As always, when faced with information that contests or conflicts what we've learned so far on the show, it is vital that we run towards it in the interest of truth. George Vlasyev took a unique approach to ecommerce by way of PoD and Drop Servicing, for his opinion on dropshipping especially in these trying times was not favourable. Coming away from the interview I feel like I had learned a great deal and encourage you to have a listen as well.
George Vlasyev is the Founder & CEO of Benafique, that makes premium unique custom illustrations that brings joy to people. At 25 years old, he has done over 6 figures in sales and sold 2 e-commerce businesses.
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George Vlasyev: [00:00:00] One of the most important skills that came with that. Well, in the past four or five years is realization that things take longer than you think they are. And that perseverance is one, is this the single thing that determines whether you're going to get it done or not? Don't stop until it's done. You know, and like, try, try, try, try, try. Don't stop trying.
Joseph: [00:00:34] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind of insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews, with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable, so let's go.
As always when faced with information that contests or conflicts with what we learned so far on the show, it is vital that we run towards it in the interest of truth. George Vlasyev, took a unique approach to e-commerce by way of print on demand and drop servicing. For his opinion on drop shipping, especially in these trying times is not favorable.
What makes this episode unique is understanding the method, which one can maximize the potential for on demand services, similar to drop shipping in many ways due to lower product overhead, but also with a vastly advantageous lateral in being able to offer thousands of product options. If you're hesitant about jumping into e-commerce and maybe the drop shipping model isn't quite doing it for you here is another method worth your consideration.
George Vlasyev, it is good to have you here in Ecomonics. How are you doing today? How are you feeling? How's the weather up there?
George Vlasyev: [00:01:45] I'm good. Thank you so much. How are you doing?
Joseph: [00:01:47] I'm doing pretty good to, uh, to answer my own question. The weather here is cold. At least I assume I don't. Leave my apartment very much.
And when I do, I'm like I'm three layers deep. So three layers, top three layers, bottom, pretty much all the way through it to like men may just not taking any chances.
George Vlasyev: [00:02:03] Nice, nice yeah. It's pretty cold here as well. You know, I'm based in Helsinki, Finland it's minus six degrees Celsius here. So, um, Yeah, that's pretty cold.
Joseph: [00:02:12] I did. Uh, I'm going to ask you a question about that, but we have to start with, uh, well, I'm not contractually obligated to start with this question. I just think it's the most important question to ask at the beginning, which is, who are you and what do you do?
George Vlasyev: [00:02:25] Well, so my name is George. Um, I live in Helsinki, Finland, uh, and I do drop shipping.
Well, I do e-commerce. I like to consider it to be more of e-commerce because drop shipping. I feel like it's a little bit of a bad. Reputation to it. So I prefer to use e-commerce because it gives it a much better outlook. So yeah, I do. Um, e-commerce, I've been doing it for the past four years now. I recently started well about a year ago or YouTube channel where I share a, whatever I have learned and yeah.
And, you know, as I go along my journey, as I make more progress, I just, uh, shared with YouTube.
Joseph: [00:03:03] Yeah. I've I've had the privilege that, that, that word, I don't know. The these days, I'm not a fan of using that word, but I've had the distinct joy to, uh, check out your YouTube content. And the thing that continuously surprises me is that every time I see a new e-commerce channel, I stopped myself from saying dropship there, by the way, there are unique perspectives and there's new things to bring to the e-commerce puzzle.
So I'm looking forward to, uh, getting into a lot of that with you today. So one of the things is a quick. Uh, behind the scenes is that we wanted to reschedule, we were going to do this yesterday, but we're doing the recording today. Cause you were moving into a unit. Um, I, right.
George Vlasyev: [00:03:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah, I just moved in actually.
Joseph: [00:03:44] Yeah. I, I can't see the boxes or anything, but I can only assume that you're sitting on bosses right now and your laptop is propped up on other.
George Vlasyev: [00:03:54] I actually got myself a standup desk. So this is, uh, yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's a big progress for me. So it's an amazing thing. Super happy about that.
Joseph: [00:04:03] I I'm standing at a, at an orders table right now. Like the ones people like university lecturers use. So when I do recording, I stand if I'm a guest or if I were get into the three hour shows and I'm kind of forgets it down for that.
What compelled to the move to a Helsinki? Finland? Is that where you're from originally?
George Vlasyev: [00:04:19] Well, no, I'm, I'm originally from Russia, some Petersburg, uh, but I, I became a. A citizen with two nationalities. So Russian finish when at a, at a super young age around maybe 10 or eight when I was, uh, you guys, my dad got it.
So I got it automatically. And, um, ever since I was, uh, ever since I remember myself, I always live in two countries, so it's Russia. And, um, I went to the military here as well. And now I bought my own apartment here recently, like this August. So now I bought it in August. The house was finished in October.
And so now I moved in here, but yeah, Finland is a great country because it's the happiest country in the world three years in a row. It has the cleanest water, cleanest air. It's just, it's just a great country to live, you know, everything works and in comparison to Russia, it's, um, it's pretty nice.
Joseph: [00:05:16] Yeah. Uh, not, not to get too much into Russian memes, but I, there was this brief spell where I would have watched videos of like dash cam footage of, uh, what was going on on the streets of Russia. And one of them sticks out where like a guy like pops his head out of a window. He's he's got wearing sunglasses and, and it just flashes his pistol over like, uh, for like two seconds.
And then, and then he drives off.
George Vlasyev: [00:05:39] It's pretty crazy there.
Joseph: [00:05:42] One quick question about Finland and then we'll move on. Um, what's uh, what's the sales tax rate on Finland, like, Oh, the taxes, uh, high there in order to, uh, social programs.
George Vlasyev: [00:05:51] Oh, yeah. I mean, I have a friend who lives in Canada and he complains to me about the taxes there.
He's like, yeah, man, whatever the taxes are so high, but the taxes, that's why I asked. Yeah, exactly. But the taxes here are, well, it depends on the, what's it called tax bracket, which tax bracket you're in. Um, but it's basically, you can get up to like 60%, uh, depending on how much you earn. Yeah, it can get up to 60%.
It's pretty intense.
Joseph: [00:06:21] Okay. I mean, it's a, it's a cost benefit analysis, right? Different countries have different offers. So some, some of them, you pay high tax rate, but the water's clean and others, maybe you save on taxes, but people point their weapons at you on the road. So, yeah.
All right. So let's, uh, let's dig into some, uh, some good old fashioned e-commerce stuff.
And I will do my best, not to like outright say drop shipping, but I do want to get into like your. Your relationship with it because we've had some people who are very enthusiastic about drop shipping on the show. We've had some people who were enthusiastic about it. Maybe they weren't happy about Ali express and they wanted to say use Etsy.
They just felt better about using the products there. All of which is to say that when we're, when we're faced with information that might. Well, you know, contradict or conflict with other information we've had, we always want to run towards it rather than to be like, Oh no, we can't say that. We don't want to like, no, um, uh, mislead the, uh, the, the people or anything like that.
So we're just gonna get right into this. So tell us about your, uh, your relationship with dropshipping, how, like at first it came to you, um, what it did. With also your entry into e-commerce like how you got to the point today, how much your drop shipping had to do with that. And, yeah, let's just, let's just unpack it.
George Vlasyev: [00:07:33] Let's get right into it. So I started the whole. I want to, I want to say kind of self-development slash becoming an entrepreneur about five years ago and you know, it all started with me just Googling how to make money online. And then Mr. Tai Lopez popped up and, you know, he sold me the, he sold me the idea.
So I was like, you know what? That's great. So I bought one of his courses. Uh, went through that. And then, you know, based on his recommendations, I started doing like social media marketing agency and, um, I was, uh, infected with the gold, uh, with the shiny object syndrome back then. So whenever I know, cause I was still new.
So whenever I saw something, I was like, Oh, that's the, that's the one. So I'd throw him, it went from social media marketing agency then went to a. KDP. So direct, uh, Kendall publishing. Uh, I wrote a book, uh, on that, which is insane. Then it went. Uh, onto a personal brand. I think, um, I, I was trying to do like fitness content on Insta.
Um, so it was a lot of trial and error. It was a lot of trying of different things and, you know, a lot of stores, of course. And then I stumbled upon, uh, when I was in the army, I stumbled upon drop shipping and Southern e-commerce selling things online and I really. I really got hooked on the idea of selling things online and not having your own inventory or stock.
So I really liked that idea and I was like, you know what? That is great. Um, so I started doing that and I started listening and I started just watching a bunch of use of videos. And, um, it escalated from there. There was a lot of learning and I was like, I I consider, I like to think of this as the first three.
So I'm doing, I've been doing econ for four years, the first three years. It was even three and a half. It was just pure learning, like hundred percent, every single minute energy, a unit and a dollar that I spent on e-commerce drop shipping was just pure me learning. Okay. What is this going to do? Um, like what's the outcome of this?
Okay. If I spend a hundred dollars on Facebook ads a day. What is this going to do? If I spend, if I collab with these like pages on instant, what does that, what is this product going to do? And stuff like that. So I was just kind of like trying and seeing what happens. And so by having like these, like these answers that came to me, they were like signals.
Right. And I was thinking, okay, like, that's a good signal to take that. Okay. That's not a good thing though. Don't take that. Slowly slowly. I started to build this web and like this understanding of how this whole thing works and I'm still learning to this day.
It's like horrible if I'd be listening or not, but you know, it sounds, it really does sound like that. I'm still learning every single day now and facing new problems. Whatever I was facing for three years has now been sold, but now I'm facing new problems. You know, I consider them better problems. Like I have too much sales and I cannot, I cannot like fulfill them possibly.
I need to have, I need to grow so fast right now, but yeah. Where was I? Oh yeah, I was at this that I was trying different things. I was trying different drop shipping stores and landing pages and this and that. And eventually, um, Eventually I made a store. I was like, you know what I need? So like focus myself down and I need to like work on one store.
You know, if I just focus, I was, I was all over the place. I was building stores like every weekend stuff. I was like, you know what? This doesn't work new one. And I was like, you know what, let me just focus on one thing. So I focus and I built a store called city capstone. So this store, uh, focuses around that hats and beanies with different designs.
And, um, I started working on that store. My first success came from, I, by the way, the spinner I have recently sold that store for $6,000. And I think it was October or something end of October or September. So I recently sold that store for $6,000, but the long story short was that my first success came by collaborating with.
There was a meme called bongo cats. Basically these cats who were banging on the bongos and there was a really big thing. And I didn't know that at the time, but you know, at the time of what I was trying to do was I had a store. I had different like hats with different designs, and I was trying to promote them with Instagram pages, the pages mean pages as well, and that didn't work.
And I was spending like 20, $40 on these shout outs and it's gonna work. And I was like, Ugh, frustrating. So instead, I don't know. I don't know what triggered this. I dunno what happened, but I found a bongo bongo cat page on Instagram, and I was like, and I, and I contacted them and I saw that there, the only thing that was posted on that page was that bongo cat.
And I was like, So I, so I started on the internet, like a PNG file without a background. I put it on a hat and principal, I did a mock up and I sent it to that page and I was like, Hey, listen, I have a hat that your followers might like. Um, you know, here's an affiliate link. So I created an affiliate link, uh, promoted on, on your page.
Whenever someone buys. Uh, I'm going to pay you whatever $5 or something. And I remember I was like, yeah, yeah, whatever. It's not going to show, you know, cause I was so used to that, you know, if it does, I'll figure something out how to like actually commute the product. Um, and I did that, you know, and I was like, yeah, whatever. And then I close it and then I'm driving home from work in that time. And I hear the sound on Shopify and I was like, Oh that I check on my phone and that's a sale for a bongo cat hat. And I was like, wow. Okay. We'll we'll, we'll what what's happening.
Two minutes later, I get another sale. Five minutes later, I get another sale, another sale. And it just showed me like, what is a winning offer? Basically. It showed me like, okay, winning offer. Like it's proven to work. Uh, if, if people really wanted then. Basically the lesson there was, if the market wants it, no matter how bad your website is and whatever, like people are going to find a way to buy it.
And, uh, yeah, that was my first success. And then obviously, as you can imagine, I contacted other pages. I got all of them to post, well, I tried to do it and I did a thing. I think I did either 13 or $15,000 in sales and about. Couple of weeks, which was huge for me at that time. It was my first real small success now.
And it was huge at that point. And right away, I went to register a company. I was like the sales guy, the trend died. And so, um, yeah, I had to incur some, some, some costs and stuff like that, but I did, I did make. Couple of thousand dollars profit actually. Yeah. And I, and I fulfilled the products from China, whatever I send them, it works out fine. And then after that, the trend died and city caps was out of sales, you know, that's it like, you know, I just did that and there were no more sales.
And so I was thinking like, Oh man. So I closed the store for like a month. I paused it. I didn't close it. I paused the store for a month. And then I come back to it. I moved to Finland from Russia. I come back to it and I was like, uh, you know what? I gotta, I gotta make something work because I was getting like, you know, like one or two sales, like each day before it paused the store.
But I was like, you know what? This is not really like, You know, this is nothing, but then I came back and I was, I was really short and money. So I was like, you know what, through at least something. And so I, I reopened city caps and I told myself, you know what, I'm going to make this work. Like, no matter I'm just going to focus and I'm going to make it work no matter what it takes, it was just like this kind of determined, like determination.
I didn't even know where it came from and that, but the thing I was doing is that. Uh, I didn't have much money. And so I had to figure out how to make it work without like any money at all. And that's what I did. I started collaborating with pages. I started, I came up with this strategy that I talk about on my YouTube channel, where I was collaborating with independent artists basically.
And, you know, there was, there, there are many independent artists for those of you who know, who don't know, and they have their own design, they have their own things. So I was just taking. See, I was taking those designs, creating mock-ups in Printful. And then I had like the script that I was sending to them and attaching those mock-ups and basically, um, people that see they're like, wow, this is so cool because of stair design.
And that'd be like, okay, so what, what happens then? And then, you know, I added that product to my store. I didn't did the affiliate link or whatever. And then at the end of the month I would send them a report and I'd be like, okay, you got this many orders there they'll be promoting it to their followers.
And the conversion rate was great because. People who follow this independent artists are super passionate or like fans basically. So I was basically like a manufacturer for them sort of, and that was also a big success. I got up to. At one point I got up to seven, $7,000 in one month, and this was better than bundle care because there was a way for me to do it all the time.
Bongo cat was just one time that this was a way for me to do it all the time. Right. But, but it required a lot of work from me. It required so much work. And so. I did that. And then I expanded into different marketplaces. I, you know, I had a bunch of products on my store. I went onto Amazon Etsy, eBay, and then slowly, just over time, the website was getting like up to two years of age as well.
And I had many different sales channels that had many different products. I had SEO, I had artists. And then, so over time the website started to generate about $150 in sales every day. I don't know how it happened, but no, it wasn't magic. It was a lot of work as well. And, you know, I was like, you know what?
I'm just gonna like, cause I had a better idea in mind and I was like, you know what, I'm going to close the store and I'm going to do this other thing. But then my girlfriend was like, you spent so much time on this and energy sell it. I was like, okay. Fine. I'll try it, but I didn't believe anyone would actually had paid money for this.
You know, I, I really didn't. So I posted the website on Shopify marketplace exchange. I got a couple of offers and this and that people were low balling. I almost sold the store for like a thousand dollars, by the way. I've never said this to anyone, but that's.
Joseph: [00:18:27] Oh, really? Wow.
George Vlasyev: [00:18:28] Yeah. And then, um, yeah, long story short.
This one guy, he messages me. And he's like, yeah, I'll buy for six K right away. And I was like, okay, let's go. So I sold that store for six K and. After that I started with new projects. Very long story. But yeah.
Joseph: [00:18:47] I happen to think that, uh, people are gonna really enjoy having you on their podcasts. Cause I, for one, I mean, I'm, uh, I got into podcasting because I like listening.
So that was a lot to it to listen to and took on a bunch of notes.
Just to, I guess, because we're, we're on the, um, on the narrative. Through line. I do know that your, your next project was, and forgive me if I get like the or it's called turn swifty.com. And it has some similarities in that there is a it's art based, and it's also a print on demand and a w and I also know that where with steady caps, it sends physical products.
So there is the, um, The manufacturing costs. Uh, whereas this one is just sending the digital materials. So it just has to, you just have to pay the artist to do it. And I think you also sold that one too. Right?
George Vlasyev: [00:19:48] I told I sold turn shwifty, the crazy story. I started turning 20 in end of August, September I, and I burned, but I haven't burned.
I scaled it super fast with Facebook ads. I got up to like 30 K. Two or three months with Facebook ads. And then I sold that store.
Joseph: [00:20:08] So, sorry you were spending 30 K in Facebook ads.
George Vlasyev: [00:20:11] I, I got up, I got up and sales to 30 K and I don't remember how much I spent on Facebook ads, to be honest, it was like two different ad accounts and stuff.
But yeah, I sold that store for nine and a half thousand dollars as well. I have a couple of videos on my channel talking about that as well, basically like explaining everything.
Joseph: [00:20:28] And for that reason, I of course recommend to our, uh, to our audience, to, uh, head on over to the YouTube videos so that they can check those out, uh, more in depth.
But having listened to your story, I wrote down a couple of things that I wanted to point out about it. So one of them is that you were saying like, Oh, how is this working? It must be magic. And I'm not thinking, okay, well, Ms. Maybe like alchemy more than magic where you just you're taking the different elements and you put them together.
I was wondering about, so it seemed like you, you kind of had like a, a good flow going where you found something that was, so the thing about memes is that they're highly relevant for very short but intense amount of time. And then, well, some, some of them, I don't know, some of them stick around, like, I don't know if you ever remember this meme, but the giant enemy crab meme.
George Vlasyev: [00:21:13] No.
Joseph: [00:21:13] Yes. Yeah, yeah, exactly. See, I thought, see, at that time I thought meetings would last forever. So I named my, my, my company giant enemy company. And as time goes on, people were like, okay. Well, so once in a while, somebody is like, dude, I know what you're talking about. So as you're describing to me, here's what I thought you were, you were doing.
And maybe it is, but the, the success had varied where you resetted like the bongo, cat people with the bongo cap, their, their, their audience, uh, took to it. So did you try to find other memes or other images and then reach out to whatever communities were highly ended that the Cod, the first one popped into my head was uganda knuckles.
And I really shouldn't be bringing that one up.
George Vlasyev: [00:21:52] So yeah, obviously, I mean, of course I tried, you know, I was like, okay, this works, maybe something similar is going to work, but nothing works. Literally nothing. I was just spending a lot of time and energy with no return.
Joseph: [00:22:04] That surprises me. I gotta be honest cause I'm not sure what it is about bongo cat in particular.
That was going so well that like, you know, all these other, I don't know, I can't fathom it, but you've obviously had a lot more time into it to figure it out.
George Vlasyev: [00:22:17] Bongo cat was not monetize at that time. They had a very big following and they were, they were offered, no one was offering merger, anything like that.
It was like, It was basically finding gold, you know, cause the, the audience was golden. It was not monetized and they were super passionate. And then like I tried finding other means, but that didn't work. And when I did find that it was when I was. When I figured out that these independent artists, I can do it all the time.
It's kind of like untapped audience and that's, that's also very important. If you know, someone's going to do that kind of collaboration strategy.
Joseph: [00:22:52] That makes sense. It's, uh, not monetized, but still has a lot of activity. Hard, hard to get your hands on those. But. You know, what you're describing is a lot, like what a prospector is doing.
We're a prospector or fishing. You have the mechanic, the mechanism in place to find success. And then when you catch the fish or you find the gold, you find it and you're, and you're ready for it. It was funny too. Cause you were saying like you were going from like. Not a heck of a lot of sales. And then all of a sudden you're driving home, ka-ching, ka-ching and ka-ching.
And it reminded me not from a personal experience or anything, at least not yet, but it reminded me of like this commercial. I saw way, way back in the kid. And I was actually related the first time that I understood that success can be intimidating as much as a failure can be intimidating because it's a commercial, a bunch of like developers are hanging around a computer.
They're waiting for the sales to roll in. And one, guy's got like a Brown paper bag on him. Cause he's going to like hallucinate. If he does get any sales, well, they get their first sale and everybody's relieved. And one guy like jokingly takes a Brown paper bag from them. And then it happens again and again and again and again, again, getting into, and it starts like, just start rolling in the guy, grabbed his favorite backpack.
And I never thought about it before until that commercial were, I think we'll hang on a second. Like success can actually like, be a whole other swath of problems as well as, well not succeeding.
George Vlasyev: [00:24:11] Yeah. Yeah. That's something that I know I'm facing now. Like I said earlier, you know, for three years I was facing the problem where I didn't have like any sales.
I was trying to figure out basically how to make sales profitably now. You know, for some, for most people, we're probably going to sound like, uh, Oh, that's not a problem, but it's kind of a problem right now where I'm having way too many seals every day. And now I need to get bent. I was not ready for it, you know, and now I need to get my operational side of things.
Um, what's it called pops in apart or whatever.
Um, Yeah. Now that now I get like, around like two and a half thousand dollars in sales a day. So now I need to be able to process all of that. And it's, and it's, it's pretty hard, you know, it's, it's, it's a whole different other animal, but it's, uh, it's, it's probably a good problem to have. So by no means I'm, I'm complaining.
I'm just, uh, I'm happy and under splintering out problems as, as we come along.
Joseph: [00:25:14] Fantastic. Uh, well, here's what you actually, here's something else, uh, that I wanted to touch on too. This is, uh, earlier on in your story, but, uh, it was, uh, Tai Lopez, I guess you saw his YouTube ad and I I'm, I'm guessing that you saw an ad where like he's walking around his garage or a.
George Vlasyev: [00:25:31] Yeah, absolutely.
Joseph: [00:25:32] The man has got his brand. Now. I don't, I don't know him. I haven't viewed any of his material. I have like seen bits and pieces of an interview that he did. And so I have no reason to doubt his legitimacy and like, you obviously got some good value out of it. So what I would like to actually is just stop there for a moment and just ask about like, what were, what was going through your mind when you saw him?
Did you have any prior, um, preconceived notions about what. Someone in his position, um, like with what legitimacy they have and, uh, H how, like how you walked away from the experience feeling like you really got your value out of it.
George Vlasyev: [00:26:09] So before I saw that there was nothing that really triggered anything in me.
Um, I like to think of it. As you know, before that I felt a lot like entitled a lot. I thought that's just gonna bring me goodies because the way, I mean, I was born so right. Family or whatever, but dad like, man, that guy is so good at talking and. You know, he really, over the internet was able to explain to me, like, you are not entitled, you know, like, you know, if you want to be super rich, whatever you need to like work and deserve that and all of that.
And, um, you know, a lot of people bash on Tai and they say like, ah, he's a scam or whatever, but you know, my opinion honestly is that, um, I mean that a guy really. Revolutionized my life, you know, it's in a good way, you know, cause he really got me to like think, observe things, get into self-development self-development um, become like conscious about things and um, Yeah.
It all started from there. I, you know, I come from a family that we read books. Um, I was always around like reading books and stuff, but I never believed liked it myself. I was like, what's the point of reading books? Like all over the internet, that stuff, you know, cause I'm young and stuff, but then like, he's like, yeah, you can get, you can get info on the internet, but reading stimulates the brain.
And I was like, Oh, okay. No one told me that before. And it was just a whole, like the whole thing. Yeah, man. I love that guy. I appreciate him a lot. Um, and he really got me started on the whole self development and like online thing. Um, and it all started from there. I can't say, like, I always thought about this.
Like I can't attribute all of my success to him. Right. But I can attribute a big part of it to him because the reason he really, he had a nerve in me that got me. Start it. I remember I started like waking up early in the mornings and stuff, taking cold showers, going to the gym early and reading books. I ordered a bunch of books.
It was just crazy for some reason that that 67 step program. Yeah. Really like really changed my life.
Joseph: [00:28:31] 67 steps?
George Vlasyev: [00:28:32] Yeah. It's called 67 steps. He had this program. I went through it actually twice. It's a great thing. It's just him sitting in front of a camera. And he just talks about different subjects. You know, he, and, you know, people bash on him and say, he's a scammer and whatnot.
He just gets you into that. But the thing is, whatever it is, right. It might be selling air. You might be selling knowledge or whatever, but that guy was so smart. You know, you cannot make that up. You cannot make up the fact that he just has it in him. He's just super smart. Obviously he read so many books and you can hear that the way he talks, you know, he has great knowledge.
It's amazing. You know, it's just, you're basically in six, seven steps, you're basically listening to a guy who was super smart. He's educated. Like he read a lot of books and he just tells you whatever he learns. He digested that information. And he was like, okay, you know what? I've learned that this is important.
He's not telling you that this is the recipe of success. As much as some people are like, Oh yeah, there's no recipe to success. And he, and he sells dad, but he's not really selling that. He might present it like that, but obviously he's a marketer, but you know, at the end of the day, he basically just teaches what he knows.
And I think he's a super smart guy, you know? I would love to meet him.
Joseph: [00:29:49] When I, when I'm going through material to prepare for guests. Uh, I'm not going to say who, but I have seen, you know, some reviews or some feedback that some of the previous guests have had and they've get called scammers. Um, you, people would talk about the drop ship e-commerce in general, they think that's a scam.
People think people will call banking, a Ponzi scheme. They call it like economics in general, like a VIX Epic scheme. And. I mean, if you, if we, if we really want to like circle all the way down into the very bottom of the barrel of it could just say that life is a scam. Cause we're all gonna die. Like at a certain point, you just have to like get up and start making choices and try to do the best you can with whatever information is coming your way.
And even just listening to you, give me some, uh, some very brief. Uh, takes it, he's provided as actually like made me realize a couple of things just now, which is that reading stimulates the brain and yeah, I'm like a big media guy. Like I, obviously I work in media. I listen to a lot of things. Yeah. And what I've noticed, um, I'm one I'm willing to admit as an issue is that, um, listening and viewing content does tend to.
Hit the dopamine reward center a lot easier because media can sound good. It can look good. It can be a pleasing to listen to. And I certainly don't want to discourage people from, from listening to, uh, listen to the content, but I've always made peace with the idea that like, no one episode of any show or movie or even documentary for that matter is going to really change too much.
But it does. It's communication. It hits that nerve. It gets people started. It gets people motivated to go look into something, but reading is just text on a page. Like it doesn't. Feel great to read. It's a mental exercise. And so reading is a much more refined the way to get the brain to really work out, you know, in the morning or evening or whenever.
So I noticed that reading in the, in the evening towards bed is really one of the best times because it actually is tiring. It takes energy to do. And so whatever energy we have left in our mind at the end of the day, we can expend observing knowledge and then shut the book off to bed. We go. So that's a really valid point.
George Vlasyev: [00:31:55] Yeah. And I remember the first time I really felt it was when I first, when I were in my first batch of books and I didn't know, I was like, okay, I'm just going to give it a trial. I was super blind. I was super naive, whatever. He'd see, you know, people say it is important, I'll give it a try. And then, you know, some people say like you mentioned read for at least an hour.
So I sat down and I was like, Oh, my mind was all over the place. And then at some point about like 20 minutes in. Something changes, some chemistry happens and you feel like your brain starts to get stimulated. You get these ideas, they start to fire, like from all over the place. And I was like, wow. And when I felt that I was like, Ooh, that's nice.
You know what I mean? And then I started to, um, to really like practice that a lot.
Joseph: [00:32:45] Okay. I haven't looked at my, uh, my reading list for. I'm never one is the Bible. And then after that, I don't know. Well, we'll see where I go from there. All right. So, uh, throughout your story, you, you talked about, uh, pop, sorry.
PopCap I just wanna make sure I got it right.
George Vlasyev: [00:32:59] City cap.
Joseph: [00:33:00] City cap. Sorry, I don't know why. I know there's a thing called PopCap. I don't know where I got that from. So city cap and, um, I think this is what is referred to as drop servicing or is it more in the lines of just like print on demand?
George Vlasyev: [00:33:15] Yeah. So city cabs are, was a hundred percent.
Print on demand, drop shipping, drop shipping.
Joseph: [00:33:22] Okay. So, okay. So, so you still count those drop shipping because it still sends a product to a customer.
George Vlasyev: [00:33:27] Yeah. Physical products and then turn shrifting.com was a mix of drop servicing and print on demand.
Joseph: [00:33:36] Okay, great. So I wanted to ask you about drop servicing because we've touched on it in the past, but, uh, this is a field that, uh, you know, rather well, so how did you.
Come across drop servicing in particular, you know, what's your take on it and what are you up to with it these days?
George Vlasyev: [00:33:50] Okay. First off, I'm a huge fan of job servicing. Not many people talk about that, but right now that's like my life basically. Um, I came across an ad and my instant feed for turn yellow.com.
Uh, guys who turned people into Simpsons characters, seen those, what they like to say that they create yellow avatars, but come on, you gotta do it for the copy. Right? So when I saw that, My, my mind was trained enough to see an opportunity there. That's how I like to think about it. If I saw that ad a year ago, I would just be like, Oh, that's pretty cool.
But my mind was at a place where I was ready to see that opportunity. So I was like, wow. I can, that's so cool. And right away, like in just a matter of a couple of seconds, I understood that, that I knew the whole process. Okay. They're running an ad to Shopify. They're getting that sale potential product to have an artist freelance or creates all sort of customer.
And then they offer an cylinder and printer prints on demand, upsell, and just kind of sparked. And I was like, wow. Okay. That's what I want to do. And then I started researching about it, um, started, you know, seeing the prices and this and that. And, uh, I first wanted to do like superheroes. Um, but I was thinking about how I'm going to target that with Facebook ads.
And I was like, yeah, you know what? I need a single, like targeting and Facebook. So I started looking into family guy and I was like, nah, family guy was boring. And then I found him, Ooh, that looks pretty cool. So I started doing that. Um, but now if anyone asks me, I would not recommend doing that because you don't want to be involved with copywriting.
I don't know how turn yellow does it. I really don't. But. People from Rick and Morty, they are, they're looking out for you. Trust me, anyone does it. They know you. And they're going to tell Facebook that guy's doing something we don't like and cartoon that obviously spends much more money on Facebook, then any drop servicing or join the drop shipper.
So Facebook is going to be on the side. Of course it never works obviously, but yeah, that's how I came across this idea and it's really triggered me. I thought that I can do the same thing I did. I did a similar, I did a completely similar thing. I, I hired a developer and fiber and I said, Hey, listen, do you see this website?
Turn yellow? Create me an exact copy of the tree. And you're like, okay, it's going to be a hundred dollars, whatever. I'm like, cool. So I paid him a hundred thousand. He created an exact copy with all of the buttons. Yeah. And that's how I got turned Swifty. And then I started running Facebook ads to it.
Joseph: [00:36:41] Okay. And then, uh, having after sold that, are you doing any. Uh, are any of your new projects also within the realm of job servicing?
George Vlasyev: [00:36:48] Yes. So my new project, which I have right now going at two and a half K a day is a very similar, I can review it yet, by the way. I don't want to do it just yet. Uh, but it's a very similar thing.
Um, Everything that I said it's it's, it's, it's, it's very, it's very similar to Rick and Morty kind of that, um, custom illustration. I talk a lot about that on my child, by the way, for anyone listening wants to see you check it out, but it's a custom illustration it's dropped servicing on the front end. So digital illustrations, and then on the backend it's print on demand.
So we offer to print that illustration once a customer has received as digital illustration and a man that is. It's the best, the best opportunity right now, honestly.
Joseph: [00:37:36] And con well, conversely, what, what I'm doing right now, and I don't, I I'll, I'm happy to be open about it just because it's, for me, this particular store really is supposed to be more of like a learning experience for me.
So, um, I'll I have no problem, uh, saying what it is, and then also explain why I'm. Bringing this up too. Cause I want to ask you about the, the opposite side of it is like the state of drop shipping right now. So my store I'm selling you guys, maybe some of you have seen it. Cause I think this product has hit that saturation point as these drawers that you can stick to the underneath your desk.
So you get like additional drawers. I like it. I just got mine the mail yesterday. So I'm looking forward to what I can pull off with it. Um, and my product is being dropped, shipped from AliExpress, ordered it three weeks ago. So not a great shipping times. Um, I've seen from your, your content, you've gone on record to say that right now, dropshipping from ali express, not such a good idea.
And in the interest of like running right towards the information that, uh, contest to what I'm doing right now, um, I'm about to pull up right into this. And, uh, hopefully don't get closed line by the bar. So what's going on with the ali express? What should I, what should I maybe, what could I do instead?
George Vlasyev: [00:38:45] The pandemic I'm telling you, like, you know how to say ali express dropshipping is dead. Sounds, but it is.
Like maybe before, you know, when the shipping times were 10 to 12 days from China to us, I always like to say this. Treat your customers, the way you would like to be treated is as simple as that, you know, like ask yourself, okay, my ship exams are three weeks. What I be happy waiting for my product at three weeks.
If I'd ordered it from a store, my, my answer is no. And you know, I would assume that many people will say no. So if that's the case, well, don't do it. You know, it's as simple as that. And right now, the shipping times from Ali express are super long, three, four, five, crazy. Like, I don't know. I just, I really don't dig that hole.
AliExpress drop shipping thing. Shipping times are long. You don't have control over the quality of the product and. You're just reselling items, just having a bit of a markup on it. And I don't know when I first started drop shipping from AliExpress, you know, that was the kind of the only thing I knew and everyone was talking about it.
So I was like, yeah, that's the way you're supposed to do it. So I was like, but I still, I, in my, in the back of my mind, I really didn't like the idea of just reselling items. Cause I was like, you know, what's the value here? Like, how am I creating value? And, uh, that's one of the reasons when I saw it and this opportunity with these custom illustrations, I was like, okay, that's the one, that's the one, because you're actually creating real value, you know?
Um, And that really clicks in my mind, you know, in my mind is that you attract money. If you create something for other people, right? You're serving other people. And here, if you're creating a custom illustration for a person, you're actually doing something you're creating a product or whatever, and illustration that did not yet exist anywhere in the universe.
And, you know, you're making a person happy and that really makes the person, you know, happy. It brings them value to him and this in my mind, Is okay to receive monetary exchange and not monetary benefits for that. And it works a lot better than AliExpress what I do right now, you know, it's, it's really good.
If someone is listening to this. And you're like looking for an idea to start an e-com trust me, these custom illustrations. It's a very untapped thing right now.
Joseph: [00:41:18] Yeah. I'm I'm wondering like what, uh, route, how would go with that? Maybe talk my friends into doing like a dragon ballsy version, like a curatory AMA stuff like that.
Uh, okay. So I do wanna, I do want to, um, respond to it too, cause I think you raised some valid points, but also wants to. Um, to, to balance this out. So the reason why I picked those drawers is because I really do like that product. I like the idea of like trying to optimize my, my, my working space. Um, I have like a stack of papers on my desk right now.
I would rather have a drawer underneath my desk. I can pull it up with the papers in there and put them away. Cleanup sanctuary. So for me, product, part of it is resolved in my mind. I actually, I like this thing now, as for, am I doing customers a favor by, uh, by selling it to them at a markup? That's a really good point.
So. Here's what I'm going through my mind to try to make sense of it. Um, and I'll tell you a story. So, uh, for those of you, um, you know, you, you, you can't see, we gotta move in towards video. We're getting there, I'm wearing these arthritis gloves. Uh, and I, I have no problem calling these guys out by the way, they're called the one compressed.com, uh, still in business.
Uh, I've uh, uh, supported them a couple of times. Uh, and they sell these gloves at a markup of around 20 bucks. And then he got shipping. I went on to ali express. I found these gloves. They're like three bucks plus shipping. So I ordered $20 worth. I've got like four of them on the way. Now me, I'm, I'm more a student of this because I'm in the e-commerce space.
I'm understanding how this works and you know, I've, I've lifted beyond the veil and I'm seeing what's, you know, The wizard behind that's controlling Oz. Um, so not everybody has that, but to the credit of when compress without them, I never would have discovered the product in the first place. I wouldn't have known that it exists.
So in my mind, I think the value that I'm bringing is in the marketing it's. Showing the customer is something that they haven't seen before. They're not going to see it in staples not gonna, they, they're not gonna think to look for it. And I feel like I'm doing them a favor by showing them the product, because I think it would be good for them.
Anybody who's got a desk can stand to have a few extra drawers.
George Vlasyev: [00:43:26] Right. Yeah, you have a good point here. You have, you have a good point for sure that, you know, basically like the value here is as for the people that they're discovering new products that can add value to their life, but it might be a job of the person who, who created that product in the first place.
You know what I mean? And plus also, when I was thinking about this is that, you know, if you create a drop shipping store where you have a. Um, items that can be, that can be bought for four or three times cheaper. Just one click away. I don't know. It just, I cannot justify that in my head, you know, right now what I'm selling, it's a hundred percent justifiable in my head, but when I'm, when it's like that, it's not really justifiable.
Joseph: [00:44:12] I hear you. I really respect your, your view to the point where it's making me think like, Hmm. Oh, what if, what if I can go this route to, uh, now mind you, you know, I, I hate to be a, quite a lot of people, so I did get like a flood of ideas. Uh, but I really respect we were coming from. And, uh, and I do think it's fantastic.
I'm going to shift gears because there was a couple of other things I wanted to pick your brain about before we, uh, we let you go. We're about. We got about maybe like 10 minutes, 10, maybe 15 minutes left before we get into like the more like the mindset, philosophy stuff. Uh, here's one thing I wanted to ask you about, which is the, you challenge yourself to like, um, make, uh, I just wanna make sure I got my facts, right.
It was like 20. 2000 and sales without any Facebook ads. Was that right?
George Vlasyev: [00:45:00] Yeah. Yeah. That was right.
Joseph: [00:45:01] So can you guess the story behind that? Cause that's quite a lot of money for no Facebook ads.
George Vlasyev: [00:45:06] Yeah, it was actually, it was actually the strategy, uh, that I, that when I talked earlier about the collaborating with independent artists.
Yeah. I don't, I'm not going to go into too much detail about the strategy in this and here, but you can check it out on my channel, but. Um, it's it's all from that. So it was, it was a click baity thumb, and it was a good title. So I thought it would be cool, but yeah, it was actually true. You know, I did $21,000 in sales without any Facebook ads.
Just what just by collaborating with, in these independent artists is creating these products and. Every single sale that I was getting was profitable. And that was my goal. But you know, if you're not buying ads, if you're doing it all manually, while you're spending a lot of time and energy on it, I want it to move away from that where, you know, the, the sales are taking care of the, by the ads and then I'm more on the operational side of things.
Joseph: [00:46:02] Yeah. Yeah. And, and as you said, uh, for our, for our listeners is, uh, definitely hit onto the YouTube video to get the more in-depth in that. I think I just want to point it out because I think it's a, it's cool to show just like. Well, you know what you're capable of and yeah. And anytime that's what I'm here for, uh, this is actually something, this is something I'm going to pull from your, uh, your, your story from the beginning.
Cause I noticed you and use the term, um, signals where like you were listening to other content and you were observing things and these things signaled towards you. And this is the first time that somebody has like. Use that terminology. I think it might be like a, a regional thing because you know, to different parts of the world have different a user for different terms.
Um, so I'm wondering where that idea comes from and like, what is it exactly that you're using to observe signals?
George Vlasyev: [00:46:50] That's pretty cool. That's pretty cool that you brought that up now that I'm thinking about it. Uh, it comes from working closely with the algorithms of. YouTube algorithm, Facebook algorithm.
And from what I, from what I know, you know, the algorithm works is that if it receives good signals, I think, I think that actual word might come from Sam ovens. Um, but. Basically, if the algorithm receives good signals, you know, you're paying on time. The customers are happy, whatever, right? People are engaging with it.
If the signals are green, then the algorithm is going to start improving. And I like to think of myself as that I think of myself, but, um, basically, yeah, just kind of, uh, as I, as I moved through life, I like to think of this as, you know, whatever I'm doing. I just, I kind of get a signal that okay. That's a good signal.
That's a bad signal. And then I try to move towards more of the green signals basically.
Joseph: [00:47:54] Well, if you believe in predestination then yes. We're authentically algorithm.
George Vlasyev: [00:47:59] Yeah. Yeah. Maybe, but I just like to think of it that way.
Joseph: [00:48:02] Um, so w w what question did I, uh, try to ask as often as possible, uh, on the show is a skill-based question, which is like, You touched on what, what you're up to, because I know you have a military experience and I just want it.
There's a, there's a part of the, I just want to make sure that I got, which is like two things. What did you think you were going to do? If not for e-commerce like, what path were you on? What were you working on? And then. With all of that in mind. Um, what skills do you feel came with you when you entered into e-commerce?
George Vlasyev: [00:48:34] Before I entered e-commerce, to be honest, I was blind and I really didn't know what I was going to do. Um, I come from, uh, a family of what a, what a business background. So, um, I always start off myself that I'm going to just continue working on the family business, which is like manufacturing, frozen, frozen foods and ice cream.
So I thought I'm going to do that. Uh, but I really didn't like the idea of being stuck to one place. As I said earlier, you know, I thought of myself as being a traveler, but I'm actually not actually like to be around. And plus the, the whole livestock story and stuff is in Russia. And I didn't really want to be there.
I wanted to be a person would like freedom to travel and stuff. And, um, So, yeah, I didn't go that routes. I went my own routes, which is e-comm. And with that came the skill, one of the most important skills that came with that willow in the past four or five years is realization that things take longer than you think they are, and that perseverance is one is, is the single thing that determines what are you're going to get it done or not, whatever it takes, what even just putting, like putting together furniture. Right. Cause I'm like, I'm doing that right now. Like putting together furniture, you might think that, you know, okay, I have an instruction and then I'm just going to follow it.
It's simple as that, but even when you're putting it together with an instruction, You still come to a point where something is not working and that's the moments it's not working. There is this critical moment where you either try for whatever it takes five minutes and you're like, Oh, she's not working and get frustrated and you just put it down and you're like, I'm going to do it later or whatever.
I'm going to hire someone to do it for me. You develop the skill where you're like, no, it's like, I'm going to get this done. No matter how much it takes, what did the other day? I was fixing a trash bin in my house and I was like, yeah, I was fixing it. And it took me so long, but it's just, it's just a thing.
It's a skill that I trained myself to not give up. No matter, like, until, until it gets done, it's just a thing it's like super like mind thing, you know? But it, it's, it's a great thing and applies to so many and you feel so much happier afterwards as well. You feel like you've, you know, dopamine is kicking in.
Cause you're actually, you know, you got it done. It's like now achieved. So yeah, that's one of the most important things whenever, uh, you're doing it. Just like don't stop until it's done. You know, and like, try, try, try, try, try. Don't stop trying. Eventually you're going to figure out a small little thing.
That little thing is going to meet to another one to another one, and then eventually you'll come. And I also noted that solutions are exponential as well. So it's like for a long time, you're trying many different things and nothing works, but then you hit that one little piece that, you know, really. Uh, resonates with you and then it just skyrockets.
Joseph: [00:51:51] That's a great insight. And I think one of the issues is that when we're, when we're stuck on something, that's, uh, that's challenging, it's tempting to want to go do something that actually like releases a dopamine. Um, and what I've noticed, cause this is a problem that I've run into a lot. Is that when I do that, it actually makes it harder to come back to it afterwards, uh, because I've gotten into a more relaxed state and then I have to like, Wind myself back up again and turn into more of that stress, but good stress state.
So, uh, there, there is a, there was a lot of, I was into that for sure.
George Vlasyev: [00:52:24] Actually one of the things I learned from Tai coming back to that, he said in one of his things, I'd remember it until now. It was, uh, The temptation to give up is greatest right before you're about to succeed. And that stuck with me till this day drives me every single day, whatever I'm doing.
I know that it's efficient to give up is greatest right before I'm about 16. So when I'm super tempted, I'm like, okay. Now, instead of being like, Oh, I don't want to do it. I'm like, ah, now the solution is going to come soon. And it's always like that.
Joseph: [00:52:56] Well, that's, that's amazing. And I feel like we should really just wrap up on that note cause, uh, uh, yeah. It's yeah, it's just been great.
Although if, if you don't mind, there is one other video I wanted to ask you about, but this is more delicious, kind of like we'll decompress. We'll have a, have some fun with this one. This is like your, your video about what are some of some things that. Um, you don't recommend people doing with their money and going into that video, I thought it was going to be like, you know, don't, don't go to a and w too often, or, you know, uh, you know, don't smoke cigarettes.
And then it turns out that it was, um, what I would say is like excessive luxury where people can really spend like a lot of money, a very short amount of time. Like, uh, like bottle service and stuff like that. And so go check out the video. Um, I, I suppose one of them, I'm not going to spoil the other two.
Uh, cause you had mentioned that, you know, you had done bottle service yourself, so you come from personal experience. So here's a, here's what I want to ask is, were there any positive takeaways from the bottle service? Like did any. Do you have enough insights to anything cool happened? That actually was like a, a meaningful long-term takeaway from it.
George Vlasyev: [00:53:58] Yeah, I guess the, I guess the biggest benefit I learned from that is that. I need to be very careful what alcohol and that I am not that good at drinking. So I have some friends who, the more they drink, like the crazier to get, and the longer they can stay up and stuff like, like. I don't know how to do it, but for me, it's the opposite.
I have this critical like, limit where if I go over it, that's it. I just, I pass out. I fall asleep or I blackout. So there's one good. It happened when the bottle would that bottle service? I remember it was just horrible. Um, I, I blacked out a couple of times. Uh, I don't remember how I got from the club home.
I lost my money that I was supposed to pay for the club and I bought like, It's basically the story that the story here is that I had like 350 pounds and the GBP. And I was supposed to give that to my friends so they can pay for the club for the model service for the table, whatever. And instead, I got so drunk that when I went out out of the club, I don't remember this.
There was a guy, you know, like those guys, like, Hey, would you like to buy a Rose for your lady? And I think what happened is that I ended up with like all these roses, take it easy with that.
Joseph: [00:55:28] I I've, I've noticed that, um, I, I'm not much of a much of a drinker. My, uh, my, my twenties are long gone, but I. I noticed that I would like get more pretentious than where I drank. Like I would like, I get more into like sitting up, right? Yes. I do believe this. This is fantastic. Like, it just turned into a total.
So between that and like the, the feeling of my stomach the day after. Yeah. It's interesting. Like. I mean, you know, uh, if, for people who have like, have never touched the bottle, you're doing the right thing, but for, for, for people who have, I guess it's worth like looking back on those and just wondering what happens to my decision, I can process when I lose that process.
So yeah, it can be fascinating. And in hindsight, but the, uh, the better option is like, you know, one glass of wine with dinner at most, and we'll leave it at that.
Um, so George, usually the final question is like, you know, um, It's two it's two parts. One is how quickly we can get in touch with you. And the other is like, if you have any parting wisdom or any answers to questions that I haven't asked, uh, but I'd say between the, um, uh, the perseverance question and the bottle service question, I think you've delivered, but just in case there's anything else you want to share with us, this is the chance to do it.
And then after that, uh, let the audience know how they can find you and get in touch.
George Vlasyev: [00:56:45] In terms of a little piece of wisdom, I would probably say is that you need to, if, if you really want to do something just. Just, you have to do it for a long time. You know, things take much longer than, than they seem, uh, on the, on the front end.
You know, you might think like, Oh, you know, it's just, even if it comes to like drop shipping e-commerce you might think like my thinking in the beginning was, Oh, it's simple. Just, you know, the way the people say, Oh, here's a website, here's some ads product, it's all easy and stuff, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
You know, there are so many things that go on the bottom of that and. Yeah. It, it all comes really to first understanding that. Okay. Yes, I do. I don't know yet, but I do understand that there are a lot more things coming and then kind of committing yourself to it. Right. You're you, you, you basically sit down and you think to yourself.
Yes. I know what, I know that there are a lot more things coming. I don't know what exactly are, but I know they are coming and I'm ready to. To how to tackle them. Right. I'm ready to take them off and that, and like something that by telling yourself that then you will be expecting those things to come.
And you're going to be like, Oh wait, I committed to this so I know it's coming. Okay, let's get this done no matter how hard it might see. Um, that's also one of the things, kind of the recurring pattern for me over the last. Oh five years. Yeah. So I guess that's kind of the last piece of advice. I don't want to drag it on too long.
And then for those of you who want to find me, um, my YouTube is George and my Instagram is the same George Vlasyev just together. Um, yeah, that's it.
Joseph: [00:58:23] Okay. Terrific. Well, George, thank you once more for your time. This was a, this is a lot of fun and, uh, thank you to our listeners as always for your, uh, for your attention and your engagement.
Uh, you all know what to do and we'll check in soon. Take care.
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