This podcast episode is a very special one. For the first time ever, we have our first female guest and speaker on the Professor's Podcast and PPE3.0, Lana Pasciak. She is an 8-figure Amazon seller and she is the first female to reach the $20 million USD mark. Before Lana started her Amazon journey, she was a CPA for 15 years at the largest public accounting firm in the world. Because of that experience, she was able to leverage her business in a very strategic and successful manner, optimizing the structure for income tax purposes. In this episode, we will talk more about Lana's road to being the first female $20 million USD seller, and what are the secret strategies in achieving that.
Topics Covered In this Episode
Getting to know Lana Pasciak
Let everybody know a little bit more about yourself.
What do you think is your expertise regarding Amazon?
Topics to talk about in PPE3.0
What three to five topics could you speak about that would absolutely wow people?
What kind of tips can you give people to shine as a good networker?
Scaling and Networking
What are the essentials? How to achieve an effective team environment?
Can you tell me more about that level of attribution that you are discussing?
Opportunities and Problems of Amazon Sellers
What are the possible opportunities or problems Amazon sellers will face this 2021?
The Professor's Pandemic Event 3.0Are You an Elite Seller Ready To $CALE from 7 or 8 to 9 Figures?
Watch on YouTube
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Professor’s Podcast, where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape. Your host, Howard Thai generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.
[00:00:21] Hey, what's up everyone, Hurricane Liz here, back with the man, the myth, the legend for the Professor's Podcast, and I'm with Mr. Howard Thai. And today we're going to interview, this is a surprise. We typically have a Sausage Fest on this podcast. Those of you guys our regular listeners will know that it's always, almost always the sausage Fest and today surprise.
[00:00:39] We finally have another lady. This is possibly the most exciting podcast that I've ever been a part of. And I don't know Howie's pumped up to intro you guys a little bit to today's guest, but let me remind you at the end of this podcast, I will give details to the PPE 3.0, which is Howie's third virtual event.
[00:00:54] We've been holding them live virtually. You can stream them from the comfort of your own home. And we've had part one and part two, which people ranted and raved about. And this one will be, it'll literally be the biggest and baddest. One of, all of them as we have a couple of really big time sellers, we've got $150 million per year seller and a $20 million per year seller.
[00:01:15] And again, it will not, no longer be a sausage Fest. So Howie, tell us how you still manage to comb the world and find such talent that we'll be talking at the latest PPE3.0. How did you do it being locked up in Hong Kong for months and months. And tell us a little bit more about the guests that you're about to introduce.
[00:01:33] And literally, like I said, I feel like we should almost get her and send her an award since she will be the first non sausage speaker in the history of the PPE. Well, this one was hard. It took a lot of chasing her around. She's like hard to find sometimes, but I mean, Lana, but yeah, we, I met her a long time ago.
[00:01:53] I believe it was like two, three years ago and she's been, been really close to us and we, we, we went partying in Las Vegas at one time, remember Lana. Yeah, I do. I certainly do. You can't not remember Vegas. Yeah. One thing, one thing, one Lana I tell people is that if you really want the secrets to come out of Howie you need, you need to get pumped.
[00:02:20] Some Don Julio and Tim. So I heard you did a pretty good job of doing that. So there's no telling what you managed to get out of Howie. A lot of people have tried. A lot of people have failed, but the magic juice is Don Julio, which people just don't get it, I guess. That's that's true. That is true. I did make sure that he was surrounded by a lot of alcohol.
[00:02:42] It works work very well. So Lana let's just go ahead and jump straight in. As I said before, I'm super stoked to have another lady on this actual podcast. You were the very first speaker ever. I don't think we've ever had another female speaker at all. Have we Howie? I don't remember. I don't think so. But you got to recall that we're, we're talking about an eight figure seller.
[00:03:02] It would, this is the eight figure salary that we're talking about, the $20 million seller here. Right. Which just makes it that much more exciting. So a lot of, obviously you don't, we usually start off with the same question for everybody. Want everybody to give Howard and pretend they're on an elevator with Howard and give him a.
[00:03:17] A quick elevator pitch as to why you're qualified to speak to the PPE. I think this instance, it was the other way around, but let's just pretend that Howie's not giving you his elevator pitch to speak at his event. Let's just pretend that you understand Howie's the man, the myth, the legend. You obviously wanted to get some Don Julio in some.
[00:03:33] Why did you want to get the Don Julio into Howie and why, or what is it that you feel you could speak about at this event that people would be excited about? Well, I mean, Howard is a legend in the space and you want to build a relationship with him, right? I mean, networking is one of the most important things that you can do as an entrepreneur and particularly.
[00:03:57] On e-commerce, but it's as a growing community and even though there's a global presence and we're continuing to get more recognized every day as legitimate entrepreneurs. Being able to connect with people, experts like Howard on a global basis helps you build that network. That's going to continue to give you the mean, the insight, the insights, and the knowledge that you otherwise.
[00:04:30] Wouldn't, wouldn't get, if you didn't have the relationship that you do with people that have been around since the beginning of e-commerce. So it's, to me, it's all about relationship building. When you get to a certain point in your business, it becomes more about who you versus what, and so, yeah, I mean, it's that wishing it relationship with Howard is sort of a no-brainer. Yes.
[00:05:00] So talking about experts and stuff, what do you think as an Amazon seller? What do you think your expertise is regarding Amazon?
[00:05:13] I don't know that running a business in general is about having like one specific expertise when you're sitting at the top and you're running your company, it's really about facilitating talent. And, in addition to having the knowledge and experience to know how to facilitate people so that you have an infrastructure in place and a team with the right talent in place so that you can set strategies and then give direction to people within your teams to know exactly what to do every day, goals and direction.
[00:05:50] So really for us, when we hit the eight figure mark, it became more of an infrastructure focus where instead of when we first started, obviously we started with a small team and it's just a few of us doing everything ourselves. And then we got to this point where you need an entire team of 10, 20, 30, 50 people to really help you scale your business.
[00:06:15] And you couldn't do that and you couldn't sell. You couldn't scale at and sell rated rates if you don't have the right infrastructure in place. So, yeah, I think when you're at the leadership level and when you hit the eight figure mark, it's really about the networking. But you have leveraging those relationships to help you scale your business, but it's also having the infrastructure, the right talent, the right teams in place to help you scale as efficiently and as aggressively as possible.
[00:06:53] I remember, I think recently you said you're, you're about to buy a warehouse or have you already bought it? So we bought a warehouse, but we're also doing, as we're through that process, we sort of learn the commercial real estate aspect of it. So we're in addition to the warehouse, we're building out this a hundred thousand square foot complex.
[00:07:17] That's going to have probably four to five logistics center in it. So it's kind of cool. Very very interesting, because I used to, I started e-commerce in 2003, so we did have FBA back then and we had to have our run our own warehouse by ourselves. We have to like go to those big, huge racks. And then we have all these, a scanner guns pick to wave picking.
[00:07:44] We have all those like automated bags. I use it like a sharp bags where it prints. On the bag, the liquor label. So there's not actually, there's no labels. It's actually, they, they heat up the bag so that like the label gets onto the bag. So it's paperless. That was really cool. Yeah. Yeah. And you would do those things yourself, right?
[00:08:08] Most of it, well, from the very beginning, but after a while, I mean, that's kind of what I was talking about. Right? I'm not out there, there weren't house doing these kind of these things, but it just requires a lot of planning and you scale at this level, you just need, you need a big team. You need a lot of planning.
[00:08:31] You need a lot of strategizing. And, and so I think for us, this is just moving in the right direction, taking more control of the business. And especially after 2020, when, you know, pretty much all Amazon, Amazon sellers started experiencing, you know, significant issues with logistics and fulfillment and all of those things.
[00:08:53] We, we, I think we spent like, I don't know, at least like 500 grand on shipping and storage fees alone. And so when you, when, when you analyze different analysts and you look at where your spend is and how you could scale in a way that's going to give you more control of your business, but at the same time, Well, we'll have cost savings that will sort of, it's sort of like a win-win situation.
[00:09:24] We're over the course of time and the warehouse is going to pay for itself. So it just makes sense. Right. You, you now. Have more control over your business. You can scale in ways that you haven't been able to do before. It'll be that much easier to hop onto all of these other marketplaces because you have a logistics center.
[00:09:50] You have automations in place. When you can make a very quick decision to us, hop them on target and start scaling there. Explore that option and see. Whether or not, it's the right fit for us and our products and our brands. But when you trying to, when you don't have that control and the ability to make quick decisions like that for your business scaling can be a little bit more challenging.
[00:10:17] That's quite true, a lot. And a lot of people don't have that experience like you have. So my question to you is knowing the amount of experience that you had, and you obviously have scaled pretty high and a lot of sellers haven't had the opportunity to do that. And nor do they have the means or the know-how and your level of Amazon knowledge is obviously very wide.
[00:10:36] Have you thought about the three to five topics that you would want to speak about or have you spoken to how we, about what topics you would want to talk about at the Professor's Pandemic 3.0 that would make people really excited. Yeah. To be honest, Howie are you not having really fully vetted that topics that we, that, that, that I can, I can talk about.
[00:10:56] And we should do that, given that, I mean, I sort of need to know what you guys are particularly interested in, and then we can hone in on those topics. But for me, it's everybody's going to talk about Amazon specific strategies and expertise and tricks. Right? I feel like a lot of these shows, the focus is very much on launch, which is great.
[00:11:24] You need to know how to launch successfully in order to scare your business. But I think he needs to think bigger than that, right? You're not just scaling a listing. You're not just thinking for at least for me I don't think on a daily basis. I don't think how many more listings am I going to launch? I think.
[00:11:45] On the scale of how many brands am I going to launch? And in order for me to launch, to grow X percentage over the next year, what do I need to do? How many products do I need to launch in order to make that happen? So it's more business level thinking versus and, and, and directional versus, Hey, am I going to launch another listing tomorrow or the next week or the next month?
[00:12:12] Right? That's a given you should have a team in place that automates the launch process, right? These are the people that were strategized for you and think for you and facilitate the launch process. I think as an executive of a company, you should be thinking about scaling the business at the strategy level.
[00:12:37] And that means thinking about automations, thinking about infrastructure, thinking about maybe even growth through M and yeah, networking with the right people to, to get the right relationships. I learned a ton through my relationship with Howie, and through my networking, I have a ton of relationship banking relationships that I can leverage very quickly and very easily to get the best financing in the marketplace.
[00:13:05] So I think that's kind of where I sort of shine. I mean, I'm happy to talk about Amazon specific strategies, but to be honest, I feel like a gap here in terms of like topics and, and coverage, because you guys don't really talk about scaling a business as a whole. He's talking about scaling listings, right?
[00:13:29] Launching more listings, but what about scaling a business, taking it from eight figure to nine figure? How would you, how did you do that? That's an entirely different level. Of thinking. And I think that Amazon sellers are they're, they, they they've proven themselves. Right. And opportunities are there if you look at 2020, and e-commerce benefited significantly from that.
[00:13:54] So yes, it's great that the launch products, but do you want to scale your business X percentage year over year? And how can you do that in a fashion where. You're not doing the work yourself. You've got the infrastructure in place, the automations in place to make sure that you can scale that quickly, that aggressively.
[00:14:15] Right. And so it becomes more of a strategy setting leadership type of thing where you, you could do that successfully. I sort of feel like that's, that's where I shine at the moment. That's kind of where my head is in where I exist and I have to be right in order to continue to scale my businesses. And yeah, I, I was a CPA for 15 years at the largest public accounting firm in the world.
[00:14:42] So I have a lot of experience there that leverage for my business in a very strategic and successful manner. And I can talk about tax planning ways that you could structure your businesses so that you can optimize the structure for income tax purposes. Right? I mean, you're making a lot of money, but if you're giving half of it to the government, it really sucks, right?
[00:15:07] You want to have as much cash flow as possible. So you could reinvest that money into your business and do things that will help scale your business. So when you get to the eight figure level, That's where your head is. That's what you eat less, what you should be thinking. Right? I don't want to give the government 50% of my money.
[00:15:28] I want to have that 50% when you're talking about paying the government at two, three to $5 million in taxes. Well, if you have that money, imagine what you can do with it, how you could scale your business. And that comes down to having planning in place and. The right relationships so that you can make sure that you're thinking a year, two years, three years ahead, in terms of structuring legal structuring and tax planning.
[00:15:58] Right. I think you do shine there. Definitely. It certainly sounds like it, but I think one other area that you shine at that we briefly covered on, and I kind of have a question about is you're obviously a very good networker. What couple tips could you give people that aren't like, they just can't come out of their shell and they're very shy.
[00:16:16] What kind of tips can you give people to become, like you said, like shine as a networker also. Yeah, it really is about engaging yourself, like plugging yourself into the community. And there's some it's e-commerce right. There's a lot of ways that you can do that joint. Go, go to all the big conferences, start talking to people and you start one person that person knows somebody and each sort of stuff.
[00:16:44] Expanding that network, but really just, I would start with going to as many of the conferences as possible participate in all of these well-known conferences that are in the us, or even globally elsewhere so that you can start meeting people on a global basis. I think when it comes to e-commerce, you need to think global, right?
[00:17:06] That's not domestic. Yeah. Maybe you only sell in the U S marketplace or North America, whatever, but you source your products elsewhere. You, you, maybe your employees are primarily virtual employees and they're. You know, located throughout the world. So we really have to have a global mindset and I think it starts with plugging yourself into the system, going to trade shows, going to conferences and I mean, join all of these.
[00:17:38] different groups, special specialty groups, or I don't know, what are you call them? Facebook groups, Twitter groups. There's just so many different things out there that you can be a part of. That's going to help you engage in the community and start building relationships because that's extremely important, extremely important to the business.
[00:18:00] So-so I agree with that. We're talking about Lana, like growing and scaling, like yes. A person could like launch one product very easily. Okay. How about three? Normally? Okay. Five products. How about 10 products? How much can you read 200 products? So that's what I'm saying. Like where my head is right now is I don't think when do I launch the next listing or the next product?
[00:18:24] Right. I think. My plan is to launch X number of products and it's in the hundreds. Right? So that's where my head is. And you can't do that if you don't have the infrastructure in place. So it's really, you got to have the infrastructure in place. And to me at this point where we are in e-commerce, it has grown so much and it's become so.
[00:18:48] Relatively complex, if not extremely complex. So you need a team in place. You can't, you launching products is no longer a one faceted process. It's a multifaceted process. You got to have a group of people. Facilitating a launch a whole team, because you've got an engaged social media and you can have an effective launch.
[00:19:16] You got to have a whole team and social media, digital marketing, all of that stuff is critical, critical at this point. So if you don't know it, you need to know it and you need to have a team in place that can facilitate multifaceted launch, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so like, like we said, like at first, how do we scale?
[00:19:39] And also next is how to find these people to scale, which is the networking that she is talking about. You do, you have to go do these events so you can learn. How do you find this social media expert. How do you find this a digital marketing expert? How do you find this is just say affiliate marketer or something like that.
[00:19:57] Like a lot of different things that you need to find, and you have to understand how to know who's good by listening and talking to more people. And that's what I, I believe it's really important as a entrepreneur, as a business owner, as a executive, you really do need to keep your eye open for more talent as well.
[00:20:17] The talent pool sourcing. Absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely essential to the business. And it makes your life easier. Right? As, as, as a CEO of a company, you have a lot of decisions that you have to make on a daily basis. You can't be there writing listings. You can't be there. You can spend your time on being in the weeds.
[00:20:41] You just can't. You've got to have a team in place that has the right training. Talent resources and support at a company level so that they feel like they can talk to anybody. They can get timely support when they need it. And they have the right training and the right team in place to really help them facilitate their work efficiently and effectively.
[00:21:10] So building an effective team environment, that's going to really foster people, a very positive and productive environment for people to work in is extremely important. I mean, at least this is where my head is, right, this is where I am In terms of my business. And so I, this is where my head is. This is what I'm thinking about.
[00:21:33] I don't think about, Oh, today I have to write this listing. Or today I have to write this launch strategy for this product that we're going to launch. I it's just, I get reports every day and look at it. We have our leadership meetings, we talk through strategies. We assess performance. We monitor
[00:21:55] Performance. And we set metrics. We, we talk about what we should do, what we shouldn't do things of that nature, but it's very, it's, it's very high level. And, but directional because it gives people direction and, and we try to focus on actions, right? Everything that we talk about and everything that we conclude with needs to be actionable for people so that when they walk away from the meeting. They all understand exactly what they need to do and, and how to sort of execute their work.
[00:22:26] But I don't get into the weeds. I can't, I don't have time. Understand. So why, I mean, ask this to everyone. Maybe you can give us some insight on what kind of problems or opportunities as Amazon sellers will be facing in 2021. I think the influx, the aggressive influx of Chinese sellers on a global basis.
[00:22:52] It's a concerning thing. Right. And it's concerning not just from the standpoint of, I think the stereotypical way of thinking about Chinese sellers, which is true to a certain stuff. They're very willing to explore black hat strategies to compete in the marketplace. And that's sort of an unfair advantage.
[00:23:15] Not saying I don't do any of it, but that's not where my head is. I try to build a business, not make money for today. If you build a business, it's going to make money for you into perpetuity. If you build listing and you're only focusing on money making money today, then that's all you're focused on is just today.
[00:23:37] Not a year from now, five years from now or 10 years from now, but where I'm mostly concerned with when it comes to this, this trend is the level of competition is it's going to be, it's going to put significantly more pressure into the marketplace and it's going to just make it a lot harder to, to not just launch products, but to be profitable.
[00:24:08] Right. So I think seasoned sellers or just sellers in general. Need to think about ways to grow the business that will develop some sort of competitive edge for you, for your brands, right? Where you stand out, differentiate where you, you really are. Something unique. That's very difficult to compete with.
[00:24:35] You gotta have an edge if, if you're just selling off the shelf products, I think, I think that's just gonna be gone in like the next few years where you really couldn't do that profitably. I think that just Chinese sellers are gonna be able to do that profitably, but not sellers elsewhere. So that's definitely very concerning.
[00:24:57] Yeah, absolutely. I kind of agree with you there, Lana. Howie any last questions for Lana on your end? I don't believe so. Awesome. Amazing. I think you gave some tremendous insight Lana that we haven't heard. Like you said, usually everybody that we have on here is talking about the next strategy, the next step, but nobody's really talked about scaling at the level that you've actually gone into scale.
[00:25:18] So I think it's going to be interesting once you and how he gets together and you kind of hone in on what exactly you're going to talk about. And we have had other guests like Patrick that just did a Q and A, so that's always an option as well. But I certainly think you have some tremendous insight that would really blow people's minds as well as help.
[00:25:33] A lot of people be able to scale up their business. I don't think people have thought about the business at the level that you have. And I thank you again for joining us today. It was a pretty insightful, pretty amazing. And as I said, it was very, I was very happy to see another lady on here and finally Howie to get
[00:25:49] a female speaker on here is pretty exciting for me and I'm sure several other people there are. There are some women out there that are selling on Amazon there lot of women out there. And I think the world is changing too. Right? I mean, we, we have a female vice president and longer sausage Fest.
[00:26:09] I don't know, in Hong Kong, there's another Amazon seller. I think Lana knows. Or she's like pretty big in the cellphone niche. So yeah, I think, I don't know. I think she's a nine figure seller. I believe so. I don't know. I don't remember her companies and nine figure seller. Yeah. There's also a Jean Zhang out in California.
[00:26:30] Who's a good friend of mine. She's out, she's in some of the pretty big masterminds, but she's an eight figure a year seller. So there's, they're out there. They're just kind of, I guess the majority of them are just putting their nose to the grindstone and working actually, I, I, I'm trying to get her to come on the next next event to speak as a, a girl nine figure.
[00:26:52] So yeah. Intelligent one did. Yeah. She's she just scales and it's more Omnichannel. So it's not just Amazon as well as like, I think Lana was there when our, I think it was like a $700 million seller came over to speak about scaling. You remember that? That was interesting. How the Chinese scales. Right, right.
[00:27:21] Touch on that. Right. But it was, I mean, we had a translator and, and I sort of felt like he didn't have that much time. I mean, everybody had like, sort of like a certain amount that was allocated to them, but I could have talked to him all day when, I mean, that kind of thing, where you get to a certain level where people have gotten.
[00:27:45] To the next level. And then that's, those are the people that I want to interact with and pick their brain and really understand. What did you do that really got you to that next level? It is that much harder, right? You was working off that translating thing. Remember the, when it finally, right? Yeah.
[00:28:09] But anyways Lana, thanks again for joining us. That was a pretty incredible, and I look forward to hearing your speech. I know a lot of people out there are definitely going to look forward to it. And Howie, any last words for you Lana, before we say goodbye here to Howie. No, no, it's an honor to be here. And I'm glad that I've always told them Howie, from the very beginning, when I first met him, I said, you need to get more woman on your piano.
[00:28:30] You need to have, need to show diversity, but also women are extremely talented and, and they have a different perspective and point of view on, on how to do things and ways to do things. And you need to be able to share that perspective. Yeah, I'm glad he finally listened to you and hopefully he listens more women in the future.
[00:28:51] But Howie any final words from you before I give people details on how they can find out more about PPE 3.0. Guys, everyone listening. You guys should listen to what Atlanta has to say, because I think it's very important in order for you to grow as a business, you really need to scale. You need to know how to source people.
[00:29:08] And if you can only, only monitor on listing side, when the, when we get a lot of Chinese coming in, you're going to have problems because you're not going to look at the bigger picture you're going to, that's going to be a big, big problem. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks so much guys and girls, and we finally got a woman here.
[00:29:29] So guys out there, you better get your tickets. You better join us live on February 15th and 16th, you can stream it in your undies. Just don't stand up. I know none of us would appreciate that unless you got your video turned off, but you will be able to attend live in the comfort of your own home for the third professor's pandemic event event, 3.0 on the 15th and 16th. To find out more details.
[00:29:51] On that event in February, head on over to howardthai.com/PPE3. And again, remember right now we are an early bird pricing, which means you get in for 50% off, which is pretty amazing because every person that is in this brotherhood slash sisterhood of the most elite Amazon sellers on the planet, that's the price they pay.
[00:30:10] So you will get in for the family price for the next week and a half or so. So you don't want to miss that again? February 15th and 16 streaming live from the comfort of your own home. You'll get to hear sellers that are in the $20 million range, any $150 million per year seller, as well as yeah.
[00:30:27] Facebook ads, experts from all across the world. So we look forward to seeing you live on that event, howardthai.com/ppe3. Thanks so much for everyone, for joining us. And on behalf of Howard and myself and Lana have a very nice day. Welcome to the Professors Podcast, where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape.
[00:30:54] Your host Howard Thai generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.