MF 107 : Megan Loftin on The Amazon FBA Side Hustle and The Bootstrap Boutique
Megan Loftin is the creator of The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube channel which documents her journey as an Amazon FBA sidepreneur. Today, you’ll learn Megan’s knowledge bursts for getting started on Amazon FBA.
Successes at a glance:
Has a very successful career in a “highly regulated” industry and happy w/ it!
Decided to launch a side hustle business w/ the goal of having something that is her own
Creator of The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube Channel:
Follow and learn from Megan on Facebook
A how to and vid journal on starting a business on Amazon FBA
Check out Megan’s welcome video for Moving Forward listeners!
Setback failure or time when things fell apart:
Speaking w/ Megan, one of the things that immediately jumps out at you is this desire to try new things. While many entrepreneurs and influencers advise us to start businesses, based on what you know, for Megan that’s not possible. Megan works in a highly regulated industry and so creating a spin-off or side hustle business from that is not an option. So by circumstance, Megan’s side hustle has to be outside of her wheelhouse. It’s also important to note that Megan is quite happy w/ her day job. Her motivation for doing something on the side is not to leave her career but to have something that is uniquely her own. Thus, Megan has had quite the adventure trying new things, experimenting and learning from the many bumps along the way.
Out of college, Megan tried several side ventures, including Etsy which she describes as a “big failure on my part.” Next, Megan tried doing freelance assistance work for someone who was starting their own business which unfortunately also fell apart bc there were no boundaries set as to what was needed. While many might be discouraged from these experiences and put their noses back to the day job grindstone, Megan has this undeniable resilience and desire to create.
About a year ago, Megan felt that side hustle “itch” again. After surfing the web, she came across Scott Voelker’s Amazing Seller website on Amazon FBA. Megan was intrigued and fell in love w/ the idea of selling on Amazon; mostly bc it was so far removed from her day job. Megan not only decided to dive into Amazon FBA, she also leveraged YouTube, creating The Bootstrap Boutique channel to document her journey while helping others and keeping herself accountable to her goals. One of the great aspects of this channel is that Megan keeps it real. She shares everything, “warts and all” in her journey as she is bootstrapping this business, starting from scratch and learning along the way. This is significant bc Megan, like many of us, has a job and career that required her to always be at the top of the class and never show mistakes or flaws. For many of us who have been in a corporate career tract or setting, we can relate. So for Megan, showcasing daily failures or frustrations has been part of a self-development and growth process; becoming more comfortable w/ failure as part of the journey.
As Megan shares, one of her big setbacks w/ the Amazon FBA business occurred last summer. Megan had been working w/ a supplier in Taiwan in preparation for her first product launch. Since this was the first time she had worked w/ a supplier, she downloaded a purchase order template, filled it out and sent it to them. In response, the supplier said that the requests were too much and unfortunately, Megan never heard from them again! Megan was heart broken. But what’s incredibly brave is that Megan didn’t hide this from her followers. She immediately pulled up her mic and camera and shared the experience on a video for The Bootstrap Boutique. Since then, Megan has gained a healthy perspective on the experience; realizing it wasn’t personal. That setback also gave her the experience to develop better working relationships which she has since been able to forge w/ other suppliers. The big #knowledgebursts Megan shares is that “you don’t always have the right answer.”
This is something many of us struggle with. It’s daunting to see so many entrepreneurs who look like they have it all figured out; who are enjoying success that seem to be achieved overnight. What Megan is sharing w/ her channel is that you will not only make mistakes along the way, you can “screw up” and it will still be OK. It’s not about making it look easy or hiding the missteps. Rather, it’s embracing those missteps as part of the learning and growth process. Megan goes beyond this and shares that w/ her followers. That’s something to admire and a lesson for all of us to keep moving forward.
The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:
Megan candidly rephrases this question to “has the light bulb gone off yet.” Megan shares that nothing she has done has been easy. She is still continuing to learn, document and grow; both from her successes and setbacks. One of the reasons why I loved having Megan on Moving Forward is bc she is in the midst of her journey. She shares that all of it is a struggle but she is at the point where she has found peace in that reality. That, Moving Forward listeners, is just as important as having the “aha” moment. It’s when you can embrace and accept the struggle as part of the journey, as part of the process, as part of your growth that will set you on the path to where things will click for you. Moreover, what keeps Megan moving forward is that deep down she has this need to do something for herself. Make no mistake: Megan loves her day job. This isn’t about escaping a career or creating a whole new life. For Megan, this is about having something that is all her own.
Knowledge bursts on getting started w/ Amazon FBA:
Most important first step for starting w/ Amazon FBA:
Find and know your why. Starting any venture isn’t about the product, even if you’re looking to build a business on Amazon FBA. As Megan has shared, it’s not easy starting a venture like this. Make sure you know your why before your start any business, whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time venture.
For more great tips, subscribe to The Bootstrap Boutique.
Daily tip or practice for keeping your Amazon business organized:
Megan is a list maker, sometimes to the point where she will make lists about lists!
Keeps her organized for creating The Bootstrap Boutique content.
Keeps the Amazon business organized w/ self-imposed deadlines.
Resource or cultural experience that inspired Megan to move forward:
The One Thing by Gary Keller (Paperback | Kindle): emphasizes doing one thing at a time, prioritizing it as what is the one thing you need to get done today. Since Megan has a busy day job and a family, this paradigm helps keep Megan on track and moving forward.
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Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:
“Megan, have patience.” Looking back on her career, Megan has moved quite a bit. In one of those moves, she had to take a big step back in what she was doing career wise. As difficult as that was, it ended up being a direct connection to what she is doing today. Remember, as Megan shares, all parts of your story are important, disparate as they may seem at the time. Sometimes we move ahead and at other times, it may feel like we’re taking several steps back. Remember, success is not a direct line pointing upward, it’s a windy path filled w/ valleys and peaks. If you keep this in perspective, you will always be moving forward, even when it doesn’t seem that way.
Parting wisdom (in a few words):
“Do one thing.”