospitality, but like the education, the events, the conferences, it was amazing. Zoom, the company zoom that we’re all familiar with, they handled like a 2000% growth in one month. There’s never been like an infrastructure built for a SAS company, a software company that was able to handle a 2% growth because people are amazing, right? People are able to pivot. People are able to change. It was nuts. I know people whose businesses were wrecked because they were in the Airbnb space. They had a lot of properties there. They rented out through Airbnb. And when the lockdown started happening and people weren’t traveling and the vacations were stopping instead of going home and crying about it, they instantly transitioned their business to setting up capabilities for medical staff to utilize their homes.

Tim Jordan: Carlos Alvarez, buddy of mine down in Miami. He had a ton of Airbnb properties. And that’s what he started doing is he started advertising to nurses and healthcare workers that maybe were traveling to the area, or didn’t want to take a potential virus back to their home. They immediately rotated. They immediately transitioned. I think that’s amazing. There are companies that, right at the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns that had giant banquets, they had all sorts of events planned and they were canceled. They had all this food. And so instead of letting the food spoil, they spent extra time, effort, energy to take all this food, to help others, to give it to homeless shelters. Big businesses like distilleries. They turned on a dime. And instead of making vodka and whiskey, they started making hand sanitizer and selling it oftentimes at a loss just to support the local communities. That’s huge. There is a– I was reading a news article a few days ago about a Baltimore hotel who it’s restaurants closed, right? They had to close the restaurants and instead of just keeping those offices or those restaurants, that space vacant, they open it up to let people come in and prepare packaged meals for those in needs. So they opened it up for all these nonprofits to come in, utilize the assembly lines and the food preparation areas and just the floor space to package prepared food, to take it to those in need. That’s huge, right? Like it costs a hotel, a lot of money to open up their doors, let people in, reconfigure these restaurants, utilize social distancing and things like that. Like that’s huge. And there are some other cool people that have done some cool things. I was reading a story about a guy named Matthew Fleming in Tacoma, Washington. Dude was bombed, bombed, bombed. When the pandemic lockdown started, he lost his job. He was discouraged to you as depressed. He was sitting at home and he thought, what I can do is I can create a business and spread some cheer. And he started a little business called bike shout outs, where what you do is you pay him a few dollars. And as long as it’s within a bike ride distance of where he was at, he would literally ride his bike by and shout anything. I saw videos of this guy. He would ride past a house and scream. I love you, mom. There were jokes. There’s all sorts of funny stuff. You’d pay him just to say anything. And it just, it reminds me of how amazing people are and how resilient they are. That even just something as silly as doing bike shout outs, like that’s getting off your butt.

Tim Jordan: It means we’re not sitting on the couch, wallowing in our sorrows because our business or our livelihood has come to a pause. I won’t say to a complete halt, but to a pause. Here’s my point. My great grandma, not my great grandma, but my grandma who is great. My dear old grandma, she always used to say all crisis come to an end. Right? All crisis. They always come to an end. And when I look back at 2020 and kind of the dumpster fire, that it wasn’t a lot of ways. It’s easy for it to seem like everything was bad news, right? Because that’s what we’re inundated with is the negatives, the negatives, the negatives. But when you look underneath the surface and you look at what people are doing in response to the political unrest, what people are doing in response to businesses needing to make true swift transitions, or when you think about the responses that people had to helping others and helping those in need, I see that people are awesome.

Tim Jordan: And I can honestly say that entrepreneurs are absolutely on the top of that list. Entrepreneurs, we’re not just about making money. I heard someone say that entrepreneurship isn’t about creating more income. It’s about creating more opportunities. I think that this year has been an extreme example, like, like very clear to me why entrepreneurship is so important, the big businesses, the big box stores, you know, they’re transitioning slower than e-commerce sellers, but the awesome people, the awesome entrepreneurs, they awesome hustlers and movers and shakers of the world. At least that I know are the ones that not only just took advantage of different opportunities this year, but really made big changes for those around them, right? It’s not just about money, but it’s about creating opportunity, helping those around us and overcoming adversity, which we’ve all had to do at some point this year. And I’ve just been amazed at how fast people are able to do that. Again, thinking about wrapping up 2020, we know that this too shall pass. That I’ll quote this too shall pass and that we’re going to get through this. And I’m a hundred percent encouraged that I’m in the middle of an entrepreneurial world, that I get to work with entrepreneurs and amazing people every day, because they are the ones that are going to get us out of this, the rough year, the fastest. But they’re also the ones that have allowed me to have an incredible year personally. And this entire ecosystem of e-commerce has had an incredible year as well because of those people, those movers and shakers.

Tim Jordan: Another thing that I think about, kind of a second point that I want to share is that life is not always easy when it comes to business. The note that I made for myself was mixing mortar sucks. All right. And I’ll tell you what that is. One of my first businesses was a masonry company, a construction company. We did really high end outdoor kitchens and fireplaces and stuff like that. And I loved laying the rocks, right? I loved, and I’m creating an outdoor fireplace and arranging these stones just dry and like, knowing that this is permanent, right. But to get those stones light, I first had to go to wheelbarrow. It makes mortar, sand and Portland cement, and this wheel barrow. And it sucked. It was the worst. You never know quite how much water to put in. If it’s not enough water, then you’re just shoveling dust, which sucks. And that’s a pain. If you put on too much water, then crap. Now I got to go put in more cement and sand and it’s just backbreaking work. Because you’re literally standing. I never had one of those big mixers. I had a wheelbarrow and I had a hoe and I would just mix mix and manages. It just wrecked your back. But if I didn’t go through that effort of mixing that mortar and getting dust in my face and blowing concrete boogers for the next week, from all that stuff that got sucked up my nose. Like, if I didn’t do the hard work, then I couldn’t take that wheelbarrow for a mortar over and start laying the stones and create something beautiful. Right? Mixing mortar sucks, but it’s massively important if we don’t do it, we’re not going to get to the good stuff. We’re not going to be able to create something wonderful. And when I think about this year, and I think about my business, I think about the business of those around me. One thing that I have, like one thing that I’ve started following this year is that we need to start thinking long term, right? We get so frustrated mixing that mortar. We get so frustrated having to do the hard work and those in our business life are the little hiccups, they’re little mistakes, they’re little issues, right? They’re the things that like resonate, and resonate in our minds is one of the biggest problems, but we have to get through those. Right? So as an example, in my coaching program, um, I tell people, in fact, last hours on coach call, we were talking about this. If your first product you break even, that’s great.

Tim Jordan: And that first product, like over the first six months, you just break even, you don’t even make any money. You’ve mixed. A lot of mortar. You’ve been frustrated. You’ve had listings de-indexed on Amazon. You’ve had all this crazy stuff happening, but if you’re not putting time and mixing that mortar, you can’t build something better. But we like to think short term a lot of times, we like to think of the little struggles, a little headaches, a little mistakes that we make. And we’re not thinking about this beautiful stone wall that we’re building, right? This beautiful structure later. I tell people like mixing that mortar is not fun. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. Sometimes we end up dirty and sometimes, we don’t get to go lay that stone. It dries before we make it right. All these reasons I’m maybe I’m stretching the analogy too thin, but we have to be doing something. We have to be moving along. When I think about some of my biggest mistakes in business, or maybe even some of my business mistakes in life, my personal life, like my biggest screw ups. What I realize now was that those biggest mistakes whether they’re my fault, whether it’s bad luck, whether it’s I had this great product I was selling and someone else just completely tanked it, or maybe even a mistake that I made, I made a boneheaded decision. I made a, you know, I hurt somebody. I hurt myself like those screw ups, those mistakes, those bad misfortunes, all that they were was my mixing mortar. They were just preparing me for better things. Right.

Speaker 1: When I look at sometimes, even the most frustrating elements, especially the first half of this year now I’m kind of thankful for them. I was just mixing mortar. I was preparing, I was going through the dirty hard work to be ready for something better. When something fell apart, something didn’t work out a product that I wanted to launch didn’t work. A business relationship I had fell through a personal relationship. I had disappointed me. I always think about those in kind of hindsight. And I can see a clear path of where that helped me somehow, whether it helped me gain wisdom, helped me gain experience. It just cut something from my life that was dragging me down, gave me opportunity to go to something that was going to lift me up. Right. I think about this all the time in the e-commerce business, we’re all hustlers, right? But sometimes we get so dead set on. I have to sell a product and sometimes our chosen vertical. It may just show us another one that’s even better. Right? An example of that, I’m going to talk about my buddy, Carl Jacoby, down South prep. He has a prep and fulfillment center for e-commerce sellers, specifically Amazon businesses. And Carl started off selling online, right? That wasn’t his calling, his chosen verticals. He’s going to sell online. I know he still sells a little bit, but when, especially when COVID hit and all of these FBA, fulfillment centers for Amazon started slowing down on their receiving and they’re shipping out. And the logistics system was really, really getting kind of stressed.

Tim Jordan: People were looking for 3PLs, people looking for fulfillment centers. People were looking for options. And guys like Carl, who probably a year or two ago, I don’t know this and to speculate, but a year or two ago, defined themselves as an e-commerce seller. Now we’re defining themselves as someone that supports e-commerce sellers and that’s his new vertical like that’s where he’s going to do exceptionally well. It’s where he’s going to make his money. That’s where he’s going to impact his family and himself for the better, because that business. But my point is like he had to go through those tough times. He had to go through the struggles of, Hey, I can’t get maybe I can’t get enough business or do I need to upgrade to a warehouse? And then the time came– or a bigger warehouse, then the time came where he upgraded and he moved along. Right. I’m speculating a little bit, Carl. I didn’t tell you, I was going to talk about you, but you’re just like an example of people that are in my life that I see, basically on a day-to-day basis that we’re able to transition and move. So here’s my point, when we think about the tough times this year, what I want you to do is think about them as investments, right? You’re doing the dirty work. You’re mixing that mortar. You’re building foundation. You’re putting in the work for something better, whether that’s better experience, better wisdom, better business opportunities. You’re being pushed out of a bad situation, maybe forced fleets you don’t like. It’s all worth it. When you think about, or when I think about like past guests on this podcast this year, the first one I think of is Marcus Whitney. Marcus Whitney was, I mean, incredible guy to interview and you guys can go back several episodes and listen to that. You can search at Marcus, Whitney but, I mean, this guy was living downtown Atlanta. He was in a night by night hotel. He was serving tables. He wasn’t getting by. He had kid on a way. He had people he was trying to support and life was tough, man. Life is tough, but dude never quit. Dude never got into any shady business. He just kept hustling, kept educating himself. He was mixing mortar every night. I know when he walked into that $30, $20 a night hotel, that was probably not in the best part of town. There was all sorts of shady folks around and he kept telling myself, I’m going to keep pushing. I’m going to keep working. He was mixing that mortar. And what that allowed him to do is gain the experience and the wisdom to push through any adversity.

Tim Jordan: And now the dude owns a professional soccer team. The guy runs one of the biggest VC firms and most successful firms for medical technology, like who would have thought. Right? So when I think about this world of negativity around us, and here’s kind of the final point, like when we think about all the negative stuff that’s going on in the world, and we start thinking about the negative stuff that’s going on with us, the product launch didn’t work. This relationship fell apart. I can’t figure this out. I was talking to my buddy Norm Farrar yesterday and he’s like, Tim, I’m so tired of being in my desk chair. He just wants to get out and socialize. We all need that right now, but this too shall pass. This is all a short-term crisis. And we start thinking long term and we realize the world isn’t falling apart. The sky isn’t falling. We need to take a deep breath. We need to breathe. We need to keep moving. And we need to realize that this year, if it’s been tough for you, which for a lot of us, it has a lot of us have been blessed. A lot of it’s been a tough year. Just realize that all you were doing was mixing that mortar, which is now going to let you start stacking those beautiful stones and create something permanent. You’ve been investing in yourself. You’ve gone through the struggles. And as long as you keep pressing forward, you don’t give up. You don’t get discouraged. You don’t stop moving your feet. You’re going to be able to take those hard times from this year, especially from this year and utilize them to continue improving, making something better, lighter.

Tim Jordan: The third point that I want to make today and kind of my final point is not contradictory to the other things. I’m talking about moving forward, I’m talking about keep fighting the good fight and get over the hard times and all that. So I’m not contradicting that. But in addition to that, what I want to say is that we need to make sure that we’re focusing on what’s important. Okay. What we’re focusing on needs to be the important things in life. I’ve had kind of a recent revelation and it was really through interviewing people on this podcast. We think about success. We think granular, we think success is selling a product or creating an agency or whatever it is. I don’t believe that anymore. I don’t believe that success for us is becoming a seven figure Amazon or Shopify seller, or creating this great digital marketing agency. Those may be what lead to success, but success is actually creating freedom, creating time for yourself, creating a financial stability, creating freedom for others, creating jobs for others, creating opportunities for others, right?

Tim Jordan: Success is not the vehicle that gets you to the end. Success is the end. The vehicle can change. Right? A lot of times, especially me, like I get this crazy tunnel vision. I like it. So focused on one project or I get so focused on one product, or get so focused on one business vertical that I forget that what I’m working on for success, isn’t making that vehicle successful. I just need to get to the other end. Right. And by being so focused on this tunnel, I forget that like success is time. Success for me is creating more time when maybe I’m missing that time right now. Maybe I have the flexibility right now to spend time with my kids. And I’m so focused. I’m not going to get this product launch so I can retire in four years and then have time with my kids. But I’m freaking, like, I could still have time with my kids right now. Right? We get so singularly focused that we lose focus. Does that make sense? I’ll give you an example. This is one that I’ve never talked about, but it’s real to me. I do trips to China. I’ve been going to China for like five or six years now and I’ve gotten pretty good at, I know the methods. I know the culture really well, all that good stuff. And before I started doing large-scale trips, I take sometimes 40, 50 people at a time. I would go to China and I would have just clients, occasionally come with me, Hey, tag along, you pay your way and all, kind of let you shadow me. And about a year and a half ago maybe. Maybe two years now, I had a client that was going to China. And I had a trip. I had a meeting set up and the meetings that I had set up were very important to my business. I got to get to these meetings and get these purchases done and get these prototypes figured out because that’s success. Right. And I felt responsible to this client because while this client came with me, my plan was to help facilitate her business. Right. That was going to be another vertical of my success was helping this client. And about three days before going to China, I’m still at this time working as a firefighter, I’m just sleeping at the fire station. I wake up one morning at like four 30 and I’ve got like 20 missed calls from an aunt out in Denver. What the crap she’s texting me and she’s scared and she’s got voicemail, she’s crying.

Tim Jordan: Something’s wrong with my mom. So I call her and I’m like, Amarita, what’s up? Like, what’s going on? She’s like, I don’t know what to do. She’s like, we think your mom’s had a stroke. And my mom is she’s divorced, lives by herself in Denver. And so, what are you talking about? She says, well, thinks she’s had a stroke. Oh my gosh, is she conscious? No, she’s not conscious. She’s on a breathing tube. I don’t know what to do. So I immediately bought a plane ticket for like two hours later. I went and told my captain, I got to go. I got a plane flew out to Denver. Now I spent 10 years as an EMT. I am fairly confident in at least triaging medical situations. Right. So, I get to the hospital in Denver and I walk in and my mom’s in ICU and she’s got a breathing tube in her throat. And it turns out she’s had a very massive stroke. Right. Very massive. And I remember the neurosurgeon walking in and pulling up a scan of her brain. And you could see the discoloration where this stroke had occurred. It was actually a full stroke, like blood loss stopped. And there was necrotic tissue in there. And it was like half of her brain. And like I realized, this is serious. She’s not coming back from this. And, of course, I was holding it together because my other siblings were flying in and I’m like the guy that has to hold it together. And I remember I’ll never forget seeing that image and knowing like this is not recoverable. And seeing her there in that bed and the reason she was in the hospital to begin with that, she had just had a surgery on her abdomen the day before. Right. So she had, long story short. She had a little abdominal surgery, not a big deal that she had been cut open. And while she was in the hospital, she had a stroke. And I remember walking up to her and we didn’t know if could hear us or anything. And she had her hands bound, like in these Velcro straps, I said, what are these for? They said, well, she keeps trying to pull the tube out of her throat. And her breathing tube, we can’t do that, all this. And she was fighting him and she didn’t have any eye movement or anything, but she was fighting these straps. And I can just tell from body language, she was in pain. And I said, do you have pain medicines? We can’t give her pain medicine. She’s had a stroke altered level of consciousness.

Tim Jordan: And I said, you can’t give her pain meds? And like, we can’t give her pain meds. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, like, she can feel pain. She can’t talk to her. She can’t clean up. She can feel pain. And I wonder her left arm. And I removed the Velcro strap. And instead of her hand going up to pull the breathing tube out, it immediately went and found me and it grabbed me and it grabbed my chest and worked. She felt around and grabbed like behind my waist. I’m standing there beside her in the bed. And she just pulled me and she would not let me go. I’m talking about iron grip. And she was still just riding in pain and I’m crying. I’m like, Oh my gosh. I can’t do anything for her. And we’re an ICU and she’s got a breathing tube in, but she’s conscious enough that she knows it’s me. I know she knows me because she physically grabbed me and now she’s not letting go. And they can’t give her big sedation because of the strokes. They’ve got her in like this weird Twilight thing with it’s awful, God awful. And I’m just trying to keep it together, but not doing a very good job. Finally, I begged the doctors. I said, you’ve got to give her pain meds. You can’t do this to her. You got to give her medicine. You got to give her medicine. They said, we can’t give her medicine. We can’t give her like an opioid or a narcotic, but we can put her in an induced coma. And what that’ll do is it’ll give us several days for her stomach start healing up. We can ease her off. We can start doing some different therapies. See if some of the blood we can regain some of the blood flow to those places in her brain, yada, yada. And I made the decision. I’m like, do it. Like, I don’t care. You’ve got to get her out of pain. We can’t do this. And I said, all right. So, it was going to be like two hours before they could do that. They had to do a bunch of checks, get blood pressure stabilized, all that stuff. And I stood there with her, with her arm around me for two hours. She would not let me go. And like the whole time, I’m just in agony. This poor woman is laying here in pain. She can feel it. She knows I’m here, but she can’t speak to it. She’s had a massive stroke.

Tim Jordan: She can’t communicate. She can’t do anything. She’s just riding in pain. Finally, they gave her a sedative. She instantly relaxed, induced this very light coma. I don’t even know what it was, but they were actually able to take the breathing tube out of her. She’s just lying there and I had this trip to China coming up and I remember my two sisters flew up from Tennessee and they’re meeting with me and I just went to a room and just lost it. I had to go find a room by myself and just cry for a while. Come back, got my head in the game. I’ll be the leader. I’ll be in charge of this. I’ve got a lot of responsibilities. I have a responsibility to my mom. I’ve got responsibility of family. I’ve got a responsibility to my business. I’ve got responsibility to this product, I’ve got a launch, got responsibility to this client that wants to come to China with me, I’ve got a responsibility to all these things, right. And I was laying them all on like an equal footing. And I started using logic. I started rationalizing things. And one of the things that my sister said, she says, you got to go to China. I said, yeah, I got to go to China. She said, well, you’re going to lose your plane ticket. You’re not going to get this deal done. You’ve got a client. That’s going to be upset because you’re supposed to guide her on China. And I said, you’re right. And mom’s going to stay in this coma for two weeks. There’s nothing I can do here anyways. There’s nothing I can do. Like, I’m just going to be dead way. And I’m just going to get in people’s way. And I started justifying what I later did, which was left. And I left and I went to China and I remember thinking I was kind of relief. I’m not just sitting in a hospital. There’s nothing I can do there. And as I kept justifying it, justifying it. About six days into my China trip with jet lag, I wake up and it’s like four in the morning and I’ve probably got 40 or 50 missed calls on my cell phone. And it’s my wife just calling, calling, calling a texting. Please answer, please answer. Please answer. Please answer. She didn’t know what hotel I was at. Because I was moving hotels. She couldn’t call hotel. And I called her. I said, what’s going on? She said, I’m driving to Nashville to meet your sister. We’re getting, we’ve got plane tickets. We’re flying to Denver.

Tim Jordan: They’re bolusing your mom with fluids. All that means is when they’re bolusing, they’re basically pumping fluids in your system. Your system’s collapsing, right? Your heart stopping the pump or you can’t keep your blood pressure up. They’re literally just injecting your fluids to try to hold you a little longer. And she said, they’re bolusing your mom, hopefully until I can get out there with your sister and say goodbye. Man, you talk about lonely. I’m 7,500 miles away at 4:00 AM in a Chinese hotel by myself. And like I realized this, like she’s about to die. My mom had a pretty rough life. She had a few unfortunate events we’ll say happen. And she was just starting to come around, living her best life, as I say. And she was supposed to be flying out to meet my youngest son, grandson that she hadn’t met yet, who was a couple of months old, like just a little time later. And all this stuff was starting to come together for her. And she was dying in that bed and I’m 7,500 miles. And so, I’m calling the airlines trying to change flights, but I know it’s going to take me 40 hours to get home. It’s going to be a nightmare and I’m not going to make it. About an hour later, my younger sister who was there at the hospital, she texted me. She said, she’s gone. I remember sitting there in my bedroom and didn’t have anything else that I wanted to the gym and started working out or like I hardly ever workout, but I remember working out and it was all just logistics for me. I got to get home, got to start planning a funeral. I got to deal with the estate, all that stuff. And there’s no way I could even get on a flight till like 5:00 PM that night. So I had 12 hours to kill. Right. So I went down to breakfast and met my client there.

Tim Jordan: And she said, well, how was your mama? Well, she knew my mom was in the hospital. I said, well, my mom died. She said, geez, your mom died? I said, yeah. I said, she died a couple hours ago. And that lady, she’s the one that made me realize this point. She was like, you should have been there. And I was like, well, we didn’t know she was going to die. We didn’t know what was going to happen. We thought she’s had a coma, she’s getting out of the way. And she never said anything, but like, to this day, Hey, I realize, man, I really got my priority screwed up. And I know it’s an extreme example, but we all do this. We all justify a little more time and research. We all just find one more phone call. We all justify, Oh, I got to do this and this and this. And we’re missing out on the things. They are important because success for me. And I think for most of you, and if it’s not a should be. Success isn’t another product. Success. Isn’t more clients in your agency. Success isn’t a perfectly built funnel. Success are the things that you have more of when you do those things well. Success is more time, more freedom, more stability, more family interactions, more friendships, more deeper relationships, more helping others. For me, I was so focused on success, being a good trip to China, a good product launch, a good prototype development, good meetings in China that I was forgetting that success is being there when people need you, being there for your family, being there for your friends, creating stability, creating freedom, all of those things. And I got those misaligned. I got those mismatched. And to this day, that’s a lesson I’ll never forget.

Tim Jordan: I’m not perfect at it. I screw up all the time. My poor kids have to deal with me in a lot of zoom meetings at nine o’clock at night when I should be having tuck them in or even 7:00 AM on Saturday when I should be on the couch, just watching cartoons with them. But I will never forget missing, not just missing my mom’s death, but not being there for my family and not being there with her arm around me for one more hour, because I was so focused on this next product to this next trip, or this next meeting or this next launch, right. We can get wrapped. So wrapped up in what we need to do that we overlook and forget what we should do when I was a firefighter. I had these crazy relationships to these guys, because you spend 24 hours a day in these fire stations. You either love them or you hate them. Or you do both at the same time. But you get like in these deep– you eat all your meals with these guys. Like it’s a tight knit and you start to like, see people’s personalities come out. And there was one guy that man, me and him just bumped heads like crazy. Gosh, it was awful. Mike, every day I walked in, saw him, I would dread it. He was a captain on neighboring truck at one station for four or five years in May. And me and this guy we’d have knocked on drag outs. And one day I was super frustrated and I was just like, ready to blow. I was so angry at this guy just saying something boneheaded. And it was all, we call it badge something, I’m a captain, look at my badge, go it just being a turd.

Tim Jordan: And his driver, a guy named Steve who I really respect. Steve sat me down. Steve said, Tim, why are you worried about this? Don’t worry about what Mike has to say. He said, we’re firefighters. I said, yeah. He said, Mike is a firefighter. Said, you just said the same thing. He said, no. He said, we are a firefighter. Mike defines himself as a firefighter. I started thinking about that. He said, Tim, we do all sorts of stuff. We collect old cars. We love watching football. We love go fishing occasionally. We do this and this and this. And firefighting for us is just a facility. It’s our job. And maybe something we love, but it’s still a job. It doesn’t define us wholly. Said, but Mike, it defines him wholly, like everything in life revolves around his success or failure firefighter and gosh, that is so much of what we do as entrepreneurs.

Tim Jordan: We define our personal success by our business success. And what we have to remember is that we’re not a firefighter. We’re just a firefighter. We’re not an entrepreneur. We’re just an entrepreneur. Right? Meaning going back to this whole focus, like don’t get caught up in everything having to be perfect. Because we forget to pay attention to the other things like our business, our entrepreneurship, our products, our agency, whatever it is, can’t be a hundred percent of our focus. We are not defined by our business success. We’re defined by much more than that. And when we get so caught up in this small piece and we don’t think about the big piece, we don’t take care of ourselves. We don’t take care of our friends. We don’t take care of our family. Right. And we end up being worse at all of it because when we’re not doing those things, we’re not going to be as good as our business. Right. So, those are the three points that I wanted to make to. I hope that this hasn’t been too sappy. I hope it hasn’t been too deep and weird. And, but I really feel this, like the strong desire to share this with you. When I think about everything that’s gone on over the past year and not just cause it’s still a month before the year ends, but not just what’s going on through the year, but the things that I’m keeping top of mind as I finish out Q4 and it’s like going to the beginning of 2021, like don’t forget that throughout all the headlines, the bad stuff going on and the disappointments and the discouragements. And like, remember that people one are amazing. People do amazing things. People have done amazing things. People are doing amazing things.

Tim Jordan: Also remember that a lot of the sucky stuff that we’re doing in life, we’re just mixing mortar. We’re just preparing for the fun stuff we’re preparing for building something great. We’re investing in ourselves, the mistakes, the losses, the money that we’ve lost, the discouragement, like all that is, is mixing mortar. We’re just preparing something great. You don’t have to love it, but you should be appreciative of it and respect it because if we don’t go through those hard phases, we’re never going to be able to capitalize on the great phases. And then also the third point was focused on what’s important. Don’t get so wrapped up in your business. Don’t get so wrapped up in this product that we forget that life is not defined by us as entrepreneurs. We’re just entrepreneurs. That’s part of what we are. And whether you have an extreme case or not, you don’t want to be the person sitting in China on some stupid products. It’s not even selling anymore. Right. And I’m not there for my family. When something crazy happens and something I’ll regret the rest of my life. So keep focused again. I hope this is valuable. I appreciate you guys listening to me. I know that one of the huge values to this podcast are the guests that we bring on. And I appreciate you guys letting me have an opportunity to share some of my own thoughts. I feel like I get exposed to a lot of different thoughts and ideas and content and experience and all that stuff. And sometimes I just want to wrap it all up and put it kind of– put a bow on it and leading into the Christmas theme. But no, like just recap some of that and consolidate and organize some of my thoughts that I have based on all this stuff. So, I hope you guys continue to listen as podcast. I hope you guys have a killer Q4. Well, we’re more than halfway through Q4, but killer December if you’re an e-commerce seller. And just keep on keeping on, remember that all crisis come to an end, this crazy year of good and bad is almost over. In 2021, I think will also be an incredible year. Thank you guys. We’ll see you on the next episode.