Interview With Nate Schmidt

Nate went from delivering warm pizzas to making HOT dollars with his e-commerce business. Today you’ll learn the biggest obstacles he had to overcome, which books helped him the most [you can win all of them here] and what’s his #1 tip for beginners is.

Nate doin’ his “Oh, hi… haven’t seen you!” – look

Nate, how did you grow up?

I grew up well! Kind of the “American dream” I guess.

 

Nice house in the suburbs, white picket fence, two parents who both owned their own businesses.

 

All of our neighbours had kids my age and we spent all day playing outside. My childhood was awesome and I can’t thank my parents enough for it.

What kind of education do you have?

Check the “some college” box on this one.

 

I graduated high school, went to college at NC State, but dropped out after 2.5 years to do e-commerce full time.

What was your first business? And how did it go?

My first “business” was a mobile car detailing business I started in high school with my friend Jordan. We made a few grand one summer and didn’t really do much after that.

 

My first “real business” was a freelance copywriting business I started in college, which was kind of the launch pad for my e-commerce ventures (in terms of giving me the capital to start).

 

It went pretty damn well I’d have to say! Managed to get a few clients on retainer between $1-2k/month, I wrote emails for them, and they paid me in return!

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?

I think the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome in any of my businesses so far was when I started my first real e-commerce brand with our own custom products.

 

I made a lot of mistakes with that (COGS [costs of goods sold] being 2x too high being the main one) and it’s been a constant uphill battle with that from the start.

 

Once we managed to sell out the majority of our initial inventory though, things started getting easier thankfully.

What was the biggest mistake you made?

The biggest mistake I made was scaling my first “big” dropshipping store without paying any real attention to logistics, fulfillment, customer service, etc.

 

We went from doing about $30k/month in sales to over $400k/month, and at the time I didn’t realize how that would affect our ability to provide a high-quality customer experience.

 

It did affect it — a lot — and ultimately resulted in me having to shut down the entire operation to do right by our customers.

How did you learn to run a business?

Trial and error mostly! 

 

I’m still learning. It’s a constant process that I’m working to get better at every day.

How do you stay productive?

This is a funny question to me because I don’t think about things like this.

 

It’s never been a problem for me to “stay productive” because I genuinely love what I do.

 

I don’t wake up and think “what do I have to do today?” I wake up and think “what do I GET to do today?

 

There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing, so productivity isn’t really an issue.

Which tools make your business life easier?

Off the top of my head, the notes app on Mac (how I plan my day), the timer app on my iPhone (how I make sure I work fast).

 

 

Obviously Shopify is next-level when it comes to e-commerce, WhatsApp to communicate with contractors, and all the other little softwares I use on a daily basis!

Can you recommend good books?

I just read a really interesting book called Flip The Script by Oren Klaff. Super interesting read.


One of the most impactful books for me as a beginner was Efficiency by Wall Street Playboys.


The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly is great.


No BS Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy is also great.


Anything related to influence, psychology, persuasion, etc. is a good read in my book!

Win Nate’s favourite business books.

If there's one thing you can recommend to beginners, what would it be?

Cliché, but just START.

 

The #1 thing most beginners need to do is get off their hands and just start doing the thing.

 

Most people never feel “ready,” so they never actually get started.

 

Unfortunately, the reality is, you’ll never really feel “ready.”

 

You just have to push that to the side and START. There’s no other way.